Posts tagged ‘help’

December 9, 2007

Woman seeks guidance from other women….

by Rod Smith

Here’s a letter from a woman seeking help from other women. Please Email me with your suggestions:

“Until yesterday I was having an affair with a married man with children. I never pursed him. He pursued me like a wild man. He called me over 20 times a day. I caved in. Throughout our affair he told me how his wife didn’t like to make love. He said the fire was out. He liked to make love a lot every day. A few weeks ago his black book fell out of his pocket and I found it after he was gone. I thumbed through it and discovered his wife is pregnant. When he came back and asked me if I had looked at it. I lied. He has clearly said he and his wife were done having children. He is selfish and was expecting me to continue the affair even after all this. Has he lost his mind! I am so sorry to have ever gotten involved. Should I contact his wife and come clean or should I keep my silence? What would a wife want to know? Please if there are any wives in this situation: tell me what you would want me to do.

November 27, 2007

This entire blog printed, bound…..

by Rod Smith

and delivered to your door for $35.00 (Postage included within the USA) Readers in other countries, kindly let me know you want the book and I will let you know the postage cost).

251 pages, 450 columns — all in your own bound edition.

GO TO: www.ToughPlace.Blogspot.com and follow the directions on the right of the page…….

I hope you do it,

Rod Smith

November 14, 2007

He says he wants to marry me….

by Rod Smith

“I have been struggling for months. When can one say that they are ready for marriage and how long must you date to take that step? I have been dating this guy for the past five years and we have a son together. I can officially say I’ve met the person I want to spend the rest of my days with. We are both 25. He says that he wants to marry me and I am ready. I feel like I need to know whether he’ll ever actually propose so that I can figure out what direction my life takes. My biggest fear is that I’ll wake up in five years to find no progress in our relationship. How do I make him aware of how I feel without making him feel like I’m pressuring him into a commitment?”

I do not seek to be unkind – but let’s give this a little thought! You have a son together, you are adults, you are both 25 – yet you cannot tell him it is time to get married? Tell him. I could care less if he feels pressure. He is a dad and it is time to be a husband. I officially tell you it is time to think about the child rather than about yourselves.

November 13, 2007

To get the best out of sex….

by Rod Smith

The power and sacredness of sex …

Morality, religious beliefs, and family values and expectations aside, which, by the way I believe is impossible to do, don’t have sex with a person whom you do not know, and are not committed to in every area of your life, for the long haul.

To say “it (sex) is just a physical thing” is naïve, shortsighted, and misguided.

Sexual behavior is powerfully connected to the essence of who and what each of us is, and to regard it lightly or with flippancy, dismisses the powerful, creative, and beautiful place sex occupies in the engine room of each our lives, whether married or single.

To regard sexual acts as purely (only) physical is absurd.

Sexuality, and its expression through physical acts, potentially combines your whole heart, mind, your spirit (or inner being) and your body – in a sacred act of shared love, resulting in mutual replenishment, mutual recharging, and the willing refocus, as a couple on all that is mutually and individually important.

It is impossible to get the best out of sex (or put your best into sex) with a stranger, or with someone you hardly know, and with whom you have no long-term shared responsibilities and commitments.

November 11, 2007

My wife and best friend had an affair…..

by Rod Smith

“My wife (15 years) and my best friend of (45 years) had an affair. It was sexual relationship for 5 years. I finally realized what had happened three years after the fact. I find myself in a situation: Do I confront both my wife and my friend? Do I tell everyone about the affair? Do I suggest his wife and I do the same in retaliation? I know that retaliation is not helpful and will only create larger problems. Living with the knowledge by myself is increasingly difficult. My friend and my wife (whom I deeply love) have betrayed me. At this juncture, she seems to be unaware that I know and does not seem to be remorseful enough to ask for forgiveness. Of course, why would she? It makes more sense to deny at all costs.”

The affair has ended but your marriage has not ended. Gently, kindly, individually (not together) and in a somewhat public setting — let (only) your wife and friend know, that you know, what has occurred. Keep details to a minimum.

Do not let your wife or your friend know you will talk individually to both parties.

Such conversations would be an act of love, courage and growth, on your part, and you’d be beginning the process of defining the (personal) hell out of yourself.

Do not look for a discussion with each person, or even for an apology – have the singular goal of letting each person know you know.

November 8, 2007

Every now again, when she has problems, she does not want to be around people, including me…

by Rod Smith

“I have been going out with ‘Jill’ for several years. We do not live together. Every now again, when she has problems, she does not want to be around people, including me. I find this very difficult. I don’t think she understands how to love or be loved. I have tried to get her to understand that I want to help her but she will not listen. She says she wants to be left alone to go where nobody can find her.”

Jack, avoid interpreting Jill’s desire to be alone, or escape, to be about her capacity to give or receive love. These desires, however triggered, most certainly pre-date your relationship. Love Jill enough to grant her the fulfillment of her desires that you have difficulty understanding.

Love – by letting alone. You, Jack, love by being present, and through absence. Both can be acts of love. Some people simply need (no, I am going to say ALL healthy people) or desire some alone time. It allows for the natural stresses accompanying even the most loving of relationships to dissipate.

And, when she goes away to be alone, resist your powerful, understandable urge to go looking for her. Trust Jill, Jack, to get what she needs. This is a very important component of your love for Jill.

November 7, 2007

I want to end my affair…

by Rod Smith

“I am in an extra-marital affair and want to end it. I never ceased to loving or being intimate with my husband although my relations with another man have shattered some parts of our marital intimacy at times. I told my husband I also love another man and am sexually attracted to the other man. My husband does not find it wrong.. I think I crossed the border because there appeared dark corners and secrets. Could you share your thoughts about ending the affair?” (Minimally edited the portion presented. But a small portion of a much longer letter.)

I am not going to pretend to know what you should do or suggest you cut all ties and go “cold turkey” from your affair. Men aside, you have to decide what you want. Some emotional space from both men (sexual space, too) might be necessary for you to clear the atmosphere and allow you to see (think, feel, assess, process, clarify) more clearly than you are able to do right now.

While I might be legitimately accused of going against my own advice offered in previous columns, your dilemma portrays the complexity and power of human sexuality.

Sexual behavior is ALWAYS complex and this (its complexities) ought never be downplayed.

Your husband, I’d suggest, finds this (your love and attraction and sexual activities for and with another man) not wrong for deeper reasons than meet the eye.

Face your own dark night of the soul. Decide what kind of woman you want to be. This is what is in the balance.

November 3, 2007

When counseling will be most effective….

by Rod Smith

I am listening....

I am listening....

Conditions under which counseling or therapy will be of most value….

1. Neither client nor therapist exaggerates therapist’s abilities or the client’s condition.
2. Therapist sees role as helping client steer toward a more productive, healthy future.
3. Client sees the “big picture” over the “long haul” rather than immediate relief in the “here and now.” (Patience, patience, patience).
4. Client and therapist maintain a sense of humor (a sure indication of health) while facing life’s inevitable challenges. Not everything can or will be better no matter how much therapy you throw at it!
5. Client and therapist call forth the client’s strengths and the innate human desire for adventure, rather than engage in the seemingly endless pursuit to understand a client’s pathological history, weaknesses, parents’ weaknesses, and debilitating reasonable, and unreasonable fears.
6. Therapist and client understand the limited benefits of empathy in exchange for the overwhelming benefits of challenge and adventure.
7. Client realizes that psychological insight without action (acting upon the insight) is a waste of money, time and useful therapeutic process. Sometimes a person has to actually DO something rather than be filled with insight about what needs to be done.
8. Client is willing to increase the ability to tolerate necessary pain (both within self and within others) and resist the understandable pressure to alleviate the very pain essential for growth to occur.
9. Therapist challenges the client repeatedly toward self-definition (to grow up!) in the face of life’s natural obstacles.

Conditions under which counseling or therapy will be of little or no value…

Time and again I hear “If I could just get him/her to see a counselor” as if a counselor can work magic to heal and solve all personal and relationship problems. Few trained counselors would see themselves as possessing such unrealistic powers. Here are some conditions (there are others) under which even counseling will be of little or no value:

1. When a person is forced, or cornered, or manipulated into seeing a counselor.
2. When a person has no motivation for change.
3. When a person agrees to see a counselor because he/she believes counseling will “fix” someone else in the family.
4. When the person’s mind is already made up over and issue (a pending divorce, continued involvement in an affair) and goes to counseling so he/she can say he/she tried it and it was no help.
5. When a person is resistant to getting help (doesn’t see the need for help) and offers counselors little or no respect in the first place.
6. When the person is combative from the outset and sees the therapeutic hour as time to show how clever (or funny, or morose, or argumentative, or stubborn, or intellectual) he/she can be.
7. When the person has already made up his/her mind that there’s no hope (”we’ve tried it all before”) or that counseling is a waste of time and money.

October 31, 2007

For 8 years he’s waivered back and forth …

by Rod Smith

“I met a guy and fell in love. I moved in with him and got pregnant and started planning the wedding but then he was physically abusive so I moved home. He moved back once the baby was born when he realized what he was missing. For 8 years, he continued to waiver back and forth between ‘Nice’ Mark and ‘Mean’ Mark. I finally kicked him out but we were still having sex. I really wanted him to get counseling and come home because I do love him. But he met someone else and is now seriously dating her. He sends texts to her with ‘XOXO,’ which makes me sick. He says he still loves me and is more attracted to me than her. What must I do?”

Attraction is strongest between people of similar emotional health (and un-health). You are at least as confused as he is. Until you take responsibility for your own life, and confront the fact that this man is not good for you, your treadmill of pain and disappointment will continue.

I continue, even as a therapist myself, to be awed by the overwhelming pervasive belief people place in the power of counseling. This man doesn’t need counseling. He needs women who refuse to play his cruel, hurtful games.

October 29, 2007

Stepmother reduces her success to 8 principles…

by Rod Smith

I took on two stepchildren twelve years ago who have become wonderful adults who love all their parents. Here are some things I did to make life easier:

  • I didn’t take the place of anyone. I took my place.
  • I didn’t get in the way of their affections for their parents, but expected them to be well mannered and enjoyed their affection when offered.
  • I got out of the way when there was conflict and let the people who had known the children the longest sort it out. If I was a source of the conflict I admitted it, stood my ground, or apologized.
  • I found being rigid doesn’t work too well with any kind of family.
  • I did not get caught up in trying to make everything fair. I realized this was a trap and I wasn’t going to spend my life measuring everything.
  • I got out of the way when the children had conflict with each other and I encouraged their father to do the same.
  • When I did not have full cooperation from my husband I let him know immediately.
  • I was friendly with the children’s mother so we could cooperate regarding the children.

(Synthesized from a conversation)