A mid-life crisis can have disastrous consequences on a relationship, particularly when the person who is going through a mid-life crisis refuses to accept it and deal with (either through counseling from an expert or through his/her own efforts with the help of websites/books/videos). Our analysis shows that women have an easier time dealing with mid-life crisis because they are better equipped to deal with emotional issues, are more likely to accept human weaknesses, and can be less shy about seeking professional help.
But what can a woman do when her (macho) husband refuses to admit the (possible) existence of a problem and seek help. Tina, a 42-year old woman in Springfield, Massachusetts, is in a situation where her husband seems to be suffering from midlife crisis and will not seek help. She asks, "Do I let him flounder and find his own way? I am going to counseling by myself to help me handle his midlife crisis. Any suggestions?"
First of all, there is no agreement among experts about the existence of mid-life crisis and its implications. Several psychologists have found that 70-80% of men may go through a mid-life crisis but other experts completely deny the existence of any such thing. Some believe that mid-life crisis has mainly psychological causes while others argue that it is a result of hormonal changes in later years. Other experts hold the opinion that typical symptoms often associated with mid-life crisis have other causes. It is also worthwhile to point out that male menopause is another term that is often used to describe symptoms similar to mid life crisis. The controversy exists, however, whether these two are one and the same thing.
Secondly, whether midlife crisis exists or not, it is very common for both men and women to feel different about their lives after they have reached a point where they have made some achievements (thus, the complacency and lethargy) but are frustrated with so many other things that they have not achieved (thus, the tendency to commit adultery, buy a Porsche, develop a casual attitude towards life/work, etc.).
What can a wife do when her husband suffers from a mid life crisis?
- Accept the reality. Men, in general, tend to be defensive about their personalities and anything that can even remotely suggest a weakness, is hard for them to accept. Thus, they are unlikely to seek professional help because, in their opinion, that amounts to acceptance of a weakness.
- Be supportive rather than try to ridicule their behavior or make them feel ill. Not many men will react positively if you tell them that they suffer from a midlife crisis. The term has a rather negative connotation (particularly with the word 'crisis' at the end).
- Rediscover your husband as a friend and lover. Spend time each week, even if it's just a few hours, away from children and distractions. This may be a great time to bond with him and provide the support that he needs from you. This may also prevent his seeking that support from a younger woman.
- Try to at least think about what he is proposing to do rather than brushing it off as a mid-life crisis fantasy. So if he wants to travel to Africa or learn scuba diving, it is better to come up with a more realistic goal than to laugh it all off. Or you might actually want to join the fun.
- As Tina is doing, regardless of whether your husband gets help or not, if you think you need help, get it.
Related article: How to spot signs of and manage mid life crisis?
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
- Don’t try to eat to be full. Just eat slowly until you are not hungry anymore. A subtle difference here.
- Try to minimize distractions while eating, like watching TV, reading, or talking. Meals are more satisfying if you concentrate on and enjoy each bite. Distractions keep you from realizing how much you have eaten and result in over-eating.
- Get smaller plates or bowls - the food looks more voluminous that way. Perception is far more important in how full you will feel.
- Use chopsticks. Spoons and forks allow you to shovel it in too fast.
- Always eat at least 3 hours before sleeping.
- Drink lots of water before you eat.
- Eat three or four small meals instead of one or two big meals.
- Snack on fruits, raisins and other natural foods rather than candy, cookies, or donuts.
- Restaurants typically provide enough on one plate for two people. Next time you go out, try sharing a meal along with an extra salad or soup.
- Try cooking more often and avoid prepared foods.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Les lives in Vancouver and works as a customer service rep. During work, he met an Indonesian lady who was studying English as a second language. He says, "We have been seeing each other often since last year. The ironic thing is that I met her through one of her classmates who was then her close friend. She was not romantically involved with him and he later moved on. I remained friends with her with no romantic intentions at all, but it seemed like she was very interested in me and we were getting closer. I asked her about her friend and she made it very clear that they were just good friends, nothing more. During Christmas she asked if she could come and spend Christmas with me and also play vidoe games together. She said she wanted to cook me a meal and bring it over that evening for our supper. I agreed and we spent Christmas eve together and had a wonderful time and the food was so good. There was no touching, kissing, or anything else between us at this point. As it was getting late, I asked her if she wanted to stay the night and she said YES! I did not know how to approach this, so I told her that I have an extra bed, which she can have. I told her that I did not believe in physical intimacy outside of marriage and hoped this was not a problem for her. We slept in separate rooms and I made her breakfast in the morning which she enjoyed very much. She seemed very happy to be with me. Just before she left that day, I told her that I cared for her a lot . I gave her an hug and tried to kiss her, but she turned away and said softly "Indonesian girls don't kiss". I was very embarrassed and I apologized for my ignorance. She gave me a warm embrace and then I drove her to her place. I called her and apologized again and she said, "Don't worry about it, it is okay...I was just a little bit surprised; that's all". I told her that I did not want to lose her and she said, "It was okay...it is just that we Indonesian girls do not know how to express our feelings because we are a very conservative culture". I was a bit relieved. She told me that she is happy to get to know me and get closer. Because we are both very busy with my work and her school, we do not see each other as often as we would like, but whenever we are together, we make the most of it. I would love to marry this girl, but I am a divorcee and a few years older than her. I was very honest with her and she seems not to mind and I hope this is true. She comes from a single parent home. Her dad passed away when she was very young. Her mom is still in Jakarta. I am taking one day at a time. Even if marriage does not happen, I am very happy to remain her friend. I have met a few Asian women, but she surpasses them all. Now my question is that...do you think I have a chance? Should I just take it easy and see where this goes? I am trying to learn as much as I can of her culture and she has been helping me a lot. Although I know she cares for me deeply, I still feel that I do not know her that much. She seems very transparent towards me but she does not speak much about her feelings. She is one woman who can look me right in the eye and not blink, and all I see is love in her eyes. She has hinted to me that she wishes she could stay longer in Canada or else come back again. I am hoping to convince her to stay or come back again which I know will not be a problem. What do you suggest I do? "
It seems that your relationship has been built on very solid foundation and that is a good sign. You will, however, need to earn the right to marry her. Here are a few things that you need to do to make sure that she understands what you wish and she can prepare herself for it:
- Increase the frequency of your communication. It does not always have to be a date but you can still communicate regularly with her through email, phone, online chat, etc. If she agrees, then you should at least try to get together as often as you both feel comfortable for a quick cup of coffee or a drink after work or do something fun during the weekends. This is important so that she knows that you are actively pursuing her and are not seeing anyone else.
- Try to be more romantic towards her through suggestive activities, e.g. send her flowers sometimes, buy her small gifts once in a while, and send her cards when you think it will be appropriate.
- Earn her trust so that she will understand that you truly are ready for marriage with a woman who comes from a totally different culture. You can do this by trying to learn more about her culture and joining her for her festivals and other cultural celebrations.
- Finally, give her indications that you will support her if she needs it to return to Canada. Offer her help with living arrangements or if she needs any financial support. This will not only give her enough reason to think of you as something more than a friend, she will understand that you want to tie the knot with her.
Related article: Attracting a reluctant woman: tips and suggestions for men
We went to Lorena Chinchilla, the founder of health and fitness website Lindisima.com. She agrees with you that all women know what a tough time they have removing unwanted body hair. While some of the solutions currently used (for instance, shaving) is positioned as the 'perfect solution', it may not be so. One, you are using a really sharp object on what is supposed to be really soft skin of a woman. Two, all ingredients are chemicals and none of us really understands what harm they do. Finally, the hair that comes out is rather rough.
She adds, "Both women and men have always removed their body hair (the regions of the body have varied by culture and the point in time) and shaving was not the common method for a long time. In fact, in most parts of Asia, women still do not like to shave and use other methods. The one that I have found to be more effective is sugaring or using sugar to remove unwanted hair. Now your immediate reaction will be, as Jenny is saying, Oh God, how much work is it going to be, how will it work, can I do it, etc.? It is perfectly understandable if this is the way you react because you may have never seen any other way for hair removal. The other thing is that we often get skeptical when something sounds so simple. My family reacted the same way when I started to make breakfast cereals at home (I bought the ingredients at the local health food store and basically mixed them at home - it was not only much cheaper but now we eat all-natural breakfast cereal and we definitely know what we are eating).
If I told you that you could prepare the sugaring paste using ingredients in your kitchen and then remove your hair in practically no time, you will be surprised. But that is the way women in so many countries get rid of their unwanted hair. In fact, in most countries of the world razors for women are not even sold. Basically you will need sugar, lemon, and tap water. The preparation of the paste takes just about 15-20 minutes. You might need to buy a simple muslin cloth if you do not have it at home but once you buy it you will not need to buy it again for almost an year. I always suggest to first-time users to start with their legs and then try it on their face. There are a few more reasons why I prefer sugaring over other methods for hair removal. I find that my skin gets less irritation and when my hair does grow back, it is much softer. Men too can use sugaring for hair removal."
Detailed information (with self-explanatory pictures) about how to prepare a sugaring solution using ingredients from the kitchen and how to use it to remove your hair is available in a downloadable electronic book called Sugaring: All natural hair removal techniques for women using stuff from your kitchen that you can buy for just five bucks but will save a lot of money over time and give your skin the natural treatment that it deserves.
Brazilian bikini wax
Monday, August 16, 2004
Despite a lot of Japanese women being exotic to a point that blows your mind away - there are thousands of them that are so shy that they would not even touch you. Many of these women come from outside of metropolitan areas where nothing seems to happen and these women just go on with their lives being lonely and frustrated. There are no good men to date and some day their families force them to go an arranged date and then someone forces them to marry some day. There is not a lot of love in those relationships but they get married just for the heck of it. They have kids and family but they remain lonely. Men get some spice in their lives by going to 'hostess clubs' or get a lover while women might just focus on children or pick a hobby (music, painting, etc.) or in many cases get a lover too (maybe a college student who needs some money to support himself).
Many Japanese girls that fail to find a husband start to have many complexes about themselves as they grow older (I am not attractive enough, not sexy enough, no man likes me, maybe I will not perform well if I try to be intimate and thus I will be rejected by the man - and it becomes a vicious circle; they avoid intimacy because they think they lack experience, will under-perform, and lose the man). We have heard cases of women who go overseas and get shocked when a man offers to kiss them because they have not kissed in years. Please also remember that a large number of Japanese men are just too shy and never take the initiative to do what normal couples do on a date - holding hands, kissing, necking, or intimacy. Additionally, Japanese system is such that there is little privacy on a date - it is a taboo to touch a person in public and kissing in public can literally make traffic stop. Most young people live with their parents or live in such tiny apartments that you rarely bring someone home. So no intimacy happens unless you reach a point that you can openly suggest a trip to a 'love hotel'.
Many of these women get out of Japan to put some excitement in their lives - they are fed up, bored, and just want to have a good time before they become housewives for the rest of their lives. Going overseas to learn a language or Flamenco (a relatively popular dance in Japan) or something else artistic is common. Some countries offer working holiday visas to the Japanese and these women go there to work in resorts or hotels where a lot of Japanese tourists go and the management needs native Japanese speaking staff. Some of these women turn into wild party animals when they are overseas - they see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and do things that they would not do otherwise in Japan (go to parties, hang out with all kinds of wild people - you get the picture).
A large number of them actually go through a great culture shock when they arrive in a foreign country. First, they have the language problem. While most non-Japanese will speak even few words of a foreign language even if they make mistakes (they think that it is OK to make mistakes and learn from them - how else are they going to learn a foreign language?), the Japanese (perfectionists that they are), do not like to make mistakes, and for fear of making a mistake, will not speak unless they are fully confident of their sentences. Another vicious circle - it takes them longer to learn a new language and they can give up rather easily.
The second problem they face overseas is the culture - it is all so new to them that they do not know how to respond. Many of them actually coalesce with other Japanese and that is why on many university campuses, Japanese are notorious for hanging out only with other Japanese and speaking only Japanese. It has caused a lot of damage to their reputation and other people then do not make friends with them because they think that these folks are not truly interested in them. However, many Japanese actually get very lonely in this process since their Japanese companions are not always their friends - they are together not by choice but by lack of choice.
Thirdly, despite the fact that a lot of non-Japanese people love the way these women look and dress, many Japanese women are very conscious about their bodies (they are not tall enough, bust is not large enough, legs are unshapely, teeth are deformed, practically no hips, etc.). Japanese admire Caucasian bodies and that is why so many models in Japan are not Japanese (even mannequins in Japan are typically blonde or have bodies that Japanese women can only dream of). So when they see these gorgeous Caucasian women around them, their confidence sinks. They assume that no one will like them in such an environment. I have also heard that due to this attitude, they try to win over men by willing to engage in any kind of physical intimacy imaginable.
It appears that Kotoyo might be going through some of these things. She might have perceived your initial approach as too pushy which she might have found overwhelming. Also remember that many women who are not sure that they want to spend the rest of their lives in a foreign country are less inclined to commit themselves to a relationship. It is still very hard for a Japanese woman to marry a foreigner and not be discriminated in Japan by her family and friends. In fact, in most cases, the pressure to breakup is just too strong. Thus, the really nice girls (which Kotoyo might be) do not engage into a relationship when they know in their hearts that they are not committed to it and do not want to hurt the other person. While it may be in easy decision for you - I can be with anyone whom I like - it is not so easy for her. The Japanese call it 'gaman suru' - which essentially means I am willing to suffer for the sake of the world around me. It seems that she is struggling to make up her mind thinking about all these issues. She is unsure of herself, her life, and the choices that she is making. She is really confused and she does not what to do.
In proposing that you date her friend, she is essentially being nice to you - she is showing her kindness to you. "If he likes Japanese girls, maybe he will be happy with this girl; but I do not have to commit to anything". She is trying to run away from the situation and hoping that you will not be hurt because someone else will be there in place of her for you.
From what you have told me it is clear that while you like her, you have not truly declared your romantic feelings for her. Yes, you have been shy too in demonstrating your feelings for her. You have not taken the initiative in physical intimacy with her. Who knows that she might very well think that you are just a good friend?
Would it not be a great idea for you to arrange a romantic date with her immediately? Flowers, you pick her up, and go to a romantic dinner - and then you invite her to your place (make up an excuse or somehow just make it happen as if she has no choice but to go to your apartment - in Japan, the way it is done is that you party so late that you can not find a train back home - trains in Japan stop running at some point in the night - or offer to cook a meal for her in your home, a technique that works 100% of the time, it allows you to invite her to your apartment and it appears that it is only a meal and you can make it romantic by having flowers, lamps, and music - and then you essentially seduce her - be slow, unless she wants it, limit yourself to showing some romance like hugs, sitting close together, maybe a kiss.....Only if things go well!)
If you truly want her to stay you have to give her enough reason to stay for you - like you are interested in a romantic relationship with her, you really like her, you will help her in some way with her visa situation, etc. At this point, as you tell me, her visa is running out, she has no money left, and you are just coming across as a nice guy who is not willing to go beyond a certain point - what guarantee does she have that if she stays or tries to come back you are there for her beyond a good friend?
Since she is going away anyway for now, I would suggest that you try hard for one last time. I always like to play the worst and the best case scenarios and assign value to each and then decide whatever scenario has the highest value. Here is the downside - you might come across as a really pushy guy who wanted to be her lover while she did not have any feelings for you and did not want to spend the rest of her life with you (Big deal! She might think that about all foreigners and feel bad for them!).
The upside - she might see the ray of hope that she was waiting for, she might realize that you are beyond a friend, there is enough reason to stay in California, she is old enough to have a hard time finding a man in Japan; so why not be with someone who truly cares for you, etc. I see a lot more upside in trying for the last time than downside. No woman feels bad if she is wanted - so if you truly express what you feel, she will be delighted.
While logistically she might not be able to stay now - the visa is running out and you may not want to marry her tomorrow - but you might give her enough reason to come back - offer to stay with you (if that is possible) to save on housing or let her have your car (so that she does not need to buy one - if that is applicable in your case), or help in securing a part-time job. In fact anything that will make her feel that she will be secure and taken care of and not have to worry about money all that much.
Related link: Do not let shyness stop you from a great relationship
"I was not like that just a year ago. In fact I had wrapped myself in a cocoon many years ago. A lifetime really! I never let anyone in too close. 29 years is a long time to be married to the same person. And despite having a great relationship with him, there was a part of me that lived independent of him. For a long time, I just thought of this "other me" as a friend. At other times, I even wondered if I were two persons really.
I have always been very quiet, independent, and private. I realized that God willing, I'm only halfway through my life, and I don't want to spend the rest of it this way. So I decided that I had to work very hard at pushing my boundaries. I have always had a hard time looking at myself. So, I bought a digital camera and started taking pictures of myself. I put them on the computer and spent hours editing them. Distorting, painting, and changing them. I got kind of lost in it, not conscious any longer that it was MY body. I began to get more comfortable with it. Exploring it, learning every inch of it, accepting it, and even learning to love it. I don't distort and heavily color or use a lot of special effects anymore. I actually don't undress in the closet anymore! I redesigned my bathroom and insisted on a bidet [now that I know what they are REALLY all about]. There are pictures of me now all over my bedroom and he sees them all the time.
How many times have I surprised him with my crazy ideas? Once you are in your 50s, you don't do certain things. But nothing was going to stop me. I stuffed my soiled underwear in his coat pockets. I sent him photos of mine by email while he was traveling. I even showed up outside his office after work so that he could take me out to a bar on a "date". We would pretend to be just two strangers in a bar and that would give both of us a chance to tease each others as other men either looked at us or tried to hit on me.
I still felt though that I wanted to bring something else to our married life. Something more exciting than getting up everyday, going through the routine, and just waiting for retirement to arrive. I wanted to experience things that I had never done before and I wanted to enjoy physical intimacy more than ever before. It was at this point that Andy, my good friend, convinced me to role-play with my husband. He thought that my experiences will be useful not only in helping me explore my limits but would also give other women an opportunity to try it if I could publish my experiences. I wanted to keep it simple and he was fine with that. I was a bit apprehensive about approaching my husband with the idea. While there were occasions that we had done wild things, even in public places, he still thought of me as the quiet, shy type. It is interesting that even after 29 years of marriage, a man can be so clueless about his wife.
Surprisingly enough, he agreed. I think he was curious more than anything else, and secondly, he likes to see me happy.
I imagined that there are a lot of women, who have never done this before either, so I was thinking that perhaps I should start with some scenarios that were very simple. The characters and the props, easy to gather and easy to relate to. Very uncomplicated at first and then go from there. I mean, I had no idea where to go with the tennis player role-play, for example, but I could easily be a teenage babysitter being driven home by the "father". Or dress a little provocative and let my husband pick me up in a bar and take me to a hotel room [or at least another bedroom in the house]. I could imagine pretending that my husband was a student in my drawing class at school, who I get to come and model privately for me while I sketch him and reposition him, and even "fluff" him a bit! I could let my husband be a photographer and take shots of me. A female college student, desperate to pass a class. The possibilities were endless. Nurse, high class escort, flight attendant, cop, doctor, harem girl. Wanted to start off simple though, where the dialogue was not intimidating. I wanted to bring my experiences to ALL women, not just the ones who are already really good at flirting and small talk?
I had set it up, that it was time to give the sitter a ride home. He was laughing and seemed up for it. We got in the car. I had a short top on. I told him I was due home in an hour. Really wanted a smoke. Would he stop somewhere along the way? He picked a spot. I ran my fingers up his arm and biceps and asked him if he had been working out. When he smiled and didn't flinch, I continued and ran my hand over his chest and then up his thigh. He was asking me questions like he was getting into it. How old was I? Did I date a lot of guys, etc? I thought things were going really well. We did it then and there and it was like high school days all over again. It was nothing like what we had done in years.
My advice to women: use your imagination to do something about your marriage. Just buy a costume, create a scene, and you can transport yourself into a new world where you can both can be two different people. "
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Sunday, August 15, 2004
It was at this point that a good friend pointed out that slimming is typically an outcome of developing new habits and most habit formation takes about six weeks if done almost daily. That made sense to me because I knew that once you form any habit, good or bad, it doesn't go away easily and if I could develop healthy habits, I will change my life forever. She suggested that while I could do it on my own, she found that the Slim in 6 by the folks at Beachbody was an excellent program because it is based on this simple argument that you can acquire new habits in just 6 weeks.
What else do I like about the slimming program?
- This is a program based on exercise, eating right, and changing your lifestyle. No one is promising results if I do not do any of these things as suggested. No pills to be taken that will burn fat while I eat like a pig. No big promises.
- It is affordable. For a one-time expense of roughly $70, I am all set. Nothing else to buy. I eat food anyway; it is just that you have to learn to eat the right things in the right amount. They just provide you with a nutrition guide.
- An online community of people like me. So I don't feel alone and the company can't fool me. I have all these other people that I can talk to and find out if it is working for them, what are they doing differently, and this is the best part, they have this program called Work Out With You (WOWY) in which you match up with someone else remotely and set up a time to workout together (so that you feel that you have made a promise to someone else to join him/her for a workout, and therefore, you definitely do your part and never let your companion down by cheating).
Why the program worked for me?
Well, I lost 22 lbs, which is 7 lbs more than I had hoped for. What really pleased me is that I acquired new (good) habits. Believe it or not, my body now hurts if I don't exercise. Yes, I still enjoy a dessert once in a while but I don't crave for it anymore every day. I might sound corny but I now like fruits and smoothies. Instead of having a cookie box in my drawer at work, I now bring a smoothie, store it in the office refrigerator, and have it at 3 PM when I start to get hungry. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is not only committed to losing weight but also wants to keep it off forever by transforming one's personality.
Yo yo dieting
Friday, August 13, 2004
What are signs of stress?
- Physical symptoms such as body pain, headache, stomach upsets, gastritis, constipation, sleeplessness, etc.
- Lack of desire for physical intimacy with your partner
- Tendency to get irritated easily and shout at others
How to eliminate stress?
- Find the root cause of stress and eliminate it. Sometimes you might just be overwhelmed with too many things. If you simply sit down and try to write down what needs to be done, set priorities, and develop a schedule, you will feel less stressed and be able to accomplish a lot more. If the cause is something more permanent, for example a nasty boss, then you need to either find another job or just learn to live with it (either by ignoring your boss or having a talk with her/him so that you can learn to work more effectively without the stress). The rule of thumb is: find the cause and do something about it. Don't just tell yourself that you are stressed out because of this and that is the way life is going to be (for you and everyone else around you). If you don't know what to do in a specific situation (since we can't possibly talk about all kinds of situations that can cause stress), do some research. There are several excellent websites that talk about how to eliminate stress at work or your personal life.
- Develop emotional strength and inner peace. Try yoga or meditation. Exercise regularly. Read fiction/poetry, or listen to music, or watch television (choose channels that don't stress you and definitely stay away from the news. The channels we recommend are Food TV, Comedy Central, Home & Garden, Travel, etc.).
- Develop a hobby and turn it into a passion. When you are stressed out, go and work for a couple of hours on your hobby. You will feel better.
- Laugh. The Indians believe in laughter therapy and it is now picking up globally as a stress reliever. Read a funny book or watch a funny movie and laugh without worrying about how loud you are doing it.
- Make friends. Always have some intimate friends that you can reach out to in times of need. When really stressed out, schedule a quick lunch or coffee with your friend(s) and talk about it. Probably you will fee better just talking about. You might also find a better way to deal with a stressful situation.
- Simplify your life. Don't sit next to your cellphone all the time. Don't check your emails every hour. Give yourself some time to do nothing. Just sit and watch the birds sometimes. Play with your kids. Cook an exotic dish. Get out of the house and go shopping to a new area. Visit a museum or art gallery. In other words, give yourself a break.
- Seek help when you can't make all of the above work. There are many ways to reduce stress. All the way from self-help to therapies, you can find a solution to eliminate stress from your life.
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Thursday, August 12, 2004
The situation changed, however, when several American companies started to set up IT-related business in India. Suddenly there is a surge in travel to India and a lot of business people now go there for weeks and months or even permanently work there. While as tourists, they might have simply smiled at the locals, now they are interacting more intimately with them. Naturally, some of these encounters are bound to acquire romantic undercurrents soon. Since westerners know very little about India, particularly about Indian women, we are seeing a surge in request from our readers for more information on Indian women.
Peter from Redmond, Washington, whose company operates a software development center in India, recently traveled to Bangalore for working on a project there. While most of his colleagues were men, there were a few women too. Not only did he find them quite bright, he was also attracted to them. He writes, "I think I was attracted to them just because they are so different from anything that I have seen in America. I see some Indian women here in the US and have even partied with some of my Indian colleagues, but being in India was a totally different experience. Women in India are far more exotic (less Americanized) and that is what bowled me over. But I did not know how to react. I would have at least liked to know some of them on a more personal level but my general impression was that people were sort of conservative. I am scheduled to travel again in two months. What can you tell me about Indian women? How can I find some Indian women to casually hang out with while I am there? How can I get to know them better?"
India is a very restrictive society and there is only limited socialization among men and women that are not friends or family members. We have learned that things have changed somewhat in metropolitan areas like Bangalore and Mumbai, but do not plan on walking into a bar and just meeting some women to hang out. What we suggest is the following:
- Try the Internet. Several websites now feature personal ads by Indian women. While many of them are for marriage, our research shows that some women are also seeking casual friendship. If you clearly indicate that you are simply looking to make some new friends, you might be able to hook up with someone.
- Contact the women in your Indian office you met last time and let them know when you are going. Propose something that does not come across like a date, e.g., a trip to the local historical areas and ask if someone will be willing to show you around.
- If you made some good Indian male friends this time, tell them what you have in mind and maybe they can introduce you to someone or invite you to a party. If you have a local contact you will be in better shape than trying out on your own.
- Be more friendly with the women you meet next time. A lot of the restrictions that have made the American workplace so dull don't exist in many other countries. While if you asked a Seattle office colleague that you liked to have a drink with you, she might accuse you of harassment, that does not happen in most countries. So you can casually propose to these women if they want to hang out with you after work or during the weekend and see what happens.
Related article: Dating tips for Indians
LuvCube.com recently completed a series of discussions with a group of men who openly discussed their examples (their identities were kept secret to elicit honest responses). Below are the three common themes that we saw why men commit adultery?
- Curiosity: Particularly among men who have had only one partner. Many of them just want to find out what it is like to be with another woman. If it is kept a secret, they do not typically abandon their wives or families. We found it to be particularly true among men from cultures where dating and intimate relationships with women prior to marriage are not possible. These men claim that they do not love these other women but their curiosity sometimes extends beyond one woman when they succeed in their first attempt at adultery.
- Physical satisfaction: Not getting what they want out of a relationship. They characterized them as more adventurous and open-minded and when their wives resisted or ridiculed them for their demands, they simply cheated. Not surprisingly, they did not see anything wrong with it.
- Addiction to women: Or to intimacy with them. There was a big disconnect between the frequency of intimacy that they desired and what their wives were providing them. They have poor control over their behavior and simply went ahead with whoever was willing to satisfy them.
What can women do stop their men from committing adultery?
- Communicate with your partner: These men very clearly said that their wives just wouldn't listen to what they thought were very reasonable demands from a relationship. They, then, revolted against rigid behavior of their partners. They agreed that if their partners had been a little more cooperative, they would have resisted cheating.
- Be open-minded about what your partner wants: Two perfectly normal people can have very different ideas about what is acceptable in bed. Just because what your husband wants is different than your comfort zone, do not just rebel. Unless it is something that is out of this world, you should at least give it a try or discuss with your partner to work out a compromise.
- Understand your partner's needs: Frequency of intimacy is another area of disagreement among cheating men and their partners. There is no simple solution to it other than to come to some sort of a compromise but a hard-headed attitude only results in adultery by the man.
Adultery in a relationship can have disastrous consequences, particularly for the woman who might feel totally rejected, helpless, and lose her self-esteem. For each of the cases mentioned above, there is help out there. So do your research, visit all the websites that provide excellent information, and then choose the program that will meet your needs.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
While we strongly recommend that you get legal help to go through your divorce process, but also use your head. A divorce attorney's job is to make sure that you get what you want (a divorce) and s/he gets paid. If you and your spouse hate each other to death for the rest of your lives, it doesn't matter. So listen to your attorney but don't do anything that you wouldn't do to a friend (even if your spouse does not think of you as a friend or has done something that friends don't usually do).
How to get a divorce with a smile?
- In this century, a divorce is not much different from a change of job. After all, every other marriage ends up in a divorce and in coming years not only we will see higher number of divorces, we will also have more than a few in our life time. So as career counselors always advise that never burn your bridges with the previous employer, the same applies here. Just think of a divorce as an end of a relationship, but beginning of a friendship.
- Don't be greedy. The law lays down what you can and cannot have but don't fight beyond a certain point. Even if you get it, you will never be happy.
- If you have kids, think of them. Do not make your relationship so ugly that your kids start to think of you as weird creatures. Kids who grow up in such situations have horrible problems with their relationships when they grow up. One study even points out that kids with parents who had a divorce are more likely to have one in their relationship.
- Think of all the love you had for each other, the vows you made on your wedding day, the fun you had during the honeymoon! That is never going away; you can not erase that. Do not hate a person that you loved so much at one point.
- Anything can go wrong in life but it does not mean that we turn everything into an ugly scene.
How to find happiness after divorce
Monday, August 09, 2004
Pamela tells us that her husband has never been fond of dieting and eats whatever he likes. He has never visited a gym either. Watching television with beer and potato chips is his main activity when he comes home from work. Apparently that was OK when he was young but as they are approaching their 40s, he has started to put on weight. She continues, "Since our marriage 9 years ago, he has put on at least 65 lbs and is now approaching almost 200 lbs which for a 5'7" man is too much weight. What type of diets would you recommend so that he can lose at least some of this weight? I don't think that he will follow a diet if I tell him to, but I will simply switch to a diet for the whole household and then he will have no choice but to eat. Please help. I can't stand the sight of him in the bedroom and hate to be intimate with such a fat man."
- A fruit
- Freshly squeezed orange juice (please do it at home from oranges and do not add sugar at all)
- Oat meal from organic ingredients (that you can buy separately in any health food store; do not buy packaged oat meal in the supermarket) and then cooked slowly in skim milk each morning. If he likes it sweet, add a few drops of maple syrup instead of sugar
Lunch (You should pack it for him)
- A fruit
- Pick one: Stir-fry vegetables with tofu; grilled vegetable sandwich with no mayonnaise; steamed vegetable with just salt and pepper; or other dishes along these lines
- A low-carb energy bar
- Salad without dressing (you can make your own dressing with a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice)
- Steamed vegetables
- Pick one: Chicken breast, fish, seafood, or occasionally beef cooked with minimum amount of oil
- No dessert but it is acceptable to have fat-free yogurt twice a week
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Along similar lines is the issue of what to wear and what not to wear. Is it acceptable for women to wear short skirts in their 30s? Should men be able to wear baggy jeans even when they are so-called "corporate executives"? Should women in their 30s always wear their bras while young women these days hardly wear them with tank tops?
A body image is something very personal and is not just a result of how you like to dress. Projecting a certain type of body image is literally a reflection of what we are and what do we want to be perceived as by others. If a women dresses sporty, she is projecting an image of a person who is energetic and playful. When a man dresses in Polo shirts and khakis, he wants to be taken seriously, but not too much. When a woman wears a black suit with literally no jewelry and carries a briefcase rather than a purse, she wants to compete with men head on.
For women to wear short skirts or not wear their underwear amounts to making an enormous statement to men even though many of the women themselves do it nonchalantly without any thought of creating any specific body image. They figure that because of their personal preference and comfort, it really does not matter. But the reality is that when we are in public, we do create an impression in other people's minds and we have to be careful about that.
As Paul says, "The attraction does not always have to be merely visual because the mindset that a body image creates is good enough. An assumption would be that most mature people have seen it all before, and thus, there is no shock value appeal in how we dress. But we are still all very curious animals and never stop fantasizing. The thoughts are along the lines of: This person is not a prude because s/he dresses a certain way. S/he is pushing a certain limit of acceptable behavior in a certain public setting, thus s/he pushes her/his body image to the limit in every situation so we can only imagine what limits s/he might push if (I) can get intimate with her/him, etc. It is not important if these thoughts that others have have any accuracy or not, just the fact that the person evokes these thoughts (fantasies) in others is what is so interesting."
Nancy had similar comments, "Sad as it may sound but the reality is that when I wear an outfit I want to project a certain body image. When I dress up in a short black dress to go to a nightclub, I want to be seen as the party girl, a body image that is different from what I want to project at the office where by dressing conservatively I want to be seen someone in authority who can get things done."
How to develop the right body image?
- There is no need to have one body image for all situations. Like Nancy, you can easily have several images in different situations. In fact, having the same image all the time can have disastrous consequences. Not many men will approach Nancy in the nightclub if she projects the same image as she does in the office.
- Invest in your body image. You will need appropriate clothes, accessories, hair cut, makeup, etc. for each body image.
- Change your body image when you realize that it is not working for you. Keep trying and refining. Try different hair styles or makeup or clothes. You might even take classes in style and fashion and watch all the style programs on televsion to learn how to get the body image that suits your personality.
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Saturday, August 07, 2004
Let us look at Berenice's case. She is currently dating a wonderful man who has a little child but the child's mother is very jealous of Berenice and is very upset after the breakup. Berenice writes, "I know my boyfriend loves me but his ex wants us to break up. Is this situation going to affect the child? I don't want my boyfriend to hate his ex because after all she is the mother of his child. I think that both of them must keep a good friendship because of the child. His ex-girlfriend says that he cannot see the child anymore because they have broken up. What can I do to make sure that the child has the support of both parents and gets everything that he needs to grow up as a good boy."
This is a very tricky situation because the couple have not ended the relationship on good terms. While that would not be a big problem if there was no child involved, something needs to be done to make sure that the child gets the support that only his father can provide. If the child's mother insists on raising the child all alone without any support from the father, it is not only sad but also can be detrimental to the child's development. Most children like to have a father around so that they can enjoy the love that only a father can provide. In any case, the child support that he can provide will be of tremendous help to the mother so that she can provide for education and health of the child. We also know that as the father, he has a legal right to regular contact with his child (unless the court thinks otherwise for a compelling reason). In case the mother decides to remarry, the child will not be a burden to her next husband either, if he gets enough child support from the father.
What we suggest is the following:
- Your boyfriend must seek child custody legal help so that an agreement can be reached with the mother that allows him to have regular contact with the child and he can provide the child support that he wants to.
- You should stay out of this matter to the extent possible. You should not get directly involved in any dealings with the ex.
- When the child is with his father, you should try to be a good 'mother' to him.
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Thursday, August 05, 2004
Do you know of many men that would actually complain that their wives/partners are not doing enough to make them interested in them? Well, there are men who just do not want to do the hard work and blame it on their partners. They expect that their partners will basically do everything for them, seduce them, make sure that they are satisfied, and then even clean them afterwards.
Let us review what Pam is going through. Here husband complains that she does not initiate intimacy as often as he would like. He says to her, "You do wonderful initiating bread-and-butter style intimacy, but that's it." She asks, "Where/how can I learn more positions and activities to introduce into our lives? We have (had) been intimate frequently, but that has changed dramatically due to this problem. Please help?"
Judy, who is only 24 and has a boyfriend who is 26, is facing a similar dilemma. "My boyfriend doesn't find it fun with me anymore. What can I do to make it more fun and exciting? We were doing great about two months ago. I didn't know that there was something wrong with it. I don't think that there is someone else. He wants me to seduce him more but there is a problem there.....I don't know how. I never have before. We talked about it and he said that I am boring now. We used to be able to go for hours and now I'm lucky if it lasts even twenty minutes. Is this my fault, and if so, what can I do to make it better?"
We believe that the problem is not with YOU but with HIM. So, if it is boring then it is your fault; and you have to do everything while he just sits there and makes you feel miserable. So one thing that we would really like you to do is to gradually discard this idea that there is something wrong with you. It is not. While we think he is the one who needs some help but we will give him the benefit of doubt and in any case it is better to work with someone who gets it (YOU) than someone who doesn't (HIM). (Related: Lower libido)
Having said that, it is to be noted that men too need to be seduced. It is simply not true that men are always ready for it. They also need to get into the mood and a woman has a responsibility there (as does a man who also need to reciprocate to get her into the mood).
Here are a few things that you can do to get him into the mood:
- Redecorate your bedroom. Make into a place where one can feel totally relaxed.
- Invest in lingerie. There is no better way to stimulate a man's imagination than through some attractive lingerie.
- Learn how to give a massage. It is a great way to get ready for an eventful night.
- Build up a stock of videos, toys and games for couples.
- All these are, of course, meaningless, if you are not creative enough to use them in unique ways. So find out what he likes? Is he into roleplaying? Does he have any fantasies? Open your mind to new possibilities and try whatever new you can come up with. One day it can be the Arabian Nights and the other day it can be the schoolgirl. It will then be hard for him to complain that it is boring.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
We recently heard from Elizabeth in Bethel, Connecticut. She writes, "I love low-rise pants because I am a petite woman with an excellent body, and yes, a very slim waist that I like to show. So I always wear thongs but my current boyfriend insists that thongs are only for teenagers (I am 43). Is he right?"
He is right because he probably lives in the 70s. Today, he is absolutely wrong and has no right to comment on things that he has no clue about. American women have come a long way when it comes to lingerie. No more dull-looking, plain white lingerie for them. And as far as our research shows, thongs are popular not only with women of any age, even men are choosing thongs.
Here are a few more tips when shopping for thongs:
- Always buy the highest quality fabric. If your skin is sensitive to certain fabrics, avoid them. Most lingerie shopping websites will mention the fabric.
- It is good to have a bundle of thongs that match with your low-rise pants. It is far more acceptable if your white thongs show through your white low-rise pants versus black thongs peeking through white.
- Attractive designs (particularly with embroidery) are far better than the basic plain ones. So that even if you do show it, others will know that you have a fine taste in lingerie.
Tips on wearing low-rise pants:
- Always make sure that your thongs don't show before you get out of the house (bend over and take a look or ask someone else to tell you).
- Avoid being in situations where you are likely to show your underwear. So try not to bend, if possible, and make it short, if absolutely necessary.
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Photo courtesy: Malias Gideon (Used under Creative commons license)
Monday, August 02, 2004
John from Little Falls, New Jersey, writes, "My Japanese wife is often concerned about her broken English and accent. Whenever she meets other Japanese women, she is intimidated by their better English. She has been in the United States for 3 years now. Will she ever lose her accent or speak better?"
Learning English for Japanese people has always been a challenge. The other problem that the Japanese people have is that they do not like to make mistakes, and if they are not sure that they have it right, they would rather not say it than say it wrong. It, therefore, takes them forever to learn a new language and reduce their accent.
Since the Japanese language has its own unique, rather strong, accent, it is harder for them to pronounce certain letters, e.g. 'r' and 'l'. Sometimes this accent can cause a lot of strange situations and the Japanese people get discouraged.
Here are a few suggestions for accent reduction training for your wife:
- Socialize more with native English-speaking people.
- Let her be in situations where she will be forced to speak in English only, no matter what, e.g., parent-teacher meetings in school. This will expose her to American accent as average Americans speak.
- Many community colleges or adult education centers offer accent reduction training classes; you must encourage her to join these. She can also buy audio/video tapes and even sign up on the Internet for online accent reduction instructions.
- Try to immerse her into English language, as much as possible. From music to television to real-life interaction, it is best to immerse completely. While stopping her from watching Japanese movies will probably be impolite, but it is good for her to watch a lot of American television.
- Can you find a volunteer who can help her with her accent reduction? Maybe she can teach Japanese to this person as a favor.
- Finally, as the person closest to her, you must try to help her by correcting her accent every time she does not get it right.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
It is indeed true that a lot of women in the rest of the world wish to marry an American for the green card. It is no secret. However, this may also result in a lot of misunderstandings as well. Your online girlfriend might very well be just shy or too embarrassed to talk about other things or may not have an idea what type of planning a couple has to do prior to their marriage. But with so many sad stories around, it is a good idea that you are thinking about it right now and want to take all precautions before you decide to marry her.
Many Asian women are basically highly pragmatic. They will flirt with an American, even marry him for a green card, but eventually marry an Asian man from their country no matter how dull and predictable he is. This is quite understandable. Despite America being a melting pot and our exposure to Asian women, there are still so many things that we do not know about them as well as an Asian man would know. For example, Thai women often complain about their menfolk but, ultimately, it is only they who understand what their womenfolk want and how they want it. Kozue, a Japanese girl we spoke to us, says, that she is not excited by her Japanese boyfriend, yet she will still marry him. Only some women look for passion in their marriage, she says. Most, like her, just follow the biological urge to mate with a man who understands her in a way no foreigner ever could.
Having said that, there is no reason for you to doubt your girlfriend's intentions and make your life miserable worrying about it or making her feel less wanted. However, it will be in your best interest to first spend time with her either here in the US or by visiting her country. You will have a better sense of her intentions. Only then should you make up your mind if you want to marry her. Marriage is a lifelong commitment to a person and you do not want to marry anyone who has a hidden agenda: a green card. This is a good time to ask all the hard questions rather than wait for things to unfold after you are already married.