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Taking the stress out of holiday preparation

Sisyphus from Greek mythology was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, getting close to the top only to see it rolling down again. Does your holiday preparation feel like a similar fate? For example, let's say you are hosting the happy event. Let's assume the lion’s share of preparation has always fallen on you. Perhaps you have functioned like Sisyphus: every year you do most of the work, hoping your partner will step up and initiate more so you can enjoy the gathering. When that doesn’t happen, you feel depleted and angry. Like Sisyphus, you have been condemned to repeat the process.… Read more...

Religion and Other Differences

This column of mine was published in 2004 in the “San Jose Mercury News” about religion and other differences in couples. I wanted to share it with our readers since it addresses a topic that's very important for many couples this time of year: partners of different religious faiths. If this isn't an issue in your relationship, I'd encourage you to consider other areas where you and your spouse have different beliefs and expectations during the holidays: Spending, entertaining, eating and drinking, visiting relatives? Surely there are some areas of difference, and these are opportunities to practice a new level of communication and understanding.… Read more...

Kids’ Thoughts on Love

  What is love? It seems to be the primary reason for couples getting and staying together. Yet how do you define it? What are examples of it that can be instantly recognized? Philosophers and poets have struggled with the concept of love for years. Well, here's another take. Someone did a small survey on examples of love and asked some of the best philosophers around-kids. Even if you've seen these quotes before, they're worth reading again. “Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.” Mark – age 6 ____________________________________ “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.… Read more...

More on the “Empty Nest Syndrome”

QUESTION: I am a working mom with two kids, a teen-aged son and a college-aged daughter. This year my daughter has decided she would like to stay in her college town rather than come home for the summer, and I am having a very hard time with it. I know she will have more fun because her friends are there, but I have been looking forward to her coming home and feel so sad she won't be here. I don't want to put my needs on her, but on the other hand, I really want her home. Am I being unreasonable? (She is 20.) ANSWER: The simple answer to your courageous question about being unreasonable is a resounding “yes.” You say you don't want to put your needs first and then a part of you probably schemes of all kinds of ways you can entice your daughter to come home.… Read more...
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