Love, sex, forgiveness in relationships

Forgiveness can change all your relationships for the better, a counselor and author says.

Tina Konkin co-wrote “Love Sex and Money” with her husband, Ron. It distills years’ worth of personal and professional experiences in setting things right with loved ones.tina_konkin

Tina said she grew up in a Christian home, which does not mean much because it was dysfunctional with “buried stuff” including sexual abuse that never came out in her childhood.

For years as an adult she never dealt with her rejection issues. She entered children’s ministry and met her future husband. She had a heart for kids who “were silenced.” But she did not realize her work was healing to her or how her past affected her relationships — until she was married.

Fast forward to when their daughter was 8. Tina started to push away from her. “I couldn’t do the normal mother-nurture thing. I thought I could hide it.”

She eventually started counseling to help with her motherhood and marriage issues. She did not want the counselor to dig into her past, and the effort did not work. A couple of years later, in 1992, her marriage was going badly and Ron was basically stuck in the middle between Tina and their daughter.

Then the Konkins attended Dr. Phil’s personal growth seminar, before he was famous. It was life-changing.

Neither Ron nor Tina had been through an experiential program like that. This was the first time they had experienced forgiveness. Once Tina began to forgive her mother, she began to realize forgiveness is “a real gift to yourself. I would do all the things forgiveness tells you to do until Mom hurt me again. When I experienced forgiveness like that … I wanted to share this with the world.”

Tina shares that knowledge in several ways. She is a conference speaker. She appears on shows on various media formats, including Dr. Phil’s show and “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.” She and Ron offer couples retreats either for one set of couples or in large group settings. Their counseling ministry has over a 90 percent success rate, even for couples who are considering divorce, she said. Many of their clients are dealing with infidelity.

Then there is their book.

“Love Sex and Money” addresses the three subjects in its title. “If people could get those three areas right, what great relationships we would have. Those are the three areas we come in damaged.”

Tina said she created a belief system around her parents’ marriage, their love for her and their rejection. That belief system damaged her sense of intimacy in her own family.

The book shares the couple’s stories and gives pointers to lead the reader to a place to get help.

Her website, TinaKonkin.com, has information about her services and book. The book also is available on Amazon.

— Jason M. Reynolds

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