Lack of Touch, Not Sex, Kills Relationship (Repost)

8175382088_94a11e7732_bThe following is a repost from Mary Jo Rapini. This is exactly the main cause of my last divorce except I called it affection.

Lack of Touch, Not Sex, Kills Relationship

Most marriage experts will agree that sex is not the number one killer of a marriage or long-term relationship. In fact, the majority of marriages that are happy rate their sex lives with one another on a scale of 1 to 10 as being a six (10 is the best). They are happy with it being a six though, and they feel connected. Happy marriages do have one feature that bad marriages do not have. They have more frequent touching.

We can see the deleterious effects of not enough touch with premature infants who are severely ill and placed in ICU. When these babies are touched and held by their parents their heart rates improve, as do whatever medical issue they are dealing with. We also witness at times of severe crisis the importance of having the loved one’s partner next to them. Sometimes when the patient is not responding to any of the medical interventions, they will respond positively to their partner’s touch or body cuddled next to theirs.

Women are touched more than men in our society and this is an important point to consider. Women hug one another when they meet, they may kiss one another, and children often are more demonstrative toward mom than they are with men. This is unfortunate because men benefit physically as well as emotionally to being touched just as women do.

When couples that have a distant relationship fail at keeping the relationship intact, very seldom is it the absence of sex that’s to blame. More likely it is the lack of connection one is able to provide for the other, and the lack of touch.

In hospices, ICUs, as well as in assisted living homes, you will see patients hold on to their last breath until they are reassured by the person they love most that it is okay for them to go on. They will let go easier when that person is holding their hand while giving them permission that they will be okay on their own.

Touch is so innocently easy to give, but yet we suffer more from loneliness than any other disease in the world. How can a world that is media connected down to a Google map being able to identify exactly where you live be so disconnected with touch? Much of it is due to the hyper sensationalism of sexuality. But sex doesn’t do much without touch. In fact, who can conceive of sex without touch?

If your relationship feels distant and you no longer know what to say, try touch. Say less to your partner, but touch more in these suggested ways:

  • Hold hands or touch each others’ body when you are watching television, driving or walking.
  • When your partner feels stressed or overwhelmed, instead of telling them how to fix things, just massage their neck and shoulders.
  • Hug your partner before they leave and before you do anything else when you get home.
  • If you are in a long distance relationship, describing what you miss about your partner’s touch, and how you felt hugging or holding them makes them feel closer than any other thing you could tell them.
  • Sleeping together, even if you don’t touch each others’ skin, helps provide emotional benefits that are seen with touch.
  • If you live alone, studies have shown that pets are a wonderful option for touch and adding emotional support.

In the media sex gets a lot of attention. But in a healthy relationship touch trumps sex for building a connection and helping your partner feel valued and loved.

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Grief Catching Us Unaware Must be Felt In Order to be Healed

4695081256_659781c63f_zI have been divorced three times and, even though, I’ve been alone since June, 1999, I would like to meet a new friend. I never realized until the last few years that I needed to start with a friend before we became lovers. Then if the lovers part ends, I would still have a friend.

Joe The Peacock’s Blog. by Joe Peacock /

It’s Just A Song…

It was just a stop for coffee. Just a quick run-in for some caffeine before getting to work on a new project with my friend John. Just a short, easy-breezy, shoot in-and-out java run.

And as soon as I walked in the door, I heard those strings. Those magnificent strings resonating and humming, closing out the ending of U2’s “All I Want Is You.” It was near the end of the song, and all I got was half a second of it, but I knew exactly how far into the song it was, almost to the second.

“I have to go,” I said to John as I spun on my heel and walked right back out the door.

I took out my phone and pretended to read an email or a text or a funny post on Facebook or something… Anything so that I’d have some form of plausible deniability when John inevitably asked me just what the hell that was about. The entire front of the store was composed windows, so I tried to walk around the corner while staring at my phone so everyone in the shop wouldn’t think I was crazy. Nevermind they weren’t even watching me… That’s not how it felt. It felt like every single eye was on me. Everyone in the shop, everyone on the street… Everyone, watching me try my best not to cry.

And I didn’t. Not this time.

A few months ago, however, that wasn’t the case when the exact same scenario took place just down the street at a different coffee shop. Only that time, I was with John’s wife, Jen, working on something completely different. And the wound of my marriage ending was much fresher. The same thing happened: the song that played during my first dance with the woman who had just become my wife… It came on over the radio of a coffee shop and I lost my shit. I had to run out of there and cry in the snow on a strange street in LaFayette, Indiana.

This time… No tears. Just a sock to the gut as I heard those strings play at the end of the song.

I stood there around the corner from the shop as I counted the notes and let the song play out in my head. I didn’t want to hear the damn thing, even in my head. I tried my best to force it out, but I couldn’t. Note by note, those strings played and played and played… I swear to God, that fucking song goes on forever at the end. That’s actually part of the reason we chose it to dance to, so our dance would last.

How ironic that it would be playing in a random coffee shop in another town the day after I finally posted publicly about the fact that I am divorced. Maybe that was the point. Maybe fate is trying to test me to see how far I’ve come.

The song finally ended in my head. I felt it was safe to come in. When I did, John didn’t ask what the hell happened. In fact, he didn’t say a word. He just handed me my coffee and we discussed the art on the wall. And like that, the moment was over. There was no further pain. There was no lingering sadness. I heard the song; I ran from it and saved myself.

But that’s the great lie, isn’t it? You can’t outrun yourself. Maybe you can avoid a song playing on the radio or in a public place that reminds you of something painful. Maybe you can avoid addressing the situation directly and run from your pain… But it’ll find you. Even in a small town in Indiana while visiting friends, it’ll find you.

As near as I can tell, that’s the healing process in a nutshell. You run from your pain as long as your stamina holds out, and then at some point you run out of breath and it catches you and you have no choice but to feel it.

And then, it’s over.

The song stops playing. The person you’re arguing with walks away. The movie ends. The smell of her perfume fades. The sound of a laugh sounding just like his from a stranger is drowned out by the crowd. Your heart keeps beating. Air moves in and out of your lungs. At some point, your feet start walking and your arms start swinging and before you know it, it’s months and months after the fact. And then that song comes on, or you see that person you fought with, or see that movie or smell that perfume or hear that laugh, and you don’t cry this time. And next time, you don’t even have to catch your breath. And the next time after that, you have to remember why it is it bothered you in the first place.

As Robert Frost said: “In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

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Partners of Sex Addicts’ Blogs Learn to Work His/Her Own Program of Recovery

“When two codependents enter a relationship, they often overtly or covertly try to manipulate the partner to provide the love and approval needed to fill what John Bradshaw calls the “hole in the soul”.  Both partners attach themselves to the other for a sense of completeness, a strategy that stunts personal growth and development.  By surrendering responsibilty for our happiness to other people, we create power struggles, arguments, and ultimately broken promises, expectations, and hearts.  We can break out of the codependent trap….by working through the pain of our unmet childhood needs and by cultivating an inner life.”     Ronald S. Miller

1.  A Room of Mama’s Own; Why I Stay

“When my son was a baby, he used to cry all the time and his only comfort seemed to be breastfeeding. I’d be up every hour all night breastfeeding him, and before long, I was beyond exhausted. One night, Mark got up with me. “Go back to bed,” I said, “You have to work in the morning.” “So do you,” he replied, “and your job is taking care of our son, which is much more important than mine. Let me help, even if I just sit with you.” And I… Well, I did what any exhausted, frazzled, breastfeeding, new mother would do: I burst into tears. He got up with me every night after that: to change diapers or get me water or just doze next to me.”

“A few years later, when I found out about his sex addiction, I couldn’t believe how much he had lied and cheated through all of our years together. He seemed more like a monster than the good man I thought I knew. But when I stopped and held all the lies in a balance with his one simple act of love and tenderness for me, and for our son, I was able to look into the face of the abyss, and say, “This is a good man. It doesn’t matter what wrong he has done; it can’t hold up in the face of that proof of goodness and great love.”

“I know that Mark stood in the hospital room holding our son on the day of his birth and made him a great promise. He renewed the promise he made but couldn’t keep when we started dating, when we got engaged, when we got married. As he looked down at that fragile baby in his arms, he silently swore to himself and his son that things would really be different this time: he would change, he would never do those horrible things again, he would never bring hurt or pain into our family, he would protect us from himself. He couldn’t keep that promise: not a year, not a month, not a day. He is a good man and a strong man, and he meant well; he wanted passionately to keep that promise, but he didn’t know how.”

2.  Ettuhusband: “Glimpses of Me”(no longer online):

“I talked to a dear friend today who is going through a horrible time. She is understandably devastated, sad and scared and thinks she will probably be getting a divorce.”

“I wish I had the right thing to say to help her cope with her grief.”

“But I’m telling you: this girl is amazing. Just amazing. Smart, beautiful, accomplished in every way. (seriously, what is it about sex addicts that make them pick the most amazing women?!)”

“I think our talk was good for both of us, since by talking to her, I saw glimpses of old me by hearing her out. It was so strange to feel like I could understand what talking to me in the old days must have been like.”

“I remembered saying such similar (and valid) things: that I felt tainted, that I felt used. That I felt sexually abused and that no one would ever want me. As I heard her ask who would want her (poor baby), I also thought– my God, anyone. Anyone would. She’s really a total catch. And for the first time, I understood why people always leapt to assure me that I would find someone amazing. It always bothered me that people said that– like what– I’m not valuable enough on my own?”

“Why does everyone think a women is less full of inherent worth if she’s single?! (and this still bothers me, to a point.) However, I think I also get that unasked-for commentary on my marital status, too. Because, wow, here’s this incredible woman asking how anyone would ever want her, when the truth is, the only person in that relationship who shouldn’t be wanted by anyone again is the sex addict. He’s tainted– she’s not.”

3. Discoveringrecovering: “Pound Puppy”

“So, my partner is now on involuntary psychiatric hospitalization number 2, along with 2 partial hospitalizations- 1 “successfully” completed and one not, all since mid November. When I can separate myself and my feelings from all this, it’s interesting to see her fight with herself. She wants help and she doesn’t. She wants somebody to take care of her and she resents being controlled. She wants someone to keep her safe, and she wants to push limits of the people whom she’s asked to do so.”

“When I can look at the behavior from a place of healthy detachment, some of her behavior is really funny. She actually told the nurse last night not to put a needle in her hand because that would hurt and not to put a bandage on her arm after they took blood there because it would leave a bruise. That might make sense if it weren’t for the fact that she was there because she couldn’t contract to keep herself safe from significantly more pain and resulting in significantly more physical evidence.”

“That’s what’s going on with her.”

“As for me, I’m pretty pleased with my commitment to myself to maintain my balance. I left her at the emergency room and went to my naranon meeting. Before I went back to the ER, I treated myself to a nice dinner and coffee. I’m enjoying having space. I’m doing my work without too many intrusive thoughts.”

Photo credit.

Ask Dr. NerdLove: Do I Tell My Crush Her Boyfriend Is Cheating On Her? (Repost)

10875818386_cf0659e6f0_bI am reposting from some of my favorite dating sites.

Doctor NerdLove, I was hoping that you could possibly help me with a very difficult situation I’m in.

The girl I’ve been interested in for the past month, who is also quite a good friend of mine, has a boyfriend who is by no means a decent human being. The other day I discovered that he’s cheated on her a few times and I’ve decided that as a friend it’s my responsibility to tell her. I’m not sure if that’s the right decision, though, and I’m not sure HOW to tell her at all. If you could please weigh in on this, I’d seriously appreciate it! Thank you so much.

Waiting In The Wings

Well, you asked, but I don’t think you’re going to like my answer.

Here’s what you do, WitW: you back the hell off.

First of all, let’s be honest here, just you, me and the Internet: you’re not doing this out of the goodness of your heart. You didn’t decide that it’s your responsibility to tell her because you are that good of a friend, you’re hoping that when you tell her she’s going to dump her cheating scumbag of a boyfriend and fly into your arms as the one who helped her see the truth. Which, to be perfectly frank, is a pretty shitty reason to deliberately insert yourself into the middle of somebody else’s relationship drama.

But for the sake of argument, let’s game this out a little. Let’s assume that either I give you my blessing to telling your crush about her supposedly philandering beau or you decided to go and tell her regardless. How, exactly, do you think she’s going to react? Here’s a hint: she’s going to take it badly. Under the best of circumstances, she’s going to be pissed off like nobody’s business. The only question is who she’s going to be pissed at.

And the smart money says it’s going to be you. You may have noticed that people don’t appreciate bad news. In fact, we tend to get irrationally angry at the person who brings us the bad news, whether it’s their fault or not; there’s a reason why “don’t shoot the messenger” is a common phrase, after all. So you’re already starting off with your would-be hunny-bunny ticked off that you’re telling her that something’s rotten in Denmark.

But then there’s the next step: why should she believe you? Do you have proof? Do you have unquestionable proof that you can actually show her? Proof that couldn’t possibly be explained away? Because if you don’t, then it’s going to be your word against her boyfriend’s. And sure, her boyfriend may be an assbag, but he’s still her boyfriend. This gives him more credibility in her eyes than you have… especially if either of them know that you’ve got a crush on her. And believe me, if she doesn’t, he almost certainly does. This is going to be leveraged against you – you’re going to look like you’re lying up in order to break them up.

(And let’s be honest: that’s what you’re hoping for here.)

Now let’s add another wrinkle into the mix: what makes you so sure she doesn’t know already? Right now you’re working from limited information – you know he’s cheated on her. You don’t say you know when it happened, whether she found out before, whether he confessed or she confronted him and whether they’ve worked through it or not. For that matter, for all you may know, they may have an arrangement of one sort or another. So you’re going forward and telling her with the distinct possibility of re-opening old wounds, dredging up past problems or stumbling onto the fact that they were only socially monogamous. None of which is going to work out for you the way you’re hoping.

Let’s throw a third wrinkle: how’d you find out? Did you catch him in the act? Did you prowl through his phone or emails? Or did you hear it from the grapevine? Because she’s going to want to know… and she’s going to want to know why, exactly you were prying into her business. All of this is going to make a difference, because it’s going to be demonstrating your agenda rather strongly. And if you two aren’t honest-to-god BFFs – which, from the sounds of things, you’re not – it’s going to look like you went digging for dirt, even if we grant that your motivations were as pure as the driven snow. And that is going to bring you right back to that credibility problem.

But hey: let’s say that you manage to thread all those needles and she dumps her no good, scummy boyfriend. Assuming she doesn’t lash out at you for causing her break-up, she’s still not going to swoon into your arms. She’s going to be pissed off at men in general and in no mood for your trying to be the next in line… in fact, she’s probably going to resent it. Women don’t appreciate it when guys suddenly assume the window of opportunity is open because they’ve literally just broken up with somebody. She’s going to need some time to recover and your hanging around in order to help her through this ordeal is going to start verging rather seriously into Nice Guy territory.

In short: you’ve got yourself your basic no-win scenario. And you’re not going to Kobayashi Maru your way through this.

This isn’t your business. Your getting involved is only going to add another layer of drama to somebody else’s relationship. And even under the best of circumstances, it’s going to end badly for you.

Leave it alone.

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Becoming Real Excerpts

“We had better prepare ourselves (and our children) for reality…All of us must live with disappointment, accept limitations and imperfections.  We live in a world of becoming and change.  Inevitably you will sometimes be disappointed with friends.  You will sometimes be disappointed in marriage, disappointed in institutions and sometimes disappointed in yourselves.  Thus, if you are to retain your joy in life you must find much of that joy in spite of disappointment, for the joy of life consists largely in the joy of savoring the struggle, whether it ends in success or in failure.  Your ability to go through life successfully will depend largely upon your travelling with courage and a sense of humor, for both are conditions of survival. It is for this reason that I stress the importance of living with reality and therefore with disappointment.”           John Silber

A Quiet Place–An Online Healing Resource.

Waking up from our dream–the dream that we can project a pretend personality that will be totally accepted as who we are–means becoming completely real.

1.  From A Nana’s Journey: “Becoming Real

“One afternoon a few days before she died, I found myself alone with her. Many years ago, we had once discussed how much we loved the book, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’, by Margery Williams. Nominally a children’s book, I think it actually speaks more to adults. A book I have loved since I was a little girl, its real meaning only became clear for me when I was a woman. For her birthday sixteen years ago, I had given my friend a beautiful copy of that book. It nestled now on her bedside, and she asked me if I would read it to her.”

Excerpt from ‘THE VELVETEEN RABBIT’ ~ By Margery Williams
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.
“It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

2.  From Courage to Change: “Thy Will, Not Mine: The Path to Sanity

“Step Three, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him,” helped me to stop running my show all by myself. I made the decision to turn away from an insane life towards a saner one.  At first, I decided to let my will be guided by God’s will.”

“Today, when my will lets me down, I no longer continue running around in circles.  I am willing to admit  defeat and trust a source of genuine help.”

“I agree, in my own way, with the author of today’s reading in CTC,  “I may find it easier to point to ‘my dry drunk’s’ irrational or self-destructive choices.  It is harder to admit that my own behavior is not always been sane.”

“It’s been too easy to react to the jabs of my dysfunctional parent and blame them for my anger.   I am finding it more peaceful to admit that my own self-righteous anger is also insane.   I can let go of insisting upon being heard or validated by someone who is living in their disease.  When I learn to let God be my sounding board instead, I make my sanity a first priority.”

3. From Successful and Outstanding Bloggers: “Are You Authentic?”

“William Shakespeare wrote, “…to thine own self be true.” In order to be apart from others, one must identify that which makes one unique. Building upon our individuality means identifying our authenticity. Self-awareness is empowering. Do people get a sense of who you are through what you post or tweet? If I met you at a conference, would I meet the person or the persona? Are you that Someone Behind the Curtain, or is there a genuine quality to who you are online?”

“Being fake is not only annoying; it renders you invisible and irrelevant. When our online presence aligns with our offline reality, our effectiveness is magnified. People trust those who are authentic.”

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