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Saturday, September 21, 2013

The danger of suppression: Don’t bottle up your emotions

Any serious scientist will be familiar with the assertion that stress causes immuno-compromise. A recent study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health has finally put this long-held knowledge into perspective, deciphering that those who bottle up their feelings have a cardiovascular disease risk of 140 per cent and a risk of cancer of 170 per cent when compared to individuals who share how they feel. Overall, the risk of premature death for those who keep their negative feelings to themselves is around 135 per cent that of individuals unafraid to speak their minds. When framed in this way, the dangers of suppressing emotions are hard to ignore, but how exactly does bottling up your emotions lead to real and tangible damage to the body? The article below will explore the molecular and physiological mechanisms behind this startling array of statistics, and provide some helpful tips to managing your rage, and keeping your body healthy!
Although the concrete mechanism linking bottled-up emotions and premature death has yet to be established, several sound scientific principles may be applied in order to elucidate some facts about the forces at work. Firstly, it is conceivable that those who feel that they must hide their emotions from others are more susceptible to seeking comfort in substance abuse such as alcohol addiction, cigarette smoking, or the use of other harmful drugs in order to relieve their stress. The use of these substances has several obvious and detrimental effects to health, and so needs no explanation here. The second suspected mechanism is slightly less direct in nature.

When the body is coping with a stress response, such as un-vented anger or pent-up rage, a hormone known as Cortisol is released. Cortisol is a hormone of critical importance to humans, but it also has some unwanted effects in individuals experiencing high levels of stress. Cortisol is a steroid hormone, specifically a glucocorticoid, meaning that it is capable of suppressing the immune system’s response to damage or invading pathogens. This unfortunate effect means that individuals who have a higher than normal stress level, and thus a raised Cortisol level, will have under-effective immune systems, not only opening the floodgates to any nasty bugs that may wish to make your body their home, but also preventing a complete response from being carried out towards invaders from within – cancer cells. Every day, the immune system destroys a cell that would otherwise have become cancerous, so it’s easy to see how quickly things can go wrong when this response is working below optimum levels.All is not lost, though. Studies have shown that releasing anger actually increases blood flow to those parts of the brain responsible for pleasure and reward, thus making taking out your frustration a ‘feel good’ experience. However, there are those of us for whom releasing anger at every turn can very quickly end both friendships and careers. 

Perhaps a change in outlook is the answer? Conditioning your brain to be more optimistic about everyday situations and into overlooking the minor foibles of others can quite literally be a lifesaver. The statistics speak for themselves, and lend credence to the thought that optimistic people really do live longer than their pessimistic, stressed out counterparts.
Speaking of which, we are about to launch www.tantrumworld.com – a whole new approach to releasing your anger whilst becoming healthier. So, why not try to LET RIP whilst GETTING FIT?
Till next time
Lots of hugs,



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A rant about having sex with an ex whilst healing

There is an article in the Daily Mail today entitled “Why ‘ex-sex’ CAN be a good idea: Sleeping with an old lover lessens psychological distress of break-up… if you’re not over him” (You can read all about it here: LINK)
Apparently research from the University of Arizona (published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology) found that divorced partners who slip back into the marital bed find sex can actually lessen the pain of the break-up.

No kidding… 

We even have the UK sex expert Tracey Cox agreeing with this idea that sex with an ex can provide closure.

Seriously?

“She said: ‘Sometimes we need to go back to move forward, and revisiting the sexual side of the relationship can sometimes make us see very clearly that we’ve idealised the relationship or feel much less pain than we thought. So there’s a sense of closure that can be helpful.’
I know she is an expert, but I definitely don’t agree with this concept at all. I have worked with hundreds of people and I can tell you one thing: If you are hung up on your ex and you sleep with him or her – it’s not called CLOSURE. There is another 7-letter word which is more appropriate and that is called TORTURE.
Sleeping with your ex whilst in the pain of processing your divorce will open a can of worms/spiders/scorpians and all types of critters. Those Z-listers from I AM A CELEBRITY GET ME OUTTA HERE would not even be able to stand 30 seconds with the critters unleashed from that can of worms. Confusion will reign. Time will pass. Future dating partners will disappear. Your children will be confused. They will lose respect for you. You will lose respect for yourself.
Read these hashtags as if my lips were mouthing it: #sexwithexleadstodisaster #sexwithexarmageddon #sexwithexnotworthit #sexwithexcausespain
I think Tracey recommending that we revisit our sexual partners from the past to get closure must be talking about people who want to roll in the hay with someone they feel nothing for where one last shot in the dark concludes the whole relationship swiftly. But life is NEVER that simple. Both parties rarely ever feel nothing for each other so sex rarely leads to closure. Entire seminars have been dedicated to how human beings confuse sex with intimacy and use sex to get closer to people so why think that sex can lead to a severing with the ties?
In many break ups and divorces where kids/houses/betrayals and issues are involved, it can be very complex and not as simple as saying that “partners who had not accepted the break up actually found their divorce less painful whilst they were having sex with their ex.”
OF COURSE THEY FOUND IT LESS PAINFUL.
By sleeping with their ex, they “re-set” the roller-coaster of pain. They delayed the inevitable and important process of grieving and healing by artificially creating HOPE. Maybe one party discovered that they no longer felt anything but rarely will both parties sleep together, high five each other and declare that they are over each other. This study concluded that by sleeping together and delaying the inevitable pain, the pain was lessened overall??? Totally illogical. Whoever came up with the hypothesis and this study did so in a fishtank as there are so many errors of reasoning and co-morbidity factors at play. I think someone needs a hypothesis-testing lesson. I have 3 years of university stats behind me and I have never seen a study like this one. Those journal dudes must have been sleeping when they let this puppy in.
Without being any more Facetious, I must state categorically that this study is ludicrous.
Anyone advocating that you sleeping with an ex whilst healing can actually help you to heal is doing the study in isolation and within a period of days if not weeks. They are not doing their due diligence on the worst-case scenarios which come months or years after or looking at the long-term impact or at how long it takes the individuals to heal whilst bonking their ghosts from Christmas past. By delaying the inevitable pain in severing ties with your ex, retail therapy, alcoholic or drug benders, dinners with mates, dates, working long hours or anything which is about being ‘busy’ whilst dying inside and avoiding being alone — you have fallen foul of the classic SHORT TERM EMOTION AVOIDANCE TACTICS. In other words, you are valuing short term satisfaction over moving on and over your values like pride, self respect and honouring yourself.
Basically, find another way to double click your mouse. Your ex does not need to be the one to do it.

Sex with an ex can be psychologically very confusing and damaging!

I do know that sometimes partners will continue to sleep with each other after a break up. The break up brings up really sad and awful feelings and sometimes the sex is a way to break the loneliness and maintain closeness with someone. Because you are less familiar with each other, the sex can feel more passionate but it’s born out of a neediness rather than a genuine commitment between two people to stay together. Sometimes couples will ‘use’ each other in this way whilst they are breaking up. This prolongs the inevitable, because the moment either party meets someone new, the sexual relationship will end or fizzle out and the pain will be too great to bare. I know some instances where women continue to sleep with their ex even long after he has got married to someone else and had new children.
Personally and in my experience I recommend the clean break option. It is truly the best for both parties and brings clear closure to the relationship. It hurts and feels awful for a few weeks but you don’t waste your life or your time hanging onto the old relationship.
Also, I believe that women and men are more susceptible to have sex with their ex during the ‘Panic/ Negotiation’ phase within The Naked Divorce Grief Cycle as a way to get back together with their ex. The major drawback is that one partner can have sex and it doesn’t need to mean anything to them, whereas the wounded partner will make sex mean all kinds of things and could wound up getting really hurt.
Understand the phases you will go through after your divorce. Understand your hormones and those angst-ridden feelings and where they are coming from. The next time you feel compelled to contact your ex, ask yourself a few questions:
¤ Do you miss being with your ex or do you simply miss being in a couple?
¤ What if your ex says yes and says ‘let’s give it another go’ – will you be able to change what didn’t work with the relationship?
¤ If you are leaving the outcome of your relationship with your ex and very much in their hands – what do YOU want? Is this the person you want to be with for the rest of your life? EVEN IF absolutely nothing changed?
¤ How does being single make you feel?
If you are Struggling to get over your Ex or in Letting the relationship go, find something like the Naked Divorce Program. Our program has been designed to support you in getting over your relationship and there are loads of exercises each day to support you in making the break between yourself and your ex.

Some Communication Guidelines For the 1st Year

These guidelines are in place to support you in your healing within the first year and in you developing your own interests and your own life. If you feel you can have a friendship with your ex where you still maintain your own life, then you choose which of these points below support you in your new life.
There is no right or wrong answer, you need to find the path that works for you. Here are some principles behind the CLEAN BREAK approach which is useful to adopt in the initial stages of healing. Once you have healed, friendship can certainly be on the table…
¤ Do not call your ex, e-mail your ex or visit unnecessarily to brag about how great your life is, to tell them about a promotion, the death of a relative, or a terrific trip you just took. Don’t try to make your ex jealous or find excuses to engage with your ex because you are lonely or curious or needy. Allow your ex to move on with his or her life, and you do the same. It will be easier for your new partner to get involved in an unencumbered relationship. Be graceful and accept it’s over and focus your energy in new relationships or existing relationships with relatives or friends
¤ If you have a new partner, and you and your ex are friendly, you may have dinner with your ex and your children. If your partner is along, too, and your ex’s partner, if he or she has one, is included. Never disparage your ex in front of your children. It is damaging to the children
¤ I recommend not inviting your ex to your wedding – There is no reason for your ex to be there and many reasons for your ex not to be there. Your attention should ALL be on your new spouse and his or her family and friends. If your ex invites you to his or her wedding, kindly decline and send a modest gift that doesn’t imply anything
¤ Remove your ex from Facebook, Test Messaging and Social Media – at least for a while. If you were hoping to keep tabs on your ex by tracking his every online move or possible new dating adventures then remove him from your social media networks. It’ll just make you wonder who he/she is talking to (or obsess about those girls who keep posting messages to him), and you don’t need that. Remove your ex’s page from your favorites and look for a new friend or two to take his MySpace place. If you have established your new life and feel there is a clear boundary between the two of you which is healthy, feel free to re-establish this contact
¤ If you know that you might call or email your ex when you are drunk, then write their contact details down safely in a book and delete his/her number, email address and IM address from your mobile phone. That way when you’re having a fragile moment at three A.M., you’re not tempted to contact your ex as the repercussions the following day can be both embarrassing and costly to your recovery. Again, once you are over the relationship and have established your new life, feel free to add his number back onto your phone
¤ Limit in-person contact for a while – as there are just too many emotions swirling around in your post-divorce head, I recommend not seeing your ex in person for a while. If you see your ex too soon, you run the risk of suffering potentially bad consequences, including waking up beside him the next morning and realizing you just had sex with your ex or even worse, getting arrested for assault and battery
If you are torturing yourself and not moving on, you need help. TIME IS PRECIOUS and rather than prolonging the pain, do stuff.
If you want to know more about what we do, call us. We are here to serve.

Till next time

Lots of hugs,

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Revenge is never the answer!

For those who have not been following the trial of Chris Huhne (ex member of Parliament and Energy secretary in the UK) and his ex wife Vicky Pryce (a respected economist) over her claiming that she took his speeding points has been quite the drama to watch. In a nutshell:
  • They were the power couple, seemingly happy and successful with her supporting him in his quest to climb the political ladder as it were
  • He had an affair with his PR relations person for over 18 months
  • He told Vicky about the affair quite callously then went off to the gym
  • She lost it but rather than have a healthy outlet for her rage, she chose to get even and went to a journalist to report some speeding points she took for her husband more than 7 years ago so he could avoid a driving ban (this is obviously a crime, albeit not a serious one)
  • He quit as an MP and vowed to defend himself in court stating that she was lying
  • They went to court and he admitted guilt
  • She then put up this big defence about how she was a victim in the situation and ‘he forced her to take the speeding points’.
  • The jury saw through her and she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
  • The judge stated that he found her manipulative and calculating
  • She could have avoided all this grief if she had just joined in a good old www.tantrumclub.com session instead of this dramatic web she weaved!
chris_vickyYesterday they were both sentenced to 8 months in jail. Their careers are ruined and reputations are ruined.
Although I do not condone what Huhne did, anyone who seriously thinks they want to get their own back on a cheating former spouse would do well to bear in mind this excellent advice: “While seeking revenge, dig two graves – one for yourself.”
Never has there been a more excruciating illustration of that maxim than Vicky Pryce.
Since the day she decided to whisper in a journalist’s ear that her husband, Chris Huhne, had made her take his speeding points in 2003 to save him from a driving ban, Pryce has not only been busy digging her own grave, she has thrown her whole family on to the funeral pyre in order to bring down the man she once loved.
Throughout the trial, she maintained she was pressured by Chris Huhne into taking his speeding points because she felt, by refusing, the consequences for her and her family were too great to contemplate. Ten years on those consequences have proved to be immeasurably worse.
During the two trials their family was ripped apart as they revealed details of two planned abortions, a painfully damaged father-and-son relationship and rants between them were openly disclosed for public scrutiny. A stepdaughter, brought up by the former energy secretary as his own, was additionally forced to testify to his bullying of her mother.
At the end, both Huhne and Pryce’s prized reputations and his glittering political career were comprehensively annihilated – by their own hands: ALL OVER THREE SPEEDING POINTS A DECADE AGO. Defies belief.
There is a moral to this story.
Although hell hath no fury as a woman scorned, there is no hero or heroine in succumbing to revenge because you feel hurt by what someone did. Today as they both sit in their prison cells – one in Wandsworth, the other in Holloway, both must be reflecting on how it had come to this.
So, if you are considering getting ‘even’ with someone who did something you are not happy with – hopefully you will think again. There is nothing that can come from vengeance. You will only hurt yourself in the process.
Till next time
Lots of hugs


Saturday, July 13, 2013

How does divorce impact your brain’s function?

Trauma in the BrainWe all know what’s meant by trauma, don’t we? A divorce, miscarriage, a bereavement, serious road accident or being caught up in a natural disaster can destroy a person’s sense of who they are and what it means to be in the world. Any physical damage may or may not heal over time, but psychologically, they’re never quite the same.
Well, that’s a limited view of trauma and its effects.
First of all, not everyone who has an extreme experience suffers severely and develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many are able to heal, and some go on to become fantastic healers or inspirational figures themselves, while others struggle for a while and then get on with the lives they’d always intended to lead.
Secondly, for many of us it’s a way of distancing ourselves from the idea that we might ourselves be traumatised. Nothing life-threatening has ever happened to us, so we don’t even consider PTSD as an issue in our lives. Wouldn’t it be melodramatic to suggest our reaction to marital betrayal and the ensuing divorce in any way resembles the experiences of a hurricane survivor?
Well, the events themselves may not be comparable, but whether a shocking or stressful life experience has a lasting, damaging psychological impact seems to depend more on how it’s processed.
A betrayal of our assumption that the room will never turn upside down can shake all our other assumptions, challenging our grasp of who we are and what life is about AND so can discovering a trusted partner is no longer invested in the marriage. The imminent threat of psychic annihilation is real enough to trigger the same processes in the brain that kick in when our life is in danger. The ‘fight-or-flight’ instinct takes over our brain as our Amygdala generates massive amounts of Cortisol and Adrenalin to prepare for this action it needs to take. The increase in Cortisol in the body causes neurons in the Hippocampus to shrivel up. As the Hippocampus is responsible for turning emotional sensory cues into visual retrievable memories that we can talk about – it’s ability to perform this function under stress is massively reduced. SO we get stuck in the emotional memories as we fail to contextualise what happened and the ability to think rationally is put on hold while we escape and become a slave to our Amygdala.
The block to the conscious memory can stay in place for some time to protect us from continued danger – for example in a combat situation. When we find a more secure space, either literally or in terms emotional and psychological support, we can adjust our world view, with the co-operation of the associated conscious memories, heal and move on. In other words, when the Cortisol decreases, our Hippocampus can come back online and help us to contextualise what happened. Until then, emotional memories will resurface unconsciously through dreams and flashbacks, until the conscious mind with the help of the Hippocampus is ready come to terms with what happened, and help make the adjustment to a new reality.
But our ability to process a shock like a divorce can be affected by behaviour patterns set by earlier traumas, or our life experience so far may have left us ill-equipped to deal with unexpected loss. PTSD is what happens when the conscious memory of the event is, or seems, too frightening to contemplate – our Amygdala (or brain’s alarm system) is so hyperactive that it doesn’t allow the Hippocampus to come back online. We can get caught in this fight-or-flight state, constantly re-experiencing out-of-context debilitating emotions disconnected from any conscious memories.
This is why we get stuck in divorce trauma. Reassessing your life in the light of an eye-opening event is no bad thing, but it sometimes feels too painful to take on board and understand what’s happened. On some level you probably desperately want to put the experience behind you and get on with your life, but you don’t seem to be able to think straight. This is why so many people avoid the processing of divorce trauma memories by engaging in Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics like shopping, working too much, hiding behind children or going out every night.
The Naked Divorce can help you get unstuck. The three-stage 21-day divorce support programme works by first stabilising you in an emotional ‘cocoon’, creating the safety you need to release those ‘feeling’ memories and begin to allow the conscious recollections in. Only then can you can work to contextualise your feelings, so that they’re associated in your memory with events you can consider and interpret, and you’re not constantly at their mercy. After pupating for 21 days, you’ll emerge, stronger, wiser and ready to move forward into your new life.
Call us, we are here to help and we know a hellava lot about what happens to the brain during trauma so we really know how to help you move on.
Till next time
Lots of hugs


Friday, June 28, 2013

So, how do you heal anger when you want to rip someone’s head off?

anger1What do you do when you are SO angry you want to rip someone’s head off? You actually think you COULD drown your kids or bash someone with your shopping trolley and you are not sure how to control it. In those moments, if another hippy tells you “you need to relax” or recommends that you try yoga or meditation, you feel like you just might shove a carrot into their mouth and light it.
What now? You are TOO angry for yoga or meditation – but it’s probably what you need. Right?
What if you are angry but never show the world you are. In other words your anger is DEEPLY repressed and it just needs a final trigger and you think you might lose it. What then?
OK, so you’ve realised you’re angry. You’ve always been angry. This is huge. Now you understand your problem, you can tackle it. All you need to do is…. what?
Chronic anger is dangerous. Not just because you could lose your temper inappropriately (a valid concern) but because of what it’s doing to your body. Repressed anger has been linked compellingly to everything from headaches to cancer.
anger2
First of all, let’s establish what we’re talking about. Chronic repressed anger may or may not look like anger. If you’re irritable and blow up at the slightest thing, or spend all your time seething about slights you know deep down a reasonable person wouldn’t give a thought, you might know you’re angry, but are probably repressing the cause. A buried trauma or the chronic, banal neglect of your legitimate needs as a child can both leave you imagining you have nothing to be angry about. When the anger erupts you blame someone else so it’s somehow not really your anger.
Or, neither you nor those around you experience you as bad-tempered or unreasonable – they find you gentle, understanding and helpful. Unfortunately, you can’t always help because you’re exhausted all the time, or in chronic pain, or have terrible period pains, or are frequently blinded by migraine. For women in particular, anger can be unthinkable – it’s not who we are. It’s not just that we can’t see any reason for anger – our self-esteem is bound up with the idea of selflessness and empathy. You’re not going to yell at loved ones because you understand intellectually that they’re not to blame, besides which, you feel things entirely from their point of view. (Except, perhaps, for those times of the month when you’re ‘not yourself’!)
Conventional medicine now accepts that chronic ailments can be caused by anger. WebMD, for example, lists its possible effects as headaches, digestive problems, skin complaints, high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also the prime suspect in chronic anxiety or depression, which can manifest as chronic fatigue or lead to alcoholism or self-harming.
Pioneering Dr John E. Sarno of New York University identified a strong physical link between chronic anger and chronic pain, most typically back pain. The brain alters blood flow to an area to create a physical pain intended to distract from frightening unconscious feelings. Chronic back pain can lead to awkward movements resulting in permanent injury. Psychologist John Bradshaw suggests this unconscious effort also has a muscular component which is behind the physical exhaustion many of us experience. Meanwhile, the constant quest against cancer has turned up some interesting results, with some studies suggesting people who find it most difficult to express emotions are more likely to develop thr illness. Shockingly, a University of Michigan study of anger’s affects on women observed three times as many deaths during an 18-year period among women with long-term suppressed anger.
None of which is helpful to hear if you’ve no idea what to do about it. Traditional anger management works to intellectualise the angry behaviour with a view to minimising damage to your relationships and the impact on other people. Unfortunately you can’t think your way out of anger itself. Respected spirituality and health guru Deepak Chopra believes repressed memories and emotions are stored in the body at a cellular level, but can be accessed and released to achieve physical healing. Only by actually releasing our anger can we rid ourselves of our anger. Cellular biologist and pharmacologist Dr Candace Pert has confirmed his findings. She went on to identify how emotions cause cells to release specific chemicals intended to temporarily block cell receptors, leading to permanent damage and disease from chronic emotional states. Safely accessing the cellular memories and resolving and releasing the associated emotions, on the other hand, allows cell receptors to stay open, maintaining physical health.
SO, tackling those irrational outbursts with traditional anger-management approaches (anger management classes, yoga, meditation, stress balls, therapy) could leave you feeling empty or not really fully ‘released of all your anger’. What you really WANT to do IS explode but it’s not really allowed. It’s essential not to blow up inappropriately at the people we care about, or at complete strangers – unfortunately a cathartic release could take years off your life.
This is why I created TANTRUM CLUB. It’s a club where you can get together and experience a complete and utter cathartic release which is safe and healthy. You can destroy things, break things and scream your lungs out. THEN we discuss what you are so angry about and work out how to strategise life in ways to avoid the build up of anger.
Awesome innit?
Read all about it here: www.tantrumclub.com/the-science-bit.  The new programme of meetings for women creates a non-judgmental space in which to use safe techniques to release repressed anger. Only then, free from unconscious sabotage, do participants consider the causes of anger and the unhealthy behaviour it generates. Seeing things from the other person’s point of view is entirely optional…
I am training Tantrum Instructors at the minute and the best ones are those who KNOW all about their own anger and want to deal with it whilst exploring helping others process and deal with their anger too. You can lead your own local Tantrum Club so contact us to find out more…
Till next time
Lots of hugs

Friday, June 21, 2013

Couples who don’t have sex but insist everything is hunky dorey

sadThere was a disturbing article in the Mail a few weeks ago. It was all about these couples who NEVER have sex but insist they are happy.
The article states that most evenings, with their little girl safely tucked up in bed, Charlotte and Chris Everiss enjoy a kiss and a cuddle on the sofa in front of the television. They have been happily married for a decade and they cannot bear to even imagine their lives without one another. Yet, astonishingly, they haven’t made love for more than two years. Both insist that their marriage, which followed a two-year courtship after meeting on a dating website, is stronger than most. It’s just that sex, they say, is not important to their happiness. The article goes on to say that ‘We still turn each other on but we don’t want to take it any further,’ says Charlotte. ‘We don’t have the time or the energy. ‘I find it hard switching off knowing that our four-year-old, Addison, is in the next bedroom. I think if Chris really missed sex he would tell me, or I’d catch him watching porn on the internet as a substitute.’
Another couple Tracey Dowler, 42, spent and her husband Julian, 55 also do not have sex. Tracey was concerned that Julian didn’t want to make love to her because he was attracted to other women. But she has now accepted that the stress of his demanding job as director of a motor mechanical and haulage company is the reason they no longer have sex. And, while she admits there have been times when she has felt like walking out of their immaculate, three-bedroom semi-detached home in Rugby, Warwickshire, over the lack of intimacy, Tracey values other aspects of their marriage too highly. ‘We talk about rekindling our love life but never seem to get around to it,’ says Julian. ‘We had a weekend away at a country hotel a couple of weeks ago and I was so exhausted I spent most of the time asleep.’
Another couple stated ‘But we’ve gone without sex for so long now, I wouldn’t want Keith to try Viagra,’ she says. ‘Our relationship has morphed into companionship, and I think to have sex now would be embarrassing.
‘We’re used to seeing one another naked, when we undress or are in the bath, but if Keith made advances now it would be like getting intimate with my brother, or best friend. Just not right, somehow.’
I think these couples are extremely courageous to come forward as this is an issue which impacts almost a quarter of all relationships. A recent survey estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of couples have sexless relationships – defined by experts as making love fewer than ten times a year – while around 5 per cent go without altogether. Most couples who find themselves at a point where sexual intimacy has died tend to confide their predicament to no one at all which make these couples all the more amazing.
However, they are fooling themselves if they think everything is hunky dorey.
Every successful marriage is built on the foundations of trust and intimacy. When a husband and wife trust each other without reservation, intimacy undoubtedly follows. A deeply trusting relationship usually rewards a virile sex life, therefore suggesting that the lack of intimacy in a marriage is all too often a symptom of a lack of trust. Since a large proportion of sexless marriages end in divorce, there is a real need to address the underlying problems, and try to come up with some remedy. That’s not to say that a flourishing sex life is the only thing required to make a marriage work, and indeed for the vast majority of couples asked about what makes their marriage special, sex won’t even make the list, but lack of sex is indeed an indicator for some deeper problems which need to be addressed. If you are in an intimate relationship and you are not having sex, you might as well be siblings or housemates.
Psychologist Leila Collins says it’s all too common for mothers to ‘shut up shop’ and stop having sex with their partners once their family is complete. I agree with her wholeheartedly. BUT I see many people going through divorce and I can unreservedly say that what often follows is that their men then start affairs, or seek out the services of prostitutes.

SO what is the source of sexless marriage?

When something occurs that causes a couple to lose trust in each other, it can take some time to recover fully. Maybe there was a traumatic childbirth OR a life-threatening illness OR perhaps the couple simply got out of the habit of having sex. If those issues are not addressed immediately and in the correct way, the intimacy in the marriage may dissolve, and the relationship revert to a simple exchange of pleasantries and platitudes, without any real intimacy or closeness. In an intimate relationship, sex is the glue which binds a couple on a very deep level beyond simple friendship. It doesn’t mean that couples within a sexless relationship are not ‘close’ BUT they are close as friends can be but this is not a true marriage as the relationship lacks passion and intimacy. It’s not a risk I would be willing to make as so many divorces are as a direct result of a sexless marriage at the core. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of a failing marriage, and deal with them in the appropriate way. Small frustrations can build up over time and, much like the formation of scar tissue upon healing of an incorrectly treated wound, handling this marital frustration inappropriately can lead to irreparable damage to the marriage, and loss of any sexual heat from the relationship.
The key to avoiding the loss of intimacy in a marriage is to discuss any and all problems fully and without delay. It’s a good idea to set a time each day in which you and your other half can discuss exactly what is troubling you about the marriage, and about each other. Take turns to divulge fully the source of your frustrations. Most of the time your other half will be completely oblivious to their fault until it’s pointed out, so don’t be afraid to vent your frustrations in a constructive way during your time alone together. There’s no need to be spiteful or resentful; just tell your partner exactly how you feel. Afterwards, it’s their turn to air some of their frustrations. Keep going until everything is out in the open, and both of you have voiced all of your problems. It’s sometimes a good idea to come up with constructive solutions to the problems, and making suggestions about how these can be resolved, though be careful not to cause an argument by doing so, as some of the issues may be rather sensitive and unpleasant to discuss, even with your partner. After discussing your frustrations, change topic and begin to discuss some of the things that you are thankful for regarding the marriage. Pick around five things you love about your partner, and share them as reasons why it’s worth working hard to make your marriage work.
As well as becoming frustrated by your partner’s actions, when raising your children it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of viewing your partner as less of the person you’re attracted to, and more in the role of a parent or carer. While it’s important to view your partner as a carer, and to see in them the characteristics that make them suited for this role, it’s also crucial to maintain your attraction to them and keep the fire going even while raising a family. Letting the passion die out in favour of raising a family or realising career aspirations is all too common these days. Some think it’s a necessary sacrifice, believing that an active sex life and a vibrant family life or a satisfying career are mutually exclusive circumstances, but this is not the case. It is possible to have both of these things, but only by working hard to maintain your relationship, venting your frustrations, and working to keep the passion burning strong.
Some people have dug themselves into a dangerous rut by assuming that if the marriage was ‘right’, it would be easy to make things work. Some think that it isn’t necessary to work hard on a marriage if you’re really in love, but this is in fact completely untrue. Even couples who are deeply in love will disagree from time to time, and find reasons to become agitated or annoyed with their partner. It’s important to work hard with the one you love, to make sure that the passion and fire can continue long into your life together. If you have experienced any of the issues outlined in the article above, but have not been able to resolve them even with some hard work, get in touch with Naked Divorce. We are experts in supporting you through getting your marriage back on track OR if you are facing a breakdown, we can support you through your divorce or bad break up. All of our Divorce Angels are well trained in how best to deal with a relationship breakdown, so come to us today…
Till next time
Lots of hugs


Friday, April 12, 2013

The links between healing and health


healthy-foodWeight issues caused by the weight of Heartache, a touchy subject and quite often one that is swept under the rug, WEIGHT GAIN, and WEIGHT LOSS, Both complete opposite issues but both birthed from a similar place, which is often emotional issues, Insecurity, Pressure, heartache, and in numerous cases, break up and Divorce,
An outreach to find release or a numb-ness can result to binge eating, or eating disorders, or dramatic weight loss simply from intense stress, all at subject to crumbling under pressure. So commonly men and woman feel they are the only ones who feel the way they feel, they don’t know how to handle their emotions and therefore turn to these outlets of food or; the opposite withdrawing themselves from food. But the sad truth is, thousands of people experience these emotions, but this is NOT what Health looks like.
Even television stars have the same psychological battle with food following a breakup or marriage split. Eva Longoria has admitted she suffered dramatic weight loss due to her traumatic split from her cheating ex-husband Tony Parker.
The Desperate Housewives said she could not understand why people said she was looking better than ever when she said it was the most unhealthy she had ever been.  She told Health magazine: ‘People think health only has to do with your physical being, but for me, it’s so much more.
healthy-foodToo often there is a misunderstanding and misconception of what ‘Health’ looks like. Health is also a feeling and a pattern that should be understood correctly. It is not just about image but also about the emotions beneath.
Emotional eating is a difficult pattern to break. People turn to food for comfort and get stuck in the short fixes rather than dealing with issues salivating underneath. Unless you deal with the trauma and find a way to start healing from the issues, you’ll keep returning to food to quick fixes. It’s not the answer although it does provides a level of comfort.
Even Trying to lose weight without dealing with the underlying issues may work for a while, but you will regain the weight and struggle until you have dealt with where it has surfaces from in the first place.
Certain research has shown that as people get older and gain or lose weight after a marriage or divorce, People are more likely to become settled in certain eating and exercise habits as they age because as you get older, having a sudden change in your life like a marriage or a divorce is a bigger shock than it would have been when you were younger, Therefore making it harder to accept and have optimistic views for the future.
But habits CAN be broken, new patterns can be created. And it all starts from underneath and dealing with the emotion is which this is all steams. By Listening to the stereotypes of society and listening to your insecurities from traumatic situations are never going to get you very far. But if you seek the right way to heal and understand your emotions and see the importance of your health you will see what health really looks like and you WILL break and remove the weight of your heartache on your shoulders and any weight issues adding to the pressure. It IS POSSIBLE to find ways to your confidence in this time. Understanding your heart and why you feel the way you do can bring such a release that is much deeper than your comfort food.
Till next time
Lots of hugs