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Just Moved in and Ready to Send Him Packing
June 11, 2007 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I am hoping that you can offer some advice for my situation. My boyfriend & I have been together for a year now, and we have just moved in together. The last month or so I have started to have my doubts about our relationships future.
My initial reaction was to ignore them, thinking that with time they would just go away, but so far, they haven't, and seem to be getting stronger. One of the things that I think has added to this problem is the fact that I have just returned from an overseas trip with my family, on which I received quite a bit of attention from other guys, and I've got to be honest I didn't mind it one bit, since my current man isn't great at giving compliments & the like.
However, now that I've returned, I'm starting to notice more & more things about him that annoy me. Even the things I used to like about him annoy me. We have also started arguing quite a lot about little things but only because he always has to be the one to make a decision (like on where a picture should go on the wall) and though we've talked about compromise, I am not seeing any progress in the actual compromising 'actions'.
I know this sounds pretty bad but my problem is that we've just moved in together & we also work together, and it's not as easy as 'just end it'.
How can I get him to listen to me? Is there hope for this relationship? I need your help.
It's Not So Easy to End It
You have more than one issue with your boyfriend. I would lump all your complaints into the general category--he isn't responsive to you. Specifically, he doesn't compliment you enough and he's controlling and rigid rather than collaborative.
The bottom line is you're angry, and as a result you are now finding fault with many of his qualities. The problem is that you have more than one gripe and if you mention everything in one discussion (the Kitchen Sinking Open Warfare Fight Trap) he's going to feel dumped on and will likely become defensive rather than responsive.
Therefore, I would suggest picking one issue; you can discuss the other issues during future talks. When you talk to him, don't blame or criticize, stay cool and use my proven method. Start by Knocking on His Door, to make sure he's available and then deliver what I call your Ice Breaker. This sounds like: 'Honey, I have something important to discuss with you. Are you free now?'
If he says, no, then pick a time that 's mutually convenient.
If he says yes, start off with a Disclaimer, a positive statement that praises him for a quality that you admire, ideally a quality that will help you in the upcoming discussion. Next deliver what I call the Disclaimer, which is a statement that takes his ego off the hook, gives him the benefit of the doubt, and lets him know that you aren't out to attack him or deprive him of vital bodily parts.
For example, 'I've always admired what a good problem solver you are, and I think I haven't encouraged you to use this skill to help us (or something similar).
When his dukes are down, he'll be more willing to work with you rather than fight you. Only say what you really think and feel. Here's an example of a Disclaimer that might be right for you: I know what a kind person you are and that you would never intentionally do or say anything to hurt me.'
Now state your issue using my X, Y formula. This is a concise Problem Statement (the XY Formula), which consists of saying, I feel X (hurt, sad, angry, scared, etc. ), when Y (description of the action or behavior that bothers you) is said or done. I would intentionally avoid the word YOU in order to minimize the risk that he feels personally attacked.
Your Problem Statement (the X, Y Formula) would sound like: I feel hurt (undesired) when I'm not romanced on a regular basis. Now finish with the Suggestion for the Future: And I would feel so happy to be told what is loving or attractive about me.
This is your best shot at getting him to hear what you're saying. I suspect that he's been feeling blamed and criticized by you. Then he becomes angry and doesn't feel like responding to you. You become more angry and blaming and voila vicious cycle time. Stay cool no matter how hurt and angry you are, use my X, Y Formula and you'll break the cycle.
As for the other issue, that of his not considering you in the decision making process, use the same formula as above. Knock, issue your Ice Breaker, Disclaimer, and use the XY Formula, finishing with a Suggestion for the Future.
You can dig your way out of the mess. It will take discipline on your part not to rip his throat out. Keep in mind that you, like most people, have unknowingly had a hand in helping him be unresponsive to you. Of course you never learned the above formula --it's not taught in school!
So each time you've tried to 'talk' to him, he's felt attacked and blamed and was unwilling to listen and respond. So pull the plug on the past, and begin talking to him in a way that will work. Stay cool and use my formula. This will encourage him to want to hear and respond to you.
When he responds, praise him for his efforts, however small, and he'll be encouraged to continue doing what you like. By the way, even if you break up, you will find yourself in this same predicament with your next partner. So why not learn how to communicate your needs with him?
If, God forbid, he's a lost cause, which I doubt, your learning won't have been in vain. You'll take your skills with you to your next relationship.
Let me know how you make out.
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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
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-- Fr. Richard Rohr,
Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), and bestselling author of Falling Upward
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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
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-- 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
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-- Dr. John Mack,
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
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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
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-- 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