28 Juli 2008

How A Husband Should Love His Wife & How A Wife Should Love Her Husband

By Angie Lewis

Let’s think of love not as a word but an action. Instead of saying “I love you.” Show you wife that you love her. Be more loving! How can a man show his woman he loves her? By doing!

Forget about the box of chocolates and flowers. Any man can go buy these things. But any man cannot show love to his wife on a whim. The chocolates get eaten and make your wife fat and cranky; the flowers wither and die in three days. What about showing your love by doing things that you know your wife will enjoy?

~How Should A Husband Love His Wife~

When was the last time you wined and dined your wife? What about a mini-vacation? Are you the romantic type? If not find out how you can amaze your wife by being a romantic guy. What would that involve?

A woman likes a man who can cook. How about cooking her an intimate candlelit dinner for two? Don’t know how to cook? Get a cookbook and do it anyway. Have some fun in the kitchen and enjoy yourself.

Don’t forget, you wife likes to be touched and hugged without the pressure of sex looming in the near future. Sometimes the hugging and coddling is more important to her than the actual sex act. Not that she doesn’t like to orgasm but that she wants to KNOW that you love her more than the sex act itself. Hug her and cuddle her and you’ll most likely get what you want later.

The most important way to show your love is through your acceptance and validation. Are you the kind of guy that discounts his wife’s choices, desires, and needs through invalidation? This kind of behavior will cause all kinds of trouble in the marriage. Let me tell you why.

By invalidating your wife in whatever manner, you have essentially rejected her. She will feel as if her opinions, decisions, and beliefs don’t count and shouldn’t be regarded with importance. She will hold this within her consciousness and it will come back to haunt you later on in the marriage. This won’t be on purpose but mostly because you have hurt her. She loves you and when you invalidate her feelings, thoughts, actions, beliefs, views, and opinions, she gets hurt!

Let me tell you a big secret about woman, which also includes your wife. Your wife may ask you for your opinion on something because it is in her nature to get a second opinion but that does not necessarily mean that she will go with your opinion or your opposing viewpoint.

I’m not talking about the submission thing here either. What I’m talking about is just everyday thoughts and actions of your wife. If for some reason you really feel that it is best that you disagree with her thoughts and feelings, do so AFTER you have said something positive about the way she thinks and feels. Be understanding! If you actually validate her she will see it your way on her own, even if she won’t admit it.

Your wife may also like to vent her feelings more then you, not because she needs for you to find a solution so much as just being a sounding board. Give her validation in what she has to say, and then ask her if she is looking for an opinion and or solution first before giving her one. This doesn’t make much sense to you, but to us women it makes a lot of sense.

~How A Wife Should Love Her Husband~

It is my firm belief that it is easier to make a man happy than for a man to make a woman happy. I believe this because men really don’t ask for much. If they can camp out on the hard ground with the ants and other bugs how hard can they be to please? Yes, I know this sounds superficial but think about this for a moment. Have you noticed how much happier, and less stressed out your man is when he has his two most important needs met, sex and food?

It is also semi-true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. They love to eat and they love to eat good tasty meals. When their stomachs are full, and they have been taken care of physically, a man doesn’t ask for much else.

Don’t forget, the home is a man’s castle. Knowing this, make every effort to keep his castle tidy and free of stressful situations that could upset his equilibrium. He has worked all day long and wants to come home to a loving and sweet wife, not a grouch and a TV dinner

Be appreciative of every little thing your man does around the house. Make your man feel like a man by being a woman. Give him a hug and a kiss where it counts, talk about your day together. Don’t reject your husband sexually. Make him feel good about himself by telling him so. Respect him for who he is and what he does!

Basically, a woman needs validated and intimacy, and a man needs sex and good food. Find ways in which you can give of your self in the marriage by being more loving in these areas.

And men, after you have shown your wife how much you love her, then you can buy her the chocolates and flowers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Angie_Lewis

26 Juli 2008

10 Bad Habits that Could Ruin Your Marriage

By Emily Battaglia, LifeScript Staff Writer

Do you bite your fingernails? Pick at your hair? While these habits are annoying in nature and unnerving to other people, they aren’t a huge deal in the scheme of life. But there are some bad habits – seemingly small in size – that can ruin your relationships. If you’re married, you probably know what I’m talking about. Find out how to save your marriage from these 10 very common bad habits. Plus: Do you fight fair?

Breaking a bad habit can take days, months, even years. But your marriage can’t wait that long. Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. and author of How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free (New Page Books, 2002) explains 10 bad habits that add strife to your marriage and offers advice on tempering them before your “happily ever after” turns into never.

Remember, overcoming your bad habits isn’t easy, especially if you’ve spent years living with them. But admitting your faults and making changes is always a better option than a broken marriage.

1. Not having sex
According to a 2003 Newsweek study, between 15% and 20% of couples are living in a sexless marriage, where couples make love no more than 10 times a year. While sex is not the be-all, end-all to a marriage, it’s one of the best ways to maintain intimacy. And when sex becomes a distant memory, your intimacy takes a severe hit.

While physical issues like hormonal changes, stress and fatigue may not put you in the mood, some of the problem has to do with your attitude. “You need to feel good about each other to be intimate,” Tessina says. “If you constantly fight, criticize and spout negativity, you won't be able to be close.”

Get rid of the resentment and just do it already, even if you’re not feeling frisky. Learn how to transition from handling the mundane tasks of life to frolicking in the bedroom. “Sex in a long-term marriage is different from dating, honeymoon or newlywed sex,” Tessina says. “You need to learn how to make it easy to get there.”

2. Letting yourself go
Life happens – aging, pregnancy, illness, weight gain. You’re not going to look the way you did when you first met your spouse. Fortunately, “in deepening love, the exterior gets less important, and the interior is what we’re focused on,” Tessina says. However, whether you like it or not, your spouse does care what you look like now, just as you still want to be attracted to him.

It doesn’t hurt to put in a little extra effort to look nice for your hubby. Sometimes even a small change can make a big impact – resisting the urge to put on ratty sweats as soon as you get home, wearing a cute outfit instead of frumpy jeans for a night out, actually wearing some of the “sexy” lingerie you’ve bought. Or make the commitment to exercise several times a week, which can, in turn, inspire your husband to break a sweat with you.

Do what’s in your power to keep the physical attraction alive. Not only is it good for your marriage, it will boost your health and self-confidence, too.

3. Spending too much time with the in-laws
That includes spilling private information to your family about your husband or marriage, or siding with them over him. These can all potentially hurt your marriage if your spouse feels like he comes second to your family.

While many people are close with their parents and siblings, it’s a good idea to draw a line when it comes to your priorities. When you get married, you’re starting your own family – and they come first.

Tessina points out that it may be an issue of your upbringing. “If your partner is unhappy with how you’re relating to your family, it probably means you come from different style families, and you need to talk about that and make some agreements,” she says. “It’s a growing up issue, as well as a partnership issue.” First and foremost, your loyalty lies with your marriage. It’s not okay to gossip or betray your spouse… even to your family.

4. Spending too much time with friends, work, hobbies
Having a life and interests apart from your husband is important, but not having your priorities straight can wreak havoc on your marriage. Maybe you’re using your friends or job as a welcome distraction from your spouse. Or maybe you simply enjoy your job or hobbies that much.

But have you ever thought you might be making your spouse feel like a second fiddle? He may be dropping hints about how he wishes you were around more… or not saying anything for fear of rocking the boat. The bottom line is that you don’t want to make your spouse feel alienated, rejected or disconnected from the marriage. Nothing is more important than the one you love.

“You need to do what works,” Tessina says, “and the only people who can determine that are you and your spouse. Together.”

5. Not consulting your partner about purchases
According to a 2007 PayPal survey, 37% of couples fight more about money than household chores or sex, and 82% of respondents say they have hidden purchases from their partner. While not telling your husband about a new shirt you bought doesn’t spell disaster for your marriage, omitting large purchases or other major money commitments does.

Not only will it cause anger and bitterness, but bad money habits can compromise the financial security of your family’s future. Marriage is a partnership in every sense of the word. Tessina recommends talking about how money will be handled – bank accounts, bill paying, debt, savings, investments – before getting hitched.

“Remember, if you can’t talk amiably about money and make joint decisions about it, your marriage doesn’t have a good chance,” Tessina says.

6. Forgetting the smaller gestures
Those everyday signs of affection are what keep intimacy and romance alive. Yet many couples fail to remember to do them. “Spread as much sweetness around as possible,” Tessina says.

Kiss him when he walks in the door; ask him if he needs anything while you’re up; surprise him with a small gift (it doesn’t have to be expensive); touch his arm or leg when sitting next to him; say thank you when he does something for you, no matter how big or small. These sweet gestures are just as important, if not more, than when you were dating.

7. Criticizing and nagging endlessly
Finding fault with people – especially our loved ones – is easy. So is getting into the habit of mercilessly criticizing your partner. While your husband may joke about his nagging wife to his friends, he’s probably not finding it funny on the inside.

“If you allow yourself to be subject to constant criticism from your spouse, your well-being and confidence will suffer,” Tessina says.

You might think you’re offering gentle reminders or that you’re being justifiably critical, but the more you nag, the more he’ll tune you out. And that just makes you angrier. Stop this vicious cycle by treating your hubby as an equal. And remember, for the most part you knew the man you married when you got hitched; it’s unfair to now criticize him for being the man you chose to marry.

8. Always playing the victim
Never being at fault can be tiresome to a husband who isn’t always to blame either. “It’s difficult for everyone to take responsibility for bad behavior,” Tessina says. Pointing the finger at someone else is easier and makes you feel better about yourself. Playing the victim is a control mechanism, and you use it when it suits you best.

The problem is that always playing the victim makes him feel like he’s constantly being punished, which is a quick way to make him lose trust and respect for you. You may also be making him feel like he’s doing everything wrong intentionally to hurt you when, in fact, that’s probably not true.

It’s time to fess up to your role in the problems you’re facing, apologize and make the necessary changes when appropriate. Once you give up the victim mentality, you’ll find yourself less stressed, angry and resentful… and your husband will be happier, too.

9. Sweating the small stuff
So he forgot to pick up your dry-cleaning or fix the broken fence like he promised. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love, respect and care about you. In a marriage, when so many things can and will go wrong, you have to sort out what is worth getting angry about. Many times we make a bigger deal over matters that we should be taking with a grain of salt.

“If you want to be right just to be right, you’re going to create problems and pain in your marriage,” Tessina says. Pick and choose your battles wisely, or you’ll find yourself permanently on the battlefield. When something is bothering you, Tessina recommends asking yourself how important it really is. Are there rational reasons why it’s so crucial?

If you reach the conclusion that you must hash out the issue, bring it up as soon as possible to avoid built-up resentment. And learn how to “fight fair.”

10. Not fighting fair
Arguing to solve an issue isn’t necessarily the bad habit. You’ll inevitably come across differences when it comes to finances, children and responsibilities of home and work. But the way you settle those differences can be hurtful and destructive. If you wonder why you’re unsuccessful in solving your problems, it could be because you’re not going about it with good intentions.

If and when you have a disagreement, follow Tessina’s “fighting fair” guidelines:

- Don’t try to be right; instead, try to solve the problem

- Consider your partner’s point of view

- Solve one problem at a time

- Don’t bring up past issues

- Avoid personal attacks and criticism

- Stay away from using power struggle tactics like guilt, threats and emotional blackmail

"Not Tonight Dear, I Have a Headache"

4 Ways to Save Your Sexless Marriage
By Emily Battaglia, LifeScript Staff Writer

If you hear “I’m not in the mood” more than you hear “come hither” whispers from your spouse, you may be among the many couples living in a sexless marriage. When couples aren’t connecting intimately, marriages suffer because ignoring each other’s physical and emotional needs is not how to make a marriage last. If this common marriage problem sounds familiar, read on to find out how to turn your chaste union into a nonstop spicy soirée…

Once a month? Once a week? Every night? How often must you have sex with your spouse to have what’s considered a healthy love life?

There’s no set number. However, experts define a sexless marriage as one in which couples make love no more than 10 times a year.

A 2003 Newsweek magazine study concluded that between 15% and 20% of couples fall into this category. That’s enough for experts to label it an epidemic.

Sex isn’t the ultimate litmus test of a loving relationship, but physical intimacy is a vital way to stay emotionally connected with each other. Besides, it’s fun! Touch is therapeutic, especially when it’s given or received regularly.

Spending time together between the sheets can also be a great stress-reliever. And don’t forget about the body-sculpting benefits of sexercise.

Women aren’t the only ones who use “I’m not in the mood” to avoid sex, but we do fall back on the cliché more often than men do. Another common excuse? Turning him down because we’re too tired. Getting some shut-eye often sounds better than getting some action (even though a feel-good orgasm can make drifting off to sleep a lot easier).

Biological changes, too, may sap your libido. Your hormone levels can shift dramatically due to things like childbirth, menopause and depression (antidepressants often affect sex drive).

One study found that 30%-50% of women and 20%- 30% of men reported having little to no sex drive. At least part of that statistic likely stems from hormonal issues.

But that’s not the only reason you’re refusing. Unresolved emotional issues are at the root of many sexless marriages. Resentment, unexpressed anger and hurt feelings often lead women to withhold sex. Maybe you’re too upset with him to let him touch you. Maybe you’re hoping that rejecting him sexually will send a message that you either can’t bring yourself to say or can’t seem to get across no matter how often you say it. Maybe you’re simply punishing him.
Say, for example, you feel taken for granted because your husband doesn’t help around the house. You think “If he isn’t doing something for me, why should I have sex with him?” (Memo to guys: A University of Washington study found that men who help with the housework have more active sex lives with their wives than their dishtowel-shunning brethren. Need more incentive? A 2003 University of California study found that women are not only more sexually receptive to men who help clean up at home, they’re actually more physically attracted to them.)

If you withhold sex long enough, eventually you’ll both get used to the lack of it and will stop trying to initiate it.

Usually, both partners end up feeling neglected and resentful:

"She never wants to sleep with me anymore!”

“He doesn’t care enough about me anymore to ask why I’m too angry to sleep with him!”

If left unresolved, such problems set the stage for divorce or affairs. (You’re not getting the affection and intimacy you crave from your spouse, so you seek it elsewhere.) That alone proves how important sex is to a marriage.

Now, here’s the good news: You can rekindle the intimacy you once enjoyed.

Start by following these four rules:

1. Stop the Blame Game
Hormone-triggered mood swings aside, the first step to salvaging your sex life is to stop blaming each other. Resolve together to get to the real root of the problem and to fix it.

Hectic schedule getting in the way? Reassess your priorities.

Odds are, you’re putting less important items ahead of sex with your spouse. (If you’ve ever seen him giving you “the look” and told him, “I’ll come to bed right after I fold this laundry, make the kids’ lunch for tomorrow and take out the recycling,” you’re guilty.)

Why reserve a roll in the hay for only those occasions when you’ve got extra time or energy? Scrap the insignificant stuff and make sex a part of your schedule. (It looks a lot more fun on your to-do list than “buy cat litter” or “balance checkbook”!)

2. Talk It Out
If you’re in agony over the abstinence, stop silently hoping things will work themselves out. Communication is key in any healthy relationship. And since you’ve already gone all the way with your husband (presumably many times), sex shouldn’t be an off-limits topic.

Get over your embarrassment already and talk to your partner about his perception of the problem. Which of his needs are not being met? Be open, honest and sensitive to his feelings, and try not to get defensive. Urge him to approach the conversation with the same constructive attitude.

3. Enlist a Pro’s Help
If you need help communicating, consider individual therapy or couples counseling. You may have already given having more sex an honest go, but to no avail. And that’s probably because the real root of the problem wasn’t properly addressed – by either one or both of you.

A therapist can help you articulate what you might not be able to, including emotional problems within your relationship, resentment or unexpressed anger, or any hang-ups about sex that may stem from your past. He or she can give you a fresh perspective and send you on your way with new solutions to save your sexless marriage.

You might also talk to your doctor if you can’t pinpoint why you’re never in the mood. Health issues may be responsible for a low sex drive or nonexistent libido, not your partner or a hectic schedule. Some culprits include menopause, certain medications like birth control pills or antidepressants, or depression itself. If you’ve recently given birth and are breastfeeding, the hormone prolactin, combined with other hormonal changes, can also affect your libido. Talk to your doctor about your options.

4. Take Action
Once you’ve talked things through, stop analyzing the emotional issues and start resolving them physically. Translation: Get in the bedroom.

And don’t wait until you feel “in the mood.” Unfortunately, modern life is filled with more 10-hour workdays and tiring nights with the kids than candlelit dinners and bubble baths for two. All the more reason for you and your hubby to enjoy a happy, healthy release for all that stress.

Initiate sex – or even just physical contact like hand holding or hugging – every day until you get back on track.

But don’t simply go through the motions. Tune in to your body and his, and focus on enjoying the intimacy.

Who says married couples have to go from sizzling honeymoon stage to fizzling Honeymooners scene?

Take a moment to remember how exciting your love life was in those first few years of marriage. It should remind you that it’s worth working at to recapture the magic.

No matter how long you’ve been married or how busy your life has become, it’s never too late to reignite your passion for each other.

But, like all good things in life, it takes a little effort. Recommit to making sex a priority. You’ll give you and your spouse a happier, healthier life together.

By Emily Battaglia, LifeScript Staff Writer

Perkawinan Tanpa Seks?

Jumat, 23 Mei 2008 | 02:49 WIB

CINTA yang sempurna mengandung tiga komponen, yakni nafsu, keakraban, dan komitmen. Tidak semua hubungan perkawinan berjalan sempurna karena tak berkembangnya salah satu atau dua komponen. Ibarat berjalan dengan satu kaki atau bekerja dengan satu tangan, tentu terjadi kesulitan serius dalam perkawinan seperti itu.

Menyimak kasus-kasus dalam ruang konsultasi perkawinan dan dari keluh-kesah antarsahabat, dapat dijumpai beragam kesulitan dalam hubungan perkawinan. Salah satu masalah yang unik yang dihadapi beberapa pasangan adalah terjadinya hambatan dalam relasi seksual, bahkan tidak terjadinya hubungan kelamin (coitus) dengan pasangan.

Ada orang yang beranggapan bahwa seks bukanlah persoalan utama dalam perkawinan. Menurut orang tersebut, ketiadaan atau adanya hambatan dalam relasi seksual tidak boleh dijadikan masalah dalam perkawinan. Hal ini dapat disambut dengan acungan jempol oleh orang lain apabila yang mengucapkan adalah seseorang yang pasangannya telah mengalami hambatan seksual secara permanen karena penyakit atau usia lanjut.

Pandangan tersebut merupakan bentuk pengorbanan yang berkembang dari rasa cinta yang telah matang. Namun, sulit sekali dimengerti apabila pandangan semacam itu diberlakukan bagi semua pasangan, termasuk yang berada dalam usia subur dan sehat secara fisik dan mental.

Seorang rekan wanita, dokter, usia menjelang 60 tahun, dengan sangat gigih berkampanye mengenai pentingnya seksualitas dalam perkawinan. Untuk menunjang keberhasilan misinya itu ia bersusah-payah menjadikan topik tersebut sebagai disertasi dengan pendekatan psikologi.

Ia termasuk wanita tradisional yang sangat mengutamakan komitmen dalam perkawinan. Sebagai wanita modern, ia juga mengutamakan keakraban seksualitas dalam hubungan dengan pasangan. Dengan bekal pengetahuan dan pengalamannya yang panjang menangani pasien, rekan dokter ini sampai pada titik keyakinan bahwa selama ini banyak kalangan mengabaikan pentingnya seksualitas dan akhirnya ternyata menjadi sumber masalah dalam perkawinan.

Aneka Kasus
Salah satu masalah dihadapi oleh pasangan yang telah menikah selama lima tahun. Hingga memasuki tahun kelima, sang wanita masih belum bersedia melakukan persetubuhan. Ia sangat takut. Sejauh itu suaminya yang sangat menginginkan persetubuhan, dengan sangat sabar masih menunggu kesediaan istrinya. Entah sampai kapan ia dapat tetap sabar. Dari pihak istri, ia terus gelisah karena di satu sisi ia ingin memenuhi harapan suami, di sisi lain ia membayangkan persetubuhan sebagai sesuatu yang sangat menyakitkan.

Masalah seperti di atas juga terjadi pada pasangan lain yang telah hampir sepuluh tahun menikah, dengan penolakan seksual yang terjadi dari pihak suami. Meski di permukaan pasangan itu selalu tampak mesra, sebenarnya terdapat gejolak yang sangat besar yang dirasakan oleh sang istri. Ia tidak mengerti mengapa suaminya selalu menolak persetubuhan, sementara ia sangat mendambakan cinta yang sempurna.

Masalah ketiga dihadapi oleh pasangan yang telah lebih dari 20 tahun menikah dan berputra. Meski persetubuhan terjadi, hanya beberapa bulan sekali, dengan rasa terpaksa dari pihak suami. Sekalipun sang suami tidak pernah menunjukkan ketertarikan kepada wanita lain, hal ini telah menimbulkan sakit hati (perasaan ditolak) di dalam diri sang istri.

Masalah lain banyak terjadi pada pasangan usia subur yang harus mengatur kelahiran anak dan mengalami kesulitan dalam menggunakan alat kontrasepsi. Bagi mereka (seringkali bagi pihak wanita), kenikmatan persetubuhan tidak lagi dapat dinikmati karena kecemasan akan terjadi kehamilan. Akibatnya, terjadi “pendinginan” seksual. Mereka lebih banyak saling menghindar untuk mencegah berkembangnya dorongan seksual. Tanpa disadari, kondisi itu akhirnya menghasilkan kerenggangan dalam hubungan.

Perkawinan Ideal
Cinta, telah diakui oleh banyak tokoh kesehatan mental, merupakan sesuatu yang menyembuhkan dan sumber utama bagi pendewasaan manusia. Sigmund Freud ketika ditanya mengenai definisi kesehatan mental dan emosi, menjawab, “Kesehatan ialah kemampuan untuk bekerja dan mencinta.”

Alfred Adler mengatakan, “Semua kegagalan manusia adalah akibat kurangnya cinta.” Perkawinan, sebagai salah satu perwujudan cinta antara pria dan wanita, tidak lain merupakan salah satu jalan untuk mencapai kesehatan mental dan mencapai pendewasaan.

Perkawinan idealnya merupakan hubungan percintaan yang lengkap-sempurna. Seorang profesor psikologi dan pendidikan dari Universitas Yale, Amerika Serikat, yakni Sternberg, mengembangkan konsep cinta yang sangat dikenal dengan sebutan “Segitiga Cinta Sternberg”.

Dalam teorinya tersebut Sternberg menegaskan adanya tiga komponen yang terdapat dalam hubungan percintaan yang lengkap-sempurna atau total, yaitu komitmen (commitment), keakraban (intimacy), dan nafsu (passion).

* Komitmen, merupakan komponen kognitif. Pada tahap awal hubungan, hal ini berarti keputusan menjalin cinta dengan seseorang. Pada tahap lanjut menunjuk keputusan seseorang untuk terus mencintai seseorang. Hubungan percintaan yang didominasi oleh komitmen, dengan ketiadaan atau kurangnya keakraban dan nafsu, menghasilkan perasaan kosong dalam hubungan. Tipe percintaan ini disebut empty love.

* Keakraban, merupakan komponen emosional. Ini menunjuk pada perasaan kedekatan/keterikatan dengan seseorang, dan mencakup kemampuan satu sama lain untuk menceritakan pikiran-pikiran terdalam, kecemasan-kecemasan, harapan-harapan, dan impian-impian. Hubungan percintaan yang didominasi oleh keakraban, dengan minimnya komitmen serta nafsu, oleh Sternberg disebut liking. Ini tidak dapat menjamin kesuksesan hubungan cinta atau perkawinan.

* Nafsu, merupakan komponen motivasional. Ini menunjuk pada aspek romantis dan seksual dalam hubungan; merupakan gejolak fisiologis dan kebutuhan untuk bersatu dengan yang dicinta. Sternberg berkeyakinan bahwa nafsu cepat berkembang, dan cepat pula padam. Nafsu memiliki dua komponen: daya tarik dan daya negatif. Bila nafsu padam (atau bila salah satu pihak menolak pihak yang lain), datanglah penderitaan: terjadi simtom withdrawal (menarik diri) dan dapat pula terjadi depresi dengan segala konsekuensinya. Sebaliknya, bila komponen nafsu ini mendominasi, cinta tidak berkembang sebagaimana mestinya.

Dengan konsep cinta total dari Sternberg tersebut, sulit untuk diingkari bahwa selain komitmen dan keakraban, nafsu juga merupakan komponen penting dalam hidup perkawinan. Dengan tegas telah dinyatakan bahwa ketiadaan nafsu atau penolakan (seksual) salah satu pihak terhadap pasangannya berakibat penderitaan. Hal ini cukup nyata dalam contoh-contoh kasus di atas.

Melengkapi gambaran pentingnya hubungan seks dalam perkawinan, pasangan suami-istri Mary Perkins Ryan & John Julian Ryan dalam bukunya, Love & Sexuality, menulis, ”Mengalami bersama kesenangan dan kenikmatan persetubuhan dapat membuka pintu kepribadian masing-masing secara amat meyakinkan dan penuh dorongan, sehingga suami dan istri dapat saling mencintai semakin kuat. Namun, tidak hanya dalam persatuan itu mereka saling mencintai; mereka harus belajar mengabdikan seksualitas kepada cinta, baik dalam bersetubuh maupun hidup sehari-hari. Dengan begitu, cinta mereka dapat disebut cinta perkawinan sejati.”

Solusi Kasus
Dari beberapa kasus terjadinya hambatan dalam relasi seksual seperti yang dipaparkan di atas, secara implisit dapat ditemukan bahwa penyebab hambatan itu dapat mencakup beberapa hal: (a) Adanya trauma seksual; (b) Kurangnya dorongan seks atau impotensi; (c) Adanya pandangan negatif mengenai hubungan seksual; (d) Secara tidak langsung merupakan akibat kesulitan dalam kontrasepsi.

Dalam kasus trauma seksual (pengalaman seksual yang mencekam seperti perkosaan, baik yang dialami secara langsung maupun melalui pengamatan), tentu saja memerlukan keterbukaan dari pihak yang mengalami trauma dan pengertian dari pihak lain. Trauma tidak akan dapat diatasi tanpa penanganan yang serius, dan seringkali memerlukan bantuan profesional dari psikiater atau psikolog.

Dalam kasus impotensi, jelas membutuhkan keterbukaan dari pihak yang mengalami serta pengertian dari pihak lain. Bantuan profesional, baik psikolog yang berkompeten dalam masalah seksual dan juga seksolog atau androlog, juga sangat diperlukan.

Apabila hambatan terjadi karena adanya pandangan yang negatif dari salah satu pihak terhadap relasi seksual, hal ini berarti orang tersebut telah mengadopsi nilai-nilai moral yang ekstrem, yang menganggap seksualitas sebagai dosa atau sesuatu yang kotor. Apabila hal ini terjadi, diperlukan penjelasan dari figur yang memiliki otoritas dalam hal moral (rohaniwan) yang dipercaya untuk menjelaskan moralitas relasi seksual suami-istri.

Kesulitan dalam kontrasepsi, harus disadari sangat berpotensi memerosotkan dorongan seksual, dan membawa konsekuensi negatif dalam relasi suami-istri secara umum. Untuk itu yang diperlukan adalah bantuan dari ahli yang dapat menjelaskan metode kontrasepsi yang aman, sesuai dengan kondisi fisik maupun nilai-nilai orang yang bersangkutan, baik oleh bidan, dokter kandungan, atau penyuluh keluarga berencana.

M.M. Nilam Widyarini, MSi, dosen pada Fakultas Psikologi Universitas Guna Dharma, Jakarta


23 Juli 2008

How To Know if You've Married Your Soul Mate

By Sheri & Bob Stritof, About.com

What are the chances of marrying a soul mate? How do you know if you have married your soul mate? What if you realize you didn't marry your soul mate? Do you have to marry a soul mate to have a successful marriage?

Maybe you've married your soul mate and just didn't realize it. Check out this list of soul mate partnership characteristics.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: varies

Here's How:

1. In order to recognize your soul mate, you must first know yourself.

2. Soul mate marriages can be well balanced, strong, and positive. There should be a lack of intimidation, manipulation, or abuse in a marriage of soul mates. A soul mate should make you feel safe.

3. A relationship with a soul mate is a natural fit and usually feels like it is meant to be. Even so, every marriage, even a marriage of soul mates, takes the two spouses giving priority to their marriage relationship.

4. A soul mate partner often feels like a mirror to their spouse. Though this does sound a bit boring.

5. A marriage to a soul mate is filled with honesty and support. But then, so are successful marriages of couples who don't believe they are soul mates.

6. There is a sense of familiarity and mutuality in a marriage to a soul mate as well as in long lasting marriages.

7. Soul mate marriages can be healthy, passionate and harmonious. Soul mate partners can easily get a lot done by working together.

8. Couples who are soul mates often take joy in watching the growth of one another.

9. A soul mate will accept who you are, will bring out the best in you, challenge you, and be your best friend. A soul mate will not require you to change. Hopefully, this is true of your spouse -- soul mate or not.

10. Soul mates relish small moments together and cherish their commitment to their marriage. Again -- shouldn't this be a way happy married couples live?

11. Take a Jungian personality type quiz to compare your personality styles.


1. Be wary of looking for a mate who is ideal and who feels and thinks exactly the way you do. No one can live up to that kind of standard. Soul mates don't agree on everything.

2. Don't use the soul mate concept as an excuse to walk away from your commitment to your marriage.

3. Remember you can still have difficult times even when married to your soul mate. Romance is a gamble. Marriage takes attentiveness.

4. Bottom line: Marrying a soul mate isn't necessary in order to have a successful and happy marriage.

Soul Mates - - History of the Soul Mate Myth & Challenges in Soul Mate Marriages

What are the Chances of Marrying Your Soul Mate?

By Sheri & Bob Stritof, About.com

The notion of "soul mates" has been around a very, very long time.

However, there are several viewpoints as to how to describe "soul mates" ... even on how to spell it! Some people spell the term as a whole word, soulmate and others, including us, prefer to keep it as two words, soul mate.

Soul Mate Descriptions

* Reincarnation: Some believe that a soul mate is someone with whom a person has shared other life times through reincarnation.

The soul mate could be a friend, business partner, parent, child, sibling, spouse or other family member. These soul mates can be of the same or opposite sex.

* Other Half: Others believe, like the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, that a soul mate is a person's "other half". This concept was the basis of the movie, "The Butcher's Wife" where the idea of "split-aparts" searching for one another was explored.

People all over the world believe that we are all searching for someone to make us whole and to share our journey of life with.

* A dictionary definition is: One of two persons compatible with each other in disposition, point of view, or sensitivity.

Someone for whom you have a deep affinity . A person temperamentally suited to another.

* Predestination: The movie "Still Breathing" examines the thought that people are drawn together as soul mates by destiny or fate and that being with our soul mate is something we have no control over. This idea of predestination and connection even after death between soul mates was also examined in the movie "What Dreams May Come".

* Making Life Come to Life: Richard Bach describes soul mates as "A soulmate is someone who has the locks to fit our keys, and the keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we; we can be loved for who we are and for who we're pretending to be. Each of us unveils the best part of one another. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person were safe in our paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life. "

* Profound Connection:Thomas Moore, in his book Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship, page xvii, describes a soul mate as "someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communication and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace. This kind of relationship is so important to the soul that many have said there is nothing more precious in life."

* Feeling at Ease With one Another: We don't believe a soul mate is the ideal or one and only person in someone's life. Our definition of soul mates is people who together want to work on making their marriage a great one. Their relationship feels like a natural fit, and although they need to work on their marriage, it is not hard to do. When soul mates first meet, there is an immediate sense of being at ease and connected.

* General Belief: Most believe that soul mates can accept and love every part of the other's personality and that life with a soul mate is easy and natural.

Soul Mate Challenges
Although you may assume that a partnership of two soul mates should be able to handle challenging times well, that may not always be the case. Just because they are in tune to one another, are each willing to take responsibility for their role in contributing to the conflict, and are both committed to making the marriage a successful one -- the marriage can still fall apart if other essentials such as love, respect, and communication are missing.

Many people have probably already married their soul mates and simply don't realize it. The danger in believing in the concept of soul mates is taking your marriage relationship for granted.

If you start looking for perfection in your spouse, or think that everything in your relationship should immediately click, and that there won't be any problems, you are setting yourself up for a dose of heavy disillusionment.

There can be temptation to bail out of an unhappy marriage because you think your spouse isn't your soul mate. If you think that marrying your soul mate will mean a life free from hard times and conflict, you are not facing reality.

If you think you've not married your soul mate, don't just walk away from the relationship for that reason alone. Spend some time getting to know yourself a bit better first. You can't find your soul mate if you haven't found yourself.


Soulmate (or soul mate) is a term sometimes used to designate someone with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, friendship, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality and/or compatibility. A related concept is that of the twin flame or twin soul – which is thought to be the ultimate soulmate, the one and only other half of one's soul, for which all souls are driven to find and join. However, not everyone who uses these terms intends them to carry such mystical connotations.

One theory of soulmates, presented by Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium, is that humans originally were combined of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spending their lives searching for the other half to complete them:

[Primeval man] could walk upright as men now do, backwards or forwards as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at a great pace, turning on his four hands and four feet, eight in all, like tumblers going over and over with their legs in the air; this was when he wanted to run fast…Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made an attack upon the gods... Doubt reigned in the celestial councils. Should they kill them and annihilate the race with thunderbolts, as they had done the giants,

then there would be an end of the sacrifices and worship which men offered to them; but, on the other hand, the gods could not suffer their insolence to be unrestrained. At last, after a good deal of reflection, Zeus discovered a way. He said: 'Methinks I have a plan which will humble their pride and improve their manners; men shall continue to exist, but I will cut them in two and then they will be diminished in strength and increased in numbers; this will have the advantage of making them more profitable to us. They shall walk upright on two

legs, and if they continue insolent and will not be quiet, I will split them again and they shall hop about on a single leg.'
—Aristophanes, Plato’s Symposium,

The feet of the statue of Saint Guénolé (Winwaloe, Guignolé), in a chapel of Prigny (Loire-Atlantique), are pierced with needles by local girls who hope to find their soulmates in this way.

The feet of the statue of Saint Guénolé (Winwaloe, Guignolé), in a chapel of Prigny (Loire-Atlantique), are pierced with needles by local girls who hope to find their soulmates in this way.

Some followers of the New Age religion believe that souls are literally made and/or fated to be the mates of each other, or to play certain other important roles in each other's lives.

According to theories popularized by Theosophy and in a modified form by Edgar Cayce, God created androgynous souls, equally male and female. The souls split into separate genders later, perhaps because they incurred karma while playing around on the earth, or "separation from God". Over countless

reincarnations, each half seeks the other. When all karmic debt is purged, the two will fuse back together and return to the ultimate.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

22 Juli 2008

Big Story: How love blossoms between you and your child

by Chris Woolston
Last updated: January 2008

During her pregnancy, people warned Jen Harrington that she was about to fall in love like never
before. But she didn't understand what they meant until her son, Joshua, was born. The feeling of adoration hit as soon as she saw him.

"It was like I wasn't even living
before I looked at my baby," Harrington says.

The bond between parent and child is one of the strongest connections
in nature. Romances come and go, but once you've bonded with your baby you're probably hooked for life, and not because you enjoy the prospect of changing thousands of diapers.

The love you feel for your child isn't just intellectual or cultural — it's a
basic part of your makeup. Whether you're a mom or a dad, an adoptive parent or a stepparent, you're primed to form strong bonds with your child, and your child is equally ready to connect with you.

Over the years, scientists and child
development experts have uncovered fascinating details about the connection between parents and children. Their findings help explain why babies are so addictive and why we deeply love our kids when they get older, too — tantrums, arguments, and all. Your bond with your child will change over the years, but its importance never fades.
Pregnancy: Love before first sight

Don't be surprised to find yourself loving your baby before you even meet. Soon-to-be parents are often hit by a potent mix of emotions and anticipation — and these feelings help set the stage for your relationship with your child.

If you're a pregnant mom, powerful mommy hormones also lay the groundwork for your connection
with your baby. These kick in during pregnancy, growing stronger as the weeks go by.

As your due date nears, your brain starts producing more and more
oxytocin, a hormone that literally helps bring out the mother in you. Also known as the love hormone, oxytocin is responsible for maternal behavior like nuzzling and grooming in animals from rats to monkeys. For pregnant moms, its main job is to ease feelings of stress while fueling anticipation for the new arrival.

Oxytocin has attracted serious
scientific interest in recent years. Animal studies suggest that it plays a huge role in all sorts of social behaviors, from raising babies to forming long-term relationships. Animals that don't produce oxytocin ignore their offspring and find different mates every season. Species that do make the hormone tend to be doting parents that form lasting bonds with their mates. So when your body starts pumping out oxytocin during pregnancy, it's as if love is coursing through your veins.

Your baby is also developing a
bond with you, even in the womb. Studies show that his heart will beat a little faster at the sound of your voice. It's something that will excite and comfort your child now and for years to come.

If you're a dad, the second parent in a same-sex couple, or an adoptive parent expecting a new baby, you
won't experience the same hormonal boost and physical closeness with your developing child that pregnant moms do. But don't worry, your bond with your child won't suffer.

Babies and older children have the capacity to form tight bonds with any caregiver who responds to their
physical and emotional needs. Attachment theory — the guiding psychological principle of human relationships — says that people of all ages become deeply connected with others who provide a sense of security and support.

People never outgrow their ability and desire to form these
connections, so it's never too late to bond with a child, says Carol Wilson, a psychologist at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "Any caregiver can become an attachment figure," she explains.
You and your baby: Addicted to
As labor progresses, the stream of oxytocin in a mom-to-be's brain and bloodstream becomes a torrent.
Among its many other jobs, the hormone causes contractions and gets breast milk flowing. (It works so well that doctors routinely pump pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, through an IV to induce labor.)

As a brand-new mom, you'll be practically swimming in oxytocin when you finally get to hold your baby. The hormone can break through the exhaustion and pain of labor to give you a feeling of euphoria and intense love. According to pediatrician and child development expert Marshall Klaus, the potency of oxytocin helps explain why babies are almost never abandoned in hospitals that allow mothers to hold and nurse them in the first hour after birth.

New fathers aren't immune to the
bewitching nature of babies — or the effects of oxytocin — either. Like mothers, dads get a rush of the love hormone when they see their baby for the first time. That may help explain the unexpected emotions that sometimes overwhelm dads in the delivery room.

Steve Bradley says he never gave much thought to fatherhood, even as his wife entered the last stages of pregnancy. He certainly didn't expect to cry when his daughter was born, but the waterworks started as soon as he saw Olivia. "I was pretty much in denial until she started to crown," he says. "She came out face up, looking at me first."

New dads experience other dramatic biological changes, too.
A Canadian study in 2001 found that men's testosterone levels tend to plummet (for a couple of months anyway) after they become dads for the first time. Even more intriguing, some men start to produce extra estrogen, perhaps the clearest sign of the transformative power of fatherhood. According to Diane Witt, a neuroscientist with the National Science Foundation, estrogen makes the brain more sensitive to oxytocin, presumably helping fathers become more loving and attentive.

Oxytocin isn't the only love chemical. Dopamine, the main currency of pleasure in the brain, plays an important role in early bonding, too — for you and for your baby. As you hold, rock, or nurse your child, you both get a rush of this "reward" chemical.

While you're savoring the high, dopamine is helping your baby attach emotionally to you. In 2004,
Italian researchers put this together by observing baby mice: Those that couldn't sense dopamine didn't especially care whether or not their mom was around. It's the strongest evidence yet that dopamine plays a crucial role in mother and infant bonding.

Adoptive parents also enjoy hits of the feel-good chemicals oxytocin
and dopamine when they're around their children, according to Witt. And their offspring, like all children with healthy attachments to their caregivers, get regular rushes of dopamine from spending time with their parents.

Incidentally, dopamine is what gives drug users a feeling of well-being when they're high on heroin or cocaine. In a very real sense, addicts who get hooked on drugs are simply chasing the feeling that ideally flows between parent and child. Parental love just happens to be infinitely healthier.
What if we don't bond
About 30 percent of mothers don't fall in love with their babies right away, often because their child or the birth process isn't what they
expected. Disappointment, stress, or exhaustion can be enough to drown out the strong hormones of love, but only temporarily. The vast majority of parents grow attached to their babies in the first few months.

Carrie Hook, a child-abuse prevention counselor and mother of three, didn't get the chance to bond with her first child right after birth. After Hook's long and excruciating labor, baby Madison was born with a small amount of meconium in her lungs, and the nurses in the hospital immediately whisked her away.

Hook couldn't nurse or even hold Madison for at least eight hours.
Even then, she had trouble connecting with the screaming bundle in her arms. "I just figured that your baby is born and you fall in love," she says. "I never thought I'd need impulse control to keep from throttling her." Suddenly, she wasn't sure if she was ready to be a mother.

Hook often tells her story to mothers who are worried about
connecting with their babies. The story ends on a happy note: Eventually Madison stopped screaming, Hook started to feel more confident, and the lovefest began.

If you can't hold your baby right away after birth, don't despair.
There isn't a magic "window of opportunity" for bonding, says Witt, the National Science Foundation neuroscientist. Adoptive parents, parents of preemies, moms who have birth complications, and others who aren't always able to spend extended time with their babies right away still have plenty of time to fall in love.

However, if your baby is born prematurely and has to spend a few days or weeks in an incubator, push to spend as much time with him as possible, as soon as you can, for your sake and your baby's. Recent studies show that skin-to-skin contact with a parent, often called kangaroo care, is one of the best therapies for preemies.

A father's touch can be just as calming as a mother's. A study of premature babies in neonatal intensive care units found that attention from Dad can have profound, long-lasting benefits. The babies who received regular visits from their dad gained more weight in the hospital. They also showed better emotional development 18 months later, probably because they continued to get lots of parental attention after they came home.

Likewise, if you have a cesarean section and can't hold your baby right away, have your partner step
in. A 2007 study of babies delivered by c-section found that skin-to-skin time with Dad cut down on crying and encouraged babies to start their first nap in the outside world.

Love develops over time
— for you and for your baby. If you're together during your child's first hour of wakefulness, he may look you in the eye and memorize your face, or at least a blurry version of your face. Later, his early smiles can help the two of you connect. A study published in Pediatrics in 2008 found that when moms looked at pictures of their own smiling baby, their brain lit up in areas associated with the pleasure-connected chemical dopamine.

But it won't be until 7 or 8 months old that your baby will develop
strong emotional attachments to you and other important people in his life, says Julia Braungart-Rieker, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame.

Your baby will care deeply about
the people who hold him when he cries and feed him when he's hungry. He'll miss you when you leave the room, and he'll be happy when you come back. It's not exactly "love" as adults define it, but it's one of the strongest emotions he knows.

Note: It's impossible to "spoil" a baby with love, attention, and affection, says Emma Adam, a developmental psychologist at Northwestern University. When you comfort your child, you're building a foundation of trust and affection that will last a lifetime.

Toddlers: Are tantrums a sign of affection?
The bond between you and your child grows stronger in the toddle
r years, even if he spends much of the time stomping and screaming. In fact, those fits are a testament to your closeness.

Tantrums from toddlers are a bit like lover's quarrels, according to Adam. "They're only capable of that meltdown because they love you so much," she says. In other words, your child couldn't be so disappointed or angry unless he trusted you deeply in the first place.

Even when you're incredibly frustrated with your toddler, don't
worry that you'll stop loving him. Again, you have biology on your side. British researchers recently scanned the brains of 20 mothers who were looking at pictures of their own young children. The part of the brain that controls pleasure — the same part involved in romantic love — lit up like a slot machine hitting the jackpot. The part that judges and criticizes, however, practically shut down.

Mom Jen Harrington certainly has trouble seeing any shortcomings in her son, even now that he's a big
5-year-old. He was one of those angelic, no-hassle kids that other parents envy. ("When he was a baby, we would sometimes joke that we should poke him just to see if he could cry," she says.) But she and her husband are equally crazy about their daughter, Abigail, a crier and screamer who's as strong-willed as her brother is mellow.

"Before she was born, I was worried that I couldn't love another child as much as I love Josh," Harrington says. "But I do."

Your toddler has a rich range of emotions. (If you spend 15 minutes
with him in a grocery store, there's a good chance you'll see every one of them.) But he still doesn't understand the concept of "love" as you know it. Toddlers often throw the word around loosely: They may say they love you, but they'll also say they love their books or their toys or their third-favorite cereal. (Remember, these are the same people who like to call all four-legged animals "doggies.")

Even so, you don't have to worry about your place in your toddler's universe. He's keenly aware that you're important, and when he gets hurt or wants to cuddle, he doesn't run to his toys or the cereal cupboard. "Children want help from the people they trust the most," says Braungart-Rieker, the University of Notre Dame psychologist.
Preschoolers and big kids: A more refined love
As your child gets older, he'll start keeping more of his emotions
hidden, partly because of peer pressure and partly because the toddler method of expressing every passing feeling can be exhausting.

Still, some older children are extremely generous with their affection. Harrington's son Josh acts as if his mom and dad need
constant reassuring. "When I drop him off at school, I can't leave without him saying 'I love you,'" Harrington says.

Even if your child doesn't hug you at every opportunity, the signs
of love will still be there. Some kids are very confiding and will tell you everything, while others are by nature more likely to keep things inside. But as long as you're there when your child needs you and are ready to listen, love will still flow in two directions.

The needy, clingy love of early childhood is starting to become more rich and complicated. Your child now feels empathy for you and others, and he'll start to love you as a person, not just a caregiver.

As a preschooler, he may enjoy
spending one night at Grandma's house, but it won't be long before he's begging to come home. At the same time, he's starting to push for more independence, which means he needs your love and support now more than ever.

"It seems contradictory, but the more security you give your child, the more independent he can
become," says Adam, the Northwestern University psychologist.

Even as your child strives to become his own person, he can't break the bond he has with you.
You have a connection that goes back to before he was born, one that's propped up by affection, memories, and, yes, hormones.

When a mom holds her 8-year-old or watches him in a school play,
she gets a little hit of oxytocin, a literal reminder of the first hours with her baby. And when dads, stepparents, or adoptive parents kiss an "owie" or help out with homework, they're cementing an attachment that will last for years. It's enough to make you fall in love all over again.

Signs that your child loves you
1. Your newborn stares into your eyes — he's actually working hard
to memorize your face. He doesn't understand anything else about the world, but he knows you're important.
2. Your baby
thinks about you even when you're not around. Between 8 and 12 months old, he'll start to scrunch his face and look around when you leave the room — and he'll smile when you return.
3. Your toddler throws wicked
tantrums. Nope, those screaming fits don't mean he's stopped loving you. He wouldn't be so hurt and angry if he didn't trust you so deeply.
4. Your toddler runs to you for comfort when he falls down or feels sad. Kids this age may not truly understand the meaning of "I love you," but their actions speak louder than words.
5. Your preschooler gives you a flower picked from the garden, a finger-painted heart, a sparkly
rock, or another gift.
6. Your preschooler wants your approval. He'll start to be more cooperative around the house,
and he'll look for chances to impress. "Look at me!" will become a catchphrase.
7. Your grade-schooler trusts you
with secrets, like his first crush or his most embarrassing moment. You're his confidante, even if he shies away from your hugs in public.

(Baby centre article)

21 Juli 2008

Washabi The Terrapins

Taxonomy and evolution
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Subclass: Anapsida
Order: Testudines
Family: Emydidae
Genus: Trachemys
Species: T. scripta
Subspecies: Trachemys scripta callirostris
Trachemys scripta elegans
Trachemys scripta scripta
Trachemys scripta troostii

Binomial name
Trachemys scripta
(Schoepff, 1792)

The Red-eared Slider (RES) is a member of the order Testudines, which contains nearly 250 species. In the United States and Canada members of this genus are usually referred to as turtles. However, in the UK they are split into Turtles (aquatic), Tortoises (land), and Terrapins (semi-aquatic). All turtles and tortoises may also be referred to as "chelonians". RES were formerly classified as Chrysemys scripta elegans.

Distribution and Habitat

The Red-eared Slider is native to the area around the Mississippi River down to the Gulf of Mexico. It thrives in warmer climates, particularly the Southeast quadrant of the United States. Such an area would be east of and below Colorado to Virginia down to Florida, naturally residing in areas with calm, fresh, warm water. This includes ponds, lakes, marshes, creeks, and streams. It prefers quiet areas with a basking area, such a large flat rock or a floating log, in full sunlight. It is common for RES to bask together and even on top of each other. There is also abundant vegetation, which is the main component of an adult slider's diet. Wild individuals will stay close to a water source unless they are in search of a new one. A female Red-eared Slider will also leave the water to lay eggs.

The pet trade has expanded its range around the world, often at the expense of native terrapins. Therefore, it is not difficult to locate Red-eared Sliders in some suitable habitat anywhere in the world.

Pet Red-eared Sliders should not be released into a wild habitat. These pets could carry organisms that the wild populations are not immune to and the pet may not have the proper immune system that is required to live in a wild habitat. Disease could easily be spread by this practice. Pet turtles fed commercial diets also may not recognize natural foods and may associate humans with food which could endanger the turtle. Pet owners should contact a rescue organization if they no longer want their turtle.


The female Red-eared Slider grows to be 25-30 cm (10-12 in) in length and males 20-25 cm (8-10 in). They are almost entirely aquatic, but do leave the water to bask in the sun and lay eggs. These reptiles are deceptively fast and are also excellent swimmers. They hunt for prey and will attempt to capture it when the opportunity presents itself. They are very aware of predators and people and generally shy away from them. In fact, the RES frantically slides off rocks and logs when approached - hence the name.

Contrary to popular misconception, Red-eared Sliders do not produce saliva, but--like most aquatic turtles--they have fixed tongues. This is the reason they must eat their food in water.


Red-eared Sliders are omnivores and eat a variety of animal and plant materials in the wild including, but not limited to fish, crayfish, carrion, tadpoles, snails,and will eat other turtles, aquatic insects and numerous aquatic plant species. The captive diet for pet RES should closely match the natural diet and can also include other foods such as feeder fish, dead, thawed fuzzy mice, earthworms,small snakes , cooked egg with the crumbled shell included and leafy greens. Commercial turtle foods should be used sparingly due to insufficient scientific research and vitamin and mineral imbalances. Calcium (for shell health) can be supplemented by adding pieces of cuttlebone to the diet. Younger turtles tend to be more carnivorous (eat more animal protein) than adults do. As they grow larger and older, they become increasingly herbivorous. Live foods are particularly enjoyed and add to the quality of life of captive turtles. Providing a wide variety of foods is the key to success with captive RES.


Courtship and mating activities for Red-eared Sliders usually occur between March and July, and take place underwater. The male swims toward the female and flutters or vibrates the back side of his long claws on and around her face and head. The female will swim toward the male and, if she is receptive, will sink to the bottom for mating. If the female is not receptive, she may become aggressive towards the male. The courtship can take up to forty-five minutes, but the mating itself usually takes only ten to fifteen minutes.

Sometimes a male will appear to be courting another male. This is actually a sign of dominance and the males may begin to fight. Juveniles may display the courtship dance, but until the turtles are five years of age they are not mature and unable to mate.

After mating, the female will spend extra time basking in order to keep her eggs warm. She may also have a change of diet, eating only certain foods or not eating as much as she normally would. Ovulation begins in May and egg-laying occurs in May through early July. A female might lay from two to thirty eggs, with larger females have the largest clutches. One female can lay up to five clutches in the same year and clutches are usually spaced twelve to thirty-six days apart.

Eggs will hatch sixty to ninety days after they have been laid. Late season hatchlings may spend the winter in the nest and emerge when the weather warms in the spring. New hatchlings will cut open their egg with an egg tooth, which falls out about an hour after hatching. This tooth never grows back. Hatchlings may stay inside their eggshells after hatching for the first day or two. When a hatchling decides to leave the shell, it will have a small sac protruding from its bottom plastron. Just prior to hatching the egg contains 50% Turtle and 50% egg sac. The yolk sac is vital and provides nourishment while visible and several days after it has been absorbed into the Turtles belly. Damage or motion enough to allow air into the Turtle's body results in death. This is the main reason for marking the top of Turtle eggs if their relocation for any reason is required. An egg that has been rotated upside down will eventually terminate the embryo growth by the sac smothering the embryo. If it manages to reach term, the Turtle will try to flip over with the yolk sac which will no doubt allow air into the body cavity and death follows as noted. The other killer is water into the body cavity before the sac is absorbed completely and the opening has almost completely healed. I find 21 days from egg opening until water entry. The sac will never fall off by itself, it must be absorbed. The split may be noticeable in the hatchling's plastron on Turtles found in the field indicating the age of the Turtle to be about 3 weeks old. As noted the split must heal on its own before allowing the Turtle to swim. This does not preclude the need for moisture throughout the first 3 weeks of life out of the egg. I place my Hatchlings on moist paper towels. As a matter of fact the eggs are on these towels from the day they are laid (I dig them up an hour after laying)and covered with toweling until they hatch and can swim. The Turtle can also suck the water it needs from the toweling. Red Ear Slider eggs matriculate in South Florida in 91 days while in New York City the egg takes 102 days. Turtles relocated exhibited this effect with constancy.

The Turtle egg is fertilized as it is being laid and buried in the sand. The time between mating and egg laying can be days or weeks. This concept also supports the fact that a Turtle mating can provide for viable eggs two seasons in a row.
Hatching turtle with its egg-tooth.
Hatching turtle with its egg-tooth.

As pets

The Red-eared Slider is commonly kept as a pet and often sold cheaply. As with other turtles, tortoises and box turtles, it can be difficult to care for and can live up to forty years.

Red-eared sliders can be quite aggressive. If being kept as a pet, it is not recommended to keep it with another turtle, especially one that is smaller than the RES. Unless the red-ear slider live together from a young age. The RES may even kill or injure other turtles, especially smaller ones.

Turtles can carry salmonella bacteria in their digestive system without becoming sick. Humans can become sick if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after handling turtles or any equipment used with them.


Meet "Washabi"

New Family Member

Washabi yang malu-malu

Sabtu lalu kita mengadopsi makhluk mungil ini...Kita beri nama Washabi..(sound green?) awalnya mau diberi nama Elephant...nggak nyambung ya sama bentuknya...hihihi..never mind..."Washabi" ini anggota keluarga baru "Dega"...hehehe

Awalnya pengen adopsi buat Bintang...tapi saat ini memang jadi tugas Mamanya buat ngurusin...heheh..tiap hari ngejemur, beri makan, mandiin..supaya lebih mengenal habitat, kebiasaan Washabi, aku jadi banyak cari tahu di internet...takut salah asuh...hihih
Benernya pengen adopsi Anjing, tapi dengan halaman kita yang nggak cukup luas dan kalo pergi-pergi lama..kasihan nggak ada yang ngurusin...Well...bakal di pending sampai anak-anak sudah besar-besar nanti..kapan tuh ya..anak-anak? Wah..mesti hamil sekali lagi, melahirkan sekali lagi, mengasuh sekali lagi sampai dewasa..haha..lamanyaaaaa....

Semoga Washabi kerasan dan bahagia dengan keluarga dan rumah barunya..Welcome to our Family..

20 Juli 2008

Frustrated Time

Usia bayiku sudah memasuki 9 bulan. Lupa sejak kapan tepatnya, bayiku membuatku sangat frustrasi. Dimulai dengan aksi makannya yang ogah-ogahan, kemudian berganti dengan aksi minumnya yang aneh, setiap kali melihat susu, dia seolah mual sekali, bila batas mualnya tinggi, muntah, bisa diawal minum, tengah atau akhir minum. Kalau susu tinggal sedikit, mendadak badannya menolak dan marah, seperti biasa selalu kita ganti dengan pipet, supaya tetap terminum (maklum, susu kan mahal…heheheh). Anehnya, dia menyukainya. Pernah aku ganti dot susunya dengan shippi cup, tetap saja tidak berhasil. Metode pipet belum juga bisa digantikan dengan cara lain, yang pasti kita langganan beli pipet plastik kalo rusak…hehe.

Belum lagi sejak 3 minggu terakhir, dia maunya tidur di tempat kita…mama papa nya yang kerepotan…hihihi. Sejak jaman dulu nggak pernah-pernahnya berbagi tempat tidur….sekarang harus merelakan tempat tidur itu tersisipi oleh bayi mungil. Duh…kapan ya bisa tidur sendiri lagi dikamarnya. Beberapa malam sebelumnya sudah dicoba ditidurkan lagi dikamarnya, tapi begitu ditaruh, selalu kebangun dan menangis keras..begitu terus berulang kali, akhirnya kita nyerah..membiarkan berbagi tempat tidur itu terjadi. Satu hal yang entah apakah ibu lain pernah mengalaminya, bila dibiarkan menangis, bayiku sering muntah. Sangat mudah muntah.

Suatu hari ketika aku mandi, aku membiarkan dia menangis duduk dikereta dorongnya, ketika aku selesai, aku dapati dia menagis keras dan mulai muntah banyak sekali. Makanan seisi perutnya keluar lagi memenuhi lantai yang baru ku pel, aku sangat kesal, frustasi, dan juga sedih. Anehnya hal-hal seperti, mudah muntah, susah minum, tidakmau ditinggal sedetikpun, minta tidur bareng itu terjadi ketika dia memasuki usia 8,5 bulan. Kita menyebutnya, manja. Aku sih bukan tidak tega membiarkannya menangis, tapi aksi muntahnya itu yang cukup merepotkan, mengingat aku tidak ada yang membantu dirumah ketika swami bekerja.

Jadi kita terpaksa mengikuti dulu keinginannya sambil pelan-pelan diajari kembali seperti semula..mungkinkah?

18 Juli 2008

The new-mom body survey: 7,000 women tell it like it is

by Leslie Crawford and Sierra Senyak
Last updated: March 2008

Gone are the days when the postpartum period meant throwing on a baggy sweatshirt and forgetting about your body for a while. Not with celeb-mommies showing up in Us and Star looking teeny and toned just weeks after giving birth. It's downright confusing: What's a woman supposed to look like four months after having a baby? Like Heidi Klum, glowing and gorgeous in size 4 jeans? Or the woman down the street with the size 16 pooch? If you're still wearing your maternity clothes, does that make you so very unusual? And if you're overweight now, are you destined to be that way forever?

Just like you, we at BabyCenter wondered: When it comes to postpartum weight issues, what's normal? So we surveyed more than 7,000 moms with babies ranging in age from just a few days to 2 years old. The big finding — that for many women, the post-baby bulge can be frustratingly hard to lose — is more reassuring than it sounds.

"For most people, the weight doesn't just melt off," says Madelyn Fernstrom, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's weight management program. "Even the celebrities who lose the weight within three months have to work out regularly — usually for extended amounts of time measured in hours, not minutes, which means getting outside help with the baby — and diet to do it. It's hard for pretty much everyone."

But far from impossible. Many new moms who struggle with their weight — including those for whom it's been a lifelong issue — manage to get not just trimmer in the post-baby era but healthier than they've ever been. So read the results of our exclusive poll, find out what real women experience — and breathe a sigh of relief. Whatever the state of your body these days, you've got plenty of company.

The truth about baby fat
Many new moms assume that losing their baby fat will be much easier than it really is.

"I had this misconception that I would be back to my old shape within days," one survey taker told us. "I even brought my old clothes to wear home from the hospital! I had to ask my husband to bring my maternity clothes from home."

65% of new moms said they expected to be back down to their pre-pregnancy weight by their baby's first birthday

It's a common delusion. In our survey, 65 percent of brand-new mothers said they expected to be back down to their pre-pregnancy weight by their baby's first birthday. But when we polled moms of 1- to 2-year-olds, over half were still carrying at least a few extra pounds.

Of course, a fair number of women do get in shape fast: Almost a fifth of our survey moms with newborns (3 months old or younger) said they'd already lost all their baby weight. According to Fernstrom, a year is a more realistic timeline for even a motivated new mom, with the last 10 pounds taking the longest to shed. The not-so-surprising reason? "Busyness and fatigue make it hard to find time to exercise," she says, "which is what you need for more rapid loss."

Shape-shifting effect
For many moms, the extra weight isn't the only shocker.

"You may weigh the same or less after your pregnancy, but your clothes will fit differently!" lamented one mom in our survey. "I weigh less now, but I wear a larger size." If you've been surprised by the way pregnancy has reconfigured your body, you're hardly alone.

87 percent of women say their stomach still hasn't returned to normal

More than half of our moms said their breasts are different now, and more than a third said they have wider hips. But the post-baby tummy — "my mommy fluff," as one woman put it; "this bulbous tire around my middle," another complained — is what really seems to blow most moms away. One to two years after having their baby, 87 percent of women say their stomach still hasn't returned to normal.

The good news: According to Fernstrom, it's possible to regain your old muscle tone — or even develop tone you never had before — no matter how old you are. But it takes time. Expect to wait at least six months and up to a year before your tummy starts to look somewhat recognizable — and that's with regular exercise and sit-ups.

On the down side, muscle tone is not the same as skin tone. Some women are genetically vulnerable to stretch marks and saggy skin. These may look better over time, but they may not go away completely. Skin will also lose some elasticity after each birth — and with age. So if you had your kids later in life, it will be that much harder to restore your tummy to its former firmness.

Still, not all changes are unwelcome. As one new mom noted, "I have boobs now — and I didn't have to pay for them!"

Weight-loss plateau
It's definitely tougher to shed the pounds if you gained more than the recommended amount.

"For my first two babies, I was told to eat whatever I wanted. Big mistake!" said one of our survey moms. "I gained 50 pounds with my first and almost 40 with my second. Then, for my last one, I gained just 25 pounds. Not only did I feel great throughout the pregnancy, I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight in six months instead of two years."

42% of our moms gained more than the recommended limit of 35 pounds

If you exceeded the recommended limit of 35 pounds, join the club. So did 42 percent of our survey takers. And if the extra weight has presented a challenge for you, you've got lots of company there as well. Just 32 percent of our big gainers managed to shed all their pregnancy weight by their baby's first birthday versus 50 percent of moms who gained less. A year or two after the birth, the heavier moms were also more likely to be carrying at least 10 extra pounds (49 percent versus 36 percent).

Still, there's no point in beating yourself up about how much you gained when you were pregnant. Instead, try to focus on getting healthier as you move forward. "My son is 8 months old, and I'm just 7 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight (and that's after my 52-pound weight gain!), so it can be done," one mom told us. "It just may take a little time and patience."

The mommy metabolism myth
Losing weight is harder after a baby — but not for the reason you might think.

"I feel like my body has a new set point now," one of our survey takers complained. "Before, I never had to watch my weight. I was always the same, no matter what. That hasn't changed — except that I'm 15 pounds heavier."

Nearly 90 percent of the moms who were overweight one to two years later blamed pregnancy for their weight problem

The notion that having a baby fundamentally changes a woman's metabolism was common among the new mothers we surveyed. Nearly 90 percent of the moms who were overweight one to two years later blamed pregnancy for either triggering or worsening their weight problem. Among moms with two or more kids, 49 percent said that peeling off the pounds was easiest after their first pregnancy.

But according to Fernstrom, it's not your metabolism that slows down in the postpartum months — it's you. (When was the last time you had an hour to spend at the gym?) Also getting in the way of good intentions are the stress and fatigue that come with caring for a baby, both classic triggers for repeated trips to the cookie jar.

Nor does your body hang on to excess fat more stubbornly with each child, Fernstrom says. Metabolism does gradually slow with age, but the real reason veteran moms are less likely to get back into their old jeans: They retain baby weight from each pregnancy. "If you've got 60 pounds to lose versus 20, it feels harder, and it is," she says. "But there's no biological reason it's harder to lose the weight after your third child than after your first."

New Hampshire survey mom Sheena Harte, who has six kids, is living proof that trimming down doesn't have to get more difficult each time. After struggling to get back in shape after her first two pregnancies, she's lost all her baby weight within a month or so the last four times. "I finally learned to tune in to my body," she says, "and now I eat only when I'm hungry."

Uncomfortable in the skin I'm in
All the changes can take a major toll on your self-esteem.

"When my body didn't bounce back, as I had been told it would by well-intentioned friends and family members, I was devastated," one new mom told us.

Over half of survey takers confessed that their body image has gotten worse since they became a mother

Unfortunately, a majority of our survey moms can relate. Over half confessed that their body image has gotten worse since they became a mother; another 16 percent said they never liked their body before, and having a baby hasn't helped matters one bit.

If anything, the Ironmom-next-door can be harder on the ego than Gwyneth, Reese, or Kate. "I ran into someone who had twins six weeks ago, and she was wearing low-rise jeans with a perfectly flat tummy," moans 40-year-old Ray Caldito of Los Angeles, who had her twins nine months ago and is still 10 pounds heavier than she'd like to be. "With a celebrity mom, you can attribute it to a tummy tuck or a personal trainer. But with regular moms, it seems more like willpower."

What's more, as time passes and the pounds come off — perhaps not as quickly or completely as anticipated — a new mom's body image doesn't really get any better. Just over 65 percent of brand-new moms say they don't like their body versus just over 64 percent of moms of 1- to 2-year-olds.

Even the lucky few who lose the baby weight quickly may have a rough time accepting themselves. Kimberly Benkwitt of Pelham, New York, has lost all her pregnancy weight plus another 25 pounds and has more energy than ever — a good thing, since the 34-year-old is chasing after two toddlers as well as caring for 3-month-old Finleigh. But her pregnancy pooch leaves her feeling anything but beautiful. "I'm at the lowest weight I've ever been at as an adult," she says, "yet I'm the least comfortable with my body."

All in the family
But chances are your mate still thinks you're sexy.

"My husband has been phenomenal," says Kara Jones, 27, a mother of two who lives in British Columbia. "He notices that I'm losing weight and firming up and gives me lots of compliments and encouragement. But at the same time, he's happy with who I am. He's always told me that I'm beautiful and has never once pressured me to lose weight."

Jones is lucky, but she's hardly the exception. Only about 5 percent of new moms reported hearing complaints from their partners about their postpartum weight or shape.

Nearly half of our survey moms said they got negative comments on their post-baby body from their parents

Joan Chrisler, a body image expert who teaches at Connecticut College, isn't surprised. "Lots of studies have shown that women think men want them to be thinner than men really want them to be," she says. "Researchers will show women sketches of female figures and ask, which do you think men believe is the ideal? Men always pick significantly bigger sizes than women think they want." So if your mate says you look great, believe it.

On the other hand, plenty of other people seem to feel free to offer their critiques of your postpartum body. Nearly half of our survey moms said they got negative comments from their parents, and a quarter got them from an in-law. Even strangers seem to feel entitled to put in their two cents, with 18 percent of moms saying they got hurtful comments from people they didn't even know. (On a more positive note, our survey moms have received more compliments and encouragement than criticism from people in all these groups.)

Free to be me
You can get to a weight you feel comfortable with even if you've packed on the pounds

Thirty-year-old Amanda Denn of Montgomery, Texas, gained 75 pounds right before and during her first pregnancy. Although she lost 20 of them soon after her daughter's birth, her weight plateaued for the next ten months. Then her sister-in-law encouraged her to sign up at a new Curves location with a set routine she could fit into her lunch break. "Six months later, I've lost 45 pounds and am very happy with how I look," she says. "And with the healthy way I lost the weight, I have a better chance of keeping it off."

Just as pregnancy inspires some women to eat more healthfully, motherhood can provide an opportunity to forge a new identity around food. That's what onetime yo-yo dieter Susan Olsen of Riverside, California, has discovered. By the time she got pregnant, the 28-year-old had been struggling to lose the same 30 pounds since college. But it wasn't until her daughter, Madelyn, now 7 months, arrived that she found the inspiration to change how she ate for good.

"I grew up with a mom who was about 100 pounds overweight, and I didn't want to be like that," Olsen says. "I want to be able to run around and play with Madelyn." So she joined Weight Watchers (again), started exercising, and this time, her resolve has stuck. So far, she's lost 41 pounds — 14 more than she gained during her pregnancy. She proclaims proudly, "I can now say I'm in better shape after bringing my beautiful baby into the world."

(The BabyCenter)