Dear Dr. Romance:

I am confused, i am in love with this woman but she refuses to remove the dozen roses her ex gave her and are now dead. She says she doesn't want him she just wants me but it's hard to swallow when every time we are in the bedroom there are the dead roses from her ex-boyfriend. Help me understand whats going on.

Dear Reader:
Well, you're right to be concerned. It doesn't sound like this woman has finished grieving about her ex. You didn't tell me how long ago that last relationship ended. She may just need more time. Have you tried giving her some new flowers to replace the dead roses?

It's very important not to get into a power struggle about the roses. If you push too hard, she may be resisting letting you control her, rather than hanging on to the roses. Read "Asking for what you want" and "Couples Can Cooperate for Success" to help you understand the dynamics of your relationship.

How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free 4th Edition will teach you a cooperative problem solving system to increase the partnership in your relationships.

Couple and Free 4th Ed

For low-cost counseling, email me at


Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.