5 Love Lessons From 'Silver Linings Playbook'

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bradley cooper silver linings playbook
This insightful rom-com can teach us a lot about love.

2. Don't try to change others. Nikki wanted Pat to be something he isn't. She was unsatisfied in the marriage and had an affair. In other words, Pat did not meet her expectations for who she wanted as a husband, so she made a tough situation worse by having an affair.

3. Find out who you are and be that. Don't try to change yourself into a mold of what your partner wants. Pat exercised, read literature, took care of his body and did all the things his wife wanted him to do. He did not especially like reading literature and found the stories somber and heartbreaking.

Pat even flew into a rage after finishing a book by Earnest Hemmingway, throwing the book out of his window and complaining to his parents, Pat Senior (Robert De Niro) and Delores Solitano (Jacki Weaver) at 4 a.m. When Tiffany and Pat were together, they were real with each other, which felt comforting and meaningful to both.

4. Learn to compromise. Tiffany wanted Pat to do a dance competition with her. He refused at first, but when Tiffany offered to get Pat's letter to Nikki, he agreed to dance. Pat began to appreciate Tiffany's support in trying to win his wife back. Tiffany also did not try to change Pat's goal. She knew she couldn't change him. She put Pat's obvious goal of reunifying with his wife above her needs.

5. Look for the silver lining amidst setback and pain. Pat holds onto the idea that life is what you make it. Trying is better than not trying, even if the odds are against you. You just may hit a jackpot. The storyline concludes with a double parley bet where Pat Sr. puts his life savings on the line giving the football team a ten point spread and betting that Pat and Tiffany score five out of ten at the dance competition. The tension unfolds as the football team wins by the given spread. Now Pat and Tiffany must score a five. After a hilarious dance routine, the score is revealed and a huge jackpot was won by all.

Relationships are messy. We all have emotional baggage, and it often gets in the way of having what we desire most. The best we can do is accept responsibility for your own baggage and be the best you can be. Be sensitive to others' emotional baggage, accepting you will make mistakes. When mistakes do occur, make relational repairs quickly.

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Teresa Maples

Counselor/Therapist

Teresa Maples MS, LMHC, CSAT, CMAT

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Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Credentials: CMAT, CSAT, LMHC
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sex Addiction
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