Peggy Grose - Author of 'Love and Lemon Pie'
Peggy Grose has captured families at their best, sharing meals and recipes mixed with healthy encouragement. In her desire to see all children find that place at the table, she has generously donated 10% of this book's proceeds to help CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of Travis County train volunteers to extend a hand, heart and voice to abused and neglected children.
Karen Cox
Executive Director of CASA of Travis County
Relationship Tips

Asking equals listening. Telling equals talking. Asking and listening are better than telling and talking. When we do more talking than listening, we're overdrawing from the bank. P. 20

How to listen so they'll talk: Resist the urge to scold, act shocked, or give advice. Put all judgment aside, at least for the moment. Being empathetic doesn't mean you approve, necessarily. If you have trouble not talking, try sitting on your hands. P. 26

Sometimes, words hide more than they reveal. Look below the surface words and ask about their deeper meaning and the feelings behind the words. Try to listen to what she's not saying. It's great when you can sense what she's experiencing and reflect that back to her. This way, you can check to see if you're "getting" what she is trying to say, she's "getting" that you are listening, and you're helping her understand herself. P. 32

Usually, when people no longer talk, they no longer care. They've closed up, shut down, and turned off. They've given up. Sometimes, the relationship dies long before the funeral actually takes place. Better take notice! P. 34

Are you bored with your marriage? Perhaps it's because your communication consists of a series of lifeless encounters, childish quarrels and conflicts. Do you nit-pick and nag about petty annoyances because you are afraid to address the significant issues? P. 46

A good quarrel is sometimes useful in clearing the air. But make and follow rules for fair fighting. Avoid using the words "never" and "always." There is no such thing. Name-calling and bringing up extraneous matters are off limits, too! P. 52

Establish a statute of limitations. Agree that, when one party has a problem with the other, he will bring it up within, say, a week. Once that time period has passed, it's too late. Time's up! So, handle it immediately and don't bring up old stuff. When a problem recurs, though, it's not old stuff; it the same old stuff all over again. P. 54

Have you know someone who continues to bring up the same old complaint? Chances are, she doesn't feel heard and, chances are that she will continue to whine until someone listens. P. 56

Encourage talk about feelings. Teach the vocabulary of feelings, the tools for talking about them. And remember, you are the sole authority on how you feel. Your feelings are not right or wrong-they hurt sometimes and feel good sometimes-but they are yours. Own them and don't allow others to invalidate them. P. 9

Remember, that feelings are not the same as facts. Feeling stupid is not the same as being stupid. And, remember, too, that feelings are temporary, not permanent. You may feel differently tomorrow, next week, or next month. So don't take quick actions based merely on feelings, as important as they are. P. 74

Blame keeps wounds open; only forgiveness heals. Has your offender done you any permanent harm? Is what you're upset about all that important? Can the broken thing be fixed or replaced? Is it something you can let go of? Think of the cost of having to be right. P. 84

If you say you forgive, but still don't feel healed, perhaps you need more time to process the hurt. Find a good listener. Not only is it important to forgive, we must be able to put behind us what it was that we forgave. P. 88

What is being said and done is not nearly as important as our interpretation of it. What meaning are you adding to what you see and hear? Is it an accurate assumption, or some fear from the past? When we add meaning to what another person is saying or interpret the motives behind the behaviors, we are playing at mind-reading. Ask, instead. P. 116

The word "honesty" has been overused and poorly understood. "Constructive criticism" is seldom constructive. P. 118

Someone has said that jocularity is a socially acceptable form of aggression. Sometimes we say hurtful things in a joking way, so that, when the receiver takes offense, we can dodge responsibility by saying, "I was only joking. Where's your sense of humor?" That's not fair. The hurt is not a joke. Please try to be more aware. P. 130

When one of our loved ones tries to get what she wants by throwing temper tantrums and we let her control us by our placating or doing as she demands, we are training her in how to get her way. And she is training us in how to keep her from getting into a rage. Try not to let yourself be manipulated. P. 140

If you act as if you are your spouse's mother, he will act as if he is your child. If you act as if you are your spouse's child, she will act as if she is your mother. Try to relate as adult to adult. P. 196

Codependence is a term that is used too much and understood too little. The extreme codependent is one whose relationships are based on her being more adequate than others. Because she has poor self-esteem, she needs someone who is less adequate than she to make her feel worthy. Out of the belief that we aren't capable, she controls and helps out, even if we don't want her to. Try to regain your autonomy. Hey, it's still okay to do things to please others. P.198

Perhaps the reason that divorcing couples often become so vicious is that they begin to vent feelings that they have saved up for years. Out of reluctance to talk about feelings for fear of causing trouble, they have withheld. And, once the relationship if over, they let each other have it with both barrels, to the detriment of all. Better to take care of things as they come up. P. 236

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