When I told my Mom that I wanted to divorce my husband of 20 years, she said, "Are you crazy!?!"
"Why would you leave a man who doesn't beat you, isn't an alcoholic, doesn't gamble away his paycheck, or cheat on you?"
Maybe you think I'm crazy too, because your relationship was worse than mine, and yet you stayed?
So many women are tolerating unhappy relationships.
It’s a pain-filled situation.
Maybe you stay for "the sake of the kids” because you don't want them to have a broken family.
But, if you and he are just circling around each other, making snide remarks,
with hurt and angry looks and passive-aggressive behaviors...
then your relationship...and family... is already broken.
And the kids are living with the daily tension and negativity.
Personally, I chose to leave FOR my kids’ sake.
The thought of my daughters growing up to believe that an unhappy relationship was the best they could expect, broke my heart to the core.
I wanted them to see a strong...
As we head into the Holidays, focusing on thankfulness, peace, and joy, my thoughts go back to past times and friends.
My wife Angeline and I have rented out rooms throughout our marriage to a colorful array of people with different languages and cultures. We’ve had, mostly, good fortune picking positive & upbeat renters.
We think of our kitchen as sort of an “energy vortex.” Periodically we end up there, sharing a meal or just hanging out and talking with housemates.
Once in a while, Angeline or I will develop a deeper than-usual attachment to one of the people we’re sharing our home with. I am going to talk about a housemate I came to deeply appreciate and the things I learned through my association with him.
The Bedouins are a nomadic Arab tribespeople, whose wealth was often reflected by the number of camels they owned. I know because a Bedouin lived in our home for a time. His name was Yami and we called him “Sweet...
In our Academy of Relationship Mastery, we have a monthly Book Club. This month we are reviewing Debbie Ford’s Dark Side of the Light Chasers. In it, she encourages us to release the mask we have created for the world to see. It’s a mask to hide our shame, our shadow so that people will only see the “face” we believe is acceptable. She explains that when we embrace our shadow side, we will find hidden treasure.
The following story is about me “embracing” or fully acknowledging and accepting, my shadow side.
When WWII ended, my Dad came home, married my Mom, and in the next seven years, they had seven children, of which I am the eldest. Dad, an Oklahoma farm boy, was the first in his family to go to college. My mother, who was raised on a struggling ranch in Arizona, had experienced severe poverty, sometimes with nothing to eat. Neither had many skills for managing money and times were tough. In addition, Mom had few domestic skills,...
Frankly, I find the above quote really annoying, because, of course, everybody would love themselves...if they knew how!
So, why don't we know how?
Because, early in your childhood you received numerous messages that you weren't okay; not perfect enough, or well behaved, or good looking, or not smart, or whatever.
Back then you were too young to filter out the messages you received.
You didn't realize that your parents criticized you because they didn't feel perfect enough either. They didn't really love themselves enough, so they tried to fix it by "fixing" you.
But, it didn't work....you just felt imperfect, and therefore not lovable.
So now what are you supposed to do?
Go into therapy? Good grief, it takes forever, and costs a mint!
Speaking of money, a LOT of people are spending a LOT of money on cosmetic surgery, to try to be more lovable.
I even heard of a woman who is having her second toes shortened, so her feet will be more perfect. Yikes!
There's a lot of self-rejection going...
I could have been with the “Love of My Life!”
That’s what a friend sadly said to me, after reading our book: Gorillas Make Great Lovers!
First, I should tell you that my friend is a very successful businesswoman.
She has published several books and speaks at events all around the world.
So, I asked, “What happened?”
“Well,” she responded, “when I read your book and took the Quiz, I realized that my boyfriend was the Gorilla type.”
I was confused and said, “That’s good, isn’t it? I mean, my favorite type of men are the Gorillas.”
“Yes, he was good. We had a lot of fun together and all my friends liked him.”
“Well, so what went wrong?” I asked.
“I really loved him, and I knew he was smart, so I was sure he could move up the corporate ladder if he’d just apply himself.
But he kept being resistant and saying he was comfortable as he was.
I thought he was just being...
Recently a friend told me something she had noticed about me.
It was something I hadn’t heard before, so I got curious.
She said, “Angeline, you don’t acknowledge age.”
“What do you mean?”, I asked.
She replied, “You never seem to think you’re too old, when some new opportunity comes up.
You just go for it.”
Her comment reminded me of something I heard years ago about me and my mother.
That person said, “you’re the kind of woman that never age.”
Frankly, at the time, I thought she was referring to my mother’s face lifts.
But, with this recent comment about not “acknowledging age”, it got me thinking.
I believe what they’re observing is my energy and attitude. It’s my Mindset.
In our workshops and coaching, we teach concepts that promote a Mindset of confidence and hope.
It’s a youthful attitude.
It supports a way of life that is both abundant and adventurous.
The atmosphere at my house, growing up, can be accurately described as a total shitstorm. I was a sensitive kid and I lived for years with my father’s open dislike, criticism, and contempt for me.
Since leaving home at 18, I carried a deep mistrust for people. I was miserable. I spent 7 years in a residential drug program piecing fragments of my life together. After rehab, I was in weekly group therapy for eleven years. Much of my adult life has been focused on dealing with the pain and isolation in my life.
This morning, in a letter I wrote to my adult son, I talked about my marriage to Angeline and how I arrived in her life “running on empty.” My heart was pretty well boarded up. I didn’t believe I was capable of love.
Over time, in our conversations, during our thirty-year marriage, Angeline has continually highlighted the qualities and the good things she sees in me, her confidence in the good man that I am.
Recently Dixon and I went out for Brunch to our favorite seafood restaurant, because I love seafood. We have found restaurant portions are often so large, that we can share an entrée. We ordered a bowl of clam chowder and a salad topped with shrimp and crab, which we split.
Like me, Dixon also loves seafood, especially crab, since he grew up in the Northwest where it is plentiful.
As we each ate our half of the salad, he generously put one of his largest pieces of crab onto my plate. It was a sweet and loving gesture and it reminded me how the “little things” build trust.
Relationships are built, or broken, on the “little things.” We tend to remember the big issues and may point to them as the cause of relationship success or failure. But the truth is that it’s the accumulation of the “little things” which make all the difference.
You might wonder if Dixon is always so generous with me. The answer is no, but over time, I have...