Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

Shappy coupleI couldn’t get in to blog today until now so this is brief but good.

A number of years ago, I found this on a website, Thirdage.com.  It’s simple but true.

This is what happy couples do…

  1. Go to bed at the same time.
  1. Cultivate common interests
  1. Walk hand in hand or side by side.
  1. Make trust and forgiveness your default.
  1. Focus on what your partner does right not wrong.
  1. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work.
  1. Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning.
  1. Say goodnight every night regardless of how you feel.
  1. Do a “weather” check during the day.
  1. Be proud to be seen with your partner.

Are you a happy couple?

 

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bedWhen John left his wife for another woman, his wife was shocked. She saw  pictures of his lover  on her on Facebook and could not believe it. She was not attractive. What was going on that he would leave her for this woman?

The stereotype is that men leave their wives for hotter, younger women as a sort of trophy wife, but the stereotype doesn’t hold true in most cases.

Here is what typical happens: Most men do not cheat with women younger or women who are more attractive than their wives. What they look for is a woman who is more interesting than their wives, more caring, more passionate, and a good listener.

The same is true for women, except women do tend to look for men who are fitter than then their husbands or partners. But when it comes to men who listen, care and show passion, women are even more likely to choose these qualities. And maybe surprisingly, women want more sex.

All of these findings were based on survey data of 4538 members of an infidelity site by Victoria Milan.  So these are what actual cheaters say. Affairs are more complicated than having sex and this data, whether scientifically sound or not, speaks to a trend I have seen in clinical practical. Cheaters do not usually go for someone more attractive than their spouses/partner. Yet, when men and women discover an affair, they tend to get fixated on the appearance of the other person. However, the affair is less about appearance and more about feeling cared about, listened to and creating moments of passion and friendship.

A prevention then is to keep the marital friendship alive and active. Show fondness and admiration regularly to your partner. And keep the fire of romance going by doing new things together and having date nights. Listen, care and keep love alive!

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tvAfter clicking through a number of cable channels, I was stunned by the amount of profanity I heard during the family hours.

We have this ongoing debate in our household. Do people really use the amount of profanity we hear on TV and in media?

My teens seem to think media reflect the culture. I think media push the boundary and makes it appear as if people use constant profanity. In my work world, I do not hear this level of profanity. Maybe I am naive or not exposed to the average person who swears all day. I don’t know, but my daily life (lived in the secular world) is not filled with profanity.

According to the Parents Television Council, a nonpartisan educational organization advocating responsible entertainment, the amount and gravity of free broadcast network television profanity is higher than ever. Compared to a few years ago, broadcasters have deliberately unleashed profanity onto the public. A decision July 2010 by the Second Court of Appeals ruled  that expletives on late-night TV could fly freely and do not violate decency laws. Profanity on prime time television (8-11p.m. ET) increased 69% since 2005. While the language may not violate decency law, it violates my sensibilities.

My question is WHY do we need to hear all this profanity?

Are we at a loss for words? Do people really have trouble thinking of other ways to express themselves? Or does media love the shock value and constantly push the boundary of decency?

And what is the end goal here? So our kids can sound like little trash-mouthed adults? This is something we want? Honestly, I don’t get it.

Profanity is crass and indicates a limited use of the English language. It offends. It often objectifies women and is degrading. Nothing good comes from desensitizing us to vulgarity.

 

So why do you think profanity is so prevalent in media? What is the end goal of ramping up the vulgarity?

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partyI love watching college football. You all know Michigan is my team! But what I don’t love is watching the number of college kids getting totally trashed at games. It’s like a right of passage that doesn’t end well.

An article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, Campus Life 101: Staying Sober, and addresses the growing problem of substance abuse on college campuses. The focus of the article was on the efforts of a few major universities establishing substance abuse recovery programs.

According to the article, students ages 18-24 are the fastest growing demographic of Americans seeking treatment for substance abuse. The highest use of alcohol (five or more drinks on five or more occasions within a month) are Americans ages 20-22 at college campuses. During the first decade of the millennium, students seeking substance abuse help more than doubled  compared with older Americans (SAMHSA). One consequence of increased substance abuse on campuses is increasing drop out rates due to addiction.

Bottom line, college is a difficult place to stay sober. The idea of a developing a recovery community on campuses is a positive move, but my concern is that colleges are addressing symptoms not causes. To tackle the problem, one has to look at the causes of increased substance abuse and fix those.

Here are 10 underlying issues that come to mind:

1) President Emeritus, Donald Harward, of Bates College in Maine believes that substance abuse is a symptom of students not being engaged in academic or civil life on campus.

2) Surveys indicate that students use substances to relax, deal with stress or escape problems.

3) The college environment promotes drinking behaviors (NIAAA).

4) Many college students believe that their peers drink more than they actually do. The belief that “everyone is doing it” and drinking is acceptable leads to increased use (NIAAA).

5) Movies about college glorify drinking and partying as if these are a right of passage (Think National Lampoon’s Animal House, Old School, etc).

6) Media, in general, glorifies drinking and escaping through substances.

7) Substance abuse can be prompted by poor coping skills when it comes to handling academic pressure.

8) Students who have difficulty adjusting to transitions, leaving home and balancing social and academic life are at risk for substance abuse.

9) College administrators have given up trying to control their communities and take a “hands off” approach.

10) Students who have untreated mental health issues like depression and anxiety can medicate through substances.

While I applaud the few universities trying to address treatment of substance abuse problems on their campuses, the real need is to address the underlying causes.

In order to take the “high” out of higher education, we have to address the social, emotional and spiritual problems that lead a person to escape and avoid through substance abuse.

 

 

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