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Archive for the Family Relationships Category

Elderly Person wants to Die?

Elderly Person wants to Die?

Recently, at a community event, I ran in to an elderly woman that I have always admired for her spunk and love for life.  While we don’t know each other well, we’ve always had a mutual admiration and easy connection.  After a brief hello, she told me she’s ready to die. When I asked why, she said she’s tired of living with her health problems.  I felt uncomfortable and didn’t know how to handle this conversation.  Any advice? Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this question as it’s one many people struggle with.  Having worked as a nurse with dying patients and their families, I am a bit more comfortable with these conversations, but they are always difficult. My advice is to make this type of interaction about your heart and not your mind.  It’s in your mind where you might be thinking things like, “this is uncomfortable” or “what am I supposed to say to that?” or “who says those deep-seated things in this kind of social setting?”  Even though you may be feeling uncomfortable, and your friend’s sentiment was heartbreaking to hear, it is a daily reality for many elderly people, especially those who are dealing with multiple health issues as your friend is. When you hear an elderly person say that they are ready to die, go inward to your heart where you can center your frame of mind around compassion, a sense of simply being present with them, and of accepting of them.  Don’t scold them for feeling this way or discount their feelings.  Don’t try to change the subject just because it makes you uncomfortable.  Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.  Be present with them.  Be quiet in their presence. Place a loving hand on their shoulder or take their hands

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Fights over Politics?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Fights over Politics?

My husband is far right politically and his brother is far left.  I hold my breath every time they get together as their conversations always turn to politics and things get really heated.  I know this makes other family members uncomfortable as well so want to know how to stop it or at least tone it down. Sex, money, religion and politics…the hot button conversation topics where only the brave dare venture!  While I welcome these conversation landmines on my radio show, even I know to play them down when talking with my friends and family. While this intense political discourse may make you uncomfortable, you surely realize that some people enjoy sparring over politics, even if things get heated.  The critical issue here is whether or not your husband and his brother can walk away with mutual respect and an attitude to “agree to disagree”.  If, in the final analysis, these heated debates don’t turn in to personal attacks that mar their relationship, then I say, “Let ‘em go at it”!  If it does mar their relationship, that’s a problem they will need to solve. Your question seems to point to your personal discomfort, and your perception that other family members also get uncomfortable.  Do they?  Is that a fact?  If so, you can ban together and tell them to go elsewhere to have their debates.  If the discomfort is mostly yours, know that you can choose how to deal with this.  Join in on the debate, ignore it, walk away, calm yourself with deep breathing, use earplugs, or take a video of them for playback at Christmas so they can see how ridiculous they get over the politics they have very little personal power over!  Choose your strategy for coping based on how tolerant you’re feeling that day. 

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Hurt Husband Watches Porn?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Hurt Husband Watches Porn?

I caught my husband watching porn on his computer.  I was very hurt.  Am I not good enough for him? Men and porn.  Let’s start with the research.  Men are hard-wired to look at porn yet only 26 percent routinely do and of those 5% have a problem with it…from WebMD.  Assuming that your husband is not one of the problematic viewers, and that he is still interested in you sexually, this is one of those issues to chalk up as “men will be men”.  Men are visual creatures and their biology, a.k.a. “hormones”, set them up to crave the brain feed they get with sexual excitement.  It has to do with their always needing to be ready to propagate the species. Talk with him about how this makes you feel.  If you have a strong religious belief that it is a sin to watch porn, this will be a particularly distressing issue for you.  To honor your sensibilities, he may even agree to quit watching porn, but, (and this is a BIG butt!) don’t be surprised if he doesn’t totally quit but just goes underground with his viewing.  Bolster your resolve to have a frank discussion on this topic…it may open the door to improving your sex life and intimacy. Whatever you do, don’t let your man’s biology leave you feeling hurt and not good enough.  Besides, he doesn’t want a skanky porn star!  He wants You!  The mother to his children, the person who loves him and still finds him sexy regardless of the pooch around his middle, his thinning hair and all his imperfections! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What are the issues, if any, with the sexual relationship you have with your husband? Where will you find your personal power woman who braves this

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?

My stepson has ADD, but his mother doesn’t want him on medication so I have to put up with his bullshit.  It’s affecting our marriage.  Any advice? This one is tough as there are a lot of parents who don’t believe in medicating their children (for various reasons) and your wife sounds strong in her belief.  First, do you feel that you have adequate information from which to make the decision to medicate or not?  I tell people that you can always find an “opinion” on the Internet that will “fit” your belief in what you should (or should not) do, but that doesn’t make the information accurate or reliable.  That said, you need to first agree on what resources for information on managing ADD you will use to base your decisions on.  That can be anything from the Medical Pediatric Associations, Behavioral Therapists, the local Shaman, Nutritionist or Energy Healer.  Believe me, when it comes to health, people have strong opinions on what methods to use and to this I say…do what works for you! After you gather the information, you can begin the process of discussing with your wife a plan for making your home life more peaceful.  Research on effective step parenting lays out a plan that looks like this:  set up specific and clearly defined house rules; together, present the rules to your children; have consequences for breaking the rules; administer consequences together as a united front.  Take the time to set up rules and boundaries that are appropriate and healthy for your child with ADD.  Honor the fact that your stepson’s mother has the final say in how her child will be treated both medically and in your home.  Together, make this plan for how your home will function and your marriage will reap the

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Critical Daughter-in-law?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Critical Daughter-in-law?

When I became a grandmother I quickly discovered that my sons wife was not going to agree with any of my grand parenting methods. She has imposed so many rules that I barely feel free to enjoy my grand kids. No paddle boating or jet skiing at the lake (too dangerous) no snacks unless she approves first (my grandma cookies might be unhealthy)?!  Our relationship has always been tense but this is ridiculous!  What’s a Grandparent to do? Let me guess…she wouldn’t be happy with you building a sand castle, finger-painting or baking cupcakes with your grand kids?  You don’t feed them, dress them, or potty them the right way, and its amazing that you successfully raised your son to adulthood?!  She’s either a nervous helicopter parent or a control freak or simply being passive-aggressive with you…for your sake I hope it’s not the latter. Wise grandparents have told me that its best to follow the rules set by the parents and keep your mouth shut!  Who likes to do that when we all know that you are the wiser and more experienced caretaker, yet, did your parents always agree with the way you raised your kids?  Were you happy when they kept their parenting advice to themselves unless asked for?  Try adopting an attitude of loving support as you follow the lead of your son and his wife. I sense that trying to change your daughter-in- law will only cause a rift and may cost you precious moments with your grandchildren. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What have you learned about keeping the peace with your Daughter-in-law? What does she say or do that really triggers you and raises your ire? How can you anticipate and embrace yourself for those triggers? What action, inaction or stress reducing

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Sneaks Cigarettes?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Sneaks Cigarettes?

My spouse sneaks off to smoke cigarettes. I know they’re trying to quit but whenever I confront them they lie about it. What should I do? In my opinion, there is NO place in relationship for lies!  When you allow even the little lies to go unchecked, how do you know what other truths are being withheld from you?  I’ve heard it said that whenever you are in a relationship where you are being lied to, your whole relationship is a lie.  If lying is a problem in your relationship, think carefully about that statement because it carries a deeper truth… Moving on from Joan’s pontificating…if your partner doesn’t feel safe telling you the truth about relatively innocuous things, they are more likely going to lie to you to avoid conflict.  Be clear about your feelings on lying and try to get your spouse to agree to never lie to you, even if they sometimes need to “plead the fifth”!  If your agreement does allow for his answer to your questioning to be “no answer”, you have to leave it at that. No badgering, cajoling or whining for more information or fessing up. There will come another time to discuss the issue.  A word on smoking: quitting smoking is said to be as difficult an addiction to break as heroin.  If your spouse is trying to quit take a page from the Al-Anon book on how to “confront” with care, concern and kindness.  Express your concerns from you heart and you are more likely to be heard. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ How can you support your spouse’s efforts to quit smoking in a way that doesn’t cause friction between the two of you? What can you do to minimize the distress this habit causes you? In what

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Same Fight after Married 27 Years?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Same Fight after Married 27 Years?

The biggest arguments my husband and I have are over spending.  I like to spend and he likes to save.  I grew up in a family where my Dad spoiled me and I got everything I ever wanted.  Sometimes I wish this were not the case because I know this has set me up for the number one stress my marriage of 27 years has had.  Will this bickering over spending ever get resolved?  Maybe before we hit our 50th anniversary? You may think you’re asking a question, but I think you’re telling all of us a beautiful love story!  I’m sure you know the answer to your own question, which is to say that “no” you will never stop bickering with your husband over money.  After 27 years of relating to each other in this way, neither of you are going to change.  One marriage research project I read found that every long-term marriage has that thing (or those things) that they bicker about until “death do us part”.  The issue never gets resolved (a key point to take note of…) and couples are good to not expect it to.  Yet, over time, they find their own way of staying connected in spite of their differences.  Ahhh…feel the love?  I do! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ Has the way that the two of you bicker about money changed much in the past 20 years? If not, why would you want to change things now? If the bickering has escalated, are there other stresses in your marriage besides money? What is your pattern for coming back together after disagreements? How can you shorten the time you spend cussing and discussing, and get down to the business of reconnecting? Please SHARE this on Facebook and lend your COMMENTS ~

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Vacation Tensions?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Vacation Tensions?

How do you deal with a family vacation where part of the family want to lie on the beach all day and the other part want to see the sights? …and your problem is??  Yes, this is a family vacation where your expectation may be that you spend time together, but do you feel that you have to spend every second of every day together?  I’m sure that this rarely happens in your daily lives back home!  You’re on Vaca so try to be flexible, chill, relax, let go, and leave your inner bossy boss at home.  Isn’t this why you planned this getaway?  Let each individual enjoy their vacation in their own way.  We are not cookie cutter people who all want the same thing even when we are genetically related.  The adults can split up for part of the day and let the kids choose whom they’d like to do things with.  Older kids will be happy to have some of the same freedom away from you that they enjoy at home.  Don’t sweat it!  You will still be spending most of your time together as a family, and people will be happier when they’re not being pushed to do things they don’t want.  Personally, I don’t understand why a college kid would want to sit inside watching sports on TV while in Hawaii…but, we left him behind and had a superb day at the beach boogie boarding, snorkeling and swimming with the endangered sea turtles!  He enjoyed his day…and so did we! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ If you don’t want to split up your family activities for the day, what other options for compromise (such as taking turns deciding what activity you get to do) can you employ to keep the peace on vacation?

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Disagrees with Donation for Tornado?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Disagrees with Donation for Tornado?

The tornado in Oklahoma has really affected me, especially the loss of children, and I’d like to donate to the cause but my husband doesn’t think this is necessary.  He got so angry just talking about this that I’m not sure if I should just forget donating.  I’ve always been the one who wants to help others, but he’s just not that way.  What should I do? I say screw him and shame on his selfish, self-centered attitude!  While that is my gut response to your question (I know it sounds harsh), I understand that you may not be able to take this stance and keep the peace in your marriage.  Marriage is a partnership, and both you and your husband deserve the right to spend a portion of the family money on the things and causes that are important to each of you.  Does your husband spend money on things just for himself?  Does he spend money on things you don’t agree with?  What I hear from couples works best is if each person has a set amount of money out of the monthly budget; that they can spend without their spouses approval.  If you could negotiate this strategy for spending, then you could donate from your monthly discretionary income.  I hope that you can successfully negotiate having some of your own spending money otherwise, to be honest, I have concerns about the health and mutuality of your relationship.  Thank you for your generous spirit.  The world needs more people like you! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ In what way might your husband be open to negotiating you having your own money to spend in any way that you like? Where do you and your husband agree with how the family money is to be spent? Where

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Negative Family?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Negative Family?

I’ve tried to raise my own family in a positive environment but whenever I’m with my parents and extended family all they do is sit and talk poorly about the family members who aren’t present.  They’re so critical I don’t like to have my kids around them.  How do I protect my kids from their negativity? First of all, I’m sure you realize that you’re not going to change your family of origin.  You’ve been witnessing and living this negativity your whole life and that may be the reason you’re focused on keeping things positive with your own children.  Kudos to you!  It’s never too late to change negative patterns! Depending on the ages of your children, you have a few options here.  When they’re small you can probably distract them away from the grown-up conversations.  As they get older, they may choose to join in on the adult conversation, which means they will get an earful of negativity.  The good thing about older kids is that they are aware enough, and mature enough, to understand the differences in the way people act, and re-act, around others.  This can be a good opportunity to teach your older children that, in life, we all have to learn how to deal with negative people.  We have to develop strategies for either minimizing our time with them or minimizing the impact they have on our lives.  Others may choose to be negative, but we always have the choice of how to act, and how to re-act.  The choice is ours and within our control.  To quote from the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade…”Choose Wisely!”. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What life lessons can you teach your children as they witness the exchange of negativity in your family? Is there

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