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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love and Money: How love can last through these troubled economic times.

By Julienne B. Derichs LCPC

Turn on the television or radio, read a newspaper or blog and you’ll get bombarded with messages about something that you may already know: we are in an economic slump. The relationship between love and money is challenging during the best of times. With rising unemployment, unmanageable debt, and no new credit to speak of, it is understandable to question whether or not love can survive through these troubled economic times.

Most couples imagine that if they made more money, their money troubles would go away. They do not. The problems often become more expensive. So even if you and your partner make loads of money, why is it that you can still have so many conflicts around money? Let’s take a look.

I love you...I hate you...Your always there...You’re never around...

What is your relationship with money? Is money a kind friend or something that you only think about when it’s time to pay the bills?  Picture the family you grew up in, what did you learn about money from the way your parents or caretakers managed money?  

It is important to understand your own relationship with money. Ask yourself:

  • Am I a spender or a saver?

  • Do I spend more if I am bored, angry, or depressed?

  • What did I learn about money when I was growing up?

  • Do I think focusing on money is “self-serving” or “greedy”?

  • What is the primary feeling I have when I think about money?

Compare your answers to these questions with your partner’s answers. Are they same or very different?

Not Every Dollar has the Same Value

In any healthy relationship, there is a pattern of harmony and disharmony between all the working parts, and your relationship with money is no different. Problems arise not only in your own relationship with money but also because your partner has his or her unique relationship with money that may or may not be compatible with your own.

Relationship with Money: Five key elements. 

Directing – how you manage taking care of your money as it comes in and goes out. This includes everyday emotional and intellectual choices about spending, paying bills, tracking deposits, balancing the checkbook, and keeping a budget.

Spending - how you spend your money, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. 

Earning - how you earn money. 

Saving - how much money you hold onto. 

Investing – how you get your money to make you money.

We all have attitudes about money that may hurt our ability to make wise decisions. Ask yourself:

  • If there isn’t ever enough money, how do I save and invest?

  • Do I manage my money, or is my spending or saving causing me to spin out of control?

  • Even though I save will there ever be enough money?

  • Do I tend to over spend which causes me to under save and invest?

  • Do I want to make more money so that I don’t have to examine or change my relationship with money?

Why We Fight Over Money

Many fights take place not because of the amount of money spent, but because of the expectations couples have that they never really talk clearly about. Whether it's conflicting styles, or misaligned agendas, couples get rooted in their individual beliefs about money. These views make it difficult to see that their partner simply has a different history and relationship with money.

Money is just pieces of paper which can represent power, a high or low self-worth, safety, and love. Put two people together with different ideas about money, and you have an unavoidable recipe for conflict. Here are some key reasons couples fight about money:

Daily Financial Decisions: Since financial decisions have to be made almost daily, they can be a frequent source of disagreement. Let’s face it managing money can feel like a burden.

Power and Control: When it comes to money, one partner may be more focused on saving every penny while the other is focused on spending every penny. Both 
the saver and the spender often view money as a means of control and may believe that the person making or holding the most money has the last word on financial decisions. Buying into the idea that money equals power in a marriage can only cause greater conflict.

Keeping Secrets, Financial Infidelity

What information about money do you keep hidden from your partner? Many couples that I see in my practice report that they didn’t fully talk about the dept they were carrying into marriage. This means they never talked about income, debt burden, student loans, inheritance, savings and credit status. Without full and open financial disclosure couples engage in maintaining secrets in the relationship that are damaging to the glue, which is trust, that holds the relationship together. 

Hiding leads to disconnection, dis-connection leads to resentment, resentment leads to unresolved conflict. Unresolvable conflict leads to divorce.

Poor Communication

Couples are often afraid to talk about money. They fear that major changes may come; they will feel deprived, or that the conversation will erupt into a huge fight.

When fights about money come up between you and your partner, it is always good to ask yourself: “Are we still talking about money, or is the real issue something else?” If you find yourself at an impasse over money issues, consider consulting a counselor who can help you deal with financial and communication problems. 

Navigating the Ups and Downs Ahead

Relationships are facing more and more stress during this economic slump. Many relationships are seriously hurting because it is often difficult to adjust our lifestyle as quickly as salaries are declining. The hope is that our partner will provide a safe place to fall... a place to de-stress and be soothed…especially in such 
troubling economic times. Yet sometimes that isn’t the case in our love relationships.

Here are a few tips on keeping your connection strong while handling economic stress:

The Precious Present: Focus on today, right now this moment. Future thoughts create anxiety and stress because of the unknown. Be mindful not to get caught in that trap. Keep your mind on what you have now and what you are doing now. 

Free Date Nights: Make your relationship a priority and schedule date nights. Be creative in finding ways to connect with one another without spending any money. Embrace the frugal “less is more” lifestyle. Visit frugal living sites like on the web and see what you two come up with! 

Create a Plan Together: One of my favorite sayings is “life hands us many opportunities to act without a plan (which can be very stressful) so when you can plan...Do!” Creating financial, work, life, or stress management plans helps to create a sense of direction and lowers anxiety. Sit down with your partner and make a plan together. 

Talk to Each Other: Difficult times often cause couples to isolate themselves from one another and keep quiet for fear of rocking the boat any further. During tough times it is more important than ever to keep the lines of communication open. It is okay to be fearful or upset…so hold onto one another, face the struggles together and talk. Getting confirmation that you aren’t alone can ease the stress and make the obstacles more manageable.

Take a Helping Hand: Money issues are often ongoing problems that need management and solutions. Seeking the help of a counselor before it becomes a reason for divorce is worth the effort. It just might save your relationship.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

How to use sex to Keep Your Immune System

1. Helps Keep Your Immune System Humming
“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert.
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
  • Eat right.
  • Stay active.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Keep up with your vaccinations.
  • Use a condom if you don’t know both of your STD statuses.
2. Boosts Your Libido
Longing for a more lively sex life? “Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido,” says Lauren Streicher, MD. She is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
For women, having sex ups vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity, she says, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.
3. Improves Women's Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.
4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure, says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. He is CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness.
“There have been many studies,” he says. “One landmark study found that sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure.” That's the first number on your blood pressure test.
5. Counts as Exercise
“Sex is a really great form of exercise,” Pinzone says. It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for something.
Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV. It gives you a one-two punch: It bumps up your heart rate and uses various muscles.
So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a regular basis.  “Like with exercise, consistency helps maximize the benefits,” Pinzone says.
6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
“When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease,” Pinzone says.
Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

The perks of sex extend well beyond the bedroom.

7. Lessens Pain

Before you reach for an aspirin, try for an orgasm.
“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.
Stimulation without orgasm can also do the trick. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache,” Komisaruk says.

8. May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely

Going for the gusto may help ward off prostate cancer.
Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.
It's not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Lots of factors affect cancer risk. But more sex won’t hurt.

9. Improves Sleep

You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.
“After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness" after sex, says Sheenie Ambardar, MD. She is a psychiatrist in West Hollywood, Calif.

10. Eases Stress

Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.
Ambardar says touching and hugging can release your body's natural “feel-good hormone.” Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too, Ambardar says. It’s not only a prescription for a healthy life, but a happy one.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to curb anger in marriage.

Happy new year to you all, for a very long time i was unable to blog, it was due to internet connection , i'm very sorry.Can anger in a marriage be managed more effectively? David and Vera Mace, pioneers in the Marriage Enrichment movement, have outlined a way of coping with anger feelings that surface in most every marriage relationship. The Mace's indicate that anger is a healthy, normal emotion and one that is present at different times in all marital relationships. Couples should give each other the right to be angry.
When either of the spouses feels angry feelings coming on, those angry feelings should be expressed in words, but the words should be expressed calmly and with love. Extensive nonverbal gestures need not be made, rather, the angry spouse should be able to put their feelings in words in much the same tone that they would say "I feel hungry," or "I am very hungry," or "I am very tired."
Couples who effectively manage their anger agree that anger can be expressed and acknowledged within a marriage relationship. They agree never to attack each other in anger. They share their anger, but they do not attack. Couples should agree with each other that they will not yell at one another unless there is an extreme danger. A firm non-yelling policy within the marriage will remove the need for a spouse to feel defensive or to develop any type of retaliatory anger. By expressing feelings of anger in a very calm fashion, both partners in a relationship are able to find out how and why the anger is present in their marriage.
The Mace's have developed an acronym to help couples remember a better way of solving anger. The acronym they have selected is AREA. The A stands for Admitting your anger to your spouse; R stands for the desire to Restrain your anger and not let it get out of hand by blaming or belittling your spouse; the E stands for Explaining in a very calm fashion why you are angry; the A stands for Action planning or doing something about the cause of the anger.
Generally, if anger is handled in the above fashion and a calm approach is taken to identify the cause and what can be about the anger, couples usually find that the anger was based on a misunderstanding or misinterpreted words or deeds, or that the anger was based on one partner being pushed beyond a level of tolerance, all of which are quite easily solved when approached in a very calm fashion.