Listen, Learn, and Love - 3 Keys to Harmony

Dr. Joan's Advice

Date: 06/30/2013

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Follow-Through in Relationships

Dear True to Her Word:

OK. Let’s put your dilemma out there for readers to decide. Readers, True to Her Word promised her boyfriend that she would stop smoking. She even set a date she would smoke her last cigarette. That date came and went several months ago, and True to Her Word is still smoking. Her boyfriend is allergic to tobacco smoke, AND he does not like the hang-around odor of smoke on her breath and clothing. He now is accusing True to Her Word of being a liar, saying she had no intention of quitting, and cares nothing for his health, or his preferences, and cares even less about her own health. He is ready to abandon the relationship.

What say you, dear reader?

Dr. Joan says that Boyfriend is right. If you say you are “true to your word,” then you must do what you say you are going to do. There’s no wiggling out of it. But before we launch into how you can rectify this situation and keep your boyfriend, let’s back up and explore a couple of basic assumptions:

Assumption 1: I am going to assume that you call yourself by the moniker “True to Her Word” because you see yourself as being true to your word. Also, perhaps, you are known by others as being true to your word. If these are correct assumptions, what happened with your promise to stop smoking? Why did you abandon your habit of being true to your word? These questions lead to Assumption 2.

Assumption 2: I will assume that you tried to stop smoking, found it difficult, and gave up.

If my assumptions are correct, then there is good news for you. You CAN repair your relationship with your boyfriend AND you CAN attack your smoking habit. Here are four basic hints to try:

HINT 1: APOLOGIZE IMMEDIATELY: Ask your boyfriend to forgive you for taking little note of his health needs and preferences. Assure him that you respect his request and you wish to accommodate him, as well as improve your own health options. Make clear you had every intention of keeping your promise to quit smoking. You realize you failed, but you now wish to craft a new plan which will lead to success.

HINT 2: ENLIST HELP: You may need help to design a new plan. I am not a professional, but my suggestions are:
a) Invite your boyfriend to help you. He believes in you.
b) Set forth a schedule for gradual cessation of smoking.
c) Establish rewards at the end of each interval.
d) Research ideas on the internet.
e) Seek professional help if you can afford it.

HINT 3: PRAISE YOURSELF: As you stick with your plan and complete each stage, rewarding yourself as you go, give yourself copious praise. With each accomplishment you are proving that you are indeed true to your word. You are developing your own strong character AND you are building trust with your boyfriend.

HINT 4: BE GRATEFUL: Give liberal thanks to all who help you, especially your boyfriend.

Good luck, dear, and please keep me posted on your progress.

Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: Do what you say you are going to do.

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