Couples

Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship

Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship

You feel devastated, empty, and ashamed. You are yet again alone and obliterated by another relationship. It is already difficult to rebuild after a relationship but what makes it worse is rebuilding from a destructive and unhealthy relationship. But, it is possible to protect yourself from unsafe partners. Here are four warning signs of a potentially toxic relationship.

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, toxic, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, angerToo much checking in:

 If you are receiving multiple or successive text messages/phone calls then sound the alarm! The messages could end with emojis or caring remarks but the content is focused on where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. You want to ask yourself “why are they checking in so much?” If there is not a primary concern, such as a sickness or being emotionally upset, there is cause for suspension. The partner could be insecure and it may show signs of controlling or stalking behaviors.

Losing friends:

“What type of friends am I losing?” and “Why am I losing friends?” You should feel concerned if you are losing friends too quickly or losing close/long-term relationships. Often times, abusive or unhealthy partners want to isolate their victims. When family or friends are out of reach then who is available for comfort? You are trapped with only your partner for emotional support.

Pressure to share things you are not ready for:

Deep and personal questions sought out in early stages of a relationship is cause for suspicion, especially if there is pressure. Pressure to share things can turn into pressure to do things you […]

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

by Cherlette McCullough

You’re single now. Has it been really difficult to move on after the break up? Have you found yourself consumed with your Exe’s life? Break ups are hard emotionally. No matter what kind of relationship whether it was short term or long term. Here are three tips to use quickly after the break up.

  1. Exes can’t be your Friend after the Break Up

Being friends with your ex can be extremely confusing for one of you or both. This type of friendship is different because it started as a physical relationship. These relationships often make you stay in the past resulting in you not moving on to the right relationship that you deserve. When it’s over; let it go.

  1. Delusions after the Break Up

Stalking your ex by going to their social media pages, calling their family asking about them and their new love interest, showing up to places at times you know they are there, making excuses to call them, making situations with the children bigger than they are for attention. All of these will keep you stuck. It’s important to know if your ex has moved on its time for you to shift your focus to you and your children…not the ex and their new love interest. Also because you have custody or more time with children it may seem like your ex has more free time, but that doesn’t mean that your life is less full filling. You too can have friends to go out to functions and enjoy yourself. It’s time to let those delusions go and get into reality […]

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

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  1. Reach out! As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.
  2. Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion: Lend your time. Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.
  3. Watch some funny movies. There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.
  4. Read. Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books […]

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

I have often heard that we are our own worst critics. I’ve also heard that we talk to ourselves worse than we would talk to own worst enemy! Maybe it’s time to show yourself a little bit more love and respect. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your self-care, to enable a healthier you.

happy young woman relaxing at home, self-care

  1. Get more sleep! Yes, late nights can be very productive but your body and mind need sleep to recover and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad that you did and getting a full night’s sleep will lead to an even more productive tomorrow.
  2. Meditate. Take the time to meditate at least once daily. Clearing your mind can work wonders in your day. It doesn’t matter if you do it before you start your day or at the end of the day. It is a natural way to relieve stress and give yourself a much needed time out.
  3. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine. Take some time to laugh! Maybe watch a tv show that you find funny. You can also laugh at yourself. Instead of feeling bad about that mistake you made earlier in the day, try to think of it in a bigger picture and how it looks in the great scheme of events. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Get (or do) a hobby! Working on your hobby has many benefits. It’s a good way to release stress. While doing a hobby you would be able to relax and find some enjoyment. […]

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

 “I’m so sick of that same old love, feels like I’ve blown apart — I’m so sick of that same old love, the kind that breaks your heart,” are the words from the popular Selena Gomez song titled, “Same Old Love.”  Have you ever considered your pattern in love relationships?  Have your relationships left you feeling empty, angry and lonely over and over again? The painful reality is that many people find it difficult to stop to observe what they accept, tolerate and come into agreement with in their love relationships.

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This could not be a better time of the year to examine your love relationship patterns as we approach Valentine’s Day.  If you discovered that you are sick of that same old love and that you have had enough, then here are three ways to break your pattern of toxic love:

1)        Take A Relationship Inventory:  We cannot break toxic love relationship patterns until we first become an observer of them.  It is important to stop and assess what relational repetitions you have continuously recreated throughout your history. This can be a very difficult and painful step to take in looking at your own behaviors in your relationships, and to also recognize the emotional template that you may be unconsciously reinventing.  The help of a trusted friend or a professional therapist may be very helpful in working this step because they can look at your relational history with an objective view point.

2)        Create a supportive network: When you are trying to make life-changing decisions to break old […]

The Murder of Our Children | Orlando Child Abuse Counseling

The Murder of Our Children | Child Abuse Counseling

The headlines for child abuse are glaring and unbelievable.  One story in particular has stayed with me and I haven’t been able to let it go.  In February of this year, a Detroit woman was arrested for murdering her two children and putting their bodies in a refrigerator.  At her trial, she showed no remorse.  Obviously, she is mentally ill.  Unfortunately, my search for ‘child murder refrigerator’ brings up too many other similar stories.  These are blatant examples of child abuse.  They are happening today, in our midst.

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For those of us who love our families and children, and live to make a sincere effort to give our families the best, these stories make our stomach churn.  This kind of evil is unfathomable.  I don’t have a hard time convincing anyone that the above story is a case of child abuse.  But, it is very often that I have a hard time convincing the wounded soul in front of me in a counseling session that they suffered from parental abuse, even when all of the evidence is there to prove it.

Abuse is not just the torture and murder of a child.  Verbal, mental, and emotional abuse happen along a continuum that can make it hard to discern exactly what abuse is.  After all, some people consider spanking to be abuse, others consider it to be a swift and just discipline for poor behavior.  A father believes he is doing his best parenting when he offers his children ways to improve and gives them what he believes are healthy critiques to help them succeed, but […]

6 Tips To Help Children Cope With Divorce | Orlando Divorce Therapy

No one goes into marriage hoping that it will end in divorce, at least I hope not. Divorce is never easy, but add children to the equation and you now have a whole new plethora of issues to face. How do I break the news of the divorce to my children? How do I keep my connection with my son/daughter? How do I share my child? How do we divide custody? Every family is going to have to answer these questions for themselves as every family has different dynamics.

OrlandoDivorceCounseling

 

Research has shown there are tips that may help your children cope more effectively with a divorce.

Tip #1: Tell your children why you are divorcing or, at the very least, share with them as much as you are able to. Children often blame themselves or a parent for the divorce, so be prepared for questions. If possible, tell them when both parents are present. Many children need reassurance that they are still loved and they are not to blame.

Tip #2: Be available to listen and always be active in the relationship. Remember, listening is a dynamic sport that takes both listening and reflecting back what you hear. All children cope with divorce in different ways; some may be very inquisitive, while others stay to themselves. Letting your children explore their feelings about your divorce in their own way is important, don’t argue or avoid them. At all times, be patient and involved.

Tip #3: Don’t put your children in the following positions:
-A messenger in parental messages. For example, “tell your father he’s late with the daycare tuition.”
-A weapon between you and your spouse. Children need quality […]

How to Find Your Worth in Your Self & Not in Others | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

How to Find Your Worth in Your Self and Not in Others | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

Many people struggle daily to build and maintain a positive self-esteem. Some struggle more than others because they have not yet developed a true sense of self. It is impossible to have self-esteem without a sense of self. How can you feel good about yourself if you don’t really even know who you are? When developing your sense of self, one of the key factors is to find your self-worth in yourself and not in others. Most of us are guiltier of this than we would like to admit. For example, if a girl is dating a guy who is verbally and emotionally abusive and tells her things like she is fat, worthless and disgusting, then she tends to believe this about her self and lose her sense of worth. She adapts his belief of her, which in turn affects her self-esteem.

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So, how do you find your self worth in yourself rather than others?

1. Set boundaries: Before getting into any relationship or friendship, be very aware of the kind of people you want to let into your life. You do not deserve to be belittled; therefore, you need to make that your own belief, so that it is easy to stick to your boundary. Start vague like: “I will not allow people that do not value me into my intimate life.” And become more specific as you become more confident in your ability to set and stick to boundaries.

2. Embrace your qualities and your flaws. No one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. The sooner you realize […]

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Well, it’s everywhere. Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie) officially comes out this Friday, the day before Valentine’s Day, and everyone’s abuzz about seeing the steamy “love story” come to life. It seems like people are pretty divided about whether or not this is an erotic fairy tale or a story of abuse and power. The word “submission” is being thrown around a lot because of Christian Grey’s preference for BDSM; however, a healthy, Godly relationship also requires submission. But what is the difference between Christian Grey submission and Christian wife submission? Let’s take a look.

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The Bible says in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 3:7 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands.” God intended our marriages to look like His love for our church. The word submission can be taken of context; however, it is not meant for oppression, but to build a healthy, strong relationship.

A Christian Grey MANIPULATES, while a Christian husband EMPOWERS. Manipulation is used for selfish gain. A good husband empowers his wife for the gain of herself, her family and most importantly the will of God.

A Christian Grey INTIMIDATES, while a Christian husband ENCOURAGES. Christian Grey uses intimidation on a naive Ana to get what he wants out of her. A loving husband will encourage his wife to strive for better and go after her own dreams.

A Christian […]

Are You Settling in the Relationship? | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

Are you settling in the Relationship? | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

“Meg” is a 19 year old, beautiful, young woman. She is driven, funny, engaging, and kind. She has many qualities that guys would look for in a significant other and even, one day, a wife. But Meg’s boyfriend is not looking for a wife. He’s barely looking for a girlfriend. He doesn’t have a job, is still smoking marijuana and drinking almost daily and has dropped out of college. Worse than all of this, he never takes Meg on dates, doesn’t romance her in any way, and doesn’t speak her love language. (Click here for more info on love languages) Meg describes her beau as fun, and adventurous, but wonders if she can change the (many) behaviors that make him less than the ideal boyfriend.

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Unfortunately, “Meg” is a real woman…in fact, “Meg” is many women that constantly choose to settle in their relationships. When did we, as women, lower our expectations of men? When was it ok to be dating without ever going on a date? When did our self-esteems become so low that we forgot how valuable and worthy we are of having someone who adores us?

  1. Wanting a man that pursues you does not make you weak, it makes you desirable. Men like the chase. When you’re easy, guys get bored and stop trying. And when they stop, so does the excitement of the relationship.
  2.  You cannot change anyone except you. You are not the guy you are wanting to change and you are not God; therefore, you cannot change anyone. If you go into a relationship looking to tweak some things, take […]