Reminder on the Last Resort Technique

My amazing friend and brilliant therapist Michele Weiner-Davis ( Yes a bit of hero worship here!) has brought us the Last Resort Technique (LRT). This is when your spouse says the dreaded “D” word, divorce.

Please visit the full article here. With over a thousand comment’s you get a lot of help and support. You are not alone. I always respond personally.

I see some common misapprehensions on the LRT. So I will put up a wee refresher here.

The three steps are

  1. Stop Chasing.
  2. Get a Life.
  3. Wait.

And once you are working this then, how you might respond :

  • Be loving in return, but not overly excited or enthusiastic.
  • Accept some invitations to spend time together, but not all.
  • Accept all Family time invites. Your spouse seeing you having fun with your kids together reminds them of the value of family. You are a parent forever.
  • Do not ask any questions about your future together.
  • Be vague when asked questions about the changes in you. Say that you are just thinking things through. Live the shift.
  • Continue to be upbeat.
  • Do not say, “I love you.”
  • Resist getting in the conversation about your relationship.
  • Get a head start and beat your spouse to the punch when it comes time to leave or separate from each other at the end of an activity. You set the tone for going your separate ways.
  • As a rule of thumb, be responsive to your partner’s interest but not too responsive. Going overboard will lead your partner to get cold feet. Be warned.

So, stay interested, but cool in a self-possessed manner, (not icy though, as that will send mixed messages) until you are absolutely convinced that your partner’s renewed interest in saving your marriage has taken hold.

Good luck, dear hearts.

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Know I am thinking of you all and wishing you well.

December Marriage Works

Christmas time can bring a load of feelings. For some of us these are heavy, painful and lonely times. For others, it’s a joyous celebration of connection.

My friend and eminent couples therapist Michele Weiner- Davis’ said at training, we as therapists need to be able to heal relationships. That includes our own circle.

Shutting off or cutting off as it is called in therapy speak it not the most healthy option. Real courage comes from working through the rupture in the relationship to repair and healing.

It is a bias of mine for families to have connections. So in this video, I will show you a Resource Therapy process for clarification. It’s a safe self-help action you can take. I give a quick demonstration.

I think it beats journalling ( although that is good too) as there is something unique in speaking this out with ourselves.

Note I am not suggesting you have the conversation with the person. Rather this is like the letter you write without sending. It is for you to gain insight and hopefully an emotional shift.
Love to hear how it went for you. please share your experiences.

Philipa Thornton is your Relationship Psychologist in Sydney, and now worldwide online. Philipa and her husband Chris Paulin run Marriage Works their busy private practice, helping couples re-pair with coupe therapy, heal marital issues to find relationship harmony. We assist singles em-power, heal, and develop healthy internal and external relationships.

Zero Negativity! Your May Monthly Relationship Challenge

Welcome to May! Here in Sydney it’s Autumn and the darkness comes early. We’ve been blessed with lovely weather and sunny days as we have had Easter and Anzac Day to honour our war veterans.

May in Sydney from Marriage Works

This month I have been inspired to offer you the opportunity to say no to negativity in your relationship. As John Gottman -a legend in marital research and divorce saving techniques rightly points out criticism is toxic in partnershps and they believe it takes a 5:1 ratio of good comments to over come one negative one.

Make it Zero Negativity in your partnership for the month of May!

So give yourself a break and make it Zero! If you find yourself complaining remind yourself of what you are truly grateful in your marriage. For me I look at Chris and I feel gratitude at having a life companion, someone I enjoy spending time with. He’s a good kind husband.

So take the month of May Relationship Challenge and join me for Zero Negativity and increased positivity!

Love to hear your thoughts, ask your partner to join you or be a solo leader in deed. Please pass on the help by sharing.

Happy couple sharing their love and joy!

Here is my YouTube video for May :

‘Life is Good’ according to the Man Who’s lived through 101 January’s.

Last updated on April 16th, 2018 at 11:40 am

I was at the library in December and I looked over, as I felt drawn to a sandy coloured book and indeed the title appealed immensely

” Life is Good.”  Sounded like the perfect start to my holiday break reading.  Was it ever!

George Dawson’s life is expressed beautifully by Richard Glaubman, and was an incredibly inspiring journey.


Here’s the back of the book blurb : “What makes a happy person, a happy life? In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was 98, reflects on the philosophy he learned from his father- a belief that ‘life is so good’ – as he offers valuable lessons in living a fresh, first-hand view of America during the twentieth century.”

George was born into the 19th century,  experienced the 20th Century and lives in the 21st Century.  I can’t even imagine what he’s seen and been through. This book allows us a wonderful glimpse into history. George was the grandson of slaves and despite hardships, lack of access to education in his childhood, poverty, danger and discrimination used his Father’s words and respect to live a rich life.

Here are some of the wisdom gems from George Dawson with 101 January’s to back it up.

After witnessing a murder,  George is justifiably angry, and he tells his father. His father’s view is matter of fact. He says ” His suffering is over, son…You don’t need to worry for him.” George is still upset with the injustice, naturally at the loss of life and blames the group. To which his Papa responds:“Some of those white folks is mean and nasty. Some were just scared. It doesn’t matter. You have no right to judge another human being. Don’t you ever forget.”

These are words that set the course of George’s life, to which he abides by even to this day.

This for me is a reminder despite all the evil and stupidity there is in life we don’t know what is going on inside another. Who among us has not done anything we feel some remorse or regret for?  Not judging another is a good axiom to live by and of course we need to include ourselves

I am a eternal optimist and believe in the good of humanity. That’s why I do the work I do.

The flower blooms from earth, water and fertiliser to feed them
The flower blooms from earth, water and fertiliser to feed them.

The Dalai Lama lives love and non-judgment.
The Dalai Lama lives love and non-judgment.


We learn more from encouragement to see our ‘mistakes’ as opportunities to learn and grow from.

Richard let’s George voice narrate an elegant epithet of George’s response to his 16-year-old son Junior getting into trouble at school leading to him  being sent home.

With his hard working, ethic George was never late
With his hard working, ethic George was never late

The first thing he did was call work and tell them had was going to be late. George prioritised his child’s need for him to show up at the school. Mind you George had never been late. George prides himself on being a hard worker.

When George got to the school with Junior he addressed the Principal.  He said “I got a have to do every day and I can’t come in all the time, I expect my son to do his job  at school. His work is at school. If Junior does something wrong, you don’t need my permission to punish him. That is your job to discipline him at school.”

Junior never got into trouble again, doing really well in school.

Here is the key piece of George’s parenting wisdom – : “Mostly I told them something and they listened. I only said something one time. See, I respected my own father and did what he told me. With my own children it was the same. We was the parents. It was our job to have the children ready to be in this world, A child doesn’t learn so much by words as he does by watching, The children were always watching their mother and me. That’s how they learn right from wrong, by watching what we do.”

George lives his own words.  When Richard shows him the terrrible news heading 15 CHILDREN DEAD AT COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL, and asks what he thinks has gone wrong? George responds with “Children killing children.. is a terrible thing. Its not just the children. It’s the grown-ups too.”

Children are the blooms we parents produce through our efforts
Children are the blooms we parents produce through our efforts

His take on parenting is “With children, you got to raise them. Some parents these days are growing children, not raising children, and there’s a big difference .”

I understand this coming from a family that once had market gardens. Every year we would plant the seeds. One of my favourites were the runner beans, we used to sell them on an honour system for 80 cents a kilo at the our gate. Can you believe how cheap things were! This is in New Zealand where I was born. When the beans first poke out of the earth sprouting, they need protection from the elements and gentleness. As they reach for the sun the trip skywards needs them to have something to climb on so they don’t collapse. We put up wire mesh and rope for them to hold firm to and raise their bounty. They flower in appreciation, delicate red jewels and it is time to harvest the crop of beans sown and cared for with love.

If you ignore your beans they will wither and die. Too much food or water and they are dead from kindness. Raise them well those little sprouts of yours!

From these little sprouts majestic trees, wonderful food and sources of joy emerg
From these little sprouts majestic trees, wonderful food and sources of joy emerge

George didn’t read about history he lived it. He became a student at 98, learning to read saying he had always had a dream he would learn to read. For nearly a century he kept this secret. He worked around it by listening. He has been going to school for three years now. Every day he is excited to be learning. When Richard asks him if he was afraid he couldn’t do it, George replies ” Son, I always thought I could drive a spike as good as a any man and cood as good as any woman, I just figured if everybody else can learn to read, I could too.”

All dogs can learn new things, so can we at any age. Thanks Mr Dawson
All dogs can learn new things, so can we at any age. Thanks Mr Dawson

I love this, and totally believe the old saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is now defunct. We now know from the research on neuroscience and plasticity our brains and our behaviour can change. Hallelujah.

There are many more pearls of wisdom from George long existence, which Richard has given us access to ( thank you both!), in this delightful book. I highly recommmend it to you as a heart warming read to share with your friends.

I’d be ever so grateful if you wish to purchase this fantastic book, please click on the book image to go directly to Amazon. This is an affiliate link through which I make a small commission. If you would kindly buy via the link it helps us to offset the cost of running this website. Of course you don’t have to use the link, you can search for “Life is Good” and buy it without the affiliate link. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!