Last month, I received the following letter from an old friend, Lloyd Barnhart.
"A topic I would like you to cover/explore is that curious phenomena which permits otherwise independent women to be dominated…even abused…by males with whom they share some sort or relationship. Why is it that a seemingly strong, intelligent woman would allow herself to be hurt…her life to be altered in a negative way by some guy with whom she has some sort of relationship. I currently know a couple such women and feel completely helpless with regard to alleviating their problem (which they apparently fail to see).
"I realize we/you could attack this from the other angle: Why would a man want to completely dominate a female to the point where she fails to exist as an individual? But, for now…help me understand this from the female perspective."
I'd be happy to, and I hope the following information answers your questions. Of course, every person involved in violent situations has his or her own reason
Blog Posts by Tina Tessina
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Fri, Aug 3, 2012 12:19 PM EDT
Last month, I received the following letter from an old friend, Lloyd Barnhart.Read More »from Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence
And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged…You achieve a wonderful freedom. It is a positive thing. -Doris LessingRead More »from The Freedom of Maturity
Maturity or middle age means different things to different people. But for most, reaching a mature age means developing a new set of expectations. At mid-life it's possible to view life from a new perspective. You have goals and aspirations yet to achieve, but you also realize you're not getting younger. Maturity is a time for re-adjusting your focus, and getting your whole act together. If you do, you'll remove the fear that comes with getting older, and open a new vista of freedom and opportunity for yourself.
Living in a Changing Society
People in mid-life have always undergone physical changes, but in our modern society we must cope with social changes as well. In our brave ace of technology and mobility, adults have, willingly or not, been pioneers of social and technological change. As a mature adult today, you have a lot of life experience, including
In my private counseling practice, clients often tell me, "I want to be happy!" We then set about making it a reality. As a psychotherapist, I know that your habits, your relationships, your environment, and especially what you think about them determine more about how happy you are than your genes do because I've watched so many people figure out how to meet their goals and create their own happiness. You can improve any part of your life you wish: your relationship with yourself, your relationships with others, your work life, your home life, and even your health. The following steps will help you reach any goal you set for yourself.
4 Steps to Success
- Choose the goal.
- Break it down into small, non-intimidating steps.
- Do something. (If you can't get yourself to do it, you haven't made the steps small or easy enough; go back to Step 2.)
- Celebrate what you've done (yes, every little step).
For example, suppose you're interested in bringing more physicalRead More »from Success in Four Steps
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Thu, Jul 26, 2012 9:09 PM EDT
Dear Dr. Romance:
I have been together with my wife for about 3 years now. We have worked on many issues in our marriage and resolved most of them; however, there is still one issue that has not been resolved.
It seems that little mistakes I make, such as not taking out the trash when it smells after I come home from work, make her so angry that she shrieks at me, and I mean shriek, not yell. During these times I refuse to yell back, and it makes me feel like a door stop. I have read several books on that matter that say to not yell at her in anyway and walk away from her and tell her that I am not walking away because I am ignoring her but out of respect for myself and her. This does not seem to make a difference.
Afterwards she does apologize, but it seem misplaced and half-hearted. We talk and she says that it will not happen again, yet only hours later it happens again. I just want a way to resolve the yelling. I am afraid that when we have children her anger willRead More »from Dear Dr. Romance: I Just Want a Way to Resolve the Yelling
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Discovering your partner has been unfaithful is a shock. Your first instinct may be to run, but if you have a shared history, children and finances, you may wonder - should you stay or go?
Dr. Romance shows you how to decide.
When you get the devastating news that your spouse has had an affair, how do you decide whether to stay or go? Because you feel betrayed, your first impulse is usually anger, and wanting to leave - fight or flight. But, after you calm down, you realize there's a lot you'll lose, and you may have children to consider.
Don't make an instant decision you may regret later, after the damage is done. It's possible to find an extraordinary love after divorcing late in life, but most of my clients report the potential partners out there are no better than the ones they left.
While I don't think you should stay and suffer if nothing's working, in my practice I see many couples who do the work and wind up happierRead More »from Dr. Romance Video: Infidelity -- Stay or Go?
Read More »from Family Violence Q&A
Q: My spouse and I often have arguments over the "small stuff." How do we get past this so that we are not constantly bickering?
A: I'll bet neither of you would argue with your boss or work colleagues, or your children's teachers the way you argue with each other. You have choices-you don't have to argue with each other. Instead of acting like bickering children, use your grownup self-control to pull yourself out of the argument. If you're fighting over silly little things, you're having symbolic fights-it's not about who didn't put the cap on the toothpaste, it's about who is right, who has the most power, who deserves to be loved.
To change your interaction try these Guidelines for Being Better Understood from How to be a Couple and Still Be Free (New Page Books, 2002):
• Seek first to understand. If you know your partner's frame of reference, you can speak to him/her within it.
• Pay attention to how your words are landing. If your companion's response looks off the mark for
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Fri, Jul 20, 2012 1:51 AM EDT
Dear Dr. Romance:
Is it normal to like the feeling of glass cutting your skin?
I like the feeling of getting cut. This isn't good, is it?
You're right --it's not good. What it means is that you are emotionally numb and looking for sensation to feel alive. The numbness is probably because you're suppressing feelings about bad things that happened. You deserve a happier life. Therapy can help you figure out what's wrong and sort it out. Please do yourself a favor and find a good therapist. My article "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" will show you how to find a good therapist and get started. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. They will help you find a knowledgeable therapist or group in your area that can help you. It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will help you understand what you're feeling and how to change it.Read More »from Dear Dr. Romance: I like the Feeling of Getting Cut
Dear Dr. Romance:
We'd been really close and intimate. I thought we were going to be in a special relationship soon because he told me we were having something special. No matter how tired he was, he'd had his dinner with me.
He got paranoid every time I threatened to stop talking to him when he got me all jealous. Recently I was questioning him about texting other girls and we brought up the 'freedom' matter. He thinks it's a freedom to text any girls he wants to. He knows how much it hurt me every time I think of him doing that. I asked him if I was just an ordinary friend to him and he suggested that we'd be best friends, just like what he's doing with some other girls! He said he didn't want to hurt me anymore and that he didnt want to confuse himself but he wants to remain close with me.
Eventually I made up my mind that I should stop any form of contact, at all. Did I make the right move, for I know it'd definitely hurt me more to be his "best friend" while lovingRead More »from Dear Dr. Romance: Should I Give Up on His Love?
Dear Dr. Romance:
Is he cheating on me? Or am I just being paranoid? Me and my boyfriend have been together for 15 months now. A couple of weeks ago we broke up and then got back together after a week. When we broke up he kept texting me, asking "Are you happy?" and stuff.
We broke up because he lied to me: he told me he was not going out on that Saturday night; but he did, and didn't come home for the whole night. I got mad and called one of his friends. As a result we broke up because he said I don't TRUST him.
After talking, we decided give it one last chance, so we got back together. Yesterday he was gone a long time. I don't know, but I feel like he is seeing someone else. The thing is I don't have any evidence and he keeps telling me I am his only one! What should I do? Should I just trust him? Please help!!!!!!
Whether or not he has someone else, something is definitely going on. Maybe he has a drug or gambling problem instead of anotherRead More »from Dear Dr. Romance: Is He Cheating on Me?
Every member of your family has a right to have his or her opinions respected. You don't have to agree or go along with what your child wants, but you should at least know what it is, and your child should know why you're overriding his or her preferences. Regular family meetings, where everyone including the children expresses feelings, negative and positive, and all of you work together to solve problems, can help a lot.
Begin family meetings as soon as possible, whether you think you have any issues to discuss or not. Choose a time when everyone can get together weekly, and suggest to everyone that you order pizza, or cook something they like.
Sit down on a weekly basis with your family, and discuss everything about your relationship, positive and problematic, and how it's going for each of you. If you have small children, include them and get their input, also.
Begin the session with a brief prayer or blessing, and a round of compliments, where each member gives aRead More »from Family Meetings