Articles — Relationships

Love Is Not

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Love Is Not

Valentine's week is focused on multiple ways of showing others that one cares for or is in love with them. Hearts, flowers, candy and trinkets are given as symbols of devotion but not all are done with the right motives or with healthy commitment. We all think that we know what love is but then act in ways that do not match our words. Here are some of things to consider: Love is not:   Giving someone everything that they want because by doing so you believe they will change for good. Frequently clients have told me that they felt...

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Wishing and Hoping

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Wishing and Hoping

Have you ever had someone tell you that they weren't interested in having a relationship with you? That can be a devastating thing to hear. Everyone wants to be loved and cared for. Did you find it hard to let go? Did you minimize the message and hang on to a fantasy hoping that with time the person would change their mind? Unfortunately, when we feel lonely or needy, it is easy to fall into a fantasy world where reality is downplayed. Feeling sorry for people can also keep us trapped in unhealthy relationships where our needs aren't met. We...

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Who's Your Valentine?

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Who's Your Valentine?

As we approach February 14th it is time to think about relationships and their meaning. Ponder the following:1. Most people spend more time shopping for a new vehicle than finding a partner. Slow down and consider what you need and can offer before you commit.2. Dating is way of determining whether you are compatible but does not guarantee long-term happiness, especially if you aren't being honest with yourself about what you need.3. Going from dating to common-law in a short period of time is risky. Determine to date for a year without living together so that you can see how...

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Time for Paws

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Time for Paws

Have you ever noticed that some people treat their animals better than they treat other people? They beam when Spot enters the room and spend time greeting and cuddling him. The cat eats gourmet food out of Royal Dolton and crystal. Every room has climbing posts, pet toys, plush beds and special grooming aids. The family pet is included in most or all of the Facebook photos. Even the calendar reveals that there are more visits booked with the vet than with the family dentist or physician. Each of my adult children has a dog. Kristal's Daisy is aging and...

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Resolve or Regret

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Resolve or Regret

So many people have regrets. They feel sad, guilty or disappointed about the way things turned out and blame themselves for doing or not doing something that would have resulted in a different outcome. Their lives are tainted by thoughts of the past and "what if". Regrets can be about the choices that they made regarding their career or partner. Others involve losses or missed opportunities. A third group feel badly for words that were said or not said. The past, of course, cannot be changed but there are things that can be done to resolve issues and/or hurts: 1....

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Trust - Difficult to Get and Keep

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Trust - Difficult to Get and Keep

Often I hear clients state "I just don't trust him (her)". My response is "To do what?" 1. Assumptions - You might have thoughts that a thing is certain to happen when you don't have any proof that it will. Your assumptions might be either negative or positive. You may expect that the worst will happen and then waste time and effort in the process of worrying. On the other hand, you may expect a good thing will occur and then, when it doesn't, realize that you have lost time waiting. 2. Expectations - You are never disappointed unless you...

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What Do You Have to Give to Others?

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

What Do You Have to Give to Others?

Funny how things change over time. Years ago, homes often had three or more generations living together. My grandparents were a powerful influence on my life. Today we live in a world where people talk about how busy they are. Often traditions are ignored and holidays are interrupted by competing interests. We may live in situations where we don't see our family and don't know our neighbours very well. The result is loneliness and lack of sharing. This week, think about what you can do to make the lives of others (and yourself) richer. Ancient scripture states that if you...

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Trust Might Not Be A Good Thing

Dr. Linda Hancock Conflict Relationships

Trust Might Not Be A Good Thing

Often people who are honest become the target of scams because they assume that everyone else is honest and trustworthy. Unfortunately, there are people who get their needs met by taking advantage of others. Do not be naïve. Look for warning signs that will save you time, money and grief: 1. When you don't know the person - Scammers are bold and usually have practiced the way that they will talk to you so that you will agree to their terms. Anything you want or need in life, however, can be obtained from companies or individuals who have reputable methods,...

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Learning About Child Sexual Abuse

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Learning About Child Sexual Abuse

A few days ago TLC had a special documentary entitled "Breaking the Silence" in which five individuals told the stories of how they had been sexually abuse as children. The perpetrators were not strangers but individuals who the children and their families knew and trusted. Statistics indicate that this is true for most cases as over 90% of children know their abusers. Because of fear and shame children don't tell anyone about what is happening to them. Some fear that they won't be believed. Others have been threatened that harm will come to them or their family members if they...

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How to Ruin Relationships

Dr. Linda Hancock Conflict Relationships

How to Ruin Relationships

When I first heard about text messaging, I wasn't at all sure that I would like or even use it. Now, however, I can honestly say that I see that it offers some benefits that I value. For example, I can send a quick text to my grandchildren to say I love them. (It's kind of like putting a sticky note in their lunch bag). When the weather is bad, I can easily notify people who care that I have arrived home. Travel photos can be shared in seconds and business information can be communicated rapidly even in noisy environments....

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You Are Not Alone

Dr. Linda Hancock Conflict Relationships

You Are Not Alone

In September I visited Highclere Castle, home of the Carnavon family, which is west of London near Newbury in Berkshire England. This beautiful site is where the drama series Downton Abbey is filmed. Julian Fellowes who wrote the script for Downton Abbey, was recently interviewed regarding the popularity of the series that is now in its fifth season. I thought it was particularly interesting that he talked about how the fictitious Crawley family who supposedly run the estate are viewed by the villagers as being the models for all of them. They have a mistaken idea that the Crawley's are...

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Friends Are Waiting

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Friends Are Waiting

My paternal grandfather, Robert Hancock, was an orphan who was sent to Canada by the Dr. Barnardo organization when he had just turned eleven years of age. He was a wonderful man and I was named after him (my middle name is Roberta). Three years ago I began doing research and traced the family tree back to 1642 Cornwall. So, on September 5th my daughter, Kristal, and I headed to England to view the area where our ancestors had lived. Unfortunately, many of the addresses we had traced led to patches of grass where buildings had once stood. One street...

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The Benefits of Having a Funeral

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

The Benefits of Having a Funeral

On July 11 my sister died. Six days before this we all attended the wedding of her only son and now we were faced with yet another long trip to attend the funeral. You see Deb had lived for almost four decades in a small farming community in the southeastern area of Saskatchewan, very close to the Manitoba and United States borders. That meant an eight-hour drive from my home and eleven hours from my daughter's. Two trips meant that in less than three weeks I spent over thirty-four hours in the backseat of my son-in-law's truck! Often I hear...

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Fight Fairly!

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Fight Fairly!

Your brain has two sides, each with specific tasks to perform. The right-hand side has a very small region called the amygdala which does many things including producing emotional reactions. The left-hand side of the brain is primarily for problem solving. Between the two is the Corpus Callosum which is like a bridge that connects the two sides. Unfortunately, many people tend to stay on the right side of the brain and are so emotionally that they are unable to easily problem-solve. The Corpus Callosum does not strengthen because there is little traffic back and forth and so emotional reactions...

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The Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

The Pre-Nuptial Agreement

We are in the wedding season when starry-eyed brides and grooms are eager to exchange their vows. Weeks or even months of planning and thousands of dollars have been invested into the one day that they hope will form beautiful memories and impress the guests. They make the promises that include "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part" knowing that together they will probably encounter more of the better, the richer and the health. They are convinced that even if the worse, the poorer and the sickness might appear...

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Processing Speed

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Processing Speed

When my children were pre-teens, there was talk about the idea that someday we might all have personal computers and that computers would enter the workplace to save us time and money. This information seems to date me but It really wasn't that long ago that this happened. I remember when we purchased our first home computer. There wasn't any packaged software and so my son bought a magazine and asked me to type code that he promised would do amazing things. I sat for about a half hour typing numbers into the keyboard until we were finally able to...

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Is There a Godfather In Your Life?

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Is There a Godfather In Your Life?

In 1972 Francis Ford Coppolla produced and directed the first of three award-winning movies about a fictional New York crime family. Recently, one of the television stations had a "Godfather Weekend" and replayed these over and over again. Watching them reminded me of how people with Antisocial Personality Disorder function. According to the story, a Sicilian man insulted a mafia chieftain. As a result, everyone in the man's family was killed, except the nine-year old son, Vito, who managed to escape to North America. Vito began doing favours for others in exchange for promises and loyalty. Over the years he...

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Your Child Is Now An Adult

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Your Child Is Now An Adult

So many parents come to me for advice regarding their adult children. Following are a few of the areas that can cause confusion and problems: FINANCES - Once your child has become an adult, you are really not financially responsible anymore unless they are disabled or still in school. Help them to find a job or begin working towards a career so that they can establish independence. It is not helpful to allow your adult child to be idle so ensure that they are either working or attending an educational program. If they are working and you all agree that...

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A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I'm not trying to discriminate against men or stereotype everyone. I just want to tell you a about every sad situation that I have heard about from clients for several years. First a couple gets together and promises are made. Then, for years, the woman asks her partner to do the things that were initially and repeatedly promised. Stop using pornography, swear off affairs, handle money responsibly, co-parent, give up alcohol and/or drugs, invest in the relationship, or complete projects, And for years, the promises are broken while more are made. Finally, the woman leaves the relationship either physically or...

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Genuine Friendship

Dr. Linda Hancock Friendship Relationships

Genuine Friendship

I just had two lovely conversations with treasured long-term friends. (I won't call them "old friends" because that might imply that we are aging). First of all, I was pleased to have an unplanned meeting with Bryan. He is CEO for a government agency and one of the first people who I met when I moved to Medicine Hat. I reported to work that morning sixteen years ago and he quickly began introducing me to other employees. His kindness was appreciated, and our friendship began forming right then as he gave me a comfortable start in my new workplace. Over...

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Why Wait Until It's Too Late?

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Why Wait Until It's Too Late?

It seems that almost every week I have an individual on my therapy couch who is upset over a lost relationship. There are usually tears and statements such as "I know that I wasn't a good partner but I never knew that s/he would leave!" Often this statement ends with the word "again". Then the person who was left talks about all the things that s/he has done to try to win the other person back - things that they should have done in the past that would likely have kept the relationship alive. They purchase trips to the Caribbean...

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Don't You Trust Me?

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Don't You Trust Me?

Past behaviour is one of the best predictors of future behaviour. We are all creatures of habit who tend to do the same things over and over again. So, if you want to know whether you can trust someone it is best to look at the pattern that they have already established in that area of their lives. When a person promises to pay the bills on time but has been delinquent in the past - be cautious! It isn't very wise to believe someone with a huge pile of speeding tickets who claims "This will never happen again". A...

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Relationship Problems and Learning To Let Go

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Relationship Problems and Learning To Let Go

So many times I hear about individuals who were hurt by a lover yet they don't want to let go of the relationship. They hold onto the hope that things will be good in the future - even if they haven't been good in the past - if they can only hold on. As an outsider, it just doesn't make sense. Those who are caught in the unhealthy situation are often attractive, intelligent and kind. They are willing to give of themselves for the benefit of the other person but don't seem to be able to protect themselves from further...

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10 Reasons Why I Love Mediation

Dr. Linda Hancock Conflict Relationships

10 Reasons Why I Love Mediation

This week I will be President of the Alberta Family Mediation Society at the annual Conference in Edmonton. Even though there is a great deal of responsibility attached to this role, I am eager to assume it because I strongly believe in the process of mediation for a number of reasons. Mediation: 1. Puts the power to make changes into the hands of those who are involved in the situation rather than with a stranger who does not know the background or the people who will be affected.2. Provides an environment that offers each person an opportunity to be open...

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Thoughts to Ponder When You Are Having Trouble!

Dr. Linda Hancock Relationships

Thoughts to Ponder When You Are Having Trouble!

So many times, clients struggle with basic concepts about life and relationships. They blame, confuse and repeat the same patterns over and over again when that really isn't necessary. Following are some of the things that need to be considered when you are having problems in a relationship.   You are responsible for your own emotions. Each person chooses how s/he will respond to situations and people. Avoiding another person will not solve a relationship problem. (In fact, it might make it worse). Bringing up the past over and over again will not help with the present or the future....

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