Month: June 2010

I Want to Love But I Can’t Give Up Control

Peter had been working with me on the phone for a number of months. He had sought my help because of problems in his relationship with his wife, Anika. Peter grew up with an extremely empty, invasive, controlling mother and an extremely empty emotionally withdrawn father. His mother constantly pulled on Peter to fill her up with his praise and attention. Peter learned very early to close his heart, just as his father had done, in order to not be invaded and smothered by his mother. Now, he was struggling to open his heart, which he realized he needed...

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Are You Caring or Caretaking?

Caring = giving to another from love, for the joy of it – as a free gift Caretaking = giving to get love, giving with an agenda attached, giving yourself up Even though the actions of caring and the actions of caretaking might look exactly the same, the intention is totally different, so the energy of the actions is also completely different. Sandy is a caretaker. She is constantly doing things for others – sometimes because they ask her to and other times because she believes that is what they want and expect. The problem is that Sandy often...

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Why Won’t My Partner Have Sex With Me?

I have worked with individuals and couples for the past 42 years, and I have heard this question countless times: “Why doesn’t my partner want to have sex with me?” Over and over, I discover that there is often ONE major reason he or she doesn’t want to have sex. Take Lawrence as an example. Lawrence learned as an adolescent to use sex addictively. He would find his father’s porn magazines that his father thought were hidden away and use them to satisfy himself. As he grew older, he learned to use the Internet for the same purpose –...

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Why Are My Partners Always Needy?

Angelo had been married to Serena for 15 years before divorcing. In his marriage, Angelo was a caretaker, always trying to please Serena, always trying to get her approval and avoid her disapproval. Serena was a taker – handing responsibility to Angelo for her happiness and often angry with him when he didn’t do what she wanted. Inside, Serena was deeply insecure, too insecure to even work, so she completely relied on Angelo financially. Angelo felt very lonely in his marriage, which is what led to his decision to divorce. “There was no love or affection, just demands,” Angelo told me in our first phone session. Soon after separating from Serena, Angelo met Barbara. At the beginning Barbara was kind and affectionate, seemingly totally different than Serena. But within a few months, she too become demanding, often complaining that Angelo wasn’t spending enough time with her. When they were together, she was often depressed, complaining that Angelo was not there for her. This is what led Angelo to seek my help. “Why are my partners always needy? Aren’t there any women out there who are not needy?” “Yes, there are many,” I told him, “but people come together at their common level of self-abandonment. This means that the level to which you abandon yourself with your caretaking others and trying to get love from them, is the same level...

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