Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Married? Are You in the Majority?

posted by Linda Mintle

With a growing desire to say, Yes to the dress, Karla often dreams of her wedding day. In her head, it is all planned out–her colors, the music, location, the rings, the cake and how the ceremony will be conducted. But Karla, like so many young couples, is cohabitating with her boyfriend who seems to be in no hurry to run down the aisle.

Karla is part of a growing trend of people who are not tying the knot. The 2010 census found that the median age of marriage has risen to age 28 for men and age 26 for women. The real surprise is that only 48% of all households are represented by married couples. For the first time in history, married couples are in the minority.

The reason for this demographic change seems to be due to more divorced or widowed older people who live longer, and more young people who postpone marriage for all sorts of reasons. Usually these reasons have to do with money and job security; more women  in the labor force who are economically independent; more women who delay having children; and more couples live together.

So Karla, those wedding vows may not be spoken as long as you live with a guy who is comfortable with the way things are now!

 

Father’s Day: How Dad is a Reflection of You

posted by Linda Mintle

I recently attended an all day seminar on couples counseling. We began the seminar filling out a form about our parents. There were two sections–positive and negative traits of  your mother and father (or major caretaker growing up). Then we were to circle the top traits and see if they were similar to the person we married.

For my father, I wrote–stable, integrity, always there, man of faith and easy going. Interestingly, the man I married has all the same traits. I also noticed that I tend to incorporate some of my dad’s negative traits in to my life. as well.  For example, my dad is not a risk taker and neither am I. He is hard on himself when he makes a mistake and so am I.

Dads are important influences regarding who we become. We integrates parts of them into our growing and changing selves whether we are conscious of this or not.

So this Father’s Day, take a few moments and consider the positive and negatives traits of your father. Are they a reflection of you or the person you married? This day, focus on the positive and honor him for pouring good things into your life. List those positive traits, tell him, or write them in a brief note. Sometimes, we focus too much on the problems and not enough on the good things we get from our parents.

Later, you may want to reflect on those negative traits and decide how much of those are in you or the person you married. Making those traits conscious allows you to understand the attraction you have to specific people and work on those issues in your marriage and yourself. Then, you can change those things that need changing and keep those parts you value.

And even if your parenting wasn’t stellar, you do have a heavenly Father who provides you with all you need. Not all dads are good at giving unconditional love and acceptance, but your heavenly Father is. He never rejects, abandons or makes you earn His love. He is always present and ready to give you good things.

 

 

Caring For The Whole Person Adds to Quality of Life

posted by Linda Mintle

What if you went to your doctor’s appointment for your regular diabetes check up and did more than have your labs taken?

Instead…

A counselor talked to you about your support system at home and asked about other aspects of your life that impact your stress levels.

A nurse health educator asked about how you managed your injections and if you had the proper medicine.

A registered dietitian reviewed your meal plan and made suggestions to keep your glucose levels stable.

Sound good?

It’s all part of growing interest in helping patients with the quality of their lives. With less emphasis on the absence of disease and more emphasis on healthy living, the quality of life can be improved. When you feel better about your life, you tend to be hospitalized less and have fewer visits to the emergency room. Work improves and less medication is needed.

What’s not to love about this idea? It’s actually part of a bigger picture health care providers are beginning to embrace. it’s simple but powerful–attend to the whole person and people do better!

 

A Not So Happy Father’s Day: 8 Ways to Cope

posted by Linda Mintle

As we approach Father’s Day this weekend, I am aware that not everyone looks forward to this day with anticipation. Sons and daughters who have been abused, neglected, abandoned and hurt by dad can have a tough time on this day. Just trying to find a card to express some positive thought can be a challenge for some people.

So, if you had a not-so-great dad, how can you help yourself during this holiday weekend?

1) Try to understand who your dad is and what influenced his development. While this doesn’t excuse negative behavior, it does help to know he was shaped by forces and people who influenced his development too. Problems are generational unless they are intentionally stopped and addressed. Be empathetic and let go of unrealistic expectations.

2) Let go of anger and unforgiveness. Holding on to anger and unforgivness hurts you more than it does him. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Let go and allow God to heal those hurting places so you can move on with your life.Your physical, emotional and spiritual life depends on this.

3) Release your dad to God. It is not your job to hold judgment towards your father. God will be his ultimate judge so release him. One day, he will answer for his behavior.

4) Accept the love of your heavenly Father. Romans 8:15-16:  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” You have a Father who will never leave, abandon or reject you. Turn to your heavenly Father for healing and intimacy that will never disappoint.

5) Honor men in your life who have provided positive role models of dads. Maybe yours wasn’t the best, but you had a male role model who showed you a better way and parenting. Honor that person and thank him for being available to counter balance the negative.

6) Continue to pray for your father. I have seen men come to their senses and change late in life. And while this doesn’t prevent hurts and abuse, it does allow for reconciliation. God can change any heart that is willing to change. Don’t give up in prayer.

7) Be the best dad you can be. Learn from your experiences. Study scripture as a guide to fatherhood. Your role model is God the Father.

8) Honor what you can. Find some characteristic, action or time that was or is positive and focus on that this Father’s Day. Scripture is clear that we honor our father and mother. This doesn’t mean you put yourself in harm’s way though. If your dad is unsafe, send a card, a note, make a phone call, or spend an hour with him in a public place.

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