Why Are Boundaries Important In Marriage?

Are you newly married and are you wondering why are boundaries important in marriage?

Do you have no idea what marriage boundaries are or where to start?

Fortunately, I have helped many couples establish and stick to boundaries in their marriage. Let me help you!

To understand healthy marriage boundaries look at the four walls of your house. Those walls are the structure that holds your life together.  They hold your food and your bed and your possessions and it’s where you live your life.

Healthy marriage boundaries are the same as those four walls of your house. They are the things that support your marriage as it matures. To have a healthy relationship, one that can grow and be fruitful, it is important that it has structures, boundaries, that support it.

Healthy marriage boundaries come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Really, it’s important for each couple to decide what works for them. But there are a few boundaries that are essential for every healthy marriage.

#1 – Be yourself always.

For many people, when they are married, they become less of themselves.

Many people, men and women take on their spouse’s friendships, their hobbies and their ways of doing things.

It is VERY important that all people stay themselves when in a relationship.

Why? Because every healthy relationship is based on truth and if you are anything other than your true self your marriage will never be really healthy.

It is also important that you continue to respect yourself and you will respect yourself by being yourself. By continuing to have your friends, to do your own hobbies, to have a career that you love and a healthy lifestyle that serves you, you will wake up every day feeling good about yourself.

And when you feel good about yourself your partner will love you even more because he knows you are being your true self, someone who is ambitious and smart and willing to take risks to get what she wants.

So be yourself in your relationship. A healthy marriage requires it.

#2 – Let go of rigidity and be flexible.

I have a client whose new husband moved into a house that she already owned. Right away they had issues because it was her house and she wanted to do things her way and that just wasn’t okay with him.

It is important that everyone be flexible in a relationship. Just like you would at work or with your family, it is important to work with your partner so that you can both live a life that is authentic to you.

You know the phrase “My way or the highway?” That phrase has no place in any healthy marriage.

So, embrace flexibility. Choose the things that are important to you and stay true to them but be willing to see what might be important to your man and work with him so that you both can live a life that makes you happy. Together and apart.

#3 – Maintain mutual respect.

One of the biggest romance killers in a marriage is lack of respect and contempt.

The saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is an accurate one and something that happens in many marriages over the years.

It is important in every relationship that you each respect each other. Respect each other within the confines of your relationship by speaking to each other honestly, sharing your feelings and needs in an open way. By not attacking each other personally and criticizing each other’s behaviors and actions.

Furthermore, it’s important to not criticize your partner out in the world. The general rule of thumb is that you not tell something about your partner to anyone that you haven’t already shared with your partner.

When I was married, I talked to my friends WAY more about the problems in my marriage than I did to my husband. This didn’t do our relationship any good because we weren’t communicating and giving our relationship a chance to improve. And when we were together I treated my husband with contempt because I no longer respected him.

I am no longer married.

So, make sure you treat each other with respect, both inside and outside the relationship.

#4 – Keep the power dynamic even.

In many marriages it happens that at some point one person becomes the one calling the shots. And while this seems to work on one level, ultimately the relationship will become uneven. And when power dynamics are unequal, a marriage can change.

Make an effort to keep the decision making even in your marriage. If you are good at organizing your social life then do that but give him opportunity to choose events. If he is good at managing the finances let him do that but continue to have input into where the money goes and why.

Letting your marriage’s playing field become uneven allows it to slip into a sort of parent/child dynamic, where one person is in charge and the other does as they are told. Does that sound like a healthy relationship to you?

Not so much.

#5 – Know that time apart is okay.

When they are falling in love, couples want to spend every available minute together. The feelings that accompany falling in love are addictive and hard to walk away from even for a short while.

It is important, however, that you spend time apart from the one you love.

You know the old saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder?” It’s true!

Think about how you feel when you go on a diet. How you can’t eat ice cream for a month while you lose those 5 pounds and, man, do you miss your ice cream. It’s the same thing in a relationship. Stepping away from your partner, even for a bit, makes you both notice the void that is created in his or her absence.

And then the heart grows fonder.

So, spend some time apart. Miss each other. Value each other. Keep that spark alive.

Wondering why are boundaries important in marriage is an excellent way to ensure that you have a good strong relationship that will last forever.

Marriages are built from two people who have two separate lives and two separate ways of living. It is important that the couple build a new life together. A new life with four walls that will keep it safe and strong.

So, don’t let one of you be in charge, respect each other, like yourself, spend time apart and be flexible.

Talk to your partner and build your house from a place of love and beauty and self-confidence, one that will be strong enough to stand the test of time and allow your marriage to be a healthy one.

You can do it!

Are you struggling with setting boundaries in your marriage?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help before problems start!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

How To Know If Surviving Infidelity Without Counseling Is Possible For You

Have you discovered that your partner has been cheating? Do you hope nonetheless for a reconciliation? Are you wondering if surviving infidelity without counseling is possible?

The betrayal of a loved one can be devastating but it doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship or the death of your happy life. There are ways to deal with it and survive it without counseling but it will take a lot of presence of mind, life skills and determination.

Let me walk you through how surviving infidelity without counseling is possible.

#1 – Is the other person completely out of the picture.

A very important piece of surviving infidelity and keeping your relationship intact is whether or not the other person is completely out of the picture.

Working on a marriage when the other person is still around is literally impossible. Your partner and their lover are connected in a deep way. If you have been told that they are ‘now just friends’ or they don’t ‘see’ each other anymore but still talk, then that person is NOT out of the picture.

If the other person isn’t out of the picture you and your partner will fail in any attempts to regain loving feelings about each other because you will always be suspicious and feel less loved and your partner will stay emotionally connected to the person who was their lover.

So, the first step in all of this is ensuring the other person is gone. Only once that is the case can you proceed to the next steps.

#2 – Do you genuinely want it to work?

Your partner has done the unimaginable – they have fooled around on you. They have betrayed the commitment you have made to each other. They have broken your heart.

So, let me ask you this – do you still want to be in a relationship with this person?

This is a key part of surviving infidelity without counseling. If you aren’t determined to make this work, if every fiber of your being knows that, if possible, you would like to get your relationship back, then any efforts to save it will be futile.

Being determined doesn’t guarantee success but, without out it, you are doomed to failure.

#3 – Can you still communicate with each other?

If you and you partner are still able to communicate with each other then surviving infidelity without counseling is definitely possible.

Communication is the most important tool for fixing what is broken. You will need to communicate how you are feeling and your partner will need to communicate how they got to the place where infidelity was even an option.

You will need to work together to identify issues in your relationship and make a concrete plan to work on those issues together.  You will need to understand each other’s wants and needs and be committed to making change.

The only way to do that effectively is by being able to communicate clearly with each other – to speak and listen and make sure each other are heard and understood.

#4 – Can you let go of the anger?

Your partner has fooled around on you and of course you are ANGRY. Who wouldn’t be? But can you let go of it and move on?

If you are holding onto anger, anger at yourself for your naiveté, anger at your partner for their wandering hands, then working on surviving infidelity without counseling will be impossible. Your anger will interfere with your communication, your anger will interfere with wanting to make things work, your anger will cloud your emotions so that you can’t think clearly.

If you are still angry with your partner, and the situation, take some time to work through that anger and let it go. Once you have been able to let it go then you will be able to start working with your partner to get through the mess.

I know letting go of anger is easier said than done but it is possible!

#5 – Can you forgive?

This final piece is really important – can you forgive your partner?

Forgiveness is a key part of surviving infidelity. Again, you have been betrayed. Do you have the ability to accept and understand the where and why it happened and not hold it over your partner’s head going forward?

It is possible to forgive even if it’s not possible to forget. It might take some time to get there but if you can do so then you have a real chance at saving your relationship and living the rest of your lives together happily.

So, take some time. Do some reading about forgiveness, what it means and how to get there. See if you can forgive your partner and move on.

Surviving infidelity without counseling might seem impossible. But it isn’t.

Every day, many couples come back from the betrayal of infidelity and live happy lives together

If the other person is out of the picture, if you can still communicate, if you have determination, if you aren’t stuck in anger and can forgive, then you have a good chance of being able to get past this and move on.

Of course, if you try to work on your relationship without counseling and fail, it is still possible to take that next step and get some professional help to get you through it. Therapists and life coaches are trained in helping people move past difficult situations and sometimes expert help is just what you need to take that next step.

Good luck with this next period in your life. You can do it!!

If you’ve made it this far you must really be struggling with surviving infidelity.

Let me help get you there, NOW, before you lose your relationship.

Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com, or click here, and let’s get started!

5 Ways Relationship Boundaries And Expectations Can Hurt Your Relationship

Relationship boundaries and expectations are often talked about as the key to successful relationships. What isn’t often addressed is that relationship boundaries and expectations can hurt your relationship also.

Good relationship boundaries include the following: spending time apart, neither one of you being in charge, being flexible, displaying respect for each other, and staying yourself in the relationship. All of these sound great, right?

So, how is that possible? That something meant to make a relationship strong can also serve to weaken it?

Let me tell you…

#1 – You don’t communicate clearly.

Relationship boundaries and expectations can hurt your relationship if they aren’t communicated clearly to each other.

Imagine that for you to be happy in a relationship you need to spend time alone but you don’t tell your partner that it’s important for you. That spending time alone only enhances your feelings for your partner and improves your relationship.

Imagine how your need to be alone might make your partner feel? Perhaps your partner thinks that your need to be alone is a negative reflection of how you feel about them. Perhaps when you are off alone your partner is worried and miserable.

Can you see how that might not be so great for your relationship?

So, make sure that you and your partner set boundaries and expectations together and that you both understand clearly what they are.

#2 – Your expectations don’t match.

Another way that relationship boundaries and expectations can hurt your relationship is if your boundaries and expectations don’t match.

Let’s say that you both know how important it is for you to remain yourself in a relationship. That if you aren’t yourself you just don’t feel happy, alone or together. But what if your partner believes that individuals in couples should work hard to change for the other person. That the individual no longer matters, only the couple.

If relationship boundaries and expectations don’t match in a relationship, the relationship will be doomed unless both parties are willing to work together to make things work both of them.

#3 – Spending time apart doesn’t work for everyone.

Spending time alone in relationship is a very important part of it being healthy. Couples who can enjoy time apart are usually very happy to come back together.

This is not always the case for some couples. Some individuals really struggle when they can’t be with their partner. They are happy that their partner is doing his own thing but they are paralyzed by missing him. They do not take the opportunity to get out and do their own thing but instead sit at home, sad and growing resentful.

So, if one person can’t handle the being alone part it can be very damaging to a relationship. If that occurs, work together to figure out a way for you to spend time on your own in a way that won’t hurt your partner. Maybe do it around times when they already have plans. Or when they are away for work.

Spending time alone is important. Try hard to make it happen.

#4 – No one is in charge.

Making sure that no one person is in charge of a relationship is a key relationship boundary that keeps relationships happy. But it can also be fraught with issues.

When no one is captain of the ship it is possible for the ship to founder. If crew members are left on their own to make decisions independently, without taking into account the other crew members, disaster can happen.

The same can happen with relationships. When no one takes the lead in any one area, such as planning social events or doing work on the house, then, more likely than not, nothing will happen. And, when nothing happens, a relationship can get stagnant and stale pretty quickly.

So, divide and conquer. If something has to happen put one person in charge of taking the lead. It doesn’t have to apply to everything, just the one event that is being addressed.

Don’t let lack of leadership be a bad thing in your relationship.

#5 – You are your own person at the expense of the relationship.

Yes, being your own person in a relationship is very important. No one can be happy if they aren’t being who they truly are.

Unfortunately, the need to be your own person can interfere with the health of a relationship.

In my marriage we had a struggle with this issue. I was the kind of person who was always polite and kind but also insisted on speaking my truth about what I wanted and confronting issues up front.

My ex, and his family, definitely didn’t prescribe to my philosophy. They believed in fitting in with a crowd, going along with what the group wanted to do. They never addressed issues head on but rather said nothing, hoping it would all go away.

The struggle between me needing to be me and the needs of my ex-husband and his family was a profound one that ultimately led to the end of our marriage, I believe.

So, work hard to stay true to yourself in relationship but make sure that if it brings up any issues you are ready to face them head on with your partner before they ruin your relationship.

Good for you for wanting to keep your relationship healthy and doing the research, reading about boundaries and deciding how to apply them to your behaviors and your relationship. That is great work and should be applauded.

BUT, remember, if you don’t share what you learned with your partner and tell them how you are going to apply them to your actions in relationship then you are doomed from the start.

Your partner might not understand why your behaviors are different or that they don’t line up with his. Why is flexibility and respect so important to you? Why are you leaving him alone and insisting on being yourself? And if he doesn’t understand that can definitely hurt a relationship.

So, set healthy relationship boundaries and expectations together and continually work to make sure they are helping your relationship and not hurting them!


Are you struggling with relationship boundaries and expectations?
They can be challenging. Let me help!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!


 

What Are Relationship Boundaries And When Are They Appropriate?

Have you been told that relationship boundaries are important? Do you wonder exactly what ARE relationship boundaries?

Are you eager to implement some but do you have no idea where to start?

Let me help!

To understand healthy relationship boundaries, look at the four walls of your house. Those walls are the structure that holds your life together.  They hold your food and your bed and your possessions and it’s where you live your life.

Healthy relationship boundaries are the same as those four walls of your house. They are the things that support your relationship as it grows. To have a healthy relationship, one that can grow and be fruitful, it is important that it has structures, boundaries, that support it.

Healthy relationship boundaries come in many shapes, sizes and colors and  they are essential and appropriate for every relationship, whether it be new and exciting or more settled and safe.

It’s important for each couple to decide what works for them but there are a few boundaries that are essential for every healthy relationship.

#1 – Don’t let one person be in charge.

In many relationships it happens that at some point one person becomes the one calling the shots. And while this seems to work on one level, ultimately the relationship will become uneven. And when things are uneven a relationship changes.

So, make an effort to keep the decision-making even in the relationship. If you are good at organizing your social life then do that but give him opportunity to choose events. If he is good at managing the finances let him do that but continue to have input into where the money goes and why.

Letting your relationship become uneven allows it to slip into a sort of parent/child dynamic, where one person is in charge and the other does as they are told. Does that sound like a healthy relationship to you?

Not so much.

#2 – Respect each other.

One of the biggest romance killers in a relationship is lack of respect and contempt.

The saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is an accurate one and something that happens in many committed relationships.

Examples of acting with contempt are rolling your eyes when your partner says something, criticizing their clothing, belittling their expressions. Does any of that sound familiar to you? Are you guilty of doing this at times? DON’T. Contempt will kill a relationship faster than almost anything else.

It is important in every relationship that you each respect each other. Respect each other within the confines of your relationship by speaking to each other honestly, sharing your feelings and needs in an open way. By not attacking each other personally and criticizing each other’s behaviors and actions.

Furthermore, it’s important to not criticize your partner out in the world. The general rule of thumb is that you not tell something about your partner to anyone that you haven’t already shared with your partner.

When I was married, I talked to my friends WAY more about the problems in my marriage than I did to my husband. This didn’t do our relationship any good because we weren’t communicating and giving our relationship a chance to improve. And when we were together I treated my husband with contempt because I no longer respected him.

I am no longer married.

So, make sure you treat each other with respect, both inside and outside the relationship.

#3 – Don’t lose yourselves.

So many women, when they are in a relationship, become less of themselves.

Many women take on their partner’s friendships, their hobbies and their ways of doing things.

It is VERY important that all women stay themselves when in a relationship.

Why? Because every healthy relationship is based on truth and, if you are anything other than your true self, your relationship will never be really healthy.

It is also important that you continue to respect yourself and you will respect yourself by being yourself. By continuing to have your friends, to do your own hobbies, to have a career that you love and a healthy lifestyle that serves you, you will wake up every day feeling good about yourself.

And when you feel good about yourself your partner will love you even more because he knows you are being your true self, someone who is ambitious and smart and willing to take risks to get what she wants.

So, be yourself in your relationship. A healthy relationship requires it.

#4 – Spend time apart.

When they are falling in love, couples want to spend every available minute together. The feelings that accompany falling in love are addictive and hard to walk away from even for a short while.

It is important, however, that you spend time apart from the one you love.

You know the old saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder?” It’s true!

Think about how you feel when you go on a diet. How you can’t eat ice cream for a month while you lose those 5 pounds and, man, do you miss your ice cream. It’s the same thing in a relationship. Stepping away from your partner, even for a bit, makes you both notice the void that is created in his or her absence.

And then the heart grows fonder.

So, spend some time apart. Miss each other. Value each other. Keep that spark alive.

#5 – Be flexible.

I have a client who recently bought a house for herself and her boyfriend moved in with her. Right away they had issues because it was her house and she wanted to do things her way and that just wasn’t okay with him.

It is important that everyone be flexible in a relationship. Just like you would at work or with your family, it is important to work with your partner so that you can both live a life that is authentic to you.

You know the phrase “My way or the highway?” That phrase has no place in any healthy relationship.

So, embrace flexibility. Choose the things that are important to you and stay true to them but be willing to see what might be important to your man and work with him so that you both can live a life that makes you happy. Together and apart.

Examining what are healthy relationship boundaries is an excellent way to ensure that you have a good strong relationship that will last forever.

Relationships are built from two people who have two separate lives and two separate ways of living. It is important that the couple build a new life together. A new life with four walls that will keep it safe and strong.

So, don’t let one of you be in charge, respect each other, like yourself, spend time apart and be flexible.

Talk to your partner and build your house from a place of love and beauty and self-confidence, one that will be strong enough to stand the test of time and allow your relationship to be a healthy one.

You can do it!


Are you struggling with establishing boundaries in your relationship?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!


 

How to Know if You are in a Healthy Relationship That Will Last Forever

Are you wondering how to know if you are in a healthy relationship? Do you want to know what healthy relationships look like so that you can compare yours and see if anything is missing? Do you want to live happily ever after?

Let me help!

There ARE ways to know if you are in a healthy relationship. Read on to learn how.

#1 – Is communication easy?

Being able to talk about anything is the key to a healthy relationship.

Can you tell your partner when you don’t like something that he does? Or that seeing his mother EVERY Sunday is more than you would like? Or that you really don’t like extra sausage on your pizza? Or that that thing he likes to do in bed is just a little bit much for you?

Without honest communication, a relationship just cannot be healthy. Truth is the basis of any strong relationship that will last and if you can’t tell your partner what you need, or be receptive to what he does, then your relationship is doomed

So, work hard to be honest with your partner about everything in your life so that your relationship can stay healthy.

#2 – Is the sex fun?

Having a healthy sex life is an important part of every healthy relationship.

The thing about sex is that, because you are only having sex with one person, your relationship to that person is different from your relationship with every other person in your world.  Your relationship is special because of the unique bond that is created by sex.

So, if your sex life is something that you just put up with, don’t really enjoy, or even dread, then it’s time to act. Think about what is lacking, what could be done differently, what exactly you need to get the zip back. Because without it, your relationship might be in trouble.

Talk to your partner about how you feel and figure out, together, how to make things work for both of you.

#3 – Are times with family and friends easy?

Having a good connection with your significant other’s friends and family is another really important part of a healthy relationship.

Do you enjoy the weekly meals with his family? The dinners out with his friends and their spouses? Cheering for his softball team every Thursday night?

Like it or not, when someone becomes part of a couple, their partner’s previous relationships come along too. And if you don’t get along with his friends and family it can cause a huge rift. He will want to spend time with all of you and if he is forced to choose he will resent it.

So, check in to see if you are both on board with liking each other’s friends. It’s important that you do. If you don’t, see if there are ways that you can work together to improve those relationships so that they don’t tear you and your loved one apart.

#4 – Is there respect not contempt?

Of course, it’s important to like and love the person with whom you are in a relationship. What is even more important is that you respect them.

When we first enter into a relationship, we think the person we are with is amazing. Everything that they say or do is just fine. But the longer a relationship continues, the more we get to know our partner. And with familiarity comes contempt.

Do you like the way your partner interacts with people? Do you respect the work that he does? Are you happy with the way he parents your kids?

If yes, yay! Make sure you tell him regularly. People like being told they are doing a good job.

However, if you are in a relationship with someone who you can’t respect, for whatever reason, who you regularly are critical of and treat with contempt, then you are in a relationship that won’t last.

Respecting the person you are with, respecting the choices that they make, the values they uphold, the way they are in the world, is an essential part of being happy together.

#5 – Is there lots of laughter?

Laughter is the number one aphrodisiac that I know of. People who can laugh together, often, will stay more attached, emotionally and physically, then those who don’t.

Do you and your partner laugh together and have fun together. Do you laugh often, even in times of stress? Do you like to do the same things? The things that make you both happy? Do you have inside jokes that only you share?

Make sure that you and your partner enjoy life together. You will be glad you did!

#6 – Do you want to spend time together?

This is a big one. Do you and your partner actually make an effort to spend time together? Or do you make excuses to not have to do so?

A client of mine would come up with every excuse in the world to not spend time with her husband. Once a week, and some weekends, she left her husband at home with the kids and went out and did other things. She tried to come home after he went to bed so that she didn’t have to deal with him. She was happier being away from him than with him.

Guess what happened! She and her husband become profoundly disconnected and he started spending more time with a female co-worker who DID want to spend time with him. That didn’t end well.

If you don’t want to spend time with your partner then your relationship is not healthy. Talk to your husband and try to figure out what you can do to get more connected.

#7 – Do you feel good about yourself?

Feeling good about yourself is key to a healthy relationship.

If you feel good about who you are in the world, if you don’t feel like you need someone to ‘complete you,’ if you know that you will be just fine alone, then you are in a place to have a healthy relationship.

People who are needy or clingy or fraught with insecurities do not make good partners.

So take care of yourself and be all that you can be so that you can be a positively contributing half of a healthy relationship.

#8- Do you have dreams for the future?

People in healthy relationships share their plans for the future.

They think about tomorrow, next week, next month and even next year.

They do so because they are invested in being together and part of being together is making plans for the future.

If either one of you isn’t interested in talking about the future then you are not in a relationship that has one.

Knowing how to tell if you are in a healthy relationship is a key part of having one.

Relationships are difficult and if you just let them sail along without paying any attention then they might very well founder. So good for you for paying attention!

Keep this checklist close and review it regularly. If you see anything amiss make an effort to fix it as soon as possible. Relationships can be irreparably damaged if they aren’t managed with care.

You can do this! It will be worth it.


Would you like to keep your relationship healthy?
Let me help!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!


5 Ways to Have a Healthy Relationship When Feeling Depressed

Is it hard to have a healthy relationship when feeling depressed?

Absolutely yes!

I know because I have been there…

I have struggled with depression for my whole life. 52 years. For a long time I didn’t have a name for why I always felt so hopeless and full of despair. I just lived with it.

And then I got married. And he had to live with it too. It was not fun.

Being in a relationship when you are depressed can be very difficult but I am here to tell you that relationships don’t have to self-destruct because of it.

What can you do?

#1 – Recognize when you are depressed.

Those of us who live with depression can usually tell when it hits. Simple tasks that just the day before were easy to do become difficult. Sleep is elusive. We are short tempered and crabby. Each of us manifests depression differently but usually we know when we are experiencing it.

Keeping in touch with your depression and sharing its presence with your partner is very important. Don’t just expect your partner to guess that you are depressed. They might not recognize the signs and might not respond to your new mood and that could lead to some big problems between the two of you.

When I was married, I didn’t tell my husband when I felt depressed. I was crabby and mean and not fun to be around. And I expected him to fight through all of that and make an effort to make me feel better. Of course, he didn’t. He thought I was just being mean and crabby and so he wanted nothing to do with me. If only I had told him what was going on. Perhaps he would have had some sympathy and given me what I needed.

So, when depression hits, be clear about it. You and your partner have a bit of a battle ahead. Together.

#2 – Talk to your partner about what depression is like.

Even the most sympathetic of partners doesn’t really understand what depression is like unless they suffer from it themselves. Because of this, it’s important to try to teach them what depression looks like for you.

When we talked, my message for my husband was 1) you haven’t caused this and 2) you can’t fix it and 3) I can’t just suck it up and feel better. For me it was essential that he knew these three things to be true.

Next, I explained to him what my depression looked like. That when I was depressed I felt like I had a gorilla on my back. Moving around, getting things done, communicating effectively, all required such a herculean effort that I could barely manage. When I was depressed I was exhausted, easily angered, prone to long bouts of crying. Going to work, seeing his family, taking care of myself, all filled me with such an overwhelming sense of dread that I couldn’t bear it.

So, when you ARE NOT depressed, take some time and share your experience with your partner. The better understanding they have of your depression the better they will be able to deal with and cope with it.

#3 – Plan ahead for what to do when depression hits.

A key part of dealing with depression for me, and for my husband, was that I was able to, when I wasn’t depressed, make a plan for what I needed when I was depressed. I knew from experience what I needed to get through my depression. Sharing it with my partner was key.

For me, when I get depressed I need four things: to get outside, to sleep, Pad Thai and sex. I knew that those things would not cure my depression but that they made living with it easier.

So, when I WAS NOT depressed, my husband and I made a plan for what to do when I was. We would let me sleep in, go for a hike, get Pad Thai, have sex and send me back to sleep. We would do that, or some variation of that, to stay connected while I was depressed and help me get through it.

What we also agreed was that he wouldn’t try to fix it. Many people want to fix things. You can’t fix depression. Accepting that was a great way for my husband to manage when I was depressed because he wasn’t constantly frustrated, searching for ways to help me.

#4 – Don’t make your partner suffer.

So, you have talked to your partner about your depression and made a plan for what you need when you are in it. Both of those things are great. Proactive. Good for you.

Sometimes, however, those things just don’t work and you are miserable. You are short tempered and difficult and not fun to be with.

At times like that, let your partner go. Let them go about their day, guilt free. The last thing in the world you want to do is tether someone you love to your depression.

Encourage your partner to go do something they love instead of hang around being miserable with you. If you let them do this they will come home refreshed and better able to support you. And they might even bring you some Pad Thai.

#5 – Agree to seek help.

One of the hardest things for someone who loves someone with depression is their sense of helplessness. They know that there is nothing that they can do to help their partner get out of this dark place. And that sense of helplessness can tear relationships apart.

What can you do? You can agree to seek help dealing with your depression. That help can be what you want it to be: medication, yoga, therapy. Whatever works for you.

It is important, for both of you in the relationship, to know that the depression isn’t something that will be ignored but that needs to be addressed head on. That it is something that you can both learn to deal with and take on together. As a couple.

Get some help. Both for you and for the one you love.

It can be difficult to have a healthy relationship when you’re depressed.

Depression can have a devastating effect on relationships. It doesn’t have to be a death knell, however. Some relationships can actually thrive when couples tackle depression together.

Share with your partner what your depression looks like, allow them to fully understand it and share with you the tools you have in place to manage it. Give them the freedom to escape from it for a bit if necessary. But be in it together.

Because if together you can manage depression then there is nothing else that you can’t take on. Together.

You can do this!


Are you struggling with depression and keeping your relationship strong?
I know it’s really, really hard. Let me help!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!


 

5 Reasons Career Success Begins With Communication Skills

Is career success incredibly important to you? Do you want to learn what skills are necessary to have the most success in your chosen field?

Well, let me tell you. The MOST important skill for career success is COMMUNICATION.

It is true!

Career coaches believe that career success begins with communication skills, the ability to write and speak in a way that is clear, concise, easily understood and honest.

How will great communication skills allow you to achieve the success you desire?

#1 – Finding a job will be easier.

The first step in achieving career success is finding a job! And having excellent communication skills makes finding a job much easier.

Networking is a big part of looking for a job and if you are the kind of person who can put themselves out there, who can talk to people, listen, share and connect then you will be the kind of person someone would want to hire and the kind of person someone would recommend for a job.

Your resume is a very important piece of the job application process and without an exceptional, well written, well thought out resume you will not come across on paper as a superior candidate. Even someone with a shortage of skill sets can use words to enhance their job experience description, making a potential employer more likely to grant them an interview.

And then there is the interview – the most important part of the job search experience. Once you get in the door this is your chance to shine, to show them who you are. And unless you can look them in the eye, express yourself well, be interesting and funny and smart, then you may as well not even bother.

The ability to connect with people, both in writing and in spoken word, is an essential part of the getting the job you want.

#2 – Your co-workers will trust you.

Once you have that job, it’s essential that you not rest on your laurels. Your work is important but what is a key part of career success is your relationship with your co-workers.

Think about that person who comes into work, goes right to their desk without speaking to anyone, who is disruptive in meetings and crabby about their work? Is that the kind of person who inspires confidence in others? Is that the kind of person you would want to have on your team?

So, make a huge effort to be personable in your office space. Be kind to your co-workers, listen to what they have to say, take interest in their families and ask them questions about their ideas.

Treat your co-workers the way you would want to be treated and earn their trust and respect. It will get you far.

#3 – Your great ideas will get out there.

Ok, let’s say that you have a great idea. A revolutionary idea that could change the way that your company works. One that, if implemented correctly, could mean that your career would skyrocket.

Imagine if this great idea is stuck in your head, waiting to be expressed, but that you just can’t get it down on paper. You try to write a proposal to your boss and you can’t articulate it clearly and he refuses to consider it. Or you approach a co-worker for their support and the way you phrase things confuses them and they refuse to help.

If you have excellent verbal and written skills you will have a great tool in hand to forward your ideas and achieve great career success.

#4 – You will advocate for yourself.

So. let’s say that you have been working your butt off.  Your co-workers love and trust you and your ideas are changing the corporate culture. You know that you deserve a raise. But you don’t know how to ask for one.

Or perhaps let’s say you are struggling with a co-worker and you want your manager to help you work through it because you know that if the matter can be resolved it would be better for everybody. But you have no idea how to talk to you manager in such a way that will let her see that you want to make things better.

People who have excellent communication skills know how to speak up for themselves. They know how to resolve conflict, how to let others know what they are worth and how to make sure that they get the recognition that they deserve.

Every well-spoken woman who I know who has walked into her boss’ office with a well thought out rationale for why they deserve a raise has gotten one. Because she asked for it!

#5 – You will zoom up the corporate ladder.

People who have excellent communication skills have a huge advantage over people who do not.

In my first management position the time came for us to write our direct reports’ yearly reviews. We all labored over them for hours, knowing that our boss would review them before passing them up to HR.

I was nervous because this was my first time round but I needn’t have been. My boss told me that my written skills were incredibly impressive and that, really, he needed to me to change very little. That what I had written was good enough to be sent up to HR as is. And then he asked me if I would work with another manager to help them phrase things more clearly.

By the end of that season, when my boss moved upward, I followed, into his old job. It was, in large part, due to the fact that I could express myself clearly, both in written and spoken word, and everyone noticed.

Finding success in our chosen career is the goal.

For me, every day I have to use my verbal skills to speak with my clients and my written words to follow up with inspirational emails and to write blogs that people will want to read and learn from.

I know many coaches who struggle with both of these things and I know that I am successful, in large part, to having those strengths.

So, if you aren’t sure about your communication skills, find someone who can help you develop them.  A life coach is a great place to start. You could also enroll in writing courses at the local community college. Or take part in Toastmasters to learn about public speaking.

Reaching for the stars in your career is admirable. Make sure that you have the tools that you need to get you there and get you there fast.

You can do it!

How To Have Career Success Without A Real Job

Are you wondering if it’s possible to have career success without a real job?

Do you not want to be tied down to a 9-5 job? Would you like to do things the way that you want to do them so that you can live the life that you want to live?

I can tell you that it IS POSSIBLE.

I don’t have a traditional real job. I work from home, have a flexible schedule, attend no meetings and report to no one except for myself. I don’t make a ton of money but I make enough money for now.

Do I define myself as having ‘career success’? Yes I do. And I love it!

So, if you are looking to have career success without a real job it is possible but there are some things you have to consider in order to get it.

#1 – Identify what ‘career success’ means to you.

There is simply no way to achieve career success if you don’t know what career success means to you.

For me, career success is defined by having a solid client base and that my clients reach their dreams. It’s having a flexible schedule. It means by getting my blogs published and syndicated. It’s about making enough money to live the simple life that I live and being able to help my kids.

What does career success mean for you?

Does it mean going into an office every day and begin part of a team and receiving recognition? Does it mean that you make a lot of money? Does it involve helping people? Does it give you a flexible schedule? Does it mean that other people perceive you as successful?

Defining what career success means to you is an essential part of achieving it because you can never do so if you don’t know what success means to you.

If you believe that career success means being part of an office, working as part of a team and getting annual raises and bonuses then you probably will never feel like you have achieved career success if you don’t have a real job.

If, however, you will feel like you have achieved career success by making your own schedule, doing something that you are passionate about and knowing that you might not ever make a ton of money, then YES it is possible that you can have career success without a real job.

#2 – Identify what you are passionate about.

Once you have decided what success looks like to you and you have decided that it is possible for you to feel good about your career success without a real job, then it’s time to decide what it is you want to do with your life.

Ask yourself what you are passionate about. If your career involves something that you are passionate about then success is way more likely. I am passionate about helping people. That has helped me, big time, in making my business what I want it to be.

Perhaps you love dogs and spending time with them makes you really happy. So what kind of work can you do around dogs?

Here in NYC dog walkers are everywhere. The one I know charges $20 per dog per day and walks up to 20 dogs over the course of 10 hours, 4 days a week. That’s $400 per day, much of it under the table. My friend is very happy with his life because he gets to be with dogs, not have to get up at the crack of dawn and he makes enough money to live the way he wants to live.

So what is your passion? If you want to have career success without a real job, focusing on your passion will make it all the more likely to come true.

#3 – Stay connected to how you are feeling about your career choice.

For many of us, career success evolves over time. What was important to us in our youth might change as we get older.

I have a friend who taught skiing after college. He was passionate about skiing and was able to make enough money to live doing what he wanted to do.

And then he got married and had a child. That changed everything for him. Because he could no longer make the money that he needed to support himself and his family, he no longer thought of himself as successful. And he wanted to change that.

So my friend went back to school and then got a real job – a job in an area that he was passionate about but a real job nonetheless.

For him, even though he transitioned to a real job, he could still define himself as successful in his career.

For me, I  could never go back to punching a time clock. Working on my own is a part of who I am now and, even if I would LIKE to be making a bit more money, the fact that I have a roster of steady clients and that my last article was picked up by the Huffington Post, allows me to sincerely feel like I have achieved career success. If I need more money in the future I will branch out from the work I do today but I will never again have a real job.

Having career success without a ‘real job’ is possible, especially in this world that we live in.

No more are 9-5 jobs the norm. Opportunities to work from home or work flexible schedules or have a variety of smaller jobs to pay the bills are part of the current fabric of our working lives.

It is essential, however, for you to define what career success is for you. If you don’t know what it is then it will be impossible for you to achieve it.

Also, follow your passions and stay connected to how your career is working for you. Your definition of career success might change over time and you want to notice if it does.

So what does career success mean to you? Ask yourself that question right now! And let me know…

I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published in The Huffington Post, Prevention Magazine, The Good Man Project, among others. I works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Let me help you! Contact me here or email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com.

How Healthy Relationships Work – 5 Things That You Must Know Before You Can Have One

Wouldn’t you love to know how healthy relationships work?

Is there anything that you would like more than to have a healthy relationship, a love to share your life with?

Sure, a job and a nice apartment and good friends are important to you but really, isn’t love the ultimate goal?

For many of us the answer is yes!

So how do you find love, find a healthy relationship? And how do you know if the relationship you are in now is even healthy?

Let’s talk about how healthy relationships work so that you can have one!

In a healthy relationship:

#1 – Keep things even.

Think about your past relationships that haven’t worked out. Was one of you more dominant than the other? Did one of you have more control? If yes, that might be why it didn’t work out.

In healthy relationships, couples are evenly matched and if they aren’t it’s because both sides are okay with an imbalance.

Does one of you decide more often what you do on weekends? Does one of you decide how the closet is going to be organized? Does one of you decide who your friends are?

Does the answer to those questions above always point to the same person?

If yes, then your relationship is out of balance. If one person has all power in a relationship it’s not healthy. Not healthy because no one can truly be happy if they are being told what to do or made to do things they don’t want to do.

So take a look at your partnership. Are you happy with how decisions are made? If he makes all the decisions and you are still happy then that’s ok. But if you aren’t happy, then it’s time to make change.

#2 – Love yourselves first.

Do you like the person who you are? Do you like the work that you do? Do your relationships make you feel good about yourself? Do you not take others’ actions personally? Are you honest with yourself about your issues and limitations?

All of these are very important pieces of knowing and liking ourselves. It is essential that both people in a relationship know and accept themselves. Because if they do, then they can truly open their heart to another.

I have always struggled with feeling insecure in relationships. I always struggled with the feeling that there was no way any guy could really like me. There was no basis for that but I felt that way and it made me difficult to be in a relationship with.

And then I started my own business. I worked hard and found success. And in the meantime I learned that I was awesome and that I was making a difference in the world and that any guy would be lucky to have me. And guess what! I found an amazing guy because I was not longer insecure about myself.

And, yes, he does love me madly.

#3 – Always be honest.

I have said it before and will say it again. Without honesty there is no hope for happiness in a relationship, or anywhere.

I have a client who lives in constant fear that her husband is fooling around on her. It occupies her every waking moment – that she can’t trust him. That he is talking to another woman while he is at work or out doing errands. She worries so much that it is taking over her life and making her miserable.

So talk to him about it, I suggested. But she can’t. She and her husband have gotten to a place where they don’t feel safe talking to each other about anything, big or small.

So instead of talking with her husband, sorting out her feelings and reconciling them with his actions, she is living with anxiety and fear and she is miserable.

Every person in a healthy relationship is in an honest relationship. If you have issues with your partner that are affecting your happiness, speak up. Let him know how you are feeling and you can work together to try to fix it.

And be honest about other things too – honest about where you go after work or when you are going to see your mother or about how much money you spent on the new vacuum cleaner. Make it a policy to never tell a lie, not even a white one.

#4 – Have a life of your own.

It is very important that both sides of a relationship are not completely reliant on the other for their happiness.

I have a client whose whole life revolves around her husband. She wakes up with him, makes him breakfast, gets him off to work, cleans the house after he is gone, brings him lunch at work, makes dinner for when he comes home and watches what he wants to watch every night.

She has turned her back on everyone in her life so that her husband can be happy. She tells herself that she is happy because he is happy but really, she isn’t.

That is why she is talking to me!

Make sure that when you are in a relationship you have lots of things in your life outside of your relationship. Make sure you have a job, or a hobby, that you love. Make sure that you have friends who you can play with. Make sure that you spend time by yourself so that you are comfortable being alone.

If you rely completely on your partner for your happiness, you will only be setting yourself up for failure. Going away and then coming together to share experiences is a key part of maintaining a healthy relationship.

So call up some girlfriends and make a date for dinner and the movies. Your husband will be fine and will be very happy to see you when you return.

Remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

#5 – Make each other feel loved.

Did you know that while you might feel like the things that you are doing for your partner make him feel loved, those things might not actually be working?

Shocking, I know!

Expressing love seems straightforward, no? Well, not so much.

It seems that most of us express love in ways that WE want to be loved – as opposed to in ways our partner wants to be loved.

We might feel loved when we get a piece of jewelry as an expression of affection but our partner might feel loved by getting to spend a full day together, just the two of you. We might feel loved when we get a hug but our partner might feel loved if we take out the trash.

The key is learning what it is that your partner needs to feel loved. When you learn what that is and express your love using those actions, your partner will truly feel loved.

Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages created a whole movement around this concept of there being 5 languages of love, and thus 5 ways to express love to your partner. And when you use your partner’s love language they will FEEL loved.

Check out his website here.

So now you know about how healthy relationships work and now you can get out there and find one of your own or make the one that you are in healthier.

The goal for all of us is love and, in order to find it and keep it, we need to do the hard work.

So make sure that the power levels are even in your relationship. Make sure that you both know and like yourselves and that you each have a life outside of the relationship. Always, always, be honest. And love your partner the way they want to be loved.

So now you know what you are looking for. Go out and find it!

THIS Is What Healthy Relationships Are Based On (And 5 Reasons Why)

Are you wondering what healthy relationships are based on?

It’s a very important question because how can you have a healthy relationship if you don’t know what makes a good one?

So what is the answer? Are healthy relationships based sex? Or money? Or quality time? Or paying attention?

All of those things are important in healthy relationships but the most important part of a healthy relationship? COMMUNICATION.

Ok, so now that that’s out there, do you wonder why communication is what healthy relationships are based on?

Let me tell you!

#1 – Good communication means honesty.

How can any relationship, be it romantic, work or familial, be healthy without honesty?

It is essential that in our lives we are honest with each other about how we are feeling, what we are thinking and seeing and experiencing.

Hiding our truths from others opens us up for relationship failure.

I have a client who doesn’t trust her husband. A long time ago he cheated on her and, while she has forgiven him, she still doesn’t trust him. She worries every day that she can’t trust anything that he says. She worries that someday she will wake up and find that her life is a lie.

I asked my client why she couldn’t tell her husband what she told me. She said that she just didn’t feel safe doing so. And because she can’t be honest with him she lives in this constant state of distrust and anger with her husband.

So be honest with your partner. Get your feelings out there so they can be heard and dealt with.

#2 – Good communication means trust.

If we are able to communicate with people we are in a relationship with, to tell them what our truths are, how we are feeling, what we want and need, then our partners can trust us.

If your partner knows that he can count on you to tell him when you are upset, to tell him when you need him to hold you close or leave you alone, to tell you what you want for your birthday, then your partner will trust in you. And you can trust in him.

Trust is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship.

Imagine if my client, who did not divorce her husband after the affair, had been able to tell her husband whenever she felt that distrust for him. If she had told him each time it occurred they could have talked it through.

Perhaps he could have learned what he needed to do to allow his wife to feel trust and perhaps she might have heard that her distrust was unfounded and that she need not fear.

Instead, they live in a parallel universe where she doesn’t feel safe telling him how she feels and he has no freaking idea what to do so he just keeps his head down and works.

#3 – Good communication means things won’t be put away to fester.

So tell me what happens when your husband does something to upset you and you don’t tell him about it.

Perhaps he had promised you that he would choose the new doors for the house project this weekend. And then he didn’t.

And what did you do? Did you make some passive aggressive remark about whatever it was that he did instead of choosing the doors and storm out of the kitchen?

Was that last year and do you still think about it?

Imagine if instead you had been able to explain to your husband how angry you were that he didn’t get the doors. That you had been counting on having the doors so that you could choose the trim color the next day.

Perhaps you could have listened to his reason for not choosing the doors and perhaps you might have understood the reason and let it go. Or perhaps you could have hated the reason and expressed your anger about that.

Either way, you would have shared your emotions with your partner instead of stuffing them down deep where they festered.

#4 – Good communication means things can change and evolve.

When there is no communication between partners things can’t ever change.

If you and your partner can’t be honest each other with how you are feeling or how things are going or how things need to be done differently then you will forever be in place of stasis. A place where nothing changes.

Imagine if, in the situation above, my client had been able to express her emotions about the fact that her partner didn’t get the doors. Her husband might have been put off by her anger and frustration in the moment but chances are he would have heard how his actions made her feel and he might have tried to not do it again.

On the other hand, because he didn’t know how she felt, because she wasn’t clear with him, he was doomed to repeat the events of the day over and over.

#5 – Good communication means a great sex life.

Here is where good communication skills really become a plus.

Sex is fun and a really important part of a healthy relationship.

If you and you are partner are able to communicate with each other about your sex life because you both feel safe that you can trust each other and be honest with each other, then your sex life will only get better.

And communicating about our sex lives has two sides: it’s important that you share what is good AND what is not so good.

For example, if there is something that your husband does that you really, really like, TELL HIM. And, if there is something that he could do differently, TELL HIM.

Many of us think that we shouldn’t talk about our sex lives because we will make the other person uncomfortable or feel bad.

But let me ask you this: would your partner feel worse if you told him to do something a little bit more to the left or if you refused to have sex with him anymore? I am guessing the first.

So communicate with your partner about what works and what doesn’t work.

I promise you it will only make your relationship stronger.

Communication is what healthy relationships are based on.

Being able to share with your partner how you are feeling, what you need, what you are seeking to understand and what is making you scared is essential to maintaining trust, preventing fester and promoting evolution.

Being honest can at times be scary, especially if it involves hurt feelings or anger, but without it, and the good communication skills that are a part of it, your relationship will flounder.

And you don’t want it to flounder. You want a healthy relationship.

So SPEAK UP! You will be glad you did.