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  • Hey, This Is A Blog, Not A Therapy Session!

    I post insights that I have here about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and various techniques that I've used to help people. Cool as that is, you gotta make your own choices. Its no replacement for professional advice or counseling, so just bear that in mind before you go taking my advice.
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Diversity Can Not Coexist With Exclusion

I’m going to break one of my cardinal rules when it comes to talking about stuff. I hate to do it, but it seems to me that in the year and a half of me blogging I haven’t done one post about this topic.

I’m going to talk about religion and politics, all in one post.

Now if you’ve been reading me for a bit, you know by now that I’m a fairly balanced guy, and that even if I do have personal feelings or core values about something, that I don’t go letting my core values get in the way. I merely ask questions, and ask you to judge for yourself.

Moving right along, today’s topic is about the Holidays. More specifically, the schools in Massachusetts that don’t allow expression of Holidays, merely because the Holidays at this time of year involve some form of religious connotation. As a result, children perform boring depressing songs about snow, which is nice the first time it shows up, but if you live in New England, you get sick of it after a while.

Now, this is only from what I’ve heard from my clients, and other Massachusetts residents that I’ve spoken to, but it appears as though there is some unwritten rule about NOT being able to have any holiday cheer whatsoever in the schools. As I hear this, I realize that times have really changed since I was a kid (aaand I’m sounding old just saying that). Back then, we decorated the classroom for Christmas, and we had a trip from Santa Claus every year (one year, Santa was my dad) and he handed us puzzles and board games.  I don’t recall any discussion about Hanukkah, but if we had celebrated it, or at least learned about it, I probably would have been OK with it.

So what the heck has happened? I mean, I understand the side of the argument that says we can’t encourage any specific religious belief at school – separation of church and state and all. I get it. At the same time, how many people celebrate holidays without any real religious connotations to them at all? Just because people celebrate Christmas, that doesn’t mean they’re protestant or Catholic. Could you imagine witholding Christmas from you kids merely because you had a different religious belief? Of course not.

So what am I getting at here? My question here is: How can you exclude holidays from schools, and still encourage and celebrate diversity? Why not take the opportunity to teach kids about every religious holiday that takes place during that time, and show how cool diversity really is? Why does it have to be something that we shy away from, simply because we’re afraid someome might be offended? Heck, I make no bones about the fact that I’m a Christian, but I don’t shove my beliefs down people’s throats. You wanna know why? Because America is a cool place, and people have the freedom here make their own choices. That’s what makes America cool.

I guess this really comes down to core values, and really the bottom line here is that we can’t do much about what a few paranoid people are doing. I’m certainly not going to let it ruin my Holiday, but I suppose this topic got me thinking: My wife is pregnant, and as a result, it got me thinking about what my children are going to have to endure at this time a few years from now.

So rather than offer some suggestions, which is what I usually do, I’m going to ask you, my extraordinarily intelligent readers, to answer the question: Can Diversiy Coexist With Exclusion? Can we celebrate diversity, or is that just a cute thing to say? Is tolerance merely “tolerance of me?”

I’d love to hear what you have to say!

The Nobel Committee Doesn’t Believe In Classical Conditioning; a.k.a. Life’s Not Fair

Before you go getting on my case, I’m not criticizing the President. Hell, I’m not even mad at him for getting the Nobel Prize on Friday. I’m more upset at the fact that the Nobel Committee decided to give him the Prize based on presumed accomplishment, whereas so many others worked hard and could show their accomplishments before receiving their Nobel Prize. Don’t believe me? Go here and take a look at the other winners. Each of them obtained a prize for an accomplishment they did over the course of their lifetime.

This is totally stuff I can’t control, but I can at least share my feelings about it and the possible impact for children. Yes, that’s right, this is more about what we tell kids. I’m sure teachers after the Columbus Day break will be teaching kids about the Nobel Prize and what have you. Maybe they won’t, but with such a newsworthy piece, I’d be surprised if children didn’t learn about it.

And then disaster hits. You ask a child to do something first before they get the prize and you get the response, “Well, the President didn’t have to do anything, and he got the Nobel Prize.” At that point you can tell them they aren’t the President, but if they work hard, maybe they can become one someday.

I guess the problem here is again, something that is beyond our control. So it begs me to ask a question: What is a prize worth, and under what criterion does someone receive it?

My whole theraputic modality is around behavior modification with children, and encouraging parents to provide an incentive for good behavior. When stuff like this comes up, smart alec kids throw it in their parents’ face, defying parents’ interpretation of the “real world,”  because in that same world people get prizes even though they may not necessarily deserve it (and the President himself admitted this in his press conference, which I think is admirable).

However, this opens up another topic: Fairness. Now I’ve already gone on a tangent about this, but I think this is the reason why so many people are upset or amused about the President getting the award is because they think its not fair. Well, as my father still says…

“I’ve got a flash for you. Life isn’t fair.”

Is it fair that he got the prize for what they percieve he is going to do? No. Could he turn around and do the exact opposite of their perceptions? Yup. What are they gonna do? Take the prize back? Not likely. Is any of that fair? Nope.

But life isn’t fair, and the sooner I realized that, the less upset I got about it. I mean, how many things happen every day of our lives that really aren’t fair at all. We hear news stories and read the papers or listen to our radios, and we absorb all this information about the world we live in. Wealthy people get wealthier. Irresponsible banks get bailed out. People ignore their financial and family responsibilities. It happens all the time.

So I had to ask myself, what the heck am I whining about? Because life isn’t fair, and I need to get over it. And its OK that life isn’t fair, because as a self-proclaimed underdog, I should expect that some others have an unfair advantage. All the better when I beat the odds and accomplish something.

So I guess my message here is simple: Just accept it. Accept the fact that life isn’t fair, and that a guy who is already a millionaire got $1.4 Million for projected accomplishments. Get over it. It happens all the time, we just don’t see it because the news doesn’t report on that stuff.

Don’t let something like this get you down, and sure as heck don’t let it get you mad. I wasted a couple hours of my life getting upset over this, and that’s time I can’t get back. So this comes back to the WATER Method and separate the problems into what you can and can’t change.

Unfairness will always be there. Put in the pile of stuff you can’t change and get stuff you can change done!

P.S. – When the heck is Ross Geller going to get his Nobel Prize? The guy was whining about it Season 9, and he still didn’t get one.

Marketing Psychology: Meet the New Face of Microsoft

If you’re even a casual TV watcher, you probably have seen some of the new ads Microsoft has been showing lately. A few months ago, they decided to start a campaign in response to the “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” ads that Apple was putting out (you know the ones:  “if you’re hip and cool, you’ll buy a Mac, and if you want to look like, you know, that guy, then by all means, buy a PC”).

ImAMacAndImAPC

The Microsoft campaign was designed to show real people (like you, hopefully) that choose to use a PC over a Mac. In the process of those ads, they ran into a little girl named Kylie, who said she was 4 years old, and was able to use a PC.

OldFaceNewFace-10-7-09

The Old Face of Microsoft vs. the New Face of Microsoft

Suddenly, without knowing it, the marketing monkeys at Microsoft realized that they struck gold with this kid. Soon therafter, we started seeing more and more commercials of Kylie doing what she does best: doing cute stuff with Windows and being adorable.

Recently, they put out an ad with her making a slide show telling about all the great reviews Windows 7 has been getting. The video is posted below. 

This ad is pure genius, and I’m not saying that because I’m a PC. I’m saying it because it touches on a large audience of people and uses some great psychology to do it. Let me count the ways.

First, you have a little girl, who bubbles with personality and seems to be able to use a PC running Windows Vista. Whether or not she is actually making these slideshows is up for speculation, but the commercial basically tells you “hey, if this 4 year old can use it, so can you.” If you buy into that, then its a lot more appealing to you. Oh, and she’s a cute kid, which is a win for middle to upper class consumers, married couples and females.

Second, the slide show shows cute fuzzy animals wearing hats and other stuff. More cuteness. More awesome. Who puts cute fuzzy animals in their slideshows? The fact that she did (and she’s 4 remember), and did it with cute animals is just cool, because nobody does that (at least not in my circle of friends, anyway).

Third, is that the theme music to the A-Team I hear in the background? This is a clear appeal to anyone over the age of 30, specifically the 30-40 year old demographic. Young professionals will recognize the music, and remember a time when Mr. T was calling people “sucka” and had to be drugged with sleeping powder in order to fly on an airplane.

Fourth, the slideshow shows what the commercial was really getting at: reviews of Windows 7 by reputable sources that say its good. Cute as Kylie is, you won’t believe Windows 7 is good if she tells you its good. You might believe it if someone reputable said it. Additionally, the information is presented in cutesy animal format. If they just had an ad that was like a car commercial, we’d change the channel (Male voice: Consumer computing says, “Its fully awesome!”).

Finally, it removes the stigma that only total losers and geeks are PC users. Kylie’s a PC, so its suddenly OK to be one too. And how is Apple supposed to respond to this? How do you make fun of a little girl and not look like a big meanie?

Now what does all this have to do with psychology? Everything! All of the imagery, music and words spoken are designed to envoke a feeling within the consumer. From now on, I don’t associate the A-Team theme with the TV show, I associate the music with Kylie’s slideshow. This is a clever way to create an association between the music and the ad.

So what does this all mean, and why the heck am I talking about it? After all, I’m a guy trying to help people, and reviewing a Microsoft ad probably isn’t the way to win any popularity contests.

My point is, presentation has just as much to do as the message itself. This plays true for virtually any area of your life that is beyond your control (the Outside World). Microsoft can’t control how many people will buy Windows 7. They can control their presentation of it, and what it means to the consumer who buys it. They could have just told you the message, but they had to get your attention so you would listen to the message. It doesn’t matter how great your message is, if it falls on deaf ears, then the message fails.

Same goes for you. You may be looking for employment, but if your presentation sends a different message then you may have a problem getting a job. If you are looking for a relationship, but present that you’re weird and unapproachable, you’re sending a mixed message. If you want to be seen as professional in your blog or online business, and your website looks like it was made in the early 1990’s (you know what I’m talking about: Arial font, animated gifs, and bad layout), then people may not take you seriously. Are your kids acting out because you say one thing and then do another, thereby sending them mixed messages?

This goes back to openness and awareness. While you can’t change others’ WATER, you can be aware of it. This awareness can allow us to change what we do to connect with others in a dynamic way.

So consider the message that you’re trying to send to everyone around you. Are you being as effective at presenting your message as Microsoft is in presenting theirs? Or are people getting confused because you’re not being clear? Does your presentation match up to what you’re trying to say?  If so, share your story. If not, how’s that working out for you?

By the way, we haven’t seen the last of Kylie. Not by a long shot. Until she stops being cute, or people stop listening, she’ll probably be making more stuff with Windows 7 soon. Pay attention when she does, because there is a team of monkeys working on how to make the message and presentation another home run.

What Is Your Integrity Worth?

 Roman-Polanski-001

So a guy who makes all kinds of great movies has apparently been arrested for a sex offense he committed 32 years ago. What’s worse is that Hollywood rallying behind this guy, as if his art somehow absolves him of all blame. They (and by they I mean Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch) apparently feel like he’s “suffered enough” feel as though he shouldn’t be prosecuted for this anymore, simply because too much time has passed, and it just doesn’t matter anymore.

So basically what these people are saying, is that if you orally, anally and vaginally date rape a 13-year old, just hang out for a few decades, and, as long as you’re famous, you won’t have to take the rap for the crime.

Does anyone else find this to be horribly disturbing? As if the trauma experienced by his victim (who by the way, just wants to move on with her life…quite frankly I don’t blame her), just doesn’t matter anymore.

So my big beef is this: What is with our culture giving a pass to famous people, simply because they’re famous?

For example, if I were this guy, I would have been arrested 31 years ago or less. Why? Because I’m just some nobody somewhere, with no money or film history to speak of. I would be treated like every other nobody out there, because that’s the way it works for poor nobodys with no money or fame.

And this goes back to the word “Should.” Wealthy, famous and privilaged people should not be allowed to get away with crimes that would otherwise ruin anyone else’s life. Its the principle of the thing, and quite frankly I’m a little disturbed by the cavalier attitude some have about what this guy has done.

Donald Trump is another fine example of this. How many times has this guy raised an empire, then run it into the ground and filed for bankruptcy. Shortly thereafter, this guy gets another TV show, or someone else is ready to throw money at him, simply because he’s “The Donald.”

Must be nice, and I suppose I could go on a rant about the haves and the have nots, and really make this about class envy.

But I’m not going to do that. After all, there are plenty of people who are willing to do that, and after all, you people are smart enough to figure out that you’re just as outraged about this concept as I am. I’m not going to say anything about this issue that you don’t already know, or haven’t heard somewhere else by someone else.

I will say this: the people who are involved in either the actual crime itself, or are supporters of the criminal, are people who are big directors. BIG directors. These men crank out movies that make millions, and many of which are blockbusters, or at least in Woody Allen’s case, have a huge fan following.

If these men are the ones who are making major motion pictures, what does this say about their integrity?

See, integrity doesn’t sound like its a lot, but its actually a huge part of our core values. Someone’s integrity determines how much you trust that person. By the same token, your integrity, and how much you portray that integrity can determine how much people trust you.

Guys like Polanski can hide behind their achievements and public triumphs, and use their agents and PR people to crush any bad press about them. But you and I, see, all we have is our integrity to go on. No one is going to hide the public from our flaws or mistakes.

I guess my point is, guys like Polanski will always have great achievments to dwarf this failure. If he died, no one would mention his crime..they would talk about what great films he produced and how much of an artist he was (if you don’t believe me, I present Exhibit A: Michael Jackson). You and I, we don’t get that kind of break. That’s OK; that’s just the way the world works, and we have to get over it. Its one of those things you can’t change.

We can, however, make choices every day that speak to our integrity, and the caliber of individuals we can be. We can make choices to be better than who we are right now, and make our own little world a little better as a result. We can make a difference in the lives of those around us with our Actions and Words, as long as those people are open to our influence.

What I’m saying is, don’t get mad at this guy for being a pervert, or at Hollywood for supporting him. Instead, use it as a reminder that you decide every day who you are and who you want to be. They will be judged by their achievements in entertainment. We will be judged by our integrity.

 Frankly, I’ll take integrity any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

No, Learning Doesn’t Have To Suck (We Just Do It For Different Reasons)

skateboard

Recently Jonathan Fields did a blog post entitled: Does Learning Have To Suck? In case you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and go check it out. I wanted to comment on it, but after some consideration, realized I had more to say about it than I thought. So, you get what you have here.

Now I really dig Jonathan’s style. I think he’s smart and articulate and has a pretty good grasp on most things involved with business. However, he recently wrote a post about  extrinsic motivation, and this really perked my interest. Seeing as I’m a behavior modification guy, especially with regard to children, I decided to take it upon myself to do a post about Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation.

If you don’t feel like reading his blog (a mistake to be sure), then I’ll sum up the story. Basically he offered his daughter an iPod if she was able to accomplish her homework goals. Through various trial and error, he was able to get her to do the homework she needed to do.

The conversation in Does Learning Have To Suck? then spilled over into whether or not learning has to be extrinsically motivated. The discussion went back and forth between those who thought that learning should be about things that motivate the child intrinsically (and not all this other stuff they’re taught in school) and that there is an importance to learning things in school, even if they’re boring.

I have worked on countless behavioral plans with my clients and their parents, many of which are frustrated with a child’s lack of desire to do the work effectively. Some would say this has something to do with the curriculum at the school itself, but I disagree. Here is my take on what the heck is up with some kids, and why they bore of information so quickly.

1. Television(and video games, and friends, and the internet) is way more fun. It could be that children are exposed to hours upon hours of television from the age of 2 onward. Compared to the bright lights and fast moving, cartoon weilding, technicolor circus, is it any wonder why school is so boring?

2. Curiosity and Playfulness are stifled due to being forced to be quiet in class. Children start learning in First grade that they have to be quiet and sit still in class. Order and routine are necessary for teachers to be able to handle such large amounts of students. The Montessori Method is different in this, as it teaches learning through all five senses, and encourages curiosity and a desire to learn through experience. This is why atheletes are motivated to excel, because they have an intrinsic desire to learn more.

3. Some parents just don’t want to fight with their kids over homework. Since the age of the elimination of corporal punishment, some children have learned that if they push the right buttons, they can get a parent to crack, and as a result, the parent gets held hostage. Some parents even avoid the homework situation entirely for fear of another blowout between them and their kids. This is when I encourage Extrinsic Motivation for children, simply because it allows the parents to use a motivator to get the child to do what they want. After all, that’s real world stuff, right?

Go ahead, tell me you’re bribing your kid, and then tell me you’re going to your job every day for free.

Ah, but it can be bigger than that, can’t it? What if the parent were to use an Intrinsic Motivator as an Extrinsic Motivator? Here’s what I mean:

I have a client who loves to skateboard. He always wants to learn new tricks, and is way more interested in learning this than his homework (duh, speeding down a halfpipe at 30-50mph and then breaking gravity? who wouldn’t want to do that?). The parent was frustrated and brought the kid to me. Turns out, the parent had the tools all along. All s/he had to do was offer time at the skate park as a motivator to do the work, and suddenly the work started to get done. The kid does his homework, and learns new tricks. Everyone’s happy.

Additionally, I worked with the kid and used skateboarding to illustrate cool science concepts, like gravity and velocity. We then talked about Geometry and Physics, and how a half pipe is really kind of a circle cut in half. Every time he goes up and comes back down (Newton’s Law in action), his speed allows him to break free from gravity, if only for a short time.

He then told me I was really smart. Little does he know…

Fact is, Extrinsic Motivation is kind of a cultural norm. Sure, it’d be nice if we could all just get along and do things for the fun of it. But there are a lot of boring jobs out there that pay well. Heck, I had to make that decision myself (Rock Star – because you know they hand out diplomas for those…or Shrink, which doesn’t pay as well as TV says we do…I’m still waiting for my awesome fountain).

Most jobs are in one of two categories: Ones you love (and pay poorly) and ones you hate (and pay well). Sometimes you get the short end of the stick on all fronts, but you get the idea. Anyone who sets out on a career does so for one of those two reasons, and hopefully you are able to find balance in there somewhere.

My point is, learning is part of growing up. Part of growing up is also figuring out what you want to do with your life. That changes as you grow, but I think its healthy for kids to understand how the world works, and also have dreams and goals to shoot for as well. Besides, even if you learn about “how the world works” doesn’t mean that it has to work for you the same way. You can always beat the odds, and do something different (like loving your job and getting paid well to do it).

Everyone is different. The way one person learns and gets through school might be completely different than another. I’m horrible at test taking, but breezed my way through college and grad school through writing papers. Some things we will learn because we have to, and some because we want to. If that means it sucks along the way, but we end up getting something for our efforts, I’m kinda OK with that.

What do you think? Can a kid have it both ways? To learn, love it and want to learn more? Gimme what you got!

Parents Beware: The Narcissist Generation

narcissism

So I met with a clinician that I respect and admire, as she’s been in the business longer than I have, and has a ton of insight into the issues of today. You know what we talked about?

Teenagers. Or more rather, The Narcissist Generation.

Now why do I say this, and why the heck am I picking on the teenagers anyway? Doesn’t that make me an old fart for picking on the kids even though they have a big target on their foreheads anyway?

First of all, I’m not picking on anyone. I’m warning people. If you don’t know that something could be a problem, then how can you do anything about it? (Conversely, if you know about a problem, and do nothing about it, you might as well condone it).

Secondly, I’m not just going to sit here and point out a problem. I’m going to give you some stuff to help you. Sound good? OK.

Now why do I call teenagers the Narcissist Generation? In order for me to do this, I have to define what Narcissism is. For those of you who don’t know, Narcissism was named after a character from Greek Mythology named Narcissus. He was a pretty boy who “falls in love with a reflection in a pool, not realizing it was his own, and perishes there, not being able to leave the beauty of his own reflection. (Wikipedia)”

Think about all the stuff teens do online and with their friends. They pimp out their Myspace. They update their Facebook status constantly. They shoot videos on Youtube and take pictures of themselves so their friends can see them. All the world’s a stage, and they are trying to find their place in the spotlight somehow.

Now Narcissism is defined in the Big Red Diagnosis Book as:

– A huge sense of self-importance

– Frequent thoughts of success, power, beauty or ideal love.

– A belief that he/she is special or unique

– A need for constant admiration

– Takes advantage of other people

– Lacks empathy or can’t identify with the needs of other people.

– Envies others or believes people envy him or her

Now take a look at that and try to tell me that any teenager you run into doesn’t fit that criterion in some way (they have to meet 5 to fit the diagnosis). Ironically enough, we actually believe that some of these things are good things for them to believe or feel. They should have a good sense of self-importance, right? (there I go with Should again) Teenagers should have admiration, and believe that they are special and unique, right?

Wrong. Here’s the problem: We’ve worked so hard to try to make sure that our children have every possible option they can have. We give it to them freely, because we love them. You know what happens?

They don’t appreciate it. In fact, they expect all those great privilages from you as a parent.  Like the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, they expect to get the best, the most, and the newest.

As a result, you get Narcissism. So how do we stop it.

1. Stop feeling guilty. For the love of St. Peter and all that is holy, let go of the guilt you have and make sure your kids, “get everything you didn’t get.” This isn’t about you feeling better about your childhood, its about teaching your kids what’s right and wrong.

2. Admire your kids, but in a healthy way. Show your kids they are great for doing the right thing, not just because they exist.

3. Don’t be afraid to take something away from them if they’re abusing it. If you don’t set a boundary with them, they will continue to abuse you, their siblings, their peers and whatever you give them. They need to know that abusing anything is a bad idea, and is generally unhealthy.

4. Teach them about reality, but in a cool way. Don’t just tell them that the world isn’t fair (that’s my job). Show them how the real world works, in a way that is helpful to them. If they’re into skateboarding, take them to a skate shop and ask the owner to talk to them about how much it costs to run it and keep it going. If they want to be in music, take them to see a musician, and see if you can interview them about their success (and failures).

See, just because your world revolves around your kids, doesn’t mean THE world revolves around them. They need to learn this, but in a healthy way that makes sense. If you want someone to give them a verbal reality check, then that’s where I come in. I’m actually not bad at it, and they seem to like the way I do stuff. Go figure.

Do you agree? Comments Welcome!

Love Has Nothing To Do With Feelings

Love

One of the more common themes I’ve been dealing with in session with my couples is the concept of love, and how some people are “losing the loving feeling.” And I’ve come here to say one thing:

Love has nothing to do with feelings.

Yeah, I know, I know. This flies right in the face of all the great romantic comedies you’ve watched. It goes against everything you’ve been told by your favorite TV shows and romance novels you’ve read. Hell, it even goes against good ol’ Tony Robbins methodology doesn’t it (hence why he got divorced, because he couldn’t “be happy” in it). After all, aren’t you supposed to feel love and happiness all the time with the person you love?

No, you’re not.

Let me break it down to you this way. Think about all the reasons you got into a relationship. Think about all the feelings you felt and what that meant to you.

Did any of that stuff have anything to do with the other person?

Think about this for a second. The great feelings you feel are feelings YOU feel. This has to do with you. You get involved with someone because of how they make YOU feel and how they compliment YOUR life. The fact that all this works for the other person is really great too, isn’t it.

But in essence, it has to do with you and how you feel.

This, is in essence a form of relationship narcissism. The relationship isn’t something that you commit to for better or worse, its something that is an accessory to your life. Its there to make you feel happy or loved. If things feel bad, or there’s a problem that people aren’t willing to work on, then its time to move on, isn’t it? After all, if you’ve lost the loving feeling, then there must clearly be something wrong with the relationship.

Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve come back down to Earth and realized that you have to live in reality.

And reality is no fun. Nowhere near as fun as the endorphin filled, infatuation-fest that you went on when you first got involved with that person.

OK, I’m ranting. I know I’m ranting. But I do have a point in all this.

Sometimes relationships are not going to be fun. Sometimes they’re going to be hard, and sometimes they’re downright ugly. If you don’t make a choice to love someone despite how they make you feel, then what is going to keep you together?

That’s my point. You wanna know why the divorce rate is at 50% and climbing? You want to know why kids are still affected by divorce, even though its considered “normal” these days?

Its because no matter how normal it is, it still affects them…and negatively.

Its because people are weak (abuse, abandonment and adultery aside; leaving in these circumstances does not make you weak), and they don’t want to work out their crap. Its much easier to go find some other person and feel all those great feelings all over again. Its much easier to ignore the problem and keep making the same mistakes you always make in relationships.

Don’t get me wrong. It takes two people to make a relationship work. Each person has to decide that they’re going to make it work no matter what. I’ve seen people make that choice, and as a result, the relationship improves and gets stronger than ever before. I’ve also seen people bail because they’re weak and they don’t want to work through the issues.

Those people are likely still chasing that loving feeling.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but you know what? That doesn’t change the fact that its true. If you don’t like how that makes you feel, that’s fine, its your life. Go ahead and ignore the problem like you have before.

Or fix it. Either way, life is too short and too long to pretend that love is only a feeling. If that’s what you believe, good luck chasing the feeling. You’ll be chasing it a long time.

My recommendation: Think long and hard about your life and your children’s lives 5-10 years down the road from now. Do you honestly think you will be happy? Do think they will be in the long run?

If you think it can work, at least try. You can always leave if you wuss out.

OK, I’ll stop now and let you talk.