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Relationship Violence In Females - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Most of us tend to think of domestic violence as solely a male crime. However, while women are much more likely to be the victim in any type of domestic violence or abuse, there are a growing number of cases in which the woman physically attacks the man.

Usually there has been an argument, tempers flare, and pushing and shoving occur. Then the woman strikes out against the man. Three factors can increase the likelihood of such behaviors—substance abuse, fatigue, or the discovery of either marital or financial infidelity.

Most men do not reach out for help since there is enormous shame associated with being the recipient of bullying or physical violence at the hands of a woman. Many men would rather suffer in silence than admit that the woman they are in a relationship with has hit or even injured them. Men struggle with shame mightily in our society anyway so their reluctance is understandable.

Remember the Tiger Woods incident in which his now ex wife engaged in physical violence? He did everything he could to avoid revealing there had been any domestic violence.

So why would a woman resort to violence?

There are four primary psychological reasons:

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Coercion and physical bullying are techniques that are readily employed when you lack a conscience. Women who are violent outside the relationship are much more likely to use violence to get their way or to punish their partner.

Mood Disorders: Women with high levels of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems are much likely to use physical force. Women with anger management issues are often depressed and are irritable and irrational as a result.

The Last Straw: Some women have no history of violence and strike out because of a sudden shock, such as the discovery of infidelity. Their loss of control is temporary and is usually followed by great remorse.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: In cases in which she has been deeply traumatized in the cases of rape or past physical violence, the woman may overreact to the current stressors with violence.

In addition, family background can greatly contribute to the woman’s tendency to use violence in a relationship:

Bullying in the Family of Origin: Emotional or Physical Violence was Permitted or Even Encouraged. She grew up seeing violence replacing words as a way of resolving conflict and began to act out these patterns in her relationships.

Over Indulgent Parents: Many women are reared in narcissistic homes that have reinforced and arrogant and entitled view of the world. Sooner or later, there are inevitable frustrations and these women lash out physically when their emotions override their better judgment.

Abuse and Neglect: In some families the child is the direct recipient of parental or even sibling violence that is abusive and deeply hurtful. Other families neglect the child resulting in an adult who has no idea how to self regulate her emotions. Anger comes out of a world view of victimization and resentment.

Men, if you or someone you know is the victim of violence -- remember this advice:

Violence Escalates: Violence in a relationship is never a legitimate way of handling strong negative emotions. It is never justified and it is always wrong. A "little push" can become a swinging fist or a weapon aggressively wielded. Remember that once violence happens once or twice, the likelihood of its reoccurrence is exponential. It is also a progressive issue and escalates when there is no enforceable accountability.

Break The Cycle: If you are the victim of female relationship violence, make it perfectly clear that you are unwilling to participate in this cycle any longer. Reach out to the professional community—your spiritual leader, psychologist, or family physician are all excellent resources for getting help.

Hold Them Accountable: Insist that the abuser is accountable and that you are no longer going to be the recipient of this cruelty. If she refuses to get help, make a plan to leave and follow through.

How To Keep Your Marriage From Becoming Predictable - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing on CBS 11 discussing how to keep your marriage from becoming predictable.

Click here.

Why People Lose Interest After Getting Married - By Chris Gearing

Monday, March 14, 2011

Marriage is a union most of us enter into with the best of intentions. But despite our best efforts, many of us lose interest in our spouse and the marriage can become boring and predictable.

So, why do so many marital partners lose interest in their spouses?

The Cuddle Chemical: You may have a chemical problem since we know that spouses who have been together for some time decrease their production of those hormones that stir passion and desire. Instead, your brain begins to produce more oxytocin, which is called the companionable, or cuddle chemical.

Separate Worlds: Many of us live in separate worlds that rarely intersect. We begin to redefine how we think of our partner—she becomes someone you pay bills with, mow the lawn with and the person you execute all the other mundane tasks of life with. You no longer think of your spouse as the one person who “gets you. ”

Arguments that Go Nowhere: The lack of conflict resolution drives many people away from the marriage into disinterest and disconnection. If you can’t repair arguments and you can’t build consensus, you’re left with one thing—isolation. Negativity tends to envelope the marriage. Chronic helplessness begins to define how you think about the relationship and you become indifferent and even bored with your partner.

A Lack of Emotional Skills: A lot of people lack fundamental skills in handling emotions—they don’t recognize feelings in themselves or their spouse, they don’t know how to reach out to their partner or even how to calm down when they’re angry or disappointed. As a result, their spouse feels lonely, frustrated and misunderstood.

Does physical intimacy have anything to do with partners becoming dissatisfied in the marriage?

We know that while sex is important to a marriage, it is not nearly as important as many people think. The real issue is how each partner thinks about the physical intimacy-- whether they are feeling rejected or desired and whether they feel that their partner understands their needs and is willing to compromise. Happy couples create an intimacy life that works for each person—in terms of intensity, style and frequency.

We've all heard of it -- but is there really a seven-year itch?

There absolutely is a seven-year itch but it is more likely to begin in the fifth year of marriage. By then, the couple should have figured out how to be married--how to handle money, in-laws, sex etc. If you haven’t figured things out, you’re much more likely to be fighting about it at the five year mark and then divorcing at the seven year mark. Remember that after the birth of the first baby, marital satisfaction drops significantly for 2/3 of the couples. If you never resolve those problems and remain married, after twenty years your marriage will most likely be characterized by a chronic lack of intimacy and closeness that causes the marriage to erode and then end suddenly.

If you're worried, here are some suggestions to help you recover that lovin' feeling

See Your Friends: One of the best tips I can give couples is to spend a lot of time with some really good friends. A recent study shows that dating couples who hang out with great couple friends who are happily married wind up feeling closer to each other.

Use What Worked Before: Review what activities brought you together in the first place and recreate them. Return to the music, the movies and even the food that you enjoyed as you courted each other.

Seek Adventures Together: Shake things up by exploring the world together, learning new skills and traveling. The endorphins your brain creates when you’re having fun enhances attraction.

Watch Your Tone: How you say something matters as much as what you say. Watch your tone and always try to “volley” back when he tries to engage you. An enthusiastic, warm reply is so much better than a clipped, matter of fact "hi" or “you again!”

Touch Often and Well: Touch has been called the mother of the senses. Reigniting passion relies heavily on touch. Human skin is incredibly sensitive so even the slightest grazing of the skin has a seductive effect.

Avoid Negativity: Time together is sacred so avoid dwelling on angry thoughts, past arguments or excessive worrying when you’re together. Nothing is worse than being with someone who is complaining or obsessing.

Interested or Deceptively Flirting? - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Know if the Flirting is Genuine

With Valentine’s Day, many couples celebrated the holiday with flirting and flowers. But how do you know if the flirting indicates real interest or is just manipulation?

A lot of people have had terrible experiences in dating. How do you know if someone is just trying to manipulate you or is really interested?

Deliberate deception is rampant in the dating world and you can conclude that at least one third of the people you meet are not being fully honest. They are either deliberately concealing something like having another partner or they falsify and mislead you in the conversation. Either way, you have to be pretty cynical when you’re meeting someone new.

Here are a few signs to help you know if someone you’re flirting with or dating is deceiving you:

Focus on Words and Face: Facial expressions are a dead giveaway but liars are renowned for ignoring their expressions. Most liars focus on their words first and their facial expressions second. Watch their face and see if their expression fits with what they’re saying.

Smiling is the most common facial expression used to conceal deceit because it requires the least effort and doesn’t distract the liar. Watch to see if the smile fits the topic, if he smiles too soon, too late or if he holds the smile for too long.

Ignores His Voice: Pauses that are too long and frequent speech errors are clues to lying. Liars are often unprepared to lie and their hesitation and stuttering attempts to falsify information are big clues. Also, their voice pitch may rise as they lie.

Notice Breathing, Sweating and Swallowing: Changes in breathing or sweating (especially on the hands and upper lip), increased swallowing, and a very dry mouth are signs of strong emotions that can indicate lying.

Tricky Tilt: Liars tend to lean to the side while standing or sitting and often have both of their arms or legs closed. Eyes can stare too long and then shift rapidly and downward.

Too Many or Too Few Details: When someone is lying to you, they either provide too many or too few details. Either excess or a lack of information is intended to deceive you.

Technology Fuels Lies: Liars love to use their cell, texting or email to lie. Directly confronting you face to face is more complicated since they have to control both their words and actions to successfully deceive. In one study, 72% of lies were delivered digitally while only 27% were delivered in face-to-face encounters.

Too Many Questions and Reassurances: Liars often ask for questions to be repeated to buy more time. They use phrases like, “you can trust me,” or “to be perfectly honest.” Remember that all of these behaviors are at your expense.

Which gender is more likely to lie?

Men and women lie at the same rates but about different things. Women are more likely to lie to make you feel good in the moment while men rearrange the truth to make themselves look better.

Now in flirting, women in particular are much more likely to be mislead. Women are much more likely to actively flirt with a new available guy even though they have absolutely no interest in him. They often pretend to show interest that is not genuine just to procure his admiration and attention.

Women are shopping for available males and they are basically trying to put the male at ease to evaluate his worth as a potential partner. Even though they may not find him particularly attractive, they may want to assess his other qualities like a sense of humor or intelligence.

Can’t a man also be quite misleading with the ladies?

Men Orient to Beauty: Absolutely, but men are more cut and dry about flirtation than women are. The bottom line is that they put a much higher premium on physical attractiveness than women do in the initial phases of courting. If he is not attracted to the woman, he will usually be less friendly at first.

Women are in Charge of Flirting: However, most men will begin to flirt if they are picking up the right non-verbal cues from the woman. Guys like to think that they are choosing whom to flirt with but nothing could be further from the truth. Women are almost always the instigators of courtship and flirtation on the dating field. Ninety percent of the time, the woman is the one to send a variety of subtle eye, body and facial signals to the targeted man. He is merely responding to the multiple non-verbal signals she has been blasting across the room.

Finally, why is it so hard for many of us to pick up on liars in the dating scene?

Many of us have difficulty believing that someone would deliberately set out to manipulate us so we try to fill in the blanks and ignore critical information to make sense of the lie—we basically work to believe him. It’s also hard for honest people to believe that some people really get off on misleading others. They actually take delight in selling you on their deception. Once you know they are deceitful, though, run and run fast!

Fake Flirting? - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How Men And Women Lie On The First Date - By Chris Gearing

Monday, February 14, 2011

Deceptive Flirting - By Chris Gearing

Friday, February 11, 2011

How To Deal With Snow Day Cabin Fever - By Chris Gearing

Friday, February 11, 2011

Survival Of The Kindest - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

With Valentine’s just around the corner, millions of Americans are planning a special treat for our sweetheart. But new research from the University of California at Berkeley suggests that giving to others throughout the year may actually be the secret of good health and can even extend your life.

So exactly how can giving to others actually be a benefit to ourselves?

Scientists have long thought that the survival of the fittest was the gold standard on longevity and on success—the “dog eat dog” mentality where the best competitors survive against all odds. But we are finding that human beings are actually hard wired for giving to others—what psychologists call selflessness. Now we know that caring for others is biologically based too. Sympathy, socializing in groups, caring for our offspring and elderly parents, helping someone across the street, and donating money to charities are all a part of our basic and better nature.

The best news is that you actually increase your own lifespan when you reach out to others consistently. In landmark research psychologists now report that people who serve others--whether it’s through building a house or caring for an elderly parent--will not only increase their happiness quotient but may live longer and better than others.

How does helping someone else improve your physical health?

In the Company of Others: We are built to move in communities and Mother Nature punishes those who do not reach out. Socializing actually increases your immunity and protects you from illness. Sadly, isolated people have double the mortality rates. Giving to others keeps you socializing and alive.

Helper’s High: Research reports that volunteerism produces a helper’s high, similar to a runner’s high. The best part is that volunteers then have a longer lasting sense of calm and heighted emotional well being. Your mood literally improves as you serve the interests of others. A study of almost 3000 men found that those who volunteered for community organizations were two and a half time less likely to die. Volunteering is literally a way to ward off old age.

Giving to Others Literally Counteracts Stress. Giving to others can actually combat the effects of stress by preventing the nervous system from being overwhelmed when adversity arises. When we earn the gratitude of others, our brains are flooded with endorphins, those neurological hormones that make us feel so much better.

Reach Out to Others: Interestingly, even giving to others when your life isn’t going well may be a secret to getting through hard times. In one study, a sociologist studied the data from over 100 disasters. People who reached out to others survived the longest, made the best recoveries and enjoyed the best health.

Continued Giving: People who continue to give over time earn the best dividends. You may literally age slower—your skin will stay moist, your muscles may be more toned, you won’t lose so much hair—because you are less stressed. The bottom line is that positive emotions like compassion and empathy are incredibly powerful feelings and your body and mind love them. Better yet, they will keep you alive longer.

How Men And Women See Rejection Differently - By Chris Gearing

Monday, February 07, 2011

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