May 2016

Inside this Newsletter:

Message from Carolyn:

Alan & I will be back in Colorado for Labor Day weekend, and I'll be back in my office at 44 Cook St, Suite 100 in Cherry Creek on June 1, and I am now scheduling in-person appointments for that day. I'm giving a discount for my first day back, Wed, June 1 of $140/hour (usual price is $180). Then I will conduct in-person appointments every Wednesday all summer, hours are noon to 6pm, and phone appointments will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also have on-going Special Deals when you book more sessions. Call me for an appointment at 303-333-1888 (that number is still presently transferred down here to Tucson for now).

Although I now have friends and karaoke friends here in Tucson, I'll also be looking forward to seeing my Colorado friends again, especially my Wednesday night karaoke group. Let's sing, Wed, June 1 at Armida's!

My favorite thing in the spring here in Tucson, besides all the flowers (see pix below), is the mama and baby quail prancing all around my backyard (see pix below). The mama hatched the babies in our walled-in back yard, so we get to see them the day they are born. They follow the mama around in a row, drink water from our vanishing edge swimming pool, and eat seeds, bugs, and grass. Then in about 2 weeks they are able to fly over the wall with their parents, but come back occasionally to eat and drink. It could not be cuter.

Baby Quail & Momma

A Baby Quail

Carolyn's Garden

Carolyn's Yard

Alan and I are headed to Mt. Vernon, IL to see mom June 9 for a few days. She and her boyfriend David are hanging in there pretty good for their late 80's, but I've decided we need to go back there more often now.

I've had several things concern me lately and one is my 20-year-old new client who was recently raped in college, yet was afraid to file charges or tell her parents, for fear they would all blame her. Instead, she just quit school, ended her engagement, and moved back home. It reminds me of the Anita Hill situation years ago (that was recently made into a movie, "Confirmation," about Judge Clarence Thomas and his accused sexual harassment of Anita Hill. The movie is presently airing on HBO). I had hoped that we had come further along in women's sex crimes in the last 25 years. See my article with her story below, "Anita Hill & 20-Somethings."

Beyonce's new album and video, Lemonade, also concerns me. See my article below, "Beyonce & JayZ's Cheating Fiasco."

On an upbeat note, I gave a Dating Seminar for the Network of Extraordinary Women recently, which they recorded and put on their Boom Goddess Radio Podcast. I had the women email me questions they wanted answered about dating, and I've answered them in the article below, "Dating Questions & Answers," and you can hear the audio from the seminar on their radio show. Also, you can now Compare Reviews for Online Dating Sites and Services on the Other Resources page of my website at

I had told you that our deck in Colorado was collapsed by a snowplow guy in December, but we now have a new gorgeous deck built by Home Pro, LLC. They did a fabulous job!

It has been 100 degrees for several days now here in Tucson. For the first time since we've been down here, Alan and I look forward to getting back to Colorado. It's hard to even breathe this hot air. I even wait to get in the pool until the sun goes down. We look forward to the cool, crisp air of Colorado! See you soon!


Anita Hill & 20 Somethings

It seems like women have come a long way in protecting themselves from sexual misconduct since the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas issue. More lawsuits have been filed than before and businessmen have been required to take sexual harassment classes. However, emotionally the issues for women who are targeted are still the same. Young women today still blame themselves when something goes wrong and secretly inside society still blames them too.

Women still hear the negative comments, even if sometimes they are in their mind. "You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." "Maybe you sent him mixed signals. After all, you were nice to him, weren't you?" "What were you wearing?" "You were drinking, maybe you just don't remember it correctly."

My 20-something client, Ally, was raped at college by an ex-boyfriend recently, and never even told her parents for that exact reason. She knew her dad would blame her, saying her it was her fault -- especially since it was at a party where alcohol was involved. She also didn't tell her fiancé. She just broke up with him. She called her parents and told them that she couldn't take college anymore and asked them to come and get her. She basically quit school, moved home, called off her wedding, and contemplated suicide. She felt like it was all her fault and didn't want to hear from anyone that would make her feel worse.

Afterwards, she ran to a friend's dorm room, who called their female volleyball coach at school, who was then required to report it to the police. The guy denied it, and since she refused a rape kit, it was all over in a day -- at least for him. He got away with it, but has damaged her life forever. And here's the worst part. She texted him the next day and apologized for reporting it.

A male friend I recently discussed this with (who has a psychology degree) says, "Why do you believe her? Her text proves that it probably wasn't really rape or why would she apologize?" And many people who don't understand how rape and/or sexual harassment affects a woman emotionally think the same thing.

That's why Anita Hill wasn't believed by many. She contacted Clarence Thomas several times after he had sexually harassed her. Again, many people, men in particular, didn't and still don't understand how someone could contact the person who has abused them and either apologize or act like nothing happened.

Here's what people need to understand: The most important thing to a young woman is approval, and because of this they are easily convinced that everything is their fault -- especially when it comes to what men do. They can excuse a man's behavior because they want his approval so badly. In fact, they not only can convince themselves that it's their fault, but they can choose not to say no because they don't want to hurt his feelings. But being "held down" (as Ally was) is the first clue that it was rape.

I am not denying that women have sometimes given false allegations. There are girls that have lied and ruined a boy's life. Often because of that same fear of judgment if they admit it was consensual when their parents don't think they have sex. But the issue of rape has become more and more of an issue on college campuses and both the boys and the girls are not getting educated in what to do in these situations. The school, and her coach, offered Ally no counseling that could have helped her through this.

What people need to understand is that after any kind of "sex" has happened to a young girl, especially when it's someone she knows, she often still wants to know that he likes her. This is the a key reason that incest often doesn't get reported. A friend of Ally's was sexually assaulted by her uncle and never told anyone for this same reason, after all, it's her uncle. Even when raped, a girl or woman often doesn't go straight to feelings of anger as she should. I know it's hard to understand, and is in fact incomprehensible. But instead, she usually feels vulnerable and shamed. Ally says she was so confused that she didn't know what to think. It all happened so fast and turned into whether or not a crime just occurred instead of anyone helping her emotionally process what had just happened to her.

One of the saddest parts of Ally's story is that she's afraid to turn to her parents because she believes they won't support her. She finally told her fiancé, but he didn't really understand either. Most of her approval issues that keep her from feeling angry come from her dad. She admits that she's spent her whole life trying to win his approval and can't. He guilt-trips her if she misses church for her work, if she spends her own money on a tanning salon, if she sleeps in late, etc. In fact, he basically told her that something is wrong with her, i.e. that she's a bad person for ending the relationship with her fiancé because he's such a nice guy. Her dad's criticisms keep him in control of her and keep her trying for his approval, just as she does with the boys she dates. She excuses her dad's behavior, just as she did her rapist.

This is common. Most of us have had someone who was critical of us in our lives, and it was usually our parents. We tried and may still try for their approval -- and then transfer that need to others in our adult life, like Ally did. When we seek someone's approval, we often don't show our anger when we should and don't set boundaries regarding what they do to us. That's no different than Ally's behavior when she sent that text to her ex-boyfriend who raped her or Anita Hill when she re-contacted Clarence Thomas after he was inappropriate with her. People have trouble "getting it" because they don't recognize or admit their own need for approval. When someone lacks the ability to confront someone with their anger after being abused, it is almost always because of their desperate need for approval.

But Ally is getting stronger since she started therapy. She has gotten in touch with her anger at the ex who raped her, is writing an angry letter to her coach, who has a therapy degree but did not emotionally support her when it happened, and she is gradually dealing with her father. But she does know that she has to get a full-time job and move out from her parents' house before she can truly be strong and independent.

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Beyonce & JayZ's Cheating Fiasco

Beyonce's recent Lemonade album and HBO video special, addressing long-standing rumors about JayZ's fidelity, betrayal and reconciliation, also upset me. Not the actual album and video, but the article in US Weekly (May 16, 2016) regarding her taking advice about the situation from her mom. She also supposedly worked the whole issue out by telling JayZ she "wanted him to spend more time with his family and leave the partying behind." US Weekly says that according to a close source, "Jay agreed and they overcame their problems."

First of all, Beyonce's 62-year-old mom gave Beyonce the advice to work it out. And of course she told her that since that's what she did herself years ago when her now-ex fathered a child with another woman while they were still married. US Weekly calls her mom "the best therapist" for Beyonce, citing a source close to the couple. They also said, "Beyonce married her father, basically." Beyonce even says in her lyrics, "You remind me of my father, a magician, able to exist in two places at once." Beyonce's mother is advising her to repeat her own pattern, even though she herself went through terrible pain. No, her mom is not the best therapist for Beyonce! Also, getting JayZ to stay home more and stop partying does not resolve the issues of her pain or his disrespect toward her. Her resentment will not just go away with time. Nor does his bad behavior or desire to cheat magically change. Beyonce supposedly threatened to leave, but of course didn't. This is what most women do in this situation, especially when they have children and when they've had fathers who have cheated and mothers who stayed. They just threaten, but don't actually leave. And the men know this.

I'm not saying she has to divorce him, but the issues are not resolved. They both need therapy. Needless to say, she needs to resolve her father issues as well as confront her mom regarding staying so long. After all, her mom was her role model. And JayZ needs to deal with his low self-esteem and/or whatever else causes him to cheat, as well as his disrespect for someone he claims to love. This "deal" they made for him to stay home and not party will only last so long. Besides, there are plenty of other ways to cheat, especially these days.

Besides recommending therapy for both, I recommend that Beyonce also use her financial power. As a therapist, I have many times recommended that women (and men) whose mate has habitually cheated, to get a signed legal divorce contract ready that changes how much the cheater gets (of his and/or her money) if he cheats again. Although this doesn't psychologically change or heal a cheater, it makes for a good motive to stop. I do hope they both get some real therapy soon.

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Dating Questions and Answers

Question 1:
What is the acceptable time to wait for a physical relationship when you want a lasting relationship, not a one night stand?

Answer 1:
5 dates (over 6 weeks or so) before sex OR until you feel sure that he likes you as a person and has followed through on things he's said he would do. But kissing and leading up to it is certainly appropriate.

Question 2:
How do I vet guys on a first date, or in an online profile, to find out the red flags before we get in too deep? And do we call them out on a suspicious answer?

Answer 2:
8 Questions to Ask:

  1. "How long have you been single and do you date a lot?" {Has there been time since his last relationship? Is he a player? Is he a loner?}

  2. "Why did your last relationship end? What was your ex like?" {Watch for left over anger or sexism and see if he takes responsibility himself}

  3. "How close are you to your family, adult kids, parents, grandkids?" {Is he too distant with them OR does he build his life around them?}

  4. "Have you ever been to (name an expensive place or restaurant)?" {See his reaction to see if he's cheap or reasonable about money issues}

  5. "Tell me some things about yourself." {See what's important to him.}

  6. "How about we meet at _______ instead?" {See how rigid or controlling he is.}

  7. Where do you live? Do you live alone? In a house or apartment?" {What part of town is it, does he own a house? Does he have roommates or his grown kids living with him? Does he have enough money to take care of himself?}

  8. What do you do most days? Work or what hobbies? {Is he active, a workaholic, taking care of someone?}

Question 3:
If I haven't had sex in 10 years...what can I do to get ready for it again?

Answer 3:
First, buy yourself some sexy new clothes and look at yourself and pose in front of the mirror. And if you are older and have no sex drive, talk to your doctor about hormones (testosterone in particular). But most important, is to masturbate. Also use a dildo of some kind to insert to get the vagina ready for sex again.

Question 4:
I'm a really nice person and after a few months of dating, I often find myself "helping" the guys I date. Sometimes it's with their problems, and a few times I helped with money. Is this really so bad? It usually makes us feel closer.

Answer 4:
It is a huge mistake. You may feel closer at first, but the resentments that build up on both sides usually end up destroying the relationship. Besides, it changes the relationship from equal to you being used -- and wondering if that's why he's with you.

Question 5:
What about dating younger men? I'm a successful woman and I like younger men even if they are financially unstable. Afterall, men do it all the time. What are Pros and Cons?

Answer 5:
It's fun and of course young guys are usually better in bed. Also, it's nice to have the control for a change.

Cons: You'll probably find yourself "parenting" him (men do this to younger women as well). Also, it will get old paying for the dinners and trips. Unless you set really good financial boundaries and take fewer trips, it probably won't last long-term.

Question 6:
Since there are "slim Pickings" the older we get, many friends of mine "settle" and then seem apologetic. What do you think? Should we settle??

Answer 6:
Finding the right guy is certainly not as easy as when we get older, but I personally don't believe in "settling," as I would rather be alone. But not everyone feels this way. It's up to each person. If companionship or sharing expenses is the most important thing to you, you might decide to "settle." Also, many women would rather "settle" than go thorough the job of trying to date.

Question 7:
What is the best way to find "datable" men, if I don't like going to bars or using Match or eHarmony?

Answer 7:
Most important is being friendly and flirtatious when out and about, no matter where you are. Also, go to meetup groups that have men in them, and take on hobbies where there are a lot of men, like golf. You can also ask friends to fix you up.

Question 8:
We hear a lot about being authentic, how much should I share about myself on the first date?

Answer 8:
In general, only share as much as he does or you are handing the power over to him. But also it's good to be a little mysterious. Also, don't let him know how much money you have, or about your wild past, or about your personal problems in the beginning.

Question 9:
What do you do when you really like a guy and he doesn't call back or he calls sometimes and then weeks go by? Is it okay to call him?

Answer 9:
No, not in the early stages. Don't chase. Don't call him unless you can come up with an indirect reason like, "Did I leave my sweater in your car?" You can also try to find a way to accidentally run into him. But if he's pulling away, you need to pull away further hoping to hit his rejection button. Men value a woman they have to chase.

Question 10:
How do women get out of a new dating relationship gently when there's no chemistry?

Answer 10:
Say, "You're a nice person, but this doesn't really feel right to me."

Question 11:
I haven't dated in quite a few years and now two men want to date me. How do I choose?

Answer 11:
You don't. You date them both and if and when they ask about dating others, say, "Yes, I am dating around at this point." They'll usually try harder at that point. And yes you can have sex with both if your morals allow it. Men do it all the time. Then YOU get to decide who to choose when they've proven themselves.

Question 12:
How should I handle it when a guy tries to rush me and/or is too clingy?

Answer 12:
Don't give in. Always keep your own friends and life going and tell him you're busy. But also, speak up and tell him he is moving too fast and be specific: "Let's just talk once or twice a week as this is too much for me as I want to take it slow.

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Comment from last month's "Girl Crush" Q & A:

Hey I wanted to give you an update. My story about. Having a girl crush has been bothering me. So I was reading the other article in your March newsletter, "My Mother Damaged My Self-esteem, and Still Does," I'm like that's so me! I confronted my mom maybe 20 years ago, but she never acknowledged anything and we fell into the same routine just like in the other story.

As a teen I wasn't permitted to have relationships with females. My mom squashed them by telling me I was weird and that others would think that the person was probably trying to molest me. Which freaked me out so I would push people away. The situation with my daughter and my friend in the last Q&A has brought up major feelings and anger at my mom and I'm not one for I superseded it now to the point of a major bleeding ulcer.

Well my mom started treating my daughter the same way about this friend of mine, and I just lost it. I confronted her with both barrels and while doing so I figured out I never really had an issue with this "girl crush" thing. It was just that annoying voice of my mom's in my head bullying me. I absolutely love this girl and her relationship with my daughter and I'm not about to let my mom destroy my daughter too. I kept rereading your newsletter and I had just had enough, so I set boundaries with my mom and this time I meant it. I was not meek or mousy like usual. Guess what, I feel great -- better than in a long time. So thank you thank you!!! Btw love u girl!

~ Shannon, Denver

Hi Carolyn,

Just to let you know that my wonderful friend that you knew, Suzy, passed away last week-the day before her 93rd birthday. My heart is very heavy but full of song too...thanks to you. There wasn't a birthday or a Mother's Day or even a phone call that went by without me telling her how much she meant in my life and how very dearly I loved her-and that I learned from you! With my love and gratitude.

~ Marion, New York


I love your pictures of your backyards in Colorado and Tucson. My husband and I live in Colorado and lived in Tucson for 20 years. Both are so beautiful! I was skeptical about your article Why Marriage Doesn't Work (July 2015). While reading, I realized you nailed it. Thanks for the newsletter!

~Sandra, Denver

Hi Carolyn,

What a truly amazing Newsletter you sent out this month. I read almost every word and have forwarded it to my daughter in Boise. You do what most "therapists" don't do . . . HIT THE NAIL ON THE
HEAD ..., and I am looking forward to our conversation today.

~ Terry, Tucson

From Facebook:

You're as lovely as ever darling. I will always consider you to be one of the most important and influential people in my life. I will never forget what you did for me.

~ Linda, Denver

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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 28 years.

You can find articles by Carolyn on her website and

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How to get Carolyn Bushong's Relationship Advice:

Individual Counseling: l hour or ½hr sessions by phone, Health Insurance may cover 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 without having to leave work or home.

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


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