Many years of future therapy:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

I know what you are going to tell me but I think you are wrong. I think that life is more than rational selection and careful planning. I think it’s important to feel alive too.

I first met Nora when I was a program director at a local station. She was a guest on the morning show to promote her book on women’s rights. Our relationship has been under the radar because she is gay in a world where some of the countries she flies to would put her to death for her sexual preferences. She heads a non-profit and is a very powerful woman who makes a salary most men would envy.

She has more courage, intelligence and vision than anyone I’ve ever met. She also has an unbendable sense of being right, and has fits that can drive me crazy. She cheated on me once and it nearly did me in but in the end we got back together. Although I can never trust her again, there’s just no one else who could even come close to her value as a person, despite her flaws.

I know that she makes my life volatile and difficult. She travels so much for work that we sometimes don’t see each other for weeks at a time. My friends have all told me I deserve to have someone who treats me like the special person I am, but I don’t care. I want to be with someone I feel that way about. I want Nora.

OK, so go ahead and tell me about the careful, self-reserving choices I should make instead. But I would rather be hit in the head with a two by four by Nora than have to pretend to be interested in some sane, safe partner who put me to sleep.


Dear Saphora,

To each his or her own. There is no one right way to live. If you’re happy on a roller coaster, why get off? I only advise people to be rational if they are on the roller coaster and complain about the heights, speed and dips. You’re obviously exhilarated and can accept the fact that great ups come with large downs. You two are a match, so…play ball! But I suggest that you don’t add kids to the mix. Roller coaster parents can be the fuel of many years of future therapy or worse.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says; I concur with Dr. Brilliant on all accounts except for one- I would not warn you against having kids.

My own parents were “safe” people who couldn’t resolve a single difference they had, so they chose to largely ignore each other. They both enjoyed football games and enthusiastically yelled at the screen together during Sunday afternoon games. But aside from that, there was very little life in my house. And I had no sense of how two people could solve problems, either with their passions or the world at large. I couldn’t understand how couples maintained interest in each other over time. I don’t remember seeing my parent’s act like they were in love. They were just sharing the responsibilities of the family. To me, a family was a stagnant, dutiful place I wanted to escape. I won’t go into the gory details of the mischief I got into after I left home, nor of the many failed relationships I had.

I would have far preferred to have a set of parents who had their ups and downs but stayed the course together and I would have vastly preferred hearing the deep respect and value Saphora places on Nora to the bickering indifference both my parents displayed towards each other.

What kids need are parents who really care and who can commit. Safe parents who go by the book can also be the fuel of many years of future therapy or worse. The most messed up kids in my high school were the psychiatrist’s kids. Life is a roller coaster. If you grow up on one, who knows- you might just do better in this crazy world.


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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2 Responses to Many years of future therapy:

  1. Ken Bryant says:

    Dear Saphora,
    You’re experiencing concern many people have when they have a good working relationship that is different from what you think most relationships are. First, many relationships run on strengths that are not the once observed. Secondly, I would like to know more about why it does work. There has to be some pretty strong positives that would offset the impact of a two by four! Further articulation on these positives unless you feel the question invasive, would really add a lot to other’s understanding of their own relationships. As far as having children are concerned, kids are very insightful and can pick up some of those hidden gems that make it work.

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