Overheard at a local restaurant:

Wife: “You are driving me crazy!”

Husband: “You don’t have far to go!”

Dear Liz,

I admit it. I finally realized after reading one of your columns that I am choosing to get as upset as I do from what my husband says to me. That is a new freedom to me. Yet I don’t know where to go with it. I took a good look at him (20 years after our wedding) and asked myself — “what did I ever see in this guy?” Then I did what you suggested and listed the reasons why I did choose to date and marry him. And then have kids with him. The list got pretty long. I felt my heart soften just as you said it would. Wow. He asked me why I was looking at him weirdly. I told him I was just appreciating him and bam. His eyes softened and he hugged me like we were newlyweds. My biggest challenge is keeping it up and not going to the familiar place of getting my feelings hurt and pushing him away. I think we are on to something. I want more.

New eyes Dear “New eyes,”

I am so happy for both of you and want to validate your new choices and tell you how much I admire the changes you made in your own heart. Wow indeed. You likely married a good guy because you are a smart lady. But time and stresses and bad habits get in the way. The resulting “Cold War” due to increasing resentments makes us wonder about the entire marriage. You are ready for a new more effective and satisfying form of personal accountability. We truly only have control over our own feelings and reactions. I want to again recommend going to lauradoyle.org. There you will find information and support that will continue to improve your relationship and give you more peace. Thank you for sharing your courageous efforts to change your relationship from the inside out.

Dear Liz,

I’m noticing that our heat spells this summer are bugging me and my family more than ever. We range in age from 4-38. Tempers are flaring in ways that are not usual for us. I try to follow the heat advisory recommendations but we are all suffering still.

Hot mess Dear “Hot mess,”

Great name. I think I feel all of our readers nodding in agreement. You don’t have to be older to be affected by the heat and especially coupled with our humidity. I’m glad our local meteorologists are helping us keep alert to the dangers and encourage us all to protect ourselves and your families. The trick is to stay ahead of the problem with good hydration, proper cooling attire, avoiding outdoor activities except for early morning or later evening and knowing when to rest in air conditioning. It can be a matter of life and death. The heat and humidity affects our mood in negative ways. Having “cooling off” periods both physically and mentally are essential. Sharing laughter and giving one another space as needed can help a lot. Stay safe.

Contact Liz via asklizchs@outlook.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.