Today I returned from two weeks of caring for my mother in Florida as she slides towards the natural end of life. In the last two and half months I have been by her side for five weeks. It’s been hard. It’s painful to watch her dwindle, like a candle that is barely flickering, but still lit. I have had the opportunity to hold her hand at 3 a.m. in the morning, as she lay in her hospital bed at home, short of breath, frightened, waiting for the liquid morphine to work that I dropped under her tongue. I have been able to give her comfort in this final chapter of her life. I have been able to... Read More
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The causes seem obvious—too little time, too little energy, not enough sleep, too much time on the Internet or too much to do. All these reasons seem to be adequate explanations for couples that are having a sexual drought. Or at least not having sex as much as they might like.
A recent article in The New York Times, “Does a more equal marriage mean less sex?” by Lori Gottlieb (February 6, 2014) raises another possible cause—one that is hard for me to wrap my arms around. The... Read More
Relationships, even in the best of worlds, can come and go for a whole host of reasons. They can reach the end of their natural life through mutual agreement, or by one partner deciding to end it. This can be painful, even when both individuals agree that it is time for a change.
But there are other reasons for a relationship coming to an end too. David and Jennifer have been together for two years and feel a growing connection to each other. Jennifer has an opportunity to go to graduate school in another state and David lands his dream job at Boeing. They both decide, sadly, to go... Read More
I know, some of our readers don’t want to read posts on sex. If you are one of those folks, hit “escape” now. But, human sexuality is a part of adult life. And hopefully, it is a positive aspect of our lives. Sex between adults can be a great joy for both partners. But sometimes, there are challenges. One common difficulty is differing ideas of how important it should be in a relationship.
David and Mary, both in their thirties, have been together 10 years. Mary would like to make love 3-4 times a week, and find time to be together when they are not so tired. David would be fine if... Read More
A close friend shared this story with me. David and his brother went backpacking every summer, and took along David’s teenage daughter, Sally. When she was a junior in High School she wanted to bring along her boyfriend and her Dad agreed. They went on a 5-day backpacking trip, and Sally slept in the tent with David while her boyfriend, Bill, slept in the tent with Dave’s brother.
The next weekend, Sally asks her Dad if she can go backpacking with her boyfriend. David, naturally, says “no way.” Sally turns towards her Dad and quips—“Why not? If you worried that we will have sex, don... Read More
(Welcome to a new series on “Communication Skills” that I will be posting periodically which will highlight one or two basic skills that are helpful in improving our relationships. Each one will give you a “homework assignment” to work on. Then I hope you will share your experience with our readers)
Why is good communication so difficult? Why is it so hard to discuss certain subjects with my partner? Why can’t my husband understand me? Why do we argue so much? Why can’t I get my wife to open up?
These questions can haunt a good relationship for many years. When couples do... Read More
Divorce is painful. Breaking up is hard to do, especially after couples have tied the knot. They look back at their wedding day, filled with promise and joy. They wonder what happened. How did everything go from spring to winter?
Adults tend to blame themselves. And, they blame each other. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Why couldn’t I compromise? Why couldn’t she see what I needed? Why did he make it so hard for me? What happened to our love? In the gloom of that moment of shearing, it’s very easy to feel bad about oneself and one’s partner. Most individuals feel like failures. It’... Read More
I see many adults who struggle to find their soul mate! Everyone wants to find Mr. or Ms. “it”. Yet some men and women seem to repeatedly select the wrong person, and then they feel disappointed, discouraged, or rejected. They want commitment, love, and loyalty and they find themselves dating a “commitment-phobe”. They are looking for someone who will be affectionate and loving and they select someone who is aloof and distant. What gives?
Mary, 25, starts dating a man who shares that he is just coming out of a long term relationship that didn’t go well and doesn’t want to get “... Read More
A distressed dad sat in my office, tears in his eyes, describing the last two years of his life. His 15-year-old son, Joey, started having problems at 13 years of age—poor school performance, lying, hanging out with troubled friends, anger, and breaking house rules. This semester was going a little better, but he was worried. After the turmoil of the last two years, he was waiting for the other shoe to drop—a telephone call from the school, Joey not coming home on time, or a screaming, yelling episode. He felt bad. He had lost whatever parental confidence he had gained during Joe’s... Read More
Several months ago, I visited my elderly mother in Florida to help her consider moving into an independent living facility with congregate dining. She and I, her best friend, and my aunt went on a tour of Forest Trace in Lauderhill, Florida. All three older adults plunked down a deposit on an apartment. The die was cast.
I went back down to Florida, the weekend before last, to help my mother move. That was my deal with her when I encouraged her to make this big change. It took four days for my daughter and I to unpack all the boxes, find a place for everything, and get her settled.... Read More