You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real, deep down you is the whole universe. ~ Alan Watts
I am desperate and need help in dealing with my husband’s obsession with the computer. He is addicted to social media. He spends lots of time on the computer. As soon as he comes home from work at the end of the day he turns on the computer and he sits there until past midnight. Many nights I go to bed alone because he is with the computer. I feel so alone. He tells me that I should be happy that he is home and not out on the street like some other men. That’s no consolation to me. When I voice my concerns he calls me a nag and it says that drives him to spend more time on FB. I don’t know what to do. I am jealous of the time he spends with friends on FB and many of them are female friends. I am at my wits end. Our children are grown and they have lives of their own. It’s just me and him at home all the time. What should I do?
Your husband seems to be addicted to these social media. I think you have to find reasons for you to get out more often, suggest activities outside the home or invite friends over for dinner or coffee where he would have to be involved. With your husband develop rules around social mean vis a vis family time. If he is open to it, seek the advice of a counsellor. Sounds like your concerns have fallen on deaf ears. Could you find activities for yourself out of the home- go to the movies with your girlfriend, have girls’ night out – go for coffee and not be available to him as much. Nagging is not helping. However If you are not available at home as much he might start wondering what’s going on and be willing to make room for you in his life again or begin a conversation about your concern.
Dear global counselor,
I am 50 years old and my sister is 52. Our parents were immigrants and they are both dead. Eversince we were children I felt my sister was jealous of me and always tried to put me down. That feeling has never left me but yet I cannot seem to be able to not have her in my life on a regular basis even though after most of our encounters I am left feeling worst than when I met her. To get her to share anything with me is like pulling teeth. She rejects my attempts to hug her and brush it off as me being too emotional. She has everything – the perfect family house, husband, children, grandchildren and her lily-white picket fenced yard. She has her Sunday family dinners at which I am never invited. I on the other hand am a single parent never married spinster of sort. Thank God I have many good friends who make me feel like a human being but why cannot I shake this need for approval from my sister, why do I put myself in harm’s way with her. Many of my friends say that I have to let it go but it is not that easy. I seem to want to be part of a family and she is the only family I’ve got. I should say that I have four nieces and nephews whom I love and very close with but I feel my sister gets in the way of that relationship too. How can I get over this feeling of insecurity and break free.
You are not alone. There are many people who experience this sort of family dynamics which is unhealthy. You are hooked on an idea and cannot let it go. You are hooked on the idea that sister should love each other and be there for each other. Just remember you do not choose your sister, you choose your friends. Your friends approve you so what’s the problem. Where does this need for approval of your sister come from? why is it so important to you? Is your sister picking up on this neediness and so push you away. How do you feel about yourself? Do you approve of yourself, do you love yourself? If you do not approve or love yourself it will be impossible for anyone to love or approve you. On the other hand if you love and approve yourself, people will pick up on that and will love and approve of you. Instead of looking outside of yourself for approval, try going inside and embrace yourself including all the things you think are faults. You would be surprised how others perceive you will change. I believe that the problem is not with your sister but it within you and you have the power to change. You have to see yourself as worthy of love and approval because you are. When you change the way you look at yourself, the way you see yourself will change.
If you are serious about your relationship, I urge you to pick a few of these tips and incorporate them into your relationship so that you build on a strong foundation:
1.Do you really want to get married? If you are not fully committed or you are marrying due to social pressure, there is a greater chance of failure. Be clear before making the vow whether or not it is something you truly want. Although it is easy today to divorce, there are also tremendous legal, economic and emotional consequences of divorce for you, your partner and your children.
2.Choose the right partner. Be clear about what type of person you want to marry and which partner truly suits you. The primary key to success, happiness and longevity in any relationship, and particularly marriage, is the sharing of core values and matching temperaments i.e. you must both want the same things and your personalities need to be complementary to each other.
3.Be clear about your values, goals and what you want. Men: find out where you are going before you decide who you are going to take with you; women: beware of only marrying for security and children otherwise, one day you will meet the man that will capture your heart and even if you don’t have an affair, you will awaken to realize how unhappy you are in your relationship or marriage and you will feel lost, confused and deeply regretful..
4.Put the marriage first – yes, ahead of career and children. A strong marriage with open love, respect and affection is the strongest foundation for raising children. Putting children or career first and thus neglecting your partner and marriage will ruin your marriage and thus actually hurt the children. Read more about this principle in the interview I gave “Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome? http://patrickwanis.com/blog/2010/02/15/is-your-relationship-suffering-from-the-putt-putt-syndrome/
5.Commit to the marriage and to each other – the choice and fear by today’s generation to commit to many aspects of life including relationships is creating unhappiness, general confusion, disillusionment and lack of fulfillment. Be willing to accept that you are going to have to work hard and spend time on your marriage and relationship – it will not naturally take care of itself; if you don’t now spend any time and energy on your husband/wife and marriage, you will when you are in divorce court.
6.Focus on your partner as your source of sexual pleasure and not magazines, internet or other people
7.Set a weekly date night – make time for each other and don’t talk about money, business or kids; talk about each other. Read more about this principle in the interview I gave “Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome? http://patrickwanis.com/blog/2010/02/15/is-your-relationship-suffering-from-the-putt-putt-syndrome/
8.Keep the romance alive – keep wooing and reassuring her that she is the one, the only one for you; let her know you adore her; express affection and thoughtfulness, use texts and emails to flirt and let your partner know how much you love each other rather than simply exchanging useless information
9.Communicate – a lack of communication is the primary complaint by women about their partners; men also need to talk and communicate to deepen the bond; talk about small things (daily occurrences) and meaningful things (dreams, aspirations, goals, vacations, etc)
10.Do things together – stop being roommates and living in two worlds (women lost in children and men lost in career); share hobbies and interests to prevent growing apart; men need to do things with their wife or they lose interest; remember when you courted and you did things together?
11.Take care of yourself – men want their woman to look good – take care of yourself physically and aesthetically; don’t let your appearance slide and no, you don’t need to have a perfect body
12.Beware of a sexless marriage: Have sex regularly and look for ways to keep it exciting rather than making it repetitive or a chore or obligation; women: although you are a mother now and sex is less of a priority, be aware that it still remains a high priority for men. If there is a sexual block, talk about it and seek counseling and help.
13.Give your partner what he or she needs: Women feel loved and amorous when their partner creates a space for her to feel safe and special i.e. listen, empathize, praise, support, encourage, help and allow her to express her emotions; men feel loved when they are appreciated and acknowledged and when they receive sex. (I am not saying this is right or wrong – it’s simply the way it is.)
14.Build the emotional connection: Women: don’t stop being nurturing to your husband; men: expect that she will change and evolve physically, mentally and emotionally- work hard to keep the emotional connection alive and strong; give and receive on all levels; Women cheat when they feel invisible and their emotional needs aren’t being met. Read my article “Why women cheat”: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/2010/02/17/why-women-cheat-2/
15. Avoid selfishness, entitlement and narcissism: beware of instant gratification – think of the long term consequences and what you will lose. If you are a man with power and influence, be wary of falling into the same trap as most celebrities and politicians: delusions of grandeur and power – “the rules no longer apply to me”
16.Establish boundaries and avoid temptation: be clear about what crossing the line means – discuss it with your partner; be prepared to say no to offers and people; focus on maintaining emotional intimacy with your partner – talk with your partner about your feelings and thoughts; Beware of creating greater emotional intimacy with friends of the opposite sex than your husband or wife. Attraction to other people is natural – acting on the attraction is dangerous; if you begin to feel sexual tension, walk away. Be wary of hiding things from your partner.
17.Dissolve resentment – be open and honest with yourself about any resentment or bitterness you may feel towards your spouse for a past event; resentment destroys love and trust in a relationship and can easily lead you to look for love somewhere else; forgive and release the resentment.
18.Keep your word, remember your vow and maintain your integrity – better to get out of the relationship than betray your partner.