Archives for June, 2011
Whether you are someone who lives around the piles of things you cannot throw away, you had an aunt who was too embarrassed to let anyone into her cluttered home or you have seen the TV show "Hoarders" – you know something about hoarding. What is less known is the cause. Hoarding which involves thoughts, feelings and behavior and can be chalked off as eccentric or can be so extreme as to compromise living space, relationships, health and even life is not completely understood. It has usually been considered a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but this does not fit for all hoarders. Few hoarders actually seek treatment.
Against the back drop of three waves of the feminist movement, both men and women might affirm that women ask for their needs. On a more personal note, if you ask married men the same question, too many might say “They never stop asking.” And if you are a mother or have ever faced a mother trying to get what she needs for her child – you know enough to step out of the way! It comes then as a surprise that research across age and venue finds that as compared with men, women don’t ask for what they need, often settle for what is offered and tend not to think about negotiating on their own behalf. Prompted by her personal realization in the corporate world that her male counterparts had received promotions because they had asked, Linda Babcock, together with Sara Laschever researched the differences between men and women in negotiating for what they need. The findings reported in their book, Women Don’t Ask are relevant in understanding women, men and meeting needs in and out of the workplace.
For some adults the use of pornography, which includes adult and sexually oriented DVDs and websites or Cybersex which might include visiting sexual chat rooms or sending explicit sexual emails, may be a passing curiosity, a source of sexual stimulation or serious addiction. For adults in committed relationships, the secret use of pornography or cybersex is far more complicated, as it can ultimately impact both partners and pose a risk to their relationship. Discovering Your Partner’s Secret Use When a partner walks in on the other viewing porn that is quickly shut off or realizes that he/she is regularly visiting sexual chat rooms, there is often an initial shock followed by a mix of feelings including anger, distrust, rejection and betrayal. Some partners feel hit in the gut. “How Could She Do This? Some become frightened, “Who is this Stranger?” Some are afraid to say anything and collude with the silence that surrounds the secret. For others the feelings spill out in anger, “If you want to view that trash – You don’t want me.” “You’d rather find it in cyberspace than in our bedroom.”
It was some time after spending weeks in ICU with our youngest son, that I realized - If we had lost him, we would have also lost his brother. In times of crisis, we too often overlook the bond between siblings and the unique but unrecognized grief suffered when a brother or sister dies. Karen Hickman, founder of Gold Star Siblings shares that when her brother was killed serving in Vietnam, she felt like an outsider at the funeral, “I had to grieve alone and where my parents couldn’t see me because I had to be strong for them and my younger brother.” Author, T.J. Wray describes that the year her adult brother died she forgot how to breathe - but no one noticed. People tried to console her with comments like, “Thank goodness, it wasn’t your husband or one of your children.”
Recently, we again witnessed the dismantling of a celebrity marriage with the exposure of an affair. As always, the world watched, condemned, condoned and debated the question: Can a marriage survive an affair? The fact is that whether celebrity or not and regardless of what the world thinks–only the couple can decide if their marriage will survive an affair. In my work with couples standing in the emotional debris of an affair, I have found that if both partners want to recommit to an exclusive relationship and have the courage to trust and reignite their love – they can rebuild a marriage. Difficult Beginnings are Understandable Rebuilding sounds good but at the beginning – it is not easy. Often, no one is sure of anything but the wish to make the pain “go away.” Emotionally, the feelings of devastation, anger, betrayal, guilt and blame, don’t just go away.