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Sexless Marriage

Sexless Marriage

The extent of the research and the methodology employed far surpassed any study before it. Published by the University of Chicago in 1994, the public version of the report was provocatively titled Sex in America. The scientific version carried the duller title of The Social Organization of Sexuality. Though all sex studies are controversial, this one did its homework in its attempt to avoid research flaws and to get as true a representation of America as possible. Trained workers interviewed 3,432 scientifically randomly selected American men and women across America between the ages of 18 and 59.
One unexpected finding was that sex is not happening as much as most folks thought. The research indicates “about a third have sex with a partner at least twice a week, a third have sex with a partner a few times a month, and the rest have sex with a partner a few times a year or have no sexual partners at all.” How do those numbers change if you leave out singles and consider only those that are married? It seems that 20% of married couples between the ages of 18 and 59 have sex with each other ten times or less per year. Another 15% have sex with each other about twice a month or less. The ten time or less couples are often referred to as no-sex marriages (or sexless marriages) and the about twice a month group as low-sex marriages. In this article, we’ll combine them into the term sexless marriages.
Why should sexless marriages concern Christians? First, there is a Biblical imperative that should prevent Christian couples from having sexless marriages, but they exist anyway. Second, ample research exists to show that marital satisfaction and sexual satisfaction rise and fall together. If one or both mates are sexually dissatisfied, that negatively affects their satisfaction with their marriage as a whole. Third, medical science has found that those having sexual fulfillment benefit medically in important ways. If we believe that Christians must take care of their bodies, then we should believe that they must be sexually active in their marriages. Fourth, pornography. It may be that a sexless marriage increases temptation for porn usage. On the other hand, porn usage may lead to a sexless marriage. Either way, sexual fulfillment in marriage either affects or is affected by porn usage.
Biblical Imperative
Though some claim that sex is immaterial in a Christian marriage, Paul said that it is. The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5, New Living Version)
Though not often preached from modern pulpits, this is a command of God. Depriving a spouse of sexual fulfillment is wrong. It is a sin.
How often is enough to obey this command? There may be an answer to that in the health benefits discussed below.
Marital Satisfaction
Many studies could be cited, but common sense and observation told us this before any social scientist tested the hypothesis; marital satisfaction and sexual satisfaction go hand in hand. Interestingly, as far as the social sciences are concerned it is somewhat of a chicken and egg question. Does a couple’s increased marital satisfaction lead to increased sexual satisfaction, or is it the other way around? I’m currently researching that question through the auspices of the University of Sydney (Australia).
My work with thousands of marriages indicates that when one is not satisfied with the marriage, s/he seldom is satisfied with sex in that marriage. Also, if either spouse is not satisfied with the sex in the marriage, s/he is not satisfied with the marriage either. Maybe it’s so symbiotic that one cannot exist without the other for most couples. One thing is sure, if a husband or wife is dissatisfied with the sexual relationship in the marriage – too little, not sensual enough, too much emphasis on the sensual, poor skills, body no longer in shape, hygiene, hang-ups, you name it – then that person is usually not terribly satisfied with the marriage itself.
God commanded us to fulfill each other sexually in our marriages. Science shows it is a factor in marital satisfaction. If the church believes that divorce is bad and staying married is good, then the church should be clearly teaching the Bible’s sexual command for sexual fulfillment.
Health Benefits
A great deal of study has been done around the world as to the medical affects of achieving fulfillment in a sexual encounter. There isn’t room to cite all the studies, but if you wish to know more a good source is a book published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, The Science of Orgasm.
An Israeli study found that women who regularly reach fulfillment are less likely to have a heart attack. There is associated research from other places in the world that address decrease in the likelihood of endometriosis, reduction of the intensity of cramps, and the like. From sexual interaction with the man there are also benefits that reduce the likelihood of breast cancer.
A British study found that men who regularly reach fulfillment are less likely to have a fatal heart attack. Other studies show that they are less likely to have prostate cancer.
Each time a man or woman reaches fulfillment, oxytocin releases into the brain and body in quantities that promote bonding between the two people. The more a married couple have sexual fulfillment (each of them fulfilled), the more they bond with each other; they become closer and more attached.
Additionally, with each achieved fulfillment, stress reduces, anxiety reduces, and the body’s ability to handle pain improves.
How often are the fulfillments that have good health effect taking place in these studies? Think of it this way, the male body produces a new batch of sperm about every 72 hours; that’s the way God made men. If fulfillment were achieved on average every 72 hours, that would be about two to three times per week. That’s about the average that most of these studies found to be medically beneficial. It appears that God made us to have sex with our spouses two to three times per week and that each of us should reach fulfillment. In marriages where that frequency occurs, not only are there health and emotional benefits, but satisfaction with the marriage increases, as indicated earlier. Taking care of one’s body, especially in sexual fulfillment, also helps take care of one’s marriage. It all ties together.
Porn
I realize the danger in discussing this because far too many women have suffered self-doubts about their appearance and ability as a result of their husbands turning to pornography. A lady once told me that she wished she had the money to have plastic surgery from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet so that her husband would want to look at her rather than those women on the Internet. Be assured that I do not in any way wish any woman or man to take blame for the sins of a spouse. Porn addiction is just that; an addiction. Drunks who claim their spouses drove them to drink are just as ridiculous as porn addicts who claim their spouses drove them to porn. Each person makes his or her own decisions. No one makes us addicts; we do it to ourselves.
Also, in this age many enter marriage with a distorted view of sex, sexuality, and sexual fulfillment. The more that people are exposed to porn before they are married, the more likely they are to believe that there are men and women who are always craving sex and that will do anything, anywhere, at any time. Boys and girls who have this as their teacher about what sex will be like in marriage are in for a great disappointment and, very likely, a lot of anger when they realize that their spouse isn’t like that. No one is. Not even the porn actors. If a person enters marriage with that expectation then his or her spouse is going to find it nearly impossible to please them sexually. Intense and repetitive education, maybe therapy, perhaps a miracle will work, but the other spouse trying to live up to this spouse’s fantasy won’t.
With that said, allow me to share a few thoughts about how a married couple might use sexual fulfillment to overcome pornography.
In the passage cited earlier, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, note that a major reason to sexually fulfill each other in marriage is so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. God put our sexual drives within us. He knows how powerful that drive is and how a human that is sexually unfulfilled has a greater likelihood of yielding to temptation. That’s not a new thought; it’s in the verse. If I refuse my spouse the sexual fulfillment that she needs, I am a part of increasing her susceptibility to sexual temptation. If she sins, it is her choice, but this passage states that I helped her become vulnerable to that choice.
In our culture, men don’t have to find lovers or go to prostitutes if they seek sexual fulfillment outside their homes. With the advent of the Internet, porn is readily available and can be viewed in relative secrecy. I have heard from many men and many women that they feel justified in their usage of porn because there is little to no sexual fulfillment in their marriages and porn keeps me from doing something bad with a real person. If a wife is not actively involved in sexually fulfilling her husband, or if he is not actively involved in sexually fulfilling her, then yielding to the temptation of porn becomes easier for the unfulfilled spouse. It doesn’t make it right but it can make a person more susceptible. Of course, nothing justifies sin, but perhaps there is a way to de-porn at least some, if not many, of those who have yielded to this temptation. How? By obeying 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.
This does not mean that a wife becoming a sexual tigress will automatically eliminate her husband’s addiction if he is addicted to porn. Addictions require special help to overcome and no matter how sexually intriguing she becomes, he will return to his addiction until he receives the proper help to heal. She is not the cause of his addiction nor is she the one to heal it. (Change gender in the above sentences if the wife is the addict which can be the case.)
However, it does mean that if a husband or wife is using porn as an occasional outlet for pent up sexual drive or frustration, his or her porn usage may well be precluded by a fulfilling sex life in their marriage.
So, how does a couple do that? What does a Christian wife do to be what her husband needs sexually? What does a Christian husband do to be what his wife needs sexually?
This is the succinct answer: Make lovemaking fun, warm, and regular. You can do anything that both of you wish to do that doesn’t involve another person in reality or fantasy, doesn’t involve bestiality, and doesn’t harm the other. That sums up the Biblical prohibitions. What makes sex right is having it within the confines of the right relationship, marriage as God intended. What makes it wrong is having it with someone outside the confines of that right relationship. But we must realize that a sex deficient marriage is something that will harm our relationship with our spouse and act to keep our spouse fulfilled as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.

Articles Marriage Tips

Women Can Effectively Manage Work And Home

Women Can Effectively Manage Work And Home

Women are more dexterous and dynamic when it comes to managing office work and house chores. They have assignments to complete at work despite having a sick child at home, check their children’s school work, handle several concurrent tasks at the office, create a good atmosphere at home and manage household chores. At the start, women are energetic and bustling with vim and vigor but after a while, it can become exasperating and difficult to maintain such a hectic schedule. She will feel the effects creeping into her and she may start responding in a negative manner. read more

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What’s The Prognosis For Your Verbally Abusive Relationship Or Marriage?

What’s The Prognosis For Your Verbally Abusive Relationship Or Marriage?

Has verbal abuse infiltrated your relationship or marriage to the extent you’re ready to do something about it? Perhaps you intend to suggest marriage counseling to your husband? Or, before you do that, do you suppose if you tell him how much his verbal abuse hurts you emotionally, he will drop it?
Don’t be so sure. Believe it or not, he might intentionally be using verbal abuse to control you, or to get you to behave the way he desires.
If he suffers from an unhealthy level of narcissism and certainly, if he is diagnosable as having actual Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD, this is apt to be the case. It might not be what you want to hear, but you should listen up anyway.
The thing is, narcissistic men tend to use not only verbal abuse, but they seem to favor emotional abuse, economic abuse, social abuse, and sexual abuse, too. A narcissistic man might be content to rely upon only one or two of these forms of abusive behavior. Then again, you’ll see some plagued with narcissism using all of them.
Why did I fail to mention physical abuse? Because while the narcissist might use it, he is probably disinclined to do so. Assuming he has achieved a certain level of success personally or professionally, he doesn’t need the raised eyebrows or attention from the law that might cause. Furthermore, the narcissist is not as out of control or impulsive as the individual who suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder, or who has antisocial tendencies, at least. Oh, and by the way, this is the label now used in the mental health arena to define someone previously called a sociopath, and before that, a psychopath.
But let’s get back to the topic of verbal abuse and how you might determine the prognosis for your marriage by understanding your husband’s motivation for engaging in that type of behavior in the first place.
As I said already, some men who suffer from unhealthy levels of narcissism engage in verbal abuse as a means of controlling the partner and getting her to do his will. But just as you might have been accepting of his verbal abuse for awhile because you grew up in a family where your parents verbally abused you, or verbal abuse is familiar depsite the fact it is emotionally painful, your husband or partner might have grown up in such a home, too. Because he had verbally abusive roles models, he has crafted a verbally abusive relationship not out of desire to control, but more from conditioning or habit.
If you call this man on his verbal abuse and tell him you are simply not going to tolerate this verbally abusive relationship any longer, he might stare back at you in shock. He might actually be apologetic and agree he’ll do anything to try and change. And indeed, he might be helped by couples’ communications skills, anger management classes, or marital counseling.
If you have seen the Dr. Phil show, you might have seen a man or two who honestly was appalled when he saw and heard himself on the videotape. But then again, you”ve seen those who accepted no responsibility and kept blaming the woman. Yes, she made him do it, or somehow she asked for it. Well, or she needed to be kept in line. She obviously did not know her place.
Right, she wasn’t acknowledging him as king and herself as his humble servant.
Some of the men might have had antisocial tendencies. Some might have been narcissists. Actually, it doesn’t much matter which category they fall into. Well, I take that back. I suppose it does. Both will use verbal abuse to control you. The verbal abuse will likely grow worse over time. But while the professionally successful narcissist might never resort to physical abuse because that could bring on problems he doesn’t need, and especially when the other forms of abuse accomplish the ends he desires, the man with Antisocial tendencies may start with verbal abuse, but then slip into physical abuse, too.
Either way, the prognosis for your marriage is not good.
Be forewarned that if you drag your narcissistic and abusive spouse to therapy, he might listen intently to what the therapist says. Rather than applying what he has learned to his own behavior, however, he will likely use it against you. In other words, he might point out how you are not using I statements or you are hitting below the belt and not fighting fairly. He will point out that you did not sandwich your criticism between two positive statements. Yes, he will apply all of the things you’ve been learning together to find more powerful or specific ways to criticize you.
If this is how your husband behaves, please know that his verbal abuse will undoubtedly continue on. In fact, the abusiveness in your verbally abusive relationship will likely only intensify over time.
Sure, a few verbally abusive relationships might be transformed. But sadly, too many of them have a poor prognosis.
Which type of verbally abusive relationship are you in? Do you have any idea? If not, are you ready to find out?

Articles Divorce

The Harsh Effects Of Separation and Divorce On Men

The Harsh Effects Of Separation and Divorce On Men

The effects of divorce on men have been skillfully documented, but unusually not advertised quite as prevelentlyas the consequences on females. Females of course struggle and go through many of the same problems men go through and many special troubles as well, but the damage done to the mental health of men is just not recognised as much..
Possibly society simply has the quaint thought that males will muddle through as we always do, as if it is just in our nature to endure devoid of any troubles (as you know this is a pile of BS). Or if you are a cynic, then you might charge a concentrated effort of the media and feminist groups who want to promote their own gender and suppress the male gender. I am not that cynical myself, but i believe that this is a part of the problem. Then of course there is simply us husbands and our often immovable disposition to not get help and not converse about these things. All together it adds a lack of help for husbands going through a rough marital breakdown. So lets take the first step and get some information out there on the effects of marital breakdown on males.
Struggling Emotionally
This is the biggest aspect of the whole damned catastrophe of break up. Losing our marriage takes a somber toll on a guys emotional state as most guys tend to tie everythign they have to thier marriage even if it was not a perfect union. Some ways this can come out are:
* Depressive disorders
* Anger
* Resentment
* Suicidal Thoughts
* Emasculation
* Worry & Panic
You can now see, if a man is experiencing a number of these pitfalls his mental condition, and his whole life, will end up being a complete mess. Taking it on the chin and just moving on cannot be done so easily when you don’t have your home, kids, and a lover and partner to be supportive of you. The rug gets pulled out from under a mans feet and the more they try to hide these mental pitfalls the worse they get.
Money hinderances
I consider this is secondary to the emotional hinderances but perceptibly maintenance, child support, the loss of half your assets or more, and all other expenses involved in marital breakdown affect a man hard. If the man was the main breadwinner for the family this can also leave a bitter taste which is something many guys take to their death rather than resolving. Many men find themselves in a circumstances of being middle aged and feeling like they are now struggling like they once did when they were much younger despite a better profession or enterprise. If they have job troubles due to the separation and their emotional state this can doubly hurt on men post divorce
Paternity Issues and Damaged Kids
Kids of course have their own problems through marital breakdown, but a mans sense of being a good dad is often destroyed by divorce as well. Most fathers end up not keeping custody of his children and must be happy with visiting them on the weekends if that. This will make a guy feel like they are not worthy of being a father and can hurt emotionally and socially as most people as a whole seems to cast dispertions against them as if it is their fault for the separation and that they cannot care for kids.
Loss of Character
This is a giant one. To be separated after putting so much of your life into building your home, marriage, and the sense of identity as that of a husband, and perhaps a dad too; this is destroyed in hardly any time at all when you at length realise that the marital breakdown is final and you are no longer who you thought you are.
These are a great many other consequences of break up on guys but these are some ones that I and some of my mates have had to deal with. Sometimes you may be feeling these consequences but don’t quite know what they mean as well. Knowing is half the battle as they say, after that you can actually do something about it, even if it is problematical.

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Save Marriage: Appreciation, Respect, and Responsibility

Save Marriage: Appreciation, Respect, and Responsibility

Do you often feel smothered in your marriage? Do you feel that your spouse is always watching what you are doing? Does your spouse nag, complain and demand things of you and it’s getting out of hand? Then this article is for you. It is not usually just one issue that leads up to divorce, separation, or feelings of resentment towards one another. It is usually many issues between couples that cause marital break down.
Give Each Other Room To Breathe: Stop Blaming Each Other
When marriage starts to sour, couples often blame each other for the disarray of the relationship. They tend to look at each other’s faults and play the blame game with those faults. And this blame game is the cause of the marriage going down hill fast! Most marital issues occur because one or both parties are behaving selfishly and disrespectful of each other feelings or actions.
If couples would stop trying to dissect each other and really think about their own actions and behavior they would see that it does take two to tango and they are tangoing almost every day! I think it is human nature to blame others for our failures but it is the cowardly way to lead our life. Divorce is cowardly as well. Why don’t you just act like responsible adults and take responsibility for what you started?
If one spouse would take part for their behavior in the relationship it would encourage the other spouse to take responsibility for their part in the relationship. When you nag and complain about what a bad job your spouse is doing at this and that, or when you demand that they do this or that, you are essentially acting like their mother or father instead of their lover. This can be very discouraging.
Give Each Other More Room To Breathe: Leave Each Other Alone!
When I say leave each other alone I mean in a negative way. Stop trying to tell your spouse what they need or don’t need. Let them be. I truly believe that when couples stop looking at what the other spouse is doing or not doing and start paying attention to what they are doing, marriage would be so much better. I sometimes liken marriage to be like two school kids in the playground bullying one another.
We spend too much time wanting to tell our husband or wife what they need to do. Why do we want to define their needs but don’t even know what our own needs are? It is because we are overwhelmed and confused about how bad our marriage is. We simply do not know how to fix it other than complain about our spouses lack in the marriage.
This constant focus on our spouse keeps us from helping ourselves and being productive for the marriage. What is important for you in your marriage? Define your own needs and wants and make those happen. Do you want to be happier? Make that a priority in your marriage by fulfilling your happiness through hobbies, friends, spiritual activities; whatever it is you feel will bring you happiness. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your spouse is supposed to fulfill your every need. This error in judgment causes lots of undue stress and contention between couples.
Yes, couples need to encourage one another and be respectful and considerate of each other’s feelings, but they cannot bring happiness into another person’s life—it’s just not possible. Happiness is something that comes from being fulfilled from within on a spiritual level. No one can share your personal relationship with your Creator—that is something between you and Him. But you can share who you are, your growth through God, with your spouse.
Give Each Other Even More Room To Breathe: Be Respectful
Respect is a very big issue in marriage as well as in society in general. The minute they wake up couples begin disrespecting one another. Instead of saying something encouraging and nice they are bringing each other down. This is why couples often look outside the marriage for positive reinforcement of self—they aren’t getting any praise and appreciation at home, so they glean it from wherever it is possible. The grass often seems greener across the fence, but it never really is in the end. It is the same thing wherever you look. Don’t become deceived and totally ruin your marriage over an infidelity.
There are many circumstances that reap negative issues in marriage that create division with couples. From finances to health issues, but in a marriage where couples respect each other all issues can eventually be worked out. Why are couples not respecting each other? Because they don’t understand what being respectful is? They are not focused on respecting each other because they are feeling resentful, confused and overwhelmed about the disarray of their marriage. They’re blaming the blame game!
You can’t understand respect when you don’t understand what your part in the marriage is? Each spouse has a role in the marriage to uphold. Each spouse has responsibilities that need to be adhered to. When these roles and responsibilities are not taken care of couples begin to feel as if they are running the marriage relationship by themselves.
Couples aren’t respecting each other because they don’t understand what it is they are supposed to be respecting? Uh, I’m supposed to respect a wife who grumbles and complains about cooking dinner every night? Oh you mean I am supposed to respect a man who comes home and flops himself down in front of the TV every night?
Do you see how the focus is on faults rather than encouraging the person in their responsibilities? Sadly this is why couples play the blame game and why they focus so much on what the other is doing rather than on what they should be doing. It is a vicious cycle that will continue to repeat itself over and over again until something changes in the relationship. How about appreciating and respecting each other for a change. Will that work?

Articles Divorce

My Wife Left Me! Christian Advice

My Wife Left Me: Christian Advice

The phrase “My wife left me”, has become a common phrase echoed in many Christian homes. While the phrase itself is grammatically small, the implications behind it are rather large. Why on earth would a Christian wife simply pack her belongings and walk out? Well, there are a number of reasons why she might do this, but one thing is for certain, and that is, her decision to leave was not an overnight decision. It’s a decision that likely came after months or years of being unhappy.
Perhaps, it’s a result of physical or verbal abuse. In such cases, separation is actually necessary in order to protect the woman’s physical and mental health. And it is also possible that she fought a continual battle with infidelity. Are you aware that psychologists equate the pain of infidelity to that of losing a child? Now just imagine enduring that kind of suffering year-end and year-out.
Hard to believe we’re talking about Christian marriages, isn’t it? Well, unfortunately, these kinds of problems have been unwelcome guests in Christian homes for decades. How does this happen? Well sadly, many married couples that claim Christianity as their religion, do not practice Christian principles at home. This my friend, is the root of the problem.
So, now that we’ve explored why a Christian wife might leave, and why Christian marriages often breakdown, the question now becomes ‘what should a husband do after his wife leaves?’ Can his marriage still be saved at that point? Well, the beautiful thing about Christianity is that there is always hope through Christ Jesus our Lord. No matter how low you sink, or how broken your relationship seems, Christ is able to bring reconciliation. That is, when you humble yourself and call upon Him.
Listen, don’t give up on your marriage. Nothing is hopeless with Christ. Get the separation advice you so desperately need today, and get on the road to reconciling with your wife. We’ll be praying for you and waiting for you at Christian Marriage Today.

Articles Marriage Tips

Marriage: A social responsibility and way of peaceful life.

Marriage: A social responsibility and way of peaceful life.

Marriage can be defined as an agreement between two people, of opposite sex, to live together legally and to pay each other respect in every regard.
Scholars are of the view that marriage is of utmost importance in every persons’ life as it help in curtailing many social problems.
Without any doubt, marriage is part of the social agenda of human life. The upbringing of children must be done in such a way that it promotes marriage and both the family members must be able to perform their obligations towards each other.
Marriages offer many benefits to human beings. First, as described above, it will help in eliminating ill deeds from the society as both the partners will enjoy each other’s company. Secondly, it will help in division of work. Being good partners, it will help in equal division of work e.g. wife may take the responsibility of house and kids and husband will take care of financial matters to run a happy life.
Marriage will also sense of responsibility as both the members will have their duties towards the family.
Marriage is supposed to tie a man and a woman together and strengthen their relationship. Now a day, we see a new era where marriages are no longer considered as necessary or even significant for a relationship. But marriage is an important and essential part of every human’s life. The negation of this fact has resulted in many problems such as homosexuality and masturbation etc., which is deteriorating our society day by day.
Through marriage the incompleteness of a human being can be converted into completeness. Marriage helps in making both husband and wife more responsible. Marriage helps to safeguard from committing immoral acts.
There are many medical benefits of marriage. It has been proved that married people live longer than unmarried people. Smoking and drinking habits are also found less in married people as compared to unmarried. Marriage also helps in dealing with stressful situations as both the partners can share their problems with each other and relieve the tension. Married people also live longer because of many reasons i.e. they are able to reduce unhealthy activities, economic well-being, and also increased social network for problem solving.
Its very alarming that the marriage is considered as a hazard and an undesired thing by many people around the world. Now marriage is considered as a last option to keep a couple together instead of a binding relationship that can only be separated by death. So marriage should be viewed as sacred act and when one finds a right person he or she should marry.
So to sum up the discussion, the effects of marriage on human life are very positive in lieu of health, managing stress, longer life, sex and satisfaction, wealth, and higher earnings.

Articles Marriage Tips

Juggling Kids, Career, Marriage and Personal Time

Juggling Kids, Career, Marriage and Personal Time?

Have you ever been fascinated by certain people and wanted to truly understand what motivates them, what scares them and what keeps them up at night?
Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that working mothers come to coaching looking for solutions to very specific challenges, not the least of which is balancing work and family. The more I coach working mothers, the more passionate I’ve become about helping them with their challenges. So, I decided to conduct in-depth interviews with 25 executive mothers to understand their deepest, darkest worries so I could develop coaching programs to help them effect change in their personal and professional lives.
The survey revealed that executive mothers cite guilt as their number one challenge. Guilt that they have to leave their kids to go to work, guilt that going to work sometimes feels like a welcome break from their kids and guilt that they have to leave work early to pick up their kids from daycare.
Following are additional survey results of 25 working mothers in senior-level management positions across the U.S.
Top Challenges for Working Mothers:
– 91% feel they’re struggling to juggle kids, career, marriage, and personal time
– 87% feel that if they just had more time, they could get it all done
– 82% report that running from commitment to commitment and lack of sleep take a toll on their personal time, health and well-being
– 77% are struggling to lose those last 10-20 pounds post-pregnancy
– 73% feel they are playing a constant balancing act in which something always has to give
– 71% feel guilty, stressed and exhausted
Top Resources for Working Mothers:
– 89% have read parenting books, magazines or websites
– 78% have tried mom’s groups
– 46% have tried parenting classes or workshops
– 82% said they received some benefits from these resources but were unable to make lasting change
Does this sound like you?
While the study focused on working mothers, I’m sure working fathers face many of the same challenges.
So, what can you do about it?
One thing that was consistent for the dynamic group of women I interviewed is that they recognize the value of constantly re-evaluating, re-prioritizing and re-connecting with what’s most important for them that day, week, or year. They understand the need to take a step back, get perspective and re-calibrate their priorities both as new situations come up and as they go about their daily routine.
You may find that there are some times in your life when you need to focus on making money, some times when spending time with your family has to be the priority and some times when you just need to carve out a little bit of alone time. The trick is to get enough perspective so that you feel you are intentionally making choices instead of having life happen to you, completely out of your control.
So, the next time you’re feeling guilty, stressed or overwhelmed, take five minutes to go outside, look up at the sky and ask yourself, “What’s the big picture perspective?”

Articles Marriage Tips

Is a Layoff Ruining Your Marriage?

Is a Layoff Ruining Your Marriage?

When I got the news that I was being laid off, I reacted in such a nonchalant fashion that I’m sure most of my friends and colleagues thought I’d been dipping into the Zoloft bottle a little too often. Since this was the third round of layoffs at my company, I guess I was simply sick and tired of waiting for the ax to drop and somehow felt strangely relieved to have it over with.
I’d toyed with the idea of freelance writing for years and now I’d have the perfect opportunity to give it a go. I even felt a little pumped up – the fact that this setback didn’t crush my world could only mean one thing – I’d finally risen above my petty insecurities and doubts and become the strong, confident person I’d always wanted be, right? So, imagine my surprise, when during a casual conversation with my husband, he suggested that my first article answer the question, Is a layoff ruining your marriage? With those six words I felt the cold hand of reality slap me across the face and then proceed to rip the bottom out of my world.
What is that supposed to mean? I snarled, glaring back at him as if suddenly possessed by a demon from hell.
Was he insinuating that this could possibly happen to us? O.k., I’ll admit that I may have over-reacted just a little, but it truly was like a fist to the gut for me. I instantly felt naked and insecure; crushed under the burden of having to achieve. What if my freelancing plans didn’t pay off? Would that lack of stability and a steady paycheck be the beginning of the end for our marriage?
With some time, and just a little bit of tequila, I’ve been able to distance myself from the subject enough to realize that his suggestion had been a good one. If I was feeling this way, then it was quite possible that millions of other newly unemployed spouses were too. As if changing your career direction at the drop of a hat isn’t hard enough, it appears that you also have to simultaneously work to safeguard your relationship as well.
Are we just over-reacting, or do we really have something to worry about? Psychotherapist and FOX News contributor Beatty Cohan thinks we have a right to be concerned: A layoff is not the thing that ends a marriage, but it may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. So how can we keep our camel standing strong, ready to handle the heavy load of a layoff? By being prepared for what may come our way, even before it’s happened. Here’s a list of what to look for:
Be aware of the danger signs of drifting apart. Although we often hear stories about the lovelorn spouse who returned home to find his house empty and his sweetie gone, there are always signs that your relationship is heading south, if you choose to see them.
You stop talking. Communication is the foundation of every great relationship. Emotionally, a layoff can cause us to become introspective in an effort to figure out exactly what happened. It’s important to remember that you’re partner is also be affected by this new change in status and make an effort to keep the lines of communication open. Confide your feelings and be sure to keep your partner up-to-date on everything you’re doing to remedy the situation.
You’re arguing all the time. Loss of a job is one of life’s most stressful events, right up there with death of a spouse, divorce and serious illness. The extra pressures it places on your relationship can naturally cause anyone to become a little testy. It’s important to try to temper your words and plan some carefree downtime with your spouse. Don’t be concerned about setting aside your worries for a few relaxed moments with your partner; the situation will still be waiting for you when you get back.
Your partner is becoming disconnected. Not all of us respond to hardships in the same way. Naturally some handle adversity better than others. If you’re spouse is becoming withdrawn, it’s important to make them aware of this behavior and express your concerns. It’s quite possible they’ve become so fixated on the issues at hand they may not even realize they’re doing it. Also, although you may not be feeling overly amorous, it’s important to maintain physical intimacy during this time. When our minds shut down, our bodies can serve as a gateway to help us reconnect.
Drinking or using prescription medication. Attempting to find a temporary escape from the pressures of the situation can only serve to compound the problem. If you notice a tendency toward these sorts of destructive behaviors, address them sooner rather than later.
Know what’s coming emotionally. According to Beatty Cohan, www.askbeatty.com, losing a job is like a death. People go through the same series of stages. Knowing what to expect can help you weather the emotional storm. Here’s how it lays out:
Shock: No matter how long the war and how prepared we may think we are, there’s always a bit of shell-shock involved with a layoff. The minute we receive that news, our entire to-do list changes and we’re forced to move forward in a sort of shock-induced trace. Don’t worry, it’s normal.
Denial: Even though we may be doing all the right things, (i.e. looking for another job and putting on a brave face), the truth is, it could take months for us to truly wrap our heads around what’s happening and how it actually effects to our long-term life plan. Allow yourself to experience whatever feelings may be surfacing. It’s o.k. to be sad or disappointed that things didn’t work out the way you intended them to.
Anger: After the sadness comes the anger. They’re natural progressions of each other. Instead of seeing anger as negative emotion, allow it to fuel your fire. A fighting spirit will help you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and design a new life-plan.
Acceptance: This is the final stage and unfortunately there’s not quick trip here. It takes dancing through each of the preceding emotional mine-fields to exit on the other side unscathed.
Be a team. If you’ve ever needed your partner’s support, it’s now. Don’t be afraid to ask and don’t feel that you have to keep a stiff upper lip, Cohan says. Sit down together, look at the options and possibilities, and help each other to design a plan that you can both live with.
Be ready to make some tough sacrifices. Today’s economy is offering up some unique challenges. When devising your plan of action, it’s o.k. to entertain worst-case scenarios so that you’ll be prepared no matter what. Odds are you won’t have to use the escape hatch, but sometimes just knowing that it’s there provides a certain peace of mind.
Safeguard your health. The body is being stressed more than it ever has been, Cohan says. I’ve seen people losing it emotionally, starting to develop all kinds of psychiatric symptoms because they didn’t have another identity, their identity was their job. Excess worry can interfere with normal sleep patterns and set off a destructive chain of events. Exercise can be especially helpful during these stressful periods of our lives. Not only does it help us to expend nervous energy and reduce anxiety, but it triggers the release of calming endorphin levels in the brain, as well.
See a counselor if need be. If, despite everything, things seem to be spiraling out of control, a few sessions with a good counselor might help. Many healthcare plans offer a certain number of visits with a counselor at no cost, or for a small co-pay. Check with your healthcare provider.
Despite the many challenges it presents, Cohan says couples can come out of a layoff even stronger than they were before. When people have worked together and worked through it well, there’s a renewed sense of closeness and unity. You find out who somebody is, and isn’t, when you go through tough times and you come out on top.
As for me, I’m plodding along one small step at a time and keeping the lines of communication open with my husband. I may not know exactly where I’m going, but at least I know I won’t be alone when I get there.

Articles Divorce Marriage Tips

Divorce and Children: Things To Consider When You’re Staying Married Only For Your Children

Divorce and Children: Things To Consider When You’re Staying Married Only For Your Children

All children are different and respond differently to divorce. Depending on the characteristics of the children – age, emotional maturity, happiness, resiliency to trauma – the easier or more difficult it will be for children to weather a divorce.
As a parent, you should know your children better than anyone…use your best judgment with your children during considering divorce. This “divorce and children” article is for parents who are certain that they would get a divorce if they didn’t have children and want to decide what to think about regarding the effects a divorce would have on their children.
Children of divorced parents can actually live wonderful lives as long as the parents use proper judgment and create the right types of interactions between themselves and with each other.
This article on this web page does not suggest that divorce is the correct course of action for you and it in no way should be taken as a form of counseling to you. This article is merely to spark you to think logically and then make your own decision about divorce and your children.
As previously stated, every child is different and subsequently, every child responds to divorce in a different way.
If you think there’s a definitive answer about how divorce affects children, you are mistaken. There’s been hundreds of books written about this subject and a plethora of studies done regarding divorce and children, all citing differing opinions and using different statistical constraints and inputs. But, statistics can only go so far…if you know your children better than anyone else, you will know best how they’ll be affected by a divorce.
How divorce affects children and what you should do if you’re staying married solely because you have children is complicated issue.
Here’s some things you may want to consider if you’re a parent who is staying married just because you have children:
Children and divorce consideration 1: Make sure that you are, in fact, only staying married just because you have children.
Often times people use the children as an excuse not to get a divorce because they aren’t really sure that they want a divorce or have some other fear regarding divorce. Those fears can be present due to finance, self-confidence, living arrangements, or other personal issues.
Before you really take the next steps in deciding whether or not to get a divorce because of your children, rank your reasons for divorce and make sure that you’re really certain you’d get a divorce if you didn’t have children.
Children and divorce consideration 2: Make sure ‘guilt’ isn’t the real reason that you aren’t getting a divorce.
The ‘guilt’ referenced above is the guilt brought on by thinking that your divorce will hurt your children. In and of itself, this feeling of guilt is a selfish one if you haven’t really examined carefully if a divorce will have an adverse effect on your children. If you aren’t getting divorced because of guilt in this regard, but you still have an unhappy marriage that is affecting your children, then you aren’t really staying married for them, you’re staying married for you because you feel guilty…this is selfish.
Children and divorce consideration 3: Once you’ve clearly defined that you are in fact, not getting a divorce solely because you have children, examine why you think divorce will adversely affect your children.
Remember, divorce can have a negative effect on children initially, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a divorce will be a negative influence on your children forever.
Decide whether or not your children have the resiliency, the intelligence, the emotional health, and the support they’d need to mitigate the adverse effects that a divorce would have on them. Will they be happy after the initial shock of the divorce is worked through?
Children and divorce consideration 4: Once you’ve really defined what you believe to be negative effects on your children due to divorce, think about what your children’s life will be like in the immediate and distant future if you do actually go through with the divorce.
Ask yourself, “Can I create and maintain a healthy environment for my children if I do get a divorce?”
One thing that is a critical factor in this decision is the feasibility of you and your spouse getting a divorce amicably. If you and your spouse can go through a divorce amicably, and you both can agree to always put your children’s welfare above your own, you will be one step ahead.
Again, make sure you are certain a divorce is necessary to create the right type of environment for your children. Assure that there is absolutely no way you can rekindle your marriage.
Usually, divorce represents the first real trauma of a child’s life. Keep this in mind when your making your divorce decision.
Divorce is a serious step and nothing should be done until your’re certain that divorce is the best course of action. Getting a divorce without making sure that divorce is the right thing is selfish on your part and is the wrong thing to do to your children…after all, they deserve your best effort!
One thing should remain constant…that you and your spouse will always be there for your children, no matter what.