Why I am worried about Angelina Jolie, Part I

I like Angelina Jolie for one big reason: She donates her time and energy to a worthy cause, the United Nations. (I hate it when celebrities start their own charities just so they can waste tons of money in start-up costs. When you sign up with UNICEF or the United Nations,you are taking a huge machine of good and making it go further, faster.)

However, I am worried about Angelina for two reasons:
1. She may be  “giving it away ” for her boyfriend Brad.
2. She doesn’t have women friends.


Angelina is scary skinny. I am concerned she is keeping herself skeletal thin for her honey bunny, Brad Pitt.  Since she has been dating Brad, she is just so emaciated!

My suspicion about Brad Pitt  is that he loves his girls very close to the bone. Remember his long time affair with the skinny minny Juliette Lewis? Gwyneth Paltrow? Thandie Newton?  Heroin, anyone?

When Jennifer Anniston was married to Brad, she was perpetually on a severe diet, and all she ever talked about was food…”Brad and I love when we can go out and get nachos … We love to do these banana shakes,” I would see her say in interviews.

Everybody knows that when you restrict your calorie count to crazy low levels, all you can think about is food. It is a survival/starvation thing. I suspect poor Angelina is working hard at not eating to please her man.

Girlfriend Aside: (I once had a girlfriend whose husband told her he wanted her to be super skinny, “so I can feel like when we are making love, I could possibly just break you.” EEEK!!)


Often times, GAG girls go to extremes to make their partners happy.

Stay tuned for the No Girlfriend Problem.


Self love comes with a price

Meet Give Away Girl Loretta

I was getting a massage the other day and the masseuse, Loretta, began telling me her life story. (This happens alot.  I guess people just instinctively know I am a therapist…)    

Love photo credit: qthomasbower via flickr

photo credit: qthomasbower via flickr

To summarize, Loretta (at about 65) just left her husband after 40 years, started a new career, and is on her own for the first time.  After years of care taking of her kids and her family, after listening to her husband’s rampages and not getting any of her partnership needs met, she finally got fed up.  She walked away and started the life she wanted. Problem is, her kids are sooo mad at her they won’t talk to her. Friends of hers for years, aren’t supportive.  Meanwhile, she says she is so happy and glad she did this before she died.

It is sad that she has to go through this temporary cycle.  BUT IT IS TEMPORARY.

When people set boundaries,change what has always been; even if it is good for them, people get mad.  


What do you do when people get mad and all you are doing is trying your best to take care of yourself?

1. Try to detach.  Know it is temporary and that it will all work itself out.

2. Focus on your next best thing you can do for yourself that day.

3. Continue to reach out to those you love. Try to listen empathically but set healthy limits as to what you will tolerate regarding their anger! “It is okay to be made at me.  I trust that someday, my perspective will be more clear. However, you still need to talk to me with respect.”

4. Grieve. Loretta has alot to grieve, including all the giving away she did up until then. She will suffer from periods of profound sadness, but it will eventually pass.

Meet Nellie: Comes With Daily Dose of Allegra

Meet Nellie. I ran into her owner on the street yesterday in front of my house. My kids were selling cartoons and Nellie’s owner sweetly agreed to pay $1 for my son’s brilliant cartoon drawing. Nellie’s owner appeared looked about 27. We fawned over her dog. “She’s so cute!”

“Yes, I love her,” the owner said.”Problem is, I am allergic to dogs. I have to take Allegra every 24 hours because I am so allergic.” How can someone so allergic to dogs have a dog?

Oh, you know …  I met this guy and he wanted to commit to us having a dog together. I went along with it and then he left. So now I am stuck with the dog. Good thing I love her.”

Good thing she loves her is right. And what are the long-term effects of an Allegra pill daily for the next 15 or so years? Uh oh.

GAG Girls Beware
Don’t agree to anything in romance that you will regret if the other person decides to not pull their weight. You can get saddled with lots of unforeseen consequences. Talk can be just that — all talk.

Nellie is adorable, though. And my son was grateful for the buck.


Brene Brown on Shame — Love it!

I love Brene Brown. She is one of those super leaders who knows how to help. She has a lot of really good stuff to say. Check out this link:


Here’s another one:


Notes From Couple’s Therapy: No Such Thing as Mind Reading

People who excessively caretake others rarely ask for what they need. They are typically overly responsible, hard-working and loving. Once in a while, they manage to squeeze in tending to their own needs after everyone else’s needs are met — rare but sorely needed.

Trouble in the making
When detrimental caretakers (Give Away Girls) put their needs away, it’s natural for them to feel a loss.  Their needs don’t just go away though. They’re temporarily stuffed into a chest of drawers that begins to overfill. Eventually, somebody has to give the overstuffed drawers some attention. When a detrimental caretaker finally is ready for someone else to “help,” she longs for her loved one to take charge and take care.

Meet Give Away Girl Samantha
Samantha works all day, comes home and gets the house picked up, helps kids with homework, and makes dinner. She does it all. When her husband gets home, he might help with the dishes but then picks up a newspaper, kicks his feet up in the recliner and takes a break. Remember, Samantha is exhausted. She secretly expects her husband to notice her need and when he doesn’t, she makes up a story in her head that he just doesn’t care.

Samantha feels angry. She soothes her kindling emotions by drinking a glass of wine and detaches from her husband … doesn’t look at him, gives the evil eye, doesn’t ask him about his day and wonders if she ever really knew him at all. After a few more glasses of wine, she lets it all hang out. The fight is a big one, and it all starts over again a couple days later.

Your needs: the importance of being clear and direct
One of the biggest problems here is that Samantha doesn’t ask for what she needs. She is neither clear nor direct with her husband (until she’s just pissed and ready to unload her anguish on him).

Give Away Girls sacrifice themselves daily. They don’t know they’re doing it. Interestingly, they really want and need their partner to know what they need, how they need it and when they need it. Usually, in couples therapy, we discover that these tendencies have more to do with what they didn’t get as children than anything else. Nonetheless, this wanting, expecting or hoping your partner will “just know” happens a lot in intimate relationships, and it can be very destructive.

The takeaway: As hard as it may be, speak up. When you are specific about what you need, a good man will respond. He’ll be there. He’ll help. You just have to let him know what, how and when. There’s no such thing as mind reading.