When Couples Therapy Does Damage

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The problem with couple’s therapy is the same as with any therapy or coaching – it’s “practitioner dependent.”

In other words – the way it all feels and works is dependent on the skills of the therapist or coach.

And much of the time – the therapist/coach is out of his/her depth dealing with two people with different hopes for different outcomes.

If you’re wanting to get back with your husband, and your husband says he wants “out” – how can the therapist serve YOU if he’s focused on mediating BOTH your needs?

A very, very skilled therapist/coach will not have an agenda of his/her own – and will not be intimidated by either of you.

There’s a great movie “hope Springs” – where Steve Carell plays a really terrific couples therapist. AND – in the situation – he’s approaching the situation in a clear way – working to get the marriage back on track.

AND – if you come to therapy with a man who isn’t “sure” he wants to “work” at anything – then most therapists are also going to be considering whether the marriage perhaps SHOULDN’T continue. In order to serve both you and your man, the therapist would have to be opinion-less – and that isn’t going to make you feel good.

If you’ve got an angry man, or a man who’s already left the relationship and is trying to build a “friendship” with you now – the therapist may see that as a “good thing.”

So – if what you want is “him back” – you’re in the wrong room.

Instead of dragging a man into couples therapy, or sticking with a couples therapist you’re already seeing who is NOT seeing YOUR goal as the primary one (“keep us together!”) – get your OWN coach. Get someone who will help you do everything possible to re-format the relationship and set it right.

Get someone on your team who wants you to have what you want. Who’s not “open-minded” or being “impartial.”

“Impartial” SUCKS when you want what you want!

Long ago, I brought my first husband into the room with my very OWN therapist “team” (I’d worked with the wife, then with the husband of the team, and we did a session, the four of us).

They were on my team, yes – and I didn’t feel exactly “hung out to dry” – and yet I felt completely helpless, completely vulnerable and yet not SUPPORTED, and completely goal-less in any way. They had NOTHING to offer to help us BE together in a way that worked.

A coach of your own NOW – (especially a Rori Raye Certified Coach – look for them in the sidebar for free intro sessions) will be giving you concrete, experiential work to do to CHANGE your situation. You won’t feel helpless or goal-less or hopeless. You won’t feel at anyone’s mercy. You’ll be the one being paid attention to.

If your man’s got a strong personality – you may even find a therapist to be overwhelmed and out of his/her depth.

Therapy should feel like a safety net.

When you’re first learning to open your heart – you need to feel safe, and you need to feel like the therapist/coach knows what they’re doing, you need to know if there are any hidden loyalties or agendas, and you need to believe – completely – that they are on YOUR side.

I’ve heard too many horror stories to believe it’s easy – or that there are therapist/couple’s coaches as good as Steve Carell playing one. If you find one who makes you feel great, gets you – and can stay on your side and still HELP your relationship with your man in the room – please let me know!

Love, Rori




  1.  #1Iris on January 16, 2014 at 9:42 am

    “You took good care of yourself, and “raw” is the right feeling at almost ALL times!”

    –This made me feel intrigued. For me, feeling raw feels counterintuitive a lot of the times.

  2.  #2Lisa on January 16, 2014 at 9:44 am

    WOW I’ve had sessions like this one…. good post!


  3.  #3LoveAlways on January 16, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Great Response to Adrienne by Rori! I feel so upset to hear what she is going through and I send her good positive vibes and continued strength!

  4.  #4Femininewoman on January 16, 2014 at 10:13 am

    “And even then, he will always be with you in some powerful way.”

    Rori your answer to this whole situation is really powerful. I can see clearly how “weak” a woman’s position can be and yet at the same time powerful. Sometimes this whole thing feels so daunting and fearful to me.

  5.  #5Kyla on January 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    (((Cupcake))) thanks for asking about me on the previous thread.. things have been interesting. I felt sad to hear about your date with the lawyer.

    Bear had suggested we see a movie Wed night but the venue/time had not been arranged. Last time I text him was Monday night after my date with DrWho and then there was no contact Tues or Wed. This morning he text to say he has taken my hint and he wishes me well. I replied I feel confused. He said I never hear from you so I assume you’ve moved on. I replied Oh I felt so happy to hear from you and I feel a bit sad now. I don’t like initiating contact, it feels unromantic to me. He called then and apologised and said he’s obviously got a lot to learn but he really wants to and he was thinking about me constantly and when he thought I’d lost interest he was crushed, I said aww now I feel smiley, it feels so good to hear from you. He said he was so happy to hear that because that’s the job he’s applying for, making me smile. I was in work so he said he was going to find an indian restaurant to take me to and will call to arrange our next date tonight.

    DrWho doesn’t contact much between our dates, he travels a lot for work and has his kids week on/week off but he was texting after our date Monday night and I didn’t see his last text til the next morning which ended with .. and I hope we can do something again soon. So I text tuesday saying Oh I’d really like that (name). I feel so good with you. He responded Thanks, Kyla, me too. Really. I’m glad we’re getting to know each other 🙂 – so I smiled to myself and I’ve been putting him out of my head until the next time he asks me out.

    I have a new CD. Kind of, he’s an ex-colleague I used to be really good friends with but I’ve moved over an hour away. He got in contact last night to see if we could meet up soon, as soon as he realised I was single he stepped right up, arranged a date for this Saturday, picking me up and going for dinner. He confirmed everything again today. I am feeling so good about seeing him and a little uneasy too as I’ve known him 2 years and we’ve always had a flirty relationship, very attracted to each other and he’s always taken the lead even though he was friend zoned. I feel uncertain about keeping to my boundaries as we are waay past the getting to know each other stage already.. not sure how I feel about that..

    So it seems I got what I wanted, a third CD to add to the rotation. I’ve gone through the rounds of clingy guys, aggressive guys, boring guys and depressed guys and with each shift I made to what I wanted or how I chose to respond they have led me straight to a group of stand up men that are pursuing me and treating me fabulously. More of this please universe.

  6.  #6Kyla on January 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Also I’ve got a new man on POF that lives near me, is all the qualities I’m looking for (as far as I can tell so far) and is very interested. I’m not overly attracted to him physically and he’s younger than the men I usually date but still 2 years older than me so I’m thinking I should let him take me out and see how it feels, will be good practice anyway and who knows.. I’m curious as to why he’s shown up and what I might get to learn about myself from him.

  7.  #7Cris on January 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    for all of you dear Sirens, my personal translation of a text by the young spanish poet, César Ulla (I hope it won’t have too many mistakes!)
    “You arrived
    and I forgot my past,
    now I only speak in future tense
    I want you to be
    my promise land
    the voice of your throat
    is the stay of my life
    the voice of your words
    is the rebirth of my desires.
    I want you to be
    the voice at the end of all”

  8.  #8Helena Hart on January 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Kyla – 5 – I love your feeling messages to Bear, and that you got such a great response from him immediately!!

    I also love this – “…with each shift I made to what I wanted or how I chose to respond they have led me straight to a group of stand up men that are pursuing me and treating me fabulously.” That’s SO amazing to hear! 🙂

    Love, Helena

  9.  #9terri on January 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    This last blog about not being subordinate to her husband was so powerful. It helped me tremendously with my ex. It is better not to react then defend explain or try to reason with someone who is arguing with you. Rori you made my month with what you wrote. I so so so needed that tonight. Thanks terri

  10.  #10Daisy on January 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Dear Sirens

    Kayla #5 I’m in a similar situation with DrK. who and I had a deep romantic friendship for few years to a stage that He would give up everything to be with me…but make the story short, I decided to go separate paths…Now we had not seen each other for 2 years while still talk on the phone from time to time. And went out once 2 months ago to catch up. I felt that he still has romantic feelings for me while I’m moving on but still want to have him as a special someone in my life. We are talking to meet up again… After reading Rori’s and this blog, I’ve leaarnt a lot and realized that I lost myself too much in this friendship until I decided to move on.

    Also I’ve been working and becoming good friends with DrR for over a year, and getting to know each other quite well. He’s typical positive Masculine energy man. Applying Rori’s teaching, I’ve felt really good with him even though I was not at all attracted to him in the beginning yet then experiencing strong wild chemistry and attraction. I mostly lean back and let him row the boat and lead..

    With this 2 CDs, I’m not sure about my boundries as to how much to lean back or forward this time, as kayla described that “we’re well past the getting to know each other stage”! Could I initiate myself or lean forward a bit more? How to do it?

    Your wisdom is appreciated!

  11.  #11Cupcake on January 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm


    Wow! It makes me feel really happy that you’ve got these strong candidates spoiling you!



  12.  #12Lisa on January 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    @Kyla Yay! sounds wonderful! That is great! <3

  13.  #13Cupcake on January 16, 2014 at 7:10 pm


    Where are you, girl? Haven’t heard from you in a bit.

    I feel curious about what’s going on with you.

  14.  #14Helena Hart on January 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Cris – 7- Ooh this feels great to read!! 🙂

    Love, Helena

  15.  #15Indigo on January 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm


    That is so wonderful! Yay and brava to you!


    And I am finding the exact same thing: “…with each shift I made to what I wanted or how I chose to respond they have led me straight to a group of stand up men that are pursuing me and treating me fabulously.”

    So wonderful! x

  16.  #16Indigo on January 16, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    So I arrived at B’s house late on Wednesday night and he’d made this beautiful dinner. The evening really didn’t last long before going to bed, where I got a very well-needed sleep complete with lots of kisses and cuddles.

    He called me last night (Thursday) wanting to see me and I just said it would feel great to get a spot of dinner and drinks… it felt important to point this out, as I didn’t just want to “hang out”, it feels so much better to nourish my body properly first.

    And he said he would come up with some great plans and let me know today.

    I woke up to a message from him this morning saying he thought I was the most gorgeous creature on the planet, and it made me feel tingley right through my entire body 🙂

  17.  #17snoopyface on January 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Yes, that was a really great response by Rori to Adrienne’s letter. I felt empowered to read it. xoxo.

  18.  #18Veronica on January 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Cris – that is beautiful, thank you.

    Indigo and Kyla – I’m feeling inspired by what you’ve written : )

  19.  #19Veronica on January 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I really like Rori’s post. I would have thought I was failing somehow by not participating – I’ve felt many times in the past that way, that if only I did more or was more inviting then things would maybe be different. I like that not participating in something non-constructive is a healthy option. Thank you Rori.

  20.  #20Cris on January 17, 2014 at 12:54 am

    @Helena, @Veronica, so glad that you liked it! thanks!

  21.  #21LoveAlways on January 17, 2014 at 4:45 am

    I am trusting my boundaries
    feeling my feelings choosing my words
    and life is surprising me!
    this feels GOOD

  22.  #22Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 4:49 am

    Indigo – Do you see how far you’ve come since I’ve known you? Truly wonderful. <3

    Sending you love.


  23.  #23Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 4:50 am

    LoveAlways – 🙂 Beautiful.


  24.  #24Sue on January 17, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Thanks Rori & Terri@9. Me too. I’m in that situation for about 3 years. But my husband is much rougher and doesn’t want to help himself and us. And we don’t have children but want.
    When I don’t react to his challenges to speak and react he’s seem to me much angrier. And eventually the situations past by when I either react with anger or with calm speaking ABOUT him and his pain. There is a lot a pain in him (I’m sure yet) and I don’t know what to do to make him release it and not to me. And don’t know how could our life be completely different – it’s always the same – crisis, get together, crisis, get together and on, and on…
    Rori, could I ask him (and I don’t want to act like I’m his psych) ‘what he wants’ and ‘what he’d like to get from me’?

  25.  #25Lisa on January 17, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I texted “MR” back and used positive statements and then replied “Only exclusive men get to hot tub with me”…

    I know he likes challenges – she told me a story of a woman he dated lately…. so b/c I don’t really care if I go out with him again, I figured why not… b/c it really is true… I know it wasn’t feeling messages… it was just a clear statement of who I am….

    and as for “D” things are falling away and that is ok…. I’m sad… but he has got so much trauma going on with his ex wife and stress… and I don’t want to become a therapist, which is what I think was happening, him calling me and telling me all his problems…

    I’ve worked hard to not get or take on men’s problems and so I’m not going to tell him what to do, which is what he alluded to on the phone…

    I keep remembering something I read lately where men don’t need a soft place to land when they should be working on themselves, they are tough and they need space to work it out on their own…

    These men give up on me too soon, don’t really work hard to get me and aren’t willing to do anything to have me… yet they all say I’m so amazing and beautiful and a jewel…. “S” called me a Goddess and “D” said he didn’t know there was such a woman that existed like me…

    so then why on earth isn’t one of them or all of them chasing me down to be with me?

    It doesn’t make sense…… I don’t know I’m feeling very sad and down today…. crying lots and lots…

    so depressing… this is…


  26.  #26Shannon on January 17, 2014 at 7:04 am

    J (my ex) is randomly calling me for stuff he can get for himself. This is a long time habit that I’m just not participating with anymore.

    And now that he has done the whole “8 weeks” thing, I just don’t feel like doing anything with or for his house; in fact, I feel turned off towards doing anything with/ for his house.

    I need to start packing up myself and my child. And that’s that.

    If he wants the number for one of the medical companies, he can bloody well look it up for himself. *crosses arms grumpily*

  27.  #27Shannon on January 17, 2014 at 7:06 am

    LOL, Lisa, I love that. That’s so perfect! Only exclusive men get to hot tub with me. You rock, Lady! Four thumbs up (don’t ask about the extra two :p ).

  28.  #28Aurora on January 17, 2014 at 7:39 am


    I want to be careful about us dissing the psych or the counselor here…..I know some amazing ones that would not have let this happen…..and though I don’t do couple’s therapy I know this profession as my own, working with other areas.

    Some men are just plain aggressive no matter who is in the room…..they don’t listen to anyone and act like children…they don’t know how to treat women and bully women where ever they go…..even the psychologist or therapist, family doc, whoever they may be asking for help from….they just bully period.

    She is going to be so much happier once she gets back on her feet…and he will dig his own hole eventually….she will move on once her heart untangles from his impact and she sees him for what he really is doing…….she may love him but she doesn’t have to stay with him….


  29.  #29Aurora on January 17, 2014 at 7:40 am


  30.  #30Aurora on January 17, 2014 at 7:46 am


    Men say all kinds of things…..talk is cheap they say….I’ve learned to pay more attention to what they DO.

    And how I FEEL when I’m with them and when I’m not…..

    My most recent CD …I called him LG even kissed me twice the last day I saw him…..texted me that I was a “solid” woman….and so I too was surprised when he wasn’t stepping up to the plate……and then got the text (he couldn’t even tell me in person) that he was starting to see someone else and wasn’t sure where it was going to go and wanted me to know……I don’t know if he expected me to “hang on”….but I DIDN’T. I realized then and there that I was making more out of things than I should and that I had to keep moving

    I love Rori’s analogy to get back on the horse and ride…..let these guys who aren’t suitable for us poof……keeping moving towards what we want….keeping doing the self care…..being picky picky picky……

    We get to choose, not them…..lol even in the animal kingdom the girls rock….the females choose….the guys prance around and do all this silly stuff for sure….but

    we get to choose!

    (((((( Lisa)))))


  31.  #31Aurora on January 17, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Go Shannon!

    I love your spunk!


  32.  #32Lisa on January 17, 2014 at 7:55 am

    @Aurora Thanks! <3 Yeah I do know talk is cheap! But they are right, I'm a da&mn good catch… I know that… I'm an amazing partner to have… even my ex's have said that I was the best thing they ever had……
    this isn't from my ego … it's just that I've worked hard to be a good partner…

    and yes, I've been on my horse riding… even when "D" came down to see me I had plans for other dates…. funny! They aren't anyone I'd want to be in a relationship with…

    I'm emotional today…. very much so…

    What if no one ever really notices that I'm amazing woman that is a great catch…. none of these men will DO whatever it takes to be with me… I know that… and so far in my life… non have even done 1/2 that….

    It makes me wonder… it makes me sad… other siren's have men that won't leave them alone… I have men that are so easy to get rid of…. it doesn't take much and they poof!

    I'm worth more than this! Far more!

    "MR" texted me to tell me he wants to make plans for dinner with me… and that he is looking forward to more eye gazing… funny isn't it… I didn't expect to hear back b/c it seemed clear he wanted a booty call…

    OMG…. crying.. crying…. I'm so tired of all of this… too much for too many years…


  33.  #33Aurora on January 17, 2014 at 7:59 am


    “What if no one ever really notices that I’m amazing woman that is a great catch”

    This sounds like a belief you hold……hmmm wonder if you can adjust it to something more linked to what you really want…….turn that idea on it’s head for one week and see what happens……let it all in….let them find you….but being easy about how and what it will look like…count anything a man does for you dear princess diva……

    mine was “men disappoint me”…..I had to turn that around…I tried to have fun with it….less so think I was doing or thinking something wrong….just tried to lightheartedly turn it around……I felt so much better.


  34.  #34Shannon on January 17, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Lisa, every man wants a booty call, lol. That’s just MEN. But you are in control over that! You have the power to turn his lust into respect, admiration, and commitment… or to choose not to when the time comes if he can’t step into a Real Man’s role.

    You’re awesome, lady. You’re not settling for just anything. It can be tempting, but it’s not the right way to go.


  35.  #35Lisa on January 17, 2014 at 9:06 am

    @Aurora I think I’ll do the work on that… good idea great beliefs to turn it around…

    I keep thinking about what Dominique said about falling in love with somone that is not available not being the best choice… then I ask myself… am I really falling in love with him? When he was here, there were times when I felt connected to him in a yummy way, and there were times when I felt estranged to him….

    as I’m crying today wondering about my feelings and my need to get them out! I wonder why ? Why do I need to get them out! Then I remember a passage from the book “women that love too much” and how they sabotage themselves by needing to purge their feelings… they have a overwhelming need to get it out…

    Humm I’m curious about this… am I really falling in love with him? or am I falling in love with only the parts that were yummy and tingly…

    then I remember the book which I LOVE! called “God on a Harley” I feel every woman should read that book! I recommend it to women all the time. I’ve read it over and over again… but in that book it talks about how when we think we are falling in love with someone… in the book you’ll know who I mean… when actually we are falling in love with ourselves….

    So before I go purging my feelings in feeling messages to “D” I want to sit with them and hear them… see if it isn’t me falling in love with myself…

    I hope that made sense…..


  36.  #36Shannon on January 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Oh, and you know what? J gossiped with someone from our daughter’s school about me… seems someone at the school told him *gasp* that I had a match.com profile… so he went to my match.com profile, and apparently it was ALL aimed AT HIM.

    I changed my match.com profile multiple times, so I don’t know which time he apparently thought was all focused just on him, but I can’t help but sit there and think to myself, “narcissistic much?”

    How can he really think that? And the strangest part is, how could have thought that about ANYTHING I had on there, lmao! None of it had anything to do with him in any way, it would be like me saying, “I like to take walks in the park” and him saying, “you wanted me to get you a stroller!” or something equally bizarre.

    I feel so disgusted and ill about him gossiping with someone from the school about me, to begin with. But then to make the bizarre and frankly irrational claim that anything on there had ANYTHING to do with him?

    I feel like I’m in Oz or something. I just can’t get over this. Yes… the whole entire world, and everything I do in it, must revolve around you. No, really. How can it be anything else??

    So completely “ick”. Like, just wow. I literally feel physically like gagging on the whole incident. I took my profiles down because I felt violated both by the gossiping loudmouth, worthless neighbor (I don’t know who it was), and by his overweening arrogance in thinking that my attempts to attract OTHER men were all centered around HIM.

    Literally physically nauseous. Ugh.

  37.  #37Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Sue – 22 – Maybe a better way to go would be to say to him – I feel so upset/scared/uneasy/anxious when I hear raised voices/when there is upset around me. I don’t want to feel this way with you. Can you help me with this?


  38.  #38Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Lisa – 23 – Most men may not need a soft place to land, but they certainly love this.

    Yes the problems he may have or experience he needs to work out on his own, yet after a stressful day at work, a soft place to land is like a sigh of relief.


  39.  #39Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Lisa – Aurora is spot on with #31.


  40.  #40Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Lisa – I feel a bit concerned about this feeling purge bit. This is more what you want to do with your girlfriends. Yes you want to be real and authentic with your man, yet you don’t want to spill it all out, each and every feeling. Hundreds of feelings go through you in a day. You don’t want to express them all.

    Focusing on the good feeling stuff and expressing this not only helps YOU feel better, it tends to get you more of the good feeling stuff.

    The more negative feeling stuff is likely processing or triggers or something similar which is best kept to yourself to feel and sort through, allow to flow out of you or integrate into a far recess of your being.

    If something is bothering you for awhile, eg. a habit or something he said or did which you can’t seem to let go of, or something truly awful was said or done, then yes speak up.

    Did this all make sense? I’m feeling some scattered in thought today.


  41.  #41Lisa on January 17, 2014 at 11:32 am

    @Dominique #38 Yes!!!! it made sense… and though I wanted to purge… I didn’t… but what I did do is ask my ex to sit with my child for a bit and I went to my room and sobbed! Just sobbed! and it is still coming out! I can’t stop crying! I’m walking around everywhere crying…

    though I’m not perfect, I do my best to allow my stuff to get processed on my own… and then get clear before speaking to anyone, even my man.. though I can’t call “D” my man…

    My girlfriends aren’t the kind I can process with and certainly not cry with or vent with… this is my only outlet for that… for which I’m eternally grateful!! <3…. I tend to have girlfriends that "think it is un-evolved" to need to do this… venting is out of the question with them, it is all negative and they don't want to hear negative…

    I'm more non-duality… and it's all good.. either way I learn something… but they don't see it that way…

    I'm feeling exhausted from the gut, crying, but I'm feeling free-er and wanting to sleep… which tells me I've let a lot go…

    If I could scrape up the money to have a session, I'm not sure one session would be enough… to really do much good… I don't know… ????


  42.  #42Lisa on January 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

    @Shannon #32 Right! Thanks for the reminder… I keep thinking I’ll find a man that doesn’t want sex right of the bat… then I remember my last relationship where he didn’t and how that turned out… so, Your right on!

    I get to turn it around and see if they step up…

    @Aurora #31 I want to do this… I really do I want to let them come to me… and I think I do it, but I’m wondering if I really do??? Maybe that scares me….

    How do I allow them to come to me from the inside… on the outside I’m not chasing and I’m not leaning forward… but I’m wondering about on the inside… am I REALLY allowing them to come to me…

    I’ve been told before I have an ISSUE with that… allowing things to come to me, allowing someone to adore me, allowing being on the stage (meaning being the center of attention) being admired… I’ve been told that for years… hummm


  43.  #43Shannon on January 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Oh my god, Lisa. The whole, “NO negativity, ever!!” thing just does me in, lol. I’ve had friends like that in the past, where they would “sit me down” and “have a talk” and tell me about how I’m too negative because I cried about something that hurt me, or because I was trying to process a painful event in my life (past or present). I truly once thought they were good friends, but the more they kept doing that, the less I felt accepted in the fullness of who I really am.

    If you need to cry, you need to cry. I think sometimes it’s even just our bodies that NEED it. Like sometimes I feel like my body is just too-full of whatever emotional pain I’m experiencing and it just overflows because that feeling seems so much bigger than my physical being… and the tears let it go out.

  44.  #44Helena Hart on January 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Lisa – 33 – “Humm I’m curious about this… am I really falling in love with him? or am I falling in love with only the parts that were yummy and tingly…”

    This reminds me of times (more times than I can even count!) when I’ve fallen in love with the FANTASY of a man, or gotten swept up in the “potential” of what could have been – then the reality of the situation often felt disappointing. Perhaps there may have been a little of that going on here? Just a thought.

    I LOVE what you said about sitting with your feelings and hearing them, and falling in love with yourself!!

    Love, Helena

  45.  #45Aurora on January 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm


    try “men are moving towards me”
    “loving people are crossing paths with me everyday”
    “my diva-ness, my loving nature is touching everyone I meet today and I will never now how…I just know”
    “ever time someone does something nice for me I find myself smiling”
    “when that man opened the door for me at Walmart he is reflecting back to me my own kindness”
    “I notice everything that is coming to me….that penny on the street is money coming to me….that fellow who gave me a place to enter traffic….he recognizes my worth”.

    etc. etc. and then watch what happens….count every kind gesture, every smile….you might be surprised how abundant your day is with messages of how lovely, smart, sweet and talented you are….if you can let these in you are opening…

    and watch not to judge…..some guys are not quite as polished as we think….they are fumbling too……..they say stupid things…..I actually had a guy on EH apologize to me for all men today for their stupidness stuff and he hasn’t said anything dumb yet at all….it was all lighthearted but if was fun to hear him say it!

    love to you!

  46.  #46Aurora on January 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    and falling in love with someone who’s not available? oh yeah that is so not fun.

    When I find myself doing that I know exactly what I’m up to….I’m thinking “I will be the one to turn it around…he will be so available when he meets me because I am so awesome that I will get to wave the flag that I changed that! I rescued him from his emotional hole….I’m so awesome”…

    NOT! I learned the hard way to recognize that right away….it’s not about me….he really is closed for business…..gone fishing…..out to lunch and I don’t have to fix it!



  47.  #47Kyla on January 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Liquid Light I know you were asking about attracting wealthy men and I’m not sure if any of this helps. When you think wealthy men, what are the qualities that come to mind that you want to attract?

    For my profile I rewrote it with the stuff I did in the workbook from Targeting Mr. Right. I made a list of the qualities I want in a man: confidence, ambition, educated, financial stability, active, adventurous, fun, generous, helpful, family orientated etc.

    First little paragraph I looked at my own life and wrote passionate feeling messages about the areas I display those things. Second little paragraph I thought about the type of woman that man is attracted to and wrote about where I display those aspects of me also. The third paragraph is- You: Manners that would make your mama proud, willing to open the tight jar lids and can accept that I still don’t know my left from my right.

    The messages I get now are really well thought out from men that are high quality who tell me how real, confident, interesting and funny I am and then they go on to ask relevant questions, show off and convince me they are the kind of man I would want. Its really shifted my vibe too from looking for something from somewhere out there to feeling good about me and knowing my bar is high.

  48.  #48Kyla on January 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Aurora-43-I love this. My mantra lately is “receiving feels so good” and I keep my eyes open to noticing all the lovely things around me, smiles coming to me, gifts showing up, songs that make me feel good.

  49.  #49Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Lisa – 39 – 🙂 You’re doing so beautifully. Do you acknowledge yourself for this? No one is perfect. And why would anyone want to be. Can you imagine how boring this would be, or worse, how inadequate you might feel if your man was perfect, and you though your weren’t?

    I would love to work with you if a session feels like the right thing for you. Please email me. I will work with you on this.


  50.  #50Sophie on January 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    thank you Indigo, Dominique, Shannon and FW on the other thread for your kind words and reassurance – I felt very supported and touched.

    Shannon – yes – the full on emotions I have done and amazingly enough it has shifted something in him before – he can quite often be moved to come and talk to me and try and resolve things when he hears me deeply upset but it feels so dramatic – I don’t want to be moved to such depths of despair to get someone to ‘recognize’ how distressed I feel – (weird childhood echo hear I can’t quite grasp)

    And FW I loved what you said

    “One thing I want to tell you is to remember that he is a man. He has an ego. In as much as I agree that what Shannon wrote is the righteous thing to do, as you say he will experience it as laying down the law or an ultimatum. Yes I believe it would be all our war in his male mind and as they are set to “WIN” in everything in life I believe he would go to autopilot. To a certain extent it is a reason I believe they might not be able to hear or see who is in front of them. They go to their “WIN” program like robots in such circumstances. What might change something is when you appeal to their humanity through emotions. I see it almost like sneaking around his defences.”

    This is (especially with B) absolutely the key – he is defended to the hilt and stubborn and strong-willed and immediately triggered by anything that feels like an agenda or control – probably if I could ‘sneak around his defences all of the time’ my life would feel a lot more peaceful – its hard work to never be able to just be natural but maybe he is SUPREME practise for practising more effective communication so that it does feel natural

    I was thinking a lot about me doing his thinking for him thing as well today because when he was helping him I ‘remembered’ that he does things in a methodical way; in a way that suits him and I suppose I ‘forget’ that not everyone operates like me (or should do)- ‘with urgency and multi tasking’ and it was support again for the practise of asking him ‘what do you think? what can we do? this is how it feels for me etc because we are so very very different

    The whole situation also is asking me to step up into what do I expect for myself and what are my dealbreakers – I am certainly a lot clearer on them since I began dating B that is for sure. I was very vulnerable when I met B – still not fully healed from a really nasty relationship which I think had induced some trauma responses in me and I let way too much slip as he is definitely a better man than the one before – the one before was toxic – B is just high-end difficult – but I don’t want difficult I want easy flow and I definitely don’t want put downs – I am getting very good at saying ‘I don’t like being put down’ He has a controlling streak where if I don’t do things the way he likes them then I’m doing it wrong – I feel ‘told off’ and ‘disappointed in’ a lot and I’m getting better at saying ‘this is the way I like to do it’ or any manner of light and breezy statements rather than exploding

    This is good practise for me – all of this is definitely a childhood do over – its making me step up into my own adultness – my own power

    It is not easy!

    We had some nice peace and harmony today even a moment of dancing together which felt warm and fun and I did a lot of positive speeches when the going was good and then he passively aggressively did the washing up which was next on my list -passive aggressive because he was angry doing it when I hadnt asked him to and told me that even though I’d had rubbish sleep and been rushing about relentlessly doing things there were no excuses for not staying on top of it – I did then actually say ‘it’s my $*&^ life I manage it how I can’ which resulted in several hours silence until I went out and had a lovely time with my friend and it all more or less blew over

    I cried hard in therapy the other day when she hit a tender spot – I do try so very very very hard in every area of my life but I have a habit of allowing people close to me who end up being unsupportive or putting me down – it was a good tender spot because I felt compassion for myself and with that compassion a slightly stronger all the time desire to move away from those who are not good for me

    I used feeling messages on a put down from my mum the other day rather than just spew rage – ‘I calmly said ‘that comment doesn’t feel good. It feels like you don’t have faith in me’ and with that she apologised – nothing escalated and she did a ‘note to self’ – progress progress progress

    Indigo I’m loving the lovely time you’re having

  51.  #51Sophie on January 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Girls not coming but rooms all organised so feeling much calmer and had good sleep – lovely to see my friend who I used to work with – she loves all my big, intense, energy – she says she misses it – it feels so good to be appreciated for who I am 🙂

  52.  #52Helena Hart on January 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Aurora – 43 & 44 – Wow, this is all SO brilliant!! I love it! 🙂

    Love, Helena

  53.  #53Liquid Light on January 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I went to a singles mixer last night and for the most part there were no attractive men there (they were all 15 to 20 yrs older than me!) I met one man that I thought was attractive initially but then when I talked with him more he seemed like he lacked confidence and was kinda passive. Asking me to call him and asking me to suggest a date. Ughh. The more I talked with him, the less interested I was. If he contacts me for a date, I’m inclined to stick to my new rule (only go out with men that inspire me and that have the qualities that I’m looking for e.g., are high quality) and not go out with him. I met another man who was probably 15 yrs older than I, and who was really boring. He just kept going on and on. He asked for my number and I gave him the wrong one. I felt a bit bad about that but I really didn’t want him calling me. Any ideas for how to deal with this in the future?

  54.  #54Helena Hart on January 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Liquid Light – 51 – I know how that feels! You might want to try coming at it from a more process-oriented perspective by looking for the message – in other words, “What message does this man have for me?” rather than “Is he what I want?” Try going with CURIOSITY. This can turn an otherwise boring interaction into something kind of magical!

    This helped me when I was starting to feel burned out on dating and tired of dealing with all the men who weren’t what I wanted. I started using every interaction I had with another human being to get me one step closer to where I wanted to be.

    Love, Helena

  55.  #55Dominique on January 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Sophie – 48 – I feel in awe of your growth and progress in the short time I’ve known you.

    May I tweak your go to phrase a bit?

    ‘this is the way I like to do it’

    How about this – It feels better to me this way. Or I feel better doing it this way. Or This way feels more comfortable.

    Can you see/feel the softness in this?


  56.  #56Sophie on January 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Hi LL – I would be honest I’d be very friendly but say something like “I feel so flattered that you’d like my number and I feel bad but I don’t feel a connection. I’m sorry. I hope you find who you’re looking for”

    There’s maybe things wrong with that statement but I’ve always had men be quite nice and understanding – just oh okay well its been lovely to talk with you etc – either that or try and persuade me and then I just say ‘no thank you. I’m sorry’.

  57.  #57Sophie on January 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Ha ha Dominique yes I can! ‘this is the way I like to do it’ when I read it back in your post conjured up an image of me as a little girl in welly boots all hands on hips and triumphant – a little bit uppity, a little bit defiant 🙂 I can definitely see the softness in your tweak and I can see ‘womanliness’ I especially like ‘this way feels more comfortable to me’ – I have an image of a woman with an easy smile gracefully and peacefully reigning her own kingdom without a doubt in the world that her way is okay 🙂

    Thank you x and thank you for your compliment 🙂

  58.  #58Cupcake on January 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    “I am my own favorite song that I am just now learning the words to.”

    That’s a line from a poem that the poet reads at the end of a video called “That’s what she said,” about beauty and body image.

    The poem is about the poet’s beginning to have a happy, healthy interaction with her physical self. It’s worth watching, and I thought worth repeating the mantra for us Sirens.

    “I am my own favorite song that I am just now learning the words to.” Beautiful.

    You can search for the video “That’s What She Said” on the giant video website that if you type it in here seems to send your comments to moderation.

  59.  #59Shannon on January 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Daisy, a “It would sure feel nice to spend some time with you soon” isn’t leaning forward, it’s sharing how you feel. Rori has said pretty much something almost exactly like that in the ebook.

    It was something like, “Is there some reason why I would want to say ‘no’ if you asked me out?” would be okay to say to a man who is obviously interested but not asking you out.

  60.  #60Daisy on January 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm


    Thankyou so much! I feel good to know that there is such a supportive network in this Blog. And Rori’s tools are great!

    “It would sure feel nice to spend some time with you soon”

    That feels wonderful to use!

  61.  #61Lisa on January 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    @Dominique <3 True! I am very clear I do not want a perfect man! and God knows I'm not perfect, nor do I want to be… though at times people think that is what I'm working towards…. it really isn't my agenda…

    I can't stop crying! I can't… it just is coming out of me in buckets… I took my daughter to the movies to spend time with her.. and I was crying almost the whole movie.. of course I don't think she minded we cuddled on the luv seat ( they have them here in theaters) but warning if you go see Mr. Banks take tissues…I was balling already and that just made it pour out more..

    all I can get from all this crying is that I don't want to get hurt again….( by a man that isn't over his ex just 6mos ago I went through this with "M" who swore he was ready for commitment and look what happened "D" is right in the middle of an ugly divorce)….and that I do things like block "D" on the dating site…. from fear ( which backfired on me) I only did it for a couple of hours and then went in after my panic was over and unblocked him I thought but it turns out my online dating profile page isn't linked properly and it didn't unblock him… so he sent me a text saying "I understand, I won't bother you anymore. " I had to call the dating site and get them to fix it… and I texted and e-mailed him…tell him "I'm sorry, I had to call GS to get them to fix it. Your not bothering me"….. but I haven't heard back… ( I figured I'd explain better on the phone with him, and yes be vulnerable and tell him it all) ….

    so my panic backfired on me… and though I was already working on letting him go… still I realized through all of this… I do this to protect myself…

    All that keeps coming up to me is that I love him… and I just can't figure out how that is… how did that happen… it was so fast!…

    I also know better than to go with that feeling until the physical aspect of it is in alignment… another words he is 16 hrs away.. and not yet divorced… so even though I love him… doesn't mean I act on it… I know he cares for me… reality hits hard sometimes…

    tears just keep coming and coming!!


  62.  #62Lisa on January 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    My chest hurts… deep crying…deep deep pain… hurts to much… I haven’t cried this much since the break up with “M”..

    I did manage to stop long enough to watch Dr. Pat Allen’s video more…..
    and apparently if I’m an alpha woman, in order to get an alpha male… I need to just shut up and let him talk… and let him do it his way, and get my intellectual stimulation from others… ???

    WOW… that sounds dampening…dampering …. I might have as well stayed with “M” then…

    Omg… this is so much — soo much! too much! I have to have an alpha male or I won’t make it… in a long term relationship…. passive ( beta) men cause me to be aggressive and overbearing… I don’t want to or like to be that way….

    Then all of the sudden the sobbing started again.. I think I’m posting to myself… but that is ok….


  63.  #63Indigo on January 18, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Dominique 22,

    Yes I do 🙂 I feel so grateful.

    And looking back I see how necessary all that pain was… I will never repeat those mistakes, and how it all ultimately healed me.

    Much love, xx

  64.  #64Kath on January 18, 2014 at 1:55 am

    I have been through a whirlwind of emotions this week since he said he couldn’t be bothered to try any more, he’s moved into the spare room, shuts the door, shuts the bathroom door when he goes for a shower- all very protective actions. I have left him alone, I went through the beating myself up bit and questioning whether any of it was my fault and I accepted those things that were. However, the bulk of the problems are that he cannot disconnect himself from his xwife and the highly toxic family he was part of. I’ve cut the drama, told him that I’m fine with him going if that’s he wants but I don’t want to hear from him again. I am fine with whatever decision he makes, but if he wants to stay, things need to be different. There will be a speech.

  65.  #65Femininewoman on January 18, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Kath I hear you but I don’t feel you. I sympathize with what you are going through and I have to let you know your writing felt surgical, businesslike and not human. Have you allowed yourself to really feel and to sink into the feeling? Maybe he is not feeling you and the reason he is locking himself away? I believe he must be licking his wounds. Trying to heal his shame and ego. He was the one rejected because you were not following his lead to accept only a part of him. And that is okay. Just that I believe your heart must be calling you to know and connect to all of it and it seems like you have not yet really touched it.

  66.  #66Femininewoman on January 18, 2014 at 4:47 am

    If you really look at it, him loving his ex-wife is a good thing. It shows he can fully commit his heart. Many of us still love our ex. It is not the easiest thing to just dump them out of our hearts and step over their dead bodies. We carry a torch for that experience. It’s our processing and actions that I believe makes the difference. He made some mistakes with you, yes. So what he is human. You have decided you can’t live with it. That is your prerogative. Believe it or not you can let each other go in peace and harmony while learning from your mistakes. Love doesn’t have to be a battlefield. Breaking up doesn’t have to mean war. Someone else might be able to accept him just as he is though maybe you can’t and vice versa. Are there any valuable lessons you are learning about yourself?

  67.  #67Kyla on January 18, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Bear asked for exclusivity and I gave the no gf speech which turned into several conversations over the next 24 hours. I heard him out, took deep breaths and kept my answers short. He was mad, threw all sorts of things at me to change my mind and I was so proud of myself for staying open and just saying how I felt and want and sticking to my boundaries. I felt sad, disappointed, teary and during our last conversation I felt very angry. I thought that was it and was ok accepting his no because I don’t have what I need yet to shut off my options.

    He did a complete 180 last night and apologised for putting that kind of pressure on me so early and doesn’t want to let me slip away because his strong feelings brought out insecurities and jealousy, he’s used to girls trying to tie him down and I’m completely foreign to him, he’s intoxicated by me and it felt scary. Lots more conversation all led by him and I feel we went deeper and I feel more connected to him, we can relate and negotiate and be heard. He wants to continue dating me and has shut off his options. Not sure where this will go, some things for me to be aware of and take notice but it feels good again.

    First time I’ve done the no gf speech on a CD I really liked and it was a rollercoaster of feelings and practice. I feel more confident now.

  68.  #68Kath on January 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I hear what you’re saying and in some ways you are right-yes, him loving his xwife still does mean that he is able to commit-but I don’t feel love from him. He says that he thought by pushing to by a house would show me that he was serious about wanting a home, but he didn’t say he wanted it with me. He said that buying a house was the biggest commitment a person could make and I don’t agree-the biggest commitment is giving yourself, committing to someone else. I just feel that he wants his cake and eat it. Even when I confessed about checking his phone and he said I should have said something earlier so that he wasn’t backed into a corner. Why do I feel that it is always me who has to have the responsibility in the relationship?- shouldn’t we be sharing it????

  69.  #69Femininewoman on January 18, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Kath – I really wish Zara would weigh in on your situation. She has a way with words.

    “He said that buying a house was the biggest commitment a person could make and I don’t agree-the biggest commitment is giving yourself, committing to someone else”. People are different and they see things differently. I believe part of your work is in appreciating the differences that will definitely exist in a relationship. Just because he has a different opinion doesn’t make him wrong. Who knows maybe when he truly feels understood he can give himself easily to someone else and maybe that is the reason why it doesn’t feel like a challenge for him. Many people believe that you will put your money where your heart is maybe the reason he decided to get the home.

    Kath in several spots in your comment I got the sense that you want him to say things in a specific way. He can only say and do it the best way he knows how. Just because he did say he wants the home with you doesn’t mean that is not what he wants.

    Did he tell you that you have to be the one with the responsibility? You want to be in a relationship so in my opinion you have to take 100% responsibility for what happens in your life. He has to do the same too but no one can dictate that to him. He has realize, choose and accept that responsibility. If he was here I would tell him the same thing too.

    You say you don’t feel love from him. What does that feel like and how does that look for you? Have you read the book the 5 Love Languages? Have you shared with him how you feel loved or what you need to feel loved?

  70.  #70Femininewoman on January 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Posted this on the wrong thread. Kath I think this is relevant in your situation too.

    220: DominiqueNo Gravatar says:

    Lisa – Here is something to consider. Are you maybe looking for a man to be open to you in the same you are open? Maybe he’s being open, but it looks completely different. Maybe he has few or no words, but his eyes as he looks at you says it all. Or his touch. Or the way he looks out for you, after you.

    Remember too that many men tend not to be expressive with their feelings, i.e talk about them let alone discuss them.

    And this is not a negative. It’s simply a difference between most men and most women.

  71.  #71Sue on January 18, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Thank you, Dominique! Today I’ve tried for 12000 time to not blame him. I felt he’s JUST STARTING to figure out that my anger is not about him. And didn’t want to leave for work as fast as possible. He stood there and looked & listened to me. And tonight he did everything I asked previously 😀
    But tonight – his old pattern took charge – he rave & rage just because of his own problem at work. I stood there & ate, looked him straight at his eyes and said nothing but how I feel. I said that I did not feel like I want to stay around him. And suddenly everything stoped.
    I admire at this strong woman from the story. How could she stay calm and speachless in front of divorce and this behavior from her husband with 3 children!?? But Rori is right – their lifes never will be the same again. If they get back together, this will be a brand new ‘thing’- something that this woman deserve

  72.  #72Helena Hart on January 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Kyla – 67 – That’s awesome that you stayed open and stuck with what you wanted!! I know it’s not always an easy thing to do. I remember feeling some anxiety over the “no girlfriend” speech when I was with someone I really liked (it’s SO much easier when it’s with someone you don’t care so much about!).

    In my experience and with many women I know, the right man for you will respond positively to the “no girlfriend” speech. He may not LIKE it at first – he may become frustrated and grumble about it – but it will inspire him to keep pursuing you, just like you said. So many men are used to women trying to “lock them down” that you expressing that you’d like to keep your options open until you have the commitment you’re looking for is INCREDIBLY attractive!!

    Love, Helena

  73.  #73Kyla on January 18, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Thanks Helena!!

    Yes! It felt so difficult to be prepared to let him go and accept that what I want and what he wants are different things but once all the anger and everything came out without a backlash or coldness coming from me, he came back strong and encouraged.

  74.  #74Cupcake on January 18, 2014 at 1:16 pm


    I’ve been following your posts for a while, and I feel bad that you’re in this confusing situation.

    I have to agree with what Femininewoman said on the previous thread, about the ways of expressing love being different for different people.

    In my experience, if a man says, “I love you and I want to be with you”– that’s what he means. I just haven’t met many men who are so complicated that they understand “levels” of things, or try to live in “levels.”

    My boss always says, “Cupcake, you over-complicate happiness. It’s not hard to figure out. If you think you’re happy, you’re happy.”

    In your posts, I hear you saying that this man says (or was saying) “You make me happy.” And I hear you saying, “Yes, but your entire happiness doesn’t rely on me, therefore you’re not being honest with me.”

    Maybe I am oversimplifying.

    I just read your dynamic and I feel so bad for you. I’m not there and I don’t know what it feels like. I feel envious that you have a man who wants to protect and provide for you (buying a house to show you and the whole world that you’re his woman)- and I read you wrestling with this.

    And I wonder if you’re just scared. He would have to be a really manipulative man to be taking this action as subterfuge to disguise the fact that he’s still in love with his ex-wife. You would have had a whiff of that before this. Manipulation and deception that shows up in other areas than his unfinished business with his ex. (It’s always unfinished. As someone else said, he wants to win, like all men.)

    The other interpretation is that he’s “gas-lighting you.” It doesn’t feel like that to me, based on anything you’ve written except that he was playing mind games with the ex. But maybe he was just back-pedaling because he felt cornered. (Not that you can back-pedal out of a corner, but you get my drift.) I just don’t read anything in what you write that implies that.

    I feel for you, Kath. If it was me- and I get that it’s not- but I can SEE me in your dynamic and if it was me, I think it would be because I felt somewhere along the line I didn’t deserve for things to be all set, secure, tied up nicely for the future with a man who loves me.

    Maybe he’s not perfect. I haven’t met one who is. Even my dad. Even the Dalai Lama admits that when he’s at someone’s house, he snoops in the medicine cabinet. So even he isn’t perfect.

    So if your guy isn’t perfect…maybe it’s just a matter of allowing him be imperfect?

    I feel afraid that I’m being hard on you. That’s not my intention. I want to swoop you up into a big hug and tell you that you deserve happiness. And that I think maybe my boss is right about me- and most women- over complicating it.


    Your friend,


  75.  #75Kath on January 20, 2014 at 3:29 am

    (((((FW))))) and (((((Cupcake)))))
    Thank you both- I think you are wonderful!- I am so glad that I have you both to help me along my journey!- My man and I had had a good weekend- laughed, talked, apologised-He admitted that he’d been stupid and he was sorry for hurting me and letting down. I apologised for reacting in a way that isn’t good for him and promised to be more conscious about how I said things in future. We both love each other and I admit that I was scared that I may be contemplating buying a house with someone who wasn’t totally committed to me-but still having issues with the feelings he has for his xwife and his marriage. In his own way he has admitted as such but he said that he though that by saying to me that he wanted to buy a house with me and make a home for us that it would show me how serious he was about me and of course I didn’t see it that way!- We have laid our cards on the table and now need to move forward and focus on all the good things there are between us and I hope we have both learned a little more about each other and how we can be together. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me see another point of view. I so appreciate your patience and kindness-don’t worry about being tough with me- sometimes its the kick I need! xxx

  76.  #76Christine on January 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I had a great experience with individual therapy, but couples therapy was a disaster. I was always the one who pushed for therapy and it was always me leaning forward. Couples therapy was definitely damaging to my self-esteem and I don’t think I’d do it again. I know what is “my stuff” and what isn’t and I don’t want to go to therapy for stuff that isn’t mine anymore.