Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

Recovering from a Broken Friendship

Relationships… we were created to desire, seek and be enriched by them. When they thrive, the joy is intense. When they break, the pain is devastating.  But as difficult as it is, there are steps you can take to get over – and get through – a broken friendship.

Let me introduce you to Cindy and Lisa, who met each other at work and soon began developing a very close friendship. They spent time together on the telephone, hiking, taking their children on outings, and playing tennis. They encouraged, advised and comforted each other and trusted one another with their greatest hopes, dreams and fears.  

Five years into the friendship, Cindy sensed that Lisa was beginning to pull away. The telephone calls decreased, invitations to dinner became infrequent and the usual warm greeting exchanged in the office began to feel awkward and forced.

At first, Cindy shrugged it off by telling herself that Lisa was just busy with her family and other commitments....

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How to Live Well After a Loss

grief relationships Oct 20, 2015

I’ve been thinking a lot about loss during the last week since having learned that a dear friend has died. Warren Bolthouse was the founder and long-time President of Family Life Radio.  For years, he played an important role in the opportunities I have had to observe the kind of vision, mission and hard work it takes to fulfill a dream and grow a successful organization. While his absolute faith in God assures us that he is at peace, he will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the countless number of people whose lives he positively impacted throughout the years.

No matter who you are, how much money you make or whether you feel like a success or a failure, there’s one thing you can count on: Loss. No one can go through life without experiencing the loss of someone or something important. It can happen through death, divorce, job changes, relationship breakups, health problems, economic downturns and a host of other possibilities. It can leave us...

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Is It Anger or Unresolved Grief?

He was one of the angriest men I had ever counseled. Jim struggled with what he called a “bad temper” for the last three years, and it was costing him his relationships and possibly his job. He said he tried everything to control his angry outbursts, but as soon as he encountered a disagreement, delay or even a minor inconvenience like an incorrect restaurant order he blew his top. He was convinced it was a character flaw or just an unchangeable part of who he was.

As Jim and I talked about how he had grown up and some of the events he remembered most vividly, it didn’t take long for me to realize that most of his anger wasn’t caused by the normal frustrations of life, and it wasn’t something wrong with his character, but rather it was the result of his inability to express the grief and sorrow related to several significant hurts and losses in his life. He was a man who was living every day with pain, and weighed down by a sense that real men just...

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When your Spouse Wants Out of the Marriage - Part II

Last time we introduced you to the first two steps of my recommended five-step response to when your spouse wants out of the marriage, but you don’t.  The natural temptation when we experience rejection is to hold on very tightly to what we fear we are about to lose, however, when it comes to relationships that is generally the last thing you want to do.

To review, the first step is to “go on the record” with what you think, feel and want from your partner.  The second step is to resist the urge or impulse to over pursue.  When you play the role of pursuer your partner is much more likely to play the role of distancer – even more so than they might on their own.

Here are the last three steps to consider applying when your spouse wants out of your marriage.

3. Set appropriate boundaries and be willing to follow through with them.

If your spouse is disrespecting your marriage by staying out late on the weekends, pursuing opposite-sex friendships...

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