Monday, May 11, 2015

Cheating, But Not Leaving : What Do Therapists Say?

Kourtney used to say that if her husband ever cheated on her, she’d “leave him in a heartbeat.” But after she got a hold of her husband’s laptop one night and found eight graphic selfies that another woman had sent to him, things didn't seem so black-and-white. Oh, she was furious about what turned out to be an affair, and even “took the wedding photo off the wall and threw it across the kitchen, and shattered glass went everywhere.” Yet Kourtney, who only wants to use her first name, didn't leave.

 “She  has chosen  to stay.”

Despite all the chatter about the death of monogamy, some couples are deciding to remain married — even after one spouse cheats on the other. According to a recent study by researchers at Indiana University, nearly 1 in 5 women and almost 1 in 4 men in monogamous relationships reported having cheated.

 It’s unclear exactly how many knew that their significant other strayed, though infidelity rates have held fairly steady over time — while divorce rates peaked in the 1980s. These days, couples and therapists say, infidelity is much more survivable than many of us think.

Both partners often show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

As Kourtney discovered, gadgets like smartphones and tablets have certainly made it easier to slip a sexy pic someone’s way and facilitate a steamy affair. But they’ve also made it easier (for some, at least) to find an incriminating email, text message or online dating profile. “It’s not that the affairs happen more or less, but they certainly are uncovered more,” says Jay Lebow, a psychologist and marriage and family therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University.

People generally also want to have better relationships, and they tend to talk more about them, Lebow says, so they’re more likely to ask questions if a partner becomes distant. Hence all those questions about that new Facebook friend.

But what happens when someone stays after a loved one strays?

 Both partners often show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, says Kristina Coop Gordon, a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, who — along with colleagues Donald H. Baucom and Douglas K. Snyder — developed the first empirically tested method for treating couples in this situation.

Betrayed spouses typically experience symptoms common among people who've suffered physical trauma, including flashbacks and numbness, while betrayers may feel anxiety provoked by the thought that they’re not actually the person they thought they were, says Gordon.

What’s realistic is to move to a point where it doesn’t dominate your life …

A growing group of therapists is now working to help couples recognize and process these different feelings when one partner drifts but the couple decides to stick it out together. One change they’ve noticed in recent years is how much people tend to expect from their partners — and how much it can hurt when they learn of their spouse’s cheating ways.

 “We tend to want our partner to be everything — our best friend, our confidant, our lover, our financial partner,” says Elana Katz, a family therapist and senior faculty member at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York. But most people have fewer confidants today than they did in the past, and because expectations are higher, when an affair comes to light, it can be very alarming, Katz says.

Gordon and her colleagues focus on getting betrayed partners to forgivebut not necessarily forget. “There’s no way in heck that you will look back on the affair and feel happy about it or even not feel angry about it,” Gordon says.

 “What’s realistic is to move to a point where it doesn’t dominate your life and you don’t hold it over the other person.” She’s also working on a program designed to spark the kind of soul-searching discussions an affair tends to provoke — before an affair ever happens.

Certainly, not everyone can get past an affair. Just ask Katherine Eisold Miller. The New York City-based collaborative divorce attorney estimates that infidelity has been a factor in as many as half of the divorces she has worked on throughout her 28-year career.

Most divorces are difficult, of course, but when one partner has been unfaithful, “there’s an edge in the discussions that wouldn’t otherwise be there,” Miller says.

Holly Sox could have ended up in one of those contentious proceedings. But after discovering that her husband, Mike, had had an affair a few years ago, the South Carolina resident says that a combination of therapy, their faith and advice from couples  helped them build a stronger relationship.

 In fact, they have even renewed their wedding vows. “The worst day I’ve had in the last three years,” says Sox, “is still better than the best day we had before.”

source :

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The brain may be forgetful because of Alzheimer, but Never the heart

Man with Alzheimers proves the heart always remembers: Melvyn Amrine

Police Found This Alzheimer's Patient Wandering, But What He Was Actually Doing Would make you cry

It's common for husbands to sometimes forget their spouse's birthday or Mother's Day, but when you've been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it's particularly rough. When you can't remember the name of your loved ones, it's hard to be expected to remember special dates, but sometimes things change.

Melvyn is living with Alzheimer's, but recently he gave his wife the surprise of her life. Go grab a tissue and take a look. This is what happens when love becomes an instinct.

View this Video:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Love has No Labels

Along with a few tears and gratitude, this video has absolutely made my day…mostly becauses there are people out there doing these incredible kinds of video’s to show how basic and simple love should be.

At the end of the day, we are meant to accept each other, support each other and see nothing but the person for who they are…we are meant to love each other. We are not made to see gender, race, disability, age, religion, or sexuality. This Love Has No Labels campaign was made to challenge us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues.

View this Video : 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What do Medicine says of Love: How do we fall in Love?

When do you know if you fancy someone? What does love do to your brain chemicals, and is falling in love just nature's way to keep our species alive?

We call it love. It feels like love. But the most exhilarating of all human emotions is probably nature’s beautiful way of keeping the human species alive and reproducing.

With an irresistible cocktail of chemicals, our brain entices us to fall in love. We believe we’re choosing a partner. But we may merely be the happy victims of nature’s lovely plan.
It’s not what you say...
Psychologists have shown it takes between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if you fancy someone.
Research has shown this has little to do with what is said, rather
• 55% is through body language
• 38% is the tone and speed of their voice
• Only 7% is through what they say

The 3 stages of love 
Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in the States has proposed 3 stages of love – lust, attraction and attachment. Each stage might be driven by different hormones and chemicals.

Stage 1: Lust 
This is the first stage of love and is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen – in both men and women.

Stage 2: Attraction 
This is the amazing time when you are truly love-struck and can think of little else. Scientists think that three main neurotransmitters are involved in this stage; adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.

The initial stages of falling for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of adrenalin and cortisol. This has the charming effect that when you unexpectedly bump into your new love, you start to sweat, your heart races and your mouth goes dry.


Helen Fisher asked newly ‘love struck’ couples to have their brains examined and discovered they have high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This chemical stimulates ‘desire and reward’ by triggering an intense rush of pleasure. It has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine!

Fisher suggests “couples often show the signs of surging dopamine: increased energy, less need for sleep or food, focused attention and exquisite delight in smallest details of this novel relationship” .


And finally, serotonin. One of love's most important chemicals that may explain why when you’re falling in love, your new lover keeps popping into your thoughts.
Does love change the way you think?

A landmark experiment in Pisa, Italy showed that early love (the attraction phase) really changes the way you think.
Dr Donatella Marazziti, a psychiatrist at the University of Pisa advertised for twenty couples who'd been madly in love for less than six months. She wanted to see if the brain mechanisms that cause you to constantly think about your lover, were related to the brain mechanisms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
By analysing blood samples from the lovers, Dr Marazitti discovered that serotonin levels of new lovers were equivalent to the low serotonin levels of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder patients.

Love needs to be blind 
Newly smitten lovers often idealise their partner, magnifying their virtues and explaining away their flaws says Ellen Berscheid, a leading researcher on the psychology of love.
New couples also exalt the relationship itself. “It's very common to think they have a relationship that's closer and more special than anyone else's”. Psychologists think we need this rose-tinted view. It makes us want to stay together to enter the next stage of love – attachment.

Stage 3: Attachment 
Attachment is the bond that keeps couples together long enough for them to have and raise children. Scientists think there might be two major hormones involved in this feeling of attachment; oxytocin and vasopressin.

Oxytocin - The cuddle hormone

Oxytocin is a powerful hormone released by men and women during orgasm.
It probably deepens the feelings of attachment and makes couples feel much closer to one another after they have had sex. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes.

Oxytocin also seems to help cement the strong bond between mum and baby and is released during childbirth. It is also responsible for a mum’s breast automatically releasing milk at the mere sight or sound of her young baby.

Diane Witt, assistant professor of psychology from New York has showed that if you block the natural release of oxytocin in sheep and rats, they reject their own young.
Conversely, injecting oxytocin into female rats who’ve never had sex, caused them to fawn over another female’s young, nuzzling the pups and protecting them as if they were their own.


Vasopressin is another important hormone in the long-term commitment stage and is released after sex.
Vasopressin (also called anti-diuretic hormone) works with your kidneys to control thirst. Its potential role in long-term relationships was discovered when scientists looked at the prairie vole.
Prairie voles indulge in far more sex than is strictly necessary for the purposes of reproduction. They also – like humans - form fairly stable pair-bonds.

When male prairie voles were given a drug that suppresses the effect of vasopressin, the bond with their partner deteriorated immediately as they lost their devotion and failed to protect their partner from new suitors.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Deal with Approach Anxiety

Approach Anxiety:   noun, singular. The fear of approaching and interacting with a stranger you find attractive.

Question:  I have a problem. Every time I come up to a girl I like, it's as though in my mind I already know what say and how to get her to smile. But when I actually talk to a girl, I get too nervous for words and I start to stutter and I forget how to carry on the conversation at all!

If you could help me out, that'd be great.

Answer:  First of all, this is a really common problem. To a certain extent, we all face fear and nervousness when we talk to women or approach them.

There are some things you can do:

1. You need to have a lot more practice.

Practice talking to every woman around you until it's not so scary. Say "hi" or just ask any question under the sun. This will desensitize you to the process of interacting with women.

2. Practice asking the questions OUT LOUD, when you alone.

Keep preparing. Memorize a few questions or routines and say them out loud 20 times a day. The more you feel prepared, the more you will be prepared. Having said what you have to say will give you confidence.

3. Watch and NOT approach.

For a few weeks when you see a girl you want to talk to, consciously DO NOT approach her. Instead, run a practice of what you COULD say in your mind instead. Say those things out loud, later, when you are alone. This again will help it feel natural when you actually do it.

4. Do fear-reducing exercises.

If panic or anxiety is an issue, deal with it. Do deep breathing exercises, visualize yourself being calmer, and create a mental "happy place" to help deal with fear.

Best of luck!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Anatomy Of A Breakup: What Happens To Your Body During Heartbreak

What is the body part most associated with breakups? The heart. Heart break. Broken hearts. Heart ache. However, anyone who has suffered through the ending of a relationship knows the pain is not actually located in your chest. If it is, stop eating so much chili or see a doctor because you’re having a heart attack.

During a breakup numerous body parts can and will turn against you. To help our readers understand what really happens to you (not the oversimplified broken heart metaphor), we’ve created The Anatomy Of A Breakup with plenty of other new metaphors.

The Mind Becomes A Trap
You become your own worst enemy. Your mind will turn on you, often when you least expect it. It can be a nice day and you’re in a relatively good mood…then suddenly the trap springs. You’re caught in a memory about that romantic weekend in Delaware and you can’t stop ruminating on the fact you’ll never be able to enjoy Old Bay french fries the same way again.

The Eyes Become Sliced Onions
This is pretty self-explanatory. You’re gonna cry. You can’t stop it. And it’s going to be embarrassing.

The Mouth Becomes A Toilet
In an effort to eat your feelings, you’ll flush all kinds of crap down your throat: ice cream, booze (if you’re 21 and older), comfort food … the list goes on. There will come a point, though, when the feelings and food will clog your toilet and it begins overflowing. Sometimes you literally spew and other times you’ll just spew emotions all over a friend or confused co-worker.

The Gut Becomes A Septic Tank
Not only will this be the receptacle for all the horrible decisions you’re eating, but it also becomes a whirlpool of regret, nerves and bile. Nothing pleasant is ever in the septic tank.

The Hands Become Double-Edged Swords
Your hands can keep you out of trouble or put you in the worst predicaments. Use them to keep busy, it’ll help you deal with the loss. On the other side, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Sitting around and doing nothing will lead to you stalking your ex on Facebook or worse.

The Crotch Becomes The Devil
“The best way to get over someone is to get under someone.” It’s a catchy saying, but it doesn’t always work out. Just like the devil will tell you to do things you never normally would, your crotch can lead you into some dark places in an effort to feel better. You will regret many of those “dark places.”

Since the two of you split up, your head has felt like a helium balloon about to burst. A family of squirrels seems to have moved into your stomach, your heart feels as if it's clamped in a vise, and though you've emptied a bottle of the natural sleep aid melatonin, you haven't caught a wink all week. No question about it: Losing your one-and-only is a bitch. But stop clutching your chest—the real pain is coming from inside your head.

If you think you hate being dumped, your brain hates it even more. Dr. Naomi Eisenberger, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles—evidence, she says, that your head is signaling to your body that being dumped actually hurts. 

Your new singledom isn't helping any either: When you're in love, certain areas of your gray matter are happily awash in dopamine and oxytocin, hormones that give you feelings of pleasure and contentment, says Lucy Brown, Ph.D., a professor of neurobiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. But when your guy suddenly takes off, your supply of those feel-good natural chemicals starts to tumble, leaving you more vulnerable to a whole herd of uncompromising stress hormones.

During any upsetting experience, your brain pumps out cortisol, epinephrine, and other stress hormones, which, in limited quantity, help you react quickly to dangerous situations (like when a car is cutting you off on the highway).
However, under long-term trauma, such as heartbreak, accumulating amounts can turn harmful. An overabundance of cortisol tells your brain to send too much blood to your muscles, causing them to tense up, ostensibly for swift action. But you're not leaping anywhere, and as a result you're plagued with swollen muscles that can lead to headaches, a stiff neck, and that awful squeezing sensation in your chest.

Cortisol also diverts blood away from your digestive track, leaving you with some serious GI unpleasantness. And to add insult to injury, an overkill of stress hormones can impede your immune system, making you more vulnerable to rogue bacteria and viruses—hence the all-too-common postrelationship cold.

The particular kind of walloping you suffer also has to do with how your body generally reacts to stress, says Laura Miller, M.D., director of women's mental health at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. If you have a sensitive stomach, you could be prone to breakup cramps, appetite loss, or diarrhea. 

If you have asthma, you might reach for your inhaler more often; gobs of stress hormones can send your bronchial tubes into overdrive. And if you happen to have an addictive personality, you may feel as shaky as a heroin junkie in rehab, because the area of your brain that processes cravings and addictions is also activated by breakups, according to Brown's recent research.

The good news:

  • Though you may feel emotionally trampled for a while, you can at least ease your body's pain. And we don't mean with latenight clubbing, nacho binges, and other indulgences, which can lead to more physical woes, such as rapid heartbeat and extreme fatigue, says Gary L. Malone, M.D., chief of psychiatry at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

  •  Instead, take over-the-counter meds for your pounding head and queasy stomach—or better yet, teach yourself some relaxation techniques (like deep breathing) to calm your nervous system. And curb those wild stress hormones by pulling yourself off the couch for some aerobic exercise, Miller advises. 

  • Working out prompts your brain to release uplifting endorphins. Better yet, take a trash-talking friend with you; camaraderie can incite a much-needed pop of your missing oxytocin. 

  • "One thing you shouldn't do is lock yourself in a room," says Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Monmouth University in New Jersey. "Self-imposed exile will only make things worse." He advises getting back into some of your favorite pastimes and activities, because doing anything enjoyable can help rev your brain's dopamine system.
  •  If you can't disassociate your old passions from moments spent with your ex, take it as an opportunity to try something completely new, like that drawing class or bicycling club you've been coveting (consider how ridiculous he'd look in spandex). Says Lewandowski: "Whatever cheers the mind may help cure the body." 
from: Women's health mag.