Relationships

Relationships

Marriage

It’s clear, more than half of us are not only bad at marriage, we are lousy at divorce. We are still doing it in record numbers, but we don’t seem to be learning a thing from the experience: 60% of second marriages fail as well. After we face the failure, dry the tears, and explain it all to the kids, we still don’t know how to make relationships work.

Family

Like the flu, depression is a highly contagious disorder that can be transmitted socially, jumping from one family member to others. And just as individuals can be depressed, so can whole families, often without their awareness.

As perniciously as it operates in individuals, depression in a family can suck up all the energy of a household, turning what was once a home into a black hole of negative emotions. Usually, such depression is disguised. It tends to show up in bouts of physical illness and a general air of irritability and negativity.

Sex

Love addicts are characteristically familiar with desperate hopes and seemingly unending fears. Fearing rejection, pain, unfamiliar experiences, and having little faith in their ability or right to inspire love, they wait, wish, and hope for love, perhaps their

Symptoms

For love addicts, love:

  • is all consuming and obsessive
  • is inhibited
  • avoids risk or charge
  • lacks true intimacy
  • is manipulative, strikes deals
  • is dependent and parasitic
  • demands the loved one’s devotion

Sexual addictions usually are revealed in stages:

  • preoccupation: continual fantasies about sexual prospects or situations. This can trigger an episode of sexual “acting-out”
  • ritualization: a preferred sexual activity or situation is often stereotyped and repetitive
  • compulsion: continual engagement in sexual activity despite negative consequences and desire to stop
  • despair: guilt or shame over their inability to control behavior or feel remorse
  • other behavioral problems, particularly chemical dependency and eating disorders

Friendships

It’s what your mother always told you: to make a friend, you have to act like one. research on the transition from acquaintanceship to friendship shows that people getting to know each other adopt what psychologists call a “communal script” responding to each others’ needs instead of demanding tit for tat. But because they risk embarrassment if the other person doesn’t share their desire to get closer, they protect themselves by paying careful attention to all that their potential pal says and does.