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Catch the podcast of Bob & Lori's latest appearance on WomanTalk Live as they discuss the "7 Secrets of Emotional & Erotic Intimacy".

Bob & Lori Hollander are Talkradio 680 WCBM's WomanTalk Live Relationship Experts. Listen to the podcasts:
7 Secrets of Emotional & Erotic Intimacy - 2/14/09
Love & Money - 11/8/08
Romance or Roomates - 9/20/08
What If One Of Us Changes? For Better or Worse - 6/11/08
True Tales

You can have the relationship you want and deserve! Read these true success stories below and see that there is hope for change. Let other’s stories inspire and motivate you to work on your relationships.

* Loving Your Partner The Way They Need It, (Not The Way You Want To Give It)
* Family Of Marriage Vs. Family Of Origin
* The Mind Reader That Didn’t

TRUE TALES – LOVING YOUR PARTNER THE WAY THEY NEED IT, (NOT THE WAY YOU WANT TO GIVE IT)

I was at the kitchen table crying. My husband came down, saw me crying and went back upstairs! Why didn’t he ask me what was wrong? I was feeling hurt. My best friend hadn’t called me in a week. When I talked to her I found out she had gone to lunch to with our other friend yesterday. I felt she was distancing herself from me. I needed to talk to my husband about it, just to vent, but he had left me, again. If he really loved me, he would come into my world when I was upset. He would ask me why I was crying and just listen and give me a hug. Anytime I was emotional, he would leave. I didn’t understand. I felt so alone. Later we got into a fight about something insignificant. I was always so angry and resentful. I was critical of him and he was defensive.

We decided to go to counseling. Our sessions with Lori and Bob were enlightening. One of the things that really helped us was learning the Mars & Venus differences. Bob explained to my husband that when women, (that’s right, all women, not just me) are upset they need their husband to approach them and ask what is wrong and just listen! This was a revelation to my husband. He thought when I was upset the best thing to do was to leave me alone!! How could he think that? Lori explained that on Mars when a man is upset he goes to his cave to deal with the feelings and wants his space, he wants to be alone. If he was upset and I approached him, in my caring way and asked what was wrong, he wouldn’t want to talk, until he had solved the problem by himself. What I realized was that my husband’s “leaving me alone” approach wasn’t because he didn’t love me. It was because he assumed I was like him and wanted space when I was upset! He really did love me! Now he knows what to do when I am upset. And things are much better. If he forgets, I can ask him to listen now. We learned not to assume what the other needs but to ask. We really are from different planets!

TRUE TALES – FAMILY OF MARRIAGE VS. FAMILY OF ORIGIN

I was really stuck. I love my husband, very much, and I love my kids just the same – they are the most important people in my life. Yet my husband couldn’t see beyond his anger – that somehow I was putting my Mom and Dad and my siblings first over us. Despite my telling and showing him that he and the kids were my ultimate priority, he held the conviction that “that family” came first. He kept accusing me of being more loyal to them. I tried to tell him that I did indeed love “that family,” but that there was enough love to go around. He saw “love” in finite terms - if I gave over here, I must take from here. As his resentments grew toward me, my resentment grew towards him. He wanted me to choose and I couldn’t.

When Lori and Bob helped slow our interaction down and made us more aware of our assumptions and our underlying feelings, things became clearer for us.

It seemed that it wasn’t really about me showing love and affection to my parents and family, but that they always seemed so demanding to him, and that from his perspective, I dropped everything to respond to their needs and expectations - that I followed their “emotional marching orders.”

In our Couple to Couple Coaching sessions, my husband finally realized that doing things for my family was not about them controlling me or me picking them over our family, but it was really about my need to have them in my life – that, in essence, I was really responding to my “own needs,” not just theirs. This was a revelation for him, and afterwards he was surprisingly able to accept this. I, of course, finally realized that he really didn’t begrudge me having a relationship with my family. Now we are able to talk as a couple about each other’s needs, priorities, and how we as partners, will balance the two.

This was not rocket science, the understanding was just hidden from us. Once revealed, a great source of tension and “disconnection” was removed. We are talking more in depth now, not jumping to conclusions about all sorts of things, and naturally growing closer and closer all the time. We took a lemon and made lemonade!

TRUE TALES – THE MIND READER THAT DIDN’T

I just couldn’t win. I knew that my wife needed space. Sometimes I knew I could be “clingy.” For example, the last party we went – she sat diagonal to me, rather than beside me. I asked her why and she blew up at me saying I was always pressuring her to be with me all the time.

The next time we went out, it was her birthday and I was going to surprise her. I arranged it so that she would be sitting with her friends and I would be on the opposite side of the table. When we got home, once again she blasted me! She said she felt isolated, that she was upset because she didn’t want a party. She just wanted to spend the time with me! The table where we sat was a very large circular one, and she felt she was too far from me. So there you go, “Damned if I do, and damned if I don’t!” I felt it was impossible to win no matter what!

A few days in counseling we talked about it. It was important for her to know that I was doing my best for her, and that I was really trying. And that if she didn’t want a party, she should have told me, and that once we were there, if the seating was off, she should have told me that too! I told her that I wasn’t a mind reader. She realized that she needed to express her needs clearly to me, that this was critical to the relationship, although she really wasn’t used to doing it her whole life, even before me. Since then, whenever she has a moment’s hesitation, she now realizes that I can’t read her mind, and she pushes herself to tell me her hidden feelings about things. There are now less false assumptions of me trying to close her in, and of not caring how she is feeling. We’re able to get closer and she is feeling really OK about this.

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