Posts Tagged ‘urge’

3am Conversations Create More Problems Than are Solved

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Have you ever had the urge to have a conversation with your partner in the wee hours of the morning?

Have you had concerns about the kids, job, school, your partner, anything that has bothered you to the point where it affects your sleep? If so–you’re not alone. I’m guilty of this as are many others.

Why do we do it?

According to Ralph Downey III, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University in California insomnia fuels a cycle of anxiety which results in our catastrophizing at 3am . Say, for example, you have a 9am interview. You go to bed but toss and turn for an hour. You wake up at 3am with nervous thoughts about the interview. Your anxiety spreads to all the other things you need to do the next day.

For me, there were issues about my marriage and the option was not available to discuss these issues with my partner during day time or evening hours.

The lesson I learned: If the only time available for conversation is in the middle of the night I rob not only myself but another person of needed sleep. If the only available time for conversation is during normal sleeping hours, the reality is that there is no time available for conversation.

Ideally life conversations need to happen when you and your partner are fully awake and willing. If you feel that despite concerted effort on your part you can not have a conversation with your spouse then you’ve got a decision to make.

Conversation is vital to your relationship. Without it both you and your partner will feel cheated. Eventually the relationship will die or you will stay together but wish you weren’t as you will merely exist in each others space.

Steps You Can Take to Create Conversation:

Let your spouse know you would like to have a conversation.

Set a date and time that is mutually agreeable and meet at that time.

If it has been awhile since the two of you have had a conversation put a time limit on it. Say 30 minutes. When that 30 minutes is up end the conversation and set a date for the next one. In the beginning allow at least one full day between conversations. When you do this you give each other time to think about the previous conversation as well as the next one. If you both want to increase the amount of time spent during conversation make sure the decision is mutual.

While in Conversation Do the Following:

State the issue at hand from your perspective.

Be specific–not vague. Your partner will appreciate your directness. Remember you’ve only got a total of 30 minutes which means approximately 15 minutes each. Your partner is not a mind reader–be as clear as you can.

Once you have stated the issue at hand from your perspective it is your partner’s turn to respond.

Don’t interrupt your partner.

If the conversation begins to feel uncomfortable for either or both of you end it. Walk away before tempers flare.

Always aim for respect in conversation.

If you feel that your relationship is beyond the point where you can have  mutually respectful interaction–don’t attempt it without seeking professional intervention as soon as possible.

We all have occasional wakeful times in the middle of the night that keeps us from normal sleep.  However, when you see that anxiety disrupts your normal sleep pattern and you are waking your partner in the process you need to take action quickly as it doesn’t take long for insomnia to get out of hand.

Sleep is precious as are our relationships.





Can’t Put a Price on Peace of Mind

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Leaving a destructive relationship can be a gut wrenching experience. Seven years ago I committed to no further contact with a relationship partner. Initially I fought having to stop contact. I didn’t want to and hoped I wouldn’t have to but deep down knew if I wanted a healthy life for myself and my children I had to leave the relationship behind.

So I left.

Once I committed to maintaining no contact I slowly gained strength.

I got stronger each time I didn’t pick up the phone.

I felt better about myself when I resisted the urge to make contact.

In my mind leaving the door open–even a crack–would be too much.

Over time and day by day life got better. The heaviness  I’d felt for so long lifted. It was replaced with relief and comfort experiencing life’s simple pleasures. Spending time with my sons, being available for them, seeing them gain confidence in me and in themselves was a joy to watch unfold.

I’d spent years accommodating the needs of relationship partners and in the process sacrificed my needs and those of my children.

My life which had once been a series of dramas was replaced with peace of mind. I’d forgotten–or maybe never fully felt–peace in my life. I started to understand the meaning of empowerment and what it was like to live life on my own terms. I no longer needed to worry about what a partner would think say or do. There was no need to fear a partner’s reaction to things I said or their inability to cope with daily pressures. My decision to leave these types of relationships behind eliminated the need to deal with an ongoing sinking feeling in my gut.

My voice got stronger. Too often in the past I’d allowed my words to be drowned out by more confident or outspoken partners. As a result I convinced myself that what my partner had to say was more significant than anything I had to say.

Not so.

All I needed to do was turn up the volume and let my voice be heard. It didn’t matter if a hundred other people thought differently than I did what mattered was that I believed my words had value and  expressed myself with confidence.

It’s impossible to put a price on peace of mind when life begins to make sense and you don’t have to hold your breath for fear you’ll offend or look over your shoulder to make sure all is well. When the eggshells you’ve been walking on for so long are gone, the peace you feel is priceless and worth holding onto.


Inner Critic Rants

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

A few days ago I flew in to the PDX Airport after a conference I attended.

I went to one of the nearby economy parking lots to find my car. The parking lots are color coded and fortunately I knew the color of the lot but didn’t remember the parking shelter letter.

I was frustrated and tired and just wanted my car!

I had a lot of inner dialogue going on in my mind that evening not the least of which was how stupid I was because I couldn’t find my car!

Fortunately, I remembered the cars general location and with the help of a nice parking lot security driver, was able to find it with relative ease.

I bring this incident up because there really wasn’t any use in badgering myself. It didn’t make the situation better but instead made it more stressful on me.

And what was even harder to deal with was the fact that less than three months ago I’d made a similar mistake. That time I didn’t make a mental note of lot or shelter letter. Fortunately, again, I remembered the general location so was able to pinpoint my cars location.

Taking a positive approach, I vow that next time I will get it right. This isn’t rocket science and I know I can figure out airport parking it’s just that for me, air travel is still a relatively new experience. It was years before I went anywhere in a plane and am still learning the nuances of flying.

Does your inner critic ever beat your up?

Don’t let it!

Calm it down, turn it down, or better yet silence it. When this voice tells you you’re stupid or incompetent or that you’ll never be successful or happy or whatever it tells you, resist the urge to give that voice total power over you.

Pay better attention to the nurturing voice. The one that tells you it’s okay you made a mistake–it doesn’t matter because you’ll do better next time. That voice–the nurturing one, is your friend.