Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Get Off the Scales and On With Your Life!

posted by Linda Mintle

Why is it that so many people are obsessed with weight and looking perfect?

One reason has to do with the distraction beauty and weight loss serve in our lives. For example, it’s easier to obsess over an outfit than resolve a conflict with a friend. The art of make-up can be mastered before you master how to cope with stress. Or you can spend time dieting instead of learning how to relax your body. In other words, body obsession serves a purpose or we wouldn’t do it. One purpose it to distract us from more meaningful issues in our lives.

Since you only have one body here on earth, you can make it your obsession, or you can take a more balanced approach and develop other parts of you. If you or someone you know, needs to let go of body obsession, here are five steps to help:

1) Stop pouring over fashion magazines and filling your mind with unrealistic images of what people are “supposed” to look like as determined by some fashion guru.

2) Refocus your conversations away from the superficiality of appearance. Talk about more meaningful topics.

3) Next time you are with another person, concentrate on his or her character qualities.

4) Accept your imperfections. We all have them!

5) Review your eating habits. Let go of fad diets or any diet for that matter. Focus on healthy eating- smaller portions and healthy choices. And if you eat a chocolate bar, don’t freak out! Give yourself a break without giving in to defeat.

 

For more help with body obsession, check out Dr. Mintle’s book, Making Peace With Your Thighs (and other body parts): Get off the scales on on with your life!

Will This Couple Divorce?

posted by Linda Mintle

John and Ann are asked about the history of their relationship. They have nothing positive to say. In fact, all they can remember are the problems. For years, they have been unable to deal with conflict in a way that repairs problems thus, they are left with negativity about the relationship.

When John and Ann try to talk about a problem, it doesn’t go well. Ann usually comes on harsh with several statements of criticism. John becomes defensiveness and thinks about how much he doesn’t like Ann. Ann rolls her eyes and really believes John acts like a jerk and doesn’t care. John wants out of her sight. A defensive wall goes up between the two and neither talks it out.

Overwhelmed with negative feelings towards each other, neither looks to the other for emotional care. Instead, they grow apart. Trying to deal with Ann upsets John to the point that he feels it in his body. And Ann is convinced that someone else is better suited to meet her needs.

This couple is ripe for divorce: They don’t repair the damage they do to each other with their words and actions. They feel very negative about the relationships and can’t even discuss issues without arguing and name-calling. They are critical and defensive with each other and have put up emotional walls. And when couples get to this point, they usually call it quits.

But should they?

No, they should find a well-trained licensed marriage and family therapist and work to turn their relationships around. A couple therapist knows how to help.

But here is the kicker. They must be willing to work on the relationship. Without the commitment to work it out, they will simply become another statistics. And that is sad since we know how to help people like John and Ann fix their relationships.

Willingness to work on a relationship usually requires humility. Can you humble yourself enough to see your part of the problem, work on that and begin to repair the damage?

If so, repair can take place. But so many times, I have asked couples like John and Ann to work with me and they are unwilling to let down their guard and work it out. In those cases, not only will they divorce, but they will simply repeat their negative patterns with the next person.

Pornography Involves Somebody’s Daughter

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve treated a number of people caught up in pornography addiction. So when my friend and founder of the ministry, Music for the Soul, Steve Siler did a CD and DVD on this topic, I had to pass it on.

What would happen if every man (I know women deal with pornography addiction as well) thought of the woman he was looking at as somebody’s daughter?

And while not all pornography has women has its object, much of it does.

Watch the music video, listen, pass this on to others. That person you are looking at is or was somebody’s little girl!

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When Your Think Your Marriage is Over, Think Again!

posted by Linda Mintle

Sarah and John were at a family dinner. During a trip to the restroom, John pulled Sarah aside and said, “I’m done. No more of this. I want out of this marriage. ” Sarah, stunned and speechless, wondered what prompted such a big decision. She, like many spouses, was unhappy in the marriage but had not gone to counseling.

According to the Gottman Institute, unhappy couples wait an average of six years to get help. And the wait doesn’t usually make things better. But should this couple divorce over their unhappiness?

Not until they’ve tried a few things first.

One of those things is something rather new called “discernment counseling.” Developed by veteran marriage therapist, Bill Doherty, at the University of Minnesota, discernment counseling aims to help couples decide if divorce is really the next step. The idea came to him after talking to a family court judge who told him that many couples he saw in court handled their divorces so well that he couldn’t really understand why they were divorcing. Doherty figured that the judge was on to something. A reconciliation service may play a role in helping couples stay together.

In typical couple therapy, one spouse usually wants out while the other wants in. Doherty built his model of help around this dynamic. He processes with couples what is good about the marriage and how they arrived at this point of contention. He also asks what they have done to try and save the marriage.

Three options are suggested: 1) Keep things as they are 2) Try a 6 month reconciliation with marriage therapy or 3) Divorce. So far, 25 couples have gone through his process with 40% choosing the reconciliation option. The rest are considering their options or pursuing divorce. Basically, Doherty is offering a service for high risk couples, giving them time and space to really talk about what went wrong, decide if the wrong can be repaired, and discuss their willingness to try options before declaring divorce is inevitable.

Because marriage is a sacred covenant, the idea of slowing high-risk couples down, and allowing them time to process their most important relationship, seems like a great idea to me. Regardless of the outcome, couples owe it to each other to think through their relationship and try to repair it. This process takes time. During that time, some may find that there is reason to salvage the marriage.

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