Need, Time, and Assorted Tips
Recognizing Your Need For Solitude
The need for privacy is a fundamental physiological need like social contact, hunger, thirst, or sex. All organisms need downtime, the time out from a normal schedule, to relax.
Usually, the greater the stimulation by others, the greater the need for privacy. Continuous stimulation-parties preceded by meetings, followed by family gatherings-produces a need for solitude to compensate. Continuous stimulation is like forcing yourself to eat a big meal right after you have just finished one.
In a family situation where the need for privacy is not accepted and the need for downtime is equated with rejection, people often wind up playing psychological warfare and fighting. This gives them sulking time, which is a negative form of privacy.
At different times in your life, you may find you need different levels of stimulation and privacy, depending on how satisfied or frustrated you are. Sometimes you need more alone-time to think things out, to assimilate, or to be blank.
Physiologically, some people have a high need for stimulation. Others can’t tolerate a high level of stimulation without time to digest it.
Be aware of your own time. Structure your needs. Reason: Meeting these needs will help you to conserve your psychic energy.
Situation: Both spouses work. After work, each spouse needs some private time to be alone and unwind. If each recognizes it as a valid need, they can each nap, shower or read the paper. Later, when refreshed, they can get together for some satisfying qualitative time.
If the married couple is out of sync (one needs some qualitative time while the other needs privacy), recognize the difference. You’ll be better able to manage stimulation and privacy and negotiate what you need with the people around you. Possibly, for the first hour, one can ignore the other while privately reviewing the day’s stimulation. Result: More energy and an eagerness for the time that remains. Both win. If they don’t compromise, the result will be fights to get the downtime they need.
Unmarried couples frequently elect to live together with a commitment only to love. But many are now hedging their bets with cohabitation agreements drawn up by lawyers. Point: The agreement specifies what each partner
will give toward the upkeep of the house (or apartment), living expenses, and the division of their possessions if they split up. Advantage: Financial arrangements are discussed while the couple is friendly, not during the turmoil of separation.
Special Rules For Second Weddings
Handling a second wedding properly is tricky. The aim: To avoid having guests compare your second wedding with the first one. This can’t be totally eliminated, but it can be minimized.
Distinction: Second-wedding rules are determined by the bride’s status. It may be hypocritical, but if it is the bride’s first wedding and the groom’s third or fourth, the bride can have as elaborate a wedding as she pleases, using all the traditional clothes and customs. If it is the bride’s second wedding, there are many limitations:
The ceremony: Limit the guest list to members of the families and very close friends of the couple. Ask parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, godparents, and a few friends.
Bride’s outfit: Avoid a full-length gown and veil. Instead: Wear a street-length or three-quarters outfit and no veil. A bouquet is optional.
Customs: Everyone has a wedding cake. It is absolutely proper for second weddings. However, throwing the bouquet, wearing the garter, and throwing rice are not appropriate.
Good news: The reception can be as wild, elaborate, and exuberant as you wish. It doesn’t matter who is getting married for the second time.
Socially sensitive guests:
Former in-laws and former spouses: Do not invite them. Exception: If the children of the bride and/or groom are at the wedding, you can invite their grandparents.
Children: Get your former spouse’s approval before you invite the children. Then, let the children decide how they feel about attending. If the children are old enough-over 13 or so-you can make them attendants in the ceremony. However, it is improper to ask a seven or eight-year-old to be an attendant. Reason: The child may not be fully aware of the significance of the occasion. To include such children: Let them be in charge of the guest book or pass the cake.
Gifts: Many guests invited to a second wedding gave generous gifts at the time of the first marriage. Whether you attend or not, it is best to send at least a small gift and note. Reason: These serve mainly as symbols that you approve the new union.
Husbands And Housework
As more wives work, a greater number of husbands are doing more household chores. But they are not enthusiastic about housework. Surveys indicate the husbands’ ambivalence:
88% of the men say that husbands should at least help out around the house.
More than half agree the chores should be evenly divided, whether or not the wives have jobs.
Many husbands undertake such tasks as washing the dishes, shopping, cooking, and cleaning the bathroom. (Insight: Three-quarters of the men believe that bathroom cleaning is the wife’s job.)
Many husbands only pay lip service to the idea of helping out. Surprise: The strongest proponents of a. woman’s right to a professional career are men under 35 years old. Yet, there is still a high percentage of husbands in this age range who do little around the house.
Most husbands believe that the household is better off if the woman stays home to raise the children and care for the house.
Exploring Middle-age Together
Middle-age breeds a variety of fears in both men and women. To men, aging places them at a competitive disadvantage at work. They often question if they chose the right career, and they long to be their own boss.
Women watch their children grow up and leave home, while they fear aging as a threat to their attractiveness.
Both sexes face the troublesome realization that it may be too late to accomplish the goals set earlier.
Pressure: Middle-aged parents feel squeezed between generations. They must cope with unwanted urges of envy toward their free-spirited children who have yet to take on worldly responsibilities. At the same time, their own elderly parents grow dependent on them. As their friends and relatives die, the middle-aged are reminded of their own mortality.
Major psychological impact: Abandonment of youthful fantasies of immortality and omnipotence.
An increased sense of self.
Partners may feel less competition and rivalry.
The renewed importance of a life centered on self-awareness and self-fulfillment through heightened sensitivity.