How DID I GET Here? Understanding And Coping With Life's Unexpected Turns -- With  BARBARA DE ANGELIS, PH.D.
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May 5th, 9:15 PM, ET

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Power Surge Live! Guest Chat
Thursday, May. 5, 9:15 PM (ET), 6:15 PM (PT)  

How *DID* I GET Here?

Read more about Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D.

Renowned Relationship Expert
TV / Radio Personality
Author Of
Finding Your Way to Renewed Hope and Happiness
When Life and Love Take Unexpected Turns
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Join us Thursday, May 5th, 9:00 PM (ET)
(The chat begins at 9:15)
Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D.
discusses her latest book,
Finding Your Way to Renewed Hope and Happiness
When Life and Love Take Unexpected Turns

FREE copies of
How Did I GET Here?
will be given away at the chat.

Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D. is one of the most influential relationship experts of our time. For the past 25 years, she has reached millions of people with her positive messages about love, happiness and the search for meaning in our lives. In 1994, she wrote and produced the award-winning TV infomercial, "Making Love Work." Barbara also has written regularly for numerous magazines, hosted her own television and radio shows, and has appeared weekly on CNN. She's been on Oprah, Donahue, Leeza and Geraldo. Barbara is a popular television personality, and the author of fourteen best-selling books, including How To Make Love All The Time and the #1 New York Times blockbusters, Are You The One For Me? and Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know were on the NY Times bestseller list for months. " Ask Barbara, Secrets About Life Every Woman Should Know, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, Chicken Soup For The Couple's Soul.

Barbara returns to Power Surge to discuss her newest book -- How Did I Get Here? Finding Your Way to Renewed Hope and Happiness When Life and Love Take Unexpected Turns. All of us find ourselves at one time or another, facing the unexpected and thinking, "How did I get here?" Whether because of disappointments in love, crises in health, family or finances, professional dissatisfaction, or events beyond our control. In her new book, Dr. De Angelis illustrates how life's challenges bring people to emotional and spiritual crossroads. People feel a longing to somehow make sense of everything, to take control of their lives however possible, to find peace and inspriation wherever it resides. Often, however, disappointment and disbelief keep many individuals "stuck" in places that are supposed to be temorary -- trapped in the past or stagnating in the present. "Lingering too long in this gap," Barbara De Angelis explains, "may lead to a turning off of the erotic self, a feeling of nagging discontent, and a loss of a sense of purpose in life."

Read the transcript of Barbara's first visit to Power Surge

Thursday, May. 5th at 9 PM (ET) in
Power Surge Live! Chat
( you must register for the chat room even if
you're registered on the message boards )

FREE copies of
How Did I GET Here?
will be given away at the chat.


Read the transcript here

Relationship Tips from Dr. Barbara De Angelis


Q.) My husband and I have been married for eighteen years, and are more like best friends than lovers. We have sex very infrequently, and have settled into what I would call a "comfortable" relationship. There’s a part of me that longs for that passionate emotional connection we used to have, but many of my friends tell me I’m being unrealistic, and that all couples feel this way after years of marriage. Am I expecting too much?

A.) Don't buy into the popular but misinformed attitude that losing romantic attraction to your partner is an inevitable part of marriage. That's like saying becoming unhealthy and having a heart attack is an inevitable part of growing older. Are heart attacks common? Yes--but now we know they are preventable IF you take good care of your body. In the same way, just because it's common for many couples to lose the passion in their relationship over time doesn't mean it is natural. It all depends on how you take care of your relationship.

Relationships don't just lose their chemistry overnight. It takes years of neglect, not making the marriage a number one priority, not talking about your needs, not resolving and healing hidden resentments, and not actively learning how to make love work. All these unhealthy emotional habits are what takes a couple from feeling "in love" to feeling like roommates.

I strongly believe that you do deserve to have a marriage that grows in love, passion and connection year after year. Is this realistic, even in an eighteen year relationship? Yes...IF both partners decide to do what it takes to rekindle the passion and learn some of the skills you were never taught about successful loving. Start by sitting down with your partner, taking his hands, and telling him how much you miss the physical and emotional closeness you used to share. (Believe me, he misses it too!) Without blaming him, tell him you want to work towards transforming your "comfortable " relationship into one that is intimate and exciting. Tell him he deserves more than he's getting, as you do. When you both recommit to learning how to love, and use some of the skills I teach in my books and programs, you’ll find renewed levels of communication, closeness and excitement.


Q.) I just found out that my husband of fifteen years has been cheating on me. I've suspected this for a while, but wasn't sure until a friend confessed that she knew about it. I confronted him with the information, but he still totally denies it. Should I try to keep my family together and hope he will get over this?

A.) What do you hope that your husband will "get over"-- His total disrespect for your feelings, his flagrant dishonesty, his moral weakness, his selfishness, his denial or his lack of morality? Wake up and face the facts! Not only is he having an affair and breaking your marriage vows, but when confronted, he doesn’t even have the courage and decency to tell you the truth! He is treating you like dirt. You know it, and he knows it.

Here’s the real question you should be asking yourself: "Why do I want to stay with a man who is behaving in this disgusting manner towards me? Why do I want to remain married to someone who obviously doesn’t care enough about me to be honest? " Remember--affairs are symptoms of relationship already in trouble. Even before the infidelity, I have no doubt that there have been some significant problems in your marriage, whether you acknowledged them or not. So ask yourself, is this marriage as it truly is , not as you wish it would be, worth saving? Or has it been over for a while, and you just haven’t admitted it to yourself.

Most woman have such deeply rooted issues about abandonment that we often instinctively try to cling on to the man in our life, regardless of how he treats us or how unhealthy our relationship might be. Our fear of loss overrides our fear of being hurt or humiliated. Thus, we stay with men we should leave, put up with behavior we shouldn’t tolerate, and feel we will be successful if we "keep the marriage together", even if that marriage is totally dysfunctional.

I think, in part, this is what’s happening to you. You speak about "keeping your family together." So I ask you, what does that really mean? That you all get to live in the same house, even though your heart is broken? That none of your friends or family will think there is a problem because there won’t be an "official separation"? That your kids will mistakenly believe everything is fine as long as Daddy doesn’t move out, even though Daddy’s out screwing someone else?? That’s not my idea of "together." What you are describing is called "denial."

If you want to be a good mother to your children, and a loving caretaker to your own inner self, you will inform your husband that he has to move out immediately--no discussion, no excuses, no negotiation. By lying and cheating, he has lost his right to live with you as his wife and live in the house as part of the family. Perhaps being kicked out will wake him up out of his stupor and help him to see the light. If this occurs, he confesses the truth, and begs for another chance, you can consider the possibility that you may be able to resurrect your relationship only under the following conditions:



  1. You and your partner physically separate immediately. If you wish to stay in your home, he should be the one who must leave.

  2. If he wants another chance, he must immediately break off all contact with his mistress--no phone calls, no letters, nothing.

  3. He must immediately enter intensive therapy in order to determine why he had the affair, to understand what problems within himself and the marriage caused him to cheat.

  4. You must also immediately enter intensive therapy in order to determine why you ignored the warning signs of his infidelity for so long, to deal with your feelings of anger and betrayal , and to take an honest look at the relationship.

  5. If after some time, you both feel you are seeing your relationship through new eyes, and think there might be a chance for reconciliation, you will need to enter intensive therapy together.

  6. If after undergoing intensive therapy together, you both feel you have learned enough to understand how your relationship fell apart, and feel willing to try again, you will need to start from the beginning. YOU CANNOT GO BACK TO THE OLD RELATIONSHIP. IT IS DEAD. IT FAILED. YOU MUST START FROM SCRATCH, BUILDING A NEW RELATIONSHIP JUST AS ANY COUPLE DOES.

This means you continue living apart and begin to date, getting to know one another again. You have new ground rules, new goals for yourselves individually and for the relationship, and new skills with which to create healthy communication and intimacy. You take it slowly, and see how it goes.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to follow these guidelines if you wish to salvage a relationship that has ended in infidelity. And I know how difficult it may sound, and how much courage you will need to stick to your resolve when your husband is crying and pleading with you to forgive him, but don’t give in. The only chance you have of experiencing a true and complete healing on this issue is to see the situation as it truly is, and to start treating yourself with the love and respect you would hope one day to receive from the man you love.



Q.) My boyfriend and I know we need some counseling, but we’ve had several disappointing experiences with therapists in the past. One man we went to just sat there and let us do all the talking, so we never got any concrete help, and the last counselor we tried gave us long lists of rules for how we should behave and communicate, but never seemed to get to why we were having problems in the first place. How can we make sure we aren’t wasting our time, or worse, getting ripped off?

A.) Be very, very careful when choosing a therapist. Just as an excellent therapist can help you experience tremendous personal healing, and guide you in creating a strong and healthy relationship, a poor or even mediocre therapist can make your relationship even worse by not dealing with the underlying issues, giving bad advice or refusing to take a stand against toxic behavior that, if left unidentified, may ultimately destroy your love. I’m sure I’m going to ruffle some feathers by saying this, but here goes: Simply acquiring a degree and license doesn’t necessarily mean a person is a "qualified" therapist. They may be according to the laws of their state, but on a personal level they may be inept, lacking in sensitivity or unable to translate what they’ve read to the lives of real people.

Part of the problem is that most people don’t know what they should expect to receive from their work with a counselor or therapist. Like you and your friend, they walk in to someone’s office who they assume knows more than they do, and accept what happens at face value. So if your therapist just sits there listening and nodding, and once in a while asks "How did that make you feel?" , or "What did that bring up for you?", while you do most of the talking, your session ends, you pay your $100 or $150, walk out and think to yourself, "So...that’s therapy. I guess it takes a long time to make progress." What a joke!! Why not make a tape recording of those questions, listen to it for an hour and save yourself the money!

I’ll never forget the person who called my radio show in Los Angeles wondering if his therapy was working. When I asked what went on during the sessions, this gentleman reported that he would talk about his life, his feelings, and his concerns, and then his therapist would ask "What do you think is going on?" Then this guy would talk some more until the therapist would repeat his question. "Here’s my advice, " I told the man. "The next time this therapist asks you what you think is going on, say ‘If I knew, I wouldn’t be here, would I? You’re the therapist. I’m paying you to tell me what’s going on."

Imagine that you had terrible stomach pains, and went to see your doctor. He asked you to describe your symptoms, and then says "What do you think it is?" , and then charged you $200. You’d walk out of the office, wouldn’t you? After all, that’s why you went to a doctor--he’s supposed to figure out what’s wrong and help you fix it. A therapist is supposed to know more than you do about yourself, your relationships and your emotional patterns. It’s his or her job to enlighten you, not your job to do his work for him.

Here are some guidelines for choosing an effective therapist:


  1. Make sure the relationship you have with your therapist creates the warmth and caring you need to feel safe enough to do the healing you want to do. Much of the emotional baggage you have came from not feeling loved, cared for or understood by family or lovers. Be careful not to choose a therapist who is part of your pattern., and treats you with the same coldness, lack of respect or indifference as one of your parents or your ex-spouse. I believe that love is the greatest healer of all and in an atmosphere of love (expressed appropriately of course) you will find it easy to open up and explore the innermost regions of your heart.

  2. Make sure your therapist has done the emotional work you are attempting to do. The best therapist is the one whose life is dedicated to personal transformation, and has been actively growing and healing him or herself. It doesn’t matter how many books someone has read, research papers he’s written, or conferences he’s attended--if he’s in a continual process of working on himself, he will naturally know how to motivate you, inspire you, be compassionate and help you open the doors in your mind and heart that have been closed. You’d be surprised how many professionals in the mental health field totally avoid processing their own emotions and doing any experiential work whatsoever. Good therapy isn’t about theory--it’s a combination of applied understanding and emotional healing. How can someone take you somewhere he’s not willing to go?

  3. Make sure your therapist focuses both on exploring and healing the causes of unwanted behavioral and emotional patterns, and on giving you concrete action steps you can take in your every day life to break your unhealthy love habits and discover new, healthier ways of approaching the same old issues. It’s not enough to analyze your past--you need to unlearn behaviors that don’t work for you, and learn ones that do. A good therapist will give you "homework" to help you integrate your internal breakthroughs with your external life.

  4. Make sure you are experiencing value from sessions with your therapist from the beginning. It’s absurd to believe that you need to wait until you’ve had ten or twenty sessions with a therapist before you should experience positive results in your life. When people ask me how soon they should expect to experience insight or breakthroughs in therapy, my answer is "During the first session!" If you don’t hear something valuable, feel something revealing or learn something useful, what is the point of the time and money you are spending?

I’m not suggesting that you should experience miraculous changes in your life or relationship after just one counseling session, but if you don’t experience something positive that grows with each new appointment, perhaps your therapist is moving too slowly. Some therapists tend to act like professional babysitters, compassionately listening to your complaints , but never really stretching you to a new level of awareness. And some clients like saying "I’m in therapy", because it looks like they’re working on themselves, when in truth, they’ve chosen a therapist who is more of a confidante than a true healer. But if you’re serious about transformation, find someone who is serious about helping you to transform, NOW.

How do you find a therapist with some of these qualifications? You can find friends or colleagues who have had success with a therapist and ask them for a referral, or call other professionals such as your physician, whom you trust. Ask about the therapist’s style and manner, and see if it matches what you’re looking for. When you contact the therapist, let him or her know that you want to talk on the phone or in person before booking your first appointment, in order to determine whether or not you feel comfortable. Tell the therapist what kind of therapy you’re interested in. i.e., someone who will push you, someone who will give you homework, someone who won’t just sit there, etc. Don’t be shy about asking questions, and listen carefully to the answers you receive. You’ll know if this person feels right or not. During your first session, reiterate your needs, and remember--it’s your session and your money. ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED.

Finally, remember that a therapist cannot solve your problems for you or heal you or your pain. Only you can heal yourself. Your therapist can be a loving guide who can help you travel through your own emotional jungles in safety, and can show you the road to personal freedom.



Q.) I feel like I’m always competing with my husbands job. He’s an attorney, and works sixty to seventy hours a week, not to mention most weekends, which doesn’t leave much time for me and our two boys. When I complain, he argues out that he’s doing this for us, and points to our lifestyle, which I have to admit, is very luxurious--we have a beautiful home, a boat, a vacation cabin (which we hardly use), and all the money we need. The only thing missing is him! He blows up when I call him a workaholic, and tells me I’m being ungrateful. Is he right? How can I convince him to pay attention to us?

A.) You’re not’re just lonely, and with good cause. You can’t snuggle up to a check book, or hold hands with a shares of stock, and neither can your kids. I have a saying: Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb. It’s not something you have, like a house or a car. It is not a piece of paper that proves you are husband and wife. Marriage is a behavior. It is a choice you make over and over again, reflected in the way you treat your partner every day.

Men tend to define themselves by what they are doing, rather than what they are feeling, and so it’s no surprise that your husband has gotten caught up in the "doing more must mean I’m successful" mentality. That’s the way society, and perhaps his family background, has trained him. He may feel like he’s on a treadmill, running as fast as he can, and he doesn’t know how to stop. Along with this, he may have other unconscious emotional reasons for working so hard. Some workaholics actually use their busyness to avoid intimacy and to maintain a sense of control over their lives. After all, it’s probably easier for your husband to feel in control when he’s doing business than it is for when he’s interacting with you and your children, and dealing in emotions, needs, and all that amorphous stuff.

Here are a few of my favorite methods to wake up workaholic partners. Whether or not these approaches are effective will depend on how addicted your mate is to the illusion of power and control that work gives him.


  1. Give him some perspective: Have him close his eyes and imagine that he’s at the end of his life, on his death bed. As he looks back on his life, ask him to share what moments will have made his life truly meaningful, what , in the end, will really matter to him? You can bet he won’t say "I can die happily because I closed ten big deals in 1997," or "I feel content with my life because I owned a 5000 square foot house, " or even "I feel at peace because I left my children a lot of money. " No, the moments that really matter, the moments that will have filled his life with meaning will be moments of love, connection, and sharing. I call these "real moments," and he probably isn’t having enough of them because he’s too busy doing the things he has decided are more important. Tell him you want to share more meaningful time with him.

  2. Use fear to scare him into slowing down. Sometimes, this is the only thing that works to snap a guy out of his workaholic stupor. Ask him how he would spend his time if he knew he had only one month left to live. (Trust me, he won’t say "I’d work like a dog for twelve hours a day." ) Then, remind him of some men he knows of who have died at his age, either accidentally or of natural causes. The truth is, we never know if a day , or a month , or a year will be our last. We live as if we have all the time in the world, and we don’t. Share this anonymous quote with him:

    "First I was dying to finish high school and start college.
    And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
    And then I was dying to marry and have children.
    And then I was dying for my kids to grow up.
    And then I was dying to retire.
    And now, I am dying, and suddenly I realize,
    I forgot to live..."

  3. Use guilt as a last resort. Ask him to imagine what his children will say about him when they are grown. Does he really think they will look back on their childhood as happy because of their big house and expensive toys, and not care that they hardly say their father? Does he really think that now, they don’t care that he is hardly ever around? All children really want is to feel they matter, that they are important to us. The toys and treats may buy the children’s silence now, but when they grow up, they won’t even remember what he bought them--they’ll only say "I hardly knew my Dad." And they will wish he hadn’t sacrificed " for their sakes" , because whatever he leaves them will never be as valuable as the cherished memory of a good-night story, a game of catch or the sight of Mommy and Daddy snuggled close together on the couch. Warning: Have tissues ready before trying this tactic.



Q.)  After surviving a very bitter divorce and custody battle for my children, I finally met a wonderful man who is everything my ex-husband wasn’t. He’s kind, open and willing to talk about everything. Our problem is that his ex-wife left him for his best friend, so he’s afraid to trust love again, and so am I. How can we leave the past behind us and make this new relationship work?

A.)  First of all, Congratulations!! You are faced with what I call a "high class problem", a problem that looks like a problem, but is really a great situation with some challenges attached to it. In essence, what you’re asking is, "How can my partner and I get rid of the fear in our relationship so we can love fully?" That’s a wonderful question to be able to ask. So the first step is for you and your sweetheart to remind yourselves that you’ve worked very hard to get to this place. Before you get too intense about climbing your next mountain, take a moment to stop and really celebrate how far you’ve both come to finally have found a healthy relationship.

OK, now , back to the fear. I’m going to say something that might sound strange--a little fear isn’t such a bad thing for you and your boyfriend to will keep you on your toes and force you to pay attention. I’ll bet if you and he look back on your failed marriages, you will notice that you didn’t pay attention to warning signs, problems, conflicts, unfulfilled needs, and all kinds of stuff. Eventually, it was precisely what you weren’t paying attention to that sabotaged your relationships, right? You didn’t treat those relationships carefully enough. So here you are with a new, wonderful partner, and you’re both scared of making mistakes again, and a little reluctant to just blindly trust. I say, that’s great! It’s about time! You should be afraid of making mistakes, all of us should. You should be careful to make sure your needs get met. You should be paying very close attention, because the more you pay attention to your relationship, the better it will be.

Do you get my point? It’s like someone who carelessly used a sharp knife and cut herself badly. The next time you pick up the knife to use it, you are afraid. You respect it’s power much more, as well you should. A relationship is like that--a powerful tool that can be used to help us or hurt us, and I feel not enough people respect that tool.

Here’s something practical you can do to help. Each of you should make a "Relationship Mistake List." Go back and honestly assess your former relationship from the very beginning to the end. Write down every mistake YOU made. EXAMPLE: "Let my ex-husband talk me out of my feelings, and then stuffed my resentment, " ; "Didn’t ask for what I wanted in bed, and felt dissatisfied." Don’t be surprised at how long these lists are. Share yours with your partner, and have him share his. Talk about each item. Then, together, come up with a new "Relationship Rule" for each old mistake, and write these down. EXAMPLE: "When I disagree with something my partner does or says, I will express my feelings, even if it causes tension between us." , or "I will let my partner know what I enjoy sexually so he doesn’t have to guess."

The point of this exercise is two fold: First, it will help you understand that your prior relationships didn’t just go bad. There were specific unhealthy behaviors and love habits that caused the relationships to fail. Second, by paying attention to these unhealthy love habits, and committing on paper to new, healthy behavioral choices, you have a great chance of avoiding the old mistakes and getting hurt again. Throw in some good books, tapes or seminars on making relationships work, and you will have a great foundation to go forward into this new romance with excitement, enthusiasm, and high hopes.



Q.) I have a terrible, dark secret that I’ve kept from my husband for seven years, because I’m too ashamed to tell him. My secret is that I was sexually abused by my step-father from the age of six to fourteen. I met my husband when I was seventeen, and we got married right out of high school. We have a good marriage, but I suspect that a lot of my problems, particularly in bed, stem from the abuse. I’m terrified that my husband will hate me for lying to him all these years, or worse, will think I’m a bad, dirty person. Do I need to tell him about my past? If I don’t, will it hurt our marriage?

A.) There is an old saying, "We are only as sick as the secrets we keep." You have been carrying this secret inside of your heart all your life, and the shame you feel is, as you suspect, hurting your ability to give and receive love in your marriage. A long term sexually abusive relationship creates an enormous emotional wound in a person, not only because of the sexual violation, but because of the fear, powerlessness, loss of control, and guilt you experienced. You may have been told by your stepfather that you were a bad girl, or that people would believe you were bad if they knew what you’d done. And his voice is still in your head, preventing you from reaching out to your husband for the unconditional love and acceptance you so desperately need.

You are not bad. You are not dirty. You are a victim of a deeply disturbed man who violated you sexually, emotionally and spiritually. He thought he won, but in fact, he lost, because you went on to marry a good person who loves you deeply. I’m proud of you--you transcended enough of your shame to feel you deserved a wonderful husband, and you found him! Believe me, that’s much more happiness than many victims of sexual abuse allow themselves to have. Now, you’re ready for your next step--to trust your husband enough to know he will love you in spite of your past.

I know it’s very frightening to think of letting your husband into that dark room inside your heart. But I’ll bet you anything that he knows it’s there, and has been trying to get in so that he can help free you from your emotional prison. In fact, you will probably be surprised to see how relieved he is when you tell him the cause of your pain. and that is has nothing to do with him. He’s probably been worrying that you don’t love him as much he loves you, or are somehow turned off by him. Once he understands what you’ve been going through, he can offer you the support and strength you need to conquer this demon. And herein lies the key to your true healing--trusting a man who doesn’t betray you, and who won’t let you down will allow that part of you to open up again. The truth will set you free.

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Read one of Medical Director, Dr. Aaron Tabor's transcripts

Ask the Soy Doctor

 'For natural, bioidentical hormones, Pete Hueseman and Bellevue Pharmacy Solutions

Why put your body through the rigors of adjusting to the "one-size-fits-all" HRT when naturally compounded, bio-identical hormones can be tailor-made to your body's needs?

Read Pete Hueseman's, most recent transcript about natural, bio identical hormones.

Ask The Pharmacist

Also, read Paul Hueseman, PharmD's transcript
on bio-identical hormones

Educate Your Body!

If you haven't already done so, why not check out our extensive Educate Your Body area. There you will be able to read articles on midlife issues, as well as answers to commonly asked questions such as:

What Is Menopause?
The 34 Signs of Menopause
What's A Hot Flash?
Thinning or Losing Hair?
Why Bioidentical Hormones?
Have High Cholesterol?
Menopause And Your Sex Life
The Benefits of Soy
Menopause And The Mind
Coping With Hypertension?
Take Off / Keep Off Weight!
Selecting A Practitioner
Adrenal Fatique
Depression Facts And Help
Menopause and Migraines!
Fibroids FAQ
Many More Articles...

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