Fred SnugglingCats are different animals. They have many wonderful, and some frustrating qualities - just like our partners. Cats are proud, independent, stubborn, loving, devoted, and silly. To have a cat love you feels wonderful, because you know you have earned that love - a cat usually does not give its love generously. One feels privileged to be loved by a cat.

I like doing couples therapy with cats because they will readily let the couple know how they feel about the energy and interaction in the room. They will be tolerant and accepting- to a point. And that is really a good thing - it keeps us on our toes. If a couple is arguing, Norman will give them a dirty look and then either hide under the chair or turn his back to them. When they can talk respectfully he will give each his attention and love. It’s nothing personal… cats just prefer a harmonious space.  

While it would be nice to think that being in a relationship was easy and we could always act as we wish, if we want a happy, and healthy relationship this just isn't the case. Good relationships take work. I've talked in previous newsletters about Self-Control - and yes, relationships definitely require a large amount of self-control. Yelling obscenities, calling each other names, saying everything and anything that comes to mind, may feel good, but it can be harmful to our partner's feelings, and therefore can undermine our relationship.  

If we had the attitude of a cat, we would never tolerate being yelled at. And we wouldn't retaliate by lashing out, scratching or even hissing, we would simply and quietly walk away.  

A cat's dignity is one of the qualities I wish I could encourage in everyone I know who is in a relationship. Related to pride, dignity is the way we carry ourselves and see ourselves. I have stopped negative behavior of my own by looking back at myself and asking myself if the behavior I am about to do is the way I want others to see me. How would I feel about seeing myself doing that behavior as if I were watching it in a movie?  First and foremost, we keep our side of the street clean – we behave with our partner the way we want to be treated.

Like a cat, I would hope to be strong and independent enough to ask for what I need, but also to protect myself from abuse and disrespect. 

If you are in a relationship and are not acting as a cat, perhaps you’d like to talk about how to become stronger and act with more dignity and self-respect. You can contact us at info@aatpc.org or 720-266-4444 x0. Or read more about our work with Couples and Families by Clicking Here