Blog: Mel's Muse

Showing posts categorised as 'Relationships'

My Daughter's Tribute To Her Grandfather

My grandfather, Bill, 97 and ¾ Photograph taken approx. 1941

I started to call him Billy when I was little and he replied with Milly (even though my name was Amanda).  He was the only one that was allowed to call me Milly and Millicent when he was cross with me...

Posted at 05:26am on 25th January 2012

Dealing With Depression Caused By False Accusations

Photo: Desolation: An Empty Beach

In Dealing With Depression: An Author’s Look At Life I stated that, as an author, writing is not what I do but who I am.  I went on to say that while writing and publishing a book is quite beyond me at present because I’m battling...

Posted at 01:30am on 16th July 2011

The Joy, Or The Sadness, Of Teen Sex?

Photo: Solomon Island, Chesapeake Bay:
Mum, Dad, Boy, Girl

If The Joy of Teen Sex on Channel 4 had been titled The Fun of Teen Sex or simply Teen Sex it would probably have been seen by the TV regulators (if they still exist) as porn.  It was certainly a...

Posted at 23:31pm on 21st January 2011

Children In Divorce And Separation: Conflict At Christmas

It was Christmas Eve, many years ago, when my marriage officially came to an end.A telephone call from a friend in the local pub alerted me to the fact that my husband of fifteen years was announcing, to anyone who would listen, that he was about to divorce me. That...

Posted at 02:09am on 21st December 2010

Understanding The Drama Triangle In Personal Relationships & Fictional Characters

The theory of transactional analysis is a subject of never-ending fascination - both to those who find themselves participating in the Drama Triangle, and to aspiring authors involved in writing and publishing a book! Last week I met up with the friend of a friend and, during the course of...

Posted at 19:54pm on 25th August 2010

Why My Marriage Bucks The One In Four Trend For Divorce

I’m sitting in the lounge after lunch, about to resume writing my new book, when I hear Paul coming down the stairs.

“Could you let me have my bank card back, please,” I call out.

He has borrowed it to take to the Post Office, because the Sub Postmaster forgot to write my number on...

Posted at 04:05am on 25th July 2010

Transactional Analysis: Getting Off The Drama Triangle Part 2

The Drama Triangle is a model of dysfunctional relationships, in which I might see myself as occupying one of three roles: Victim; Rescuer; or Persecutor. As Victim I require you to become my Rescuer. If you don’t comply, I may become a Persecutor, accusing you of neglecting my needs. If you choose not to...

Posted at 02:33am on 5th February 2010

The Drama Triangle & The Games People Play

I looked, a couple of days ago, at Transactional Analysis – the Drama Triangle in particular:

First as a means of conflict resolution for those experiencing problems with their personal relationships. And second – for writers and aspiring authors – as an innovative way of creating fictional characters. THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

The theory of transactional analysis...

Posted at 22:30pm on 11th January 2010

Conflict Resolution: Relationship Psychology - And Creating Fictional Characters

What I’m about to tell you will revolutionise the way you perceive your personal relationships. It will also give you immense insight when it comes to creative writing and publishing a book and, in particular, when you’re creating fictional characters. So, whether you are attempting to make sense of your own relationships, or looking for...

Posted at 01:28am on 7th January 2010

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 2:2 Lost & Found

Arguing a case against Jesus’ claims about eternal life, Megan is brought face to face with the truth that it is her pride which prevents fulfilment of her inner yearning. A second visit to a Billy Graham rally sees her accepting that even a good friend is no substitute for faith. Only a life...

Posted at 17:15pm on 19th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 1:3 The Inner Yearning

With two babies only a year apart in age, Meg is as lonely as ever. Will moving house be the answer? For a while it seems a possibility. But as James’ career ambitions take him away from home once more, it seems that only a new friendship might fill that inner yearning.

Catch up with...

Posted at 17:48pm on 9th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 1:2 The Inner Yearning

Less than a year into Megan’s marriage to James, with her baby born and motherhood now a reality, the cracks which were apparent from the outset, are beginning to widen. As the swinging sixties begin to make themselves felt, the over-riding question is: can Megan find, in James, the love she craves?

Catch up with...

Posted at 08:00am on 4th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 1:1 The Inner Yearning

What follows is a true story, the real life story of a woman named Megan, who was raised in an era when to be married, to be a wife, was the pinnacle of aspiration for a woman. The expectation that you shopped, cooked, cleaned and raised children whilst your husband worked, played and waited...

Posted at 22:25pm on 2nd November 2009

Successful Step-parenting: If Ozzy Osbourne Can Do It, So Can You!

I was asked by BBC Radio Birmingham to be their 'expert' on this morning's discussion on step-parenting. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve been interviewed in connection with my book, Stepfamilies, but I suppose, given that something like one in eight British children are now growing up in a blended family, it’s a hot topic.

STEP-CHILDREN:...
Posted at 19:57pm on 8th October 2009

Successful Step Parenting: Three Potential Pitfalls - No 2 Coping With Step Children

Only a day after doing the BBC Newcastle Breakfast Show, I had a phone call from BBC Birmingham, asking me to kick off the debate on Sunday morning 9.05 a.m. on – guess what – stepfamilies! What’s going on here?

In my blog of a couple of days ago, I identified the three potential pitfalls...

Posted at 02:59am on 22nd August 2009

Successful Step Parenting: Three Potential Pitfalls - No. 1 Financial

BBC Radio Newcastle, which serves an area from the Scottish Borders to Durham, asked me to speak, this morning, on whether stepfamilies could ever be as successful and harmonious as biological families.

As before, on my interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, I answered a resounding Yes. From personal experience, plus observation of the families I...

Posted at 23:22pm on 18th August 2009

Do False Expectations Of Marriage Cause Stepfamily Problems?

What follows is an excerpt from the soon to be published revised and updated edition of Mel's book, Stepfamilies.

It is a false premise to expect that any marriage can ever answer all of our needs. To think otherwise is a totally unrealistic ideal which is doomed to disappointment. And this, perhaps, is one of the...

Posted at 01:51am on 9th July 2009

Personality And Communication

There’s no doubt that mistakes, misunderstandings and misinterpretation lie at the bottom of many of the problems we all encounter, from time to time. You know the situation? There was a poster some years ago which summed it up admirably. Something along the lines of: I know you think that what you say is...

Posted at 23:47pm on 1st July 2009

Marriage And Remarriage: When Two Halves Don't Make A Whole

Following is an abridged and revised excerpt from Mel’s book Stepfamilies, which the BBC recently asked her to debate on the Richard Bacon show. In previous posts, the inference has been that unless the two people embarking on a second (or subsequent) marriage get it right, there is little chance of tackling other blended family...

Posted at 23:02pm on 22nd May 2009

Love And Commitment: The Basis Of A Stable Marriage

Last week, in my Friday series on Families & Parenting, which is currently focused on stepfamilies, I pointed out that if American author Charles Swindoll equated marriage to a house, then remarriage could be said to be like a conversion. I then went on to show why love, in terms of romance, is not...

Posted at 15:45pm on 15th May 2009

Remarriage: Laying Firm Foundations

A marriage is a lot like our house. While new it sparkles. Fresh smells, fun surprises and new discoveries... As time passes, however... the grit of responsibility mixed with the grind of routine starts to take its toll... Weeds sprout. Doors squeak and sag. Windows stick. Paint peels. Roofs leak...
From Strike The Original...

Posted at 02:55am on 9th May 2009

Stable Stepfamilies: Book Excerpt - Foreword

AS A SCHOOLGIRL, I loved history. Not the dry dates and wars of my school books, but the vital characters that strode right out of their pages straight into my imagination. People like Henry VIII of England, for instance. His marriages particularly fascinated me. How, I would ask myself, did he get away with...

Posted at 04:05am on 2nd May 2009

Fact, Fiction Or Fable: Is This A Sorry Story Of Fault-finding?

I wrote a few weeks ago about Friedman’s Fables, which my daughter gave me for my birthday. The book is a collection of short stories – very short at times – each of which highlights a specific pattern of human behaviour. Because of events in my family, one of the stories particularly caught my...

Posted at 23:21pm on 15th March 2009

The Integrity Partnership Between Author And Reader

I want to consider, today, something which is relevant to human life, in general; to personal development; and to all the relationships which touch on our lives. It’s an issue, however, which is of particular relevance to writers – whether you’re a novelist, an author of self-help books, a journalist, a biographer, or a blogger.

Take...

Posted at 00:02am on 24th February 2009

Partner-pleasing: Styles Of Communicating

For those who have just joined this series on Partner-Pleasing, let me bring you up to date. The aim is not simply to illuminate ways of improving communication in a relationship, but to enhance the overall experience of couples with each other. The exercises are based on those used by the internationally recognised movement of...

Posted at 02:47am on 12th February 2009

Partner-pleasing: Different Ways Of Communication In A Relationship

Last week I began a series of blogs which are intended to be more than simply a swift read by an individual. So if you are part of a couple, read on. My aim, today, is to show you several ways of improving communication between you. And, in the coming weeks, to see how...

Posted at 22:35pm on 10th February 2009

Partner-pleasing: Do You Have Different Expectations Of One Another?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, if we go out for a meal, I find myself people watching. It’s fascinating! There’s the middle-aged couple sitting at the table over by the wall who have said nothing to one another since they sat down and who, now that they’re tucking into their first course, make...

Posted at 04:05am on 5th February 2009

Building Sustainable Relationships For Stepfamilies

I hope you’ll forgive me! I’m afraid I’m going to take the easy way out today and simply upload part of a chapter from my Stepfamilies book, on the topic of building effective relationships with somebody else’s children. It’s been a difficult week; as I tweeted only today: my mother has fallen and broken her pelvis....

Posted at 23:37pm on 24th January 2009

Ten Tips To Help You Avoid The Breakdown Of A Relationship

When you look back on an argument you’ve had recently with someone close to you, do you sometimes feel it was a squabble over nothing? That what seemed like a major misunderstanding at the time was, actually, nothing more than a petty clash of opinion; or a state of affairs where the two of...

Posted at 17:51pm on 17th January 2009

Reviewing Techniques When Resolving Conflict

This is the first Post on my shiny new laptop. As I wrote, yesterday on my Twitter wall (I think that’s the correct jargon) setting up a new computer is a nightmare of mistakes, misunderstandings and misapprehension. Hence the lack of time to add anything to my blog for a few days.

So I thought, today,...

Posted at 06:22am on 16th January 2009

14 Ways To Avoid Stress - And The Breakdown Of A Relationship At Christmas

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN PRE-CHRISTMAS 2008, THE FOLLOWING POINTS MAY BE ADAPTED, AND ARE VALID AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR

The effects on children when parents are separating are immense. They are quick to pick up on the cracks and strains that appear between warring parents, and it is the adults’ responsibility to protect them, as...

Posted at 03:55am on 13th December 2008

How To Recognise The Signs Of Relationship Breakdown

Boy, did my last post on Children In Divorce & Separation provoke a response! Not in comments, because it’s a painful subject; but in more hits on my website than ever before. There's obviously a lot of hurt out there, especially at this time of year.

That article dealt with the effects of family breakdown...

Posted at 08:00am on 11th December 2008

Children In Divorce And Separation: A Christmas Tragedy

Christmas – traditionally the time of good cheer – is also, for many, a time of great sadness. Somehow, the fact that everyone is out to enjoy themselves seems to concentrate the mind when it comes to the tragedies of life. A train derailment or plane crash in the weeks leading up to the...

Posted at 22:01pm on 9th December 2008

Step Parenting Advice: Don't Do It Unless You're Prepared To Work At It!

Can A Step Parent Ever Replace A Real Parent? This was the topic under debate on the Richard Bacon radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday evening. As the author of a book titled Stepfamilies, I had been invited to participate to put the positive side of the case, whilst Philip Parkin, General...

Posted at 20:19pm on 4th December 2008

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An Interview with Tom Wright

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Wright at the CRT Retreat. Have a listen!

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