Archive for February, 2009

What Work Stress Can Do To Your Relationship

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Anna and James were the ideal couple in the eyes of everyone around them. They had been best friends in college and then became lovers. You know the fairytale clichés about Passionately In Love, Have Eyes Only For each other and Happily Ever Afters - that was them.

So when the unthinkable happened - it was a surprise to everyone - family, friends, but most of all to Anna herself. She knew they had have problems but she had thought they could work them out. After all, which relationship doesn’t have its fair share of problems? And as she put it “When you have been together for so long and been through so much together, you think your bond is unbreakable.”

Can you take a guess what sounded the death knell on such a strong relationship?

No, it was not Cheating, it wasn’t Lack of Trust Or Jealousy or Disillusionment or the fact that they fell out of love. It was simply - BURNOUT.

Psychologists associate Burnout with 12 phases - a compulsion to prove oneself, working harder, neglecting one’s own needs,
displacement of conflicts (the person does not realize the root cause of the distress), revision of values (friends or hobbies are completely dismissed), denial of emerging problems (cynicism and aggression become apparent), withdrawal (reducing social contacts to a minimum, becoming walled off; alcohol or other substance abuse may occur), behavioral changes become obvious to others, inner emptiness, depression, burnout syndrome.

James had always been a bit of a workaholic but the more he got secure about his relationship - the more he immersed himself in his work. Since Anna herself could be a workaholic when she was excited about a project, she understood and it had never been a big issue before. A few forgotten dates or turning up late might anger her sometimes but never for long, plus she needed the same leeway sometimes too.

But there came a point where Anna could not even recognize James. From someone who didn’t raise his voice even when angry to the person who would pick up a fight simply because she had been unable to take his call immediately, from a teetotaler to a drunkard, from someone who worried if she was 10 minutes late to someone who didn’t even notice her calls or messages when she got in real trouble and needed him.

At what point in such a case do you cross the line from being Supportive Partner To Emotionally Abused Partner? When do you know that enough is enough and you need to get out, and then not feel guilty about it? When do you stop looking for the sweet guy you fell in love with in the jerk in front of you?

Want to know how this story ended - James burnout progressed to the point where he became emotionally unavailable and cut off contact with his friends, family and even Anna. Where simply losing touch was not enough, he became emotionally and physically abusive.

And Anna.. she is still wondering if she is such a horrible person that a guy who had loved her so much had learned to hate her.

Worst Valentine Gifts Ever

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Everywhere you look, you will see suggestions on what to give your Valentine but there are no suggestions on what NOT TO GIVE.

So we came up with a list that could hopefully help you avoid the Day of Love Into Day of Disaster. Though I have to say, some choices would be great as pay back to The Horrible EX.

1. A Gym Membership

You may think that our partner could do with losing up some weight, but pointing this out is rarely a good idea, and Valentines’ Day is the worst of bad choices.

2. Tickets To The National Museum Of Crime and Punishment

This Washington based Museum came up with the novel idea “Stealing your loved one’s heart” on Valentines’ Day by taking them to learn about love-related crimes. They even offer to handcuff couples during the tour, and of course gift them handcuffs as a parting Valentine’ gift. While I am all in favor of ‘knowledge’; learning about Crimes, even if they are Crimes Of Passion on Valentines’ Day is not exactly on the top of my wish list.

3. Cooking Classes

Unless you have discussed it before (and that does not mean that it was mentioned once), the message is “I love you, but I hate your cooking.” So, unless you are very, very, very clear about the fact that your partner thinks it acceptable as a Valentine Gift, steer clear from it.

4. Household Goods

For women, even the most perfect Martha Stewart-esque type, such gifts can only bring to mind DRUDGERY. She may really want the revolutionary new vacuum cleaner or the waffle maker, but they are not meant to be gifts EVER. And don’t even think of buying that new theatre system because we know as well as you do, that it’s for you and not for us.

5. Male Enhancement Products

For obvious reasons. Though I would send this to an EX. It is also the perfect gift if you don’t want to enter into any explanations while breaking-up.

6. Sex For Dummies

After 5, do I still need to explain? Though on the other hand, a full-illustrated Kamasutra edition could actually be a great gift.

7. Plastic Flowers

Hey, even gas station flowers are better than that. You don’t have to be extravagant, but don’t be cheap either. Just a single fresh rose bud isn’t that difficult to find or afford.

8. Breath Mints

Is this even a valid gift for any occasion except maybe ‘Let’s Humiliate The Bad Breath People Day’.

9. Tickets To Action Movies/Sport Events

So you have the perfect evening planned - Candlelight, romantic dinner, and movie. But are you sure about the choice of movie? Your gal may love action flicks as much as you do, but not on Valentines’ day. If you can’t stand the sappy chick-flicks, cut the movie off the plan completely. Also, steer clear of Porn, and tickets to any sports events (unless she really is into it). If you are low on cash, cooking or even ordering in isn’t a bad idea, as long as you remember not to poison her accidentally.

10. No Gifts

Even Bad Gifts are better than NONE. And guys, if your partner told you not to get them anything much, you better make sure you get them something extra special or else…

Marriage On Valentine Cards - Romantic Or Clichéd?

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Ok.. I agree, Valentines’ day is probably the most romantic day to propose, and even for getting married.

But it is too much of a cliché too. Of course, there is a school of thought that says clichés became clichés because they were successful.

Maybe, I am just not the dewy-eyed romantic because I do have a few objections to being proposed to or even married on Valentines’ day.

For one, it’s so overdone that it is almost expected if you are in relationship. There would just be no element of surprise, and definitely no original thought the choice of the day. I don’t hanker for the surprise but lack of original thought is certainly a big turn-off for me.

Secondly, it is like having a day less to celebrate each year for the rest of your life. If Valentines’ day and my anniversary falls on the same day - I get one present and one night-out for both. Not really a good bargain (Ok ok… I am a bit materialistic).

And hey, when you tell you got engaged or married on Valentines’ Day, they start OOH and AAH-ing immediately. So, if you do have a really romantic story, no one ever waits to hear it. You just have to knock them over the head to be able to tell it.

On the other hand, atleast you can be sure that your husband would never forget to get you a present even if he only remembers it is Valentine’s day and not your anniversary. :P

So, what do you think?
Wedding Invite
Would you want to get married/engaged on Valentines’ Day or not?