Believe it or not, extramarital “head sex” — the emotional bond formed with a secret lover of sorts — may be worse (at least for depression) than real sex outside a marriage, according to Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth and creator of DearPeggy.com.
“Most people recover from the fact that their partner had sex with someone else before they recover from the fact that they were deceived,” says Vaughan. “An affair, in the final analysis, is more about ‘breaking trust’ than about ‘having sex.’”
A few years ago Vaughan took an online poll, asking readers: “If your partner had an affair, what would be more difficult to overcome: the deception, or that he/she had sex with someone else?” Almost three quarters of the men and women polled said deception.
Vaughan believes that secrecy is primarily what distinguishes a close friendship from an emotional affair.
For example, you’ve crossed the line if you are:
Keeping the details of the relationship secret from your husband or wife
Saying and doing things with your “friend” that you wouldn’t do if your partner were present
Sharing things with the other person that you don’t share with your partner
Making an effort to spend lots of time with your “friend”
“In most instances emotional affairs are just affairs that have not yet become sexual,” says Vaughan. “They either end or they escalate. So (as with any type of affair), it’s critical that all one-on-one contact with the third party be severed — before it escalates.”
Romantic friendships are especially dangerous for women because women typically invest much more of themselves into them than men. A woman may ache and suffer for years as she grapples with her relationship issues while her male counterpart considers the extra attention a mere bonus to his family life, says Vaughan. In other words, a female sees her soul mate; a man sees fun. And, according to Aaran Ben-Ze’ev, author of Love Online, it’s not uncommon for men to be conducting two or even four affairs at once.
Even innocent flirting with co-workers can hurt a marriage. “We only have so much emotional energy in life,” says M. Gary Neuman, a psychotherapist in Florida and author of Emotional Infidelity.
“By chatting and joking with your crush during the workday, that’s emotional energy you should be sharing with your partner, and it drains your marriage of the vitality it needs.”
Are homosexuals being discriminated against? My answer for that is yes! For decades, we humans have fought for our civil rights. Americans fought for various freedoms of liberty; African Americans fought to be treated as equal to Caucasians; women have fought for the right to be treated as equal to men. Today, the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Community is fighting for the same rights that heterosexuals enjoy. Racism, prejudice, and profiling fall into the category of hate crimes. There isn’t much difference between homophobia and the aforementioned and it is wrong to discriminate against another person. It is unlawful for one to be treated unfairly because of his or her gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability. The constitution states that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration of independence, 1776.)
We see in pop culture of ongoing occurrences that haves to do with those who experience the tragedy that comes with being gay. The Christian religion frowns upon homosexuality because according to the bible, Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." On The Tyra Banks Show, Tyra Banks interviewed a sixteen year-old young man who admitted that he underwent gay exorcism. The motive for the gay exorcism was to get rid of the devil spirit that was taking control of the bearer’s soul (Gane-McCalla, 2009.)
I myself am a skeptic person and I don’t believe anything unless there are facts to support the statement. I don’t believe homosexuality is deviant for many reasons. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word ‘Devil’ is defined as, “4 : a person of notable energy, recklessness, and dashing spirit; also: one who is mischievous” (Devil, n.d.) I believe that one’s sexual orientation is not voluntary or choice based, because, one would never want to choose to be something that brings him or her so much physical and emotional pain.
I was in high school when I came out to my friends and it was the first time I had ever trusted anybody with a secret so powerful that it could either make me or break me. It could make me a stronger person in terms of dealing with my emotions and discovering who I am. On the other hand, it could break me by having everybody around me making dirty remarks right before my eyes. I began to question whether my being homosexual was right or wrong. I would never choose anything that brings me physical and emotional pain from the people who surround me, so it could not have been a choice.
For one to be able to discover and label him or her as one that belongs to the LGBTQ group is such a big deal because they are confident to proudly display who they are. It is wrong for somebody to approach another and say, “You are impure because you like sodomy!” or, “You must be with the opposite sex in order to survive.” Surely to survive by continuing the family bloodline means to mate with somebody of the opposite sex, but it would be challenging and uncomfortable for someone who is not heterosexual.
Prejudice and racism is no different than homophobia at all. The word “phobia” is defined as fear; “homo” means the same. Put those two together and the definition of “homophobia” is to be afraid of people who find sexual/romantic interest in someone of the same gender. Prejudice is defined as judging another person before having sufficient knowledge of the culture or style. Racism is to judge a particular group of people who have the same background which is different from one’s own. Homophobia is not different from these two terms because what they all have in common is discrimination, rejection, and hate (FBI – Hate crimes, n.d.) The LGBTQ community is experiencing vandalism and physical beating because they are being who they are and are being punished for being human. It is important for people to know that there isn’t anything wrong with being LGBTQ.
In contemporary times, homosexuality is more tolerated because it is known as something that is more socially acceptable. There are display rule for what is appropriate to show in public and what is not. When working with customers or clients, it is wise to remain calm and not argue when doing business; Muslim women are to wear a traditional headdress referred to as a hijab to cover the head revealing only the face; Islamic men wear turbans over their head because it is believed that Muhammad wore a black or white turban.
My family tells me that the Asian culture doesn’t approve of homosexuality because there is an unwritten rule for what is okay and what isn’t okay to display to the public. My mother tells me that is impure and is an embarrassment on many levels. First off, I am the only child and my parents are relying on me to continue the bloodline of our immediate family. Secondly, my parents would like to see me have children and get married to a woman. It’s very stressful to put so much pressure on me because my parents only expect the best for me and they want to set me up for a great future; however, my parents, along with many others, need to understand homosexuality is normal.
In order to stop all the hatred that is going on, one must be educated and aware of the hate that is going on and what the hate is directed towards. One must also understand the cycle of distrust and seek a way to reverse this. A homosexual is not to be trusted because he or she finds sexual and romantic interest in the same sex and homosexuals are deemed as unearthly heathens, the contender fears of contracting diseases from a homosexual, and the contender is ignorant or haves religious faith and beliefs to uphold. One can easily gain the trust of homosexuals by overlooking these and opening their mind to what is standing before them rather than looking at the surface. By doing so, one can cease the cycle of the euphemism treadmill of the derogatory term “faggot,” and start the domino effect of passing on the technique to teach society to tolerate homosexuality. Coming together to establish a common goal as a group to diminish prejudice, discrimination, and racism is another step that should be taken to change the way society looks at minorities. This way we all can merge from being conservative to being more liberal.
It can be very complicated for one to find who they are when there is pressure being put on them by the environment they’re in. Family values, sociocultural values, display rules at work and school can definitely affect how one is able to tolerate him or herself and others who are homosexual. The most important thing to know is that homosexuals are homosapiens as well. To be able to tolerate others for whom they are and to tolerate oneself will result in changes of behavior.
Behavior is affected by the environment and mental and physical state of the body. Mental and physical states that one could experience are verbal, physical, and emotional abuse. An example is to have somebody walk up to you and say that you are wrong for being yourself and to punch you in the neck. That action is called assault. The physical stimuli received from the bully could eventually result into a conditioned result of drug addiction or even suicide. Some gays experience both condition starting out with self-loathing and leaning onto drug addiction followed by suicide to escape the pain that is received from their surroundings (Gilchrist, 2006.)
For some people, it is easier for them to accept the fact that they are or are not gay. Perhaps when they were younger they had a secure attachment with their family and the result is being able to be secure with themselves and other people around them. This theory of attachment was discovered in 1978 by Mary Ainsworth, a Canadian developmental psychologist. Many psychologists recommend support groups and social networks as an outlet because it is a safe place to go and meet other people who are in the same situation and learn how to deal with the problems they may be having. For example, the website http://www.downelink.com is an online social networking website for the LGBTQ community. It is very much like http://myspace.com because one is able to set up a profile describing who he or she is and a reason for being a member to the website. One can also search for tips on how to deal with negative social interactions that he or she may come to by joining a group on the Downelink website and blogging about his or her situations and take feedback from another affiliate.
I find support groups to be very entertaining to attend because there are events that are organized by associates of the organization such as bake sale, social mixers, and car washes to raise money for a cause. The cause could be to raise money to buy materials to build a float for the gay pride parade, to bring awareness to the public and show who they are, or to meet and greet new people with no strings attached.
Furthermore, when I was in high school, there was a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Club that had been shut down for months because there wasn’t a faculty sponsor available at the time. I didn’t want to see anybody sit and eat their lunch in the elevator like I did so I found a faculty member to help me sponsor and reinstate the club. Later, I became the club president for my diligent work. I felt that there should be a safe place on campus for gay and straight people to come together with no strings attached, meaning, guaranteed acceptance, safe and healthy environment, and a place to make new friends.
To sum up, homosexuality is not a choice because it is lucid that nobody wants to go through the horror of being gay-bashed, disowned, nor do they want to end up committing suicide to escape their problems. Equality should not be something that is given as a privilege. It should be given to all regardless of disability, sexual orientation, race, gender, or social/economic status. In conclusion, discrimination must come to an end, therefore, tolerance is something that should be available everywhere to stop the treadmill effect of hate crimes and pass on tolerance to others through the strategy of the domino effect to mitigate hate crimes.
Gilchrist, H., & Sullivan, G. (2006, May/). The role of gender and sexual relations for young people in identity construction and youth suicide. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 8(3), 195-209. Retrieved from JSTOR database. (http://www.jstor.org//)
Gladue, B. A. (1994, October). The biopsychology of sexual orientation. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 3(5), 150-154. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org//
O’Rourke, J. (2003, Summer). Racism and homophobia in “The Merchant of Venice”. ELH, 70(2), 375-397. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org//
Stevenson, M. R. (1988, November). Promoting tolerance for homosexuality: An evaluation of intervention strategies. The Journal of Sex Research, 25(4), 200-511. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org//
Zhou, Y. R. (2006, November/r). Homosexuality, seropositivity, and family obligations: Perspectives of HIV-Infected men who have sex with men in China. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 8(6), 487-500. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org//
“Certainly we want to protect our children from new and painful experiences that are beyond their emotional comprehension and that intensify anxiety; and to a point we can prevent premature exposure to such experiences. That is obvious. But what is just as obvious — and what is too often overlooked — is the fact that from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.”—Maurice Sendak, 1964 (via psychotherapy)
Where do we draw the line in diagnosis with psychological disorders and mental illnesses? What treatments are reasonable to help medicate the symptoms the patient experiences? When it comes to adjustment disorder and learning how to cope with the stress that is brought on from adjusting to a change in life or any dramatic change for that matter, there are so many ways to mitigate the negative stress that impacts our daily lives without having to consult a psychiatrist.
Everybody experiences some form of stress whether it being from the overload at work, which causes one to crash at two in the afternoon, the chaos spurring up in the home from the kids running amok, or trying to cram for a psychology exam coming up tomorrow. Whatever the case may be, we all experience positive and negative stress. We cope with stress in our own ways. It is imperative to know there are two kinds of stress : negative and positive stress. According to Merriam-Webster (2012), an online dictionary, stress is defined as, “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a favor in disease causation.” Moreover, stressors are negative stress that causes one to feel tension, whereas eustressors are positive stress that is added to give one a positive feeling or fulfillment to lower negative stress. (Folkman & Maskowitz, 2000).
The National Institute of Health defines adjustment disorder as an emotional or behavioral response that progresses within a time period of three months due to life stress. Common stressors in adolescents may include family conflicts, school problems and sexuality issues. Common stressors in people of any age may include death of a loved one, general life changes, and unexpected catastrophes (Adjustment Disorder, 2010).
It appears that international business travelers experience a tremendous amount of stress when they’re traveling. They have to leave their home and travel far away to conduct meetings, presentations, and most importantly, to make money to support their growing family. It is their choice of a lifestyle and it gets them to where they want to be. Making adjustments while living a transient lifestyle can be very challenging, yet stressful. Adjustment disorder is a psychological problem that develops over time and can lead to life threatening issues. International business travelers are at high risks for developing adjustment disorder when traveling for work.
In addition, international business travelers are always trying to adjust to new things quickly. Whether it is international cuisines, social customs, time zones, or the restrooms, they try to make the most out of what is given to them and proceed with their work-related activities. These adjustments are stressful. For instance, one who is to travels to India may not favor spicy food. Another person who may have to travel to Japan may forget to bow when greeting a different person who is more superior than they are. Someone who travels to Europe may find the restrooms repulsive because some establishments may have a Turkish toilet installed, which is pretty much just a hole in the ground (Striker et al., 1999). Although some find that time zones are usually fairly easy to adjust to, others may feel droopy, lethargic, tired, and stressed due to disturbance in their circadian sleep rhythm (Åkerstedt, 1997).
Even though international business travelers are always adjusting to something new when they take a trip abroad, they live a transient lifestyle and are constantly traveling internationally and are at higher risks for psychological health issues. According to a study conducted by Striker and his colleagues, frequent flyers that travel on work related business file more insurance claims pertaining to psychological and physical ailments (Striker et al., 1999). Psychological and health factors that contribute to adjustment disorder are dealing with workloads upon returning from travel and adjusting to the time zone. It also appears that isolation plays a big role with adjustment disorder because the travelers are away from their friends and family for an extended period of time, which leads them to develop negative stress (Charlton, 1992).
Luckily for the international business travelers, there are ways to deal with their negative stress. These businessmen and businesswomen have negative stress piled on their shoulder. They need a good form of eustress to alleviate the stressor they are encountering. According to an article on sexual functioning by Morokoff and Gilliland, the international business travelers may miss their partner from back at home and have sexual urges that needs to be released. When their partner is not around, they’ll have to take care to the urges on their own (Morokoff & Gilliland, 1993.) An activity that may help would be masturbation. Masturbation on occasion is known to be healthy because what it does is it allows a person to focus on one thing, which is relaxing. Chemicals that are released by the brain while engaging in sexual activities, from thinking about sex, to masturbating, to having intercourse, are dopamine and endorphins. Dopamine is a chemical that gives us a euphoric rush and we feel pleasure when this chemical is released. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killer which gives us a sense of well-being. When a person masturbates, his or her adrenaline inclines causing his or her heart rate to increase. Next, he or she will reach the state of climaxing or having an orgasm followed by coming to the resolution state (Neuman, 1975). Masturbation helps keep things functioning because the phrase, “use it or lose it” comes into play. If one does not engage in sexual activities for a prolonged amount of time, he or she may have difficulty performing during sex because his or her body does not know how to respond to the action (Sutherland, 2009). For example, a man who does not engage in sexual activities for a prolonged amount of time may have a hard time achieving an erection. A woman who does not engage in sexual activities for the said amount of time may feel unbearable pain in the vagina and when an object tries to penetrate her vagina, it cannot go through. This condition can also be referred to as vaginimus.
With the expanding knowledge of technology on the rise, there are other means for combating symptoms of adjustment disorder. Skype is a very well-known application that allows one person to send instant messages and files, video call, or initialize a group chat with other Skype users. It’s a good way to keep in touch with others who cannot be in the same room. Personally, when I have a long and tiring day, I just want to relax. I enjoy relaxing in my bathroom with dim lighting, scented candles, and taking a nice, long, bubbly bath, listening to classical music. This helps me unwind at the end of the day. My method may not work for another person because the stressors that he or she encounters with may be greater than the ones that I come into contact with. Another eustressors for international business travelers could be to go sightseeing. Sightseeing allows the traveler to exercise – walking around seeing things they normally would not see back at home. One time I went to Los Angeles for a family vacation and my mother and I got into a huge argument. I stormed out of the hotel and walked around for a few hours. I felt better afterwards because I saw the beautiful lights and ate at an incredible restaurant that stayed opened late. There are countless ways to let go of negative stress (Thoits, 1995).
In conclusion, we all have stressors in our lives, especially international business travelers. It is vital to know that coping with stress is different from dealing with stress. For one to cope with stress, he or she would need to know what his or her problems are and where they came from (the stressor). To deal with the stress, that person would need to know how to approach the problem and make it go away (eustressor). There are many eustressors out there that can be utilized to alleviate the negative stress that impacts our lives. To overcome adjustment disorder, it is recommended to consult a therapist. The type of therapy that would be provided depends on the situation the high-strung patient experiences and it is imperative to understand what causes us to stress out and why we feel that way, so we can reverse the situation before it progresses.
Adjustment disorder. (2010, February 14). Retrieved March 15, 2012, from National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health website: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Charlton, B. G. (1992, September). Stress. Journal of Medical Ethics, 18(3), 156-159. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org//
Folkman, S., & Moskowitz, J. T. (2000, August). Stress, positive emotion, and coping. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(4), 115-118. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/
Morokoff, P. J., & Gilliland, R. (1993, February). Stress, sexual functioning, and marital satisfaction. The Journal of Sex Research, 30(1), 43-53. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/
Neuman, R. P. (1975, Spring). Masturbation, madness, and the modern concepts of childhood and adolescence. Journal of Social History, 8(3), 1-27. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/
Striker, J., Luippold, R. S., Nagy, L., Liese, B., Bigelow, C., & Mundt, K. A. (1999, April). Risk factors for psychological stress among international business travellers. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 56(4), 245-252. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/