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Should I Throw in the Towel
August 26, 2002 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Dear Dr. Love: Great site. I'm not really sure how to put this and I know the chances of you picking my question are slim. Perhaps it will help me just to write it down and send it into cyberspace.
I am 23 years old and my boyfriend is 27. We have been dating exclusively for almost 2 years. We live in Michigan. I was close friends with his younger sister in high school, and that 's how we met. When we met, I was 18, and he was living with and engaged to another girl. His family is very Catholic, and they didn't approve of him living with this woman. It caused a lot of problems with his folks.
Well, she ended up being a psycho (for lack of a better word) and trying to kill him, and he moved away to California. When he came back, we started hanging out again, just as friends. We had a lot in common. He was living at home with his folks, saving up money to go to New York City. Our town was really just a stopping-point for him. I was in a screwed-up relationship--on/off for 2 years with a real jerk--and my boyfriend had a girl waiting for him in NYC.
He found out shortly after he got home that this girl was pregnant with his child. He didn't tell anyone except me for months. I was always there for him and I was the only one he talked to about it. One thing led to another, and we started seeing each other as more than friends. I really respected the way he was dealing with the pregnancy, how caring he was with this girl, how supportive, even though he no longer wanted a relationship with her, and I took a lot on trying to help him through it.
She ended up having to terminate her pregnancy. I know how hard that is, but my boyfriend (we were calling each other that by then) said he really didn't want any time alone and he wanted to be with me. Fast forward to now. Everything, for the most part, has been great--I'd say we have about an 85% success rate. We discussed moving in together, but both decided we weren't ready. We're best friends and we have a wonderful time . . . most of the time.
The problem is that he can not tell me he loves me. He says he does, inside, but is afraid of making another mistake. He won't talk to me about his past. He won't talk to me about his fears. I have tried to be patient, God knows, I have tried to be his friend and help him feel comfortable, but it hurts me when I tell him I love him (which I rarely say) and he looks at me like I'm something that lives under a rock.
Lately we have been fighting in a way that is totally unfit for 2 people who have been through so much together--we fight about everything. We're not sure what to do. Should I throw in the towel? I don't want to, but I feel that we have come up against a wall. I just reiterated my committment to him and to working through this rough spot when he and I spoke this morning, but I wonder if I am doing the right thing. I want to suggest therapy, but I don't think he'll go for that. Thank you for your time.
You are in a power struggle with a guy who is shell shocked. Keep in mind that when you say you love him, you are actually making a request. You are looking for him to say he loves you back. In other words, you statement isn't a free gift at all and he feels that and freezes up. I don't know if he's freezing up because he has issues about being controlled. If this is so, then the only way to break this cycle is for you to give him the gift of your loving words and expect nothing back.
When he feels that you aren't manipulating him into feeding you, he will feel like giving back to you naturally. At the same time, when you feel that you need something from him (words of affection or whatever) say straight out that you need rather than trying to manipulate him into giving to you. It is also possible that his freeze up occurs because he's terrified of opening up and getting hurt again. If you take his freeze up personally and get wounded and angry, you are nowhere.
You will need to take your ego out of the equation. His immobilization about saying 'I love you' isn't about you, so don't make it about you. He was burned in the past and he's scared to get burned again. If you go 'psycho' on him when he doesn't respond, he will pull away from you even more. To break the power struggle, you might try making a joke about his inability and/or unwillingness to say that he loves you.
You could say, 'Prepare yourself, I'm about to tell you I love you. ' If you laugh, take the heat off of him, and don't expect any response in return, you will break the power struggle, he will relax, and he will probably come around and tell you that he loves you in his own time.
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"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
“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."
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
"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