Home And Family

Home And Family

Disability And Marriage

With teeth clenched, the wife of a newly-disabled husband growled, “If I had wanted to be a nurse I would have gone to nursing school.” At that moment I was a bit surprised even though I had been a psychological counselor specializing in disability for more am twenty years. It was not her dislike for so-called nursing duties to her “thirty-something” husband that startled me, but her honest and vehemence concerning these duties that had been thrust upon her. With the onset of disability, this marriage relationship had taken a sharp twist and questions of commitment started to creep in.
Of all our personal relationships, the most potentially intimate and, therefore, most fragile is that of marriage (or living together without benefit of clergy). In a society in which approximately half of marriages end in divorce, complicate this with a disability and what hope is there for a relationship to endure, to say nothing about being happy and rewarding? I am often asked if relationships that include a disability fall into any types of distinguishable categories.
My experience which now is closing in on forty years says, “Yes.”
The first category is related to the timing of the disability in the relationship. The second is related to the duration of the relationship before disability. The third is the tightness of the relationship bond before disability became a factor.
The timing of the disability is important. Did the relationship begin with two physically-able persons, or with one or both having a disability? In a recent counseling session the young husband looked at me and said, “I want out; I want a wife with whom I can hike, ski, and be athletically competitive.” If the disability was known and understood prior to beginning the relationship, generally the ground on which it is built is much more firm. Shaky ground occurs when a disability is injected into a mature relationship. A disability does not have to fracture a marriage, but it will certainly change it. My wife married me, wheelchair and all. Of course there were some surprises in our marriage as in all developing intimate relationships, but my disability was not one of them.
Generally, one would think the longer the marriage the greater its strength, but duration does not indicate strength. Many relationships are held together by a thread and may last many years if there are no traumas. A disability is like an acid that eats away the veneer and exposes the nature of our true self; likewise, a disability exposes a relationship for what it is. In most cases in which disability may appear to be the culprit, it could just as easily have been some other “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
There is no way to measure the “glue” or strength of either a wood joint or a personal relationship until it is tested. There is no way to know the breaking point of either until it shatters. In personal relationships it is not the duration but the individual commitment that counts. Commitment cannot be measured; it can only be observed in conduct.
Finally, can we expect wholesomeness in a relationship in which a disability is inserted that seemingly forces one to be a “servant” of the other? My answer is, Yes,” because I have seen it in my own marriage and many others in which a spouse was disabled – before, after, or otherwise. The problems that I see are usually not because of what the disabled mate can’t do; it is more often what the able-bodied mate feels the disabled one could do and doesn’t. Isn’t that true of any relationship?
We expect our business or marriage partner to carry their share of the work. When we don’t carry our end of the plank, trouble brews. When I do everything I am capable of, our marriage hits no snags. I don’t demand or expect my wife to do all she does for me. Those extra things she does are out of love – I appreciate them and I tell her.

Read more…

Posted by admin – December 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

Categories: Home And Family   Tags: ,

Baby Shower Planning Tips

Planning a baby shower?

Welcoming a new addition to the family falls right in the category of special occasions and should be treated accordingly. Unfortunately, it can also be very stressful on the part of the new parents, which is why individuals need to make sure that everything is properly planned weeks before the date. For those who are in the process of planning a baby shower, following are some tips on how to achieve the best bash possible.

Create a Checklist
A checklist would be crucial, ensuring parents that they would be covering all bases for the party. Some of the most important points of the event include the food, the games, venue and themes.

Guest List
Don’t forget to create a different list for the guests. Is the list composed of all females or will some males be thrown in? The intended activities and food should be specially chosen to accommodate all the guests. This way, hosts will be sure that everyone will enjoy themselves.

Create a Budget
Now this is important, especially if the parents-to-be have limited funds. Ideally, parents-to-be should itemize their expenditures and cut them down if necessary. Some money can be saved by personally creating items such as souvenirs or perhaps personally cooking the dishes served. For a small group, a baby shower held at home would be best.

Choose a Theme
Is the new bundle of joy going to be a girl or a boy? If possible, find out the gender beforehand in order to accurately decide on a theme. Although it might sound overused, pink is usually best for girls while blue is ideal for boys. For a more creative theme, try opting for Fairies for girls and Pirates for boys. With themes like these, guests would be in a better position to choose the best gift for the incoming guest of honor.

Ooohing and aaahing over the gifts may be the highlight of the day, but it shouldn’t be the only activity. Try to include games and music into the party to keep the guests happy. One of the most entertaining games in baby showers includes “Speed Diapers”. This is when guests would try to fit diapers in a baby doll and see who gets it right in the fastest amount of time. Even some music playing in the background would be nice, but try to keep it down to make way for normal conversation.

Read more…

Posted by admin – November 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

Categories: Home And Family   Tags:

The Effects Of Divorce On Children

Research in Britain and America (see http://extension.unh.edu/Family/Documents/divorce.pdf) suggests that children who experience the break-up of their parents’ marriage are disproportionately likely to leave school early and have a child early. They are therefore at greater risk than children from intact homes of becoming the next generation of badly educated low earners and single parents. Tellingly, children whose home is disrupted by the death of a parent are little different, on these indicators, from children whose parents stay together.

Such conclusions will always be open to challenge. The majority of children from divorced homes will do no worse than their happier contemporaries. And sociologists cannot conduct a controlled experiment to establish how children would have turned out had their parents stayed unhappily married. Married women nowadays are a lot more concerned with how to get him to settle down in the first place than worrying about if he is likely to leave once they have had children. But there is evidence enough for governments to consider how to make marriage more robust, bad though they are at social engineering. Their best bet is to copy their own approach to cigarette smoking: first understand and explain the damage it does; then seek to change public opinion; then-perhaps-change some of the rules.

Behind the rise in lone parenthood has been the erosion of two of the oldest underpinnings of marriage: safe sex and financial support for women. Once sex meant babies; now it means pleasure, and sometimes promiscuous pleasure. Once marriage provided a woman with the best guarantee of financial security. Now she can more easily escape from an unhappy marriage-even though escape often leads to poverty.

Governments can do little to help husbands and wives to be happy with each other. If governments were to reverse the general tendency to make divorce easier to obtain through the courts, some couples might rub along together instead of drifting into a break-up; but more people would choose to live together rather than get married, and others might have to endure a torture from which they can now break free. The only realistic option is to recognise the cost-saving merit of proper opportunities for conciliation before people arrive in the divisive hands of the legal profession.

More humane than changing court procedures is to change attitudes. The job market has transformed the lives of men and women faster than their expectations of marriage have altered. Now that men are no longer the only breadwinners, women have become too inclined to see marriage in purely romantic terms-a burden their grandmothers would never have put on the institution. At the same time, men have been slow to realise that their role at home may need to change as dramatically as that of their wives in the labour market. Boys also need to be told that it will be harder for them to get a girl pregnant and then do a bunk: science can now match father and child, and governments will increasingly demand that men give their offspring financial, if not emotional, support.

Even more important is to make sure that people understand the consequences of family disintegration. That potent force for social change, the market, may help here, rewarding those who stay together and penalising those who do not. One British building society has announced that it will lend money for house purchase at favourable rates to married couples with children, on the grounds that unmarried couples were 50% more likely to default than married ones, and that couples with children were safer bets than those without. More generally, people need to know the true costs of lone parenthood. What seems right for husbands and wives may be wrong for their children; when couples are boring rather than torturing each other, a bit more boredom may be better than splitting up.

Countries whose societies work badly will, in the next century, find it just as hard to compete as countries whose economies are a mess. When children are badly educated, when a chunk of national income must be set aside to house, care for or cure those who cannot provide for themselves, when a not-much-smaller chunk has to be spent on policing and security to ward off crime: then a country will find it hard to grow rich. Social self-discipline will become as valuable tomorrow as investment and good economic policies have been in the past. Read more…

Posted by admin – October 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Categories: Home And Family   Tags: ,