Monday, September 21, 2009


How To Breakup…When It’s Over

Author: Tonja Weimer

Did you ever breakup with someone? Did you try to avoid causing them pain? Breaking up can be hard to do. These are the kinds of letters I find in my email box everyday:

Dear Tonja,

My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for two years. But I know I’m not in love with him. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. How to I breakup without causing him pain?

Dear Tonja,

I have been in a relationship with someone for over a year that I don’t know how to get out of. Recently, I started seeing someone on the side that I really like but I feel like I’m cheating on the girl I don’t want to hurt but don’t love.


The main theme in the above letters is that the people don’t want to hurt anyone. Since everyone’s worst fear is rejection, no one wants to be the person who inflicts that imagined wound on another.

Would you like to have a better sense of “breaking up” etiquette? Would you like to know what’s appropriate, what isn’t, and the mature way to handle a difficult situation? Here are the major points to keep in mind when you know it’s over—but you know the other person doesn’t want to hear it:

1. Step up

Just as you worked your way into this relationship, you are going to have to work your way out of it. It’s not fair if you send an email, leave a post-it note, send a text by phone, or tell a friend to deliver the message. Nor is it fair to distance yourself emotionally and/or physically, waiting for the other person to break up with you so you can remain blameless in the situation. There is no easy way out.

It is also not fair to let someone hang out with you in a relationship, thinking you are committed when you don’t want to be there. This is far more hurtful and damaging to the individual than a mere breakup. You are preventing that person from moving on to find their soul mate by your chicken-heart. Don’t do this—to them or to yourself. You both deserve better. Do the RIGHT thing.

2. Show up

It is required that you show up in person and as a human being to deliver your breakup message. Keep it simple, succinct, and to the point. Do not defend your decision or explain yourself or be guilty if you don’t want to be in this relationship. There is no law that says you have to remain together—nor should you. Here is a short example of what you might say:

“As you may have recognized, I’m not feeling that this relationship is working for me. I think you are (give the person an acknowledgement here.) Thank you for (list a few things you are feeling grateful for.) And at this time I’m going to be moving on. It works best for me if you don’t call or email.”

Then, say goodbye and mean it. There is no point in dragging out the conversation or trying to be “friends” or saying things like “if you’d have come along at another time in my life, this might have worked out.” When one person wants the relationship to be a romance and the other doesn’t, these kinds of messages just muddy the waters. Further, you cannot extend a friendship. That’s just another way of trying to soothe your conscience about breaking up— and another inauthentic way for them to hang on, hoping you will have a weak moment and change your mind. Make it a clean break so you are both free to find other people.

3. Face up… to the lie in “rejection”.

It’s time to face up to the false thinking of being rejected…or, rejecting another. When you are the one telling someone that the relationship is over…that isn’t rejection. That’s important information you both need to know so you can both move on.

If you have ever been afraid of “rejection”, remember this: don’t make yourself emotionally vulnerable to someone before you know the person well. Keep good boundaries while you determine if you can trust them with your feelings. If you’re telling someone you’re in love on the first or second date, you aren’t in love with that person—you’re in love with your IDEA of that person. If someone you thought you had mutual feelings for suddenly says they don’t want to be with you… guess what? You don’t want to be with them either. This is a matter of dignity and self-respect.

Breaking up IS hard to do, but that goes with the territory in relationships. If you have the heart to fall in love, you have to find the grit to break up when it’s clear you don’t belong there.

About the Author:

About Tonja Weimer:

· Columnist: Weekly syndicated singles and dating columnist (over four million readers in the U.S. and Canada)

· Media: Coverage on TV, including CNN’s ShowBiz Today; rave reviews in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher’s Weekly

· Author: NBC/USA TV Network, selected author for articles on dating and singles for website

· Articles: In House Beautiful, New Woman, GRAND, and other national magazines

· Coach: Master Certified Singles Relationship Coach; Associate Certified Life Coach; International Coach Federation; Relationship Coaching Institute; Institute for Life Coach Training

· Keynote Speaker: Regional, National and International conferences in U.S., India and Europe

· Academic: BA; MA in Human Development; U.S. Dept of Mental Health full fellowship

· Published Author: 7 Books(Fingerplays for Children; Creative Movement for Children, etc) winning over 25 awards.

Visit Tonja's website for more exciting dating tips!

Singles Dating Tips Online

Article Source: - How To Breakup…When It’s Over

Friday, September 18, 2009

A mother talks about discovering her sons are gay.

My Gay Children - A Parents Perspective

Author: title="Susan Dean" Susan Dean

Finding out you have gay children is for most of us unsuspecting parents a life changing experience.
How much it changes our life depends on many factors. I know personally how it does change your life as I do have gay children.

I am a mother that has been married for 26 years to the same man and have 2 wonderful sons from that marriage.
I still remember from a very early age that I would marry a man and have a family of my own. My children would grow up in a happy home and they would one day find the love of their dreams and settle down, get married and have children and then the whole cycle would continue on the same from there.

How your life, your views, your ideals and your dreams of the future can change in an instant. I have learnt that nothing is set in concrete when it comes to life. When I gave birth to my children I had somehow forgot that I was giving birth to two individual little human beings not clones of my husband or myself.

This can be a hard concept to handle for some of us especially when your child or children in my case come out of the closet so to speak and tell you that one is gay & the other bisexual.

Wow! In fact this can be disastrous.
This closet that they have just climbed out of, well,we've just climbed in!

All of a sudden, your life is nothing like it was or what you expected it to continue to be. For some of us it is a real shock or maybe it is a relief. See, we are all different from each other even though we are the same.

We will all react differently, some very badly and some ok, and some only just ok. For most of us this is mind blowing news. What will we tell our friends and family? Will they shun us, hate us, laugh at us or will they support us?

We don't really want to find out because we are scared of what they may say or do.That's why we go into that closet.

We may be angry because our child has brought us into something we don't understand and don't know how to handle. Confrontation can be a very difficult thing to handle especially when it is about something that is not accepted with in the majority.

Our religious beliefs may start to confuse us as we may need to choose between our religion and our child.
Many may feel repulsed and disgusted because all they can think about is the actual sexual acts that they think their child will be participating in.

There are so many reasons that parents are confused and upset or saddened because their child has said they are gay.

I know I was shocked and also relieved when I first found out about my eldest son. But I new I couldn't change him so I just wanted to find out more about homosexuality and help him survive in this homophobic and cruel world.

It's funny, that I was under the conception that everyone would not accept our son or us and yet I couldn't have been more wrong. Sure, society in general are not so accepting but the people that mattered to us are.
It takes guts to come out of that closet that our child was in. Once we saw how very brave and courageous our son was it made it easier for us to also come out.

In may ways the full circle had come around because once we were there to teach and guide our sons and then the tables turned for them to guide and teach us. For that we are very proud.

It can be difficult for us at times and none so more than when our second son told us he was bisexual. This was a shock once again but not a relief as with our other son. I felt a little isolated as I had two gay children not just one. My family is not unique in this. There are many families with more than one child being gay.

The important thing for us was to band together and support each other. Talk and learn together. Sure it took awhile for us to fully come to terms with this but it has strengthened our relationship and made us more understanding and tolerant towards others.

Life is a funny thing sometimes. Often it takes something of this nature to put life into perspective and remind you of what is really important and of what isn't so important. Our children are and always have been the most important thing in our lives.

The fact that they are safe, healthy and happy means everything to my husband and myself. We have been inside that closet and we have come out of that closet.

Because of the family that we are we are truly blessed.

About the Author:
Susan Dean (Debbie) has two sons, one is gay and one bisexual.Her website < a href=""> is full of relevant information and stories from parents who have gay children.

Article Source: - My Gay Children - A Parents Perspective

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I have trouble sleeping..and you?

Fall is a Good Time to Re-establish Good Sleep Habits

Author: Tova

As the days get shorter and nights longer the natural triggers for sleep and waking – light and dark – day and night – are in transition. It’s back to work and back to school and a good time to re-evaluate your sleep habits and make adjustments especially if you are experiencing problems.

Our lives are built around schedules. Whether we like it or not, without regular work hours, nothing in the business world would get done and no learning could take place at schools. You wouldn’t be able to schedule a doctor’s appointment or reserve a table at your favorite restaurant. The world would be in a tizzy! The universe of nature functions on a schedule also, evidenced by day and night, and the seasons of the year, and are bodies were designed to be in tuned with nature to function at their peak.

It’s not that critical at what time you eat or when you exercise, but when it comes to sleep a regular schedule is a must. Most of us don’t realize how important a regular schedule is to ensuring that our internal sleep clocks don’t break down and destroy our ability to fall asleep naturally, and sustain sleep for 6-8 hours so we can wake up feeling refreshed.

We set our external clocks to wake us up at the same time 5 days a week to arrive at work on time. But we seem to push the envelope every night when it comes to going to bed at the same time, and on the weekends we totally throw our clocks out the window. Soon our whole internal timing mechanism, which is the electronic part of our make-up, has been thrown off (like a watch whose battery is running low) and we develop sleep problems.

Getting sufficient sleep is so important to how productively we will function the next day and how healthy we will be, that it cannot be over stressed. The danger to destroying our body’s internal mechanisms, which trigger sleep, is that it can take a long time to restore them and many of us get stressed in the process and further aggravate the problem. Unable to cope many people turn to external drugs, which they see as a much needed quick fix. And the pharmaceutical companies are all too happy to oblige us spending millions to advertise their miracle solutions. But no drug that enters the body comes without serious side effects or risk of becoming habit forming – making the solution more elusive and far off. Besides, we have our own natural drugs to keep our body functioning as it should when it comes to sleep– we just need to be able to tap into them – and that is the job of our internal clock.

So don’t fall victim to what seems easy. You need to correct the underlying problem which is that your internal clock is malfunctioning and needs to be re-tuned. That takes careful attention to your personal habits and to creating a work-life schedule that respects your body’s need for sleep above all else. Fall is a good time to incorporate this strategy into your life because there is more time to devote to sleep. Remember that your sleep clock is cued to induce sleep and then wake you up by the natural triggers of light and dark and it’s darker longer this time of year.

Life will be pleasant when you are in sync with your body clock so take good care of yourself and re-charge your batteries regularly by sleeping well.

For more information on good sleep hygiene and avoiding problems check out:

About the Author:

Tova Greenberg is Founder of The Sleep Genie Inc.

Article Source: - Fall is a Good Time to Re-establish Good Sleep Habits

Monday, September 14, 2009

Older woman with a younger man...

Older Women in Love With Younger Men: Can it Last?

Author: Tonja Weimer

Have you ever dated a younger man? If you are a man, have you been seeing an older woman?

The older woman/younger man duo is more prevalent today than ever before. But this couple also faces some challenges. Some remain as a strong couple, but others disintegrate. Have you wondered why some older woman/younger man relationships last and others do not?

Here are some of the main reasons a couple falls apart, and what you can do to prevent it:

* A different vision for their lives.

Many couples who come to counseling express that they had one idea of what they thought the marriage should be and then discovered too late that their spouse had another.

Take some time and ask each other what you would have your life be if you had the ideal situation and partner. Ask what each of you expects of the other in a relationship. Write your answers on paper first, and then share them with each other.

* Different values.

You say that you value family relationships, and you have a close relationship with your family members. Your love interest says they value the same thing, but he or she never calls anyone in their family and they do not make plans to go and see them. How will this difference play out for you over time?

Make a list of the top 10 most important values to you and note if your beloved shares and demonstrates those same ones.

* Conflicting messages.

Conflicting messages will drive you nuts with the "come-here-go-away" attitude. One minute your partner is telling you that you are the most important person in the world to them. They are convincing and you believe them. The next minute they are unexpectedly running out the door, breaking your plans for the evening, to be with an old friend.

Develop your boundaries about what is okay with you and what is not. If you have an agreement with your partner and they break it, you need to let them know how you feel and then take appropriate actions. (Have clear cut, realistic expectations of each other; make sure your plans are stated clearly; have the hard conversation about what each of your priorities are and what you can expect from each other.)

* Communication.

This one seems obvious, but it isn't. The strength of any relationship lies in communication. Too many people walk around, not having the commitment they want or knowing where the relationship is going because they are afraid to ask. They don't want to hear what they think the other one might say. Whether you are the older woman or the younger man, after a reasonable amount of time, you deserve to know the intentions of your beloved, and the depth of their caring. In most cases, if you don't ask, you don't receive. And if you don't hear what you need and want, you need to move on, because you deserve someone wonderful.

All of the issues for a older woman/younger man couple seem to wind up in the domain of communication. If there is strong chemistry, values, shared dreams, and interests, communication makes those qualities stronger.

Visit or for more tips, skills, and insight on dating, relationships, singles, and love. Subscribe to our F*ree Savvy Dating Newsletter from master single's coach, life coach, and syndicated columnist, Tonja Weimer. Copyright 2006, Tonja Weimer. (Please note source if reprinting this article.)

About the Author:

About Tonja Weimer:

· Columnist: Weekly syndicated singles and dating columnist (over four million readers in the U.S. and Canada)

· Media: Coverage on TV, including CNN’s ShowBiz Today; rave reviews in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher’s Weekly

· Author: NBC/USA TV Network, selected author for articles on dating and singles for website

· Articles: In House Beautiful, New Woman, GRAND, and other national magazines

· Coach: Master Certified Singles Relationship Coach; Associate Certified Life Coach; International Coach Federation; Relationship Coaching Institute; Institute for Life Coach Training

· Keynote Speaker: Regional, National and International conferences in U.S., India and Europe

· Academic: BA; MA in Human Development; U.S. Dept of Mental Health full fellowship

· Published Author: 7 Books(Fingerplays for Children; Creative Movement for Children, etc) winning over 25 awards.

Visit Tonja's website for more exciting dating tips!

Singles Dating Tips Online

Article Source: - Older Women in Love With Younger Men: Can it Last?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Angry Child

An interesting article filled with great tips~ Amber Columbia

Child and Adolescent Anger: Ways That You Can Help Right Now

Author: William DeFoore, Ph.D.

What do we do about the violent adolescents? Good question. Here are some possible answers. Angry children need love. The older and angrier they get, the harder they are to love, and the more frightening they can become. If you have an angry teenager in your home, extended family, your child’s school or your community, here are some ideas that may help:

· Do everything in your power to get to know them.

· Find out what they like to do and do it with them. That’s a stretch in some cases, but do the best you can. They will notice the effort. Stay true to yourself—if they see you trying to become like them, they’ll lose respect for you.

· Ask them to tell you about the things they’re interested in. You may have to prove that you’re really interested before they will open up, but if you’re sincere and persistent, they will start talking.

· Be a steady, loving presence in their life. You may have to forego some of your other activities, but if you have an adolescent who is possibly moving toward violence or suicide, it’s worth it.

· Get in touch with your own healthy anger, so that you have the personal power and confidence to deal with the energy of adolescent anger.

· Work to master humor and love. Find as many ways as possible to have fun with the adolescent and show your love. Make sure that you are pursuing the relationship for them, and not to fulfill some unmet needs from your own past.

· Consult with other adults and parents who are good with teenagers. Watch how they interact with kids and learn from their example.

· Pray. You’re going to need all the help you can get, and you need to know you are not alone in your mission to bring love to this unhappy child.


This is simply impossible if you have outcasts and misfits in your own subconscious body/mind. So the first order of business here is to make sure you have found, embraced and made a place for the children within you that you or others may have found that represent remnants of memories that you have yet to resolve. These are the inner children that symbolize your pain, shame and self-doubt.

Rest assured that the outcast child that you approach in the outer world will not accept your embrace if they see unresolved fear and anger in your eyes or actions.

Since we know that the outcasts and misfits are the children most likely to become violent, it only follows that we must pull them into the arms of love and/or acceptance, and find a place where they fit. If our system doesn’t have a place where a child fits, there’s something wrong with the system, not the child.

Look around you in your family and your community. Do you see the outcasts and misfits? The ones that seem to have no friends, or who only hang out with others like them? Look for the ones that don’t act “right,” are too this or too that or not enough of the other. Especially look for the ones that are not talking about their feelings, and seem to carry a lot of depression and/or anger.

Genius often hides in such places. If you are wise, healthy and dedicated enough to win an inroad to the heart and mind of one of these “personas non grata,” you may discover a hidden treasure. The movie “Good Will Hunting” depicts such a case, where an angry, violent misfit is also a gifted genius. The older movie “The Breakfast Club” also shows us the beauty in the shadow of the misfit.

Kindness and compassion will sometimes be greeted with doubt, fear and even anger at first. If you really mean it, and have the courage to do so, you can penetrate that outer shell and touch the tender heart within. You may be saving someone’s life.
Consider the outcasts and misfits in your world to be unexplored territories of your own soul, undiscovered treasures waiting for you. The rewards will be as great for you as for those you help.

When we look deep enough into any living being, we find the face of God.

Teach this to your children, like Max did in the following example.

Max had come to me for almost four years, to heal from a very painful childhood, and to learn to manage his anger toward his wife. He was making excellent progress, and was tapering off in his sessions.

Max’s son Derek was six years old, and the apple of his dad’s eye. Max was determined to give Derek the healthy guidance, love and positive role modeling he had never received as a child.

Smiling ear to ear, Max told me of some of his recent successes with his wife and son. “I have always been afraid I would end up homeless and living under a bridge. So, I decided to confront this fear a little more directly. After church Sunday, Derek and I took about 40 hamburgers to the homeless people living under the overpass downtown. Derek loved it! Now he wants to feed all of the homeless people in the city. Those people were so grateful.”

Max was quiet for a moment, as he wiped his eyes and regained his composure. He had given a great gift to some outcasts and misfits, to his son, and to himself.


· What to say—When your child is in the middle of expressing anger, your verbal response is extremely important. Though it remains true that your non-verbal signals will speak more loudly than your words, we must not underestimate the power of the spoken word, particularly during intense emotional experiences.

o For a very young child, or if the anger is being expressed mostly in non-verbal ways, say something to the effect of, “Wow! I can see that you are really angry right now. I’m sure you have good reasons to be angry. Your anger seems really strong to me. I want you to know that it’s okay with me for you to be angry, and I want to help you deal with it so that nobody gets hurt—including you.” In these and other words, communicate the idea that “There’s nothing wrong with feeling anger, the important thing is what you do with it.”

o Practice reflective listening. Repeat back to the child what you hear her saying in a non-judgmental, soothing tone. This provides a comforting effect, and lets the child know she’s being heard. Start with phrases like, “So what I hear you saying is…” or “So you’re saying…” Stick with their words and references, using as little interpretation and as few of your own words as possible.

o Express empathy and understanding. This is simply a matter of imagining yourself in the child’s position, and attempting to see things from his viewpoint. Use phrases like, “When I put myself in your shoes, I can see why you would feel that way,” or “From where you stand, it looks like…” or “I think I see what you mean” or “That makes sense to me.”

o Avoid teaching, correcting or instructing while your child is angry. Only when the child starts to calm down and relax, you may want to share some of your own similar struggles or experiences. The goal is to help them deal with and understand their anger. Discipline needs to be kept separate from this kind of communication, and administered when both you and the child are calm. That way the child gets the clear message that it is not their emotion that is being disciplined, it is their behavior.

· What to do—If your child is small enough, you might want to try holding her during her anger episode. This has been found to be highly effective in many cases. It provides loving, powerful and safe boundaries when the child is feeling out of control. The non-verbal message is, “I’m here. I’m not going to leave you. I’m not going to hurt you, and I won’t let you hurt yourself or anyone else. I’m going to hold you until you feel safe again.” Here are some recommendations to make this procedure safe and successful:

o If you are extremely afraid or angry yourself, do not try this technique. Your emotions will feed the anger and fear of your child and make the situation worse.

o If you feel comfortable doing so, hold the child from behind, ideally with him sitting in your lap. Protect your face in case he tosses his head back toward you. The goal is for no one to get hurt.

o There needs to be both love and power in your embrace. Strong but not too strong, relaxed but not too relaxed. This lets the child know you are in charge, that you love her and can and will protect her.

o Be ready and willing to devote some time to this. If you don’t complete the process, you may do more harm than good. Hold the child, and wait until he calms down and relaxes. Often he might cry or even fall asleep as the anger subsides.

Through this gesture you are communicating love, acceptance, safety, protection and power all at the same time.

· What to have the child do—In some cases, the child may need to release anger physically. This can be accomplished in a number of ways:

o Supervised play with toys, or play therapy in a professional setting, can be very effective in helping children release anger. The violence that occurs between the toy characters is non-destructive, and can be very informative to the therapist and/or the parent who is observing. This can also include drawing pictures, or throwing clay against a wall or board where no harm can be done.

o Hitting pillows or a mattress with a harmless object such as a nerf bat or bataca bat. This can be done in a playful manner, and the child will still receive benefit. In therapy, I often call it “the anger game,, so that children feel safe in approaching the activity.

o Children may sometimes benefit from the “temper tantrum technique." Parents should use their own judgment as to when it is necessary to contract for the services of a professional for this type of exercise.

o One of the best parents I know told me that he had his daughters use the “Name it, claim it, aim it” technique for dealing with anger. In other words he taught them to put a name on their feeling, take responsibility for it, and direct it into some kind of release or constructive activity. An example might go something like, “I’m angry and sad, Daddy,” (naming and claiming it) “and I want you to help me talk to Bobby about taking my things” (aiming it). This is an excellent approach, and I highly recommend that parents use this and any other guidelines they run across that help them to teach their children to manage and express their emotions in healthy ways.

About the Author:

William G. DeFoore is a counselor, executive coach, author and speaker. He has 34 years of experience in helping people achieve healthy, happy relationships. Get free information, watch videos and purchase books, CDs and downloads at .

Article Source: - Child and Adolescent Anger: Ways That You Can Help Right Now

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/11: Opening the Wounds to Heal the Pain

I'm typical of most Americans who were deeply effected by the terrible events and loss of thousands of lives on 09/11/2001. I remember where I was and the disbelief of everyone around me as we sat in the College coffee shop watching the large screen televisions. There were tears and screams as we watched the second tower get hit and then both collapse. Although we were in far-away northern New England, protected on the 'Hill Top' and our "faith seeking understanding", our collective shock soon gave way to a palpable fear.

All across America, people were waking to the surreal news, and all across the world, telephones rang and people as some discovered that their lives were shattered; their loved ones were dead and thy and the world would never be the same again.

We all have stories and I can not even imagine the stories of the heroes, families, and survivors but for those I have read or seen in the news. Each and every one of us alive on that day will be forever changed.

On this 8th anniversary, "A Somber Obama calls for Renewal"...and actor Charlie Sheen, once again, brings up the ideas of conspiracy and coverup.

Charlie Sheen and others feel there has been a cover-up by the previous administration. Many Americans have wondered how much was known and if there were military actions on 9/11 that have been covered up as well.

What are your thoughts? Are we adding salt to the wounds of the American people, the families and friends? Or is there a TRUTH that we need to know?

Amber Columbia

Betty Lou Schlemm artist and author