How to know if you’ve married the wrong person?

People marry for all the possible reasons. But one of the greatest is love. 

After a rosy dating period of two years, John married Nicole, to her great happiness. She liked everything about him. They enjoyed great sex together and endless conversations over a cup of morning coffee or a glass of red wine in the evening. Years passed by and John was losing respect in Nicole’s eyes. He stopped being the ‘crazy John’, full of ideas for adventures, and instead, he became a couch potato. He had to commute to a job which he didn’t enjoy and all of this had an effect on his marriage. He grew angry with the whole world, unable to be happy about anything and complaining.

Nicole while loading the dishwasher said to herself: “I have married the wrong person. Or had I?”

How to find out if you married the wrong person?

Let go of the one and only Prince Charming

Usually, women dream of a knight on a white horse which is an ideal, that doesn’t exist. The truth is we all marry the wrong person. For some reason, after the rosy period of the first dates, especially when we live together, we see the flaws, the lacks, and the problems of our partner. 

The thing is, we don’t need to straightaway abandon our partner, just because he doesn’t live up to the prince charming. Hollywood romantic movies are not based on reality. Personally, I know no couple who is perfect and who would be like straight from the movie scene. It’s the gap between expectation and reality that generates your life’s disappointments. 

happy mariage

Learn acceptance 

Switch off Netflix and switch on your brain. Learn to accept your partner the way he or she is. 

Even if before marriage you looked like a model and your hobby pumped up in the gym and now, in your fifties, you both have a beer belly, that’s alright. Time passes by and our bodies change. Instead of calling your partner fat, show him understanding and compassion. Maybe even you could both decide to try jogging together? Remember that both men and women want to feel accepted and cherished, despite the circumstances. 

Communicate 

Many couples don’t talk to each other. Stressful lives and careers, commuting, and bringing up children often leaves us with no space for intimate conversation. When people marry, buy a house, and have children they tend to run an enterprise together. An enterprise called marriage. They are like business partners setting up the details of the kids’ education, grocery shopping, holidays, and house cleaning. 

Intimate conversation is crucial to mutual understanding. Both partners need to know what is happening in the heart of the other. Then, you can easily spot the signals, which contribute to so many couples parting. You can be observant, learn to talk about your needs if they are neglected. Learn to listen to your partner and his needs. Good communication and intimacy prevent your marriage from becoming an enterprise. Conversation brings people closer and ties the bonds. 

There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. We often marry persons who show us our lacks and mirror our attitude to ourselves and to the external world. Maybe it runs in your family. Maybe your father divorced when he was 45 and now you catch yourself on the thought that you repeated his scenario. 

All people who come into our lives teach us something. Happy marriages are those in which partners don’t have huge expectations, respect each other, accept themselves the way they are, and communicate.

Is there anything you would add to it?

With love,

Aleksandra 

Single mothers and excluded fathers

There is a certain dynamic played out in contemporary society. I have noticed that there are mothers who voluntarily exclude fathers from their child’s life.

There are many different life situations like the death of the father of the child, in vitro fertilization when the father is unknown. But today let me speak about mothers who restrict access of the father to the child, thus prohibiting the father to see the child, spend time with the child or take part in parenthood.

Sometimes this happens when the father has severe problems with himself – be it drug addiction, narcissistic personality, or other psychological disorders. In such cases it is understandable.

But what to do if the father is quite normal but his ex prohibits him to see the child?

Usually, single mothers are women who have been hurt. Their relationship didn’t work out and they live alone with a baby. They hold a grudge in their hearts against men, fathers of their children. Quite often single mothers are angry with their ex-partners or husbands. They didn’t forgive them and didn’t let go of the negative feelings or memories.

The problem is that in such a case the child will sense it. The child, subconsciously, will feel the anger of the mother towards the father. The child will feel, though not understand, that the father is a ‘bad man’ and doesn’t deserve to be loved. Remember that the child was created by two persons – a man and a woman. It consists of 2 energies – feminine and masculine.

What is the problem when you’re a single mother and you don’t respect your ex?

Your child growing up in such energies can develop low self-esteem. It can feel that masculinity is bad and excluded. It can sense that if the father is considered by the mother as a bad man, then the child who consists of 50% of the father can start to disrespect his own masculinity.

What happens when the child grows up without the father? Especially when the father is excluded.

Such a child will have a negative view of the father and masculinity. Father figure shows how to be a man, how to go to the outside world. Being a mother and a father are two different roles. Mother stands for femininity, nurture. Father stands for masculinity, the power to act, and take decisions.

Single mothers who are hurt can be, unfortunately, very proud. They’d rather say “I don’t want this person in my child’s life. I will grow the baby on my own” than “I will allow my ex to take care of his child”.

The child’s interest is the most important here. Not your grudge against your ex. The child needs love and support from both parents and single motherhood with excluded father will never substitute it.

Family constellations for beginners

In this short article, I will explain in simple words what family constellations are about. That’s always a tough question to explain.

It didn’t start within you.

Family constellations are about healing the relationships in your family, which in turn heal you and your perception of reality.

You haven’t been born as a white sheet of paper. You come to this world IN A GIVEN FAMILY. What happened there, in the family, influences you. You might have the same emotional issues, suffer from the same diseases, or encounter the same difficulties of finding the right partner, just as an example.

These are the so-called patterns or emotional blockages. Dynamics and unconscious scenarios according to which you respond in a given situation. The key in family constellations is to heal it, so that we are not burdening the next generation with our problems and blockages.

Genetics and epigenetics

As you know we inherit many characteristics after our ancestors, like the eyes or hair color and body structure. I bet you heard a couple of times that ‘you look like your mother’ or ‘you have your father’s eyes.

Epigenetics says that we inherit also the emotions and traumas, that our ancestors didn’t deal with. We have the same reactions, the same challenges. For example, constant lack of money, unhappy relationships, divorced women left alone with children.

Now the question comes: why should I care about my ancestors problems? Why should they be transmitted to me and why should I deal with them?

Our bond with ancestors is something unique in the scale of human relationships and interactions. Due to the fact that we are not born as a tabula rasa, we get the ‘download’ from our parents and ancestors. They have created us. We are part of them if we like it or not. I don’t try to say here that if our parents and grandparents had cancer, we are also gonna get it. No. This depends if we inherit their ‘way of thinking and reacting’ or we take the power to change it.

In the family history, it might have happened that our grandmother got pregnant during the war and her husband was killed or escaped. This might influence the next generations, for example, her granddaughter is a single mother. The pattern plays out again but in different circumstances.

We are not separated beings. We are connected to each other. And family constellations profoundly prove so and give us the tool to change these dynamics and start creating your own ones.

The best way to learn it, is to experience it on your own skin.

I cordially invite you for Skype sessions with me or personal sessions in my therapy studio in Zurich.

Aleksandra

When the boss doesn’t give you a raise

Have you ever heard about the Tiara Syndrome? It’s a special psychological term used to describe the belief that if you do everything properly, in your job, at home, etc. someone is going to appreciate it and put a crown on your head. 

Sheryl Sandberg cited “The Tiara Syndrome” in her book “Lean in”.

You sit quietly, you do your job the best you can and you think your boss is going to notice that and he will give you a pay raise. Usually, nothing like this happens.

Sounds familiar? 

So often you heard “sit quiet and do your job and they will notice you”. That’s what I’ve heard. So you sit, work long hours and wait and wait and expect that your time for ‘crowning’ will come. But it never comes. No raise, no good words from the boss but an increasing frustration. 

So many working women struggle with the Tiara Syndrome. 

  • What to do if you notice that your work is not appreciated though you deliver your best? 
  • What to do if you got stuck in your career being on the same junior position for 5 years? 

Take your fate in your own hands. Leave the job. Don’t wait for the crown, because you can wait forever. You know you deserve more. Take action to get it. Even if this will mean changing your job. Anyways, you wouldn’t regret such a job with no prospects, would you?

Let’s talk about relationships now. I think Tiara Syndrome can be perfectly illustrated on the example of love relationships.

Sandra met John at a common friends’ party. They exchanged the phone numbers and smiled at each other with a sparkle in the eye. She liked him a lot. “Finally!” she thought. “The man of my dreams”. John’s attitude was a bit different. He said to his best friend: “she’s cool. Let’s see what will come out of that”. What happened next?

They met three times in a cafe, in a park, in a restaurant. Then, Sandra took the initiative and invited him over to her place for dinner. She prepared a menu of 3 dishes plus the dessert and excellent red wine. She put her make up on, the best dress from her closet and thought that this was it. This was the moment she was waiting for. She expected that the guy will be head over heels in love with her. 

Was he? Nope. Do you know why?

The man was no longer interested because Sandra gave herself on a plate. She was too much focused on herself and on giving a lot, and she didn’t ask herself “What is he giving me?” 

The same goes for relationships and love. We do an excellent job, looking good, and giving our hearts on a plate to a man. Especially we, women. 

We fail to see and analyze if the man appreciates us and gives us his masculine energy in exchange for our feminine. We wait and hope the guy is going to love us and pamper us later on, but we don’t see the signals saying that we gave too many cookies and fed him too much. Our cookie bakery gets closed, and we finally see what mistakes we did.

What to do about that? 

Start appreciating yourself. Give, but also take. Ask for more and if someone says he cannot give it to you – leave. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss for what you deserve. When it doesn’t function, you know what to do, right?

Did you give too much and the man left you?

Many women contact me and tell me “I gave him everything, I was so good to him, and then he left me. Why did this happen? What’s wrong with me?“. If you overserve and agree for crumbles of love, crumbles of attention – this is what usually happens. Shifting your own plans for the sake of dating. Being too much available and accepting bad manners and bad behavior from the side of men, because you’re „a good girl”.

“Good girls go the heaven, bad girls to hell” – would you agree? Me – definitely not.

ARE YOU A GOOD GIRL?

How it comes that good girls usually suffer? I coach women a lot. And I’ve noticed that kind of paradigm that women want to be nice to the man. They want to offer a lot. They want to be themselves and try too much so that the relationship can work.

So, what is wrong about that?

Have ever wondered why you have offered so much, you have been a good, nice girl, and then the guy dumps you or he is not interested in you. Or he ignores your text messages.

Well, that is the main issue of being a good girl. You are a nice woman. But do you still live according to your values?

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THAT A GOOD GIRL DOES

A good girl

I think that there are many women out there, who are single, feel lonely or simply want to have a true and loving relationship. And that’s why they’re letting men to overstep their boundaries or to ignore them. And they are being too nice afterward.

Let’s say, that two days ago you’ve proposed a meeting to a guy. To go to a cinema or a café, or enjoy a meal and a glass of red wine. And then you write to him to confirm, that it is still on for the evening.

And then the guy texts you back the very same day the meeting is gonna be held. The very same day, during lunchtime the guy informs you, that actually it could have been better if you met tomorrow. And then you think that maybe he has something urgent to do.

But well, you’ve proposed this meeting 3 days ago and he texts me in the last moment to inform me, that he cancels.

And then, like a good girl, as a nice woman you tend to justify him:

„Maybe he has a visit to a doctor, maybe he is tired after work, so I will shift my own meeting and make time for him tomorrow night”.

This is the mistake number one that you do when it comes to shifting your own plans and pleasing another person. This is what you are doing when you’re canceling your own plans only because a guy you’ve been dating says, he cancels for the very last moment. And asks you to make the next day.

So this is about being too much available.

You give yourself, you are so nice that you want to please the guy. And of course, there is nothing wrong with pleasing a guy, but it’s like with cookies, a chocolate or a cake. Piece by piece, you cannot eat the whole chocolate at once. Because then you will feel very bad. On a standard daily basis, you wouldn’t do that. You would take a piece, but not the full one. 

STOP GIVING TOO MUCH

So, imagine.

  • If you are too nice to guys,
  • if you accept such behavior like canceling the very last minute, postponing or texting us the very same they that they cannot make it,
  • if you agree to everything they propose later on, although you’ve already made some plans (or even if your plan was to stay long in bed and read a book you wanted to read), 

Then you give too much.

Too much for someone who is not ready to invest, for someone who is not ready to keep his word, for someone, who cancels a meeting with you the very last moment. 

STOP HURTING YOURSELF

I know that each one of us, women, has been through these moments of being a very good girl. But all I want you to know is that being nice or too nice, or accepting everything means hurting yourself. Because if you are too nice to a guy, you kind of try to validate yourself. You are feeling so insecure inside, that you just want to be good enough, wonderful, and so on. 

But this is not the right way to do so.

First, you need to build up your own self-confidence. Because you need to love yourself the way you are. Being nice is okay up to a limit. And each person has his or her own limits. And of course, we want to be loved and cherished. We want to have a true connection with our partners. And yes, we are ready to invest a lot.

But when you invest your time and energy in someone, just observe if you don’t agree for too much. Especially if the guy cancels or if he does not respond to your requests or emails. 

Recently, I’ve also had a case when a guy texted me and I proposed a meeting under certain conditions. And then he totally ignored the message and came up with something different. So, this shows a lack of respect.

So a lesson learned is that nice women suffer. But not because of the guy. Because of their own lack of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence. Of trusting themselves and not giving too much to the other person.

Is love enough to build a happy relationship?

I met Martha at a party in Kaufleuten club in Zurich on a rainy Saturday evening. We had a ‘girls talk’ over a White Russian. She was in a tough relationship which brought lots of troubles and worries. She said: “The most important is that we love each other”. 

Hell yeah, I thought. As if love could fix it all…

LOVE IS NOT A CURE 

You can call me the most unromantic person in the world, but love cannot fix troubles in your relationship. You cannot sit around, unhappy, thinking that love to your partner will heal all problems. 

Love will neither fix you nor bring you permanent happiness. It won’t heal your traumas. Sometimes you need a visit at the shrink’s office to heal yourself and not a person who sleeps next to you and calls you ‘darling’. Love is not a plaster you put on your skin when you hurt yourself. 

Why love is not enough for a relationship to succeed?

If love to your man is the first thing that matters to you in your relationship, then ask yourself a question.

  • What is there apart from love? 
  • What other qualities does your relationship have? 
  • What are the common values of you and your partner?
  • Do you share a similar view on things and life in general? 
  • Do you both want to have a family and kids? 
  • What are the common goals and life plans of you and your partner?

LOVE IS MATHEMATICS

Sometimes I meet women who crave and beg for love. When they meet a guy, they fall in love straight away and think about the love that they will get from their partner. Love blinds them. They cannot see who the guy really is and figure out if he only says that he ‘loves’ or he actually does it. 

“I just wanna be loved” attitude is very dangerous for women. Love is an important part of a relationship, but you cannot sacrifice everything for it. Any relationship consists of many parts. There’s one part called ‘liking each other’, another one called ‘respect’, the next one ‘common values’ and so on. 

So, what is love? Love is an addition.

love is not enough

First of all, you need to take care of yourself. Your state of mind. Your shit. You need to love yourself before you love another person. You cannot get water out of a stone. If you don’t love yourself, there’s a low probability that you will be successful in loving another person. It’s pure mathematics. 0 love times 1 equals 0. You cannot give what you don’t have in yourself. 

In romantic comedies, people who meet each other, first, need to overcome some obstacles (job challenges, personal challenges, etc) before they are finally together. They don’t go into a relationship only because no one else came their way. 

They don’t bring into their relationship shitty patterns from their family of origin or exuberant expectations. First, they deal with their own shit, before they turn their relationship into a ‘relationshit’. 

Better to be in a ship with the other person than in a shit… It makes a whole lot of difference. 

A good relationship does not come wrapped in a ribbon

When I ask people how they met they start telling me that the time stood still, and they immediately knew that was ‘it’. Love at first sight. Biochemical cocktail of love & attraction.

Usually, in these moments I say: “Whoa. Hold your horses. Beginnings are always like the golden age of America. Like the first episode of your favorite Netflix series. Excitement and curiosity. All until the time you both advance to the second series called “Ups and downs” or “Storms and calms”.

relationship equals effort
The love and feelings you get from your beloved are not a gift neatly wrapped in a ribbon that is there to last forever.

It’s rather credit for a foundation on which to build something that matters.
Many couples part in the 5th or 7th year of their relationship. Love burn-out. They don’t know why they are together. They look at his or her beloved sleeping in bed, wondering why they decided to start this relationship. Wondering what went wrong and when.

Usually, it takes a couple of years for a couple to part. What happens then? A new love cycle begins. A new partner, butterflies in the stomach and love, that lasts only for some time…

Usually, this pattern of 5 or 7-year lasting relationship have couples who didn’t make it through the “storms and calms” and who forgot to build strong fundaments. They were so happy that they have this person, and they thought that ‘love’ will fix it all. That love will make it work. Unfortunately, love alone doesn’t guarantee a long-lasting relationship.

Love equals work. Yes. That’s the way it is. I can see your surprised faces now 🙂 Love is always about two totally different people coming together. Different backgrounds, different families, sometimes even different countries. You need to put your sleeves up and dig in to make it work. To build the fundaments for it to flourish.

Is it easy? Rather not. But one thing is sure – Santa Claus brings gifts only to children. The grown-ups make gifts by themselves, thanks to their work, attention, and experience.

Love is never about “meeting the right person”. Even if you meet your Mr/Mrs. Right, there’s still some work to be done.

relationship requires effort

There’s a song by The O’Jays – “Now that we found love what are we gonna do with it”. Think for a moment. What are you going to DO with your love?

All fables end with “they married and lived happily ever after”. Real life has nothing to do with a fable. The ups and downs happen even in the happiest relationship. But if you have a strong pillar on which you have built your love, no storm or hurricane will ever destroy it.

Care for your love every day. Just like you brush your teeth. Let it become a habit.

Valentine’s Day is approaching. We are bombarded with adverts of sexy lingerie, heart-shaped chocolates, and red roses. All good restaurants in Zurich are booked out for this Friday evening. People hoard to celebrate love. At least one day per year.

It’s actually a great idea to celebrate love. But maybe without all this marketing. Realizing that each day is a good day to celebrate love. Not only 14th February.

Wishing you wonderful days full of love,

Aleksandra

Being yourself is not easy. Why?

being yourself

Being yourself is not easy, because sometimes we‘re brought up to be someone else, someone, who has to be ‘this or that’. How often did you hear from your parents that you look like your grandfather or that you took on artistic skills after your father who liked to draw in his free time?

If looks and skills are passed on through generations, do you think that emotional problems, relationship patterns, money blockages are not? Then, let me surprise you 😉

  1. Sometimes it all comes from our family tree. Maybe some of our ancestors couldn’t pursue their passion. Maybe others told them “you won’t make a good teacher” or “You won’t be a good artist” plus “you cannot make money on art”. So they gave up their dreams of being themselves for the sake of peace of mind and social acceptance.

Maybe our parents couldn’t be themselves, because they were brought up by their parents according to some unwritten but verbally expressed rules? The behavioral patterns easily get transmitted through our genetics.

  1. Then comes the programming neatly covered under “schooling”. They tell us to go to school, study hard, be a good boy or a good girl. Go to church, believe in God, God will take care of you in the afterlife, fear the devil… They all tell us what to do. Until we reach the age of 18, we are fully programmed. Programmed to be someone. A firefighter, a teacher, a politician, a lawyer, and an IT software developer…

So you go the university, still study hard and land a good job. Congratulations! You’re a lawyer (banker, engineer or whoever) and you’re fully programmed to exist in the society and work like a sheep for the next 40 years.

Wait a moment. Was this what you wanted? Ask yourself a question: did I consciously choose that way? It is important that we feel good at our careers, in our relationships and with ourselves when we look at ourselves in the mirror.

How do you know if you are yourself?

  • You accept yourself fully, including your flaws;
  • You accept your path, the career that you CONSCIOUSLY chose;
  • You take no opinion of others on yourself;
  • You love yourself the way you are.

Look in the mirror. Who do you see there? The product of your parents/society expectations or yourself? 😊

Being yourself in a world which constantly tries you to be someone else, is the biggest achievement”.

What is art therapy?

When we were kids, art time was often the best part of grammar school. Who didn’t enjoy coloring, drawing, and painting? It was fun, relaxing, and you got a wonderful euphoric feeling from creating something you made with your own hands.

plantation-of-creativity-art-therapy-trauma-healing-zurich-warsaw-relationship-coach-

Then you proceeded to working life in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. At least. The movements of your hands were limited to typing on the computer keyboard and your imagination was put to sleep like your beloved ill dog, which suffered from cancer.

Yes. A sad story. Today we are no longer creative. We have far less ways to express our emotions. We shout at our kids, we pump at the gym, we come home edgy after a full day at work… Jenny was like this until she discovered art therapy.

She never would have thought that art therapy could help her through the toughest spots in her life, but it actually did. It helped her to release all her emotions, without the need to scream or pull out your hair from your head.

WHAT IS ART THERAPY?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses a variety of art media as its primary mode of communication and expression. It’s a particularly useful method of finding ways to explore difficult emotions. I use art to help grown-ups and children deal with emotions including loss, grief, transitions, attachment, emotional, bullying, mental health, behavioral issues, and confidence issues among others.

There is something so freeing about art therapy. The goal of art therapy is not a production of an art masterpiece, it is rather a creative process in which you take out all hurtful and sad emotions to the daylight. From your brain, heart, as well as the subconscious mind. You speak, not with words, but with colors and images. You move, you create, you are in the flow.

All you do is you move your brush or pencil, create, take it all out with fierce red or the blackest black.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ART THERAPY?

1. You reduce stress.

You had a bad day at work. You have a problem with your boss. You come to an art therapy session. You imagine you are telling your boss everything by colors and lines you put on paper in front of you. Thinking about your boss and your feelings towards him/her, you let these feelings come out. When you finish you feel relieved, born again, happier.

2. You address past traumas.

Do you remember that hurtful break-up between you and this man you so much cared for? You buried it deep down inside and from that time your relationships with men are not going well. In the art therapy session, you work to release the emotions about that break-up, which are still present in your body and mind. Maybe you didn’t express them before? Maybe it was too painful to dwell in it? Now is the moment to say a proper ‘good-bye’ with art therapy method.

Art therapy is great when dealing with marriage problems or divorce.

Kids quite often use art therapy unconsciously, when for example, their parents quarrel or divorce.

Plantation of Creativity leads art therapy sessions for children and adults. Contact us and schedule your first session with us!

“If you’re feeling blue, try painting yourself a different color”.

No day is more important than today

Rainy autumn day. Monica sat down on the couch after coming back from work. A pack of Lays Chips of fromage taste was lying near on the coffee table.

The power of the present

She said to herself: “Well, I worked hard today in a job which I don’t like. I deserved these chips.

A voice in her head asked the same question as yesterday evening: “Monica, what about using this time to build up your own business that you’ve been dreaming of for so long?”

Monica did not reply and ignored the voice. She forwarded her hand to reach for the chips, switched her computer on and started to watch a movie.

No stress. No effort. Just distraction. Imagine it is you who eats these chips and watches a movie. Would you regret it later on?

Regret is one of the basic human emotions. Sometimes we regret small things – that we worried too much, that we didn’t take the number form the girl we liked or that we simply, just like Monica, postponed our dreams and ate chips to cover our feelings up.

It’s normal. Life is not a test from mathematics. We cannot fully prepare for life. We come to our thirties or forties and wonder: “What the hell am I doing in this job?”. Then, still, we sit and watch a different movie every evening and eat chips to console our feeling of being “too late for changes”.

Usually, when I ask people why they don’t do what they dream of, they answer: “it’s not worth it, I am already 35” or “It’s too late. So much time has passed by”.

Yes. It is sad that you lost so much time. You made stupid mistakes. You ate chips and watched movies every single night. This time will not come back.

Looking form this perspective, we can say that today is everything we’ve got. You can either eat your chips and complain about how much time has already passed by or take care that you will lose no more of it.

BE CONSCIOUS OF THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Your future exists only in your imagination and not in a material world. Plus, by the way, you create your future today, at this very moment. This moment is everything you’ve got. When you think about the past where are you? In the present. The same, when you think about the future. Eckhart Tolle speaks about it in his fascinating book “The power of the present”.

MAKE SMALL STEPS TOWARDS YOUR DREAM EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Exchange chips & movie evening into taking action towards your plans. Reorganize your desk. Get rid of stuff you no longer need. Go for a walk. Sign up for a drawing class. Change your job.

Your future depends on what you are doing today. It is not too late to change your profession or learn something new.

At least, when you do it now, you’ll say after years: “Good that I started in October 2019”, instead of saying “Pity, I didn’t start it earlier” when you’ll be 50.

Plantation of Creativity Team