Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Snooping on One's Spouse Online - Is It Okay?

According to Ian Kerner, Ph.D., Sex therapist, and relationship counselor, yes you should! Because "I think that Internet infidelity is one of the biggest issues that couples face today, and with digital technology increasingly playing a role in divorce, we have to be all the more vigilant." According to the late Shirley Glass, whose book “Not Just Friends” still remains the classic treatise on the subject: “Emotional affairs are characterized by secrecy, emotional intimacy and sexual chemistry. Emotional affairs can be more threatening than brief sexual flings.” "The No. 1 danger of Internet infidelity is not that it could lead to actual sexual infidelity, but that it so easily diverts precious emotional resources away from one’s core relationship."

Kerner goes on to say " I personally believe that in a committed relationship there should be nothing to hide. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect your partner’s privacy, but I think that that respect first and foremost demands a foundation of trust." He then goes on to ask "But what about when trust is not a given in your relationship, and you’re worried that your partner might be engaging in behaviors that you’d consider inappropriate?"

To which I say, if trust is not a given in your relationship then you should not be in that relationship.

The results of the poll following this tripe are that 67% of respondants said Yes you should snoop because "couples should not have secrets from each other".

No, no, and no again!

For all of those who said yes, for the next week each day and every day, I want you to write down and then tell your partner everything you said to whom when where why- all the details. Then you will detail when and where and how you went some place and for what reason. You will explain your choices in clothing, demeanor, spending for the day. You will give all details regarding your phone calls, your emails, your texts both sent and received including the spam. You will also record and divulge your feelings and thoughts experienced no matter how fleeting or seemingly irrelevant. You will also honestly answer in full detail any questions I may ask for as long as I care to repeat the question.

Sound like PRISON yet? How long will be 'enough' to satisfy such a weak partner? The rest of your life? Do you really want or need to know everything?

Sweeties - if you cannot take it do NOT give it.

This is an example of what I consider 'encouraging weakness' that is indulging every needy, grasping little whine instead of confronting the poor behavior of one's partner. Emotional energy is not in short supply, after all your can love your spouse, your kids, your parents, other relatives, your friends... so where is this scarcity?

This is pure 'vanilla' romantic trash for those who remain 13 years old - that is to say children themselves.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Three Systems of Love

It may cause dismay, but we must realise that we are, in very large part, a product of our body and of our brain. The hormones and chemicals released, or not, govern our physical, mental, and emotional being.

The Neuro-Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, and her colleagues, have studied love for 30 years. The findings that follow may be controversial but they do give scientific support to what most of us intuitively know - you can love, truly love, more than one person at the same time.

Based upon the brain chemicals released, Dr. Fisher has divided the love cycle into three phases: Lust, Romantic Love, and Attachment. Simply stated these correspond to the release of Serotonin, Dopamine, and Oxytocin, respectively.

Lust is the drive to mate which gets you out of the house and into the bar or night club. This is where you search for a large selection pool of possible mates - the more the merrier as it were.
Romantic Love is where you focus upon the one person and ignore all others wisely conserving your mating time and energy.
Attachment is the deep and abiding bond that develops between long term partners.
But these three systems are only LOOSELY bound together and it is entirely possible to lust after person A while loving person B while attached to person C.

Now, riding the Sero-Dopa-Oxy Wave may not suit you in particular but there is sound evolutionary necessity behind this interesting set-up. It is all about the successful raising of offspring as a team. Find a mate, win a mate, keep a mate but also be prepared to re-bond with a different mate should the first mate be lost basically sums it up. You could say it was a way of hedging your sexual bets. Life may not be 'nasty, brutish, and short' any longer but we are still set-up for when life was precisely that. Evolution works slowly.

Please note that these findings apply to both genders, all societies, and all socio-economic groups. Also be aware that there is a sizable group within all populations that do ride the Sero-Dopa-Oxy Wave and enjoy it very much.

Food for thought!