At the heart of most people's relationship insecurities is a fear of infidelity. The dishonesty and betrayal can be too much to bear, and a significant portion of marriages end when infidelity is revealed. Infidelity, however, remains common. Slightly under half of men and women admit to at least one instance of unfaithfulness. Infidelity is so common that some marriage and sex experts have argued in favor of loosening the rules. Sex columnist Dan Savage, for example, argues that monogamy shouldn't be a marital deal breaker and that couples should be flexible with their approach to monogamy. The reasons people cheat are as diverse and varied as people themselves, but some common themes run through most infidelity stories.
The public perception of bullying is that bullies are acting out to cover their own fears. They may indeed be afraid, but accepting this as a reason makes bullies sound like victims of their fears -- like we're supposed to feel sorry for them and not hold them responsible for their abusive actions. But dealing with bullying in this way misses the point. The issue is not whether bullies are afraid.
Bullies bully other people to feel powerful around them and to feel power over them. Bullies start out feeling like zeroes, like nobodies. When they intimidate, threaten or hurt someone else, then they feel like somebody. The key is the feeling of power.
One evening while having a late dinner with my parents, I received an urgent call from a friend asking for a quiet place with an empty couch to sleep on for the night. Knowing him well, it had seemed out of character for him to call on a moment's notice like this and make such a request. Nonetheless, I invited him over, fearing the worst. I knew that he had been under a lot of stress recently. My mind immediately went to the idea of teaching him how to meditate. Later he sat in my living room describing his terrible problem: he had become so stressed by his job, school, and the quickened pace of life in general that he now feared that if his loved ones tried to help, he might "unload" on them by accident. Instantly, the things he described were familiar to me also. Here he was, entering the holiday season and working two jobs, neither of which could provide enough money to justify the extreme hours he was putting in, nor the lack of sleep which resulted from this schedule. Eventually, it had begun to lead to trouble between he and his girlfriend, his parents, college professors expecting assignments on time, and of course, his employers.
Issues related to racism get particularly complex when children are involved. In an area that has been highly controversial and lacking adequate scientific attention, we are finally seeing studies emerge that help us better understand the very complicated process of how racism develops in children. With the publication and dissemination of this study, it is hoped that an interest will be stirred in the scientific community to continue funding such studies so that more reliable information can be learned.
The idea of treating alcoholism in the context of marriage and family (as opposed to seeing it solely as a problem of the individual) has gained wider acceptance in the practitioner community in recent years, but according to an article in the June issue of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), "methods that have shown promise in outcome research are not widely used by practitioners who treat alcoholics and their families" and more widely used methods have not been systematically studied. But authors Robert J. Rotunda, Ph.D., and Timothy J. O'Farrell, Ph.D., of the Harvard Medical School also describe a clinical research program that bridges the gap between research and practice.