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TODAY contributor
updated 12/28/2012 9:19:03 AM ET 2012-12-28T14:19:03

Dr. Gilda Carle

Need a quick answer to a relationship dilemma? Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her relationship advice in TODAY.com’s “30-second therapist” series.

Q: I have been married for 26 years. We have a daughter in college on full scholarship, and a son who graduated from Harvard. My wife has never given me one moment of doubt about her fidelity. But she constantly criticizes me, saying that others are "too polite" to tell me the truth. She ignores my daily compliments and affection. I still find her attractive, but she withholds physical intimacy, and avoids saying "I love you." She refuses to go to counseling or go on hormone therapy to address the situation.

I crave intimacy, sexuality and support. But aside from the emotional upheaval and financial consequences, I don't leave because I think things wouldn’t be any better for me if I did. What do I do? —Craving More

Dear Craving,
You stay in a vacuous marriage because you think nothing better exists. Have you swallowed your wife’s put-downs, believing you don’t deserve more? My Gilda-Gram explains, “What you believe you deserve is what you receive.”

Partners mutually sign on for sex, affection and emotional support. The spark you once had can return—if you and your wife work toward that goal. But you must communicate your needs to her. When you finally voice your feelings, maybe she’ll take you seriously, and initiate change. Right now, your silence is tantamount to acceptance of the status quo. Even if your marriage doesn’t last, learning to honor your truth will prepare you for what you’ll be happy to discover DOES exist elsewhere! —Dr. Gilda

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Q: I went on a date with a guy I’m interested in. On the first date, he tried to sleep with me. I have strict religious boundaries and I will NOT have sex before marriage. I still like this guy, but I think he may not like me because I didn't jump into bed with him. How can I get him to ask me out again? —Missing Love

Dear Missing Love,
Maybe having sex on first dates with women he hardly knows is all this guy is about. Regardless, since his values don’t meet yours, adios to him. 

Now, instead of asking how you can manipulate dude back into your web, question what about him attracts you. Since you and he only had one date, your attractor factor is obviously superficial.  Are you “Missing Love” so much, you’ll settle for anyone who breathes? 

Corresponding values is the most enduring currency for love. To find such substance, you must get to know someone well. Girlfriend, you say you know what you don’t want—but you want this guy anyway. Huh? Figure out what you do want and attract men who can provide it. —Dr. Gilda

Want Dr. Gilda to answer your relationship questions? Click here to send them in!

Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor emerita, has written 15 books, and her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”—Second Edition. She provides advice and coaching via Skype, email and phone.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints


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