We Will Rise- Women of Inspiration

The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Distance in Relationships That Matter the Most

By Suzanne St John Smith  

As a psychotherapist, I often meet individuals, couples and families who at first describe the relationships that matter the most in their lives as 'very close', 'tight', and supportive. But later, after understanding the issues that brought them to my office, I view them more as insular systems that nurture - or even demand - 'group think' and inhibit individualism altogether.

In fact, in many of these situations, any deviation from the collective is often considered betrayal to the larger system, whether it be the couple, the nuclear, or extended family.

And, at the beginning of our work together, the notion that I might encourage them to begin to create some individual distance within these systems is, at first, seen as an attempt to dislodge or corrupt what they believe is the best, and strongest, part of themselves.

In short, my encouragement in this regard is simply viewed as both threatening and tyrannical.

A prime example of this occurred one day in a session I had with a father and his two adult daughters, both of whom still lived at home. I was originally led to believe that this was a close family of four (the mother wasn't in attendance at this particular session), although they had experienced some degree of difficulties among themselves throughout the years.

During the course of my usual investigation of what brings clients to my office, and after listening to the father describe the current (and past) issues that existed within the family, I turned to the young women and asked each of them about their own individual experiences, and how they interpreted the situation the family was currently experiencing.

Immediately, the fear that exuded from these women was palpable in the room.

And yet, despite their initial reticence, they both found their voices and responded in direct contradiction to their father's earlier interpretation, and instantly all hell broke loose.

Their father set upon them with a kind of verbal abuse that I'd never previously witnessed in my office, and when I asked him to cease his behavior immediately, he instantly turned to me red-faced and screamed that I must have 'daddy issues'.

The daughters were dumbstruck at his disrespectful outburst, as was I. But the main question that piqued in my mind in that moment was that if he was willing to show this degree of anger 'publicly' at his daughters contrary opinions, how did he behave in private?

And, despite the fact that at least one of the daughters wanted to return to sessions, I never saw them again. Needless to say, this father was hell-bent on maintaining control over what he referred to as his 'very close' family relationships.

This example is what I'd refer to as an 'outlier' experience, at least in my office.

However, it dramatically illustrates the point I'm trying to put forth: sometimes 'close' is not the quality of relationship that we should necessarily aim for since it can be imbued with an obligation to think as a collective as opposed to as an individual, thus, leaving the members of this unit feeling they've betrayed the others if any one of them might differ in their opinion - or act in any way contrarily from the unit's 'norm'.

Consequently, I typically encourage a supportive environment within relationships and my work in these cases involves helping them create healthy distances among each member where it's not required that they experience the ups and downs of the other(s) in the unit.

In other words, the members don't choose to respond in what is referred to as 'codependent' behavior.

To illustrate what I'm referring to, I'll draw upon my story of the two "cow" families that I often use when working with clients who are (re)acting codependently in their relationships.

There are two families of cows who live in a large field. The entire field is surrounded with an electric fence to ensure the cows don't escape. On one side there's the first family, a large 'close' family of cows and, a football field apart, there's a second family of cows who could be characterized as close but supportive of individual choices.

Imagine there's little space between the individual cows in the first family.

One day, one of the members of the first 'close' family casually bumps into the electric fence and the shock of this cow experiences immediately reverberates among all the other members. Each are affected to more or less the same degree, and, as a result, none are left to help support the others.

On the other hand, one of the members of the second 'supportive' family inadvertently bumps into the electric fence on their side, and because the members have maintained a healthy distance from one another, they notice one of them was affected by the shock, but none of the others have been.

Consequently, all the cows of this family were available to support the affected member, but without having to take on the painful experience themselves.

So which is the healthier family? Obviously, the close and supportive one; not the codependent one.

I use this story to illustrate the importance of maintaining a healthy distance in relationships that are important to us. In other words, this distance is vital in terms of being able to remain connected to ourselves, our own thoughts, interests, beliefs, and values, while similarly remaining connected to those we love.

The connections aren't always simultaneous since there are times when we're required (or simply have a desire) to give primacy to own 'selves', and in healthy relationships this distance isn't viewed as threatening and, consequently, doesn't create feelings of resentment among members because it doesn't put at risk the connections we have to others of importance in our lives.

Finding the balance between these two is an ongoing challenge for most of us, for sure, but it is possible. And, when individuals find that very 'sweet spot', their lives are deeply enriched, both as an individual and as a member of an important unit.

So, which cow family do you belong to?

Are you threatened when those you love yearn for the space to experience parts of their life that don't directly include you? Or do you view that desire as the much-needed fresh air to keep the relationship dynamic and interesting?

Similarly, are you bringing some of that freshness to your own life experience and to your own relationships in this important way? Perhaps it's time to assess all the important relationships in your life within this context.

I'd love to hear how your assessment goes, so feel free to drop me a note to offer me your welcome perspective!

I am an Adlerian-trained psychotherapist in West Vancouver in a private practice, and I work with individuals, couples, and families. I'm committed to providing the highest level of service to all my clients, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, politics, ethnicity, or nationality.



For Women: Knowing When to Say "No"

By Rosina S Khan  

There are many of us, the women who are vulnerable and give in to satisfy other people. But that shouldn't be the case. All you need is a little control over yourself and learn the power of "No". So under which situations do you say a "No"? Read on to find out.

Here are a few scenarios:

1) Say, you are going on a train. A lady comes and sits face to face in front of you but your gut instinct says you don't like this lady. After a while, she asks for your phone number. Find some excuse to avoid giving her your number. Since your feelings about her are negative, it is possible she is involved in drug business or women trafficking. Avoid her at all costs and if possible, change your seat on the train.

2) Your husband brings a man to your home for lunch. Your husband seems to have found a good friend in him. At lunch while holding conversations, you have ill feelings towards the man. You don't like the man, the way he talks, his manners, his get up and so on. You come to know your husband is partnering with him in his business. You feel agitated. After the man leaves, hint to your husband your opinion about the man and warn him against partnering with him. Tell him he could ruin everything in his business. That would lead your husband to think and eventually to negate the partnership.

3) Your husband is on a trip. But you don't feel that much lonely because you are intimate with your lady neighbor and her daughters. All of a sudden a man comes to visit their home and starts to take interest in you. You have no interest in this man nor do you have plans to pursue any relationships with him. After he flirts and makes the first move towards you, be strong and say a big "No" to his offer. You don't need this kind of man to complicate your life. Your husband will be back soon and you will be a family again.

4) Your child learns piano lessons in a music school. She has made friends with another girl of her age. Her mother comes to you with an offer. "Why don't I take your daughter today to our home and she can stay the night and have a good time in my daughter's company. I can drop her off tomorrow at your place in the late morning if you will give me your address." Your answer should again be a big "No". You don't let your young and innocent daughter mix with strangers about whom you don't know much. Say "No" politely and also say: My daughter is still not used to staying in other people's home other than her own sweet home. That should keep this kind of strangers from bothering you or your daughter.

These are only a few circumstances in life you should be able to decide to give a "No" answer. It saves you from a lot of problems and stress. Why make your life complicated when you can keep it simple by saying an honest "No"? Gotcha?

Rosina S Khan has authored this article, highlighting the power of saying "No" especially for women and how that saves them from a great deal of troubles.

For a wealth of free resources based on stunning fiction stories, amazing self-help eBooks, commendable articles, quality scholar papers and valuable blogs, all authored by her, and much more, visit:
http://rosinaskhan.weebly.com. You will be glad that you did.

Happy Birthday Wishes 

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3 Important Dating Tips For Women Over 60

By Lyndon Ratcliffe Ogden 

Dating over sixty is supposed to be very satisfying. You need companionship, love and a shoulder to lean on through all. Women who are over 60 get into dating to pillar their lives and to enjoy their senior years in the appropriate company. Considering that there are fewer responsibilities at sixty, maybe because children are all grown up and have left home, there is so much idle time in the life of a woman who is over 60. Getting into a new relationship can be of immense value to such a woman. But to truly be happy dating again after 60, there are a few things that you must remember and stick to.

1. Never feel too old for your man - Whether you decide to date men your age or younger men who are interested in you, never ever feel too old or like you are not worthy anymore. Men love women who remain confident about themselves, even when signs of aging are evident on their skins. Choose outfits that flatter you, but remain comfortable for you and decent. You should also not try too hard to hide your aging but instead have a way appearing as though you are aging gracefully. Smile more and let your fun side show. You also should try as much as possible to remember that your man loves you the way you are and you do not need to go to the extremes trying to change into the person you think he wants.

2. Remember, you are not desperate - Nothing can be worse than a woman over 60 who appears desperate and too clingy. Give the relationship time to mature in the most natural way, no matter how badly you might be needing company and to be showered with love. Play it cool and find other things to do with your time to create a good distance with your man so the relationship grows and thrives. With years of experience in relationships, you are definitely what makes a relationship work and what makes it fail. Try to be modest about everything you do with regards to the relationship and never feel like you are in a rush for anything because you are not. You are actually allowed to play hard to get even at your age!

3. Understand there are things you cannot do anymore - When you are over 60, your energy levels may be down and this means there are things you may not be able to execute as you did before when you are in a relationship. You may not be able to maintain an intense workout regime as you did before so do not break your back trying to impress your man. You may also not be as flexible and wild in bed as you used to be so do only what you can comfortably handle without feeling embarrassed. You may not be as willing or able to go about clubbing and dancing as before but do not be ashamed to make a good dinner at home and inviting your man over and do a number of other fun things you both will enjoy.

Women dating over 60 have as much control over the relationships as men do. Have your expectations right and value your happiness more and you are bound to succeed. Choose a good over 60 dating site to kick start dating life again.

Are You Stuck in Life? The Ultimate Life Purpose Checklist for Women

By Tiffany Godfrey

Sharon really wanted a change for 2017. She had just gotten out of a bad relationship and she was not ready for another relationship.

Instead she wanted to work on herself, discover her passion, and fulfill the plan God had for her. But she felt stuck because she didn't know where to start.

She had invested so much in her relationship over the past two years that she had lost herself. She was frustrated because she felt like she had wasted her time. But she still had hope in believing that she could rediscover herself and discover her purpose.

Does your story sound like Sharon's? Do you feel stuck?
• In a dead end job
• In a relationship
• In life

If so, here's the ultimate checklist of self-conversation topics that can help you to get back on track to finding your purpose:

• Do I have a journal to write down my thoughts, questions, goals, places of growth, and opportunities available?
• Do I realize my purpose is birthed out of my passions, talents, skills, and experiences?
• Do I realize that God loves me unconditionally and has a perfect plan for my life?
• Do I pray and ask God about my purpose instead of asking everyone else?
• Do I ever take quiet time to hear what God wants to tell me about my purpose?
• Do I practice forgiving myself and others on a consistent basis?
• Do I have healthy relationships with other females who can help me to pursue my purpose?
• Do I struggle with ingratitude?
• Do I make God-centered or selfish, impulsive decisions?
• Do I take responsibility for my failures or do I blame others for them?
• Have I learned to deal with the dark, hurtful places of my past and present so I can move on with life?

God has a perfect plan for your life. However, it's important for you to seek God's guidance and ask yourself certain questions to evaluate where you are and where you need to be. If you can't ask yourself some hard questions, you will never learn where you are stuck, nor will you know the direction to take so you can become unstuck.

But if you are willing to get to know yourself, and walk through a journey of self-discovery as God shows you truth, you can eventually find your purpose and live a life of fulfillment and joy.

Tiffany Godfrey is a women's life purpose coach who wants to help women to get unstuck and pursue God's plan for their lives.

Get some quick types of her latest book, "Help, I'm Stuck! 10 Mistakes Christian Women Make When Pursuing Their Purpose" Click the following link: http://relationshipmissionaries.com/its-yours-for-the-asking/

How to Get a Girlfriend: The 3 Important Steps to Getting the Girl of Your Dreams

By Josh Manuel  

Getting a girlfriend, to many guys can be a difficult endeavor. They have to join tons of online dating sites, use social media, join a cooking class in the hopes that they will find the perfect girlfriend. Yes, these are some of the things you can do to find yourself a girlfriend. Or you can follow what I teach in this article and get the girl of your dreams. Here, I teach you how to get a girlfriend using 3 sure-fire steps.

What I teach you in this article will help you avoid the mistakes most guys who want to get a girlfriend and get married make - settling for whatever life throws at them.

In other words, as dating expert Joseph Matthews puts it in his book, The Art of Approaching: "you settle for what you're lucky enough to get".

The most important thing to know about getting a girlfriend is that it's not so much about "getting a girlfriend" so to speak. Rather, it's about the steps to take to get THE perfect girlfriend.

When set out right, you're sure to get the girl of your dreams. But when set out wrong, just like what happens to most men who wanted to find a wife, you will end up with the wrong girl.

So, how do you get a girlfriend or how do you find a girlfriend then?


Follow these three important steps:

1.            Know the type of girl you want
2.            Know where to find her
3.            Work on your self-confidence then go out and find her

When you jump into the dating scene using these three sure-fire steps, you're sure to meet the girl of your dreams.

Now, let's go into detail.

How to Get a Girlfriend using the 3 Sure-Fire Steps

Step #1: Know what you want

Before you jump into the dating scene and get yourself a girlfriend, know the type of girl you want.

Do you want a highly educated girl?
Do you want a girl who enjoys outdoor activities like yourself?
Do you want a slim girl or a chubby girl?
Do you want a blonde, brunette, or redhead?
Do you want to get a white girlfriend, Asian, black, brown skin girl?

Know the type of girl you want and don't settle for what you're lucky to get.

Why is this important?


Because you don't want to end up with the wrong girl, or a girl you don't have a commonality with.

Knowing the type of girl you want will help you stay focused on the steps you need to take to find her.

When you set out looking for a girlfriend with the tips and steps laid out here, you will meet lots of single girls. And this could inadvertently be an obstacle.

But when you're focused, you will be able to eliminate any obstacle or distractions that could keep you from meeting the girl of your dreams.

Now understand this... though you will meet lots of single and good-looking girls, and have great conversations with them, save your seduction techniques and tactics for the girl you want. And make her fall in love with you.

To the next step on how to get a girlfriend...

Always know what you want, and don't settle for what you're lucky to get

Step #2: Know where to find the type of girl you want

The next step after knowing the type of girl you want, is to know where to find her.

Now, why is this second step important?

Because it narrows your search.

To borrow a phrase from dating expert Joseph Matthews, "different places attract different types of women".

So if you want a girl who likes to party, you know you will find her at a nightclub. If you want the religious type, then you know you will find her at church events.

There are tons of places to meet women and find yourself a girlfriend. Museums, the gym, book stores, libraries are all good place to find a girlfriend.

But the easiest way to get a girlfriend of your dreams is to know the right place to meet her.

Again, if you want a girl who likes to party, you will find her at a nightclub. If you want the religious type, you will find her at church events.

Now, I'm not saying you cannot meet your ideal girl in other places that doesn't conform to her personality.

For instance, if you want a religious girl, it doesn't mean you cannot find her at a nightclub.

You can...

But your chances of meeting a religious girl at a nightclub is slim to none.

So if you want to meet a particular type of girl, you have to go to places that are DESIGNED to help you meet that particular type of girl.

This is how to get a girlfriend fast and easy - by not wasting your time at places you don't need to be.

The third and final step on how to get a girlfriend...

Step #3: Work on your self-confidence then go out and find her

You know what you want. And you have what it takes (even if you think you don't, you do)... so don't second-guess yourself.

Believe that you're an attractive guy. And every girl or woman will be interested in you.

Believe that you have what it takes to make a female happy. And that every girl or woman will be lucky to have you.

Once you work on your self-confidence, you get out there and you find the girl of your dreams.

So there you have it - how to get the girl you want, or how to have a girlfriend of your dreams.


Finding a girlfriend of your dreams shouldn't be difficult.

Follow the three steps mentioned above and you're sure to get the perfect girl you always wanted.

So that's how to get a girlfriend fast and easy.

Josh Manuel is a Relationship Enthusiast and Researcher. He specializes in helping the average guy to be successful in the world of dating and improve his personal relationship with women. He shares his personal experience coupled with extensive research and consultation with other dating experts to help the average guy improve his dating and relationship skills. You can find his blog at: http://www.guysandgurls.com

Is It Possible to Love and Trust Again After Being Cheated on?

By Kingsley Victor Ephraim 

The feeling you get when your partner, that special someone to you cheats can be summarized in two words... Betrayal and Hurt. It actually feels more painful if you've been especially faithful to this person. I am going to talk about this from the male perspective.

What is cheating?

The way I see it, cheating involves any intimate affair or activity you carry out with somebody else other than your partner. Some people even believe that if you're giving another person the time and attention that rightfully belongs to your partner, then you're cheating on them.

Why do people cheat?

Honestly I believe that there's neither reason nor justification for cheating. If you've decided to be with someone then why have an affair with another, why betray the trust, why hurt someone you claim to love? So many questions which answers we'll never know. Women claim they're vulnerable, yes, so? If you feel you're so prone to cheating then why don't you stay single! Men are not impervious you know. The popular norm is that men cheat and can never stay faithful, so if you find a man who tries to revolve his life and entire existence around you and make you the center of his world, why don't you try to return this goodwill?

How does it feel when you're cheated on?

You're infuriated, furious, betrayed and hurt. Forget the idea of men being cheaters, when a man loves his woman, it doesn't matter how much he plays around, she remains a ruby in his eyes, she's still very special to him. And trust me when I say this, the moment that woman cheats on him with another, be it just once, he could lose it, it'll affect him the exact same way.

However, that case study applies only when 'He loves his woman'. If she's just an item to him, he'd actually still be mad, but it won't be because he feels any of the things mentioned above but that he believes he's the only one entitled to cheat. Weird but true.

Can I still love and trust again after I've been cheated on?

This depends solely on you. I recently published an article on how you can know if your broken relationship is still worth saving and I'll quote myself from that article; "It is only typical for you to feel that you would automatically stop trusting your partner after you've been cheated on or have been betrayed in one way or the other. But that is not always the case. Yea, I said it. Trusting your partner is still a possibility. If you find that you don't trust your partner any more please don't try to force it, it's a natural phenomenon. On the other hand, if you still feel a level of trust for your partner after your breakup then build on that. You don't have to let your partner go. That little trust that remains means that your relationship is still worth saving."

Therefore trust can still remain. This trust that still lingers is dependent on the love you feel in your heart. Even if you forgive and take her back you should note is that no matter how hard you try, your relationship can never be the same again. It will take a long time to let go of the hurt i.e. if it will ever pass away.

Cheating always results in sad consequences. It creates a lot of emotional tension and the trauma that it brings is not something you would want to experience but it still happens anyway. So to the innocent partner, when it happens do not rely on your heart to make decisions, no, instead talk to friends, evaluate the situation and stick to your resolve at the end.

I am Kingsley Victor and I own the creative writer's blog. It is a platform where you can create & Publish original and rich articles on any topic of your choice. Its free too. Visit via http://www.slika.ng for more articles of mine. EzineArticles is where I draw my greatest inspiration from.

Man-to-Man: Advice Column

by Wayne M. Levine

His wife is opposed to him reconciling with his dying sister.

Dear Wayne,

My sister cheated/ embezzled/ stole about seven grand from me in 2001 and we have not talked since. She has made several overtures which I have rebuffed.

My wife is dead-set against reconciling with her. But my sister (who lives nearby) is ill and possibly dying and recently reached out again to me. I am not so much angry with her as opposed to dealing with anyone who would steal from me. On the other hand, I have heard often enough that forgiving is the way to go regardless. I think at this point if it were just me I would extend the olive branch, but there is the Mrs. factor. What do you think? Any thoughts appreciated!


Stuck in the Middle

Dear Stuck in the Middle,

It is just you. It’s you and your relationship with your sister. So the simple answer is, reconcile. She’s your sister. The $7K is just money. It might do you some good to clear up the money issue with your sis. Just make sure you don’t allow her to go back into your wallet. You shouldn’t have to ask for permission to have a relationship with your sister. Things happen. And if this isn’t the time for forgiveness, when is?

That’s the simple answer. But it doesn’t address what may be going on behind the scenes.

First, your wife has feelings about this situation. I’m sure her resistance to you reconciling has a little to do with her feelings about your sister AND her feelings about you. She doesn’t trust your sister for what she did, and she probably doesn’t trust you for letting her get away with it. The best way to keep your sister from stealing again from your wife (your wife may be thinking) is to make sure you keep sis at a distance. And that would work, except it keeps the two of you from reconciling and healing old wounds while you still can.

The other red flag in your description of this dilemma is your willingness to permanently walk away from your sister simply to please your wife.

Explain something to me. Is she your mother? Are you 10 years old? Have you actually given your wife the power to determine who will be in your life? Does she also dress you in the morning?
You’ve given your power away. We men have a more colorful expression to describe what you have given away to your wife. This state of affairs is deadly for you, and it’s really no good for your wife or for your relationship. You’ve got to get them back and start acting like the man you want to be.

You cannot ask for permission to be the man you want to be. You simply have to be that man. When you do so consistently, those around you will learn to respect you for it.

So, go be that man. Assure your wife that she has nothing to fear, and then go be with your sister. Chances are, if you are very clear about your terms—no more cash transactions—you’ll be a happier man with all his parts intact.

Wayne M. Levine, M.A., mentors men to be better men, husbands and fathers. Email your questions to MantoMan@BetterMen.org. See how you can become a better man at www.BetterMen.org. 

©2013 BetterMen®


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