There’s no doubt that the 2012 race for The White House is one of the most highly-contested in recent political history. Tensions are boiling over and tempers are fraught, but what impact does this have on your own interpersonal relationships?
For some, political tendencies can strengthen a relationship, for others it will signal the end.
We spoke to Dr. Reef Karim, Psychiatrist, Relationship Therapist and Director at The Control Center, who shares his advice on how your relationship can survive this tense political time.
“Never talk about politics or religion, right? Well, if you’re dating or in a relationship with someone, guess what? This time of year can elicit intense discussions and a lot of conflict,” Karim says. ” It’s election time and our relationships often get stronger OR more problematic.
“The election is about a lot of things: health care, immigration, foreign policy and a host of potentially controversial issues. So when two people have different political party affiliations or disagree on many of the issues, their ability to resolve conflict and love each other in spite of their differences will absolutely be tested.”
And he kindly offers up these tips on how to overcome political friction in a relationship…
1). Find issues you agree upon and focus on that before anything else.
2). Have a romantic date night where the topic of politics is not allowed anywhere in the discussion.
3) Remember why you fell in love with that person in the first place.
Lastly, he adds: ”We all have opinions in life and we’re not always going to agree. So learning how to disagree and still respect and love the other person is a very important skill. Especially during election time.”
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are just the latest in a long line of Hollywood couples whose relationship have come to a screeching end. It seems that La La Land is strewn with broken relationships, but is it the pressure of living life in the spotlight that causes countless couples to part ways? Or do their overinflated egos get in the way of having a shot at lasting love?
Earlier this year we discussed this subject matter with Dr. Reef Karim, The Sex, Drugs & Relationships Doctor and Psychiatrist & Relationship Expert, who has a new book out titled “Why Does He Do That? Why Does She Do That?”
If you didn’t read it the first time, take a look now as it will help somewhat in explaining why so many relationships in Hollywood falter.
But first things first…..Dr. Reef Karim, weighs in on today’s BIG news: Tom and Katie’s split.
As we digest the breaking news of Katie Holmes reported filing for divorce from Tom Cruise, let’s look at the stressors on relationships in Hollywood.
Maintaining a long-term relationship and marriage is hard for any couple and more than 50 percent of couples can’t keep it together and work things out. Add the fact you’re a celebrity with very little privacy, few people who you trust because many people won’t tell you the truth due to financial interests and the fact that your wedding, interviews and social life have been big, big news for five years… and you’ve got the makings of enormous added pressure to keep a marriage together.
Additionally, money can make the world a better place or a miserable place. And when you have money and fame and the deals, competition and often times “contracts” that go along with it, you now have many potential areas of conflict that will ultimately stress a relationship.
Here is our previous interview with him…
Celebzter: Hollywood is littered with broken relationships, why do you think the stars seem to lack an ability to maintain marriages more than most people?
Dr. Reef Karim: Most people (well, over fifty percent) can’t maintain a marriage. In a fast paced society where individual goals seem to be valued higher than emotional connection, it’s hard to maintain ANYTHING long-term.
Now, add the fact that you’re a celebrity. You’re probably surrounded by a lot of people who don’t necessarily have your best interests in mind, there’s very few people you trust, you have very little privacy and personal time, your schedule requires lots of late hours and travel and your emotional development may have been delayed or paralyzed particularly if you were a child actor.
No wonder it’s that much harder for a celebrity to maintain a relationship.
Celebzter: Do you think their vanity and egos get in the way? Or is the temptation on set which causes havoc?
Dr. Reef Karim: Temptation is always right around the corner. Particularly in Hollywood..
The question is do you have enough impulse control and stability to not create a lot of drama and destroy your emotional foundation. Egos can get in the way and when everyone around you is telling you how great you are (since many of them make money on your stardom), an inflated ego is unfortunately a common story.
Celebzter: What is your advice to Hollywood couples?
Dr. Reef Karim: The most important thing Hollywood couples should do is to build an emotional foundation with each other and with family and friends OUTSIDE of Hollywood. Develop trusting relationships with others who don’t have something to gain by being with you and who truly like you for who you are. And if you don’t like who you are, then get a therapist!
Dr. Reef Karim is hosting a new medical show on Discovery Fit & health called Broken Minds. Premiering in June. Follow Dr. Reef Karim on Twitter: @DrReef
And pick up a copy of his latest book, pictured below.
We’ve all used that cliché that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, time and time again.
And anyone who is in a relationship knows, the opposite sex, is well, just different, and has an entirely different mindset.
Dr. Reef Karim,The Sex, Drugs & Relationships Doctor and Psychiatrist & Relationship Expert, has a new book out titled “Why Does He Do That? Why Does She Do That?”, in which he explores the mysteries surrounding women and men. And it seems that men lie and do anything to appease us more often than women do.
Here is our exclusive interview with him…
Celebzter: Can you tell us about you book “Why Does He Do That? Why Does She Do That?”
Dr. Reef Karim: This book “Why Does He Do That? Why Does She Do That?” examines the dating world from a psychological (and sometimes funny) perspective. Men and Women have been fascinated and frustrated by each other forever and in this book, we break down the differences between men and women and give some practical advice on how to date more effectively. In other words, how not to self destruct on a date. What is he really thinking when you stay over at his place on a 1st or 2nd date? Do people even really date anymore or just “hang out” and “hook up?”. What does it mean when someone says “pass the awkward sauce?”
We also go over common relationship issues. Many couples break up because they don’t know how to grow together or how to resolve conflict in a healthy way or they don’t understand themselves very well. A key to having a successful relationship is to really understand yourself; what are your dating habits?, what kind of attachment style did you have growing up?, what do you do when you get anxious?, how do you handle anger? etc.
What’s interesting about this book is that there are two writers: one male & one female; one single & one married with kids and one who’s in the dating world now and one who hasn’t been there for a while. Sometimes we agree. Other times we don’t. But, we are both experts in human behavior. Reading this book will change the way you look at the opposite sex.. and yourself.
Celebzter: Are men and women REALLY that different?
Dr. Reef Karim: Men and women are different in so many ways. Which is why it’s “so hard to live with them but yet we can’t live without them.” We are obviously different anatomically and physically but our brains are also different, we are socialized different, we have different ways of looking at the world and we have unique strengths and weaknesses. The ideal situation is when a marriage/relationship takes the strengths of the man and the strengths of the woman and develops an entity that’s “the best of”. Like a “best of” CD that gets rid of all of the lame songs that sound like a bad version of the good ones.
Celebzter: What is the biggest difference (aside from the obvious physical) between them?
Dr. Reef Karim: Here’s an example: When I say our brains are different, I see people start to yawn and they’re thinking “this guy’s going to say something super boring right now.” But, how many times have women asked their man to remember their anniversary or their birthday or to pick up a list of things from the store and what happens most of the time? HE FORGETS. Now why does it seem like women remember everything and men remember nothing? It’s because an area of our brain that processes memories is better connected and usually larger in women. Those memories also tend to carry more emotional value in women which is why women remember better.. they have an emotional attachment to the memory. You’re not yawning anymore, are you?
Celebzter: Do they communicate differently?
Dr. Reef Karim: We definitely communicate differently. Men tend to be single focused; we get an idea in our head and go with it, often compromising everything else around us. It’s a good quality when achieving a specific goal but it’s not the best thing when you want to multi-task. Women have awareness of their entire environment. It almost speaks to them.
Celebzter: Do you think men just say anything to please women?
Dr. Reef Karim: Men will lie or just appease a woman when guys want to avoid conflict, avoid intimacy, avoid interrogation or maintain a sense of privacy. When men feel comfortable and “safe” (yeah, I used the word “safe”) around a woman (meaning we don’t think you’re going to use our words against us later), then we will say what we’re really feeling.
Celebzter: Do you think men lie often to women?
Dr. Reef Karim: Men lie more than women but women are better liars. Guys that aren’t sociopaths are pretty weak liars.
Celebzter: How can women understand men better?
Dr. Reef Karim: The best thing a woman can do is to realize that A MAN IS NOT A HAIRY WOMAN. He’s completely different than you in every way but the right man with the right woman is an incredible combination. Take the time to understand that he doesn’t operate like you do and you shouldn’t expect him to. Respecting our differences and understand ourselves is the key to a happy and healthy romantic life.