Robin Bowen Siebold

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Ask Dr. Robin

Dr. Robin Siebold

"Things are only impossible until they're not."
-Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Q. I just ended another relationship. Every time I meet someone, I have such great hope. Somehow it ends up the same. What am I doing wrong?

A. It could be what you are doing right and not realizing it! I would like to recommend a book that will explain it more by Harville Hendrix, "Getting the Love You Want". Basically, we enter into a relationship to help each other heal from and grow through our unfinished business, i.e. childhood wounds. We unconsciously choose partners who are familiar to us because they remind us of the parent we have the most unfinished business with. Now, you may be thinking that none of your choices reminded you of either of your parents. Maybe not consciously. But the issues that continue to arise make you feel in a similar way as you did when you were a child...somewhat frustrated...indicating an unmet need. If you both realize that a relationship is a journey of personal change and you are willing to help each other heal, you may have a wonderful and conscious relationship.

Q. Why are relationships so hard?

A. They are as hard as we make them. We first have to realize we are all different, which does not make anyone wrong; just different. Most of us are looking at the other person trying to understand them before we have even understood ourselves! We offer another love we haven't given ourselves. And we get angry at the people in our lives because they are not loving us more! We teach people how to treat us. If someone is treating you badly, be honest and ask yourself if you aren't doing the same thing; perhaps NOT exactly, but are you honoring yourself?

Q. I have heard that the #1 problem in relationships is communication. Do you agree?

A. Yes, but please keep in mind that communication comes in many different forms: tone of voice, how we talk, the words we use, our body language, and our facial expressions. Part of communicating is listening and most of us do not listen nearly enough. We have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen twice as much as we talk. Another part of communication that we are not very good at is conflict resolution. How successful we are in our relationship can be indicated by how we talk to our partner when we are upset and how we respond to our partner when they are upset.

Q. What do women really want?! I can't figure it out!

A. Women really need to talk things out and they need you to listen. When a woman feels listened to, she connects on an emotional level and you could be a much happier man!

Q. How can I get romance back in my marriage?

A. What makes your partner feel cared about; do it as often and as much as you can. Surprise your partner unexpectedly and randomly. Find an activity that is fun for both of you that will bring you closer together. May I suggest another book by Gary Chapman The Five Love Languages. Discover yours and your partners and practice them every day, thus filling your love tank.

Q. Sometimes I just want to sit and snuggle but it seems like it always has to lead to sex to keep my husband happy. Why are men such hounds?

A. I have recently come across some research which backs up what I have been saying for years. Men actually need more touch than women and I think many of them don't know how to get unless they have sex. Additionally, not all men have a higher sex drive than their wives.

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