My husband Thom thinks he’s a regular handyman. He loves to “fix” things like re-wire lamps, unclog dishwasher parts, and make trash drawers slide like they’re supposed to. I affectionately call him “Mr. FixIt” because most things he “fixes” with the best of intentions, end up slightly better in some ways, but still essentially broken.
His real passion, however, is yard work on our land where he gets thrills from chopping down trees, hauling brush, seeding and mowing lawns, and generally riding around in his tractor, happy as a clam. What all this “work” requires, however, given the loud equipment he uses, is a pair of industrial “earmuffs,” supposedly to protect his hearing. But I’m convinced the muffs are for an entirely different thing – to block out my constant requests that he do this or that. I have therefore affectionately, (but I think, aptly), named the muffs “THE WIFEGUARD.”
As a couples therapist and relationship coach, I think my husband has devised a unique marital tool – a perfect way to ignore me without ever having to say anything hurtful or rude. When I shout requests at him, he either doesn’t hear me at all, and just keeps doing his thing, or he smiles at me quizzically, shakes his head, makes a motion that he can’t hear me, and cheerfully keeps going. Occasionally, when I wave my arms and make faces, looking really adamant about being heard, he takes off “the Wifeguard” momentarily and shouts, “What???”
How can I be mad, married to such an industrious, clever guy?
PS. For access to a somewhat more traditional marital tool, you can get a copy of my newly published book, “I’m Talking! Are You Listening?”Fix Communication Problems With Your Partner In No Time Flat! You can buy it on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/Qprh8v
Tune into this next BlogTalk Radio episode to hear more about my new workbook, and other news you’ll probably find relevant. I’ll announce my upcoming 2013 Spring Webinar Series, and more radio shows to come.
Listen to the show live streaming at: The Couplespeak Relationship Forum or call in toll-free at: 877-497-9046 to join me live on the air with questions or comments. (It’s a short show, so you’ll have to talk fast).
Hope you join me!
Anything is possible! I’ve just published my new little workbook,
“I’m Talking! Are You Listening? Fix Communication Problems With Your Partner In No Time Flat! An Original Couplespeak™ Workbook
It’s now available for purchase on the CreateSpace (a division of Amazon) eStore, and also available directly through Amazon, and other retailers, libraries, etc.
Who would have thought that I’d actually follow through and do this with all the levels of hassle, complications and time involved! My point to you readers is that if I can do this, SO CAN YOU do anything you set your mind to! Set your goal. Connect with your motivation. Line up your daily actions with that goal and motivation. Give yourself some breaks. Find support. Get feedback, and move forward!!
If you’d like to learn how to talk so your partner will listen, and how to listen so your partner will talk, this workbook is for you. It provides you with simple steps to accomplish this, and exercises to help you set the stage for success. And by the way, it doesn’t only apply in marriage or long-term partnerships. It also applies for any key relationships you have where productive conversation can get snagged. If you have a co-worker or a friend or relative you’d like to communicate better with, then this book will be a great tool!
Below is a copy of the eStore page describing the book. You can purchase it directly by going to my CreateSpace eStore below or directly on Amazon.com
“I’m Talking! Are You Listening?”
Fix Communication Problems With Your
Partner In No Time Flat!
– An Original Couplespeak™ Workbook
Authored by Susan Lager LICSW
A seasoned couples therapist and relationship coach shares her secrets, step by step, for better communication with all the people who matter.
8.5″ x 8.5″ (21.59 x 21.59 cm)
ISBN-13: 978-1469918846 (CreateSpace assigned)
We have a simple but wise saying in the psychotherapy world: “If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable!”It’s so true, especially in intimate partnerships. So often I see couples “sitting on” giant resentments, presumptions, hurts, misconceptions, and bewilderment that could probably be worked out if there’s a value to each in the relationship. Haven’t most of us stayed silent at times, fearing the consequences, only to find out that the “bogeyman” was in our own head?
I have three wishes for my Relationship Genie:
- That partners would generally give each other more credit for having the potential for a reasonable response to each other’s concerns, and make presumptions of “good will”.
- That people would more often value their own experience, not discount it, and be willing to stand up for themselves by speaking up.
- That we’d all legitimize the fact of “alternate realities” around situations, be more curious about each other’s experience, (getting away from “right” or “wrong”), and practice the fine art of listening better.
(That’s sort of three and a half, but hey, the Genie has magical powers, so why stop at three?) Good night and good luck!
PS. For more of my thoughts and tools for communication, sign up for a series of Free Reports at the button on the right.
I had a hilarious psychotherapy session today with a middle aged “salt of the earth” couple who were bemoaning the pervasive preoccupation with cellphones among the younger generation. They talked about how teens and “twenty-somethings” in particular were guilty of communicating primarily via technology. They had hired some young workers for their business, and discovered that these “kids” no longer even talked on their cellphones –(too personal!)– they only texted, did it all day long on the job, even did it with the phones in their pockets! The three of us lamented the loss of personal contact among people, and the increasing depersonalization in our society. The husband then referred to our generation as the “last of the ‘face-to-face’s”. We all cracked up, I told him this was a funny-sad, priceless depiction, begging to be shared, and we all moved onto other topics. But it made me think about the truth in the statement. Has personal contact become a quaint vestige of the past, (particularly the ex hippies)? Has an entire generation discarded something precious– face to face conversation, complete with eye and ear contact? And what’s the consequence? Daniel Goleman, in his book “Social Intelligence”, thinks we’re moving toward “social autism”, and that studies indicate it’s effecting our brain structure, and even immune function, which is impacted by the quality of our relationships. Scary! How to fight the tide? Use technology as a tool, not a barrier! Be mindful of when you’re connecting with your phone, and not the live person in front of you! Limit “screen time” for yourself and your children! Have human face-to-face conversations! Anyway, before I get more carried away, I have to sign off. (My husband went to bed an hour ago, and here I’ve been, all cozy “talking” to all of you.) Hmmm………….
Goodnight and good luck,
PS. For more of my thoughts, insights, and tools for relationship issues, go to my website: www.HowToBeABetterCouple.com and for live discussions about relationship dilemmas, go to my BlogTalk Radio show, “The Couplespeak Relationship Forum”. The next scheduled show is on Wednesday, Jan. 12th at 10:00PM: “Sisters– The Good, The Bad, And The In-Between”. It should be fun, and informative!