Are You Secretly Judging Others?

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Do you notice that you often secretly judge others?

-You can’t see me but I’m raising my hand. 👋🏽

For example, your partner leaves his dirty dishes in the sink before heading out to meet his friends and you think, He’s so lazy and sloppy. It drives me bananas.

Throughout the day, every day, you find yourself silently criticizing others.

My co-worker at work has gotten scatter-brained… my neighbor is too nosy… my friend is too self-absorbed with posting selfies on social media…

What does this all mean?

Are you surrounded by people who don’t have their act together?

Is society just falling apart?

Or is this a clue about something way deeper and way more fundamental about YOU?

-How Your Relationship With Others Brings Up The Next Biggest Thing You Need To Learn About Yourself

When we judge others or feel our “buttons being pushed” by the things they say and do, we may actually be projecting our feelings onto others.

We are accusing others of the very things we disown or reject about ourselves.

Here’s how it works…

Let’s say you have a fear of rejection that stems from something far back in childhood.

More than likely, you’re unaware of this fear. You haven’t yet acknowledged it. Or you know about it, but reject that it’s an issue.

Your subconscious mind is aware of it, though. And that part of your mind will always seek opportunities to work out this old issue. It will lead you into situations where you can bring that fear into your awareness.

In other words, you will enter into relationships with people who will “trigger” that fear or unacknowledged emotion inside you.

You will attract a relationship where your partner will withdraw, act cold, make plans with his or her friends instead of with you, have a hobby they love that doesn’t (or can’t) involve you, etc.

Instead of causing you to face and accept your fear, their behavior will cause you to be secretly judgmental or critical.

You don’t think, Hmm, I’m feeling afraid that he’s going to abandon me and I’ll be alone again.

Instead you think, He never spends time with me, he’s off having fun instead of fixing these things around the house, he’s wasting money playing golf all day when he should be saving money and spending the day with me.

Another example – let’s say that you consider yourself a neat, tidy and financially conservative person. You keep your home and car clean and you never spend more than you make.

But deep down, you’re really someone who wishes they could forgo responsibility for a while, kick up their feet and be self-indulgent for a change.

However, you don’t want to admit that to yourself. It’s just not something you accept about yourself, for whatever reason. Maybe in childhood you were rejected for being that way.

Your creative mind will actually draw you into situations where you are around people who seem sloppy, irresponsible and flaky.

And instead of admitting that you’re a little bit like them, you will find yourself secretly complaining about them.

-What Do You Need To Accept About Yourself In Order To Love Yourself?
When you don’t, or can’t, acknowledge your feelings or accept something about yourself, it’s a sign that deep down, you don’t love yourself.

And if you don’t love yourself, you’ll never feel completely at peace with yourself and the world around you.

You’ll always find something to complain about, and the people in your life will always seem to be less than perfect, because YOU think you’re less than perfect.

Unless you can learn to love yourself, and accept yourself and your feelings, you’ll never be able to be fully loved by anyone else, either.

-How This One Breakthrough Can Change Your Whole Life

There was a time in my life when I so badly wanted love and acceptance, but all I did was criticize people who were expressing love.

I had several unhappy relationships in my 20s and 30s before I met Garrett at 45. I thought men were too critical and too obsessed with talking about feelings. I didn’t fully believe them when they said they loved me or wanted me to be happy.

The truth was, I was out of touch with my own feelings. I wasn’t “sensitive” enough to what my mind and heart wanted and needed. Therefore, I projected those unacknowledged aspects of myself onto others.

I was secretly judgmental.

It wasn’t until I had a major breakthrough in my life where I finally learned how to love myself that all that changed.

I met and fell in love with Garrett, and my life changed.

I had discovered something transformational.

That’s why everything that I teach is the fundamental concept of loving yourself first.

So many relationship problems – even stubborn, long-standing ones – can finally be resolved when you learn to identify the underlying issues within yourself.
Learning to love yourself in a relationship is seeing that you will create the very situations you need that allow you to experience the parts of yourself you cannot love.

When you do that, you stop seeing the “wrong” in others. You stop being triggered all the time and you become a less judgmental person.

When you love all of yourself, as if by magic, you will find yourself being completely loved by others.

I am committed in 2017 to be less judgemental of others and be more loving.  When I feel my “buttons” being pushed, I will explore the deeper source of my discomfort. While I have come a long way,  I’m still learning to love EVERY part of myself. Will you join me?  We ARE love.

💛Allie

 

7 Things I’m Leaving Behind In 2017

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The new year is just around the corner, and joy is in the air. December is the month people buy their planners, get new calendars, set goals, and make a list of all their resolutions. The intention behind these actions is clear: “New year, new me.” We somehow feel that these practices tell 2017, “We are ready for you!” But, are we?

Every year, I make a list of the things I purposely don’t want to see in my new year. From time to time I review my “naughty” list to make sure I haven’t fallen back to old habits. We have all heard the saying “out with the old, in with the new.” Truthfully, we can’t enjoy the new if we don’t make a conscious effort to get rid of the old. What things pushed you further away from yourself and your goals?

If you want to experience a better new year, here are nine things you must leave behind in 2016.

1. Diets and easy fixes

Leave the “I’m on a diet” life. Focus on having a healthy mind and perspective. Nurture your health from the inside out. Once you have a healthy “inside” it’s easier to condition your body. A diet will keep you stuck on an endless cycle. Create a lifestyle that supports the belief you have cultivated about yourself and healthy living.

2. Destructive relationships

Leave behind relationships that subtract from you. If a romantic, collegiate, family, business relationship or friendship is taking away from you, abandon ship. Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Evaluate your circle.

3. Fear of trying

Leave behind the fear of giving it a try. I get it. Some things can be scary. But fear is healthy to a degree. It keeps us safe from obvious dangers like running into other cars or jumping off a cliff. Taking a risk? Trying something new? No. Tell fear, “Thanks for wanting to keep me safe, but you are not making this decision for me, so bye bye.” Feel the fear and then give it a shot.

4. Saying “I don’t know”

You are smarter than you think. Your words give your mind directions on what to do. Repeating the phrase “I don’t know” keeps your mind in a state of confusion and procrastination. If you are unsure of an answer, Google it or ask someone. If you are in the middle of a life decision and have no idea what you’re going to decide, say, “I’m in the middle of getting clarity.” Words are powerful.

5. Self-limiting beliefs

Leave behind the lies you keep telling yourself. “I will never figure this out. Things will always be this way. This always happens to me. I can’t do that. I always have bad luck. I will always be poor. I will never make it.” Really? Just stop. There are too many resources available today for you to not get what you want.

6. Your ex-anything

Leave the past in the past. This could be an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-hookup, ex-booty call, ex-side chick/dude, or ex-friend. Just leave them behind. They are an ex for a reason. Stop running towards the comfort of knowing them and move your life forward. There is more to life than the world you once lived via your ex.

7. Regrets

You are human and will make mistakes. You feel regret after eating that cookie. Really? Enjoy it. You feel regret after having fun all night and waking up tired? Please. Enjoy life. One day you won’t have the energy to stay up all night. Be thankful for the mistakes you have made and what they taught you, but don’t feel regret for being human. Ever.

We anticipate starting life from a clean slate. For some that can be on a birthday and for the rest of us it can be during a new year. Before focusing too much on what you want from 2017, consider the things you must abandon. The idea of a new year and a clean slate is possible if you choose to clean the slate yourself.

What can you add to this list? What other things should be left behind in 2016?

Love Allison 💛

Fighting The Holiday Blues? Eat Seaweed and Volunteer

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‘Tis the season to be jolly? Not necessarily. For many people the holiday season, which kicks off with Thanksgiving and spans through New Year’s Day, is anything but blissful. In fact, this time of year may trigger a bout of the blues or perhaps ignite a depression that has been smoldering under the surface for months.

Lonely people – without family or friends – and those who grew up in dysfunctional families and have unpleasant memories of the holidays, simply can’t achieve the ideal that many commercial images of the holidays portray.  That was me.  I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and lost both my parents between Thanksgiving and Christmas as a teen. My association with holidays was always depressing. Then I learned that there were some things I could do to help boost my mood.

What we eat and drink directly affects the structure of the brain that, in turn, influences the brain’s function. This includes both the synthesis and function of neurotransmitters as well as the presence or absence of inflammation. Most psychiatrists fail to appreciate the role of nutrition in mental health. Medication alone cannot help you make up for a crappy diet.

9 Nutrients Important For Mental Health

1. Omega-3 Fats-Food sources of omega-3 fats are fatty fish, omega-3 fortified eggs, and supplements.

2. Iodine-Good food sources include seaweed, cod, and iodized salt.
Moderate food sources include milk, yogurt, and eggs.

3. Zinc-Good food sources include oysters, crab, beef, lamb, pork, dark meat, chicken, legumes, cashews, and a good-quality multivitamin with minerals.

4. Magnesium -Good food sources include nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains, bran, and dark chocolate.

5. Vitamin D-The few natural food sources available include oil/fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and trout and eggs to a lesser extent.  Vitamin D deficiency has not only been linked to depression but anxiety, SAD, and dementia as well. Supplementation is the only viable option to raise vitamin D levels enough to lower the risk of depression.

6. Selenium -Good food sources include Brazil nuts, fish, ham, shrimp, liver, and chicken.

7. Iron -Good food sources are beef, pork, lamb, dark meat chicken, eggs, liver, oysters, and white beans.

8. B Complex -B vitamins are found in whole grains, nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, and meat.

9. Vitamin C -Good food sources include citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and strawberries.

Now that you’re feeding your brain let’s try some action steps.
1. Redefine the holidays as a joyful time for you, and pursue what is involves in making them so. Specifically, don’t feel obligated to pursue holiday activities that are unpleasant or overwhelming simply because they have always been the thing to do. For example, if cooking for the whole family feels like too much, consider a pot luck dinner or eating out.
2. If Christmas shopping and writing cards are more than you can handle, use the wonders of the Internet to help out. Shop and send greetings online and save time and effort and perhaps even a tree or two.
3. Don’t bother fighting the crowds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Evidence suggests that you may find better bargains later in the season.
4. If you are feeling lonely or disadvantaged, volunteering can be a good way to restore a sense of proportion to your situation – and help others at the same time. Counting one’s blessings and helping those who are less fortunate are two time-honored ways of bringing happiness.
5. Finally, enjoy those aspects of the season and your own mind and body that cost absolutely nothing – walk outside on a bright winter day and enjoy the special beauty of nature in the winter; exercise and meditate. How wonderful to think that our own bodies and minds can provide us with remedies for the holiday blues – and so many other afflictions of the spirit.

Stay connected with friends and family.  Be careful not to isolate yourself. Despite how you may associate with the holidays, there are many blessings around you. Just open your eyes and be present to them.

Love, Allison 💛

Oprah on How to Tell If a Friendship is the Real Deal

Great article from Oprah.com

Oprah and Gayle King’s road trip

img_5185Photo: Kirby Bumpus
I thought I knew a lot about friendship until I spent 11 days traveling across the country in a Chevy Impala with my best friend, Gayle King. We’ve been close since she was 21 and I was 22, and have been through a lot together: my previous bad relationships, her divorce. We’ve vacationed together and worked together on this magazine.

On Memorial Day, we set out to “see the U.S.A. in a Chevrolet.” Remember that commercial from years ago? Well, I always thought it was a charming idea.

When we pulled out of my driveway in California, we were singing the jingle loudly, with vibrato. Cracking ourselves up.

Three days in, around Holbrook, Arizona, we were mumbling the tune. And by Lamar, Colorado, five days in, we’d stopped singing altogether.

The trip was grueling. Every day, six, then eight, then ten hours with nothing but road stretched ahead.

When Gayle drove, she insisted on constant music—XM 23 the Heart. I wanted silence. “To be alone with my thoughts” became a running joke. As she sang along boisterously, I realized there wasn’t a tune she didn’t know. (She called almost every one her favorite.) This was as nerve-racking for me as the silence was for her when I was behind the wheel.

I learned patience. And when patience wore thin, I bought earplugs and headphones.

Every night, landing in a different hotel, we were exhausted but still able to laugh at ourselves. We laughed at my merging anxiety, interstate anxiety, and passing-another-vehicle anxiety. Oh, and crossing-a-bridge anxiety.

Other than that, Gayle will tell you I’m a great driver.

She is indeed a masterly driver, taking the curves on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with ease and steadily leading us into New York. Only one glitch: Her contacts had been in too long and her eyes were tired. So we’re approaching the George Washington Bridge, relieved to end the long run of eating Cheetos and pork rinds at gas stations. Dusk has fallen, and night is approaching fast. Gayle says, “I hate to tell you this, but I can’t see.”

“What do you mean, you can’t see?” I try to ask calmly.

“All the headlights have halos. Do they have halos to you?”

“Uhhhh, no, they do not. Can you see the lines on the road?” I’m shouting now, envisioning the headline—Friends Finish Journey In A Crash on the GW Bridge.

There’s nowhere to pull over, and cars are speeding by.

“I know this bridge very well,” she says. “That’s what’s saving us. And I have a plan. When we get to the toll, I’m going to pull over and take out my contacts and get my glasses.”

The toll is a long way ahead. “What can I do?” I say, near panic. “Do you need me to steer for you?”

“No,” she says. “I’m going to hug the white lines. Can you take out my contacts and put on my glasses?” she jokes.

At least I think she’s joking.

“That would be dangerous and impossible,” I say.

“Then turn up the air, I’m sweatin’.”

We both sweated our way to the toll-booth. And safely pulled into New York.

The crew following us had T-shirts made: I SURVIVED THE ROAD TRIP.

What I know for sure is that if you can survive 11 days in cramped quarters with a friend and come out laughing, your friendship is the real deal. I know ours is.

What Oprah Knows for Sure
Oprah on real love
What it means to live in the moment
Discovering a new perspective

 

We’re All Doing The Best We Can

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When we take a step back and remember that most of the time people aren’t “out to get us,” purposefully doing things to upset or annoy us, or consciously trying to make mistakes, disappoint us, or create difficulty (they’re simply doing the best they can and what they think makes the most sense) – we can save ourselves from unnecessary overreactions and stress. And, when we’re able to have this same awareness and compassion in how we relate to ourselves, we can dramatically alter our lives and relationships in a positive way.
Give people the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time people have good intentions. Many of us, myself included, have been trained to be cautious and suspicious of others, even seeing this as an important and effective skill in life and business. However, we almost always get what we expect from people, so the more often we give people the benefit of the doubt, the more often they will prove us “right,” and the less often we will waste our precious time and energy on cynicism, suspicion, and judgment.
Don’t take things personally. One of my favorite sayings is, “You wouldn’t worry about what other people think about you so much, if you realized how little they actually did.” The truth is that most people are focused on themselves much more than on us. Too often in life we take things personally that have nothing to do with us. This doesn’t mean we let people walk all over us or treat us in disrespectful or hurtful ways (it can be important for us to speak up and push back at times in life). However, when we stop taking things so personally, we liberate ourselves from needless upset, defensiveness, and conflict.
Look for the good. Another way to say what I mentioned above about getting what we expect from other people, is that we almost always find what we look for. If you want to find some things about me that you don’t like, consider obnoxious, or get on your nerves – just look for them, I’m sure you’ll come up with some. On the flip side, if you want to find some of my best qualities and things you appreciate about me, just look for those – they are there too. As Werner Erhard said, “In every human being there is both garbage and gold, it’s up to us to choose what we pay attention to.” Looking for the good in others (as well as in life and in ourselves), is one of the best ways to find things to appreciate and be grateful for.
Seek first to understand. Often when we’re frustrated, annoyed, or in conflict with another person (or group of people), we don’t feel seen, heard, or understood. As challenging and painful as this can be, one of the best things we can do is to shift our attention from trying to get other people to understand us (or being irritated that it seems like they don’t), is to seek to understand the other person (or people) involved in an authentic way. This can be difficult, especially when the situation or conflict is very personal and emotional to us. However, seeking to understand is one of the best ways for us to liberate ourselves from the grip of criticism and judgment, and often helps shift the dynamic of the entire thing. Being curious, understanding, and even empathetic of another person and their perspective or feelings doesn’t mean we agree with them, it simply allows us to get into their world and see where they’re coming from – which is essential to letting go of judgment, connecting with them, and ultimately resolving the conflict.
Be gentle with others (and especially with yourself). Being gentle is the opposite of being critical. When we’re gentle, we’re compassionate, kind, and loving. We may not like, agree with, or totally understand what someone has done (or why), but we can be gentle in how we respond and engage with them. Being gentle isn’t about condoning or appeasing anyone or anything, it’s about having a true sense of empathy and perspective. And, the most important place for us to bring a sense of gentleness is to ourselves. Many of us have a tendency to be hyper self-critical. Sadly, some of the harshest criticism we dole out in life is aimed right at us. Another great saying I love is, “We don’t see people as they are, we see them as we are.” As we alter how we relate to ourselves, our relationship to everyone else and to the world around us is altered in a fundamental way.

Love Allison💛

 

Tips to Transform Your Prayers

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Tips to Transform Your Prayers

You can become a prayer warrior. Here’s how:

Use Scripture to boost your prayer confidence. If you want to become a prayer warrior, saturate yourself with the words and examples of prayer warriors found in the Bible. For example:

Moses in Exodus 15:2, 3: “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my victory. . . . The Lord is a warrior.”

David in Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me.”

The three Hebrew captives in Daniel 3:17: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.”

The prophet Micah: “But as for me, I am filled with power and the Spirit of the Lord. I am filled with justice and might” (3:8).

Jesus in Mark 9:23: “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Paul in Ephesians 3:20: “Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.”

Pray for the “impossible.” Prayer warriors don’t hesitate to pray for the impossible. They take seriously these words from Jesus: “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19:26).

No matter how grim the circumstances, pray boldly, even when the request seems impossible.

Robert W. Zinnecker of Rexford, New York, writes about a time when he felt frightened and alone. He was sitting in a garden area outside the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “I had just agreed to have my second major surgery in three weeks for a rare form of cancer,” he recalls. The prospects were dubious. Mayo had handled only 25 cases like his in its history, and no patient had survived.

Throughout his illness, Zinnecker’s faith had remained strong, but now he felt abandoned by God. Returning to his motel room, he found an envelope had been mailed to him. It was from a work colleague and contained a card and a small pewter pin replica of a small child in the palm of a giant hand. The accompanying Scripture was from Isaiah 49:15, 16: “I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”

As Zinnecker read that verse and held the little pewter pin, he felt a warm glow of assurance that God had not forgotten him. He prayed for the “impossible,” a successful surgical outcome. “The next day, after I was four hours in surgery, the surgeon told my wife, ‘There is no trace of the cancer.’ Now, 15 years later, I continue to rejoice in the warmth of that assurance of God’s love. I am in his hands,” Zinnecker says.

Pray in simple, concrete language. That is what Jesus instructed us to do when he taught people the Lord’s Prayer. That prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13, is only 57 words long in the original Greek. In English it is 52 words and can be recited in less than 30 seconds. And most of the words in the prayer consist of one syllable, which by today’s standards means the written form of the Lord’s Prayer is on a second- or third-grade level.

The lesson: use simple, concrete language when speaking with God. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Consider this wisdom from author John B. Coburn:

Be yourself. Be natural before God. Do not pretend to emotions you do not feel. Tell him whatever is on your heart and mind with whatever words are most natural to you. You do not have to speak to him in “religious” language about “spiritual” matters only. . . . Speak as naturally and as easily as you would to a friend, since God is just that..

Offer bold prayers. When praying, think about this insight from writer William Arthur Ward: “God wants us to be victors, not victims; to grow, not grovel; to soar, not sink; to overcome, not to be overwhelmed.” Offer bold prayers that reflect a large faith and a large hope.

A prayer warrior who offered bold prayers was Archibald Campbell Tait, an archbishop of Canterbury in the 19th century. Between March 11 and April 8, 1856, Tait and his wife lost five of their six daughters to scarlet fever. At the height of his enormous grief, the archbishop offered this bold prayer of gratitude for God’s blessings in his life:

O God, you have dealt very mysteriously with us. We have been passing through deep waters. . . . Yet, O Lord, shall I not thank you now? I will thank you not only for the children you have left to us, but for those you have reclaimed. I thank you for the blessing of the last ten years, and for all the sweet memories of these lives. . . . I thank you for the full assurance that each has gone to the arms of the Good Shepherd, whom each loved according to the capacity of her years. I thank you for the bright hopes of a happy reunion, when we shall meet to part no more.

Have great expectations. Some people are prayer worriers not prayer warriors. They are filled with worry and self-doubt when they pray. This spiritual condition results in weakened, ineffective prayers.

The apostle James addressed this very issue: “When you ask him (God), be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. . . . They waver back and forth in everything they do” (James 1:6-8).

When approaching God with your needs, be strong and positive. Believe with all your mind and heart that God can and will respond to you. Pray big. Believe big. Think big. Cultivate a strong, positive, vibrant faith.

Tansform Your Relationship With Money and Change Your Life

imageStatistics show that within seven years of coming into money, the average person will be living at the same economic level as before the windfall appeared. The explanation for this typically lies in a person’s “money scripts”, the powerful beliefs they formed about money, usually in childhood. These money scripts tend to remain unconscious and tend to be “generational” in that they frequently get passed down from parent to child.

Money scripts can be difficult to spot because they’ll often feel “true” to the person and, in certain circumstances, may even be true. However, if they remain unquestioned, they mean we repeat patterns that deprive us of prosperity and peace of mind.

To give you an idea of what money scripts look like, here are some common ones:

WORKAHOLICS

Once you have enough money, then you’ll be able to relax and enjoy life
You must work hard for money
The more money you have, the happier and safer you will be
Your worth is determined by how much money you make

THOSE WHO HAVE MONEY

You can’t trust anyone with your money
People only want you for your money
You didn’t work for this money, so you don’t deserve it
You mustn’t lose, or make a mistake with, the money you’ve got

THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE MONEY

This isn’t enough money – so there’s no point in trying to save
You’re not worth more (so stay in the job you hate)
Money is bad / evil / unimportant
Rich people got that way by taking advantage of others
You deserve to treat yourself so spending beyond your means is okay

WOMEN

Husbands take care of money so wives don’t have to
Making money is difficult / overwhelming / impossible
You’ll never be able to earn enough, so you need a man with money

MONEY IN RELATIONSHIPS

Understanding what messages you received about money in your childhood is the first step to learning how to communicate with others about money. If you don’t understand your own history and “childhood tapes”, then conversations about money (with spouses, friends, family members, bosses) are unlikely to be as easy and straightforward as they could be.

Statistics suggest that 70% of marital breakdowns are due to money problems. Of course the arguments aren’t actually about the money per se – these disputes happen whether funds are tight or plentiful. What couples are really arguing about is their own attitude to money, and what it represents. Is money for spending and giving away? Is money for safety and security? Does money equal power in a relationship? Does money equal love? Is it acceptable for a wife to earn more than her husband? Does one have to share everything or is it okay to have secret funds (or secret debts) that your partner doesn’t know about?

All sorts of relationship dynamics can get unleashed around money which can represent so many things – power, control, safety, security, status, worth, love. According to research from the American Sociological Association, the more economically dependent a man is on his female partner, the more likely he is to cheat on her. Whilst for women, economic dependency seems to have the opposite effect.

Life changes that shift income – a promotion, a redundancy, giving up work to look after children – also typically shift the power balance in a relationship. When one member of the couple earns less, they may feel they have to take on the role of “pleaser” in the relationship, to make up for not bringing as much to the table. Equally, if the poorer partner feels beholden to the richer one, they’re likely to drop into victimhood or resentment (or both) especially if they’re having to ask for money which can feel humiliating and disempowering.

*awesome article by Psychotherapist Sabrina Weyenth