You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'confused'.

Guilty in Grosse Pointe Shores

  • Posted on August 2, 2016 at 9:44 am

Dear Christine, 

 I’ve discovered evidence that my long time partner is cheating on me.  We’ve lived together for 15 years and a few days ago she left her email account open.  We normally respect each other’s privacy but I went and looked at her emails. I guess I’ve been suspicious.  I found more than I wanted to find. She’s definitely being intimate with someone else. Someone I don’t know.  That night I tried to get her to talk a bit about our relationship, give her an opening to confess. It didn’t work. I haven’t told her what I know. She’s acting like nothing is wrong between us. We are still very close and she tells me she loves me all the time.  Should I tell her I know?  It would mean admitting I peeked.  Part of me wants to ignore it and hope it blows over.  I don’t know what to do.  Any thoughts? Advice? 

Thanks, Guilty in Grosse Point Shores

Dear Guilty,

I am sorry to hear of your discovery of infidelity.  You’ve been suspicious.  Something hasn’t been right. Perhaps your partner wanted you to snoop to learn the truth.  Cheating trumps snooping, every time!

Healthy relationships are based  in trust.  The truth is often painful.  Couples often work through infidelity, but the slow drip of dishonesty will end the relationship. You need to understand why she lied and broke a fundamental boundary.  Tell her you read her emails.  She can then give her side of the story.  Then both of you decide if there’s enough worth working on.  If something has been missing in the relationship, this is the best time to get everything out in the open and discuss it completely.  Then, get counseling to rebuild the relationship or figure out how to part peacefully. There is no need to make any decisions immediately.  You have been together for many years and have a lot of memories, emotions and intertwined lives.

Keep healthy boundaries and don’t contact the other person or vent on FaceBook or tell friends all the gory details. They may feel a need to take sides and then be angry with you if you stay together, after all.  If you don’t have a neutral friend who can listen, they try psychotherapy.  Take your time to figure out what you really need and whether this is going to work for you as you learn the whole truth.  And take care.

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD

Worried (Hungry and Depressed) in Wyandotte (Part II)

  • Posted on May 23, 2016 at 1:01 am

Dear Christine,  

I’m feeling what I usually call depressed or hopeless.  I feel tired and sleepy from work and it’s a physical job.  I was hungry and I just ate.  How do I differentiate between depression, hunger and tiredness? 

Signed, Worried (Hungry and Depressed) in Wyandotte  (Part II)

Dear Worried,

Hunger can feel a lot like depression.  Maybe you’ve heard the term “Hangry” meaning “I’m hungry and I’m angry.”  When blood sugar levels are low, it is easy to feel negative, depressed, angry and irritable.  It is also can make you feel whiney, confused and needy.  If you aren’t sure whether you’re hungry or depressed, try addressing hunger first, assuming you haven’t eaten in a while.  Just a small snack of real foods (nuts, fruit but not processed foods) can pep you up and clear up your thinking and restore the energy you missed.  To make healthy choices, here’s a list from Psychology Today

Ideas for good blood sugar control

  1. Eat regularly scheduled meals and snacks in between
  2. If you tend to have low blood sugar, eat small meals every 2 – 3 hours
  1. Meals should include protein sources: fish, grass-fed meats, eggs, beans, or protein powder in a shake. Beans are a good protein source, for these are complex carbs, where the blood sugar moves into the blood slowly. Meals should also include fat: avocado, nut oils, fish oil, olive oils.
  1. Snacks ideas: apple or celery with almond butter, raw nut and seed mix with dark chocolate chips and some organic raisins, carrots, and hummus
  1. Reduce the amount of simple carbs, such as cakes, cookies, and breads. Keep these as occasional treats instead of everyday staples.
  2. Consider a chromium supplement which can help support blood sugar balance.
  1. Keep up fiber-rich foods. Adequate dietary fiber helps blood sugar remain stable by slowing entrance of sugar into the blood stream.
  1. If the above do not work for you, consider having a blood test called the glucose tolerance test and also a serum insulin test. If these are not balanced, and insulin is high, strategies that help the body become more sensitive to insulin (like building muscle, and more specific ways to eat) might be appropriate for you.

Some people eat more when they are depressed or stressed out.  If that’s the case for you, then you probably aren’t hungry, but you are looking to sooth yourself and what most people find to be comfort foods are usually starches and sugars and processed foods.

New research findings may explain why some people who are stressed or depressed overeat.  In,

It has been found that chronic stress increases ghrelin, the hormone that increases when you don’t  eat.  Ghrelin is also called the hunger hormone and it can possibly be elevated when you feel stress from anxiety or depression.  Experiments with mice has shown that these elevated levels of ghrelin can continue for at least 4 weeks after the stressor occurred.  If humans are like mice, then feeling hungry from stress might drive us to eat and eat and eat.  If you are going through a stressful time, make sure to eat healthy foods, as listed above.  Also drink lots of water.  Skip pop and soda, alcohol and fruit juices which are mostly sugar.  Researchers hope to study what areas of the brain are acted on by ghrelin, to see if there is any antidepressant type effect.
So, eat regularly, sleep enough and if you are still feeling depressed, journal about what stressors you encounter that day and that period in your life.  Journaling can help you take the time to look inside, reflect and assess what is really going on in your mind, spirit and body.  It can help you see patterns and assist you in focusing and refocusing on your goals.

Christine Cantrell, PhD

Sneaking Around in Southfield

  • Posted on December 6, 2015 at 5:00 am

Dear Christine, 

I am a 37 year old lesbian who has only been deeply in love one time when I was 23.  She loved me too and it was so intense.  She had a lot of pressure from her family and religion and eventually broke my heart and hers and she left me and married a man.   I have tried to move on and I just haven’t been able to feel that strongly about anyone else.  Recently I met someone who I could see myself growing old with.  There is love and comfort although not the same deep passion I once felt.  I am on the verge of having a good life with a good person and then,  “the one” finds me out of the blue.  She is married, has 3 kids, super active in her Baptist church, and apparently has never stopped thinking about me either.   She will not leave her husband, tell her family or let on to anyone at all that she still loves me but wants to see me “privately”  We did spend one amazing afternoon together and the passion is still there.  Unlike her, I can’t keep the wife and have a mistress. I know this sounds nuts and in my mind I know the right answer is to not be tempted by empty promises.  Do I choose a life sneaking around to have the love of my life in bits and pieces, or do I choose safe and comfort even if I may never feel the intense kind of love again.   I seriously think I may make the wrong choice.  Thanks for listening and if you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. 

Signed, Sneaking Around in Southfield


Dear Sneaking Around,
Wow! Look what you have created!  Yes, you are in charge of your life and you can make your life work for you the way you want, or you can drift from one happening to another, being victim to other people’s actions.  You didn’t expect your ex to reappear, but here she is, creating earthquakes in your otherwise calm life.

How wonderful that you have had that incredible passionate love experience at least once in your life.  That’s an amazing feeling, but you know by this point in your life, it never lasts.  It is hormones, chemistry, timing and is fleeting.  It’s also a lot of projection:  putting your hopes and dreams of the perfect relationship on a human being you don’t know well who is frail, contradictory and has faults that you are not seeing or acknowledging yet.  The Japanese call it “love psychosis” and if it lasts 3 years, that’s unusual.  During that passion, you have an opportunity to form a deeper emotional connection with that person from shared values, trust, honesty, openness and vulnerability and mutual goals.  Or the passion fades and the relationship cannot be sustained.
So, your choices at this point are:  What sort of relationship do you want?  Passion that is hidden?  Being someone else’s mistress? Cheat on your partner you are growing old with?   Trust your ex who broke your heart  and promises nothing of substance now?  Honesty with friends and family who care about your happiness?  Or sneaking around, taking whatever crumbs of passion your ex has for you, all the while keeping a huge secret from your partner, and everyone else you interact with?  And if you choose your ex, what happens when her husband or your partner learns the truth?

It’s all in your hands.  Who you choose reflects your values and your character.  Be fully yourself and be confident in your choices.  Write me again and let me know what you decide.
Christine Cantrell, PhD