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Top 10 Relationship Tips from the IRS

April 15, 2014

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photo via Flickr

We’ve taken this year’s Top 10 Tax Time Tips from the IRS and tweaked them for your dating life (the original document is at the bottom of this post). Because sex is valuable, and money is pretty sexy.  Plus, the IRS likes to refer to itself in the third person, just like we do!

  • Gather your records.  Collect all the evidence from your previous relationships. This includes photos, love letters, and sex toys. Store them in a safe place, one that any new partners will never, ever find.
  • Report your health status.  You will need to report your sexual health status from all of your previous relationships when you start a new relationship. This includes the results from the last time you got checked for STIs, if ever. Remember, April isn’t only tax time, it’s National STI Awareness Month.
  • Get answers.  Use your best communication tools to get answers from a new partner about income, future goals, sexual health, bathroom habits, and family baggage.
  • Weigh your dating options.  You have several options for dating. You can venture out on your own or get professional help from an online dating site or a matchmaker. You may be eligible for free, face-to-face help from friends you respect who have a good dating record and won’t blow smoke up your ass. Weigh your options and choose the ones that work best for you.
  • Consider online dating (seriously).  Electronic dating is one of the best ways to meet someone new. It’s quick, easy and relatively safe (if you’re smart about the way you use the system). Last year, more than 5 million people used online personals. If you own a computer, you have the option of avoiding the dating scene in depressing, overcrowded sports bars.
  • Use Em & Lo’s Private Advice Service.  You can have your online dating profile maximized for a small fee using our Private Advice Service, available exclusively on EMandLO.com. If you’re unsure about the quality of your personal or have trouble expressing yourself in words, you qualify to get our best, most honest advice. If you’re comfortable airing your dirty laundry, you can submit a draft of your online personal ad — or any love-related advice question you might have — to our public forum, where we may answer it online or ask our readers to give their own suggestions in a column called “Your Call.” Visit EMandLO.com to check all your options.
  • Be direct.  Combining honesty with straightforwardness is the fastest and safest way to get a new compatible partner.
  • Visit EMandLO.com 24/7.  Our site is a great place to get everything you need for a satisfying love and sex life. Visit “Advice” for how to’s, tips on technique, answers to frequently asked sex questions, and contact forms to submit your own questions. Get them all anytime, day or night.
  • Check out “SEX“.  Our second to last book, ”SEX: How to Do Everything“, is a complete sex resource. It contains helpful information such as whether you need find the G-spot and how to choose your favorite positions.
  • Review your own merits as a partner.  Mistakes made by you slow down the receipt of true love. Be sure to check all your own shortcomings and psychological issues, as it takes two to tango. If you run into a problem, remember Em & Lo are here to help. Start with EMandLO.com.

Good luck with your taxes and your love life!

 

The above was inspired by the Top 10 Tax Time Tips from the IRS:

  • Gather your records.  Collect all tax records you need to file your taxes. This includes receipts, canceled checks and records that support income, deductions or tax credits that you claim on your tax return. Store them in a safe place.
  • Report all your income.  You will need to report your income from all of your Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form 1099 income statements when you file your tax return.
  • Get answers.  Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on the IRS website to get answers to many of your questions about tax credits, deductions and many more topics.
  • Use Free File.  You can prepare and e-file a tax return for free using IRS Free File, available exclusively on IRS.gov. If your income was $58,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software. If your income was higher, or if you’re comfortable doing your own tax return, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Visit IRS.gov/freefile to check your options.
  • Try IRS e-file.  Electronic filing is the best way to file a tax return. It’s accurate, safe and easy. Last year, more than 122 million taxpayers used IRS e-file. If you owe taxes, you have the option to file early and pay by April 15.
  • Weigh your filing options.  You have several options for filing your tax return. You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer. You may be eligible for free, face-to-face help at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly site. Weigh your options and choose the one that works best for you.
  • Use direct deposit.  Combining e-file with direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to get your tax refund.
  • Visit the IRS website 24/7.  IRS.gov is a great place to get everything you need to file your tax return. Visit ‘1040 Central’ for online tools, filing tips, answers to frequently asked questions and IRS forms and publications. Get them all anytime, day or night.
  • Check out number 17.  IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, is a complete tax resource. It contains helpful information such as whether you need to file a tax return and how to choose your filing status.
  • Review your return.  Mistakes slow down the receipt of your tax refund. Be sure to check all Social Security numbers and math calculations on your return, as these are the most common errors. If you run into a problem, remember the IRS is here to help. Start with IRS.gov.

 



Your Call: I Finally Escaped a 13-Year Toxic Marriage. Now What?

April 14, 2014

4 Comments

We get a lot of questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to respond to a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your thoughts in the comments section. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!

 

Dear Em & Lo,

I am 30 years old and a single mother of 4. I just got out of a very toxic relationship of 13 years. I got married when I was 18 to a man eleven years my senior — yes, I was young and dumb. But I also grew up in poverty (my parents got sponsored to the United States just before I was born) and when I was growing up I was not educated enough to understand what a good man is.

Long story short, I accepted so many wrong things and allowed so much wrong doings in my last relationship that I almost want to become anti-social, and just do everything at home, no matter if it’s school, work, or even shopping. During my 13 years of marriage, I became oppressed and stopped everything that kept me happy and devoted my life to this man.

Now that I finally got out of the relationship, I am ready to live again, I am back in school, socializing, just engaging with society — I feel like I’m 18 again and doing everything that I stopped doing when I got married. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing, but it really feels like I am catching up with everything I missed out on.

I’m afraid to fall in love with the wrong person and be abused in every way. I’m afraid of being alone as well — I think that’s why I stayed in the relationship for so long. Taking and dealing with all this really FUCKED me up.

I need so much help! How can I move forward?

– The Not So Gay Divorcee

What do you think N.S.G.D. should do? Leave your suggestions for her in the comments section below. 

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Dream Interpretation: My Boyfriend and I Had Matching Nightmares

April 10, 2014

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photo via flickr

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

My boyfriend and I had been arguing all night. Sometime around 4 am, going on 5, we both had a nightmare and addressed each other about it around 8 in the morning. We weren’t in the same place, he was home and I was home. I find it so ironic how we had the same dream (when we weren’t even around each other) let alone more ironic how we woke up at the same time. His dream was that he got jumped. My dream was that these kids he had altercations with were outside my house begging him to come out & pulled out guns but the cops came. Is this symbolizing it’s gonna come true? I’m scared, I’m thinking about visiting a fortune teller. Please help!


LauriOh for goodness sake, save your money! Having the same or similar dream as someone else on the same night isn’t terribly uncommon. It is called “shared dreaming” and it probably happens even more than we realize because we do not always remember nor  report our dreams to others in the morning. I’ve even addressed this in a previous column here at EMandLO.com. The reason your dreams were so similar is because you both went to sleep with the same issue on your mind — your fight — so both of your subconscious minds’ addressed the fight.

In his dream, he got jumped. That reflects how he felt after your fight. He felt attacked… by you, and his dreaming mind equated this to being ganged up on. In your dream the gang was begging him to come out. That probably reflects your role in the fight. When you two were fighting, were you begging him to “come out” and open up about something?

The guns are the emotional weapons you used or both of you used on each other. Guns in dreams are all about shooting off at the mouth, criticism, emotionally wounding words, etc.  The cops showing up represents that you two managed to put a stop to the fight before it got too bad.

So don’t worry, these dreams are not a warning of things to come but rather an honest expression of how you both feel about what went down in your fight. I highly recommend you both continue to share your dreams with each other, as it will help you stay tuned into one another. It’s something fresh to talk about every day, often something fun to laugh about, but most importantly, your dreams are the most pure and honest expressions you have. And in any healthy relationship, honesty is always the best policy.

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

 

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Is “I Love You, But…” Always a Dealbreaker?

April 9, 2014

3 Comments

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!

 

Dear Em & Lo,

What do I do when a guy says he loves me, but he won’t commit to being my boyfriend? Does he really love me?

– Miss Interpreted

Dear M.I.,

Here’s your short answer: Run away! No, he doesn’t really love you!

Here’s your long answer: Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you! No, he doesn’t really love you!

Okay, seriously, we can think of maybe a handful of reasons why somebody may really actually honestly love you but be unable to commit to being your boyfriend:

1. He’s already taken. In which case, like, we said: Run away!

2. He loves you like a sister. In which case: Run away! Because you’ll never get out of the sister zone.

3. He’s gay and loves you like a beard. (Er, do we even need to say it?)

4. He’s in the C.I.A.

5. He’s in jail.

More likely, however, that he just wants to screw your brains out, and he thinks that the sex will be better — or at least, more available to him — if he tells you he loves you. Love is complicated, sure, but it’s not that complicated.

Love ya!

Em & Lo

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Your Call: How Can I Get Her to Let Me In?

April 7, 2014

2 Comments

photo via Flickr

We get a lot of questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to respond to a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your deep thoughts in the comments section. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!

 

 

I have been dating this gal for about 18 months now and recently she said we were getting too familiar. She was widowed seven years ago and when she feels she is falling for me, then she closes up and drives me away. She wants to be friends but does not want to go out and do things friends do. We play cards twice a week but she barely talks to me (though she does chat with others). Any suggestions as to how to get things on the right track again?

– The Outsider

What do you think T.O. should do? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below. 

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Did the Ghost of My Dead Husband Visit Me in My Dreams?

April 3, 2014

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Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about love or sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty and/or romantic dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

I dreamed that my first husband, who passed away in 2007, was lying next to me, holding me from the back, whispering something into my ear.  I was trying to turn around because I didn’t know who it was. I’m currently divorced from my second husband as of last September.  When I turned around and saw his face, he smiled, but I knew that he was gone and started crying and woke up.  Once I woke up I really cried like a little baby.  What did this dream mean?  I haven’t dreamed about him in a long time, and that situation threw me off. What do you think?  

Lauri: Aw, I am so sorry for your loss. I know this dream was difficult. I hope I can bring some comfort and clarity to you.

Now, I take a very practical approach to analyzing dreams and believe that everything and everyone in your dream represents a part of you or a part of your life. However, when we dream of a deceased loved one, I can’t help but feel that sometimes it may be them, certainly not every time, but sometimes. And those dreams usually feel different than other dreams. You wake from the dream still feeling their presence, sometimes even smelling their cologne or perfume. Is it wishful thinking on my part? Perhaps. But that is also coupled with research that seems to suggest dreams are a possible means of communication. So I am going to approach your dream from both schools of thought.

Psychologically speaking, what is behind you in a dream often represents your past. Your late husband is indeed a part of your past, that which is “behind” you. In the dream you try to turn around because a part of you probably wishes to go back to a happier time and to a more loving partner. He then gives you a smile. In dream psychology receiving a smile in a dream is a sign of self approval, which would mean your deeper, intuitive self feels you have done the right thing and that everything will be okay.

Spiritually speaking, who’s to say it wasn’t the spirit of your late husband coming through to you during a difficult time in your life when you feel most alone and letting you know he is still with you? In my heart I believe it is possible.

Either way, the crying you did afterwards was definitely needed and this dream served the purpose of helping you cleanse your psyche, bringing you comfort.

Visit Lauri’s brand new site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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Dream Interpretation: My Boyfriend and I Both Dreamed I Cheated

March 27, 2014

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Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

What does it mean if I dream I cheated on my boyfriend and he had the same dream too, that I cheated on him?

Lauri: You’ve got two very excellent questions that a lot of people wonder about: the cheating dream and having the same dream as someone else.

Let’s start with the latter. When you have the same dream as someone else on the same or close to the same night, it’s because you are both dealing with the same waking life issue and your subconscious minds respond to it in a similar manner by giving you similar dreams.

Next: You both had a dream of you cheating. This is a big clue as to what the waking life issue is that you two are dealing with. I’ll assume that you’re a good girlfriend and haven’t cheated and that is why this dream is confusing you both. If that’s the case, then this shared dream suggests you both feel there is a third wheel in the relationship, but rather than it being another man, it is more likely something else that you are giving your time and attention to. Is there a new baby that is taking up all your time and affection? Or is it something else like your job or a side project or even a friend or family member that is taking too much of your time?

Whatever it is, your boyfriend is feeling cheated out of your time and you seem to be aware that something is getting in the middle of your relationship. Rather than allowing this dream to upset you, let it be a wakeup call that your relationship needs a little more TLC right now. Do that and the dream won’t come back… for either one of you!
Visit Lauri’s brand new site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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Your Call: What’s the Difference Between Make-Up & Photoshop?

March 24, 2014

2 Comments

photo via Flickr

We get a lot of questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to respond to a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your deep thoughts in the comments section. 

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE* Advice Service!

 

Hi,

I just read the question and response about the lady who felt bad because her husband had slightly photo-shopped photos he had taken of her nude body.  I thought your response was absolutely excellent.

However, this made me think a bit about photo-shopping in general, which is used, bluntly speaking, to present a version of the woman that is somewhat removed from the reality.

So, how different is this from women using make-up and other beauty treatments?  In my mind, make-up is merely ‘old-style low tech’ photo-shopping.

When a woman uses mascara, eye-liner, blush, and all the other things that guys like me can’t identify on a bet, they are altering their true image.  Yet, very few women will go out in public without doing this.

I’m not suggesting this is wrong, or a bad thing.  It is just the way things are.  And a bad or extreme photo-shopped image is terrible, just like overdone, or poorly applied make-up.

What do you think?

Steve

What do you think about Steve’s point? Leave your deep thoughts in the comments section below. Ours is this video:

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The Best Way to Fix Love (According to the New Book “Love Sense”)

March 21, 2014

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photo via Flickr

The new book Love Sense by clinical psychologist Dr. Sue Johnson tries to take some of the mystery out of that big emotion. While that may not sound very romantic, Johnson is dedicated to the scientific exploration of love so that we may have better, more-fulfilling, more intimate long-term relationships — especially in a world where independence, isolation and non-monogamy are growing more common. Her book offers real-life examples and practical exercises, based on the Emotionally Focused Therapy she developed in her own practice. In previous weeks, we’ve featured the first sections of Chapter 1 on the history of love and the sceince of love; below is the final section, which presents a unified theory of love and offers an exercise to try at the end.

 

Love Sense” by Dr. Sue Johnson

from Chapter 1: A Unified Theory of Love

Understanding that our lovers are our safe haven from the vicissitudes and depredations of life has given us new insights into what makes romantic relationships fail and succeed. For years, all of us have focused solely on what we see and hear. The fights that erupt over money: “You’re spending a fortune on shoes you don’t need.” “All you want to do is save. We’re living like misers. There’s no fun.” The disputes over in-laws: “You’re always on the phone with your mother, telling her every little thing we say and do.” “You’re Daddy’s girl, totally. When are you going to grow up?” The disagreements about child rearing: “So he didn’t do his homework last night. He gets too much. You’re too rigid and controlling.” “And you’re too lenient. He has no discipline. You let him get away with murder.” And the disappointment about sex: “You cheated. How many times? You’re such a liar.” “Well, I wouldn’t have if you were willing to try new things or have sex more often. And anyway, it didn’t mean anything.”

But concentrating only on what’s right before our eyes obscures our vision. We don’t get the big picture. Home in on the miniature dots in Georges Seurat’s painting and you’ll be unaware you’re seeing A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. Sit at the piano and play a few notes in a score and you won’t hear Johannes Brahms’s lulling Waltz in A-flat Major. Take the dance floor and repeat one series of steps and you’ll never realize the sensuality of Argentine tango.

Similarly, troubled couples are fixated on specific incidents, but the true problem is broader and deeper. Distressed partners no longer see each other as their emotional safe haven. Our lover is supposed to be one person we can count on who will always respond. Instead, unhappy partners feel emotionally deprived, rejected, even abandoned. In that light, couples’ conflicts assume their true meaning: they are frightened protests against eroding connection and a demand for emotional reengagement.

In contrast, at the core of happy relationships is a deep trust that partners matter to each other and will reliably respond when needed. Secure love is an open channel for reciprocal emotional signaling. Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing, and finding deeper connection. It is a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again, minute by minute and day by day.

The new science has given us what I like to call a unified field theory of love. Einstein couldn’t find it for physics, but we’ve found it for love. At last, all the pieces we’ve been puzzling over separately fit together. We see the grand scheme. Fifty years ago noted animal researcher Harry Harlow, in an address to the American Psychological Association, observed, “As far as love or affection is concerned, psychologists have failed in their mission…The little we write about it has been better written by poets and novelists.”

Today we have cracked the code of love. We now know what a good love relationship looks and feels like. Even better, we can shape it. For the first time, we have a map that can guide us in creating, healing, and sustaining love. This is a consummate breakthrough. At last, to quote Benjamin Franklin, this “changeable, transient, and accidental” phenomenon—romantic love—can be made more predictable, stable, and deliberate.

The fixes we’ve tried in the past have been failures because we have not understood the basis of love. In general, therapists have attacked the problem in two ways. The first is analytical: couples dig back and sift through their childhood experiences to find the reasons why they respond the way they do. This seeking after insight into first relationships is laborious, time consuming, and expensive—with small benefit. It comes at the problem sideways, through intellectual insight into each person’s relationship history. Your present relationship is not just your past automatically playing out; this dismisses your partner and the power of his or her responses, as if this partner were simply a blank screen on which you project the movie of your past.

The second approach is practical. Couples are instructed on how to communicate more effectively—“Listen and repeat back what your partner has said.” Or they’re taught how to negotiate and bargain their way through divisive issues, from sex to cleaning—“You agree to vacuum the rug, and I’ll clean the bathroom.” Or coached on how to improve their sex life—bring on the flowers and racy lingerie and try positions from the Kama Sutra. All of these techniques can be helpful, but only temporarily. Love is not about whether you can parrot back what’s said or decide who vacuums the rug or agree on what sexual moves to try. Such practical counseling is like putting a finger in a cracked dam to hold back the tide or sticking a Band-Aid on a suppurating wound.

My client Elizabeth tells me, “The other therapist made us do these set exercises using the statements she gave us, but we just couldn’t talk to each other that way when we got home, let alone when we were upset. And we did make a deal about chores, but it didn’t change the way I felt about us. I was still lonely. At one point we were doing this ‘leave the room, take time out’ thing, but then I was even more angry when he walked back in, and I didn’t even really know what I was so angry about.”

Ultimately, these remedies are ineffectual because they don’t address the source of relationship distress: the fear that emotional connection—the font of all comfort and respite—is vanishing.

When we know how something works, fixing it and keeping it healthy is much easier. Before this basic understanding, all we could do was flail around trying to fix one part of the relationship in the hope that trust and loving connection would somehow find their way back in through these narrow routes. The new science has given us a straight arterial road to our destination.

To really help couples find happiness, we must shore up the foundation of their relationship; that is, help them relay and rebuild their emotional connection. The technique I and my colleagues have devised, EFT, or Emotionally Focused Therapy (my irreverent children call it Extremely Funny Therapy), does just that. We’ve discovered that discontented lovers fall into set patterns of behavior that plunge them into cycles of recrimination and withdrawal. The key to restoring connection is, first, interrupting and dismantling these destructive sequences and then actively constructing a more emotionally open and receptive way of interacting, one in which partners feel safe confiding their fears and longings.

The results of EFT, as measured in a multitude of studies, have been astoundingly positive—better, in fact, than the outcomes of any other therapy that has been offered. Lovers say that they feel more secure and satisfied with their relationship. Their mental health improves as well; they are less depressed and anxious. And they are able to hold onto the changes they make long after therapy has ended.

Why is EFT so effective? Because it goes to the heart of the matter. We do not have to persuade or coach partners to be different. The new
science has plugged us into the deepest human emotions and opened the way to transfiguring relationships, using the megawatt power of the wired-in longing for contact and care that defines our species. Says one of my clients: “For twenty-eight years, my wife and I had been circling the kind of conversation we are having now, but we’d never actually gotten down to it…Either we were too afraid or we didn’t know how. This conversation changes everything between us.”

Once you have a map to the territory called love, you can put your feet on the right path and find your way home.

***

To help you turn the new science into love sense, you’ll find brief “experiments” for you to do at the end of each chapter. Science, after all, is deliberate observation that leads to identification of recurring patterns. By doing these experiments, you’ll be collecting data on your own relationship that will help you understand the way you love and help you find the security and satisfaction you—and we all—long for.

EXPERIMENT 

Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted for about thirty minutes. Sit comfortably and quietly, and count twenty breaths in and out. Now imagine that you are in an unfamiliar, dark place. You are suddenly unsure and scared and aware that you are very much alone. You want to call out for someone to come.

Step 1 

Who is the person you want? Imagine his or her face in your mind’s eye.

Do you call or not? Perhaps you convince yourself that this is a bad idea, even a sign of weakness, or an opening that will lead to hurt and disappointment. Perhaps you decide that it is not good to rely on another person and that you must take care of your distress on your own, so you hunker down in the dark. Perhaps you call, but very hesitantly, then go hide in a dark corner.

If you call, how do you do it? What does your voice sound like? When someone comes, what does he do? Does he express concern, offer comfort and reassurance, and stay with you so that you relax and let yourself be comforted?

Or does she come, but then sometimes turn away, dismiss your distress, tell you to control your emotions, or even criticize you, so that you try to hold onto her but get more upset, feeling that she has not really heard your call or cannot be relied upon?

How does your body feel as you do this experiment? Tight, numb, sore, agitated, calm, relaxed? How hard was it for you to do this experiment? Do any emotions come up for you—sadness, joy, anger, or even anxiety?

Step 2

Now stand up and move around for a few minutes. Sit in another chair to consider the results of your thought experiment from some distance. (If it is hard to get distance, you may want to postpone reflecting on the experiment until another day or even discuss it with someone you trust.)

Summarize, in very simple terms, what happened in this fantasy scenario. Write the steps down. What does this imagined scenario tell you about what you expect in a relationship? Our expectations, our predictions about how others will respond to us guide our steps in any dance with a lover. They are our very own love story.

Step 3

Reflecting a little more, see if you can articulate your general feeling about love relationships.

Some people automatically go to phrases such as: “They just don’t work”; “Men/Women are impossible to relate to. They always reject you or let you down”; “Love is hard work, but it’s worth it”; or “Love is for dummies.”

Step 4

Ask yourself, “What do I really want to know about love and loving?” See if you can find the answer by reading the rest of this book.

 

from “Love Sense” by Sue Johnson, available on Amazon.com
Copyright (c) 2013 by Sue Johnson. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company. All rights reserved.
 Read the first part of Chapter 1 on the history of love
Read the second part of Chapter 1 on the sceince of love.
 



Dream Interpretation: I Had a MFF Threeway with My Husband

March 20, 2014

1 Comment

photo via flickr

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

I had a dream last night about my husband and I having a threesome and I have been completely freaked out. In the dream we met a random woman who we befriended. One thing led to another and we took her to bed. I remember being completely fine with it until I found out that my husband would only be the second person and only the second time that she has slept with anyone. I tried putting it out of my mind and continued but I was suddenly jealous. During foreplay I looked at my husband and made it very clear that this would be the only time that we do this. Things continued to progress but I was able to wake myself before we went “all the way.”

This dream confused me for many reasons. My husband and I are completely closed to this subject as we agree it would be detrimental to our relationship. We are committed solely to each other. Another thing is that the only other person I have ever been with is a woman. I dated her for 7 years and while I enjoyed that time I have no desire to live that life again. I’d love to talk to him about this but it has taken 4 of the 5 years we’ve been together for me to convince him that I’m done with that part of my life and he fulfills my needs. Hoping you can help me figure this out. I’ve been thinking about it for hours. Thank you in advance!

Lauri:  Dreams are confusing for many reasons. One, because we look at them literally rather than symbolically, and two, because we don’t realize that everything in the dream is really symbolic of a part of ourself or a part of our own life. In other words, the woman in this dream represents you!

Notice how, just like you, your husband is only the second person she has ever been with. So you need to ask yourself what it is you have invited into your marriage that you now regret. Is something starting to feel like a third wheel? Have either of you taken on a new job or project that is getting in the middle of your time together? Or is it something intangible like insecurity or a behavior that that is starting to be a problem?

My suspicion is that it is your past. In the dream you try to make it clear to your husband that the threesome with the woman will never happen again just as you have to convince him in real life that you would never be with another woman again. I think your dream is showing you that this is still a sticky wicket for hubby… or perhaps it is for you in that it bothered him for so long. Either way, I believe THAT is the third wheel. Heck, a lot of men would totally dig if that was part of their wife’s past. Nonetheless, my professional opinion is that this dream reflects that you are solely committed to hubby but it bothers you that your past bothers — or DID bother — him. The past is the past. You don’t live there anymore so stop letting it imprison you.

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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