Category Archives: ACT ON LOVE

Don’t Allow Anyone to Shame You

No one should have to be held captive to the effects of shame! When the clouds of shame are lifted, you can actually walk down a path of becoming EXTRAordinary. Today is Martin Luther King Day, where we have the privilege to honor a great man, who held a dream of racial equality and people living in love, peace, and acceptance. His message is even more crucial today as many people in our country are reverting backward… once again expressing prejudice and racism. I find consolation in Dr. King’s concepts; they mirror my belief that love is a verb, and that it calls on us to Act on Love. You will see the commonalities as I share my personal story with you. Find enlightenment in my story. Look not only beyond your own shame, but look at how easily and unintentionally you can shame others. Understand the effect your actions have on them, and most importantly—how to prevent these practices and overcoming shame.

I came to the United States from Japan when I was seven years old. At that time, I looked different than my peers and didn’t speak or write English. Just because of my appearance alone, I was teased and bullied. With great frequency, kids made fun of me, made gestures about my slanted eyes, and called me names. Unfortunately, you cannot change your race, your features, or the color of your skin. Through no fault of my own, the bullying caused me to be ashamed of my appearance and ethnicity.

Sure I felt different…I was different! The shame of my ethnic origins and early struggles with school filled me for years—following me from childhood into being an adult. I wasn’t equipped to understand shame is different from guilt.; you don’t need to do anything wrong to feel ashamed. Over time I came to understand shame is a feeling of being less than, inferior, or different—and is typically caused by the actions of others.

As I reflect back, these childhood years were filled with anguish. I desperately wanted to be accepted, liked, and to be “one of them.” In my primitive ways to gain acceptance and to blend in, I disowned my Japanese heritage and even changed the pronunciation of my name to sound softer and more Anglicized. Yes, I became one of the “bananas” you may have heard about: yellow on the outside, white on the inside!

Early on I began to intuitively choose people who could become good friends and become an ally. I focused on those who were welcoming of me with their direct eye contact and smiles. I then became a master of developing conversations and establishing relationships quickly. It was simple: I was friendly, engaging, loyal, and became an excellent listener who provided emotional and physical support to others.

Later on, I learned how to depersonalize. This is a way to deflect and to know that the comments, actions, and situations are NOT about you! Rather, it is about the other person and where he/she is coming from. Their putdowns and slurs—although directed at you—are, in essence, more so about them! This ability to depersonalize helps provide a glimpse into who or what the other person is. 

A confident person who can love and accept himself or herself is one who can be encouraging and warm toward others…no matter the race or physical appearance and attributes reflected outwardly. Being too tall, short, fat, skinny, unathletic, or disabled – in the end, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately… the choices are yours: to buy into the shame or move beyond it. When you- recognize and remember that when another person is compelled to call you names, demean, and harass you… the behaviors provide insights into insecure feelings within themselves.

A person who can accept others, or at least maintain neutral opinions, withholds judgment and criticism. To develop this level of acceptance requires learning and practicing the Art of Conscious Loving™. Conscious loving is easy to recognize; it is the ability to look at situations—and other individuals—through the eyes of acceptance and love—and allow yourself and others the benefit of the doubt. When you have attained this skill, you can begin to see beyond what you may think another person may lack; or how they find you lacking. Since none of us is perfect, and make mistakes, when we embrace Conscious Loving, we give ourselves permission to be imperfect, to be aware, and to live in the present. It is in the present where you can quickly correct the thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and actions that provide support—and a discover a template for the best results in your life journey.

Bear in mind that your actions, comments, and even your thoughts affect you and others in many ways. LIVE today in honor of Martin Luther King; as you stop and ACT on Love towards yourself and others. Stop and consider moving beyond your own sense of shame; support others to ensure you do not add to the layers of shame that far too often pile themselves upon us.


Mamiko Odegard, Ph.D., president of Biz Life Success, Inc., has served over 30 years as a psychologist and life and business coach, who helps you overcome shame, learn to ACT on love, and helps you to be Irresistible, Invincible, and Iconic. She is an international best-selling author of Daily Affirmations for Love and Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Strathmore’s Worldwide Who’s Who Professional Coach of the Year.

Mamiko Odegard, PhD
Success@DrMamiko.com

CAN YOUR RELATIONSHIP OVERCOME INFIDELITY?

Can your relationship after an affair ever truly be resolved with love and passion restored?  When you and your partner’s true intentions and conscious loving actions are demonstrated, hope can turn into lasting love, passion, and fidelity in your relationship.

In many cases, when the relationship is toxic with repeated violations of broken promises and irreparable mistrust, the healthy choice and often the best choice is to end the relationship.  However, having worked with thousands of individuals and couples, positive changes are indeed possible.

relationships2The secrets of recovering from an affair:

  • Essential communication and support. As soon as you find out that your partner has cheated on you, you are overcome with intense emotions:  Confusion, questioning your own femininity and desirability, and second-guessing yourself and your partner, which leads to even more hurt.  Openly communicate your pain.  Your partner’s job is to listen and to show you understand, caring and compassion.
  • Being honest. When your partner catches you in the act or asks you questions about the affair, answer questions honestly and thoroughly.  This can help both the hurting partner and the partner who stepped outside the relationship.  Nothing gets resolved by hiding or denying what has happened.
  • Understand why the affair occurred. It’s important that each of you understand how and why the infidelity occurred.  Did it start out innocently in confiding with a co-worker or did opportunities simply arise when the two of you were able to travel alone together?  Perhaps, one or both of you were becoming bored with your relationship or that you didn’t feel prioritized by the other?
  • Avoid blaming your partner. Have you ever witnessed blaming to be an effective technique for building closeness and intimacy?  The answer is a resounding “NO!”  Blaming fuels the hurt and anger and your partner may justify becoming angry and defensive.
  • Take responsibility for your part in the relationship. Your partner who committed the transgression must fully tale responsibility for his actions. You must also be willing to acknowledge your contributions to the problems in the relationship.
  • Be willing to change. Rather than simply waiting for your partner to change his feelings and behaviors towards you, it’s critical that you also change, thereby affecting your partner.
  • Be willing to apologize. This is the necessary precursor to forgiving yourself and/or your partner to allow you to become closer.
  • Be willing to let go and forgive. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.  Rather you exercise the choice to forgive, which is a gift for you and for your man.

As long as love, respect, and commitment to each other are still intact, your relationship can survive and even thrive after an affair.  It takes cooperation, patience, forgiveness, and learning from the past to make the necessary changes to allow your love to bloom again.

Originally posted at smartfem.com

5 STEPS TO KEEP UP ROMANCE 365 DAYS A YEAR

want-more-love-dr-mamikoSpring brings a renewed focus on love and marriage. You can become more frustrated, irritated, and sad if you’re single without a significant partner. If you’re single, do you find yourself longing for a partner to “make your dreams come true?” For those of you who are coupled, you can boost your love, intimacy, and passion to experience exhilarating love 365 days a year.

Here are 5 strategies to help you jump-start your love today and every day to enjoy your ultimate relationship with yourself and that special romantic person.

1. Celebrate the EXTRAordinary™ you!

First acknowledge and show yourself love by romancing yourself. Do you indulge on that long awaited gift or a day at the spa? Do you ever write a love note to yourself? Perhaps, you just need that long luxurious nap to recharge or a massage to feed your skin’s need for touch. Today take the time to:

  • Put yourself first, knowing how important you are in meeting your own needs and wants.
  • List the qualities you like and admire about yourself to remind you how loved you are to yourself and others.
  • Afterwards, write a love letter to yourself that you are cherished.
  • Take out the “love note” anytime you want to feel more uniquely loved.

When you feel this way and ACT on Love™, you automatically raise your energy and level of attraction. Not only that, you find yourself happier as you are taking charge of meeting your own needs rather than demanding or wishing that from a partner.

2. Tell and show whomever you love, how special he or she is.

Love is a verb and can be shown in action through words and gestures. Each day let the people around you know how are important they are to you through recognition, compliments, appreciation of their unique qualities and efforts, giving simple gifts that can be made or bought, touching through hugs, kisses, or a shoulder rub, spending time to laugh, talk, and connect through activities, and spontaneously doing thoughtful tasks that eases the day for the lucky recipient. Don’t just save these loving gestures for special occasions, demonstrate these acts of love multiple times daily in various ways.

3. Take charge of your life – Give your partner what you desire!

Think of being in a relationship and how you would want to be treated by your lover. Whatever it is that you desire, practice the law of reciprocity with the idea of being the first to give. If you want your partner to be romantic, then don’t let him or her guess what that will look like and feel like for you. Instead create the romantic day or evening exactly the way you would like to experience it. If you want more physical contact, then touch your partner in various ways both sexual and nonsexual. If you want more compliments and acknowledgements, be direct and express your needs and be the model of what you’d like to receive. Whining, nagging and pressuring don’t work. Remember you are manifesting being irresistible!

4. Make a list of why this special person in your life is so cherished by you.
Keep warm feelings in your heart each and every day.
Keep this list handy to affirm how treasured your partner is to you and read this as a reminder of the many qualities you appreciate, love, and admire about this individual. Keep warm feelings in your heart each and every day. On those days when irritation and impatience get in the way of your loving your partner, the qualities you love about your beloved can help you to get back into conscious loving™ to get you back to a calmer state to view his actions or statements with a “loving eye,” to give him the benefit of doubt.

5. Start a list of gratitude and write 5 things that you are grateful for each day.
This practice brings your awareness to all the good in your life. Your gratitude might be about the beautiful sunrise that greeted you upon awakening, being able run or walk faster or longer, feeling the embrace of loved ones, hearing words of appreciation of how valued you are at work, school, or home, the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment of a completed task, or even the unconditional love that you might receive from your furry pet. As you begin to look for blessings in your day, you become happier with a greater sense of well being which radiates to all those around you…Shining your magnetic love to make you even more attractive to the universe, and especially to those fortunate enough to closely share your space.

I’d love to hear your success stories and personal strategies for upping your love with your special partner and others who are important in your life. Yes, you can take control of your life to ensure 365 days of love in thought and action!

Written by Dr. Mamiko and originally published at smartfem.com

AWAKENING AND KEEPING EXTRAORDINARY LOVE

photo-Heart Shaped CloudDo you wish you had a magic wand in which you can awaken the love inside your partner and keep your love alive and vibrant? Your wish is my command and these following easy steps can quickly reinvigorate your love and passion. It starts with YOU, creating your best self by loving yourself and in giving to others what you want.

  1. Love yourself. When you love yourself, you become irresistible to both men and women. Take conscious steps to accept and affirm YOU and avoid criticism and judgment. When you can be tender to yourself, you can be gentle and more loving with others.
  1. Remember how you met and what attracted you to each other. Tell your partner the special qualities that piqued your interest to want to know him more or her.
  1. Think back and discuss when you each knew that you were meant for each other. What was it about your partner that was so endearing that you wanted to marry or have a deeper committed relationship together? Think about the special endearing terms you used to call and describe your sweetheart and use them now.
  1. Create your own wedding vows: Vow to tell each other a compliment, acknowledgment, or gratitude each day. Start each day with some variation of “I love you.”
  1. Write down what you like, respect, admire, and love about each other. Keep this in a special place so that you and your partner can admire and be reminded of your affection for each other.
  1. When you have disagreements, promise to discuss and work out a mutually agreeable outcome. Compromise and strive to create win-win scenarios for each of you.
  1. Hug, kiss, snuggle, and touch each other physically each day. Act like a puppy that is at long last reunited with his owner at the end of he day; that’s

exactly how you want to act and feel.

  1. Give a gift of love. This can be something that is made or bought. A note of love, a poem, a bouquet of flowers, homemade cookies are all considered gifts of love.
  1. Spontaneously perform acts of love and kindness that help your partner. Taking out the garbage, helping to care for the home and yard, and taking a favorite beverage to your partner are all ACTions that help make life and everyday functions easier.
  1. Add a romantic twist. When in search of new ideas to get your juices and mojo going, go to the library or bookstore and check out books suggesting ways to enliven romance, create intrigue, and seduce your partner.
  1. Have fun…Plan an event or ACTivity to look forward to daily. Laugh and smile together daily. These can be simple activities ranging from reading together, relaxing on the patio after dinner, watching a sunrise or sunset and making out, playing board games, and exercising or taking a class together. The more you can smile and laugh, the more it stimulates fun and love.
  1. Remember LOVE IS A VERB! The more you can ACT on Love, the more love grows and deepens creating that circle of affection and passion.

These twelve proven strategies for growing and keeping love have been personally tested by my husband and me in our over 40 years of marriage plus my work with couples throughout my career as a coach, psychologist, and individual and couples therapist. When you feel EXTRAordinary and you show your partner that he or she is EXTRAordinary, you’ll find amazing and ultimate love. I’d love to know your strategies for creating and keeping forever love.

Personal Inventory of Unhealthy Relationships

SeparationAnswer “YES” or “NO” to the following questions and reconnect with life’s lessons on having healthy, loving and committed relationships.

  1. Do you find yourself being attracted to partners who can’t seem to commit to you?
  1. Do you want the relationship more than your partner?
  1. Do you find that you put more effort into pleasing your partner?
  1. Is it hard for you to get thoughts of your partner out of your head?
  1. Are you finding it hard to trust your partner?
  1. Do you find you’re “checking up” on your partner?
  1. Do you try to manipulate or control your partner or does your partner do this to you?
  1. Do you or your partner get back at the other through “disguised anger” in which neither of you talks about real feelings of hurt, anger, and disappointment”
  1. Do you or your partner often hold in your feelings, only to explode over minor incidents?
  2. Do you or your partner disregard or minimize the other’s feelings and wishes?
  1. Are you or you partner becoming easily irritated and you fueling more arguments?
  1. Do your arguments center on not being prioritized?
  1. Do you look to your partner for self worth and identity?
  1. Do you focus on the past?
  1. Do you worry about your future with your partner?
  2. Are you overcritical of yourself, your partner and others around you?
  3. Do you or your partner blame each other for actions or undesirable results?
  1. You don’t feel your partner “has your back,” or isn’t there to support you.
  1. Are only a small number of your needs met?
  1. Do your close friends and family warn you about your partner?
  1. Have you become bored with your partner and have a lifeless relationship?
  1. You know you’re “settling.”
  1. Do you feel trapped?
  1. Are you finding it harder to trust your feelings?
  1. Do you or your partner press to eliminate or minimize the time away from friends and family?
  1. Are you afraid of your partner?
  1. Has you partner physically or emotionally abused you?
  1. Do you or your partner find yourselves raging when angry (yelling, losing emotional control)?
  1. Have your arguments resulted in physical violence?
  1. Do you or your partner follow rigid guidelines of what is the right behavior?
  1. You experience little physical affection.
  1. You experience little emotional closeness.
  1. Do you feel that you can’t be yourself around your partner?
  1. Your partner shows little respect for your thoughts and feelings.
  1. Do you have too much or too little sex.
  1. Do you or your partner lack “physical boundaries” where there is violation of personal space of getting too close, being unaware or discarding your own or your partner’s physical needs, rules, or guidelines such as allowing a stranger to get too close physically, inappropriate sexual touch rather than warm embrace or handshake?
  1. Do you or your partner lack “emotional boundaries” in which neither of you are able to establish and stick to healthy guidelines or rules of behaviors such as inability to say “no” or vacillate back and forth about how you think, feel, or act?
  1. Do you have difficulty knowing or separating your feelings from your partner?
  1. Do you take responsibility for your partner’s feelings or actions?
  1. Do you undertake action that goes against your moral or spiritual compass?

I hope you found these questions thought provoking, and while your mind is focused on how these red flags might apply to you, as a special gift, I would like to invite you to join me in an Introductory Discovery Consultation where you can ask me anything you like. We can also zero in on your goals and the ways you can achieve them.

Please call me at 480-391-1184 or email me with your PHONE number and best times for your Complimentary Appointment. I look forward to getting to know YOU and helping you have the life you dream of.

Wishing you love, happiness, and success,

Unhealthy Relationship Patterns That Raise Red Flags

Man.Do you ever feel like you totally missed the class where life was teaching you everything you need to know about making relationships work? Does that also leave you feeling stuck in some unhealthy relationship patterns? The default strategies with which you learn to arm yourself often kick in without you even being aware you developed them… starting with the moment you feel that “crush” where feelings take hold, yet inevitably, time after time, crash and burn and leave you unable to move on with life.

Ironically, the behaviors you counted on to move you into a healthy, loving, and committed relationship wind up taking you in the opposite direction – left not with love but tremendous pain and fear that you are forever destined to be alone. I encourage you to look back upon the wreckage of your relationships, and agree it is time cleanse yourself of the old destructive patterns that have brought you here today; overwhelmed by insecurities and fear of relationships. Worst yet, you don’t even trust yourself, and you’re losing that dream of finding “the one.”

The following indicators of potentially unhealthy relationship patterns are intended to develop your awareness – how to recognize them and begin to let them go. Imagine breaking through these red flags, and stopping once and for all unhealthy love relationships. Yes, there’s change for you to have a love that is mutually trusting, committed, and EXTRAordinary!

Answer “YES” or “NO” to the following questions and reconnect with life’s lessons on having healthy, loving and committed relationships.

  1. Do you find yourself being attracted to partners who can’t seem to commit to you?
  1. Do you want the relationship more than your partner?
  1. Do you find that you put more effort into pleasing your partner?
  1. Is it hard for you to get thoughts of your partner out of your head?
  1. Are you finding it hard to trust your partner?
  1. Do you find you’re “checking up” on your partner?
  1. Do you try to manipulate or control your partner or does your partner do this to you?
  1. Do you or your partner get back at the other through “disguised anger” in which neither of you talks about real feelings of hurt, anger, and disappointment”
  1. Do you or your partner often hold in your feelings, only to explode over minor incidents?
  2. Do you or your partner disregard or minimize the other’s feelings and wishes?
  1. Are you or you partner becoming easily irritated and you fueling more arguments?
  1. Do your arguments center on not being prioritized?
  1. Do you look to your partner for self worth and identity?
  1. Do you focus on the past?
  1. Do you worry about your future with your partner?
  2. Are you overcritical of yourself, your partner and others around you?
  3. Do you or your partner blame each other for actions or undesirable results?
  1. You don’t feel your partner “has your back,” or isn’t there to support you.
  1. Are only a small number of your needs met?
  1. Do your close friends and family warn you about your partner?
  1. Have you become bored with your partner and have a lifeless relationship?
  1. You know you’re “settling.”
  1. Do you feel trapped?
  1. Are you finding it harder to trust your feelings?
  1. Do you or your partner press to eliminate or minimize the time away from friends and family?
  1. Are you afraid of your partner?
  1. Has you partner physically or emotionally abused you?
  1. Do you or your partner find yourselves raging when angry (yelling, losing emotional control)?
  1. Have your arguments resulted in physical violence?
  1. Do you or your partner follow rigid guidelines of what is the right behavior?
  1. You experience little physical affection.
  1. You experience little emotional closeness.
  1. Do you feel that you can’t be yourself around your partner?
  1. Your partner shows little respect for your thoughts and feelings.
  1. You have too much or too little sex.

I hope you found these thought provoking – and while your mind is focused on how these red flags might apply to you, as a special gift, I would like to invite you to join me in an Introductory Complimentary Consultation where you can ask me anything you like. We can also zero in on your goals and the ways you can achieve them.

Please call me at 480-391-1184 or email me your best times and dates so we can set up your complimentary appointment. I look forward to getting to know YOU!

Wishing you love, happiness, and success,

Mamiko

Should I Leave or Stay?

Tears of a woman“When love hurts” is often the focus when I work with clients in my coaching practice. I hear so many times, “I love her but I’m not in love with her.” Some lose hope that their affection for each other can ever be regained. The passion, the romance, the fun, the excitement are gone. At some point, however, a decision must be made; the following questions may assist you in answering the question, “Should I leave or stay?”

Do you still love each other?

If there is affection and caring for each other, hope remains. Many couples that I have worked with find themselves being intimate with each other for the first time and finding an even deeper level of love and passion.

Do you want to work on your relationship?

This means looking at yourself and taking personal responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions– rather than just looking for your partner to change.

How have you contributed to the dissatisfaction and conflict in your relationship?

The solution is not to leave and get another partner, because there is a tendency to re-experience the same conflicts – just with different partners. The solution is to truthfully examine your own actions and the “dance” you have created with your partner so you each can grow and make the best decision for yourselves.

What needs and wants are not being met by your partner?

This is a time for you and your partner to start over to allow both of you to have your needs met. It’s about creating win-win solutions. Are you both capable of wanting to fulfill the other’s wants and wishes?

Are you still physically or sexually attracted to your partner?

Appearances change, but you can begin to be more attracted once again as your feelings of affection re-emerge. For some who place a premium on appearance and attraction, this could be a deal breaker, because physical and sexual attraction may be strongly associated with love.

Do you still have common interests?

Many couples discover they have drifted apart over the years with little interests in common. They each seem to be pursuing their own interests and becoming more disengaged. If mutual interests can be revived, you can feel more connected together.

Do you have the capacity to have fun together?

So often when couples come for counseling or coaching, they spend much time talking about issues in their relationships. It’s critical to just enjoy, relax, and have fun trying out new activities, old ones, and appreciate and savor the simple daily beauty and pleasures of life such as watching a sunset together, biking together, or walking hand in hand while sharing feelings about the events of the day.

Will you have a sense of peace if you leave?

If you decide to leave your relationship without exploring and participating in all your options for reconciliation and rebuilding of your relationship, will you question and torture yourself with uncertainty of your decision? If you stay and explore how you really feel towards your partner and the actions that you jointly have contributed to the current situation, and you still decide to leave, you will have a significantly greater sense of peace and comfort that you earnestly gave your best effort in reconciling and rebuilding the marriage.

You may be interested to know that the majority of couples that come to me, because they are undecided about whether to continue their marriage, have recommitted to each other and found even more love, understanding, support, closeness, tenderness, respect, and companionship than they ever experienced before. If you need help whether to stay or leave, I’m a phone call away. Call now for your private consultation to see if a VIP Retreat, 48 Hour Love Makeover or Concierge Program can help you to quickly decide and to gain peace of mind.

Act on Love towards yourself and those around you.

TAKING YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL – LOVE OR DARE?

Joined Together As Man And WifeWhen you have been dating someone for an extended period, or perhaps even living together, there comes a time to step up your relationship.  Do you initiate the discussion? Or do you stand by, waiting for your love interest to take the reins of your life together?

First you begin to build up resentment about your relationship.

In the ideal world, this is a topic that mutually comes to the forefront of your minds as the synergy of your relationship evolves.  However, this rarely happens, making it crucial that you be the one to initiate.  “Why me?” you ask.  If you don’t initiate, you begin to act and respond in several ways.  First you begin to build up resentment about your relationship.   When this happens, you begin to become more critical of your partner and begin to withdraw emotionally and physically.

Secondly, you might be experiencing anxiety about “another one who doesn’t commit and will probably leave you.”  When anxiety hits, it’s easy to feel insecure about yourself, jealous, and suspicious.  You might then go on an even more uncomfortable, suspicious path trying to check emails, voicemails, or where your partner has been…or you become the doormat, the “people-pleaser,” trying to guess at what will make your loved one happy and fall in love with you.  You then become co-dependent making his life your life, and become obsessed about what he’s thinking, feeling, and doing.

Here are some ways to figure out if he’s the one for you and if you should step up your commitment:

  • Are you really falling for this guy?
  • Be truthful about your real feelings and motives.  Are you really falling for this guy? Or are you feeling so unworthy and desperate that you must cling to anyone who pays attention to you or stays with you?  Do you truly like, love,  and respect your partner?
  • Do you have mutual interests and are you compatible? Do you find yourselves excited to see each other, and that your conversations are intimate so that you are able to be your true self? Or do you find yourself lonely and feeling unimportant, often left out while he gathers with his friends or prioritizes work too much?
  • Does he bring out the best in you and ,make you feel precious? Does he make you laugh and feel playful? Are you a great listener and supporter, spontaneously showing verbal and physical affection, and feeling comfortable pursuing your own activities, privately or with others?

If you answered yes to the above, then it’s time for a heart-to-heart talk where you can share your feelings and desire.

  • Start with a message that lets him know the qualities you find attractive in him and why he’s so special to you.  Then let him know you want to have a deeper level of commitment (dating each other exclusively, moving in together, engagement, or marriage) and what that looks like and feels like for you.  Don’t do this after making love,  talking in the bedroom, or your lover’s home.  Otherwise, you might be confusing your feelings about having sex rather than the person that you want to possibly spend your life with.  Instead pick a neutral public territory such as a restaurant, park, beach, or even sitting in the car admiring a scenic view or sunset.
  • Give him time to respond.  He may need to think it over, because he may enjoy keeping the relationship as is. By allowing your partner the chance to explore his feelings and to come up with how he is feeling towards you and envision going forward, you are allowing him freedom and letting go of control.  He will respect you and have even deeper feelings for you.
  • Once you have the discussion, then back off talking about commitment.  Nothing turns someone off quicker than repeatedly discussing a topic without any clear resolution. Your partner begins to be less enthusiastic about getting together or deepening your relationship.  Instead focus on having fun and making your time together so special that he can’t get enough of you and wants you in his life!
  • This creates a win-win scenario
  • When you both are on the same page and mutually wanting to experience a deeper level of relationship commitment and intimacy, you can then discuss ways that serve both of your needs.  This creates a win-win scenario in which you both are working together to bring out your love.

If you partner is truly noncommittal, it might be time to move on.  This way you can make way for a new partner who is possibly more appreciative and loving towards you to emerge. It’s better to be in no relationship than a bad relationship. After all, you don’t need to settle – you deserve the best!

This was originally in Smartfem  Sept 8, 2014.

Should I Stay or Leave? The Ultimate Relationship Conflict

Tender touchSo often during my over 30-year career as a therapist and coach, I am asked the question, “Should I leave or stay?” Individuals and couples are conflicted because:

  • They still care about the other but there is no real love or passion;

  • Feel guilty;

  • Are worried about the effects of separation and divorce on their children,

  • Don’t want to repeat the patterns they experienced growing up with divorced parents;

  • Are anxious about what others might think of them and feel ashamed to be divorced;

  • Are apprehensive about what would happen financially and whether they could be self-supporting;

  • Are reluctant to pay for the high emotional and financial costs of divorce;

  • Wrestle with the effects of infidelity and whether he or she can ever trust and forgive the partner;

  • Are confused and uncertain whether the partner can remain faithful; or

  • Are fearful that they will never find another person to love and marry them.

To stay in a loveless relationship or to be abused in any way emotionally or physically is not healthy for any individual. The key factors in deciding to stay really have to do with the constellation of patterns that have existed for some time. For instance, have your emotional needs been absent for a long time? Do you long for someone who is affectionate with you verbally and physically? Yet, this is not nor ever has been your mate…he or she is not overly affectionate. Does your partner have the capacity to love you in the ways you desire? You may have thought by staying in a relationship in which you are the model of love; sharing freely and openly your thoughts and feelings, being demonstrative by saying and showing you love him or her, doing thoughtful gestures that meet the others wants and needs – that he or she would eventually change. You may have believed that ultimately your partner could change to show love in the ways that you desire if you could love that person enough (or for some, complain enough).

The reality remains if your needs are unmet and your partner is not willing to do all he or she can to fulfill them or lacks the desire to change; you are probably wasting your time. What you see while dating or prior to a committed relationship is, unfortunately, what you get later. Resentment, criticalness, and dissatisfaction with your mate build over time, exacerbating, even more, your sense of hurt, feeling unprioritized and unimportant, sad, and angry. These feeling are even more poignant and consuming if there have been incidents of infidelity.

However, on the other hand, if your partner does desire to and is willing to work on your relationship, anything is possible. Even if passion has been absent for some time, as long as there is some amount of love or caring, there is hope. Relationships can be revitalized and a greater sense of closeness can be achieved through:

  • Determining and attaining the level of commitment that each partner has to be open, honest, and giving his or her best effort to change oneself (too often couples erroneous believe that if the other partner changes, everything will be alright);

  • Exploration and clarification of the needs of each partner;

  • Learning how to communicate on an authentic and deeper level of their thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants;

  • Increasing awareness and skills to provide emotional and physical support;

  • Letting go of anger, hurt, sadness, betrayal, and disappointment;

  • Forgiveness of self and mate;

  • Sexual and physical connection;

  • Having fun and enjoying common activities; and

  • Ability to have gratitude for your partner and your life.

Yes, as long as you mutually want to work on your relationship, your relationship can be stronger, more loving, and happier than ever. If you or your partner are unwilling to do everything possible, to be honest, committed, and tender with each other, then either you are probably doomed to a life of being unfulfilled, becoming more sad and bitter and/or becoming unfaithful or being cheated upon by your mate. Your decision to leave can be a celebration of your honoring, loving, and valuing yourself and your commitment to creating your own happiness rather than settling for what is safe. The choice is up to you…Either decision can create the life that you deserve and dream of!

Mamiko Odegard, Ph.D. is the founder of ACT ON LOVE, a life coach, author of Daily Affirmations for Love, and married for over 40 years to the love of her life. Dr. Mamiko has helped thousand of individuals and couples in her over 30 years as a psychologist and individual and marriage therapist. She can help you dramatically and quickly change your life and relationships through her empowered coaching, VIP Intensive Retreats including her revolutionary 48 Hour Love Makeover Program and Concierge Program.

Quickly Healing the Pain

The Pain of Separation-How Long Will It Last?

 

1442152_68557984You’ve just lost your lover, your best friend, your constant companion. You’ve cried yourself to sleep each night since he or she left. You can’t function during the day, feeling as if you’re in a daze, unable to focus on tasks that need to be accomplished. People’s voices around you just seem to be a buzz; you can see their mouths moving and talking to you, but you can’t comprehend. You’re distraught, scared, confused, and feel uncertain of yourself, overwhelmed and lost.

You’re going through the initial stages of shock and grieving. You can’t believe this is happening to you. Your mind can’t stop thinking of what you might have done wrong to cause your lover to leave you. Even worse, your head is filled with unending circular questions that your brain can’t answer, causing you to go from one question to another-

  • “Why doesn’t he/she love me?”
  • What did I do wrong?”
  • “Is there someone else?
  • “Why didn’t I see this coming?”
  • “Why is he/she doing this to me?”
  • “Did he/she step out on me?”
  • “Will he/she ever come back to me?”

Obviously, you’re unable to answer any of these questions, only heightening your pain even more. The important thing is to be aware of how you are exacerbating your hurt and confusion even more whenever you start asking yourself these never-ending questions.

These three steps speed your healing from the emptiness, loneliness, sadness, and pain of separation:

1. Become aware of your circular questions– These get you nowhere, they cause you to be more obsessed, more overwhelmed, and feeling powerless. You can never truly figure out what the other person’s actual motives might be.

2. STOP as soon as you become aware that you are asking yourself circular questions. You’re now starting to take control over your thoughts and emotions so you can decide your next steps.

3. Redirect to questions that reclaim your power.
You have the ability to redirect questions that help you take action such as “what” would be helpful to you now and “how” can you go about this.

When life throws lemons your way, how do you handle them? Call Dr. Mamiko now at 480-391-1184, if you’re ready to move on and gain new insights and quick skills to create an even better life for yourself. You don’t have to be stuck and in pain…You can grow and be even happier. Yes, you are lovable and are loved!

Ready to take steps to move on? Mamiko Odegard, Ph.D., is just a phone call away at 480-391-1184. Or if you prefer, email Success@drmamiko.com with your PHONE NUMBER and best times to connect. Why struggle trying to sort it all out yourself? Change can begin now!