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On todays' show, Dr. Phil told his second guest that he

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On todays' show, Dr. Phil...
On todays' show, Dr. Phil told his second guest that he would get him help to overcome his jelaousy and that his partner would see a quick turn around. I saw myself in the guest and I know that I am desroying what would be a fantastic relationship. Can you help me locate informatiion that would help me make this turn around? I know that I am the one who needs to change. Or, better, what is the quick turn around strategy that Dr. Phil mentioned on the show?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
3/1/2011
Mental Health Professional: David Akiva, BA, MA, replied 6 years ago
David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
Verified
ThunderKeys :

Hello, and welcome to JA.com. . Do you mind if ask you a few clarifying questions, first to better provide you with a strong and practical answer?

Customer:

Sure.

Customer:

How will I know to get online to chat with you?

ThunderKeys :

Well when one of us is away, the other will receive an e-mail notice when the other returns. I also get a message on my screen when you return to reply. If you've got a few minutes now we can chat live, right now, here.

Customer:

Yes, I am available.

ThunderKeys :

Ok, thank you.

ThunderKeys :

Can you tell me more about what you would want to

ThunderKeys :

r

ThunderKeys :

..resolve in the way of jealousy?

ThunderKeys :

For example, what are the top 2 or 3 issues in your life related to this problem?

Customer:

Main;y, how not to react in the way I do.... very unlike me... I would hate to be videotaped.

ThunderKeys :

What did you see specifically, in the guest you saw, that reminded you of yourself and how?

Customer:

My partner has had a very promiscuous past - three marriages and several affairs. I believe he is a changed man now. He says that he has not thought about or wanted another woman since he met me and I believe him. But I can't seem to not bring up his past when there is a trigger. We are in a long distance relationship. He lives in IN and I in NC. We don't see each other for several weeks at a time because of work and his fishing trips. When there will be a time when we won't be seeing each other for over two weeks, I become quite unbearable. Not sure how jealousy comes into this. Maybe it is more insecurity.

ThunderKeys :

Thank you that is great, detailed information. I see you're still typing so I'll wait for your response.

ThunderKeys :

I'm very sorry that you are suffering right now in your relationship.

Customer:

He is very respectful when around me. Doesn't flirt, treats me very well, calls me Princess.......verything was heaven during the first three years. Then when I felt he was dragging his feet moving to NC like he promised, this tirade started. Ifeel that he has gone back on his promises but he keeps telling me to be patient and that things will happen at the right time. When I am in one of those moods, anything will spur on an attack about his past.

ThunderKeys :

Can you give me a an example of a typical verbal exchange, when you're in one of those moods? - He says: I say: type of example?

Customer:

Me: .It's been 4 years that we've been together and you're not here yet. When are you going to move down?

Customer:

Him: Be patient, Princess. It will happen.

Customer:

Me: I ahve been waiting 4 years. I cant wait anymore.

Customer:

Him: Be patient. We will be okay.

Customer:

Me: Well, is that what you said to all your past girlfriends? Dis you lead them on until they couldn't wait anymore and then dumped you?

Customer:

Him: Princess....

Customer:

Me; You need to tell me the truth and not lead me on..... I know you have been married three times and each not lasting more than 7 years. Do you have an issue with marriage and moving down?

Customer:

Him: Princess..... I don't want anyone else but you. Don't hound me

Customer:

etc etc

Customer:

What should I do to control this. The white knuckling doesn't work.

ThunderKeys :

That is incredibly helpful, to read a snapshot of your communication on these issues. Again thank you.

ThunderKeys :

Well, I think that what you're experiencing here is a perfectly normal need for proximity or closeness to your partner and a very healthy need to have the sense that you come first in his life.

Customer:

The trigger is usually when I won't see him for more than two week.s When I know tat I will see him soon, this doesn't occur. Our relationship is really good except for this.

ThunderKeys :

Again, that's totally normal to anticipate and feel anxious about separating from him without the relationship being clearly defined, - where and when you will live together etc.

ThunderKeys :

One final question I have before going to research and write up your answer with links to helpful resources is: How anxious and or angry do you get? Do things ever get out of control?

Customer:

Well, I usually yell and jab with hurtful remarks. Then I feel terribel and apologize. He yells in retaliation/

ThunderKeys :

That must be really hard for both of you. I'm going to make sure to provide info in my answer on why that pattern of communication is happening and what you can do about it. Anything else you want add before I start working on your answer?

Customer:

The last time was the worst..... I locked him out of the bedroom and instead of sleeping in one of the many guest bedrooms, he slept on the couch and was livid the next morning when I took my time unlocking the bedroom door. He cussed and said that he was getting the 'hell' out. This scared me so I hid his wallet and keys which made him even madder. I had never seen him so mad. His ex wife and friends say that he in controlling in a passive way. I think when he lost control, he went ballistic. He slung hurtful things.... worse than I would ever say to him.... threatened to get the cops bc it was a matter of theft. I finally gave him the keys and he left. But when we spoke during his ride home, he was fine,.... like nothing had ever happened.

Customer:

He never apologizes.

Customer:

Unless I tell him that he needs to. Then it's not a very genuine apology.

ThunderKeys :

So part of how you express your frustrated need for connection is anger. And part of how he expresses his reaction to your anger is to explode and then shut down.

ThunderKeys :

This is very helpful again. I've got a clear sense of how to provide you with a strong practical answer.

Customer:

Yes... I can always tell when he is not quite ok. He slurs his "ILYs" . But when he is fine, he is the vibrant person that he is. I feel trapped becasue I love him but yet I don't want to be strung along. I knw in my heart that this is not making him speed up his moe down. Yet I can't control myself in verbage and feelings.

Customer:

I think it is my issue... self esteem issue...fear of separation....

ThunderKeys :

I hear you. These often go together.

ThunderKeys :

Well I've got a pretty clear sense now of where you are coming from. I'm going work on your answer now. I think it will answer many of your questions. It should be ready for you here within the next 3 or 4 hours. You can let me know what you think once you've read it, - ok?

Customer:

Okay. Thank you. Looking forward to it.

Customer:

Do I push the ACCEPT button now or after the info?

ThunderKeys :

You push "accept" only after you have read my answer and accept it as satisfactorily answering your question.

ThunderKeys :

Well I’d like to start my answer by thanking you very much for the detailed information you provided. I’d also like to express my sincere empathy for you and what you’re going through right now in your relationship.

To answer your question, I’ve got to say that when Dr. Phil talks about an intervention without explicitly describing and discussing it on his show, it usually means that he is going to have his guest-patient work with a team of treatment and research specialists who will undertake comprehensive diagnostic and clinical interviewing in order to tailor an comprehensive therapeutic intervention. Like myself, Dr. Phil has a great deal of respect for interventions or strategies that are strongly backed by scientific evidence and clinical experience with therapy or counseling.

From what I’ve learned about your case from your presenting question and chat, you’re experiencing some very normal emotional and relationship needs, to be close at times to your partner and to have him demonstrate to you that you come first in his life. His past as you’ve described it briefly only intensifies his responsibility to be there for you and to follow through with what he promises.

The other part of what I heard you say in your chat, is that not having your emotional relationship-needs met properly within the relationship leads to a deep sense of hurt and frustration, that at times can express itself in intense anger. I think there are 2 evidence-based strategies that can really help here. They both take some basic learning and lots of practice to implement. I think you get your anger under control from strong angels: 1) from the side of learning how to get your relationship needs met effectively; and, 2) learning some basic anger-control strategies that you can implement when the anger starts.

This is its perfectly normal to have get frustrated and then angry when you’re need for love and emotional safety are not being met. The problem here is that when we get sad (emotionally hurt) then we get mad. When we get angry science shows that our IQ or intelligence drops like a rock. As Dr. Phil would probably say: “First you get mad then you get sad, - then you get stupid!” The trick here is not to get mad in the first place so you can stay calm enough to communicate with your partner so you can get your needs met.

The second strategy is to really learn with your partner how to effectively communicate your core-emotional-relationship needs together in a way that will help you both to draw closer and to love deeper. This makes joint problem solving a lot easier. I recommend that you and your partner both read the book “Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson. She’s the best relationship therapist and researcher in the world. It wouldn’t surprise me if you see her on Dr. Phil at some time in the near future. She’s that good!

If things really get difficult between you and your partner, you may both decide to go to couples’ therapy. I recommend the EFT therapy developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, the writer of that book I recommend you both read and talk about first.

Here are some helpful links covering the EFT approach and book, along with some links to anger control strategies that you can practice to better control your anger. But again, I do recommend a 2 pronged approach of learning effective couple’s communication and anger control together. I’m also sending you some links that describe effective vs ineffective couple’s communication – the rules apply whether or not you are married or in a close emotional relationship together:

Dr. Sue Johnson:

http://www.holdmetight.net/video.php

http://www.holdmetight.net/hold_me_tight.php

http://www.iceeft.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=79

http://www.iceeft.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=80

Dr. John Gotmann (couples communication videos and link):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbJPaQY_1dc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw9SE315GtA

http://www.gottman.com/

http://www.gottman.com/57329/Books-DVDs-and-Workshops.html

Anger-Control-Training Links:

http://www.athealth.com/consumer/disorders/angercues.html

http://www.athealth.com/consumer/disorders/angercontrol.html

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a great skill you can learn and practice. Eventually you can learn to relax yourself in just a few seconds whenever you feel yourself getting angry or better yet when you “get sad, before you get mad!” Here are some intro resources:

http://vcc.asu.edu/relax/index.shtml

Well that’s my answer. If you find it useful please don’t forget to press the “accept” button. If I’m missing something in my answer, please leave a note so I can go back and make the needed correction. Thank you!

Customer:

Thank you very much. I found your input, the cideaos and the article about anger management very useful

ThunderKeys :

Your very welcome! Please be sure to press the "accept" button.

David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
Verified
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Category: Mental Health
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