Virtual Gambling – A Few Things You Need To Know

Ah yes, there is virtual reality and it is beginning to transition into virtual gambling. This has become the new trend now that everything has almost become virtual. For most people, virtual gambling has become a favorite past time and this is true regardless of the nature of income one has or of his gender and social status.

The truth is, gambling has been existing for many centuries already. It has been here for almost 2,000 years. Gambling is also not all about money before. You can bet personal possessions and everything in between. It is not however new to new and modern improvements. Today, there is so much improvement that it has even turned virtual, meaning, it is done with almost the same aspect as gambling but it is online or via internet.

The term virtual here cannot be interpreted as mere illusory. It simply means gambling through the use of technological innovations like streaming and internet. This means that instead of going into the casino to bet personally, you can take advantage of betting online and winning in the same way as you’re personally there. It works while you are in the comfort of your own home but with the joy and excitement like you’re actually there.

There are a lot of choice when you play game virtually. Like the amenities and equipment you normally see in casinos, you will see the same type of choices in virtual gaming. One can even see the traditional games in gambling that are available in virtual gambling. If you see casino games like pokers, slot card games, blackjack, roulette in a casino, they are also the same types of games available online. Choices are actually diverse that you will certainly find it difficult to choose sometimes.

But aside from the traditional games you see on a regular casino, you will see a number of gaming innovations in virtual gambling. It includes world cups, Saturday matches, reality TV shows and virtually everything which can ask for betting money. What’s good with it is that there is virtually anything you can find and can bet from.

If you ask if it is ever safe then you are assured that it is. It is a safe and fun environment because it is really hard to cheat online. And since no one sees you, it adds spice to the word “fun”. This alone makes people get allured, tempted and made most to get addicted. One can start with free online gaming so he can start dipping his toe into it. It is a great way to try and learn the ins and outs. After getting used to it, you can start customizing some of the features and way of betting.

Today, people no longer stay late in casinos. The then wrong impression one gets when entering a casino is now avoided and one can bet almost anytime before their computers. Virtual gambling has really joined the virtual revolution and for people who are really fan of it, it has really become a great way to get a very convenient way of betting and winning its stakes.

10 Common Questions Men Have About Sex Addiction

1. Question: Am I a sex addict?

Answer: There are a number of red flags that can signal an addiction to sex. A person who uses sexual activity be it intercourse, viewing pornography, phone sex, chat rooms, prostitution or masturbation as a numbing agent, something to prevent them from feeling bad, may have a sex addiction. Other indicators the sexual behavior is causing the addict problems include their spouse becoming upset over their behavior or they’ve gone into debt over payment for phone sex lines or Internet pornography sites. Spending an excessive amount of time viewing pornography Over 10 hours a week is another red flag, since this sexual behavior is interfering with time spent with friends, family or at work.

Another key factor is the addict has tried to stop engaging in sexual behavior but failed. When all these things come together, it’s time to ask a professional about getting help.

2. Question: Can I be cured?

Answer: Many sex addicts have reported being able to bring their sexual behavior under control, through any one of a variety of treatment methods. Some attend intensive rehabilitation facilities; others go to therapy sessions, attend 12 step meetings or use medication and a host of other techniques to control their sexual behavior. This can include finding a trusted person to act as an “accountability partner.” Or for pornography addicts, it can mean the use of pornography blocking computer programs.

3. Question: Does being cured mean I give up sex?

Answer: No. Unlike chemical dependencies related to alcohol or drugs, sex is recognized as a healthy aspect of life. Treatment for sex addiction, while it does involve a period of abstinence, seeks to bring harmful and unwanted troublesome sexual activity under control to where it is no longer causing harm. It may lead to stopping viewing pornography, discontinuing solicitation of prostitutes and other “bottom line” behaviors or even illegal activities. The goal is stopping harmful behavior, but certainly not giving up sex.

4. Question: Is sex addiction even real, or just something people use to excuse their behavior?

Answer: Truth be told, there are some experts who don’t feel sex addiction is real and say it’s more a product of conflicting social norms and mores. Other say sex addiction exists but do not feel it meets the definition of an addiction in the same way addiction to alcohol or drugs does. For a sex addict seeking treatment, it may be a moot point. To get treatment, first one has to recognize they have a problem and stop trying to use their own willpower alone to control it. Many people have sought treatment for sex addiction and reported results. Much of the criticism about its validity has been aimed at celebrities embroiled in public sex scandals and is hardly analogous to the average person not living in the public eye. Sex addiction is real and one struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors certainly can attest to that fact.

5. Question: What caused this? How did I get to be this way?

Answer: There is no definitive cause for sex addiction, and for each person it will be different. Many sex addicts report being sexually abused at a young age and growing up with a distorted view of sex and what a healthy sex life should be. For others, it is simply the rush of chemicals in their brain after discovering a parent’s pornography stash or coming across it in some other fashion. Still others indicate the accessibility of Internet pornography had them fall into a cycle, while there are those who turned to using sex as a numbing agent during a difficult period in their lives and began relying on it as a coping mechanism. For some growing up with abuse, neglect, abandonment and enmeshment have cause the to seek out other ways to feel good about life and themselves.

While knowing the cause of sex addiction is important, those on the path to recovery should not seek to dwell on the unchangeable past; instead, they need to focus on their present actions.

6. Question: Does viewing pornography and sexual interaction over the Internet count as cheating on my spouse?

Answer: Not to be glib, but it can depend on the spouse. Certainly many women do feel that their spouses having cybersex or phone sex with another woman qualifies as infidelity. They may not react in the exact same way as if it had been physical sex with another woman, but the impact on a relationship can be dire. First, the wife will feel betrayed. She won’t trust her husband if he’s been hiding his behavior. She may can feel bad about herself, perhaps thinking some failing on her part led the husband to seek these sexual outlets.

Even pornography viewing can be a sore spot for women. Society places a lot of pressure on women to be physically attractive and sexually desirable and they may feel they are in competition with actresses in pornographic videos. This can affect their self-esteem, even if they do not confront their husband about the behavior.

7. Question: Can medication lower my sex drive so I don’t have this problem.

Answer: Yes and no. There are medications out there that can lower a person’s sex drive, and they are often used to treat sex addiction. However, they are limited in their power to erase the problem completely. Some form of therapy, be it a 12 step program or other process, is required.

8. Question: Will I ever be cured or is this a lifelong problem?

Answer: Many people report being able to bring their sexual behaviors under control, sometimes after a period of months or years, and are living lives relatively free of problems related to sex addiction. These people have addressed the factors in their life they had once sought to control by using sex; they have now embedded into their lives multiple tools to avoid falling back into destructive addiction cycles. For some, there is always the fear they will relapse, and some do struggle with sex addiction for long periods of time. There is no quick fix for the problem.

9. Question: I’m also addicted to alcohol. Is my sex addiction just a sign that I’m susceptible to addictive behaviors in general?

Answer: In some ways, yes. Many sex addicts report being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or behaviors such as gambling. They also claim family members with various addictions. It’s certainly been theorized that a person can have a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors. As to treating multiple addictions, it should be noted that many sex addiction treatment programs are modeled after alcohol treatment techniques developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. 12 step programs such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous model their programs after and borrow their literature from that organization.

10. Question: Am I really a sex addict or is my sex drive just naturally high?

Answer: The difference between a sex addict and a person who enjoys a lot of sex has to do with why the behavior is being sought and the inability to stop an unwanted behavior as well as the obsession and compulsion. A person with a high sex drive is aroused and in most cases can control acting on that arousal. A sex addict is engaging in sex as a coping mechanism, isolating themselves from others even if they have a real life partner for the sex, and engaging in the sex act compulsively. They may feel shame after they complete the act, or some general feelings of depression. Actual arousal is not the primary motivator.

Perpetually Erect Penis – Sex Addiction or Normal Male Desire?

At some point, most men probably wonder whether they might have a sex addiction or whether that always-ready erect penis is just part of being a man. Clearly, a tool that is always at the ready is a sign of good penis health, but even so, the possibility that he may have a sex addiction problem can make a man feel quite uncomfortable. So how is a guy supposed to tell if he is addicted?

What is sex addiction?

Sex addiction – also known by the term “hypersexuality” – is a cause for enormous debate among the medical and psychiatric communities. Some people believe that there is no such thing; others believe that it most certainly does exist. But even among the latter group, there is a range of opinions concerning how to define it – and how to diagnose it.

Writing on PsychCentral, Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, defines sex addiction as “a dysfunctional preoccupation with sexual fantasy, often in combination with the obsessive pursuit of casual or non-intimate sex; pornography; compulsive masturbation; romantic intensity and objectified partner sex for a period of at least six months.”

Weiss also states that an addiction may exist if this obsessive behavior continues despite efforts to stop it and despite the impact that it has on relationships, social life and work. He compares it to other obsessive addictive behaviors like gambling and binge eating.

If it feels good, is it addiction?

One of the traits of sex addiction is that sex is often used to make a person feel better; rather than soothing oneself in a non-sexual manner or talking to others about problems they are experiencing, sex addicts tend to turn to sexual behaviors to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

That does not mean that a guy who occasionally fondles his tool when he’s feeling stressed or seeks to bed someone when he’s blue is a sex addict; but if this kind of behavior occurs with great frequency and if it cannot really be controlled by the man, then an addiction is quite likely.

The un-controlled aspect is key; many men have extremely high sex drives and engage in sex with an above average frequency; but they do this by choice. So, just because it feels good to have sex and a man does it often does not mean he has an addiction.

Seeking help

If a man does think that perhaps his sexual activity goes beyond normal and has the possibility of being an addiction, he should definitely seek help. There are recovery programs, such as Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous, that can provide support and aid in dealing with the issue. Mental health professionals, such as psychotherapists, psychiatrists and some social workers, are another resource; those with training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can men develop strategies to meet their sex addiction challenges. Certain medications, such as SSRIs (often used in treating depression and anxiety), may be prescribed by doctors to help control sexually compulsive behaviors; various mood stabilizers may also be used. Seeking help for a sex addiction is very important; as more becomes known about this condition in future years, more therapies will be developed to help those suffering from it.

Many men who experience a sex addiction engage in sex so frequently or with such aggressive behavior that their erect penis can become damaged – raw and sore or even de-sensitized — due to rough handling. And it’s not just hypersexual men who encounter this; many men find themselves in the same boat. This is why it’s crucial that men make a habit of using a superior penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) on a regular basis. A cream with shea butter and vitamin E will nourish and moisturize the skin; if the cream also contains acetyl L carnitine, which is neuroprotective, it can help restore sensitivity lost due to peripheral nerve damage caused by rough use. And if L-arginine is also present in the cream, there will be a benefit to penis blood flow, as that ingredient aids the process which keeps blood vessels open.

12 Steps to Divorcing a Drug Addict

1. Put Your Trust In Your God. The Universe is controlled by a divine power. Put your trust in the power of prayer and listen to the answers. Throughout my marriage, I prayed for the strength to get through some very difficult times. Not being an addict myself, I cannot understand putting a chemical in my body and holding that chemical in a more important place than my family. I just don’t get it but in the end, if your spouse won’t seek professional help for drug and alcohol addictions, it’s probably time to go. I was so frightened, and I felt I had not option but to leave to protect myself (and the children). In the beginning, I was dumb-founded (I still am) that he would choose drugs over us, his family, but THAT WAS his choice. Although I can’t control his choices, I AM affected by his choices, and I CAN control HOW I will react to those choices. So, I pray…a lot.

2. Get Legal Advice – Know that anything a drug addict says, no matter how sincere it seems at face value, is driven by the drugs. Whether the discussion is about the children or money, don’t trust anything an addict says. A professional told me that when you are divorcing a drug addict, you MUST face the fact that a drug addict is having an affair! You (and the children, if there are children) are no longer the primary focus for a spouse with drug/alcohol issues. An affair with the drugs is very difficult for the other spouse to “fight”. (A friend of mine went through a divorce with a partner that was a chronic “cheater”, she felt my situation was easier. Divorcing a drug addict is the same as divorcing a “cheater” – the trust is gone! Once the trust is gone – it’s gone!) So, unfortunately, you must have legal representation, unless the addict is willing to sign everything over and just walk away. If your spouse is willing to “give” you everything, you should still have an attorney and perhaps an accountant review and advise you on any short term, long term and/or tax implications. Check with friends or go online and get referrals from chat rooms, web forums or even Twitter can guide you to websites to help you do some research, but in the end, get professional advice.

3. Get Support from Friends. A divorce is emotionally draining. Typically, your friends and family don’t want to hear it, but it’s really important to have someone that is willing to listen and just offer support. Not guidance, just support.

4. Get Therapy. If you can afford to visit with a therapist, I would highly recommend that you do that. A trained professional can help you understand the inner brain workings of a drug/alcohol addict. AND, whether you want to hear it or not, at some level you have some responsibility in all this. A therapist can help you see the areas where you have to take ownership of this crisis. There are studies out now, that have revealed that people with addictions have a gene that can be identified. You may have to face the fact that, perhaps, you were an “enabler”. Ultimately, though, the responsibility for the addictions rest squarely on the shoulders of the addict. Unless, of course, you were the one that held your spouse down and physically forced the drugs into their body.

5. Blog. If you live in a bubble, where you haven’t access to friends, family and therapists then I would suggest that you blog or at the very least journal. Even if you do have friends and family, these support systems, firstly, get tired of hearing about your indignations and hurts and secondly, your friends and family, unless they have been through it, may not know how to support you. It’s one thing to have friends and family that can support you in a divorce, however, divorcing an addict is NOT like going through a “normal” “irreconcilable differences” divorce. Go online and find others that are fighting the same dragons, find chat rooms and forums that can give you guidance in finding lawyers and therapists etc. in your area of the country. It will give you a chance to rant with someone that understands and you can compare horror stories, that, trust me, may eventually, with time, seem mildly entertaining. Maybe, even funny.

6. Protect your Credit. Any divorce will cause disruptions with your credit score, and especially today with the current economic situation and problems with identity theft, it becomes even more important to protect your identity and your credit score. This is not just directed at outsiders, your spouse might try to hi-jack your identity, not just for their own self-serving practices but, sometimes, as was in my case, an attempt at causing you harm. In a divorce, both parties have the potential (and the motive) to cause harm to the others’ credit. Horror stories abound about credit catastrophes caused by angry spouses – like….. running up credit cards in the other spouse’s name and walking away. Enlist a service, that for a monthly fee, will monitor your credit score and advise you by email, if there are any changes to your credit score.

7. Set Up Your New Separate Identity. If it’s not time right now, it will be soon. So, there’s no time like the present to start using your own name and identity. Start recognizing yourself as YOU. Separate and apart from your identity as a spouse, having others recognize you as a person standing alone will help you feel more empowered. Think about reverting to your single name.

8. Take Your Time. Decisions made now, while not set in stone, are important and will have an impact. Whether you decide to move to a new home or city, whether you choose one lawyer over another. All these decisions are important. So make your choices wisely and be informed as best you can. Take advice from any and all sources you can, but remember you are the one that has to live with the long term impact of the choices. So make your choices and decisions wisely!

9. Don’t Take Advice from Friends. All that being said, in number 8, recognize that you shouldn’t take advice from friends as “set in stone”. Take the input, weigh in out, balance it with information from searching the internet but just know that friends are biased. Unless your friends are trained professionals, and even then, while their input may be heartfelt, it might be totally wrong for your situation and they could be biased. Take all the input and apply what works to your individual situation.

10. Insurances. Make sure all your insurances are up to date. Medical, vehicle, home, life. In my situation, for whatever reason (I surmise his processes were clouded by the drug/alcohol usage), the car insurance didn’t get paid and we were driving for months with no car insurance. In my state, that’s illegal and it was reported to the state and that opened another can of worms, which caused further damage to my credit score. So take responsibility and make sure ALL your insurances are current.

11. Your Finances. Your finances are a very crucial part of a divorce. If at all possible, I would suggest that you should, unfortunately, preplan by tucking some money aside, before the divorce, in the event that things turn ugly. You will, at least, have access to SOME money to see you through some difficult roads ahead. Money in should always be more than money out, but particularly important during a divorce. Work diligently towards keeping credit cards in order. Continue, if at all possible, to add to your savings plan every month.. You really should be aware of tax ramifications and the long term impact – things that your lawyer may not have expertise in. Work with an accountant or a divorce planning financial expert. Hindsight is always 20/20 is how the saying goes and in looking back I realize that during my marriage, we lived off of one salary and banked the other. While in the marriage, I thought that was a great idea. Now though, when he closed the bank accounts and took all the money, I realize that wasn’t such a good idea. Get an accountant.

12. Look After Yourself. The road ahead will be taxing and probably difficult, depending on how much of a time/emotional investment you made into your marriage. Take the time to relax, do whatever it is that brings some “you” time. Go for walks, play cards, ride horses, yoga, read, play the piano, it’s important to find time to experience the things that bring you stress relief. Stress can be difficult to manage at any time in your life, but particularly during a divorce. The point is that a divorce CAN consume you, IF you let it. So, take the time to take time for you. Make sure you still get your hair done, your nails, pamper yourself and just know, that no matter what someone else may be telling you – you are worth it. Looking after yourself reinforces your energy levels, your resolve and your determination.

In the beginning of the end, (or the end of the beginning), I watched “Diary of a Mad Black Woman, I watched, “Enough”, I watched, “Sleeping with the Enemy” and while I recognized parts of each of those movies in my marriage, more than anything I recognized that the common element is a certain “system” of emotions that run amuck. First comes the rush of fear, then indignation, then anger, then, fear again. More indignation, anger and then acceptance and resolution. Through it all, runs the desire to “hate” – eventually you come the resolution that these negative emotions fuel more of the same – through the Law of Attraction – so it’s healthier (not easier – but healthier) to let it go. The Law of Attraction is very clear, whatever you focus on – whatever you think about you will bring more of into your life. Anger, brings more anger, conversely peace will bring more peace.

Drug and alcohol addicts don’t do drugs and alcohol because of something you have done, they do drugs and alcohol because of something going on in their own reality. I used to get upset every time I opened an email offering to supply me with drugs without a prescription – somehow I was able to easily hit the delete button. I can’t say the same thing for everyone – otherwise these websites would not survive. You give yourself too much credit if you think that you had anything to do with turning your spouse into an addict. At some level, even the addict can’t control the behavior. Hopefully, at some point, the addict will realize and reach out for the professional help that will help them heal.

Another tidbit that I will impart, I have been told by the drug addiction doctors that the drug addict will tell you that they have recovered. This was certainly the case in my personal story. Most drugs cannot be controlled by the addict going “cold turkey” on their own. Usually, these drugs have to be “de-toxed” out of the body using other drugs and a course of therapy and these things cannot be done on an out-patient basis. Once an addict has “recovered”, that person’s life will, forever, be “in recovery”. Whatever the addiction gambling, drinking, drugs, on and on the list goes…… once the addiction has been “conquered”, it will always be a challenge AND one addiction can be replaced for another! It’s really important that addiction issues be dealt with by a licensed professional, under controlled settings.

So, let it go – don’t take their choices personally, and as hard as it may seem, let them go…and pray for them.

I am not a professional, I encourage you to seek the advice of a licensed professional to help you make critical decisions.

Disadvantages of Watching Pornography

In the olden days, the word ‘addiction’ was largely confined to either dependence on substance (addiction to drugs) or behavioral addiction (gambling). Addiction can be defined as the repetition of a habit which an individual does with his/her complete knowledge. In other words, they clearly know and understand that they have to leave the particular habit of either ingesting a substance or performing a specific action, but cannot refrain from doing the same. The habit may prove harmful in the long run as it might lead to compulsive use.

Pornography can be found in various forms such as books, postcards, photographs, drawing, animation, film, video (video games). Before two decades, if an individual has to watch porn, he has to rent out a video. Although growth of internet has brought many advantages, there are also few exceptions like porn, which any one can access by a single click.

As with all addictions, individuals of all ages share this vice of pornography, they usually start with soft porn. Similar to drugs, they will also need larger doses to make them feel high. They will start searching for more explicit porn content. Although no survey has been done to clarify the factor from small to high dosage, it cannot be ruled out that watching porn leads to negative effects in many cases such as:

Addicts feel isolate, spend large amount of time locked in their rooms or own world. Watching pornography individually separates them from social contact dissolving into a fantasy world far from reality. Pornographic addicted individuals may indulge in imagination with multiple partners by watching porn thus causing disillusionment in family lives.

Men, who are addicted, try to become dominant, introvert, deal with anxiety, and develop low self esteem. Porn makes the real universe and world boring leaving its viewers dissatisfied and less sensitive to the emotional feelings of everyday life. According to a survey, men exposed to large volume of pornography tend to be less responsible in their career and suffer from reasoning ability.

Men who view pornography in a very young age have been found to view women only as objects of desire than to have respect for them as human beings. They can also suffer from guilt, shame, failure of rejection or humiliation.

The best way to overcome the addiction is to become socially active. Isolation and loneliness are said to be the main contributing factors. Addicts who have been given proper professional guidance and assistance have overcome and conquered their habit of watching porn.

Bets and Terminology for Beginners

Betting is a very widespread and regular phenomenon especially in United States. In the world of sports betting has not left any game untouched. Be it cricket, horse racing, football, basketball… betting has laid its hands over all of them.

Though almost half of the country’s population is consciously infected by the betting syndrome, yet there are no thoughts by the government to legalize it in any form or the other. The only place where it has been made legal is the state of Nevada. The state has made collegiate gambling, which is one of the most execrable forms of betting. Betting on sports in colleges not just deteriorates the healthy atmosphere an spirit with which the game is played but also ruins the trustworthy sportsmanship of the players. The college players themselves wager and try to play the game in accordance to win their wager. They are not motivated by the team or game spirit but by the money they might receive on winning the bet. NCAA has revealed that most often it is the college athletes more inclined to betting and point shaving as compared to professional sportsmen. Point shaving refers to the poor and awful performance that players make on the field in order to have a particular point spread.

There are various types of bets and betting terminologies. Some of the most frequent types of bets are- Point Spread, Money Lines, Parlays and Pari- mutual etc. These bets vary from game to game, in their terms and conditions and the style of betting. It is better to learn the different techniques and rules for these bets before you wager.

Nowadays betting can also be done online. The government has put up limitations here too in the form of the ‘Wire Act’. This act limited online gambling within the walls of a state. In other words, the Wire Act made it illicit to cross a state line for the purpose of gambling. However this act even like several others stands in effective in detaining gamblers from gambling in the manner they desire to do.

The gamblers can do anything to prevent their gambling industry from fading in the hands of government. They do anything and everything to find favors from the government. Most often this is done by time and again stuffing the pockets of the party members with huge amount of money.

But a gambler fails to realize that the government is not at loss. It is he himself who loses and suffers the most. Betting is nothing else but gambling with one’s money. It is devastating addiction. A pathological gambler cannot resist from gambling whatsoever his economic condition may be. He can stoop to any extent to obtain money for betting. He can lie, steal and even murder anyone for it. The idea of once winning a large bet is always playing on his mind. The entire family and friends of a pathological gambler face repercussions of the adverse situations so created by him.

The lust for money is never ending, it is better to be satisfied with the little that you have than to pine for more and lose even that!

The Adult Child Inability to Ask for Help

Ask an adult child who endured dysfunction, alcoholism, or abuse during his upbringing what the idea of “asking for help” evokes, and he may respond “hesitation,” “restriction,” “trauma,” “confrontation,” and “distrust.” But why?

Reasoning, I realized, is in the wiring-of the brain, that is-and my own was soldered during my upbringing-in other words, the wiring contained the ‘why,” or, in my case, the why not when it came to asking others for this help.

How, it is certainly fair to wonder, can you expect help from others-and especially strangers-when your own parents were not there for you? Parental “help” may have been more synonymous with abandonment.

My father was a para-alcoholic, who was exposed to the same erratic, unpredictable behavior he subjected me to, yet neither knew that he was an abused child nor that there was anything wrong with the treatment he received. And my mother, while caring and loving, grew up with a father who himself suffered from an explosive personality that could only be quelled with a quick gambling fix (translated as a full-blown addiction) and she was just as powerless-not to mention frightened-when the insanity played out in my home environment.

Based upon this ostensible normalcy, how and why, I often wondered, would those who did not know me from Adam endeavor to “help” me or even acknowledge my existence? This was what I knew. It was never questioned or corrected, and certainly seemed to configure my brain’s circuitry at a pre-school age, perpetually preparing me for rejection and trepidation.

Subconsciously transported back to my original parental betrayal and the trauma it created, help equaled harm, causing me to feel exposed, even in present time, to a person who may have treated me in a similar manner. Who, I can only ask, would want more of this?

The sheer thought re-erects that impenetrable wall that separated me from my father and, ultimately, others-the one that rumbled, “Step over this line and you’ll be sorry that you did!”

Placing the potential help on one side of a seesaw and the potential hurt its asking could yield on the other, I often assessed the lesser of the two evils, even if that risk were nothing more than irrational in nature, whose seed was planted in childhood. As I continue to pursue my recovery path, I have begun to realize, of course, that it was.

Desperate times lead to desperate measures, it has often been said, and I usually had to fall into the former category before I even contemplated the latter of asking for help. I can only imagine the perplexity of a person who is the product of a safe, nurturing childhood when he tries to understand how seeking a helping hand from another could be considered a “desperate measure,’ much less a dangerous one. The person, I am sure, would not blink an eye at asking, “Could you help me with… “

Then again, that person never had the need to cross his brain’s wires the way I did and then experience and expect the opposite of what would have been considered normal, reasonable, and rational. There were times when my father went ballistic at the sheer thought of aiding his “enemy.” I thought I was his son…

Exposure to any later-in-life authority figure was an instantaneous lighting, like a switchboard, of those circuits, followed by the emotional drop into the pit known as ‘victimhood.’ If being victimized and perhaps harmed could be equated with “help,” then I would rather do without it, thank you.

Indeed, there were times when my father seemed intolerant of my sheer presence and asking him for things was sometimes nothing more than a race between the rational request and the rise of his defensive wall, leaving me unable to reach him. (I later suspected that he was the recipient of the same rejected treatment when he dared the same interaction with his father.) It was hardly worth the successful delivery (of whatever I needed) if I had to fear another retriggered explosion to achieve it. This was certainly one of the circumstances which had me think twice-if not ten times-about ‘bothering” others for this aid, even as an adult.

It also did not breed any sense of self-esteem or worth, implying that I was just not good enough to even give the time, attention, or help to.

Adult children negotiate life, hiding their deep-dark secrets about the deep hole in their souls and the flaws they believe reflect their intrinsically faulty endowment. They are unaware that this rift was progressively created by parents who suffered from the same deficiencies and projected them on to them. Asking for help, to an adult child, is thus the equivalent of advertising it, a scream, if you will, of “Hey, world, look at how unworthy and inferior I am! I need your help because I can’t do it myself!”

“I was intimidated by step five, because it meant revealing my darkest secrets to another person,’ according to “Courage to Change,” the Al-Anon text (Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1992, p. 127). “Afraid that I would be rejected for being less than perfect, I put so much energy into hiding the truth that, although no one rejected me, I was as isolated and lonely as if they had.”

The adult child syndrome forces a person, without choice, into a state of isolated self-sufficiency, which serves as an outward expression of distrust in others, an inability to have relied on them when he needed them, and the ultimate attempt to create an environment of safety, security, and stability. Ironically, the more he believes that he is inadequate and incapable, the more he must dig within himself to find the “Jack of all trades” resources to individually achieve what he needs, transforming him from incapable (in belief) to autonomous (in ability).

Trust is a must, but requiring help returns him to a state of helplessness, when the very parents who should have aided him were the very ones who caused his plight and may have become the ones from whom he most needed protection.

“One effect of alcoholism is that many of us are reluctant to get close to people,’ according to ‘Courage to Change” (ibid, p. 363). “We have learned that it is not safe to trust, to reveal too much, to care deeply. Yet we often wish we could experience closer, more loving relationships.”

It may require a significant amount of recovery, during which a person’s childhood-bred fears, traumas, misbeliefs, and distortions eventually dissolve and enable him to view others in a non-authority figure, parent-emulating light who care and are concerned, so that he can see their good-intentioned actions of help for what they are and not the potentially detrimental offer his rewired brain tries to otherwise convince him of.

The ultimate help may come from his creator or the Higher Power of his understanding. But turning to him may be the most difficult act.

A disconnection and fall from him may, first and foremost, have been the initial subconscious step toward his disbelief. Leaving him vulnerable and powerless to shaming and damaging parents without intervention certainly did nothing to instill his confidence in an entity who could have protected him from danger and aided him during his greatest time of need. And finally, whatever he associates his earthly parents with he eventually attaches to his eternal one, assigning the same condemning and punishing qualities to him, until he can no longer see through this distorted filter.

Once again, it requires a considerable amount of recovery, during which his distortions are dissolved and he rises to a level of wholeness, before he can re-embrace God and regain enough faith and trust to ask him for the help he needs.

“I have an important part to play in my relationship with my Higher Power,” according to “Courage to Change” (ibid, p. 48). “I have to be willing to receive help, and I have to ask for it. If I develop the habit of turning to my Higher Power for help with small, everyday matters, I’ll know what to do when faced with more difficult challenges.”

Article Sources:

“Courage to Change.” Virginia Beach, Virginia: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1992.

Marriage is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 B.C. during the first Persian invasion. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, Greece, and the Persian forces under the rule of the Persian King Darius. A fabled run of a Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, is the basis for the modern marathon, held in cities across the world, with the larger ones having tens of thousands of runners participating.

The marathon is a long-distance, foot race on the road with an official distance of 26 7/32 miles, requiring great strength and endurance. A sprint, on the other hand, is a short distance run, requiring a burst of energy, to run at one’s full speed. Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint.

From the website Marathon Rookie, I found the Top 10 Rookie Mistakes for beginner marathon runners, which apply to marriage as well. They are: injury, hydration, lack of knowledge, starting too fast, wrong goal, motivation, lack of belief, lack of support, and underestimate stretching. Let’s look at each one of these for why marriages are often troubled, and fail.

1. Injury. A couple comes into marriage, bringing emotional and spiritual baggage, and often many wounds. MarathonRookie.com says that many beginner runners “notice soreness in their shins or knees and ignore it. They keep running and BAM, it hits them. They’re done. Game Over. Be aware of the warning signs and how to treat them.”

If one person in the marriage is injured, then the marriage’s health will be affected as well. We need to realize that it is only God who can heal us and make us whole – not our spouse. Men love to fix things, but they can’t fix their wives. Vice versa for wives trying to change, fix, or improve their husbands.

Jesus is the healer of wounded hearts. Sometimes healing from deep hurts such as parental rejection, abandonment, childhood abuse, dysfunctional relationships in adulthood, abortion, drug, alcohol, or pornography and gambling addictions may require professional counseling, spiritual deliverance, and/or pastoral accountability.

Ultimately as we seek God’s face, study His word, and obey Him, we will receive our healing. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.”

2. Hydration. MarathonRookie.com says that runners get dehydrated because they underestimate how much water their bodies need during training. Married couples don’t realize how much they need Jesus’ “living waters” each day for their marriage to last. In John 4:10 (NKJV), Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

3. Lack of knowledge. When you’re dating, let’s face it, your fiance’ doesn’t realize what he’s really getting himself into! He doesn’t know that you’re a clean-freak, you hate to cook, and you aren’t a morning person. After all, you go out on weekend dates to the Japanese or Italian restaurant, where they cook the delicious food, wash the dishes, and after your talks and snuggles til midnight at his house, you go home and crash – and sleep in the next morning!

Couples may see some things that concern them while they date, but they often don’t really see with their “love blinders” on. They’re too focused on how wonderful this person is, and how they’re going to be happy for the rest of their lives. A longer dating period, asking probing questions, and paying attention to little details, will help you to get to know your fiance better – and you will have less unpleasant “surprises,” such as him being a “messy” or her having a new shoes addiction – after saying “I do.”

4. Starting too fast. MarathonRookie.com says that beginner runners try to run more miles than the scheduled training. “If you feel really strong when you begin training and want to run more, PLEASE resist the temptation. By going the extra mile, you are substantially increasing the likelihood of injury.”

Going too fast in a relationship can increase your chances of being hurt, too. This is especially true in a relationship where there’s lots of intense chemistry. Lust will not see you through the years; commitment and love will! Take it slow, and get to know this person before the wedding day!

5. Wrong training program. In Luke 6:47-49 (NKJV), the story of the man building his house on the foundation of the rock, and it standing in the fierce storm is a perfect picture of a good marriage that will last. Married couples will face many storms through the years, and having their marriage built on the principles of God’s word is what will get them through these storms.

Some couples had the wrong “training program,” in that they were never taught the truth of God’s word, and don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. MarathonRunner.com says some runners choose a program that is more difficult than they can handle, and they wind up quitting. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Apart from Me you can do nothing.” We need God’s help with our marriage problems. All we have to do is come to Him in humble faith, and He will give us all we need.

6. Wrong goal. Some runners focus on finishing the marathon quickly. This is the wrong goal, and increases the chances of injury and not finishing at all. The goal of the marathon for a beginner should be just to finish. This should be our goal in marriage, too, doing all we can to prevent divorce. It takes long-term love, mutual honor, commitment, affection, and open and honest communication to make marriage work over the long haul. A great sense of humor helps, too!

Some people go into marriage with a goal of the other person making them happy, and completing them. Only God can fill us up and complete us. We need to lay aside unreasonable expectations of our husband or wife, and not put that kind of pressure on them.

We may also have other goals that are quite selfish in nature, such as our own person career or business success, to the detriment of the marriage and family – ambitiously spending all our time on personal projects to get “ahead,” while neglecting the very ones we love. Balance is the key. Time with our husband or wife lets them know we love them, and enjoy them.

7. Motivation. Just as in a run when there’s bad weather, an injury, illness, or work that can keep him from a run, and cause him to lose his motivation to continue, there are problems that occur in marriage which causes a husband or a wife to lose their motivation to continue the marriage. Financial stresses, the demands of children, relatives and friends who intrude, pressures at work, a nagging spouse, infidelity or pornography, addictions, fatigue, boredom can all play a part in one of the partners wanting to bail out of the marriage. Keep your eye on the goal; to finish strong. Never give up!

8. Lack of belief. In Mark 6: 5-6, unbelief hindered the purposes of God. People often give up far too easily and quickly today, and file for divorce. “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”

MarathonRookie.Com says that beginner runners begin training and have a hard time finishing their first five-mile run. After that, they give up, thinking they could never do a marathon. “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, NKJV) We need to have faith and believe that God will heal our marriages.

9. Lack of support. The world is far too eager to tell you that marriage is too hard, and it’s just much better (for your sake, for your children’s sake, for your career’s sake, for your sanity’s or checking account’s sake) to get a divorce. Many married couples do not get the support they need to help their marriages succeed from family, friends, co-workers, and even professional counselors and spiritual advisors.

If you are counseling with a professional counselor who tells you to divorce your spouse for any reason other than unfaithfulness, spouse or child abuse or neglect, then RUN! Sometimes a couple may need to draw boundaries with people who are critical of their marriage, or are giving one or both of them ungodly advice. You might even have to cut off contact with them for a season, or permanently. Your marriage is your most important priority, under God.

As the marriage goes, the family goes. As the family goes, the community goes. As the community goes, the state goes. As the state goes, the nation goes. As the nation goes, the world goes! Successful marriages have far-reaching consequences!

God told Abraham that he and his descendants would be blessed forever, to all future generations! Because of Abraham’s and Sarah’s faith in and obedience to God, and due to their committed marriage, their children and all future generations were blessed!

Don’t you think their marriage might have been strained just a little when Abraham slept with Sarah’s maid, and she became pregnant with Ishmael, after Sarah had years of barrenness? Yet Sarah stayed, despite her great pain and emptiness…and God rewarded her with her own baby boy, Isaac, which means “laughter.”

10. Stretching. Beginner runners often underestimate the importance of stretching, which gives them less soreness, puts them at less risk for injury, and gives them greater flexibility and a longer stride. Stretch out your arms to Jesus and to your husband or wife. Go all out in your love and devotion. Bend, cooperate, be understanding, show mercy and forgiveness. This will help your marriage to last.

Don’t be so rigid and set in your ways, insisting that you are right all the time, that you can’t meet your spouse half-way or more. Lay your life down for the sake of your marriage. Through the years of your marriage, you will learn that “stretching” yourself in faith and love will enhance your marriage relationship, and create greater tenderness, affection, respect, and passion in your marriage.

A sprint may get you to the finish line faster, but a marathon has incredible awards. Go for the gold in marriage. Do the marathon, and win!

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Unknown