Category Archives: women

Signs your dating an unstable person.

She/He has no history of long term or significant lasting relationships. Most emotionally healthy individuals have a dating history of at least a few relationships that demonstrate some stability or consistency.  When they describe why things didn’t work out there is a sense of balance for both parties. If the person your dating seems to carry immense hostility with ALL their  X’s or if they refer to themselves as always being the “victim” of  prior relationship failures, it’s a big red flag. This is a sign that there is no or little insight into their own prior mistakes or failures. They are quick to blame everyone else for circumstances not working in their favor.

Her/His job history is unstable. And it’s never their fault. You may hear things like: “They don’t like me”, or “I had a horrible boss”. If someone has personality problems they rarely own their mistakes and are quick to blame everyone else. Healthy individuals are able to see areas of themselves that need improvement and they accept responsibility for their part of a problem, and hopefully learn from the experience.

She/He fights or is often rude to authority figures, friends, co-workers, or service staff. Of course everyone experiences a bump in the road now and then with other people. Yet his or her life seem to be filled with excessive drama including frequent interpersonal conflicts that seem petty. Chances are this person has a lot of trouble getting along with people.  They may lack social skills and view others in extremes. More specifically, they will vacillate between highly regarding a person one minute then devaluing them the next. If the person your dating  is struggling to get along with lots of other people then eventually, they are going to have trouble getting along with you. 

She/He irresponsible with money or has excessive debt. Enough said.

She/He has few or poor boundaries. Going through your personal things, checking your phone, going through your wallet or purse, frequently creeping your social media and overly questioning you about pictures or people. Emotionally healthy individuals are respectful of you, your time and your belongings. Your allowed to go at your pace with how, when, how much and if you share. Healthy individuals have enough self esteem and clear perspective to know that kind of behavior is inappropriate. If you feel your personal space is being infringed upon don’t second guess yourself. It’s happening. 

 She/He becomes overly attached too quickly. Emotionally healthy individuals  will remain consistent with seeing their own friends and continue to attend activities even after you begin to date. Their life doesn’t stop. That’s not to say that you aren’t excited to spend time together, or that adjustments aren’t made, by you mutually; there’s a difference. When dating begins a grounded person will maintain a balance between living their own life, maintaining their own interests and activities and sharing time with you. It’s all about balance. If the urge to merge happens too fast it’s a red flag. Remember decisions made together is one thing, being held to an expectation when your not ready is another. 

Nothing takes the place of using your own instincts and following your gut. When you begin dating someone and there are things that bother you, listen. Usually break ups occur over things you probably noticed early on but choose to ignore. It is a lot easier to start a relationship then to get out of one. 

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Marriage can be a precarious place for women in their 40’s…

When a married woman reaches 40, and often older, her life begins to change. The children she longed to have are growing older, her education has begun to pay off as she has developed her own career. She is earning her own money and is contributing to the household income, often significantly. She has developed a broad and strong support network of other women and co-workers who she trusts, and who provide her with emotional support in addition to social outlets. She has matured. She has developed a “net” for herself. She has reached a different place in her life, emotionally.

The decent, loving, stable, nice man she met 15 or 20 years ago, now her husband, is a good father and provider, and yet she discovers that she does not need him in the same ways that she once did.  So why are so many women at this life stage finding themselves questioning their own feelings and asking themselves “Am I crazy for thinking about leaving?” He doesn’t drink heavily, he’s loyal, he is smart, he loves me, he doesn’t run around at night, and we get along. Slowly, her life which use to feel very fullfiling suddenly feels vanilla. When she speaks to her family and friends about her feelings she hears “What is wrong with vanilla?” or “are you crazy? he’s such a good guy and father you should feel lucky! I think there something is wrong with YOU!” So, she tells herself that she just can’t leave. She can’t justify it. And she can’t hurt him. Her feelings are suddenly not as important as these things in the face of logic. She tells herself that she really has no good reason to leave. She just can’t get out. Marriage is a commitment and it has its ups and downs right? And besides things can’t always be exciting that’s unrealistic. There are dips in all relationships. So she waits, hoping things might feel better. She may ask her husband to go to counseling but he’s not really doing anything wrong. It’s her own emerging feelings that are driving her ambivalence. She says to herself “If I can only hang in there another few years until the kids are done with high school”. The safety, consistency, and love, she once felt, the children they have together  shouldn’t it all be enough? These things once gave her great joy. Yet SHE has changed inside. Her emotional needs have changed, she has grown, she finds herself feeling lonely in the marriage. These are some conditions that often create a dangerous and vulnerable environment and for an affair to be set in motion. Women having affairs isn’t talked about much in social media, but it happens quite frequently. Women simply aren’t as comfortable revealing or owning such behavior.

Many of the reasons that woman marry when they are younger are fulfilled by their 40’s. By that time they are much more comfortable in their own skin and more emotionally mature. Later in life they can  provide for themselves, and the emotional needs they had in their 20’s have been realized. They have also become more comfortable and secure with themselves and the world. Emotionally, they have a built a network of friends and support, financially, they have begun to make their own money, martial sex has become flat as the emotional connectedness has diminished. Conversations have become dry and routine. It is often described to me as an ” unexplained emptiness” never felt before. The desire remains to have a partner yet she doesn’t NEED to be with anyone. She is filled with guilt, angst and confusion.

Of course all relationships go through ups and downs. Especially those that span a decade or more. The stress of raising children, financial changes, job changes, experiencing loss through death, and tragedy that is just life. Couples therapy can significantly help with recapturing the intimacy and connectedness lost over time. It cannot however, change an individual’s  sense of who they have become or how they feel. If one person in the marriage is not “all in”, no matter how wonderful their husband or wife may be, it might be time to change direction. Feelings are feelings, needs change, what you have to offer now may not necessarily be enough 15 years from now for your spouse.  Women are emotionally dynamic and organic creatures. Sometimes it may be about the relationship. Sometimes though it may just be about us. 

” How do I know if I have had an orgasm?”

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Yep,  I said it.  I have seen many women of all ages, races and cultures who have come to me for various reasons over the years, reasons unrelated to sexual issues, yet somewhere in the middle of our therapy session they blurt it out, like ripping off a band-aid; ” I don’t think I have ever had an orgasm how would I know?” Tears usually follow then embarrassment.  Most always, they have never told a soul, they are too embarrassed. Not even the ones who they have been married for 25 years or more, or their boyfriend or girlfriend who they have been dating or living. They usually have not masturbated and if they have, “Nothing happened”. I usually follow with: “You would know if you had one, but you can get there “.

Believe it or not this vignette is not as unusual as you think. Woman of all ages from 18-60 often keep this as a secret. I even treated a lesbian who was 28 years old share with me that when she was involved with men, and she had dated men all her life, and even briefly married, she had not had orgasms until she was with another woman. Of course that makes sense, she was with someone who had the same equipment, who taught her about her own body.  My point, is that as women, most of us have never discussed details of being a woman with our mothers, even as adults. I applaud the moms out there and there are some, who aren’t afraid or intimated to discuss these issues with their daughters.  And there are lots of women who have very open and frank discussions with their moms about questions they have or concerns about their bodies and sexual topics. Boys and men?  In my experience, it so much more normalized. We often say as parents ” You know, Johnny is taking awfully long showers nowadays, he is at that age if you know what I mean” (wink). I have found, that VERY few parents discuss with their girls  how to understand or get to know their bodies. Of course most parents discuss whether or not to get on birth control, whether or not to have sex and at what age, pregnancy issues, and they’re monthly cycle.  Don’t even get me started on STD’s.  But how many mothers or fathers for that matter talk about it with their girls? Is it permitted? Is it taboo?  Is it assumed that it’s not needed? 

I generally encourage my female clients with these concerns to go buy the book ” Our Bodies Ourselves”.  Initially printed in 1971, and still a highly popular book in its 9th publication and in 26 foreign editions. It educates about the female anatomy, female sexual health, sexual orientation, childbirth reproduction, mental health, menopause, etc. I highly recommend it for anyone who has a daughter to give to them as a gift. Even if you think your daughter will say: “Mom? Really?”. Trust me there is a lot of mis informed  woman and men out there who have learned from their peers, in  the area of sex, STD’s, and things you would not imagine. I have had several young girls who started their period who unknowingly inserted a tampon in their ass because they didn’t know where to insert it or how, and were not taught anything different. 

So in short, for those out there who feel alone in this area, or who don’t feel sexually empowered, go buy your self a vibrator, educate yourself and get to know your body. It’s your body and it will listen to you.  If you have a partner,  ask him or her to explore with you when your ready, what you like and what you don’t like. Its better than your husband or partner becoming angry or frustrated that they are not pleasing you, if they even know.