Love, Happiness and Success with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby (Relationships)

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June 2024
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

A happy, loving, healthy relationship is the most valuable thing you can have. But so many people struggle in this area, and without understanding the signs of a healthy relationship, it’s hard to know how to begin making it better.

This podcast will teach you all about the fundamentals of healthy relationships.

FYI, this comes in two parts: First, listen to the podcast. Then, take the "How Healthy is Your Relationship" quiz, to discover the strengths and growth opportunities in yours.

All the best, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.GrowingSelf.com

Direct download: How_healthy_is_your_relationship_podcast_v.2.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 2:00pm MDT

YOUR RELATIONSHIP QUESTIONS, ANSWERED | Lately, I've had quite a few listeners and readers get in touch with their relationship questions. I thought I'd devote an entire episode of the podcast to answering them! Specifically, I'm offering free relationship advice around these common questions on today's episode:

  • What to do when you're feeling bored in your relationship, and are concerned because you're married but have a crush on someone else.
  • What to do when you and your partner have different love languages
  • Whether to stay in a relationship with someone who doesn't listen to you
  • How to get your partner to take more initiative for household tasks
  • What to do when your partner has a substance abuse problem but won't get help
  • What to do when your boyfriend keeps putting off getting engaged
  • How to handle it when your partner is acting like a child in the relationship

Your burning relationship questions answered, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast!

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.GrowingSelf.com

PS: One of the resources I mentioned to a listener's question was our "How Healthy is Your Relationship" quiz. Click the link if you'd like to take it too.

PSS: Do YOU have a question? You're welcome to ask it here on the comments section for this post: https://www.growingself.com/free-relationship-advice-from-a-marriage-counselor, or via my Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/drlisamariebobby I just might answer it on an upcoming episode! :)

Direct download: Free_Relationship_Advice_-_82619_4.51_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 5:07pm MDT

Saving a Relationship, Single-Handedly

It can feel really discouraging when you are eager to work on your relationship, and your partner is less than enthused about going to marriage counseling or relationship coaching. But know this: Every couple who gets to marriage counseling does so because one of the partners initiates it. In your relationship, that person might need to be you. And that is okay.

 

This episode will give you insight into what might be going on inside your partner when they say things like:  

I'm sharing some tips and ideas that can help you you ease their concerns. I hope this advice helps you help YOUR partner take the first step forward with you, and start growing back together again.

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: When_Your_Wife_or_Husband_Refuses_To_Go_To_Marriage_Counseling.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

 

 

Has your relationship been feeling hard lately? Arguing, bickering, sullen silences, critical comments, and rampant invalidation? If so, you're not alone. Virtually every couple has gone through rough patches like these.

Relationship problems are exhausting, but mentally and emotionally draining too. Your relationship should be a source of comfort and support, not one of stress and anxiety.

If you're normal, at a certain point, it starts to feel unsustainable to keep going as you have been, and start searching for solutions. You may even start entertaining the "final solution" of breaking up or getting divorced.

There is a path forward that can bring you two back together again. It's actually fairly simple (but not easy). Listen to this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast for advice from a marriage counselor for how YOU can get your relationship back on track.

Happy Valentine's Day!

xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

 

 

Direct download: How_to_Save_Your_Relationship_Without_Breaking_Up.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 3:48pm MDT

Although many people say, "marriage is just a piece of paper that doesn't really change a relationship," as a premarital counselor (and long married person) I often smile to myself when I hear this.

What I've found to be true is that becoming engaged to marry most definitely does change a relationship, often in positive ways. Engagement also affords thoughtful couples opportunities to build their relationship's strengths, as well as take proactive action to prevent possible relationship problems in the future.

On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm speaking with expert premarital counselor Rachel Harder about the changes that happen in a relationship once couples get engaged, plus the skills and strategies that she teaches her premarital couples to help set them up for success.

If you're recently engaged, want to be, or know someone who is, listen to our interview to hear about the most important domains of your relationship to focus on in order to build the foundation for a happy, successful and satisfying marriage.

And, CONGRATULATIONS!

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, LMFT and Rachel Harder, M.A., LMFT-C

www.growingself.com

 

 


Break up or stay together? Who hasn't wondered the same, during a seriously difficult time in their relationship? Or, entertained an even bigger question: Should you try to save a relationship? How hard should you work? Especially a relationship that has been feeling really hard and unsatisfying for a long time? How do you know when it's time to call it quits?

 

Because deciding whether to break up or stay together is such a hard decision, we have many questions come through from clients, listeners of our podcast, and readers of our blog wanting help in deciding if their relationship can be saved, or if it's time to throw in the towel.

They want to know things like:

  • "How long should it take to see improvement in my relationship?"
  • "In my heart, I don't want to be married to this person anymore. Will it ever come back?"
  • "Is what I'm seeing solvable, or is this a sign we should break up?"
  • "Once a cheater, always a cheater? Or can you have a good relationship after infidelity?"
  • "I'm not being treated well by my boyfriend. Can this change?"
  • "How do I know if I've tried hard enough to save my relationship?"

If you've been going through a hard time in your relationship that has led you to have doubts, I hope that this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast can help shed some light on signs that it's time to break up, or whether your relationship can be saved.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

P.S. We discussed a number of resources on this show. Here's where to find the links to all of them: https://bit.ly/2Pga85B

Direct download: Break_UP_or_Stay_Together_-_82818_1.37_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

Do Long Distance Relationships Work?

Oh yes. In fact, long-distance relationships can have strengths over in-person relationships, and be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. However, to have a successful long-distance relationship, you need to be mindful of a few key factors in order to help you both feel loved, secure and connected although the miles keep you apart.

To talk all about how to make long distance relationships work, I've enlisted the support of long-distance relationship expert Brogan Crosby, M.S., LMFTC.

We're talking about:

  • Why long-distance couples can actually have strengths and advantages over other couples, especially when one or both partners are ambitious and career-focused.
  • Some of the unique challenges that long-distance couples face and how to overcome them.
  • What the most important factors in making long distance relationships work are, and how you can mindfully incorporate certain strategies to keep your connection strong.
  • Strategies to use during the transitional period when you shift from a long-distance relationship to living together (or nearby).

Listen to this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, and learn how to make your long-distance relationship thrive.

All the best, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: How_to_Make_Long_Distance_Work_-_31218_7.00_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 7:08pm MDT

Ghosts, Zombies and Breadcrumbs, Oh My!

If you've been on the modern dating scene for any time at all, you've probably become aware that the way people connect with each other is changing. Old "rules of dating" that we could once take for granted are no longer the norm. In fact, dating advice from just a few years ago might now steer you in the wrong direction if you're looking for love.

On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm joined by Match.com's lead researcher and scientific advisor Dr. Helen Fisher, as well as Denver dating coach Markie Keelan, to talk about their latest dating advice and how you can make it work for you.

Here are just some of the dating questions we're discussing:

  • What does it mean when someone you like disappears, only to show up again weeks or months later?
  • How do a significant percentage of long-term relationships start these days? (Hint: Not  with a first date!)
  • How can you tell if you're in a "situationship" that's going to turn into a real relationship? (Or not).
  • Why does keeping your options open sometimes reduce the chance of finding authentic intimacy?
  • How is the evolving political landscape impacting the way people behave when they're dating?
  • Why are some parts of the country notorious for "Ghosts, Zombies and Breadcrumbs" - and what you can do to avoid this trap?

All for you, on this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

xoxo,  Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: New_Rules_For_Dating_-_Dr_Helen_Fisher_-_21218_5.39_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 12:57pm MDT

Do you attract the wrong people? Do you keep having toxic relationships?

If so, you're not alone.

You'd be surprised at how many people come to us for life coaching, breakup recovery, individual therapy, or dating coaching hoping to achieve one goal: Having a healthy relationship. (And how to stop getting involved in unhealthy ones).

They show up to therapy or life coaching because they have, over time (or after the latest heartbreaking breakup) become aware that they are engaging in "non-ideal relationship patterns," over and over again. They keep getting involved with narcissists, or people who treat them badly. They keep choosing emotionally unavailable men, or aggressive / controlling women. Whatever the sad pattern is, they want it to stop.

Above all else, they want to work on themselves to heal, grow, and ensure that NEXT time they get involved with someone they can love and be loved in a healthy relationship with a good person. And so we dig in.

Identifying Your Blind Spots

The first stop in figuring out why you keep choosing the wrong man or wrong woman is uncovering what unconscious motivations are driving your choices. Getting outside help in understanding your toxic relationship patterns can be a wise move, because of the entirely subconscious nature of the problem.  You don't consciously choose bad relationships -- no one does. You choose what feel  in the moment, are good relationships.... and then wind up having bad experiences. (That are often mysteriously, eerily similar to the past experiences you thought you were trying to avoid).

Unhealthy relationship patterns can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it's old, unfinished emotional business from the past. Other times, your self-esteem or feelings of self-worth can get in the way. Yet other times, the root of the problem is imbedded in way you communicate or set boundaries with others. Because you are a complex, unique, individual, your truth will not be exactly the same as everyone else's.

Avoiding Toxic Relationships

However, there is one very common thing that most people have done at least once, and which will almost always lead to heartbreak: Falling victim to "Black Hat Love." Learning how to spot the one fatal factor that makes you most vulnerable to getting involved in toxic relationships can help you stop the madness, and finally create the happy, healthy relationship you're longing for.

And that's what I'll be teaching you about on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Have follow up questions for me? Leave them in the comments @ https://wp.me/p6UUlQ-92A

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby


Because You Don't Just Want to Get Married. You Want an Amazing Marriage.

As I've written about (passionately!) in previous posts, there are specific things that smart couples do -- right from the start of their relationship -- to set themselves up for a happy, healthy, successful marriages.

Step one? Relationship education. Regrettably, no one explicitly teaches you how to have good relationships. We all muddle through, learning from our mistakes, and breaking some things in the process. But your marriage is much to important to wander blindly through. The quality of your marriage is the center of the life you'll build. Don't take chances. Do it right. Believe it or not, there is actually an instruction manual!

What we know from research is that couples who engage in high-quality marriage education programs either before they get married or in the first few years of marriage have much better outcomes than couples who don't: Lower divorce rates, higher marital satisfaction, and a stronger partnership.

You can achieve this too, by investing in your relationship, and educating yourself.

Why does this help? Because proactive couples on a positive trajectory who learn ahead of time how to handle inevitable issues, how to communicate, and how to keep their love alive prevent relationship problems from happening in the first place.

Our Wedding Present to You

If you are getting married this year (or even if you jumped the broom a few years ago) I am here today, to support YOU in creating an amazing, strong, enduring marriage by providing you with loads of free information. I want you to have everything you need to be happy and successful in your relationship for years to come!

Specifically, today, I have two "marriage education" presents for you.

Free Premarital Counseling Advice

The first: I have enlisted the support of one of our resident premarital counseling experts, Meagan Terry, M.A., LMFT. Meagan is a licensed marriage and family therapist, an emotional intelligence and communication coach, trained by the federal reserve to do financial counseling with couples, AND she teaches our Lifetime of Love Premarital and Relationship Class.

On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast Meagan will be SPILLING THE BEANS about the kinds of skills and strategies couples need to learn to create a lifetime of love together.

Listen to our interview and learn the kinds of things you and your sweetie can start doing now to ensure that your relationship stays strong. You'll also get some insight in to the skills and strategies she teaches her premarital couples to help them get on the same page around finances, sexuality, priorities, and more.

Ask a Wedding Expert

The second wedding present I have for you: We are co-hosting a super-fun happy hour event at our Denver office on Wednesday May the 10th called "Ask The Wedding Experts."

If you are planning a wedding, this is your big chance to mix and mingle in a casual setting with wedding professionals (like master wedding planner Laura Peterson of L Elizabeth Events) who are ready to share their wisdom around things like:

  • How to pull off amazing wedding without breaking the bank, and stretch your wedding-budget dollars.
  • "DIY dazzler or disaster?" - The projects that are worth (or not) the effort.
  • Wedding day Do's & Don'ts to keep your special day running smoothly.
  • Styling tips to help your day (and your photos) to reflect what is most authentic an beautiful about your love.
  • And of course, Growing Self premarital counselors will be on hand to help with tricky family situations, communication tips, boundary setting, and more.

This event is FREE. If you'd like to attend in person, register now so we know to save some champagne for you.

And, because so many of our online premarital counseling clients are outside of Denver, you can still get the scoop. Email me with your questions, OR leave your questions as comments in this post.

I will ask our panel of wedding experts your questions on your behalf, and I will post their answers for you in an upcoming blog post. Get your questions to me by 5/9, and then stay tuned for the answers!

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

 


Do you have hundreds of "friends," yet still feel disconnected?

As a therapist, people share their deepest feelings and fears with me. What I've been hearing a lot lately is about is how disconnected and alone many of my clients feel, even though they may have contact with dozens upon dozens of people a day. Ironic, right?

But there is such a difference between knowing people, and truly being known. Having contacts is not the same as having authentic connection. Many people with dozens of "friends" are still craving actual friendships where they feel known, valued, and understood.

I'm a marriage counselor first, so my podcast and blog often does skew on the side of discussing your relationship with your "primary attachment" (that's shrink-speak for "significant other."). However having meaningful friendships and close connections in your life is just as important to your over all happiness and well being as the state of your marriage. In fact, having close friends that you trust and who you can be emotionally intimate with can buffer you from the rest of life's ups and downs.

But, creating and maintaining authentic connection and friendship can be challenging. This is especially true as people move out of their twenties, and into their thirties and beyond. For one thing, it's harder to meet people when you're not going out all the time. Secondly, it's challenging to spend time with the friends you have when everyone is stretched so thin between their careerstheir families, making time for their spouse, and just keeping their lives in order. It's about the best we can do to comment on each other's posts once in a while.

How to Have More Friendship in Your Life

To discuss this issue that affects so many people, and get some practical tips on how to cultivate authentic friendship in your life, I have enlisted the support of an expert: one of MY oldest and dearest friends, Amy Rocen. Amy is not a therapist or a life coach, but of all the people I have ever met - personally or professionally - she is truly an authority on making and keeping good friends.

She's graciously agreed to discuss her "friendship super power with me" on this edition of the Love, Happiness & Success podcast. We're going to be talking about the things that she and I have done to keep our friendship strong and emotionally intimate for over twenty years.

Amy is also going to be sharing her tips for how to connect with new people, as well as her perspective on how to keep a rich and full life of meaningful relationships through the ups and downs of time.

Direct download: Cultivating_Connection-_The_Art_of_Friendship_-_10316_2.51_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 3:00pm MDT

Am I in the "right" relationship? How do I find my soulmate? Are we truly compatible?

Many people show up for dating coachinglife coaching or even marriage counseling with a lot of angst around these unanswered questions. People who are dating can wonder if they've found "the one." Premarital couples sometimes worry whether they're compatible enough to get married. And even married or long time partnered people can wonder if their relationship issues are due to their being too different. (Or having "perpetual problems" as marriage and family researcher Dr. John Gottman likes to call it).

I'm simply glad that people are asking these kinds of relationship questions. After all, who you choose to marry is going to have a greater impact on the quality of your life and your long term happiness than just about anything else.

And it's also true that everyone is a mixed bag, with aspects to them that are both delightful and frustrating as all get out. So how do you determine what is a relationship red flag, or sign that you're fundamentally incompatible? How to you figure out what differences are okay? When do opposites not just attract, but actually strengthen a partnership? When can you have big differences, and yet still be highly compatible soul mates?

The answers might surprise you! On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm going to talk through all these questions with you. To do this though, I need to wear three hats.

Relationship Compatibility in Marriage

First, I'm going to put on my marriage counselor cape hat and talk about the most common culprits that make married couples wonder if they are compatible or not. Listen and learn what (frustrating!) differences might actually be strengths for your relationship, and what differences are harder to overcome. I'll also give you tips for how to build bridges to the center, and appreciate each other for who you are. Want to see an example of this in action? Check out my recent post: "How Jenny and Greg Fixed Their Relationship." 

Finding Your Soulmate

Next I'm putting on my dating coach  wizard hat to talk about the serious business of finding your soul mate. Dating is all about "auditioning" people and getting to know them over time. I'll share the down low on the biggest mistake I see dating people make, and how it can impair their ability to find a true soul mate. If you are on the dating market, I'll help you understand what's important to look for in a potential partner, and what is NOT as important when you're looking for love. I'm also sharing some practical steps you can take to make sure that you're finding a good match in terms of both character and chemistry.

For Premarital Couples

Lastly, I'm sharing my advice as a premarital counselor. If you're planning a wedding with some lingering questions on your mind, you'll want to check out the case example I shared about what it looks like when someone is NOT asking the right questions leading up to marriage. The best time to prevent potential pitfalls is before the wedding. It's essential to have serious conversations about your personalities, hopes and dreams, and expectations prior to the "I Do's." Why? First of all, it's enormously helpful to get on the same page and identify potential problems before you're married. But an even bigger reason? Because the one of the most serious red flags for a relationship is not being able to talk through important things respectfully. If you are literally not able to have "Who are we, what do we each want, and how are we going to get on the same page?" conversations together, you might want to slow down.

Relationship Compatibility Test

One of the resources I talked through on the show is Dr. Helen Fisher's personality test. If you would like to take it for yourself (and / or ask your partner to) you can find it here: http://bit.ly/2cOmEX6. For more information about the ideas behind Dr. Fisher's compatibility quiz and how they impact people in relationships, I highly recommend her book, "Why Him, Why Her."

With love, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Relationship_Compatibility-__Finding_Your_Soulmate.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 4:15pm MDT

Healing From Infidelity, Emotional Affairs, and Betrayal

As a Denver marriage counselor for over a decade, I've had an up close, front-row seat to all aspects of the tragedy of infidelity. I know with certainty that being involved in an affair is one of the most traumatic and damaging things that someone can live through.

When feelings of lust and romantic infatuation overwhelm someone's core values, commitment and good judgment, families can be shattered, and lives are often ruined. In the aftermath of infidelity, everyone involved is left feeling emotionally bankrupt and broken, and with unanswered questions blaring in their heads.

This podcast is my attempt to answer some of them:

  • Why do affairs happen?
  • Why does infidelity happen in even happy marriages?
  • Why is everyone in a love triangle profoundly damaged by the experience?
  • What are the early signs that an affair is simmering?
  • Most importantly: How do you even begin to recover, not just your relationship, but yourself in the aftermath of an affair?

Protecting Your Marriage From an Affair

Affairs, like any other type of cancer or addiction, throw off lots of red flags and warning signs in the early stages. If you know what to look for you can check yourself, and / or protect your marriage. Early intervention is key, and I'll show you what to watch out for to prevent the nightmare of an affair from unfolding in your life.

Rebuilding a Marriage After the Affair

If you are in a marriage that has been shattered by an affair, I want you to know that hope, healing and forgiveness are possible. An affair does not necessarily mean that divorce is around the corner. While it is hard work to rebuild trust in the aftermath of an affair under the guidance of a competent marriage counselor many couples are able to not just heal from infidelity, but create a stronger and more satisfying relationship than ever before. I'll share the key ingredient to help you start growing back together again.

Healing After Betrayal

Being cheated on, lied to, and betrayed by your number-one person cuts deeply into soft places that are hard to heal. Recovery involves repairing your self esteem, working through grief and anger, and learning how to trust again -- both other people, and often yourself. I'll give you some tips for how to understand what happened, and protect yourself from future betrayals.

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Furthermore, hope and recovery is also possible for The Other and The Occupied -- the people who did terrible things over the course of an affair that they now feel ashamed about. No one gets out of a love triangle unscathed. When betrayals happen in the context of a toxic relationship, everyone involved is emotionally wounded in the process. Abandoning your values, and feeling that you've allowed yourself to be degraded by an affair can leave your self-respect mangled, and damage your trust in yourself -- not to mention your trust in others. The silver lining: We'll be talking about how such unique pain brings with it an equally unique opportunity to learn, grow, and become a better, healthier, more powerful person because of it.

Recovering From Infidelity

On this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast we are descending into the darkness of infidelity together, so that you can understand how and why affairs start, how to prevent affairs from happening, and how to rebuild your life if you have been through any aspect of this experience.

I sincerely hope it helps you on your journey of growth and healing.

With love,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

Music Credits of this episode: PJ Harvey: Dry and To Bring You My Love (Albums)


Restore Your Sexual Connection

Feeling disconnected sexually is one of the first signs that a relationship may be heading for trouble. But it can be a difficult topic for couples to address openly, even in marriage counseling. Despite feeling sadness, rejection, pressure, or frustration around sexuality, many couples feel inhibited from discussing it with each other: It just feels too vulnerable.

So they avoid the conversation. Over time, unfortunately, they often become increasingly disconnected -- both sexually and emotionally -- as a result. Don't let this happen to your relationship. It's time to fearlessly face your sexual relationship, and start having the open conversations that will help not just restore your sex life, but restore the emotional intimacy and positivity to your relationship again.

Be honest: Is your sex life withering? Has it been weeks, months or even years since you and your partner had a meaningful, let alone erotic, sexual experience together? Does sex feel more like another obligation as opposed to a pleasurable point of connection? Are you starting to feel more like room-mates or buddies than lovers?

If so, you're not alone. Many busy, high achieving couples start to lose their sexual connection over time as the "stuff of life" starts taking priority over sexual intimacy. Keeping eroticism and passion alive in long term relationships requires effort and intention, but unfortunately it's one of the easiest things to put off. Many couples let it go for too long, and over time start to experience negative consequences in many different areas of their relationship as a result.

The good news is that intimacy and desire can be restored.

You can have a vibrant, enjoyable sexual connection again. The first step on this journey is educating yourself and learning new ideas that will help you address the core issues affecting most dissatisfying sexual relationships.

On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm offering my best advice on how to:

  • Stop neglecting your sexual relationship
  • Have time and energy to invest in your erotic connection
  • Increase your (and / or your partner's) sexual desire
  • Use your sexual relationship as a vehicle for personal growth

Listen, and learn how to banish "sexual apathy" from taking over your marriage, and what new research on sexuality and desire shows about how to bring sexual energy back to life -- both in yourself, and in your partnership.

I hope this information helps you start to find your way back together again.

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Sexless_Marriage_Revive_Sexual_Intimacy_-_81016_10.20_AM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 8:56am MDT

Getting Married is a Big Deal. Do it Right.

Are you ready for fancy dresses, impromptu family reunions, teary toasts, and inebriated aunts doing embarrassing things on the dance floor? Yes, it's wedding season, y'all. While most of the time on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast we talk about how to have a great relationship, today, in honor of wedding season, we're talking about the art and craft of weddings themselves.

Why? For the last few months we've had droves of young couples at Growing Self preparing themselves to have fantastic marriages, through either our "I Do!" premarital counseling program, or our Denver premarital counseling class, "A Lifetime of Love." It's inspiring to see so many smart couples who are heading off potential problems by doing premarital counseling so I decided to make you all a little wedding present.

If you're not getting married yourself this year, it's highly likely that you'll be a guest at a wedding. And that comes with it's own set of challenges. Anytime far-flung extended family and friends come together for an alcohol infused weekend, drama can ensue. How do you support your loved one who is getting married while setting healthy boundaries, and still have a good time in the process?

Whether you are gearing up for a large scale traditional wedding, an intimate gathering to formalize your partnership, weddings are a big deal. A marriage is an incredibly meaningful and important day, and it can be uniquely stressful to plan and prepare for. On this episode of the podcast I've invited Laura Pearson, founder of L Elizabeth Events, to share some of the things she's learned from her 10 years of experience as a Denver wedding planner. Some of the questions I've asked her on your behalf:

  • What are some of the biggest mistakes engaged couples make?
  • What's the secret to enjoying your wedding, instead of being a stress-case?
  • How do you handle intrusive parents?
  • What can you do to make your wedding more enjoyable and meaningful for your guests?
  • As a guest, what do you need to do to support your friend or family member on their big day?

Listen Now!

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: How_to_Have_a_Happy_Wedding.m4a
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

Breakup Advice: Your Questions, Answered

I've been a marriage counselor for a long time. My experience has taught me that when both people in a relationship are committed to doing what it takes to improve it, relationships can nearly always be made whole. Even better, most couples can use their troubles as a launching pad for amazing new growth. At the end of the process, believe it or not, they often describe feeling grateful for the problems that brought them into marriage counseling because their transformation would not have been possible without them. That's the happy ending.

And. Not all relationships can be saved. Not all relationships should be saved. When one or both partners have simply stopped believing that the other person can be who they want or need them to be, and the costs of staying outweigh the benefits, relationships end. Often, in the aftermath, one partner will be left alone on my therapy-couch. Then we do the work of recovery together.

That's how I accidentally became a break up expert. (And a dating coach, incidentally).

What I learned through this work is that people can suffer for a very long time; stuck on an Ex who will never love them the way they need to be loved. I also learned that attachments don't just turn off like a switch. Breaking your bond to another person is very hard work, and it must be intentional. Time does not heal. Time + intentional effort + self awareness sure can though.

When I realized how many people are suffering, and feeling so helpless to extract themselves from unhealthy emotional attachments, I became a passionate advocate for people on the path of recovery from failed relationships. So much so that I wrote a book on the subject, "Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to An Ex Love," and I developed my online breakup recovery program, "Heal Your Broken Heart." Since then I've been getting lots of questions from readers and listeners. Today, I decided to devote a podcast to answering them.

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, we're talking all about breakups -- particularly how to deal with the hardest parts, and serious dilemmas like:

  • How do you know when a relationship is really over, or whether it's worth trying again?
  • How to handle  friends and family who may be getting frustrated with you in an on-again, off-again type situation? Or how to set boundaries with well-meaning people who have very definite ideas about how you should handle things, when you feel differently?
  • How to deal with the enormous emotional pain of a breakup?
  • How to cope with regret over the mistakes you made that may have led to the ending of your relationship?

So if you've been stuck on your Ex for too long, and wondering how to let go, listen to this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast to get some new ideas and guidance for how to let go and move on --- for good.

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Getting_Over_a_Breakup_2-_2617_1.19_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 1:31pm MDT

Lonely Valentine's Days aren't just for singles...

Valentine's Day can be a fun, romantic day. But it can also leave people feeling exquisitely lonely -- especially, believe it or not, if they are in long-term relationships. We've all heard the arguments that Valentine's Day is a manufactured holiday, designed to manipulate people into spending their money. But what I have found to be more true is that people love to love. They love to celebrate their love. They love to feel cherished and appreciated. And they really want to feel loved, celebrated, cherished, and appreciated on Valentine's Day -- by the person who means more to them than anyone else in the world.

Particularly when relationships have been feeling challenging, many people hope that Valentine's Day can be a day for recognition, reconnection, and reunion. That the love that launched their life together can be breathed back into a cozy fire by a little effort and specialness. (And it certainly can).

And... many married people have hopes that do not come to fruition on Valentine's Day. Instead of feeling like they day was a celebration of their love for each other:

They don't feel loved and cherished.

Or

They don't feel valued and respected.

Or

They don't feel known, or understood.

Or

They are frustrated by radically different ideas of what would be fun / meaningful to do on Valentine's Day.

Or

They try to have a good time, but old friction points, conflicts, and resentments bubble up to spoil it.

Ick.

When these things happen couples can feel very, very lonely on THE DAY that it seems like everyone else in the world is celebrating their love. Even if things are "good-enough" most of the time, and longing for connection is lost in the day-to-day flurry of must-do activities and chores, a lonely Valentine's Day can still feel like a real blow.

It's hard to live through this, but here is the good news: Being dissatisfied with the way things are is the definition of motivation. All couples have ups and downs. Being more aware of your feelings is the first step towards making positive changes in your life, and in your relationship.

Are YOU feeling ready to make changes? Do you want to feel connected, and in-love again? Help is here: On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm sharing my top 10 tips to help you re-establish your romantic connection.

Feeling Lonely In Your Marriage? 10 Tips To Reconnect. Listen Now.

Music Credits: "Valentine," by The Losers

Direct download: Lonely_Marriage_10_Tips_To_Reconnection_-_21516_6.10_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 6:17pm MDT

Are "money issues" a problem in your relationship?

If so, you're not alone. Fights about money -- how to spend it, how to save it, and how to make it -- are common battlegrounds in a marriage. Why so much drama? Money is emotionally laden for most people. Money is ultimately a symbol that can mean security, freedom, pleasure, power, love, and more. When it means different things to two people in a relationship -- look out. The sparks fly when couples have different values around money.

"He's a cheapskate." (Translation: I don't feel loved.)
"She spends every dime." (Translation: Doesn't she care about our security? Or how hard I work?)
"All he/she does is work." (Translation: I don't feel important.)
"I can't believe you spent so much on _____." (Translation: I don't understand you.)
"Where did it all go??" (Translation: This is scary. I feel alone in this.)

When left unchecked, "money issues" can bloom into very ugly emotional dynamics: Power struggles. Hiding spending, or debt. Negative beliefs about each other's character. Increasing hostility and emotional distance. Money problems must be resolved.

Get on The Same Page About Finances

The good news is that creating agreement and teamwork around finances is a solvable problem. All couples have to work through differences around money as part of growing together. This doesn't have to be stressful or conflictual. It's just a matter of learning new skills -- together.

In fact, the most successful couples have developed a set of skills about how to manage money together. (Just like they have learned about other critical relationship skills). Learning how to talk about money, make a plan for money, and support each other's financial hopes and dreams is one of the cornerstones of a happy healthy marriage.

Financial Counseling For Couples

On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success podcast I'm so pleased to be speaking with expert couples financial counselor Jeff Motske on this subject. Jeff is the author of Couples Guide to Financial Compatibility, and the host of the "Declare Your Financial Freedom" radio show. Listen to our interview to learn how to:

  • How to use Jeff's free online quiz: War of the Wallets to learn more about each other's "money personality"
  • Have productive conversations about money
  • How to create a workable budget
  • How to develop a "solid financial house" together
  • And how to set yourself financially free, as a couple.

Financial Counseling For Couples: Listen Now


It's Not Just You: Online Dating Can Be Brutal

Profiles that don't get any attention.
Endless texting that doesn't go anywhere.
First dates that fizzle.

It's hard to avoid all the potential pitfalls on your own. It's anxiety provoking to put yourself out there and either hear chirping crickets, or endure a series disappointing experiences. There is a reason why dating coaching has become a multi-million dollar industry in the last few years -- NOBODY knows what they are doing when it comes to online dating. That's why so many people are turning to dating coaching experts to help them figure it out.

As we've discussed on previous podcasts, for successful online dating you need to have CLARITY, INTENTION, and a darn good STRATEGY. There's no better person to take online dating advice from my guest on today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast: The world-famous online dating coach Julie Spira.

For over 20 years, Julie Spira has been helping singles find love online. She teaches singles how to shorten their search, so they can ride into the digital sunset together. She’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Julie is a frequent guest in the media for online and mobile dating advice. She’s appeared in over 650 stories including ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, NPR, Good Morning America, Elle, Glamour, Men’s Health, New York Times, Washington Post, and USAToday. Follow her on Twitter, @JulieSpira, where she tweets about dating and love.

She’s here as our guest today to talk about the hot topic of online dating and mobile dating apps and the new audio book version of her bestseller.

Listen to our interview and hear Julie's top tips about how to make your online profile irresistible, convert first texts into first dates, and connect with the love you're looking for. Want more of Julie's tips? Links to her website are in our show notes for this episode: www.growingself.com/the-secret-to-finding-love-online-with-julie-spira

The Secret to Finding Love Online, with Julie Spira: Listen Now

Direct download: The_Secret_To_Finding_Love_Online_with_Julie_Spira.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 4:13pm MDT

Sad But True: January is The Most Common Time Of Year For Breakups and Divorces

Does your relationship have a holiday hangover? Memories of the holiday meals and sparkly presents are fading into the distance. The brown pine needles have been vacuumed from the rug. But the hurt feelings, resentments, and disappointments? Hoo boy! NOW is the time of year when it finally feels safe to talk about the hard things that have happened over the last few months.

Holidays are wonderful, and there is lots to love. But they are also stressful, and they put uniquely difficult stressors on relationships. The cracks in every relationship strain around things like money, in-laws, setting limits with the kids, "being thoughtful," who might be drinking too much or flirting with a certain someone at a holiday party, or all the unhelpful ways people cope with stress. Over the holidays, pressure gets put on all those cracks at the same time.

People cope the best they can. Many people, as they go through the holidays, say to themselves: "Just get through it, get through it, get through it." The holidays are supposed to be happy right? So people keep the lid on the hard stuff. They smile when they feel like screaming, they stuff the disappointments, and they endure the annoyances. Silently. With mounting bitterness.

As any marriage counselor worth their salt will tell you, stuffing things only makes them fester and grow like warty mushrooms of resentment on your heart. So by the time you arrive in January, what you've been holding on to for the past month or two may feel like a really. big. deal.

Furthermore, nobody wants to open up a bunch or hard stuff right before the holidays. Certainly nobody wants to talk about breaking up. Couples who weren't in a great place even before the holidays start to feel squeamish about dealing directly with their problems before all the family events and vacation plans. Married people "don't want to scar their kids by ruining Christmas." So they wait, stuffing their feelings and biding their time until the ball drops on a New Year. A new start. A new life.

And then they blindside their partners with talk of breaking up, or the "big D" in January.

Do Not Be Afraid of The January Relationship Crisis

Seriously. Use it to your advantage.

  • Use it as an opportunity to resolve issues, and make the changes that need to be made: This can be a "fresh start" for your relationship, just like your other goals and hopes for the new year.
  • Show your partner how much you love them by staying calm, and letting them know you're willing to work on it. Practice listening non-defensively, and responding to their requests. Let them know you're willing to do whatever it takes to work through it with them.

2016 could be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship. Facing challenges fearlessly, as a couple, is what will create a stronger, deeper connection than ever before. No one wants relationships to be over: They want them to be better. Embrace the "January Relationship Crisis." This could be your chance to take your relationship to the next level.

Happy New Year!

-- Lisa

Podcast Music Credits: Ty Segall, "So Alone"

Direct download: January_Relationship_Crisis_2016.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 8:06pm MDT

Is "Be in a fantastic relationship" your #1 resolution for 2016?

You're in luck. On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm interviewing Denver Dating Coach Jessica Small about things that you can do to attract a happy new relationship into your life.

Jessica is an expert Dating Coach and the instructor of our strategic dating coaching class: Let Love In. She's chock full of great advice that you can put into practice right now to get better results in your dating life. She's even tackling some of your biggest dating questions like:

1) What's the biggest dating mistake you're making -- the one that happens before you even go out on a first date?


2) What are things you can do to make it a great first date... that leaves them wanting more of you?


3) How can putting a priority on "chemistry" distract you from the most important ingredients for a healthy relationship?


4) What's going on with people who just "disappear" after the first date?

 

Get Jessica's best dating coaching advice and learn how to connect with the one you've been waiting for in 2016.


Learn more about Jessica on our website: www.growingself.comInterested in Jessica's dating coaching class? Learn more about "Let Love In" -- it starts on January 11th!

How to "Find the One" in 2016: Listen Now

 

Music Credits: Shocking Blue, "Send Me a Postcard"

Direct download: How_to_Find_22The_One22_in_2016_-_122115_1.32_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 1:43pm MDT

Is Your Relationship Just... Off?

Have you been feeling worried about your relationship? Are you feeling resentful, or angry with your partner? Are you feeling hurt, or shut out? Do you feel like the person who should be your number one fan has recently turned into a source of pain and frustration?

If so, you're not alone. All couples go through ups and downs, and drifting apart (and then coming back together again) is what it means to be in a long term relationship. But it still feels yucky when it's happening. And if disconnection and negativity has been going on for awhile, it can begin to make you feel worried that there may be more serious problems under the surface.

Furthermore, it's hard to know how to reconnect when negativity has taken hold of your relationship. Every time you try to reach out and patch things up, it seems like a new hurt or disappointment is always bubbling up to the surface. It's enough to make you start to feel helpless.

I'm here to help, and give you advice for how to get back on track with each other.

And listen -- I don't want to scare you -- but the time to act is now. January is the most common time of year for breakups and divorces. People can grit their teeth and endure things to "get through the holidays" and then fueled by hopeful resolutions for a happier new year sweep a relationship out right along with the tinsel lint and brown pine needles.

My very first piece of advice? If you're really worried about your relationship, pay attention to your intuition. Do things now to help show your partner that it can get better. Your putting effort and energy into your relationship NOW gives you the opportunity to turn things around before one of you starts to lose hope.

Let's Talk About How To Fix Your Relationship

On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, I'm putting on my Marriage Counselor hat, and will be giving you some advice that will help you figure out whether this "rough patch" is an indication of something serious (or not) and what you can do to get things back on track.

We're discussing the most common types of relationship disconnections, and some actionable advice that you can use in each situation to begin establishing open lines of communication, repairing hurt feelings, and solving problems together.

I'll also be following up over the next few weeks with two "Communication 101" guides that will help you handle a partner who tends to withdraw and avoid talking about things, plus a tutorial on what to do with a partner who seems angry or critical.

Don't miss them: Sign up for the Love, Happiness and Success Express to get a round-up from the blog once a month! Sign up at www.growingself.com

What To Do When You're Worried About Your Relationship: Listen Now

Next week: Unconditional love -- what it means, and how to cultivate it in your life.


Help For Your Relationship

I've spent a decade as a Denver marriage counselor -- and I've been married for nearly twenty years myself. I've learned a thing or two about relationships, along the way. I frequently have people email me with various relationship dilemmas, and I've had listeners of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast from all over the world get in touch with me regarding their relationship questions. I thought I'd address a few of them on today's podcast.

Advice From A Marriage Counselor: Your Relationship Questions, Answered.

"How do I bring up delicate topics with my partner? (Like their bad breath, or their weight?)"

"What do I do if I don't like my partner's friends?"

"How important is it for me to feel 'butterflies' for my partner? If I don't, is there a problem?"

"How fast should relationships move, in the beginning?"

"What's a warning sign of a toxic relationship?"

"What do I do if I want to move forward, but my partner doesn't?"

I'll be discussing all these questions, and more, on today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Are there questions that you have? Let me know, either in the comments below or by contacting me through my website: www.growingself.com I'll be glad to answer them in an article, on an upcoming podcast!

xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Listen Now.

(Music Credits: The Last Shadow Puppets, "My Mistakes Were Made For You.")

Direct download: Your_Relationship_Questions_Answered_-_92115_3.17_PM.m4a
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 4:14pm MDT

The holidays are upon us! Time for turkey, presents, and LOTS of time with your family. The counseling and coaching sessions I'm having with my Denver clients recently have focused on how to handle "family time." 

The truth is that everyone wants to have a happy holiday with their family. It's also true that many people look forward to time with their parents with a mixture of excitement... and apprehension. Particularly during the holidays, with all the forced together-time, it's easy for tensions to flare and wreck a nice day pretty fast.

So today I'm re-issuing the "How to Deal With Difficult Parents" edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, in order to remind you of the mindset to cultivate in order to genuinely appreciate your parents for who they are, and have a good time together.

I hope these ideas help you have a happy holiday. And Happy Thanksgiving! xo, Lisa

======================================================

Do your parents make you crazy? You're not alone! Even as adults, our parents can have a unique ability to trigger familiar old frustrations, hurts and resentments. Or maybe they're just annoying. Maybe, as in my own case, you're still a little upset with your mother for not being Hillary Clinton.

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I talk about how to deal with your parents, as an adult. Listen, and learn why you get so triggered by your parents, and the steps to create a healthy, peaceful and reality-based relationship with the parents you have.

We'll talk about the stages that we all move through on the path of "individuation" including disillusionment, distance, healing / growing, and reclaiming. You'll learn how to shift from being a child in relation to your parents, to an adult. Finally, you'll learn how to appreciate your parents for who they are, forgive past mistakes, set healthy boundaries, and start actually enjoying your relationship with them. Listen now....

 

Direct download: How-to-Deal-With-Difficult-Parents.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

Can you have a passionate marriage? Or is it the eventual fate of all couples to be as bored and put off by each other as they are attached? Many couples arrive in marriage counseling really worried that the fact they’re feeling “meh” about each other is a sign that something is very wrong in their relationship. They think that they’ve "Fallen Out of Love," and that this is a reason to end their relationship.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth: This moment is when real growth, passion and intimacy can begin.

 

And my purpose for making this particular podcast today is to help you understand what’s going on in the "falling out of love" phenomena.  I'll also give you some strategies about how to bring the sparkle back that may surprise you. (I can promise you that the punchline of this podcast is not going to be to have a date night and buy some lingerie.) We go deeper than that on the love, happiness and success podcast. I’m going to talk to you about what you need to do, and really, who you need to become, in order to wantto have a date night and go buy some lingerie.

Listen now, to "How To Rekindle The Passion" on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Direct download: Can_You_Get_The_Butterflies_Back.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 1:53pm MDT

#35 - Finding Common Ground

Have you ever worried that you and your partner are just too different? 

If so, you're not alone. In fact, all couples need to find common ground around their differences. It's simply the relationship experience: We're not married to ourselves. We're with someone who is a unique individual with their own needs, feelings, hopes and dreams -- many of which may be different from our own. 

That's not just okay, it's completely normal. Where couples run into trouble is when they get "polarized," or entrenched in extreme positions on an issue. Things become black and white, and power struggles or arguments ensue. 

On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'll be showing you the way back to connection.

Direct download: Are_We_Too_Different_2.m4a
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 1:45pm MDT

#32 - Have a Happy Relationship: Learn to Transform Conflict into Connection

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, Marriage Counselor, Life Coach and Therapist, will teach you an easy formula to turn any conflict with your partner into a "bonding moment" that will strengthen your marriage. You can stop fighting, improve your communication skills, and start understanding each other. Improve your relationship today. Listen now!


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