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Holiday Relations… Yippee



“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” – George Bernard Shaw

Good advice.

You can never get rid of your background and it will creep in when you least expect it.

The trick is to ‘make it dance’ and make it work for you, not against you.

Now that is easier said than done I know.

Holidays bring it all back into focus. Often with a vengeance.

We have all seen the Norman Rockwell picture of that perfect family having Thanksgiving dinner. They are all smiling and the mother is bringing in the beautiful turkey and so on…

Well, behind the scenes…

How often are there family members that are merely tolerated, wish they didn’t have to be together, or have outright rotten memories and current bad feelings? It happens a lot.

The grandparents who think everything is not the way they would do it. The differences between them and their children and grandchildren are spoken about or whispered; the parents or step-parents with no real caring between them, the siblings with all their resentments… You name it; the feelings are there and front and center at that holiday get together.

The old hatreds, rivalries, competitions and just yucky sentiments are within. They may never go away. Not having to see one another helps but we carry our pasts inside.

Sometimes alcohol loosens it all and out come words or behaviors that lay buried. Be careful with this. We do not forget what is said and more importantly we remember the actions and behavior.

You always know who likes or dislikes you, just by how they make you feel.

As we mature, and that’s not years necessarily, we have a whole raft of experiences and relationships with other people outside our family.

These may underscore the family message or it may cause you to see things in a different light.

You may feel better with those chosen people; the friends.

All close relationships involve struggle and pain. The more intimate you are the stronger the sentiments. With family however, we were victims as children and had no recourse.

How often do you see or read about an abused child that still wants to be with their parent? It is all we know so we hold on, no matter what.

No one grows up in a perfect family. No one has all their emotional needs or sometimes even their concrete needs, met.


What to do about it? 

Well, you can bitch and complain, some do for a lifetime. They never take on their own responsibility. Some fight back and become the bully in many other relationships, some grin and bear it, and some crumble. We have many emotional cripples as a result.

My advice is to acknowledge what happened in the past, know it is there, and then move on to take charge of your own happiness. Only you can make you happy!!

Now it is true situations can occur, and some family members know exactly what buttons to push to get your goat. Don’t take the bait because that means they get you. Be in control of you and your feelings. You cannot deny them but you can ameliorate what doesn’t work for you.

Think about the life you have made for yourself, and the people that are kind to you. Do not get hung up on any family member’s own issues and old junk. It is like a trap or mine field. See it as their problem and do not make it yours.

If there is resentment, jealousy, competition, or just any old bad feelings, do not stick with it… move on.

If all that is pleasant to talk about is the weather, or things outside of real connection; so be it. That’s as far as it can go. Wishing won’t make it different.

You cannot relive or correct what happened but you can damn well live it your way now.

Smile a lot and hum to yourself and concentrate on things that bring you pleasure. Tune out the bad music!

And accidents happen; a broken glass, spilled wine on the white tablecloth, a car scrape, and so on. Then you must roll with it and not ruin the whole deal.

If you are in a family that has developed to the point of being able to give and receive love just kick back and enjoy it. No reason to not let it all just flow and become a lovely memory of a holiday with people that are related to you.

Sometimes it is the people we have chosen, as friends that bring us more joy. Then stay there.

Neither commitment or blood ever trumps choice!!

“The family you come from isn’t as important as the family you’re going to have.” – Ring Lardner

How are your family get together?

Prove That You Love Me

“Love is always bestowed as a gift- freely, willingly, and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.” – Leo Buscaglia

There are so many stories showing ‘proof’ of love that we could never exhaust the list. Famous ones are there from the bible, mythology, history, and contemporary lives. There is your very own way of showing and exhibiting what you feel when you truly love someone.

Now it all depends on your abilities, capacities, and knowledge.

The Romeo and Juliette story is known to us all and few of us would want to kill ourselves for love but some do. Cleopatra is in that list. The beautiful story of Eurydice and Orpheus is a great one. She is bitten by a snake and dies and goes to Hades. He is so overwrought that he begs Hades to let him bring her back to earth. His music is so sweet and moving that she was released with the provision that he not look back as she followed him back to earth. As he approached earth he wanted to be sure she was there and as he turned to look she was swept back to Hades. Whenever you hear music that mourns lost love it is his!

Then there are the talented people who use their lovers as muses.

There are many in this list as well.

Some of them include Billy Joel who wrote wonderful music inspired by his love.

Picasso who painted the women he loved who gave him inspiration.

Hemmingway whose four wives helped us have great stories.

Balanchine whose ballets were often choreographed for his muse.

Then there is the long list of those who gave something according to their resources. When you love there is nothing that is too much to do or give.

Randolph Hearst had a castle built in America. Elizabeth Taylor collected jewelry, and she also gave to her loves.

Pamela Harriman was given rare paintings. Angelina Jolie has children. President Harding wrote love letters.

President Roosevelt left money in his will. Nelson Rockefeller gave money for property.

Jackie Onassis endured hurt with dignity and grace.

Julia Child whose husband’s love gave us great recipes.

This list goes on forever.

The other proofs of love can come from many sources depending on your position, and resources.

Samson cut his hair and lost his strength. The Duke of Winsor gave up the throne of England.

Prove That You Love MeNapoleon made Josephine his Empress. Tsar Nickolas had Faberge design fabulous jewels. Ralph Lauren designs gorgeous clothes.

Again think of what you do for your love to prove it. What does your love do for you to prove it?

The proof of loving someone should flow. It is not calculated. There is no price tag on it. Although the reality is that you know what you are capable of and what you can spend. That is in the mix, but the wanting to do and give should be there in full force; just as it is in the physical side of things. There can be no limit to the touching, hugging, kissing and intimate moments which include full abandoned sex that is shared. There’s a real proof!!

So in the end there are many ways to prove this thing called love. It includes the little things; the compromises, maybe even sacrifices, fighting for love, paying attention, doing the big things like changing in certain areas, doing what you don’t want to, not being hurtful, putting up with things you don’t like, protecting your loved one in every way, keeping love alive no matter the time spent together or even distance, and bringing things the partner will enjoy.

The story of Camelot is a good one. It goes back to King Arthur’s day.

His wife Guinevere falls madly in love with his faithful knight, Lancelot. He declares his love for her and they have a passionate affair for years.

When Arthur finally learns about it, it became a catalyst for events that ultimately destroyed the Knights of the Round Table. She ends up in a convent and Lancelot leaves the kingdom. “Tant pis” as the French say… too bad!
Proof is in the pudding… make it a good one!!

“You can’t put a price tag on love, but you can on all its accessories.” – Melanie Clark

Tell me how do you know you are loved and what do you do to show it to your loved one?

Listen Up Guys

“The human race has been set up. Someone, somewhere, is playing a practical joke on us. Apparently, women need to feel loved to have sex. Men need to have sex to feel loved. How do we ever get started?” – Billy Connolly

It was Freud who pondered the question, ’What do women want?’ He never answered it. I however, after over thirty years as a relationship therapist will attempt to assist you guys with some of my insights.

First of all, consider why I start this with a quote about sex. It’s because without that there is no real relationship of intimacy between a man and woman. And there are all kinds of sex; from the perfunctory to the total fabulous loss of self, sex. You need to know things about women. No one teaches you what really matters in this area and what really makes for a good life.

19685897_sWomen can do great damage to you if you do not understand some things. They can be irrational, emotional over anything at any time, they can be demanding, and they can be controlling. Watch out for all the signs and then if love is there learn how to handle these aspects. Let’s see if we can figure some of it out.

Whenever a female is not getting what she wants from you, she will act out or become silent. If she withholds sex she is not a REAL woman, and knows nothing about love.

Now what does she want from you? It’s not the little things that you argue over, or the details about whatever… it is ALWAYS that she does not feel loved the way she wants to be. A real woman only wants to inspire love. Now how is that defined?

It can vary but the studies show that WORDS are your most powerful aphrodisiac.

Now if your deeds do not work together with what you profess there is a problem.

We all USE one another for our purposes, but when in intense love that USE is taken over by wanting to please the partner primarily. It just happens. When you are there you will know it.

No matter how upset, how angry over whatever, how hurt… the magnetic force to be close will get you over it.

The ‘glue’ of sex will conquer all. It will.

So now you need to learn, and better to learn early, how to have great sex. Again, no school for this ultimate of life’s joys.

Masters and Johnson did research that showed that there was absolutely no difference between a vaginal or clitoral orgasm. You of course, need to know where the clitoris is. Do you? Well, it’s that small raised part of the vaginal opening down from the naval. Massage it the way she likes, softly, or vigorously. Ask her. Ok, now get started. It takes a woman longer than a man to get ‘there.’ Average time about fifteen minutes. It can seem an eternity I know, but it’s worth it.16890746_s

Women can achieve multiple orgasms, and need no time in between. Women know penis size means nothing when it comes to ‘doing’ it. The pleasure from orgasm cannot be measured and need not be discussed after the fact. By the way, it is fabulous for your brain and health. Nice fringe benefit!

Women who are comfortable with their bodies, and confident in themselves who enjoy their sexuality are the best partners. You guys know them and will want to be totally ‘into’ them!

A real woman does not demand declarations of love, or expect you to read her mind. She wants you to listen, has a life apart from you, is interesting and relates openly to you, and talks about her feelings.

One of the areas most men are not aware of is the fact that women like variety. The early relationship had it.

Otherwise it is dull and boring and just a habit for release. Both partners should be free and open to experiment and have fun with one another. Sex actually, if you are not involved, is kind of funny.

Over time you will develop a ‘style’ in bed. Alter it from time to time. Surprises are not bad.

In a recent U.S. survey they found that 14 percent of men were not satisfied with their sex lives and only 16 percent were very satisfied. You can bring that statistic up!!!
In that same survey eight out of ten men preferred performing cunnilingus to having oral sex. There’s a surprise for you!

Sixty five percent used lubricants and forty two percent used vibrators. Won’t go into the other stuff that can go on in bed. When two people want to do it; NOTHING is off limits!!!

If you want a crystal ball look at your mother and then look at hers. See any similarities? Like them? Like their marital relationships? Beware, you are about to repeat emotional history, like it or not. It takes a heap of insight, work, and bravery to change it. Yes, times and attitudes, and things change but the human beings we are have not evolved terribly much… for good or bad.

So, listen up you guys… learn and enjoy, and make her orgasmic. Do not be a selfish lover. It will all pay off, trust me.

“No woman ever falls in love with a man unless she has a better opinion of him than he deserves.” – Ed Howe

Learn anything? Let us hear from you, and don’t be shy. I’ve heard it ALL!

Let The Games Begin

“Humanity is a pigsty, where liars, hypocrites, and the obscene in spirit congregate.” - George Moore

Sound pessimistic and jaundiced? You bet!

Is it true? Often… BUT not always.


The problem is we all try to put on our best show and when we feel we cannot, we resort to playing games.

Sometimes with ourselves, even.

 Some really believe their own lies and deceptions. Others make excuses to justify their behavior, and some do buy their own deceit. There are many good actors in all of this and even the best of us succumb to gilding the lily, if you will, at times. When, how often, under what circumstances, and most important with whom, will tell the true story.

 No, we cannot or even do not want to be completely honest with who we are and how we deal with one another at all times. Sometimes it is easier to skirt, or avoid an issue, or make it so that we do not really hurt or wound another. Some are merely scarred and ‘chicken.’

20722664_sIf we care about someone, we should try to be ‘mostly’ honest. The truth will out by what we DO, not just by what we say.

When our needs emotionally are not met we can cook up all sorts of games to attempt to have them fulfilled or just understood.

The game is ON when we knowingly do something not direct or talked about.

Some usual examples are sort of fun if not amusing to look at.

The not answering phone calls. Pretending to be out or busy when it is not the case. Telling stories about made-up people or adventures.

Purposely avoiding a contact or confrontation.

Using others to get a message across… a la Cyrano de Bergerac.

Sending anonymous messages… easy today with all the resources available.

Rationalizing or philosophizing to make it sound, ’right’ and both believable, and justifiable.

Being unable to be contacted.

All games!13038971_s

Useful, to be sure, at times to get the message across. But, can a truly loving intimate relationship have games too?

Yes, indeed. Sometimes they help move a process along.

There are some that have worked wonders.

Leona Helmsley is said to have sent herself a big bouquet of roses pretending a suitor sent them to get Harry jealous and have him propose to her rather than procrastinate.

An elderly fabulous woman, Maggie Kuhn, the founder of the Grey Panthers, spoke at Harvard and announced she had a lover thirty years her junior, to which the students stood and applauded. It got her such a lover.

A woman whose husband was in the public eye, and liked attention, arranged for him to meet a fan only to discover his wife was there dressed to kill, waiting to greet him. Messages delivered… Game Over!

It is always just a matter of time before relationships get dull, ho hum, boring or dead. Games can liven them up, or make a new beginning.

Now, I am not suggesting this as a way of life but maybe just a bit of spice to keep us all on our toes and so that ‘taken for granted’ is diminished.

Feeling special and having it demonstrated is what loving is about.

Promises are only good when signed at the bank!!

In the end a bit of game playing may be in order but only a strong real relationship will take it in stride.

“This business of learning how to love is probably the most important lesson anyone ever learns in life, if he is fortunate enough to learn it.”William Menninger M.D.

What games have or do you play?

What Really Gets You Angry

“The woman who cannot hate like a bitch afire, and express it, cannot love like a tigress, or a kitten.” - Brendan Francis

Get angry, by all means, and let it out.

Women usually get nasty, or retreat in silence. Men have the fight or flight syndrome. Whatever… it is anger expressed. Now sometimes it can get furious, and if you look at the majority of murders, it’s because of love gone awry.

Look at the things that make you angry. Most of the time it’s because of unmet emotional needs. He/she doesn’t say or do what you want, the way you want, or when you want… simple as that.

Now the specific cause may have nothing to do with the underlying real reason.

What Really Gets You AngryWe get hurt, disappointed, and angry with the same issues all the time. If we have tried to calmly, after the fight, explain the reason, and our partner persists in the same behavior, he or she can’t or won’t change, and you have to decide if it is worth all the drama.

We get angry about things left over from childhood and how we ultimately feel about ourselves. It is all based on what we think we are ‘worth’ and deserving of.

If we grew up thinking we were wanted, special, attractive, liked our body, and became accomplished and valued we have a solid core.

If we are insecure in any of the important areas of life, we are more vulnerable.

We become sensitive in the spot that makes us feel lessened, not valued or appreciated, or understood.

If you are a long way from the person you want to be you are already on shaky ground and anything might set you off. You feel attacked and have to fight back or crumble.

We need to know who we are and how we tolerate a partner who is not US. The really insecure ones try, or do use control as a means of keeping a partner. Some unsuspecting partners even allow it, or think it is the easy way out. HA!

In the beginning of most really loving relationships we like the differences in our partner and certainly overlook much. With time, these same attributes become liabilities. This is especially the case when affection, and yes, sex, is not good or even there. That is the salve for bruised feelings. It works wonders!!

People are usually all happy in the same way, but misery is unique to each one.

The question may become who has leverage here and how is it used.

The story of Venus, the goddess of love and Adonis, the handsome hunter who thought he was the best, shows what can happen to a couple; mythical or not.

She dreamed he had an accident while hunting and tried to prevent him from a hunt. He ignored her and went off and a wild pig killed him with its’ tusks. She had to watch him die as a result.

So there… who doesn’t listen to you?

That could have been a BIG fight! What Really Gets You Angry

At any rate to move on, don’t stop disagreeing, or having differences of opinions, just know how to keep healing. The worst relationships are the ones that tell you they never fight. They have no passion and are just pathetic and really don’t care a hoot about one another.

Be careful about what is said in the heat of an argument, as that will be remembered. If you fight dirty and tear down the person rather than deal with the issue that can be very damaging.

In some cases people are so dissatisfied with themselves their anger is let out on the person closest to them who they think will not abandon them. That is another situation entirely.

Some rules that could help include, honoring boundaries, accept the reality that your partner is not you and thinking as you do.

Make ups can be great; intimate, and special. You can examine the issues, grow, and not keep repeating the same stuff. If not, make a joke the next time about, ‘Here, we go again.’

Being unhappy is stultifying and will fester. Get it out and keep the flame ignited, but in a positive way. Your partner should be your best friend who is SEXY!!

“One privilege of being associated with people whom a person loves is that of being angry with them.” – Arthur T. Jersild

What gets you furious?