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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Price for Holiday Blues

After saying she was “terribly lonely,” Alexa Joel downed sleeping pills in a suicide attempt. While loneliness can have profound consequences, the psychological community does not call it a "disease."

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology just found that loneliness can be contagious. And Joel’s suicide attempt might reflect how it can play out in a family. Mom Christie Brinkley recently divorced her fourth husband. Dad Billy Joel split from his third wife, and returned to drinking binges. Now following a rough breakup herself, Alexa blogged that she hated being single and lonely in the city. (Her father tried to commit suicide in his early 20s after a breakup of his own.)

In her song, “Once You’ve Learned to be Lonely,” Reba McEntire describes how loneliness attaches to and stays with someone: “Once you’ve learned to be lonely, And lonely is the only thing you’ve known, It begins to feel like home. It becomes your comfort zone.” Let’s change that!

Alexa’s journey now must be to:
1.understand the contagion of loneliness from her parents
2.understand why she toyed with suicide as the “comfort zone” Reba describes.

The holidays are especially lonely for the most vulnerable. If you know someone who feels emotionally isolated, please reach out with a generosity of self. No one should have to tease death the way this young girl did.

XXX
Dr. Gilda Carle (Ph.D.), psychotherapist and relationship expert, is called the “Country Music Doctor.” She therapeutically applies Country Music to guide people out of their pain. Her best-selling book, “Don’t Bet on the Prince!” was a test question on “JEOPARDY!” For more information, visit www.DrGilda.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lovers Who Lie

Happy After-Thanxgiving! I had a wonderful and peaceful 4 days, local and loving. How about you? Now that we’re all back to business, how many of you are facing MONKEY business in your personal lives? Don’t you have enough stress to contend with already?

The following woman is overly suspicious after divorcing a husband who deceived her about his past. I offer advice on putting the ordeal behind her so she can open her heart to new possibilities.

Dear Dr. Gilda,
I am divorced now after what seemed like an endless struggle. I had to file all the paperwork after my husband took off and abandoned me. He was a pathological liar and a drug addict. We were only married for a year, but it was the worst year of my life. I had dated him for three years, and he turned out to have a secret past as a heroin abuser. The reason his friends and family treated me as a savior is because everyone believed I “rescued him” from his past of lying, stealing, suicide attempts, psychotic behavior, even a mental institution stint… the whole nine yards. He hid or minimized most of this to me, making it seem like it happened years ago, not in the four months before we started dating.

Now that the divorce is final, how can I trust anyone else? When I think about dating someone, I imagine hiring investigators to follow him, checking his phone in the middle of the night, even installing spyware. Should I give up on dating for a while? How can I suppress this feeling of suspicion towards everyone and everything?
– Distrusting Partner

Dear Distrusting Partner,
You are not the first person to be duped by a partner who professed to love you. Remember that woman who married the guy parading as a Rockefeller? She stayed with him for 13 years and had a child with him. And this 41-year-old woman was no slouch. She graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Business School. She was a senior partner in a prestigious consulting firm and earned over $1 million per year. Still, she was taken in. For sure, there is a difference between IQ, innate intelligence, and EQ, emotional acuity for trouble.

Sure, your ex was no prince. But part of the responsibility was yours for not asking questions and noting inconsistencies. In addition, you fell prey to a common affliction among women: the need to save someone. A savior mentality stems from wanting to feel needed and loved. The unconscious reasoning is that if your partner becomes dependent on you, he’ll stay. That’s BAD reasoning! As you have discovered, that ploy doesn’t work!

What you must do now is dump the abandonment mentality that haunts you. This is how:

1. Analyze who you were when you met this guy. Were you needy for love? My Gilda-Gram says, “To know your partner is wise. To know yourself is enlightened.”

2. Which signs did you pick up — and ignore — during your three years of dating? It’s unlikely he didn’t leave cues. Why did you choose to brush aside the evidence?

3. How do you feel when you’re on a rescue mission? Where did you develop the notion that rescuing would guarantee loving?

4. Find a trusted therapist to unearth these answers together, so you’ll understand what you must do to protect yourself in the future.

Just as you suspect, I agree that you should refrain from dating for a while—until you feel you are on more solid ground. Trust takes time. But it begins with trusting yourself to make good choices. With help and in time, you’ll come out much better than the person who entered that superficial marriage. Let me know if you need my guidance.
Dr. Gilda, with love

For the rest of you out there, how many folks have been taken in by a liar?? I can certainly raise my own hand to that one. Let's swap stories so maybe, just maybe, we can prevent others from being taken in in the future!

XXXX

Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (Ph.D.), has a private practice and is an associate professor at Mercy College in New York. Her best-selling books include Don't Bet on the Prince!, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, and How to Win When Your Mate Cheats. Visit her website at DrGilda@DrGilda.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

Should I Ask for Marriage or Move On?

When this midlife couple met, they briefly discussed marriage. After dating awhile, she’s ready, but her beau is happy with the way things are. Is it time to move on?

Dear Dr. Gilda,
I am a divorced female in my late 50s. I’ve been dating someone for two years. When we met, he asked if I wanted to remarry, and I said that I did, eventually. I told him then that I did not want to date for years, seeing that I’m not getting any younger. He said that if I had said no to marriage, he wouldn’t have continued to see me. We talked
briefly about marriage, but he has not popped the question. He keeps saying that we get along so well that he doesn’t want it to change. I have grandchildren, and I want to leave a good impression with them. We do not live together. I’m attractive and I feel I could find someone else, but maybe not the good person he is. I’m not the type to play games, and I really don’t want to lose him, but something tells me maybe we should move on. I don’t want to be the one to bring up the marriage thing; I want him to be the one to ask! I guess I’m asking for suggestions as to how I could handle the situation.
—In a Dilemma

Dear Dilemma,
You say, “I’m not the type to play games.” So what do you call it when you want something, yet you’re unwilling to ask for it? A game by any other name is STILL a game. Let me get this straight: For the two years you’ve been with Good Person, you’ve put your own desires on the back burner, you’ve played Shrinking Violet, and you’ve HOPED that Mr. Good Person would spring the idea to change this comfy setting into something unknown. Hmm…

What prompts any human being to want to alter what s/he knows for sure? Well, perhaps honesty with someone s/he loves. Yet you say, “I don’t want to be the one to bring up the marriage thing; I want him to be the one to ask!” That’s another game, girlfriend! Get with the program; this is not the 1950s, and you’re not June Cleaver!

I have invested my life’s work in training people to:

1) identify their deep desires, and
2) have the guts to communicate them.
These are difficult skills, but in order to make any relationship work, you must have them!!

If you don’t tell Mr. Good Person that marriage is important to you, do you think he’ll uncover your feelings through osmosis? What are you waiting for? As my Gilda-Gram says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always go where you’ve always gone.” And for you, honey, I’m afraid that means nowhere!

You claim you don’t want to lose him. He claims he doesn’t want to change what’s already working well. This may be painful to hear, but it seems like each of you has become cozy in your semi-single status.

To determine your next steps, I suggest you follow this sequence:
1. After these two loving years, decide whether becoming a married woman truly appeals to you after all. Discover what prompted you to conclude that enough is now enough. Then decide whether this was a fleeting thought or an ongoing desire.
2. Pick up a book on assertiveness. Practice enunciating your needs with everyone you meet. The test is whether they hear what you say.
3. With Mr. Good Person, begin to voice your wants for things having nothing to do with marriage. Acknowledge how it feels to communicate honestly.

When you become sure of what you want and you’re not reluctant to share it, you will request it with ease. There is a possibility that Mr. Good Person may actually want what you want! But you’ll never know until you speak your mind.

XXX
DR. GILDA CARLE is an internationally-known relationship expert, author, professor, and Match.com columnist of ASK DR. GILDA, published on MSN.com and Happen Magazine. Her best-selling book, “Don’t Bet on the Prince!" has become a classic. Her latest E-Books are "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity" and "How to Win When Your Mate Cheats." Visit her at www.DrGilda.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

Blanketed by Sunday LOVE

Sunday was a wonderful day. I spent the morning becoming a Godmother—without the magic wand. My adorable 3-year-old Goddaughter slept through the service, even as the female, married Episcopalian priest also incorporated songs. Believe it or not, one song sounded like the Israeli Hava Nagila, and I wondered if the crowd would soon break into a Hora! When I asked about that, the priest shrugged her shoulders and said that we are all ONE! How true that is!!

We went to my Goddaughter’s grandparents’ house, and had a delicious lunch to celebrate. Man, can these folks cook!! My Goddaughter's father decorated a multicolored salad for me, because he knows I'm part rabbit. How touching when people prepare your favorite foods for you. But especially, how LOVING that is!! By the time we ate, my little honey was fully awake and filled with energy. How beautiful to watch this tiny ball of fire, intelligence and thought-flow. The love throughout this house was effervescent, and each moment I shared with this family was special. I am grateful to have been a participant in this event, and to have been made to feel so welcome in this, an addendum to my biological family. I truly want to make an impact on this little being’s life—with God’s help!

My next stop was a celebration for my friends’ older daughter who had just finished running the NYC marathon. Thirty-three years ago, I introduced my girlfriend to the man who turned out to be her husband. This couple remains as my closest friends. Their daughter, and another, are the brilliant and beautiful spawn of their union. Joining us were some of the runner’s friends from Yale, where she recently received an MBA. What a fabulous group of young and accomplished achievers! There were perhaps 12 of us in all. We ate at Ben’s on W. 38th Street in Manhattan. From there, I think we became transfixed into a Seinfeld episode with a waitress who was servicing us from Planet Uranus. She told us her earth name was Margaret, but I wonder what her real planetary name is . . .

Problems began when I told Margaret that my knife was dirty, and she gave me another one. When I showed her that that one was dirty, too, we suddenly heard crash, boom, bang. She was now THROWING the silverware in a bin right behind us in her anger over the dirty utensils. The crashing sounds were so loud, we jumped.

Then came my hot tea—carelessly spilled on the pants of my girlfriend and me. I joked, “It’s a good thing I’m not wearing white pants.” But we laughed and kind-heartedly took it in stride, as we continued our conversations. However, after that, Margaret managed to practically throw the soup at us, spilling it on the same spot she nailed us on with the hot tea. A second bowl of soup was spilled, too. At this point, I began to surmise that Margaret’s actions were deliberate. How clumsy an oaf could a waitress be? When she cleared our table to make room for our entree, the empty soup bowls were sloppily spilled on my camel cashmere coat. That was it!

She moved to the table next to ours which she was also serving. Suddenly, she issued the “F” word, which left the talkative gang at our lively table suddenly silent. We heard Margaret apologizing to the other table for SOMETHING. But then she was back to us, now apologizing to me for all the spillage. I told her I was sending the restaurant my dry cleaning bill for the coat, so she brought me an array of amazing chocolate cookies, which I passed around to the twenty-somethings who don’t have to work out as I to keep in shape. Then she offered to bring me a huge slice of some gooey cake. I nixed that. My girlfriend told the restaurant that Margaret needed to take a pill. Maybe she had already taken one, and we were reaping the effects.

Today my girlfriend’s husband called to tell me, “I understand there’s a new waitress school, and they’re looking for someone to practice on as a target. Would you consider the role?” I told him I had already put in my time, thank you very much. Although Ben’s Restaurant served tasty food, Margaret left a bad taste in my mouth, and I’ll ever eat there again. Aren't restaurants in recessionary times supposed to bend over backwards? Earth to Uranus, did you get the message??

Sunday was quite a day! Celebrations and honors for young and old, and a Seinfeld script that no one could have made up! But love blanketed me this Sunday, and it will be the LOVE part of this weekend that I will hold in my heart forever!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Great Gallery Opening

I went to a GREAT gallery opening last night at DLC on W. 26th St. in NY: http://tinyurl.com/ybk27vs I spoke to an amazing Australian artist who paints dark, intriguing work. He was funny and quirky. And his handsome friend, also from Australia, filled me in on the artist’s life. Then he asked to take a photo of my legs with the slit up the back of my pants. Since he’s an artist, too, perhaps I’ll see my legs duplicated in some gallery in Europe one day!

The opening also featured a 21st C bronze sculptor of female nudes, whose work I love!! Unfortunately, that artist was not there, but I had met him at another opening last year where I saw much more of his sculptures.

The crowd was eclectic, interesting, and some were bedecked in Halloween garb. A man began to talk to me, but he didn’t know the laws of social distance. He stood only 2 inches from my mouth. Knowing the laws of social distance is a must for anyone who goes out of the house. The rule is to stand about 15 inches from the person you’re speaking with. Anything closer gives the impression of intimacy. In the case of this dude talking to me, there was NO intimacy present there and there was not going to be any intimacy in the future. Perhaps he thought otherwise, and that’s why he stood so close. But my end of the conversation showed my body language as no. No. NO! Dude didn’t read me, so I moved on, mixed with others, and soon left. I felt like I needed a shower!

It was a gorgeous, warm October evening. I am so grateful to enrich myself whenever I can. Every experience I have and every person I meet expands me...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Open Letter to Mrs. Letterman

Dear Dave Letterman's Wife,

Plenty of people defend their mates no matter what. The Craigslist Murderer was described as an “all-American boy,” an innocent-looking blonde med student “with a GQ smile.” His fiancé hung in with him until the evidence was absolutely irrefutable. The fiancé of the alleged murderer of the Yale lab student stood by her man after other women blasted him with sexual harassment claims, and even after the murder indictment. She insisted, “He is definitely not the best judge of character but, he is a good guy.” Ted Bundy was engaged to a “beautiful fiancé who never suspected his murderous tendencies.” And the fictitious Dexter, on his own TV series, is now married with a child. His wife, too, has no idea.

The terrible truth is that your mate doesn’t have to be a murderer for you to be involved in emotionally barren love. When gorgeous Christie Brinkley was divorcing Peter Cook after 12 years of marriage, she admitted, “I really didn’t know him.” That’s also what South Carolina’s First Lady said about her husband after she discovered his love for the Argentine Tango. And now I wonder, during 23 years together, whether you, Dave Letterman’s girlfriend-turned-wife, ever acknowledged his emotional distancing.

Women don’t own the franchise on not knowing who their mate is. A male client emailed me, “I am divorced now. We dated for 7 years, and were married for one. I don’t know why, but she cheated on me. I still love her.” I asked, “What do you love about her??” He couldn’t answer; after all these years, he didn’t even know who she was!

My concern here is for the partners involved with and even married to mates they barely know. A client I counseled just told me her middle-aged, white-collar husband has joined a rock band, his excuse to be mauled each night by adoring groupies. I had counseled her earlier that he seemed to have one foot out the marital door. She did not want to hear me . . .

Even if you fear the answers you may get, ask the questions you need to know. If your honey is evasive, find out why. If your sweetie is closed down, penetrate the metal armor. If your relationship is derailing, discover the reason. With all my clients, I examine the kind of relationship they REALLY had—beyond their comfy rationalizations. I ask what payoffs they were REALLY getting. And why they continued to hang in when their gut warned them otherwise—as it always does.

Vow never to be caught off guard again! If you remove your rose-colored glasses NOW, you can set the template for future love that is truthful and transparent! Please believe that you deserve it!!!
Dr. Gilda Carle

XXX
DR. GILDA CARLE is an internationally-known relationship expert, author, professor, and Match.com columnist of ASK DR. GILDA, published on MSN.com. Her best-selling book, “Don’t Bet on the Prince!" has become a classic. Her latest E-Books are "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity" and "How to Win When Your Mate Cheats." Visit her at www.DrGilda.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

California Dreamin'

I just returned from LA. It was a beautiful trip, the weather was gorgeous, and I saw many wonderful friends I have missed. One of my most memorable experiences was spending time with Robert Spencer, partner for 65 years to the legendary Hollywood icon, Mr. Blackwell. “Spencer,” as his friends call him, ran the huge Blackwell fashion business. Now he is 88 years old, and in fairly good health. He is a relative to Princess Diana Spencer, and he has stories of when he and Blackwell visited the Royal Palace in London. What a gentleman he is! There are photos around their estate showing both men in their earlier days. How handsome, dapper, and opulent their surroundings! They had a splendid life together, a relationship from which we can all learn.

Spencer is saddened by the loss of his partner, as am I. It is now one year since Mr. Blackwell died. He was a supportive mentor to me. I remember once when I introduced him to two young women who said they wanted to produce me. He took me aside and said, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.” Blackwell had had his own TV spectacular for a number of years, and he knew the medium well. For sure, he was right, and I moved along to greener pastures. More recently, I told him about my latest TV show idea. He grasped it immediately, recognized the public’s need for it, and encouraged me to pursue it. That show is still in the works. Mr. Blackwell was no B.S.; he said everything as he saw it. Yet, few people knew what a wonderful marshmallow he was beyond his tough exterior.

While I was in LA, a friend visited me with a psychic by her side. She gave me a reading as a gift. He told me something sensational that 3 other psychics from all over the country had also been predicting. Do these people all belong to the same union?? I’ll let you know if and when that comes to pass. Very intriguing!!

It was grand going to Agape with another friend, as we always do on Sunday mornings. Michael Beckwith’s sermon struck some important chords in me that I will remember forever. And another darling friend and I had a glorious dinner where we planned a new and exciting business venture. I also met my agent for lunch, and had a few other lunches and dinners by the beach in magnificent Santa Monica. Breathtaking!

All in all, the reason I THOUGHT I was being called to LA turned out to be something entirely different. And doesn’t that really describe most of life? But I noted how I had grown. While meeting with a producer friend of mine, I was prepared to hand him a TV show treatment I had created. However, I sensed his negativity about the industry, so I changed my mind. These days, I avoid negatives even after I’ve worked hard to prepare an agenda of my own. This is a big step for me who is used to customarily barreling through my plans whether or not my listener is receptive. On this trip, I listened carefully to what people had to say, I was open to what I heard, whether I liked it or not, and I was not afraid to change my course.

I returned home to NY in a rested state of mind. But as a result of the insights I gained, my business partner and I are proceeding on a different path with our TV show. We both feel very good about the change. As I’ve learned from Robert, “Two roads diverged in a road, and I, I chose the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” I don’t yet know what that “difference” truly is. But one of the things the California psychic heard during my reading was a Frank Sinatra song, “The Best is Yet to Be.” I hope he’s right. I’ll let you know!


XXX
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (Ph.D.), is a media personality, a product spokesperson, has a private practice, and is an associate professor at Mercy College, in New York. Her best-selling books include "Don't Bet on the Prince!," "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity," and "How to Win When Your Mate Cheats." Please visit her at www.DrGilda.com

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"I Want Him to Be Monogamous"

When they started dating, she didn’t mind that he was seeing other women, but now she wants him to commit to her and her alone. Does she stand a chance?

Dear Dr. Gilda,
I have been in a nonmonogamous relationship with a man I met at the end of my marriage. I have not been with other men, but he let me know from the start that he was with other women. At the time, I didn’t care because I was not ready to be in another relationship.

This weekend at his house I found another woman’s clothes. I shut down immediately. He apologized and I asked how many other women he was sleeping with, and he said two. I asked how he ranked us in order from one to three. He said he didn’t think of it in that way, and he was offended that I asked.

He said he has never tried to flaunt the other women. That is true; when we are together, it is always about us.

I am having a hard time with this. I felt that we’d been getting so close during the past few months. We go away together, and our children know each other.

Everyone says I should bail out now! I feel lied to. He always told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship because he has a bad heart ailment. He was married for 10 years and felt he wasted a lot of time with his ex, and that all relationships require work. I have always made myself accessible to him, and now I feel so stupid!
—Ready for More

Dear Ready for More,
OK, exactly when did you become “Ready for More”? Not after your marital breakup. Not when you entered a nonmonogamous relationship with this man. Within the last few months when you sensed that you and Mr. Noncommittal were bonding, that’s when you became “ready for more.” But, honey, you bought the farm as it was. When you suddenly decide to change the mortgage agreement, how would you expect any guy to react?

All along, your boyfriend assumed that things were fine with you and his harem. But, as my Gilda-Gram says, “What you accept, you teach.” From the outset, you accepted the conditions of your affair and you (unwittingly) taught him that nonmonogamy was your choice, too. In actuality, you told him “Keep it coming!”

Unfortunately, you miscalculated that the two of you were “getting so close” during the last months. I have a concern about this: How “close” could you have been if you didn’t know what he was doing when he wasn’t with you?

You insecurely put yourself in a bad position by asking him to rate your importance when compared with the other women. Have you no pride?

You made yourself “accessible to him” even though you knew that he was not interested in anything long-term. Did you believe this would buy his affection and turn him around? Listen, Ready, you can’t buy love. If you give in order to get, resentment will only build over time — he would think he’s being had, and you would never get what you really wanted.

Here’s what I suggest you do now:
1. Decide what YOU really want from this player. He blames a heart condition for not wanting commitment, but his heart seems healthy enough to pump out his sexual gyrations! How does that work, exactly?

2. Reexamine your definition of a “close” relationship and amend your definition since it’s not what you thought this union would bring.
Assess whether this guy’s need to play the field is the attitude of someone you want to continue seeing.

3. Stop beating up on yourself for past vulnerabilities. You met the guy on the rebound — which is not a good time to begin dating. Thankfully, your dark cloud has now lifted!

Fortunately, you’ve grown and changed since the two of you met. Celebrate your progress. If this guy doesn’t fit with the person you are today, let him go without malice. You are now indeed “ready for more” — with someone else!

XXX
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (Ph.D.), is a media personality, a product spokesperson, has a private practice, and is an associate professor at Mercy College, in New York. Her best-selling books include "Don't Bet on the Prince!," "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity," and "How to Win When Your Mate Cheats." Please visit her at www.DrGilda.com

Saturday, September 5, 2009

ARE YOU ON RESERVE? Why He Wants Your Waiting in the Wings, and How You Can Take Your Power Back

HERE'S AN ARTICLE I DIDN'T WRITE, BUT IN WHICH I'M QUOTED. IT'S FUN! The author is Jordan Salvatoriello, from the Boston Singles Examiner. I enjoyed reading it and I hope you will, too.
Dr. Gilda


XXX
We’ve all had reservations. You raised an eyebrow when leg warmers made a comeback and when Crocs found their way into mainstream fashion. And we’ve all made them, like for patio seating on Newbury Street or that regrettable bikini wax. But what about when a romantic interest puts you “on reserve”? I am referring, of course, to the all too common, but very hush-hush social practice of keeping one potential mate waiting on hold, while actively pursuing the affections of another.

The Symptoms
The act of being placed “on reserve,” also referred to as “plan B," has been known to emotionally bench even the most sensible of bachelors, and can be spotted by its dizzying array of distasteful symptoms.

“If he never wants to make a definite date (‘would you like to go out Friday night?’) and just wants to come over to your house on the spur of the moment, if he doesn't make an effort to keep in touch and doesn't seem to think about the future, he's probably not really interested in you or in commitment,” said Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. (a.k.a. "Dr. Romance"), psychotherapist and author.

But, let’s be honest, you didn’t need a doctor to tell you that. So why is it that so many singles manage to keep someone waiting in the wings, and even more puzzling, why do so many smart and successful singles allow themselves to be second best? And if you are indeed his “Miss Right,” but not “Miss Right Now,” how do you get off that bench and get in the game?

The Methods Behind the Madness
Reason #1: Fear of commitment
With 30 being the new 20, your mother stopped nagging you to settle down and get married already. After all, this is the era of online dating, and with an endless array of options just a click away, it’s no wonder we feel no sense of urgency to commit to just one.

“Several men I dated in the past would tell me they found me attractive, had a lot of fun with me, but that I was the kind of woman to ‘take home to mom,’ and therefore could not get involved with me,” said M.B., a public relations executive. “The message is essentially: ‘I like you a lot and find you very attractive, but I am afraid of commitment, so instead of being with you, I am going to date some chick who I know I don't want to marry. She gets to go out and have fun with me, while you get to stay home and wonder what you might have done to make me not want to be with you.’”

Reason #2: Fear of being alone
“Singles who keep others ‘on reserve’ are terrified of being alone,” said Match.com’s resident advice columnist, Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., adding that repeat offenders sometimes feel a need for control, or perhaps come from meager beginnings and therefore want to safeguard a secure future. “And it’s not just men. I have a client who always has someone she calls a ‘plan B’ waiting around the corner, just in case her current steady boyfriend disappears. One of her secrets is that she never gets too close and maintains the mystery, so they continue to flock.”

OK, so maybe your crush has a few emotional insecurities. You get it and are ready to move on, except for the fact that he keeps calling or texting you without provocation and confusing your sensible brain. So, what’s with all of the mixed messages?

“A woman ‘on reserve’ is like the ‘safe zone’ in a game of tag,” said Christine Agro, a clairvoyant and spiritual teacher. “He knows he can always go there and feel safe, be nurtured and loved, and not have to give much in return, and can then venture out to explore a relationship with more challenges.”

Reason #3: Filling a void
This rationale takes a little from column A and a little from column B, where a romantic interest may be in a committed relationship, but isn’t feeling entirely fulfilled and is unable to emotionally jump in with both feet.

“My ‘plan B’ fills needs that aren’t necessarily being met in my current relationship,” said Nick, a marketing manager. “A ‘plan B’ provides that excitement and thrill of the hunt; that fun, sexual tension I crave, without my having to actually cheat.”

Don’t Rationalize Second Best
Sure, intermittent communications and the occasional cancelled plans seem like minor offenses compared to other dating atrocities you may have suffered (which is likely why so many singles get away with it for so long), but it is a much more self-destructive act than it may appear to be on the surface.

“Being willing to accept the ‘on reserve’ position says as much about her as it does about him,” said Agro. “A woman who accepts this position either thinks she can change him, or isn’t valuing herself.”

“There are some women who won’t mind being ‘on reserve,’ because they themselves aren’t ready to commit. But most women will make concessions emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually,” adds Agro. “They get so hooked into this person that they neglect their own desires, wants and needs.”

Getting Back in the Game
This might come as a surprise, but only you have the power to take yourself off reserve status. The experts agree: Don’t wait around, take control and get a life!

Tip #1: “Women need to ask themselves: ‘What is it that I want in a relationship?’ I can guarantee you, for most, it isn’t waiting in the wings,” said Agro. “If you are sitting and waiting for Mr. ‘Not Right Now,’ you will never meet the man you can truly have a meaningful relationship with.”

Tip #2: “Don't look for the surface stuff. Handsome is as handsome does,” said Tessina. “Find a guy with character, which you're more likely to find out if you are socially involved with him before you are personally involved with him.”

Tip #3: “Stop depending on a guy to come around,” said Carle. “Go out and find your own adventure. If ever you’ll have a chance with a guy, it’s when you are seriously in love with what you do.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hey, Guys: 7 Ways to Impress a Worthy Woman

Confused by single women? You're not alone. Here are some tips for making the ladies swoon.


Some years ago, women made The Rules their bible. It was a guidebook on how to manipulate men into marriage. Men felt duped, confused and used — and the con game set male-female relationships back. Today men are still perplexed about how to relate to women, and women are similarly confused when it comes to dealing with men. 



In her song “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” Paula Cole laments, “Where is my John Wayne? Where is my happy ending? Where have all the cowboys gone?” Most women fantasize about having an alpha dude — for protection, shelter and guidance. But there’s a drawback. In their attempt to provide the virility they think women want, tough guys have shelved their sensitivity — and have lost part of what it means to be alive. 



This nonspoken agreement is ironic: After she snags her tough guy, the woman who thought she wanted Rambo decides he’s really Dumbo — too distant and unwieldy to love. So she replaces Marlboro Man with Marshmallow Man, whom she believes it is her mission to mold. See, somewhere in her upbringing, she deduced that she’s the Relationship Police, and no man is complete until she “fixes” him. Unfortunately, her new and improved model soon loses his appeal because this guy has become a backbone-challenged jellyfish without spine or spurs. Now the woman complains he’s too soft! What a relationship mess! Who’s fooling whom?

Hollywood cowboys on camera are as fictitious as Cinderella and that monarch with the shoe fetish. Although my book title warns women, “Don’t Bet on the Prince!” my message hits too many hollow earrings. Women insist they need a gaucho to rescue them (from what, even they don’t know!), and men unwittingly play into this fractured feminine assumption. That’s because men want to feel needed. (Of course, this proves that, despite what women think, men truly do want love and are often willing to twist themselves into pretzels to get it.) In the end, nobody ends up with what he/she thought he/she wanted, and both genders feel angry and alone. Yet sadly, they continue their feckless efforts to pursue new partners in the same vein. Nothing changes. As my Gilda-Gram advises, “What you struggle to get, you struggle to keep.” And subterfuge is an impossible base for lasting love. 



But, ahhh, things may have begun to move onto healthier terrain. Tony Soprano started it by committing to therapy. Now some alpha men have been embracing their taskmaster toughness, while also acknowledging their compassion. For the first time, half the subscribers to my Instant Advice service on my site are now men. They are honest, real and raw, unabashedly displaying relationship pain, yet craving answers on how to make their love lives work.

So here’s the skinny from this female relationship expert. Gals may be uncertain about what they want from you guys, but there are definite behaviors to which women do respond. Try these on for size and see if your Relate-ability Quotient doesn’t rise. 



7 Rules for Relating to Women

You may not understand women (and many women admit they don’t understand themselves), but you can ask questions about a woman’s life and thereby compliment her by listening to her responses.



OUTCOME #1: Women’s egos are massaged when they feel noticed and desired. This is separate from trying to seduce them. Women want supportive love. If your woman doesn’t know how to give it, show her by example. 



OUTCOME #2: Your behavior, not your words, is a woman’s greatest teacher on how to return the love YOU want. Inconvenience yourself unconditionally, and deliver niceties that are totally unexpected. Share your feelings — and your fears — with your special lady. As my Gilda-Gram says, “Self-disclosure is symmetrical.” 



OUTCOME #3: Little by little, open up about your preferences and your goals. As you become more vulnerable, so will your honey. Openness and vulnerability bond a couple. Pursue activities that inspire you, whether or not she enjoys them. 



OUTCOME #4: Your expressions of delight and joy become contagious. Your woman will want to share your optimism. She may choose to join you in hobbies she originally rejected, or she may just bask in your enthusiasm when you return from them to her. The less confused you are in understanding your woman, the less manipulated you will be by her. 



OUTCOME #5: A man’s confusion makes a woman feel he’s weak, malleable and ripe for “fixing.” Demonstrate respect for your woman’s perspective, but remain committed to your own. She’ll show a new admiration for you. Don’t let a woman try to change anything about you with which you are content — unless you’re into dangerous or unhealthy acts. Display your strength by projecting who you are and let her know you’re happy as you are. 



OUTCOME #6: When you trumpet your persona, your woman will avoid her urge to renovate. She’ll also get turned on! (It follows the tenets of adolescent psychology, in which kids may lobby their parents for more freedom, but their parents’ saying no is interpreted as love. Go figure!) Communicate your expectation of support, respect and friendship. These must be your standards and your boundaries. 



OUTCOME #7: When you unwaveringly sustain your parameters, you announce your alpha strength. Ladies crave men who are persevering and resolute. They read these traits as sexy. The 1991 movie City Slickers depicted some big-city guys with midlife crises. To seek answers, they spent two weeks renewing themselves as cowboys out West. Through physical feats they never took on in the concrete jungle, the men discovered that strength does not negate sensitivity. In fact, they learned their masculinity was emboldened by their tenderness.



Honor your alpha, but maintain your truth. Steadfast, chivalrous men are very attractive — because a self-accepting guy knows he loses nothing by also being vulnerable. Plenty of women seek compassionate cowboys with spines AND spurs AND souls. Most of these men dwell far from home on the range!



Visit www.DrGilda.com for more information.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Price of "Lonely"

This morning, everyone at my gym was on edge. Just a few days ago, crazed gunman, George Sodini walked into a Pittsburgh-area gym and opened fire on an all-women exercise class. He killed three women and then himself. On YouTube, it was discovered that he had said, "It is easy for me to hide from my emotions for one more day -- take a drive in the car, listen to some music, daydream, or just do some mundane task around the house that really doesn’t have to be done, that's not too important, and there you go -- one more day. One more day turns into one more year." He wrote that he realized "how totally alone, a deeper word is isolated, I am from all else."

The psychological community doesn’t call "loneliness" a "disease." But it lingers long—and as you can see, it can have profound consequences. Reba McEntire’s song, “Once You’ve Learned to be Lonely” describes how it attaches and stays with someone: “It becomes your comfort zone, Once you’ve learned to be without someone, And settle for the silence of an empty room. Oh, it changes you. But once you’ve learned to be lonely, And lonely is the only thing you’ve known, It begins to feel like home.”

Please, everyone, let's not wait until someone goes berserk before we take note that s/he has evaporated from interacting! Anyone reading this who knows a person who has become emotionally isolated, please reach out to him/her NOW. Offer the comfort of your humanity. While we can’t change the outcome of the horror story at that gym, maybe we can prevent another disaster from occurring SOMEWHERE with SOMEONE ELSE!

________
Dr. Gilda Carle is a media personality, relationship educator, author, and Match.com's “Ask Dr. Gilda” columnist. Known as the "Country Music Doctor," she applies Country Music lyrics to help us optimize our lives.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

HAPPY 4TH!

Hi, All,
Have a great 233rd birthday of our nation! Enjoy a great and safe celebration. Finally, New York can boast NO RAIN--and Noah's Arc has sailed to another port.
Love,
Dr. Gilda

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yet Another Love Gov!!

What is this world coming to? Is "politician" synonymous with "cheater"?

New York's Eliot Spitzer had the temerity to differentiate himself from South Carolina's Mark Sanford, er, Sleezeford by saying his situation was different because he "didn't fall in love with any of" his concubines. Forgive me, but in my book, cheating is cheating whether you love or lust.

But I believe the best reaction came from the Love Gov's wife, Jenny. Recalling how her husband repeatedly asked permission to visit his lover in the months after she discovered his affair, she told him, "Absolutely not. It's one thing to forgive adultery; it's another thing to condone it." She also told reporters, "His career is not a concern of mine." He's going to have to worry about that. I'm worried about my family and the character of my children." She added that she would be fine, with or without her husband.

Way to go, Jenny Sanford! As my book title says, "Don't Bet on the Prince!" And she has not! It's so refreshing to see a lady who does not automatically stand by her cheating man, allowing herself to be trounced by him. What a role model she is for her 4 sons who now see that just because a man dishes out abuse and abandonment, not every woman has to take it! Way to go, Jenny Sanford!!

Anyway, how did Sleezeford get caught? Well, the woman he was cheating WITH, was cheating ON him with another guy. The other guy became jealous of her tryst with the Love Gov and blew the whistle. And it is said, "Beware a WOMAN scorned!!" Let's re-think that one!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Welcome to My New Website!!

Hi, Everyone,
I'm so excited to share my new website with you on www.DrGilda.com. We launched it on June 17th, and my horoscope for that day said it would be, "my happiest and luckiest day of the month." I feel happy and lucky already!! Share with me, connect with me, and let's all grow!
Kisses,
Dr. Gilda

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I'm Afraid to Love Again!

ASK DR. GILDA

A Match.com column, published on MSN.com

A woman wonders when she'll open her heart to finding someone new, now that she's divorced.

By
Dr. Gilda Carle (Ph.D.)

Dear Dr. Gilda,

I am still wounded from my divorce, and because of this I really am not ready for another committed relationship. I do not think I could ever trust so openly, give up my power and depend on anyone again. 

I love to go out and socialize, and I am the life of the party, but I love coming home to my own space without having to answer to anyone. I completed the self-assessments in your book Don’t Bet on the Prince!, and discovered that I don’t show people I’m still wounded because I am frightened that they will take advantage of this weakness and become predators. My responses surprised me — I thought my wounds were healing, now that I can talk about my feelings without a box of tissues. However, I feel like a block of ice, and I do not know how to melt. I need to work on this, but I am frightened. Will I ever be ready to love again? 

– Frozen Solid

Dear Frozen,

Healing is a process, and all processes take t-i-m-e. Also, the road to feel-good does not necessarily take a linear path. Sometimes we take confusing twists and turns to reach a destination we thought was closer. But the length of time and the goal achievement are secondary to the journey’s lessons necessary for our growth. 

You describe yourself as "still wounded" from your divorce. Good for you for recognizing your status for what it is! Why would you want to be "ready for another committed relationship" at this time? There’s no rush. You’ve been wisely probing your inner depths with the self-assessments in my book and you’ve derived insights you never had before. You thought you were further along based on your tissue count. But now you recognize you still have far to go. Appreciate how much progress you’ve already made! You now enjoy socializing while also honoring your alone time. That’s a healthful combination. Congratulations on accepting all of this!

If every divorced person did this kind of self-probing, there would be fewer second-marriage breakups. You may feel frozen solid, but you’re beginning to show signs of thawing. 

As you continue to heal, pay close attention to the following: You asked, "Will I ever be ready to love again?" That shows you have interest in melting that ice. You say, "I do not think I could ever trust so openly again, give up my power and depend on anyone again." Girl, you were not put on this earth to trust unconditionally, lose your power or be a dependent. Your next relationship will be a whole new ball game — and a better one, at that. You say, "I don’t show people I’m still wounded because I am frightened they will take advantage of this weakness and then become predators." You never want the word "wounded" on your sleeve. That’s a victim term, and victims invite persecution. You have picked up some mighty lessons on your road to healing. Understand this Gilda-Gram: "When pain happens TO you, it really happens FOR you." Appreciate how much wiser you are for the experience. Your New You will be reflected in your next partner choices.

XXX
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (www.DrGilda.com) has a private practice, and is a motivational speaker and associate professor of business, psychology, and communications at New York’s Mercy College. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince! How to Have the Man You Want by Betting On Yourself. Her E-Books are “How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats,” immediately downloadable at http://drgilda.com/ebook/WhenYourMateCheats.htm and "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity," downloadable at http://www.drgilda.com/ebook/99PrescriptionsforFidelity/

XXX

Among all the supportive e-mails I received for Frozen, one very crazy response caught my eye. Here it is:

Dear Dr. Gilda,
With all due respect, how in God's name did you NOT(?) pick-up on this from "Frozen Solid";

"I love to go out and socialize, and I am the life of the party, but I love coming home to my OWN space without having to answer to ANYONE". (?!?)

Frozen Solid is NOT ready, willing or able (at the time of this writing) to BE "married". How much more clear can it be that this person is so fully self-absorbed that a "committed relationship" (much less a marriage) is the LAST thing she wants, needs - or is at all capable of handling??

There were, once upon a time in this world, things called "commitment", and "TEAM-work". there is no "I" in team. This person is S-I-C-K.

You should really better "read" your writers.

Man in America
Washington DC

Dear Man,
Everyone should know how s/he feels about his/her readiness regarding commitment. There is no cookie-cutter approach to bonding. I suggest you re-evaluate how "S-I-C-K" you are for discriminating against those who may not feel as you do.
Dr. Gilda

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ask Dr. Gilda: Is He too Close to His Ex?

From Match.com, and reprinted from MSN.com

Her boyfriend still spends a lot of time with his ex-wife. Perfectly normal, or perfect cause for concern?

Dear Dr. Gilda,

I’m dating a guy who is still friends with his ex-wife. Their son is 30 and he has three kids. My boyfriend’s son and grandkids recently came to visit. My boyfriend took them to see his ex-wife, and he stayed the weekend in a hotel. Am I overreacting? I don’t know why he has to take them to see her, why he and his ex-wife have to travel together to see the grandkids or why she has to stay at his house whenever the son and grandkids come to visit. My boyfriend says his ex-wife was there for him and he won’t turn his back on her. He calls her his "friend for life." 

To what extent do I have to accept their relationship? They talk on the phone a lot. I feel like she is an ex for a reason, so why act like this? Please tell me how to handle it without sounding too jealous.

—At a Loss for Words 



Dear At a Loss,

It sounds like there are a lot of people competing for Boyfriend’s attention. He’s got his ex, their grown son and their son’s three children, who are their grandkids. All these people legitimately share a family and a history. Your complaint is that his family and history are intruding on your life with him. Yes, you already sound jealous! What is it that you really want? Would you like him to argue with his ex, storm out and never be in touch with her or his grandchildren again? Come on, get real! At the point at which someone has become a grandfather, he has already lived a life with many involvements. The fact that Boyfriend honors his commitments, even though he is no longer married to his ex, says a lot about his ethics. He obviously enjoys this family unit, and he can distinguish between a romantic involvement and a "friend for life" without blurring those boundaries. So why are you not feeling secure enough to see the glass as half full rather than half empty? Your jealousy may actually be revealing something you should work on: your own neediness in any relationship.

Do you have a career you’re passionate about? Do you have hobbies you look forward to? Do you have relatives yourself, or even exes as friends that you’d like to see on occasion? If you are feeling overly needy with Boyfriend, the best antidote would be to enrich your own life while he’s enriching his. The benefits of life enrichment would: Deepen your interests and make you a more exciting partner; create boundaries that would earn you respect; switch the focus from Boyfriend’s “faults” to your own happy experiences. You ask, "To what extent do I have to accept their relationship?” The answer is, “To the extent you want Boyfriend in your life." You are observing the family package that accompanies him wherever he goes. You can either accept it or look for someone without any ties. (But keep in mind, a guy without any ties might be much more into himself — which could also turn you off!) 



If you try to change Boyfriend, you’ll strike out. As my Gilda-Gram advises, "Accept, rather than expect." If you follow this guide, Boyfriend may elect to spend more time with you and less with his past. Or, he may invite you to join the whole clan during their family jaunts. 

Of course, there is always the possibility that Boyfriend enjoys seeing you steam over this triangle. Perhaps this is how he wants you to "prove" your commitment to him. If this is the case, you two need to have a truthful discussion. 

The future of this romance is in your hands. Unless you date someone who has just been hatched, the person you find will be encumbered by something or someone: a big mortgage, payments to an ex, elderly parents, a sick sibling or whiny kids. Would you expect a guy to dump his involvements just to be with you? Before you try to empty someone’s baggage, you must clear out your own. 



XXX
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (www.DrGilda.com) has a private practice, and is a motivational speaker and associate professor of business, psychology, and communications at New York’s Mercy College. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince! How to Have the Man You Want by Betting On Yourself. Her E-Books are “How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats,” immediately downloadable at http://drgilda.com/ebook/WhenYourMateCheats.htm and "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity," downloadable at http://www.drgilda.com/ebook/99PrescriptionsforFidelity/

XXX
I received hundreds of e-mails from my loyal readers regarding this topic. Below are just a few of them:
RESPONSES FROM READERS

Hello Dr. Gilda,
This is in response to "At a Loss for Words," the woman whose boyfriend had a questionable relationship with his ex-wife. I feel as though her concerns were legitimate. She did not write that she was against him having a relationship with his son and his children. The real concern was the husband taking the son and children to see his ex, which poses an interesting question: Why can't his son take his own kids to see his own mother? I don't understand why he boyfriend has to be the facilitator, being that his son is 30 years old for crying out loud. You mention that they are a "family unit." If this is so, why are they divorced? It sounds to me like the boyfriend wishes he still had a relationship with the ex-wife and is going out of his way to prove himself. I also do not understand why the boyfriend and the ex-wife travel together to see the grandchildren. What commitment is he proving by doing this? Why hasn't he invited his girlfriend on any of the trips? This man is longing for the "family unit " he no longer has and this should be acknowledged.

Perhaps there is not enough information in the letter to really make a determination, but unless the ex-wife is disabled or terminally ill, I am at a loss for words as well.
Hmmmm...

Hi, Hmmm…,
Perhaps the questions you raise are answered in the next e-mail below.
Dr. Gilda

XXX
Dear Dr. Gilda,
I just read your response to the woman who felt her boyfriend was too close to his ex-wife. I think that relationship may be becoming more common.

I had a friend a few years ago who had an unusual relationship with his ex-wife. They had married really young and had one child. Eventually they decided that the marriage was not working and called it quits. Within a few years, they had both remarried and shared custody of their son.

They lived in the same town. All four of the adults involved went on joint vacations so they could double their time with the child involved. They became best friends and took care of each other in the later part of their lives. The grandchildren called them all some version of grandma and grandpa.

My friend told me that he had been best friends with his ex-wife before they had gotten married but had felt pressured to marry. They soon discovered that they were better friends than lovers, so they went back to being best friends.

I thought it was an amazing relationship that only enriched their child’s life and his children’s lives.
Helen

XXX
Hi Dr Gilda,
I am married for 2 years and must say that my husband is a wonderful person who is very caring, loving and co-operative. However the only thing I don’t like about him and is the only cause of spats between us is his parents and brother. The parents are still back home and the engaged brother shares the apartment with us. My husband is a mama's boy and can’t make any of his decisions without asking her. She is very much of a politician type lady who would guide his moves in a way it suits her. Also, whenever there is any kind of situation where I have a different opinion from them, my husband always goes with his brother or mother and would never support me so that the family doesn’t feel hurt (even if he knows they are wrong and I am right).

I feel disgusted and unhappy about my husband’s behavior. I have told him a couple of times to do justice and go with the one whoever is right (not me or them) but he always sides with them. I feel rejected and not cared for and don’t know how to tackle and resolve this. Please help!
Cynthia

Dear Cynthia,
Clearly, there are too many people in your marriage. Let your “wonderful person” hubby know your true feelings. It’s not fair to the relationship to leave him in the dark about how you’re feeling. When he has all the information, perhaps he’ll finally grow up to be a husband instead of a “mama’s boy.” If not, I’m afraid you’ll have to continue to let him know what your expectations of a husband are. Obviously, he is currently clueless. But you’re feeding the problem by remaining silent.
Dr. Gilda

XXX
Dr. Gilda,
I read your article on, "Is He too Close to his Ex?” I got to tell you that I was not happy with your advice at all. I don't know if you are divorced or what your story is but I happen to agree with the writer of the question.

First of all, there is a reason why the divorce took place - what was it?

Second of all, why is the father taking his 30-year-old to visit the ex-wife (the mother of the son)? Isn't the 30-year-old son capable of driving himself without getting everyone involved, including the new girlfriend? If family and staying together was so important to this father, why get a divorce?

Thirdly, if the exes are so tight and are friends, why in the world are they dating other people? When other people are brought into the picture, there are opinions which are just as important as the opinions of the original family.

You told the writer to get real - why don't you get real!!!! Family dynamics change when divorce takes place and when remarriage takes place the definition of "family" changes as well. Everyone has a role to fill but that doesn't mean they should all "hang" out together as family. Someone screwed the first family up and it isn't the newcomer after the divorce. There should be consequences to divorce. You should not be allowed to divorce, have a relationship with another individual, and still hang out with the ex family. That is completely dysfunctional and abnormal. There is a reason why they are called the exes!!!

Maybe this new person shouldn't haven't got, involved but at the same time, when exes are involved in new relationships of their ex-spouse lives, hell is going to break loose eventually. This new girlfriend has a right to be jealous and worried about sparks flying between the exes with visits and phone conversations. The reason they do this is for their kids is bogus and stupid.

The new girlfriend has the right to feel insecure and maybe she should get out of the relationship because it sounds like her significant other is not finished with business regarding his ex-wife. But your advice to her was unacceptable and did not sound like someone who had any experience in this arena of life.
Michelle

Hi, Michelle,
This IS truly a different world with so many step-families interacting. The rules of the past are no longer the way things are today. It surely takes a strong mate to include her partner’s ex in their festivities. Like Helen, above, I have a friend who invites her husband’s ex and all their grown children to holiday celebrations. And my friend gives this woman advice as to how to find a second loving husband! This sure ain’t the good old days as many of us have known them!
Dr. Gilda

XXX
Dr. Gilda,
I have only one question for you. Are you nuts????!!!! This guy is absolutely too close to his ex. His grown son who is 30 does not need him to take him to visit his mother. The boyfriend does that because he wants and chooses to. If he is choosing to spend that much time with his ex, then he is still way too committed to a past relationship. Yes, they share children, but come on. This woman has every right to be wary and put off by his behavior.

She is the woman in his life now, not his ex, and he should act like it. Letting the ex stay at his home when the grandkids come to visit is way above and beyond the call of duty to an ex, and he should realize that it would make his girlfriend uncomfortable. Besides, it doesn't sound like he's asking the girlfriend to stay there so that she knows everything is above board and has no questions in her mind.

You mentioned that he should not be expected to give up his commitments and obligations for his new relationship, but other than possible alimony, he has no obligations to his ex. His present girlfriend has every right to expect less involvement with the ex and more involvement with her. If you ask me, it sounds like this man is having his cake, and eating it, too. If I were his girlfriend, I would not have had to write to you. I simply would have kicked him to the curb ages ago. Sorry, Dr. Gilda, but you got this one totally wrong.
A Strong Woman

Dear Strong Woman,
The real test of emotional strength is to let bygones be bygones. Some GF’s can and some can’t. The same goes for BF’s. Many men come to me raging that their GF’s and wives are still friendly with their exes with whom they have kids. In my mind, there’s a difference between being “friendly towards” and “friends with.” For the sake of the kids, parents who are civil to each other provide healthier role models. Of course, if there are no children, and if a current mate has reason to believe there’s more than meets the eye, a confrontation is in order! It is true that some people can’t let go of their past. If THAT is the case, it’s better to find a mate who’s living in the present.
Dr. Gilda

XXX

Dear readers, DONT FORGET ABOUT US KIDS. Dr Gilda is right i come from a family like this. My mom and dad got divorced when i was young. I am so glad that they are still friends for life. Yes I understand that they will never be together again. He has a new girl friend in his life and i know she feels this way to but we care for her as part of our family. She does not see it, she only sees my dad talking to my mom as a plot to get back together. As if they are going to get back together again LOL I don't think so. Get over it girls we too need our families to work for us and for you. I am sure you would be welcome into our families if you just stop the crap and live as part of the situation. Remember our dads had a past and we are part of it. So if you girls and i say girls for you are not women when you act like this would just STOP and step back you might find out that you are part of something that could be great. You are getting an instant family. Remember that sometimes family is not your blood but it could be thicker, bigger and better if you just hang on and trust your new partner. Remember we grow up and move on and you stay and live happily ever after with our dads. So thank you DOC for telling the women(Girls) of today to get real and think of the whole situation for we all need to work together.

17 year old Daughter of a divorced Dad

Dear 17-year-Old Daughter,
I LOVE hearing from our youth! You guys are in the front lines of fire when divorce occurs. You will appreciate your parents' civility more and more as you get older. Thank you for sharing your feelings!!
Love,
Dr. Gilda

XXX
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (www.DrGilda.com) has a private practice, and is a motivational speaker and associate professor of business, psychology, and communications at New York’s Mercy College. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince! How to Have the Man You Want by Betting On Yourself. Her E-Books are “How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats,” immediately downloadable at http://drgilda.com/ebook/WhenYourMateCheats.htm and "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity," downloadable at http://www.drgilda.com/ebook/99PrescriptionsforFidelity/

Monday, April 20, 2009

Economic Woes Affect Infidelity

Where do passions go during economic hardship? The University of Montreal found that 40% – 70% of mates cheat, making infidelity the NEW RELATIONSHIP NORM!! The New York Times reported that wealthy men who lost fortunes worry their wives will leave. An Australian study found that women enjoy less orgasms with poor men. And wild male chimps that don’t offer meat for sex score fewer copulations!

As you know, I counsel people in need of relationship advice, among them, the betrayed and their betrayers. Recently, I observed a correlation between the horrible economy and the number of betrayal stories I was being called to mediate. Since this is a GLOBAL economic meltdown, I was hearing the same sad stories from clients around the world, in Asia, Europe, the Americas, New Zealand, Africa, and more . . .

So I wrote 99 PRESCRIPTIONS FOR FIDELITY – Your Rx for Trust, as a CHEAT PREVENTION AND CURE REMEDY. It’s for tough times -- DURING dating, BEFORE marriage, AS romance blossoms, WHEN love becomes committed, WHILE a relationship is being rekindled, and even AFTER a betrayal. The book applies 99 of my Gilda-Grams as daily prescriptions to block and heal infidelity. With help, 65% of cheating mates remain together and actually thrive!!


CLICK HERE for information

DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship expert, media personality, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist, published on MSN.com, and a motivational speaker, a professor of business, psychology & communications, and the author of "Don't Bet on the Prince!" (a test question on "Jeopardy!"), "Teen Talk with Dr. Gilda," and "He's Not All That!" Her e-Books are “How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats,” (winner of a literary award from The London Book Festival): http://drgilda.com/ebook/WhenYourMateCheats.htm, and “99 Prescriptions for Fidelity: Your Rx for Trust.” DR. GILDA was the therapist in HBO's Emmy Award winner, "Telling Nicholas," featured on Oprah, where she guided a family to tell their 7-year-old that his mom died in the World Trade Center bombing. See www.DrGilda.com