Free Kindle Book – Today only

Today September 11th – Dark Family secrets  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Some family secrets can be deadly.

Doris Jones formally Doris Barnes desperate for a job moves back to her father’s hometown to take a teaching job at the high school. Doris discovers her family has dark secrets. Some people hate her because of her family and others want to harm her.

Advertisements

Free Kindle Book – Today only

Today August 7th – Dark Family secrets  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Some family secrets can be deadly.

Doris Jones formally Doris Barnes desperate for a job moves back to her father’s hometown to take a teaching job at the high school. Doris discovers her family has dark secrets. Some people hate her because of her family and others want to harm her.

5 Paths to a better relationship.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Path to a better relationship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do these things to help create a good relationship.

Couples relationships start off headed in the direction of bliss and somehow, for so many, they end up in the pit of suffering.  How did your relationship get so far off track? If you’re not sure you may need to take a look at the Relationship Destroyers and see how many of these you are practicing. But regardless of how your relationship got off track, are you ready and willing to take some steps to get headed in the right direction again?

It is easy to slip into blaming your partner, while blame may feel good in the moment it won’t change anything. If you are thinking you want to see some changes, consider what changes you want to see and how willing are you to do the work to get this relationship headed in the right direction.

Think of relationships like moving a couch. Really hard for one person to move it very far or fast. But two people together can get the job done. So if you feel like your partner has put their end of the relationship couch down you may need to pick yours up first to help them get willing to make some moves again.

Here are five paths you could consider that may lead to a better relationship.

Good relationships require investing time.

Spend time together if you want to be together. When you first became a couple the two of you spent every moment possible together. Then along the way life happened. You get busy with jobs, children and all kinds of outside commitments. Eventually, you had to reestablish your separate life. You had to start doing more and more things without your partner around. Eventually, you look up and wonder if you two have any interest in spending time together.

For couples to stay close they need to invest some of that precious time in the relationship.

Figure out where you are going. What do you really want out of this relationship?

Initially, the goal of couples is mostly just being together. Most couples never think about what they want from the relationship beyond the together part. Time goes by and then what happens?  You start to wonder now that you are together why aren’t things perfect? Children often happen so does work, family and other commitments and the goal of being a couple may get forgotten.

You wonder about those dreams and values you had before the couple thing came into your life. Are you two on the same page now? What is important? Religious values, or money and things? If you didn’t explore your goals and values during the early stages now is the time to do it. Now is always the time.

Have that talk about where you see your life going. Do you see yourself being together as old retired people? Or are you only staying together or the sake of the children? How would you know if this was a good relationship? Does that mean the same thing to both of you?

Shared goals and values is a pathway to a good relationship.

When your relationship is not working try a new path.

What are you willing to change about yourself and this relationship to make this work? Do you know any happy couples? What do they do that you are not doing? Is this relationship worth putting some work into? Would any relationship? Before you jump to the conclusion that you need to end this relationship and look for someone new think about what brought you and your partner together in the first place. Are you willing to try again with the partner you have already invested so much time and emotion with?

Clean your own wreckage out of the way.

For many couples the reason things are not going well is because of the unfinished business of childhood, that baggage you are still carrying. How much baggage do you have? Are you willing to work on you to make this relationship successful? Or do you still expect your partner to supply all the missing parts for your emotional life? No partner will be able to always meet your needs. You need to learn how to meet those yourself and then see how together you can create something that is better than either of you would be separately.

What price are you willing to pay for a good relationship?

What will you do or give up to have this relationship? The highest prices we pay in life are the things we buy with time and sacrifices, not the things that cost us money. Can you accept that you are wrong some of the time? Are you willing to go along with things your partner wants to do even when they make you uncomfortable?

Many people discover that the things they enjoyed about their partner when they were dating scare them after they become a couple. Does that exciting person now seem irresponsible? Does that confident person now seem controlling?

Try being more accepting and open to new experiences the way you two were when you first started out together and see if that is not a path back to that relationship you once had. Just know that no one gets back to exactly where they began that relationship, what you want is to find that happy place you once were at, only a little farther down the road of life. Plan on growing together.

Those are some ideas for new directions you might take your relationship as a way to make it better. Have you found any other ways to create the relationship you want?

For more on this topic see:

Relationships

Family Problems

Couples Therapy 

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Why is love so hard to find?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Feeling of love

Looking for love.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Everyone looks for love but not many find it.

LoveOf all the topics to write about why love? Nothing comes up more in therapy that the subject of love. Despite all the books on love, all the love songs and the poems about love, few of us seem to be able to find the love we are looking for. Why?

Love is big business. There are dating sites devoted to finding your one true love and books on how to attract that love into your life, but still, so many people are starved for love.

The 1960’s were full of expressions about love, love generation, summer of love, love child. One quote from long ago seemed, to sum up, the problem with a shortage of love.

“How come half the world is crying when the other half is crying too? Why can’t we get it together?” I remember hearing that, something close to that, from Janis Joplin shortly before she died.

One of the Jefferson Airplanes most remembered hits – Somebody to love. Despite all the looking for love there still seems to be a shortage.

There are several reasons we can’t seem to find enough love is this life.

If you don’t know what you are looking for how will you know it when you find it? Many of the things we say we want out of life are in short supply for just that reason. In psychology, they have a term for this phenomenon – The expert effect. Sometimes we don’t recognize we have something until it is gone.

Possible if we all worked harder on loving others, not the lusting kind but the real caring for other people sort of love, we might be less hungry for love.

Where do you find love?

The greater problem, the reason love may be so elusive is that we have been misled about where love could be found. When we are young we think love comes from someone else. Parents love, caretakers love and the love of friends and associates these things seem to make us “feel loved.”

For many out there that “love” was contingent on doing or saying what that other person wanted from us. We began a lifelong search for someone who could love us enough for us to feel lovable.

The problem is confounded for those who learned to substitute sex for love. If you just had the right kind of sexual partner then you might feel loved. So we look for lovers and friends that can make us feel loved.

Humans are social creatures; there is no denying we need other people. But finding someone who can love us so completely that we will never feel unloved and unlovable again, that is a futile search.

The place we need to look for that fullness of love is the last place most people would ever think to search. If you are to ever feel really loved, you need to begin by loving yourself. For if you are not able to love yourself no other person will ever be able to fill you with love.

What if you are so far down that you can’t even love yourself?

That is the time we need to look for that higher power, that thing beyond ourselves and those other failed human relationships. Look for someone greater than yourself and by that, I do not mean some earthly person.

Some find that unconditional love in a religious institution or in a recovery or 12 step group.

A saying around those tables is that other recovering people will love you until you are able to love yourself.

You can’t fill up that love-shaped hole in your being by rushing around looking for the right person to love you. First, you need to learn to love yourself and feel worthy of love and then you will be able to accept others love into your life.

Just my thoughts. What have you found out about solving this love shortage?

“Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Fairytales end at the wedding – Marriage and Divorce

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Fairytale world.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Why are there no happily-ever-after relationships around here?

In this collage of life, one recurrent theme is people’s search for that one ideal romantic relationship, the perfect person that will complete their life and make them happy.

The other side of that picture is the near-universal failure of the romantic relationship to live up to our expectations.

Every day millions, soon to be billions, of people fall in love. Some for the first time, many for the umpteenth time. Always we hope this time will be different, this time we have found the one. The result of these repeating patterns has been that more than half of marriages end in divorce. More than ever people are getting into relationships without the benefit of marriage.

A generation has come to believe that the principle cause of divorce is marriage.

Why can’t we all have one of those storybook romances where the prince finds his Snow White, Cinderella gets the glass slipper and the relationship of her dream and we all live happily ever after?

The truth is, ladies and gentlemen, that in the fairy tale the curtain always comes down on the magical moment when the couple begins their relationship full of expectations.

We never see the rest of the happy relationship story.

Cinderella, should she have children, and there is a high probability that she will, then she will find that life is not so rosy after being up all night with a sick child. What does that prince do, after a few dozen nights of coming home and finding his beloved in a vile irritable mood after a day of scrubbing and cleaning and caring for princelings?

Most likely he starts spending time trying glass slippers on other women’s feet.

The truth is that life is real and fairy tales are fiction. Real relationships take hard work. Some time spent up front making sure you know that other person and that you are on the same page can pay off on those long nights when things in your realm are not going so well.

Good relationships, like good gardens, require work to maintain them each and every day.

In the real tale, the price may not get promoted to king, even if he does there is that long period of struggle before he gets there. Cinderella can get awfully grumpy when she finds that being with the prince is not an escape from doing chores for the wicked stepmother. A few years toiling over a hot fireplace can make the most charming Cinderella say things just like her wicked stepmother used to say.

Nothing tests romance so well as having a sick child cover you with vomit. Notice in the fairy tales the problems all end with the wedding? In real life that is when they begin.

Fairy tales are about fantasy, marriage is real life and real life is hard work.

My advice, for all it is worth, is to leave the fairy tales in the books and movies and spend the time in your real life relationships doing the hard work of making your life something that is worth the effort that inevitably needs to be invested in that relationship.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

What do several failed relationships mean?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Family torn apart

Divorce.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Why do you have multiple failed relationships?

There are several things you should be looking at if you have repeated failed relationships.

Here are some possible reasons that this same thing keeps happening to you.

Take a look at this list and see if any of these applies to you. This may be your chance to learn a needed lesson.

It could be bad luck, maybe.

This to me is the least likely possibility. Sure it is possible that someone can have a bad outcome from an effort several times. But the more often things happen “again” the more we need to start looking at ourselves rather than blaming this recurrence on bad luck.

You get with people thinking you will change them.

This is a more common problem. You get with a new romantic partner thinking all they need is someone who cares about them and they will straighten up and go right.

Having a supportive person in your corner is wonderful, but if you have started thinking that this potential partner will suddenly change if you just love them enough you are headed for heartbreak.

Snakes remain snakes and addicts rarely give it up just because you want them to. Lots of us have capes hanging in the closet just waiting for the opportunity to become Captain-Save-a-bum.

Ladies if he cheated on his last partner or has multiple babies’ mama’s these are all bad signs.

You incompatibility detector is not working.

In the early stages of courtship, we see what we want to see. The red flags and the bells and sirens are all there we just chose to ignore them.

If you do not invest a significant amount of time getting to know who this person is under normal, non-dating circumstances, you have no idea who you are getting. Despite having a host of bad experiences do you tend to keep doing it over and over? You know you do!

Can you spot the “perfect partner” across a crowded room? They never look or act so good when you get to know them up close. Make sure you checked this person out well.  You always need to allow for shrinkage and spoilage. Guys – expect her perfect figure to disappear in the light of reality.

You expect relationships to be easy or 50 -50.

No, 50-50 relationships do not work. It takes something like 80-80, to make it work. If both of you do not think you are doing more than your partner you will never meet in the middle.

If you are keeping score that is a bad sign also.

So very often we think we need to do all the work on the front end to catch that great person. Great partners are not caught. You do that and they keep trying to get away. They have to be nurtured and that means it takes more effort to maintain a relationship than to get one started.

You keep looking in the wrong places.

A Very common scenario in counseling. The woman has been abused; he is an alcoholic or addict. She may have had a father who came from that mold. So she gets loose from this abusive man.

What do you think happens the day after the divorce?

Her girlfriends take her out to celebrate and they hit the club. That very night she meets this new – wonderful guy.A year later, now pregnant – again- she finds he is an alcoholic abusive cheater. What went wrong?

If you meet them in crack houses the chances are they are drug users. If you meet them over alcohol they may be already married to their bottle.

Where you meet people often tells you a whole lot about who they are and who they will become. I know there are exceptions but not every plant in the weed patch turns into a rose.

The problem is you-you need to work on yourself.

When you are sick, emotionally or mentally, you tend to attract other people who have those same problems. Two people who have a mental illness can meet and have a great relationship.

What they need to do, for that to happen, is for both of them to work on themselves. As you get healthier you attract healthier people into your life.

You do not expect relationships to work.

You got into this relationship thinking it would be OK for now. If it didn’t work out you could always get a divorce. Start out thinking that way and you are highly likely to create those situations. This is extra messy if you thought this might end but you went ahead and had children with this person anyway.

Remember the rule, you can break up with a romantic partner but baby’s mothers and fathers are in your life one way or the other, for the rest of your life and beyond. How have you been doing in the romantic relationship department? Do you keep making the same mistakes – getting the same result over and over?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Valentine’s Day and the search for love

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Feeling of love

Looking for love.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Today is the official day to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

There is some dispute about how Saint Valentine and the idea of love got connected in the first place. The most reasonable explanation appears to be that Chaucer noted that on Saint Valentine’s Day, falling in the spring as it does, the doves were commencing to mate. His poem connected that matting with the idea of romantic love and we have been chasing that connection ever since.

Eric Fromm in The Art of Loving made note that there is no other human activity that is so regularly begun with great hopes and expectations and yet so often fails. He also tells us that we take the intensity of this new infatuation as a reflection of our intensity of love when it is only a reflection of our previous loneliness.

No, I don’t mean to disparage those of you who have or are about to fall in love on or about this annual springtime holiday. Undeniable there is no other human emotion that is so exciting, so rewarding or as crazy-making as falling in love.

There have been those couples who have spent their entire lives together in a great love. What many of those couples will tell us is that those initial feelings of romance and attraction were not enough to sustain the relationship and that staying in love is a much greater task than falling in love in the first place.

Having one significant person in your life, most often a primary love and sexual partner has a profound influence on your mental health. A seriously mentally ill person who has that one person, they perceive as loving, living in the home with them is half as likely to end up in a psychiatric hospital. Love has its advantages.

If only love lasted. If only it had a slightly better shelf life.

With more marriages ending in divorce than those staying together these days, it is easy to be cynical about marriage. I fear the out of love spouse who has just found out their partner has been cheating more than the paranoid schizophrenic. Especially if that jilted lover has a gun.

Living together without marrying is even less secure. Unmarried couples are more likely to dissolve the relationship than married ones, particularly within the first year after the birth of a child. Something about not sleeping while being up all night to care for a sick child and the resulting irritability takes the bloom off any flowering love.

There is also an incredible disconnect between those wonderful romantic things that couples say about each other in that first bloom of love and the hurtful things they say about each other in mediation and family court appearances when the relationship comes unraveled.

Most of the time that person we fall in love with is less real than the cartoon characters on the Saturday morning show. We see in this other the reflection of what we want and need and we project back who we think we need to be in order to have them love us. The masks do not come off until the crying child and the stress of earning a living deter us from keeping up pretenses.

Beware listening to that siren sound that tells you, if you could just find that one person who has the things you lack, that person who could complete you, then you two will live happily ever after. Two partial people are not able to create a whole relationship.

Recognize on this day devoted to another love quest that no one will be able to love you more than you love yourself and if you feel empty and incomplete alone you will feel equally lacking when you are with someone.

Those people who like themselves and feel good alone have something to give to another. Two complete and happy people have a chance that two wounded and suffering people never will. If you want a happy relationship, get happy first and get relationshiped second.

Having said all this about caution in the matters of love, I know what is about to transpire. The days are getting warmer. The flowers are blooming. The birds are falling in love and mating and the hormones in we humans are on the rise.

Let the illogical falling in love begin.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.