When To Walk Away (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

When to Walk Away (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

As I watched my client wipe her tears away with her tissue, she continued to talk about the relationship she was ending. “I’ve tried everything, I’ve tried counseling, I’ve begged, pleaded, I’ve groveled, I even tried bargaining with God as she looked up at the ceiling in my office with a laugh. I don’t know what else to do; I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired; I can’t sleep, I can’t focus at work, heck my kids don’t even know who I am anymore.”

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I can’t take this anymore, it’s time to walk!

“This must end, she said, but I’m not sure how to end a relationship of 10 years. He constantly sits on the couch and watches TV or is on his cell phone texting or playing games. He just sits there. As I leaned against the wall in the kitchen watching him the other day; I stared at the back of his head as he sat on the couch wondering what has happened to us. We used to have so much fun together and with the kids. I caught myself thinking and wishing, even praying I want to old days back. We used to talk about anything and everything. Life was good; then he seemed to drift away, emotionally, physically, I don’t know what happened to him!”

This is not an uncommon problem; it’s a problem that is happening in many relationships today. Communication is key to resolving most issues in any relationship. When the person that you’re trying to connect refuses to talk, then problems will never be resolved. If you try to set up talks and they refuse to sit down or even show interest, then you need to decide what your next steps are. They can be radical; they can be intuitive, or even simple-minded next steps. Try to find a way to set up a sit-down talk with your partner. If they refuse to talk then, that’s where you have to decide “what am I going to do?” This is the scary part of deciding what your next steps are. Do you throw in the towel, do you demand a sit-down meeting, do you continue to live in a roommate relationship? Unfortunately or fortunately you will have to decide what you need to do. Staying in an unhealthy relationship is not an option, it only promotes frustration, anger, and unmet expectations.

Do you feel frustrated about your failing marriage or relationship? Do you need help in saving your marriage and family from divorce? Do you have a spouse or partner who isn’t communicating with you and you want it restored? Do you want help in learning good communication skills? Are you the partner who wants to end your relationship because it’s unhealthy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. If you need help.

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at mbrooks3353@gmail.com to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!

Never Take Your Spouse for Granted (2) By Dr. Michael Brooks

Never Take Your Spouse for Granted (2) By Dr. Michael Brooks

Last week, we talked about a husband that felt he took advantage of his wife during the years they were married. At her funeral he shared with me that he had regrets for the way he treated her. If you feel that you’re complacent in your relationship with your spouse then you need to change course and make some changes. Today we will continue with this week’s article “Never take your spouse for granted.”
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I suggest helping your spouse out at home, running errands, making meals or planning a surprise date night really is special and greatly appreciated. These simple things are meaningful and shows that your spouse is a priority in your relationship.

I watched my brother do many things for his wife my last trip to Florida. He’d run errands for her, always asked if she needed anything, he is an amazing example of a great husband. Our dad was the same way. He was a retired army officer of 37 years and always put my mother first. He cooked, cleaned, helped raise our family. He loved my mom and we kids all saw that. When mom got cancer, after her surgery he was by her bedside at the hospital almost 24/7, and when she returned home, he was taking great care of her. I loved that about my dad, he served my mom and the rest of us kids. Keep in mind that he was in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. He saw lots of combat and was still that gentle and caring husband and loving father. 

My question to you is this, what can you do this week for your partner that would be meaningful and help them out? Is there a project that they would like you to do? Painting a room, cleaning out a closet, taking them somewhere they’ve always wanted to go. I remember a few years back when I was on the west side of my house and seeing how bad it needed painting in some spots. I had a gallon of locust green paint we didn’t use and started painting the one area that needed it the most. Well, you can imagine that the one spot looked great when I was done, but the rest of the west side needed a complete paint job. It didn’t stop there, the entire front of the house needed it and the east wall, and the back of the house got painted. I was doing this because my wife wanted it done and I was happy to paint.

So, if you feel like your taking your spouse for granted, then do something about it. My friend who shared his feelings about taking his wife for granted at her funeral resonated with me. I never want to do that, nor do you. I know many of you would benefit by asking your spouse if they feel taken advantage of. For some of you, you already know the answer. It’s a simple fix and one that needs to happen. Your spouse is your partner, not a servant. Make them feel appreciated and loved.  

Do you feel like you’re taking your spouse for granted? Do you need help in how to appreciate your spouse and let them know that you do?  Do you have a spouse who isn’t communicating their needs with you? Are you the spouse that has unmet expectations and want to communicate those needs? Do you want help in learning good communication skills? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. If you need help.

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at mbrooks3353@gmail.com to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!

Never Take Your Spouse for Granted (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

Never Take Your Spouse for Granted (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

I watched a friend of mine as he stood in front of his wife’s casket prior to her funeral service. He just stared at her with his head slightly cocked to the side; he didn’t move; he stood motionless for what seemed minutes. I looked around the room and could smell the perfumes mixed in with the aroma of the flowers behind her casket. Several small groups of people talked softly in different parts of the chapel. I’m sure they were relatives, friends, and church members. My friend still stood motionless. As I looked at him, I thought to myself, I have no words to say, nothing to add nor to comfort him, but me being there is what I felt he needed.
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After a while, he turned and walked towards me. He was all cried out, probably exhausted from the lack of sleep and dealing with funeral arrangements and his family. He looked at me and smiled, thanking me for being there for him and then sat down next to me. I listened to him as he shared about his many years he had with his wife. He said, “you know Mike, I could have been a better husband to Susan, I wasn’t there for her very much. In fact, I put others ahead of her, geez he said…I can’t believe I did that.”

I listened as he continued to talk, he mentioned that he took Susan for granted, for the many years that they were married. He put his needs ahead of hers; he expected her to be at his beckon call. He said that when he got home after work he expected dinner on the table, the house to be clean, and she was supposed to be looking good for him. They were married for over 50 years, and he was proud of that!

The one thing that sticks in my mind is, when he said, “I took Susan for granted.” that was a powerful statement and one that we need to talk about today. If you look at your relationship with your spouse and are honest about it, are you taking your spouse for granted? A simple question but one that runs deep to the core of all relationships. Not just marriages, but all relationships.

If you feel that you keep taking your spouse for granted in your marriage, and not giving your spouse anything in return, you may want to make some changes that will help your relationship become stronger. Sit down with your partner and discuss the things that they would like from you in your relationship. I have heard all kinds of great idea’s. One of the big ones that comes to mind, ask your spouse what you can do for them before you start your day. Most likely you’ll hear “I’m good for now.” Then go start your day. But keeping your spouse first is key to a happy marriage. The more you communicate in your relationship the less confrontation you will have.

Do you feel like you’re taking your spouse for granted? Do you need help in how to appreciate your spouse and let them know that you do?  Do you have a spouse who isn’t communicating their needs with you? Are you the spouse that has unmet expectations and want to communicate those needs? Do you want help in learning good communication skills? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. If you need help.

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at mbrooks3353@gmail.com to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!

Electronics and the Death of Relationships (3) By Dr. Michael Brooks

Electronics and the Death of Relationships(3) By Dr. Michael Brooks

Another way electronics are destroying our children is the pornography that’s available to them on their cell phones. How many parents actually check what their kids have downloaded on their cell phones or other means of electronics? You’d be surprised what our kids are looking at. The average age kids are exposed to porn is eleven years of age. So this begs the question, how safe is it for our kids to be spending time on their electronic devices, without parental supervision?
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Kids look at Pornography for a number of reasons, some kids look at it to impress their friends, to show off that they have forbidden pictures and or video to look at and share. For others, it makes them “cool” they try to make new friends with the porn they have on their cell phones. And sometimes it’s boys being boys; they’re just curious. Interest in sex at this age is pretty normal.

If you find out that your child is looking at sexual material on their cell phone, don’t overreact. How you deal with the situation can have more of an effect than finding out your child is looking at pictures of porn. If you find out that your child is looking at porn, this can be a teaching moment for you as the parent. You can turn this into a positive lesson for your child. Maybe it’s time that you have the sex talk with your child, and explain your feelings about it. That’d go a long way in opening communication between you and the child.

If you find your child looking at porn on their cell phone, you don’t need to send your child to a psychologist or psychiatrist when you find out that they have been looking at porn. You may want to seek counseling for yourself on how to deal with it.

OK, now that we know that some kids electronics are causing problems within the family, how can we bring the family back together and have a balance with everyone’s cell phones, and I-pad?

Here are some of my thoughts on how to deal with this problem. First of all, when sitting down with your children, explain your concerns and why. Don’t think for a minute your kids will be on board with silencing their cell phone at the dinner table. They will resist if you don’t give a good explanation of why you’re taking this action.

  • Keep your times together as a family very private. Eat your meals together, no electronics at the table. Turn them off so you can have quality time together. As a parent set an example and turn your’s off as well. I had a friend, whose wife would be on her cell phone checking Facebook, texting her friends, while they were sitting down to dinner. They had very little communication while they ate. This was troubling to him. Her excuse, “this is the only time I have to check my emails, they don’t allow me to do that at work.”
  • Plan activities so that kids will not have time to be on their Do outdoor activities, board games, have them play outside, go on hikes, bike rides, picknicks, keep them busy. The focus is to get your kids to play and have fun, not to entertain them.
  • Consider putting on some software that would block certain websites that are temptations for your kids or grandkids. My one concern is that many of their friends have access to porn sites at their homes and will get on porn sites and bad games without any adult supervision. I think sitting down with them and letting them know that you want to trust them, that they should tell you if some of there friends are involved with porn or adult x-rated games. I know kids think they are getting away with web searches, but you have to be on your toes checking up on them.

Next week, we will continue with some more tips that will help you put a plan together when dealing with cell phone abuse.

Do you feel frustrated about your families use of electronics? Have you given up trying to get the kids off their cell phones? Do you want to save your family from electronics but don’t know what your next steps are? Do you want to improve your communication with your family at the dinner table and need help in putting boundaries on all electronics? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Don’t allow hopelessness to destroy your relationship. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. He can help you. He has helped several people going through tough times.

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at mbrooks3353@gmail.com to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!

Cell Phones and the Death of Relationships (2) By Dr. Michael Brooks

Electronics and the Death of Relationships (2) By Dr. Michael Brooks

 I was at a Verizon store a few weeks back waiting for my turn to talk to a tech person. As I waited, I glanced over to see a woman with her son talking to a sales rep; the boy was about eight years old. She was talking loud enough that you could overhear her saying she was buying the phone for her son. He was not paying attention to what the sales guy was saying. He was watching people in the store. I’m wondering if she wanted him to have a cell phone because his friends had phones.
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Back in the day landlines were all we had. There was no call waiting, if the line were busy, you’d call back, it was that simple. Or if you had to talk to your friend, there were four options you had. You walked, rode a bike or drove in a car, or waited and called back. Now, you have Voice mail, call waiting, three-way calling, texting, messaging, emailing if you need to leave a message. I know that there are other means of communication.

I know grandparents are having a difficult time communicating with their grandchildren. Many seniors don’t text or like talking on a cell phone. They want to spend time with their grandkids face to face. I understand that there are reasons why this can’t happen, distance, health reason, etc. I would love to see grandkids reach out to their grandfather and grandmother and spend time with them. Not on their electronics but in a room with them.

I love to watch people at restaurants and how they interact with each other. I’ve noticed that interaction is now less and less. Go to any restaurant and watch how many in the family are on their electronics. They never speak to each other; they concentrate on their cell phone, I-pad, or watch the TV in the restaurant. I just don’t see the communication that families used to have many years ago.

I see many family relationships dying because of the electronics issue. Parents are taking away electronics is now a form of punishment and kids don’t like it. I’ve heard so many excuses as to why kids need to have their electronics, from the kids themselves. “My teacher sends my assignments on my e-mail, or they text it to me,” whatever!!!! Many parents are buying into this explanation, and will not talk with their kid’s teachers to find out if this is true.

Next week, I’ll give you some tips on how to deal with the abuse of electronics in your home. This is a major problem in the home today.

Cell Phones and the Death of Relationships By Dr. Michael Brooks

Electronics and the Death of Relationships (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

I went to a fast food restaurant and was having lunch with a friend of mine this past September, when suddenly several junior high kids rushed in and sat at the vacant tables surrounding my friend and I. The kids took out their cell phones from their backpacks and began to text each other in the restaurant. They were showing each other some of the pictures they had on their cell phones. The older boys went off to the side looking at some questionable material on their phones. I could tell by the way some of the boys had their hands cupped over their mouths while looking at the one boy’s cell phone while others were laughing and saying play it over again. The girls were in their group looking and sharing what they had on their phones. They were giggling and laughing while looking at their friend’s phones. I began to think, so much for sit down lunches and making new friends.

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Internet and social networks replace live communication within the family and friends!

Can you believe that this seems to be a hot topic in today’s culture and around the world today? If you think about it, parents use electronics to babysit their kids; teens use them to connect with other teens, adults use them to kill time while waiting for work, waiting for the kids, or just to humor themselves.

Let’s look at the pre-era of cell phones, electronics, and family connections. I can remember when we sat around the dinner table and actually talked to each other. My parents would have classical music playing in the background (to give us culture, my mom would say) as we ate. I wasn’t crazy about that kind of music, but at least it was something to listen to. The four of us kids would share around the dinner table with our parents what our day was like at school, the kids we played with, things we wanted to do on the weekends. I have fond memories of many of those talks. My dad and mom would show interest in our daily lives. They’d help us with our homework; they’d sit and listen to us about the concerns we had. I know it was a different time, but I see the disconnect between parents and children, teachers, and students, even kids to kids in today’s family and society. I often wonder what’s going to happen to the families that allow electronics to control most of the communication within the family?

I have talked to Baby Boomers who feel that the 1950’s and 1960’s was the start of the decline of the family and the rise of the electronic revolution. For many of us, TV dinners were the rage. You watched TV together on TV trays; nobody talked to each other, all eyes were glued to the TV. It was a convenience for mom to put the frozen TV dinners into the oven for everyone and not prepare full-blown meals. We were captivated by Ed Sullivan, Mister Ed, I love Lucy, Howdy Doody. What used to be on early television in the 1940’s was news and other broadcasts. Then popular radio shows transitioned into television shows in the 1950’s. Then in the mid-1950’s is when some families started watching TV for the first time. In the 1960’s is when most American families had television sets in their homes. This is a short history lesson in the advancement of electronics and the decline of the family.

Today most people have a cell phone or I-pad that has replaced the TV, and it’s carried around in backpacks, on your person, in the classroom, at the dinner table, and the workplace.

Next week we will continue on with, how electronics are being abused in the family, at school, and with friends.

Do you feel frustrated about your families use of electronics? Have you given up trying to get the kids off their cell phones? Do you want to save your family from electronics but don’t know what your next steps are? Do you want to improve your communication with your family at the dinner table and need help in putting boundaries on all electronics? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Don’t allow hopelessness to destroy your relationship. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. He can help you. He has helped several people going through tough times.

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at mbrooks3353@gmail.com to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!

When Your Marriage Seems Hopeless (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

When Your Marriage Seems Hopeless (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

As I listened to a caller on my cell phone describe the state of her marriage, I could hear the anguish in her voice. She was in deep distress in where her marriage was headed. She needed some tools on how to talk with her husband, how to communicate better and hear his needs and share hers and her concerns. This couple was not connecting whatsoever. This frustrated her to no end. She loved him and admitted her faults to him and wanted a fresh start in their relationship. He wasn’t so sure that’s what he wanted. There was a great deal of pain on his part from his past relationships, and now he was comparing her to old girlfriends. This is not a place where couples want to go. It’s easy to get caught up in this kind of thinking. But, it’s also poisonous thinking and a killer of borderline marriages in crisis.
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When our marriages seem hopeless, we seem to struggle with finding ourselves and finding answers to our problems. It’s not easy being in a tight spot, and sometimes we say and do things that we don’t even understand. Hopelessness is a very strong word, and for many, it is a word that describes the situation their in. I often tell people if you’re in that spot, it’s best to step back and evaluate and take some time to let things set in and then make your next move. I believe in the realm of marriage relationships nothing is hopeless; some wise choices must be made. Whether moving on or sticking it out and working on your relationship, that is your choice.

I had a man come to my office and share his concerns about his marriage. He mentioned that he saw nothing but divorce in his future. His wife was always angry and they rarely communicated with each other. He hated going home, and I later found out she didn’t want him coming home. What a miserable existence they both lived in. We talked, and I gave him some idea’s on how to better communicate and how to become a better listener. Both felt that these were common problems in their marriage. I told him nothing is hopeless as long as you both can come to the table and talk. Learn about each other’s needs and wants. Learn to be able to share details and connect at a deeper level. Keep away from surface talks I told him, get to the point but be compassionate when you talk. Avoid blaming each other for past mistakes. Look to your future together and move in that direction. Avoid the pitfalls of bunny trailing in your conversations. Stay on topic. Unpleasant conversations can be hard but must be dealt with immediately if there is any chance of saving a relationship. What kinds of situations are called for immediate talks? Next week we will continue part two in this series.

Do you feel hopeless about your marriage? Have you given up and feel there is no way your marriage can be saved? Do you want to save your marriage but don’t know what your next steps are? Do you want to improve your communication and need help in restoring it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to contact Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. Don’t allow hopelessness to destroy your relationship. Please call Dr. Mike at 303.880.9878. He can help you. He has helped several people going through tough times.

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and life coaching Services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype (if you want to Skype with Dr. Mike send him an email at mbrooks3353@gmail.com to set up an appointment). The convenience of this type of Counseling/Coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live outside of Colorado. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!