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Frequently Asked Questions

All questions are answered by Larry James. When you are finished with this page, follow the links listed after the Q & A to go back to "FAQ Topics" or to read the "next" question and answer.

Q I have been reading your book "How to Really Love the One You're With."

I am in a real tough place. I lost my job 5 1/2 months ago. I am experiencing the challenge of finding a good job. I am almost 41 years old. I am in a real pinch financially, I have exhausted my resources and I stand in danger of loosing my house and everything else. I have a daughter, 17 years old, she lives with her mother.

I have been involved in a relationship for 16 months. I met a woman almost 18 months ago through a mutual friend. She was about to go through a divorce, we started as friends, it became much more. We developed a friendship that grew to be a strong love. I offered strength, when I had it to give, now I am in a state of extreme disarray. I have no real strength to lend. Our relationship is truly in a tough place.

We enjoy a close connection; one we both have never experienced in our entire lives. She states she loves me more than she has ever loved anyone and that this is the best relationship she has ever had. But she recently told me she needed to concentrate on getting through this fight she has on her hands.

She is divorced now. Her ex-husband left and promised to take care of her and their two children ages 5 and 7. He has the means to live up to his promise and he chooses not to. She is fighting for herself and her children's future. She will not be able to keep the house or enjoy the lifestyle she has enjoyed for 8 years. She states she doesn't know where she will live. I have grown very close to her children and to her. She states when she is in the loving part of our relationship, she doesn't want to fight this battle.

It is difficult to face this and give the love to our relationship. She has asked for time and space. We still stay in contact, just not close to the level we have enjoyed. I am having an increasingly tough time with this. I unfortunately gave her the ultimatum push. I know this isn't healthy and doesn't work.

I bought your book, and I have read other sources on with topics on "Unconditional Love." I am working to grow into this. She has always loved me unconditionally; she still does. She hasn't abandoned me, she just doesn't have the energy for a relationship now. What she needs is for me to be a friend. She has faith that what will be will be. I am trying to grow and have his same faith, its difficult.

This is truly a dark place for me, I continue to search for work. I am taking ownership for my challenges and trying to keep the debt hounds at bay. I have no health insurance so I have visited the local mental health department for help and have a counseling session scheduled for this week.

I have always embraced talking to a professional and I have actively visited someone for the better part of 7-8 years as needed. This is a request for help from you for me. I have never contacted anyone like this previously. I felt I must after reading your book and attempting to grow through your insights to a person that loves her unconditionally.

A Many years ago, I was where you are now. I understand your frustration and anxiety. Anxiety is your friend. It calls attention to the options you have open; to the new choices that are available to you.

In times like these, you must first set your priorities and make some personal sacrifices. YOUR family, not the relationship with your girlfriend, comes first. Your work is second and the relationship you have with your friend is third.

I would guess that you must be caring financially for your daughter. You can only do that my maintaining focus on finding work.

Your friend has requested time and space. Give it to her. Be the friend she needs. I would recommend that you let her know that you are aware that, in hindsight, ultimatums do not work and apologize for the one you gave her. Let her know that you love her and will be there for her when she needs you. To push for anything more will only push her further away.

She needs to allow the law to help with her situation. If her ex-husband is in a financial position to help her and her divorce decree dictates alimony, she should contact her attorney and pursue her legal rights and remedies.

Just in case you both ever consider living together without the benefit of marriage, I would not recommend it. Your home is a school. What lesson does this teach your children?

Communicate with your creditors. Let them know that you acknowledge that you are responsible for your debts and request that they work with you. Credit counseling might help. I would suggest that you contact your local Chamber of Commerce, look in the Yellow Pages or ask your therapist for a referral. This service is often offered at no cost. The very worse thing you could do would be to "avoid" their phone calls, etc. They need to hear from you no less than once each week, even if you cannot send money.

You are experiencing three of the most stressful situations; divorce, losing your job and the strain of a new relationship. No wonder you feel that you are in a "state of extreme disarray." AND it could be worse, however, lets not focus on that.

I would suggest spending less time being concerned about your problems and more time on finding solutions. What you think about and speak about, you bring about. Look for the good in all of this. It may be difficult, but when you really look, you can find it. When you can do this with regularity, your situation will change for the better.

Focus. That is one of the keys. Focus on solutions. Commitment. Commitment to stay focused. That's another. Discipline. Exercise discipline and do what must be done.

Additional resources: The Secret to Solving All Your Problems and The 3 Biggest Mistakes Singles Make and How to Avoid Them.

Larry James is available for one-on-one personal relationship coaching by telephone. Click here for details.

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Frequently Asked Questions is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. In no way should any advice or opinions expressed on our site be considered as a substitute for professional counseling and treatment.

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