Not all blended families are alike. Some have young children; others, teenagers or young adults. Some are the result of divorce, while others come after the death of a spouse. However, there is one thing every step family has in common: family members have a history that involved at least one other parent and spouse. Memories of the past may be pleasant or painful, but those memories do influence attitudes and emotions.
Challenges for blended families include:
- Achieving marital intimacy after being hurt
- Parenting and step-parenting roles and rules
- Questions of spiritual integrity and church involvement
- How to integrate the members of a stepfamily over time
- Dealing w...
This article references the book, Mending a Shattered Heart, edited by Stefanie Carnes
Finding out your partner has been unfaithful is devastating. If the behavior proves to be the result of a sexual addiction, there can be even more overwhelming feelings of shame, confusion, loss, and pain; sometimes there are symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), such as hypervigilance and intrusive thinking.
Sex Addiction Criteria
Following are ten key criteria for sex addiction. If someone meets three or more of these ten criteria, he or she would be considered a sex addict. These criteria need to be present over a prolonged period of time (e.g., six months) and not be part of a major mood swing, such as in b... ...Read More
This article on help for sexual addition references the book, Ready to Heal, by Kelly McDaniel.
Love and sex addiction is a double bind. If we seek a relationship, which we are all designed to do, we will experience pain. If we then avoid relationships, which seems logical when we’ve been hurt, we will also experience pain – usually the pain of being isolated. When we are lacking healthy role models in our formative years, we may arrive at adulthood without the tools to navigate pain.
With repeated betrayal in relationships, we may end up with some of these feelings:
- I am not at “ease” or at peace.
- I rarely know a moment of comfort in solitude.
- I have difficulty being alone or still.<...
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression effects on women may include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feeli...
Boundaries define us. They show what is me and what is not me. We are responsible to others, and we are responsible for ourselves. Boundaries are not walls, but are rather like fences with gates that we can open or close. They can help us to keep the good in and the bad out. But some trauma victims are keeping the bad in and good out because the world outside their “fence” seems untrustworthy – and for them, it has been. However, keeping in the secret darkness of grief can often lead to shutting out help.
What are Boundaries?
Here are some examples of boundaries: Skin defines our bodies, words (such as yes and no) create structure, truth sets limits on our behaviors, geography establishes our nationalities, use of time decl... ...Read More
Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
In my previous article in this two-part series, I suggested that anger is like a fire alarm that alerts us to problems that we need to address and explore. However, people who struggle with anger issues also need to manage their anger. In this article, I show that how we think can have a big impact on anger management.
Changing How We Think of Anger
In his book Nonviolent Communication
, Marshall Rosenberg argues that anger can be completely avoided. He advocates making the following changes in our thinking. Instead of thinking, “I am angry because they...” he recommends replacing it with the phrase, “I am angry because I am needing...”
If our spouse is late coming h... ...Read More
Part 1 of a 2-Part Series
Anger is an emotion and many of us have issues with anger. It is also like a fire alarm – it’s loud and warns us to look for a fire. Often we feel angry, but don’t really know why. We just know that we are angry. I get angry at injustice, when I am afraid, or when I feel powerless. Anger can be a signal that tells us we are hurt, or that we have compromised too much in a relationship. It can warn us of emotional danger, or it can be a defensive response to criticism.
Jesus’ Anger and Ours
Most of us view anger in a negative way – and we shut it off as soon as we can. However, the Bible instructs us to be angry and
not to sin. Frankly, I’ve never been good at the not sin... ...Read More