Movies and television have lied to you for years.
If he’s not even trying, why are you?
Maybe it’s the term ‘best friend’ that’s the trouble.
I remember the moment it hit me, like a punch in the gut.
Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship will tell you that they often lose their spark. Couples find themselves doing the same things over and over again. They eat the same foods, visit the same places, make love in the same old positions and over time they put less effort into their relationship than they do into raising the kids, working and just about everything else.
It’s totally understandable – life is damn hectic! Finding time for each other can be really tricky. But couples need to think of their relationship as if it were living, breathing, growing, evolving organism. Just like a plant. Without any attention they won’t survive. They’ll simply wither and die.
Obviously, no-one wants that to happen. Break-ups are difficult, painful experiences. Instead, couples want a thriving, passionate, loving partnership. So it’s just a matter of giving it the attention it needs to make that happen. Here’s a few suggestions to give you an idea of where to start:
Find time to talk and listen to each other. Not about the kids, finances or mundane day-to-day living – that stuff saps us of our life force and our libidos. Instead, talk about things that you’re passionate about, things that worry you, and the type of things that you talk to yourself about. Share all these thoughts with your partner. This will bring you much closer if they know what you’re thinking and vice-versa.
Say “I love you” every-single-day. Verbalise how important your partner is to you. Sometimes we assume they know, but in reality, they need to hear it.
Plan to have dirty weekends away. OFTEN! If you can’t afford to go away, then organise some dirty weekends at home. Switch off the technology, get the kids taken care of, walk around the house naked, and make some time just for the two of you.
Get a bucket list together of things you’d both like to see and do. Research things together and most importantly, devise a plan to make it happen!
Go out on dates with other couples. Particularly on that you find interesting and fun. It’s incredible how much you’ll discover about your partner when your’re in good company.
Include laughter into your life on a daily basis. Watch comedies, go to see live stand up and play practical jokes on each other.
Share the load. Prepare meals together, share house-hold chores and make each others life easier.
Surprise your partner. It could be with small tokens of affection or doing something special for them like organising a night out. We all know how nice it is to receive flowers or gifts for no reason.
Join a community group. Do this together to fill your lives with purpose. It could be a sport, hobby, or interest group.
Encourage each other to have a rich and fulfilling life as an individual. If your partner is a happy and satisfied person, this will lead to less relationship problems in the long run.
Do as much as you can together. And enjoy each others company. Why? The more time you spend together, the harder it will be to live without each other. This is so important during times when you argue and when you might feel as if you need some time apart. However, missing each others company and presence will ultimately reunite you.
Never lose sight of love. Never forget why you fell in love with your partner in the first place.
“Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all” – Whitney Houston, Greatest Love of All
Learning to love yourself as the imperfect being you are sometimes ain’t easy to do, but do it we must for the sake of healthy personal relationships and our ability to make smart, healthy choices.
After all, if you can’t love and respect yourself, how can you expect others to do it?
And I’m not talking about vanity or narcissism, I’m talking about the kind of self-love that spurs you to make healthy life choices and treat yourself with loving kindness. Experts say developing a healthy level of self-esteem will help us to be less sensitive and more able to accept constructive criticism, express ideas in a calm way, be less dependent and more likely to have our needs met.
We’ll also inevitably be much healthier, happier humans, thus improving and strengthening our personal relationships. Maybe it’s a hard life lesson that comes in your 30s – at least, it was for me.
The minute I truly learned to be comfortable in my own skin and accept and enjoy my singleton status, I met my husband soon after.
Coincidence? I don’t think so. But it was a hard-fought lesson; instead of looking for someone to fill a void – a self-love deficit, if you will, as I had done in the past – I made the conscious decision to really work on developing my inner happiness and self-love on my solo journey.
A clinical psychologist, who wishes to remain anonymous, says our level of self-love is inevitably shaped by childhood upbringing and experiences, as well as personality traits.
“Life can be difficult for someone who has low self-esteem, for example: someone who doesn’t like him/her self, judges him/herself harshly and expects bad things to happen often. Expectations of negativity can be self-fulfilling, so if you anticipate that there will be lots of criticism and stuff-ups in your life, then these things will often happen. You’ll question your own judgement and will consequently make poor decisions that lead to negative outcomes,” she says.
“Conversely, if you have a healthy level of self-esteem, you’ll be able to face the challenges and difficulties that life throws at you in a positive way. You’ll have more faith in your own choices and decisions. You’ll be able to assertively stand up for your rights without being aggressive and without allowing yourself to be taken advantage of or pushed around. You’ll feel comfortable with who you are and like yourself, so you’ll be less susceptible to depression and anxiety.”
But how do we foster such self-love and inner confidence if it’s lacking? Here are some handy expert pointers:
- Be kind to yourself. If something goes wrong, don’t beat yourself up. Ask yourself what you could have done differently and determine to do better next time.
- Avoid people who pull you down – those who are critical and negative towards you. Seek out people whose company you enjoy and in whose presence you feel good about yourself.
- Give yourself positive messages, don’t self-criticise. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, such as: “I’m always messing up, I’ve failed again”, challenge this and change your thinking to something more positive like: “I’ve made a mistake, but what can I learn from this? How can I do better in this situation next time?”
- Learn to see difficulties as problems to be solved rather than catastrophes. Develop your problem-solving skills and you’ll have more confidence in yourself and your ability to cope with difficult situations, thereby developing your self-esteem as a result.
Of course, if this all seems too difficult to achieve on your own, seek help from a professional relationship counsellor or psychologist.
Images, in order, via www.thetruthaboutbeauty.co.uk; www.freespiritgirl.com and pixabay.com.
Raise your hand if you’re a single lady! Being single has never been better. You can be selfish, spend unlimited time your friends, less time grooming and more time in comfy clothes. Sounds good right? We’re not going to lie; there are some definite perks, but at the end of the day (and don’t deny it) we are all looking for one thing – love. As humans we are biologically programmed to find a mate and there is no shame to say we are searching for that special someone, so why are people losing their ability to fall in love? With people continuing to steer clear of traditional relationships and preferring to remain unattached, maybe its time that we start to take a long hard look at ourselves.
- Instant gratification
As our world becomes increasingly digitalised every wish is now our command. Need directions to that new café, click! How about buying those shoes you found online, click! With everything at our fingertips we have developed a society that craves instant gratification. However love isn’t something that just happens, it takes time. It is a feeling that spans a lifetime and no app or instantaneous decision can help create or facilitate love. Step away from the computer and look up from your phone and start enjoying the journey towards finding someone you love.
- We have become increasingly egocentric
Ever-heard Carly Simon’s infamous, “You’re So Vain?” Well unless you’ve been living under a rock, the lyrics focus on a self-absorbed lover and the damaging effect his manner has on the relationship. When we are in a relationship, we are a part of a team (even if it is a very small one!) and it is our job to ensure that everyone feels included. It is natural for your wants and needs to be a priority however the issue arises when your self-interest becomes all-consuming and consequently your partners needs are overlooked. We all like things done when and how we want, but a big factor to ensure you both feel appreciated is compromise. If you continually think about yourself and only partake in activities that interest you, your partner will end up board, feel unwanted and ultimately leave. You never know, devoting your time and efforts towards that special someone might just strengthen your relationship and take it to another level.
- Chasing perfection and the unattainable dream
As wonderful as those Disney movies we watched as children were, they are not realistic. Unlike Cinderella, one fabulous night on the town will not necessary offer up your future husband. And to break your heart again, all those rom-coms aren’t doing you any good either. Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling are all one in a million and even they aren’t perfect. No matter what your expectations are, nobody will ever meet every one of them. Again we come back to compromise. They may not be a Greek god, or rolling in doe but if you look past that, you may find that they’ll impress you in hundreds of other ways.
- Having too much choice and dating for the sake of dating
Since dating has become more acceptable within our society, the more pressure we are putting on ourselves to be involved. But just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to as well. As well as this, having too much fun in the bedroom could also hinder your future love life. It makes finding someone to love even more difficult and at the end of the day, if your not invested you are just wasting precious time. Finding your sole mate is not a challenge or a game, ever heard of ‘less is more’? Well this is when it applies. Although it may be exciting at the time, having an excessive amount of partners makes sex and dating a sport rather than an intimate experience.
Image via Plash.in and healthyandbeloved.com
I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a true story. A love story with a tragic ending. It’s the story of Dianne who was found dead in her home and that of her partner of more than twenty years, Jack, who was arrested for allegedly murdering her.
Now, you may ask yourselves why this story? Well, I knew Jack and Dianne before that fateful moment when cupid decided to strike his arrow in their direction. Way, way back when we were just kids and decades before Dianne was found laying lifeless in her home – and well, before Jack ended up in a pair of handcuffs.
So let me start by telling you a bit about Dianne. She was exceptionally intelligent and one of the most gentle, peace-loving souls who ever walked the planet. She had that hippy vibe going on with her serene, loving, caring nature. For work, she cared for the elderly – including my dearly departed grandmother – and she loved kids but never wanted to have any of her own.
Jack, on the other hand, was a lovable larrikin. In his late teens he’d fathered a son and you couldn’t really call him an angel. However, he did have charming good looks and a wicked sense of humor, and looking back I can understand why Dianne couldn’t help but be interested.
He was also like forbidden candy, seeing as he was a friend of Dianne’s brother. Hell bent on looking out for his little sister’s welfare, her brother tried relentlessly to separate her from his mates. Yet the minute these two crossed paths there was nothing anyone could say or do to keep them apart. That caused a few problems – quite a few problems, but the heart wants what the heart wants. So they became completely inseparable.
Over the years, Jack and Dianne kept pretty much to themselves. I’d bump into her on the odd occasion and through our conversations I sensed her entire world revolved around Jack. He was her best friend, her lover and her everything. She loved him with her entire being and if there were problems between them, she never revealed them. Dianne was a very private person.
Upon news of Dianne’s passing, it came as a shock. Rumour had it she’d died of a suspected drug overdose, yet I’d seen her 6 months prior and she looked great, everything seemed normal. Something was amiss and the fact that the coroner took almost two months to release her body was highly unusual.
There were suspicions that Dianne’s death wasn’t what it seemed. There was some speculation that Jack could have had something to do with it; he’d suffered a string of tragedies with the passing of his mother and son, and understandably people can only take so much heartache.
So when I received a text stating that Jack had been arrested for Dianne’s murder it came as a surprise, but not a total shock. The police believed something wasn’t quite right about her death so they’d been investigating for three long years. They came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a drug overdose, but a strangulation and their prime suspect was Jack.
So how did over twenty years of love and devotion end in murder? It goes to show that no-one ever really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Even though a couple remains together for decades, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is rosy.
The saddest fact of this whole scenario is that this story isn’t remarkable. There are thousands of stories just like this one. Every single day hundreds of people around Australia are in court facing some type of domestic violence charge, while thousands of others are in their own homes enduring it.
Now, there’s no doubt that these two loved each other – and that’s partly why domestic violence continues to be an endless battle. If we all thought with our heads instead of our hearts, no-one would endure being abused. Yet, was Dianne being abused? Nobody knows. Perhaps if she had spoken out she’d be alive and maybe, just maybe, Jack could have asked for help. Nothing good ever comes of silence, so please remember if you need help that you need to speak.
Image via 7-themes.com
I’m sure we’d all save ourselves a lot of arguments if women just understood men a little more and vice-a-versa. Seriously, the opposite sex can be so frustrating! What we need to remember is that men don’t think or behave like women, and women tend not to think or behave like men. Maybe that’s the root cause of the frustration.
I can think of a couple of examples of this and one in particular relates to blokes and health care. Any woman who has ever tried to get a man to see a doctor will probably understand exactly what I mean. What’s more, the matter gets even more complicated if the medical issue relates to their ‘manhood’. Sorry guys, but you know it’s true.
As a result of men dodging the GP, they generally have a life span less than that of women. The proof is right there in front of us – in nursing homes filled with widowed or single ladies. This is directly related to the fact that women seek health care when they need it. Men, on the other hand, are a bit lax in this area.
Interestingly, however, women can – and do –take a mans lack of effort to seek medical advice personally. This is especially true if the man is a partner or lover. Why women do this all boils down to a mans behavioural display of respect and worth. Not quite sure what I’m on about? Here, I’ll give you an example.
A woman went to the doctor and found out that she’d contracted an STI, so she rang her lover and told him. They’d been in a relationship for quite a while, but it was pretty rocky. Their feelings were strong and there was a lot of chemistry between them, so the only solution was a friends with benefits arrangement every now and then.
Instead of being concerned for her welfare or apologetic for this unfortunate matter, initially he point blank refused to admit that he could have passed it along. After some time he calmed down about it and told her that he’d had it sorted. Yet, a week or two later she found out the hard way that he hadn’t.
The result of behaviour
This easily fixed medical problem became a relationship issue of trust and respect. After constant nagging she felt like he didn’t care about her or have any respect for her because it didn’t happen just once, but several times over the years. So out of sheer frustration, hurt and disappointment, her only way to respond in the end was to cut ties with him.
Said man was totally perplexed by what was happening. He was clueless that she felt disrespected or deceived. It certainly wasn’t his intention. In his head he thought: “So I didn’t make an appointment. Far out woman, what’s the big deal?” Yet the big deal was that his behaviour basically showed her that he didn’t care enough about her to be honest with her or care about her needs.
Now, this isn’t an isolated case. I know several men who will wait until the nagging, not the medical issue, becomes unbearable before they see a doctor. Yes, it’s frustrating as all hell and women don’t understand why men do it.
One thing I do know for sure: they don’t do it to intentionally or to infuriate the women in their lives. In fact, men don’t realise that some of their medical problems affect their women so greatly. Snoring is another prime example. Most men will put off that appointment until they can’t take anymore nagging, she threatens to end their relationship, or she does end it.
So what’s a girl to do?
Nagging isn’t the answer, ladies. If your man has a medical issue that needs addressing and in which he keeps putting off, you have two options. Firstly, you can make an appointment yourself and drag the man along. Don’t wait for them to do it because that could take months or even years – and by then you will be going stir crazy! They may put up a bit of resistance along the way, but if you’ve been struggling with the medical issue they are avoiding, it’s well worth the effort.
Option two is to do what the lady in the example did; she adjusted her behaviour in response to his. In this case, she stopped seeing him. So if it’s his snoring that is driving you bonkers, it may mean sleeping in a spare room or sending him to the lounge until you have proof that he’s made an attempt to fix it.
I know this may sound harsh, but we’re talking about one of the biggest battle of the sexes here. The key thing to remember is that actions do speak louder than words. If your man is avoiding the doctor and the medical issue is affecting you then act, don’t nag.
Trust me, either option will be a viable solution and will save you the constant hassle of nagging. Plus, it will get his medical issue sorted a heck of a lot faster and could add a few years to his life. By the way, one last word of advice here: you won’t be thanked for helping him seek medical help, so don’t expect gratitude. If anything, he will think he’s doing you a favour. Ahhh, men. No wonder they are so frustrating!
Image via pixgood.com
Life as a single lass can be sexy, wondrous and fun, but occasionally you’re going to meet, date and get naked with people who will insult your beautiful, perfectly imperfect mind, body and soul.
When it comes to sex and the single girl, it’s vital you maintain a strong body image and don’t listen to the haters. “Shake it off,” as T-Swizzle (Taylor Swift) would quite rightly say, and go find someone who not only loves you, just as you are, but a partner who’s secure in themselves and doesn’t feel the need to belittle you. You’ve got the world in the palm of your hand – stay strong –and find a man who raises you up even higher.
Trust me on this – I’m very old – imperfection is beautiful, curves are awesome and true beauty is within – don’t ever let someone sap your soul and take that away. And physical beauty comes in many, many different shapes and sizes. No one is perfect – least of all highly critical people who don’t love you as you are.
I dated many men before I met my husband at 34. Here are some of the nasty body and sex insults I suffered, for your hopeful amusement. They’re actually funny looking back – and, armed with a strong sense of self and my husband’s unconditional love – I can truly see how utterly ridiculous they are. However, verbal slurs in a relationship can really sting and prove damaging if you don’t maintain a healthy sense of humour, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Sex/body shaming insults and an appropriate response
- “You’re not very good at oral sex.” Now, any man who says this to you deserves to get a bit of teeth action, if you ask me. If a man can’t articulate to you what he likes in bed and insults you for good measure, do as I did and kick him to the kerb. The vast majority of men will love what you do downstairs and never ever be so stupid as to complain.
- “You need to lose weight”: In life, you must accept you’re not everyone’s cup of tea. And so what? There are many men out there who love and appreciate healthy curves and voluptuousness and whom will adore you, just as you are. And I’m always highly suspicious of men who don’t like curves. Want a stick figure? Go shag a broom, dickhead.
- “You’re too wet”: Yep, a man once said this to me in bed. For most sane humans, a well-lubricated lady is nothing short of a God-given gift, nay miracle. Learn to love your body and get to know what turns you on and never ever let someone tell you this is a bad thing. What a tosser! Naturally, I sent him packing…
- “Your nipples are too small”: It was beyond me at the time, still is now, why a guy I once seriously dated (and loved) felt the need to utter these stupid and hurtful words. Talk about a brain fart?! Breasts are beautiful – my cup runneth over – why would you ever insult the size of a woman’s nipples!? Don’t ever insult your lover’s body – and the same goes for women. My husband adores my double Ds and they’ve perfectly breastfed two children – again, you’ll probably meet and date overtly critical men who are never happy with what they have. Get rid of them, fast.
- “You just don’t do it for me”: If a man doesn’t find you anything less than a massive turn-on, feel sorry for him and move on as quickly as you (and your hurt pride) can. Some men are so particular about their sexual tastes; they’re looking for the unattainable. But it matters not – there are plenty of men out there who will think you the most perfect goddess who’s ever walked the earth. Go find him, now!
Images via topsecretwomensbusiness.com, iamapowerfulwoman.net, linkedin.com
You’ve been dreaming of your happily ever after ever since you watched Cinderella as a little girl, but despite your marriage, it always seems just out of reach. From sex to household dramas, there always seems to be something standing in the way of you and your successful marriage.
That’s why we’ve spoken to a happy couple, who have successfully fended off the villains of their story for decades, proving that real-life fairytales really are possible.
Karen and Rick have been married for 30 years and have had their fair share of marriage related dramas, but this Melbourne based couple have found the perfect balance to keep them both happy and as loved up as they were when they first said their vows.
All couples fight and that’s okay
Every relationship has some tension, whether your husband is too lazy to do the dishes or he splurged on a pricey car when you’re supposed to be saving for your dream vacation, fights are inevitable.
“The saying ‘you fight like a married couple’ had to come from somewhere right? We fight all the time, probably more than I care to admit, but we always kiss and make up. The fight usually helps to relieve pent up tension too” – says Karen.
Not fighting will inevitably turn you into a ticking time bomb; you need to be able to put your issues on the table so you can resolve them – otherwise you will eventually blow.
Compromise is key
The art of compromising is essential for any successful marriage, without it every decision is likely to be one-sided, or one of you will be consistently unhappy.
“He wants to go to Las Vegas I want to go to New York so we compromise and go to New Orleans. We’ve had times where one of us got our way and the other one had to suffer but it sucks the enjoyment out for both of us. If we went to New York and he didn’t want to go, I wouldn’t enjoy myself because he wouldn’t enjoy himself.”
Talk it out
All marriages are built on communication; a healthy couple talks things over and makes joint decisions. If you’re unhappy or something’s bothering you – you need to talk about it. Likewise, it never hurts to ask him how his day was or to be asked how your day was.
“He likes to pretend he isn’t listening to me, but I know he is. He knows how I tick because of it and me him.”
Good communication can help prevent meaningless arguments and show how much you care for each other.
Have common interests
Whatever it is you enjoy doing, share it with him and take an interest in his hobbies too. You’ve made the decision to embark on a life together, yes you need to do your own thing sometimes, but you always need to be able to enjoy each other’s company and let each other in.
“Rick and I, we cook together. Rick never used to be able to but I’ve started teaching him. On the weekend we experiment with new recipes, then we sit back eat and enjoy a cup of wine – or two!”
Your husband is supposed to be one of your closest friends, you need to make the most of each other’s company and be constantly looking for new ways to have fun. A stale relationship can get dry very quickly. Constantly looking for new ways to spend time together is a sure way to ensure neither of you gets bored.
Keeping your marriage alive and kicking is a lot easier than you may have thought.
Image via www.bodyandsoul.com.au
Most of us can say sorry to our boss when we’re running late or to a friend for not returning their call. However, it can be a difficult task to say sorry when it really counts – to your significant other. Now I’m not talking about the type of sarcastic apology that is only said to shut the other person up. Those are just counterproductive and are a sure fire way to add to the drama.
I’m talking about the type of heart-felt apology which desperately needs to be spoken when you and your partner may have been arguing – whether for hours or even days – with no solution. Obviously when this happens something’s amiss within your relationship. Most couples don’t quarrel over nothing, so there’s usually an underlying issue that seriously needs some fixing.
The problem during heated arguments, however, is that the issue at hand can get contorted with many other factors. Things like name calling, blaming, bringing up past arguments and other negative comments are often thrown back and forth. It can get pretty ugly as many of us would have experienced. Emotions are running rife and it’s incredible how nasty loving couples can be toward each other mid-argument. So understandably it’s not ideal to come out with a half-hearted apology in the midst of chaos.
What’s actually happening is that both of you are passionate about what you want from the other person or your relationship. So during an argument both of you are clearly frustrated because you aren’t being heard, understood, acknowledged or ultimately getting your needs met.
This is usually the primary reason why arguments occur in the first place. It’s a way couples resolve those issues which continue to niggle at them day after day until the problem can’t be ignored any longer. So before either of you get to that heart felt apology there needs to be some type of resolution.
This is when some people need time out to think, while others want the matter resolved immediately. Either way both of you need to stop and think objectively, place yourselves in your partners position and attempt to understand their perspective. It’s when this is achieved that arguments begin to reside and get resolved. Primarily this is when both of you need to apologize to save your relationship.
A key thing to remember is that no one is ever 100 percent in the right or wrong regardless of the situation. People’s behavior however hurtful or destructive is a reaction to events and situations. It does take two people to either make or break a relationship and this is how strong couple’s tackle the most serve problems. Essentially they learn when to back off from an argument, how resolve the issue, plan a way to move forward and admit their own faults to save their relationship.
Nursing a broken heart is awful stuff. It’s one of life’s most unpleasant experiences. There’s usually a lot of hurt, pain and sorrow involved. Plus there’s the possibility of all that anger and frustration people can feel when they are unable to reconcile or fix the situation.
Men and women tend to deal with break-ups a little differently. For one, men often suffer in silence and can behave like they aren’t all that affected. So it’s not uncommon for some men to hook up with an ex or a stranger and have themselves some steamy hot rebound sex. This isn’t necessarily because they are in less pain than their former partner. Men can really battle through break-ups. It’s simply a coping mechanism and it seems to alleviate some of the pain they are experiencing.
Rebound sex isn’t just a male thing, and more and more women are finding solace in someone else’s bed. And there’s nothing wrong with that – if clear boundaries are set. It can cause upset to their former partner, however, if they discover their ex has had rebound sex. This is understandable but it doesn’t imply they didn’t really love them.
Some people engage in it because it puts distance between the intimacy shared with their former significant other. They may have deeply loved their ex but they no longer want that physical connection because it hurts. They use rebound sex to achieve this objective.
Now you might be thinking, ‘No f*%#ing way! Isn’t this setting yourself up for a rebound romance? Won’t this only add to the pain?’ Women often confuse love and emotions surrounding sex and this is where the danger lies. Hence, many women stay well away from rebound sex because their fragile emotions contaminate the benefits.
However if emotions are kept in check, there are some real positives relating to rebound sex. This is according to Patricia Rich, a clinical social worker and sex therapist, and Dr Lisa Wade of the sociology department at Occidental College, California. They believe that using sex as a coping mechanism is a motivation that should not be discounted.
When people use rebound sex to soothe their broken heart it’s all about igniting the brain’s pleasure zone. This is often why women will turn to chocolate or ice cream in moments of despair. Comfort foods like these have a similar effect and primarily why people will seek them out. The benefit of rebound sex, however, is that instead of consuming calories, you can expel them!
Then there’s the added benefits of touch that chocolate or ice cream can’t provide. There’s been a heap of studies which reveal touch is a basic human need. For example, babies who don’t get touched can’t develop properly and, in some cases, this neglect has massive repercussions.
Therefore, it’s understandable that in times of deep despair people need to feel the sensation of another. This is primarily why we feel the need to hug someone if we can see they’re sad or down. Sex is the ultimate form of touch so this factor in rebound sex is important.
Of course, rebound sex isn’t for everyone. It’s important to remember people cope with life’s challenges in many different ways. Rebound sex is just one of them. So next time your heart is hurting and you’re looking to feel better, having rebound sex just maybe food for thought!
Are you staying in a loveless and unhappy marriage, or worse still, a violent one because you feel like you’ve got no rights?
Domestic violence is a scourge on our society; shockingly, the vast majority of dangerous, abusive and violent behaviour which occurs in the privacy of people’s homes is committed by men against women. And with one in three Australian marriages ending in divorce, many women often feel trapped because they aren’t aware of their entitlements and the processes involved in obtaining a divorce.
Help is at hand here, ladies, thanks to leading Australian family law practitioner, Brett Hartley, a director of Brisbane’s Hartley Healy Family Law Specialists. Brett breaks down the most common divorce myths for SHESAID readers and separates fact from fiction. The family law expert has worked on some complex cases including high-profile international matters and high-wealth cases involving complex financial structure. And Hartley Healy is one of Brisbane’s leading specialised family law firms, practicing exclusively in family and de facto law.
“Even in 2015, divorce remains a taboo subject with many people not considering one until it happens,” Brett says, “And there are numerous myths that continuously pop up online.”
The 8 Most Common Divorce Myths:
- MYTH: I have been a stay-at-home mum with no income since marriage therefore I am entitled to nothing.
FACT: The Family Law Act recognises contributions you have made; it is not restricted to financial contributions. Your contributions towards domestic and household chores, having children, raising children and otherwise to the welfare of the family are all taken into account by the court. In addition, the law recognises the fact that one parent staying in the home and looking after children frees up the other parent to not only earn an income, but to advance that parent’s career. Therefore, a contribution of caring for the children and staying at home is viewed as an indirect contribution towards the other one’s accumulation of wealth.
- MYTH: My partner purchased our house before we were married therefore it will not be included in the divorce settlement.
FACT: The first step in any property settlement in family law requires a balance sheet of all assets and liabilities that exist at the current date to be taken into account. One must identify and value each and every asset and resource no matter when it was brought into the relationship. It doesn’t mean everything will be divided 50/50 in all cases and you will need to get advice from a specialist family lawyer as to your specific entitlements.
- MYTH: Superannuation is not considered during settlement.
FACT: Superannuation is always considered during any property settlement. Even though superannuation, in many cases, is not property (that is you cannot access it and spend it straight away), it is still notionally treated as property and included in the available assets for division. The law now allows for superannuation interests to be split between separating couples.
- MYTH: I have been in a de facto relationship for more than five years, but we were never married so I am not entitled to any of my partner’s property.
FACT: If you separate from a de facto relationship or from a marriage then the law regards your relationship as having started when you first started living together. Even if you are only married for a short period of time, the law will regard the commencement of cohabitation as being the starting date for looking at relevant contributions that you have both made.
- MYTH: I am in a same-sex relationship therefore family law does not apply to us.
FACT: In most states in Australia, the law is the same in relation to property settlement for a same-sex de facto couple as it would be if you were in a heterosexual marriage. As long as you can prove that you’re in a de facto relationship and certain other criteria is satisfied (such as relationship lasting for more than two years or a child being born in the relationship) then one may have an entitlement to property settlement.
- MYTH: I am already married; it’s too late to get a pre-nuptial agreement.
FACT: Under Australian law, you can still enter into an agreement (even during marriage) to divide up your assets in the event of any future separation. You do not have to have the agreement finalised before you marry. In the US, they’re referred to as “pre-nuptial agreements,” but here in Australia, family law experts refer to them as “binding financial agreements” and they can be entered into prior to, during, or at the end of a marriage or de facto relationship. A specialist family lawyer will know the best type of agreement to draft depending upon your particular circumstances.
- MYTH: Our divorce is amicable, however to get a divorce we must go to court.
FACT: In order to actually be divorced you need to lodge an Application for Divorce with the court. In most cases, you can do this without the necessity of a court appearance and it can also be done online. In order to obtain a property settlement, you don’t have to go to court and you should avoid fighting in court about property settlement if at all possible. If you and your partner come to an agreement, then that agreement can be documented, signed by you both and lodged in court and approved. In most cases, that won’t require an appearance in court at all.
- MYTH:I am considering a divorce; I should be stealthy in getting my affairs in order and hide my savings.
FACT: There is no need to do this. Sometimes, financial advisors, accountants and other lawyers say that people should, by stealth and prior to separation, accumulate as much documentation and information as they can. There is simply no need to do this as the law requires disclosure of relevant financial documents by each party prior to going to court and your family law solicitor will know what documents and information to ask for and how to get it.
Have you ever seriously dated a man and then – poof – just like magic, he literally disappeared?!
Welcome to the Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Man – a puzzling, astonishing, and infuriating phenomenon which often occurs in the dating game, whereby the man you’re knocking socks with will suddenly vanish off the face of the earth.
It’s happened to me and it’s most likely happened to you, or at least to someone you know. For me, it was a suave, older businessman whom I’d been seriously dating for a few months, who appeared so keen on me he introduced me to both his mother and his teenage son. Long divorced, he seemed like a good guy and eventually wined, dined and seduced me with gusto after we first met at a bar.
He pursued me – not the other way around – and on the day he vanished, he’d even made dinner plans with me, right down to the time he was going to pick me up to head out to a restaurant. When he didn’t show, I rang him on his mobile, genuinely concerned for his welfare.
And after leaving several messages for him – all of which were unreturned – it dawned on me the next day that, shockingly, the dude had disappeared on me.
What a gutless wonder?! Instead of having the balls to tell me he was unhappy, or wasn’t feeling it – anything, something – he’d pulled a vanishing act.
Now, when this maddening situation happens to you, you may be inclined – as I was – to over-analyse every detail of your last meeting and/or both yours and his behaviour for clues as to why he did the “Harry Holt”.
Don’t, sister, just don’t – who knows what was going on inside this coward’s head and why? And, even more the point – who the hell cares? The fact of the matter is he’s gone, so dry your tears and get on with the business of being fabulous – at least, that’s my advice.
For, from my experience, you really really don’t want to spend any time pining after or grieving the loss of a man whose cowardice will ultimately be his own undoing. So, let the Houdini disappear and inwardly thank both him, and the universe, for his exit from your life, even if it was painfully undignified. For if he can’t behave like a grown man, and treat you with the respect and emotional honesty you deserve, he ain’t the man for you!
And down the track, you will most likely see the funny side of the situation and happily regale friends with the full story. Hell, I’m actually fairly convinced I may have been a “beard” for my Houdini – his mother was very taken with me, way more than him, clearly! Ha!
Relationship experts say it’s worthwhile taking some time out from the dating scene – even fleetingly – to get your mojo back after you’ve been crushed by a disappearing bastardo.
Another key piece of relationship advice on combating wounds caused by emotionally bankrupt Houdinis is to stay as humanly busy as possible and focus on your loved ones, work and most importantly, yourself.
Take up a new exercise class, or pursue a new passion – most of all, do not chase or stalk, via social media, this cretinous human who deemed you unworthy of both his time and a dignified break-up.
You’re way too fabulous for that, girlfriend! Instead, you can look forward with hope to meeting someone amazing and worthy of you with the heart of a lion, not a mouse.
Here endeth the rant.
Main image via giftsofhisglory.com, secondary image via thisisdesignondesign.blogspot and final image via lacherinsurance.com.
I used to run a play group and it was incredible the conversations I overheard while the children played and their mums sipped coffee. One thing I vividly remember being mentioned was that many of these women would withhold sex as payment to their partners for good behaviour – this included chores and even material things that they wanted.
I suspect a lot of women with long-term partners would be uncomfortable admitting this. However, it was quite astounding what these women would divulge to each other. Being home alone most of the day with their toddlers and children (all under the age of ten) it was clear that they didn’t get a lot of outside contact; so when they did get together, nothing was off limits!
Very interestingly, a decade later, I discovered the women who didn’t use sex to their advantage actually ended up getting divorced or separated. While their relationships had dissolved, the ladies who had used sex as a reward or tool had somehow managed to remain with their partners.
Being one of the divorced I was amazed at how this behaviour was the one which seemed to stand out as a determining factor in the longevity of long-term relationships. I assumed it would have been the other way around. Clearly, my mind boggled and I was a bit confused. Did the men realise what their partners were doing?
One thing I remember thinking at the time when overhearing these conversations was: “Isn’t this just a form of prostitution? Why would a women want to get paid for sex if she wasn’t in that industry?” I’m certain these women would have looked down on other women who were paid for sex, yet they happily went about their everyday lives in a similar fashion!
An Expert Opinion
Where did my Libido Go, written by Australian sex therapist Dr Rosie King, explains that women’s sexual desire is dependent upon dopamine and adrenalin, while men are reliant on Testosterone. In women, sexual desire can fizzle out anywhere between six to eighteen months into a new relationship, whereas men’s sexual desire remains more consistent.
The good doctor went on to recommend that women with a low libido should find some way to increase their willingness to have sex with long-term partners. This includes financial gain and getting other needs met. I’m sure Dr Rosie would have applauded these women who I overheard having sex to get lawns mowed, gutters cleaned, houses vacuumed, kids looked after and even home renovations completed!
Dr Rosie believes this is far more effective in maintaining a long-term relationship than having “mercy sex” – this is when women put out to shut their partners up and keep them from having sex elsewhere. She went on to say that this doesn’t give anything back to the women who would rather not have sex. It’s simply another chore to put on their “to-do” list, along with the shopping, cooking, working and caring for kids.
I’m not sure I agree with Dr Rosie or the women at the playgroup. What the hell’s happened to having sex with your long-term partner because you love them and want to have sex with them? I understand that low libido in women is a massive problem, but surely there are better incentives than searching for alternative motives such as household chores?
If women need to fantasise about their new kitchen or freshly mowed lawns while being intimate with their partner, clearly there are some sex lives that could do with a bit of a shake up! Plus, it makes me wonder what message this is sending – women want to be known as sexual beings, don’t they? Yet if there are so many women out there in long-term relationships having sex for payment, it doesn’t really do much for the overall cause. Instead, it screams women don’t want sex so you’ll have to pay us to do it; particularly those in long-term relationships who want it to survive.
No wonder men continue to say they can’t figure women out! So many women look down on others who get paid cash for sex, yet if it’s just one man whose paying and the women’s in a long-term relationship it’s okay. We live in such a confusing world, don’t we?
Image via honnest.jp