Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Do I Get Him To Propose?


*Original Content By Dr. Gilda Carle

Q.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for nine years, and we’ve been living together for three. Although we feel as though we’re married, I want to make it official. Recently, a relative offered to give my boyfriend my grandma's wedding rings. I'm not supposed to know, but he has accepted them. It has been a month since then and it is driving me crazy that he hasn't proposed. He knows I do want to be married someday, and I'm beginning to lose patience. Is there anything I can do or say to get him to propose?

—Wanna-Be Bride

A.

Dear Wanna-Be Bride,

Your boyfriend accepted rings he did not choose. He accepted your relative’s lobbying for your marriage. After 12 years together, if not for the ring offer, your guy might have sustained your single status indefinitely. So it appears obvious why he hasn’t gotten down on one knee yet. Girlfriend, he needs to feel he still has control over the future everyone else is planning for him!

Stop your self-indulgent demands, and consider his needs. Appreciate that he accepted the rings and does intend to marry you—but know that he’s going to follow HIS timetable.  If you push your own agenda, you’ll resemble a bridezilla he may want to flee.

—Dr. Gilda

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Friday, September 8, 2017

How Do I Make My Children Comfortable With My Dating Life?

*Original Content by Dr. Gilda Carle
Q.
I'm a 45-year-old woman who has been divorced for less than a year. About six months ago, I reconnected with a friend I've known for 30 years. We hit it off and began a relationship. However, he lives 1,000 miles from me. We see each other occasionally, but talk all the time and have developed a strong bond. Recently, he and his two teenage children came to stay the weekend at my house with my teenagers. We had a great time and I thought everyone got along great.
Then I got a text from my ex-husband, with whom I have a very cordial relationship, and with whom I share residential custody. He said my daughter felt weird having the company. She denies it and relayed the conversation to me in which she claims he asked her the leading question, "Weren't you uncomfortable?" How can I tell if it really is my daughter who was uncomfortable, or if it is my ex that is, and what do I do about either problem? I don't feel I did anything inappropriate, no one shared my bedroom, but this is already upsetting the delicate post-divorce balance.
—Divorced with Children
A.
Dear Divorced with Children,
This is a new status for all of you, so while navigating “the delicate post-divorce balance,” consider this Gilda-Gram®: 

Here are the facts:
- Kids try to make both divorced parents happy, and may inadvertently feel they’re in the middle of a tug of war.

- Melancholy naturally strikes exes when a former spouse begins dating. There’s the reality of “We can’t go back to what it is,” expressed so well in the Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert duet, “We Were Us.”

- Romance should be kept out of view of kids—until a relationship becomes permanent.
Of course, you don’t want to make your daughter “uncomfortable.” But you need not detail your love life either. Asking her to level with you about her feelings will cement your mother/daughter bond.
—Dr. Gilda  
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Help! My Ex-Wife And New Wife Don't Get Along


*Original Content by Dr. Gilda Carle

Q.

I am a 41-year-old man who has been married to my second wife for two months. I have been divorced for over two years from my first wife and am having problems with my new wife. She thinks I am not making her the priority in my life. She feels run over when it comes to my first wife, especially when dealing with my two children from my first marriage. I have a 12-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy. My first wife can be very manipulative. Knowing that has caused some strife, but nothing we both weren't aware of before we got married. My wife is mother of two, and our children mix well together. I guess I try to avoid conflict with the ex, which probably doesn't help with my new wife. I just want all parties to get along as best we can, but that seems not likely anytime soon. My wife has been divorced for over seven years and her son lives with his father five hours away. My ex lives five minutes away, and so we deal with my ex on a daily basis because of my kids. Any advice is welcome.

—Husband in the Middle

A.

Dear Husband,

After only two months, you admit you both knew the issues “before we got married.” Did you think marriage would change things? Your problem is exactly what you sheepishly admit: “I guess I try to avoid conflict with the ex, which probably doesn't help with my new wife.” Dude, when a woman marries a man, she expects that he’ll protect her. If she “feels run over” by wife number one, she’ll feel run over by a lackluster you. Here’s what to do:

1) You’re not Switzerland, so stop your “peace at any price” fantasy.

2) Start taking an obvious stand on your new wife’s side.

3) Refuse your first wife’s manipulations.

Unless you alter the behaviors that remain from your first marriage, you’ll just be repeating the same steps in a different ballroom.

—Dr. Gilda

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Do You Believe The Adage of "Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater"?



**Original Content by Dr. Gilda Carle**

Do you believe the adage of "once a cheater, always a cheater"? I instead believe the answer lies in the motivation and character of the cheater in question.

People only take one second to determine whether they find someone sexually attractive. Then in only three minutes, they decide whether they want to see that person again. That's how quickly we decide if a prospective mate should be in our life -- for better or for worse, and usually, when it happens that quickly, it's for worse. Over and out!

For example, my client, Marilyn, quickly concluded that the man she had just met was The One. But as she got to know Lothario, she soon discovered that he remained in touch with all his ex-wives, ex-fiancés and ex-girlfriends. And this dude's harem appeared to be very crowded, since he had been married to four different women -- and engaged eight times. Lothario told Marilyn that all these women were now "just friends." I told her that I concur with the When Harry Met Sally school of thought when it comes to exes: the sexual tension between our plugs and outlets makes platonic gender friendship nearly impossible.

Lothario admitted that all his marriages ended because of his infidelity. However, he insisted that with Marilyn things would be different because she was different. How many times have I heard that? Marilyn asked me if a cheater could change.

Does a leopard change its spots? Well, in a perfect animal kingdom, if a leopard COULD change its spots, perhaps it would prefer to trade its traditional spots for stripes or something more fashionable. But NO PRODDING FROM ANOTHER ANIMAL would initiate this change if the leopard were happy living its usual leopard life, spots included.

Did Marilyn's boyfriend WANT to change his cheating ways? Why would he? From the looks of it, he'd been deliriously happy "staying with friends" all around town. But, to be fair, even if he did want to turn over a new bedspread, how could Marilyn trust him to become faithful after a history of total dishonesty? Marilyn heard me, but still hoped her promiscuous alley cat would become a devoted house pussy. I told her this would be a stretch for him, and she should adjust her expectations accordingly.

There are two schools of thought on whether a cheater can change; some believe that once an infidel crosses the line, the protective seal on the bottle of Love Potion #9 is irreparably broken. Others feel that just because someone cheated in one relationship, it doesn't mean that person will cheat in all relationships. So, where did that leave Marilyn's beau, who historically cheated in every relationship? While it was flattering for Lothario to tell Marilyn she was "different" from the pack, how reliable could his disavowals be?

I asked Marilyn to ponder these two questions to guide her in her pursuit of this potentially reckless love:

(1) Do you perceive your future with Lothario as a courtship or a battleship? (Tiger Woods' ex-wife might help you answer that!) As you may know, I'm called "The Country Music Doctor." A favorite song of mine is Miranda Lambert's "White Liar." Dressed in her bridal gown and already in front of the minister, she's about to wed her cheating fiancé. But right before Miranda utters "I do," she drops the bomb that not only does she know about his dalliances, but she's had a few of her own. This is pure revenge, country music style. Then the former bride-to-be smugly walks off with her lover, leaving her almost-husband in the dust. This song allows listeners to safely play that "gotcha" game by proxy, clearly only a vicarious thrill. I asked Marilyn if she liked the idea of always having to scope out Lothario when she's not available to babysit him. Also, would she want to expend her energies concocting complex "gotcha" maneuvers as payback for his potential bad behavior?

(2) If Lothario did promise to change, would Marilyn trust him to keep his body parts to himself in the future?  There are always opportunities to cheat. I name serial cheaters "cheataholics" because they are rarely motivated by sex alone. Some are obsessed with the thrill of the chase. Some look to forever polish a poor self-image or mirror the role models they've seen all their lives. Others cheat because they believe they can get away with it. The worst are some combination of the above. I asked Marilyn if she knew Lothario well enough to size up his true motivations. Did she know what incentive he might have -- besides winning her devotion -- to permanently change his ways? Marilyn being "different" was not a good enough ploy; everyone is different at first blush.

I instructed Marilyn to level with Lothario. As my Gilda-Gram says,


Instead, Marilyn chose to hide her concerns, hoping Lothario would arrive at an epiphany in time! Don't hold your breath, honey.

Robert was another one who held back from discussing his disintegrating marriage with his wife. He told me, "I know she is cheating! Last month she said she didn't love me anymore and she wanted a divorce. After five years of marriage, this hurt so much. I guess she no longer finds me sexy." While Robert blamed his spouse's infidelity on his diminished sex appeal, the truth was that this couple never faced what was really happening in their relationship. Cheating is often a cop-out coping mechanism people misguidedly use to distract from deeper issues.

I have worked with hundreds of couples, married and single, with cheating issues. I wrote How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats (Coming Soon To Amazon Kindle) to help couples restore their love after an affair. The book shows evidence that unless two unhappy people readily admit they have a problem and are willing to work on it together, it will only get worse.

Could Marilyn's relationship go forward? I told her I didn't know how. She's now married to a terrific guy who bears no resemblance to Lothario in his words and deeds. She trusts him and enjoys peace of mind in their relationship. While Marilyn wasn't happy with my advice about Lothario, she can't stop thanking me now that she's chosen someone else!


– Dr. Gilda

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

He Says He Loves Me, But Are We Just Hooking Up?

Q.

The guy that I have been talking to on and off for a year doesn't want a relationship with me. Why?! We started talking over a year ago and we hook up fairly often. He has even told me that he is in love with me, which is something I never expected from him. He doesn't like to talk about his feelings or what's going on in his head. We have been out on one real date and he would rather spend time with his friends on the weekends than with me. I only see him after 10 at night, and only if I go to his house. He gets super jealous at the thought of me talking to other guys, and I don't think he is talking to anyone else either. He has always been honest with me. He just says it's not the right time for us to be together right now. Am I wasting my time?

 —Frustrated

A.

Dear Frustrated,

You ought to change your signature to “Booty Call” –because that’s all you are to this player. To keep you coming around, he’ll tell you he is “in love” with you, and say he’s “super jealous.” Girlfriend, the only thing you can believe is dude’s actions. And they’ve already proven that he prefers spending time with his homies to being with you! The excuse that it’s “not the right time” for the two of you to be together is bogus! It explains that the “right time” is only after 10 p.m. at his place, so there’s no disruption in lothario’s routine. Learn this Gilda-Gram®: “Assess love by the level of inconvenience someone endures for you.”


Honey, a ready erection in the middle of the night is hardly a love connection!

—Dr. Gilda

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