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Still in love with my ex!

Mar 1st, 2009 by Dr. Elia | 0


Dear Dr. Elia,

I have a problem with my ex-wife. I still love her with all my heart. I never wanted to get a divorce, but I had problems telling her the truth and she wanted to move on. We still are the best of friends and celebrate holidays, birthdays, etc together. And I believe she still cares for me, but is afraid to take a risk again.

Well my question is should I move on or should I still try my best to get her trust back and love. I have changed, I now never lie to her about anything and she has admitted the great change in me herself. I realized that lies no matter how small never helped and all I was doing was pushing her away. I have always loved her and still do with all my heart and soul. And I have told her this. You should know that all most every lie small or large was mainly amount finances/money. Her family was always better off and she grow up with money, and cam e from a family with out much money and didn’t want her to think I was a failure with the money in our life.

Any advice, reading or help of any kind would greatly be appreciated.

Thank you for help,

Missing My Only Love


Dear Will,

Trust is the very foundation of any meaningful relationship, especially
marriage. It is the “rock” that can withstand and endure all the storms
of life. On the flip side, lies destroy trust and reduces the foundation
of a relationship to sand. When the storms come as they surely will, the
relationship crumbles to the sea…I feel your pain and see your regret
over the past lies that ended up costing you the most important
relationship of your life: your eternal marriage.

I am an optimist by nature and have seen many “miracles” transpire over
the last 20 years in working with couples. I have learned that with an
open mind and a willing heart, anything is possible. Clearly it sounds
like you would be ready and willing to do whatever it takes to regain
your ex-wife’s trust. The question lies with were is her heart? What if
any options do you have with her? Restoring the bonds of a true
friendship seems like a natural first step.

It looks like you enjoy each other’s company and spend quality time
celebrating holidays and birthdays together. Would it be premature to
ask her out on a date? Do you know her love languages? Do you have
children together? Perhaps you can share a little more information…it
would be helpful.

In the meantime, keep the faith and the candle burning. It would be
interesting to get her perspective as well. You might also want to read
a couple of articles that I’ve written on the site
on marriage and finances. If you have any additional questions let me
know…I’d love to see a happy ending!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

Question from a husband!

Nov 20th, 2008 by Dr. Elia | 0

Dear Dr. Elia,

How about a question from a husband for a change?

I have some issues that I’m working through. I’ve been told that having
open communication with my wife is critical, so I try to be open and
talk with her. But every time I do, It sure seems like the conversation
always ends up that she’s perfect and I’m just screwed up and only
barely worth saving.

How does one maintain objectivity in their communication in these


Dear TBB,

First of all, thank you for the question! I believe you are the first
husband that has posed a question on I certainly hope
this encourages other men to share their concerns, issues and thoughts
with us.

In The Multi-Platinum Marriage cd, I address both the issue of
communication and the idea of “being right” all the time. When couples
get into conversations or arguments and the end result is that only one
person is always right…what has that person actually achieved? Perhaps
a satisfied ego/pride. So your wife walks away from these encounters
with you and feels successful.

If she claims that she loves you and wants to be with you forever and
yet you end up feeling like a second class citizen in your own
marriage…then what has she really won? So every time she wins, you
lose… but if she loves you and you lose all the time, then what has
she really won? Absolutely nothing!!!

I wonder if you can sit down and explain to her this idea and ask her
what it would feel like for her if the roles were in reverse. Say to
her, “What if every time we argued, I came across as right and you were
entirely at fault? How would that make you feel towards me? Here, I’m
supposed to love you and yet you feel like you never get it right…”

If you can get her to walk in your shoes for a minute, to experience
what you must feel like after each one of these interactions, then you
have a chance for a different outcome. If this is not a possibility with
the two of you alone, then I would suggest finding a third party to
discuss this. Perhaps a Bishop or a counselor or a mutually agreed upon
third party.

Good luck!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

Serious Communication

Aug 13th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 0

Hi Dr. Elia,

I came across your site and wanted to know when should a couple seek counseling?

My husband and I have been married 15 years and have 5 children. He’s a good guy, but I feel like I can’t talk to him. He doesn’t want to deal with serious issues…he avoids them like the plague! Anytime I approach subjects in which I think need to be discussed he gets very defensive or he just laughs them off. I’ve tried doing it all sorts of ways, but in the end I feel like I’m just always wrong.

I probably AM wrong some of the time, but not ALWAYS! I don’t know how to get him to talk about things such one of our children’s health issues, another child’s struggles in school, needing a new car, etc.

I don’t want him to feel like I’m forcing him into doing something he doesn’t want to do, but as the years have progressed, I sometimes feel like I don’t have a companion in life. Should I just go to a counselor myself?

Thanks in advance for any advice you might give…


Dear Jenny,

Your predicament, although unpleasant, is quite common amongst married couples. I have worked with many women who share a similar story…

On the CD The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Surviving to Thriving one of the main deposits into the “marriage account” has to do with communication. I call it “active and authentic” listening… In your case it seems like there is very little if any listening. It is really hard to feel like you two are a team, best friends or even eternal companions, when there’s little communication. If you truly desire to move from “just surviving” in your marriage to actually thriving, then getting some help would seem quite appropriate at this time.

I wonder if your husband realizes that you come away from interactions with him always feeling wrong? So if he always wins and you lose but have your feelings hurt, what exactly does he win…? Especially if he claims to love you!

The best advice I ever received was “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?” I chose happiness over being right! Being right has to do with my ego, in other words, pride. Well, I’d rather have my wife be right and me happy than the opposite. That doesn’t mean that my feelings, opinions or thoughts don’t count. It just means that looking for a win-win outcome is MUCH better than trying to be right!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D

Communicating our Love Languages

Jul 28th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 0

Dear Dr. Elia,

I read your post about love languages, and I’m with you on that. My husband and I speak completely OPPOSITE languages! We’ve been working on it, and It hink we’ve made some progress. (At least we are working on it. )

However, sometimes even though we are both trying, I still feel like we are missing the boat totally. I think I’m doing the right thing and showing him I love him, yet somehow I haven’t communicated it right.

Other times I feel exasperated that I feel so NOT understood by him. He scratches his head even though I’ve tried my darndest to explain. He keeps wanting to SOLVE things, and all I want is his affection and understanding.

We are dedicated to our marriage, and I know there are larger issues looming in the world out there. But frankly, sometimes it’s a lonely proposition to think that we can’t make it work better than this.

What do you suggest?


Dear Rebecca,

I see your dilemma and it is more common than you might think. Most couples have very different love languages.

If you’d like to bridge the gap with your spouse, it is important to very clearly articulate your priorities in terms of what makes you feel the most loved. For example let’s say the most important aspect is Physical Affection, followed by Words of Appreciation…Then Acts of Service, Quality Time and finally Gifts. Share those with your husband and have him give you his list in terms of what makes him feel the most loved. It may not be the same as your list (like you said, you speak completely opposite languages.) The key to success is to be willing to go outside of your comfort zones and love your spouse the way that they need to be loved…not what might come easy. That’s real love because the well being of our spouse becomes of primary importance. Hopefully it will be reciprocated because as you make deposits into his account, he would be willing to make deposits into your “love account.” It becomes a win-win situation!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D

The Love Languages… It’s All Greek To Me!

May 16th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 0

Given that I am Greek and speak it fluently should automatically make me an expert right? But it wasn’t always so…The mystery of “love” and its accompanied language(s) has mystified a myriad of couples. According to best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman these are the 5 languages of love: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service and Words of Appreciation.

Unfortunately for my wife and I, we got married before this book came out. Well wouldn’t you know it, in the first six months (still considered newlyweds) we both felt like we were working soooo hard on our marriage. However, we both also felt like we weren’t getting our needs met. How was that possible? So much love, hope and optimism about our eternal union, and yet not fully connecting. At the time it was puzzling to both of us…

Fortunately, we were able to set aside our hurt feelings and sit down and very openly and honestly discuss our differences. Perhaps being a man, or Greek, but most likely because of the family that I grew up in, Physical Touch was my love language. Let me clarify, that physical touch is not the same as sexual touch. It’s more like holding hands, hugs and kisses, back and feet rubs.

Well, I grew up in a home were my dad adored my mom and use to chase her around the house and hugged and kissed her a lot. When you’re a kid it’s kind of cute, but by the time I became a teenager it was “awful” to see my parents like that. So many times I felt like saying, “Please, get a room or something, I don’t want to see that!!!” But they were in love and that’s how they expressed it. So call it conditioning, modeling or just hard-wiring that’s my love language. So guess what, for the first six months of our marriage, I’m hugging and kissing my wife to death.

Unfortunately, that was not her love language. Rather, Words of Appreciation made her feel the most loved. So as you might guess by now, that was her primary expression. I had NEVER been thanked so many times about EVERYTHING I did. It actually was starting to annoy me (half-kidding). We were both doing what we had hoped the other person would give back in return. Only, until we discussed it and figure it out, it wasn’t working. I remember saying to her, “How could you not know how much I love you?” “I hug and kiss you all the time! I fill your love account daily” Her response startled me when she said, “Well, you’re putting your deposits into the wrong account.” Of course she said the same thing too…I tell you thank you all the time. Doesn’t that prove how much I love you?” You can guess my answer: “Wrong account.”

So the solution to this very important issue in a marriage is to discover your own love language and then ask your spouse to do the same. Once this discovery takes place, that’s when the hard part comes in. You need to make a decision to love your spouse the way they need to feel loved, not what comes easy or natural to you. It’s in the getting outside of our comfort zone and “stretching” that true love and service can be found.

The change to our marriage took place the very next night when she cooked a delicious dinner. I expressed words of appreciation by saying thank you and complimented her on her cooking. The results were almost magical: she started hugging and kissing me and I’ve been saying thank you ever since!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

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