Cast Blog: #LASHRINKS

Default image

Dr. Greg: Accepting My Father

Dr. Greg: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Dr. Eris: How Can I Change My Spouse?

Default image

Power Struggles

Default image

Dr. Eris: How to Heal Your Broken Heart

The V Spot: The "Nice Guy"

5 Ways To Improve Body Image Without Breast Impants

Dr. Greg: Yes -- Therapists Go to Therapy!

Dr. Greg: Why Hate Fat People?

Dr. Eris: "Sharing My Story Out Loud Scared The S--- Out Of Me"

Dr. Greg: The Trap of "Good" vs. "Bad"

Dr. Eris: No Sex, No Baby

Dr. Greg: My Father's Courage

Dr. Greg: What Being "Monogamish" Really Means

Dr. Greg: Accepting My Father

Dr. Greg explains why he didn't just give up on his father.

 

During the past few weeks, I have received a flood of correspondence from people telling me that they identify or are touched by my story. So much so that I have not been able to respond to every one, but please know I do see them and am extremely moved.

The journey I am on with my father on the show was in no way planned or scripted as some have questioned. It was sparked by some statements he made during that infamous 70th birthday lunch. After that lunch I was advised, even insisted, by several well-meaning strangers to do one of two things -- tell him off or never speak to him again. But, I knew neither one was the way to go for me.

Telling my father off would only have me doing the very same thing to him that he had done to me all of those years. All it would do would be to put him on the defensive and prove me the ungrateful child who had not grown up.

Cutting my father off was a strategy I took when I was in my early 20s and allowed me to establish my own life separate from him and other members of the family who were connected to him. But after 17 years, I had matured significantly and was able to reunite with him (and the others) when he was hospitalized with a nearly-fatal heart incident.

After the lunch, I recognized I had some demons of my own the needed to be exorcized.  I began having nightmares that brought me back to those horrific times of my youth. So rather than running from those monsters, I put my own training to use and decided to face them. I called my dad and asked him to meet me to talk, but before we did, I went to a therapist so that I could get help in strategizing my approach.As you saw, rather than merely accusing him of something that he either would not or could not remember, I tried to appeal to his experience as a child that was not only characterized by physical abuse, but also neglect. This worked. It helped him to be less defensive and open up.

It also helped me because I truly understood something at that point.  He would never allow himself to see himself as someone who would do to a child what was done to him. If he were to believe that, then he would not wish anyone else to speak with him again. That was my "AH-HA!" moment.

At that moment, I was able to let go of the hope that he would acknowledge what happened. I knew if he did he would not be able to live with himself. It was for his own psychological protection. At that moment, I was able to better see him as a human being and not a parent, a person who hurt me in the past, or even a pitiful soul. I just saw him as a person who struggles on this planet the same way I do. I was able to have both sympathy and empathy for him. In many ways, this was my redemption.

But as you see, everything isn't fixed in one meeting. Life goes on and problems still arise. And, even though I cannot forget those things that happened in the past, I can let go of much of the emotional hold it has had on me. Some can say this journey is about forgiveness, but too many misunderstand that word to mean an absolving someone of their sins. I don't have the power (or authority) to do that. Rather, I think a better word is acceptance.

 

Dr. Eris: How Can I Change My Spouse?

Dr. Eris Huemer explains that you can't force your partner to be on the same page as you.

 

We all go through times in our relationship where 
we encounter discomfort in our relationships.
 We think to ourselves, "Did I choose the right person?" 
We have countless reasons why "this just won't work."



The majority of the time we blame the other person for why it "won't" and "can't" work.

There are times when this is true -- like when the red flags are so huge you can't ignore them, and the other person is unwilling to change these things within themselves. However, the majority of the time you CAN work through challenging situations.



Your spouse may be emotionally "checked-out"
of the relationship and not seem to care about making any efforts of their own. 

You ask yourself, "How do I get my spouse to change?"

You have a list of 101 things that you could change about them.



So, how are you going to make your spouse change?

 You aren't!

 When you really think about it; nobody makes changes when it is IMPOSED UPON THEM. 

We like to INITIATE OUR OWN CHANGES. 

When we feel forced or manipulated to change, then we resist with all our might.



Your spouse may not be willing to change for the sake of your relationship -- right now. But, that doesn't mean that they don't want to be with you.

 Everyone wants a great relationship. 

But, the fact is that if they're going to change, they want the change to be THEIR IDEA -- when they are ready. 

Your spouse will not change one second before then. 

And, the more you push them, nag them, threaten them, ask them, scream at them, or beg them, the LESS LIKELY they are to change.

I can't tell you how many times a spouse will say to me that their significant other changed for a few days, but then returned to their old ways. That's because they never really decided to change. They were pressured. They were manipulated. And the change didn't stick.



So, what do you have to do?

 BACK OFF of your spouse! 

It is time for YOU to start creating the change that you want to find. Start giving more positive energy within your relationship.

Trust me, I know how hard it can be to wait. You saw firsthand how Clayton and I weren’t on the same page of when to have a baby. I always knew that Clayton wanted to have a baby, but the timing was different than mine. It was hard for me to wait, because I wanted these changes to happen in my time frame and the way I wanted it, and also because my biological clock was going tick tock tick tock. But the thing is, HE had to come up with when and how he would be willing to make this major life change. It was a family decision, not a singular one. I couldn’t force him. Nor would I want to do that because it would eventually cause resentment within our relationship. Instead, I chose to do my research and remain patient until we did get on the same page as you were able to see tonight on the season finale. (I hope you keep watching and following me on Twitter and sign up for my website newsletter HERE to stay tuned into what happens next).

So, are YOU ready to make some changes?

You can be the inspiring example of change in your relationship. It is a myth that your relationship won't change until your spouse does the shifting. The more love we show, the more love we will begin to feel. You can actually make more than 50% of the difference in your relationship yourself.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see."

It's YOU making the changes that will have the greatest impact for you and your experience within your relationship. AND, it's YOU changing that will motivate your spouse to start making some changes on their own.

To your REALationship Success!