Don’t Play the Problem’s Game

When Problems Take Over a Relationship How does a persistent problem get started and what keeps it going? Why does it seem to be immune to your attempts to defeat it? Let me explain how it gets so hard and how problems manipulate you into feeding them. Continue reading →

Create Problem-Free Zones

When Problems Take Over a Relationship If you’ve been hurt and a Problem has taken over your relationship, there’s plenty that you can do, other than succumb to the Problem yourself. Just because your boyfriend wants to get stinking drunk every time he goes out, doesn’t mean you have to clean him up when heContinue reading “Create Problem-Free Zones”

Feed the Person, Starve the Problem

One Halloween when I was a kid, I came home from trick-or-treating with a plastic pumpkin full of chocolate. My mouth had been watering ever since the second doorbell, but my costume prohibited taking an early snack. As soon as I got home, the mask came off, and I had my first piece of chocolate.Continue reading “Feed the Person, Starve the Problem”

When Problems Take Over a Relationship

Even when people are firing on all cylinders, relationships can be tricky. When there’s a persistent problem, like an illness or an addiction in the mix, they can be impossible. Persistent problems can be the source of much harm. The alcoholic you can’t rely on. The gambler you can’t trust with money. The depressive whoContinue reading “When Problems Take Over a Relationship”

The People of the Mind

As if it wasn’t hard enough to deal with the people who hurt you, you also have to deal with their representatives you carry around in your head. Actual people you can divorce, send to jail, move across the country and never see again; the people of the mind follow you, they share your bedContinue reading “The People of the Mind”

The Re-Negotiated Relationship

Once you’re in a relationship with someone, you’ll always be in a relationship with that person. It’s like the Hotel California, you can never leave. I don’t care if you never speak to her again, if you move to the other side of the world, and put up a dartboard with her face on it;Continue reading “The Re-Negotiated Relationship”

Getting Closer by Separation

Look at the shoes you’re wearing. Your two shoes go together, they match. No one can say that they don’t. Even if you lose one and leave it behind in the road, they are still a pair of shoes. Now tie them together, one to the other. Go ahead. Now try to walk. You’ll beContinue reading “Getting Closer by Separation”

The Escape Plan Checklist

Every Problematic situation needs an escape plan. Escapes that are not planned tend to go awry, so plot your exit strategy beforehand. These are the elements of an escape plan to consider when a loved one has hurt you. What would trigger the escape?  The most important part of any exit strategy is figuring outContinue reading “The Escape Plan Checklist”