Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

SUCCESS-WOMAN

Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

For the first time in American history, women are surpassing men in bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Single, professional women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country. Though they still do not make what a man does for the same job in many places, in some urban areas professional women’s salaries are outpacing men. What’s more, over half of all households will see a female breadwinner by 2025. That is amazing progress in a very short period of time, though the feminist movement has its roots a long way back in American history. Some women however say their success in the scholarly and economic realms is having negative consequences on their dating life. There are professional women who say the men they date are intimidated. They either pull away or blow them off due to a discomfort with the woman’s success. Perhaps these men find it emasculating, it is thought. Lots of these women’s girlfriends today console them by saying so, at least. There is even a school of thought that says a woman should dumb herself down in a man’s presence in order to make him feel comfortable and allow the relationship room to grow. But is it true? Do men avoid dating successful women?

Sure there is a segment in the male domain that pine for the 1950s. They believe in traditional values and are put off by women who are independent. But is this the majority of men? Certainly not. Nor is it right to generalize, which in addition to being inaccurate is in a way sexist since it paints all men as antiquated, chauvinists. There are lots of men who appreciate the success, knowledge, skills and other aspects of an accomplished woman. They also want a partner to share interesting times and conversations with, someone with many facets and dimensions, just as women do.  In fact, there are a lot of men who brag about the accomplishments of their wives and girlfriends. There is too a growing segment of stay-at-home dads and lots who enjoy it. So what’s really going on here? Their selection process could be an issue. What kind of men is this person seeking? What qualities do they all hold in common? Are they chauvinists, traditional or perhaps they fear commitment? The woman herself may also be subconsciously sabotaging her chances at love due to some deep-seeded trauma. Another aspect, it might be the woman’s personality itself. Pushiness, vanity, decisiveness, being opinionated and other aggressive behaviors propel some forward in their career. But on the dating scene these qualities are a huge turnoff.

In terms of selection process, lots of women say they want a man who is just as accomplished or more. But then are they selecting someone who is also decisive, aggressive and opinionated? When two people share such personalities the relationship quickly becomes an arena of locking horns rather than a relaxing atmosphere where love and romance can flourish. Only selecting this type, a person who fits a checklist of certain career accomplishments also shows underlying issues. This person worries of what others think or has a need to project their value. One’s relationship can be seen as a reflection of one’s self. But why don’t they explore other sides of their personality? We don’t have to date someone we view as a colleague. Looking for someone to love is not the same as a job interview. So someone who is opinionated may enjoy hanging out with someone who is open-minded, shy, artistic and free spirited. This may nourish other aspects that are suppressed in their normal, workaday environment. A professional woman may be interested in someone who is accomplished but in a totally different field or way. Lastly, sometimes this attitude that no men are good is an armor to protect from the fear that they themselves are at fault, or doing something wrong. Each person brings problems into a relationship, big and small. No one is perfect. We are all human. But it is in examining our mistakes and our own flaws that we can grow and develop and become better. There’s an old Buddhist saying; when the disciple is ready the master will appear. When the heart is ready, love will be there. For more savvy ways to navigate your love life read, Love Smart: Find the One You Want–Fix the One You Got by Dr. Phil McGraw.

See a Couple’s Counselor Sooner Rather than Later

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See a Couple’s Counselor Sooner Rather than Later

A lot of couples get defensive when confronted with the idea of seeing a therapist. They say they are fine. There is nothing wrong with them. They don’t think their problems are all that bad. Seeing a counselor is thought of as a defeat, or that the couple or relationship is defective. Though not as strong as it was in the past, people still have a negative association with therapy. The truth is people see a therapist for all different kinds of reasons. There is absolutely no shame in it. In fact, admitting you could use professional guidance is a show of great inner strength. Just as we all have our own physical health problems, so too do we have our own mental health aberrations. No one is perfect. We are all human and so intrinsically flawed. But that doesn’t make us any less brilliant, capable, mesmerizing or worthwhile. No one can fault you for seeing a doctor, even if the health condition is minor. You don’t want it to get worse. A small injury if left untreated can get infected, even become life threatening. The same is true with your mental health, and the health of your relationship. Seeing a couple’s counselor doesn’t mean that the relationship is on its last leg.  It could just mean you need some direction on certain issues that you haven’t been able to make headway on, some professional guidance.

Divorce counselor and post-divorce advisor, Ian Oliver says he sees one couple even though they have a seemingly perfect marriage. “She says she always learns something that nurtures their relationship,” he wrote in the Huffington Post. “She considers it maintenance.” So couple’s counseling is not only for fixing problems. We can learn how we love and how our partner loves. This will allow us to see ways to develop the relationship we hadn’t seen before, and make it more fulfilling. All it takes is a little insight. It may also help you to notice when things are right versus when they aren’t. Sometimes one or both members of a relationship live in denial of a problem that gets bigger and bigger, until it tears the relationship apart. But understanding what your dynamic looks like when it’s humming along, and when things started to go wrong, can help diagnose problems quickly and work in a more effective strategy to deal with them. Most of the time however, the couple seeks out a counselor when there are major issues. They have tried but are at an impasse. Seeking out a therapist when things first go bad can help stave off the further complications that come from a problem that has grown beyond control.

There are times when we grow accustomed to unwanted behavior, live in denial or fail to see it for what it actually is, damaging to us and our relationship. You may not know why they act like this, or why you do. It can be hard to trace back certain behaviors, reactions or emotions to their origins. A good counselor or couple’s therapist can help you see these patterns and trace them back to their origins. Once you see where things stem from, you can develop strategies to deal with them. Sometimes couples seek out therapy after lots of things have been said that can’t be taken back. The counselor, in addition to being a professional, is also impartial. They are trained to pick up on unhealthy habits and behaviors. They won’t get caught on one person’s side. You can trust their impartiality and their professional training to help guide you. We all need to see the things from a new angle on occasion to get some perspective. The most important thing is to keep communicating with your partner. Be honest with one another. Try to work through your problems yourselves. But if you can’t, see a couple’s therapist before things start spinning out of control. Don’t wait until things have gotten way out of hand. For more help, read the book, Counseling and Therapy for Couples by Lynn L. Long and Mark E. Young.

Use a Pro to get your Ex’s Texts

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Use a Pro to get your Ex’s Texts

We all know how important texting has become in our love lives. Now they are becoming weighty evidence in divorce proceedings according to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Text messaging was present in the top three forms of electronic evidence used in divorce court today. But getting texts for your attorney can be difficult. You can either read them off the phone directly, or perhaps write them down for yourself.

The second method is to have them taken off the phone. This can be done even after the messages have been deleted. If there is some type of access code for security purposes, bypassing that would make the texts inadmissible in court according to John Simek, Vice President of a Virginia based computer security company called Sensei Enterprises, Inc. It’s like the difference between a suitcase that is open and one that is locked. Of this Simek said, “Then there is an expectation of privacy, and you’d better not be blowing by it.” Also understand that cell phone providers don’t store any messages on their end. So don’t go snooping in that direction, you’ll come up empty.

This is where you can use a trained pro to get your ex’s texts. According to Simek, a text message usually stays on the provider’s servers for about two weeks. But a case has to be filed before a security company can go in there and get a text. Otherwise, they have no leg to stand on legally. Searching the actual phone is really the best way to get at texts says Simek. Once a text has been deleted however, it can be hard to retrieve. Computer forensics companies can use several methods to try and retrieve these text messages. BitPim , Sim Card Seizure,  or Paraben Device Seizure are some of the methods used. Keep your fingers crossed.

“Normally it’s pretty volatile, these text messages,” says Simek. How your phone overwrites memory comes into play. But the forensics company will go through all of the internal organs of the phone to see if they can grab a hold of the steamy text your ex sent to their lover. These special software extractions can even get the date and time, important information where court is concerned. Some of the software programs even get inside the phone and take a photo of the text. These companies can even testify in court on how the text was extracted.  So the next time you have a text that can help pay off in divorce court, look up your local computer forensic security company. They may be able to ensure you get your hands on it, and your lawyer does too. For more assistance with evidence seeking read, The Everything Private Investigation Book: Master the Techniques of the Pros to Examine Evidence, Track down People, and Discover the Truth by Sheila L. Stephens.

Will we See Online Marriage Counseling to Stop Divorce?

counseling

Will we See Online Marriage Counseling to Stop Divorce?

We see all kinds of online options today. There’s online shopping, music, videos, social media, apps that do just about everything, even online dating. In fact, one study showed that those marriages where the people met online suffered less divorce than their offline counterparts. Today lots of people looking for a therapist seek out Google rather than asking their physician as was done in the olden days. So if we see all kinds of communications and commerce happening online, will we see online marriage counseling to stop divorce? The problem is that doing counseling over the phone, via Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime is illegal. Though practitioners say that the breakthroughs one experiences in therapy can be had via electronic media and have just as much impact as those that occur face-to-face, it’s the law that’s getting in the way for this to happen. Many state laws prohibit therapy treatment to occur across state lines. Each psychologist’s license is issued by the state where they reside. The legal consequences of practicing therapy across state lines bar most if not all therapists from doing so. Even within some states, administering therapy via Skype or some other electronic media is illegal unless the client had an in-person offline professional relationship with the therapist previous to the use of Skype.

However we may see online therapy and marriage counseling in the near future. Recently in New York a proposed change in the law would extend the ability to use tele-health as a legal option for healthcare providers. The Federation of State Medical Boards would make electronic media such as Skype available for medical health treatment. The technology has come so far and communication technology’s cost cutting would also greatly benefit the healthcare industry. But what psychologists are hoping is that this will set up a precedent where someday therapy may be available over the internet as well. There is one healthcare establishment currently in America that is offering therapy over the phone and online, the Veteran’s Administration, commonly known as the VA. A lot of veterans come from rural areas where few mental health resources are available. These veterans, now returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have serious issues that they need to work through, including many reported to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Colorado based therapist Susan Heitler, Ph.D. recently wrote in Psychology Today, “To their credit, the Veterans Administration has launched forth to become a leader in tele-mental Health.” Former undersecretary of health for the US Department of Veterans Affairs Robert Petzel, MD testified that the VA has administered to almost 500,000 veterans tele-health and tele-mental health services, distributed through 750 out-patient clinics and 150 medical centers nationwide.

NPR recently did a story about the benefits of tele-health and tele-mental health. CBS’s New York affiliate also did a piece on online help for couples. Still, beware. If you do find a counselor or online therapist, do not use their services. They are not operating legally and are minimally trained, if at all. Still, online therapy can certainly help couples just as any other therapy would. What’s more, couples could punch in together, say through Google Hangouts, with the therapist while at lunch at work, and don’t have to miss an appointment when they are on a business trip, in the hospital for something minor and so on. When looking for a marriage counselor, make sure to seek out a licensed, reputable professional that both of you feel comfortable opening up to. Make sure they have experience dealing with the problems with which you and your spouse are facing. Marriage education is one inexpensive way to deal with typical marriage problems. Resources can be found online or in your local library or bookstore. Marriage counseling, however, is dealing with a couple’s particular issues and so varies greatly. Though marriage counseling via Skype and other methods continues to be illegal, initial thoughts from both the VA and counselors show that it will be a very effective method in addressing couple’s issues. Online marriage counseling and coaching should be here in the near future. But if you can’t wait that long, in the meantime pick up a copy of The Power of Two by Susan Heitler, Ph.D.

Things to Avoid in Order to Co-parent Successfully

COPARENTING

Things to Avoid in Order to Co-parent Successfully

Co-parenting is really difficult, especially when you are just finishing up a conflict-ridden marriage or a bitter divorce. But to raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child it’s important to co-parent successfully, and to know what sorts of habits and behaviors to avoid. It can be enraging, frustrating, and exhausting to have to deal with your ex all the time. But now that you have children, you have no choice. In fact, the better the two of you get along, the better the children will do. First, avoid unnecessary anger. If you are at the beginning of your divorce and are trying to get ahead, try to make the tone of your divorce civil. The tone of the divorce can set the mood for the co-parenting period afterwards. It can be difficult to pivot after a bitter divorce to working together amiably for the sake of the children. Sit down with your ex-spouse and explain to them how important it is that you two work together for the children’s benefit. You can have a detached, professional tone. But anger and resentment are only going to make co-parenting more difficult. Don’t put the children in the middle. Do not use them as a way to get back at your ex-spouse for any transgressions they may have committed. That isn’t fair to the children, and instead of hurting your ex you’ll be hurting them. They’ll be collateral damage caught in a war between the parents.

Do not talk negatively about the other parent to or in front of the children. Encourage instead a healthy relationship with the other parent. Don’t let your ex do this either. In fact, it’s best to have a conversation about it right in the beginning and set some ground rules with one another in order to create a safe and effective environment for the children. You should also agree on a set of rules, bed times, schedules, and consequences if the rules are not followed. Children thrive best in an environment that is structured. When two different households have different rules it can confuse them and give them anxiety. Some people use the divorce as a way to get attention for themselves. They increase the drama and conflict to do so. But onlookers, though sympathetic in the beginning, will soon become aware of what is going on and they will put space between them and that person. Don’t be this person and if your ex-spouse does, ignore them and soon the behavior will end. Be a little bit flexible if you can with your co-parent. If they need to switch weekends or can’t take the kids a certain day, instead of coming down on them, understand. You should do so with the clear, previously discussed understanding that you, if and when you need to, should expect the same flexibility in return. Sticking tenaciously to the rules however can backfire if and when you need them to watch the kids or switch weekends.

When making co-parenting decisions make sure that your ex is in on these decisions. Don’t make them yourself and spring them on him or her, or you may find them cold and suspicious of you in the future. Co-parenting means exactly that. One parent shouldn’t be kept out of the loop or in the dark. The best co-parents are in constant communication with one another. Though it feels awkward in the beginning, soon it will just become the way things are done in your life. If your ex-spouse is dating or has found someone, don’t say disparaging things about that person, particularly in front of the children. Gossip or badmouth them with your friends when the children aren’t around if you have to. But even if they overhear something they shouldn’t, it can be damaging to your co-parent and so they will either think you are jealous or, that negative energy will get back to you. If your co-parent has hurt you deeply, be civil and use a professional tone. Find a way to grieve and forgive them. You don’t have to do it out loud or to their face. But you are the one living with the anger and resentment. So that pain doesn’t affect them as much as it does you. Forgive them instead to release yourself from the pain in which you carry. It doesn’t mean they are off the hook for the things they did. It just means you accept the past as how it happened, and will let it live there, in the past, while you move on with your own life and forward to a better future. For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households after Divorce by Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas.