In order to have a successful relationship, we, as partners, both agree that we each have certain rights, as well as responsibilities, to uphold in our partnership. In accepting that reality, we affirm, to the best of our abilities, that:
• We will each accept responsibility for our own actions.
• We will assume that our partners tried the best they knew how when something goes wrong.
• If things don’t go our way, we won’t blame each other.
• We will accept the fact that stuff happens and that things in life don’t always go the way we wanted them to go.
• We will always attempt to find a common solution to our problems.
• When we cannot find a common solution to our problems, we will seek outside help.
• We will not sacrifice for each other, but rather, we will find a solution to our relationship issues that benefits both of us.
• We will never attack each other’s character or motivations.
• We will treat each other with common dignity even when we are angry.
• We will share our thoughts and feelings and will take time to discuss what really matters to us without withholding any of the essentials.
• We will check in with each other to see if either one of us is harboring fears that we have not yet articulated.
• We will look to the future and try to imagine how things will be when we have worked through our relationship problems and the real world issues that we are facing.
• We will work toward our shared vision of the future rather than harboring resentments about what happened in the past.
• We will not worry about our relationship, but rather, we will let our relationship lead us to discover new aspects of our selves and the world.
• In doing these things, we will treat each other as family and friends.
• If things are improving in our relationships, we will celebrate.
• If things are not improving in our relationship, we will seek help from a psychologist or another relationship professional.
• We will be optimistic about our relationship and see it as a win/win situation regardless of what happens and what the future brings our way.
These guidelines can give us direction in the future, and we can turn to them to affirm our relationship at any time. We understand that our relationship is a work in progress and that some of these rights and responsibilities will take time to actualize.
The Relationship Bill of Rights and Responsibilities is based on a study of high-functioning couples. Highlighted here are the things they do to make their relationships exciting and meaningful.
If you want to work toward learning how to do these things, let me show you how. Get my book, Low Stress Romance. It will simplify your journey. If you need help, Talk To Me about it.
*The Relationship Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Copyright 2009 Dr. Billy Lee Kidd. From the book Low Stress Romance. Copy for personal use only. For commercial use, contact Romantic Relationship Institute, LLC.
Romeo and Juliet fell in love at first sight. Then they bet everything on love, so much that it killed them. You’d think we’d have learned something from that example in the last 400 years. But betting it all on love is still the hottest game in town. Did you ever wonder why? Well …
Here’s the scientific short take on love at first sight:
• Gambling on Love is in Our Blood – Literally. Love at first sight is kind of like seeing someone who strikes you as sexy. That releases sex hormones. When your in-love button gets pressed, it causes a blast of a special type of serotonin to circulate in your blood stream and into your brain. That can cause you to think obsessively about one person—so much that you think he or she is the One. Psychologically, it’s a little like having an obsessive-compulsive disorder focused on one person.
• Obsessive Thinking Creates a Great Escape. When you’re crazy about someone, your mind blots out the rest of the world. Stress hormones jack you up while neurological growth hormones protect your brain from damage. This acts as a buffer against the everyday stress you’ve been facing. It also allows you to imagine changing your entire world—maybe even escaping a life situation where you feel trapped. That happens because crazy love is not simply a feeling. Rather, it motivates you to achieve a new goal—getting together with a particular person. So why not make a high-stakes bet on love? Well … because it’s going to end.
• Love At First Sight Always Ends. After the in-love serotonin starts circulating, you and your lover have 30 months—usually less—to get your act together. That’s because the elevated serotonin levels return to normal as your brain chemistry rebalances. That’s when the honeymoon is over. Or—if you are a good gambler—you move into the second stage of being in love.
• Crazy Love Can Evolve into Reward Love. If you and your partner have your act together, you’ll stop obsessing on each other and establish a life together. When you are with each other, you’ll feel rewarded, rather than angry, revengeful, and jealous. To achieve that goal requires that you have a balanced relationship. This happens if you engage the other four feelings of love in a functional fashion. Those other love feelings are: feel-good sex, feeling like friends, feeling like family, and feeling like helping each other to achieve your life goals.
• Winning at the Game of Love. Marketers and screenwriters intuitively know how people turn love-at-first-sight romances into successful relationships. That is why they show couples who are crazy in love having great sex or acting like best friends. Or, they show partners having deep family-like feelings for each other and creating emotional ties that bind. They also show love-at-first-sight couples helping each other. What the media ignores–as it cuts to the chase–is the fact that some of these feelings take time to develop.
• Moving Beyond Instant Intimacy. What you can learn from the popular media is to start thinking early about having great sex. Also, you can learn to share your thoughts honestly on almost anything the way friends do. And why not take a hint from the movies and try to feel like a family and to help each other? It all makes sense, doesn’t it?
OK. That’s the scientific short take on love at first sight. Some people become a little leery of it at about 26 years old. They have “loved and lost” a few times—the serotonin faded away and left them feeling empty. And now, they want something more. That’s great! Scientists have shown us what that “want more” feeling really is. It’s the need for you and your partner to have good sex, treat each other equitably like friends, feel like family, and to help each other.
What does this mean for you? If you want a great relationship you have to:
- work at achieving your sexual potential by discussing your sexual needs with your partner
- actualize your ability to be a good friend by being honest, friendly, and thoughtful
- discover what good family feelings really are by letting go and not thinking of your painful memories
- learn to help the one you love simply because you enjoy it
Do you want to talk to me personally about love, relationships, and reinventing yourself? Let me hear your thoughts. It’s confidential. Go to Billy Kidd Dot Com Feedback. If you want to read more about how love works, see my book, LOW STRESS ROMANCE. It’s now available in a Kindle electronic format.
It has been demonstrated that following a natural or manmade disaster, the rates of ADHD and autism increase. That’s because of the stress that pregnant women suffer during such crises.
What’s happening is that the increase in stress changes the way the placenta barrier between mother and child operates. This causes the infant to experience a change in the nutrient blood flow from his or her mother. This impacts how the infant’s brain develops. It also reprograms the infant’s “set points” that govern his or her biological functions after birth.
It is common in the press to talk about the ADHD/autism epidemic. But very few people have related it to the 9/11 disaster. Women’s lives changed forever that day when New York and Washington were attacked. And then, the wars came, and pregnant women suffered stress when their partners were sent to fight. This had an impact on their developing infants. Meanwhile, the stress of daily life increased for everyone. That was due to the recession which was caused, in part, by the disaster, the wars, and the spending spree that followed.
This is why I’m calling the current surge in developmental disorders the 9/11 ADHD-autism syndrome. If you have children born after 9/11 who have developmental problems, I’d like her hear from you. Write to me at Contact Dr. Billy Kidd. Also, if you have any other insights into this syndrome please tell me about them.
I fully understand that there are multiple causes of the long-term increase in the rates of ADHD and autism, and that the surge appears to have started in the 1980s. But remember, prenatal stress of any kind can affect the development of your child’s brain. Stress is also a primary cause of spontaneous abortion and premature birth.
This is why in my book, Low Stress Romance, I discussed how it is important to have a low stress romantic relationship if you are expecting to have children. Stress in romantic relationships and home environments are a common risk factor for ADHD and autism, as well as other disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
Regardless of what future investigations eventually show about 9/11, my point here is to get the discussion rolling concerning developmental disorders. We need more information about how stressors impact infant brain development. We also need to move faster than we did in the past. It was well over two hundred years ago that it was noted during London’s Gin Craze that the stress caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy caused fetal alcohol syndrome. And like the warnings about smoking during pregnancy, that information took a long time to get out.
So let’s start a new discussion now: How does stress during pregnancy impact developing infants? And let’s offer more help to women during national crises like 9/11 and at other times when they are dealing with stress. Please join me in this conversation.
-Dr Billy Kidd
I underestimated the future of online dating. I had said that the whole point of online dating is that it’s guilt-free and blame-free. You know, how could you be at fault when things don’t work out?
Well, after all, the matchmakers set you up with the wrong person! Right? So, get over it. And next time, simply enjoy your dates. Don’t sweat the mismatches. I had said that because I didn’t think a foolproof matchmaking program was possible to create.
Now, I see that the future of online matchmaking is virtually limitless.
I say that because our team at RRI, LLC, invented a program that assesses how you will react to a potential romantic partner. We’ve done preliminary testing, and the results have been startling. Things come to light that people did not really know about themselves. That’s because we’re dealing with your unconscious motivations. This, of course, contrast to the current state of affairs where online questionnaires match your personality type, life experiences, and who you think your ideal lover would be.
What that leaves out is how you really respond to people—what your unconscious mind compels you to do. It also misses the fact that your ideal lover is probably not who your really need. What you really need is to be matched with people who have similar unconscious motivations as yours. And we can do that because we’ve discovered the five-factor Love Code.
You might be saying, “Getting together with somebody like me? … Boring.” Well, don’t worry. Our research shows that the happiest couples with the most exciting relationships have similar unconscious romantic motivations. What that means is that people with similar interests really kick it when they get in the same groove together!
Remember: Likes attract likes, which is why people who break out of dysfunctional relationships generally run out and find another dysfunctional partner almost overnight.
So, get ready for the new future of matchmaking!
For the experts in the crowd, what we’re measuring is the motivational states that are involved in creating an individual’s feeling of love for their partner or potential partner. Got it? Right?! And if you need to know more, contact The Romantic Relationship Institute.
– Dr Billy Kidd
With the Love Code, you can analyze any romantic relationship. Let’s look at a real-life story and see how it works:
Jack and Teri had been crazy in love for about 6 months. Jack catered to Teri in such a way that she was impressed by his gallant actions. But after she moved in with him, he began walking out of the room when she tried to discuss their relationship. All she really wanted was to take the relationship another step deeper. But when she talked to Jack about being best friends, he laughed.
“We’re not adolescents, anymore,” Jack said. “Real men protect their ladies. And they bring home their paychecks, and they take ‘em out and rock all night, or stay home and rock in the bedroom. They don’t sit around and chatter about their feelings the way girlfriends do.”
OK. Is Jack really in love with Teri? How does his behavior hold up when we look at it through the lens of the Love Code. Here’s the basics of the code so you can decide for yourself:
• He Thinks About Her and Feels Rewarded to be with Her. Most of what he thinks is cool stuff because it feels good just to be around her.
• He Gets Turned On by Her. They not only explore each other’s bodies, but they also go out and explore the world together. This makes their sexual relationship even more intense.
• He’s Her Friend. He doesn’t keep score or remind her of her failings. He listens to what’s on her mind and helps her contrast that with what she did in similar situations.
• He Regards Her as Part of His Family. So he trusts her. And he’s OK with talking about the problems he’s facing. It calms him down.
• He Wants to Help Her when She Needs It. He asks what’s going on when he sees that she looks stressed out. That’s because he cares about her and her future, as well as her goals.
That’s the Love Code. Let’s look at how to use it so you can answer the question: Does Jack love Teri?
• Does Jack think about Teri? Yes, but he thinks if he loves her he owns her. And there are times that he doesn’t feel rewarded to be around her unless he thinks he is in charge. That’s a macho control trip, and it’s a dysfunctional way to be in love.
• Does she turn him on? She did, but he wouldn’t let her get close to him emotionally. So they never explored the full dimensions of their sexuality together.
• Is Jack her friend? No. He simply cannot imagine being friends and lovers, too.
• Does Teri feel like family to Jack? Yes, in a dysfunctional sense. He tried to get her to go along with his dysfunctional-family orientation–where feelings and secrets are never shared. But after she moved in with him, she just couldn’t handle it.
• Does he help her when she really needs it? No. He helps when he thinks that it will help him get in control of their relationship or when it makes him feel cool. It isn’t about her.
So, does Jack love Teri?
Yes, he did love her, but it was in a very dysfunctional fashion. He felt like he owned something, and that give him the right to do things his way. His love wasn’t about developing a sense of personal relationship with her. Meanwhile, Teri had fun for a while with all his chivalrous actions—the flowers, opening doors, and taking charge of things. But in the long run, she couldn’t handle that kind of love. So she moved on to find a man who’d be her friend and her lover, too.
What’s the lesson here?
The lesson is that one person’s definition of love might be completely different from another’s. You can use the Love Code to figure out where you differ and where you’re in sync with your partner. Next time you’re feeling confused about your relationship or a potential one, look at the first list of questions that we asked about Jack. Then, see where that leads you.
– Dr. Billy Lee Kidd
For more on information about the Love Code, see my book Low Stress Romance.
When I broke the love code, I saw that our feelings of love arise from five different biological systems. These five systems work together to create all the different feelings of love. Any, all, or none of these love systems can respond to a partner or potential partner. This is why we can love each other in so many ways. Let’s look at how the five love systems work:
• The In Love System. The in-love system is what causes you to think about one person–so much so you might think he or she is The One. Being crazy in love like this fades away, however, when your hormones rebalance, generally within thirty months. At that time, you move into the second stage of being in love. That is where you feel rewarded when you are together. If you do not have a functional relationship, you won’t move into this second stage. Instead, you will get the feeling that the “honeymoon is over” or that you are “in bed with a stranger.”
• The Sexual System. Scientists realized years ago, of course, that the male erectile system is driven by testosterone. But more recently it was shown that testosterone also regulates women’s potential to become physically aroused about sex. What’s more, it was demonstrated that vigorous exercise raises men’s and women’s physical desire to have sex. Cuddling does the same thing for both men and women. The emotional desire to have sex, however, is different than the feeling of sexual physical arousal. Sexual emotional desire increases when you get out and explore the world. This is why exercising and going on vacation beats sitting around arguing about your sex life.
• The Friendship System. The friendship system sets the general tone of how people treat their lovers and how they handle relationship conflict. When partners are friends, they are able to resolve conflict in an equitable fashion through a mutual decision-making process. That eliminates the competition and the winner-take-all arguments that are so common in dysfunctional relationships.
• The Bonding System. The bonding relationship system is similar to the friendship system. But it reaches much deeper into the soul and creates the ties that bind people together. Those ties are what generate a family feeling. Unfortunately, people who have dysfunctional relationships try to bond with people they really don’t know. This is what sets the stage for having a cling/clung relationship, or one of mere convenience.
• The Helping System. When the helping system engages, you want to help your lover achieve his or her goals. But some people only help in order to try to get control over their partner. Sensing this, their partner simply does less and expects more. As a result, the helper will slave away until he or she ends up resenting his or her partner. People in functional relationships have an intuitive understanding of this. So they do not give unsolicited advice and do not act like martyrs. They also know when to ask if their partner really wants some help and when to stay out of the way.
Now, let’s look at an example of how this works. Let’s imagine that you fell madly in love with someone you just met. And let’s say that you thought about this person all the time and wanted to be with him or her seemingly forever. These feelings arise, of course, from your in-love system. Yet, let’s say, you don’t know your partner well enough to be friends, nor have you had time to bond to your partner so he or she feels like family. But you may want to help your partner achieve his or her goals.
Now, let’s imagine that one day you wake up and you’re feeling like the honeymoon is over. You don’t think about your partner the way you used to, and you don’t feel rewarded when you see him or her. This would mean, of course, that you are no longer in love with your partner. Your in-love system has rebalanced without advancing to the second stage of being in love. But you may still want to help your partner–even though you’ve decided to move on. With what you know, now, you do not have to settle for saying “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” Instead, you can say that the in-love, go-crazy magic about the relationship has ended. But you still feel a little like helping out.
Want to know more? Browse through my book at http://LowStressRomance.com
.- Dr. Billy Kidd
It doesn’t matter who you are. You could be a shrink and have written ten books on romantic relationships, but changes are you don’t know diddly about love. I say that because I was one of the psychologists who recently broke the The Love Code. So, let me tell you how that works.
The feeling of love is created by a biological system inside your body, just like the sexual system that makes you want to have sex. But the in-love system is different. It’s run by hormones and neurotransmitters that make you think about someone and want to be with them. You think about that person so much, you think they are the One. OK?
So, if your boyfriend says, hey, he’s having dinner with another woman, and oh, she’s just a friend, but you can’t come along because you’re not one of their friends–your boyfriend isn’t in love with you, because he’s not thinking about you. He’s thinking about this other woman. That’s what being crazy in love is all about–thinking about the one you want to be with.
But here’s what’s wild about it. The in-love crazy feeling slips away within 30 months of falling in love. That’s what can make it feel like the honeymoon is over or you woke up in bed with a stranger. But that only happens if you don’t move into the second stage of being in love.
That’s when you feel rewarded just to see your partner. Three years or thirty years down the road, she’s still the one. That’s because neurotransmitters and hormones fire off in your head and give you a feeling of reward just to be with your partner. You’re not thinking about her all the time like you did when you were crazy in love. It just feels good to see her and it still feels cool when you buy her flowers.
To view my video about how the feeling of being in love is created, go to You Don’t Know Diddly About Love.
It can be confusing if you bump into an ex-partner. You might start comparing him to your current partner even without thinking about it. You could even ask yourself what it might have been like if the two of you had stayed together.
If this should happen to you, relax. It’s normal. Don’t let your feelings confuse you. Instead, turn your chance meeting into a learning experience. That’s easy when you focus on the five major feelings of love. Do that by asking yourself these questions concerning your current partner:
• Does it feel like I am in love and that it is rewarding to be with him?
• Does it feel exciting and meaningful to have sex with him?
• Does it feel like he is my friend?
• Does it feel like he is a part of my family?
• Does it feel like I enjoy helping him with things that matter to him?
When you work through your feelings associated with these questions, you will understand more about why you are with your partner. You will also understand more about what you need in your relationship and where you hope it is headed. After you think about that, it will feel safe to look at your past relationships.
Do that by asking yourself similar questions about an ex-partner concerning the five major feelings of love:
• Did it feel like I was in love and found it rewarding to be with him?
• Did it feel like I responded to him sexually in an exciting and meaningful fashion?
• Did it feel like we were friends?
• Did it feel like he was a part of my family?
• Did it feel like I wanted to help him with the issues he was facing?
When you ask these questions about your ex-partner, you will naturally find yourself making comparisons between him and your current partner. Don’t look at this as a threat to your current relationship. Use your ideas to clarify the direction you want your relationship to go in the future.
You might want to discuss your ideas about the future of your relationship with your current partner. If you have problems talking about this with him, ask him questions that relate to the five major feelings of love. Those five feelings are: being in love and finding it rewarding; desiring sex; feeling like a friend; feeling like family; and wanting to help out at times—just because.
These feelings form the foundation of every romantic relationship. You won’t experience all of these feelings in dysfunctional relationships. But they arise from human physiological systems and, together, they create all the feelings of love.
– Dr Billy Kidd
A gentleman in India bought Low Stress Romance on an online book store and posted this response:
What are the real facts about young adult relationships? If you can get some young people to talk about it, you will hear a common theme: It is very hard to find a partner for a serious, long-term relationship.
Some individuals say that it is so difficult that they have become ambivalent about relationships. Others say that singlehood may be the way to go. Yet the majority of young adults expect that a partner will appear in their lives at about age thirty–when they are ready for it. Until then, the world “commitment” is often not in their vocabulary.
These modern love behaviors really have little to do with a generational change in values. Rather, they reflect the social-economic revolution that is going on worldwide. In that context, young adult behaviors are understandable. But you have to get out and talk to a lot of young adults to fully appreciate what is going on.
In interviews across the U.S., young adults told me that there were seven things that made romantic relationships difficult and confusing for them:
- Society is Changing. Things are evolving so fast that the guidelines for romance that you saw in operation when you grew up do not work very well when you reach adulthood.
- Adult Statuses are Hard to Obtain. In today’s economy, making money and getting the full responsibilities of adulthood do not come easy. That is why individuals cannot commit to a relationship in the same time frame that their parents did.
- Female Economic Liberation. Young women often seek economic liberation rather than a husband. These young women are simply not willing to settle for a man who does not meet their expectations.
- Changing Demographics. There is a large segment of the population that is single. This makes it seem like there is some sort of liberating power in singlehood. Many young adults give this as a reason to put off serious relationships and marriage.
- Self Fulfillment. Seeking self-fulfillment stands in competition with serious long-term relationships. Young adults want to get out and discover the world and how they fit in it before they think about settling down.
- Lack of Male Role Models. Young men are not all that sure of what role they are supposed to play in today’s relationship environment. They face changing expectations from their friends, families, and female partners. Some say their fathers live in a different world and cannot offer much in the way of targeted emotional support. In response to this situation, many young adult men move cautiously when starting serious, long-term relationships.
- Mobilization of Relationships. In the modern world, people are on the go and so are their relationships. Both partners move at the same time while texting or calling on their cells. This takes place in the context of a digital, online social world. At the confluence of all this activity, friends often act as coaches in each-other’s relationships and group activities often replaces dating. This new cultural reality has put the brakes on the rush to marry someone who is not your friend and whom you do not really know.
When taken together, these issues make it difficult for young men and women to have serious long-term relationships. Yet they do not report feeling defeated or remorseful. Rather, they see opportunity. A majority of men and women say they are working on improving their intimate communication skills and earnest self-assertion. They have to work hard at communicating because they never know what to expect next in today’s constantly-changing world.
As we look at the future of modern love, nobody really knows what lies ahead for young adult relationships. Society will continue to change and so will their behaviors. That will be okay for those young adults who keep an open mind and strive to learn new communication skills. When individuals do these things, their relationships will be as meaningful and exciting as they care to make them.
For more on 21st century romance, go to my book Low Stress Romance.
Why does a woman’s mood change following the birth of a child? It’s because her postpartum mood is significantly related to the quality of her relationship with her partner during pregnancy. That makes sense when you consider the lightning speed at which modern romance takes place. Children are often born before partners really get to know each other.
If that happens, couples do not really feel like a family when they are together. Without that feeling, partners cannot effectively turn to each other for help and reassurance during times of need. When they try to work through relationship roadblocks, it often cranks up the level of stress in their relationship, rather than reducing it. That is why so often partners turn away from each other, and to their friends or family members, when relationship problems arise.
For a woman who is pregnant, this adds another layer of stress to her life. She does not feel there is an emotionally-secure attachment between her and her partner. So, when her child is born, her bonding system–which creates the ties that bind–will override most of her feelings of being in love with her partner. And then, she’ll focus her emotional energy on the child. In this fashion, she’ll adapt to her stressful environment in a way that protects the child.
This is a natural biological process related to pregnancy. In prehistoric times, it allowed women’s hormones to readjust quickly, after giving birth, to accommodate to natural disasters and unforeseen circumstances. In modern times, the unforeseen circumstance might be discovering that a partner just isn’t all that much into you. Whatever the case, partners who don’t really know each other never have a clear understanding of how their relationship is evolving. So they don’t know how to respond to each other’s needs.
The important issue here is that when a woman gives birth her bonding hormones naturally kick into overdrive. This hormonal change causes her to want to bond closer with her partner. She feels they should support each other and reach out and face the world together, protecting the child the way healthy families do. If, however, all a women experiences is an emotional blank from her partner–no soothing voice, no feelings of emotional support, nothing to quell her anxieties–she’ll latch onto the baby and push her partner aside.
Then, she may try to reach out to her mother for support. Her unconscious motivation is the hope that her bond with her mother will be strong enough to quell her anxieties and frustrations, and stop her downward drift into depression.
The problems caused by the fast pace of modern love do not stop here. If a new mother’s partner has not bonded to her before the child is born, he may not bond to the baby, either. He has to have ties that bind him emotionally to his partner before the baby is born for him to be a part of the family bonding process.
All this is different when partners have had time to form strong emotional attachments before the baby is born. When that is the case, a new mother’s bonding system doesn’t override her feelings of being in love. Her bonding hormones simply increase while her in-love and her sexual hormones slack off a bit.
This natural balancing process shows that there isn’t some innate flaw with how a woman’s bonding system operates during pregnancy. Rather, nature allows it to override her in-love and sexual systems when the survival of the infant is as stake. So, when people blame women for their postpartum depression, and say, “Get over it,” they simply do not know what they are talking about.
The real cause of postpartum depression is different. The dramatization of love at first sight, the glorification of sexuality, and the rush to get married before partners really get to know each other–these are the culprits that eventually lead to unsatisfying relationships. And unsatisfying relationships are a prime cause of postpartum depression.
With the increasing acceptance of single motherhood, the question sometimes comes up, “Do I still need a man?” The answer is, “Yes and no.” Let me explain.
It makes sense to have a partner if he is supportive and you feel like a functional family. This will provide a healthy emotional environment where your child can thrive.
On the other hand, if you are pregnant, what you do not want is a high-stress relationship. That raises the levels of stress hormones circulating in your blood. Those hormones cross the placenta and pass through the umbilical cord to your baby. Then, your baby experiences your stress similar to the way you experience it.
This may not sound like much of a problem until you understand the consequences. When your baby experiences stress, this modifies the programming of his or her biological set points. These set points regulate how you child will respond emotionally to events in the world. So if you experience high levels of stress while you are pregnant, your baby will be programmed to tolerate high levels of stress when it is born. In that situation, your child will not adapt very well to quiet, learning environments when he or she starts school.
What this means is that your child will be able to tolerate the ongoing stress in your relationship. But he or she will feel uncomfortable at school. That is because there will not be enough background crazymaking to crank up your child’s stress hormones. Without those stress hormones running at the level your child expects, he or she will feel like something is missing. This might very well cause your child to act out in order to pump up the level of stress in the schoolroom.
The social implications of this are enormous. It explains why the incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is on the rise. As mothers experience more and more stress in today’s fast-paced world, their babies internalize more and more stress during pregnancy. Add to that the stress of dysfunctional relationships, where women are constantly arguing with their partners, and children get set up for academic disaster even before they are born. That is why so many children show up to school unprepared for learning environments. Yet, they might appear to behave normally at home because they feel okay in emotionally-tense situations.
Many psychiatrists do not understand this process. So they end up prescribing medications for children when they cannot sit still or concentrate at school. But medications often add another layer of stress to a child’s life. In contrast, what a child really needs is for his or her parents to step forward and seek help from a family therapist. In family therapy, parents can learn to lower the level of stress in their relationship. This, in turn, will create a home environment that stimulates your child’s emotional set-points to readjust, allowing your child to be more emotionally stable.
If you want to avoid this situation from the get-go, you need to have a low stress relationship with your partner. Don’t let stress program your unborn child for a lifetime of difficulties. Fix your relationship before you become pregnant. Or, if you are pregnant now, talk to your partner about working through relationship stressors in a collaborative fashion.
[Note: This is a question that was sent to Dr. Kidd via the feedback form on the Let’s Hear Your Ideas here at BlameBilly.com.]
You know the feeling. When you are madly in love, it seems like it will never end. So you carry on like there will be no tomorrow. Recent research has shown, however, that the wild, crazy love feeling always comes to an end.
That is because the hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate this aspect of the human in-love system inevitably return to normal. So you stop thinking obsessively about your partner day and night. And somethings you stop thinking he or she is “the One.”
You don’t need to take this peronally, however, if it happens. It has little to do with you or your partner. Rather, it involves a normal biological balancing process. So what you need to remember is that after your in-love system readjusts in this fashion–and you’re not acting totally insane about your partner–you will have three choices:
• You can move into the next stage of being in love, which involves becoming more deeply affectionate. That’s called reward love–feeling good about being with your partner.
• Or, you can deal with your confusion and try to work it out with your partner. That might involve seeing a therapist or just toughing it out.
• And, of course, there is the final option of moving on.
This really isn’t hard to understand because most of us have been through it. We went wild about someone and wanted to be with that person. We thought about that person almost constantly. But no one warned us that we would wake up one day and not be obsessed about our lover. This was especially frustrating if we believed that we could hold the relationship together by simply being crazy about each other. But that’s the stuff of dreams and movies. In the real world, our biology works differently.
You go crazy about someone when your levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin drop way down. Then, you start thinking obsessively about your partner or potential partner, kind of like someone with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. That’s fun while the in-love high lasts. But recent studies have shown that your serotonin levels will always return to normal—between 12 and 30 months down the road.
That’s when you will get excited to see your partner if you have moved into the second stage of being in love. That type of love is powered by the dopamine reward system. When you’ve got it, you don’t think obsessively about him or her, anymore—unless you have a dysfunctional relationship style.
This might sound complex, but it really isn’t. And don’t let this information stop you from falling in love. Enjoy yourself. Just don’t make any big decisions until you have been with your partner for at least a year. It takes that long to know whether your relationship is serious and is moving into reward love. And remember, crazy love–where you think about your partner day and night–that’s a feeling that generally always ends.
For more information about crazy love and reward love, see Dr. Billy Kidd’s book Low Stress Romance.
If you click on Ask Billy!, Dr. Kidd will answer your questions about reinventing your life and your relationship. It’s completely confidential.