When Friends Stop Talking

SCENARIO

You and two other women have had a friendship trio for years. All of a sudden you stop hearing from friend #1. You know that she’s been talking to friend #2 and they’ve still been getting together. You tried asking Friend #1 if there’s anything wrong, however, you get no reply. As you don’t know what happened you find the situation invading your thoughts all the time and you’re getting obsessed with it. What do you do?

ANSWER

JILL:
It is never easy when friendships change and people move on. It does indeed leave us hurt and confused.

To help you stop obsessing here are a few suggestions:

1. Move on yourself. Arrange to do some new activities; classes, women’s groups, exercise programs anything to help you feel vital, active and a part of something.

2. Ask the two ladies to have coffee with you. If they do meet with you, be open & honest about how you feel. Avoid words that are accusing or may result in hurt feelings.

It is human nature that a part of you will hope that a coffee meeting will mean that things will go back to the way they were. Be prepared that may not happen; the friend that has had no contact may indeed prefer to spend time with different friends. Try not to take it personally & leave the coffee meeting on good terms.

Try to realize that all the hurt, anger and obsession (your words) gives those people too much power over you. There are other women out there with whom you can form new friendships.

VICKI:
Right now you’re obsessing over the situation because you don’t have a logical answer for it. This is a natural thing for the mind to do as it is trying to make sense of the situation. In order to stop obsessing you either need to accept the situation as it is, in this case following Jill’s suggestions in #1 or work at getting an answer, which Jill wrote about in #2.

If you feel that asking the ladies for coffee won’t work for you I suggest writing a letter to the woman who is no longer talking to you. If you choose to do this than make sure that you write in terms of how you feel and not about the other person’s actions, which will translate to blame statements. Write from the heart. Put the letter away for a few days and then re-read the letter again before sending it.

Please know that you have no blame in this friendship ending. Even if you did do something to offend this woman it is her job to let you know what is on her mind. If she doesn’t take any steps to mend her feelings and the friendship then you cannot take responsibility.

On that note do mention to the friend who tells you of her outings with the woman no longer speaking to you how hearing about the outings makes you feel. This way you are taking responsibility to make sure that you are not building anger and resentment towards her in order for that friendship to continue.


Why People Have An Affair

SCENARIO

Many women either suspect or discover that their partner is having an affair. What a lot of women then ask themselves is “what am I doing wrong?”

Do people cheat because of their partners? Can what you say or do cause your partner to stray?

CONSIDER THIS

VICKI:
People have affairs because of their own thoughts and belief systems. While it’s easy to blame a partner it has nothing to do with them.

Sex means many things to many people. For some it’s a physical need and for others it can be about self-worth or manhood/womanhood, etc. There are so many reason why people cheat on their partners that they couldn’t all be covered here. What so many people don’t understand is that the reasons are generally mental and/or emotional needs that are not being met. Many of the unmet needs having nothing to do with sex at all.

If someone has unmet needs it’s their responsibility to discover what they do need, whether through counseling or inner reflection, and discuss it with their significant other. No adult is responsible for another adult’s emotional well-being.

With that being said I want to add in that anyone who has a partner who is withholding sex will most certainly stray. Especially men as their sperm can only build to such an amount then there is a physical need to expel it. We all need human touch and masturbation can only cut it for a certain amount of time.

JILL:
It should first be said that not all female partners do blame themselves. However, the ones that do may do so for two reasons.
Their self-blame may come from low self-esteem. We are inundated with all forms of media that tell us that to the thin and beautiful comes the perfect life complete with a perfect marriage. Reality shows feature men dropping to their knees to ask the newly transformed woman to marry him, the subtle message being that he would not have proposed to her as she looked before.

Secondly many women instantly want to fix a problem, to make it all better. They don’t take time to analyze what has transpired and more importantly to see where the other person is responsible for their actions. If that person was looking for a change in his life or if something triggered feelings of unhappiness he should have done the right thing and talk to his partner.

All this doesn’t mean that there should not be a time of quiet reflection for the woman. An honest evaluation of what has transpired will bring with it positive self-growth and recharged self-esteem.

Thinking About “Him” Too Much

QUESTION

Three weeks ago I met a great man. We’ve been seeing each other every weekend since we met. My problem is that I fantasize about him all the time. It’s at the point where I can’t get him out of my head and it’s affecting my work and personal life. I notice this is a pattern that happens with every new man I meet. How can I stop this?

ANSWER

JILL:
You need to look at what your actions are saying. “I had no value until this man came into my life. He is all that I need. My career, my friends, my family, even my self-care are of no importance now, my life is all about him.”
A man does not complete you, what a relationship does is enhance who we are and the time shared while special and loving is only a portion of what makes a complete life. .
I am not trying to be harsh but having a man in your life no matter how deep the feelings are, is something that becomes part of who we are it is not ALL that we are.
The pattern will be broken with the realization of how worthy you are in your oneness and that your life has value with or without that person.

VICKI:

Fantasies can be a way of getting your needs met and may be very healthy, as they are a clue to your emotional needs, however not in the amounts you are describing.

Sit down and take apart your fantasies as you would if you wanted to find the meaning of a dream. What you’re looking for is what need a particular fantasy is fulfilling. Once you realize what it is you really want it is time to work on getting that need met in your daily life. Some needs you may be able to ask your boyfriend for and others you may need to fulfill through other people or possibly on your own. Remember that no one person can give you everything you need.

Once you know what it is that you require please don’t hesitate to ask the appropriate people. In this life if you want something you must ask, ask, and ask. No one will read your mind. I assure you that as you bring into reality the things you daydream about that those daydreams will minimize to a healthy amount.

The Roles Mother’s Play – Moving Towards Your Goals

QUESTION

I look around me and see all kinds of women who, after having kids and watching them grow into little adults, start to turn their sites on re-inventing themselves and moving on with their life in a new direction, but they lack the confidence to “dive in”. Any advice on what us gals should do to get/keep our self-esteem intact through this process?

ANSWER

JILL:
First, take some time to acknowledge what you have accomplished to date; you have succeeded at (to quote Oprah), “one of the hardest jobs in the world, being a mom”. You may have had no pay, promotions or sick days but being a mom was something that you willingly did 24/7. Add to that maintaining a home, wife, sympathetic sister, caregiver, and friend; your roles and duties have been many.

When being a mom becomes less of a full time job, you are faced with yourself. However, often with all the pressures of the above, you lost that connection with who you are. You need to re-establish a sense of self before you dive in to anything. From there you will be able to start to establish the self-esteem that you will need to face the next chapter in your life head on.

Create a team to help you – coaches, business consultants, mentors or counselors. Don’t feel alone, find ways to connect with like minded women, so that you can support and help one another.

Start to pursue new interests or pick up a long forgotten hobby or passion. Practice self-care with a fresh updated image – hair, clothes and make-up. As you start to feel more yourself look at what you want to do with the future. Brush up on rusty IT skills, prepare a new resume or take courses to help open new opportunities.

VICKI:
I’m going to use the “F” word here – fear. What you say is a lack of confidence really does boil down to fear. It makes perfect sense when you have had a long term routine, especially for stay at home moms. Whether you want to get back to the workforce or start your own business it’s normal to wonder and question if you have the skills to reach your goals.

This is where it’s imperative to know what your strengths are. Moms have more strengths / skills than they ever give themselves credit for; raising another human being is the most difficult and worthwhile job on the planet. The skills used and learned for mothering can be the same ones you use to move towards your dreams – courage, endurance, patience and please don’t underestimate love.

It’s time to reflect on what you have learned being a mom and acknowledge those skills, make a list of those attributes and move forward with them, not in spite of them. Then take Jill’s step-by-step advice.

Husband Of 27 Years Is Gay

QUESTION

My husband and I have been married for 27 years and have two grown children. He recently told me he wants a divorce; he also revealed that he has been having an affair with another man! I feel angry and betrayed as though our life together was a lie. What should I do?

ANSWER

JILL:

1. Take a deep breath and accept that you have a right to feel those emotions and more. You are dealing with a number of difficult issues here. Not the least of which is that the end of the day you and your husband of 27 years are getting a divorce.

2. Don’t assume that he didn’t or doesn’t still love you. Being gay doesn’t preclude his ability to having feelings of love for you.

3. The foundation of the marriage itself I cannot speculate on. One day I hope that you will let him tell you why he got married and what the union meant to him. That conversation may bring you some peace and lessen the feelings of betrayal.

4. Remember that what your husband is doing isn’t about you. Don’t question your desirability, femininity or the type of a wife that your were.

5. When I work with a client who is undergoing a major life transition they tend to feel empty and off-balance so I recommend that they take a lot of quiet time for themselves. It gives you an opportunity to assess who you are, loving mother, good friend, supportive daughter, strong and vibrant woman, successful entrepreneur or career woman.

6. Don’t hesitate to turn to spiritual or professional guidance during this time.

Finally, self-care helps with the healing process. Practice the things that are important for your mental and physical well being. Avoid friends or relatives who may judge or discuss the issues continually. Seek the company of those who strengthen and respect you. In other words take care of you!

VICKI:
Jill is absolutely correct when she told you that your husband’s actions are not about you and not to speculate about his love for you. Know that when your husband chose to marry you it was not with the intention to cause you pain.

There is no doubt that you are filled with questions at the moment and some extremely intense emotions. Where I believe that it is very important that you ask your husband for the answers you need it should not be done until you are in a calm and collected state of mind.

Firstly it’s impossible to be in emotional turmoil and have clarity at the same time. You need to be clear headed in order to decide what the really relevant questions for you are and in order to be able to listen to your husband’s answers with an open mind, which you will need. Take all the alone or quiet time you need in order to get to that frame of mind; it may be weeks or it may be months and you may need help getting there.

Secondly when you and your husband do talk, especially about his motivations, you need to recognize that this isn’t a black and white area. It is not a matter of right or wrong. This is the gray area where he has made past decisions based on his fears and insecurities; something that every single one of us has done at one time or another.

I hope the two of you will sit down and talk with compassion and good will for each other in both your hearts and truly listen to each other.