Therapy That Works...

Why Women Shrug Off Lousy Sex - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Naked Truth: Why Women Shrug Off Lousy Sex

Does sexual satisfaction really matter to women? A new study from the University Texas says not so much—especially if you’re in a happy marriage!

So, are women just putting up with less desirable sex than they used to?

Accepting Apathy: I think there is an epidemic of low sex and no sex marriages in America and this study illustrates that a lot of women are just accepting unsatisfying sex or even no sex in their marriage.

Sexually Inhibited: According to research, inhibited sexual desire is the biggest sex problem facing couples and the number one reason they seek sexual therapy. One in three women and one in seven men report inhibited sexual desire and the lack of interest can be devastating for a marriage.

Critical For Marriage: Twenty percent of American marriages fall into the category of no sex marriages with another fifteen percent in the low sex category. The lack of sex can rob a marriage of up to 70% of its vitality and can shatter an otherwise good relationship.

Now, interest in sex is often difficult for women to sustain when they’re carting kids around and working a full time job. Women are commonly shown in films and on television as not enjoying or even outright avoiding sex. But do women really not care that much about sex anymore?

Sex Is Not Just For Men: I think women are much more sexually interested than anyone gives them credit for, but women define their interest in sex very differently than men. In my experience, men are much more regularly aroused and interested in sex, but women have a much higher capability for desire and euphoric pleasure! Both genders enjoy and want sex, but just in different ways.

Many Factors Motivate Women: This new study reminds us that sex is very contextual for a woman. Factors such as connection to her partner, body image, emotional openness, and even just how her day was, all contribute to her desire. This new study very strongly reinforces how much a woman cares about sex depends centrally on the state of her relationship.

Happy Relationships, Less Sex: If she’s happy, she’s not so concerned about sex since she’s still connecting to her partner in other, non sexual ways. So in relationships that have more trust and openness, sex doesn’t assume such a central place. However, as a longtime psychologist, I think sexually starved relationships, for whatever reason, are in danger. Sex is an essential part of both physical, emotional, and romantic intimacy – there’s no getting around it.

High Anxiety: For women who are very stressed out about the relationship—insecure, jealous, or just “not feeling the love”--sex is much more important. Sex is soothing to the woman since it allows her to achieve a connection and soothe her anxiety. However, this pattern isn’t entirely healthy either since sex is substituted for emotional intimacy and connection. You can have a hollow marriage but great sex.

Sex is a central part of any romantic relationship and is essential for both emotional and physical intimacy. However, many couples fall into a pattern of going without or even avoiding sex!

Once this pattern gets going, it is much harder to overcome. Couples begin to redefine the relationship as asexual and relegate their partner to a companion instead of a lover and a partner.

There are two obstacles that stand in the way:

Motivation: The first one is motivation. Research shows that if the sexual disconnect does not clear up in six months, it is much less likely to ever resolve. Rediscover your partner and why you love them - reconnect emotionally to reconnect physically.

Anger: The next biggest factor is anger, especially for women. We have twice the emotional memory and we are renowned for holding onto grudges. Withholding sex or avoiding sex can be vengeful in a marriage and it is usually a female reaction. However, men have been known to avoid the bedroom if they are angry.

Sound familiar? Guys, here’s what you can do to physically reconnect with your partner today:

Take The Time: Sex is very emotionally based for women. She must connect to become vulnerable. Take the time to make her feel special and connected to you.

Conversation is Foreplay: Women love words and they love to talk so conversation is foreplay. I know it’s tough guys but even light conversation is good – ask her about her day or how her presentation went!

Emotional Intelligence Is Critical: Women want to be understood, engage in validation of their feelings, and create narratives about their lives. Most importantly, trust, safety, and understanding are central aphrodisiacs for a woman.

Try A Little Tenderness: When all else fails, try a little tenderness—in touch, words, and deeds. Life is hard and she wants you to be her “port in the storm.” Try holding her close and telling her that it’s all going to be OK.

Do Women Care About Lousy Sex Lives? - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Watch my live appearance on CBS today discussing why many happily married women don't really care if they have a lousy sex life.

Watch It Here

Here's the link

http://video.dallas.cbslocal.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?vt1=v&clipFormat=flv&clipId1=5254336&at1=Health&h1=Is

The Truth About Long Distance Relationships - By Chris Gearing

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Truth About Long-Term Relationships - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Go The Distance: The Truth About Long-Term Relationships

With the new Drew Barrymore and Justin Long comedy “Going The Distance” in theaters, many couples are seeing a long distance relationship in a new light.

But what’s it really like to go the distance?

Recession Reality: Thanks to the economy, long distance relationships are relatively common nowadays with partners working jobs in different cities just to make the bills. The worst part is that as the recession drags on, so does the time apart – couples have been long-distance for years now either at work or at school getting ready for new jobs.

New Technology, New Relationships: With the advent of new technologies like text messaging, Twitter, and Skype available for free at the touch of a button – carrying on long-distance relationships has become easier than ever. Even though the frequency of communication has show no effect on whether or not couples stayed together or the quality of their relationship, technology has made it easier than ever to talk to our loved ones – no matter how far they are.

Magnify The Positive: Researchers have seen higher levels of idealization of a partner if they are far away. In addition, couples try much harder to avoid conflict if they are long-distance since they don’t want to spoil their little time together with fighting.

Progress Is Slow: Real partnerships and relationships develop through conflict resolution and fully knowing the other person – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Due to the lack of face time, long distance relationships tend to progress at a much slower rate, both towards breaking up and marriage.

If you’re considering a long-distance relationship, the biggest question that you have to answer is do you really trust the other person?

Physical attraction is not the same as the building blocks of love - trust, similar values, and a common view of the world. If you’re moving into a long-term, long-distance relationship, be extremely sure about what your partner will feel, think, and do when you’re apart.

SOURCES:

“More Young Couples Try Long-Distance Relationships” by Sharon Jayson, USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/mentalhealth/2010-09-09-longdistance09_ST_N.htm

Dating Violence Among Teens - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dating Violence Among Teens

CBS 11 News

Dr. Sylvia Gearing

With the start of school, parents need to be aware of when they need to be concerned about violence in their teen’s relationship.

Depression is Rising:

Dating violence among teens is a very real phenomenon that has increased enormously in the last five years due to the increasing rates of depression and anxiety in teens and twentysomethings. A new study reports that more cases of severe mental illness are being reported among college students than a decade ago.

Parents Should Be Aware:

Parents should be aware that domestic violence in adolescent dating relationships peaks in high school with around 45% of all kids experiencing violence at the hands of a partner. Once a teen is abused or becomes the abuser, the pattern tends to continue with both sexual and emotional violence increasing in high college.

Here are the specific signs to look for if you're worried that your teen is a victim of violence:

Avoiding The Truth:

Teens who are being abused are generally shell shocked. They are literally frozen by the stress. They have no idea what is going on and fail to protect themselves. Many kids from good homes are naive about what abuse is, normalize the actions of the abusive partner and make excuses for the abuser until it is too late.

It Begins with Verbal Violence:

Parents should be on the lookout for verbally abusive texts, emails, phone calls or outright face-to-face shouting. Emotional violence is usually the first type of abuse in a relationship and is the most common type of relationship violence.

Teen Becoming Isolated:

Abusive partners prefer that their partner remains isolated and unable to turn to others for help. In addition, the abused partner isolate herself from friends and family. She seems to shed her former relationships—best friends, family connections, socializing patterns. She stops responding to others and denies she is being victimized.

Increasing Anxiety and Depression:

Domestic abuse victims show signs of anxiety and depression such as agitation, sadness, withdrawal, low energy, emotional mood swings, tearfulness and a decline in functioning at school.

Progressive Pain:

Look for signs of increasing disconnection from others, less responsiveness and avoidant behavior. She is locked in a cage of agony and doesn’t know how to ask for help.

When you hear "domestic violence," you probably think of a man hitting a woman. But that's not always the case:

These days, it seems that neither gender is safe. On average, about half of women have been a victim of domestic violence along with 27% of men. However, this number is probably low for men because of under-reporting of abuse. In fact, we’re hearing more and more about women stalking men who have rejected them.

The causes for each type of domestic violence seem to be quite different. Male-on-female violence seems to be much more about control and domination while female-on-male violence is more verbally expressive and is used to communicate pain, jealousy, frustration, and other emotions.

Parents, here's what you can do to help:

Many family and friends prefer not to get involved out of respect for personal boundaries. However, this is one time that you need to speak up as a parent. Caring about your child now involves compassionate intervention. Do not turn your back.

Gather Evidence:

Collect the observations you have had and organize them into a coherent conversation. Specify behaviors you have seen and conversations you may have overheard or read online or through texting.

Stand Your Ground:

Domestic violence at this age is especially lethal since adolescent brains are often immature and impulsive. They literally lack the critical thinking skills to put it all together. That’s where a smart parent comes in.

Get the Community Involved:

If you present your evidence and they are still resistant, go to their community of friends, family, religious leaders and ask them to help. For more serious cases, please seek out a psychologist. However difficult these steps are, they may very well save your child’s life.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

Sources:

JAMA

Archives Journals (July 8, 2008) Relationship Violence Appears Common Among College Students

Eat, Pray, and Love From Home - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eating, Praying, and Loving From Home

How To Have A Journey Of Self-Discovery On A Budget

By Dr Sylvia Gearing

With the release of the movie, “Eat. Pray. Love.” this past weekend, millions of Americans witnessed the journey of a woman’s self-discovery through the countries of Italy, India, and Indonesia. But in this tough economy, not everyone can spend a year living, laughing, and loving abroad. Not to fret – if you’re looking for a quest akin to Elizabeth Gilbert’s amazing saga, there’s plenty you can accomplish right here at home.

Remember that the Point of the Quest is to Find Yourself, Your Beliefs and Your Soul Mate

FINDING YOURSELF THROUGH PHYSICAL PLEASURES:

Your body is the temple of your soul and is extremely important in any journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. The body, your center for “worldly pleasures,” is stimulated by the five major physical senses – taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

Taste and Pleasurable Eating:

Did you know that we have over 10,000 taste buds, but taste is the weakest of the senses? In an age of fast food and 80-hour workweeks, we don’t take the time to really savor our food.

Here’s How to Use Taste:

  • Slow down, sit down and calm down when you eat!
  • Eating should be a relaxing, sumptuous and even sensuous experience.
  • Try fresh foods from farmers markets or preparing your own food from simple, international recipes. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to cook gourmet food!

Touch and Tactile Experiences:

Touch is an undervalued sense but it’s extremely important to pleasure.

Here’s How to Use Touch:

  • Buy Clothing: Sensual lingerie, soft, flowing clothing, silky bed sheets, plush throws, and plump pillows are comforting and enticing.
  • Pet The Dog: Don’t forget to cuddle up to your cat or dog—they are great sources of nurturing.
  • Get A Massage: Nothing relaxes people more than being touched. Hire an expert and indulge yourself.

Sight and Visual Experiences:

Have you ever been to a place that just clicked with your sense of style? Maybe the Coliseum or your childhood home, visual beauty is enchanting for all of us. Surround yourself with beautiful colors, textures and arrangements.

Here’s How to Use Sight:

  • Take the Time to Notice: Nurturing visual experiences are everywhere—a sunset, a stunning candle in your bedroom, a gracious moonlit night, the drape of a towel on a chair, or even the colors of your favorite flowers.
  • Take the Time to See: All of your world can be visually savored if you just take the time to notice and acknowledge the beauty right in front of you.
  • Bring Beauty To You: Take some time and assemble your personal list of beauty—candles, soaps, china, crystal, pictures of travel destinations, favorite pieces of art, pictures of your friends and family, flowers, etc.

Sense of Smell and Aromas:

Smell is the number one sense tied to memory and it really makes an impression – whether it’s the sweet scent of your mother’s cookies in the oven or the smell of cedar burning on a cold night.

Here’s How to Use Smell:

  • Burn lightly scented candles for your meals, your relaxation time and “just because.”
  • Bring highly fragrant flowers to your office
  • Use your own special perfume or cologne as your personal scent signature.

Hearing and Sound:

Pleasurable sounds are stimulating for your mind. Brain scans show that music—in particular—stimulates certain pleasure areas of the brain and lowers anxiety.

Here’s How to Use Sound:

  • Relax or meditate to natural sounds like the ocean tide or thunderstorms.
  • Listen to music all the time, whether it’s Beethoven or Lady Gaga. Music enhances any ordinary experience – whether it’s cleaning the house, talking to your friends or working out.
  • Sing loudly. Anxiety diminishes enormously when we’re belting out our favorite tunes.

FINDING YOUR BELIEFS THROUGH SPIRITUAL PRACTICES:

Spirituality asks the most important questions about life—why we’re here, why things happen, and where God is in all of this. Spiritual practice, irrespective of which religion you use, nurtures the most of important parts of ourselves—our minds, our hearts and our souls.

Here’s How to Enhance Your Spiritual Self:

Stillness and Thought:

An essential first step is mastery of some sort of meditation or self-reflection – whether it be through prayer, meditation techniques, long thoughtful walks, centering yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even just quiet time! Shut off your cell phone, exit your e-mail, and close your laptop for even an hour a day and ground yourself with one of these practices.

Attend to the Now:

Be present in every single moment of your life and live in the now – I call this “mindfulness.” This may sound a little “Zen” of me, but it really works. Give your anxiety a break, and suspend your thoughts while you focus on what is right in front of you. Combine the mindfulness mindset with the above steps for stillness and meditation for a real “one-two” punch of spirituality.

The Sound of Silence:

Silence leads to self-discovery and to understanding someone else. Silence lets you think effectively. Silence allows the world to pour into you while you contemplate, rather than react, to events. It is the elixir of creativity and perspective.

Gratitude and Reverence:

Experience your life with a true sense of gratitude and reverence for the things around you – whether it’s for your kids, your partner, your job or for the many blessings in your life. Viewing life through the lens of gratitude leads to higher levels of optimism, hope, and plain old happiness.

Acts of Altruism:

Try doing something fun and then try doing something altruistic. Studies show that you will remember your acts of altruism longer and more fondly than the “fun times.” In fact, selfless giving to others can even make you happier over the long haul.

FINDING YOUR SOUL MATE:

Soul mates come in different packages—a sister, a best friend, or a lover. Now, with your physical and spiritual sides in balance, you’re ready to share your world with someone else in an effective, intelligent way. By balancing your physical and the spiritual selves, you’re more discerning, less needy with others and more perceptive about what you need from anyone that walks in and out of your life.

Your combination of the worldly and the spiritual perspectives prepares you to define a relationship on both shared and individual terms. You have to nurture your physical self and embrace your spiritual self to fully experience and love another person.

Here’s How to Find Your Soul Mate:

Maintain Boundaries!:

Elizabeth Gilbert observed (rather wryly) that as she visited the ninth generation medicine man in Bali, she didn’t want to ask him about the meaning of life or what happens after we die. Instead, all she could think to ask about were her “boy troubles.” A common misstep is to let our relationships carry us away, and we end up leaving ourselves behind! Define yourself as an individual first—both physically and spiritually before you step into a relationship!

Shared Terms:

Women are so programmed all our lives to orbit around the needs of others—“accept me and I will do anything for you!” That kind of thinking was great two hundred years ago, but our new world requires self-sufficiency AND interdependence. We have to love him and leave him everyday to become ourselves in our jobs, our roles and our minds. But at the end of the day, we come home to him relaxed, refueled, and ready for intimacy.

The Golden Rule:

The great Greek philosophers taught that there was one golden rule for life – balance, in all things. Balance in our work, in our consumption, and in our relationships. Maintain the balance between worldly pleasure, divine transcendence, and experiencing and loving those around you.

Your feet on the ground, your heart fully opened and your soul finely tuned will lead to wise choices, magical moments, and mastery of the art of exuberant living.

SOURCES

Dr. Martin Seligman on TED.com

“Practicing Gratitude Can Increase Happiness by 25%” on PsyBlog (http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/09/practicing-gratitude-can-increase.php)

How To Catch A Liar, Part 3 - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How to Know if You’re Partner is Lying To You

Lying in America is sadly more common than ever with current studies estimating that we lie in about one fourth of our interactions with others. Most of these lies are committed to make our lives easier or to set boundaries with others. But the majority of Americans believe that you shouldn’t lie to your partner. Since trust is the foundation of love, lying can undermine even the best of love affairs. So why do all of us want to believe our partners so much?

Skin In The Game:

When you’re in a relationship, you want to believe your partner. You have “skin in the game” and have invested in this person. When he begins to lie, it's hard to believe that that he thinks so little of you. You don't want to believe that he would make up a lie, sell the lie to you and then watch while you believe it.

Unfortunately, most of us end up filling in the blanks of information a liar omits in an effort to see him in a positive light. If he is lying and we work to believe him, he is basically getting away with it.

Gender Differences in Lying:

One study found that men and women lie at the same rates but about different things. Women are more likely to lie to make you feel good while men rearrange the truth to make themselves look better.

Psychos And Sociopaths:

Remember that some people lie flawlessly and are difficult to catch due to their skill. Think Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. They are able to control their emotions, their thoughts, and their bodies simultaneously. The flip side of that coin is that these people are generally sociopaths or psychopaths—definitely not dating material!

Now, if your partner is lying to you – your decision about whether or not to stay ultimately comes down to how invested you are in the relationship.

Here are a few tips depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship:

Early Liars Never Change:

Lying early in the relationship is a big sign of dishonesty. If they’re already lying to you in the beginning, what makes you think they won’t lie to you later on? Pay attention and get out quickly if you hear 2-3 lies in the first few weeks of a relationship. Please don’t pretend that everything is just fine. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache later on.

Road To Recovery:

For long term relationships, you need to confront the problem immediately, set a limit, and establish a zero tolerance policy.

If there is a problem in the relationship, don’t linger—get help and resolve the issues. Most couples wait an average of six years before they seek help - and it's usually too late.

Lying Can Snowball:

Lying is a serious issue and tends to snowball. Rearranging the truth can get to be a bad habit for even the best of us. However, you can go from lying by omission to outright deceit. What seemed innocent in the beginning becomes a habit of pathological lying. Don’t let lying take over -- you won’t know what’s real and what’s a lie.

Source:

Paul Ekman’s excellent work on lying including Unmasking the Face and Emotions Revealed

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

ABC News, Study: We All Tell Lies Over the Phone, February 25, 2004

How To Catch A Liar, Part 3 - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How to Know if You’re Partner is Lying To You

Lying in America is sadly more common than ever with current studies estimating that we lie in about one fourth of our interactions with others. Most of these lies are committed to make our lives easier or to set boundaries with others. But the majority of Americans believe that you shouldn’t lie to your partner. Since trust is the foundation of love, lying can undermine even the best of love affairs. So why do all of us want to believe our partners so much?

Skin In The Game:

When you’re in a relationship, you want to believe your partner. You have “skin in the game” and have invested in this person. When he begins to lie, it's hard to believe that that he thinks so little of you. You don't want to believe that he would make up a lie, sell the lie to you and then watch while you believe it.

Unfortunately, most of us end up filling in the blanks of information a liar omits in an effort to see him in a positive light. If he is lying and we work to believe him, he is basically getting away with it.

Gender Differences in Lying:

One study found that men and women lie at the same rates but about different things. Women are more likely to lie to make you feel good while men rearrange the truth to make themselves look better.

Psychos And Sociopaths:

Remember that some people lie flawlessly and are difficult to catch due to their skill. Think Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. They are able to control their emotions, their thoughts, and their bodies simultaneously. The flip side of that coin is that these people are generally sociopaths or psychopaths—definitely not dating material!

Now, if your partner is lying to you – your decision about whether or not to stay ultimately comes down to how invested you are in the relationship.

Here are a few tips depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship:

Early Liars Never Change:

Lying early in the relationship is a big sign of dishonesty. If they’re already lying to you in the beginning, what makes you think they won’t lie to you later on? Pay attention and get out quickly if you hear 2-3 lies in the first few weeks of a relationship. Please don’t pretend that everything is just fine. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache later on.

Road To Recovery:

For long term relationships, you need to confront the problem immediately, set a limit, and establish a zero tolerance policy.

If there is a problem in the relationship, don’t linger—get help and resolve the issues. Most couples wait an average of six years before they seek help - and it's usually too late.

Lying Can Snowball:

Lying is a serious issue and tends to snowball. Rearranging the truth can get to be a bad habit for even the best of us. However, you can go from lying by omission to outright deceit. What seemed innocent in the beginning becomes a habit of pathological lying. Don’t let lying take over -- you won’t know what’s real and what’s a lie.

Source:

Paul Ekman’s excellent work on lying including Unmasking the Face and Emotions Revealed

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

ABC News, Study: We All Tell Lies Over the Phone, February 25, 2004

How To Turn Her On, Part 3 - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

By Dr. Sylvia Gearing

We've covered the basics of how to be more physically attractive to a woman. However, personality is the essential spark for female attraction -- bar none. It boils down to several essential characteristics:

Good Sense of Humor:

Women who describe their guys as more witty report higher rates of satisfaction. A sense of humor indicates empathy and understanding. But it also indicates intelligence and social skills. Some researchers argue that a good sense of humor is literally the most effective tactic for attracting women. Literally, guys - laughter will make women like you.

Confidence Versus Cockiness:

A guy who knows what he is doing, is commanding with others, is poised and decisive are incredible attributes for attraction. Self-confidence is also a sign that he can protect and provide which are characteristics that are attractive to many women. But be careful -- self-confidence is different from cockiness, which indicates false pride and is very unattractive to women.

Character and Emotional Intelligence:

The presence of integrity and honesty are unbeatable combinations for men who are interested in attracting a long-term mate. While they may not help a man in the initial attraction dance, these characteristics are essential for long-term relationships. Women love to be understood and having an emotionally self-aware guy is a huge allure.

Source: “Why Women Have Sex,” Carol Meson and David Buss

Dr. Sylvia Gearing On CW33 - By Chris Gearing

Monday, August 02, 2010

Here's the CW 33 story Dr. Sylvia Gearing was featured on over the weekend!

Watch or read it here:

http://www.the33tv.com/news/kdaf-chelsea-clinton-lie-lying-lover-marriage-gearing-story,0,5381269.story


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