Gold Digger

Gold Digger. I’m not talking about gold diggers from the California Gold Rush. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase commented upon some women, men, too, but this article is focusing on women, “she’s a gold digger,” a person whose romantic pursuit of, relationship with, or marriage to a wealthy person is primarily or solely motivated by a desire for money. I find this phrase insulting when the woman in question happens to have her own resources. Meaning she makes a good living for herself. In my opinion, this phrase isn’t so reactive from men as it is for women. I believe men who say this about their women do so to place their insecure selves in a “one up” position. I also believe if a woman is with a man who continues to position himself in a “one up” position should carefully examine why she’s with him to begin with. But to say she’s a gold digger is surpassing any boundaries of good intent. And when confronted with this derogatory term, if any behavior exercised other than remorse and regret, I wouldn’t waste any time defending this form of domestic violence.

Materialistic Woman and Gold Digger Lady Concept

Abuse isn’t always physical. Domestic violence aka Intimate Partner violence has been widely known to include physical, emotional and sexual. Whatever form of abuse often follows an escalating pattern where the controlling behaviors worsen over time. What’s scary is the abusive partner may use oppression systems already set in our society to assert their bad behavior against the other person. These perpetrators of domestic violence are highly intelligent individuals who scare their victims into situations that are highly conflictual and dangerous resulting in Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD), a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. As domestic violence is ongoing and tends to escalate PTSD is what keeps victims in this toxic cycle. No one wants to remain in an abusive relationship. Victims feel shame and a sense of helplessness because they stay in a situation they know is beyond bad.

Teasing name calling or “put downs” also place a women in a “one down” position. When being criticized for what you say or do is also abuse. Having to live in the perpetrator’s reality is also abuse as their reality is typically that of “one up” and “one down.” Common sense would dictate leaving such a relationship but again due to the subtle and ongoing trauma that keeps you in a “one down” position PTSD keeps them stuck in the cycle of abuse. I work with highly intelligent well read women who hold post doctorate degrees who are absolutely disappointed with their lack of being able to leave these toxic relationships.

In Alyce LaViolette’s bestseller, “It Could Happen To Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay” states just that. All women not matter race, age, socio-economic level, or education level, are at risk of entering the cycle of abuse. By developing a greater sense of self you prevent yourself from that possibility and developing a support system where resources lead you to that exit.

So the next time someone tells you or you hear the term gold digger directed at an innocent victim, speak up and correct the slight. Domestic abuse is nothing to laugh about.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information.

 

 

When To Become Engaged

When To Become Engaged. When is the right time to get engaged? After dating one year, two years, three? In reality it could be after a few months or even decades. Male and females have different perspectives about marriage. Research indicates men benefit from marriage more than females. So why do some men hesitate moving forward? As much as getting engaged is exciting it can be very scary for men because life as they know it is about to change. Young men associate marriage with increased responsibilities and with a greater possibility of financial loss. Men begin to see themselves as fathers, providers, and protectors when they transition into marriage. But change is the biggest factor.

Some couples get engaged prematurely and neglect getting premarital counseling. These couples also tend to marry for the wrong reasons. Some young adults get married because their peers are getting married. Other reasons can include pressure from family, timing, desire for children, etc. I’m working with a 32 year old female, Gloria, who now lives with her boyfriend, Greg, 33 years old, of two years. They have been on and off but want to make a go of moving forward where marriage is in their future. Gloria broke it off months ago as she claimed Greg had some behavioral issues she wanted adjusted. They have acquired tools to become more communicative, however, Gloria still has issues with Greg. We work through the issues in couples counseling. Greg has tried to demonstrate his ability to make the changes requested but Gloria still complains about outstanding issues.

One outstanding issue is the topic of when they are going to get engaged. She states she is not getting any younger and most of her girlfriends are getting married. She doesn’t expect to get married right away but would like to be engaged. Some young women get wrapped up in the whole “happily ever after” fantasy where they get their ring, wedding, and prince charming. They tend to think after marriage all their issues will be less stressful. In reality, if issues are not resolved they become worse after marriage.

When asked how long a couple should date before getting engaged, I say it all depends. It’s appropriate to get engaged when:

  • Both partners have a healthy sense of self
  • The female maintains her sense of self
  • They are no longer in the Honeymoon Stage of their relationship
  • Both partners allow time to know each other in good situations and challenging ones
  • Both partners can demonstrate identifying and exercising appropriate behavior
  • Both can demonstrate effective communication and problem solving skills
  • Issues are managed and resolved
  • Premarital counseling has been completed

Society and family could put a lot of pressure on getting engaged and marrying. If it’s not your choice to do so then don’t rush it. Getting engaged is an important decision. Make sure you move forward for the right reasons so there are not regrets. If your partner is the one pressuring you, perhaps that person isn’t the right partner. Getting married because you want a ring and a wedding is definitely a red flag for any man or woman. A substantial woman makes for a grounded wife. A grounded wife makes for a very good mother. A man making the decision to propose is his choice. When the choice is his the outcome for a harmonious life is in the future.

Call me for more information about your relationship and where’s its headed at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

 

Will Cheaters Cheat Again?

Will Cheaters Cheat Again? This is a difficult question to answer because everyone is different with their own set of circumstances leading to infidelity. Whenever I’m asked that question I say, “it depends.” In affair recovery the single best indicator of success is the Affair Partner’s (cheater) ability to show insight about why he/she cheated and articulate why he/she will not cheat again. While the Hurt Partner (typically wife) manages her emotions appropriately through the affair recovery process as it’s a roller coaster of a ride with good days and bad. In working with couples for over 25 years, I find the success rate for good prognosis is where both partners are committed to developing a new healthy relationship where they are able to put the affair behind them but manage the underlying symptoms that lead to it.

Will Cheaters Cheat Again?

Insight allows you to engage in heartfelt reflection. Insight helps you understand what’s going on in your relationship at any given time, whether you’re in conflict or things are going well. It gives you a strong understanding of what’s going on with you and how that contributes to the state of your relationship in general. Insight means you realize what you could be contributing, what your perspective is, and most important, how you feel about that. When you trust your ability to process information (understand what’s going on), you can learn to say the things that you need to say, despite the possible ramifications.

Information gathering is an important tool in every relationship. The best way for you to gather information is through understanding what you are thinking and feeling and whatever you are trying to process. When you take in information, your brain processes it and provides introspection into what you know and how you feel. It takes the information you’ve gathered and digests it in a thoughtful, rather than a half-witted, way. Insight is the ability to gather information, and finally be able to articulate what that gathered information means to you.

Will Cheaters Cheat Again?

In the case of Sam, 42 and Sandy 41. They have been married 25 years with two children. Sam was discovered having an affair with his office mate and is remorseful. Sandy doesn’t want to divorce as they have two young children and spent the better part of life building a life together. She is understandably hurt and confused. She has lost all trust and is not confident she can regain Sam’s trust ever again.

Sam is asked a set a questions about his affair where it is important to get meaning and motive rather than detective details about it. Sam believes he strayed away from his marriage because he like the attention he received from this office mate. He also shares as a young boy his parents never had time for him as they were busy running their family restaurant. He remembers receiving attention from his nanny and felt close to her. He said he knew his parents loved him but the neglected paying him the attention he now knows he not only wanted, but needed.

Will Cheaters Cheat Again?

Sam and Sandy grew up together and she apparently gave him the attention he longed for. As they both were each other’s first love and became consumed with the details of life, work, children, etc. They placed more attention on the day-to-day details of life than with each other. Sandy received a lot of attention from her children as she was the primary caretaker. Both worked and with motherhood, Sandy admits the relationships needs were neglected.

In affair recovery we acknowledge Sam’ office mate was a third party entity that enabled Sam to feel a feeling. That feeling was feeling wanted and validated. His shame and guilt along with his insight about why he stepped out of the marriage and why he will not in the future is a big first step in the affair recovery process. Of course, they have acquired tools to be able to initiate conversation, share thought and feelings, and ask for what is needed and wanted.

As Sam continues to gather information about why he made this bad decision, both are learning how to show each other empathy and become more vulnerable so they can talk about anything, despite the discomfort of hard topics.

For more information contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

Loss Of Romantic Love

Loss Of Romantic Love. What do you do when your spouse says they don’t think they love you anymore? The dreaded “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” statement cuts like a knife. There are many reasons people fall out of romantic love. I understand the heartache and pain of having your spouse say those words because thirty-two years, after nine years of marriage, that’s exactly what my husband said to me.

I work with couples where when partner is leaning out while the other is all in. Some couples marry quite young and are not quite developmentally mature to understand what is needed to be in a healthy relationship. Did you know the human brain doesn’t even fully develop until age 25? Under most laws, young people are recognized as adults at age 18. But emerging science about brain development suggests that most people don’t reach full maturity until the age 25. Young adults couple up as early as middle and high school. In healthy relationships, a couple’s development closely parallels the stages of early childhood development originally conceptualized by Margaret Mahler and Fred Pine. Basically meaning if you don’t successful reach milestones for growing, physically, emotionally, and psychologically, you can be stuck in certain stages. You can chronologically be 50 years old and act like a 5 year old when angry and hurt.

Loss Of Romantic Love

During that period of time I was consumed with anxiety and depression. My acting out behavior included obsessing over the end result, which was to reconcile. I begged and pleaded with him to no avail.  All that mattered was what I wanted. I had little insight about my lack of empathy for my husband. Not once did I think about what the relationship was doing to him. I never asked myself what he must have been feeling to leave the way he did, so secretly. I placed all the blame on him, blinding myself to my own responsibility. It would not be until many months later, when I finally started looking at my part in the problem, that things began to change. I learned that I had to stop concentrating on him and start concentrating on myself and my behavior. I realized I depended on my husband for fulfilling all of me. Which is not only possible, and  maturationally immature.

Developing a greater sense of self enabled me to manage the codependent and self-destructive behavior I was experiencing. It all came down to trying to control things that were, and should be, outside my control. I did some individual counseling and meditated every day. I leaned into the discomfort of being alone in my home with my vulnerable feelings. I had to reconcile with the fact that individuals have their own feelings and needs and wants. I learned there our boundaries that people put in place for self-care and protection. Healthy relationships are independent people in an interdependent unions.

For more information contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

National Boss Day

National Boss Day. October 16th has been pitched as a day for employees to thank their bosses for being kind and fair throughout the year. Some have oppose the concept as nothing more than a meaningless Hallmark Holiday, as well as placing unfair pressure on employees to bow down to managers who earn more than they do, while exercising power over them. There are good bosses and there are those who are left to be desired. My boss happens to be one of the good ones.

National Boss Day

Before I started my private practice and business, I worked for individuals who should not have been in manager/supervisor roles. There were some who were competent and some who were incompetent. Whether competent or not, some also needed skills in managing their own issues/feelings to be better equipped to help their employees become more effective. Some were punitive some were fair. I appreciated those who identified and exercised appropriate behavior and had some emotional intelligence aka maturity. Where their developed sense of self was grounded enough to be fair and well mannered. That’s not always the case.

It’s not easy running a business. I had to develop a system and implement tools to enable balance in my work and personal life. As I am a counselor and coach, I must role model self care so my clients understand being a workaholic isn’t healthy or productive to self or family. Taking care of oneself is the key to developing and maintaining relationships. In my book, “Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship” I explain the concept of “me” first, and not in a selfish way.

Happy Me Happy We

As a young woman I was plagued with migraines. Anyone who has migraines would sympathize as these types of headaches make functioning impossible. Taking time off (I had accrued sick leave or personal time off), was viewed as a negative and yearly reviews always mentioned the time off. I thought these managers were heartless and showed no empathy. Throughout my days as an employee I barely came across a boss who “had it together.” I understand productivity and quotas to be met, but, I believe you can achieve those goals by being a decent human being.

Although I did not have a business degree, I was fortunate and had the wherewithal to become a business owner. Being my own boss has it’s stressors, don’t get me wrong. But at least I have control over and the ability to manage those stressors without the critical eye of someone trying to meet company needs over my own well being.

To all those who have bosses. I hope they are one of the better ones. For those who do not, I sympathize with you. To help manage stress from work and unappreciated feelings concentrate on yourself. Meaning do things that make you happy to balance the stressors of work life. I understand some have limited choices and need to make a living. Carving out time for yourself and doing what you want can make all the difference. A happier self can create opportunities for you where there are none.

If you need help with work life balance give me a call at (858) 735-1139.