Dear Becca: How can I stop the worry train?

Dear Becca,

"spinning around" Some rights reserved by Maria G.I.Sometimes my mind just won’t shut off when things aren’t just right with Michael. I practice discussions with him in my head over and over and over again and, frankly, it tends to make matters worse because I can’t sleep, which makes me worry more, which keeps me up, which makes me… well, you get the idea. What can I do to keep things from going round and round in my head?


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Exercise #2 – Stopping “Rumination”

Worried - 62/365 photo by [Roberto Bouza ] via Flikr.comRuminating is repetitive thinking about the same thing, like trying to solve a nagging problem. We can get caught thinking, thinking, thinking… and not being able to get our mind off the problem or issue that we’re concerned about.

We often think, or use our heads, when there’s pain or distress in our bodies that we don’t know how to resolve. “Going to our head” is often an unconscious process and we can find ourselves just stuck there on a thought train that goes round and round.

So, in order to stop the rumination there are two angles we need to work from: first, what to do when we’re caught ruminating and, second, working to prevent it from it happening over and over. Continue reading

I Am a Border Collie – Attachment Theory Pt. 1

Grace & Bubbles by Bill Blevins (sailorbill @ Flikr)In my role as editor of, I hear from a lot of women who ache to find a romantic heartmate. They are looking for the kind of guy who craves intimacy; a man who is super attentive – the kind of lover who seems to have a freaky hyper-sense of a woman’s emotional state; a heartmate who believes they must work hard to keep their lover’s interest and are committed to doing so; a mate so tuned into her that he lets her set the tone of the relationship.

When asked, these same women probably would tell you that they don’t want a man who Continue reading

Love is like a ’56 Oldsmobile

"Rocket" will be back on the road very soon.

A few years back I announced to my wife that it might be time to sell our ’56 Oldsmobile. I told her that I was starting to see rust bubbles and that it might be good to let “Rocket” go. In response, both my wife and daughter started to tear up; their lips quivering. Long story short: I set about restoring her and I am so glad that I did.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to own an antique automobile, that sort of attachment to an inanimate object may be hard to understand, but know that it is less about the car and more about the stories and feelings associated with the it and the knowledge that there is even more fun to come. Grad, the bullets found under the seat, the low-riding trip to camp, the love notes from my (now) daughter-in-law tucked into the bench seat… our Olds is a family storybook on wheels.

And, as it turns out, a rolling metaphor in my mind.  Consider:

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Dear Becca: Events or Emotions?

Dear Becca,

To rebuild a wounded relationship, is it more important to carefully unravel problematic events or to explore the emotions of the situation?



Dear Michael,

To repair a wounded relationship, the first step is to prioritize the relationship. It’s the relationship that needs repair.

Often when we want to repair, we want our partner to heal us, to comply to what we think needs to happen to repair trust or to be convinced we really matter and are important to our partner.
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