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Relationship Health Message Board


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Well, the subject line of the post here was honest and indicated a "vent."

I shouldn't have responded -- I don't general waste time dealing with those who are simply disgruntled. It was my mistake to assume that the post was seeking advice and suggestions.

See, the thing is... if you give advice and suggestions to someone who doesn't really want it -- or already KNOWS the things to do to make the positive life-change that is necessary but would rather just complain about it -- then offering advice is a fruitless endeavor and can sometimes do even more harm than good.

I should also stay out of "girl talk" more often, I think.

But I will reiterate that the three choices I listed are the ONLY choices available and that these apply to everyone out there who has relationship troubles.

Here's a tidbit to think over:

My Dad gets REALLY mad when he has to pay the monthly bills. I'm not talking annoyed like most people. I'm talking SERIOUSLY hateful and angry. He'll curse for two hours. He'll yell. He'll stomp. He throw things. Isn't that ridiculous, ladies? My Mom is a saint, incidentally, for putting up with him, but she has made her choice to LIVE WITH IT -- and consequently she does not complain.

Most people, when they have to pay bills, are bothered a bit when they see an electric bill that is a bit higher than normal. But the general thought process is: "This STINKS! I'm being ripped off! But I have to pay the bill or my lights go out, so I'd best just shut up and deal with it."

They might complain a little bit to a friend or family member: "The lousy bill was so high this month! I'm annoyed! Sympathize with me!" And that's OK. But the REALITY is -- if they want a smaller bill when prices are high, they can implement changes to make that happen. So either you deal with it -- or you make changes. If you deal with it -- you can complain about it, a little bit... but if you start going nuts and complaining ALL the time until it consumes you, like my Dad does -- then it just becomes absurd, doesn't it? Makes no sense at all...

You can tell when someone just wants to seek sympathy or to vent -- they make excuses for any suggestion you give them, reasons why it cannot work or why they won't try or why they have no culpability whatsoever in a situation they have chosen for themselves.

It's OK to vent -- it's OK to complain. But clearly, something is wrong if someone feels like their life is in turmoil because of a problematic situation or relationship that they will not work to resolve as best they can.

I was reading a book of excerpts from Dalai Lama a few months ago. One item stuck with me because of its simplistic beauty:

"If something worries you and you cannot change it -- there is no need to worry. If something worries you and you CAN change it -- there is no need to worry!"

I have always tried to live my life this way, but I never knew Dalai Lama recommended this particular philosophy!

I guess what works for me won't work for everyone -- but yet there are sometimes many universal truths that apply to all of us -- we just have to be receptive to them and ready to implement them into our daily lives.

Instead of buying him CDs -- that Bissell hand-held steam cleaner for his carpet would make an OUTSTANDING gift. You know why? It addressed a problem he is having -- one that he talks about a LOT. One that IS difficult to deal with. It not only fixes the problem of dog mess on the carpet, but it tells him YOU CARE ABOUT HIM AND HIS DOG.

THAT'S the kind of gift that will make him take notice. THAT'S the kind of compassion that will drive a man to think twice about he is treating YOU.

I knew my dog was going to die for eighteen months before she passed. She did not suffer -- she just urinated an awful lot. I talked about this with friends and family -- I was watching the end of my faithful companion's life. It was VERY difficult to do. She'd look at me nervously when she messed on the rug, as if I'd be mad. I'd always pet her, reassure her, and tell her not to worry: I had a steam cleaner!

This man is afraid to lose his dog. He may not admit it -- I tried not to -- but he IS.

In exchange for giving him the carpet cleaner (the price of three CDs), kindly tell him to please simply not discuss the animal waste at dinner, but let him know you are concerned with his dog's condition.

ANY person who did that for me would earn many gold stars -- and have my eternal respect.

I might even give serious consideration to taking that person out to dinner and NOT using a coupon -- or maybe buying a gift sometime that is NOT half price.

Know what I mean?

ATTENTION, COMPASSION and RESPECT work BOTH WAYS. If you WANT them -- you need to GIVE THEM.

And if you GIVE THEM all the time and get nothing back -- ever -- then you have no right to complain when you CHOOSE not to leave.

And for the record -- attention, compassion and respect do NOT come in jewel cases. They come from your heart - -and nowhere else.

See the difference?

Continued best wishes for a healthy resolution to this.

I'm done here.





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