Q&A with Dr. Bonnie Weil

Question: Dr. Bonnie, my husband and I have been together for 10 years and have 3 adorable children.  The issue is our sex life is obsolete these days. I feel like I’m providing a dissatisfaction to my husband as I have no interest in having sex.  He goes out sometimes when he gets home, I will act like I’m sleeping as I don’t have any interest.  Will I ever be able to get these feelings back or is this a sign that maybe I should move on as we weren’t meant to be?
 
Answer: Thank you for contacting me.  I don’t believe it is the fact that you don’t make the time, but it’s that you don’t get excited anymore.  Sex needs to be thought of in an exciting way by adding novelty and excitement to your relationship, there should be no resentment.  Resentment tends to occur in long term relationships as the wife feels the husband does less around the house and with the kids.  You need to learn to compartmentalize any of those feelings.  Nobody wants to be in a relationship with boredom and resentment.  You and your partner need to learn to fight fair and not air resentment. If a couple does not learn to fight fair there is no passion as conflict creates passion.  The best sex is after a good fight! Don’t use sex as leverage as an orgasm is a gift you give yourself as well.  Fourplay is also important, no matter the years of history you have together.  It is important to keep kissing for the oxytocin hormone, hugging for the dopamine hormone.  If it has been a while since making love, the brain also needs to be retrained.  Frequency of romantic encounters with your partner are a must, so the brain is still in tune.

New Life Only a Click Away

I recently saw a heart-breaking story in The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/fashion/in-a-divorce-the-clicks-of-a-mouse-modern-love.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=fashion&src=me from a woman whose husband had been having an affair with a woman he met online, unbeknown to her. Perhaps even more tragically, this story is not that uncommon. In fact there are a number of statistics that reveal how widespread this has become:

Internet users devote three hours per week to online sexual exploits (MSNBC.com)

  • -Statistics show more than 72,000 sexually explicit sites on the web and an estimated 266 new porn sites being added each day. These sites alone generate a revenue of $1 billion dollars each year.
    (Harding Institute)
  • One in 10 respondents said they are addicted to sex and the Internet
    (MSNBC.com and Dr. Alvin Cooper)
     

It’s become overly simple to meet someone online for sex – in fact it’s more difficult to avoid these types of propositions than it is to take advantage of them, as the woman in the article found when, following her divorce, she did a little online sex research of her own:  

[After posting my ad] I refreshed my e-mail and a dozen more replies showed up. Within the hour I had more than 100. I was appalled but also flattered 

Needless to say, these types of encounters are easy to procure and appear much less high-risk than attempting to pick someone up in real life. However, the real life consequences are just as devastating. It’s a way of over-riding true emotions by opting for a “high” of a sexual encounter instead. It could be the case that people looking for casual encounters via the internet are seeking out a way to mask the fact that they don’t want to deal with their emotions or don’t know how to engage in true intimacy. It’s a way of acting out – not talking out – extreme feelings in a person’s life. People who utilize the internet for these types of “relationships” are typically just in it for the high the feel in the moment without examining what’s making them seek that high.  

When one person in a couple suffers from this need for thrill-seeking behavior it’s imperative that the person communicate with their partner – and with themselves – as to what’s leading them into this pattern. As I suggest in the documentary, Unfaithful (featured on the OWN Network), it’s imperative to dig deeper than indulging a momentary desire and learn what feeds the need to act in such a way.  

In this sense, the course of action for dealing with this behavior is the same as if it weren’t fueled by technology. However the ever-presence of sex online has made this type of thrill-seeking much more accessible, and seem much less risky. This perception is just not true. Engaging in an affair – online, offline or otherwise – is fraught with risk and reveals relationship shortcomings that need to be talked out, not acted out. 

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of the 2010 NY Times Reader’s Choice Award winning book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying In Love counsels couples considering breaking up, people who have committed adultery, and couples who want to strengthen their relationships damaged by resentment or unresolved anger, teaching people to “fight” to increase passion, bring back magic and restore the sizzle. Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Dialogue along with communication and connection tools, and counsels families and children.
 
Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson) Coming Nov 2011 as eBook, Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples), Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity.

Dr. Bonnie has appeared on a Discovery Health documentary titled “Unfaithful” and A&E on addictions. ABC’s Good Morning America, a three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN. Visit Dr. Bonnie at http://www.DoctorBonnie.com.

Is Sex Higher During Hurricanes?

New York, NY……..People in areas of the country that rarely see any inclement weather besides snow, are prepping for a hurricane this weekend. People typically spend more time inside during a hurricane than they would even in a snow storm, and they may be edgy about the weather. 

This, says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, gives couples a chance to connect and spend more time together than they would normally. In her book, Make Up, Don’t Break Up, Dr.Bonnie mentions that weather can be a catalyst for physical intimacy. It’s of course important to do everything possible to stay safe physically, but there are some emotional benefits to be gleaned from this experience if we can slow down and notice them. 

Conversely, bad weather can make people nervous, claustrophobic, foster addictions and increase eating. Some people may use this as an excuse to further their bad habits, but instead of relying on these crutches – which really just exacerbate the stress and nervousness – make time with your partner for snuggling, talking and kissing. Don’t just watch television, says Dr. Bonnie! Instead, use this time productively, to connect with your partner and deal with any problems that arise in a healthy way.

 And stay safe!

 Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. Her book, Make Up Don’t Break Up recently won the New York Times “Relationship Book of the Year” award.

 Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples), Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, Staying Not Straying, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity (Making Money Sexy).

Renee Talon, Renee at DoctorBonnie dot com or phone 941-429-8803
Dr. Bonnie has 2 Press Release writers.  Available if anyone would like to speak about our services.

A Twist on the Seven-Year Itch

We’ve all heard of the seven-year itch: the point in the relationship, or so it goes, where the honeymoon phase is over, real life has begun and dissatisfaction sets in. But what if you make it past that – WAY past that – and then things fall apart? This seems to be happening more and more as couples reach the point in life where kids are out of the house, they retire, and then end up spending time together 24/7. Divorce rates for the over-60 crowd are rising and lawyers also confirm this trend, saying they’re seeing handling more divorces among those in their 50s and 60s. Nowadays as people live longer, and marriages are expected to sustain themselves for decades at a time, some think that this is an unrealistic expectation.

Additionally, dating sites that cater to the baby boomer generation are seeing an uptick in membership. The director of one such site, FiftyAlready.com, has noticed this trend: “When the children have left home and retirement looms, being with your husband or wife becomes a full-time occupation and the relationship is going to go one way or the other,” says Director David Pinless as quoted in the Telegraph.

However, it’s not as if a relationship suddenly goes bad when retirement and empty-nesting sets in. This period of life changes and increased “couple-time” can, however, exacerbate a problem that already exists. Which makes maintaining a healthy relationship no matter what season in life all the more important. When couples get to the 30 or 40 year mark, I advise them not to expect that a big change – like a retirement or a child heading off to college – will be the panacea for any issues they have in their relationship. To the contrary, such a large change could only make things worse.

This makes it important, throughout your years together, to know yourself, and know your relationship. For example, if you’re the type of couple that thrives on independence and enjoys occasional but quality time together, don’t expect that being around each other full-time will be a walk in the park when retirement comes. You may want to each pursue activities in order to continue making contributions to your community and to your self-development.

And, it bears stating that if at any point in the relationship things seem off or one of the people in the marriage is unhappy, it’s never a good idea to avoid dealing with a potential conflict. Waiting till you’re 40 or 50 years into a relationship won’t make things any better! I don’t believe that it’s “unrealistic” to expect people to commit for the duration, but it is unrealistic to think things will coast along swimmingly without some effort.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. Her book, Make Up Don’t Break Up recently won the New York Times “Readers Choice Award” award.

Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples), Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity (The #1 Relationship Wrecker).

Creating a Sex Scandal Without Sex

After the discovery of New York’s Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner’s provocative twitters to women—his job, reputation, and possibly marriage is in jeopardy. “We must stop looking at this type of behavior as ‘bad boy’ antics and see it as a disease,” Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil explains.

“We have gone from glamorizing infidelity to bastardizing it. It is now time to look at the underlying reasons for straying, cheating, and in the age of social media and Weiner’s case, ‘creating a sex scandal without sex’, explains Weil.

The newest revelation in this ongoing scandal and ensuing government ethics investigation adds another layer of complication to Weiner’s personal life. It has been reported that his wife, Huma Abedin, is pregnant. At a time when a woman needs her man most, Weiner is consumed with his own problems. The inclination to blame him for the inability to control his impulses is unfair according to Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, and NY Times Reader’s Choice award winning author of Make Up Don’t Break Up. Weil teaches couples another way to view this problem and offers her formula for treating the disease of infidelity.

“People who engage in this type of behavior usually have a high percentage stress, loss, suffer from separation from their partner, and are thrill seeking for the purpose of self soothing. They have what I call—a “Bio chemical craving for connection”. These elements are present in all of the high profile cheaters we have recently witnessed: Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer, David Letterman, John Edwards, and most recently Arnold Swarzenegger. When couples come to me, I test the adulterer for chemical imbalances, provide safe and restorative therapy, and teach both partners how to find the underlying reasons for cheating, take responsibility, stop blaming, and begin rebuilding their relationship.”

While our new age of social media has added a variety of opportunities to loosen the boundaries of social interaction, couples now have something else to consider in their relationship. “Not all partners agree that online flirting is taboo, and many couples might not agree on the definition of electronic flirting. This is a discussion all couples should have, and come to agreements and/or compromises,” warns Dr. Bonnie, who considers ‘sexting’ and online flirting a variation of and just as dangerous as cheating.
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples) and winner of the NY Times Reader’s Choice award for best dating book 2010, Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, Staying Not Straying, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity (Making Money Sexy).
Dr. Bonnie has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, a three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating, Discovery Health documentary “Infidelity” and A&E on addictions. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN. Visit Dr. Bonnie at www.DoctorBonnie.com.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of the NY Times Reader’s Choice Award winning book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying In Love counsels couples considering breaking up, people who have committed adultery, and couples who want to strengthen their relationships damaged by resentment or unresolved anger, teaching people to “fight” to increase passion, bring back magic and restore the sizzle. Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Dialogue along with communication and connection tools, and counsels families and children.
For interview contact Diane Dennis, Inspired Media Communication at 503-678-1356 or dianeden@centurytel.net

The Unforgiving Sin

While I always say that Adultery is the Forgivable Sin, some cheating circumstances are not easily forgiven. As I said in a recent USA Today article on the Shriver/Swarzenegger split, “That Schwarzenegger was able to keep the secret for ten years speaks to an emotional deficiency.”

This type of betrayal cannot be forgiven with a simple “I’m sorry.” The circumstances surrounding his cheating will affect his family for generations to come. The fact that his children are old enough to see the news, and read about the details of the affair will make it more difficult for them to heal. In fact these children will be forever scarred, and the legacy of adultery will affect generations to come. I always say that most marriages can be saved, if key issues like adultery are dealt with in a timely matter. In Swarzenegger’s case, trust has been violated by the fact that he waited over ten years to divulge the fact that he fathered a son by a family housekeeper. The timing of his confession to his wife and publicly is also suspect due to the fact that he waited until he was no longer in public office to tell the truth.

My book Adultery the Forgivable Sin outlines the characteristics of a person who cheats, and Arnold fits the bill. A cheater can be described as a thrill seeking person with a high stress and/or high profile career, who is seeking a biochemical craving for connection. Fidelity is a choice. When a person chooses to violate their promise of trust, there will be much work to do for the entire family to heal.

The wounds from this infidelity will run deep for years for all parties involved. To be betrayed in the family home is an unforgivable sin and a hostile act.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples) and winner of the NY Times Reader’s Choice award for best dating book 2010, Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, Staying Not Straying, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity (Making Money Sexy).

Dr. Bonnie has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, a three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating, Discovery Health documentary “Infidelity” and A&E on addictions. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN. Visit Dr. Bonnie at www.DoctorBonnie.com.

Dr. Bonnie has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, a three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating, Discovery Health documentary “Infidelity” and A&E on addictions. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN. Visit Dr. Bonnie at www.DoctorBonnie.com.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of the NY Times Reader’s Choice Award winning book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying In Love counsels couples considering breaking up, people who have committed adultery, and couples who want to strengthen their relationships damaged by resentment or unresolved anger, teaching people to “fight” to increase passion, bring back magic and restore the sizzle. Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Dialogue along with communication and connection tools, and counsels families and children.

For interview contact Diane Dennis, Inspired Media Communication at 503-678-1356 or dianeden@centurytel.net

Make Up Don’t Break Up wins Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dating Book 2010

Best selling author and founder of Imago Relationship International Dr. Harville Hendrix, PhD (dubbed the “Marriage Whisperer” by Oprah) writes in the foreword: “This is among the most helpful, complete, and positive manuals for saving a relationship that I have seen.”

New York, NY………Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying In Love by Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD is the 2010 winner of the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dating Book.

Author Dr. Weil is dedicated to assisting singles and couples learn how to communicate using her Smart Heart Dialogue for the purpose of developing sustainable and emotionally intimate relationships. This book is for individuals who can’t find or keep lasting and loving relationships teaching how to get past the third date, and learn how not to sabotage a relationship. The book instructs couples how to heal childhood wounds through their partnerships.

The author walks readers through the many stages of a relationship’s connections and disconnections so that couples will be able to reconnect and solidify their relationships—and recapture the euphoric feelings of first love.

With infidelity and divorce at an all time high, and so many more opportunities to cheat through internet portals like Facebook and online dating services, Make Up Don’t Break Up offers insights, tools, and information about how couples can keep love alive and stay together when issues arise by using Smart Heart Dialogue techniques in communication, listening, and working together for mutual relationship goals.

Dr. Bonnie is a trained and certified Imago Relationship Therapist. Best selling author and founder of Imago Relationship International Dr. Harville Hendrix, PhD (dubbed the “Marriage Whisperer” by Oprah) writes in the foreword: “This is among the most helpful, complete, and positive manuals for saving a relationship that I have seen.”

One in five American divorces now involve Facebook

One in five American divorces now involve Facebook, according to experts (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334482/The-marriage-killer-One-American-divorces-involve-Facebook.html). There is no doubt that online chatting offers new temptations. Curiosity can quickly shift to accelerated excitement when you look up an old flame and the chats turn flirty.

“Americans have the highest rate of romantic breakup in the world,” says Andrew J. Cherlin, professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins, in an article from Psychology Today. Cherlin attributes this high rate of breaking up on high expectations, and dangerous distractions.

Couples have more options with the Internet, online dating services, and Facebook connecting old lovers.  We must counteract these tempting dalliances by revitalizing our own relationships.

People don’t stray in a relationship when they have enticements and unexpected surprises from their partners. I advise couples to spend time doing challenging activities that capture the excitement of the early days in their relationships.

And, don’t forget to cuddle. When you are adored, and have physical contact with your partner it increases the bonding hormone Oxytocin, turning partners away from porn, the blackberry mistress and the pitfalls of Facebook socializing.

In my book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying in Love, I teach couples and individuals how to find, keep, and sustain loving relationships. I’m so pleased to announce that Make Up Don’t Break Up is nominated for the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dating Book 2010. My readers can vote with a chance to win our contest for $150 gift certificates. Hurry, voting ends March 8th. Find details on my home page at www.doctorbonnie.com.

Valentine’s Day: The Real Story

Why do men “accidentally forget” to buy their wife/lover a gift?

Why are women already mad before Valentine’s day? Year after year, either their husbands “forget” or have an excuse why they can’t honor them on V Day.

Dr. Bonnie says they either:

  • have underlying anger
  • have resentment
  • don’t want to be told what to do
  • feel under-appreciated
  • Have negative feelings about their wife, but have no idea what or why

They may make the “excuse” that it is a Hallmark Holiday, is made up for retail stores to make money, they don’t know what to get her, she has everything, they don’t know how to shop…..etc.
Dr. Bonnie has recommendations for women on how to avoid a Valentine’s blow up:

  • Ask him what he wants? Go shopping with him before VDay
  • Go to the store with him for him to get a card, etc
  • Reward him with sex after he has shopped for her
  • Sit down and ask him in a non threatening way what he is feeling (have Smart Heart Talk)

More tips can be found in the book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying in Love for Singles and Couples!

Why John Edwards should stay “not engaged”

John Edwards has provided much relationship blog fodder over the past year or two – and now he’s fielding rumors that he’s engaged. To kick things all off, first there was revelation that he in fact did have an affair with the woman who produced videos for his campaign. Although he stated he had come clean to his family it was still a scandal that shed negative light on him politically especially in light of Elizabeth’s battle with cancer. Add into that the fact that Edwards fathered a child with his mistress and it’s enough to severely impact anyone’s life or career!

Then there was news that Elizabeth Edwards was writing a book about her experiences, in my estimation not only to set the record straight but to help her work through some of the issues that arose in her public and private life. During these struggles, Elizabeth had stated that she’d decided to stay in her marriage “for the kids” although later she and John became estranged.

Now, there are reports that just weeks after her death, John Edwards is considering getting married again. His attorney is denying claims that Edwards is engaged to Rielle Hunter, the same women he had an affair with.

Whether or not these rumors or true, it seems that Edwards is still struggling with what I call the bio-chemical craving for connection; something I think he’s been dealing with since Elizabeth was first diagnosed with cancer. The theory is that people experiencing stress, separation or loss often are inclined toward thrill-seeking behavior and this frequently manifests itself in the form of an affair. It’s a way of over-riding true emotions by opting for a “high” instead. It’s probably the case that Edwards couldn’t handle the idea of losing his wife to cancer – either after the initial diagnosis or even now, that she has actually passed on – and so he sought a way to cancel out that fear by deciding to have an affair. It’s a way of acting out – not talking out – extreme feelings in a person’s life. It’s also possible that, subconsciously, he was finding a “backup” for his wife, given her cancer diagnosis.

Traditionally, men have a harder time talking about their feelings and therefore seek “comfort” by engaging in risky behavior. Once this behavior is discovered – often in the form of an affair – it doesn’t have to signal the end of a relationship. Instead, it can be used as a spring board for honest discussion. I believe that just about any marriage or relationship can be saved, and divorce isn’t usually the best option – even in cases of unfaithfulness. Unfortunately, John and Elizabeth weren’t able to work through their struggles but there are no doubt many painful emotions associated with his wife’s life and death. It hardly seems a good time to be seeking out another relationship!