November 4, 2009

Inside this Newsletter:

Well, there’s no question that winter is here --- I had 42 inches of snow at my house in the foothills last week! There was a lot of deck shoveling over the weekend! But I still have flowers in my greenhouse – below (with snow in background). The big yellow flowers are Angel Trumpet and others are angel wing begonias and tons of geraniums. Also, do you see my kitty Precious peeking over the chair? That's her favorite spot! 

Several people have asked me if I entered Oprah’s Karaoke Contest, and I did. (To see my video on YouTube, click here.) My friend Jennifer videotaped it in The Drink one night, and she sent in a video too. Sadly, neither of us got a call back. Oh well, I was on Oprah four times for my therapy skills – didn’t really think I’d make it on for Singing! If you go to see my song I entered, there’s also several Oprah clips there, as well as my karaoke performance last Halloween when I was dressed as Sarah Palin!

Come Hear Me Sing at The Drink Tonite and every Wednesday Night from 8pm to 10pm – on the corner of Alameda and Downing, behind the Starbucks. Several people have shown up who want to see/buy my books (see books below), so we have sort of turned it into a book signing and “Ask Carolyn questions during the break.” So come by for any reason, to have a drink, hear me sing, help me with the equipment (see below), or ask me a quick relationship question!


Who Has Control of the Money?

(Jim & Sandy’s Story)
By Carolyn Bushong

Money can’t buy love, but it can buy trouble for people who love each other. Sandy and Jim recently came to see me because they couldn’t stop fighting over money. Their relationship was traditional: he was the breadwinner, and she stayed home with the children. However, she had worked and earned a good income before getting married and having children. They both agreed, however, that she should stay home while the children were young.
Each month Jim gave Sandy money for the household budget. And each month she spent it, always needing a little more. Jim was upset that Sandy spent too much money on clothes, purses and shoes, things he didn’t think should come out of the household budget.
Sandy was upset that Jim badgered her about a few pair of shoes when he bought a boat and other “toys.” She didn’t think he was being fair, especially since she had always spent money on these things when she worked. “But it’s my money,” Jim said when she said he wasn’t fair. “I work hard to be able to enjoy my boat and guns.”
Who was right? It depends on their agreement, which they never made in the first place. This is a common problem and in many ways they are both right.
My mother used to say, “What’s his is ours and what’s mine is mine.” Actually Jim knew that it was his job to pay the household bills, but every dime that Sandy spent beyond that felt like a violation to him. He felt like what is mine is mine. Sandy had forgotten to make a deal with Jim that if she stopped working, he would provide her with a certain amount of spending money that would just be for her. After all, they’re his children too.
When a couple decides that one will stay home with the children and the other will work, does the money belong to both equally or does the job-holder maintain ultimate control over the purse strings. Jim felt one way and Sandy the other.
The fact that they have no agreement on these issues causes constant friction. Especially since Jim often behaves like a father with Sandy, scolding her for her spending and making her regret ever leaving her job. Sandy, on the other hand, started acting like a child, hiding her purchases, hoping Jim wouldn’t find out. Sandy feels disrespected and Jim feels unappreciated.
This situation can destroy a marriage if it is not resolved before their resentment and guilt erode their love.
I asked Jim and Sandy to bring in all their joint financial information (bills, savings, future expenses, etc.), as well as what they each spend per month.
Sandy averaged out the family expenditures of the past six months and presented those figures, while Jim presented income figures, including money from investments and money earmarked for future investments. Both admitted that they have overspent, though in totally different ways. After some bickering, together they created a budget, decreasing some expenditures and increasing others. All “family” expenses were now to be paid from this budget account.
They also opened two other accounts – one for each of them. Some money from income was designated “his personal money,” and “her personal money.” They agreed to buy their own clothes and special items from their personal accounts, whether or not it was 20 pair of shoes or a gun, and that the other had no right to “scold” the other about their purchases from their own accounts. They also agreed to stop using their credit cards and to instead put debit cards on each of their accounts to keep things simple. Setting it up this way gave them equal control and less reason to resent each other.
Getting clear on their money issues and making a specific “deal” helped Jim and Sandy remove a major stumbling block in their relationship and brought them closer together.

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Help Needed for Singing Gig

As you probably know, I’ve been singing at The Drink (at Alameda and Downing, behind the Starbucks) on Wednesday nights from 8pm to 10pm. My good friend Mary Lynne has been helping me set up and has run the equipment up until now. However, she just found a job (a necessity these days) where she has to work nights, so she can no longer do it.
NEEDED: Someone to Come and Hang with me and Help me with the Equipment on Wed nights from 7pm to 10:30pm when I sing!!! I’ll buy you dinner and drinks! And you can sing too if you want!

We have a ton of fun!! Call me at 303-333-1888 if you can help regularly, or even once.

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Orgasms – Women Take Control of Yours!

By Carolyn Bushong

Women like to blame their partner when they don’t have orgasms. Many women aren’t able to have any orgasms and an even larger percentage of women can only have clitoral orgasms, and not vaginal ones. This is not the man’s fault. I’m not saying that some men aren’t better in bed than others, but ultimately women who don’t have orgasms simply don’t know how, no matter who they are having sex with.

I believe that it is a woman’s responsibility to know her body well enough to be able to bring herself to orgasm ……… To read the rest of this article, click here.

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Stop the War and Be Vulnerable

By Carolyn Bushong

“I’m right and you’re wrong!” “No, I’m right, and you’re wrong!”
Do you find yourself fighting with your mate about things that aren’t even important like the remote, or which is best way to put the dishes in the dishwasher, or whether to feed the cat or dog scraps from the table, or which type of cell phone is the best?
If so, you two are in a power struggle about who’s in control of the relationship. As most of the issues above don’t really matter, what does matter is that each of you feels threatened by the other. Each of you fears that if you give in, you’ll lose much more than the battle at hand – you’ll lose yourself. The more the power struggle escalates, the more insecure each of you feels about your relationship, and the more you “unintentionally” destroy it. You overprotect your ego by arguing points that don’t matter. You take an overture as an attack even when it isn’t meant as one. The more defensive you get, the more defensive your mate gets. The war goes on and on.
But wait! It doesn’t have to happen that way. When you realize you’re in a power struggle, stop and have a talk with yourself. Ask yourself what you’re really feeling. You’re probably feeling hurt about something your mate did or said. Try to disarm your partner with vulnerability instead of escalating the war. React softly instead of defensively. Tell your mate, “I’m really hurt that you….” Ask him (or her) if he meant to hurt you. He may not even know you’re hurting.
Don’t beat him (or her) up. Instead, go to solution. Whether or not he intentionally wounded you, ask him, “How can we be sure it doesn’t happen again?” Ask him to do something to fix it or make you feel better about what happened, i.e. “Because it hurt me so bad, I really need some reassurance from you right now. Will you just hold me?” Or, “Will you call John and clear this up with him?”
This approach usually keeps your mate from becoming defensive, and he’ll want to listen to you. Even in the middle of an all-out war, try to stop to tell your mate your soft, vulnerable feelings instead of your attacking ones. See if you can’t end the war. Your softness might spark a soft response as well and the war could be ended. Then, the two of you need to make an agreement to stop fighting over the small stuff and to stop taking the defensive “I’m right!” stance. This can create a more peaceful and loving relationship that you’ll both enjoy.

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About Carolyn

Carolyn Bushong, L.P.C, is an expert on relationships and a licensed therapist. She is known for being one of the top relationship therapists in the country and the author of 3 relationship books. She has appeared on Oprah, the View, and many other TV shows, and she has been giving relationship advice on Denver radio for 10 years. She has been helping people like you improve your life and relationships for more than 25 years. Cosmo, US Weekly and other magazines quote her expert relationship advice, and McCall’s named her one of the “Top 6 Passion Doctors” in the country. Carolyn Bushong always has fresh, up-to-date, hot information on topics that will inspire you and change your life and improve your relationships. She has clients all over the country, some who come into her office and others who receive Carolyn's expert advice through phone counseling. Carolyn Bushong is an excellent psychotherapist, but she also lives what she teaches, as she is in a happy, healthy relationship with Alan, her mate of 21 years.

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Individual Counseling: l hour or ½hr sessions in office or phone, Health Insurance covers a portion. Couples Counseling: 1 ½ hr. sessions, Health Ins. covers a portion.
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Phone Counseling is a great way to do therapy, especially for the really busy person who's constantly on the go, or the person who is shy or hesitant to talk about their problem, or when the weather is bad and you don't want to drive to a therapist's office. It just makes sense in this day and age to be able to call and discuss a problem and get advice on a situation with having to leave work and drive to my office.

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