Category Archives: relationships

Expensive free advice.

If I could give one piece of advice I would say to “Trust Your Gut”. Clients pay me a lot of hard earned money so that I can teach them to trust and use the gift they already have that is not only powerful but very effective. Their instinct. The problem is they don’t trust themselves enough to listen.

I spend countless hours reviewing with clients what their perspective was at the beginning of a recently failed relationship. I ask them to look back with me and ask themselves in retrospect, did they see any red flags? Did they see or hear something from him or her that struck them as bothersome?
The answer is most always is ” yes…but.”
“I noticed that he drank heavily BUT he was going through a hard time”,  “You know, I did notice that she became angry easily or her reaction was not in proportion to the situation BUT I thought it meant she really cared about me or that I was making too much of it”. Or “..he worked a lot and we didn’t have a lot of quality time together BUT he was trying to make partner and I figured it would get better”, or ” She didn’t share much about her last relationship but I didn’t want to pry”. The bottom line is this folks:
LISTEN to your gut.
Your instinctual sense of something is keenly accurate. Too many people second guess themselves and find that the very thing that alerted them in the beginning of a relationship with that person was very often the impetus of the relationship not working. For those of you who were brought up in homes where there was an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you have the best instinct of all. I call this your “Superpower”. When a parent has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, children learn to sense the predictability of unpredictability. Addicts are inconsistent, unpredictable, they break promises, and create an environment of fear that also produces shame in their children. After a while the child develops a very good sense of being able to “read” mom or dad. This default skill develops in adulthood into a sense of “reading” people very quickly and most often quite accurately. Look back now at any relationship in your life that didn’t work for you. Can you recall if the reason was something to do with what you spotted early on and just ignored?
Learn to trust your instincts and listen to yourself, because in the end your probably right.

theresa perfetto ®


FIVE annoying things

1) People not holding the door open for you when you are behind them, you are invisible apparently. It slams on you. Nice.

2) Those who decide to talk on their cell phone not only in quiet area but to put it ON SPEAKER no less. Do you people think we have any interest in what you need from the grocery store? Or what Your personal movie preferences are? And for those who speak in another language, do you think no one is educated enough to understand? STOP it. Go outside. Get a headset. Stop Talking.

3) I HATE being called ” HON” by someone in the world of customer service. “How can I help you today hon?” First I’m old enough to be your mother, second it’s condescending and rude. STOP it. It makes me immediately hate you. There have been times I have not purchased something I wanted because the sales woman was calling me ” Hon”.

4) When I’m driving my car and a person wants to cross the street
(not in a crosswalk) I wave them to go then person walks SLOW across the street. Now I’m a patient person mostly. I can tell the difference between a person who is cognizant that there are cars waiting, they walk fast, make eye contact, smile, kind of walk/skip/half run/jog across. Then there are those who is purposely walk slow because they have to walk and I don’t. Why else would they do this?

5) Please give me physical space when I am standing next to you Mr. or Ms. Stranger in a public place. In line at the grocery store, on a bus, in line at the gelato store or coffee shop. I don’t want to smell your breath or touch you in anyway. Your making me claustrophobic. Give me SPACE! And please don’t talk to me either. By this point I’m too annoyed with you,

Happy weekend.


Trail of Destruction, The Cheater 


There are a million books, websites, blogs, detective agencies, pamphlets, cards, TV shows, talk shows, podcasts, and even a Facebook page that examine and discuss the devastating impact of affairs and cheating while in a relationship. Cheaters are scum.
All media is geared toward the significant other of the one who was cheated on. Very little media addresses at all the one who steps out, the one who cheats, and the impact of events on him or her. Certainly, the person who was cheated on IS the one who is shattered and emotionally annihilated the deepest. Let’s make no mistake about that upfront. This is evident from the deepest rage and pain that uproots itself when infidelity shows itself and years after, that leaves a scar not only on the heart but on the mind as well. The pain sits like a huge rock on ones chest crushing him or her everyday with the painful reminder they have been violated in sanctity of their most private and personal space their love relationship, their heart.

That being said, I would like to talk about the one who cheats. Commonly known as:
bastard, bitch, liar, trader, home wrecker,adulterer and heartbreaker
(add your own here).
Remarks are made not only initially but over years of time like: I hate you, looking at you makes me sick, your dirty, your damaged, stay away from me, your evil, your a whore, your dead to me, you are selfish, you cannot be trusted on any level, when I look at you all I see is pain, you disgust me, you’ve a loser, your a narcissist, your worthless, you are damaged, (again add your own here). So who cares about the one who cheats? Answer? No one.
They are rejected and scorned not only by long term friends, but often by family, business associates, future potential lovers (once a cheat always a cheat), and labeled eternally never to be trusted again. They are thrown aside like garbage, kicked to the curb, ignored, laughed at, unfriended, isolated, and are embossed with a permanent letter X on their forehead warning those around them that this person should be avoided at all costs. Very often, even those who commit crimes have more credibility on an emotional and moral level. The cheater by far is the most repulsed.

Does anyone think about emotional impact of the whirling chaos and sharp objects that have effected the cheater? I know. Your answer is “No”. Or better, “Hell no”.

Cheating doesn’t occur in a vacuum. While stepping out is not acceptable and clearly should be avoided at all costs, not everyone who cheats is irrevocably dark and damaged inside. There are multiple dynamics in relationships to begin with that play out and often lay the ground for cheating spouses or partners. My purple couch and I are here to say that not all, but many who cheat DO and CAN change.I have seen it and I have had the privilege of being a part of it. Cheaters who care enough to fix themselves work very hard to understand themselves and accept responsibility for the trail of damage and fallout they have left behind. I have worked with many individuals who actually do have remorse and shame, who want to change, who squarely and honestly dissect themselves and look hard at what they have done to others and to themselves. To straighten the crooked line inside them and make the pain worth something.

I encourage them to heal the ones they have harmed, and very often they succeed. Relationships often don’t make it, over 80% of marriages who have infidelity end up in divorce. It’s by far the most difficult conflict to treat in couples. I have seen the power and palatable energy of love and it can be an unstoppable force. When 2 people love one another and both want the relationship, healing can be achieved.

So the next time a friend, or co-worker, family member or acquaintance shares they have been cheated on, know that not all those who cheat are emotional lepers. Most likely they have already been shunned, and shut out by their world and are in their own private emotional nightmare. Don’t be so quick to judge their insides, there is always so much more to understand the what’s on the surface.

What’s your currency? ®

All relationships are built on currency.
A shallow summation I know but true no less. You have something I want, I have something you want. Let’s do a trade. If I’m attractive and your not, you must offer something else, another currency I require. Your intellect, your sense of humor, the sexual experience you provide, or it even can be your wealth, and often but not enough, it’s love. The vibrations that are created when your together that oscillate a million times a minute that forge an explosion of joy or peace, or safety, or better, the feeling of being home in your heart. Love.

So it seems that the overall goal is to have a currency that is wanted and valued by all. Then you are the one who seems to always have people wanting to engage in your company. Everyone wants to trade with you.

Your currency can change when you change as a person. For example what you once valued becomes of little value. A young woman marries early in life, in retrospect to get out from under her parents for one reason or another. Later in life, that person who provided her the currency of freedom then disguised as love, is the same, yet she has changed. His currency is no longer valued by her. She seeks a new currency and now requires something different, he doesn’t know how to give it to her. Often this is when people come into therapy
(I am over simplifying but you get the idea). A man who is on his second marriage late in life, finds that he requires a more attractive woman to make him feel better about himself. His initial need for a solid marriage with a good woman who “attractive” and to have children have been completed. The weight his wife has put on or the spunk she once had is gone. Suddenly his currency has changed. Maybe hers has changed as well. She loved that he was not the kind of man who ran around and drank or partied. Now, he’s become a couch potato. That currency she valued as him being routine and predictable has become drone and boring. The TV being on all the time, his preoccupation with other things and his not feeding her emotional needs just doesn’t work for her now. Knowing what your currency is and knowing what you value and need throughout your life you is important. For your emotional well being as well as for the survival of your relationships. If your mindful of this you will know when your needs change, and hopefully be able to communicate this change. Whether it be with your partner, your job, your boss. business partner, a friend even your hair stylist.
What’s your currency ?


The Millennial Generation

I was in the dog park talking to a
gentleman who is Vice President of sales of a multi million dollar company in the US. I asked him if he experienced more difficulties with the companies youngest employees, (the millennials range in age roughly from age 28 and younger) then his generation X employees (ages 29-44 roughly) or even the Boomers (ages 45-63) ?
He said “No doubt, the millennials are very difficult to manage and their expectations are ridiculous. They usually want a starting salary of $100K a year when they have very little experience. It’s insane!”
I have been listening to a lot of clamor about this for sometime behind the closed doors of my office. Managers business owners, HR professionals, those in the DC area who work in high security/high tech companies and the like, grumble and protest about their painful experiences managing this age group as employees. I don’t see much in the literature about this topic yet it’s a HUGE problem in todays workforce. How did it happen that this age group became so very difficult and entitled?
Here are some of the other things I have heard:
“I’m sorry I don’t file”
“Umm I really need longer then one hour for lunch I need to work out”
“Does it matter what time I come Into work? It’s it more important that I get things done? Maybe it would be a good idea for me telecommute”
“I cannot work on Fridays”
The sheer sense of over self importance, harebrained expectations, negative attitude and vitriolic competition (females) with co workers are but a few of the big problems facing managers today. This age group has a very different set of challenges and issues that uproot at work then any other age group to date. The parents, mostly Baby Boomers, who raised these very bright, and tech savvy employees, “over gave” and “over shared” in parenting their children without much if any expectation in return. Often these parents were disrespected and mistreated by their children or might have felt confused as to why their child was so entitled? Not all, but most of this age group were handed everything to them rather then earning or working for whatever they wanted. The good old fashion way. It was a given that they had access to often the best experiences, privileges, education, and vacations as children and teens because the Boomers wanted to make it “easier” then it was when “they were kids”. I hear “I didn’t want my kid to work as hard as I had to”. You know the ones with paper routes at 5:00am or who worked on weekends to actually earn some money for their senior trip.
Because these parents wanted to “give more” they forgot to include the life lessons involved. Example: reciprocity. Unfortunately, a great many moral and emotional lessons were missed. Many of these millennials have an extensive amount of interpersonal difficulties. For example, negotiating conflicts at work. Now mind you I’m talking simple conflicts, that require some social skills and especially emotional tolerance. I treat this age group and it always catches me off guard when I need to explain why it’s important to “try and be respectful” to co-workers yes even if you don’t like them” Or “..this is your job, you are being paid to be there, probably not a good decision to just call off because you don’t feel like going into work because you were up until 3:00 am partying”.
Of course wanting to make your children’s life better then you is a wonderful gift. That being said, parents; please remember to teach your children what YOU learned. How & when your children demonstrate respect for you, your things, their things, their siblings and neighbors, will be a future predictor of how they treat others as adults, particularly in the workplace. If you can instill in them the following:
1. Money is earned. Should be saved and managed. Please assume you have no net if there is an emergency. Mom & Dad can’t bail you out forever.
2. Demonstrating appreciation and thanks goes a long way. It will help you more then you know and even make you more like able and invited back.
3. The universe doesn’t owe you anything. Your effort put in is a direct result of what comes out. Period.
4. Don’t expect to be given “a break” when you make a mistake and your being paid.
5. Have emotional boundaries. Not everyone wants to hear everything about you and your personal life.
No one cares that much anyway.
6. Use a filter when you talk.
7. Be kind even when you don’t feel like it.
8. Be on time.
9. If you have trouble with a co worker keep it to your self until you figure out how to handle it. Talking about that person will end up ruining your credibility.
10. Respect your parents on all holidays. Cards, small gifts, are expected. Because you are on your own doesn’t mean you get to not show the same love and respect that was shown to you.


The Bedroom…Keep it Sacred

I think there is way too much going on in bedrooms nowadays that has nothing to do with sleeping, sex, or intimacy. When you have a stirred up conversation or a fight and things are said that are hurtful, they are often said while in bed or in the bedroom. TV’s are blaring at night and eyes are glued to a TV series or game, or a movie, not in a neutral area but in the bedroom.
We fall asleep with the TV on or each person has cell phones or iPads in their hands before bed while in bed. Why are we looking at screens instead of looking at and talking to each other? Not only does looking at a screen before bedtime stimulate your brain and make it harder to fall asleep, (hear that parents?) but it takes us away from each other. We are loosing our our emotional connection to one another. What happened to laying with each other before bed and talking? I say bedrooms are for 3 things: Sleeping, Sex, and Intimacy.

When we use our scared space for experiences that pull us away from one another our relationship slowly unravels quietly behind the sound of humming technology. Bedrooms need to be shrines to our safe, quiet, calm, loving place that harbors us at night and holds us safely together. When couples frequently fight in a bedroom, negative vibes become attached to the bedroom. It becomes another place of tension or anxiety.

I always tell my couples: talk in the kitchen, go outside for a walk, sit on a deck or porch, or even go into a den.
Bedrooms are for sleeping and peace.
It’s one of the few places we have to escape in our lives and our homes to take refuge. Invest in high thread count sheets and nice pillows and look at each other.