Relationship Tips

Relationship Advice: Scratch An Adult, and You’ll Find a Scared Child Underneath

November 26th, 2005

“Scratch an adult, and you’ll find a scared child underneath.” Who said this? I did. Ok, it’s not a very famous quote. But, I do say it, over and over. And people shake their heads yes, acknowledging that they know what I mean.

“Under stress, we regress.” The man who trained me many years ago said this. And I say it over and over again to people all the time. Given some stress, we drop back to a younger way of behaving, feeling and thinking. You might call it the “knee jerk reaction.”

So, this is the problem with many of your relationships. We see it in the boss who over-reactes. It’s in the over-wrought parent who abuses a child in the name of discipline. And it is certainly in the relationship spats we have with our lovers.We’re all scared children reacting in knee jerk ways as soon as any stress builds up.

Unless you’re more aware than most, this pattern is not immediately obvious. It can be a mystery as to why you blew up over nothing, or why your partner seems so unreasonable when you’re trying to be so logical. At some level, and it’s usually unconscious, we’d scared. We’re afraid of experiencing some level of discomfort, and our primal training moves us to react in inappropriate ways.

Add to this that our brain has spent years and years associating negative expectations to all kinds of events and it is amazing that we can have such normal relationships most of the time.

And what about those people that “never” react? They are always so pleasing and never would say anything unsettling to anyone else. I guarantee that they are doing the same process on the inside. They cringe, they run away, they feel pain. Their over-compliant ways are actually a form of knee-jerkiness that defines a life-time.

Compliant niceness and super-negotiability are, more often than not, a way to handle their own deep down fear that they will cause someone to have such a knee jerk reaction towards them.

The Solution:

How I wish I could give you a single, smart, simple answer for this problem! Not a chance! You’ll be learning to live in more productive ways for the rest of your life. In fact, working on this one personality reality is what your relationships are particularly suited for.

Here’s the solution as simply as I can put it.

First, be aware that “Under stress, we always regress.” And good stress is still stress. Ever wonder how two people at a wonderful wedding celebration can suddenly have a huge argument? It’s because the wedding is stressful. It’s good stress, but it’s still stress. Just acknowledging that this is how life works helps us to name it and bounce back faster.

Secondly, realize that you can not stop regressions from occurring. With practice you’ll identify it faster and recover quicker, but our reactions will always be with us lurking beneath the surface. You’ll just become better and better at handling it.

Thirdly, realize what maturity really is. It is NOT stopping it, but getting out of it faster and faster each time. What bothered me several days last year, may only bother me several hours this year, and next year it may only be a three second blip. It is still there but I become less and less reactive to it.

This is the basis of my therapy work with couples. I help them get used to the things that each of them react to, to recognize what stresses each of them, and to grow in maturity so that they don’t react so strongly in the future.

I encourage you to take this short outline to heart. If I could get this little lesson deep within you, you’d never have to read another of my articles.

You will ALWAYS react, but with time and awareness you can lower the power of this reactivity and create peace and serenity for you and your partner.

Steve Roberts is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist who shares tips and real life relationship secrets from over 20 years of practice. Get Insight and Wisdom for your Relationships at:

Want A Relationship That Works? Be More Selfish

November 26th, 2005

When we’re young, we’re taught to play nice and share. Selfishness is a vice, and consideration a virtue. We carry those beliefs with us into adulthood where they work well in everyday life. But, the situation is different when you’re dating. Dating is all about finding someone who meets your requirements for a mate. It’s not about molding yourself to fit your partner’s requirements. So, the best way to have long term success in your relationship? Be more selfish when dating.

Most men and women aren’t nearly selfish enough when they are dating. That may sound backward to you because you try to be on your best behavior during a date. You try to make a good impression. You try to be considerate and selfless because you want the other person to like you. While this selflessness makes you a great date, it doesn’t get you what you want. It doesn’t get you a life partner who meets your definition of a good mate. Years later, you’re unhappy. You really didn’t choose a mate; you were chosen.

It’s All About Him

You make a big mistake when you set aside your feelings and cater totally to the other person desires so that he or she will like you. That’s bad for two reasons.

First, it’s not fair to your date. He never gets to know you: your tastes, your preferences, and your personality. So how could he know if the two of you are really compatible? Express yourself. Let him know your preferences and your quirks. Give him the chance to bail if you don’t fit his ideal for a partner. Don’t show him just your good side in order to have a relationship. Br open, and be real. If he’s the man for you, he’ll accept you and will want to please you. If he’s not the man for you, better to find out now instead of after the wedding when you have a big mortgage and small kids.

It’s All About You

You’re also being unfair to yourself. By suppressing your desires and preferences, you are letting your partner set the terms of the relationship. That doesn’t work long term. In fact, a major cause of divorces is because one or both spouses “settled” for the other in order to have a relationship and get married.

Don’t settle. Be selfish. This is your relationship, too. You have the right to choose anyone and reject anyone for any reason. You don’t owe your dates anything except courtesy and kindness. You will owe your spouse a lifetime of love and commitment. The more selfish you are during the dating process-the choosier you are when selecting a life partner-the easier it will be to love and to cherish.

Selfish In Dating, But Selfless In Love

If you’re dating the right person, he or she will love you just as you are. There are plenty of prospects who will meet your requirements and needs. Prospects who fit your ideal of a life partner. But, you’ll never find them if you settle for something less than you want. Be up front from the beginning. Express yourself freely and openly. It’s not phony, it’s not pretentious: it’s you being you. You can still be charming and polite. But, be prepared for a lot of dates to walk away. The fact that you weren’t right for them means that they weren’t right for you. Right? Openness and honesty in dating will also carry forward into openness and honesty in marriage. Knowing that you are right for each other before the wedding is the secret to a lifetime of wedded bliss as a couple.

Dr. Alan Stafford, Relationship Results Coach I help Singles and Couples build relationships that work
Click here to ask Alan a question about your biggest relationship issue
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© 2005 Alan Stafford/Relationship Success Experts

Signs of a Cheating Husband

November 26th, 2005

Here are some warning signs of a cheating husband.

It is important to let you know that they are not the only ones and they are not definitely signs either. This means that your partner could do some of these actions and not necessarily being cheating on you.

Take these as yellow lights, to start looking further, but not take them as full probe that your partner is cheating on you.

As I said before, before these signs, your feelings are probably the most important indicators that something is happening. Why do you have these feelings? you have them because you start seeing things that you never saw before until something in your mind start telling you very softly¬¦ Is there someone else? Is he cheating on me? And most of the time you know the answer in advance-¦

If the signs alarm you, and you feel that you need to get probes before taking further steps, don’t feel guilty. It is perfectly normal that you need probes; this is because you cannot believe that this person for whom you did so much and probably with whom you spent so much time and had so many dreams, is cheating on you. Therefore, do not feel guilty if you are looking for probes, it is your life!

Do not fall in the trap that you are betraying your partner confidence if you look for the truth, this is a cheater argument and it was created to refrain you for looking for the real truth. It is he who is betraying you, not the opposite.

1. He starts working overtime more often than usual and he is not at his office when you call.

2. He does not answer his cell phone often and he tells you that it was turned on all the time. He tells you that he doesnt know what happened.

3. He erases all his text messages from his cell phone on a regular basis.

4. He has a cell phone you dont know and especially if the bill arrives to his office.

5. He wants to try new sex techniques that you never tried before as a couple.

6. He carries condoms, especially if you are using the pill.

7. He spends more hours than usual on the computer late at night.

8. He gets very upset if you call him to the office or asks you not to do it.

9. He disappears for long time and you dont know where he is.

10. He gets nervous when you step into the room where he is using the computer. Changes windows, closes programs or shut down the computer among other actions.

11. His car smells lightly like woman perfume. Mens cars are very good revealing cheating information.

12. He doesnt want toys or child seats in his car.

13. His clothes smell like a woman, to an unfamiliar perfume or have lipstick on them.

14. You find unknown charges on his credit card statement.

15. Even that I know husbands who have cheated their wives for years, usually men are careless and finding if they are cheating is much easier than findind a cheating woman.

16. Woman have a very special feeling about being cheated, therefore if you have the feeling, the chance that something is happening is very high.

Dr. Laurent Mikhail is a communication professional who has helped several couples to understand each other after a cheating problem. You can find further information within his site

The Sexual Double Standard

November 7th, 2005

We still live in a society that promotes the notion that it is normal for a man to desire many women and yet normal for a woman to desire only one man. Our beliefs about male and female behavior may have been helpful in the past, but today they are doing much more harm than good.

As a society we need to stop perpetuating the myth that females are naturally monogamous because this erroneous belief keeps women from taking responsibility when they do cheat. Unfortunately, when women cheat they typically put the blame on their husbands.

Most of the prevailing beliefs we hold about women were created and taught to control the sexual behavior of females in an effort to ease paternity insecurity in males. When females give birth they know the children they give birth to are biologically theirs. Males on the other hand, prior to DNA testing, had to rely on the faithfulness of their partners; which is the reason a sexual double-standard emerged. However, over time the sexual double-standard gave way to a false belief that females were in fact naturally monogamous. Today, it is no longer necessary to continue teaching this false belief because DNA testing allows males to have the same certainty about paternity as females.

Today, women initiate approximately 70 - 75% of all divorces. Due to our false beliefs, women lack adequate knowledge about their natural sexual impulses; as a result, they are much more likely than men to leave their marriages due to their sexual attractions and affairs. Although women typically pursue separations and divorces under the guise of ’searching for self’ the real reason is often another man. Its not uncommon for women to be happily married prior to their affairs; its also not uncommon for men to be divorced by their wives without ever knowing about their wives extramarital relationships.

For many years now, women have been knowingly or unknowingly performing a balancing act - trying to attain equal rights, while at the same time, trying to maintain their special rights. Interestingly enough, most women are still not happy. Women continue to feel they get the short end of the stick. Women still do not feel as though they have equal rights, much less special rights, why? Because the sexual double standard still exists in our culture; but ironically, womens final right to claim is the root from which their oppression stemmed.

However, it is no longer men who oppress women - it is women. Women have not yet decided whether they want to trade their ‘image’ and all the special treatment that it affords them, for the ‘public’ sexual freedom which is afforded to males. As a result, one of the biggest problems in relationships today, is due to the fact that women are finding it increasingly more difficult to maintain their ‘image,’ now that their survival is no longer contingent upon it.

It is only by doing away with the sexual double standard that females will finally achieve the equality they have so long sought after. However, in doing so, they will have to give up one of their special rights - they will no longer be able to blame males for their sexual indiscretions and their lack of self control.

Michelle Langley is the author of Womens Infidelity: Living In Limbo: What Women Really Mean When They Say, ‘Im Not Happy’ To read an excerpt from Womens Infidelity visit

The Many Benefits of an Online Dating Service

November 7th, 2005

Using an online dating service to find dates was once frowned upon and even considered scary. However, times have changed and so have the amount of people who not only approve of using an online dating service but the amount of people actually using an online dating service! Amazingly, the invention of the online dating service has gotten people out and about and dating again. If you are looking for a date, but still are a bit skeptical about using an online dating service, consider the following benefits an online dating service can provide.

Online Dating Service Benefit #1 Anonymity

You can upload a picture to your online dating service if you want, but it is not required. You will get more responses from other members of your online dating service, though, if you provide a picture. However, you will never be required to divulge your address, e-mail or phone number to any other user of the online dating service unless you desire to do so. Because of this, you can surf the available singles on the online dating service completely anonymous.

Online Dating Service Benefit #2 Choices

There are an unbelievable amount of singles that use an online dating service. Because of this, you get to review all of the available singles at your leisure and evaluating the information provided. This gives you significant information about a persons likes and dislikes and whether you might hit it off or definitely not. By reviewing this information you are significantly ahead of the game as compared to simply meeting someone on the street or in a bar. With the online dating service you know what a person is about before you ever contact them.

Online Dating Service Benefit #3 Secure

Your online dating service will never divulge your personal information and you will have the security of blocking any user that is bothering you. If for instance a particular online dating service user sends you threatening e-mails or makes you feel uncomfortable you can simply report them and have their account revoked and at the very least block them from contacting you. This type of security is not available in real life, unfortunately, but it is through your online dating service.

Jay Moncliff is the founder of a website specialized on Online Dating, resources and articles. This site provides updated information on Online Dating. For more info on Online Dating visit:

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