Recovering Your Voice

Married or Single…What’s the One Thing That Will Make a Relationship Work…or Not?



You may have your own word to describe this quality in someone you love or the someone you want to find to share this chapter of your life. My word is humility. A relationship cannot survive and thrive unless both people have this quality.


Humility is a complex word with many definitions that span from “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people” to a spiritual take, “…a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. Rather than, “Me first”, humility allows us to say, “No, you first, my friend.” Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.”


The most important quality you can have in a relationship with someone you love is humility. You see, no relationship will ever be without disagreement, conflict and simple differences of opinions and points of view. What does that mean but the ability and willingness to compromise and to communicate, listen, stay open and drop the ego! You’ve heard the saying, “You can either be right or be married”. Even if you don’t marry, and you are just starting a new relationship, it will require that both people have humility.


What does it feel like when someone we care about doesn’t seem to have to ability to see their part in issues that arise? Have you ever been with someone who always seemed to find ways to make the problems all about you? Someone with whom you try to talk about your feelings and he or she cannot or does not hear you? It’s easy to recognize these kinds of people by how crazy you feel most of the time. You can’t always identify just how every disagreement becomes something about you, but never about them because they can weave a web so dense and complex that you feel powerless to get out of it. And the way you know is how you feel when the burden of blame piles up over time.


Without the ability or willingness to have humility and step into our partner’s shoes, someone’s voice disappears. And even if your relationship continues, like the game of “Whack a Mole”, the results will pop up elsewhere. Perhaps sex disappears. Sunday mornings get quiet. Someone gives up and finds what they need elsewhere. There is no Plan B for the lack of humility.


If you are looking for love, first and foremost look for humility. The moment you know it isn’t there, make a beeline back to yourself and take a deep breath before you begin the search again. If you are in a relationship and this sounds familiar, seek some professional help. Life is too short to live without your voice.


Please post this on your social media site so that someone you know can better understand what is making them crazy.

And, if you are in this pattern in your search for love, call me for a Strategy Session to get moving in a different direction.


Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair




Read This One if You Never Have Before…Someone Needs This



Man with duct tape over his mouth

I am sorry to switch gears on you from “magic” to something that can happen to all of us in our lifetime of relationships and those never-ending journeys to find love…not just any love, but good, sweet and healthy love. This is not for my women readers alone, but for the men as well. We think that this kind of subtle abuse happens to women. That men are the perpetrators. That’s a stereotype we need to get over.  So, even if you are swimming in the feather comforter with your sweetheart forever, someone in your life may be experiencing this kind of relationship right now and here’s how you can help.


You can reach them and let them know they are far from crazy and that there’s a way to get that voice back! Repost this on your social media sites right now.


Excerpt from The Washington Post August 29, 2016

Carolyn Hax, Columnist


Dear Carolyn: I was in a relationship once with a man who initially seemed charming and wonderful, but who took exception to nearly everything I said about him. He would not listen when I explained I meant no harm, and the end result was that over time, I came to feel responsible for his happiness, and I questioned my worth because I was constantly being painted as a bad, uncaring, lousy person, and constantly put in a situation where I spent a lot of energy trying to explain myself/clarify and communicate better.

Doing this took away energy from other things in my life (my friends, my job, etc.), isolated me, and made me preoccupied with fixing something that wasn’t really broken. My boyfriend, despite his concerns and complaints, was not interested in ever connecting about the perceived issues.

He used my growing unease about offending him and my censoring myself as a means to control me. He’d punish me for imagined slights and constantly paint me to be a bad person to our friends, thus isolating me and interfering with my ability to socialize and to have healthy self-esteem.

By making me feel paranoid about voicing anything he might perceive as criticism early on, he effectively and calculatedly stifled my voice. It meant that by the time he very abruptly and shockingly changed from charming and sweet boyfriend to abusive inhumane monster, I was already solidly prepped to stay silent! This is how abusers get away with what they do, by instituting this kind of mind control and manipulation to allow them to escalate later on. I would be very careful when dealing with anyone who forces their partner to tiptoe around speaking their mind.



I’ve been there. And now, I’m not. Articles like this and my friend and expert in this field, Rhoberta Shaler, PhD offer such hope to us all. Check out Rhoberta’s website and download her free e-book, How to Spot a Hijackal. It’s all anonymous and just like me, she knows you can have a life beyond this kind of experience.


Are you ready for sweet sweet love?

Let’s talk about how to change those patterns of attraction to men and women who can’t love

Call or email me for a Complimentary Strategy Session

510-817-4242 or

Donna Bailey, MS

Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair