Divorced and Dating. Seven Tips on How to Get Back Into the Scene Again

“Divorce sucks.  It just sucks and there is no other way to say it.  My parents have been married for almost 60 years ansd I always thought this would be my life, too.  But it just hasn’t worked out that way.  My first marriage lasted 17 years and ended abruptly when my husband confessed an affair he had been having for the past five years.  He thought I should forgive him and our lives should just “carry on.”  He could breathe easier because he had gotten this off his chest.  I was crushed and devastated.  For the first time in 18 years, I was in the dating market again” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

Divorce is one very tough situation to go through. It’s very stressful and tiring, both in the physical, as well as in the emotional aspect, for two people.

Many would ask when is the perfect moment to start dating after a divorce. The answer totally depends on the individual and how he or she manages to cope with the healing process. One thing you should keep in mind is that it is important to take your time in the process of healing. Enjoy being single for quite a while, so that you can concentrate on your life, your goals, and your future plans before you start seeing someone new. By doing so, you can assure that you already have given yourself enough time to let all the difficulties of the past relationship subside and you can declare, without hesitation, that you have moved on and are ready to meet someone new.

When you’re officially and legally divorced and finally back to that single status, you are now in the best position to get going in life. However, it is important not to put yourself in the singles market in a desperate way and not to rush into new relationships. Maximize your time to do things right, at the proper time, with the correct person, and with the most appropriate feeling.

Since dating after divorce is considered as one difficult, yet extremely exciting new phase of one’s life, you should be guided on how you must do things in a proper way as you get back into the scene again.

Here are seven dating tips that you can follow after your divorce:

Make sure you have already started your social life before you start to date again.
Go to parties, meet old friends and make new friends first. Perhaps you should give social media a try and then choose one suitable person to date. Remember not to show your impatience and immediately date that first person you have come across. This will send a wrong signal to the one you are planning to date at a later time.

Prepare yourself by going to the gym and eating healthy. These things will help you get ready to show the world the new you and the new positive life you are forging ahead. Remember that if you are putting yourself in the singles market, you have to stand out and be an attractive person among the others.

When you go out on a date, do not talk about your past.
This is an intense mistake you should do so! Do not talk about your ex or how frustrated you are in your life, because that will turn-off your date and for you. In return will become a total date failure. If you want to vent about your past and get angry, do not go and bust it all out on your date.  See a professional Lifestyle Coach, Counselor, or Therapist, instead.

What you must do is to carry a great attitude about your life and think about how lucky you are for another chance that you get to seek for a new person who might be out there just waiting for you. Perhaps you will fall in love and find true love this next time.

Do not compare your ex to your new date.
You have to leave all bad and bitter memories behind. Do not make the mistake of comparing your new date with your ex.  They are two different individuals. In addition, comparing can also spoil the new relationship you are building with your date and can even spoil your self-respect, as well.

Don’t just settle on one source on dating.
Dating sites have been very common dating matchmaking these days. With one single click, you can easily get a list of people who are computed as your match. Why not be your own personal matchmaker? Go out, explore and meet new people personally. That will be more fun and you will also get the chance of seeing that individual right in the eyes.  Additionally, you can see how that person carries himself around new people. The impression that you will get when seeing someone in person is different than those you see only through profiles in online dating sites.

Don’t waste any of your time with people who are not ready to give you a hand.
Your best friends are the most supportive people you can go to. Make use of their support to search for a new date. New-date searching is one challenging quest for you, so use all the support and resources you can have.

Make sure that it feels right.
When you choose someone to seriously date, make sure that it feels good.  Remember that in order for you to enjoy fully the advantages of going out on a date with a new person, you must have already let go of your past. You must be able to see yourself extremely happy with the one you are with right now.

These are seven quick tips that you can bring into play so you can enjoy a wonderful dating experience after divorce. Just remember that you need to meet people out and about. Smile, be friendly, flirt a little at appropriate times, go to parties and mingle, and ask your friends for help and advice.  Put yourself out there.  Happy dating!


Relationship Blunders: What to do When You Have One on a Date

“The very worse relationship blunder for me has to be the one time I called a date by the wrong name.  It was my birthday, and I was going out for dinner and dancing with one date and then out the following night with another date.  During the first date, I looked squarely in the face of the gentleman and called him by the wrong name.  At the time, he laughed it off, but I could tell that it really hurt his feelings.  He turned out to be a jerk and I never saw him again, so it ended up being okay.  I’ll never forget that as long as I live and since that time, I have always been excellent with names.  There won’t be any more name blunders for this chick!” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Being in a relationship may be a tough deal, especially if it is not all just about hearts and flowers. Most relationships may have a good start.  However, if one or both parties involved begins to show their true colors, that is when things could turn nasty. It is important to work on the differences between two partners, but doing so can be challenging, especially if faced with many relationship blunders. In some cases, men and women tend to commit the same mistakes that repeatedly strain the relationship and create havoc to what should be a supposedly intimate and fun date.  This could, in turn, bring about a heated exchange of toxic arguments.

It is advisable to work and avoid the common relationship blunders, especially while having a date, as things may turn out quite intense and could end up into something that you might regret. Of course, some of us tend to commit such stupid and dreadful mistakes.  Therefore, it is important to do some damage control if we don’t want to end up alone or bitter at the end of the date.

Here are four common relationship blunders and some tips that would help you smooth things out properly:

1.       Invasion of privacy – Well, most dates tend to get easily irritated when their partner is  busy answering text messages and not paying attention to them. Some dates are really pissed to the extent of pulling the cellphone away from their partner and start the never ending nagging. This can provoke the other partner and become a big turn off. It will not really look good for anyone to do this while on a date, as each one still deserves to keep some privacy. If you have already done the damage, then learn to apologize and don’t escalate the problem. Try to settle things in a proper manner and help make your partner understand what caused you to act in that manner.

2.       Domination and making too many demands – Some people tend to forget that a relationship takes two to tango, so they keep all the power and control over the relationship. In some cases, one tends to make too many demands from the other, especially while having a date. To make demands from a relationship is not really a problem, but it should be done in a moderate way. If you think that you are too demanding to your partner, tone it down.

3.        Excessive intimacy – Intimacy is a very important factor in a relationship but it may not be a good thing if you cannot keep your hands off your partner, even in public places or on a date.  If you are trying to send a message to other people to back off and this person is mine, then they surely get what you wanted to say. However, your partner can take that as a negative thing and may think that you are too possessive. Just learn when to stop kissing or being overly attached to your partner and leave the intimacy in your private realms. Too much of anything can kill off any relationship.

4.       Selfishness – Stop thinking that it’s all about you as relationship don’t work that way. If you are on a date, do not just be a good speaker, but also try to become a good listener. Do not treat your partner just like your friend that you need to just talk about some girly and boyish stuff when you are with him. If you think you are talking too much, then learn to stop and try to open topics that both of you would enjoy.

These are simple relationship blunders that people often commit. If done repeatedly, these can actually fuel feuds and conflicts between the people involved. It is important to avoid them if you don’t want to bring your romantic relationship to a screeching halt.


She’s a Spender – I’m a Saver: 5 Easy Steps to Compromise

“In my own relationships, I have been the saver overall, the one who makes sure the bills are paid on time and who is a bit nutty about finances.  I always had money in the bank and money in my 401k’s.  I lived within my means.  If you partner with someone who has a very different attitude about money, it can be difficult.  I would highly suggest using these five steps as a beginning for compromise”  ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

When dealing with differences with your partner, money can be an emotionally loaded aspect that is subject for a lengthy discussion. One may often focus on long-term financial goals while the other prefers the temporary enjoyment that money can bring. And this is what makes a spender and saver combination complicated and often generates conflicts in a relationship. So how do you make your financial relations with your partner smoother to avoid problems in the future? Knowing and understanding your own attitude towards money is the initial step. Here are 5 easy strategies that will help you in ensuring respect on each other’s differences without jeopardizing your financial concerns.

  • Understand the disparity between your money attitudes and spending habits. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner towards the subject of budgeting and financial planning. Be frank and considerate. Be ready for compromise by setting limitations, you can start by saying: “I am a saver, here is what it means…You are a spender, this is what that means…Let us talk about how we can get on the same page. So that we meet our needs and at the same time show the right message about money to our children.”  It is important that you both come into terms and have a calm and rational discussion. Avoid setting the stage for pestering resentment which will then lead into heated arguments.
  • The meaning of financial security may be different from one person to another. The saver needs to know that he is saving sufficient money off the top to guarantee financial security. So it is important for the saver to realize that the family does not necessarily need a million dollars for them to survive in the succeeding years. Being able to pay for the monthly mortgage until maturity and having to allocate a certain amount for the kids’ education are some of the factors that make a saver think that his/her finances are enough and sufficient.
  • Decide and enumerate what your priorities are. This is not just about planning your family budget but also talking about your dreams and aspirations in life. You evaluate your present situation and come up with choices that you should make in the near future. For example, would you prefer to buy a new car next year or have a vacation escapade instead? The various instances where your dreams collide should be your ultimate goal as a couple to make them meet on common ground. Then you decide how you will meet these goals without causing problems within the family. It will be much preferable if you both come into an agreement on the amount of money that you will invest on savings. Discussing who will administer the money is also another issue that you should resolve in the earliest time.
  • One important aspect that you should bring up is whether to have a joint or separate account. A method that works for some couples is coming up with separate accounts while also having a third household account. If you prefer a joint account instead, you can talk and negotiate on the specific allowance that each of you can spend. There are different ways to organize your finances but the most crucial is to always make sure that each one of you will have a certain amount of money that you are free to spend. This will ensure that your partner will not feel deprived of your finances. And this is quite an effective method in avoiding heated arguments.
  • Come to a decision on how to deal with everyday finances. Do not forget to talk about paying the bills, balancing the check book and making investment decisions. Another important point is to come to an agreement on how much each of you can spend without consulting the other. When you come into terms with this, you will be avoiding misunderstandings on how you handle your finances.

Having a partner that has a rather different financial approach does not necessarily translate into a doomed relationship. Actually, many individuals even say that a saver-spender combination is somewhat an ideal one. The spender makes sure that the family is not deprived from leisurely things and activities that are both fun and exciting. The saver will be the one to make sure that there is enough money to sustain the lifestyle now and in the coming years. As long as you are able to strike a balance in managing your financial resources, natural tendencies will not rule your lives and will even rid you of problems in the unforeseen future.


He/She Left Me and I Can’t Quit Crying: What’s Wrong With Me?

“Every time I have broken up, I thought my world was ending.  Except for one time, it was me who did the ‘breaking up’ and even then, it hurt.  It is not pleasant to tell another person you do not want to be with them or that you have made the wrong selection for a mate.  In fact, it sucks to be the bearer of bad news.  But, with each and every break-up, I have learned and grown.  Additionally, something or someone better – even growth in myself – was always waiting on the other side of the fence for me” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

It is never easy when a relationship comes to an end. Whether you wanted it or not, whatever the reason behind the break-up, this can turn your world upside down. Break-ups can cause you a lot of emotional pain. You can spend the whole night staying up, crying and thinking what went wrong. Sometimes, even though it has been a year or two, the pain still feels so fresh. One reason why it is so hard to move on is because of your many expectations. Remember the day you met your partner?  You start to remember all the wonderful plans, the hopeful dreams you made and the promise of fulfilling all of them together in the future. All of those are annihilated by separation. All kinds of painful and unsettling feelings can be triggered by break-ups. What began as a high note of hope for the future will end up with profound grief, stress and resentment.

It is not easy to recover from a break-up. However it is important to keep reminding yourself that you can and you will move on. You just have to be patient with yourself because healing takes time. Here are four ways on how to cope with break-ups:

  • It is quite normal to feel a lot of different emotions in you. You will feel miserable, mad, confused, frustrated and exhausted. All of these feelings can be a bit intense. You will feel a lot anxious on what the future holds for you. Acknowledge all these emotions and be assured that as the time goes by it will eventually lessen. For a limited period of time, you will feel and perform at a less than optimal level and you must permit yourself to this. You should realize that it takes time to heal. And you have to remember that you do not have to go through all of these alone. Share what you feel to a Professional Lifestyle Coach who specializes in Relationships and also, your family and friends. Unloading yourself to someone you can trust can lessen the burden that you feel. If you isolate yourself, you will only increase the level of emotional and physical stress that you are feeling. Do not be afraid to seek help when you need to.
  • Separation or breakup involves multiple losses. You lose the one you share your dreams and experiences with. You lose someone who supports you, be it socially, emotionally, financially and intellectually. So allow yourself to grieve over these losses. Sometimes we try to shield ourselves from the pain that these losses can cause; it is understandable because it is scary to make yourself even more vulnerable to the pain. If you always fear the pain and treat it as unbearable, you will not be able to go through it. But you have to remember that an important part of the healing process is actually grieving. No matter how difficult and strong your grief is, it will surely not last forever.
  • While you are going through the grieving process, do not forget to reach out to your support system. Again, seek the help and guidance of a Lifestyle Coach and then talk with your trusted friend or family member and they can help ease the pain that you feel. Surround yourself with positive people and it will work wonders for you.
  • More than ever, taking care of yourself in the midst of this life-changing and emotional wringer event in your life, is the most important thing that you should always remember. You can be left psychologically and physically vulnerable by the negative strain of separation. Treat and learn to nurture yourself at all times. This is one of the valuable lessons you will learn from this painful moment of your life.

The healing process is not achieved overnight, so be honest with yourself and try not to think of whom to blame or dwell on your mistakes. Time will come when you will be able to look back into your past relationship and take it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself rather than a dreadful past that you want to escape. And when the right time comes, you will eventually learn to love again.


The Main Perks of Being Involved in a Group Coaching Program

“I personally have worked with a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist doing long-term psychotherapy, and am presently paying big bucks for a Group Coaching Program in business.  I am not the least bit embarrassed to admit these things, and in fact, I am quite proud of myself for publicly stating this.  Let me explain why.  It took me almost 40 years to get over myself. Yes, that’s what I said. I was prideful – so prideful that I could not and would not ask for help, even when I needed it.  I am so glad that I got the slap in the face and wake-up call that saved my life so I could seek the help of professionals.  I must say that I would not be where I am today if I had not sought the help I needed. For that reason, I am proud of me and explain to others, even the very strongest people will know when to raise their hand and say, ‘It is my time now.  I am going to do this for me.’  You are worth this. Get the coaching you deserve”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Group Coaching by a professional has many perks, but for the sake of keeping this article to a fairly short reading span, I am going to list five of those benefits.  These include (but are not limited to):

1)    You will very quickly learn that there are many others who are facing the same or similar situations as yourself.  This will help you understand that your issue is not “different” and rather, that it is a fairly common or “normal” problem that needs to be dealt with through coaching.

2)    Learning is shared exponentially through the group format. As the group grows, the learning amongst the members is more freely shared.  Members become teachers.  We all learn from each other.  Any time that learning is taking place, no matter how it is happening, it is a good – no – it is a great thing! Learning is the key element to personal and professional growth.

3)    A support system is quickly developed between members in the group.  This is evident in almost every group I have ever belonged to…yes, some more than others.  The camaraderie may end up being one of the main reasons you want to belong to the group and stay with the group.  You like your new friends so much that the coaching session is very enjoyable for you each week (as it should be).

4)    There is “safety” in numbers.  By this, I simply mean that you instantly feel comfort and welcomed from the very first teleseminar because you know that you are not alone.  Just knowing you will not be on the call by yourself (or on the computer if you choose to dial in that way), provides you with enough security that you look forward to the sessions.

5)    Group Coaching is affordable in a way totally different than private coaching can ever be.  For less than $10 per week, my clients can listen in to a session every Tuesday and have an encore presentation if they miss that session.  There is virtually little to no reason most people could not be members of my Group Coaching Sessions, if they want to be.  The sessions are jam-packed with information in a “discussion-style-format.”  Plus, here is the biggie.  You, the listener, will help decide the subject and topic for coaching sessions.  Each week, prior to the next teleseminar, I will ask you to submit your subject or issue you’d like to have discussed (if you have one). The bulk of emails and subject matter will help determine the topic up for discussion.  Pretty cool, huh?

So, if you have ever dreamed of having your own Coach, like professional athletes, movie stars, singers, and rock idols, now is your perfect chance to have the first Session on Tuesday 14 August 2012 for absolutely FREE.  Yes, it is FREE!  For the next month, the membership-based program costs you only $1.00.  Beginning with 18 September, the weekly Coaching Program is $39.99 per month, billed on a recurring basis.  You may quit at any time, for any reason.  For those who pay in advance after the first free session, there is a sizeable discount.

Now, if this rocks your planet, please “like” the FB biz/fan page of Dr. Hall on Call, like the FB Page of Exceptional Living, and then go to:  www.DrHallonCallCoaching.com to get registered before it is too late.  I can’t wait to see you on the call!


Domestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. Hall – Documentary from Dr. Hall on Call™, Part 1 of 4

Freedom in America After 9/11-The Impact of the Tenth Anniversary on Society, Soldiers, and Survivors

never-forget-gayle-hall “America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.” – Adlai Stevenson.

Ten years have passed since the attacks against the United States of America on that dreadful day of September 11, 2001. When the first tower of the World Trade Center was hit by the jet, my son-in law called me and said, “Gayle, turn on the news, you have to see this.” I thought he was playing a practical joke on me, because he often did that. I was getting ready for work, but walked into my bedroom and did turn on my television just in time to witness another suicide jet as it was forced to crash into the second tower.

I stood there in horror. Wait a minute—wasn't this the land of the free? Aren't we supposed to be guaranteed freedom by living in America? My leading thought with the first jet was that there had been a terrible error and how could that have happened. I quickly realized after the second jet that this was no blunder on anyone's part. America was under attack!

Within minutes our airwaves were taken over. Flights were frozen in mid-air. As we all know, the third jet was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. Children were killed who were in the day-care facility on site. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, was overtaken by brave passengers and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 Americans were killed on this one horrific day. I cried, prayed, and begged God to help these families. I felt helpless.

What is the psychological impact for the families of those victims who perished on 9/11, ten years ago? What is the meaning of freedom to those of us who live in the United States and what does freedom really mean? Have you thought about this, since that horrendous day ten years ago, on 9/11?

A flashbulb memory, a psychological impact, has been forever planted in my mind from that day and my guess is that one has been planted in yours also. You likely remember where you were, what you were doing, and exactly what you thought when you first heard the news of the al-Qaeda terrorists attacks. This memory will not fade. It is just there and on 9/11, you will relive those memories over and over again. Please pray for the families of all of the victims of 9/11.

Do not forget about the heroes that day. When I have visited New York, I have come back home and had others ask me what I thought of NYC and each time I tell them the same thing, “I love New York.” On that day, the entire city became heroes. People who did not know each other were helping. In case you have never visited, it is difficult to drive in NYC and even difficult at times, to hail a cab. The traffic parted, so the emergency vehicles could get through. I personally have never witnessed anything like this before. As everyone was trying to run out of the buildings, firefighters and first-responders were running in to save people trapped in the towers. Did you know that 343 firefighters lost their lives that day trying to save others? There were so many heroes. The loss of lives could have been so much greater.

As a result of that day, 9/11, George Bush, Jr., sent our men and women to war. I remember, just like you do, the look on our President's face as he sat reading a storybook to children, paused for a moment to receive the news of the suicide bombing of the twin towers, and then continuing with his reading. Our soldiers were sent first to Iraq, then to Afghanistan, and now some are being brought back home.

My own son-in-law has done two tours in Iraq and is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Obama is stating he is pulling out the troops…yet more soldiers are still going over. I personally know of one soldier whose father died while he was serving in Afghanistan. He was given time off to get home for his father's funeral, sent back to Afghanistan to serve out his last ten days of service, and is now back with his family. The cost of war is driving me insane.

When is enough going to be enough? Freedom is not free, that is certain. I was so angry that our nation, the greatest nation on this earth, could be attacked, that I supported war, I supported us going overseas, I supported everything the government was telling us we should do. Nevertheless, what I have discovered, as I have become more educated through self-discovery and reading, is that our government does not provide us with direct information. So much is kept from us intentionally. Lack of honesty, lack of integrity, lack of commitment from elected officials, and lack of straightforward communication from the press is dead wrong and it is driving me insane.

Is this war we have been fighting really about what happened on 9/11, or did our government use that as an excuse to go to war? Is this war about oil, freedom for other countries, or what? What is this war about? My own thoughts will be kept as my own.

I am so very proud to be an American and have traveled extensively to other countries who do not live without fear of being under attack. My freedom means so much to me. Be sure to see the vlog I made regarding “Freedom” – it is now posted on my website, as well as on YouTube.

Freedom never comes without a price. Freedom is not a right, it is a privilege. I would love to know your thoughts, and especially love to hear the thoughts from our soldiers and Veterans.

God bless America.

This article is fondly dedicated to our military personnel and to all of those who gave their service, lives, and to the families affected on 9/11/2001. God bless you.

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Reasons Why America’s Greed Will Constantly Lead Us to War

“God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside Her, and guide Her, through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.” — Irving Berlin.

This is the most difficult of all articles I have written to date. Today, 22 Navy SEALS were among the 25 U.W. special operations forces and other service members shot down in their CH-47 Chinook Helicopter as it was arriving to provide reinforcement for our other troops in Kabul, Afghanistan. Apparently, the Taliban is claiming to have shot down the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Every single day, our U.S. soldiers put their uniforms on or wake up wearing them, go out into battle, and never have the peace of mind knowing if they will return to their quarters that night. Sounds gruesome, doesn’t it? This is war and war is reality. Ask the families who did not lose their soldiers today if they know for certain they will hear from their loved one next week.I mean no disrespect to anyone. I have family members who are serving or who have served in the military. I am proud of them for doing their job, because I believe this to be honorable. I love our soldiers—all of them.

This day marked the single most deadliest loss of American lives in battle in Afghanistan. When will we say, “Enough is enough? When will we, as a Country, stop being so covetous in thinking it is our job to fix the world?” I was so upset when I read about the news on CNN that I cried for an hour. I spoke with my son shortly afterward and he inquired what was wrong with me. He could hear it in my voice. I told him about the CH-47 being shot down. Although my own son or daughter was not on that helicopter, you would have to know me personally to understand my feelings. First, I was heartbroken and sad for the brave soldiers and their families. Then, I became angry. I say now, again, “Enough is enough. We are at war because of greed. In my opinion, this is why we are fighting and what America is doing–because of our own greed.”

These are three of my reasons for believing why greed leads us to war:

1). The U.S. sticks its nose in where it should not. It is actually quite simple and although I am terrible with math and algorithms, this formula is easy. If someone attacks us, we should go to war, get in there, bomb the hell out of them, and get it over with. Then we should bring our soldiers back home. Period.

2). We were attacked on 9/11/2001—a day most of us will never forget. Innocent lives were snatched right out from those twin towers, as others watched in horror. Flashbulb memories are implanted in some of our minds forever, as a result of this. Greed has kept us in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, if you really think about it. The U.S. is greedy, has a necessity to improve Western access to Iraqi oil, and has spent trillions of dollars on this war. Look at the financial crisis our Country is in now, all due to fighting a war filled with greed.

3). The U.S. has some belief it is our duty to save the world. Each time there is a crisis, we run to the aid of another country, whether that be with troops to fight their war-as we did 45 years ago in Vietnam, send supplies when a natural disaster hits, such as a tsunami, or the earthquake in Haiti. We sent our American troops to help there also. We have become filled with greed in thinking we can save the world. The fact of the matter, it that we cannot do that. A realist would tell you this is not possible.

I hope these three reasons listed above help you understand why I believe greed leads us to war. For those who do not know me, you may be thinking, “What a terrible person she is, to be so cold, to be so filled with hate and vile for others.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I love people. I love the people of all countries. I do not love people who are haters, bigots, stereotype others, and who are prejudice. War is about killing; however, this is for protection, not for righteousness.

In the United States, we have people who are starving—babies and children who are lucky if they get one meal a day at a shelter for the homeless. In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, entire families are turned away if there is not enough room for them. They are forced to stay out in this 100 degree heat. Battered women and their children may have no place to stay and no food to eat. The isolated elderly in their own homes, can sometimes not pay their electricity payments, get their utilities shut off, and are victimized by their own family members who steal their social security checks from their online accounts.

As the saying goes, “Freedom is not free.” It never has been and it never will be free. Remove the “G” from the word “greed” and replace it with the letter “F”. The new word becomes, “Freed.” I just made that up as I was writing this. How about if we turn our greed into freed and make this a better society so fewer of our United States soldiers will have to die in war, as they did today? Every single day, a war is happening right here in America, the land of the free.

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

U.S. Navy Seals and Special Forces

Domestic Violence Victims and Soldiers – What Do They Have in Common?

“A battlefield is a battlefield. I don't care where you are fighting it. Unless you have lived through fearing for your life on a nightly basis, you cannot imagine what war is like.” – Dr. Gayle J. Hall.

A victim of domestic violence fights for her life on a daily basis, just like a soldier on the front line of combat fights for his. Now, this may be difficult for soldiers to understand and may even make some angry. They may say, “I sure did not see any women out there on the front line with me when I was at war. What the hell! How can you possibly compare the two?” Here is my reply to those remarks. You are 100% correct. A woman may not be on the front line of combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nevertheless, if a woman is living in a ferocious domestic violence situation in her own home, she may be facing the front line of combat nightly right in her own living room with the very same person she must sleep next to.

The following are four common denominators between victims of domestic violence and soldiers once they are out of the war zone:

1). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We are now seeing a higher rate of PTSD with our soldiers returning from war than ever before. My belief is that the soldiers understand they can talk about what they have witnessed without the feelings of shame and guilt. On the other hand, victims of domestic violence who suffer from PTSD (and not all do — only about 20%), still have some of the symptoms of PTSD more than five years after being out of the abusive relationship. Domestic violence victims who fit this category may still suffer from flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and sleeplessness.

2). Both the victims of domestic violence and soldiers have problems with maintaining attention for any period of time. This common factor causes them to be restless. They have been trained to listen for sounds so they may take control of their situation during an attack. A battered woman must learn to flee her abuser or retaliate, while the soldier has learned to kill or be killed.

3). Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is very common for any survivor of abuse or soldier returning from war. This means the person is a “worrier” and worries about anything and everything, for no apparent reason. For the survivor of domestic violence, she has been under the rule of her mate and has not been allowed to think for herself. Regarding the soldier, he has been told 24/7 what to do and must now try to blend back into society and make decisions daily. This may seem easy to a regular person; however, for a soldier, having to make daily decisions may be overwhelming at first. Both the soldier and the battered woman may suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

4). Proximity and personal space will be common issues for both the domestic violence victim and soldier returning from war. Victims of domestic violence have sometimes been kept from their friends and family during the relationship with their abuser. They may want extreme closeness, or may be so used to abandonment, they prefer being left alone. Soldiers have, for the most part, been in groups and sub-groups. They are used to their “own kind” and this is their preference. They would choose to not venture into large crowds of unknown people and may not even be comfortable going to the grocery store.

I hope these four descriptors of similarities for domestic violence survivors and soldiers have helped you understand some of the complications from living in a battlefield. War is war and adapting afterward takes time, both for victims of domestic violence, as well as soldiers in our Armed Forces. Thank you, God, for our brave warriors!

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Domestic Violence Prevention: The Final Article in This Series of Six on Domestic Violence

“We must help the victims of domestic violence look into the mirror and name this problem so they can begin receiving help.  Education is the key in the class rooms across the nation, to discuss domestic violence and date rape, train our family counselors and therapists, and others who are not knowledgeable with the battered woman syndrome, to recognize the signs.  As a society, we must address our lawmakers and those in power to take action and realize this is a serious and deadly issue.” — Dr. Gayle J. Hall

Time and time again, I have heard a battered woman say she knows something is wrong with her or with the relationship, but she does not know what it is.  She does not know why she gets slapped or screamed at because she thinks she is a good wife.  This same woman then proceeds to rationalize and justify her husband's actions for his anger and rage.  After all is said and done, she is worried about getting home on time and what he may think of her if she is late.  I was that same woman.  I consider myself to be smart, yet I had no clue that domestic violence could ever happen to me…not to me.

What can we do to prevent domestic violence?  I have a brilliant idea and plan.  This must be implemented before abuse is ever triggered.  The following is my five-step-plan.

1).  Go into schools, as young as elementary age, up through high school and into the universities.  Have age-appropriate literature, such as brochures, available to pass out, as well as refrigerator magnets, for all to take with them after the 30-minute presentation on what domestic violence and “date rape” is.  Again, the discussion and presentation would be catered for the age of the audience.  Allow time for questions at the end.  When I gave a presentation to a group of 65 women and men at a local college, half of them in the room stood up and wanted to tell their story of being in a domestic violent relationship.  They just needed empowered to do so.

2).  Hold community fairs and free public events.  Invite churches to set up booths, invite the local battered women's shelters to set up tables with their literature, invite women's organizations to participate, and call this a “Day of Learning and Loving” or whatever.  Just get the public involved and get the information out there about preventing domestic violence.

3).  Train the counselors, therapists, life coaches, and anyone who may work in treating or guiding the victims of domestic violence.  I can only speak for the local Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, area providers, as well as providers in two other states, and I must say that those affiliated with agencies who provide care for abused victims, or those who are experts in the field, such as myself, are the ones who can provide the proper guidance.   Victims and survivors of domestic violence have indicated they often feel misunderstood by their therapists when they seek help.  This happens when one seeks out an untrained life coach, counselor, or therapist who does not know the dynamics of domestic violence.  Research has indicated many therapists and counselors in family practice have not received proper training suitable for helping guide the victim in a domestic violent relationship.  Training is critical.  A family therapist more than likely does not have proper training and neither do many marriage and family counselors, according to research and LMFT own self-reports.  The best help and guidance for a victim of domestic violence is one who is a professional or expert in that field and not one who does it part time, or acts like they understand it.

One word of caution here, please.  Marriage counseling can cause more damage and harm to the victim of domestic violence, than good.  Never under any certain terms should a couple seek marriage or family counseling when there is domestic violence in the home.  Only properly trained life coaches, therapists, or counselors with domestic violence knowledge and education should be working with the victim.

4).  Train the law enforcement officials and 911 operators.  This may sound senseless; however, you may be surprised at the differences in response rates right here in this Metroplex region.  There needs to be a universal response system in place for handling domestic violence calls, instead of taking it lightly and assuming that the call is just a husband and wife yelling at each other and everything is no big deal.  When will people understand that domestic violence is the number one killer of women between the ages of 15 to 44 years of age?

5).  Contact the local and national organizations for domestic violence and ask what you can do to help.  In Texas, this is; The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) and at the national level; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).  You can also do volunteer work at a local battered women's shelters.  They are always looking for volunteer services.

Hopefully, this five-step-plan provided you with some information to take action in creating a program and strategy to implement prevention of domestic violence and raise awareness.  Please help us educate others about this very important issue.  I hope you have benefited and enjoyed reading this six-part-series of articles on domestic violence.

Please read articles one through five in this six-part series on domestic violence.  The sixth article concludes this series, but don't you worry…there will be more articles in the month of September, plus, an upcoming book jam-packed with guidance, stories, and love about how to shine your way out from hiding behind the shame of domestic violence.  You will not want to miss out!

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.