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Monday, January 10, 2011

HOW MUCH DO YOU BABBLE ABOUT YOUR EX?

How Much Do You Babble about Your Ex?


By


DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.)


After a financially ruinous divorce, one man can’t stop babbling about his unfaithful ex-wife. The goal must be to let go of bitterness and move forward in strength.


Courtesy of
Match.com’s “ASK DR. GILDA” column, Happen Magazine 


http://www.happenmag.com/magazine/index.aspx?lid=396



Dear Dr. Gilda,

My ex-wife started investing in crazy schemes without discussing them with me, and we landed in huge debt. The money was one thing, but I was furious that she disrespected me by making financial decisions alone. Our stress snowballed into her leaving her job, doing nothing around the house, going out with her friends every night, having an affair, and giving her boyfriend thousands of dollars of our remaining money. Now that I’m single again, I want to know whether I’m having a self-esteem meltdown, or just going through the regular grieving process. On dates, all I do is talk about my ex.

Ready to Move On


Dear Ready,

Your feelings are understandable, although let’s agree that they’re doing you no good. You’re in a rage — as are many people suffering the fallout from a divorce. Apply this Gilda-Gram to bring perspective into your world: “Anyone living and breathing will occasionally be betrayed.” Sometimes betrayal takes the form of being unfairly fired from a job. Other times, your back betrays you by going out of alignment (and, of course, it’s right before a hot date!). Still other times, the person you love, depend on, and vowed to spend your life with runs off with someone else. No matter what its form, betrayal hurts, and it hurts badly!


But your ex’s actions will not cause you to deteriorate — unless you allow them to affect you. Either you can feel sorry for yourself and become the perpetual victim, or you can decide to become the victor, anticipating a glimmering lining for your current dark cloud. Continuing to talk about your ex is evidence that you’re playing the victim. Note the victim’s rallying cry: “Life sucks!” In (brighter) contrast, victors believe: “My ex didn’t betray me; she freed me for a better life.” So, Ready, are you a victor or a victim?



Of course you’re having a self-esteem meltdown right now. When someone turns on us, unenlightened people unwittingly ask themselves, “What did I do wrong?” They accept all the blame and take the betrayal personally. Does this feel like familiar ground? If so, let’s enlighten you!



Betrayal has less to do with the betrayed than it does with the betrayer. For example, your wife’s secret investments were her way of scrambling for independence, obviously thinking she had little choice. Her feelings of insignificance were her issues, not yours. She even thought she needed to “buy” a boyfriend! That’s pitiful, and the hallmark of gross insecurity. The major thing you can fault yourself for is not having perceived her self-destructive flaws earlier. But don’t fret; every life path can be rerouted.



This is what I suggest you do next:



1. Get counseling. Recent research shows that people don’t necessarily need the kind of extensive and expensive therapy they sought in the past. More therapists seem to be taking my lead and instituting the kind of phone and online advice counseling options I have set up on my website. Find such a therapist who can quickly get to the heart of your issue, so you can just as quickly enjoy your life.



2. You signed off as “Ready to Move On,” but I’m not sure you are.
Test your readiness by listing how often you act out the role of victim or victor in your life.



3. By all means, allow yourself time to grieve the loss of what you had.
Self-esteem meltdowns and grieving are part of divorce recovery, and they need to be respected and experienced as part of the process.



There’s no hurry to move on until you know for sure you’re
truly “Ready.” Become kinder to yourself than your ex was to you, and demonstrate self-care without apology. Then you can savor the partners you attract who reinforce your good feelings about who you’ve finally become!
Love,

Dr. Gilda


XXX

DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist. She is also known as the Country Music Doctor, with her “Country Cures.” She is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology & communications, the author of the well-known “Don’t Bet on the Prince!,” a test question on “Jeopardy,” AND NOW IN ITS SECOND EDITION, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, How to Win When Your Mate Cheats, and many more. She 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. She is currently developing her own TV show. Visit www.DrGilda.com and get her Instant Advice!

Monday, January 3, 2011

7 LOVE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2011

7 Love Resolutions for 2011


By



DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.)



Did you make too many bad judgments in regard to love last year? This time around, let’s remember never to repeat those same stupid mistakes again. Begin your New Year with this Gilda-Gram: “May my NEXT mistakes be NEW mistakes.” Here are seven vows that promise to make every screw-up a fresh one from which you’ll be able to grow and evolve.



1. I will know my honey’s anger threshold BEFORE I give in to the urge to merge our lives together.
Melody and Joseph enjoyed walk-into-walls lust. Like many couples, they didn’t think to differentiate between simple carnal craving and building a relationship with a solid shelf life. So after a year of inseparable passion, they married. But shortly thereafter, Joseph lost his job. He was frustrated, miserable, and very nasty to Melody. His new wife didn’t recognize this angry monster.
Where was their lust now?
Gilda-Gram: “Before commitment, determine how your mate copes with crisis.”



2. I will assess my darling’s fidelity quotient as soon as we meet.
Thomas and Carol were dating exclusively for a year when he met her new friend, Rose. Although aware of Rose’s infidelity to her boyfriend of two years, Thomas chose to ignore it and said nothing to Carol. Carol began hanging out with Rose more. One night, Thomas ran into Carol and Rose out on the town. He was shocked to see that
his honey was mirroring Rose’s flirtatious moves with strange men.
Gilda-Gram: “Birds of a feather cheat together.”



3. I will confront my sweetie directly about our issues instead of reporting them all to my girlfriends, which only creates a love triangle.
Unwittingly, my friend, Clara, sustained one of my arguments with “Studly” longer than it should have lasted. For five months, she compassionately listened to me rant about his intransigent position on one topic. But whenever Studs and I reconvened, the wind was already out of my sails, and he never even knew I was upset. Then Clara moved away — and probably just in the knick of time. Without her, I was left to confront my man directly. Our dispute immediately came to a head and we finally cleared the air together.
Gilda-Gram: “A relationship’s triangulation can cause its strangulation.”



4. I will appraise early on how my honey’s parents, relatives and friends relate.
Our role models come from the couples we first observe. Mary’s parents were loving, respectful and considerate. In contrast, her fiancé Ben had folks who were argumentative and icy. When Mary showered Ben with the kind of affection with which she was raised, he acted dismissive toward her and she felt crushed. During one of our sessions, I suggested she either accept Ben’s behavior or convince him of the mutual benefits of tenderness. She tried to do the latter, but Ben rebuffed her again. Mary then terminated the engagement in order to avoid a permanent state of “wedded diss.”
Gilda-Gram: “What you work hard to get, you’ll work hard to keep.”



5. I will look for the positives in scandalous tabloid relationships.
Reading the news about the relationships of our celebs and politicians could leave a person permanently scarred. One politico with a sordid reputation as a lothario remains married to his humiliated wife. But as a politician herself, she looks for his defense whenever someone sullies
her name! My negative take: Yuck to this arrangement that accepts cheating for political payoffs. My positive take: In some relationships, loyalty and other factors can trump my view of traditional romance. I can only control MY standards; if a promiscuous pooch sniffed ME, I’d sound the whistle that only dogs can hear!
Gilda-Gram: “Love assumes different faces, but the only one that counts is the one with which YOU choose to live.”



6. I will assess my mate’s happiness with his or her job and career.
Mark corresponded online with a seemingly adorable lady. When they shared their interests, she said she was in advertising, but she hated it, wanted to get out and was generally miserable. Mark concluded that a solid partner for him would enjoy who she is and what she does. Beyond this cutie’s compelling photo, Mark was in search of happier prospects.
Gilda-Gram: “People who love themselves and what they do professionally have a greater capacity to love someone else.”



7. I will note whether my honey follows through on promises.
Upon meeting Mr. Political Writer, I saw that he was besotted with me. He swooned, “I want to read everything you’ve ever written.” That was a tall order, but I thought, “Wow, Political Writer wants to know the real me.” So I gathered some of my published books and columns. But the next time we met, he had totally forgotten his interest in my work. When I tried to show him what HE had requested, he brushed aside my writing and bragged about his own. That was the last time I chose to see him. For me, inconsistent affection is a deal-breaker.
Gilda-Gram: “Overpromising but under-performing demonstrates either bad memory or superficiality. Bad memory is too feeble, and superficiality is too shallow.”



Now, write your love goals on an empty page and resolve to stick to them. Then vow to make this your
best year ever! Imagine that your next 12 months are physically breathing on that page. Are you willing to do what it takes to bring each one to life? Go get ‘em, tiger!

XXX

DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist published on MSN.com. She is also known as the Country Music Doctor, with her “Country Cures.” She is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology & communications, the author of the well-known “Don’t Bet on the Prince!,” a test question on “Jeopardy, AND NOW IN ITS SECOND EDITION,99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, How to Win When Your Mate Cheats, and many more. She 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. She is currently developing her own TV show. Visit www.DrGilda.com and get her Instant Advice!