Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships.

Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships

Couple Holding Hands

Intimacy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Discover the many meanings of intimacy

What do you associate the term, “intimacy” with? Do you picture a candlelit dinner, an impassioned embrace, or a long walk on the beach? Intimacy is so much more than a purely physical or romantic moment. It’s a hard-earned mental, emotional, and physical connection with a partner.

You can be intimate over an ordered-in pizza and movie, a quick kiss goodbye, or silent car rides. It’s most often found in the little moments of comfort and closeness, so it’s important that you don’t put too much pressure on finding intimacy in grand gestures. Instead, look for it in small activities and find ways to work it into your day-to-day in order to enjoy a stronger relationship.

Talk about your physical connection

However, a big aspect of intimacy is, in fact, physical connection: hugging, holding hands, kissing, sex, and simple spatial closeness. It’s crucial that you both feel comfortable and fulfilled in this aspect of your intimate partnership in order to build your sense of intimacy in the relationship.

Be honest and open with your partner: the more you talk about desires or issues you’re having in the bedroom, the easier it will be to address them and enjoy the moment. If you keep thinking of new things you want to try, don’t hide them from your partner. Open communication is key to feeling close with your significant other and it can allow them to better understand your needs.

Ask for help where you need it

It’s also important to keep in mind that experiencing difficulty with physical intimacy is normal, especially for older couples. For example, about half of all men experience erectile dysfunction, and nearly a fifth of women face vaginal dryness. Don’t let these get in your way of physical intimacy; have a simple conversation with your doctor to learn about easy remedies. They can connect you with treatments ranging from an erectile dysfunction medication that improves male performance to a gentle personal lubricant that can make intercourse more comfortable for women.

If your interruptions are more mental, consider meeting with a therapist or discussing different ways to approach sex with your partner. There are several ways to be physically intimate that avoid traditional sex, it often just takes some creativity and understanding from a partner.

 

If you and your partner are having issues feeling emotionally intimate, consider seeking out a couple’s therapist or a marriage counselor. A professional, unbiased party can help open lines of dialogue in a relationship, pinpoint areas in need of attention, and flesh out issues that might be preventing emotional closeness.

Find common connections

It’s also important to find ways to build intimacy in other ways. Connecting with your partner about similar interests is a great way to foster closeness and rediscover your common passions. Whether that means trying out something new to both of you, or investing time in each other’s hobbies, finding these common connections will help you develop more emotional intimacy.

It could also be beneficial to use creative ways to learn more about your partner. Often, couples who are together for years begin to feel that their relationship, or even their partner, has become repetitive and uninteresting. Instead of settling into a comfortable routine with your significant other, challenge them (and yourself) with new activities or thought-provoking conversations. Consider using some interesting questions to guide your dialogue to give you some new, intimate insight into your partner and allow you to feel emotionally closer to them.

If your relationship is lacking intimacy, consider some of these ways to find closeness and rebuild passion between you and your partner.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

How to avoid taking a job you will hate

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Job application.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How long before you hate that job?

Some jobs are terrible at first look. You can tell you will hate them from a distance. But a lot of other jobs fool you. You think they will be “OK.” But after a few weeks or months, maybe years, you discover you hate this job.

But a lot of other jobs fool you. You think they will be “OK.” But after a few weeks or months, maybe years, you discover you hate this job.

After a few weeks or months, maybe years, you discover you hate this job.

How can you avoid a job you will hate?

One important factor is the fit between the job and the person who fills that position. Here is an example of how job fit affects loving or hating your job.

A large company had a number of jobs available. One was in the data entry department. The person who gets this one will sit all day in a cubicle and enters data on a computer screen. Most of the time they will work from a large stack of forms and there is little interaction with others.

The other position is a data collector. This person walks up and down a mall and asks people if they will be willing to answer a few questions. When someone says yes, they then spend the next few minutes asking that person questions, getting their opinions on things.

Some of you have already decided which job you want just from the descriptions.

So, one person, let’s call him Bob, comes for the interview and this person is very shy. Bob hates being around crowds. He gets nervous just talking to strangers.

The second applicant, Let’s call her Nancy, loves talking to people. Someone new is the high point of their day. The thought of having to be cooped up in a cubical all day sounds like Nancy’s idea of hell.

So what would happen if outgoing Nancy gets the job to enter the data, and shy Bob gets assigned to go to the mall?

Would things work better if Shy Bob gets the computer job and outgoing Nancy gets the interview job?

This example illustrates two things at work. The fit for the job is the best predictor of how happy the person is likely to be on the job. Job satisfaction is also a big predictor of how well that employee will perform.

The second thing this example illustrates is how important it is to pick people for the qualities they really have not for stereotypes.

It would be easy to expect Bob, the man, to be better at going out and meeting people and Nancy, the woman, to be the shy one who would want to stay in the office.

This fallacy results in some people getting hired because they look or act a certain way, rather than because they are the best person for the job.  So a good way to avoid a job you will come to hate is to take a hard look at yourself, what you like and do not like and aim for the job that will make best use of your talents and will not ask you to do things that are among your least favorite things to do list.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Looking for a job doing anything leaves you doing nothing

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Dream job sign

Dream job.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Looking for a job doing anything?

 

Getting a job is one way to rapidly improve your mood, reduce depression and anxiety. More and more mentally ill are working, not at jobs manufactured for them, but at important and rewarding jobs right alongside other people who may never have experienced a mental health challenge.

If the person next to you at work chooses to not tell you about their mental health issues many times no one would know.

Few things in life can pull you down into depression or anxiety as dramatically as losing your job or going through long periods of unemployment. Counselors and clients often spend a lot of time working on depression and neglect the impact that having a job or other purpose in life might have on the client’s mental health.

One major missing piece in the treatment of mental illness has been our failure to provide career counseling and guidance to those with mental health challenges.

Some of life’s most needed skills; things like managing anger, having a healthy relationship and find a job are missing from many people’s education.

Now if you were one of those people who just naturally knew how to find that high paying career, never were laid off or downsized and had a period of unemployment, you may not have needed any career guidance. But if you are like most of us, you have had to make it through periods of unemployment and underemployment and you may have felt a good deal of anxiety and depression during those times.

Employment development departments and other agencies may work to help people find work, but how to manage those emotions while doing a job search is often missing from the equation.

One mistake I see discouraged and depressed job seekers making is to start looking for a job “doing anything.”

The willingness to take what jobs are available and at the wages that are available is a laudable quality. But looking for a job doing “anything” rarely works.

If you do not know what you are looking for how will you know it when you see it?

Try looking in the paper or online under the heading “Anything.” Did you find any listings? Looking for “a job doing anything” is not the same thing as being willing to do anything.

The more focused you are on what you are looking for, the more opportunities you might find. Having two, three or more specific things you would like to do for a living will net more leads than constantly looking at everything and anything.

That unfocused job search will net you a lot of jobs you are not qualified for or which require work at times and locations you can’t do, but not many opportunities that are possibilities.

Spending time learning about the world of work, what jobs exists and what jobs might be a good fit with your abilities, interests and education will go a long way in narrowing you search from looking everywhere at everything and finding nothing to looking  in a few key areas in which you have a good chance to find something.

There are a few important things that you need to know to narrow your job search and improve your chances.

  1. Know yourself, your likes, your abilities, and your interests.
  2. Know about the world of work, what jobs are out there
  3. How do you land that job once you have found it?

In future posts, I want to explore a few of the basics of career counseling that Professional Counselors practice with their clients.

While you may not be out of work now there is always a chance to improve your situation. Sometimes this improvement comes from finding a job and sometimes it comes from advancing within the place you find yourself.

Either way best wishes on making a job a part of your recovery and your happy life plan.

Keep an eye out and we will take a look at more career information in the posts to come.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Does US mean no more ME? Relationship strain.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Couple not talking

Unhappy relationship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Can your relationship survive?

The client comes for counseling, sometimes it is a couple, sometimes they have already spit or divorced and the client comes alone. The complaints are remarkably similar.

In the beginning, this relationship was so perfect. We spent a lot of time together, couldn’t wait to be together and then things started to change.

Starting a new relationship sets off a series of changes in everyone’s life. Some of these changes are enjoyable, falling in love is better than most drugs. But that new relationship also sets off stress. Those seeds of change planted at the start of the relationship become the weeds of disappointment later on.

In the process of creating an US, the couple finds themselves distancing from people who have been in their life before the relationship. Most of us have full lives, even when we say that there is something missing, like love, still to make room for the new partner something has to go.

The picture I get of this person entering a new relationship is sort of like my desk. It is full. No matter how much I clean it off more stuff appears and fills it up. So anytime I add a new thing, a book I want to read, something else I planned to look at gets covered up or if I push that new book onto the desk something falls off the other side.

Is your relationship overly full like that?

So to make room for that new love, you see less of old friends. Maybe your new partner doesn’t like some of your friends, so you stop seeing them. There may be conflicts between your partner’s interests and expectations and what your family expects. So you change a little and then your relationships with family and friends, those relationships change in response.

As the relationship progresses all sorts of conflicts arise. Where do you spend holidays? Do you go to activates with your friends and family or your partners?  As your new love takes you away from your established relationship your family and friends may push back.

You may be expected for a holiday meal with one part of the extended family and another part is angry because they expected you. You can see how the conflicts mount up.

You may decide to adopt the customs of one person or the other or you may compromise. Either way life activities outside the relationship will change. You have to stop doing some things to make way for others.

Creating an US in your relationship.

At this stage, couples come to counseling for help in creating space for an US. They need help in setting boundaries with people outside the relationship. They may also need help setting boundaries within the relationship.

The resentments may accumulate. You have given up a lot to make this relationship work and now you wonder what happened to ME since we became US?

Not losing ME in your relationship.

He came home from work after a hard day and she wasn’t there, out with her girlfriends again. She used to call him about every little decision now she calls her mother and tells him what her mom said she should do.

He used to want to be with her all the time. Now he spends Friday night out with the guys. Soon Friday turns into 3 or 4 nights a week. He starts going to the gym or running every day.

The time they used to spend together each now wants time apart. Often one or the other partner thinks the other is having an affair, sometimes they are, but most of the time they just decide to go back to doing the things they did before they got into this relationship before WE and US started to obliterate the “ME.”

Rarely does a couple both start the US to Me change at the same time.

So as the process of reestablishing ME begins to take shape, The relationship undergoes a new strain, creating separateness within togetherness.

Relationship counselors have looked a lot at the progression of relationships. We are seeing that relationships and people in them go through a series of changes. If one partner’s changes are out of step with the others then there can be problems in the relationship.

Sometimes that first embrace gets too tight and one person may push the other away.

This is a time to look at how the relationship is progressing not to think you picked the wrong person. Healthy relationships change over time.

There can be ME’s for both partners within the US. It takes time, understanding and effort to create that space within the loving relationship.

Frequently the two of you become three or more and then the relationship stress mounts. Do you have to give up being that loving couple to be a family? Can there still be a ME and US and an ALL OF US?

Making it a Family.

Family can and do make these transitions. It helps if you know they are coming. If these inevitable relationship strains and changes are making you wonder if you made the right choice in the first place, consider relationship or family counseling.

All relationships continue to change and starting over with a new partner means going through these relationship changes all over again. Couples who are willing to work at navigating the changes that always come, end up navigating those changes together.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

What do several failed relationships mean?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Family torn apart

Divorce.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Why do you have multiple failed relationships?

There are several things you should be looking at if you have repeated failed relationships.

Here are some possible reasons that this same thing keeps happening to you.

Take a look at this list and see if any of these applies to you. This may be your chance to learn a needed lesson.

It could be bad luck, maybe.

This to me is the least likely possibility. Sure it is possible that someone can have a bad outcome from an effort several times. But the more often things happen “again” the more we need to start looking at ourselves rather than blaming this recurrence on bad luck.

You get with people thinking you will change them.

This is a more common problem. You get with a new romantic partner thinking all they need is someone who cares about them and they will straighten up and go right.

Having a supportive person in your corner is wonderful, but if you have started thinking that this potential partner will suddenly change if you just love them enough you are headed for heartbreak.

Snakes remain snakes and addicts rarely give it up just because you want them to. Lots of us have capes hanging in the closet just waiting for the opportunity to become Captain-Save-a-bum.

Ladies if he cheated on his last partner or has multiple babies’ mama’s these are all bad signs.

You incompatibility detector is not working.

In the early stages of courtship, we see what we want to see. The red flags and the bells and sirens are all there we just chose to ignore them.

If you do not invest a significant amount of time getting to know who this person is under normal, non-dating circumstances, you have no idea who you are getting. Despite having a host of bad experiences do you tend to keep doing it over and over? You know you do!

Can you spot the “perfect partner” across a crowded room? They never look or act so good when you get to know them up close. Make sure you checked this person out well.  You always need to allow for shrinkage and spoilage. Guys – expect her perfect figure to disappear in the light of reality.

You expect relationships to be easy or 50 -50.

No, 50-50 relationships do not work. It takes something like 80-80, to make it work. If both of you do not think you are doing more than your partner you will never meet in the middle.

If you are keeping score that is a bad sign also.

So very often we think we need to do all the work on the front end to catch that great person. Great partners are not caught. You do that and they keep trying to get away. They have to be nurtured and that means it takes more effort to maintain a relationship than to get one started.

You keep looking in the wrong places.

A Very common scenario in counseling. The woman has been abused; he is an alcoholic or addict. She may have had a father who came from that mold. So she gets loose from this abusive man.

What do you think happens the day after the divorce?

Her girlfriends take her out to celebrate and they hit the club. That very night she meets this new – wonderful guy.A year later, now pregnant – again- she finds he is an alcoholic abusive cheater. What went wrong?

If you meet them in crack houses the chances are they are drug users. If you meet them over alcohol they may be already married to their bottle.

Where you meet people often tells you a whole lot about who they are and who they will become. I know there are exceptions but not every plant in the weed patch turns into a rose.

The problem is you-you need to work on yourself.

When you are sick, emotionally or mentally, you tend to attract other people who have those same problems. Two people who have a mental illness can meet and have a great relationship.

What they need to do, for that to happen, is for both of them to work on themselves. As you get healthier you attract healthier people into your life.

You do not expect relationships to work.

You got into this relationship thinking it would be OK for now. If it didn’t work out you could always get a divorce. Start out thinking that way and you are highly likely to create those situations. This is extra messy if you thought this might end but you went ahead and had children with this person anyway.

Remember the rule, you can break up with a romantic partner but baby’s mothers and fathers are in your life one way or the other, for the rest of your life and beyond. How have you been doing in the romantic relationship department? Do you keep making the same mistakes – getting the same result over and over?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Do women only want one thing? Men think so

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Money.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Why do men tell me that the woman they were with only wanted one thing?

Men are convinced that women only want one thing. There may be some truth to this assertion; every good lie has a grain of truth in it.

Men are convinced that the primary reason women get into relationships is to get the man’s money. Women seem to be far more concerned about what a man makes and how much they will be able to spend than what kind of father he will make.

Some scientists and not a few feminists still assert that the primary needed characteristic for a mate and father should be his ability to be a good provider. The man does, after all, make a relatively small contribution to the creation of the child and he is more than willing to make those contributions multiple times with multiple women.

The woman, on the other hand, has to carry the child for about 9 months and then raise that child for the next 18 or so years. It makes sense for a woman to look for a man willing to make the commitment to stick around for all those years and one with the potential to carry his share of the weight.

Some women appear to be concerned not about getting a good provider but about picking a mate the same way they buy a lottery ticket. Pick the right man and I am set for life and will never have to do anything I do not want to do again.

The changing social landscape has changed a little of this, more women than ever can and do work and many do not want to be dependent on a man. There are also prenuptial’s that might limit the ability of the woman to cash in so big. Most of the time the man knows that he will still get the bill.

Men report with varying degrees of truth that the ex and kids are living in a nice house with a new man and still she is determined to squeeze every last cent in child support and alimony from him. This can happen even when the man is staying at the homeless shelter and child support has taken his driver’s license for not paying his ex.

When they were together she could work and help out but let the relationship end and this formerly loving woman will use the money as a weapon to punish this man as cruelly as possible.

Men tell me that should they fail to accede to the smallest request of this ex-partner or her new lover then they will be denied the chance to see their kids. This is frequently contrary to the court order but a crafty woman can find all sorts of ways to evade that order, schedule the trip to the theme park on dad’s weekend and then tell the kid’s dad does not care about them, he only cares about getting his visit. You can, of course, imagine a host of other scenarios.

This is a really bad idea women. First, it is customarily contrary to the court order. Second, keeping your children from their dad can backfire. When they turn 18 they are off to meet, maybe even live with the dad you never let them know. You become the bad, selfish person in your child’s eyes. That love you were trying to guarantee by keeping the child from their father, your selfishness may cause you to lose that love. If you really love your children, almost all women say they do, then letting them have a relationship with their father is in the child’s best interest.

There is another reason for allowing your child to see their father. Men who stay connected to their children, who see them on a regular basis, are way more likely to spend money to help care for this child they love and know. But once you and the new father figure start playing house and you keep the kids from seeing their dad, what man feels inclined to support you and Sancho and still not get to have a relationship with those kids?

It looks like a really selfish woman who keeps her kids from this man she once said she loved and made these children with but still wants him to send money.

This punishing dad financially for the relationship is fairly easy to see in retrospect. The woman is angry. She wants revenge. But men tell me and so do women that the woman expected this to happen, even planned the relationship so she could maximize the payout.

Women have been known to consult a divorce attorney to see just what they can expect to get if they leave dad now. Then they stay a longer period of time; occasionally even have more children so they can maximize the payout. Some women seem to think of the relationship as their version of a pension. Put up with this guy as long as you have to and then when you can get the cash bail.

Is it any wonder these men think that all the woman ever wanted was a stream of cash flow?

Some women have said that they would prefer if their spouse lived somewhere else, another country preferably, and then just deposit the money in her bank account.

So women, is what men say true? Do you only want their money and if they can’t produce the cash then no sex and no love? Are you really aspiring to be the kind of woman who only had sex with this man for the money? You know what we call that relationship, and if that was your motivation, how do you feel about yourself now?

Are men right? Do women only want one thing – the money?

S

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Men don’t only want one thing! Ladies you’ve been misled.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Sex?
Photo courtesy of pixabay.

It takes way more than sex to keep a man’s interest.

sex-on-a-cork-board

sex-on-a-cork-board. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The spring falling-in-love season is about over, the summer wedding season has begun. The divorce and break up season, that season is pretty much year-round.

Women who come for counseling and they mostly come during and after the breakup, repeatedly tell me, and remember I am a man, that men only want one thing.

Women seem to think that all men expect in a relationship is sex. They are so wrong. Men want sex, yes they do. It is a biological imperative for men to make that contribution to the continuation of the human race. But ladies if you think that is all it takes to keep a man happy no wonder so many relationships are in trouble.

It talks more than great sex to keep a relationship happy and functional.

For your edification ladies, men in after-the-break-up counseling, they say Women only want one thing. What they think women want is way different from what you ladies say they want. I will tell you about what men think is the only thing you women want in a future post.

What do men want other than sex?

Women seem to think, some of you anyway, that you spread your legs apart and the man should be happy. Then when he does not do what you want, you withdraw the sex and say he only wanted one thing. He was settling for the thing you offered but many men want so much more than just sex.

Some women use sex to get the man hooked – The old bait and switch.

Try taking your kids to the amusement park, let them ride the roller-coaster once. Then plan to spend the rest of the day looking at the flowers and the decor. How long till they feel cheated and want to go home.

For men, sex is symbolic as well as physical. If you love me you would want to do that. So they find it hard to believe you genuinely care about them if the sex is not happening. They think you should want to give them this gift. Women, on the other hand, want to feel loved before they are interested in sex. So we do the love dance, do you love me or not and each couple finds the time and place to complete the dance and engage in sex.

Some of you start at the end of the dance and then wonder why neither of you knows the steps to keep it going.

What else do men want?

Men want to know that they can make you happy.

In the courting stage, you let him know he was making you happy.  You laughed at his jokes, smiled when you saw him and talked about the things he was interested in.

One day after you two are together, you stop laughing at his jokes, you don’t want to hear about his team or his interests and if he leaves his socks on the floor one more time that will be the end of the sex.

Men hang in there for a while, some longer than others, but if nothing he does pleases you and then you stop telling him you love him in the bedroom, you know the rest.

Men want to be with someone who likes them.

All day they are out at work. People are critical. then the man comes home and what does his partner and lover do? She tells him all the things he is doing wrong.

When you were dating he thought you liked him. Suddenly he is living with a person who thinks he is an SOS (sack of stuff.)

I know you ladies think you are being helpful telling him all the things he could improve on, but he knows he is not perfect. He just would like to come home to someone who could affirm he is a worthwhile person. He needs someone in his house, his castle, who thinks he is a great guy.

So ladies when you decide you no longer need to affirm his worth, that it is your sworn duty to tell him all his flaws, is it any wonder he goes looking for those affirmations from his therapist or his mistress?

So ladies, if you think all men want, is sex, you are putting your man on an emotional starvation diet. Eventually, you will get tired of giving him the sex and then things will be all over.

Men need affirmation to know they can make you happy, they need appreciation for what they do and they need to know that you still like them and want them. It takes a full course emotional meal to keep a man’s love needs fed.

There is that other secret men keep. Many men are convinced that women only want one thing and it is not always something men have to give. Next post the thing men say is “all women want” in the relationship and why this pushes men away.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Drugs and alcohol – top men’s issues

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Drugs and alcohol are top men’s issues.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Men’s Issues.

Men's issues

Men’s issues
“Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

The use and misuse of substances, drugs, and alcohol, is the number one issue for most men who come to counseling.

Traditional counseling with its emphasis on feelings and learning to communicate has let a lot of men down. Even when we have talked about gender-specific counseling strategies, gender mostly meant women. Men got left out. That is beginning to change.

What brings men to counseling.

Most men do not come to counseling willingly. Usually, they are forced, by the legal system, by their spouses and partners, or because they are out of work and required to do something to get further assistance.

Furthermore when men get to the therapy room most often they experience a woman professional whose focus is on telling them that what they have learned about their role as a man is wrong and that to be mentally healthy they need to think and act more like a woman.

Men get the bulk of their counseling these days in prisons and drug rehabs.

Drugs and alcohol permeate men’s lives, their experiences of what it means to be a man and the way in which drug and alcohol use has interacted with the other parts of their lives. Here are some reasons men develop poor relationships with drugs and alcohol.

Men often begin to use and abuse substances at an earlier age than women.

They are often introduced to substances by an older male family member or a close male friend. Women, you need time to catch up. Women commonly get shown how to use substances by a boyfriend.

This early use results in gaps in men’s learning. You don’t remember all the things you did, let alone the things that happened when you were drunk. Lots of men fail in school because they were just too stoned to pay attention in class.

If you don’t learn skills as a teen you may need to go back and learn them when you get out of prison.

Men learn and are taught “real men” consume large quantities of substances.

Sorry guys, there are no supermen or men of steel among us. Even professional athletes get hurt. Real men do feel pain. The fact that we guys do not go to treatment for physical or psychological traumas results in men living fewer years and dying younger than their women companions.

Early and heavy use of substances, alcohol is especially implicated here, result in more illegal activities and send many men to jail or prison.

No, just drinking alcohol does not make you commit a crime, but most men who go to jail were drunk or high when they did that crime. Remember that alcohol shuts off the part of the brain that tells you “Hey stupid, don’t do that!”

Still, the myth that real men drink a lot and then do amazing feats of strength persists.

The majority of people with co-occurring disorders are men.

Men try to keep up this facade of invincibility right up to the grave. Men with mental health problems do not go for treatment. Mostly they use drugs and alcohol to cope with their mental illness and then end up in jail or prison.

The textbooks say that mental illness is more common in women than men. I do not believe that. I think those books are wrong. Women get counted as mentally ill because they get referred to outpatient clinics for treatment and they get counted there.

Men end up in prison and their diagnosis? They get labeled anti-social and told the problem is they are criminals. The result they keep trying to get well without accessing treatment.

Men are the homeless.

See pictures of homeless women on T. V.? The truth is that 80% of the homeless are men, men with a mental illness and a substance abuse problem mostly.

No, the homeless do not choose to be homeless. That is the lie that those with good paying jobs tell themselves so they do not have to worry about it happening to them.

Most homeless men have substance abuse problems. If you had to live like that you might abuse something to cope. They also have mental illnesses. They may not want to take jobs; they may be so demoralized they do not think they could work if they got one. But no, they do not like going to the bathroom outside or staying in the shade under the bridge all day in the over one hundred degree weather.

Most of the homeless would love to have a place to stay. They just do not see how they can get one.

The reason these men stay homeless? They keep wrestling with that bottle or pipe believing that they should be able to control that substance. They think the drug is their crutch, but it is their controller.

The reasons men start and continue to drink and use are different from women’s.

Women use substances for fun or because they have suffered a trauma and they want to forget. Men use and drink because they have to, are expected to. If you can’t drink a lot you might as well turn in your membership card in the man club right now. That’s what men were taught. This is not true.

There are real men, strong, effective and successful men who do not drink and do not do drugs. This notion that real men can hold their liquor, that is a fable. Eventually, everyone’s liver gets old and your tolerance declines. The amount you used to be able to do with no problem now gets you in trouble. Most real men eventually give it up.

We need to wrap this one up. I have painted a very bleak picture here, addicted, alcoholic homeless men. These are not the only men with a substance abuse problem. Substance abuse is a major men’s problem, even when that man looks perfectly normal. Drug addiction and alcoholism is also a women’s problem, though it affects women differently. For a long time, we only had special programs for women substance abusers. We now see both genders need help with this problem, so do children.

Turns out that this pesky weed, substance abuse, is involved with most every social problem we are willing to look at honestly.

Related articles

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Alexithymia – the disease of feeling labels

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Man with feelings

Managing feelings.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

So you have a feeling but what is it?

Alexithymia is defined as the inability to recognize feelings or to be able to identify what it is that you are feeling. Texts report that this is largely a disorder characterized by men who the authors tell us, prefer taking action over having feelings.

This personality disorder has not yet risen to the level of a recognized disease that insurance will cover but I expect that as soon as a researcher does enough work in the area it may well be.

This is not a disorder of numbing. We do believe that a normal response of the brain to severe physical and emotional pain is to numb out and not feel. Numbing is related to dissociative identity disorder and trauma.

Alexithymia is NOT related to dissociation in any meaningful way I am aware of. I put NOT in the sentence to confuse those people who like to leave comments saying “you said A was the same as B.” I also put that in tests for my students some of whom insist on missing the question anyway and tell me they missed the word “NOT.”

So since we now know what Alexithymia is Not – what is it.

Well, it is best described as the inability to know what you are feeling and if you do feel something, then you just don’t have a word to describe that feeling. Men are mostly prone to this disorder.

Most men have three feelings. They also have about 6 colors. For men, it is either Red Blue or maybe a shade of purple. Women have wisteria, plum, fuchsia and a whole lot more colors between Red and Purple. Also Red, for the record, is a lot closer to Crimson than to the blood color we men think it is.

So men recognize three feelings GOOD, BAD and Pissed off. Pissed off comes in three shades loud, louder and loudest. This results in a lot of conflict between men and women. Women want men to share how they are feeling. Men believed “we shared that on the first night we were together when we said we felt GOOD.” There should be no need to report on a feeling again until that GOOD turns into BAD or pissed off.

So one thing that people with Alexithymia need to do is go to a color mixing class. Not literally but figuratively.

So how many shades of good are there?

I have seen “feelings wheels” and charts but they just do not capture those levels of intensity. There are some differences between being irritated, upset, angry and ENRAGED.  Men are prone to describe this as moving from Bad to PISSED-OFF.

How does happy look? Is it closer to the color of contentment or ecstasy?  So as we begin to learn new feeling words we increase not only our feelings vocabulary but also our ability to recognize these feelings as they occur.

We do not expect everyone to progress in this getting to know feelings at the same rate. Some of you are in feelings kindergarten and others of you have been to a feelings graduate school. I am aware some of you majored in one feeling, say ANGER, to the exclusion of all others.

I did not say anything about sharing your feelings just yet. You can’t share anything about a subject you don’t understand. So the process goes, feel what you are feeling, identify what this feeling is, decide what to do with this feeling and lastly if you chose to share with someone, do so in an appropriate way.

Women complain that men are emotionally unavailable. This is often true. We are also menstrual and makeup unavailable. We are also more willing to learn about makeup than feelings most of the time. If you grew up, as most men do, believing that men are tough and do not have feelings, learning to be emotionally available is like learning to take torture in a foreign language.

Now ladies, don’t go getting superior on me. Remember that the man you are with, the emotionally unavailable one, he learned about feelings and how to deal with them from – did you guess?

We guys learned that stuff mostly from our mothers who were just as quick as our fathers to tell us that men did not cry and that we should just get back into that soccer or football game anyway.

Having not learned to recognize and make use of feelings we guys miss out on a lot of valuable information that we should have recognized. If this business deal feels risky, that may be because our gut is telling us things our brain wants to ignore.

People who do not listen to their feelings can make really bad decisions. We can work or play on an injured limb. You may win this game but permanently harm that joint.

Come to think of it, you ladies do the same thing sometimes. You marry that guy anyway even if something about him feels wrong, thinking that he will change, love will conquer all and that wishing and trying will make it so. You know you do those things, don’t you?

Some of you are sharpening you pens right now to tell me all men are not like and that there are women who have no feelings. I know all that. These are generalities; sometimes the pumps or work boots are on the other foot.

Point is that if you never learned to identify and make use of feelings this can all seems strange. Believe me, learning to recognize, identify and then make proper use of feelings can be well worth the effort.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.