The Top 4 Red Flags in a Relationship

4 Red Flags in a Relationship to be Aware of A disheartening number of my male patients have either gotten divorced or suffered through long and painful relationships because of a single, core issue: They failed to act on Red Flags in a relationship before it was too late. A red flag is an issue that causes significant disruption to a relationship; they are serious problems that require professional help. The mistake I’ve seen hundreds of men make is that they believe, without foundation, that they have either the skills or the commitment to help a woman overcome her serious challenges. He thinks he can be her savior, her knight in shining armor, that he can love her enough to overcome anything. There is a much more bitter truth: When you spot a red flag, it’s best to get out. The most serious red flags in a relationship fall into 4 main categories: 1. Lack of empathy 2. Boundary crossing 3. Addiction or severe psychological issues 4. Legal or financial trouble Let’s take a look at why each one is so damaging. Lack of Empathy This flag is so red it ought to be on fire. I can’t tell you how many men tell me stories about women who expect emotional and financial and practical support from them, but who offer virtually nothing in return. Happy, lasting relationships are built on a foundation of intimacy, and that requires an ongoing give and take by both individuals. Relationships that are built on anything less are headed for heartache. Don’t settle for anyone who gives less to the emotional health of the relationship than you. You deserve to be fully supported and cared for. If you experience anything less, let her go without further ado. Boundary crossing As a society, we don’t pay much attention to men who suffer physically or emotionally at the hands of their wives or girlfriends, but it is more prevalent than you may imagine. I have worked with men who tell me they were raised to “never strike a woman,” but who have been slapped, bitten, hit with heavy objects, and generally attacked by their significant other. Being attacked is much different than being the attacker, but those differences are not assigned by gender. Abuse can be verbal, as easily as it can be physical. Verbal abuse is characterized by any attempt to make another person feel weak or …

How to Overcome Intimacy Issues

  Let’s talk about the Intimacy Now Online Course And how to overcome intimacy issues The Intimacy Now online course is my course that offers a way to help people in areas and places and situations that I have never been able to reach before. It teaches the participants how to overcome intimacy issues and solve destructive relationship patterns. Any barriers preventing you from seeing me, such as time, distance, space, money, whatever it is… Is taken away with this course, which I love. The more people I reach, the more relationships I can change, and that’s what I love to do. The Intimacy Now online course was started last spring, and we had a great turnout. We also received great feedback which was very uplifting to me, and very rewarding for me. But more importantly, the people who joined got great satisfaction out of the program. Naming things like, “It was the first time I had practical psychiatric help as opposed to psychobabble.” They were able to apply it to their situation and benefit from it. Some people said that they were happy for the first time in their relationship, ever, which is pretty big. And other people talked about the different ideas and advice that I gave and how it helped them turn something specific around, such as their ability to talk about negative emotions with their spouse or significant other. What to do about those tense moments after a fight, how to give your spouse what they need without being a yes-man- you know to lose your backbone, how to get what you need, how to handle being on a separate page and on and on. Lots of great feedback. This course was me compiling every aha moment in the therapy session. Killer advice from killer therapy sessions where someone said, “Oh my gosh, I never thought about it that way,” or “Oh my gosh, that worked so well.” I took all those moments, and it boiled down to six pieces of advice to fix the most destructive relationship patterns. And teach couples how to overcome intimacy issues. Questions and Answers Q. How can you answer my question on a general course because it’s so specific? A. Well, after doing this for 20 years- helping professionals of all kinds to fix their relationship problems, really, everybody’s details are different- that is true. But it all comes down …

Why do People Watch Porn? From a Doctor’s Perspective.

 Top 3 porn-related reasons I see people in my office A Doctor’s perspective on why do people watch porn or why they’re porn addicted. Whether you’re the one using it or someone you know does. This can be a tough topic in a relationship, but it doesn’t need to be. Reason number one- Conflict with intimacy. Why do people watch porn? Some people have trouble with intimacy. I don’t mean they just make mistakes, but they actually have a conflict with it. They’re conflicted about the closeness. They want the closeness, they’re in a relationship, they love their significant other, but they have connected intimacy with something bad. Typically, the ‘something bad’ is: being taken over, being controlled, losing their individuality.  They want the closeness, but then they feel as though they’ll lose themselves. Now, a lot of people resolve this with pornography because it’s a way to put a wedge between them and their significant other. It’s a way for them to get some relief from that sensation of being too close. Somehow, it’s tough for people to maintain intimacy for that reason, and it comes out in that fashion. Reason number 2- Conflict with aggression. There are a lot of people who have a conflict with aggression and a conflict with anger. They know it’s an emotion, they know it’s a normal emotion, but they have so much guilt about it, that they tend to bury it. They tend to think anger is wrong, bad, mean; something they need to avoid at all costs. This is what I call an enemy emotion, where they shove it away. Somehow they don’t realize anger is normal and expressing that anger is required, or it’s going to blow or implode. They end up hurting themselves with it, by not dealing with the anger, or expressing it because they feel so guilty and they want to bury. The anger stays under the surface. So, they use pornography as sort of a weapon. “I’m not going to connect with you. I’m going to connect with my magazine,” or where ever pornography is being viewed. And then, of course, it ends up hurting the significant other, because they end up finding out about the pornography. The S.O. has no idea why their partner is using porn because the partner has not expressed the anger. And they may not even be consciously aware of …

Cheating Dreams and What They Mean

  Cheating Dreams, What do they mean?   Let’s discuss Dreams where you’re actually cheating on your significant other. Just like the attraction dreams, it’s not that you want to cheat, but there are a few reasons why you could be dreaming about this. We have to look beyond the superficial such as, “If I cheated in my dream that means I must want to do that, I’m a terrible person.” We have to look at the symbolism behind the dream. What I mean is that cheating can symbolize, an escape. When I say that it’s not really about cheating, it could be about your significant other, for example, let’s say your S.O, for the last couple of months has been irritable or just messy, and it’s annoying you. But instead of talking to him or her about the annoying behavior, you make excuses and clean up his mess. Then you go to bed, and you have a dream that you’re cheating on him. In your subconscious, a lot of times that could be the fact that you are trying to punish him by cheating on him in your dreams. Since you feel as though you can’t speak about the negative behaviors that he’s doing, instead you dream about it and hope that by dreaming this and being mad at him or getting back at him in your dreams that you’ll fix the problem. Negative Behavior Another way to look at it is sometimes it’s not your S.O. that has negative behavior; it could be yourself. So if you have been extra irritable or sloppier than usual, there is a possibility that the way to think about it is you have to punish yourself somehow. You may have a cheating dream and if that’s the case you are putting the negative behavior on to your S.O. So you’re having a cheating dream, where you’re cheating on him, which is punishing him. But the dream leaves you having thoughts such as, “I’m such a bad person.” In a roundabout way, you’ve punished yourself. Dreams are Symbolic We need to remember a cheating dream is symbolic. If you have a cheating dream, what you can do is sit with that dream. Think about what’s been going on in your relationship. Are there any negative things going on, that you’re scared to talk about or to bring up? Just thinking about those negative …

Poor Parenting and The Dynamics Behind it

Poor Parenting and The Dynamics Behind it If you think the scariest hood to be in is Parenthood, then you’re right, but there’s a way to make Parenthood a little less scary. A lot of people ask for parenting advice or have parenting questions and poor parenting concerns. This is not just me as a psychiatrist, talking to you, I’m also a parent, and I really believe that parents help parents. Parenting isn’t about a checklist of how to do something right. It’s hard to know when you’ve gone off course, and, if you’re off course, it’s hard to know how to get back on course. If parents help each other out, then we’re helping our whole community and our entire society. I do have adult kids, and I can empathize greatly. I have been through a lot of the struggles that you’ve been through with my patients, my clients, and in my personal life. What are the dynamics behind poor parenting? We hear different names such as a helicopter parent, snowplow parent, and I have a phrase I’ve used for a long time called tractor-trailer parents.  There is a lot of people who are afraid they are one of those parents or worried they’re going to become one of those parents. I always start any session or any treatment by stating, if you understand why poor parenting is happening, then you can stop it. It’s important to understand what’s going on, to see the patterns behind the poor parenting, and to come to realize it’s not what you want to be doing. If you don’t understand the patterns, the dynamics,  and what’s going on underneath; it’s a lot less likely you’re going to figure out what’s wrong and where to go that’s better. The dynamics of the controlling parent The dynamics of the controlling parent, in general, this is the issue here. It’d be easy to say controlling parents are control freaks. That’s part of it because nobody likes to feel out of control and certainly parents don’t want to feel out of control. Parents may fear if they’re losing control, that’s making them a bad parent. Parents are, by definition in control when their kids are not. So it makes sense that control plays a role in all these different parenting issues or problems. It’s not just a lack of loss of control that parents are fighting when …