Blog Posts by Care2 Healthy Living

  • 7 Ways to Work Out Negative Emotions with Your Mate

    What's beneath those negative emotions?
    By Dr. Bill Cloke, Care2 Healthy Living

    "Through the fire all that remains is gold."

    Adam was a student of relationships: he had them down pat, or so he thought. Then he met Zoe. She was an attorney and didn't suffer fools. She shot from the hip and he loved it. It was like a cool drink of water finding someone who seemed to know who she was. Little did he know that this was the good and the bad news. They were soon married, but not long after, conflicts began to erupt. At first they were about simple things, like household chores, but they began to escalate over time to personal attacks that left them feeling alienated and angry. Adam wanted to compromise-there was none of that in Zoe's world. It was her way or no way according to Adam. She saw him as the victim and as a result thought he was weak. When she asserted herself Adam would become defensive, then she would withdraw into frustration and anger, creating a deadly silence that could last for days. When

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  • Looking for Love? Write a List!

    Start a list!
    By Liz Dawn Donahue, Care2 Healthy Living
    Let me begin in stating that I am not a therapist. I am simply a woman who has worked hard on herself in therapy, self awareness workshops, read books, done hours and hours of self reflection, praying, meditation and utilized other various modalities to break my own patterns in order to create a healthy relationship. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have been spared years of doing the dysfunctional dating dance.

    This topic will be for those of you who are seeking to better understand the dating dilemma and deeply want to find a long lasting committed healthy monogamous relationship that will lead to marriage.

    In my 20s, when some of my friends were focusing on finding a husband, there was nothing further from my mind than getting married. I was into creating a career, traveling, finding myself, discovering the world, partying and having fun.

    As I crept into my late-30s, I began to wonder about getting married. I felt it

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  • Do You Expect Too Much in Relationships?

    This might not happen every week...By Dr. Bill Cloke, Care2 Healthy Living

    Whether you realize it or not, everyone in life has expectations from their relationships…it's normal to want something from the people in our lives. It's also healthy to be in reciprocal relationships of give and take. But our expectations can often be way out of whack when it comes to our partners. For example, some people believe that their mates should be romantic and selfless at all times. Or we may expect that our mate will always be strong, being there for us each time when we need them to be. When this doesn't happen, we can think that our lovers have failed us. If we deem that our expectations are the rule book for the way other people should live their lives, we are then quite astounded and angry when our expectations are not met.

    In a mature relationship, there is a balance between what you expect and what your partner can realistically deliver for you.

    The critical point is to know what realistic expectations are. First

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  • The 3 Month Rule for Dating

    Try a different type of 3 month dating rule.
    By Liz Dawn Donahue, Care2 Healthy Living

    I received a phone call this week from a friend who was quite upset. She had a few dates with a man that she felt very hopeful and excited about and then all the red flags started showing up. This was a huge disappointment to her. She was beginning to feel as if perhaps this could go somewhere, but when the deal-breaking behavior started showing up, she knew that was her signal.

    Although she was sad about things not working out with this man, she could clearly see at that very moment that this was not going to work with him. There was an understanding that this man had a different face but the same negative traits she had previously encountered. It was time to cut her losses and move on.

    This very scenario happened to me countless times over and over again until I finally learned a few important ways to get through this with minimal drama.

    I would begin to date someone and they had the same red flags, the same issues but a

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  • Understanding Men: What We're Doing Wrong

    Understanding men
    By Liz Dawn Donahue, Care2 Healthy Living

    It came to my attention during my own process of dating discoveries that something needed to change in my perception of men. I am going to use my experiences as a heterosexual to explain things, however it really does not make a difference what your sexual orientation is to understand this philosophy. If you are in a same-sex relationship, there might be one of you that has a stronger feminine or masculine side than the other. If so, then you might find the following information valuable as well.

    We have all been through a lot of confusion about the male-female relationship and dynamics between the sexes, but I never completely understood this until I attended a weekend workshop designed by Alison Armstrong from PAX Seminars about understanding men. There were so many incredible insights that I learned throughout this weekend workshop that helped me not only understand men better, but to have more confidence in myself as well. I

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  • Is Criticism Ever Constructive?

    Does criticism accomplish anything?
    By Dr. Bill Cloke, Care2 Healthy Living

    Is there such a thing as constructive criticism? Not really. Criticism seems more like a punch in the stomach than a helpful hint. Complaints are a different animal altogether. The major difference between a criticism and a complaint is that a criticism is a personal attack and a complaint is about who we are. Criticism creates defensiveness. How could it be otherwise? Defensiveness is a knee jerk response to criticism; it's payback. A complaint, on the other hand, aspires to loftier goals; it's about your inner world.

    In my work I have to say things to people that are really hard to hear. I must provide insights without judgment or criticism. Otherwise, they are up and out the door, never to be seen again. Criticism is always about the past but complaints can be about the future. "You did the wrong thing" as opposed to "This is what I want moving forward." Whenever you express your complaint as a wish, need or a want, you are creating

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  • Why Romantic Chemistry Can Be so Deceiving

    What does this chemistry mean?
    By Liz Dawn Donahue, Care2 Healthy Living

    We have all probably had the dating experience where we are wildly drawn to some people and not so much to others. Why is this? Why do we find ourselves having this chemical pull and crazy chemistry? And after we spend some time with the crazy chemistry person - that we swear to have a long lost soulmate connection to - things fall apart. What happened to all the chemistry and connection?

    After reading Harville Hendrix's book, Keeping the Love You Find, I came to realize that his ideas were the best explanation of this phenomenon. I kept getting involved with the same man over and over again, but he had a different face. What was the deal? Paraphrasing Hendrix's concept, we are attracted to those people who have the negative traits of our major caretakers in order to heal those wounds from childhood.

    Let me explain this another way. Do your relationships and dates all have similar negative behavior? Do they have similar qualities

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  • Your Perfect Guy List: Then & Now

    What's on your list?
    By Diana Vilibert, Care2 Healthy Living

    Are you with the kind of person you always thought you would end up with? Or has the rose-tinted picture of your future Mr. Perfect-For-Me changed throughout the years?

    The other day, I found an old diary I kept when I was 14. Most of it was of course cringe-worthy-lots of teenage angst and whining and plenty about my crush(es) and how we were obviously meant to be, if only I could muster up the courage to talk to them or even talk somewhere in their general vicinity.

    But the most fascinating page in the whole diary? A list of 21 qualities my "perfect guy" would possess. I wanted to simultaneously hug and high-five my 14-year-old self as I read through each quality-I remember how much time I spent crafting the list, and how seriously I took it.

    Cringe along with me…and please share your perfect guy (or girl) list, past or present, in the comments. Do your current wants match up with what you wanted when you were 14? 24? 34?

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  • Does Your Relationship Need a Digital Detox?

    Need a digital detox?
    By Dr. Bill Cloke, Care2 Healthy Living

    Picture this: A beautiful Sunday morning at a beachfront café. After a stressful work week, you and your man are sitting down for a relaxed brunch & some quality couple time. You're discussing the idea of summer vacation, dreaming up ideas of where you might enjoy more quality time together. Before you can say, "French West Indies," his cell phone starts buzzing, a call is coming in. Without meeting your eyes, he reaches for the phone. Excitedly, he says "Hey Man, whaz up?" He and his buddy grunt out a quick conversation about a pickup ball game later that day, which, of course, seems completely meaningless to you. He disconnects, and you are now disconnected from him. Your "Boy-are-you-in-trouble" expression solidifies as your honey looks up and says, "What?"

    What ensues is not pretty. What's the real issue here? It is not the cell phone or its use in our society. As a therapist, the beef I have with digital distraction, is that when

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  • Women Are Happier when Men Feel Their Pain

    Does he empathize when you're upset?
    By Diana Vilibert, Care2 Healthy Living

    Confession: sometimes I have hard time letting a relationship quarrel go. I don't hold a grudge, exactly…but I do sometimes prolong disagreements to make sure I'm being heard and understood. Of course, when I'm upset about something, sometimes this goes down less maturely than I'd like, and just when he thinks our argument is resolved, I jump in for round two. And three. (Do you understand why I'm upset? But do you get it?)

    But before you criticize, I'll have you know that science totally has my back on this one. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, empathy makes for a happy relationship…but men and women differ on what they want empathy on.

    In addition to asking about overall relationship satisfaction, researchers had 156 heterosexual couples describe a recent incident with their partners that was frustrating, disappointing, or upsetting. The couples were asked to try to come to an understanding, in a

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