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Making a difference!

Jun 2nd, 2015 by Dr. Gourgouris | Comments Off

Dear family and friends,Lives are already being impacted after reading the 7 Paths! I’m so grateful for this powerful endorsement from President Willes. “This is a really wonderful book.It contains important insights and great stories to illustrate the principles being taught. It does an especially good job in helping to close the gap between what we know and what we do. We all “know” more than what we “do.” I found the book very helpful in motivating me to try to close that gap.” — Mark Willes, Former CEO, Times-Mirror Corp. and Former President, General Mills.The e-book version of the 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVGDCQ0?ref_=pe_870760_118561140I’d be deeply grateful if you would share it with any of your friends who you think might enjoy it. As you know, the best way to spread the message is through word of mouth.Thank you so much,Elia Gourgouris Ph.D. Author of 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness www.LDSExecutiveCoaching.com 303-523-6396https://www.createspace.com/5467042

7 Paths to Lasting Happiness

May 14th, 2015 by Dr. Gourgouris | Comments Off

Dear family & friends,
My book the 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness is now available on Amazon.com: https://www.createspace.com/5467042
The following review from a total stranger captures the book’s essence:
“A very helpful guide to finding lasting happiness in life! A wonderful read that should be in everyone’s home. Dr. Gourgouris describes several different ways to find true, lasting happiness, despite what your circumstances are. There are “Take Action” sections at the end of each chapter that help you to actually apply what you have read. He includes many interesting experiences to illustrate his points. After reading it, I truly believe that anyone can change their life and find lasting happiness.”By Jason Schow on May 13, 2015
I don’t know this gentleman but I’m VERY grateful for his wonderful review!
Elia Gourgouris Ph.D. Author of 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness www.LDSExecutiveCoaching.com
303-523-6396

Invitation to connect on LinkedIn

Dec 16th, 2011 by Dr. Gourgouris | Comments Off

LinkedIn

What’s another trillion dollars?

Jul 18th, 2011 by Dr. Elia | Comments Off

We recently celebrated the Fourth of July, honoring America’s independence. Our family has a tradition of going up to Breckenridge, Colo., a beautiful mountain ski town about half an hour from Vail. Every year we go to the local parade and watch the fireworks at night. It is quintessential small-town Americana at its best: picnics, fishing, family reunions, all sorts of festivities coupled with the beauty of this land.

As you can tell, I am very proud of this country and have never been ashamed to admit it.

Following the Fourth of July celebrations, we faced an increasing number of thunderstorms almost on a daily basis. Now, summer rains are beautiful to witness, but the ferocity of these storms the last few days has been exceptional and unusual.

We had a big aspen tree uprooted a block from our house, and the next-door neighbor’s trampoline was picked up, slammed to the ground and demolished. Thunder, lightning, hail and wind have accompanied each storm, and they seem to be getting more severe.

In less than a month, specifically Aug. 2., the federal government will reach the limit on its debt, which now stands at an astonishing $14 trillion! Those numbers are incomprehensible to me. It’s like saying my family has a credit card debt somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million. It sounds ridiculous of course when we put it in those terms.

Everyone knows we’ll never pay it back, and yet we’d like to raise our debt ceiling, which is exactly what the White House and Congress are trying to negotiate right now. Raising a debt limit so we don’t “bounce” any checks to our creditors may be a temporary solution, but it’s not facing or dealing with our monumental problems.

What happens when the biggest economy in the world defaults on its payments is a scenario that nobody wants to see come to fruition. The so-called experts have described the consequences of such an event as catastrophic and dangerously unpredictable. So if we must increase the debt ceiling for now to avoid catastrophe, it has to be done with a clear understanding that it is followed with a realistic plan of action that will lead to increased deficit reduction. Anything less than such an agreement is like kicking the can down the road, which is how we got into this mess to begin with.


 

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

Comparisons are nothing more than judgments that damage self-esteem

Jun 28th, 2011 by Dr. Elia | Comments Off

Every day, we make comparisons, which is another way of saying we make judgments. Sometimes this is done consciously and other times subconsciously.

Every comparison we make has two possible outcomes. Either we feel like we’re better than someone else, or we feel like we’re worse than the person we’re comparing ourselves to. These comparisons take place in every aspect of our lives, whether it’s how many kids we have, how much money we make, or even what level of spirituality or calling we have.

If we feel we’re always better than someone else, what sin are we committing? Obviously the “sin of pride,” which, by the way, does not increase our self-worth but may give us an emotional lift. This boost, however, is short-lived because we cannot feel better about ourselves over the long term when the assumption is based on the misfortune of others. Having a nicer car or a bigger home than someone else will never bring us true happiness. It’s an illusion that far too many people fall victim to.

On the other end of the scale, we have comparisons that leave us feeling less than someone else. In my experience, this category of judgments is more prevalent and therefore more damaging. If I feel like someone else is more successful, better looking, more popular, has a nicer looking body or is a better parent because their kids are better behaved, then where does that leave me?

Sadly, having worked with so many people who struggle with these types of comparisons, I see the outcome is pretty dire. Depression, discouragement, stress and even thoughts of ending one’s life are often accompanied by a lifelong feeling of not being good enough. But there is one view that can actually help our self-worth, and it is not based on either one of these conditions.

The only comparison that prevents both pride and pity is comparison of our current self with our past self. Here’s how this works: Let’s take our spirituality as an example and go back 20 years, 10 years, five years, last year and now. We can look at our habits of saying our daily prayers and regular scripture study. If 20 years ago I was not very active spiritually, but over time I started making it more of a priority in my life, clearly there’s an improvement made. If five years ago I was more dedicated and last year more consistent but this year I not only read but I actually study and apply the scriptures in my daily life, then I have made tremendous progress.

To acknowledge this improvement in my spirituality is not a prideful statement. I’m not putting myself above anyone else because it’s a factual statement. Same as if I’ve lost the weight that I’ve been struggling with all these years, and I’m now in a better physical shape. Again, I’ve improved in that area of my life and therefore feel better about myself.

Our self-esteem can improve when it is based on the hard work and progress we’ve made in different aspects of our lives. It is vitally important for us to regularly step back and acknowledge that we are doing better — it adds fuel to our tank and helps us to remain motivated and eager to continue to make progress.

What if we compare ourselves to our past self and see that we’re actually not doing as well in a certain category? What if 20 years ago I was in tip-top shape but over time with work, family and other requirements, I have neglected that part of my life? I’m not eating as healthy, I lack energy, I sleep poorly and my weight is not where I’d like it to be. My first question would be, is this still a priority in my life? Clearly taking good care of our body should be a priority because it can influence every other aspect of our lives when physically we are at a sub-par level.

This information is not meant to prompt us to beat ourselves up. The second and more important question then is, what am I willing to do about it? What’s my plan for restoring my physical health? Perhaps I can start to walk a few miles each day, lower the intake of junk food and get to bed before midnight.

If you are up to the challenge, I suggest that you take time to assess your life. Take a look at the various categories that are important and meaningful to you, and then go back in time like the examples above. Be honest in your assessments, and you’ll discover areas of growth and improvement. Be kind and acknowledge your success, and you will feel better. By the same token, take a look at areas where things are not going in the direction you would like. Make a commitment to formulate a plan of action, and you’ll see great results. Sometimes we might need someone to help us along the way, like a mentor or a coach or just a “walking buddy.”

Remember that you are capable of amazing things. I would love to hear your success stories!


 

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

Recent acts of infidelity among prominent men a sign of lust

Jun 14th, 2011 by Dr. Elia | Comments Off

Dear Dr. Elia,
You have written a lot of articles on sexual addiction over the years. As an expert, would you say that Congressman Weiner is a sex addict and that’s why he’s seeking “treatment” for his actions? As a woman, all this sounds like an excuse men make for their inexcusable behavior.

Sincerely,
Jane


Dear Jane,

Congressman Anthony Weiner is the latest in a long list of politicians, celebrities and sports stars who have been caught doing something illicit. Just recently, former California governor and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock with a woman who for years had worked in his own home. His wife, Maria Shriver, has now filed for divorce, and one of his children has changed his last name to Shriver.

Former senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards also fathered a child out of wedlock with a videographer. All this while his wife was battling with cancer, which eventually took her life. Several others, including Louisiana Sen. David Ritter and New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, hired escort services, a euphemistic way of saying they hired prostitutes. Former Nevada Sen. John Ensign had an extramarital affair with the wife of a member of his own staff: a double betrayal. The list of such examples is endless, so suffice it to say your question has a lot of merit.

First of all, what do all these men have in common? They are each highly educated, intelligent, successful in their careers, charismatic and powerful. These are their positive characteristics. They are also self-absorbed and arrogant to the point where they believe the normal rules of engagement and conduct do not apply to them. With today’s instant access to information with electronic technology at its peak, it seems naive and foolish to believe these types of behavior will not become public.

As I have been following the latest scandal surrounding Congressman Weiner, I’ve asked myself the following question: Why would a man in his mid-40s be following a 21-year-old coed on Twitter to begin with? Never mind the fact that he sent lewd pictures of himself and engaged in inappropriate activities with half a dozen women while he was married. The only difference between his behaviors and those others mentioned above is that he didn’t have any physical contact with these women.

So if he didn’t have sex outside of marriage, is he still a sex addict? I have worked with hundreds of men who have behaved in a similar manner without ever engaging in extramarital relationships. It seems like the term “sexual addict” feels like an excuse to you for their inappropriate behavior. Perhaps you are correct because in the old days it was called “fooling around” or “having an affair” and so on. I know of many other women who feel similar to you; however, if it’s not sex, then it is certainly a “lust addiction.” All these behaviors that I’ve described have taken place because of lust. There’s no love involved, and that’s why none of these men are still in a relationship with any of the women. Whether they paid for services or not, all of these are based on lust.

When lust becomes out of control, it produces behaviors that can be characterized as a sexual addiction. If Congressman Weiner does indeed seek treatment for his inappropriate behaviors, I hope the focus is on lust versus sex. Only when his lust is cured will he be free of his personal demons. Only by learning to love, respect, honor and cherish women rather than viewing them as mere objects to satisfy his lustful desires will he be able to move on.

There will be more of these scandals in the future, I promise you, but hopefully some lessons can be learned from another person’s mistakes.


 

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

Nothing stays the same

May 31st, 2011 by Dr. Elia | Comments Off

Most of us seek some kind of security, stability and safety amidst the craziness of this life. We live in such an unpredictable and ever-changing world, however, that the so-called “security” we seek is often an illusion. Recently we’ve had several very close friends and neighbors who have decided to move to different states. Their reasons are all good; they’re doing what’s best for their families or their careers.

Unfortunately for those of us left behind, it feels like another loss. As a result, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about life and wondering how do people best cope with so much change?

Perhaps I could  be accused of romanticizing the past, but I wonder if our ancestors might have been better off. I imagine being born in a small village or town and never leaving, spending all the years of one’s life surrounded by extended family and friends. A place where everyone knows you and your family. Of course, that might get boring after a while, but would the sense of safety and stability compensate for it? I’m not sure, and I’ll probably never find out, but there are days when I wistfully desire it.

For those of us who connect with people deeply, living in such a transient world makes life difficult at times. I admire people who can pack their stuff and go on to the next adventure that life has to offer without seemingly blinking an eye. How freeing that must be. 

Even though I’m quite aware that change is unavoidable, I don’t like it very much. What’s ironic is the fact that I teach my clients that real growth typically takes place outside of our comfort zone. Yet I wish that everyone I love and I’m connected to stayed put.

Experiencing loss pushes us outside of our comfort zone whether we like it or not. I guess I’m a reluctant participant in this type of growth. So how can we prepare ourselves better to deal with this constant change? One way would be to live life with a certain amount of detachment. The positives are that we never get too sad or feel abandoned because we never allow ourselves to get too close to people. So they come and go, and we’re mostly unaffected by it.

The negative, of course, is that we don’t really bond and create deep relationships in our lives. The other option is to get close to people and just deal with the feelings that come up once things change. In the end, I’d rather feel deeply and connect and face the consequences once people leave than keep to myself and never get too attached.

If I had a magic wand, I would make sure that all our loved ones, family and friends, lived close to each other all the time. Now that would be heaven on earth! Perhaps that is why heaven has such a strong appeal. It’s not just getting to live with God again but also with all those we loved and connected with in this lifetime.

What makes this world such an incredible place is the opportunity we have to meet and grow to love so many people. Knowing that one day we can all be together forever is just the icing on the cake.


 

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

Justice served — Freedom and justice over tyranny

May 3rd, 2011 by Dr. Elia | Comments Off

May 1, 2011, will go down in history as the day that Osama bin Laden was finally pronounced dead. The world’s No. 1 terrorist was killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan. Unlike what we had been expecting, he was not found hiding in some cave in the mountains of Afghanistan; he was found only 30 miles outside of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, living in a million-dollar mansion. This man was responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people, including the victims of Sept. 11, 2001. Cutting off the head of the most notorious terrorism organization in the world, al-Qaida, will be a big blow to those who conspire to destroy our way of life.

It’s worth remembering that al-Qaida’s innocent victims were not limited to the United States. Terrorist attacks occurred in diverse places such as Kenya, Russia, Indonesia, Somalia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, England, India and even as recently as last week in Morocco. Bin Laden claimed to be a Muslim and a follower of Islam, and yet his extremist and violent espoused beliefs led to the death of more Muslims than by any other single group.

This is not a victory of America over terrorism but rather a victory of freedom of choice over tyranny. It is a victory for every little girl or young woman who simply wants to go to school and receive an education, without fear of getting blown up by those who followed bin Laden’s twisted ideology. It is a victory for all people in the world — regardless of skin color, ethnicity or religious affiliation — who desire to live their lives in peace and freedom.

The timing of his death coincides with the unrest we’re seeing throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The winds of change are blowing, and they are blowing hard. From Tunisia to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and beyond, we are witnessing a true revolution. Young men and women are taking to the streets and often paying the ultimate price, their very lives, for a chance to finally have a voice. The desire for self-determination is a God-given right for every human being on this earth.

Nobody likes to be controlled, and although millions have been subjugated for many years, historical hindsight weighs more heavily on the side of goodness and freedom over evil and darkness. The light will eventually overcome the destructiveness that comes with this twisted ideology.

Bin Laden’s death does not mean the end of extremism or terrorism. As a matter of fact, I would expect multiple attempts by his followers to take revenge and attempt to show they’re still viable. Their retaliation, however, will be short-lived, even if they end up pulling off a large attack. Bin Laden’s deputy and second in command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, is likely to take over, at least in the short run. He is a controversial figure and does not inspire the same blind following that bin Laden did. Rest assured that whoever steps up to lead this terrorist organization will have a similar fate eventually. Just like bin Laden, “you can run but you cannot hide from the long arm of justice.”

Today, our world with all of its problems is a better place. For anyone who loves freedom, democracy and respect of fundamental human rights, this is a good day.

God bless us and protect us as we move forward.


 

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

This subject (Divorce) is close to home.

Mar 7th, 2011 by Dr. Elia | Comments Off

Dear Dr. Elia,

I was divorced twenty five years ago. I had to move forward.  It was worse than getting passed the grief of a death. Really, death of my spouse would have been easier!  But, I grew from it and made something of myself.

The need to forgive him for his infidelity was the reason for the divorce. I did forgive him from the start. I then watched my former spouse move on and getting married right away to someone else was heartbreaking. He may have thought that was his answer.  We really got along as a couple and I was very good to him, and he really had NO reason to leave me and our eight children.  It just boiled down to that he did not love me nor had the commitment to stay and work things out. 

It was definitely his selfishness and lack of good judgment to leave. We, I and the children were better off without him in the long term. I focused on bettering my life, stayed faithful to my covenants and raised a fine family regardless of my husband’s bad example. I took six week classes at the community college for women who were in situations such as I was. I learned better communication skill and job skills as well, and improved myself in the process. I had support from these groups and looked for ways to get an education.

I was the stronger (religiously) the two of us in the marriage, so moving ahead without self-pity was the greatest thing for me and my children. I went to work and had benefits that he never provided consistently in our marriage. We were made aware of the opportunities we had to travel as a family, and I enjoyed raising my children the way the Lord would have me do.  I stayed active in Church and overcame the stigma back then of being a divorcee.  I had the great support of my bishop, home teachers and ward leaders. I had three son’s and three daughters to raise without their father in the picture. My older two were married by then. My oldest son became the example to his younger siblings, and still is.

It was not easy, but I had to allow my children to see for themselves what their father was about without the negative comments of what he was doing, etc. from me. I knew they were part of him and would hate themselves if I put out a negative feeling toward their dad.  Raising that many children alone and with graduations, marriages and baby blessings as time went on, I had to accept the “other woman” in our circle of association for those events. Eventually she stopped attending our family gatherings.  Now he is totally miserable and has changed so much.  Now that the children are grown, as when they were growing up he has very little involvement in their lives.

My suggestion to women who get divorced is to focus on bettering yourself and not waste time and energy it takes to be angry at the former husband. Put that energy into your family, and education. I went back to school after eight years of being a single parent. I graduated after getting an undergraduate degree and got a master’s degree ultimately. I feel good about myself for having accomplished what I have being alone. My children also got their education seeing me, their mother go to college. I focused on my children and it paid off in dividends. All my children married in the temple. five went on missions, my four sons and one daughter. I also had four Eagle Scouts. I could go on to tell all they have accomplished, but won’t. However, life goes on.

Divorce does not define me. I am happy and busy with all the grandchildren. We held family reunions over the years which their father comes alone to, but he is the one who feels out of place! His situation after leaving was not a better one like he had perhaps imagined. He is the one with the regrets, now.

I suggest women take their time before jumping to find a spouse and learn to be as independent as they can. Mixing dating and raising your children the way they should be is not a good thing, especially with the large family I had. I gave up that for them and getting an education, which meant more to me than finding a man. That would have just complicated things all the more.  There was too much stress as it was.
 
I continue to develop myself and have not given up hope to find a good man someday. I am not a man-basher nor anti-marriage. I have not given up hope to remarry. I just want it to be at the right time, to the right one.

Anna

To give or not to give?

Nov 30th, 2010 by Dr. Elia | Comments Off

Dear Dr. Elia,

My question is a little different from those you typically seem to address. Several years ago my husband and I were approached by a distant cousin who told us he was desperate and had nowhere else to turn. Apparently he was in a difficult financial situation and was about to lose his home.

He and his wife had several little children at home at the time. He asked us if he could borrow $10,000 in order to save his house from being foreclosed on. We certainly had the financial means to accommodate his request, and after some discussion we agreed to lend him the money.

He promised he would pay it back in full by making monthly payments. We didn’t charge any interest, and for the first few months, he made some minimal payments, but eventually he stopped. We kind of figured he didn’t have it, and we never really went after him.

After 15 years of not having much contact, he recently approached us again seeking financial help, this time for his wife’s medical bills. All their kids are out of the home, by the way.

So here’s our dilemma: The compassionate Christlike approach says we should help him and his wife out. The more rational side of us feels like the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, twice shame on me.”

How should we handle this dilemma? We want to do the right thing, but we don’t want to just keep giving him money when he has not made any efforts to pay us back. Are we being selfish? Spiritually speaking, are we not told that if we have the means we should give to those in need? From your previous articles, we can see that you give pretty sound advice, so what do you recommend? To give or not to give? 

Confused

 

Dear Confused, 

You are right; this is a difficult situation. I can see the spiritual side of you wanting to help someone in need. On the other hand, you don’t want to be naïve and get taken advantage of.

Over time, you have been generous with your cousin and even magnanimous. When he stopped making payments, you and your husband made a choice not to go after him. It sounds like you didn’t even put any pressure on him to pay you back in full.

Most people in your position would have made numerous attempts to collect their money, which might have included going after him legally. To that extent, you have shown tremendous compassion to someone less fortunate, whose life circumstances brought him close to losing his home.

Because of your generosity, he and his wife were able to have some stability in staying and raising their children in the same home.

I’m a little troubled by the fact that he didn’t communicate with you for all these years, until he needed something from you again. Now, it’s entirely possible that he felt guilty for not being able to pay you back or was embarrassed, and that’s why he kept his distance. Another question I have for you is are his wife’s medical bills legitimate, or are they just a smokescreen to get more money out of you? As far as you know, has he done this to other family members or friends? 

The answers to these questions might help you make a better decision.

Without any additional information, I see a couple of possible ways to resolve your dilemma.

One is to let him know that you would be glad to help him out with his wife’s medical bills, as soon as he pays you in full the money he owes you from 15 years ago. That would either put an end to him asking you or bring up the elephant in the room, which is what happened to his promise to pay you back in full?

It doesn’t sound like this discussion has ever taken place. It would be prudent to know where he’s been all these years and what his current circumstances are. Is he trustworthy or not? Whether you help him or not, it would be good to get this out in the open and get some answers.

If you choose the more spiritual approach of being “your cousin’s keeper,” I would not pay any money to him directly. I would ask to see the medical bills and have the financial contribution go directly to the doctors or hospital that he owes money to.

This way you are guaranteeing that the money goes to pay off the debts. If your cousin says that he needs to make the payments to those he owes money himself, then something is wrong with this picture.

If he agrees to have you pay the doctor bills directly, then most likely he’s an honest man who has had some tough breaks in his life. These are rough economic times for most people, and medical bills tend to overwhelm even hard-working and honest families.

On my office wall hangs a sign that says, “Blessed are those who give and forget, and blessed are those who receive and remember.” I love that saying because I have been blessed to be in a position to give to others, but I have also been in a position to receive help as well.

I will never forget those who have helped me along the way, but I really don’t like to keep track of how, when or to what degree I’ve helped others. In the end, we’re all beggars, and we’re all indebted to God.

As always, be prayerful with your husband as you consider your options, and be open to the Spirit. There might be other options that have not been addressed here.

May God bless you for your willingness to help someone in need — even if you have some initial doubts about it.


 

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.