One in five American divorces now involve Facebook, according to experts (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334482/The-marriage-killer-One-American-divorces-involve-Facebook.html). There is no doubt that online chatting offers new temptations. Curiosity can quickly shift to accelerated excitement when you look up an old flame and the chats turn flirty.
“Americans have the highest rate of romantic breakup in the world,” says Andrew J. Cherlin, professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins, in an article from Psychology Today. Cherlin attributes this high rate of breaking up on high expectations, and dangerous distractions.
Couples have more options with the Internet, online dating services, and Facebook connecting old lovers. We must counteract these tempting dalliances by revitalizing our own relationships.
People don’t stray in a relationship when they have enticements and unexpected surprises from their partners. I advise couples to spend time doing challenging activities that capture the excitement of the early days in their relationships.
And, don’t forget to cuddle. When you are adored, and have physical contact with your partner it increases the bonding hormone Oxytocin, turning partners away from porn, the blackberry mistress and the pitfalls of Facebook socializing.
In my book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying in Love, I teach couples and individuals how to find, keep, and sustain loving relationships. I’m so pleased to announce that Make Up Don’t Break Up is nominated for the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dating Book 2010. My readers can vote with a chance to win our contest for $150 gift certificates. Hurry, voting ends March 8th. Find details on my home page at www.doctorbonnie.com.
If you vote for my book Make Up Don’t Break Up for the Readers Choice Award, then post your name on my Facebook wall you are put in a drawing to win 1 of 3 Gift Cards valued at $150.00 each at the location of winners choice. Drawing of names posted to my Facebook wall will be chosen on March 9th for awards. YOU CAN VOTE ONCE PER DAY!
Second: Friend my page and leave name on my Facebook wall- www.tinyurl.com/votebook
Gift Card Choices:
* Ruth Chris Steakhouse
* Best Buy
* Visa Gift Card
* Olive Garden
A few recent articles in New York Magazine delve into our culture’s treatment of porn and how it can negatively affect the people who consume it as their real-life sex partners, whether long- or short-term relationships. It’s an interesting cycle that seems to either lead to (in these articles) men withdrawing from their partners, even subconsciously for a variety or porn-related reasons; or women attempting to mimic the type of sexual behavior prevalent in porn. But neither outcome is satisfactory or fulfilling for either party.
One of the articles puts it this way: “Men, oversaturated by porn, secretly hunger for the variety that porn offers. Women, noticing a decline in their partners’ libidos, try to reenact the kinds of scenes that men watch on their computer screens. Men, as a result, get really freaked out.”
As I discuss in my book, “Adultery the Forgivable Sin,” any time there’s something taking up resources that should be allocated to ones’ relationship and partner can be seen as a type of adultery. Infidelity isn’t just about having physical sex with someone who’s not your significant other. It can be financial (which I address in “Financial Infidelity”), psychological or – I would argue – in the case of porn, emotional.
Creating and sustaining a healthy, fulfilling relationship with a real-life partner takes time, energy and work; yes, even, sometimes, the sexual aspect as well! Which can make the world of pornography so appealing – it doesn’t take hardly any work and you don’t have to worry about someone else’s emotions and needs. Or do you? As these articles show, porn is not a one-way street. No matter how you slice it, when it becomes a go-to resource or something that’s viewed as easier or better than engaging with a spouse or significant other, it interferes in that real-life relationship.
I would consider this over-abundance of problems caused by porn to be an addiction and just like other types of addiction it can cause serious infidelity issues. I think we need to get away from considering “cheating” to only mean having physical sex with someone else, and realize that there are all different kinds of infidelity that can lead to results that are just as heartbreaking and upsetting as sexual infidelity.
For any addict, the choice to self-medicate in any number of ways—with alcohol, medications, sex, porn and so forth —can begin with a desire to relieve stress or mute depression. The addiction then progresses to a preoccupation with where their next “fix” will come from, and often involves a strong desire to create rituals around obtaining the “high.” This preoccupation becomes a compulsion—to use drugs or alcohol, or to have sex, watch porn —followed by depression and despair as the effects wear off, leading to the start of the cycle all over again.
At that point it’s important to realize your actions aren’t just affecting one person; there also affecting the person you’re in a relationship with, or would one day hope to be in a relationship with.
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil has been an internationally acclaimed relationship therapist for thirty years. New York magazine named her one of the city’s top therapists and Psychology Today named her one of America’s best therapists. Her books are available on her site, http://doctorbonnie.com/
Why do men “accidentally forget” to buy their wife/lover a gift?
Why are women already mad before Valentine’s day? Year after year, either their husbands “forget” or have an excuse why they can’t honor them on V Day.
Dr. Bonnie says they either:
- have underlying anger
- have resentment
- don’t want to be told what to do
- feel under-appreciated
- Have negative feelings about their wife, but have no idea what or why
They may make the “excuse” that it is a Hallmark Holiday, is made up for retail stores to make money, they don’t know what to get her, she has everything, they don’t know how to shop…..etc.
Dr. Bonnie has recommendations for women on how to avoid a Valentine’s blow up:
- Ask him what he wants? Go shopping with him before VDay
- Go to the store with him for him to get a card, etc
- Reward him with sex after he has shopped for her
- Sit down and ask him in a non threatening way what he is feeling (have Smart Heart Talk)
More tips can be found in the book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying in Love for Singles and Couples!