Last week, I wrote about the value of listening to your child when she struggles with a challenge. I reminded parents that trying to solve your kid’s problem is not always a good idea—they lose out on a problem solving opportunity. I know it’s hard to do. Our natural inclination is to want to “make it better”. But sadly, even most child-sized problems can’t be kissed away. But the same thing is true in adult relationships! Joe doesn’t understand why his wife Mary doesn’t want her grammar corrected. Why, doesn’t she want to improve her language skills? She feels insulted and he feels hurt.... Read More
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I have been home for two weeks, having spent another week with my elderly mom in Florida. When I was there, I arranged for around the clock care and helped her get stronger. I was her cheerleader, encouraging her to move her body. She was able to walk down to the dining room, unassisted, with only a walker! Sadly, the day I left, she contracted a 24-hour virus, which in her frail state, set her back. In the last two weeks, she has continued to slide downhill. When the social worker from hospice called, I knew that her condition was deteriorating. Her condition has slowly declined.
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What’s the state of marriage in America today?
According to Eli Finkel, (New York Times, February 14, 2014, The All-or-Nothing Marriage), there are two opposing views. One camp believes that the high divorce rate is a reflection of the lack of commitment and a decline in moral character in the United States. The other group thinks that the high divorce rate reflects greater freedom and respect for individual choice. Which one is right?
Consider the following: the divorce rate... Read More
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
Trust and goodwill are the fuel for healthy relationships. It’s very important to have confidence that family members and spouses are honest with each other. But what happens to a relationship when your relative or spouse betrays your trust? How can family members heal? How do these infidelities impact intimate relationships?
I frequently hear about husbands or wives who run up huge credit card bills or who have big gambling losses that they hide from each other. Mary, an impulse shopper, had credit cards with $10,000 balances that her husband Joe didn’t know about. One day, he... Read More
I feel very fortunate.
During the last three weeks, my brother and I, my step sisters, and my nephews and nieces rallied together to take care of my mother, as she struggled for life. Last week, I came home after two weeks in Florida, first by her bedside in the ICU, then in the hospital, and finally in a rehabilitation facility.
During the first ten days, my brother and I worked as a team to insure that she received the care that she wanted and was able to refuse the care she didn’t want. We spent many hours together, talking, crying, laughing and telling stories. We got to... Read More
In the last two weeks, while I’ve been taking care of my mom, first in the hospital, and now at a rehabilitation center, I’ve learned several important points about healthcare. Below are the most important:Don’t get sick. If you do get sick, and have to go to a hospital, have family or friends spend as much time with you as they possibly can. The family needs to check and double check everything that the hospital staff does. Family has to actively advocate for the patient, in a kind, respectful, patient, and persistent manner.
I am always impressed with how kind, caring, and... Read More
Many years ago, at my cousin’s wedding, my Uncle Mel shared some angry words with his younger sister, Marilyn—“Your husband never comes to any of my family events!” he said sharply. “I’ve been to every one of your kid’s celebrations,” he snapped. From that moment, Marilyn never spoke to her brother again. Their silence lasted more than 15 years. They both went to their graves without a word between them. I was the only family member who actually witnessed their argument.
These two grew up in the depression, lost their mother when they were teenagers and lived through World War II.... Read More
I am in the air again, flying to see my mother.
But this time, it’s because she is in the ICU.
My brother called me Sunday night and told me that she was admitted to the hospital because of breathing problems. She had another heart attack, developed pneumonia, and is now on a ventilator. My brother is already there, waiting for me.
One week earlier, our entire extended family was in Florida spending a week at a beach house. My mother sat on the beach, watching her three great grandchildren play in the sand; her adult grandchildren care for them, and her children... Read More
While I never thought of myself as an extrovert, I have become pretty socially comfortable over the years. I wasn’t always that way. I used to think of myself as shy—not painfully so, but just naturally so. At gatherings where I didn’t know many people, I would hang around with familiar folks.
I always admired my wife, who without skipping a beat, could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. I don’t think she has a shy bone in her body!
But many people are more introverted than shy. They are just naturally quiet and reserved. They’re good listeners. They... Read More