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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5333
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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My boyfriend puts around 15 hours a week into golf. I dont

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My boyfriend puts around 15 hours a week into golf. I don't want to not do something he loves but it is hard for me to handle. Any suggestions? Just a note this is my first relationship after a marriage of 24 years and currently his college friend with financial problems has moved in with us. I am feeling overwhelmed.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

Dr. Mark :

Yes, this is so often a frustration: you want to use an activity as a way to build closeness and love and he is thinking of just sport and entertainment.

Customer: That would be wonderful.
Dr. Mark :

Are there other things you two do to build closeness in the relationship?

Customer: Exactly. When we first met it was during winter. I had no idea he golfed like this
Customer: We go out a lot and are very social. He is very snugly and besides this very good to me.
Customer: He cooks and dotes on me but most of Labor Day weekend was spent without him.
Dr. Mark :

Okay. This is all good news. Let me explain

Dr. Mark :

I see you're typing, so I'll wait...

Customer: Please go ahead
Dr. Mark :

My biggest concern was that he was treating the relationship as a "given". Sometimes men treat a relationship as something you have. It just is until there's a problem. They don't treat it as something that has to be tended to and paid attention to and cared about in positive ways to make it grow. So your words that he cares and he makes efforts are really so encouraging, and

Dr. Mark :

it means that your relationship is moving in a good direction but that you have this irritant that's bothering you.

Dr. Mark :

So, that means we can work on the golf issue and not on a deeper relationship issue.

Customer: It makes me feel second to golf. Agreed
Dr. Mark :

At least it's not football! (I hope that made you smile)

Customer: My marriage made me feel a lot like that. Husband always worked or was lifting weights. Very little time was spent on us.
Customer: Well he is a sports fanatic overall. Lots of golfing and games watched on tv.
Dr. Mark :

Ah, but be careful here. This man is not your husband, and if you typecast him because of the golf, there will be resentments down the road. Note that you've got a man who cares about his love and also has a clear passion for this sport. But this doesn't equate him with your husband. So that needs to be something you're careful about. Okay? then,

Customer: Plus tonight his bowling league starts and he is not even done with golf yet
Dr. Mark :

Wow, he is a sports fanatic!

Customer: He is. Lol. And yes I am trying very hard not to equate him to my husband but there is still old wounds.
Dr. Mark :

Let me get to what I wanted to recommend: tell him you recognize that his golfing with his buddies is more being in the "sport" than golfing with you, but that you would enjoy having some of his "golf time" for you.

Dr. Mark :

Make it a sport thing. Her's what I mean

Dr. Mark :

Make it that you want to enjoy golf and to see what it's like "on the next level". And you know that doing that will help you see more what he's about and what he as a guy is like.

Dr. Mark :

In other words, you are saying you want to get closer to him, not that you're asking him to get closer to you.

Dr. Mark :

With this positive tone, do you think he would make time to golf with you?

Customer: I have already done that. He has been the one to teach me golf. He will make the time once a week but just wants to practice his weak areas. We rarely actually go golfing
Dr. Mark :

Well, right. Tell him that's not fair! You want a real round of golf with him. What would he say?"

Customer: Had a discussion last night. Said he would rather golf on the weekends and be with the boys. When we go out he is tired and doesn't want to put a lot of time into it
Customer: He tells me I should go out and do something I want to do
Customer: He doesn't want me to feel like I have to wait around for him
Dr. Mark :

I see. Okay, it sounds as though he wants golf to be his thing. He's not looking for it to be part of the relationship. Is this true with bowling and sports in general?

Customer: Yes except for the tv watching
Dr. Mark :

And are you willing to make the tv watching something you do together with a warm blanket, tea/hot chocolate and snacks?

Customer: Yes that is never a problem. I don't really care what we watch. I just like our time together
Dr. Mark :

Okay, good. So sports is not the way to get that. Let's recap: your relationship is a good one: he dotes, cooks, etc.

Dr. Mark :

You are jealous of his sports passion

Customer: Yes this is really our only problem but it takes so much time away and with his friend here I am feeling disconnected.
Customer: My gut instinct is to push away and run. Lol. But he is a very good man. His house is even in need of repair but he would rather be out
Customer: And I am not talking about minor repairs or out dated rooms
Dr. Mark :

Your gut is still traumatized by your marriage... but

Dr. Mark :

let's agree that the trouble here is that you are not his exclusive passion. And you don't know how to rate it. He has a passion for you and he has a passion for sports. So,

Dr. Mark :

you're trying to rate it by time devoted to each.

Customer: Yes. How do I not feel like I am not worth his time or like I am being taken for granted.
Dr. Mark :

The first way is that you treasure what he does for you and not discount it. What do you think about this?

Customer: I am going back to my counselor to help me get over my marital issues.
Dr. Mark :

Good. That's a positive. Now,

Customer: I know some of the problem is I still am needy and clingy but I also don't want to be in a relationship where I feel alone again.
Dr. Mark :

Remember my question: The first way is that you treasure what he does for you and not discount it. What do you think about this?

Customer: Or have to find other people to do fun things with on the weekends. I don't mind him golfing it is just how much time it takes.
Customer: I love how he treats me overall. I guess I need to find a way to not feel left out or hurt by this
Customer: And I don't want to make the same mistakes I made In my marriage.
Customer: But men really kind of suck at the whole communication thing. Lol
Customer: And I am not so good at it myself
Dr. Mark :

You know, some smart wives do small things to not feel so left out with TV sports: they do something they like in the same room that he's watching the game in. My point:

Dr. Mark :

small things are what communication is built on, sometimes communication with him, and sometimes more importantly: communication with yourself, that is

Dr. Mark :

letting yourself know that you're in a good relationship. He's not perfect, but neither am I, and

Dr. Mark :

so I am accepting this and I'm trying to find ways to give him room to be himself and still be myself. And myself means

Dr. Mark :

that I need to be with him sometimes when he's in his sports passion mode even though I couldn't care less about sports. Or it means that I need to go out to dinner with him after he's been at the T V with sports, so I invite him on a date after the game.

Dr. Mark :

Would you consider taking what I'm saying to therapy with you to discuss there?

Customer: And we can do that and I can give him his space but it still hurts and quite honestly I am scared.
Customer: Yes I will do that. It is just unfortunately my counselor is busy and I can't get in to see him until oct.
Dr. Mark :

Yes, I sensed that, and that's why I asked if you could discuss this in therapy? Because so much of this is your not feeling safe.

Customer: I realize this. Trying to become more secure in myself but finding it hard
Customer: I will attempt to relax and wait until I can see him.
Dr. Mark :

Yes, I wish he wasn't that booked up as well. Do you need to try to find someone else who can see you sooner?

Customer: I have thought about that. I can ask around.
Customer: Any suggestions until I get my crap together? Lol
Dr. Mark :

Please do.

Here also is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (they show you a photo of the therapist!)

Customer: Ok. Thank you.
Customer: Guess therapy is better than wine and Xanax. Lol
Dr. Mark :

Be of good cheer: you have a man who dotes on you and cooks.

Dr. Mark :

You can find a good therapist in your area!

Customer: Lol. I will see if I can find one. Thanks for your time
Dr. Mark :

You're so welcome.

Okay, I wish you the very best!


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Dr. Mark :

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Dr. Mark and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Hi! I'm very glad that I was able to help you with this and thank you for your positive rating. If I can help you in the future in any way, please don't hesitate to let me know.

All the best,
Dr. Mark

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