Dating, Mating and Relating with Dr. Ish

Forgiveness; the ultimate Dragon Slayer

February 19, 2017
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Wow, I have been getting so many messages and requests about Forgiveness this week I felt like I had to reach out in a more extended way. Friday night our show, Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars, was about forgiveness and it really hit home with everyone in the house and everyone watching.

It’s a big deal. And for most of us, it’s a bigger deal than we even realize.

We’ve all been wronged at some point in our life. We’ve all been at the least, not paid the attention we thought we deserved or flat out neglected. We’ve all been dealt a glancing blow that stung or at the worst a flat out knock out blow…some of us repeatedly. This causes pain. Hurt. Anger. Resentment. Fear. Distrust. And a severe inner sense that you’re not worthy.

And it’s human and natural to feel all those things. Those feelings don’t make you weak.

But in allowing yourself to feel that way you’re also not allowing yourself to heal because you’re unable to move past that moment.

So if it’s natural to feel this way, you have to do something that feels unnatural to move past it.

Forgive them.

Forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you agree with, condone or even understand why they treated you that way. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what they did was ok but it does mean it’s ok for you to finally move on. Forgiving them is for you! And here’s why. If someone else is responsible for your pain, your hurt, your anger, your fear, your anxiety; whatever perceived shortcomings you think you may now have because of what they did to you then you are also saying that in order to move forward, feel better, do better and have all the things you know in your heart of hearts you want and deserve…you need the permission of the person who hurt you to do so.

When you give someone else this much power over your life it’s impossible to empower yourself. This forgiveness is for you and you alone so that you can free your heart and mind to allow into your life every ounce of joy and happiness you and I both know you deserve!

So go ahead now, say those three little words and set yourself free, ‘I forgive you’.

Until next time,


Dr. Ish


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When a Guy Shows You Who He is…Believe Him!

April 16, 2015
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When a guy shows you who he is…Believe Him!
Here’s a question I had first thing this morning:
Client: Question?? Why does a man say he doesnt see a future with you but wont let you walk away and gets jealous if you  mention another man? (But still expects to have sex with you) Help!
Dr. Ish: Damn, sorry to hear that. When a guy says he doesn’t see a future with you but still wants to sleep with you it means just that. It’ll never progress to a relationship that’s exclusive but he’ll stick around as long as you let him have sex with you. I’m not sure why you would do that if that’s not what you want because ultimately it’s not going make you happy. When you cut that off he’ll move on…and so will you. You do not need his permission to walk away!
Client: He didn’t say it all at once, I had to drag it out of him and then he said ‘I don’t see us jumping the broom.’
Dr. Ish: Sorry about that but at least he was honest about his lack of plans for you. When a guy shows you who is, believe him. If you stick around hoping it will change and it doesn’t then you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself. The guy who wants what you want is out there, you just have to free yourself so you can find each other.

Natalie Wood once said, “The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he’s a baby.”

Believer her and believe him. It’s hard knowing when to say when and when to say ‘Next’ and move on but if you trust your instincts, really listen to that gut feeling you have as a woman, it’ll never lead you wrong.

Until next time,

Dr. Ish

Designer Labels…and the Meaning of Life

March 3, 2015
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You know what I don’t like? When people try to define me by what the piece of paper says I ‘do’. I’m more than that. Much more. And my guess is so are you. Just because you’re a doctor doesn’t mean you’re a person of high moral value. Just because you’re a lawyer doesn’t mean you’re a person who’s trustworthy. Just because you’ve been to jail doesn’t mean you have no more honor. Just because you’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean you can’t now make corrections and make a difference.

You don’t have to be a Doctor to help people heal.

You don’t have to be a Lawyer to keep people honest.

You don’t have to be a Nurse to make people feel cared for.

You don’t have to be a Police Officer to protect people.

You don’t have to be an Architect to build something beautiful.

You don’t have to be an Artist to create a work of art.

You don’t have to be Singer to find your voice.

You don’t have to be an Actor to play your role perfectly.

You don’t have to be a Writer to use words that can move mountains.

You don’t have to be Computer programmer for your life not to crash.

You don’t have to be a Banker to get your money right.

You don’t have to be a Businessman to have your life in order.

You don’t have to be a Manager to manage your life.

You don’t have to be a Gardener to grow precious flowers.

You don’t have to be an Athlete to be powerful.

You don’t have to be a Millionaire to be wealthy.

You don’t have to be a Superstar in order to shine like one!

We’re all stars of the universe. Stop hiding your light…let it shine!

When we don’t live a life that we feel has meaning (or the meaning we thought it would have) we tend to feel like there are holes in it or it has gaps. We tend to fill in those gaps with garbage. Drugs. Alcohol. Screwed up, jacked up and flat out bad relationships and bad choices. We do this because we feel like life is empty and we’re trying to fill it up and those are the things that are all too easily and readily available. Those are distractions.

Are you a mother? A father? A sister? A brother? A husband? A wife? A significant other? A true friend?

We all mean something to somebody. Be the best example of who you are right now and stop letting the world tell you who you aren’t.

Sometimes the directions don’t come on the labels.

What you do or don’t have doesn’t define you.

Stop letting labels run your life. Find your meaning within the life you have and become the person you were meant to be!

Guest Blogger: Chey B!

February 2, 2015
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Dating 101 with “AskCheyB”

Ten Steps towards Having a Successful Dating Experience

1) Use dating as an opportunity to get closer to someone you’re already in a relationship with, or someone you see as a potential partner. Not everyone gets a date!

2) Before going out on a date, have a phone conversation discussing each other’s personal interests. This feedback will serve as great conversation starters when you’re on the actual date.

3) Allow enough advanced notice so that you both can clear your schedules and plan accordingly. This shows that you are considerate of your date’s time.

4) A first date should be someplace neutral and inexpensive like a coffee shop or a park. This will help eliminate any financial burdens, and will also help lighten the mood.

5) Plan to be early to avoid being late. Being on time helps build trust and it shows that you respect each other’s time.

6) Turn your cell phone off, on vibrate, or on silent to avoid any unnecessary interruptions. This shows that you respect your date and that you value the time they are giving you.

7) Come to a 1st date prepared to pay your own tab. This gesture frees both parties of any assumed obligations, and allows your date the opportunity to measure your level of independence.

8) A 1st date should be brief (maybe 30 minutes or less). This helps to eliminate any pressure to further entertain a date that lacks chemistry, and builds anticipation for a 2nd date if there is chemistry.

9) Be engaging! Ask questions and allow your date the opportunity to share more details about themselves. This shows that you are taking a genuine interest in who they are.

10) Have fun! Enjoy this wonderful person you’ve chosen to share your time and energy with.

If you’ve been inspired by today’s blog, please subscribe, post your comments below, and share it with your friends. Also, please add me on Facebook & Follow me on Twitter!
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-Cheyenne Bostock

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I want to know what you think! Any thoughts or tips to share about first dates? Post your thoughts in our comments!

It’s Not About Cosby, It’s About Rape: Underlying Stereotypical Issues In Society

December 15, 2014

I don’t know Bill Cosby personally. I know he’s an actor and a comedian who, like other professional actors and comedians, probably has a very private life that most of us know very little about. I don’t know any of the 23, that’s twenty-three, women who have now accused him of some type of sexually inappropriate predatory type behavior ranging from attempted fondling to flat out rape. I would imagine they too have very private lives that most of us who don’t know them personally know very little about. I don’t know the young woman from The University of Virginia (UVA) or any of the 7 she’s accusing in that case either.

What I do know is that rape happens. I’ve worked with hundreds of victims of rape and sexual abuse so I know a lot about its patterns and the culture behind rape. And without proclaiming anyone’s guilt or innocence I can clearly recognize a pattern when I see one.

Think about your home, your life. Think about the people you know. Who or what type of item do you have 23 of? I don’t have 23 friends who are the same. I don’t have 23 cars. I don’t have 23 bottles of wine in my 23 refrigerators at home. I don’t have 23 suits. I do have 23 shirts…but it took me a while to accumulate that number…hmmm…happened over time. Put a pin in that, we’ll come back to it. The point is 23 is a high number when we’re talking about real life things. It’s an astronomically high number if we’re talking about the number of unrelated women who are separately accusing you of rape. The number 23 becomes an even more extraordinary number when you have 23 stories that sound almost identical. As appalling as these repeated allegations are it does give us the opportunity to talk about and educate ourselves about the very real parts of a rape culture that exists.

One of the biggest parts of rape culture is the Denial that sets in almost immediately after. We look the other way.  We ask questions like: ‘Did they know each other?’ ‘Maybe it was a misunderstanding’ ‘Maybe it didn’t happen like she said?’ And also there’s denial on the part of the victim as well. It’s the first stage of grief. The shock and disbelief that something like that just happened to you. The disgust and guilt and shame and questioning of yourself that almost immediately sets in afterwards.

Next is the Blaming of the victim. We indirectly blame her with challenging questions like: What were you wearing? Were you drinking? Were you drunk? Have you ever had sex with a stranger before? Have you ever had a one-night stand before? And these are just some of the questions police or medical staff asks before she suffers the second assault on her body that day with the rape kit to look for physical evidence. That is if she even called the police or went to the emergency room. We almost immediately leap to poke holes in the victim’s story. Look, I don’t give a damn if she dresses from classy to trashy, goes out, gets sloppy falling down drunk and takes a strange guy or two home every single Saturday night of her life. That’s her choice. The Saturday night she tells them ‘No’ and they don’t listen, that’s the night she didn’t ‘want it’. That’s the night she was raped. End of story!

The third tenant of rape culture is perpetuating the Myths. We want to believe rapes occur in some dark back alley, by some shadowy depraved predator who’s just waiting for an innocent woman to haplessly wander across their path and thenpounce. That may make for a great “Law and Order SVU’ opening scene but the truth is rape usually doesn’t happen that way.

Let’s bust up some of these myths right now:

It’s usually a guy you know…well. The guys you work with, go to school with, work out at the gym with, take your lunch breaks with, are friends with, have dated or may be still dating, guys who you’ve already had sex with, guys who you look to as a protector or father figure. Rapists typically find a way to insinuate themselves into your life somehow. They often offer help or assistance when you need it. They offer kind gestures or a willing ear or shoulder when necessary. And they come from all walks of life, all racial, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Doctors, lawyers, judges, stock brokers or stock boys in a grocery store, business men, personal trainers, delivery guys or the guy who cleans your car at the local car wash. Rapists are not usually mentally ill. Most are perfectly sane. There is no type of guy for that. And there is no particular type of woman who gets raped more often than most either. Rape victims are of all ages and social positions and rape mostly occurs between men and women of the same race.

The fourth tenant of rape culture is about Turning the rapist into the victim. ‘That poor guy, he just wanted to have a good time and now because she changed her mind or claims she said ‘‘No’’ or is just embarrassed by what happened his life is ruined’. We’ve all heard that before. And part of that’s true. A life is irrevocably changed but it’s usually the life of the victim. We’ve all seen how people leap to the defense of the alleged, especially if he’s rich or famous or powerful or has some celebrity status. It’s all too easy to believe ‘that girl’ just wanted a taste of ‘the good life’ and got what she deserved, right? Wrong.

Speaking of a culture of rape, try this on for size:

Did you know that in 31 states, that’s thirty-one, it is legal for a rapist to sue the woman he raped for custody if the rape resulted in a pregnancy?

Did you know that 80% of college rapes and sexual assaults go unreported?

Did you know that only 3% of rapists ever go to jail?

That means it’s extremely rare for a guy to commit a rape, get accused, get arrested, get convicted and go to jail.

So back to Dr. Huxtable and his 23 accusers.

What do they want?

Why now?

Why did they wait so long to say anything?

Do they know each other?

Are they plotting against him together?

As belittling and demeaning as those questions are let’s make an attempt to answer. Here’s what I believe they know. They know that by keeping it locked inside it doesn’t go away. They know that by not saying anything you continue to give your rapist power over you. And rape is all about power.

I think they want to finally move on.

I think they want validation.

I think they want to expose his behavior and take the power back.

I think together they have found their voice.

I think they don’t want to hide anymore.

I think they want closure.

Maybe I’m wrong for not automatically leaping vigorously to the defense of America’s favorite dad? Maybe I’m really wrong for not standing up for another black man falling victim to the “insidious” plan of white America to destroy anything black and male and good and successful?


Or maybe I’m the guy who knows a thing or two about recognizing someone who’s been through a trauma and I’m the guy who will always, always stand up for them.


Until next time,

Dr. Ish

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Entitlement In Professional Sports: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

November 18, 2014
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Man, all professional athletes are nuts! I’m sick of ‘em! They’re all a bunch of pampered, catered to, entitled, over aggressive, over-blown, over-grown men with over-inflated egos playing a simple game and earning millions.


Remember that time Peyton Manning punched his wife in the stomach after she ordered the wrong toppings on his Papa John’s?

Remember that disgusting display of Tom Brady dragging Gisele Bundchen through the Rocinha Favela spilling all her and Victoria’s Secrets after he got pissed because she showed too much skin at a photo shoot?

And who can forget the ridiculous image of the time Michael Strahan ran drunk and naked through the Lincoln Tunnel eating a Subway Sandwich screaming ‘I’m a Giant for life biatch!!”

Remember that?

Yeah, me neither.

Because it never happened and would never happen because these are grown men. With adult professions. And intelligence. And self-respect. And manners. And like most professional athletes, they get it.

The problem is that we only here about the knuckleheads. The beaters, the abusers, the rapists, the cheaters, the drug users, the drunk drivers, the illegal gun-toters, the guys who think they’re ‘Dem Boyz’ who ‘tear da club up’ at every opportunity available!

We never hear a report about who showed up to practice and team meetings on time this week. We rarely hear about who was in the film room studying hours before the game. We hardly ever hear about the guys who are the utmost professionals and are a joy to coach. So granted, while there are definitely some bad actors in the group the majority of these men approach this for what it is. Their job. Their profession. Their means for taking care of themselves and their families.

And on the other side of the page we typically tend to hear only about the long-suffering wife or girlfriend or baby momma (or mommas) who are trapped in that horrible relationship with that horrible manipulative controlling man who are literally helpless to change their situation. And to some degree, given her support group, access to financial means and education, level of common sense and self-esteem level, she may be very close to being functionally helpless. But that’s not always the case is it? We certainly don’t hear much about those strong, independent women who had a life before they met their pro bowler and continue to have a life with him or after him for that matter. And we don’t hear much at all about the women whose guy’s career seemed to skyrocket after they were together because she’s the driving, calming and stabilizing force in his crazy dog-eat-dog professional sports world!

So how does the rough stuff keep happening?

Are pro athletes simply harbingers of dating death doomed to unload and unleash their fury on any unsuspecting woman who just happens to scramble into their dating path?

Should any self-respecting woman of a certain dating age run for the hills the second an athlete glances her way?

Is there some crazy cosmic force that inevitably brings them together?

How do they seem to keep finding each other?

Water does tend to seek it’s own level but this is extreme right?

While it’s often suspected but rarely voiced we never really examine the world of the woman who’s sole intent and purpose is to track down, attract, meet and proceed to insinuate themselves into the lives of a professional athlete thereby giving themselves the life they think they’ve been dreaming of. I think Kanye wrote a song about it?

That’s right.

I’m talking about the gold diggers, the cleat chasers, the sponges, the leeches, the parasites or whatever other derogatory label you’d like to place on a person who seeks to use another person’s gifts, talents, means, money, influence or power to better their station in life without actually adding anything to add to the life of the person they seek to take advantage of.

There. I said it.

This isn’t the motivation of all women who date pro athletes but it is the intentions a substantial percent. These women are outright exploiters who have researched and know their target all to well. They know his practice schedule, his game schedule, his away game preferred team hotel, his curfew, his hang out spots, his areas of weakness, (physical, emotional or ‘of the flesh’), and plan to get in, get out and leave with the new lifestyle that they want to become accustomed. And if and when it unravels or worse, blows up in their face, they shamelessly hide behind the rationale of ‘doing it for love’. That’s a slap in the proverbial face to the real women who do honestly love their man and the men who have to put up with this behavior.

And if we’re honest, some of our favorite athletes just aren’t equipped to deal with this. They just don’t have the tools. They’re not very savvy and that’s not a knock on them, it’s just a fact. So for this particular subset of women it’s very easy to take advantage of these men. I’ve heard them say it’s like taking candy from a big dumb ass baby.

Horrible right?

But you and I both know it happens.

A lot.

But be warned. Even the biggest and dumbest of dumb ass babies have a clear idea of who they are…and who they aren’t. All babies know if love is sincere. They know full well that under no other circumstances on this planet would a ‘woman like that’ be interested in a ‘guy like me’ unless that guy showed up in the VIP in an Italian suit after getting out of his Italian sports car that he drove from his mega mansion after returning home from his chartered flight after a long hard day on the field or court of battle. And if you think the thought of that doesn’t give him a substantial sized chip on his shoulder when it comes to mating, dating and relating with women then you’re fooling yourself. Some guys in that situation say, ‘I know she’s only interested in me for my money so why should I treat her nice? If she sticks around she deserves to get disrespected’. Now that may be a bit Justinian in its code of ethics but can we really fault him for feeling that way? Not for me to answer, I’m just illuminating the some of the dynamics of what all too often turns into a jacked up, messed up, murky, muddy watered situation.

You must be careful when it comes to poking, prodding and trying to manipulate and control a man whose job is to be physically superior, confrontational, aggressive and yes sometimes violent in a controlled environment. What happens when his environment changes and you both lose control of the situation?

We get Eminem talking about ‘Ray Ricing’ a female.

So all that to say this.

Gold diggers aside, If you know he has a history. If there are signs he could possibly be abusive at his worst, disrespectful or neglectful at his least, you have to ask yourself why you’re making this choice.

Why are you choosing to date a know womanizer?

Why are you choosing to date a documented woman beater?

Do you really feel that bad about yourself?

Did you really think he’d be ‘different’ with you?

Did you really think he’d change for you? Just because he should?


Is it really for love?

Or is it more for the love of money…or the lifestyle and self-worth you think that money will buy you?

Now that’s a hard question but it in all fairness deserves to be asked.

I’m not knocking your choice…I’m just saying make sure you are well aware of the reasons why you’re making it and the possible consequences once you do. And it’s always easier to think about these with a clear head and heart before you’re in the actual situation.

Now, let me be clear, under no circumstances is it cool to blame the victim in any domestic dispute or violent situation. It’s never her fault. But in all fairness to the guys that are on the front page that also doesn’t mean the victim doesn’t have some degree of responsibility or accountability either. Even in the darkest, most isolated, most abusive, most devoid of hope situations there’s always one option available. And that option is to simply make a better choice.

You must choose to be better. To be treated better. For no other reason than you’re worth more. More than the fat rock he put on your finger. More than his sign-on bonus. More than his contract…and its extension. More than his endorsement deal.

Choose to not put yourself in that situation if you know you’re not there for the right reasons. Once that seemingly small choice is made a number of bigger things begin to happen to make your choice and the life you want a reality.

He is who he is. We cannot expect him to change unless he seeks to do so. Whatever the circumstances of his life that taught him to be that way we don’t know. You are who you are. Whatever life situations you’ve experienced that made you the woman you are today are yours to understand as well.

But isn’t it just a bit hypocritical of us to pack a tent, go into the jungle and set up camp to hunt Tigers only to be shocked, confused and outraged when that same Tiger actually acts like a Tiger and attacks us?

The key is having a firm understanding of ourselves so we can better understand the choices we make and how those choices affect our lives and the lives of those around us.

Bruce Lee, one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen gave us timeless advice when he said we should ‘Be like water’, finding your way around or through any obstacle. I’m going to amend that just a bit and say we should be like ‘Smart Water’ and make a smarter choice.

This is not an article about helping pro athletes find a place to put their aggression during the off-season and off days. That article comes later. This is a not an article chastising that group, however big or small, of selfie-obsessed selfish women for their gold diggerish ways. This is an article stating that there are real reasons why people do what they do and there are always 3 sides to every domestic story. His side. Her side. And the truthful side. The truth is where we need to start spending more of our time to educate us all to help end these horrible situations.

Until next time,

Dr. Ish

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Back To The Basics: Relationship Expectations, Realistic and Not

November 3, 2014
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Relationships are dangerous! High emotional risk activities! People are likely to do things you don’t like or weren’t expecting at any given point and time while you’re together and we have absolutely no way to stop it! Like we learned from Neo in the Matrix, ‘The problem is control’. We just can’t control them. She may call or text you too much. He may not call enough. He may cancel a date on you. She may hear from an ex-boyfriend you had no idea she even had. He may think your favorite movie sucks. She may think your car is stupid or you dress horribly. He, at certain times, out of the corner of his eye, when it’s dark, and safe to do so, when he thinks your not looking, he might…he just might…look at or notice…gulp…another woman. Yikes!! Big disappointments. Why would my soul mate do such a thing?!? I thought they were ‘The One’…or at least the one for right now. How could they do this to me??

(Insert exasperated sigh and/or expletive here).

There are a lot of expectations that we have for our partners when we get into relationships. Break-ups happen when those expectations aren’t met…Sometimes slowly over time or sometimes all in a flash.

I don’t think the problem is without significant others or more specifically the lack of control we have over them. I think the problem lies within our selves. We make the rules, often times before we’ve ever even met ‘The One’ and when they break those relationship rules we cry ‘Foul!’, ‘No Fair!’, take our ball and go home.

But let me be very clear, there are some rules that absolutely should not be broken like being treated with kindness and respect and of course the cheating issue if and when you’ve had that talk about exclusivity. And also, there are the larger, more global expectations that if they aren’t met, you know you’re not going to be happy such as: wanting to live together, wanting to get married, wanting to start and raise a family together. Those are longer-term goals and expectations so of course if you’re not on course to meet those goals in your relationship you’re ultimately not going to be fulfilled no matter how great everything else is. But then there are those other rules…smaller rules…the day-to-day rules, that aren’t quite so significant but we make them out to be humongous. Those are the rules I’m talking about. This is one of the coolest things about the dating game because it’s one of the few games where the less you play by the rules the more likely you are to win!

So let’s get to it shall we? Let’s bust up some of those day-to-day unrealistic expectations and myths right now.

For example:

He is going to look at and notice other women…and you’ll notice other people too. That’s ok.

You’re not going to always want to do the same things at the same times. That’s ok.

Saturday nights aren’t always going to be for each other. Here’s the good news…there are other days of the week where you’re allowed to see each other too.

Sometimes both of you will prefer to do things with your own friends and not each other. No problem.

Yes, you texted them 20 minutes ago and they haven’t returned your text yet…not even a quick text to say they’re “In a meeting.” Possibly because they may actually be in a meeting…just wait…find out the reason for the delay first before you get irritated…then ask yourself how important was it really.

Of course he likes you for your looks. But that’s just the icing on top of your cool tasty cake! The larger part of the iceberg lies under the surface.

Of course she likes the idea that you’re tall, dark and handsome…and successful. But those aren’t the only reasons she sticks around.

I know it’s unfathomable…but she may actually not like Maroon 5 and although it’s totally inconceivable to you, he may not like to watch ‘The Voice’. That’s good…now you have a reason make your own beautiful music together.

You will absolutely get sick of each other some days. And that is absolutely normal.

He’s not going to immediately support every decision you make; he may think some of them are bonkers. That’s a good reason to have a good talk…it’ll help with that whole ‘staying connected’ thing.

Everyone in your life will instantly love him. Not gonna happen…may never happen and you don’t need it to happen in order to be happy with him.

She’s not going to walk around in heels and something ‘stringy’ all the time. Love the imagery dude…but not entirely realistic.

He’ll always say the right thing. C’mon now…we’re guysJ

You’ll be close with all of his friends. Nope…and you don’t want to be…church and state ladies…separation of power is a good thing.

He’ll always be romantic…maybe…maybe not…the key is understanding when he’s trying to be romantic and recognize him for that attempt at least.

Hooking up will always be fun and frequent. No. That’ll ebb and flow…the key is in wanting to satisfy your partner first…then you’ll receive in return. That way when it’s on, it’s really on!

She may not be in the mood all the time…and sometimes you won’t be either. Be romantic and intimate in other ways…it’s not always about the sex.

The more rules you have the more likely you are to get disappointed. Disappointment happens when something you expected to happen didn’t. You had an expectation. That expectation was not met. Now you’re disappointed…if not totally disgusted. It makes you feel hurt, betrayed, angry, dazed and confused.

The problem with the rules and myths we carry around in our relationships bags is that when those rules are broken…we take it personally…as in they intentionally meant to do this inconsiderate thing to me. The fact is that just isn’t true. Most of us make decisions based on what we want and need first…then we think about the other person. You know you’ve really found ‘The One’ when they’re willing to consider you first, put what you want first, inconvenience themselves for you…because seeing you (not making you) happy makes them happy beyond words. The rules get broken when we try and fit ‘The One for Right Now’ into a space designed strictly for ‘The One’. Here’s a hint…they’re not gonna fit. Round peg, square hole. When you’re with the right person you won’t have to try and jam that person in there…they’ll fit like a hand in glove.

So, if you ever find yourself in one of these moments when you’re feeling hurt, let down, confused or downright disappointed by something your significant other did or didn’t do I want you to stop and do two things. Ask yourself two questions about what happened.

First: ‘How important is this really?’

Second: ‘What else could this mean?

I promise you these two simple questions will change your life!

We naturally jump to conclusions and react to protect ourselves, defend ourselves, and yes, fight back when we feel wronged. These two simple questions help you rationally think through the moment and realize that maybe this thing that happened or didn’t happen isn’t a direct assault or attack or disrespect to you…maybe…just maybe it could be something else…that doesn’t have anything to do with you. I learned those powerful; two questions from Tony Robbins, one of the absolute masters when it comes to living your best life now. They changed my life and I’m hoping they’ll have an impact on yours too!

So remember, we’re talking about taking a partner…not a prisoner. You cannot control their lives no matter how hard you try. They’re not going to be dependent on you and you alone for their survival and happiness. They had a life before they met you. They have a life now. And regardless of what happens moving forward…they will continue to have a life…we’re happy just to be able to share it with them. And yes, some parts of it may not directly involve you…and that’s ok too. In fact, that’s more than ok. That’s actually pretty healthy.

Someone a lot smarter than me once said…”Happiness is living without expectations”.

Don’t expect to be happy…just be happy…ever after.

The end,

Dr. Ish

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Why I Stayed: The Great Escape

September 17, 2014
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Wow…With all the high profile public figures being charged lately, it looks like the conversation about abuse and domestic violence isn’t going to stop any time soon. That’s a good thing because this is a conversation that definitely needs to be had. Now it’s even stemming over from Ray Rice and Greg Hardy to Adrian Peterson and his child. Fair or unfair, these are high profile athletes so they’re going to get the bulk of the attention and the bulk of the scrutiny. But again, this is not a problem that’s exclusive to the NFL or professional athletes. It’s a cultural problem and at some point all of us are going to know someone who’s affected by this.

The questions that have been coming up and probably the ones I hear people ask most often are: ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ or ‘Why does she stay?’

Damn, that’s a brilliant idea! I wonder why they didn’t think of that….

And it seems simple enough. Geez ladies, just leave, go, hit the road jack and don’t ‘cha come back no more. But guess what, if you’ve ever been involved in an abusive situation you already know ‘just leaving’ is never that simple.

First of all, ‘leave’ may not be the best word to describe what needs to be done. A better word may actually be ‘escape’. ‘Why doesn’t she just escape?’…now that sounds a little harder doesn’t it? To escape from a situation takes planning, it takes forethought, it takes support, it takes strength, it takes patience, it takes knowing that your worth more than how your currently being treated and it takes knowing, above all else, that there is a better live waiting out there for you on the other side of this and there is nothing, absolutely nothing more you need to do or need to be to deserve it!

And there are so many reasons I’ve heard from women why women stay. So for those of you who can’t imagine why they would let’s just take a look at a few:

What he threatened to do to you:

He will beat me worse the next time

He will hunt me down and kill me if I leave

He tell lies about me

What he may do to your children:

He’ll take your children and disappear

He’ll hurt or kill your children

My children will blame me

The kids need a father

Dependence issues:

You’re not allowed to leave the house

You don’t have access to money (credit cards or cash)

You’ve been cut off from your family and friends

Past history (Baggage issues)

My father beat my mom

Getting hit is part of being in a relationship

Getting hit isn’t the worst thing that can happen in a relationship


Guilt Trip reasons:

I’ll ruin his life if I tell

He’ll lose his job if I tell

He’ll have nowhere to go

I’ll let my family down if I can’t make it work

I believe he’ll change

He promised to go to therapy

Personal reasons:

I’m embarrassed to admit it to anybody

I’m scared about what people will think

I can’t handle it if he leaves

I have to have a man by my side.

I’m too: old, ugly, fat, stupid or whatever else negative things you may believe about yourself) for somebody else to want me

I’m afraid to be on my own

I have to keep my vows

My religion won’t let me leave

I can’t be alone

I love him

And those are just a few. So yeah, there are lots of very real reasons why women stay. But there’s one, even more real reason why you shouldn’t…

Because you know you’re worth more!

So when we talk about escaping a dangerous situation or any threatening situation, after we have a clear reason why we should, what we need next is a plan.

Safety is of the utmost importance. We’re gonna need stealth, we’re gonna need secrecy, we’re gonna need access and we’re definitely gonna need support. We’re gonna need a plan! This helps cover some of the basics:

Safety Action Plan: Pay attention! Seriously, this could save your life…

We’re gonna keep this simple and keep it to just the basics for survival:

  1. You’ll need a phone (sounds simplistic but I know women who aren’t ‘allowed’ to have a cell phone and if they do it’s not long before he takes it or breaks it. Get one, a cheap one, hide it if necessary but make sure it’s ready to use when you need it. If you can’t get a cell phone you’ll need to keep some spare change for a pay phone.
  1. Rally the troops: there is strength in numbers, whenever possible reach out to trusted family and friends, even if you think those connections have been lost, to let them know what’s going on and that you may need to reach out to them in an emergency and if that’s ok. Family first, then friends or coworkers. Caution, don’t tell everybody, you never know who’ll go back and tell him.
  1. You’ll need some cash on hand for (bus/cab/train fare, phone calls, hotel rooms, food, clothes and toiletry essentials. Pinch away what you can when you can, again, hide it if necessary. Cash is better in any safe escape because it’s harder to track, which means you’ll be harder to track down.
  1. Have a designated ‘Safe Zone’: or safe place to go to in the home for if and when arguments or worse occur. A safe zone is a place where there are no weapons and where there are ways to escape. It’s also a good idea to be able to keep possible weapons locked away or as hidden as possible. Also, have ‘safe zones’ on your body if you’re being hit. Go for a corner in the room, curl up in a ball and protect your face with your arms and elbows at the side of your head and lock your fingers. The smaller the target the better.
  1. Let your children know that there may come a day when it’s time to leave and practice with them what to do and where to go when that day comes. Definitely shield them from the violence whenever possible but understand that kids aren’t naïve, they know exactly what’s going on and have a natural inclination to move towards what’s healthy and safe. Make up a code word for when that time comes.
  1. Go on test runs: make up reasonable excuses for why you need to leave the house at different times of day or night for different reasons and know how long it will take to get to certain areas where there is a phone, friends, family or a shelter.
  1. If you have a car, make a habit of backing it in with a spare key somewhere inside and gas in the tank. We need it to be ready when you’re ready.
  1. Know the location of domestic violence shelters in your area, there are a lot of good people who’ve been where you are who work there and they will fight for you! Reach out to them…sooner rather than later.
  1. Know the numbers: The national domestic violence hotline is 24/7 and you don’t have to wait until you get hit to call. They can help you with safety planning and tell you exactly where the local shelters are. Memorize this number!

1−800−799−(SAFE) 7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224

  1. Survive! Survive! Then thrive! I’m worth it!! (Repeat this as many times as you need to until you believe it!!!)

Go through this plan, learn it, make your own, plan your work then work your plan and live to tell about it!

Ladies, please understand this…

This isn’t happening because you’re a bad person/wife or girlfriend

This isn’t happening because you deserve it…

This isn’t happening because you asked for it…

Leaving doesn’t mean you’re weak…

Leaving doesn’t mean you’re a failure…

Leaving just might mean…you Live!

I’m counting on seeing you next time!!!

Dr. Ish

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Ray Rice: Bringing Relationships and Domestic Violence into Perspective

September 10, 2014
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Typically, I try to find the lighter side to any serious situation, possibly the humorous side because like the late and certainly great Joan Rivers once said, if we can laugh at a seemingly serious thing we can take away it’s power over us and deal with it. But this situation is different…this situation would require a comedic mind far greater than my own to find the lighter side to this… I’ve tried, and for the life of me I simply cannot find it.


Maybe that’s because nothing’s funny about this.


The word that comes to my mind to describe this is ‘disgusting’.


But not just disgust towards Ray Rice for what he has done. Certainly the blame can be squarely placed on those big strong NFL shoulders of his. Surely it was his fist driven by his frustration and anger that caused her head to hit that wall and then that floor in that elevator on that night…but what about all those other nights that weren’t caught on camera? What about all the intimidation and verbal and emotional abuse that happens before a man ever lays a hand on you. What about all those other women who we all know right now at this very moment who are actively being verbally, emotionally or physically abused right now, today?


Anybody ever think about them?


Did you know that one in every four women is a victim of domestic physical violence at some point in her life? The Justice Department estimates that three women and one man are killed by their partners every day. Every day. More than 1 in 3 women in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime and 1 in 4 women in the US have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.


Think of the 4 women who are closest to you…now think about those numbers…at least one of them has gone, is currently going through or will go through a physically violent situation or worse with their partner in their lifetime.


Does that not disgust you?


And I’m more than disgusted, downright outraged, at those ignorant individuals who ‘blame the victim’ and pretend like it’s her fault. Janay has already been victimized enough…let’s not add to her pain here.


Admittedly I may look at this a little differently than a lot of you…I’m a psychiatrist…I see this all the time. I know how bad it can get and I know what causes this cycle of violence to continue. I can tell you that this is not just a Ray Rice anger problem. This is bigger than Ray Rice. This isn’t a new problem and it certainly isn’t an NFL or NBA or MLB or a pro athlete problem or a rich guy or a powerful guy or a strong guy problem. This is a cultural problem. It’s a national problem. It’s a world problem. It’s one that’s been here for a long time and will continue to be here until we as people, everywhere, start to value our girls, our women, more and get serious about taking both personal responsibility to not let this happen and more cultural responsibility towards some of the often useless, sometimes ridiculous domestic violence laws we have in place.


For example, did you know that in certain states it’s a bigger crime to cause cruelty or harm to animals than it is towards women?!? In many states a first offense domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor, pay a fine and maybe, maybe a night or two in jail.


Slap on the wrist.


However…in those same states, a person who intentionally commits an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering is guilty of a felony of the third degree. Third degree…now, mind you, they note: the word “animal” shall be held to include every living dumb creature…let me say that again…every living dumb creature.


Maybe Joan Rivers would say, ‘See, I knew it, it’s our ‘smart-ass’ mouths that keep getting us into trouble’…sorry, I’m not a comedian…but it does bring up an important point.


Maybe the assumption is that people, women in particular, are ‘smart enough’ to get themselves away from someone who may do them harm…that they’re ‘smart enough’ to make a better choice?


As a psychiatrist I can tell you that domestic violence doesn’t have a damn thing to do with how smart you are.


I’ve seen Dr’s, Lawyers, women who are heads of business and women who are government officials get beaten by their partner and wonder how and why it happened because they know they’re’ smart enough’ to know better. And guess what, guys who abuse women aren’t necessarily dumb either. They may act like living dumb creatures but a lot of these men are actually pretty damn smart and very calculating in how they go about abusing you. It starts with them isolating you from your family and friends, making you believe that they are the only ones who truly care about you and who you can count on to be there for you, slowly taking control of your life, who you talk to, where you go, how you dress, how you act, how much access you have to the world outside of him.


Then they really go to work…here are just a few warning signs of abusive men:


  1. Controlling
  2. Overly affectionate
  3. Peaks of emotion



  1. Overly affectionate early – Abusive guys tend to start relationships being Mr. ‘Too Good to be True’, they are very attentive, very affectionate, super nice early…almost too nice. This falls in line with the cycle of abuse. There’s the build up of tension/anger…the explosion/abusive event…then the honeymoon or make up period where the affection starts all over again. This early attention is usually just a cover for their controlling nature. Which is the second sign.


  1.   Controlling – Abusive guys will try and control every aspect of your life. Where you go, what you wear, who you can see, who you can talk to, and who you should trust. In order for them to do this they must first find out as much as possible about you early…which is why they pay so much attention to you early on in the relationship. Their goal is to isolate you from your family and friends so that you feel dependent on them…and them alone. That way you’re more likely to endure the abuse they dish out because you feel you have no one else to turn to.


  1. Peaks of emotion – Abusive guys also tend to get very emotional in normal day-to-day situations. Driving a car, watching a ball game, frustrations with work, etc. That display of intense emotion in those situations is a precursor for the intense emotion they may soon turn on you. They routinely will use tactics to try and intimidate you like yelling, hitting or punching walls, throwing things, invading your personal space when talking to you.


And after that peak of emotion…after that explosion…


He’ll be sorry…for a little while.


He’ll be nice to you…beyond nice to you…for a little while…


Until he’s not…until you do something that he doesn’t like…


Then he’ll hit you…again…or worse…but I’m sure he won’t mean it right?


It’s only because…‘You make him so mad’ or “You make him so crazy’ or “You make him so jealous” or (and this is one of my favorites) “Because he loves you so much it’s not his fault that he gets so upset” and does the horrible things he does to you….

And you accept his apology because you want to…you want to believe in him…part of you may need to believe in him…you want to believe he really loves you (and in his twisted mind he actually might)…you want to believe he’ll change.


But he won’t.


Not without a damn good reason. And that reason is that he’s got to realize that what he did was wrong…and you, as his woman, cannot help him get there. That’s a road he’s gotta walk on his own. Understand?


It’s not your fault ladies. There is nothing you can do to deserve that.


I don’t know Ray Rice personally. I only know about him what I’ve read: he lost his father when he was 1 year old; killed in a drive by shooting. Lost the man who stepped in to provide him some guidance 10 years after that; killed by a drunk driver. So maybe the world has taught him that it’s a violent place. Maybe violence is what he saw and learned to be a ‘normal’ way to communicate as a child. Maybe people held him to a different standard and let him get away with things he shouldn’t have all along the way because he was a pro caliber athlete…because they knew he’d be famous one day. Maybe he just doesn’t know any better. May if he knew a better way to be he’d be that….better…maybe…


This needs to be an ongoing discussion and I’ve got a hell of a lot more to say about this. Next, we’re going to focus on some practical safety issues for women, what guys can do to channel that aggression somewhere else and what are some of the deeper…darker reasons why this cycle seems to continue…


Until next time…and unfortunately for now we know there’ll be one…


Dr. Ish

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Krystal Clear

September 6, 2014
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Sometimes I’m right…and sometimes, when the moon is a bit off and the sea is extra choppy and the planets aren’t aligned in their typically faultless fashion…I’m wrong. Actually, you’d be amazed how often how we get choppy misbehaved waters and ill timed planetary rotations and off kilter inconsiderate moonlight here in Miami…so I guess that means I’m wrong a lot…through no fault of my own of course☺

Nevertheless…I take it as a chance to learn something new.

Here’s what my last episode of wrong taught me.

I have a good friend, beautiful young woman, actually quite stunning, in a way that comes from within, in a way that lets you know that no matter her age, shape or form she will remain stunning for all her days here…yeah, it’s possible.

But I digress…she’s pretty cool. And her boyfriend sounds like a great guy too.

But, like all of us, from time to time they have some communication issues. She ‘feels’ the world and with his business underpinnings he definitely ‘thinks’ the world so they often have to meet somewhere in the middle to get where each other is coming from. Recently, that soft gooey middle has been a bit elusive and needless to say it was causing some unrest, disruption, hurt feelings and you guessed it…the dreaded ‘distance’ in their relationship.

He says ‘this’, she says ‘that’, ‘you never listen’, ‘you never get to the point’, ‘I’m only trying to help you’, ‘I don’t want you to fix my problems’, ‘well then’, ‘ok’, ‘fine’, ‘fine’.

Sound familiar?

So, in a moment of brilliance she took a minute to stop and really think about why they weren’t able to effectively talk to each other in heated moments and she realized that he’s not wired to get emotional, react emotionally and respond emotionally. He’s wired to gather information, identify a problem area and make adjustments. He needs his information delivered in a plain manila folder. My advice? ‘You should talk more’, right? Wrong!

Guess what she did?

No, she didn’t write him a letter and hand it to him in a plain folder…c’mon guys…that’d be soooo 1980’s…jeez…

But she did write him a letter and deliver it to his inbox folder in his email.

She delivered it in the way he needed…calmly, directed, in a step-wise fashion. And guess what he did? He responded in the way she’d been craving…with emotion! With passion! He was excited that he finally ‘got it’! Amazing how that whole communication thing works…

The key is that you just have to care about the other person, care about what they need, care enough to give it to them and care about connecting. In relationships, once you take the focus off of what you want and what you need amazing things start to happen…you actually start to get it!

Now, I’m off to see a man about how I can better direct the planets rotations from my iPhone…there’s gotta be an app for that right?

Until next time,

Dr. Ish

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