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Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship

Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship

You feel devastated, empty, and ashamed. You are yet again alone and obliterated by another relationship. It is already difficult to rebuild after a relationship but what makes it worse is rebuilding from a destructive and unhealthy relationship. But, it is possible to protect yourself from unsafe partners. Here are four warning signs of a potentially toxic relationship.

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, toxic, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, angerToo much checking in:

 If you are receiving multiple or successive text messages/phone calls then sound the alarm! The messages could end with emojis or caring remarks but the content is focused on where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. You want to ask yourself “why are they checking in so much?” If there is not a primary concern, such as a sickness or being emotionally upset, there is cause for suspension. The partner could be insecure and it may show signs of controlling or stalking behaviors.

Losing friends:

“What type of friends am I losing?” and “Why am I losing friends?” You should feel concerned if you are losing friends too quickly or losing close/long-term relationships. Often times, abusive or unhealthy partners want to isolate their victims. When family or friends are out of reach then who is available for comfort? You are trapped with only your partner for emotional support.

Pressure to share things you are not ready for:

Deep and personal questions sought out in early stages of a relationship is cause for suspicion, especially if there is pressure. Pressure to share things can turn into pressure to do things you […]

When to Clean and Sober | Orlando Substance Abuse Therapy

When is the right time to get clean and sober??

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

When is the right time to get clean and sober? Now!  Often times when someone starts contemplating stopping or going into treatment they will come up with a list of various reasons why they can’t.  We frequently hear things like, “I don’t have time;” “I could loose my job;” “I won’t spend as much time with my children;”etc… The list of reasons go on and on.   These are things we hear all too often as loved ones when we are watching someone die right in front of us.  It may be frustrating from an outsider’s perspective but what we must recognize is that this individual truly does not know any other way to live.  One way to have compassion for someone struggling making that step into recovery is to understand that this life is the ONLY normal one to them.

When someone is in active addiction almost everything they do is managed around the drinking lifestyle.  They go to places where they can drink, they hang out with people who drink, or they come home to drink – the drinking/using routine becomes very ritualistic.  Eventually it gets to the point where if one tries to stop they begin obsessing about getting the next drink and then the compulsion takes over where it’s unbearable so they must drink again. Not until intervention is implemented can this cycle be stopped.

Progression of Addiction

The real problem of waiting to stop is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease.  […]

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

by Cherlette McCullough

You’re single now. Has it been really difficult to move on after the break up? Have you found yourself consumed with your Exe’s life? Break ups are hard emotionally. No matter what kind of relationship whether it was short term or long term. Here are three tips to use quickly after the break up.

  1. Exes can’t be your Friend after the Break Up

Being friends with your ex can be extremely confusing for one of you or both. This type of friendship is different because it started as a physical relationship. These relationships often make you stay in the past resulting in you not moving on to the right relationship that you deserve. When it’s over; let it go.

  1. Delusions after the Break Up

Stalking your ex by going to their social media pages, calling their family asking about them and their new love interest, showing up to places at times you know they are there, making excuses to call them, making situations with the children bigger than they are for attention. All of these will keep you stuck. It’s important to know if your ex has moved on its time for you to shift your focus to you and your children…not the ex and their new love interest. Also because you have custody or more time with children it may seem like your ex has more free time, but that doesn’t mean that your life is less full filling. You too can have friends to go out to functions and enjoy yourself. It’s time to let those delusions go and get into reality […]

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

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  1. Reach out! As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.
  2. Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion: Lend your time. Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.
  3. Watch some funny movies. There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.
  4. Read. Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books […]

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Assault Counseling

The head-line this week was all about Trump’s leaked conversation with Billy Bush in 2005. A large group of people consider Trump’s words to be deemed as sexual assault while others consider it just “locker room talk”. A recent article by CNN titled “Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ stirs real talk about sexual violence” highlighted the domino effects Trump’s conversation had on several women. In the article, women tweeted story after story of their first sexual assault experiences.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 109 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault and one out of every six women has been a victim of attempted/completed rape in her lifetime. Trump’s conversation may have been just “locker room talk” but sexual assault is very real for many people, particularly women.

Sexual assault is a devastating and tragic occurrence that happens more frequently than what most people realize. People who have been sexually assaulted often times want to forget and move past the incident without letting it affect their lives. However, there is a series of long-term effects that can occur to individuals that have been sexually assaulted.

Here are just a few long-term effects:

  • Have more likelihood to use drugs than the general public
    • One way people choose to cope after a sexual assault incident is to numb themselves from the pain or […]

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

 “I’m so sick of that same old love, feels like I’ve blown apart — I’m so sick of that same old love, the kind that breaks your heart,” are the words from the popular Selena Gomez song titled, “Same Old Love.”  Have you ever considered your pattern in love relationships?  Have your relationships left you feeling empty, angry and lonely over and over again? The painful reality is that many people find it difficult to stop to observe what they accept, tolerate and come into agreement with in their love relationships.

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This could not be a better time of the year to examine your love relationship patterns as we approach Valentine’s Day.  If you discovered that you are sick of that same old love and that you have had enough, then here are three ways to break your pattern of toxic love:

1)        Take A Relationship Inventory:  We cannot break toxic love relationship patterns until we first become an observer of them.  It is important to stop and assess what relational repetitions you have continuously recreated throughout your history. This can be a very difficult and painful step to take in looking at your own behaviors in your relationships, and to also recognize the emotional template that you may be unconsciously reinventing.  The help of a trusted friend or a professional therapist may be very helpful in working this step because they can look at your relational history with an objective view point.

2)        Create a supportive network: When you are trying to make life-changing decisions to break old […]

The Problem With Rape | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

The Problem With Rape | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

Yesterday, a reporter asked President Obama to make a statement about the allegations that Bill Cosby drugged and raped women.  The President declined to comment on Bill Cosby, but followed with a statement that is going to hit home with almost everyone, because it registers as obvious.  He said, “No civilized country should tolerate rape.”

As a society, we agree that rape, and along a continuum, any form of sexual abuse is wrong.  When we define the concept of rape on paper, it is clear that sex, or sexual acts, that happen through force, coercion, or without mutual consent are wrong.  If we imagine a rape, or sexual abuse, we think scary, dark, criminal figure seeking out a victim, stalking them, and overpowering a weaker person in a dark alley.  That scenario can and does happen, even though it never should.  But statistics show that 4 out of 5 assaults occur by someone who knows the victim, and that 47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance of the victim.

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The problem with rape is that when it happens in reality, it is not as clearly defined as a crime in the victim’s mind. 4 out 5 times a victim is raped by someone that they know, not a scary stranger in a dark alley at night.  It’s this personal experience with their perpetrator that leaves the victim feeling confused about what’s actually happened.    It’s easy to put the label “rapist”, “sexual abuser” and “pedophile” on a scary stranger that you don’t know.  Victims of rape, date rape, and sexual abuse are often reluctant to […]

How to Find Your Worth in Your Self & Not in Others | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

How to Find Your Worth in Your Self and Not in Others | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

Many people struggle daily to build and maintain a positive self-esteem. Some struggle more than others because they have not yet developed a true sense of self. It is impossible to have self-esteem without a sense of self. How can you feel good about yourself if you don’t really even know who you are? When developing your sense of self, one of the key factors is to find your self-worth in yourself and not in others. Most of us are guiltier of this than we would like to admit. For example, if a girl is dating a guy who is verbally and emotionally abusive and tells her things like she is fat, worthless and disgusting, then she tends to believe this about her self and lose her sense of worth. She adapts his belief of her, which in turn affects her self-esteem.

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So, how do you find your self worth in yourself rather than others?

1. Set boundaries: Before getting into any relationship or friendship, be very aware of the kind of people you want to let into your life. You do not deserve to be belittled; therefore, you need to make that your own belief, so that it is easy to stick to your boundary. Start vague like: “I will not allow people that do not value me into my intimate life.” And become more specific as you become more confident in your ability to set and stick to boundaries.

2. Embrace your qualities and your flaws. No one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. The sooner you realize […]

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Well, it’s everywhere. Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie) officially comes out this Friday, the day before Valentine’s Day, and everyone’s abuzz about seeing the steamy “love story” come to life. It seems like people are pretty divided about whether or not this is an erotic fairy tale or a story of abuse and power. The word “submission” is being thrown around a lot because of Christian Grey’s preference for BDSM; however, a healthy, Godly relationship also requires submission. But what is the difference between Christian Grey submission and Christian wife submission? Let’s take a look.

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The Bible says in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 3:7 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands.” God intended our marriages to look like His love for our church. The word submission can be taken of context; however, it is not meant for oppression, but to build a healthy, strong relationship.

A Christian Grey MANIPULATES, while a Christian husband EMPOWERS. Manipulation is used for selfish gain. A good husband empowers his wife for the gain of herself, her family and most importantly the will of God.

A Christian Grey INTIMIDATES, while a Christian husband ENCOURAGES. Christian Grey uses intimidation on a naive Ana to get what he wants out of her. A loving husband will encourage his wife to strive for better and go after her own dreams.

A Christian […]

Are You Settling in the Relationship? | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

Are you settling in the Relationship? | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

“Meg” is a 19 year old, beautiful, young woman. She is driven, funny, engaging, and kind. She has many qualities that guys would look for in a significant other and even, one day, a wife. But Meg’s boyfriend is not looking for a wife. He’s barely looking for a girlfriend. He doesn’t have a job, is still smoking marijuana and drinking almost daily and has dropped out of college. Worse than all of this, he never takes Meg on dates, doesn’t romance her in any way, and doesn’t speak her love language. (Click here for more info on love languages) Meg describes her beau as fun, and adventurous, but wonders if she can change the (many) behaviors that make him less than the ideal boyfriend.

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Unfortunately, “Meg” is a real woman…in fact, “Meg” is many women that constantly choose to settle in their relationships. When did we, as women, lower our expectations of men? When was it ok to be dating without ever going on a date? When did our self-esteems become so low that we forgot how valuable and worthy we are of having someone who adores us?

  1. Wanting a man that pursues you does not make you weak, it makes you desirable. Men like the chase. When you’re easy, guys get bored and stop trying. And when they stop, so does the excitement of the relationship.
  2.  You cannot change anyone except you. You are not the guy you are wanting to change and you are not God; therefore, you cannot change anyone. If you go into a relationship looking to tweak some things, take […]