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Marriage
05/13/2010
IconAfter posting a blog last Thursday (9/11/08) about "shame," I got this response from a reader: I grew up in a Roman Catholic family.' I attended parochial school, and I also became pregnant at 17.' I was shamed and ostracized for what I had done, but I have to say that the "shaming" I received from my family and community actually led me back onto the right track. I completed my high school diploma by attending school in the morning, and I began college at night (I was admitted to a local university because I was an honor student in my high school).' I attended college with 30 and 40 year-olds!' Ultimately, I graduated college and became a Certified Public Accountant. This was a difficult path, and I recommend it to no one.' I sacrificed much:' my young adulthood.' I did not do the things other kids my age did.' I took care of my baby, I studied, and I cleaned houses.' Although I was ashamed of becoming pregnant so young and out-of-wedlock, I loved my child more than life itself, and I always placed my child's needs before mine.' I did not "party."' I did not hang out with friends.' I did not do things just for myself, and most of all, I did not whine. I don't think most teens are capable of this, and most babies are probably better off being placed for adoption.' I had my family's help - I was not tossed onto the streets, but my parents' expectations were high, and "I" was my child's caregiver (not my mom).' I was the one up at night with my sick baby.' I was the one who took him to the park and the doctor's office, and I was the one he came to depend on most. I have been happily married now for many years to a man I am so blessed to have as my husband.' I have three beautiful children.' I have chosen to stay home with my younger kids and not work outside of the house.' I ALWAYS hated to leave my oldest child and felt tremendous guilt when I headed off to school for the day or to clean houses. It's an absolute treasure to be a stay-at-home mom.' My job in life now is to provide a warm home environment, and to be there for my hubby and kids.' By the way, the baby boy I had at 17 is now an honor student at [a major university], and quite a wonderful young man.' To this day, I still feel remorse that my oldest did not have the same childhood as my other two kids.' I feel I cheated him, and I suppose I always will. More >>

Tags: ChristmasCommitmentFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensHolidaysMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancyRelativesSocial IssuesTeens
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05/13/2010
IconI read this email on the air, but it's so good, I wanted to share it with everyone: Dr. Laura: You gave me a most wonderful 79th birthday present today, in the form of a caller who showed the typical stupidity of the male.' He was married to his second wife for 25 years, and was concerned, because, while he still enjoyed her, he was not sure that he still really LOVED her. I have enjoyed your daily "classes" for years, and have learned much.' But there is one class I believe I am uniquely prepared to present. The ladies learn much about "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" from your book and daily sessions.' You tell the ladies how to work us guys, and of your power over us. Right back at you, my dear!' I have had my magnificent lady eating out of my hands for 57 years, and once in a while, I still playfully remind her that she is just my "first" wife.' You gals aren't all that complicated.' The answer is simple:' as you get what you need or want, you are more willing to give.' That's the same principle you preach to the girls. What does it take?' Really, not much - just a little TLC gets big payoffs.' Try: 1.' FLOWERS - for no special occasion or guilty conscience.' A single rose willWork.' No greater mileage for $1.50. 2."I LOVE YOU" - Tell her or show her at least 10 times every day.' It's easy.' There are so many ways to say it, and even more important, to show it. 3.' COFFEE IN BED - No big deal.' The coffee maker is automatic, and the payoff at my house is BIG.' It always begins with a "thank you" that sounds like it was the first time ever.' She gets this treatment most every day, and if I sleep in, well, then I get to say "thank you!" 4.' REASSURE HER - Tell her how good she is, and back her up every time you can.' She will thank you for it. Does it really work?' YES!' My LADY loves to tell her friends who often bemoan their love lives and multiple "whatever's."' She tells them "The best thing I could wish for you is to be married to my Don for a week." Making love to my 75 year old lady is wonderful, and I have the thrill of making her enjoy her sex. (Wow.)' My greatest honor was to be invited into her body so long ago.' She was all mine at 18 and still is.' As the subtle changes came along in her life and body, I was happy, because I knew that I was part of each of them.' She still has great looking "boobs" and a beautiful behind.' I love handing her the towel as she steps out of the shower with that great welcoming smile. Tomorrow, after breakfast of coffee in bed at 6AM with toast, fruit, and melon, I plan to "have my way" with her once again.' And I have a rose that says it will work! The luckiest guy you will ever hear from, Don P.S.' Thanks for being there when we really needed your guidance. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMarriageQuote of the WeekSexSexualityValues
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05/13/2010
IconRecently, I came across a newspaper's Letter to the Editor written by a well-known television personality.' She'd gotten pregnant out-of-wedlock at 17, and had to endure "...[my] mother's disappointment, my father's anger, the priest's admonishment...[T]he shame and ridicule were more than I could bear.' I was no good.' I had messed up.' I knew it.' My dreams and life were shattered.' Days later, I was married off and sent away.' I said I did not love this man.' I was told: 'You made your bed; now you must lie in it.'" She went on to recount the damage to her self-esteem (which she called "life-threatening" ) and described being ostracized and condemned as a "bad" girl, "when I had tried hard all my life to do well and make my parents proud." While it's natural to feel compassion for someone who has faced that kind of negative reaction from all the significant adults in her life, it's important to point out that this situation was not all about her .' And it seems like this author still doesn't get it.' It is about the innocent, dependent child who finds himself or herself in an unprepared, chaotic, non-committed, immature and fragile situation by being born to a teenager and her male counterpart who are having a sexual relationship and are not prepared for the biological consequences:' a pregnancy.The concept of "feeling shame" is a very human, emotional/social mechanism.' Its purpose is to deter people from engaging in behaviors that will have negative consequences for them, for others who may be victimized by their behavior, and for the community and society as a whole.'' The motivation behind those who rage against "shame" is to dissociate behavior from consequence.' These days, judgment of others is considered a bad thing because it hurts feelings, but having hurt feelings (particularly if they're the result of actions which cause pain to others) is a good thing; it is part of having a conscience.' Only good people feel guilt.' Only good people suffer from doing ill to others.' It's human, natural, expected and respected for people to suffer over their wrongdoing.' To complain, however, that wrongdoing should not result in any negative reaction is immature and defensive and contrary to the notion of taking responsibility for how one's actions impact others.The author of the letter complains about having to marry the young man - whom she didn't love - in order to legitimize the baby and take responsibility as a family for the child's welfare.' Why is that a bad thing?' Why was she having sexual relations with someone for whom she didn't have the highest regard and wouldn't have chosen to be the father of her future children?'' Is it not in the best interest of the child to have the foundation of a family?Submitting to responsibility for a dependent child seems like a noble action to me.' Staying mutually committed for the well-being of another human being sounds noble to me.' And many can report that people so inclined grow together and build a strong love and family foundation. These ideals, however, don't often resonate with people who marry this young.' That is why adoption is often the best solution for the child.The author of this letter was making the point that the media shouldn't focus on those young men and women who make this sort of "mistake," because it hurts their feelings and because these are private issues.' Generally, these are private issues, but when people in the public eye and their families display behaviors which undermine role-modeling obligations or expectations, it should be examined publicly, because impressionable youngsters take their cues from their environment.' When there is no public "shame" for destructive, hurtful or illegal behaviors our children see and emulate, the disasters grow exponentially.The author writes : "If my pregnancy - my deepest shame - had been broadcast for all to know about, I might have taken my life." Clearly, now that the author is a mature woman, she is making her own "shameful" history public and is not suicidal.' Maturity is an important factor in dealing with serious issues, which is precisely why children should not be engaging in activities that endanger the lives of innocent people (as we've seen with fetuses being aborted or newborns tossed in dumpsters or toilets).' The young women themselves are at risk when they have a child's view of how "life is over" just because they're embarrassed.'So, instead of railing about how upsetting shame is to a pregnant youngster, it is important to point out to all the other young people out there what dangerous ground they tread when they "walk" as responsible adults, but in reality have the footprints of na've children.' Taking this story public is a way to warn children away from playing with the "perks" of committed adults when they are in no position to take on the responsibilities of their actions, nor to cope well with the emotional fallout.We are in an era which judges "judgment" as evil.' It isn't.' Morals, values, principles and ethics are prophylactics against pain and destruction, and not just somebody's evil attempt to wrest momentary pleasure from the grip of innocent bystanders. More >>

Tags: CommitmentDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancyRelativesSocial IssuesTeens
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Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelatives
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Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I was a kid, all the sitcoms showed married couples sleeping in separate beds.' Evidently, it was unseemly to show married couples sharing the same mattress, lest the idea of "sex" pop into anybody's mind!These days, it appears that TV finds marriage unseemly - but not the sex.A recent study by the Parents Television Council shows that marriage gets little respect on network television.' Instead, extra-marital, kinky sex, partner-swapping, and pedophilia are more likely to get center screen.The report said that visual references to practices such as voyeurism and sado-masochistic sex outnumbered married sex references by a ratio approaching 3 to 1.' The report contends "Behavior that once was seen as fringe, immoral, or socially destructive has been given the imprimatur of acceptability by the television industry and children are absorbing or even imitating it." When parents want to identify and block such programs via the V-Chip, they're lulled into complacency by the inaccurate and inconsistent designations, such as "S," signaling sexual content.The programs the Parents Television Council included in their report were from four weeks of scripted shows on the major networks at the start of the 2007-2008 season.' ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, and NBC, the networks in the study, all declined to comment.It's disgusting that the so-called "family hour," the first hour of prime-time TV, which draws the most young viewers, contains the highest ratio of references to non-married sex vs. married sex. More >>

Tags: Internet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageSexSexualityTelevision
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05/13/2010
IconI received a ton of mail about the call I described in yesterday's blog.' The following letter from a listener is representative of the wide range of reactions people had to that call: Dr. Laura:While listening to your program with my incredibly sexy husband yesterday, I couldn't help but feel some sadness and frustration toward the caller who resented her loved one with dementia. My grandparents, who will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in just over a month, are currently battling dementia, and watching the progression of the disease can be heart-wrenching.' I spent so much time with my "Pop" and "Mi-mommy," learning important principles like "Can't never could do anything," and "pretty is as pretty does."' They were known by others for their compassion, kindness, and wonderful wit. They both began experiencing symptoms of dementia about three years ago, with simple forgetfulness turning into frequent short-term memory loss and the loss of the ability to perform simple tasks.' Dementia is a progressive illness, and although they battle it with all their might by taking medications to help slow the disease, we can see the constant decline.' Resentment has not been a feeling anyone has expressed. When my grandfather tells the same story 5 or 6 times in a 30-minute period, we listen like it is the first time we've ever heard it told.' When my grandmother weaves together in her mind multiple stories and comes up with a muddled collage of a past experience, we engage her and help her to recall the old memories.' When they are struggling to remember how to pour water in a glass or operate the TV, we patiently help them recall.' We don't do it out of obligation or even to keep from feeling guilty.' We do it because, years ago,' THEY taught us to show kindness and love and compassion. I work in hospice, and on a professional level, I know all too well the course this mean, aggressive disease takes.' I cherish every moment that they can tell me a story, and I will treasure every time I hug them and they know who I am.' I know that one day, I will sit down and hold their hands and they won't be able to tell a story, and they won't know who I am.' They won't be able to hold their heads up or smile, but I will still be there with them, because that's the person they have helped me to become.' If I sat with them and listened to them and held their hands every day for the rest of my life, there is no way I could repay them for what they have given me. In October, I'll be walking in the Alzheimer's' Association' Memory Walk ( http://www.alz.org/memorywalk/ ) in honor of my grandparents.' I will do everything I can to fight this brutal disease and I beg those in our society to think about the compassion we owe our fellow man.' A wise physician I once worked with said "The measure of a society can be seen in how we treat our young, our old, and our dying."' I pray that our society does not let me down, and that we treat our elders with the love, respect and dignity they deserve. Striving to be half as wonderful as my grandparents, Alison More >>

Tags: CommitmentHealthMarriagePersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconI was a bit flabbergasted when a recent caller to my radio program described how incredibly resentful she was that her elderly aunt, deep in Alzheimer's Disease, would repeat and repeat and repeat old history again and again and again.' This caller was furious that her aunt wouldn't recognize her, wouldn't deal with the here and now, and was so "unbelievably annoying with the same old stories."What pressed my "flabbergasted" button the most was that this caller had been neglected and abandoned by her mother and father and had been raised by this aunt.' Notions of gratitude, graciousness, patience and, above all, respect seemed beyond her view, as she was simply focused on what she wasn't getting from her aunt now .' This caller was no sensitive, confused, na've teenager - she was in her late forties!I explained that the word shouldn't be "wouldn't;" it is, indeed, "couldn't."' It was as though the caller was hauling her resentment about her abandonment by her parents into this "mental abandonment" by her aunt, and making the decision not to see her aunt anymore out of ancient, misplaced rage.By the end of the call, I think she understood and realized that, as uncomfortable and annoying as her aunt's behavior might be, she was as honor-bound to be there for her aunt, as the aunt had been there for her. More >>

Tags: CommitmentHealthMarriagePersonal ResponsibilitySocial Issues
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Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelatives
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