Couplespeak™ Blog

“2012 Year In Review” BlogTalk Radio Episode January 2nd 8:30 PM EST

Don’t miss my next BlogTalk Radio episode, “2012 Year In Review, Options For Looking Back, Then Forward.” I’ll be broadcasting at 8:30 PM EST, encouraging a conversation with callers who can join me live on the air by calling toll-free 877-497-9046. We’ll be dealing with choices we all have about what markers we focus on, and how that may impact our experience of reflection, as well as our attitudes about the future. It should be interesting!

If you can’t make the live show, you can listen to the archived episode at:

Finishing A Project

I’m in the home stretch for the completion of my second book, “Become Relationship Smart Without A Lifetime Of Therapy.”

I think I now understand first hand what the dilemma is for so many people about finishing a project! When you’re involved in a project which is meaningful to you it’s like getting married. You make a supposed commitment to do your best and hang in there “in sickness and in health.” You often do it publicly, like having a wedding. You tell your friends and family about it, and they become invested as well, so if you bag it, it’s similar to the humiliation of a divorce – you feel like a failure who’s let everyone down. Or worse, people don’t take you seriously after that around your passions and projects.

Is the solution to just not try to accomplish too much to avoid all this aggravation? No, I think it’s a better idea to closely monitor your negative self talk and your possible self sabotaging behaviors, then remind yourself why you bothered with the project to begin with, to reinforce your motivation to get to the finish line. I’m going to do just that with the book. Not think about it too much, and plow forward, reminding myself why I’ve bothered. When you see the book posted on you’ll know I made it to the finish line. If and when you read the book, you too will know why I bothered.

Susan Lager

My Sisters

I’ve just spent two weekends, each with one of my wonderful, wacky sisters. Unfortunately, we couldn’t coordinate the visits to Maine so we’d all be together, yakking into the wee hours of the morning, tooling around the coast, sharing secrets, boating, walking, recreational eating, shopping, cooking, jewelry hunting, clothes swapping, laughing and more yakking.

Maybe it’s the aging process, but as we all get older there’s an increased sense of tenderness, compassion, and acceptance of each other, as well as a deeper appreciation of our bond. We no longer take each other for granted. We know full well what a blessing it is to have loving family. If you too are fortunate enough to have sisters (or brothers, for that matter), I hope you too cherish them.

“My sisters and I, friends are we, Best of friends we’ll always be”

Author: Unknown


Susan Lager

Drunk Drivers

I had the most unnerving experience driving home tonight from work at about 9 PM. (Yes, I work late some nights, but don’t roll into work until noon most days.)

I go home via a long, winding, country road which is beautiful by moonlight. I pass farms, fields, barns, stately old Maine colonial homes, ramshackle cottages with lobster traps and junk all over their yards, coastal inlets, deer, foxes, and all things wild and natural. The trip home is usually a lovely site-seeing interval after an intense work day. Not tonight.

I was directly behind someone in a pickup truck who at first seemed to be doing some site-seeing of their own, weaving back and forth in the lane. Before long, they were veering into the oncoming traffic lane, then all the way back, almost into the snow ditch, barely avoiding utility poles and mailboxes. It was obviously a very drunk driver, having trouble staying on the road, but too drunk to get off the road, and out of harm’s way. I noted the license plate, called 911, and reported the event, thinking I’d be ruining this driver’s night, but the alternative was deadly. From the comfort and anonymity of my car, this was an easy choice.

It made me wonder, however, if I’d have the courage to stand up alone, and speak up in a not so anonymous situation, if I were witness to some reckless or unconscionable act.

I’d like to think so. Would you?

Susan Lager

PS. You can now buy my newest article, “Format For A Productive Couples Check-in,” on the Products page of this website at: You’ll get key tools for how to engage with your partner productively around any problem!

2011 Year In Review

We’re at that point we get to each year when we’re bombarded with images in the media of the past year. We note infamous crimes, acts of heroism, deaths, political highs and lows, social events, foreign developments, economic swings, etc., etc. Because I’m a psychotherapist and coach, my version of the Year  In Review is, of course, one that focuses on the external and internal emotional events which have marked people’s lives. (Any surprise there?)

If you’re doing your own 2011 Year In Review you could either reflect back upon:

  • how much money you made or didn’t
  • how many sick days you took off from work
  • how many vacations you went on and if they were worth much
  • how much weight you gained or lost
  • if you finally stopped smoking or not
  • if your spouse drove you crazier than ever
  • which friends let you down
  • if you got your house de-cluttered
  • who got divorced after a messy affair
  • who died young

(Blah, blah, blah….)

Or you could do this kind of Year In Review:

  • what were my major accomplishments at work?
  • what positive steps did I take in my marriage?
  • how was I more thoughtful and loving to my family?
  • did I do any better at setting appropriate limits around time asked of me?
  • how well did I take care of myself physically?
  • did I expand myself intellectually and spiritually?
  • what major lessons did I learn in 2011?
  • did I have enough fun this past year?
  • did I stand up for what’s important to me?
  • what did I model for my children?
  • was I a generous enough friend to the people I care about?
  • whose accomplishments brought me joy?

Get the difference? After you have (hopefully) chosen the latter set of reflections, you have a beginning template for an even better 2012!  I’ll go into more detail about that part in my next entry. Gotta wrap some more presents.

Happy Holidays! Happy End of 2011!

Susan Lager

Blog Talk Radio Host

Get My Free Original Articles

  • - Communication
  • - Resolving Conflict
  • - Intimacy
  • - Relationship Tools

Contact Me

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

Connect With Me

Find My Office

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.