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Relationship Advice For Couples

Relationship Advice For Couples Over the years, I have seen lots of married people in my office come in for all sorts of issues, many of them relationship concerns, and in that time, I have noticed a few things that I think are important to share. First, I will preface this by saying, these are not hard...

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Ladies, Stop Being Sorry!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-15-2016


Jill with a Goat

Recently I watched a hilarious episode of Inside Amy Schumer that had a bunch of highly educated women with PhD’s, standing up on the stage and alternating between apologizing for some pretty ridiculous things.  It was a crazy-funny exaggeration of what women – myself included – do all the time, but also a sad reminder of the less-than-empowering socialization of females that still exists in this country.

Generations of women, whose only access to money was through their father and later their husband, have left us with remnants of programming directed at getting and keeping a prosperous man to marry. This training, however, does very little to validate females.

What are Girls Taught?

Socialization of girls starts at a very young age, as they begin getting messages about their role and place in the world, and how they should behave as people.  This is generally good information, since it includes rules about not lying, stealing, committing murder, etc. But part of the mix is some gender specific expectations that can keep a woman from achieving her fullest potential.

Some of these unenlightened messages are:

  • Your value is based on what you do for others.
  • Your appearance is the most important thing you have. It’s necessary to look good, keep your weight down, and pay close attention to your grooming.
  • It is absolutely imperative that others like you, so be sure to be “nice” and agreeable all the time.
  • The person who makes the money in the household (or more money than the others) is the most important member, and they have the most power and status.
  • As a wife, it’s your job to take care of your husband and the rest of the family, because this will bring you satisfaction and happiness.


How the Lessons Hurt Us

In the mind of a child, the above messages are often translated into very limiting unconscious beliefs that become almost hardwired into their thinking. Among these beliefs are the following:

  • My needs aren’t important, and I am selfish if I ask for things.
  • It doesn’t matter how accomplished I am if I am unattractive and or can’t control my weight.
  • It is not okay for me to speak up, and no one wants to hear what I have to say.
  • I am “less than.”

Based on these ideas, it would be pretty easy to conclude that you’re taking up space, not as important as your male partner, and that your life priority should be making sure his needs are met, instead of the two of you working as a team.

We talk a lot about how women make less money than men. In my practice, I hear complaints about this from my female clients all the time. However, when I ask them if they’ve actually asked for the fair and equal pay they deserve, I find out few have done this! I believe this is the result of the same self-deprecating programming that contributes to women staying in bad relationships, always doing way more than their share of housework, and not asking for things.

On a day-to-day basis, these outdated attitudes are played out as women apologize for taking too much time at the checkout line, or dipping into “household money” for something not completely practical. Then, of course, there are the infinite ways we take on more responsibility than we can handle comfortably…

Changing our Beliefs about Ourselves

Try substituting some of the following more positive ideas for those old, shameful lessons from your past:

  • You have the right to be here, to take up space, and to consume.
  • You are the equal of everyone else in the world (except for politicians…in this case, you’re actually superior).
  • You have the right to speak up and ask for what you need, what you want, and even some things that might just be nice!
  • You always have the right to say “no” to any request, and you don’t need to give a reason.
  • You have the right to feel and be safe, and if you ever feel threatened, you have the right to make an incredible scene, and scream and yell for all the world to hear, even if it turns out you weren’t really in that much danger.
  • You have the right to live a life very different from the one your parents had envisioned for you.

Remember that no matter what messages you were given as a child, you are very important to the world. As such, expect respectful treatment from others and equality under the law. Stop apologizing and start living with the dignity you deserve as a worthy, loving, and lovable person!

Oh, and one last thing—it’s absolutely okay to take the last cookie from the plate or tissue from the box…and not feel bad about it.



Healthy Habits Hypnosis
187 Calle Magdalena #209
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 803-2841

I’m so Jealous!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-01-2016


A lot of my clients are men and women who come to me for help in trying to cope with the green-eyed monster, jealousy. Intense fear, anxiety, and other troubling feelings take hold as they suspect that their partner is cheating on them, compelling them to do things like check their partner’s phone, hack into their email account, and constantly “check up” on them. These behaviors bother the other person to the point of breakup, or cause serious and material damage to the relationships that do survive. Making things even worse, if their significant other is actually cheating, they often find themselves choosing another cheater in their next relationship!

I had a brush with this myself when a former boyfriend hacked into my email and appeared to be deleting messages from other friends inviting me to social events.  It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but when I did, I changed all my computer passwords, had new locks installed in my home, and called the police (who weren’t able to do anything, by the way). Needless to say, that relationship ended abruptly.  When I confronted the boyfriend, he apologized profusely and admitted he felt compelled to do it out of his fear that I was cheating.

Having worked with both the victims and the perpetrators of these “investigative” activities, I understand the reasons behind it much better. Constantly doubting and checking up on someone else has elements of obsessive-compulsive behavior, and it comes from a place of deep pain. For this reason, it’s not as easy to resolve as you might think. Nearly all my clients with this problem have either been cheated on or been cheaters themselves. Frequently it’s both.

Truth is, the root of their pain is rarely about actually being cheated on—that’s just a symptom. The core issues include believing they are “less than,” not getting their needs met, and frequently feeling abandoned.  Even if you could get yourself to stop checking your significant other’s phone, you would still need to get to the deeper causes of the behavior and work on healing your inner pain.

Whether you actually act it out on not, if you find yourself feeling compelled to check phones, look at emails, and/or stalk your partner, your relationship and all the ones that come after it are in serious trouble without some professional help.

How do you know the difference between obsessive checking and an intuitive feeling that your partner is actually cheating?

It can be difficult, to say the least, telling the difference between a compulsive urge and an intuition. It helps, though, if you stay in touch with your emotions and motivations.  As I have said before, real, intuitive messages tend to feel more neutral, like a quiet voice in your head, a picture in your mind, or a gut feeling that something is off. An intuition to look at your partner’s phone is generally not normal behavior for you, not premeditated, and most of all, not something you feel like doing every 10 minutes! A number of clients who caught their partner cheating have told me that for “some reason,” they picked up the other person’s phone when it rang, having never done that before, and discovered the infidelity.

When our less rational, more obsessive side is involved, we are usually feeling unsettled, scared, or angry. Our thinking is directed to one thing, and one thing only—getting to the information about our partner that we absolutely MUST have.

Ultimately, if a man is actually cheating, he will always get caught eventually. Guys—with the possible exception of Don Draper from Mad Men—are just not that good at covering their tracks! Women are more careful, so checking their phone doesn’t usually provide any clues. The point is, since cheating will become evident at one point or another, there’s no need to check anyone’s phone on a regular basis.

If obsessive worry and/or jealousy regarding your partner is a common issue for you, it’s time to take a deeper look and work to heal the inner wound fueling that obsession. Start by asking yourself a couple key questions:

“Am I getting what I need from this relationship?”

If not, maybe you need to look at that. Ironically, people who really are getting their needs met often miss obvious cheating because they are happy. But if you are NOT happy, take a look inside yourself, apart from your relationship, to find out why.

“Do I have hurts from the past I haven’t dealt with?”

I can already tell you the answer is “yes,” because we all do. But if buried pain is causing you to feel excessively anxious and jealous, and to obsessively scrutinize your mate’s social contacts, you must resolve these old wounds if you ever want to create a happy, loving, and satisfying relationship with a good match.

Having said all this, sometimes it’s the sad truth that our significant other is really cheating, seemingly justifying our constant anxiety. Trust me on this, though…if your partner is cheating, it will never stay a secret for very long, so you don’t need to waste energy worrying about it. Shift your focus instead to making yourself happy. Then no matter what happens in life or with others, you’ll be able to handle it, and HANDLE IT WELL.




Healthy Habits Hypnosis
187 Calle Magdalena #209
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 803-2841