August 18, 2010

Inside this Newsletter:


From Carolyn's Desk:

It’s August and the flowers are in their full bloom (see my garden pix below). My mother was here for a visit (with friends), and I’m headed back home to Mt. Vernon, IL for Labor Day weekend for my high school reunion (I won’t say which one). We have another bear at our mountain house – a bigger and brown one that got in the trash, but at least he didn’t get on the deck this time.

My radio show “Therapy Thursday” that was on KYGO 98.5FM got cancelled. The last show was July 29. To hear past shows, click here.

If you are a person who gives too much in your relationships, then you are probably a Love Addict. Take the quiz below and find out. If you are, learn how to break love addiction in my book Loving Him Without Losing You, and view my appearance on Oprah on breaking out of addictive relationships, show title was “Please Don’t Take Him Back.” (Note: I looked a little different back then.)

Front Deck


Blue Flowers



Are You a Love Addict?

Love addicts crave the approval and affection of others so deeply that they end up sabotaging their relationships. They often chase their mate to the point that their mate pushes them away, they make unrealistic demands, and/or they devalue themselves to the point that their mate loses respect for them — all in the name of love. To find out if you’re a love addict, take this easy quiz.

Are You a Love Addict?


Does being rejected by someone make you want them even more?

A) Yes

B) No


Do you need constant reassurance from your partner that you are loved?

A) Yes

B) No


Do you keep trying harder to please the people you care for though your efforts never seem good enough?

A) Yes

B) No


When you meet someone new, do you immediately daydream about what your future will be together?

A) Yes

B) No


Do you fret every time your partner goes away that he or she will meet that “perfect” someone and dump you?

A) Yes

B) No


Do you hold back your complaints and anger for fear of hurting those you love?

A) Yes

B) No


Do you try hard to please him or her, even when it might be detrimental to you?

A) Yes

B) No


Do you sometimes embarrass yourself with “needy” behavior?

A) Yes

B) No


Are you hurt when those close to you fail to acknowledge you on special occasions?

A) Yes

B) No


Do you allow your mate’s needs to become more important than your own?

A) Yes

B) No

Scoring: Give yourself one point for each “A” answer and zero points for each “B” answer.


0 to 2 points. You’re pretty independent and in little danger of ever becoming a love addict.

3 to 6 points. You probably care more about the approval of others than you should. Try to be more independent.

6 to 10 points. You are a love addict. You’re too focused on what others’ think about you. Work on your self-esteem and try to present yourself as more confident and less dependent.

See Oprah clip on breaking out of addictive relationships.

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Break Love Addiction

Program from Carolyn’s book Loving Him Without Losing You: 8 Steps to Emotional Intimacy Without Addiction:

  1. Recognize, Understand, and Admit your Emotional Dependency and Commit to Change.

  2. Withdraw, Separate and Develop Own Identity.

  3. Forgive Yourself for Not Being Perfect.

  4. Understand Why You are the Way You Are.

  5. Get in Touch with Your Feelings and Communicate Them.

  6. Confront Your Parents (on teaching you to be dependent).

  7. Complete Your Adolescence through Risk-taking and Experimenting.

  8. Take Responsibility and Control in every area of Your Life.

Click here to purchase book.

See Oprah clip on breaking out of addictive relationships.

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10 Ways to Gain Power in Your Relationships

{Excerpt from Carolyn’s book Bring Back the Man You Fell in Love With, pg. 89}

  1. Keep him wondering: Let your mate know you will not continue the relationship the way it is. Never say, "I'd never leave you."

  2. Competition: If you're single, insinuate that there are lots of other "potentials" who will give you what you want. If you're married, let your mate know that if he continues his bad behavior, your friends are a better option to spend time with than him.

  3. Un-investing: Never get more invested in the relationship than your mate is. And if you already are, do whatever is necessary to start uninvesting, i.e. find new friends, financial avenues, etc.

  4. Gain expertise: Gather information and documentation to back you up on whatever subject you are negotiating.

  5. Overload him or her with junk: Find several minor issues you can offer up in a negotiation to get something more important back.

  6. Broken record: Without nagging, repeat your request over and over, let your mate know that this issue will never go away until it's resolved.

  7. Put on your game face: Don't let your mate see you sweat. Try not to take negotiations personally, and if you do, never let him know how emotionally upset you are about the situation.

  8. Identification: Make your mate identify with your pain. If he won't negotiate helping with dinner or the dishes, help him identify with how you feel by no longer washing his clothes.

  9. Equalize the rules: Identify his bad behavior, telling him that what's good for the gander is good for the goose. As long as he chooses that bad behavior, you will too.

  10. Leaving the ball in his court: If your mate refuses to negotiate, let him know what you intend to do to take care of yourself, and that if and when he wants that to change, he needs to come to you because "the ball is in his court."

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6 Signs He’s too Good to Be True

Lisa is old enough to know better. She’s 47, has lived in Denver 7 years, is divorced with 4 kids, and has dated several men since her divorce. When she met Joe, 59, who lives in Boulder, on, there was an instant connection. They began talking every day, and seeing each other several times a week. He soon used the “L” word. After 6 months, he begged her to move to Boulder so they could see each other more often. Two weeks ago and 8 months into the relationship, she moved her and her 4 children at his request.

Ever since then, Joe still calls and acts friendly, but he has pulled away emotionally and sexually, and doesn’t want to see her. He now acts like he wants to be friends, not lovers. In crisis, she called me and we had a therapy session. I helped her plan a talk with him, trying to find out what was going on. I told her if she couldn’t get the information out of him, that she needs to pull back and withdraw from him to get him to talk.

Lisa, like many other women, ran into a man who was “too good to be true.” I shared the 6 signs below with her. She said he does certainly fit the profile. He rushed the relationship (and she went along), he certainly did seem perfect and knew how to treat a lady, and that his nephew tried to warn her indirectly. But the key sign for her was #4: his avoidance of any anger or conflict.

6 Signs He’s Too Good to Be True:

  1. He sweeps you off your feet. He jumps in fast, tells you how special you are. He can’t live without you. But watch out, within a few months, he will have burnt out and be gone.

  2. He seems perfect. He has a good job, he’s your age, he’s single with no kids, and you see no flaws. But watch out, he’s human, he just has a good presentation, so don’t buy it.

  3. He’s got the dating game down. He knows when to call, when to text, where to take you, how to act. He’s smooth. He’s played this game many times before and is probably a womanizer.

  4. He never gets angry. Men who never express anger are into fantasy relationships and avoid conflict at all costs. He will bolt the minute you have a disagreement.

  5. His friends try to warn you. You think they’re jealous, but they know you’re falling for his game and don’t want to see you crash like the others. They know he’ll jump out of this relationship as fast as he jumped in.

  6. He’s inconsistent in his behavior. One day he’s into you, the next he’s no where to be found. He’s in love with love and maybe it’s you today and someone else tomorrow. He’s a commitmentphobe. Don’t trust him.

What to Do:

  1. Take it slow. If you don’t let him rush you, he can’t play his game.

  2. Look for his flaws and take him off the pedestal.

  3. Don’t trust him until and unless you’ve had a disagreement and see how he behaves.

  4. When he pulls away, pull away further.

For Lisa specifically, who is already involved with a “Mr.Was too good to be true, but isn’t anymore,” I told her, “Stop taking his calls and stop acting like his friend.” Until he tells you what is going on, i.e. that he’s upset about some things or has met someone else, etc., pull away from him. Let him wonder if you’re still interested. Once he contacts you, let him know that you are angry about his behavior and that you want to know what is going on and that you will not pretend that everything is okay!

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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 more than15 years. She has been helping people like you improve your life and relationships for more than 30 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 23 years.

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How to get Carolyn Bushong's Relationship Advice:

Individual Counseling: l hour or ˝hr sessions in office or phone, Health Insurance covers a portion. Couples Counseling: 1 ˝ hr. sessions, Health Ins. covers a portion.
Group Counseling: Tuesday night group meets 5:30 - 7:30 pm, 8 members, less expensive.
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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.

Email Advice: Visit Carolyn's website for more information.


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