Marriage

5 Signs of a Codependent Relationship

Tracy has felt like just an extension of another human being, at a loss of her own personal identity, and a doormat to her husband Bill of 23 years.  She describes her marriage as “all giving and not much getting”. She is frustrated, drained, alone, and so aware of his constant wants that she no longer knows what she wants out of life.  She admits to feeling sorry for herself often and has sought help but has never really followed through with anything. She admits that her fear of his anger or rejection dictates much of her decisions and accepts the relationship for what it is because she is “already too invested”.  The real investment here is her codependency with her husband.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation as Tracey? Do you find yourself constantly giving and giving, trying to please your partner, and/or trying to resolve your partner’s problems? Although it is normal for there to be moments in the partnership where you don’t feel a reciprocal amount of effort, it begins to get unhealthy when it is more the norm than not. It gets harmful and destructive when you find yourself in the codependency dance in your relationship.

Codependency is often associated with that of partners of alcoholics.  However, today we can see this same dysfunctional dynamic in any type of relationship.  Codependents get their label by finding their self-worth and value in their ability to give to others.  We see this in the alcoholic and codependent relationship because while the codependent is giving, pleasing, and fixing the alcoholic is taking, draining, breaking, and taking some more.

OrlandoCodependencyTherapy

Here Are 5 Signs You […]

Five Tips To Improve Your Self-Esteem

Five Tips To Improve Your Self-Esteem

Do you sit in the mirror with jaded lens and pin point all of your flaws? Do you find yourself daydreaming of how much happier you would if you could just change a certain part of your body? Do you hide behind layers of clothing? You are not alone and many are in the same struggle towards self acceptance.

I was that young teen afraid of the mirror. The mirror showed me a side of myself that I despised and wished I could magically change. I had wonderful friends that loved and accepted me but that just wasn’t enough for me to love myself. This self-hatred poured into my adult years but I learned to mask it a little better. I wore a girdle on a daily basis, spent hours on my hair and make-up, and hid behind jokes, kindness, and being a pretty awesome human being BUT even with the approval of others I could not stand to look at myself in the mirror.

Orlando Self Esteem CounselingI know I am not alone and that many have experienced or are experiencing this very same thing. What I can say is that this self-inflicted emotional abuse does not need to consume your life and does have an end. It is not an easy journey but I can honestly say that it is possible to love yourself wholly and accept yourself for who you are and where you are.

Stop the negative self-talk.

Have you ever taken a day to just listen to your self-talk? Your self-talk are the comments you say to yourself about yourself. For example, if you drop your lunch […]

Performance Based Self-Identity

Self-identity is the recognition of someone’s potential and qualities as an individual. When we have a balanced view of our self-identity, we can find the worth and value in the many facets that make us human. For example, a person can say I am smart, I am kind to others, I am attractive, I have a great sense of humor, I have a good work ethic, etc. However, many people find their self-identity, and their self-worth, not in who they are, but what they do.

This is called Performance Based Self-Identity.

Performance Based Self-Identity creates two types of people: perfectionists and avoiders. Both of these types of people have the same mantra of “I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself” (taken from “The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee- highly recommended!)

self-identity, performance, failing, workaholicBeing a perfectionist is often viewed as a good trait because perfectionists work hard, get things done, and are reliable; however, being a perfectionist means that impossible standards are set and never obtained. No one is perfect; therefore, setting out to be is impossible and frustrating when not achieved. The perfectionist’s thinking of him or herself looks like, “Today, I got a 100% on my AP test; I got the highest promotion at work; I am a mom who has it all together…therefore, I am good/valuable/worthy/etc.” While these are all wonderful achievements, situations and circumstances change on a daily basis, so if a perfectionist feels valuable because he got the highest promotion, what will happen to his self-worth if he gets fired or laid off? This is when the perfectionist spirals into a state of devastation […]

4 Healthy Boundaries in Social Media | Orlando Counseling Services

Strength Behind the Screen

In a world of selfies, hashtags, and tweets, social media and the pressures it brings have bombarded our lives. It is well understood by now that social media can be used to bring harm, heartache, and even “acceptance” to its users, but it is surprising how often we gain “strength” behind the screen to promote, defend and process.

SocialMediaBoundaries

The most common types of statuses and comments that we come across (or have posted ourselves) are ones like the following:

The passive aggressive, not so passive status: “I usually do not post statuses like this, but I just have to vent with how frustrated I am with…”

The vague, not so vague, post about someone, who knows that they’re the someone that the post is about: “I want to unfollow you because I see you with her, but I can’t because it’s my only connection to you.”

The posts that are fishing for compliments: “Feeling frustrated because I can’t seem to shake these last few pounds” which are usually followed by “What are you talking about?! You look amazing!”

The outright fights that people have via comments, which doesn’t need an example. We’ve all seen it!

While social media can be fun and even beneficial at times, it is important to understand when to limit yourself and your thoughts to the entire world. Here are some helpful tips to keep healthy boundaries online and to take that strength that you have behind the computer or phone screen into the real world.

  1. Do not pick fights over the Internet – When you are upset with someone social media is not the place to hash things out, even if they start the […]

Trash Talking Your Ex:The Long Term Emotional Impact For Children

There is an old saying “There is a fine line between love and hate.” You understand this now.  You never thought you would be so confused, full of anger and overwhelmed by feelings.  Being a divorcee and co-parenting never crossed your mind. You are hurt, angry and trash talking your ex. You try to not to say anything in front of the kids but you have a million passionate words to describe your ex and you were done wrong. The attorney and judge stressed the impact negative comments about your ex partner would have on your kids. So what is the long term emotional impact for your children when trash talking your ex?

We all know kids of divorce. Some of these kids are adults now who have commitment problems, poor self esteem, trust issues and don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. Maybe this is you or your ex? You may have parents who divorced and trash talked each other. Was this your normal? Did this impact you as a child?

Our childhood experiences and behavior modelled by our parents teach us how to interact, trust and develop relationships with those we love. It is doesn’t make sense but we often seek out partners with whom we can play out our unresolved childhood experiences.  So at times we try to re-enact our childhood and heal from the experiences we had as children.  You were impacted as a kid by what your parents said and role modelled for you, the good and the bad. We can’t help it.

Marina Sbrochi an author and writer is researching trash talking […]

10 Things To Know Before You Destroy Your Marriage | Orlando Marriage Counseling

Will you marry me?  Do you remember those words?  When we first get married, we often think that we can conquer the world together!  At some point, the red roses glasses come off and we realize that marriage is hard work!  This is where we can put our heels in the ground or roll up our sleeves to do the nitty gitty work to make it through the storms because the storms will come and usually not to long after you say I do!  Below you will find ten things you need to know before you destroy your marriage!

1.  Divorce is hard. Your therapist may warn you to avoid using the “D” word in arguments, as once the word “divorce” comes into play, it cannot be taken back. It is scaring a relationship, and while a couple can restore themselves, starting the divorce process isn’t going to make all of your stress go away immediately. Divorce is hard; the battle can be long and painful – even if the case itself isn’t.

2.  Kids sometimes blame themselves when their parents’ divorce, and that can be a lifelong burden they carry. Seek guidance on how to discuss an upcoming separation or divorce with your children.  It is commonly stated that in family cases “good people act their worst.”

3.  There is a whirlwind of emotions that come into play.  It is normal to have these emotions, but be cautious about how these emotions make you act. Time and time again, kids get hurt, attorney fees become due, etc. when people cannot control their emotions.

4.  The grass usually isn’t always “greener on the other side”.

5.  The courts don’t care what a rat your spouse has been, they […]

3 Ways to Help a New Mom Cope…..Orlando Women’s Counseling

 

I remember coming home from the hospital with a new baby and feeling the fear, excitement and overwhelming stress of it all. Taking care of the baby, laundry, meals, and even taking a shower was like trying to juggle with my hands tied behind my back. For a new mom when trying to juggle household tasks, the most common emotions can be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. You can’t accomplish as much as you would like to and the baby pulls you in so many different directions during the day. Trying to get it all done can just be too much! This is a huge adjustment for a mom. It is common to have feelings of happiness, to feel energized, excited but also fatigued, overwhelmed, irritable, problems sleeping and feeling sad. You can feel happy and thrilled and then a moment later tired, anxious and helpless. So trying to juggle household tasks can seem like walking on a tight rope while carrying the baby on your hip. Being a new mom is a wonderful experience but also an emotional and physical adjustment for the mom, her husband/ partner and family.

3 Ways to help a new Mom Cope and Juggle it all!

1. Have A Plan.
Having a plan before the baby comes makes the adjustment easier.
Many of us have agonized over detailed birth plans but what about after the birth? A “Mommy Plan” is just as important. The place to begin is with your
spouse or partner. Before the birth of the baby outline tasks that will need to be completed to baby proof your relationship with […]

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge…Baby Love? Orlando Women’s Counseling

 

How do you define love?  Is it the pounding of the heart, sweating palms, passionate, or an instant connection?  Being in love and falling in love for some, describes the action of attachment and a long term commitment… the “You Complete Me”.  So how does this tie into the new little Royal Baby and Kate Duchess of Cambridge? Is it Baby Love at first sight?

Love and Hormones

Did you know that the hormones (primarily Oxytocin) that connected you to your husband/partner/ baby daddy are the same hormones that connect you to your baby?   The hormone Oxytocin that is released during interactions with our partner helps us bond and connect with our baby.  Voila Baby Love!  Just as we move beyond lust/passion and enter into a meaningful relationship with our partners, we must do the same with our babies.  An immediate connection may not occur the minute the doctor places your child in your arms.  Despite how the media, other women and our culture have glorified this experience; it is often not reality.  New moms are exhausted, anxious, often drugged, concerned about breastfeeding/milk supply and meeting the stranger they have carried for 9 months.  Loving your babe (like breastfeeding!) may take time, not all things occur as naturally as they are portrayed.  It’s alright and doesn’t have to be “Baby Love” at first sight.

Expectations of Baby Love

If we could change the expectations of “Baby Love” we might be able to help prevent anxiety, fear and a mother feeling she is not good enough.  We could then be realistic and honest about pregnancy and childbirth.  If we were to acknowledge “Baby Love” is not […]

4 Warning Signs of Sibling Bullying

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics from researchers with the University of New Hampshire brings light to a very talked about subject in a very different environment. We are all aware of the unfortunate situation of bullying occurring at school. Name calling, physical aggression, and children taunting each other are the common methods used by bullies towards their victims in the school setting. Depending on the severity of the bullying that an individual has experienced, it can have lasting impact on their emotional and psychological well-being.  But what about being bullied at home? Is it possible to be bullied by your own sibling? The aforementioned study finds that sibling bullying is real and can be harmful to a child or adolescent’SIBLINGBULLYINGs mental health.

Surely if you have grown up with brothers and sisters, or have children of your own, you are aware that various forms of sibling rivalry can occur. Maybe you argued over who the best athlete is or constantly fought over who would ride in the front seat.  Sibling bullying is different from sibling rivalry in that its main purpose is to hurt the other child. This can occur physically or emotionally.  Sibling bullying is different from peer bullying in that siblings have the ability to get at each other quickly. Parents, listed below are a few warning signs and advice to use if you suspect that sibling bullying is going on in your home. While this is not an exhaustive list, it exists to give parents a starting point to help assess the relationships between their children.

WARNING SIGNS

1.       Harsh insults are forms of sibling bullying and can take […]

Theme Park 101 for New Moms! Orlando Women’s Counseling

 

 

We all love theme parks, the excitement, characters, rides, the magic that thrills adults and children.  As a mom you want to take it all in and have an experience of a lifetime with your family. You and your partner/husband, baby and toddler in tow, may want to attack this foreign land with the determination of climbing Mount Everest. It can be challenging and feel like trying to reach the summit with a stroller, baby, toddler and significant other strapped to your back. The air may start to thin and you ask yourself, “What Was I Thinking?” Moms often are command central for vacations and planning. For a new mom/ mom with a new baby it can be overwhelming.

Yes, I was one of those moms! I flew with my 6 week old, toddler and husband to the Mecca of theme parks. It is an understatement to say that I was not prepared. Our trip began with a ride on the boat to take us across the magical waters to the Kingdom. Getting off the boat I did not anticipate the jockeying that was required when handling a stroller and competing with scooters for asphalt. Yep, I narrowly escaped a collision with a diehard theme park lover on a scooter. This was hard core!

The crowds were overwhelming; and the mommy/ baby area was at the front of the park, who knew? Time to feed baby: I couldn’t find anywhere to sit down. My husband was in a ride line with our toddler. I did what I could; I ducked behind my stroller, hunched on a curb, nursed my baby and prayed that […]