Dear Dr Nekia,
I have a male friend who really is just my friend and we recently had a discussion about men. His mom and sisters are all single and he says that they keep choosing losers.
What I find interesting is that he is calling these men losers simply because they do not treat the women in his family right, but he treats women poorly as well. His excuse: women are dumb and donít respect themselves. If you ask him if he thinks his mom and sisters are being dumb too, he would say Ďyesí. Is it just me or does he not see that he is calling himself a loser too? Yet he thinks he is a catch.
Heís A Loser
Dear Heís A Loser,
It is so painfully easy to look at the choices and behaviours of others and call them out on it, but when it comes to looking at and holding ourselves up to those very same standards, we often cannot do it.
Our egos justify and rationalise everything dark and unpleasant about ourselves, and trick us into thinking that we are making perfectly logical sense. We simply refuse to see the truth about our own behaviour. Instead, we make excuses and cast the blame on others. By not recognising the ugly truth about ourselves, we end up seeing and experiencing others through tainted lenses which then allows us to justify our actions.
I have sat and listened to less than honourable men cast judgment on their peers for indulging in the same behaviour as them. Most times, if the situation involves a woman, she will get the brunt of the blame. If a woman believes in a man who turns out to be of poor character, she is called stupid because she should know better than to be so trusting and emotionally accepting. If, however, a woman is distrustful and guarded, she is accused of not wanting a good man, of being bitter and cold. Such men do not see that responsibility for their own selves lies with them and not the woman; that is until they see another male hurt a female that they love. I agree that men should point out the ill behaviour of others, but only if they are offering support and encouragement to that man and if they themselves are striving to be honourable. Otherwise, all we have is a bunch of losers going around calling one another losers while women wait for said losers to act right.
Dear Dr Nekia,
My man snores! Since moving in together I hardly ever get a good nightís sleep and Iím beginning to feel tired, cranky and drained. I find myself losing focus at work and I know it is because I cannot get good rest. Iíve tried ear plugs and he has tried the breathing strips. The doctors say that there is nothing structurally wrong, so there is no need for surgery. He gets mad at me if I wake him, but I donít think that it is fair that he gets rest while I am awake nights listening to him. Honestly, some nights I just feel like smothering him with a pillow. We have discussed sleeping apart, but neither one of us wants that. I am considering moving out, but then there would be no point in continuing the relationship. Obviously, we cannot live together.
Dear Sleep Deprived,
Snoring is a major issue in many relationships. We all need good sleep in order for our bodies to recuperate and our minds to function on a daily basis and sleep deprivation is a very serious occurrence that tends to be taken far too lightly. In the past, women were taught to ignore it so that their hard-working husbands could get much needed rest. But, in todayís world, where many women are also the breadwinners, we demand more equal consideration.
Recent studies have also found that women need more quality sleep than men to keep up the pace. Sadly, many couples wrestle with this issue for years; not all of them stay together. The person who snores can become very defensive and irritable as well because, even though they seem to be getting rest, their quality of sleep is poor, which leads to nervous tension. They also feel helpless because they do not know how to stop snoring and are upset that their partner is so angry with them.
Breathing strips, a change in sleep position, ear plugs, and sleeping apart are not good long-term solutions. Over time you will either grow increasingly irritated with one another and most people drift apart when they sleep separately. Sleeping together brings a certain quality to intimate relationships. Sleep is not just a time for physical rejuvenation but also relationship rejuvenation. While your conscious mind is at rest, your inner selves connect and rekindle your bond through touch and proximity.
Should you choose to sleep apart, be sure that you both agree to make extra efforts to solidify your relationship during the waking hours. For example, set aside quiet, personal time before bed and waking up mornings. Five to ten minutes of bonding and touch can make a significant difference. If there has been a thorough check and there is no known medical reason for his snoring, your partner might want to look into lifestyle issues such as diet and stress. Certain foods, beverages and spirits can cause decreased heart and lung function at rest, or an inflammatory response within the body which puts undo stress and pressure on the respiratory system. Likewise, there are foods and herbs that open the lungs and restrictive airways. Smoking and stress are also big triggers for snoring, as well as the time of eating. Avoid heavy meals or rich foods before bedtime.
When all else fails, try meditating. Find his best sleep position where snoring is minimised as much as possible. If you can, gently rub his back or chest to soothe him. This is especially helpful if he is high-strung or stressed. Next, find a rhythm or pattern to his snore and follow that pattern. Sounds strange, but it can help induce a peaceful sleep state and encourage proper breathing in your partner. Of course, all of this begins with an open heart and kindness and will also take a lot of patience and practice, but it is worth it
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