Work ON, not just IN your relationship with Dr. Laurie Weiss – Love Vitamins for Relationships
Laurie Weiss, psychotherapist, coach and relationship communication expert has helped more than 60,000 individuals reclaim life energy and find joy in life for more than four decades. She has taught professionals in 13 countries and authored 13 books that make complex information accessible to anyone. Her popular, Letting It Go, teaches rapid anxiety and stress relief. She and her husband, Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D., started working together in 1970. Both Drs. Weiss love mixing business and pleasure and enjoy visiting professional colleagues and friends around the globe. They live and work in Littleton, Col. USA.
Life Partners as long as Business Partners
At the age of 83, Dr. Laurie has been married for 62 years, business partners with her husband for the last 50 plus years. She shared some details about that journey along with us.
Well, one of the interesting things is I married at a time when women had very limited options and where women were seen as second class citizens, and so, The evolution from that very rigid structure that we both expected to maintain to the second wave feminist, and I was a strong cart carrying feminist therapist. For quite a while and learning to make it a co-equal relationship rather than a co-dependent relationship as relationships were supposed to be, was I think probably one of the most important things
As we learned that we also were learning ways to communicate very cleanly and very effectively. So that we didn’t let problems go by and we taught other people. We went around the country and around several other countries teaching people how to not let things go by, and that was very influential. And after a while we kind of settled. . It’s like, well, we know how to do this. We’re pretty comfortable doing it. We would get in the hot tub at night after a therapy group, would not have anything much to say about it because it worked just fine. We trusted each other. We worked just fine.
Then of course, came the inevitable children growing up an empty nest and what do you do now? And we kept on working and, starting to write books. We wrote our first book together. Basically I wrote, he edited, put together, challenged me and then he decided that he didn’t like writing, but I kept on it, sort of became a disease.
I think one of the biggest challenges is not being exactly the same. The same field, but we’re, and doing very much the same thing and learning a lot of the same things, but we have very different interests. In fact, sometimes we joke and say we’re incompatible.
For example, he loves jazz. I love classical. He can’t stand offright. It’s one of my favorite things, but in a lot of ways we are compatible and it’s been a constant struggle about getting back into the very old patterns of doing things without asking about it, assuming things, and then getting caught up short and saying, whoops. We’ve gotta do something else. And now our relationship is changing again because he has some physical disabilities so I have to compensate in ways that I never had to compensate. So it’s been an evolution all along.
Think there’s one very significant thing that is probably unusual, and that is very early on, we made a commitment that we would support each other’s. And that got to be pretty scary sometimes. But we did it anyway.
Serious Relationship Problem vs Ordinary Growing Pain
In her book, being happy together and what do you do to keep love alive, Dr. Laurie points to the difference between a Serious Relationship Problem vs an Ordinary Growing Pain. We asked her to talk a bit more about that
When people fall in love, it’s fireworks. You wanna be with each other constantly. And then the first transition is when you get married, then you are together constantly or can be. And then its like oh, it’s not so exciting anymore. We’ve fallen out of love uhoh, and people think that that’s, that’s a crisis We’ve fallen out of love. There’s, there’s no excitement anymore, but it’s not, it’s normal. It’s what happens. And at that point, you stop being at the position. I love everything he does. I love some things he does, but I hate other things he does. Then comes to the point of, we won’t talk about it. We’ll just go into the patterns that we think we’re supposed to have, and that works for a while, and then it doesn’t. And again, that’s an ordinary crisis in a relationship. The fact that we start struggling.
For me it was really funny. He had dragged me to psychotherapy. I didn’t wanna go, but I, I went and the first time the therapist said, it’s okay for you to like opera. It was like, really? can still do that. It’s that kind of a change. It’s okay for you to be who you are, but I don’t know how to do that. And so that’s another crisis, that’s a normal kind of development is how do we set our boundaries? How do we figure out who we are? How do we keep being who we are and still be together? Because then at a point in relationships, it feels like we’re going our separate ways, we’re going in our own directions. And then, it’s like, oh, I don’t need you anymore. People feel like they need each other, and then it’s like, I don’t need you anymore, but I, I still like you. I still wanna be together. and that’s really the healthiest part of a relationship when you’ve got two individuals sharing fully with each other, and they may be dividing things up.
Like when my, when we go somewhere, my husband usually drives because I don’t particularly like driving and he enjoys it but, but if there’s something wrong, I can drive, there’s no problem. And we don’t just have to do. and I usually cook, but I don’t always cook and I don’t have to cook. When in, in a support group early on, women were whispering to each other. I really don’t like to be in charge of all the cooking. I really don’t. But we thought we were supposed to be, there was a whole lot of. issue about teaching our husbands to be responsible for dinner once or twice a week, and they would serve our leftovers that we had planned for another dinner. It doesn’t seem like a big deal now, at the time, trying to establish those boundaries was really difficult.
And then the interesting thing that happens is when there’s a major life change of some kind, you cycle through all those things over. So it may be that you need each other and you’re locked together for a while, and then you figure out your boundaries again in a new situation, a new way.
Communicate when conflict in interest
Dr. Laurie shares a few simple steps on how and when Partners should communicate when there is a conflict which arises.
When to communicate – The moment you (or your partner) notices there’s something wrong.
After noticing – Take time to think about it.
After thinking about it – At the first opportunity, tell your partner that you’ll like to share with them what you’ve realized.
Just say it straight out – Ask them instead of trying to read their mind.
Release Stuck Energy
Dr. Laurie talks about a whole other area that she’s passionate about. She explains that so much of this is all about stuck energy and about 12 years ago, she learned a way to release stuck energy, that is so simple. The process is more involved but includes the below three sentences
- I retrieve all my energy bound up in this rumination and I take my energy to the right place in myself.
- I remove all of the not me energy involved in this rumination from all of my cells, my body, and my personal space, and I send it to where it truly belongs.
- I retrieve all my energy bound up in all of my reactions to this rumination.
I’d say work on your relationship, not just in your relationship. Be aware of what’s going on between you and take the steps that you need to grow. rather than just assuming that everything is okay, cuz it inevitably will crash in some way.
Connect with Dr. Laurie
Website – https://laurieweiss.com/
Books – https://laurieweiss.com/books/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laurieweiss