Should I Stay or Walk Away?

In an ideal world we should work through the rough spots in our relationships. However, this is not an ideal world.

Most of the time we recognize that trouble in a relationship can be reconciled in a meaningful and beneficial way with hard work and patience and two willing partners, but sometimes it is not possible at all. Examples of when to run away quickly are when abuse and violence threaten our safety and well-being.

Abuse can be obvious and take common forms — physical, sexual, verbal, emotional. But there are subtle forms of abuse that can blindside us into “falling” for the best in another, when in fact that very drama can be consciously or unconsciously staged to fool us into being someone another needs and wants rather than being loved and accepted for who we really are.

Dr. James Fogarty, Ed. D., a licensed clinical psychologist, national lecturer, and author, has developed a professional workshop around the topic of Emotional Manipulation. His ideas intrigue me… I think he is on to something very real and more common than we would like to admit.

Fogarty says that “… people who use emotional manipulation hide behind the mask of love, concern, dedication, and friendship, while using guilt, button-pushing, subtle anger, and many types of covert ploys to keep their victims in place, getting their victims to do whatever they want.” He goes on to say that “… the words of Emotional Manipulators have multiple meanings hiding their true scheming motives. They carefully maneuver between that fine balance of skimpily giving to others but getting so much more. They are masters of getting others to believe they are doing everything for them while hiding their ‘what’s in it for me’ motives. They carefully craft every sentence with their own selfish needs hidden between each word.”

Think long and hard… Know anyone from your past or present who fits this description?


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Perfect Moments


A day at the beach with my daughter(s) is heaven on earth… Ideal when I can share with both, but when presented with the opportunity to share with one I am thankful. Recently experienced such a day, and we both knew it was not only a celebration of summer’s end but also of fall’s arrival. We played like summer, yet greeted the new season, putting closure to one chapter while welcoming a new beginning. It was a brilliant day filled with perfect moments as we reflected on all that the past year represented in our lives.

There is a breathtaking buoyancy to a blue-sky day at the beach in the fall. The umbrellas and beach chairs are put away; the sand castles, now one with the sand. The only sounds are the rhythmic whispering of waves and the calls of shorebirds wheeling overhead. And, if you’re listening, you’ll hear your own voice, reminding you that September is as much a fresh start as the new year, a time to make new promises and plans, a time when everything seems possible. Even when we think we’ve lost the path, as poet E. E. Cummings wrote, it’s “always ourselves we find in the sea.”


Prevention Magazine, September 2013

Posted in It's All Bubba's Fault, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

God Never Blinks

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio I am familiar with a retired columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer by the name of Regina Brett. Even after moving away from my home turf, my mother from time to time talked about one of Brett’s columns that struck a chord in her. Many northern Ohio folks have enjoyed their morning coffee with Regina’s latest column in hand… A simple pleasure.

Inspired by personal crisis, Regina Brett decided to write her first book, God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours. It was quite the rage when it was first published in 2010, and mom insisted I read it. So I did…  That was quite a few summers ago, and that I am not able to make my summer trek to visit Cleveland this season, I find myself longing for the nostalgia of that sweet summer read curled up on my mom’s sofa under the ceiling fan. It is a great book that reminds us to keep our priorities straight and our life in focus. At a time when our lives needs some healthy change, Brett’s book is a breath of fresh air.

Regina Brett has several new books out. I am inspired to snatch a summer read under the ceiling fan on our sunporch? What a nice idea!

Posted in Adolescence, Aging, Anxiety & Stress, Behavior Challenges, Chronic Illness, Death & Dying, Elementary School Child, Grief & Loss, It's All Bubba's Fault, Learning Difficulties, Marriage, Middle Age, Middle Childhood, Parenting, Relationships, Retirement, Self-Care, Warm Fuzzies, Work & Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment