Viewer questions this week address intimacy, sex, sibling bullying and dating after a breakup. I cannot stress enough the importance of learning to take care of you first and foremost. When you value yourself, you extend your value to your relationships. Although it is true you cannot change others, the changes you make within yourself can.
Dear Mary Jo,
When you’re married and your sex is bad does that mean the relationship is over?
Your relationship is not necessarily over, but it does demand attention. Sex is the number two reason couples get divorced. Intimacy and sex are important to your physical and emotional health as well. Bad sex is usually correlated with poor communication and poor health. If you and your husband are willing to talk about what is going on and seek the help of a specialized treatment team, including a counselor, urologist and/ or gynecologist, you can have a treatment plan and improve your intimacy and sex. I believe every marriage can be saved if both partners are willing to work for it!
Dear Mary Jo,
I just read your article, “When Sibling Rivalry Becomes Bullying.” I have put up with being bullied by my sister for 50 years! I can’t take it anymore. I stopped contact with her 2 years ago and now she is calling step-family to get at me that way. What can I do?
Families who bully one another are not healthy families. Don’t try to fit in with toxic family members. Here are a few tips that will help.
- Find love and support from friends and create a new healthy family for you and your children.
- Accept the situation and don’t try to control or work behind the scenes to win. Your siblings are trying to get attention or be most loved. This is insecurity on their part.
- Invest in your own family; your children and your husband. Put your focus on them, and as much as possible leave your toxic family alone.
- Remind yourself that people who are toxic have followers who are miserable. They need drama and gossip to make life worthwhile. This is a sad situation…why would you want to be part of that?
Dear Mary Jo,
How long after a breakup would you say one should start dating?
It depends on how invested and intimate you were in the relationship. If you were dating for less than a year, you should wait a month or two before getting involved with someone new. If you were with someone, exclusive and intimate, I would suggest you wait six months to a year. Taking a break from dating allows you time to get to know yourself again, and to rebuild emotional scars you may have from the relationship. A break from dating will also give you time to better understand what part you played in the breakup, making you less vulnerable to repeating the cycle. In order to attract the best partner you have to feel confident and sure of yourself. You’ll know when you are ready.