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He Won't Propose
October 1, 2001 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
My boyfriend and I have spent 5 years together. We met in our first year of med. school. Since graduating, I am living a 4 hour drive form him. He has to take his lisencing exams before we can get engaged.
He wants to take it soon, but he is not studying. Whenever I ask him 'how r ur studies'i get yelled at.
How do i get him to study without making him angry?
You have an agenda that includes trying to get your boyfriend to study, so that he passes his exams, so that he can finally become engaged to you. Each time you ask about his studies, he feels pressured with a capital p.
You are actually locked in a power struggle. The more you pressure, the more angry he gets and the more he digs in his heels. Your boyfriend also sounds a bit passive aggressive, which means that he expresses his anger by withholding. In this case, the more you nag, the more he becomes angry, and the more he withholds what you want.
You can break the power struggle and minimize his anger and consequent withholding behaviors by backing off and not nagging him. This is a short term solution to your problem, and one that may 'trick' him into popping the question. However, you have two larger problems, which you need to face.
First, I would be concerned by the fact that he is dragging his feet when it comes to becoming engaged. What does this tell you about his wanting to marry, and what does this say about his willingness to become truly intimate? Second, the way he handles his anger is going to create problems throughout your relationship. If you are locking horns with him now and finding yourself reduced to the nagging role, what do you think is going to happen over time?
This pattern is going to worsen, believe you me. If you intend to spend your life with this man, you would be wise to point out what is going on: namely that he seems to be dragging his feet when it comes to proposing. I would ask him to own his thoughts and feelings on this subject. Second, point out that he behaves in ways that invite your nagging (describe what he does--that he won't study or take his exams). Then, when you nag, he becomes angry and more withholding. I would ask him to look at the way he doesn't directly handle his anger.
When a person isn't willing to own his own anger, a common way of 'releasing' that aggression is to behave in ways that infuriate his partner. In this way, he projects his unwanted anger onto you and makes you the recepticle for his own unacceptable angry feelings? Another way to'release' disowned anger is through passive aggressive actions, in which the person sticks it to the other by withholding whatever he/she desires. In this case, marriage. We need to find out if his foot dragging is an indirect expression of anger and/or a sign that he is conflicted about becoming hitched. If he is resistant to marry, you will need to openly discuss the issue and resolve it before you go forward.
Likewise, we need to find out if he's passive-aggressive. If this is so, which I think it is, he needs to recognize this and work in therapy on changing his pattern, otherwise life with him will be hell. And, while we are analyzing psyches, you would be wise to look at yourself and understand why you are willing to fall into the nagging role. How does this relate to your history and childhood? Are you on the verge of recreating an unhealthy pattern that you experienced (did you have to beg for love from your parents?) or observed (did one of your parents emotionally deprive the other)?
I have given you all the direction you need to resolve not only the current issue but also the problems that are causing this issue to arise in the first place. Let me know what happens.
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"Love Never Dies is guaranteed to give immense hope to those grieving the perceived loss of a loved one. Dr. Jamie Turndorf, together with her husband, Jean, now in spirit, provide stunning evidence of the continuity of love and life, along with the tools to help anyone connect with those in the unseen world."
Author of Messages of Hope
"Dr. Turndorf's eternal love story powerfully proves that our loved ones in spirit are waiting for us to reconnect with them! Read this amazing book and discover her new dialoguing technique, which enables you to reconnect and turn grief into peace and joy."
-- Mira Kelley,
bestselling author of Beyond Past Lives
“Dr. Turndorf's extraordinary memoir/self-help book provides astonishing proof that we don't die and that we are meant to reconnect and stay connected to loved ones in spirit. Read this book, learn her powerful new method for reconnecting and making peace with the deceased, and you will transform your grief to joy.”
-- Fr. Richard Rohr,
Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), and bestselling author of Falling Upward
“I found the book very helpful in guiding people to learn how to tune into spirit messages, and particularly liked Dr. Turndorf's guidance through meditations. In Parts two and three, Dr. Turndorf covered so many of the ways that spirits convey messages and this book will be a great help for people trying to get in touch with their loved ones.
Part 1 was her story of losing the love of her life. Reading about the pain and agony she experienced and SO MANY people experience will be healing to know that others experience the same emotions after the passing of a loved one. I think the first part could be a book on it's own merit because it is so beneficial to people dealing with the same intensity of grief.
As a scientist myself, I was glad to read that she didn't focus on a religion. As a medium, I have come to know that "god" not of a religion, but is the consciousness of all living things. Like Dr. Turndorf I've learned that all people are equal and all creatures part of all existence (and with "souls.").
I particularly enjoyed reading how she used her talent/mediumship to help people overcome their grief. Readers will get a lot out of this book and know that their loved ones are always connected.”
-- Rob Gutro,
Author, Medium, Scientist
“I could not put this book down!!! It is so gripping from the first few words, and beautifully written. Dr. Turndorf’s courageous story of her reunion with her beloved husband after his death and the heartfelt stories of others serve to validate what many may have privately experienced but discounted as just a by-product of grief and loss and not really “REAL.” The book’s simple and powerful techniques provide essential tools for connecting to loved ones in spirit and will allow scientists to amass new data from lay people, other than mediums. Your book will make a profound contribution to the now significant scientific data already collected in laboratories around the world studying survival of individual consciousness after death, while adding richly to our own sense of love and peace. Thank you for the Gift!”
-- Linda G. Russek, Ph.D,
Former Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory, U of Arizona, Co-author of The Living Energy Universe
“This is the most beautiful true love story that I have ever read. The depth of the author's love for her husband and her terrible grief at his death, and then her triumph as she learned to continue her relationship with him even after his death are all palpable. I lived it with her, and her story has stayed in my mind. For me, though, the reason to read this book is the author's wisdom in teaching her readers how to heal rifts across the death boundary. As one who has done extensive afterlife research, I can attest to the importance of post-death healing of relationships to both our dead loved ones and ourselves! Yet few people know how essential this healing is, and fewer still know how to begin it. As a prominent relationship counselor, Dr. Turndorf tackles this essential area, and she does it well. Hers is a wonderful book.”
-- Roberta Grimes,
author of The Fun of Dying: Find Out What Really Happens Next and The Fun of Staying in Touch
“Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased is as informed and informative as it is inspired and inspiring. Especially recommended to the attention of anyone who is suffering from the loss of a loved one.”
-- Margaret Lane,
“Midwest Book Review”
“Love Never Dies is an astonishing and refreshing story of survival of consciousness. She clearly shows the many ways spirit can communicate through us and with animals and even objects. I could hardly put the book down, and I have read many of these types of books. This is a great read for those who have lost a loved one and are looking for answers to the ways spirit makes contact with us, and also how we can contact spirit to make peace. I highly recommend this book.”
-- Dave Campbell,
Certified Windbridge Research Medium (WCRM)
“When I held this 248 page spiritual giant in my hands, even before I started turning the pages I knew I had found a special guide that would help me through one of the hardest journeys I have taken. To love so deeply and completely and then to have the person removed from my physical life is hard enough, but then to find a way to stay connected with them is even more frustrating. So it was totally Heaven sent when I was asked to review this gentle messenger that helped me to stay connected, to recognize the connection and to even validate the connection. I also loved the way the author shared on such a deep and personal level it helped me to not feel alone and gave me courage to bypass my mind. I would recommend this sweet giant to anyone who feels the loss of a loved one. Thanks so much Jamie for the awesome blueprint. “
-- Riki Frahmann,
Chief Reviewer for the ezine Mystic Living Today
"As a colleague of both Jamie and Jean, I have been blessed with firsthand witness to their devotion and mutual love, in life and now through death. In her eloquently written new book, Dr. Turndorf has made their everlasting love accessible to all. Just as the uniqueness of their emotional connection radiated to me, it will radiate to you, the reader, in this groundbreaking work that will guide you to reestablish your relationships with loved ones in spirit... and even make peace, if needed."
-- Dr. Robert S. Pepper,
author Emotional Incest in Group Psychotherapy
"In her book, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased, Turndorf teaches a method for dialoguing with the departed which holds tremendous healing potential for everyone who has lost a loved one. Turndorf is passionate in her certainty that we can actually communicate with those we’ve lost. Since reading Love Never Dies (which describes the dialogue process in great detail) I’ve used Turndorf’s technique and it has opened life-changing doors for me. It’s a powerful process, and I encourage everyone who feels ready to try it."
-- Ken Page,
L.C.S.W. from "A Life-Changing Exercise for Anyone Who Has Lost a Loved One" published in Psychology Today
"I just finished reading Dr. Turndorf's most recent book, LOVE NEVER DIES, and I highly recommend it for everyone who wants to connect with a loved one who has passed on to the Spirit Realm. This book tells the heartfelt story of the author’s tragic loss of her husband and his subsequent messages to her from beyond the veil, and it outlines the steps we should take to communicate with the spirits of the people we loved on Earth."
-- Garnet Schulhauser,
author of Dancing on a Stamp and Dancing Forever with Spirit
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack,
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book provides a down-to-earth, easy to apply, proven method for creating relationship harmony. This book should be mandatory reading for every couple that wants to head-off or resolve the inevitable relationship conflicts and build lasting love. Buy this book and put it to use!”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show