Thursday, December 9, 2010

Long Distance Crush: Pursue or Pass?

Dear Dr. Naidich,

I like this guy, but he lives about 900 miles away. I knew him a long time ago and always thought he was hot. Anyhow, not sure what to do...if I cant be with the one I want, should I introduce him to a friend who lives closer? At least that will get him off of my radar. Right? I mean, why let a hottie get away...right..I might as well let one of my friends benefit. lol...What do you think?
I cant relocate right now since I have a couple kids and their dad would never agree to a move. If I cant be with the one I want, should I be with someone else closer? If there appears to be a "glass ceiling" getting in my way, should I just forget about him, or should I try to beat the odds and break through like catwoman? Advice?

Dear Catwoman, 

For starters, you said that "you like this guy who lives about 900 miles away, that you knew him a long time ago and always thought he was hot". When was the last time you saw him? What type of contact do you have with him now? Was the only thing you liked about him was that he was a "hottie"? How well do you know him now and how serious are you about him? Only you can answer these questions...

That being said, let's assume that you like him for more than his good looks and that you cannot re-locate now. Do you really want him off your radar? Sounds to me like you don't. So how do you know for sure that you can't be with the one you want?

Why not plan a trip to see if you still have the same feelings you did in the past? If you don't then you have an easy solution. But, if you do and the feelings are mutual, and there is a solid basis for a partnership based on real love and commitment, there may be other options. Perhaps he would re-locate to be with you, for example. 

Why settle if you don't have to? Like you said, there "appears to be a 'glass ceiling' getting in your way". That's just it! It's glass--not concrete! Why not try to beat the odds and break through like "catwoman"? Where there is a will there is usually a way. After all, you only live once. This is not a dress rehearsal. I say go for it an see what'll never know until you try!

Let me know how it works out!

Best of luck,

Dr. Naidich 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Love: An Art or A Science

Dr. Naidich,

How much of love is art and how much of it is science? And, can you explain the philosophy of "love by degrees"?


Hi Pete,

I think love is both an art and a science. The art of love involves chemistry, passion, an open heart, and generosity of spirit. But there is also a science or practical approach to love which involves how we go about maintaining love over time. This includes how we choose to communicate, remain intimate, honest, faithful, and committed partners. For lasting love, there needs to be a balance between the two.

Love by degrees seeks to address issues that arise in relationships at all stages, including dating (on-line dating), long-term relationships, marriages, families, and parenting. The general philosophy is to advise people at varying "love by degrees" on how to improve their current situation or to answer questions regarding dilemmas relating to one of the most important areas of our lives: LOVE.

Thanks for writing!

Dr. Naidich

Problems at Home/Work? When Facebook and Gaming Makes Things Worse

Dr. Naidich,

After 5 years of marriage, I have had it with my husband. He is always in the basement playing interactive video games on the Internet or surfing on facebook. BTW I hate facebook. He works once in a while as an electrician but work has been slow. We have difficulty paying our bills and creditors call regularly.

The other night after our kids went to bed, I went down into the basement in my lingerie to try to re-connect with my husband. He looked up from the computer and told me he'd meet me in the bedroom as soon as he finished the game. I told him he would have to wait a lot longer than that!!!! I am now thinking about getting any divorce. Do you blame me?

I understand how you must be feeling, but I think this may be more complicated than you think...and it is not a matter of blame...

I wonder about a few things. For example, how old are you and your husband, do you work outside of the home, was your husband the primary bread-earner, was he so focused on facebook, Internet surfing and gaming when you met him and when he was working full-time (did he ever work full-time)???

Anyway, without that information I will respond to your question with the information at hand. It sounds like both of you are under extreme pressure right now. While social networking can be very positive and gaming can be a stress reliever, your husband seems to be using both as a way to avoid the reality of coping with his family responsibilities, career difficulties, and financial hardship. 

He is most likely experiencing anxiety and feeling emasculated, as he is "losing" in life right now. So he is retreating to the basement and immersing himself in virtual reality where he can connect and feel like a "winner". He may also be experiencing depression which may account for his low sex drive. 

Your attempt to engage him with sexy lingerie was a good idea, but when a man is down on his luck and on himself, he just might not be interested in sex. It has nothing to do with YOU!

Having difficulties paying the bills and having creditors calling regularly is only adding to the stress on your marriage. Your husband does not seem to posses the coping skills that would propel him to take constructive steps toward changing his (and your family's) current situation. Or his depression and anxiety are interfering with him putting those skills into action. As a result, he is withdrawing instead of finding ways to find more work or make more money. Plus, we need to keep in mind that with the economy as it is, many people are either unemployed, underemployed, and/or suffering financially. You are not alone!

An additional problem is that facebook, Internet surfing and gaming can have an addictive quality to them, making it harder for him to pull himself away and act in his own best interest. Again, while they do have some beneficial effects, they can be a way to escape from reality. 

I do not think divorce is the answer here. At least not at this point.

Have you calmly spoken with him about how you feel in a loving way while seeing it from this perspective yet? If not, I suggest that you do.

Your husband might need some professional support to help him cope with his anxiety/depression and coping skills. While you might need some help with your stress, anxiety, and anger/resentment. Since finances are an issue, I recommend seeking a cognitive-behavioral therapist from your insurance plan (low co-pay), a local university or a mental health clinic where they have a sliding scale or do pro-bono therapy.  

The goals would be to address the issues I already mentioned, to work on your marriage, and to make sure you are sheltering your children from the negative emotional climate in the home. With the right help, the hope would be that your husband will be able to address his problems proactively instead of facebooking, Internet surfing and gaming, get back to work, regain his sex drive, and re-engage with the family.

In the meantime you also have to generate some practical solutions to your financial problems, and you may need an advisor to help you with that. Some possible options are debt consolidation, re-financing and filing for bankruptcy.

Let me know how it goes!

I wish you the best!

Dr. Naidich