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10 Ways My Worldview Has Changed In The Past 10 Years Since Starting This Blog!

Hoca

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Five years ago, someone suggested I write about how my worldview changed since starting Dr. Psych Mom in 2014. Recently, I got the same suggestion, so I will revisit the topic with my thoughts at 10 years comparing my perspective now to my perspective then. In bold are the points I made in my post five years ago, and then I discuss my thoughts now. Then I discuss five new ones for your reading pleasure. Hope you enjoy!



1. There is no one right way to parent. I agree with this largely, but an anxious/overprotective style does truly lead to anxiety in kids. I discuss this at length here and here. Female anxiety is underdiagnosed and very common in our age of child-obsessed parenting. COVID made anxious parents much worse, and I’ve seen the fallout from that as well, and I’m hearing more than ever about kids who fear the world, refuse school, and experience somatic symptoms. If you only work on one issue for the sake of your kid, make it your anxiety.

2. Incompatibility cannot always be fixed. This is 100% true and why I don’t recommend couples therapy for dating couples (who don’t have kids). I discuss this in the below video. Also, it is very very important to be aware that low libido women will only get lower libido after marriage (same with men, but this is less common). Signs that a partner will stop liking sex after marriage are here. It is essential to understand how the honeymoon phase masks signs of later incompatibility because you are basically drunk. I also have seen so many women in couples therapy and eventually leave men who have ADHD, to the point where I made this podcast about it! And note my update at the end of this post here.


3. Divorce is not a worst case scenario. I said in my first post that my kids “are excited to be part of my upcoming wedding and I am now confident in a way I wasn’t before that I am giving them a good example for a loving and happy relationship.” This certainly remains true five years later. One of my daughters recently told me that she wants to have a boyfriend that treats her as well as my husband treats me. This makes me very happy that I am not continuing the dysfunction that I saw growing up. Additionally, many divorced clients benefit greatly from their breaks from the children. I have heard from many parents that they are much calmer and more patient when they get breaks from the kids than they ever were before. I agree with this and have felt this myself.

4. Biology is equally if not more important than psychology, assuming they can be separated. I discussed this in depth in the first post, and I agree even more now. I have worked with far more women in perimenopause and menopause, and these women often feel that their younger selves are completely different people than who they currently are. It is like thinking about a younger sister more than anything on the same continuum with who you currently are. I discuss these issues here, here and here, among other places. I also believe that some people would be much better off divorcing when the kids leave the house if they feel biologically very different, such that the man feels he has years of sex left to have, and she is done with the whole thing. I have seen many very amicable divorces occur when the kids are adults, and only the most depressive people seem to stay together unhappily at this time.

5. Being a stay at home parent is very hard. I agree with this wholeheartedly, but as my business has grown significantly from where it was five years ago, I have a new understanding of what it is to the primary breadwinner/financial manager. Here are some posts and podcasts I’ve written to reflect my interest in this topic. Also, I am increasingly aware that being a stay at home mom is MUCH MORE difficult for the huge number of women who have undiagnosed post-partum depression and anxiety, and for those without a close relationship with their own moms. If you find being a stay at home mom much harder than your husband’s job outside the home, this would likely be a reason to go to therapy and figure out what else may be going on. And read this too.

Those were the five points from my original post, but I will add in another five themes that I’ve recognized in recent years in my practice.

6. Openmindedness is the number one trait that I’ve seen predict happy relationships and the ability to work through problems. Both in and out of the bedroom, being openminded and nondefensive are key. Closedmindedness and rigidity eventually drive all partners away, and people would eventually rather be alone than with someone rigid, defensive, and who always has to be right. I used to think that two closed minded people would be okay together, but this is not usually the case. These people are still not exact clones, so they end up fighting over the few perspectives they don’t completely share! Work with your children on openmindedness, empathy, and perspective taking, and you will be ensuring their adult relationships are more successful.

7. Being raised sex negative is WAY WORSE THAN I THOUGHT. As my reach expands, and since telehealth exploded in 2020 (during COVID) I get more and more clients raised religious and who are in other parts of the country. The stories I have heard make me more and more convinced that raising a child to fear sex is an unintentional form of child abuse. So many people feel terrified to be sexual before marriage and are then expected to flip a switch somehow and think sex is fun and adventurous. This is ridiculous. Like other animals, people learn behaviorally, and if you are punished for years of your development for acting sexual or expressing a sexual self-concept, it is VERY HARD to flip this script when you get married. It can be done with counseling, but it is very difficult. Limited experience before marriage makes many people feel resentful, regretful, and, in later life, angry at their partners for not delivering a sexual experience that can remediate their years of inactivity (which is of course not possible, as they are only one human with their own issues). Read this and this for more. As I talk about here, people regret chances not taken and people not slept with!

8. A lot of people are having awful sex. I did not even realize until the past five years how few people were doing the following: open mouth kissing, foreplay for more than a minute, talking about sex, talking about exes, and much much more. I was raised pretty secular in a major city, went to college in an extremely liberal environment, and originally saw people in person in Maryland. As discussed, since telehealth has become ubiquitous, I see people from everywhere raised in very different environments where open discussion about sex was not even remotely a “thing.” I now understand how helpful it is for couples to learn how to talk about sex in a matter of fact way in session. Often, just coming in and talking to someone openly about sex can be transformative. This allows couples to face and work through their fears that it will be bad, harmful or hurtful to say things out loud that they would like to change about their sexual connection. Also, men and women understand much less than I thought they did about sex, which is why my posts and podcasts since then have gotten increasingly instructional!

9. Even the most high libido women are usually impacted by age and hormonal shifts in ways that are shocking to them. It is key that men can understand and empathize with how sad a woman feels who used to be highly sexual and now has lost that part of herself. This is a big change that happens to many women, and if a man makes it all about himself, he is creating an empathic rupture that is puts the relationship at risk. Understanding biology is key, in addition to understanding that aging happens and is normal.

10. Relatedly, a balanced and objective perspective on the inevitability of aging is necessary for mental health in middle and old age. I discuss here that I’ve noticed people hating the idea of aging more and more, and why I think that’s happening. When people try to deny that time marches on and humans change and grow continuously, this is bad for their relationships with spouses (and even adult kids). Read this and listen to this for more on this need for acceptance, and this and this for the need to understand that sex will change over time.

Thanks for the recent suggestion to revisit this post, reader who suggested it! This was a fun exercise for me and I hope you all found it interesting as well. And till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, In Ten Years I Will Be The Average Female Menopause Age (52) And That Update Will Be Even More Interesting!
 
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