Relationship Advice Tips from Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

psychotherapy for chronic unhappiness with life West Los Angeles

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Do you get upset when your future doesn’t match your expectations?

Have you been working on your goals so that you will be content and happy, yet not enjoying the fruits of your labor?

Maybe you put your money in the chemistry between you and your loved one. Perhaps you bet on the fact that if you do all the work in the relationship you will be rewarded. Or you may have had a vision that if you behave in the exact opposite way to your parents then you will be spared their rotten relationship.

So why hasn’t it worked?

Why are you getting more and more stressed that your efforts are getting you nowhere fast?

Because the investment is probably in the wrong direction!

psychotherapy for stress related unhappiness west los angeles 

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Take the example of Krystal who owned her own business, bought a house and was well on the way to achieving the goals she set for herself by the time she was thirty. The one thing left was husband, children and acceptance in a respectable neighborhood. But none of it made her happy, excited or content. None of it was fast enough, or good enough. There was no joy in getting and achieving; only an urgent drive to get and do more better.

The dream partner came along but Krystal didn’t enjoy him

Frank was gentle and supportive, affectionate and making his own money. He said nice things, wanted to be with her and enjoy hanging out. He cared about her smoking 2 packs a day. He was concerned about her lack of sleep and her poor eating habits. He wanted to take her to the theater and fancy restaurants, but she never had the time or the inclination. It just didn’t feel the same as working hard to get to the top and prove her worth. Frank wanted to give her massages, treat her to Spa treatments and spoil her with breakfast in bed. But it didn’t make Krystal happy.

psychotherapy for relationship problems west los angeles 

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Krystal was invested on pleasing someone else, not her dream partner

There was no rest for Krystal who spent her childhood trying to avoid her father’s wrath. Keeping herself on the move and never being satisfied with her own actions was the only way she could shield herself from her father’s bitter lashing tongue. Better she chide herself than be the victim of her father’s merciless ways.

In her adult life Krystal couldn’t take complements, hearing them as insincere. She couldn’t accept apologies, as it was inconceivable that anyone could care about her feelings. Krystal heard empathic comments of understanding and sympathy as more fodder for her to do better, try harder and keep striving for some ideal. When her boyfriend Frank encouraged her to ease up she heard it as interfering with her sacred goals.

psychotherapy for problems accepting praise and compliments west los angeles 

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Krystal responded to the cracking of the whip not tenderness and care

Krystal was not soft, gentle or empathic with herself. She had taken on her father’s critical voice and made that her own. She used it to whip herself into a state of permanent stress and was unable to enjoy what she had done, usually very well. Her criteria for success was that of her father’s – it was just never good enough!

Krystal didn’t feel good about having to choose between working and Frank.

Krystal’s mistake was being invested in a past negative relationship

She was invested in trying to please that father of hers who could never be pleased. She was now doing to herself what her father used to do – making her work and work without stopping to notice the accomplishments, get praise, enjoy the success and feel good about life.

psychotherapy for relationship success west los angeles 

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Investing in a current healthy relationship will make Krystal happy for good!

Investing in the present, in who she is, not who her father wanted her to be will make her happy. Taking the time to invest in Frank who is a loving and accepting person will help Krystal feel safer and more secure. When she lets herself believe that her worth is not in material things like houses and money but in her own loving nature then she will be able to balance out work, love, play and achievement. She will be able to use Frank’s support to build a scaffold that involves partnership and mutual success.


Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.


Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Jeanette Raymond for any reactions you may have when reading the article or implementing any suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.