Ask The Author (me!)

First, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who have bought my books and either written amazing reviews on Amazon or sent me emails. I’m so thrilled to hear how the books have helped saved your marriages. It means the world to me. Writing them (especially Sex: How to Get More of It) was a risky proposition as people read the word “Sex” and think you are a tramp–even in 2012. But it’s been so great that you guys took the time to read the book(s) and realized that my only goal is to help you all have beautiful relationships full of love, joy, intimacy and great nookie!

Second, this blog is not just for me to espouse knowledge and thoughts. It’s for you to ask questions about relationships, express tough times you may be going through and share the wonderful lessons you’ve learned that helped you achieve happiness.

Please feel free to comment if you have any questions or a story to tell. I know my blog is brand new and most of my wonderful readers don’t even know about it, but I want this to be as interactive as possible.

Thanks again to every one of my readers. In addition to, “Sex: How to Get More of It” and “Intimacy: How toΒ  Get More of It” I’ll have a new book, “Happiness: How to Get More of It” coming out hopefully at the end of the year. I hope that all of you will enjoy that one too. Much love!

17 comments on “Ask The Author (me!)

  1. As I’m sure you are fully aware from following my blog (thanks by the way), I have a serious problem in my marriage. I love my wife, but I have also fallen for one of her friends. It has been three months since I realized I had a problem and I have managed to keep it secret from both of them. Until I can figure out why this has happened to me and how to fix it, the only option I can see is to continue acting like nothing is going on.

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  2. Hi unrequitedlovesucks. I’m so very sorry you are in such an awful predicament. It must be heart wrenching and I can only imagine that you might feel divided and guilty and scared all at the same time.

    While so many people might tell you to just open up and be honest with both women, I don’t know that since you haven’t acted upon it in any way as of yet, that that is the right move. I’d venture to say that in a lot of cases a wife might leave leave their husband upon finding out such information or would have a very hard time ever trusting in their husband again. If you feel like you want to stay with your wife for the long haul, then maybe trying to work through your problem on your own (or with a therapist) would be the right move.

    So much of it comes down to whether or not you think your marriage is something you want to remain in. If it is, then I’d suggest remembering all the things that you love about her and working very hard to bring the love back to just being between the two of you. Maybe spend more time with her, enhance the romance in your life, make sure that making love is incredibly special. Doing those things can help rekindle the spark to where your love for her friend will dim over time.

    I can see from your posts that you are really trying to not be around Carly, and I think that’s a good step to take. But it sounds like totally avoiding her is not an easy task. Sometimes, whether it’s an infatuation that feels like love, or really is love, one way to talk yourself out of it is to look for all the things (little and big) that they do that would drive you bonkers if you lived with them as a couple. I had a situation like that myself before, though not quite as serious as yours. It was years and years ago, but this other guy would walk into the room and I could feel my heart rate increase, I’d get flushed, I’d get nervous. I’d worry about my hair being pretty enough. It was insane. Once I realized that it was unfair to everyone involved for me to have those feelings, I started dissecting his behavior. I realized that he was sometimes condescending and a complete prick to other people. I do NOT do well with condescension or prick-ness. I realized that he slurped anything that he drank. And on and on.

    Now, I know those sound like silly things, but it helped me to see that he was human, with flaws, and really those flaws were not something I wanted to live with forever. I helped clarify to me that it was simply pheromones doing their damnedest to ruin my life.

    Then I’d think about my boyfriend and how wonderful he was. I’d reflect upon the wonderful times we’d had and how desperately I’d miss not having more of those times in the future.

    I also thought about what my life would be like 5 years, 10 years down the line. Would I be happy with this other guy? Could I live with myself after betraying the man I was with? The answer to both questions was no. Having the clarity of what life would likely be like in the future really helped clarify my decision making during that situation.

    Please know I will be thinking about you and your situation in hopes that over time you can redirect your love and passion back towards your wife. She’s the one you promised to love, honor and cherish. I imagine it would break your heart if you thought she was in love with another man. It would no doubt break her heart to know what you are going through. I’m sending you many positive, healthy, happy vibes in hopes that you can work through this without anyone getting hurt. I can definitely tell you are struggling with this–which is good. It shows that you are a good man.

    Blessings to you…

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    • You have given me so much to think about. God I would love to discuss this with a therapist, but how in the world would I explain to Kristen why I need a therapist. I have no doubt Kristen is the one I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with. I want to give your idea of searching out the annoyances Carly has a try. I will probably post this on my blog in a few days. Thank you so much for this advice. Here’s hoping for some success in the future.

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      • Unrequited, I think you’ve really already made the first huge step by just knowing in your heart that Kristen in the one you want to grow old with. If you believe that every day and focus on how many wonderful memories in the future you’ll miss out on if you were to expose what you are temporarily (hopefully) feeling for Carly, it may help keep you focused on making your marriage everything you both want it to be.

        Now, I’m about to suggest something a lot of people won’t agree with, but I’m going to suggest it anyway. Is it possible for you to see a therapist on the sly? If your wife doesn’t see all the bills, could you do that? I think it would help you so much. I say this because I’ve done the same thing myself. I was having trouble in a relationship and was living with the guy and I really needed someone to talk to. I knew he’d get all paranoid and inquisitive and I think that seeing a therapist is a personal thing that I shouldn’t have to share with anyone if I don’t want to. So, I found one close to work and would go there directly from work. It’s only 50 minutes and it was easy to “sneak” it in.

        Maybe, if that isn’t possible, you can come up with some other reason for going that wouldn’t make her worry that it’s an issue between the two of you. Stress over your job? Issues with the family? Learning to mediate? Whatever excuse is plausible enough to work. Where there is a will, there is a way. Sometimes, just being able to scream and yell and cuss about a situation to a stranger is enough to help you work through it.

        In the meantime, I hope that picking apart Carly’s every annoying thing will help. It’s amazing how doing that and picturing your life 5 years down the road can give you a tremendous amount of clarity. Our actions are never just about now. They are about today, tomorrow and 30 years from now. Keep that long view in the forefront and I think it’ll help clear the path back to your wife.

        I sincerely wish you much luck and hope that 6 months from now you can look back and think, “What did I ever see in Carly when I have such a wonderful woman as a wife?” Take care, Jodi

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  3. Hello Jodi,
    I guess my question is both simple, and difficult: How can I feel more secure in myself?
    I am very insecure, both because of my childhood, and because of being repeatedly abandoned by the men I loved. This time, I have chosen a partner who I believe is different in that he is more self aware, and has worked on his personal issues. I am also working on my insecurity. But right now, and we’ve only known each other for three months, we’re being hit by a situation which is hard for him, and his doubts make me feel really insecure, so I’ve gone on red alert in the space of 24h, and just don’t know what to do with myself.
    How do I calm myself down so that my insecurity doesn’t weigh too much on this already fragile relationship?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

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    • Lady E…I’m really sorry you are having such a tough time. Insecurity is one of the most life-crushing challenges anyone can face. When we don’t feel good enough or feel like we don’t deserve happiness, we self-sabotage. It’s a horrible cycle to be in and it’s one I think we’ve all felt.

      I’m going to tell you how I got over being insecure. It took me until my late 30s before I lost most of my insecurity and it was a hard-won battle. I also had a tough childhood. My father was killed when I was 10 and that started my abandonment issues at a very young age. Combine that with having boyfriends that weren’t always faithful. Ugh, it was a recipe for disaster. Plus, and I hope this doesn’t come off horribly, but I was also incredibly insecure because most people always judged me on my looks rather than my personality. So I felt that if I wasn’t 100% perfect looking every day that I had no value. It was pretty much a nightmare of insecurity and I never felt good enough; I never felt like I was going to able to just relax in a relationship and be happy. It sucked.

      In my mid-thirties, after having gone through a really bad hormone issue which temporarily put more pounds on me that I’m used to, some guys at the office were really unkind to me. Well, let’s just say it like it was: they were evil pricks and I wanted to run them over with my car.

      Once my doctors fixed my hormone issues and I was back down to my normal weight, one of those total jerks (not even realizing I was the same person) asked me out on a date. I was ready to spit nails (as my mom would say) I was so annoyed. When this asshat came to my desk and asked me out, the very first thing that popped into my mind was, “Fuck off.” (Pardon my French.) But in my mind I didn’t say those words in anger. I said them dismissively, like shooing a fly away from my head. And it was that EXACT moment, when I lost my insecurity.

      I realized that it doesn’t matter what other people think of me. What matters is how I feel about myself. External validation is nice. It’s great when others like us. But internal validation is where true happiness begins. If you KNOW you are a good person who tries to be kind whenever possible, then it’s less important what others think. Not that you should stop caring altogether what other people think, but you learn that what others think shouldn’t make or break you. I had that moment of clarity because when I was having a weird body issue, these guys were horrible to me. As soon as I was normal sized again, they couldn’t get enough of me. That just showed me the shallowness and surface-level bullshit that so many people live their lives by.

      Something else that really helped me is to remember that bad people just do bad things. Every time a guy cheated on me, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t good enough for him or didn’t give him the kind of sex he wanted. He did it because he was an asshole. It was HIS DEFECT, not mine, that made him do shitty stuff. If you stop internalizing those kinds of things as your fault and assign the blame to the person who deserves it, the person who wronged you, then you start to see that all the bad things that have happened to you aren’t because YOU are bad. It’s because maybe you didn’t pick the right guy. Or the guy that seemed so dreamy was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or that sometimes, bad shit just happens.

      The key for me was really understanding who I am. Am I a nice person? Am I a smart person? Do I bring joy to others? Do I try and help those around me? Once I understood that all of those things were true, then I was able to stop letting other’s views of me control my sense of self because I KNEW I was a good person. And if others didn’t view me as such, then they could bugger off. Who needs them anyway?

      Here’s an exercise you can try. It may feels stupid, but that’s okay. It’ll help you in the long run. Write down all the things that are good about you. Even down to things like, “I like my hair.” Don’t be shy about writing down all your good features. Don’t feel like you are bragging. Just jot them down. Put in black and white all the reasons you have for NOT feeling insecure.

      Then, it may help to write down all the dispicable personality traits of those who have hurt you over the years. Once you see the list of their nastiness you’ll start to see how THEY were the problem. Their hurtful, unkind personalities weren’t your fault–it’s just who they are. Once you see that they are the ones who are jerks, then you can say, “Man, they were assholes. Why should I care what an asshole thinks of me?” My mom has always taught me to “consider the source.” If the person giving me a hard time is a jerk, why on earth would I waste my heart and mind caring about what they think? Those 3 words from my mom helped change my life. I hope in some way, they can help yours too.

      Whew, that was a freaking tome! Sorry it was such a long reply, but I wanted you to know that we’ve all been where you are in terms of feeling insecure and that each person who’s overcome insecurity probably tried for years and years only to have that, “Come to God” moment where clarity kicked in and their whole view of the world changed. I hope you have that moment in the near future too. πŸ™‚

      Much luck and love!
      Jodi

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    • Hi Lady E. I hope you are doing better with both your insecurity and your relationship. I’ve been sending you good vibes. πŸ™‚

      I wanted to let you know that I’ve received quite a few emails regarding our posts here and I wondered if you’d be okay with me reposting what you asked and my response as a separate blog posting with its own title. I think so many people feel insecure and from what people have told me, our interaction helped them. If you want, I can take your name off of the new post for privacy. Or, since it’s already out there on this post, I can leave your name there. I just want you to be comfortable, either way.

      Let me know as I’d like to repost this tonight or tomorrow.

      Thanks so much and please don’t hesitate to ask me anything else. I’m always happy to help wherever I can. πŸ™‚

      Hugs,
      Jodi

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      • Dear Jodi,
        Please feel free to re-post my question. I look forward to hearing what you could advise people with high insecurity thresholds such as myself :).
        Thank for your thoughts and hugs. I think I might be getting over this little crisis slowly, and hope it is a sign that the relationship can keep on growing.
        xx

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      • Thank you so much, Lady E. And I’m so happy to hear that the crisis might be abating. I’ve got my fingers crossed. You seem like such a lovely person–I want all the happiness in the world for you. πŸ™‚

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  4. I think everyone faces insecurity at least once in their life. For me, it was right after college. I got my IT degree right in the middle of the dot-com bust. I spent six months searching for a job with no luck. I became depressed. I started gaining weight. I eventually stopped looking. Then one day I decided it was time to get back into the game. I started looking again and started working to lose the weight I had gained. I still had no luck finding a job. One day, my mother informed me that a girl I had a crush on several years ago was working with her. To this day, I still don’t know why I went there to introduce myself. I felt I had nothing to offer. I barely had enough money to buy gas to drive up there. I did go though and I’m so glad I did. That was the first time I talked to my wife. After meeting her, all of those insecurities just went away. I might not have found an employer that wanted what I had to offer, but I found that I did have something to offer someone more important.

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  5. Unrequited, that is a wonderful story for you to have shared. Insecurity comes and goes for so many reasons. Whether it’s a job, a lover, a friend, a parent or that bitch at the gym that always gives you the stink-eye; insecurity is a wicked little monster that sneaks its way in, grabs hold and seemingly refuses to let go.

    I’m so happy that you shared with Lady E your experience with insecurity: its birth and its death. It’s great to hear motivational stories from other people that faced insecurity and overcame it. Just to know it’s possible for everyone and that we’ve all been there before helps us feel like we aren’t the only ones facing these kinds of challenges. That’s one of the reasons I started this particular post. I wanted everyone to learn from everyone else.

    PS: How’s it going with Kristin and Carly? I’ve got my fingers crossed. πŸ™‚

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  6. Kristen went back home last weekend to visit family. As a surprise, I put a ceiling fan up in the kitchen. I’ve planned to do it for a long time, but never got around to it. I took her geocaching today. She actually had fun, but I don’t know how often she will want to do it. She’s not exactly an outdoor person. I haven’t seen Carly in almost a week. It will be next week sometime before I have to make plans to avoid her. It is kind of funny though. I actually would like her to meet you. Not for any reasons to do with me, but she wants to go to school to become a writer and it would be great to give her the chance to talk to someone who is already in the business. Heh, hope you have a good poker face. I can only imagine your reaction if we all showed up to one of your events and I said “Hi, this is Kristen and Carly.”

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    • I am SUCH a doofus! I read all that in your blog, but my brain apparently has the short term memory of a hamster. Your ceiling fan story reminded me of my hubby replacing ours in the dining room and kitchen. It made such a difference. I bet Kristin will the thrilled! Good hubby!!!

      How are you doing without seeing Carly? I hope absence makes the love grow weaker. πŸ™‚

      If I ever have a book signing in your neck of the woods, I’d love to meet you guys! I have THE best poker face on earth (I usually win Texas Hold ’em tournaments–hee hee hee), so you’d be safe. πŸ™‚

      I hope Carly pursues her writing. It’s great to exorcise all the demons using a pen/keyboard. Plus, making people laugh, scream in terror or sit up and think is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

      Have a great night!

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      • Heh, I have moments like that all of the time. I actually bought two fans for the kitchen, but I didn’t get to the second one last weekend. There is poor lighting in the kitchen right now and the ceiling fans I got provide much better lighting. I told Kristen if she cleared the countertops off, I’d put the other one up this weekend.

        Honestly, I have been so busy lately, I’ve hardly even had time to think about Carly. In addition to my share of the housework, the mountain driving, the geocaching, the blog and the hikes through this state’s parks, I’m also playing catchup with our car club’s website as I am currently their webmaster. Oh and I always have to make time for Kristen. I don’t even know how I fit work and sleep in there.

        I totally agree with you on exorcising your demons with writing. You may find this hard to believe, but I’m actually more comfortable with numbers and tools than I am with pen and paper. Despite that, it seems like I never run out of things to write about. Plus, I just feel better. I feel like I have a better understanding of my situation. Plus, hopefully, one day it can be used as a guide for others who need help. That is my ultimate goal.

        Wow, I’ve been long winded the past few days.

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      • I like you long winded! πŸ˜‰

        I’m so glad to hear that you’ve been so busy that Carly has played a lesser role in your mind. That is a blessing. Maybe that’s one of the keys to getting over and out of this situation. Just drown yourself in other stuff and maybe she’ll eventually just fall out of your heart and mind. I’ve got my fingers crossed with that.

        I think your blog is a wonderful guide for other people. I’m quite certain you and about a million other people are going through what you are. And that you are brave enough to put it out there is an amazing thing. I’m sure it will help others struggling through a similar situation.

        While you may be more comfortable with things other than a keyboard, you do an amazing job of expressing what you are going through. You’d never know that writing wasn’t you biggest pastime. πŸ™‚

        Glad things are going better. I know it will resolve in a great way. I just know it!

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  7. Ok, I have a new issue. Well, I’m not really the one with the issue. I have a friend at work. Really, he’s just about the only one at work I’d consider a friend. I won’t go into full details right now, but he’s actually more miserable at work than I am. He had a job prospect that would have let him move out of the state and back to California which is something he really wants. That prospect fell through and now he feels like he’s trapped here. I want to refer him to you so badly, but I know if I do that, he’ll know everything I have been dealing with for the past few months. As of right now, my WordPress buddies are the only people that know about my problems with Kristen and Carly. I have done a damn good job keeping this a secret in my daily life. I guess my question is this: Do you have any advice that could help him with his problems? I don’t want to make any direct connection between my normal life and my WordPress life unless it’s necessary. This particular skeleton in my closet is about the size of a mastadon afterall.

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    • I agree completely with keeping your blogging life and your “real” life separate. No one needs to know your business and you need a space where you feel free to say whatever you want without fear of someone finding out or judging you. Wise man, my dear. πŸ™‚

      As for your friend…what a pickle he’s in. It soooo sucks when you would rather get in a car accident then go to work. Been there, hated it. Without knowing more, my best advice would be for him to keep pursuing a job in California. He’ll never get out of there if he gives up. And I really, truly believe that everything happens when it’s supposed to. When I met my husband I was in the process of trying to get a job back home on the east coast. I was determined to get the hell out of Arizona. Thank God it didn’t happen in the space of time I’d planned or I’d never have met my hubby. I don’t talk much about him here, but he is the light of my life. If I missed out on meeting him I don’t know…I can’t even think about that. He’s my greatest blessing. So, I’d encourage your friend to just take it a day at a time and always remember that “this too shall pass.”

      As for dealing with hating work…is it a specific person he wants to paper cut to death? Or is it the job in total that he hates? It’ll help me give better guidance if you give me more of the story. Gimme the scoop and I’ll try and help.

      You are so sweet to look out for your friend. πŸ™‚

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