Marriage Counseling Greeley | Couples Counseling Fort Collins

Marriage and Family Therapy Greeley CORecently I found myself engrossed in some “life changing”  television program (probably some sporting event like the Superbowl) when all of a sudden…out of nowhere…my 4 year old daughter came running into the room…FULL VOLUME! I didn’t make out much of what she was saying, but I thought I heard a “daddy” in their somewhere.

She was LOUD! (As youngsters usually are)…I found myself tempted to tune her out. (and before you turn your nose up at me…be honest…You know you’ve been tempted too!)

I caught myself however in a moment of “self awareness.”  Instead of demanding she lower her volume I grabbed my remote and muted the show I was watching so I could hear what she was trying to say. (And, no I don’t have Tivo.)

She looked a little shocked at first and asked me,

“Daddy, why did you turn off the sound?”

to which I simply replied,

“I want to hear what you have to say sweetheart…You are important to me.”

Football or Family? Which order are your Priorities in?

Greeley family therapistAs a Marriage and Family Counselor I sit in my office on a weekly basis listening to hurting people who feel they’ve come in 2nd place to their partner’s job or hobbies. Their kids feel the same way. Of course they’ll usually insist that PRIORITY #1 is their family, but It hardly takes a trained therapist to spot the rolling eyes of their loved ones.

They aren’t buying it!

Often it’s fathers who find themselves in trouble here (though not always).

And I get it… He usually tells me He’s been working hard for the family…and he has been. Growing up he was told that his primary role was that of “financial provider.” (He’s excelled in that role!) Understandably though, He’s frustrated with the fact that he isn’t getting a little more respect and understanding from his family! “Why won’t they give me a break? Why can’t I just enjoy my television? Why can’t I just get a little peace?” he asks.

The issue however is that his kids and family members don’t “feel” like they are 1st place in his life. That’s what they want though! And often that has a lot to do with the fact that when he is around, he isn’t “present.”  Sure,he’s there physically, but emotionally and mentally he’s engaged in the big game…or thinking of the next project at work. We all (myself included) need to learn to be more “present” with those around us.

What do I mean by “present” you ask?

Have you ever hopped in your car, drove across town, arrived, and realized that you remembered none of the drive? Maybe you’ve read through a page in a book only to realize you remembered nothing of which you just read? Why is that? We’ve all experienced it. The reason is that we weren’t present in the moment. Sure, we read each word, and we made it across town without wrecking the car…but our minds were engaged elsewhere.

What can I do?

Let’s see if our partners and children notice the difference. They deserve to be #1 in our lives!

Family Counseling Greeley COYou know, as I think back on that evening with my daughter, I can not for the life of me remember what I was watching on the TV.

I sure do remember the look on my daughter’s face though!

If I can help you and your family in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a free phone consultation! 



  1. Steven

    I like the focus on being present in the moment. I’m currently reading Eckhart Tolle’s “Practicing the Power of Now” and I’ve made a commitment to only being fully present and engaged as I am reading it to fully absorb the content within the covers. As keeping true to my commitment, the most ideal place I’ve found to keep it is on the back of the toilet, because if you can’t be FULLY present in THAT moment, when can you be FULLY present?- I think others should do the same, think about what you are thinking about, and act accordingly; do something that takes you out of your ordinary routine, and exposes your vulnerability, and actually EXPERIENCE IT!

    • Timothy Shetter

      Thanks for your thoughts Steven! What a great commitment you have made. Practicing be fully present will change your relationships in a huge way. Exposing your vulnerability as you put it also requires courage. That courage however will take you ever deeper into rich relationships and experiences. Keep it up!

  2. John

    Right on, Tim. I lost a girlfriend once because my lack of attention to her when she spoke convinced her I was not the man who would be there for her. I didn’t “have the heart” to hear her, she said. She was correct enough that I learned my lesson — to be present when people are speaking. You might care about them, but they need evidence. I didn’t get the girl back. Since then, I’ve managed to focus better when others speak to me. Good article Tim.

    • Timothy Shetter

      Thanks for the feedback John! I’m sorry you lost the girl. I know we all sometimes have to learn lessons the hard way. Sounds like you are a stronger and wiser man for your struggles though. Keep it up!

  3. Arjan de Bes

    Hello Tim, Long time.
    I like how DR Wayne W Dyer talks about how old believes keep you from making the changes. His “mind viruses” are keeping you from making the changes: Go here “” to listen to a part of his book “Excuses begone”

    • Timothy Shetter

      Thanks Arjan for the link! I’ll go and take a look. Change is often hindered by old and limiting beliefs. Hope you are having a wonderful week!

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