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Archive for the Life Coaching Category

Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?

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? By ADD I assume you mean ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  This is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able to control behavior, or a combination of these.  If your stepson has been diagnosed by a medical professional with ADHD, these behaviors must fall outside the normal range for his age.  In other words, he’s not just an overly active child. ADHD defined, this issue 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 ADHD 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 […]

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Drug Addicted Dad?

Drug Addicted Dad?

I love my Dad, but my husband and I have had it with his drug addiction. We were letting him live with us to help him out. He’s been in and out of recovery. We were hoping he could make a go of it this time but he relapsed again, so we kicked him out. Now I can’t bring myself to take his calls or talk to him, I’m so mad at him. I worry about him because I don’t even know where he’s living. He could be on the streets for all I know. How can I be there for him while setting limits for myself and protecting my family? Setting limits is necessary when dealing with an addicted family member, so you needed to kick him out if he was disrupting your own family life. Don’t allow yourself to go down the path of feeling guilty for kicking him out. And, don’t feel guilty for not taking his calls for the time being. I know that sounds harsh and uncaring, but I’m sure your intention to distance from him is only temporary. If you set down rules for his living with you and he violated them, then the consequences for his poor choices are his to endure. Maybe this little piece of tough love from you and your family will help him get focused again on his recovery. I’m sure you realize that relapse is a part of addiction, so expect more relapses on his journey toward recovery. In trying to be there for him, start with deciding on your personal limits. Talk with your husband and make some decisions on what you can and can’t do to help your Dad. Set some hard limits on what you absolutely will not allow, such as, drugs in your home. […]

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Wife Won’t Have Sex?

Wife Won't Have Sex?

My wife and I have been married for 13+ years. As of 4 years ago, all physical relations stopped. She says she loves me but not in that way. Help please. Your question makes me sad. If expressing your love sexually within your marriage is important to you, but your wife has shut you out, she needs to realize that this expression of love is as important to your relationship as hugs, kisses, sharing your paycheck, raising your children and making a life and home together. Ask her how she would feel if you told her you still love her, but not in the way that leaves you feeling like you need to get up and go to work each day to help support her and the family? Assuming you fulfilled your role as the responsible, faithful husband for 13+ years, would she agree to your stopping being responsible and faithful? Have you put in your time, and done enough in this relationship, that you are now at liberty to shut down and shut her out of the things that she values in your marriage? I should hope not. While one might think this is only a man’s problem, there are also husbands who have no desire for sex. I’ve heard from both women and men who’ve struggled with a spouse who shut down sexually. Statistically, about one man to every five women will not have an active libido. In the battle of the sexes, women are most likely to use sex to catch a man and to have children, only to shut down once those feats are accomplished; and men often withhold sex if they are using it as a controlling (abusive?) tactic, or they lack libido due to drug abuse, or they have depression or other health problems. […]

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Attend Which Wedding? (Joan vs. Dr. Laura)

Attend Which Wedding?  (Joan vs. Dr. Laura)

Just for fun, I’m going to pose a question I heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger answer on her radio talk show… The female caller told Dr. Laura that her question related to her two good girl friends. The two friends were not friends with each other, just the caller. The question posed to Dr. Laura was that each of the friends had daughters who were getting married, and the save-the-dates came out with the same wedding day. The caller wanted to know which wedding she should attend. Dr. Laura, in her usual brusque style, didn’t ask for more information, but quickly advised the caller to attend the wedding she first got invited to, and send a card and gift to the second. Dr. Laura treated this call, and caller, like this question was a “no-brainer”, “why even ask”, as the answer was so obvious. In the course of the conversation, the caller tried to mention how she might attend the church ceremony of the first and…(here’s where she got rudely interrupted, as is customary with Dr. Laura’s style)…and…it seemed she was about to say she could attend the reception of the second invite? But no! Dr. Laura’s advice was definitive. The caller should only attend the wedding of the first person she got the save-the-date from. End of story, hang up, on to the next caller. Which wedding should she attend? Joan’s advice… First, it would be good to have more information. At the very least, it would help to have heard the rest of the sentence (that Dr. Laura so rudely interrupted) where the caller seemed to be open to attending the church ceremony of the first and the reception of the second. In true Life Coaching form, the caller does know how she would like to handle these conflicting […]

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Fiancé’s Girlfriend Dictating Wedding Plans?

Fiancé’s Girlfriend Dictating Wedding Plans?

After 5 years of dating, my girlfriend and I are finally getting married. She’s had a girl pal that is almost always whispering in her ear. I get the feeling her friend is making large requests and decisions about our upcoming wedding. We both would prefer a smaller ceremony but my fiancée has been making unusual choices regarding the food, band, venue, and so on that I fear is just her friend influencing her. I mean, do we need a 12-piece Mariachi band or multiple chocolate fountains and ice sculptures? I love my fiancée so much but she can be a bit susceptible to suggestion. How can I help her realize that we should have this wedding on our own terms, and within our comfort zone? Talk, talk, talk to her. Communicate. Get in her ear and make sure that your voice comes through louder and clearer than her girlfriend’s opinions on what sort of wedding you’re going to have. Wedding planning is one area where I totally side with the couple. Totally. Girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and wedding planners, the list of meddlers can be a long one, especially if your fiancé is prone to letting people make decisions for her. Everyone can have an opinion on what sort of wedding you should have, but the only ones that count are those of you and your fiancé. I’ve watched enough of those “Say Yes to the Dress” shows where the bride comes out beaming in a dress that she loves, only to be shot down with rude and insensitive comments from her posse that includes her mother, sister or overly dictatorial bridesmaid. Often, their vision for her wedding is that she choose a gargantuan, tooled-out, blinged-out, princess gown where her style is sleek and understated. Or vice versa. The bride […]

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Fearful of Ebola and Isis?~Part 2

Fearful of Ebola and Isis?~Part 2

Listening to news stories from around the world, especially about the beheadings by Isis terrorists and the killer Ebola virus, just puts me in to a state of fearfulness. Now, Ebola has made its way to the United States and when I hear the stories of how many people may be infected and how this man was allowed to come in to our country, it also makes me fearful of traveling. I feel pretty safe in my own community, but we are at a place in life where we want to travel. How can I deal with this fear? Can I trust that the government is doing all it can to protect our citizens? First, thank you to my followers for listening to my personal story in Part 1 of how, in my opinion, our local governance has let our community down in relation to public health and how it makes me fearful. I recognize it was a strong commentary (not that many of my blogs are not?!), and while I don’t want to feed in to fear, I do feel that when citizens feel their best interests are not being protected, they need to speak up. In part 2 of this blog, I will more directly address your question, “How can I deal with this fear?”. It’s hard not to watch the televised news, listen to radio talk shows, and read about world events without feeling anxious. The reality is that a lot of news reporting has become commentary and editorializing. In its extreme, the editorializing borders on fear mongering and conspiracy theories, both of which ratchet up the fear…but also the ratings. Ratings sell advertising and make more money. You get the picture. As news consumers, we need to separate the facts from the fiction, and the truth […]

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Fearful of Ebola and Isis?

Fearful of Ebola and Isis?

Listening to news stories from around the world, especially about the beheadings by Isis terrorists and the killer Ebola virus, just puts me in to a state of fearfulness. Now, Ebola has made its way to the United States and when I hear the stories of how many people may be infected and how this man was allowed to come in to our country, it also makes me fearful of traveling. I feel pretty safe in my own community, but we are at a place in life where we want to travel. How can I deal with this fear? Can I trust that the government is doing all it can to protect our citizens? Boy do I hear you, and thanks for your question, as I’m sure it’s on the minds of many citizens. These times we live in do feel fearful. Add to that, many of us feel helpless to control these situations, which only adds to our fear. In addition, we realize that the people who are in the positions to protect the public, especially our politicians, have not always garnered our confidence. We often feel that they have not made good decisions in these areas. While most of the people in control have the safety of the public in mind, there are others who sway with the winds of popular politics or personal agendas. This has happened in my own community where, in my opinion, personal agendas got in the way of public safety with our own County Health Department. The final conclusion to the fact that our county commissioners chose to hire an unqualified Director, over a highly qualified and experienced applicant, was that an infectious disease, as discovered at our regional hospital, went unreported for a period of time. The County Health Department Director did […]

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Kids Saddened Over Estrangement From Grandparents?

Kids Saddened Over Estrangement From Grandparents?

When I married my wife she had two kids by two different fathers. She’d been a professional woman who made her own way but never married. She is feisty and will get in your face if you criticize her, and my mother has made it known she doesn’t like her. I’m proud that my wife has held her tongue with my mother. But, my mothers obvious dislike for my wife had me defending my wife to where we now haven’t seen each other for several years. My wife and I now have two of our own children together. I’ve adopted her oldest two. We’ve made a nice life for ourselves that doesn’t include my parents, and doesn’t include my wife’s parents also. Theirs is a similar story. I felt all was good until our two oldest kids started talking to us about how they miss their grandparents. They are in middle school and talked about how all their friends spend Christmas and holidays with their grandparents, but they never see theirs. They seemed sad about this and it has my wife and I rethinking our decision to cut ties with their grandparents, especially her parents, as they are the grandparents who helped my wife raise these two children when she was a single parent. We thought we were protecting our children from the fighting and negativity but are now rethinking that decision. You are wise to be rethinking your no-contact position. When you say that you and your wife have created a “nice life” for your children, I’m assuming you mean one that includes all the “nice” that money can buy such as nice cell phones and nice clothes. But, creating a nice life for children has to include attending to their emotional needs as well. Your children are getting […]

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Can Exes Have Non-Sexual Friendships?

Can Exes Have Non-Sexual Friendships?

Once you’ve had a sexual, intimate relationship with someone, can you just be friends? Here are the answers I gleaned from the people I polled at the radio station and local coffee shop: “Hell No”, male radio personality #1 “It would be difficult”, male radio personality #2 “Yes, that could work, depending on the personalities”, male radio personality #3 “Yes, of course”, female radio co-worker “If a guy says yes, he’s only bullshitting you, or he might be part-gay”, jokingly stated in reference to male radio personality #3, by a male radio person who never lacks for an opinion! Another female radio co-worker and I had this conversation: Joan: Do you have non-sexual friendships with your exes? Co-worker: Yes, I am friends with all my exes. Joan: So, you don’t have sex? Co-worker: No. Joan: Would your exes have sex with you if, in a night of drunken abandon, you gave the OK? Co-worker: For sure. Joan: What percentage of your exes would “hit it” with you? Co-worker: 100% HA! Just as I thought!! Heading in to the coffee shop downstairs from the radio station, I garnered more comments on the subject. There, I polled three men and one woman. “Yes, I am friends with all my exes”, male hottie who later said he’d just gone through a difficult break-up. Maybe his comment doesn’t count? “Yes, I even know a man who lived with and supported an ex and her seven kids. None of them his own as he was sterile. And while he was a sexual person, he never again had sex with his ex-wife after she first got pregnant by someone else”, retired gentleman who’s seen and heard it all. “Sure they can. I’m friends with all my exes”, random dude who quickly left, probably wondering who this […]

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Triggering Old Wounds of Abuse

Triggering Old Wounds of Abuse

In my last relationship, I was involved with an abusive man who did drugs and was generally crazy. Recently I had a co-worker, for no reason, talk to me in such an angry, vicious way that it triggered the old feelings of abuse. How do I keep this from happening again? The triggering of old emotional wounds can set you on a downward spiral. You don’t mention how long ago the abuse was, but judging by your reaction, I would say that you were deeply affected by this mistreatment. I’m truly sorry this had to happen to you! Moving beyond abuse can take years, or for some, a lifetime… That said, there are things you can do to minimize those sad, angry, unwanted hurtful feelings when someone mistreats you. First, ask around about this co-worker. I’d place money on the fact that this person has a habit of treating others just like you were treated. Unless you frequently get this type of response from co-workers, know that the problem is not yours~they are the ones with the problem! Other things you can do are build-up your self-esteem by involving yourself with activities, experiences and friends that you find affirming. Do an online search for information on recovering from abuse and building self-esteem. Find the things that make the most sense to your recovery and personal growth, and make them a routine part of your self-care. If you find that things you can do on your own don’t give you the relief you want, schedule an appointment with a licensed counselor. Don’t give up on making this better for yourself…my heart goes out to you. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ • Assuming you reported this co-worker to your supervisor, how can you minimize your interactions with them? • What […]

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