Home' LOTL : January 2005 Contents ADVICE BY DAWN COHEN
Q A work colleague has been leading me on with flirtatious behavior,
I think because I am single and am easy bait. I am interested in her
but she is partnered. How do I resist the temptation to either create
a mess if she is genuine, or be crushed by rejection if she is not?
A Your head believes her flirting is a lose-lose invitation, but your body and heart are
not convinced. Sometimes the hardest part of not responding to an irresponsible
enticement is never finding out her true intentions. In hope of that tantalising moment
when a woman says 'yes' either in words or in kind, your body is making devilish pacts
with your more rational self. Perhaps your lust is suggesting you have one night or even
one moment of mutual acknowledgement and then you will say no. Is this a pattern in
your life? If so, why are you so susceptible to her flirting? Perhaps the drama provides
intensity with no risk of ongoing intimacy.
Q In an argument with my g/f recently I had the strong desire to
give her a good thump. I didn't, but the urge bothered me. Is this the
beginning of the end of my love for her? -- Cranky pants.
A You didn't hit her and that makes all the difference. I am repeatedly struck by how
much psychological damage is caused by actual physical violence in a relationship.
Once you hit your partner it is profoundly difficult to resurrect a healthy love. Feeling the
desire to destroy but not going with it is a serious warning sign, but if you heed the
warning, it won't be the end of your love but rather the beginning of a new depth in
your bond. You have an invaluable capacity for honesty. You took responsibility for your
aggression by acknowledging what you felt and by not acting it out. It is clear to me
you have the courage to work this through. Think through what enraged you, what
feelings it triggered from your past? Examine who was violent in your childhood and
how you responded to it. Look at how you deal with anger in other situations. Examine
your need to control others or to be controlled by them. A government registered
psychotherapist who is also a member of a professional association like PACFA or the
Australian Psychological Society could make the road a lot easier.
PARTY SLUT PARTNER
Q Last New Year's Eve my partner pashed another woman. She says
she was off her face and given it was the stroke of midnight, it did
not mean anything. To me it meant she does not love me anymore
and I can't I forget about it this year. -- No fireworks.
A Forgetting about it would be a big mistake because unless the two of you resolve
this, every New Year's Eve will be miserable. For her New Year's Eve has a magic
quality that exempts it from the harsh realities of the rest of the year, where all actions
have consequences. It would be nice if that were true, but sadly it is not. You are also
on the wrong track. Her sexual acting out has little to do with love, and everything to
do with her relationship with drugs, sex and the meaning of commitment. The two of
you have a lot of talking to do if next New Year's Eve is going to be any fun.
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the
writer, they are not intended to be a substitute for professional
medical advice. If you need medical or psychological help please see
your local GP or psychologist.
YOU HAVE AN INVALUABLE CAPACITY FOR HONESTY.
YOU TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR AGGRESSION
BY ACKNOWLEDGING WHAT YOU FELT AND BY NOT
ACTING IT OUT. IT IS CLEAR TO ME YOU HAVE THE
COURAGE TO WORK THIS THROUGH.
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