Today's Love Tip
When you're just getting involved in a promising relationship and really like the other person, you want to shout it from the rooftops. These days, when you want to share exciting news, it's typical to turn to social media outlets like... Read More
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Can You Break His Bad Habits?

At the beginning of a relationship you tend to see only those things that are most endearing. It takes no effort to see only the best in your man. But a funny thing about relationships is that as they grow, the things you once found endearing become downright irritating.

Suddenly all of his bad habits are shining like a bright beacon and you are ready to snuff out the light. But can you really break his bad habits?

Is this really a bad habit?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is if what you are dealing with is really a bad habit or simply an annoyance. If it's not addressed, a bad habit could end up becoming a destructive force in your relationship. But an annoyance is something you can usually learn to live with.

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If you decide that something he does is just pesky, learn to let it go. We all have a way of rubbing someone the wrong way. All you have to do is ask him and I'm sure he will tell you about the things you do that annoy him.

If on the other hand you decide it's a deal breaker, then it's time to address it. How you go about doing this can mean the difference between a broken habit and a broken relationship.


One Habit at a Time

No one likes to be presented with a laundry list of all the things they do wrong. If you are going to deal with this once and for all, do it one habit at a time.

As soon as you start rattling off your list, he will immediately tune you out. Eventually he will move into defense mode. So determine now to tackle just one habit at a time, starting with the worst offense.

When you begin to see progress with one, then move onto the next habit. Approach each one with a desire to help him, not as a way to spotlight all his faults.

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Don't Nag; Ask Questions

Alerting someone to their bad habits can be a sensitive topic. So the way you approach it is important. Determine ahead of time that you won't nag.

Nagging makes the person feel like you are talking down to them. It comes across as demeaning or to some men, like nails across a chalkboard. It will almost always have the opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish.


It's best to start off by asking indirect questions such as, "Why do you suppose you..." and then fill in the blank with the bad habit. Your question might take him off guard. It could be that he didn't even realize he was doing it.

Or he might not have known that what he was doing was a concern to you. By asking a question, you allow him the opportunity to think about a solution, instead of immediately feeling like he has to defend himself.

However you should also be prepared for denial. Some people just really have no clue they are doing something that has become a bad habit. If he denies it, be ready to give him specific examples.

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If you generalize his bad habits, it will be harder for him to see them as real issues. However, if you have concrete examples of behaviors you think are toxic, then he has a better chance to understand and make concrete changes that you can track.

When you share your examples, don't use it as an opportunity to vent. Talk in a calm and gentle manner. He will be more receptive to what you have to say.

At the same time, you want to express why his bad habit could be destructive to your relationship. If you are going to bring up what could be a sensitive topic, there should be a valid reason for it.


You should be able to clearly explain how it makes you feel. But be careful to not use words such as, "You do this" or "You make me feel," which will immediately put him on defense. Instead say, "I feel" or "It makes me feel."

Help Him Find Solutions

The idea isn't to open his eyes to a bad habit and then leave it at that. Be willing to help him find a solution.

Try to come up with realistic, helpful ideas. Telling someone to just stop doing something isn't a way to provide support and motivation. You should be willing to be part of the solution.

It could be that his bad habit is something he learned as a child. It may take a bit longer to overcome. Or it could be that his bad habit is simply a matter of changing one thing.

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For instance, you may have started to feel more like a maid to your man. He drops his dirty clothes wherever he happens to be standing at the moment. It's a bad habit that you aren't willing to put up with.

A simple solution might be providing a basket or laundry hamper in the room he most often gets undressed. If he doesn't have the tools available to change his habit, don't expect much progress.


Be His Accountability Partner

Once the bad habit has been brought to light, help him be more accountable. Not in a way that you are constantly bringing it up but in gentle reminders.

You should both decide on a reminder that won't be offensive. Using the dirty clothes as an example, instead of shouting, "There you go again, leaving your mess all over for me to clean up!" turn it into something more playful.

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Remember that bad habits don't change overnight. Expect him to slip up and at times even resist. How you react will determine how the situation plays out.

When it comes right down to it, no one can really break someone else's bad habits. If you try to exert your will over another person's life, it usually ends up backfiring. They have to be willing to make the effort, but you can be their biggest cheerleader.

 


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Are You A Sex Addict?

Hollywood A-listers like Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, and Jesse James have accidentally pioneered the acknowledgement of sexual addiction as a serious problem.

However it may appear in the tabloids, sex addiction is real and it can be the root of a number of problems that can affect the rest of your life. It may be the desire to constantly masturbate, watch porn, pick up strangers, and engage in sex at any opportunity.{relatedarticles}

Sex addiction can consume your life, and it may lead to complications in not only your relationship, but also your health, your work, your relationship with your friends and family members, legal trouble, and a general loss of interest in the rest of your life. If you do suspect that you are a sex addict, read on to find out what the tell-tale signs of sex addiction are.

You Experience Interruptive Thoughts about Sex.

If thoughts about sex or sexual activity are interrupting your day without provocation, that might be indicative of a problem, particularly if those thoughts push the bounds of decency.


If you're suddenly hit with the thought of what kissing, fondling, or having sex with a complete stranger, an acquaintance, a close friend, or a family member, you are experiencing sexually obsessive thoughts.

You've Been Leading a Double Life.

Do you have a lover on the side? Are you regularly cheating on your partner? Do you keep your sex life a secret from your friends and those around you? If you've been leading a double life to fulfill your own sexual desires, it may be a signal that you have a sex addiction.{relatedarticles}

While it's true that a number of people, both male and female, cheat on their significant others, a constant compulsion to do so isn't normal.

If you've been keeping your activities a secret from the people you care about the most, it begs one question - why? Why are you hiding what you're doing? If you know what you're doing is wrong but you can't stop yourself, you have a problem.

You are Constantly Looking for New Sexual Material

One of the markers of a preoccupation with sex is the compulsion to constantly seek out only media that is related to sex. This is different from the average guy (or gal) who watches pornography on occasion, reads sex articles, or looks at stimulating photographs. These are normal, natural human compulsions, and an interest in sex is not indicative of a problem.


On the other hand, if you are always looking for sex-related material to the exclusion of other things you may have a problem. Is your productivity at work suffering because you're browsing adult dating sites or reading steamy sex stories? That's another sign.{relatedarticles}

You Jeopardize your Relationships

We're not talking about just your personal relationship with your partner. A sex addiction can easily begin to interfere with your professional and social circles. Your deceptive behavior, necessary to cover up your sexual exploits, can put a strain on your friendships when your loved ones ask about where you are or what you're up to when you so frequently disappear by yourself.

Your stress over relationship conflict can lead you to indulge further in your sexual addiction, creating a dangerous whirlpool that can suck up your whole life.

You Feel Negatively about your Behavior

If you feel shameful about your behavior and have the impulse to hide it, you have a problem and you need to seek out help and support. Negative emotions are a common human experience, but if you're trapped in a cycle of being unable to withhold yourself from your behavior and then feeling remorse or depression about your actions, your psychological well-being is in jeopardy.


Sex addiction is not different from most other addictions, and your counterproductive behavior and hiding of it can destroy your sense of self-worth and lead you into a dangerous pattern of denial. It can also lead to guilt, depression, and even suicidal feelings.

When we do things that we can't restrain ourselves against, then hate ourselves because we can't help ourselves, we lead ourselves down a dangerous path of self-destructive behavior that can take hold of our lives and compromise all aspects of our life.{relatedarticles}

You Engage in Sexual Thrill-Seeking

You may be seeking out exciting encounters if you're not being satisfied or stimulated by having sex with the same partner, and what might be a one-off can quickly turn into a habit. You may be engaging in dangerous sex escapades with strangers, having sex in public or unusual places, and opening yourself up to potentially harmful situations.

If you find that you are never satisfied by having sex with your partner, your sexuality may be suffering. Constantly looking for new sexual thrills is often a hallmark of a sex addiction that has gotten out of control.


You Have Gotten in Trouble with the Law

If your dangerous thrill-seeking has led you down a destructive path, you might attempt having sex with prostitutes, having sex with minors, or engaging in exhibitionism.

These illegal activities can not only land you in legal trouble, but could also smear your public reputation and leave you outside the good graces of your friends, family, co-workers, and the general public (which tends to frown on these sorts of sexual exploits).{relatedarticles}

Other actions that might not necessarily be illegal but could still be offensive or indicative of a problem include indecent phone calls, dialing sex hotlines, or voyeurism.

When the compulsion to express your sexuality lands you in trouble, it's a sign that you might be a sex addict. Sex shouldn't be a legal issue, and if it's causing problems in your life, it could lead to a breakdown of your relationship with your partner or your relationship with others.

Not to mention, it could be terribly embarrassing to have your name spread all over local and social media channels.

If you're experiencing one or any of these symptoms, you may have a sex addiction. Fortunately, there is help available. Online websites and discussion forums are a good place to discuss your problem in anonymity. Always remember: the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem


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The Dos and Don'ts of Contraception

If you don't know the importance of having protected sex by now, you have probably been living under a rock.

Society has repeatedly driven home the magnitude of safe sex. The message is simple -- if you don't want to end up pregnant or with a sexually transmitted disease, cover up during your intimate encounters. The most effective way to prevent pregnancy or an infection from an STD is abstinence. While refusing sexual contact does eliminate the risks of pregnancy and potential illness, it can also limit the development of a loving relationship.

If you choose to add a sexual component to your life, make sure to examine the wide selection of birth control methods at your disposal. Just as having sexual intercourse involves personal preference, so does picking a contraceptive. Not all types of birth control fit every person's needs. Luckily, there are a number of alternatives out there.

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Contraception for Women

To avoid pregnancy, some women find the birth control pill to be best. There are 2 different types: combined oral contraceptive pills and progestin-only pills.

Each kind of pill operates differently, so it's important to understand how they work. Then you can decide which one suits your lifestyle.


The combined oral contraceptive pill includes two hormones -- estrogen and progestin. These hormones work together to stop ovulation, or the release of an egg, and limit the sperm's movement. Although this pill is a good way to prevent pregnancy, it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV. It is recommended that condoms be used in conjunction with these pills.

When prescribed and taken properly, this kind of birth control pill has many benefits; among them are decreasing a woman's risk for ovarian cancer and reducing the chance of benign breast masses. The pill can clear acne and make premenstrual cramps more bearable.

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But with these attractive features come some issues as well. One of the biggest problems with the pill is remembering to take it at the same time each day. If you ingest it a few hours later than your normal schedule, you could be unprotected. This means you run the risk of ovulating and potentially becoming pregnant.

Additionally, the combined birth control pill can cause:

  • nausea;
  • spotting;
  • headaches; and
  • depression.

Blood clots are also a risk that can occur from taking this pill, though it is rare. Smokers are 1 risk group who should not take the pill.


The other type of birth control pill is the progestin-only variety. Its greatest advantage is that it does not contain estrogen, so women don't have to worry about suffering from the side effects associated with this hormone. Also, the amount of progestin is less than in the combined version. Therefore, the overall hormone intake is reduced in this form of contraception.

Like the combined pill, the progestin-only type of birth control reduces:

  • menstrual cramps;
  • headaches; and
  • mood swings.

However, an irregular menstrual cycle is a reported problem with this kind of pill. Women also have complained about weight gain or bloating because of regular use of this contraceptive. A healthy diet and exercise can make these side effects much more manageable.

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If possible side effects and the burden of remembering to take a pill every day don't sound very appealing, another option is the cervical cap. Spermicide is placed inside this latex device before it fits into a woman's vagina and onto her cervix. It's designed so that the suction prevents sperm from entering the uterus.

Women who choose this form of contraception should make sure to get a new cap on a yearly basis through a doctor or nurse. This is not an over-the-counter purchase. Besides this, it does offer a lot of flexibility to the user.


Not only is it small and easy to transport, but it also can be inserted up to one hour before sexual intercourse. Also, at the time of its placement, it works continuously for 48 hours straight.

A couple can have sex multiple times, and the cervical cap will still be effective as long as it's left in at least six to eight hours after the last interlude. Although it's constantly at work blocking sperm from entering the uterus, it does not interfere with the pleasure of having sex. In fact, a woman's partner won't know it's there unless he's told.

There are risks, however, to using this kind of contraception. The cap can cause inflammation on the surface of the cervix. If a woman is allergic to latex, irritation could result. But the greatest danger of all is a serious infection called toxic shock syndrome. This can happen if the cervical cap is kept on for more than 48 hours.

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So if you choose this birth control method, be very aware of how long the cap has been in place and make sure to remove it after a suitable amount of time has passed.

A diaphragm is another way a woman can block her cervix from any sperm. Like the cervical cap, it is fitted by a physician and can be inserted several hours in advance without causing any hormonal side effects.


However, this birth control tool does have several risks. Not only is toxic shock syndrome an issue if the diaphragm is left in for too long, but it's been known to cause urinary tract infections.

There is also the chance it could move around during sex, so women who use it should consider sexual positions carefully and check to make sure the diaphragm is still in place.

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Contraception for Men

Women are not the only ones who are responsible for making thoughtful contraception choices. Men also have a role in this process. The most common form of birth control for men is the condom. They're made of polyurethane and are designed to prevent bodily fluids from mixing during sexual intercourse.

In addition to protecting against most STDs and the transmission of HIV, they stop sperm from entering a woman's uterus to block pregnancy. This form of birth control is the best way to prevent any kind of sex-related infection, too.


However, not all STDs are preventable with the use of a condom. Genital herpes and syphilis, for example, are immune to condom use because they can be passed from one person to another through infected skin surfaces. Also, condoms can be ripped or torn by fingers, jewelry or anything sharp, so great care needs to be taken when putting on this product.

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No matter what form of contraception you choose, be sure to understand the risks and benefits before engaging in any sexual activity


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