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5 tips for iLoveStrong Couples need to help battle the Cancer together.

This past season, I really enjoyed the TV show Parenthood, because it tackled the today’s topic,  5 tips for iLoveStrong Couples need to help battle Cancer together.

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http://www.hulu.com/watch/405090

In a recent article in the New York Times, Dr. Shapiro, the author of a new book, “And in Health: A Guide for Couples Facing Cancer Together.” gave advice that can help prevent the diagnosis from damaging one’s most important relationship.

He wrote, “Cancer, is like a tremor that rattles our walls and finds the fault lines that already existed. If we’re not careful, it reaches into our relationships and drags out these subtle differences and magnifies them.”

For most marriages, certain things go unsaid, like certain needs that aren’t being met by the other partner, or accommodating your partner out of fear or conflict. Couples don’t deal with these issues immediately because they feel that there will always be a day to talk about them.

When the Big “C” (cancer) comes or any serious illness for that matter can only exacerbate this issue. Dr. Shapiro, who had cancer himself, stated, “Withholding my feelings was a big mistake. “By not being honest with my wife,” he said, “you can create a wedge in the relationship at a time when you both need understanding and support.”

Cancer can cause people to lose their bearings and to push away those they love and most need to help them through the challenges of treatment. if this is you, here are 5 tips that can strengthen your marriage as you fight cancer together.

  1. Teamwork Is Essential – When a spouse is faced with the challenge of a potentially fatal diagnosis like cancer, he/she will often have difficulty remembering everything doctors tell them and correctly interpreting the information. Couples should see doctors as a team, with one assigned to take notes and both able to ask questions, misunderstandings about diagnoses and treatment options are less likely.If doctors fail to adequately address the patient’s concerns, the couple should decide which partner will speak up. And when both members of a couple are educated about side effects, they are less likely to panic when a symptom develops.
  2. Talk and Touch – A mastectomy affects a woman’s sexuality. A woman may feel less attractive or  desirable after the operation. She may be unwilling or extremely anxious and  self-conscious about her partner seeing her naked. This affects her libido. The  sex drive in mastectomy patients decreases immediately after the operation as  does the amount of sex she has. As the husband, it’s important that whenever and however you can, express and show your love and concern in words, actions and touch. When faced with cancer, Dr. Shapiro’s wife needed him to say, repeatedly, that he loved her. “And she wanted me to take the trash down to the street on time without being reminded,” he added.  “A soft nonsexual touch on the arm or shoulder can be a soothing balm when we feel vulnerable,” Dr. Shapiro wrote.
  3. Mistakes are learning opportunities Couples must rely more than ever on patience and tolerance. “Cancer requires a whole new set of skills at a time when most of us are depleted, distracted and scared,” he wrote. Each person should go easy on the partner when “rookie mistakes” occur, like forgetting appointments, losing things or locking the keys in the car.When people are anxious, they may deflect their feelings to their partner. For example, when couples are waiting for the results of treatment, rather than take out their anxiety on spouses, themselves or anyone else, Dr. Shapiro suggests, “Do exercise, go for walks, see a movie, talk to friends and distract yourself.”
  4. Mind reading is not an option Patients often expect their partners to know how they are feeling and what they may want, then resent it when unexpressed needs are not met.A patient’s ability and energy to perform tasks may change from one day to the next. Patients may feel unsupported if their partners expect them to function normally when they feel awful, or they may resent having jobs taken from them when they feel well. It’s better to ask than to assume. Both should “talk about what needs to be done today and who’s going to do it,” Dr. Shapiro advised. He encourages spouses to repeatedly check in with each other about various tasks.
  5. Prepare for the Unknown No one can ever predict if cancer will go into remission, or will take a turn for the worse.In Dr. Shapiro’s book, he urges couples to have a conversation about end-of-life care, making clear their wishes in case a spouse later faces decisions about life support.“Advanced directives are a lasting gift” for those you love, Dr. Shapiro said. One woman he interviewed lost her chance to spend the last months with her husband in the way she wanted because the doctors pursued treatment even as he was dying.

In the end these 5 tips will strengthen your marriage during your battle with cancer? If you are a person that has battled a serious illness what are some things you suggest that can help you are your spouse become closer?

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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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10 Tips to help you become a better team player!

This past weekend was the annual Jack-N-Jill Teen Summit at SUNY Westbury. It was a nice and I was grateful for the opportunity to present the teens with ways to develop a healthy relationship before they get married.

The main topic of the discussion  was centered around sports. We talked about what makes teams excel and how the acts of one individual can destroy a team.  The teens were a little confused at first, but things soon became clear when I explained that relationships are just a team of 2, instead of 5, 9, or 11.

Do you think of your marriage/relationship as a team?

If you do, and you want to maximize your opportunity to win the Marriage Game, here are some tips to a cohesive team.

  1. Demonstrate Reliability – A reliable team member gets work done and does their fair share to work hard and meet commitments. Consistency is key. You can count on him or her to be there for you allcouplesports#4 the time, not just some of the time.
  2. Communicates Constructively -This two-person team need both parties to speak up and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for other person on the team.
  3. Listens Actively – Good team players are active participants. They come prepared for team meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They’re fully engaged in the work of the team and do not sit passively on the sidelines.Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for assignments. Their whole approach is can-do: “What contribution can I make to help the team achieve success?”
  4. Functions as an Active Participant – Good team players are active participants. They come prepared for family meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They’re fully engaged in the work of the team and do not sit passively on the sidelines.Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for assignments. Their whole approach is can-do: “What contribution can I make to help the team achieve success?”
  5. Shares openly and willingly – Good team players share. They’re willing to share information, knowledge, and experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed. Good team players are good at informal sharing. They keep other team members in the loop with information and advice that helps get the job done and prevents surprises.couples sports#2
  6. Cooperates and pitches in to help. – Cooperation is the act of working with others and acting together to accomplish a job. Effective team players work this way by second nature. Good team players, despite differences they may have with other team members concerning style and perspective, figure out ways to work together to solve problems and get work done. They respond to requests for assistance and take the initiative to offer help.
  7. Exhibits flexibility – Teams often deal with changing conditions — and often create changes themselves. Good team players roll with the punches; they adapt to ever-changing situations. They don’t complain or get stressed out because the other team member wants to train something new is being tried or some new direction is being set.In addition, a flexible team member can consider different points of views and compromise when needed. He or she doesn’t hold rigidly to a point of view and argue it to death, especially when the team needs to move forward to make a decision or get something done. Strong team players are firm in their thoughts yet open to what others have to offer — flexibility at its best.Larg1_14_2011couples-yoga
  8. Shows committment to the team – Strong team players care about their work, the team, and the team’s work. They show up every day with this care and commitment up front. They want to give a good effort, and they want other team members to do the same.
  9. Works as a problem solver – Good team players are willing to deal with all kinds of problems in a solutions-oriented manner. They’re problem-solvers, not problem-dwellers, problem-blamers, or problem-avoiders. They don’t simply rehash a problem the way problem-dwellers do. They don’t look for others to fault, as the blamers do. And they don’t put off dealing with issues, the way avoiders do.Team players get problems out in the open for discussion and then collaborate with others to find solutions and form action plans.
  10. Treat others in a respectful supportive manner -Team players treat fellow team members with courtesy and consideration — not just some of the time but consistently. In addition, they show understanding and the appropriate support of other team members to help get the job done. They don’t place conditions on when they’ll provide assistance, when they’ll choose to listen, and when they’ll share information. Good team players also have a sense of humor and know how to have fun (and all teams can use a bit of both), but they don’t have fun at someone else’s expense. Quite simply, effective team players deal with their other teammates in a loving manner.

I would like to hear how you are doing as a team player? What changes do you need to implement so your couple-team will be more effective?

Have a great day everyone and remember to #iLoveStrong

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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