Is It Okay If Your Partner’s Parents Don’t Like You?

Is It Okay If Your Partner’s Parents Don’t Like You?

KIMBERLY TRUONG

AUGUST 15, 2018, 9:30 AM

PHOTO: COURTESY OF WARNER BROS PICTURES.

Crazy Rich Asians might be about a group of people so wealthy that they can afford to drop millions on a pair of earrings without thinking about it, but the story at the center is pretty relatable: Girl meets boy, they fall in love, girl goes to meet boy's family who are — shall we say — less than receptive to her.

It might make for a lot of tension if your partner's parents don't like you, but psychotherapist and dating coach Kate Stewartsays it doesn't necessarily spell the end of your relationship. The way that it affects your relationship, however, will depend a lot on how your partner feels about their family.

"It definitely can matter if someone is very enmeshed or fused with their families," she says. "If someone is really intent on making their family happy and following in their family’s footsteps and doing what’s expected of them, it is kind of the kiss of death."

Related StoriesIs There A "Bad" Time To Meet Your S.O.'s ParentsWhen To "Meet The Parents"Is Crazy Rich Asians' Nick Young A Bad Guy?

But, if your partner isn't easily swayed by their parents opinions and can look past that, Stewart says, your relationship can definitely continue, but keep in mind that things can change later on.

Continue reading the article here.

When to Tell Your Partner About Your Mental Health Issues

I can’t tell you how honored I am to be interviewed on this very important topic! I hope this article is helpful to you.

When to Tell Your Partner About Your Mental Health Issues

KIMBERLY TRUONG

SEPTEMBER 6, 2018, 2:20 PM

PHOTOGRAPHED BY REFINERY29.

There are plenty of big conversations you'll probably have when you're dating someone: whether or not you want to get married, if you want to have children, and when you might want to move in together. But for people who struggle with mental health problems, one of those major conversations might be telling a partner about what they go through, and why they might have "off" days.

Kate Stewart, a psychotherapist and dating coach, says that if you're dating someone with whom you see long-term relationship potential, it's generally a good idea to start talking about mental health issues sooner rather than later. It might not necessarily be the best first date material, but she says that about a month or so into a relationship is a good time to at least begin the conversation. Because "if it isn’t said earlier or early-ish, people may feel it’s been kept from them specifically," Stewart says.

Continue reading this article here.

3 Types Of Infidelity You Never Knew Existed

Infidelity and breaks of trust are a big topic in our therapy practice! This was an interesting piece to weigh in on, since the topic of infidelity has such a different flavor in working with the non-monogamous community. Thanks for visiting the Modern Therapy Seattle blog!

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In an episode of The L Word, a group of friends sit around a campfire and debate what counts as cheating. "Who here, put up your hand, thinks that kissing is cheating?" one of the women asks. Just about everyone raises their hand. Before that, one of the more conservative women in the group, Tasha, claimed that even thinking about having sex with someone outside of a monogamous relationship counts as cheating. That argument didn't go over well. As many of the other women say, it's hard to control your thoughts. But, there are people like Tasha, who believe that straying in your mind constitutes infidelity. There are also people like Shane, another woman in the group, who says that having sex with someone else might not be cheating if there isn't an emotional connection.

While this scene doesn't actually clear up what counts as cheating, it does make clear that there's no consensus on infidelity. For most people in a monogamous relationship, having sex with or kissing someone who isn't your partner definitely counts as cheating. But what about fantasising about a friend or acquaintance? Or lying about how much money you spend?

In some people's eyes, doing those things would make someone an unfaithful partner. So, we talked to relationship experts to break down different types of "cheating," and what to do if you think your partner is being unfaithful.

Continue reading the rest of the article here:

 

In an episode of The L Word, a group of friends sit around a campfire and debate what counts as cheating. "Who here, put up your hand, thinks that kissing is cheating?" one of the women asks. Just about everyone raises their hand. Before that, one of the more conservative women in the group, Tasha, claimed that even thinking about having sex with someone outside of a monogamous relationship counts as cheating. That argument didn't go over well. As many of the other women say, it's hard to control your thoughts. But, there are people like Tasha, who believe that straying in your mind constitutes infidelity. There are also people like Shane, another woman in the group, who says that having sex with someone else might not be cheating if there isn't an emotional connection.

While this scene doesn't actually clear up what counts as cheating, it does make clear that there's no consensus on infidelity. For most people in a monogamous relationship, having sex with or kissing someone who isn't your partner definitely counts as cheating. But what about fantasising about a friend or acquaintance? Or lying about how much money you spend?

In some people's eyes, doing those things would make someone an unfaithful partner. So, we talked to relationship experts to break down different types of "cheating," and what to do if you think your partner is being unfaithful.

Continue reading the rest of the article here:

https://www.refinery29.uk/what-is-considered-cheating-in-a-relationship

 

10 Ways to Reach Out When You're Struggling with Your Mental Health

This article does something that we as therapists have neglected to do for many years, and that is actually EXPLAIN what we mean when we say "be sure to reach out if you suffering." So thankful for this article!

10 WAYS TO ‘REACH OUT’ WHEN YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

March 3, 2018

I’m a mental health writer and advocate, and a suicide attempt survivor. I’ve told people on this blog many times, “Keep reaching out.” I’ve written multiple articles preaching the importance of vulnerability, defying stigma, and owning your struggles.

This is my whole thing, okay? This is what I do.

So when one of my closest friends died by suicide a few weeks ago, I wasn’t just shocked — I was completely gutted.

I thought there was never a question of whether or not my loved ones could reach out to me. But the very person who I’d talked to so often about mental health… didn’t call me.

Not even to say goodbye.

 

The last night I spent with them.

In the weeks following their suicide, my grief took me to dark places. I soon began having my own suicidal thoughts. And even then, when it was my turn to “reach out”? Even after losing my friend? I began to withdraw, too.

I watched, with painful awareness, as I did much of what my friend seemed to do leading up to their suicide. I wrote myself off as a burden. I isolated myself. I got lost in my own head. And despite knowing the danger of where I found myself, I said nothing.

After an especially scary night, I realized something: No one ever explained to me how to ask for help. No one told me what “reaching out” even meant.

As my grief began to snowball, I hesitated to tell anyone I was struggling, largely because I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what to ask for, and without knowing what to ask for, it felt too complicated and futile to ask.

“Why didn’t they tell me?” is such a common refrain when we talk about suicide or mental health challenges in general. It’s easy to make this remark, because “tell someone” seems like a simple request. But in truth, it’s vague at best.

“REACHING OUT” IS THIS SKILL WE’RE SOMEHOW EXPECTED TO KNOW, YET IT’S NEVER TAUGHT AND RARELY MODELED FOR US.

It’s this vague, hopeful sentiment that people throw around, without ever really defining it. What are we asking people to do or say? It’s not exactly clear.

So I want to get more specific. We need to be more specific.

I don’t know if an article like this could’ve saved my friend. But what I do know is that we need to normalize asking for help and talk about what that might look like, rather than pretending it’s a simple and intuitive thing to do.

Maybe then, we can reach people sooner. We can meet them more compassionately. And we can find better ways to support them.

So if you’re struggling but you don’t know what to say? I get it.

Let’s talk about it.

1. “I’M (DEPRESSED/ANXIOUS/SUICIDAL). I’M NOT SURE WHAT TO ASK FOR, BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE RIGHT NOW.”

Sometimes we don’t know exactly what we need, or we’re unsure of what someone can offer. That’s okay; that shouldn’t discourage us from reaching out. It’s perfectly fine if you have no idea what you need or want — especially when all you can think about is how much you’re hurting.

Let someone know how you’re feeling. You might be surprised by the ways they offer to support you. And if they aren’t helpful? Keep asking until you find someone who is, or seek out a hotline (I know it can be weird to talk to a stranger, but there are some awesome hotlines out there).

2. “I’M STRUGGLING WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH AND WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING ISN’T WORKING. CAN WE (MEET UP/SKYPE/ETC) ON (DATE) AND COME UP WITH A BETTER PLAN?”

Feeling helpless or exhausted is part and parcel for dealing with a broken mental health system. But a team approach can make it a little more manageable. Sometimes we need a cheerleader/researcher that helps us explore our options, especially when we’re having trouble believing that we have any.

One thing you’ll also notice is that, for almost everything on this list, I suggest setting a time.

This is important for a couple reasons. The first being that it helps the person you’re talking to understand the urgency behind your ask. It can also be helpful to know that there’s an event in the near future when you can expect to receive some support. This can help us hang in there when things get bleak.

3. “I DON’T FEEL SAFE BY MYSELF RIGHT NOW. CAN YOU STAY ON THE PHONE WITH ME/COME OVER UNTIL I CALM DOWN?”

I know this is a hard one to say. Because we often fear telling someone just how much we’re struggling, and admitting that we don’t feel safe? That’s a biggie. Obviously you can replace the word “safe” if it’s not working for you, but I always encourage people to be direct, because it’s the surest route to getting exactly what we need.

Asking someone to be present might feel especially vulnerable. It might not even feel like, in the moment, it’ll make that much of a difference. But you’re more likely to feel better with support than without any.

And remember, from everything we know about mental illness, depression is more likely to be a liar than a truth-teller (I talk about that a bunch in this blog post).

amazing, which is explain something that therapists and other mental health advocates have taken for granted for years! We all say "reach out if you are suffering," but we never explain exactly what that looks like. 

Read the rest of this article here:

https://letsqueerthingsup.com/2018/03/03/10-ways-to-reach-out-when-youre-struggling-with-your-mental-health/

"How To Be Friends With Your Ex" from Autostraddle

I'm always delighted to be called for interviews, especially by writers for progressive websites like Autostraddle! 

Creating and maintaining friendships with exes is an important part of some small communities, like non-monogamous or queer communities. Not to mention relationships with shared custody of children or property!

 

How To Be Friends With Your Ex

Posted by Carolyn Yates on March 6, 2018 at 11:56am PST

Whether you see it as the biggest lesbian cliché or a necessary part of living within queer communities, being friends with an ex — ex-hook-up, ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, ex-activity-partner, ex-never-put-a-label-on-it-so-does-“ex”-even-apply — crosses everyone’s mind sooner or later.

Personally, my ex-partner Jenna is also one of my best friends, so I called her to ask how we got here. “We were dating and it was really fucking shitty, and you take all the shittiness away, and now it’s now. One of the reasons it was hard to break up was because we got along in some ways, and in other ways not so much, so it was like taking away all the ways that we didn’t get along and keeping all the ways we do get along,” Jenna told me. For me, the end of our romantic partnership felt less like a breakup and more like getting my friend back. Moving cities immediately, being each other’s support network, and the fact that we were always better over email helped, too.

Maybe you still have so much in common, maybe you have all the same friends and don’t want it to be weird, maybe you have no friends except for each other, maybe you want to honor your history together, maybe you run a business together, maybe you have really high attachment anxiety and this is what you do, or maybe you just want to make sharing your cats or kids goes smoothly. Here’s how to be friends with an ex.

 

Read the rest of the article here!

https://www.autostraddle.com/how-to-be-friends-with-your-ex-413096/

Discussion about the Non-Offending Pedophile population

Most of you know the term "pedophile," but the reality of the word isn't understood by many. Pedophilia is a status, and depending on who you ask, it is either a mental illness, a sexual orientation, or perhaps both.  Contrary to popular belief, a pedophile is not automatically an abuser of children. Please know that we are advocating the support of the Non-Offending Pedophile population, but we absolutely do not condone child abuse. Hear more of my interview with Kirk Honda from Psychology in Seattle here:

http://tobtr.com/10587707

Valentine's Day Advice with Two Therapists

I've been on the Psychology in Seattle podcast a number of times before, and I always enjoy talking to Kirk Honda. His perspective is always interesting, because his therapy training is different from mine. His orientation is more of a systems or family style, and I am trained originally as an individual therapist.  Nevertheless, everyone has something to say about Valentine's Day! 

Listen to the podcast here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/psychologyinseattle/2018/02/14/valentines-day-advice

How To Handle Valentine's Day When You're In A Brand-New Relationship

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I was thrilled to be asked by Kasandra to contribute to this article! As a dating coach, Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days of the year, but I know it brings angst to a lot of people. I had a hilarious conversation with Kasandra about how to celebrate V Day with a new dating partner, specifically folks who may not be into the traditional hearts and flowers.

 

You're three weeks into a new relationship, and then suddenly it's Valentine's Day. What do you do? Try to ignore it and run away? Or make a huge romantic gesture? After all, everyone else is making grand declarations of love, so why not join in?

There's another option to consider — one that's somewhere in between ice cold and burning hot. Let's call it lukewarm. Or as Kate Stewart, a counselor and dating coach in Seattle, says, "scale your Valentine's Day from zero to medium."

That's dependent on where you are in the relationship, of course. If you're three dates in, maybe it's best to ignore the holidayaltogether. (Might we suggest celebrating Galentine's Day with your best pals instead?) But if you're a month in and have had "the talk" — you know, the one where you decide you actually are in a relationship and not just hooking up — then something small and meaningful could be in order.

Still not sure what that small and meaningful thing could be? We talked to Stewart and two other dating experts — Joy Harden Bradford, PhD, a licensed psychologist and owner of Therapy For Black Girls, and Frankie Bashan, PsyD, a professional matchmaker for queer women — for some suggestions. Read on for their complete guide to Valentine's Day for you and your brand-new bae.

Finish reading the article here!

http://www.refinery29.com/2018/02/189800/valentines-day-ideas-new-relationship