family issues causing stress

Family Issues: Tension Between Your Parents and Your Spouse

Should You Choose Your Family or Your Relationship? How to Resolve Family Issues Between Your Parents and Your Spouse Let me start with a story about a good guy trying to do right by the people he loved… “Tony” came from a great family and was happily married. Tony loved his parents and his siblings; he loved his wife and his kids. He was a lucky guy. So it drove him nuts that whenever he and his wife spent time with his family, they ended up fighting the entire drive home—she didn’t like their comments about the kids or the gifts they gave or the unhealthy food. Whatever happened during the visit, his wife would find a way to be unhappy about it. Tony felt the pressure of what felt like family issues. He remembers finally yelling at her, overcome with rage. “It’s so unfair— you actually make me dread spending time with them.” He just wanted everyone to be happy. And more often than not, we’re just like Tony. We want the best for the people we love. So why does his dilemma seem so impossible to resolve? The issue wasn’t that Tony didn’t love his parents or his wife enough. The issue wasn’t that his wife was unreasonable. The problem wasn’t even that his parents were at fault. The issue was that Tony wasn’t prioritizing his marriage over his relationship with his family, which in return, was causing the family issues. I see the same conflict play out every week in my practice. Regardless of the specifics of a situation, I tell my patients that to resolve this conflict; we must remember two truths: 1. If we want to keep our marriage, our marriage must always come first. 2. We don’t owe our parents anything. My patients can’t help but argue with me. They say, “But Dr. Dabney … “ … my parents did so much for me. I don’t want to seem ungrateful.” “ … my parents are getting older. They need my help.” “ … I don’t want to be mean.” “ … I don’t want them to think I don’t love them.” “ … they’ll make me feel guilty.” “ … it’s expected of me.” “ … that’s just how things are in our family.” “ … they don’t mean the things they say.” “ … my wife just misinterprets everything.” “ … she just …

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 or

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 …

Men and Emotions

There’s still a stigma in our society that makes it hard for men to show their emotions and keep their masculinity. Women have come a long way with their ability to emote; emoting has always been more acceptable for women. In the past, women had trouble with aggression. Now women can be in the workforce, go for gold medals, and be on sports teams. Women have bridged the gap in aggression & passivity and emoting & action better than men. Men have not caught up in terms of their ability to show their emotions and feel masculine intact. We have devoted our attention to executive men with relationship problems because they have a history, where they’re encouraged to be aggressive, and are rewarded for being aggressive in the workplace. At home or in an intimate relationship- men act aggressive, and they get “in trouble,” or they get passive and get “in trouble.” They aren’t able to say what they really want or what they really need, which causes the relationship to go south. How men and women deal with certain emotions differently An example of an emotional difference between men and women is anger and how they express it. Women struggle with anger by having the thoughts that anger is not okay, or it’s wrong. Whereas when men get angry, they are terrified that the anger is going to lead to becoming physical and that they will actually hurt somebody. Men fear that if they admit they are angry, then their next step is to hurt someone. How to properly handle anger The way to correctly handle anger is to think about the anger, emote, and deal with the anger; as a result, the anger will not build and blow. Would you like to learn more about men and their emotional health? Head over to to find dozens of free self-help articles.

How to Be Selfish

  It’s imperative to know how to be selfish, to have better relationships. It may sound crazy to say you need to learn how to be selfish in order to help your relationship, but it’s absolutely true. I’ve helped thousands of successful men create the relationship of their dreams, and it all starts the same way. Are you helping everyone, but yourself? These men come to me, having helped everybody in their lives. Including their communities, their co-workers, their families, and their partners, but they don’t know the first thing about themselves. Knowing Yourself If you can’t understand how you feel, what you want,  what your dreams are then you’re never going to make that a reality. If you don’t know your hopes, and your thoughts, you’re never going to be able to express them well and then create them. It’s not only okay to be selfish to take the time to understand you, but it’s also a necessary first step to get the relationship that you’ve always wanted. It’s not mean to be selfish, and it’s essential to take the time to learn about yourself and all these particular areas. That way, you can then reach out and create fabulous relationships. Remember, it’s imperative to be selfish to have better relationships. Find more articles about being SELFish and relationships at and