Posts Tagged partner

Can Partner Lose His Interest in Boys?


I have a partner and we have been together for 15 years. I was 18 when we met and he was 33. Our whole relationship we have struggled with his attraction to younger men. He dated a 16 year old for 6 months when he was 31. We have went to a therapist over it and they have told me that since he has been with me he has not made any advances onto a young boy. But I catch him watching 12 year old boys wrestle, kiss or anything else he can find on youtube. I am not sure what to do. I love him and we have a life together, but this worries me.

A: It should worry you. Being sexually aroused by young boys is not a benign paraphilia. A young person could get hurt. Your partner could land in jail. At 18, you fulfilled his fantasy of being with a young boy – and you were legal. I’m concerned that 15 years later, now that you are clearly an adult, sex with you may not be enough to gratify him.

It is true that as long as someone has strong impulse control, he may never cross the line. However, some of the leading researchers who study pedophilia believe that indulging in watching such videos is a slippery slope. It encourages an objectification of young boys and reduces the older person’s ability to empathize with what they might feel if he approached them. Further, being with a lover is not a reliable deterrent for inappropriate or illegal sexual activity.

It’s not enough to hope that because he’s with you, he won’t act on his impulses. It’s important that he has a clear plan for staying on the right side of the line. That includes having empathy for children, having a well articulated plan for keeping children and himself safe, and being clear that he does have control over his choices. If that hasn’t been talked about specifically in therapy, it should be. If the therapist isn’t comfortable with a frank and detailed conversation about it, please find a therapist with expertise in the issue.

People do have control over their proclivities. But they have to be committed to it. I hope your partner is being honest with himself and with you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Women Prefer Prestige Over Dominance In Mates


A new study in the journal Personal Relationships reveals that women prefer mates who are recognized by their peers for their skills, abilities, and achievements, while not preferring men who use coercive tactics to subordinate their rivals. Indeed, women found dominance strategies of the latter type to be attractive primarily when men used them in the context of male-male athletic competitions

Jeffrey K. Snyder, Lee A. Kirkpatrick, and H. Clark Barrett conducted three studies with college women at two U.S. universities. Participants evaluated hypothetical potential mates described in written vignettes. The studies were designed to examine the respective effects of men’s dominance and prestige on women’s assessments of men.

Women are sensitive to the context in which men display domineering behaviors when they evaluate men as potential mates. For example, the traits and behaviors that women found attractive in athletic competitions were unattractive to women when men displayed the same traits and behaviors in interpersonal contexts. Notably, when considering prospective partners for long-term relationships, women’s preferences for dominance decrease, and their preferences for prestige increase.

“These findings directly contradict the dating advice of some pop psychologists who advise men to be aggressive in their social interactions. Women most likely avoid dominant men as long-term romantic partners because a dominant man may also be domineering in the household.” the authors conclude.

via Women Prefer Prestige Over Dominance In Mates.

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Young men more vulnerable to relationship ups and downs than women


In the study of more than 1,000 unmarried young adults between the ages of 18 and 23, Wake Forest Professor of Sociology Robin Simon challenges the long-held assumption that women are more vulnerable to the emotional rollercoaster of relationships. Even though men sometimes try to present a tough face, unhappy romances take a greater emotional toll on men than women, Simon says. They just express their distress differently than women.

Simon’s research is published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Anne Barrett, associate professor of sociology at Florida State University, co-authored the article.

“Our paper sheds light on the association between non-marital romantic relationships and emotional well-being among men and women on the threshold of adulthood,” Simon says. “Surprisingly, we found young men are more reactive to the quality of ongoing relationships.”

That means the harmful stress of a rocky relationship is more closely associated with men’s than women’s mental health. The researchers also found that men get greater emotional benefits from the positive aspects of an ongoing romantic relationship. This contradicts the stereotypic image of stoic men who are unaffected by what happens in their romantic relationships.

Simon suggests a possible explanation for the findings: For young men, their romantic partners are often their primary source of intimacy — in contrast to young women who are more likely to have close relationships with family and friends. Strain in a current romantic relationship may also be associated with poor emotional well-being because it threatens young men’s identity and feelings of self-worth, she says.

She also explains how men and women express emotional distress in different ways. “Women express emotional distress with depression while men express emotional distress with substance problems,” Simon says.

While young men are more affected emotionally by the quality of their current relationships, young women are more emotionally affected by whether they are in a relationship or not, Simon says. So, young women are more likely to experience depression when the relationship ends or benefit more by simply being in a relationship.

For the study, Simon and Barrett analyzed data from a large sample of young adult men and women in south Florida. The survey data was originally gathered for a long-term study of mental health and the transition to adulthood.

Simon says there is much still to learn about these relationships between men and women in early adulthood, so she advocates for more research on this prolonged and varied period in the life course that is characterized by identity exploration, a focus on the self, and forging new relationships.

via Young men more vulnerable to relationship ups and downs than women.

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Women Usually Push for Partner’s Health


Women Usually Push for Partner’s Health

Women Usually Push for Partner’s Health
By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 12, 2012
New research finds that women take the role as advocates for their partner’s health in heterosexual marriages.

For gay and lesbian couples, however, they are more likely to mutually influence each other’s health habits.

Sociologists Drs. Corinne Reczek and Debra Umberson followed 20 long-term heterosexual marriages as well as 15 long-term gay and 15 long-term lesbian partnerships in the United States.

Their findings supported previous research that discovered in heterosexual marriages, women put more effort into encouraging good health habits for their spouses.

In traditional heterosexual marriages, sociologists theorize that from early childhood, the socialization of women into caretaker roles has led to health benefits for husbands.

Researchers say this newest study is among the first of its kind to explore how gay and lesbian couples affect each other’s health habits.

The researchers examined what they called “health work” — defined as any activity or dialogue concerned with enhancing another’s health. In the study, 100 in-depth interviews were conducted with couples involved in 50 long-term relationships — couples who were involved for at least eight years or longer.

The study found that at least one partner in more than three-quarters of the heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples did some form of health work as a result of two reasons: the other partner had bad health habits, or one partner was considered the “health expert.”

Nearly half of the respondents — heterosexual, gay or lesbian — blamed a partner’s unhealthy habits for the other partner’s attempts at intervention.

Among heterosexual couples, men were typically identified as needing the prodding toward healthier lifestyles.

For couples identifying a “health expert,” the researchers say that straight women were almost exclusively identified, while gay and lesbian couples identified one partner as the health expert, regardless of gender.

A dichotomy was discovered in the marital groups as couples “mutually reinforcing” health behaviors were more prominent in gay (80 percent) and lesbian (86 percent) couples versus straight couples (10 percent).

Researchers believe the role variance occurs because of cultural underpinnings that influence the environment in which gay and lesbian couples live, including “a heteronormative and homophobic culture at large, and a non-institutionalized nonheterosexual union.”

“This structure results in a unique relational context for cooperative, more egalitarian health work processes to emerge,” write the authors.

The authors state that the findings suggest that gendered relational context of an intimate partnership shapes the dynamics and explanations for health behavior work.

Source: University of Cincinnati

Couple drinking coffee photo by shutterstock.

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