Ted’s Story About Overcoming Infidelity with Therapy

An Incalculable Return on Investment: Ted’s Story About Overcoming Infidelity with Therapy “Ted” was nearing his sixties, and life was big—he was successful, he had a list of accomplishments; people even knew his name. One thing they didn’t know is: Ted had a severe infidelity problem. His behavior in those days, he says, was, “Terrible, horrible. A nasty thing.” And it needed to change. He needed help with overcoming infidelity. He turned to Dr. Dabney for help, but even that decision came with serious doubts. For starters, he’d never been a proponent of therapy. “I thought you should be able to deal with your problems on your own,” he says. “Men are funny like that. [They’re] less amenable to discussing problems that they created.” Even more, he knew that treatment would demand a significant investment of his time—over three hours every week. Dr. Dabney’s office was nearly an hour away. “I’m busy,” he says. “That was an expensive amount of my time.” Ted kept his commitment to therapy for three years. The work, he could tell, was paying off. Plus, he adds, “I quite enjoyed it.” She was as forthcoming as I was expected to be forthcoming. It made the entire process unduly pleasant, to be quite honest.” It was Dr. Dabney’s demeanor that helped keep him going. Ted remains reserved  to discuss his problems with other people, but he was surprised to find that during their sessions, “Laura made it easy.” Ted’s Results With Overcoming Infidelity: Today, Ted is emotionally healthy independent of therapy and describes himself as “Pleasanter. Calmer. I’m a better person.” His work with Dr. Dabney taught him that he isn’t the only person to have ever made mistakes. And the mistakes that he did make, he learned, “Those mistakes can be rectified … and can be overcome.” Curious to learn more about how Dr. Laura Dabney can help you? If so, schedule a free 15-min consultation here, or call (757)340-8800. For more topics, go to www.drldabney.com or www.lauradabney.com.

couple holding hands

What is Intimacy?

Expanding The Definition of Intimacy   A lot of people come into my office and talk about having no sex. Yes, that is a lack of intimacy, but sex is only a part of intimacy. They fail to see the part before sex, which is super important too. I’ll ask them questions such as, “how are you with conflicts?” “How are you and your significant other with expressing yourselves?” And their response is, “We don’t do any of that.” There’s the problem. Let’s talk about the stage before sex and what that entails. There are three parts to that. A lot of people have confused or oversimplified the stage before sex. Which is communication. You do need to communicate, but there is a specific way to communicate, which I have broken down into three stages. The stage before sex is crucial. Men tend to minimize it, and women tend to overemphasize it. Communication isn’t just sitting down and babbling. There are three parts of the pre-stage of sex that makes it intimate. First, being able to know what you’re feeling. It sounds simple, but it is incredibly hard for some people. They talk about what they’re thinking, but it’s tough for them to name the actual feeling they are feeling. Telling someone what you’re thinking is different than naming the feeling. We can tell anyone what we’re thinking, but we share what we’re feeling with our significant other, this is what makes it intimate. You have to be able to name what you’re feeling. Example: Some people say,  “My wife came home late, and I told her she shouldn’t be late; it’s wrong to be late.” I ask them to name their feelings, and they proceed to say that the wife was wrong to be late, she shouldn’t be late, and they can’t trust her. The issue is, those are all thoughts. I have to stop some people and name feelings; that way, they can pick the feeling. In this case, it is typically anger. Being able to name your feeling is taking the time to think long enough about what you’re feeling and being able to name the feeling.  Second, is being able to express the feeling — any emotion, anger, sadness, joy, frustration, or hopefulness. We want you to be able to express your emotions in an emphatic way. Emphatic means you’re listening to the other person expressing …

Man sitting in front of Christmas tree

Christmas Stress and Holiday Have-To’s

3 Things to Know About Christmas Stress and Holiday Have-To’s (and How to Avoid Them) The holidays can be full of Christmas stress and “have to’s.” No matter what our personality is— extrovert or introvert, party-person, or home-body. I have to go to the company party. It would be rude if I didn’t show up. We have to go to my mother’s house for Christmas Eve. She expects us. I have to make everyone’s favorite type of cookie. I’ve always done that. We have to invite cranky Uncle Ted to Christmas. He’s family. Does any of that sound familiar? If you’re like most of us, you could probably add a dozen more have-to’s of your own to the list. Here’s the thing with obligation guilt; however: We do it to ourselves. Don’t believe me yet? Here are the only three things you need to know about minimizing your holiday obligations this year. One: Obligations are never imposed on us without consent. This may not feel true yet, but the fact is that obligations are never thrust on us. Obligations are, in fact, choices we make ourselves based on information we believe to be true. Take Tom, for example. He believed that if he didn’t spend Christmas with his family, he’d let everyone down. He didn’t want to spend Christmas at his parent’s house, but he assumed that not showing up would, in some way, be worse. In effect, it was easier to “suck it up and go” and deal with the Christmas stress than it was to confront his parents with a change in plans. This lack of choice may feel very real to us, particularly when it comes to our closest relationships. We hate to disappoint, hate confrontation, hate to cause confusion, or pain. But here’s the truth: We always have a choice in how we respond to a person or situation. Even though our choices may disappoint others, they are still our choices to make. Two: Obligations are internally imposed. To understand this second fact, you first must understand the psychological process of obligation. It goes like this: 1. We receive an invitation. 2. Our inviting host expresses their hopes or expectations for the event. 3. We internalize their hopes and expectations as our own. Did you catch that? We have an uncanny ability to take on the expectations of other people. The reason we do that is …

couple holding on to each other

Marriage Therapy Success Story

From Rocky Shores to Smooth Sailing: Hannah and Joe’s Story in Marriage Therapy “Joe” and “Hannah” knew their marriage was in serious trouble. “We were at the end of our rope,” Joe said. “It was either go to counseling or separate.” Hannah agreed. “Neither one of us wanted to give up. So we decided that if we weren’t going to give up, we needed to find someone to help us fix whatever we could.” Marriage therapy wasn’t a choice that came quickly for either one of them. Joe had an open aversion to therapy and believed it carried a stigma — asking for help wasn’t a good thing. As for Hannah, she’d been to therapy when she was younger, and it hadn’t proven to be a positive experience. “It made me feel singled out, like the only one with problems,” she said. And yet, they knew neither one of them was happy with the state of the relationship. They described their marriage as disconnected and confusing. “We didn’t know what to do,” said Hannah. “We just weren’t happy with each other.” What they did know was they’d committed themselves to find expert help. So Joe went online, and that’s how he found Dr. Dabney. They both agreed she fit the idea of what they were looking for in a therapist, plus, added Joe, “I liked that she had so many testimonials and so much information available on her website.” Their experiences in Dr. Dabney’s office was almost entirely different than what they expected. “For starters,” said Joe, “you do almost all the talking.” Hannah agreed and added, “It’s great that she’s able to listen to you and pinpoint the things you need to learn about yourself. She asks the right  questions and gets right to the heart of the issue.” Said Joe, “She’s not going to ask you to change. She may ask you to adopt a different perspective, but not change who you are. We never walked out of there confused or feeling like one of us was at fault.” Dr. Dabney was so effective. Hannah and Joe estimated that their counseling lasted only about three months, start to finish. One of the best takeaways for both of them is that they aren’t responsible for each other’s happiness. And they learned to adjust their communication accordingly. As Hannah put it, “We used to feel guilty if we made each …

Nurturing the Parent Teen Relationship

Focus on your parent teen relationship and less on the teen. Tip: Focus on your parent teen relationship and less on the teen. What does that mean? If you develop a good parent teen relationship (not perfect) but a good relationship with your teen then there’s a high chance they will use that as a template for all their relationships going forward. In other words, if you have a healthy parent teen relationship, they’ll end up having healthy relationships. It’s easy, in theory, just not so easy in practice. What do I mean by focusing on your parent teen relationship?  One: Acting out behavior. I think we all know that acting out behavior is damaging to your relationships. So when your teen does acting out behavior, the key for you is going to put words to your emotions so they can learn how to do that. Instead of shouting at them for the acting out behavior, and making it into a big argument, say, “Excuse me for a second but it sounds like you’re angry about something if you can tell me what you’re angry about without shouting, I might be able to help you.” Kindly and calmly put the words to it.  Same with you, relationships are two-way. If you act out at some point, it’s going to be imperative that you go back to your teen and use the words. We all make mistakes. Go back and say, “Hey, I’m sorry that I yelled at you, what I wanted to say and wish I said is I’m angry that you continue to leave a mess in the kitchen.” Talk through your emotions. Two: Autonomy. You have to respect each other’s autonomy. We can all agree that in a healthy relationship, we respect each other’s autonomy. What does that mean? That means when your child makes a decision, instead of undermining it or taking over, you want to let them have it! There are only two exceptions at this stage: Loss of life or limb, or legal problems. Anything else you let them make the decision, you let them fail at it or succeed, but you let it be theirs. That’s autonomy.  You also have to be autonomous, if you’re the parent who does whatever your child wants, whenever they want, think again. You’re just teaching them how to be someone’s puppet. You have to be honest with your …