You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'Dear Christine'.

Dear Christine, Questioning in Lake Orion

  • Posted on March 18, 2019 at 9:31 am

Dear Christine, How come we slander people who dislike homosexuality, but we don’t slander people who are against alcoholism? Being attracted to alcohol has more evidence of “running in the family” and being a genetic attraction, so why don’t we call people who get nauseous at alcohol “alcohophobics” or something? After all, what makes being attracted to having sex with someone any better than being attracted to alcohol? The effect accomplishes the same thing, satisfying your physical “itches” as it were. They do have very different physical side-effects, alcohol destroys your brain cells, sex can get you STDs, and positively alcohol kills germs in water (that’s why it serves more of a purpose in Europe) and sex is reproduction and the continuation of the species (at least, when it’s male-female and we don’t tamper with nature and use drugs). So, why stop at “homophobes”? Aren’t people who are naturally nauseous at alcohol just as bad as people who are nauseous at gay sex? Or, do we think letting “homophobes” get away will give us guilt about being straight or gay just for the moment and not for the relationship? Or, do we think that alcohol is wrong and being gay…

Dear Christine, Unsure in Redford

  • Posted on March 11, 2019 at 7:46 am

Dear Christine, I have always been with men. I was once with a women and that was when I was younger, and the girl and I made it into a game. I liked it, and was excited to hang out with her and play the game again. But that is the only lesbian-type experience that I have had. After that time in my life, I always considered myself straight until about two years ago, when I came out to my boyfriend at the time that I was bisexual. No one in my family knows, I don’t know how they would handle it. Now I have been with the same guy for over a year now, and I keep having fantasies about women and really only women. I honestly feel that if him and I broke up I would never date another guy. ANYWAY, for the past month or so I have been even more confused. My boyfriend and I don’t have sex anymore…we only do when we are drunk…I mean that could be because we are both insecure people. But who can really know. I just have no sex drive with him. I mean I guess that could be other…

Dear Christine, Gaining in Garden City

  • Posted on February 19, 2019 at 11:32 am

I’ve gained 10 pounds in the last 6 months which now puts me 20 pounds overweight.  I keep saying I will start a diet tomorrow and I want to lose the weight by spring. The problem is, after a healthy breakfast, all I can think about is, what’s for lunch? After lunch, I start thinking about dinner. Then there’s the snacks and sweets. People I work with keep bringing junk food to work to share. I feel hungry all the time and I know I couldn’t be. I keep saying, I’ll start tomorrow. I really want to lose weight. Why can’t I find the will power? Signed, Gaining in Garden City Dear Gaining, Welcome to the crowd!  The obesity problem is a global issue, so you are far from alone in this.  There is so much that scientists and doctors do not understand about weight gain and weight loss.  It is not just a matter of will power, nor one of counting calories or dieting.  Of all the diets that people have tried, Weight Watchers is the lone program that seems to help people make the lifestyle changes and maintain them to lose weight.  But, it has worked for me…

Dear Christine, Not Heard in New Haven

  • Posted on February 4, 2019 at 8:50 am

Dear Christine, It seems like every time I ask my wife to do something, like go out for dinner, see a movie, whatever, she says, oh, let’s just stay in.  But when her best friend from high school calls, (a straight friend) she’s like, oh, let’s go out! I’m always invited to go along but I just don’t understand why she doesn’t find that energy when I ask her to do something. Sometimes I don’t really want to tag along but I do because I don’t have anything else to do. We’ve talked about it but she says I’m being too sensitive. How can I make a change and get my wife excited about a date night with just me? Signed, Not Heard in New Haven. Dear Not Heard, It sounds like you and your wife are in a bit of a rut these days.  One thing I encourage couples I work with is to schedule a date night.  Once a week is usually the goal, but sometimes jobs, having a baby or little children might cause you two to make it a couple of times a month.  The goal of a date night is to recreate the dating stage…

Dear Christine, Sorry in Southfield

  • Posted on January 20, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Dr. Christine, A few months ago and back, I used to be “one of those guys” who disdained Homosexuals. : I used to be so uptight to the extent that I would mentally rehearse how I would punch a gay guy if he ever came onto me. I was such a jerk, right? Well, I went to the barber shop yesterday and got my hair dyed from black to Medium Brown. When I got home, I got some pretty unpleasant criticism from my father. For a moment there, he thought I was gay because only Gay people would “do such a thing”.. And at THAT moment, I started to have that soft spot in my heart for you guys because of all the sh*t that you go through. It’s pretty unfair how your own parents would look down on you if they thought you where a homosexual. You know, at the end of the day, I would definitely prefer being friends with a kind-hearted homosexual than an inconsiderate heterosexual. Not that you give a damn or anything, but I’d just like to apologize for all the crap that we (the Heteros) have given you. Sorry. Dear Sorry, I do give…

Dear Christine, Confused in Clawson

  • Posted on January 7, 2019 at 8:45 am

Dear Christine,

I read your columns every week and many of them have hit home for me. I have a question of my own now. I am a straight woman and my best friend is a gay man who I have known since high school some 40+ years ago. We like to joke that we are the real life Will And Grace.  We even dated for a bit before he came out. My “Will” has always been safe when it comes to sexual relationships and he’s had quite a few. In the last year he went through quite a run of sexual encounters which he told me about more graphically than I would have needed to know!

Three months ago he informed me he is HIV positive. I’m sad and even angry at him for being careless. His behavior has changed so much recently that he has been pulling away from our friendship. I’ve called, left messages, he doesn’t return my calls. This is someone I spoke to several times a week and now he won’t speak to me. Do you have any advice as to what I should do? I’m heartbroken and miss him a lot. Thanks,

Confused in Clawson

Dear Confused,
It’s hard and confusing when other’s behaviors change in ways that you find uncomfortable.  I hear your sadness and anger at your “Will” pulling away from you after a year when he has been irresponsible sexually to the point of becoming HIV+.  First, know that an HIV+ diagnosis is not the death sentence it was 30 – 35 years ago.  There are excellent medications that can keep it in check, making it more of a chronic illness.  And unless our 45th President takes it away, the government has helped fund insurance and medications for people with HIV+/AIDS.  For those readers who prefer to reduce the risk of HIV, please use condoms, and there is a medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/index.htmlin a daily pill.  Check with your doctor about this.

It’s a fact that Will has pulled away and there is not a lot you can do.  It only takes one  to end a friendship or romantic relationship.  You leave messages, but he doesn’t respond.  Clearly, he is going through some changes and he isn’t sharing what those are.  Maybe he believes he is protecting you?  Maybe he is protecting himself?  Maybe he can’t process these things within himself, much less with anyone else.  Try to remember that this is about him.  He is running away, emotionally and/or physically.   He is not be able to converse and hear your  emotions or judgment in your voice. Talking can move too fast, spilling out words not carefully thought out, possibly causing further damage to your friendship.

Try writing him a letter or email that he can read when he is ready, so he can read and reread alone as much as he needs and wants.  Let him know you miss him and that you are concerned for him.  If you can, let him know you aren’t judging his variety of changed behaviors.  Let him know you are there for him, to listen to and support him in this challenging time.

The bottom line here is that he has pulled away from your friendship.  He is allowed to do that.  And there may be consequences to any friendship when one person disappears.    If you used to visit each other’s homes on a regular basis, maybe stop by, and leave a card if he doesn’t answer the door.  Don’t hound him as he seems to need more space, more time.

Keep him in your thoughts, send him love and light, and remember the good times you shared.  When he is able, he may return.  And if he returns, remember that he already is a very changed person.  Meanwhile, take care of you and lean on other friends.

Take care,
Christine Cantrell, PhD,

Licensed Psychologist

Dear Christine, Nevous in Novi

  • Posted on December 17, 2018 at 10:45 am

Dear Christine, Not sure what to do here. I have a good friend who has been driving drunk. She has come to my house barely able to walk yet she drove and has also shown up places where I knew she was too drunk to drive. After she shows up, we make sure she gets a ride or is sober before we let her go but how can we stop her when we are not there? I have told her the next time I catch her driving drunk, I am going to call the police and turn her in. I’m afraid she’s going to kill someone. I have no idea how many other times she’s driving drunk either. My knowledge of this makes me feel like I need to do something. What? Thanks! Dear Nervous, I checked two resources to answer this question: The Berkley Police Department, Deputy Chief Bob Narth and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) contact, Elvira Anderson. The police give the short answer that if you know or suspect someone is driving drunk, call the town police office where the person is driving and ask for the shift officer and give a description of the vehicle and…

Dear Christine, Lean in Lansing

  • Posted on December 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm

I’ve been living with my girlfriend for about six months and we dated for about a year before that and I’m a person who struggles with their weight. I’m about 40 pounds overweight my girlfriend is thin and she can eat anything she wants… very frustrating! So, our schedules work out so that she makes dinner three nights a week I make dinner three nights a week and we go out to dinner once a week. The problem that I’m having with her and she knows I try to avoid bread but on her night to cook dinner she makes like a big plate of lasagna with garlic bread and there’s always dessert.  Bread and sugar and desserts are my weakness and I’ve asked her to please consider the fact that I’m trying to lose weight but it doesn’t change anything. And then sometimes when it’s her time to cook dinner she gets busy and says let’s go out to dinner instead. We’re going out to dinner I mean even if you eat a salad you know there’s a lotta calories in that. So I’ve been struggling with my weight since we’ve lived together I’m starting to gain weight. I know it’s on me, I know I should have will power, and even if she makes lasagna maybe I could watch my portions, maybe I could say no to the desert, but when it is there in front of me I can’t help myself. When I lived alone I didn’t keep bread in the house. I kept lean chicken fish meat fruits and vegetables in the house and I was doing OK. I have gained 10 pounds. Is there a way to convince her or do I just have to find will power myself? If I have to find the will power, how do I do it?

Signed, Lean in Lansing

Dear Lean,

My wife isa lifetime member of Weight Watchers and every few years goes back to meetings and weighs and measures her portions, and cuts up a great many vegetables.  She has successfully lost weight each time.  She does most of the cooking for us and has told me over the years how much she appreciates my support in her investing in that healthier style of eating.  What is not to support?  It is healthier, and we both benefit.  I no longer can afford to graze as I please, though for many years I did. I would change my eating style to match hers, and if I wanted bread or pasta, I would get a carry out lunch when she wasn’t around.

The question is about what kind of relationship do you have?  Are you both able to take care of your own self first and foremost, and with what is left over, support the other in their goals?  It’s great for her that she can eat anything and not gain weight.  But you can’t!  Is she willing to modify her cooking for your health?  It might require to learn some new recipes and if you’re into lean meats and vegetables, learning more about spices and herbs can enhance meals that have less fat and starch.

Have a conversation about both of your needs and how you can support each other in healthy goals. Take some time to check out some cookbooks, go shopping for produce and lean meats together and go to Penzey’s Spices on line, or the store on 13 Mile at Southfield.  Planning, shopping and cooking new things might spice up your relationship!  Check out these on line resources as well.  https://www.penzeys.com/shop/recipes/   https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/article/weight-watchers-most-popular-recipes

Good luck to you both!

Christine C Cantrell, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

Dear Christine, Dying to Not Know in Dundee

  • Posted on December 3, 2018 at 10:12 am

Dear Christine, Everything seems outwardly fun in my relationship I’ve been with my partner Marc for over 10 years but the other day I saw his phone and it was buzzing in there was a text message from a guy and it was definitely sexually explicit and it sounds like there something going on because I was being a little nosy I didn’t say anything I’m afraid to say anything because everything is going so great and I’m afraid if I say something it’ll be true I don’t want to break the status quo yet. I have to know I think. Dying to Not Know in Dundee Dear Dying, The Washington Post has a phrase at the top of its masthead that applies here:  “Democracy dies in darkness”.  And relationships die in darkness too.  So, you say there’s “outward fun” in your decade together with John, but I would appear that under that cover of fun is a different story. What kind of relationship do you really want?  One where he sneaks around and has sexting going on on the side?  And in which you are “being nosy”?  Right now, you have a Schroedinger’s Cat Paradox relationship.  As long as…

Dear Christine, Heart Broken in Holly

  • Posted on November 25, 2018 at 11:59 am

Dear Christine, I love her, but she assures me it’s over. She calls sometimes and makes plans with me and then cancels on short notice. I always get my hopes up and then I feel like shit when she does this. What should I do? What should I say to her? I do want to be friends with her but she makes that so hard, because everything has to be when she’s got time for me and then she cancels anyway. Heart Broken in Holly Dear Heart Broken, Oprah Winfrey once said “when people tell you who they are, listen to them.” If your ex still calls and makes plans and cancels abruptly, but insists it’s over, then believe the “it’s over” part of that. Words are easy, actions tell the truth. I hear that you are hurting and miss her, and that you feel like you are occasionally fit into her busy life, and hope keeps rising up, only to be dashed again. I imagine it’s not the description of the relationship you had with her, or that you would want with anyone. You can only make a choice for yourself here. Choose for it to be over. You…