Trina Dolenz

Trina Dolenz

Thursday, September 23, 2010


How do you know when a relationship is too difficult (and you should get out)?   

Contrary to conventional wisdom, not all relationships can be saved. Relationships can only take a certain amount of neglect and abuse before they are too smashed to repair. One way to know if you’ve reached the end-of-the-line is if you are finding yourself doing all the work-- all the romancing, all the chasing – so that it feels like you might as well be having a relationship with yourself!    If your relationship has become physically dangerous for you, if he is abusive or violent, then it is imperative that you take steps to get out. Beyond that, you need to honestly ask yourself if your partner is acting toward you in a scornful and disapproving way? Does he constantly and irrationally criticize everything you do?  Does he absolutely refuse to talk about the problems in the relationship, and when you do bring them up, does he go on the defensive? These are the four warning signals you’re your relationship has gone beyond the point of no return.      

What’s the # 1 thing couples don’t do but should?  

Communicate in a way that gets you completely understood. Men can be pretty adept at talking about themselves and saying what’s on their mind, but are you really listening to your guy? Many women believe that they are good listeners just because they aren’t the ones doing the talking.  The trick is to learn how to be an “active listener.” This means asking him questions about what he is saying, probing a bit, taking an interest in knowing more. In short, by taking the time each day to focus on your guy exclusively to make him feel like he is the one and only in your life, something quite unexpected will happen: he’ll feel comfortable enough to be able to open himself up and listen to you – really listen in a sharing way– to your experiences, feelings, and ideas. You’ll be surprised how intimacy blossoms when you take the time to truly focus on the man in your life in a genuine and sincere fashion.       

Why are guys such tools (or is it us, too)?  

Simply stated, a Tool is as a Tool does, and toolish behavior can be exhibited by anyone – male or female -- who indulges in excessive posturing, constant self-promotion, and is obstinately self-centered.  Underneath all the swagger and flamboyant self-assurance is often a person who is compensating for feelings of low self-esteem, insecurity and a fear of intimacy. It’s just a last ditch effort to boost their fragile ego. But guys usually have more of a problem with intimacy and will act toolishly to avoid it.  To see what I mean, next time an event associated with intimacy approaches, like a birthday or anniversary, make a mental note to watch how he acts. Does he inadvertently make conflicting plans? Is he late? Does he bring along his best friend or a family member? All his bravado is really just protective armor so that no one will discover the loser he secretly believes himself to be.  Once you learn to recognize the signs and understand why your Tool is the way he is, you possess the key to unlocking a profound change in his behavior, transforming him from a perfect tool to a perfect partner.    

Why do guys worry so much about losing their individuality?   

To understand why guys get so freaked about perceived threats to their individuality is to simply swap the word ‘individuality’ with ‘manhood.’  The origin of this confusion goes back to childhood because young boys have to expend a lot of psychic energy breaking away from their mother’s affections so they can successfully inhabit their identity as a man.  Being close to a woman can get mixed up in their minds with feelings of losing their masculinity. That’s why one of the keys to greater intimacy is to discover how to create an environment that permits your guy to be soft while at the same time being strong, to be intimate while at the same time self-assured in his masculinity. Even the most toolish of guys can be encouraged to express caring emotions and greater depths of intimacy if their partners know how to create an emotional zone of safety, which can often be as simple as giving him greater independence and freedom in the relationship.  As you let out the leash, so he will feel the slack, turn around and come looking for you.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Trina's Top Tips

1. How to depressurize sex?
If sex is a chore, or almost off the menu, or your guy wants it all the time…..then…
Negotiate a date and time with him when you will have sex, but only one time per week.
Tell him you will have sex at the agreed time but tell him he can’t have it any other time that week. He will back off pestering, if that’s what he is doing, safe in the knowledge he will definitely be getting it, and you can have a breather the rest of the week when you can enjoy his touching being sexy, knowing it’s not going anywhere.

2. How to spice up your sex life?
Less is more. To get you feeling like you really want him again and vice versa, tell him you’ll be his slave for a night. You will stroke him, massage him, kiss and tickle him, but erogenous zones are out of bounds…..and absolutely NO SEX!!
You will be SHOWING him how YOU would like to be touched and you'll get excitement back into your sex…… I am quite sure he will want to swap roles after you have teased him like this....shown him how to take his time.

3. How to tell if your guy is cheating?
If you ask the question, then more often than not he is! YOU KNOW! You can sense it. When there is a secret in a relationship it can be felt, so pull up your antennae and believe what your body is telling you.
If his behaviour is inappropriate, disproportunate or unrelated to what’s actually going on, then he is probably keeping a secret.
If he changes the way he looks, dresses, his habits, without talking about it with you…these are all tell tale signs.

4. How to keep your Tool faithful?
I know you may think that it would be all about beating the competition and it’s tough when temptation is everywhere….but let me tell you that you will keep him to yourself if you just LISTEN to him, ACT INTERESTED in what he has to say…..and maybe ACT will be what you have to do……..listening to his boring day, stuff you have heard over and over again, …..”Oh really darling? Is that so? How right you are…tell me more! OMG fascinating?? Say that again…” Listening to him gives him all the intimacy, security and the self esteem he needs from you, rather than allowing him look for it elsewhere.  Infidelity is rarely about sex!

5. How to get over his cheating?
If you are trying to get over him cheating then you must rant and rave for quite some time….and directly at him!
Set up a half hour per week, where you will have his undivided attention and let rip…..ask questions, all the gory details, call him/her names…..get it off your chest! In return, you must agree that the cheating will not be brought up by either of you at any other time in the week. This way you can work through your hurt feelings, yet give the relationship a chance to heal.

6. How to make your guy drop his awful habits?
If there some things you absolutely loathe, that your guy does constantly, then try doing them yourself….
If he’s always late…. you be late.
He drinks too much……you overdo it the next few times you are out together.
He never makes a meal……….you stop cooking.
Nagging doesn’t work! This will!
You‘ll only have to do it a few times for him to 'get it' and change his ways.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Break the Sexual Stalemate

Break the Sexual Stalemate  -  (from Retool your Relationship)

The first step to end your sexual stalemate is to take control. It’s an all-too-familiar standoff: you need intimacy for sex, and he needs sex for intimacy. In a sense, each of you wants the same thing, but because you are a woman and he is a man, each of you goes about getting it in ways that are ingrained in the psyche of your gender. You need more involvement, verbal reassurance, and tangible contact prior to having sex, while he needs sex before he can let down his guard and demonstrate his tender side.

Give and You’ll Get

There are other important differences between how men and women function psychologically, as well as biologically, that need to be addressed, and I’ll discuss them shortly. But right now, I want you to be aware that he probably wants to feel close and intimate (just as much as you do!), but his way of achieving it is through the physical act of sex. Although you may believe that withholding sex is a way to exert your power, by withholding sex you are actually working against yourself. By misapplying your sexual power in this way, you are in reality denying him the only pathway he has available to fulfill your needs for intimacy. This session will show you how to use your sexual power to achieve the intimacy you want by controlling your sexual currency. And, yes, you will be training him as well, so that he gives you the pleasure you’ve been missing.

It’s All about Chemistry

In order to have great sex, you’ll need a basic understanding of how men and women experience sex differently. Gender plays a huge role in the biology, as well as in the psychology, of sex. Research tells us that men generally have a higher sex drive. It’s a bit more complicated than the idea that men are simply horny all of the time and will take any and every opportunity to get off. That’s because testosterone is the hormone that’s largely responsible for a person’s sex drive, and typically, a man has twenty to forty times more of it coursing through his body than an average woman does. A women’s testosterone level (and other sex-enhancing hormones and hence her sex drive) fluctuates on a monthly basis, being dramatically affected by her monthly period, as well as by having children. A man’s testosterone level, on the other hand, stays pretty much the same throughout his adult life. 
Another difference between the sexes is the way a man and a woman express their sex drive. Typically, men tend to behave more assertively than women when it comes to sex. Women are much more complex. Their sex drive is influenced not only by testosterone but also by the female hormone estrogen. Unlike the “assertive” inclinations generated by testosterone, estrogen is more “receptive.” There is a huge distinction between being passive and being receptive. High levels of estrogen enable women to be more approachable, open, friendly, sympathetic, and seductivequalities that translate quite nicely and naturally into the bedroom. For men, sex can be just sex, while a woman may also want to use sex as a way to express intimacy or to please her partner.
In the early days of a relationship, both men and women tend to have much higher sex drives. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that this is important because nature dictates that one of our most primal instincts is the need to reproduce, so that the species has the best possible chance of survival. It’s called “pair bonding,” but over time the sex drive falls off—particularly for women. The result is that both men and women find themselves confused. Men feel betrayed and rejected by their former “sex-kitten” partners and are afraid that their partners’ declining desire for sex means that there is a problem in the relationship. Women wonder whether their diminishing sex drive means that they don’t love their partners as much as they used to. Yet in reality, these changes in desire are simply the natural course of events in any couple’s relationship.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Many people think that intimacy is the same as sex, but it’s much more than that. To be intimate is to allow yourself to be vulnerable with another person.

Sensuality is one way of being intimate. Sensuality is the ability to touch and feel very connected to one another, to hug, hold hands, look into each other’s eyes, to see and be willing to be seen, even to speak openly and to
be open to sensitive feelings. Sensuality may build toward sexual intimacy, or it may not. It is a satisfying end in itself—and it can lead to more satisfying sexual experiences.

Some people grew up in families that did not allow or encourage intimacy, touching or sensuality. They may not know how to allow themselves to be open and vulnerable with another person. Intimacy may feel uncomfortable, threatening or overwhelming.

Intimacy, sensuality and sexuality are forms of communication within a relationship. They offer a rich 
and many-layered vocabulary that can intensify the relationship, allow the individuals to thrive and continually renew the couple’s commitment to one another.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The internet and our relationship

The internet and our relationship
Increasingly couples are citing the internet as a problem in their relationship.
Some signs that a partner may be in a relationship over the internet:
  • They are spending more and more time on the internet particularly in chat rooms and those to do with sex and sexuality
  • They try to hide information from you
  • They have difficulty in not logging on
  • They become distant, secretive or even critical of you

Some warning signs that you may be at risk of having an internet affair:
  • All of the above
  • You find yourself thinking about using the internet for purposes of making sexual contact
  • You find yourself talking with one or more individuals on a regular, or pre-arranged, basis
  • You make attempts to contact these individuals by other means
  • You become aroused by the contact you have on line - more than with your partner
  • You feel guilty about your online activities

Even though the relationship is termed "virtual", the sense that a partner is cheating on you is real and what's worse it can feel as if the 'other person' is under your roof - even if they are miles away.
The time spent on the internet is time spent away from the primary relationship, the intimacies that are shared with a virtual person don't get shared with a real partner and this leads to feelings of betrayal, rejection and worthlessness. It's not just partners that are neglected; children and friends also suffer to.
The person going online can feel they're escaping from real life problems but retreating into cyberspace only exacerbates what's happening in real life. Online relationships carry the danger of detaching you from reality - the virtual partner can become idealised, by comparison the real partner can look inferior. Unfortunately internet relationships can lead to break-ups and whilst some of these may've happened anyway, some are mistakes - leaving real partners for virtual partners whose online personas bear little relation to what they're really like.
It's not the internet that's to blame for the rise in break-ups and relationship problems caused by online affairs. As human beings we have choices - to engage in what technology has to offer, or not. Just because technology is offering you access that is affordable and provides you with anonymity, it will not reduce the trauma of a partner discovering what they are likely to feel is as much a betrayal as a real life affair.
Tips to try if you find yourself becoming involved online or suspect a partner is:
  • Consider what is going on in your primary relationship that is creating a need for cybersex
  • Talk to your partner about your concerns and feelings, the areas of your relationship that are no longer working for you
  • If you can't talk together then seek the assistance of a counsellor
  • The internet can be addictive, try taking a moratorium from the computer or internet

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Why is my partner so annoying at times?

Why is my partner so annoying at times?

We fall in love with someone, and imagine that now at last life will be full of peace, joy, companionship and hope. But after a while we often become aware that our partner seems to stand in the way of us achieving our own dreams of peace and fulfillment. We become angry with our partner, because we feel they aren’t able to provide what we expected of them, when we fell in love. And now we are committed to them – we can’t get those things from someone else either! They stand between us, and the life we dreamed of. That can make us very angry and frustrated.

Why doesn’t my partner love me a little better?

In our dreams, maybe we imagine the perfect partner to be the one who we fall in love with, and it carries on that way for ever. They understand us so well, they are there for us when we need them, saying the right words, providing the right support that we need. Perhaps in our dreams we don’t have those big arguments, or disappointments. It really is “happily ever after!”
Why couldn’t we find that perfect partner? Maybe we secretely long that our partner was a little bit quieter, or noisier. We wish they were more generous, or better with money! We wish they liked sex more, or left us alone occasionally. There’s a reason why we fall in love with the partner who doesn’t seem quite able to match our dreams. We see in them an ability to love us, in a way that we learned from people who loved us in our earliest years. We recognize that kind of ability to love in the partner we choose.
But however strongly we were loved, there was always a little bit of love we didn’t get. And it turns out that this partner we choose isn’t very good at providing that bit of love either, just like those who loved us when we were children. That bit of love we didn’t get as children often goes back to some painful memories from childhood. When our partner can’t love us that way either, it touches some tender spots inside, and can bring out some of our deepest fears that we may have tried for years to hide away.

How can I make things in my relationship better?

We seem to always choose a partner who isn’t very good at meeting some of our needs in life, even though there was something about them that caused us to fall head-over-heals in love with them. Wouldn’t it help if our partner really understood what is going on in our world. Maybe then they would stretch a little bit more towards us, and provide those needs. Maybe they would spend a little more time with us, or leave us alone a little more – or whatever it is that is important to our happiness. Some of the most important issues may seem small, but are actually loaded with emotions. They emerge time and time again at the very heart of all the big arguments we have. How can we talk about them in a way that doesn’t trigger yet another big argument? The first step towards a better relationship is to have a calm and effective way to talk about these big issues.

The Retool Your Relationship Workshop is a way to have a deep and rewarding conversation, that helps you and your partner really understand the issues that seem to recur in the heat of conflict.

How can we talk about difficult things? It often leads to an argument.

Do you ever find yourself getting a little tense before a “serious talk”. Is your partner once again going to tell you what you do wrong, and what you need to do right! What do they expect you to do? Maybe you will get angry and deny it all, and who can blame you! Or maybe you will sit through it feeling wretched and miserable, wondering how you can have been so unkind and uncaring.

It’s very hard to hear what your partner needs without some kind of reaction!

The Retool Your Relationship Workshop is a way to have those difficult conversations while feeling strong and loving for your partner’s sake. You can trust a process, that is safe, respectful, caring, and very interesting!
Imagine that you can take a holiday from being you for a moment. You can walk across a bridge to sit for a while in the land of your partner, as a welcome and valued guest. There, without judgment, you can learn about what it is to be them, what they need, and how you can help them, just by listening, and sharing their experience. And then they can do the same for you. It’s fascinating, to be able to learn so much about the person you love most in the world! One thing many of us learn when we do this, is how different our partner really is from us! The things they did never made sense before we really listened. They may have just seemed a little selfish, or irresponsible, or uncaring. But now when we really listen to them speak, we realize that to them, it all makes perfect sense in a way that is amazing! Our partner isn’t like us at all – how interesting.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Couples Therapy - Why? and How?

Couples often come to therapy polarized by reactivity and power struggles that make them feel increasingly disconnected. Trapped in a stalemate that they are unable to change on their own, they invite the therapist into the intimacy of their struggles, hoping for a new direction. It is the work of the therapist to understand the complex interactions and experience of the couple caught up in stalemate or an 'impasse'. The therapist's approach helps to identify the couple's pattern and investigate and challenge emotional undercurrents that might be fueling and informing their dynamics. In working with couples' impasses in the here and now, the goal is to help the partners move from being reactive to being more able to discuss, and from a view of themselves as victim and villain to positions of increased responsibility and personal agency. The process of change is facilitated by awareness, behavioral changes and negotiations, and the creation of alternative scripts based on greater empathy and connectedness. 

In the course of a life together, couples often deal with  dilemmas in their relationship that spring from their differences or from situations in which their wishes and needs are not in sync. These quandaries may cause distress; they can even break up the relationship. In these situations, stressful as they may be, the partners often have a clear understanding of their issues and differences and are able to see each other's perspective, negotiate, and move on.

By contrast, many couples come to therapy feeling stuck, caught up in impasses that are characterized by intense reactivity and escalation, rigid positions of each partner, irrationality, and the repetitive recurrence of the same dynamics in the relationship. While caught up in one of these impasses, the partners are unable to empathize and see the other's perspective. They feel offended and violated by the other's behavior, and become increasingly defensive, disconnected, and entangled in power struggles and misunderstandings. These impasses involve vulnerability and confusion, and they tend to become more pervasive over time, taking up more and more space in the relationship.

Even when the presenting problem is a straightforward situational dilemma, a couple's differences sometimes derail into a core impasse in which their attempts to talk and negotiate with each other become part of the problem. In the therapist's view, a core impasse is experienced as such a difficult entanglement because it involves the activation of past hurts and survival strategies, which complicates the couple's process. This activation may include emotional overlaps of meanings between their present situation and experiences in the past, or between their present situation and a current painful experience of one or both partners in another context. Core impasses may also spring from tensions related to power inequities and disconnections based on gender or cultural differences.

Core impasses can serve as a gateway to the exploration and deconstruction of key dynamics in the couple's relationship. The very nature of the impasse--its thick texture of misunderstandings and entanglements, often based in the past history of the couple and of their prior relational experiences--yields rich potential for greater awareness and change. In identifying the impasse and coming to understand the various strands embedded in it, the couple and therapist have an opportunity to learn more about each partner and to transform the couple's core dilemmas.

In working with a couple in a core impasse, the overall goal is to help them move from highly reactive positions to more reflective ones, from automatic actions and reactions to greater differentiation, awareness, and flexibility. The term "reflectivity" refers to an individual's ability to pause and be thoughtful and planful before acting or communicating. In facilitating reflectivity, the therapist helps each partner to feel more empowered and empathic, and to have more options and choices in these critical moments of their interpersonal process. 

Monday, July 19, 2010


Some simple but effective tips you can use if a current or prospective relationship partner suddenly succumbs to an attack of "The Green-Eyed Monster."

1. Be honest. If there is good reason for your partner to be jealous, it may be time for a heart-to-heart conversation about the future of the relationship.

2. Build self-confidence. It is important to recognize that expressions of jealousy may have nothing to do with you or your behavior. In situations where there is no factual basis for your partner to be jealous, the existence of jealous feelings suggests that your partner may be suffering from a lack of confidence. They may be insecure about some aspect of their own situation. Encourage your partner to spend time with friends and family who think they are great, or to master something new.

3. Gain independence. Jealousy also can occur when partners are too dependent on the relationship to determine how they feel about themselves and their self-worth. Persuade them to try to gain some independence from you and the relationship. The more their definition of self is tied to their own accomplishments and experiences apart from the relationship, the less jealousy. This may have been the case with Jake and Vienna, (from the reality TV series The Bachelor) whose relationship appears to have been further complicated by a fairly strong dose of another emotion: professional envy. Envy, as Jake and Vienna discovered, can be equally as destructive to relationships as the two forms of jealousy.

4. Listen carefully. Don't dismiss your partner's feelings and fears. It probably wasn't easy for your partner to fess up and express his or her concerns or worries. It often makes a person feel vulnerable and not in control. We all have those moments. If you can, try to understand, empathize and listen. If jealousy emerges during the early stages of a relationship that you care to preserve, it is okay to be there to support your partner as he or she gets to the bottom of what is behind these feelings of jealousy. At the same time, the changes that need to occur must be from within that person.

5. Seek assistance. Insecurity may be easily cured when it is largely "cosmetic" in nature. (If, for example, your female partner says she would feel more attractive if she lost a few pounds.) However, some expressions of jealousy, such as those that result in inappropriate behaviors, may be a sign of deeper-seated insecurities that are best resolved with the help of a professional.

Jealousy tends to destroy the foundation on which healthy relationships are formed. It is important to remember that strong foundations are not built overnight - or even during the course of a television season! That's one important reality Jake and Vienna may have missed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Your Sex Cycle

Your Sex Cycle  - Desire in Women

If you are having problems with sex or are not having much of it, it is nearly impossible to jump-start the process by hopping into bed and being a willing partner. 

As you would expect, a women’s sex cycle operates differently from a man’s, given the differences in their biological chemistry. Both sexes share the sex cycle’s five stages: desire, arousal, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.  But for women, the phases of the cycle vary much more dramatically in duration and intensity. And your individual five-phase cycle is unique to you and you alone. Each of these phases needs to be completed before you move onto the next, for you to have satisfying sex.

The sex cycle begins with desire. Desire is one of the most important aspects of successful lovemaking because it gets things moving. Without desire, sex can be unpleasant or may simply not happen at all. In the beginning of the relationship, romantic love triggers the necessary chemistry for desire, so that sex is plentiful and pleasurable. But once the illusion of romantic love wears off and other emotions begin to surface, desire can fade or be increasingly intermittent, with the collateral damage being the diminishing quality of your lovemaking.

Men can jump the desire phase altogether and become physically aroused and primed for the plateau period very quickly. They have a very obvious anatomical barometer right in front of them to signal whether they are ready for sex. They are more easily aroused by visual stimuli (the sight of your body), as well as by sounds, smells, and even memories.

Most women, however, require a more prolonged state of desire for successful sex. But true desire is a fragile commodity. Resentment, fatigue, stress—there are many internal feelings and external circumstances that can have a harmful effect on your sex cycle so that the fuse of desire never gets lit. You need to feel warm, relaxed, playful, a bit vulnerable, trusting, and sensitive—all of the things that you may feel have vanished in the current state of your relationship. So it’s no wonder that sex has been a problem.

It’s a vicious cycle. If you could manage to have sex more regularly, then feelings of intimacy would be more accessible, because your man is getting what he needs to be intimate with you. If the cycle breaks down, it becomes increasingly more difficult to kick-start it again. For example, after a few sessions in which your arousal stage is not achieved, when the next opportunity for sex presents itself, you are less likely to be inclined to start the process. Sex becomes a “no go” zone for couples who let the situation languish. You will want to avoid sex because you know where it is heading: frustration at not feeling aroused, feeling that your needs are being ignored, being left behind and maybe difficulty reaching an orgasm.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Many people think that intimacy is the same as sex, but it’s much more than that. To be intimate is to allow yourself to be vulnerable with another person.

Sensuality is one way of being intimate. Sensuality is the ability to touch and feel very connected to one another, to hug, hold hands, look into each other’s eyes, to see and be willing to be seen, even to speak openly and to
be open to sensitive feelings. Sensuality may build toward sexual intimacy, or it may not. It is a satisfying end in itself—and it can lead to more satisfying sexual experiences.

Some people grew up in families that did not allow or encourage intimacy, touching or sensuality. They may not know how to allow themselves to be open and vulnerable with another person. Intimacy may feel uncomfortable, threatening or overwhelming.

Intimacy, sensuality and sexuality are forms of communication within a relationship. They offer a rich 
and many-layered vocabulary that can intensify the relationship, allow the individuals to thrive and continually renew the couple’s commitment to one another.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What are the warning signs of an abuser?

The warning signs listed below should make you wary but rather than focusing on single acts, look for patterns of behaviour that show control, restriction and disrespect. No-one should be frightened of their partner or prevented from making choices about their life.
Remember also that abusers are often very charming and convincing to everyone - including their partners, until the abuse starts - and then they often continue to be very charming to everyone else except their partner.
This often has the effect of making their partner think 'oh it must be me, it must be my fault', especially since the abuser is usually telling them it is. It can also make them feel awkward about telling other people because they won't seem plausible because they only know their 'nice' side.

The single biggest warning sign is:

  • If they've been in a violent relationship before. Abusive people rarely change.

  • Don't make the mistake of thinking 'it will be different with me - they didn't treat them right'. It's also worth remembering that almost without exception, every abuser claims that they were really the victim.

Other possible warning signs are:

  • They put your friends down and / or make it difficult for you to see them.

  • They lose their temper over trivial things.

  • They have very rigid ideas about the roles of men and women and can't / won't discuss it reasonably.

  • Their mood swings are so erratic that you find yourself constantly trying to assess their mood and only think in terms of their needs. A healthy relationship has give and take.

  • It's difficult for you to get emotional or physical space away from them - even if you directly ask for it. And if you do get it, they 'grill' you about where you've been and who you were with.

  • They criticise you all the time - about your weight, your hair, your clothes, etc.

  • They make all the decisions in your relationship and ignore your needs or dismisses them as unimportant.
If after reading this you think that you are, or might be, in an abusive relationship, this is a number and organisation to call:-
1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Questions to ask before Marriage

Getting married is a huge step, so it's worth making sure you and your partner are thinking along the same lines before you tie the knot.

1. Do we love, trust and respect each other?
2. Do we share the same expectations of marriage?
3. Do we share things in common that make us shout, cry and laugh?
4. Do we agree on major life issues, such as children, family and friends, where we'll liveand style of living?
5. Do we have a way of managing conflict?
6. Do we share the same views on infidelity and commitment to avoiding temptation?
7. Do we love each other just the way we are today, without any hidden agenda to try to change the other?
You don't have to agree on everything. The important thing is that you and your partner have talked through these questions and both feel confident you can live and work together, knowing what the other believes. 

Why marry?

Although living together is now acceptable, 60 per cent of cohabiting couples still get married after a few years.

Good reasons to marry

Because you're in love. Although love shouldn't be the only reason to marry, it's an important ingredient in the most successful relationships.
To make a commitment. You've decided that you want to be together forever, knowing each other's faults and failings.
It's part of your culture. The ceremony of marriage is an integral part of your cultural or religious beliefs and an essential part of your core value system.
To start a family. You've both enjoyed a secure and committed relationship for some time and feel marriage is the best environment in which to bring up children.
To celebrate. Because you want your family and friends to share with you in your happiness and commitment as a couple.
It's the right time. You have a solid and secure relationship and it feels like the logical next step.

To make your relationship secure. If your relationship isn't secure before you marry, there's no reason to think it will be afterwards. It may be harder for you to separate after marriage, but that doesn't mean you'll be happy.
Fear of being alone. Some people marry because they're scared that no one else will have them. Remember, it's better to be left on the shelf than spend your whole life in the wrong cupboard.
For the children. It's true that, on the whole, children benefit from living with two parents, but marrying purely for your child is unlikely to create a happy home environment.
You want a big wedding. The big white wedding may seem like a fairy tale come true, but it only lasts a day. Marriage is (supposed to be) for life.
To recover from divorce. Some people want a second marriage to help them to get over the first - to prove that they're OK. But those feelings must come from within.
You may have many more reasons why you want to marry. The most important thing is that you and your partner have fully discussed your reasons and that you're both confident you share the same motivation and intentions.

Fears and expectations

As well as looking at your reasons for getting married it's important to look at what you expect from married life. Some people blame current divorce rates on the fact that people expect too much from marriage, but this isn't necessarily the case.
As long as you both share the same expectations, you can work together to achieve them. But if you both expect different things, one of you will always be disappointed. 
Your expectations and fears may be influenced by many things, including experiences of friends, previous relationships and media images. But one of the most powerful influences will be your family.
As small children we learn about relationships by watching our parents. These messages often sink deep into our unconscious mind, waiting to pop up when we become wives or husbands ourselves.
It's perfectly natural to have doubts and fears about getting married - it's one of the biggest decisions we make in our lives. But as long as you and your partner can openly share your feelings, support and reassure each other, chances are you're on the right track.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dear Trina....

If you have a relationship problem, question or something you would like me to answer, comment on or share.....please leave your dilemmas or questions below, and I will respond.

Long-distance relationships

Absence makes the heart grow fonder - or so the saying goes. But what if the time away is prolonged, or one partner is more relaxed about the situation?

Different views of distance

How couples cope with being apart largely depends on how they feel about the separation. Here are some common interpretations:
What's the big deal? - if you were brought up in a family where absence was the norm, it may be that periods apart are no problem.
It's the thin end of the wedge - perhaps in your past someone left saying it was temporary, but didn't come back. You may see a period of separation as the beginning of the end.
If you loved me, you'd stay - love is linked to being physically near and any threat to that is also a threat to your emotional security.
But it's not for long - it might be your nature to look at life in the long term and see a bigger picture and, therefore, you may find it easier than your partner to see this as a temporary phase of your relationship.
It's just not right - if your parents were together nearly all the time, then absence may simply be beyond your experience. Being a couple means being together.
On top of your personal interpretations of the absence, each of you will have a different perspective depending on whether you're the one leaving or staying.

Away from home

If you're the one who's going away, you have the advantage of experiencing new scenery, a new job and new people, perhaps. The disadvantages, of course, are missing your home and the company of friends and family. And although there may be many new experiences, you'll have to deal with the loneliness of having no partner with you to share them. People away from home often find their emotions swing between heights of excitement and depths of longing.

Left at home

If you're the partner who's staying at home, you have the advantage of familiar surroundings and, hopefully, the support of friends and family. The downside of this is that you may feel abandoned and trapped. There are also few new experiences for you, just the humdrum of daily life and the loneliness of having to get on with it on your own.

Making it work

The key to making long-distance relationships work is to talk honestly and openly about how you feel. Couples often fall into one of the following traps:
Let's pretend it's OK - if asked how you are, you both say "I'm OK, everything's fine." Underneath you're both lonely, but are too scared to say in case the other person doesn't understand.
It's all right for you - you try to be nice when you talk, but the resentment slips out. You're both convinced your partner's having an easier time of it than you. Underneath you both want reassurance, but fear you'll be rejected.

Be honest

Share your feelings about the separation - both the positives and the negatives. This will give you the opportunity to really understand each other and give the support and reassurance you both need.
Talk about your resentment at the situation rather than at each other and look forward to the time when you're next together.

Keep communicating

Staying in touch regularly is the key to surviving a long-distance relationship.
  • Use a variety of ways of communicating - email, telephone, text message, letter, etc.
  • Send little gifts - to show how often you think of each other.
  • Make some surprise calls - make the odd call just to say "I love you."
  • Send regular pictures - this will help your partner keep a visual record of what you're up to.
  • Keep a diary - then share it with your partner each time you meet.

Beware the reunion anticlimax

When you get to see each other again, chances are both of you will have built up great expectations of how fantastic your reunion is going to be. However, the reality often doesn't match up to the fantasy.
Many couples feel disappointed and frustrated when things aren't as they'd hoped. You may also find that rather than making love all day there are awkward silences or even arguments.
You can prevent this by making sure you've talked about how you want the reunion to be and recognising that the anticipation is often better than the consummation! And remember, it may take time to get used to being around each other again.
Absence can make the heart grow fonder when you use the time to show your partner how much they mean to you.