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Problems in Relationship
May 13, 2014 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Hi Love Doctor, mine would be quite a long story and really thank you for the patience and time you took to read everything. :) here it goes... I got to know my girlfriend in school, we were very loving when we first got together, after being together for around 2months, her mum starts to disapprove our relationship as her mum thinks that my feelings for her daughter aren't real and that I do not love her. What made my girlfriend's mum to have the thought could be this: "One day, I was texting my girlfriend and I asked her if I can go back to my previous part-time job during the holidays, her reply was 'no', at that time, I asked her for the reason for not letting me to go back to my previous part-time job but she did not want to tell me anything, I was finding her unreasonable, so I got kinda-of angry and somehow showed her attitude and had a quarrel with her and she switched off her phone, and my friend told me about her being very upset at the moment so I tried calling her and sending her SMS apologizing to her for being rude earlier on. After she switched back on her mobile, I asked her what happened just now that made her so upset. She said that it was nothing much, it's the past already, don't bring it up. So naturally, I thought that she is ok and we carry on our relationship perfectly." (That was the first time she cried real hard.) Now that she suddenly want to break up with me, claiming that if I really love her, I wouldn't have cause her to cry and hurt her. So I told her that, "it's impossible to have a perfect relationship in this world, but now that I know the reason behind it, I never had let cried anymore after that incident, at that time, I did concern about you and tried asking you what's happening but you didn't want to tell me, if you did tell me the reason, I wouldn't have quarrel with you." My girlfriend is someone who likes to keep her feelings to herself and not really willing to share with me despite me showing concern towards her. Right now, she is still very angry at me for hurting her. She said that I aren't the right guy for her because I made her cry and hurt her. Inside me, I am just wondering if she still have feelings for me and what she said is just in a moment of anger. Would like to add on, She is still very unhappy with me, she isn't replying my texts either. Now that she want to leave me but she is still angry at me, does that shows that she still have feelings for me? Hope to hear from you soon as I haven't been eating well and sleep well for the past weeks already. Will appreciate it a lot.
Boy, relationships can be heaven on earth or hell on wheels! I hear you want to get your ex back despite the fact that this girl is putting you through hell and back. I mean, this girl is really high maintenance. I do commend your efforts to repair your relationship and reconcile with her!
Let’s do a rough sketch of the anatomy of the downward spiral leading to your break up. Rather than simply taking a job over the holidays, you called to ask her how she felt about the idea. This was a very “relational” act on your part, meaning you took her feelings into account before making a decision that would affect her and your relationship. Bravo!
Instead of responding to your question in a mature way, she simply told you, “no.” You asked her to talk with you about why she objected, but she refused to disclose her feelings, and she stonewalled you, which was not relational on her part.
I understand her shutting the door on any discussion emotionally triggered you. Her rigid position and refusal to talk with you made you understandably angry; then you acted on your anger by giving her “attitude,” and an argument erupted.
From that point on you were demonized by her and her mother for having committed various atrocities including hurting her and making her cry.
What’s wrong with this picture? A lot!
First of all, I’m going to talk about her role in this fiasco. For starters, as you said, your ex doesn’t talk about her feelings. The reality is a relationship can only work if both commit to describing their thoughts and feelings and why they have them.
Instead, she acted her feelings out by just slamming the door on you and saying no.
Next she fell into the “innocent victim” routine. She’s also carrying a grudge by holding on to this poor me act by saying that you hurt her, wronged her, and even made her cry, and all of which prove to her that you aren’t the right boyfriend for her. By playing the victim she is unconsciously arranging to not look at her role in the dispute and take responsibility for what she did to provoke you. I promise you, if she kicks you to the curb, she’s going to repeat this pattern over and over again. The bottom line is no relationship is possible unless both partners are willing to look at their own role in creating and maintaining fights.
Your ex sounds like a “professional” victim. I don’t hold out much hope that she will be able to maintain a relationship with you or anyone else until and unless she faces this pattern and resolves it. By the way, I think her mother may be encouraging her to play the innocent victim role.
Let me also say a few words regarding her needing to end it because you hurt her…Give me a break! No matter how hard we try not to hurt each other, we do end up saying and doing things that don’t land right with others. The goal isn’t to be perfect—that’s not humanly possible. The goal is to strive to be as thoughtful as we can be at every moment. And when we fail, we must invite our partners to share with us how we let them down. Then it’s our partners’ jobs to tell us in a constructive, mature, concise, cool and non-attacking way how we missed the mark and what they would prefer from us in the future (that’s my X, Y Formula). This is how we work together to make our relationships stronger and more loving. And through this process each of us has the power to make the world a better place.
Your girlfriend has a lot to learn about herself as well as the world of relationships. I would tell her what I said about your mutual roles in this dispute, what she did that wasn’t optimal and what you did.
If she’s willing to hear the truth, and work on cleaning up her side of the fence (meaning get in touch with her true feelings and talk about them, not act them out by stonewalling and issuing orders (telling you “no”); become aware that she stonewalls and issuesIssues, in the words of the Serenity Prayer, are things you can change, either by making different personal choices and/or by finding ways to work with your partner more effectively. commands rather than get in touch with her feelings of hurt—I do think she felt hurt and rejected when you suggested working rather than spending all your time with her over the holidays; and, last but not least, becoming aware that she plays the victim as a way of not looking at her own role in your fights and conflicts, then there’s no hope for a relationship with her.
As for you, as you realized the hard way, action begets a counter-reaction. You became angry and then you derailed by acting out your anger (giving her attitude) instead of using my proven conflict resolution X, Y Formula, which consists of simply describing what the other person has done or said and how you feel about it.
Your job is to work on not allowing yourself to act out when you’re provoked or triggered. Otherwise, you’re going to fall into the same pattern with your next girlfriend, and then your conflicts will also turn into out of control fighting.
When you talk to her next, start by taking responsibility for your own role in the fight; then tell her what I said about her specific involvement. Ask her if she’s willing to own her part of the problem (don’t hold your breath!). If she surprises me and sees her role, then there’s hope for your relationship. If she won’t cop to her own stuff, there’s no hope here. In which case, you will need to move on, breathe a sigh of relief, and consider yourself fortunate that you were freed from a partner who is guaranteed to drive you insane.
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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
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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