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Ask A Therapist: Lost My Virginity and Now I’m Sleeping Around and Drinking A Lot

Q: I have a question. I’m 21 and I was dating this guy and well, I lost my virginity to him and I loved him. I felt like he used me. I was so hurt when we broke up and I then slept with his best friend and then another guy 6 times.  I drink a lot and I have low self esteem please I need some advice. I’m so lost.

A: It is incredibly painful to feel so deeply for your boyfriend that you would share your heart and your body with him only to have the relationship end. I’m so sorry that your boyfriend didn’t value the gift that you gave him, your first full expression of your sexuality.  While it’s incredibly difficult to feel used, there are many healthier options for dealing with your hurt than by doing things that cause more pain for you and others. Drinking and sexually acting out may temporarily make your feel powerful and numb your emotions but won’t lead to a healthy emotional place and will likely create more pain and hurt.

Please turn toward healthy relationships. Who have you gone to in the past for emotional support? Have you reached out to friends and family during this difficult time? If not, please share your pain with people you trust so you can receive comfort and strength.  Also, please consider seeking a therapist to sort through the loss of your relationship, understand the root of your unhealthy behavior, and to develop healthier coping skills. Click here if you need help to find a therapist in your area. You can feel good about yourself again. You can develop healthy love relationships.  Remember, you deserve to be with a man who wants to be with you and who cherishes you, body and soul.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: How Can I Get My Baby’s Father Back?

Q: My daughter is 3 now. Her father and I have been split up for almost 2 years now. Due to postpartum, hormones, stress, loss of a family member, and cancer health related issues I was having and needed treatment for. My emotions were too much. He had been dating a girl from his work for the amount of time we have been split up. I previously got engaged, and am now 7 months pregnant. This relationship failed. During this time of me not connecting my self and my previous EX fiancé being too needy and clingy drowning every ounce of me. Playing games to see “how much I cared.” I couldn’t handle it anymore and shut my wall up. Trying to reason with him if I hadn’t at one time cared I wouldn’t be pregnant or previously engaged. Although that ended I feel relieved and not controlled. And our personalities were too different; I wanted the idea of him trying to fill the hurt.

Although being my daughter is 3 my ex (her father) and I keep in close contact. And being through these last 7 months of pregnancy I realized I missed him. And he’s whom I wanted and WANT to be with. Not someone who looks like him.

These last 7 months also made me realize that the way my ex fiancé was treating me was very similar to the way I was treating my daughter’s father. Because I didn’t have the confidence to believe he cared enough to be there through my emotional roller coaster at the time. And now that this has hit me in the face and my life is in a positive place and knowing I was never happier I want him back.

Is there any advice you can give me on approaching my daughter’s father in time, to take the steps to try and make things work?

A: Thanks for writing in. It sounds like the last 3 years have been extremely stressful for you on many levels, some of which you had no control over, and other stresses that you chose. I know your question is regarding getting your ex-boyfriend back, but I hope you’ll consider that there are other things that need to be addressed before you get back into any relationship.

Please get in to a therapist to explore why you are having such difficulty in love relationships. To find a qualified therapist in your area click here. We often replay our childhood issues in adulthood and my guess is that there are some deeper unresolved issues playing out here.  My biggest concern is not how you’re going to get your ex back, but in you developing the stability and strength in yourself that your children will need in order to thrive, whether you’re in a relationship or not.  Rather than focusing on getting your daughter’s father back, I urge you to focus on being a strong person, and a strong mother for your children, and developing the confidence and the skills to maintain a healthy, long-term, committed relationship. Focus on being the kind of person that would attract a healthy and committed man to build a stable life for you and your children.

Please, be cautious about having more children until you have a healthy, long-term, committed, stable relationship. Focus on getting healthy yourself for the children you already have before you focusing on getting your daughter’s father back. Be the kind of woman he would want to be with. Once you’ve worked on yourself please get relationship counseling before you get into any relationship with your ex or anyone else.

Take good care of yourself and your children!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: I Deal With Abusive Boyfriend By Cutting And Binging

Q: Hi, I am 19 year old girl in my 2nd year of college. I currently live with my boyfriend of 4 years who is 25 years old. Our relationship used to be really good, but now all we do is argue. A few years ago I was flirting with other guys and he has never forgiven me for it. He constantly tells me he doesn’t trust me, and when he gets mad he tells me he hates me, that I should crawl in a hole in die, that he can’t stand to look at me, and many profanities. He spends no time with me so I spend the majority of time home all alone, which is the main issue because that gives me all the time alone I need to self-destruct.

I can’t stand myself, I hate everything about me. I’m fat and ugly, sometimes I don’t even know why I bother trying to make it through life nothing ever goes as planned. I feel like I am constantly starving myself or if not eating ridiculous amounts of food and then feeling guilty so that I either make myself puke or cut myself. I can’t control it, I feel like if I can make myself attractive my boyfriend will love me again but I can’t even take care of myself. The worst was when he caught me binging and freaked out along the lines of “No wonder I’m always starving, you eat all the food. For once I wish you would save some for me instead of stuffing your face all the time.” And despite hearing that I still continue to stuff my face… I can’t help myself… maybe I deserve to be fat. I can’t even decide what is worse, the purging or the self-harm. Both cause me discomfort and to feel like a failure, but in the end neither make me prettier…they just make me uglier. This also causes me to spend way too much money on food…I am $20,000 in debt with my bank because of all the money I waste on food. I eat too much so now I cant even barely afford anything…which my boyfriend also blames me for…rightfully, it is my fault.

I just don’t know what to do. I have thought about trying to see a therapist regularly but I’m too embarrassed. I don’t want to make known just how disgusting I am. I don’t want anyone to know how much I eat. I don’t want anyone to know how my boyfriend treats me. I just want to be a normal person… I want to be happy, and loved…what do I have to do to be okay?? 🙁

A: Even though you’re embarrassed, please go see a therapist ASAP. Licensed therapists are trained to help individuals and couples in crisis resolve your problems and help you, not to judge you. Just by reading this letter I can sense the depth of your pain, I have empathy for you,  and I want to help you. This is how your therapist will feel too when you meet with him or her face to face. If you’re not sure where to find a therapist in your area click the Find Help tab at the top of this page for a listing. There are likely earlier roots to your self-destructive eating patterns, cutting, and dysfunctional relationship that can be explored and healed in therapy and are beyond the scope of what I can offer here.

What you’re describing in relationship with your boyfriend is verbal and emotional abuse. No one deserves to be told by their lover “I hate you” or “You should just crawl in a hole and die.”  That is heartbreaking to hear and needs to stop if you are ever going to gain self-esteem and confidence to change your life. Your therapist can help you to build  relationships skills and to help you come up with a plan to stand up for yourself when your boyfriend becomes verbally abusive.

In addition to meeting with a therapist regularly, I suggest you start seeking out books, blogs, and other resources and start arming yourself with more knowledge and tools to help you feel stronger and more competent. Here are some excellent resources right here at Psych Central to help you get started:

Weightless Blog
Eating Disorder & Binge Eating Info
Self-injury Forum
Relationship & Communication Forum
Eating Disorder Community Forum

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: I Think My Girlfriend Is About To Break Up With Me

Q: I think my girlfriend is about to break up with me, because there were these girls she didn’t want me to hang out with but I did, because I was mad at her for cheating on me, which she told me about a long time ago and was open about, so I decided to have secrets of my own, which I know was a horrible idea. Well we had this big fight where she wanted me to tell her everything, and I did for the most part, leaving out one time where I had this party and invited this girl over to my house. She just found out yesterday and is really upset, and I don’t know what to do. For some reason, I’ve lied to her a lot, because I don’t want to get in trouble, and I know that if I’m honest she’ll accept it and everything will be okay, but for some reason I can’t get it through my thick skull. I keep messing up time after time. I don’t want to lose her because she understands me and is the best thing to happen to me. I don’t know what to do, I slept all day today just because I didn’t know what to do. I really don’t want to lose her and I feel so bad for making her feel horrible, and when we were talking and she was crying I really felt bad about it and hated seeing her cry but I still felt sort of detached for some reason. I don’t know why I feel detached sometimes but I would really like to not feel that way. For some reason I think subconsciously I like to feel miserable, because otherwise I don’t know why I do the things I do. Sometimes before I do or say anything I think to myself “this is not a good idea” but then I do it anyway.  I really don’t want to lose her, I’ve been through so much with her, more than anybody. shes my best friend and my confidant and shes always been there for her. I just want to be normal, and not lose the most important person in my life.

A: Thanks for writing in for help with your relationship. Whether or not she breaks up with you, it’s important for you to get to the bottom of you why you continue to do things, like lie and cheat, that you know aren’t a good idea. Frequently, relationship sabotage has roots in past hurts. Is there anything in your relationship or family history that might be emotionally driving your pattern of pushing your girlfriend away? Your emotional detachment to her sadness also suggests that there may be something that is unresolved for you in close relationships.  I suggest that you get a therapist and explore what’s driving this pattern so if your girlfriend stays with you, you can learn how to maintain closeness and if she breaks up with you, you can prevent this pattern in future relationships. Also, consider reading the book “Getting the Love You Want: A Guide For Couples” by Dr. Harville Hendrix to help you start understanding the deeper patterns that may be getting in the way of your love relationship.

Take good care of yourself and your relationships!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: Should I Trust My Flirtatious Boyfriend?

Q: I am a 45 year old divorced mom who is currently in a relationship with a 53 year old man who I do not trust. I have only been cheated on once before, that I’m aware of, so I am usually not a very jealous person. But this man is extremely handsome, charming, and flirtatious. I have caught him in several lies, and find him contacting other women frequently. He is always commented on other women’s looks, or telling them directly they are pretty, or hot. Lately, his tactic to deal with my insecurity is to turn it around – he acts jealous of other men, though none are pursuing me. He gets angry when any male (even my nephew) contacts me on line, or by text. He accuses me of wanting other men. It is absurd, and I’m wondering if this is just another sign he is untrustworthy. He has an excuse or story for every seedy, racy thing I discover about him, and he sticks with his lies to the very end. He swears he adores me and he is not cheating, which I actually believe. There is no evidence to the contrary that he’s actually seeing anyone. My fear is that, given the chance, he will. Do I have good reason for this fear?  Or am I getting paranoid in my old age?

A: You may not realize it, but you already answered your own question. You don’t trust him.  And from what you’ve described, I think you’re right on. If he adores you, why is he making comments about other women’s looks, frequently contacting other women online, lying to you, and becoming extremely jealous and angry? These behaviors are all relationship “red flags.” I suggest you focus less on whether he’s technically cheating or not, and focus more on whether or not you want to continue a relationship with someone who appears to be chronically dishonest, insensitive, jealous, and intensely interested in other women.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

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Ask A Therapist: I Have No Sex Drive & Can’t Keep a Relationship

I was abused as a child, have no sex drive and the one true love has left me (he doesn’t know about my childhood) I want to know if there is any hope for us at all-we never had sex often (twice in a year) he won’t discuss sex as he gets embarrassed and never ever made the 1st move, told me he loves me but not the way a boyfriend should? We both work long hours and shift work, and I have a dog that gets jealous even if we kiss!! but I feel such a failure, and I know we were soul mates, can i get him back? He wont answer my calls, and I was constantly accusing him of having an affair.  I’m absolutely devastated as I feel like I’ve lost the one true love of my life.

A: Click arrow to listen to response from Julie Hanks, LCSW.

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Additional childhood abuse resources:
Find a therapist resource
PsychCentral’s Survivors of Abuse Community Forum

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

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I Don’t Love My Boyfriend

Private moment. In public.

I guess when people say “to much of a good thing isn’t good either” they were right… I met my 2nd boyfriend senior year of high school, we fell in love and I can truly say that the first year with him was the best of my life. It was very odd that one random day, out of the blue, just a few days after our 1 year, I woke up and I just had a nagging feeling I didn’t love him anymore. It felt horrible. A lot of my friends and family said it’s because we had spent way to much time together, and so I thought okay, I’ll tell him we need to spend less time together. We did so for a few weeks but my feelings still didn’t change. This man [he is 20 like me] has been the most wonderful person to me in the entire world, he would give his life for me, and I know I would to. However, I constantly think of other guys, I’m curious to explore and be in other relationships. He is only my 2nd boyfriend, and I am his 1st girlfriend
Creative Commons License photo credit: skedonk. I care about him so much, and sometimes I feel like maybe just maybe one day I will feel that intense love I felt for him before, but as the months go by my hope lessens… it’s been about 5 months that I feel this way. I even broke up with him, but we got back together a month later because I am so used to him and feel so comfortable around him that I just felt kind of weird being without him. I encountered once after we broke up, and I couldn’t help but cry softly while he wasnt watching. That made me think that I must miss him and so I did get back with him… The main problem is that I take him for granted ALWAYS. I can yell at him, be enraged and not talk to him, break up with him or tell him I will, and he won’t do anything. I know he loves me so much it’s boring… I wish he would take control of the relationship and stop being so nice! We have never been in a fight because he avoids them, and I just wish he was a tougher. He is too loving and caring, I wish he was more stern and I really wish he broke up with me, because I feel like that is the only real way I will know if I love him or not. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but to me it does. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I am in much need of help.

Click below to hear my audio response.

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Boyfriend Has Changed

Teen Angst
Me and my boyfriend have been going out for almost 2 years. We were so in love and we never fought. In July I started taking birth control pills and became anxious and depressed. we started fighting a lot and everything I guess changed. It’s been at least 5 months from then and my feelings have changed. he isn’t the same person anymore and gets mad at everything. I’m sometimes afraid to to say anything because how mad he gets. He doesn’t listen when I tell him whats wrong and he doesn’t understand why I get mad. he is really hard to talk to and all we do is fight now. I don’t enjoy spending time with him anymore and I hardly think about him the way I used to. I don’t think about other people but I do think about what if I went out with other people, would I be happier? I don’t want to break up. I just want to see if there is hope to save this relationship.

A: Please check with your medical provider to see if there are other options for contraception that will have less impact on your mood. Your longing to explore other relationships is very appropriate for a 17 year old. If you’re really invested in this relationship, you may consider going to counseling together. My biggest questions are “Why are you holding on to the relationship?” and “Is this relationship in your best interest?”

Click the arrow below to listen to my audio response…

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Nathan Csonka Photograph

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Ask The Therapist: How Can I Heal My Friendship?

I have a friend that I care deeply for. Over the last two years since she has known me I know that I have emotionally been dependent on her. I haven’t been as bad at this as I have been in the past but now she has let me know that she doesn’t want any contact with me. I know without much background information it would be hard to answer this question. I have been told that I do have some traits of Borderline Personality Disorder and I do recognize that I have fears of abandonment, right now it’s a fear of her abandonment of the friendship. We do go to the same church so I do see her there. I want to heal this relationship but not sure how. I want to respect her wish to not have contact with me but I would do anything to help heal this relationship.

A: Thank you for writing in. What a difficult situation to find yourself in. You are being faced with the very thing that you are afraid of. This “time out” from your friendship can be an opportunity for personal insight and growth. Please respect your friend’s boundaries and need for space right now while you take time to reflect and identify your emotional patterns that have pushed her away.

Click the arrow below to hear my full response.

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Take good care of yourself,

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

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Ask A Therapist: Should I Move To Be With Girlfriend?

I don’t know what I want in life. My girlfriend of 4 and a half years moved back to Houston because she hated it here in California. I initially told her I was going to go with her, but as time moved closer, I faltered and we agreed I would stay for a month here to think about it. I Didnt want to do it because i still thought we had a chance here and I didn’t want to go back to Houston. It’s been about a month, and she is telling me to make a decision or we will have to break up. I love her, and I don’t know why this is so hard for me to make a decision. I want her to be in my life, but I don’t want to go back to Houston. It sounds trivial, but I can’t make a decision. How can I overcome this?

A: I have more questions than answers for you. Why did she move in the first place? Why do you not want to move to Houston? How committed are you to the relationship? Watch my video response below to get the full answer…

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

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