April 12, 2011
Inside this Newsletter:
Message from Carolyn:
Spring is here—I love the daffodils, tulips, and apple blossoms!!
The wild animals are also out. Last summer we had a bear at our
mountain house, but now there’s a mountain lion cruising around
outside. See picture below taken by my neighbor.
This newsletter is called “Winning.” I know Charlie Sheen is kind of
old news now, but his idea of “winning” inspired my article “Winning
in Relationships.” See below.
A recent Dateline show called “Breakthrough” caught my eye and made
me realize that I need to share how I help clients with similar
breakthroughs in their lives. See “Breakthroughs” below.
Listen to me on an internet radio show next Wed., April 13 at 10am
on “The Love Quest.” To tune in, go to
and click on “listen now.” The show can also be found on
in the news/talk category, look for 12 Radio. The topic is “The
7 Dumbest Relationship Mistakes Smart People Make.”
I was on their show last month on the topic ”10 Reasons You’re Not
Married Yet.” Since I’m now doing internet radio, I now have Skype
– in case any of you phone clients want to use it for our
As you may know, I was interviewed by Channel 9 News around
Valentine’s Day on “Online Dating,” and
here’s the link in case you
In this week’s Life & Style Magazine (on the stands now), I was
quoted about Kourtney Kardashian’s relationship with Scott Disick in
an article titled, “Why Kourtney Won’t Marry Scott.” I was asked
whether Kourtney should trust Scott’s new short-term good behavior.
Scott says, “if she accepts my proposal, I’ll finally realize all my
positive moves are finally paying off.” He seems to be pinning his
happiness and sobriety on Kourtney. My quote: “That’s not healthy
and that Scott needs to make lifestyle changes for himself, which in
turn will positively affect his family.”
Click here to read the rest
of the story.
Below see my Q&A on handling a mother-in-law. A few weeks’ ago, I
commented and gave similar advice in Life & Style Magazine on
Chelsea Clinton’s strained 7-month relationship with her new
husband. He left for the ski slopes only a few months into the
marriage and the reason is supposedly because of Chelsea’s
intimidating parents. Can you imagine having Bill and Hillary as
your in-laws? I say, “Controlling in-laws are a huge cause of
marriages falling apart. It’s very hard to stand up to you in-laws
without alienating your mate. Chelsea is the one who needs to tell
her parents to back off.”
Click here to read the rest of the story.
Just FYI: I’m revamping my website to make it more usable for
finding relationship material that can help you. The new website
should be up and ready in a few weeks.
“Winning,” the term made popular by Charlie Sheen, is something we
all want. But what does it mean to “win” in relationships? Of course
it depends on what we want. To Charlie Sheen, winning in
relationships obviously means having a woman available for sex
whenever he wants one, whether he has to pay for it or not. On the
other side, like a golddigger, winning in relationships is finding
the richest man available and getting him to fall in love with her,
whether or not she loves him back. But for most of us, these two
extremes are not what we would call “winning in relationships.”
A real win for most of us would be to find someone we fall in love
with who loves us back the same. We want someone who loves, adores,
and respects us, and someone we feel the same way about. And then,
real winning would be to keep that love alive forever. We would
start out with our lover enjoying the primary years of our lives
together, having fun, raising a family if we choose to, working hard
in our careers, and then enjoying growing old together.
Why We Don’t Win in Relationships
We settle down with someone too soon
and give too much. Whether we have married too young or simply
jump into relationships too quickly, rushing a relationship will
usually doom it, especially when you give up your identity,
trying to please that person.
Couples blame each other for their
unhappiness. My mother used to say, “I’d be happy if it wasn’t
for your father.” Couples come into my office everyday blaming
each other for their unhappiness. We decide in our heads how our
mates want us to behave, and then blame them when it doesn’t
work. Don’t assume what he or she wants. And your happiness is
your own responsibility; no one else’s
We suffocate each other. Couples
think they’re supposed to do everything together, like the same
things, , think the same way, stay in touch constantly. Thinking
this way stifles you and your mate’s individuality. Spending too
much time together creates boredom, resentment, and a desire to
get away from your mate.
We don’t speak up (in a healthy way)
when we’re unhappy. No we can’t change our mate, but we can
change the way he or she treats us. Women think they’re speaking
up when they complain and bitch, but this is a far cry from
telling your mate how you feel and what you want. Men often
passively build a grudge and act passive/aggressive instead of
saying what they’re feeling and what they want. It’s actually
your job to try and change your mate’s bad behavior toward you
before your resentment kills the love.
We don’t make our mate feel loved.
When is the last time you gave your mate a compliment out of the
blue? Or told him or her that you respect something they’re
doing? Made him or her feel truly valued? No mater how confident
someone seems to be, we all have insecurities and need praise
and affection and when he or she doesn’t get it from you, they
will probably find somewhere else to get it.
How to Win in Relationships
Develop your own identity before you
get into a long-term relationship, and make sure that you keep
If you’re not happy, don’t blame
your mate. Instead, do whatever is necessary to make yourself
Give him his space and take yours.
Each of you keeping your own interests and friends will keep the
relationship more exciting.
Speak up and ask for what you want
and be willing to negotiate fair deals, making the relationship
Make your mate feel loved, i.e.,
compliments, hugs and kisses, buying small things that make you
think of him/her.
Winning in relationships is not that difficult if you stay focused
on your own identity and happiness. You must also be willing to keep
your heart in a loving place as you negotiate fair deals with your
Return to top >>>
Sunday night, March 27, I watched a fascinating psychological
program on Dateline called “Breakthrough.” This program helps people
with psychological problems have breakthroughs so they can move
forward in their lives. They help addicts, as well as people who
have suffered traumas, and people whose childhoods are holding them
back from loving relationships. A young male was featured who didn’t
know how to connect, love, or be loved. The program involves
exercises in expressing anger, facing and ridding your self of
guilt, pain, and humiliation from your past, self-esteem exercises,
and writing letters to family members, as well as group camaraderie.
This man and other members were able to change their lives in only a
few weeks in this intense environment.
Although we know that addictions and traumas like sexual abuse can
destroy or hinder our interpersonal relationships, we often don’t
realize how much our somewhat normal childhood frustrations can keep
us from having healthy relationships. It’s not about simply blaming
our parents for what went wrong, but instead resolving the pain from
those years. It’s only then that we can let go of it and not carry
that pain and bad behavior into our love relationships. If our
parents were never there for us (no matter what the reason), we may
not trust that our mate will be there for us. If we had critical
parents, we’re likely to choose a critical mate and keep the pattern
going. With a controlling parent, we either become like that parent
or live in fear playing victim to our mate like we did with that
parent. We often live out the dysfunctions of our parents in some
way when we don’t confront our childhood issues.
Many people think that we can just choose not to let our childhood
issues affect us, but we can’t “think” our way out of them, they
must be worked through. Change not only requires facing those
issues, but also doing more than talking passively about them. It
requires action—exercises like the ones I mentioned above. Once the
breakthrough has happened, you no longer need the bad behaviors and
defenses you play out in your present relationships. The
“breakthrough” allows you to change and relate to others in a
totally different way.
I offer the same therapeutic work shown in this program, but in
private sessions that can be conducted over several months or
handled in a more intense and fast way. I also step you through this
program in my book
Loving Him Without Losing You. It’s common for people to
attach to their mate and give up their identity, which creates
dependency. Then we transfer the dependency from our childhood to
our mate, playing out those same old defense mechanisms that were
necessary when we were children. The point to my book and this
therapy program is that one must know themselves and resolve their
childhood issues so that their identity will be strong enough to be
in a relationship. I created the program when I had my own
“breakthrough” years ago and worked through my childhood pain, and
have been in a happy, healthy 23-year relationship with the man of
my dreams since that time. Let me help you do the same.
Return to top >>>
Q. Whenever there is an issue
between my mother-in-law and me, my husband refuses to stand up for
me. How do I get him to value our relationship more than the one
with his mother?
A. It’s not about him needing to value your relationship more
than the one with his mother. You need to make it clear that he
needs to protect you from her. Tell him, “I feel upset when you
don’t protect me from your mother. I want you to (& it’s your
responsibility because it’s your mother) handle her, i.e. be the
liason regarding our children, holidays, visits, etc. And I also
want you to go back to her regarding our last fight and let her know
that you back me up. Will you do that? If not, I will pull back and
spend less time with your family.
Return to top >>>
I wanted to let you know that my
father finally caved after 1 ½ years of me setting and holding
my boundaries. I never backed down and I made him look at what
he said and did to me. We’ve wiped the slate clean and I feel so
free on so many levels. Even my husband is starting to come
around. I feel so relieved! I held on, and now I just need to
shine some more brass balls in other areas of my life and I’ll
be fine. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you
as a counselor. You helped me so much!!
I just wanted to let you know that
your advice is working. I stopped chasing my controlling
husband. I stopped pouting and acting like a victim. I’ve
started speaking up, and rejecting him back. I wanted you to be
the first to know that he sent me a dozen long stem roses! Is
that nice or what? Is he coming around you think? Is the
rejection working? I’m thinking it is. Also, he wants to know
what it is I want to do this weekend for my birthday! WOW!
Thanks for your help! I WILL keep this up!!
I wanted to tell you how much I
appreciate all you’ve done for me in therapy. You’ve been
exactly what I needed. I really appreciate it! I also think
you’re a riot!
~ David in Denver
Return to top >>>
How to Play the Dating
How to Play the Dating Game
You may think you don’t want to
have to “play the game” to find the man of your
dreams, but in today’s world, you need to think again. The
first few months of dating set the stage for how he will
view you for the rest of the relationship. If you do it
wrong, he will probably see you as someone he’s eager to get
away from. If you play the game correctly, he will see you
as a prize he worked hard to get (this is how men invest in
Learn the 7 Secrets of the Dating Game, including how
to reverse his rejection, how to weed out the bad ones, and
how to modify his behavior to get what you want.
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
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