Are we medicating the feminine nature out of women?

As women turn the tides of equality and become a force to be reckoned with, are we destroying what it means to be a woman in the name of equal treatment with men?

Julie Holland is a local psychiatrist and she is concerned about the growing trend of using pharmaceutical interventions to interrupt the natural ebb and flow of human emotional experience, especially in women.

Moody Bitches by Julie Holland

Her latest book, Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy is going to change the way we think about ourselves and the drugs we take. I think everyone should read her NY Times article on this subject, Medicating Women’s Feelings

Wisdom of the ages – happy marriage, happy life

I love Ann Brenoff’s article for Huffington Post: 5 Questions I Wish Younger People Would Stop Asking Me because it’s a perfect example of the wisdom we gain as we grow older. Plus she points out how some of the things we worry about when we’re young are completely ridiculous. Because every life is filled with different experiences and different perspectives, I’d like to share my answers for these 5 questions:

1. What’s the secret to a long happy marriage?

First of all, what is definition of a long happy marriage? It varies from one couple to the next. Most believe a long happy marriage is sexual, emotional, social monogamy for life – neither partner wanting more or less than the other. I am not sure that is a realistic viewpoint. Marriage is rarely egalitarian in its needs or its wants. And longevity does not simply define success in a marriage either. if two people stay married for 40 years but barely talk to each other, or touch one another, is that a successful marriage, regardless of its long life?

The secret is finding what makes your marriage happy. Communication and negotiation around what makes both of you happy will bring lots of frustration but also growth and change along the way.

2. When will you retire?

As Ann so gracefully pointed out, this question has two answers: 1. Personal identity and 2. Fiscal ability

The world of today is not the same as it was a generation ago. The economy and health care system make retirement and aging an expensive journey. As our parents reach their twilight years and are unable to care for themselves, it falls on us, their children, to care for them while we raise our own children into adulthood.

Thankfully, research on the health of aging adults has found that those who remain physically and emotionally active remain healthier and happier longer. Thankfully, I love my work so I intend to keep doing what I love until I can’t. And when I can’t I will do something easier.

3. Do older people still have sex?

Yes yes yes! The benefits of sex far exceed reproduction. Physical health and emotional well-being are some of the benefits of an active sex life. However, sex doesn’t look the same in our 60s+ as it does in our 20s and 30s, but it doesn’t have to. Sustaining erotic intimacy in a relationship shouldnt require acrobatic positions or fully functioning anatomy. The joy of sex in our later years is about being in the moment, enjoying touch and loving our partner.

4. What have you done to slow the signs of aging?

The cosmetic industry spends billions of dollars every year telling us their latest creams, serums, vitamins, or machines will make us look and feel young again. The reality is nothing can completely reverse our genetic predisposition to sagging, wrinkled skin, or balding hairlines. As my body sags more and my skin wrinkles, the less I plan to worry about losing my youthful shape. Although there are days when I feel anxious about my loose neck and my wobbly arms, I feel younger in some ways than ever. I have more energy for my partner, and for my mission in life. My values and my focus in life have shifted to time with family and friends, and the ultimate pursuit of balance and peace of mind.

5. What’s on your bucket list?

Does anyone really have a bucket list? Amongst all the work, family obligations, social engagements, and self-care – who has the time and energy to work through a bucket list? A life well lived is not built on the cruise ships, international flights, TV appearances, and momentous achievements. On our death bed, we will reflect on the small, inconspicuous moments of every day life. The warm sunshine, the cool breezes, the smiles of passing strangers, the smooth pages of our favorite book, the gentle touch of our loved ones.

Guest Blog: Dr. Shaler on the importance of Thank You

At home, we don’t appreciate—we expect!

We say things like, “If you really love me, you would ______.” Expectations delivered in a bartering mode.

Where is the appreciation for our loved ones? Do you expect the garbage to go out and the dishes be put away? Why? Because it’s their “job”? Well, in life we get paid for doing a job, so how about paying them with a “thank you”? Everyone craves recognition for their efforts. I’m sure you do, too.

So, show a little appreciation. It’s a very easy habit to acquire.

Transform your relationship with your teenager.

Ever lived with teenagers? It’s pretty hard to motivate them, right? Or is it? The easiest way to engage a teen is to catch them doing something right. That means recognizing and rewarding the behavior you want to see more of. Saying “thank you” is an easy way to do that.

Tell them what you like about what they’re doing, thinking, and wearing. And skip all the criticism about what you don’t like.

Simply look and you’ll find many things each day worthy of acknowledgment. Try it for a month and watch their attitude (and your relationship with them) transform.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Once you make a point to acknowledge the contributions of your family and partner, remember: once is not enough. Each time they take the trash out, bring you your coffee, or extend themselves on your behalf, say those powerful words—”thank you”.

Know what to overlook.

There is another side to showing appreciation. It is as equally important as verbal recognition. Knowing what to compliment is one thing … but knowing what to overlook is also a way of showing love.

Ah! That’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?

William James once said: “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

He was right.

When things don’t go according to our expectations, we start pointing fingers. Tempers flare and nitpicking escalates.

A wise person takes a step back and looks at the whole picture. They put their needs and wants aside for a moment and make space to see the other person’s wants and needs, as well. They ask themselves: What is happening here? What do we truly want to happen?

Whether at home or at work, this is the time to focus on appreciation and then follow it with conscious problem-solving.

When you feel things getting tense, pause and reflect on a time you felt appreciated. More importantly, ask yourself when was the last time you actually found something to appreciate in another? This helps diffuse the anger, frustration, fear or hurt that you are feeling and allows you to refocus your energy on good communication.

Start with yourself.

Demanding to receive respect or appreciation when the other person is feeling deprived of it will only escalate the conflict. Whoever is most sane at the moment, in any relationship, is the one responsible for bringing that relationship back to positive connection. Let that “sane” person be you.

Appreciation is never wasted.

Find things to acknowledge. Notice what others do well. Catch them doing things right. Notice what others do for you. Offer your thanks. You’ll feel better.

And, very soon, it will come back to you. I promise.

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, The Relationship Help Doctor, works with committed couples who know they love each other and want their once-great relationships back, stronger, closer and more intimate. She helps them with the insights and skills they need to create healthy relationships that support them to walk together united, through whatever life brings. www.forrelationshiphelp.com

So your partner cheated – can you really trust them again?

Many couples who come see me have experienced some betrayal in their relationship – a physical, emotional, or even financial betrayal can destroy the trust in the relationship, in each other. But trust is not about learning to trust your partner after they’ve cheated. Trust is about learning to trust your own intuition, your own gut instinct about whether or not someone’s telling you the truth. Even your partner.

Betrayal can throw off your whole sense of what’s right or wrong in the world. Learning to trust your own intuition, your own sense of what’s real and what’s true is the most important thing that you need to learn to trust after an affair.

Learn to trust your own intuition, your own gut instinct, and find out more about how to do that in my new book “The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity” or sign up for my upcoming teleclass, Sexual Repair: Three Ways to Heal and Grow Your Erotic Self. If you have been betrayed by a cheater, sex can be difficult or shut down in your relationship. During Week 2 I will share three ways to bring it back and make it even better. Save $50 off registration if you sign up before April 1st!

6 Signs He’s Probably Cheating on You

Smart guys will hide or destroy all evidence, but there are a few signs that can’t be destroyed.

The number one sign that someone is cheating on you is your intuition. Listen to your gut. It usually will steer you in the right direction.

However, your gut’s not necessarily foolproof. After all, you might be confusing fear and insecurities for intuition. If you’re not sure, consult these 6 Signs He’s Probably Cheating on You from Women’s Health Mag including a common but surprising one:

Sudden over-the-top sexcapades. Sex may have always been good, but now he is flopping you all over the bed and sweat is pouring down his face and he is holding his iPhone over your shoulder to take pictures of your behind in the mirror. The erotic charge of sleeping with two people at the same time is also a huge turn-on—one that he might be getting off on at your expense.