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David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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I am going through being away from my boyfriend I have lived

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I am going through being away from my boyfriend I have lived with for 2 years. We are apart now and both are very confused. I moved into his home which is an 1 1/2 from my work each way 9 months after we first started dating.. The commute has put extra pressure on me but I was also at my job 11 years before we started dating. I am a real achiever as he is more layed back and able to enjoy life. We argue all the the time because I am always trying to make people perfect mainly because the bar was always set so high my entire life. I am an over-achiever and I want to stay with him but don't know how to communicate without talking down to him when he doesn't do what I want ?

Duddy :

Welcome, I am a professional counselor, Behavioral-Consultant and relationship expert.

Duddy :

Can you tell me a little bit about what is you want from him and how you talk down to him?

Customer:

I want him to be more appreciative and open. I talk down to him by telling him he is a disappointment and lazy

Duddy :

What are the top 2 things you need from him but that you are not getting?

Customer:

I feel like I do alot and that I don't get as much in return although he doesn't ask those things from me I just in some way for obligated to do them.

Customer:

I need better communication and more affection

Duddy :

What did you need him to communicate about?

Customer:

Everything

Duddy :

What specific actions could he do to meet your healthy need for more affection?

Customer:

Bring me little things like cards or flowers or hold my hand or just hug me and tell me how much he appreciates me .

Customer:

Things have gotten to the point where we have only been sexual twice this year.

Duddy :

Well sex is secondary to emotional needs...

Duddy :

the relationships science and best practices in evidence-based couples' counseling say that:

Duddy :

1. You need to get your need to feel loved and to come first in his life for the relationship to last and be healthy...

Duddy :

2. Effective couples communication is critical for getting relationship defining needs expressed and met....

Customer:

I feel like most of the time he puts his needs before mine

Duddy :

3. Physical intimacy flows naturally from healthy emotional intimacy, usually through steps 1 and 2

Duddy :

Sounds to me like you need to have a shared communication strategy....

Duddy :

Relationship maintenance skills are like learning to drive

Customer:

What kind of things do you suggest

Duddy :

I would suggest on book you can read together on a sort of date night.

Duddy :

at least reading the same book at the same time if you can't be physically together...

Duddy :

The best relationship therapist in the world is Dr. Sue Johnson.......

Duddy :

Let me get you a link....

Customer:

Do you think that the best solution right now is to stay away from him ?

Duddy :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrKME6y2ZOM

Duddy :

I think the best solution is to learn an effective communication strategy and practice it together...

Duddy :

Unless there is an issue of health or safety you haven't mentioned.

Duddy :

Or some other fundamental source of incompatibility

Duddy :

Arguing comes from frustrated relationship needs

Duddy :

Crtisism is just a very badly expressed need

Duddy :

identify and meet each other's needs and there's no more arguing

Customer:

I only left on Sunday with all my clothes and I am at my parents right now. I am 38 years old and feel like a loser because I have been in this situation over and over just different relationships and a failed marriage several years back.

Customer:

I am always the one picking the arguments... he hates to fight with me

Customer:

I don't know why I feel the need to do it all the time

Duddy :

I think if you learn to communicate your needs more effectively and get them met you won't have this problem.

Customer:

How do I communicate what I need ?

Duddy :

but your partner must do the same in exchange.

Duddy :

You need to learn some basic communication skills...takes a few weeks to learn and practice.

Duddy :

That's why I recommend this book:

Duddy :

http://www.holdmetight.net/

Duddy :

Her communication strategy for couples is the most tested and validated in marital therapy

Duddy :

This book is very easy to read and it asks you and your partner (ideally you read it together) questions

Duddy :

It teaches you to identify needs and communicate as you read the book

Duddy :

Once you've practiced, you'll have the new skill and so will your partner.

Duddy :

Like driving you need to learn how to maintain a relationship properly or people can get hurt.

Duddy :

I recommend this book to save you reading one of thousands on the market that may not be helpful or even harmful for lack of science behind it.

Duddy :

I'm not selling anything here, I'm a couples counselor who studies couples counseling and this is the best couples counseling/communication approach.

Duddy :

Once you learn solid driving skills, you can then drive safely without even thinking about it. To many couples lack the basic relationship maintenance skills.

Customer:

So do you think time apart for us is going to be harmful

Customer:

We have alot of differences and I don't even know if we communicate properly if I will be happy.

Duddy :

It's hard to say for sure.

Customer:

I don't want to go back if I am going to set myself up for more heartache. I can't sleep or eat

Customer:

I am just tore up inside

Duddy :

If you clarify that you'd both like a cool down break but that you'd like to work on the relationship in a healthy way (i.e. read the book while apart for example) then sure it may be a good thing.

Duddy :

So maybe take a break for a week or so and then get together after reading the book and deciding if this guy's for you.

Customer:

We both agreed that we needed time to cool down. Things have been not so good for some time now.

Customer:

Right now when I talk to him all I do is cry.

Duddy :

so maybe that's your burning platform for positive change. You either agree to learn how to be an effective couple or it likely won't work anyway.

Customer:

Even though I was miserable because my needs were not getting met for some reason I do miss him.

Duddy :

I think for you the lesson must be about learning relationship maintenance skills for this relationship or for your next one if you leave.

Customer:

I have alot of issues that I need to deal with as well.

Duddy :

Well, if you still miss each other, its a good sign that you are still bonded emotionally.

Duddy :

So you may want to consider individual counseling.

Customer:

I have a need to be perfect and I am always trying to make him that way as well

Customer:

I don't know why that is but I annoy myself as well.

Duddy :

Sound's to me like a counseling would be helpful then.

Customer:

I am trying to get an appointment with someone

Duddy :

If you have relationship problems that are unrelated to the relationship or relationship maintenance issues (you can't meet needs or get needs met because of a personal/individual issue) then that's about individual learning and change.

Duddy :

CBT is very good for individual work:

Duddy :

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/MY00194

Customer:

I will check into that.

Duddy :

You can real positive results in just a few sessions.

Duddy :

Ok. Well I hope this has been helpful for you.

Duddy :

Have I answered your question well?

Duddy :

Are you still there?

Customer:

Yes just crying

Duddy :

What steps are you taking to get to counseling?

Duddy :

Do you have an eap program at work?

Customer:

sorry rough day. My boss came in and asked if I was Ok because I was quiet

Customer:

what is EAP

Duddy :

employee assistance program

Duddy :

you can often get free counseling through such a program

Duddy :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_assistance_program

Customer:

we don't have that here

Duddy :

Ok.

Duddy :

Have I answered your question today?

Customer:

Yes thank you for your help

Duddy :

You are very welcome. Please don't forget to press the green accept button at sign out. I'd love it if you could leave a brief feedback not as well.

Duddy :

Take care,

Duddy :

Duddy.

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