The Benefits Of Reading With Your Kids

The future of international education was the topic of discussion in the 2019 Education Conference. Opening boundaries has made it possible for students worldwide to study anywhere they want to, giving them opportunities to explore the globe.

You and your child can also reach these places without leaving your home – by reading books. So, bring that opportunity to your children and reap these benefits.



The first benefit of reading with your children is the development of their reading skills. At the start, they will only mimic what you say. But as you continuously engage them with these books, they will eventually start to recognize the words and learn how to read them on their own.

Vocabulary And Comprehension

When you read with your children, even to your babies, you help them develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Eventually, as you expose them to more complex stories, they also improve their grammar and spelling abilities.

Writing Skills


By reading to your child, you open them to a world of vocabulary. Books introduce new words to them, which they adapt to in writing. They also learn proper grammar and punctuation in the stories that they read with you.

Academic Success

Studies show that there is a correlation between reading and success in school. Reading with your children builds their reading, comprehension, and writing skills. These skills are some of the core competencies needed to perform well academically.



Books expose your young to the lives of a variety of characters, teaching them empathy and sympathy towards those them. Furthermore, it broadens their mind, helping them make a better sense of the world around them.


Books are like portals to different worlds – both real and imaginary. So, when you expose your kids to reading, you help them develop their creativity and imagination. These skills help your children be better problem solvers and molds them into more adaptable individuals.

Reading books with your children takes so little of your time but gives you lots of benefits. So, why not start reading to your kids today?

Therapist’s: How To Take Care of Your Body

“As adults, we deny the truth when it might mean we’d have to take action we don’t want to.” Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Taking good care of your body must become your top priority. Take note that there are tons of things to take into consideration if you want to live a happy life, one of which is to know what your body needs and respond to it. Whether you like it or not, your physical health can affect a lot of aspects of your life. If you are fit and healthy, then there is a good chance that you can also achieve mental wellness. In this article, we are going to discuss the different ways of how you make this happen. Most of the tips mentioned below came from a therapist who has several years of experience in the study of human behavior. Make sure to remember these:



Eat A Balanced Diet


For sure, this is not the first time that you have heard of this. Many authors and researchers have repeated the significance of eating right over and over again. If you want to be healthy, there is no need to skip meals to accomplish your target weight. The right thing to do is to eat on time and change your daily diet. As much as possible, take away foods that are high in fats and calories in your diet. Instead, focus on having vegetables and fruits in your table. Once you are able to do this, everything will become a lot easier on your part.


Be Physically Active


Another vital thing that you must never forget is to be active in keeping yourself fit through exercise. You must never have an excuse for not being physically active. Otherwise, you are only exposing yourself to several health risks. As much as possible, take some time off to enjoy running in the park, going to the gym, or performing yoga exercise at home. Take note that you have several choices when it comes to this matter. What is essential is that you can sweat out all the stress and anxiety, regardless of how busy you are.

“The voice process exists along a continuum of intensity, ranging from mild self-criticism to extremely angry, self-abusive thoughts.” — Robert Firestone, Ph.D



Check Your Skin Products


When it comes to valuing or taking good care of yourself, skin must also be one of your considerations. Make sure that you are greatly careful with the products that you are using in your skincare routine. Check the labels or prints of each item that you use to see if there are some harmful ingredients included. If possible, go for anything organic or natural so that you can get a guarantee that it will not do you any harm. At this point, it is also crucial to emphasize that just because one product works for one person does not mean that it will also work for you. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing the wrong item for you. If you are not sure with the products to purchase, it is ideal if you will ask the experts about it before you will buy it. Also, it is essential that you do not go for any counterfeit item for any reason at all.


Avoid Sun Exposure


Did you know that the sunrays are extremely harmful to your skin? These ultra-violate rays can be dangerous for your body. The more exposed you are under the scorching heat of the sun, the more dangerous it is for your body. As much as possible, be careful with your sun exposure. Make sure to use sun block materials at all times. It is also ideal for bringing an umbrella or hat wherever you go so that you can keep yourself protected from the sun. If you want this to work, you have to exert efforts in making it happen.


Get Enough Sleep


You must also never forget the significance of getting the right amount of sleep every single night. Always remember that you are not invincible, which means that you will get tired at some point. No matter how energetic you are, you will always look for a way to rest. As such, it is essential for you to sleep early so that you can already recharge for the new days. Aside from this, you must also keep yourself away from anything that can disrupt your sleep. For example, set your phone to night mode wherein you will automatically not receive any calls while you are already sleeping.



“Some people grow up with the idea that self-care is selfish. But taking care of yourself first is important, especially if you are dedicated to taking care of others.” — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT

Remind yourself that failure to take good care of your body will not only cause some adverse effects to your physical health. At the same time, it can also have an effect your mental health.


Psychologists Warn Us Of The Threats of Substance Abuse

“We are constantly giving out signals that other people can pick up. Your family can usually tell when you are stressed out, relaxed, happy, or sad.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP

People often look for an outlet to relieve themselves from their worries or stress. It may be some hobby or spending time with some friends. Unfortunately for others, this outlet refers to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and other harmful substances. Those who claim that they have no friends nor hobbies often look to depend on psychoactive substances. For psychologists, this is a severe case that may lead to a dependence disorder.


Substance abuse is different from addiction since many people with substance problems can quit. They still have the power to change their unhealthy behavior, yet this can even develop into a habit. Addictions are considered diseases that cause you more harm as you continue to use such substances.

Commonly Abused Substances

There are certain types of substances that an individual can abuse. These substances range from those usually found to relieve stress to those not accessible to the public.



  • Alcohol

Alcohol is available as long as you are of legal age. This substance has a different effect on each person. Also, we all have different tolerance levels. However, if you drink too much, you become more prone to accidents.

  • Cigarettes And Other Tobacco Products

Tobacco is not considered to be a drug but instead a chemical that gives you a rush of pleasure and energy. Nicotine causes the rush you feel. Having too much of this substance can cause addiction.

  • Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully, addictive stimulant. This drug speeds up your whole body. You also feel happy and gain a boost in energy. However, it is likely to have your mood suddenly shift into anger and may bring hallucinations.

  • Marijuana (Cannabis)

Marijuana is a drug made from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Some states legalized the medical use of marijuana. However, it remains illegal in other countries. Marijuana causes you to feel silly and to laugh for no reason. Heavy users of marijuana are often left “burned out” without a care about anything else anymore.

  • Prescription And Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine

The most common OTC drugs abused include opioid pain relievers and anxiety medicine. These drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs. In determining whether you are abusing this drug or not, you need to consider if you are taking the medication for a non-medical reason. Also, taking more than what your prescription orders is another sign of abuse.

  • Heroin

Heroin, an illegal drug made from morphine, gives you a rush of good feelings. Once the drug wears off, everything becomes slow. This drug causes you to move and think slowly, giving you nausea, nervousness, and chills.

“Addiction manifests in a variety of ways, from the most severe heroin junkie to the compulsive spender. It can include drug or alcohol dependence, compulsive pornography use, gambling, obsessive eating, lying, toxic relationships, or even Netflix.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.

Psychologist’s Warning

Substance abuse is an alarming case that is affecting both teenagers and adults. Once an individual becomes substance-dependent, they become incapable of control and unable to stop from continued use. Several psychologists warn us of its dangers. These include the following:

  • You develop a weak immune system, causing you to become more vulnerable to illnesses and infections.
  • You start to feel nausea and some abdominal pain, thus causing weight loss and low appetite.
  • You decrease your memory, attention, and decision-making skills, making it harder to carry out daily tasks.
  • You become less responsible and start to neglect essential responsibilities or people around you.
  • You become more prone to legal trouble caused by the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you may end up in accidents or situations that may lead to arrest.
  • Your life will start to revolve around the substance you are abusing.
  • You will begin to have relationship problems with your partner, work, school, or any environment.
  • You develop sudden mood swings or irritable outbursts.

These are some of the common signs that show you’re struggling with substance abuse and need immediate care and attention.

“When it comes to codependency, denial has been called the hallmark of addiction. It’s true not only for drug (including alcohol) addicts, but also for their partners and family members.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Immediate Care


If professional help is unavailable, some of the things, you can do to help yourself recover include the following:

  1. Always look back at the root of your problems. Ask yourself why you’ve been taking these substances in the first place. Question yourself whether these substances are still helping you or just making you suffer even more.
  2. Look for someone you’re close with. Share your problems and worries with them rather than taking these substances. Sometimes, all you need is an outlet, and ranting is one of the most effective ways.
  3. Be open to the possibility of seeking professional help. Let people know of your condition so that there can be someone to help guide you to recovery.
  4. Develop other forms of outlets such as getting a new hobby, start exercising, or create a healthy diet.

These are some things you can consider before seeking professional help.


8 Causes of Substance Abuse

Being a substance abuser is not a label that anyone secretly wants to have. No one wakes up one day and decides to drink bottles of liquor, smoke packets of cigarettes, or inhale cocaine or meth religiously just for kicks. No, it is usually a coping mechanism for things that may have happened as far back as the person’s childhood years.

“For most people, the addiction process starts off rather innocently, i.e., a strong desire to overcome challenges related to socially engaging with others, numb negative feelings, manage psychological or physical pain.” — Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT

Check out the possible causes of substance abuse below.



Drugs and alcohol have a strong pull for people who went through or are still going through an ordeal. Whether it’s emotional or sexual violence, such substances offer them a leeway to forget traumatic experiences momentarily. Furthermore, studies reveal that the female victims show a higher probability of becoming addicted compared to their male counterparts. 

Lack of Confidence

The society has a lot of predefined social and beauty standards that make it difficult for some to accept even themselves. If they try to remedy the issue and it doesn’t work, they may opt for drinking or using drugs to uplift the spirits.

Peer Pressure

The influence of friends who do not mean well can affect not only a teen but also an adult who can’t find inner peace. These folks can persuade you to think that pot or alcohol is the answer to your worries until you become addicted to it.

Mental Disorder

Mental disorders like depression and anxiety bring pain to the patient goes beyond the physical level. They suck joy and motivation out of an individual, and that’s enough to ruin their lives and careers. To feel cheerful again, some resort to taking antidepressants more often than what the physician prescribed and eventually commit substance abuse.

“It’s not adaptive when we deny warning signs of a treatable illness or problem out of fear.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT



Professionals and homemakers alike are prone to acquiring stress on a daily basis. Instead of meditating or distracting themselves with inoffensive activities, however, many choose to smoke or drink to relieve stress. This can quickly develop into an addiction if you don’t watch yourself.

Life Pressures

For a person who often receives a lot of pressure to do their best in their respective industry, drugs are a much-needed form of distraction. It allows them to tune everything and everyone out and just be in their world for a bit.


“A lot of our stress is about what we can’t control, yet we all indulge in some degree of magical thinking that tells us that somehow worrying or considering every potential negative outcome will solve the problem or at least protect us. Rather than repeatedly setting off warnings in our heads that tell us to panic, why not give ourselves permission to stay in the moment and deal with what is rather than what might be?” — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.


Some teenagers with busy or nagging parents turn to harmful substances as a way of getting their attention. They feel like the adults won’t hear them out unless they get in trouble as dangerous as addiction. Others use substances as an act of defiance the parents’ strict rules or to deal with family issues they’re too ashamed to speak of in front of friends or teachers.

Acquired Behavior

Substance abuse is also not far from reality for someone who grew up with drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol immediately available around the house. It won’t seem strange for a child, especially if that’s all they saw and knew from the beginning. They may even carry the notion that using those substances are OK until adulthood.


Loving A Drug Addict Or An Alcoholic: How To Help Them And Yourself


People experiencing drug or alcohol consumption issues experience long-term and short-term mental and physical health problems. Their loved ones, friends, and family are affected by their state. If you have a loved one who suffers from alcohol or drug abuse, then, it’s important that the symptoms of these disorders are known and that you know how to help them.  But make sure that you’re taken care of too.

“Addiction can be especially brutal on marriage. Spouses often feel helpless watching the one they love self-destruct, and they also feel angry about their partner’s deception and betrayals.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.

Alcohol And Drug Abuse Symptoms


The following is a list of substance or alcohol abuse symptoms experienced by people plagued by the disorders:


  • Being drunk often
  • Memory and thinking problems
  • Fatigue
  • School or work-related problems
  • Going to events filled with alcohol or even drugs
  • Stealing money to get drugs
  • Lying about the substance intake
  • Being defensive when asked about the substance or alcohol abuse
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drugs or alcohol
  • Poor appearance and hygiene


Those who experience these problems act differently when they’re drunk or high and may do or say hurtful words. They may even do some risky actions like driving when intoxicated. These can invoke worry among their family and friends.


Control Versus Influence


Forcing someone who has an addiction to stop what he is doing may get him to agree, but it won’t necessarily treat the addiction. It’s something people can’t control without the necessary help since it is done on compulsion.


The Center Of The Brain Is Rewired With Repeated Reinforcement 


You shouldn’t blame or protect your addicted loved one from the consequences of his addiction as both of you don’t have control over this. Loved ones can significantly help an addict by intervening (rehab programs or therapy, etc.) and showing support. Simple actions like talking calmly can already influence the addict.

“Codependency is a learned protective behavior, allowing people to cope with a very difficult situation. However, codependency is not healthy, and it results in a never-ending cycle of similar relationships.” — Sherry Gaba LCSW

Ending Codependency


People who are addicted and have a partner may find themselves being codependent, which isn’t healthy in the long run. Here are some signs of that:


Taking responsibility for the addict: Feeling responsible for the actions and decisions of someone and putting their happiness first prevents the addict from experiencing any consequences of their actions.


Prioritizing the other person’s emotions first: If you put their feelings before your own needs, you might end up neglecting yourself.


Holding onto the relationship to avoid abandonment: This is about always craving approval to please someone to keep the relationship even if it’s already toxic.


Trouble talking about their feelings: Someone who is in a codependent relationship will have difficulty talking about their feelings and needs.


Inability to set personal boundaries: Having codependent tendencies makes people say yes even though they don’t agree.


A relationship that isn’t codependent at first could end up being one if one party is struggling with addiction. Both of you need to get help from a therapist to have a healthy relationship again.


How To Help A Loved One Struggling With An Addiction


For people who are in a codependent relationship, the following steps may seem too harsh or unhelpful, but they are needed so that both parties can heal.


  • Addiction happens because of the brain
  • You can’t fight the addiction for the addict
  • Set boundaries.
  • Get them to ask for help
  • Both you and the addict need to undergo therapy
  • Be an example to your loved one and give up drugs and alcohol too
  • Support them but don’t protect them from the consequences
  • Stay optimistic and don’t give up at the first sign of relapse


In The Event Of A Relapse


A person can overcome their addiction with the help of their loved ones, friends, and family. But relapsing is something that can worry both the loved ones and the patient. With addiction, symptoms will get worse sometimes. This should encourage them to go back to the doctor for treatment.

“Your spouse can come to his or her own conclusions by using all of these clues together. If your spouse trusts how your words and behaviors match, they can move forward with you.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


How the rehabilitation program handles relapses is also essential. Some would pair up patients with those who have graduated the program so the patient can learn how the other recovered from the relapse. Loved ones should also show support in case of relapse by not judging the person and helping them get help.


Prevent a relapse by removing substances like drugs or alcohol in the house, introduce them to hobbies that don’t involve the two, and have healthy goals. Both the addict and the loved ones are essential in helping a person recover.

The Psychology Behind Drug Addiction

What Is Drug Addiction?


Addiction is characterized by continually seeking for legal or illegal drugs even though they know the consequences of it to one’s health. People take these drugs voluntarily, and they do it repeatedly. Their brain and also their self-control gets affected by it, which then makes it difficult to resist or avoid the intake of the drugs.


“The person is using the behavior to cope with anxiety or emotional pain that is outside their window of tolerance of emotions.” — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT


How Do Addictions Affect The Brain?


The way the brain is designed, it sees pleasure no matter the cause. For example, the hormones released when a reward is received and when taking drugs, it is all the same. Therefore, when one uses drugs, their dopamine levels increase and the brain sees it as “pleasure” or something rewarding. The neurotransmitters remember pleasure, and this motivates the body to repeat the action that has caused it. This learned behavior when continuously done eventually turns into an addiction.


The Risk Factors Of An Addict


There is no way to know if someone will become addicted to drugs as drug addiction is complex and complicated. Multiple factors also cause it. These various factors also increase the risks of having an addiction.


The genes of a person can serve as a risk factor, but only half of it has that effect. Other factors can also be gender, ethnicity, and of course, associated with mental health problems.


The environment can also be a factor – home, school, workplace, and the people around it. An example is how growing up without proper guidance, and immediate exposure to drugs can lead a young person to get addicted.


Addiction is a process; it does not happen overnight. Most people do not become addicted by choice, nor do they even think they will become addicted to drugs or alcohol.” Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Why Do People Use Drugs?


Most of the time, a person’s drug addiction starts because of uncontrolled and strong emotions like rage, fear, and jealousy. Addicts rely on the drugs to control these emotions which is a form of escape from the realities of life. Using drugs at the beginning is something that they choose to do, but it can be life-threatening when they can’t control their abusive state on using the drugs.


What Are The Different Types Of Addictive Behaviors?


Addiction can be used in a physical and psychological sense. Physically, addiction is when the drugs make the body adapt to it, and thus tolerance or a trigger may ensue.


Psychologically, drugs can be used as a coping mechanism to stress. The addiction isn’t based on the brain, so this is the reason why some people would switch from one drug to another. In treating this, looking at the stressor instead of the drug is the key.


How Do We Treat Addiction?


The psychological symptoms can be treated but not being able to deal with them shouldn’t be blamed on the addict. To completely treat one’s drug addiction, you have to get to the cause and also treat its psychology, as this would only make the person turn to other things that he can be addicted to again.


Medication can help in treating the addiction but there are areas wherein medicine isn’t enough. Therefore the best way to treat addiction is by doing both behavioral therapy or counseling and supervised medication. The treatment differs from patient to patient since no person has the same problem. It should be customized to fit the person.


Drug or even alcohol addiction is a psychological issue. Just taking away the drug won’t solve it. You have to dig deeper and break this mental problem for it to end ultimately.


“…if substance abuse started before the addict was an independent, self-sustaining adult, then new skills need to be learned. It’s said that maturity stops when addiction begins.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

The Relationship Between Stress And Addiction

Stress is an all too familiar feeling for denizens of the modern world. Whether it be from the workplace or at home, we are barraged by different stressors on a regular basis. To cope, we have developed various methods for dealing with stress, and they are effective in reducing stress levels for most people.


However, not all coping mechanisms are created equally. Some methods are less effective than others, while some only cause more trouble. In particular, some people turn to vices such as drinking, smoking, and other substance abuse to relieve the stress. Others become obsessed with activities known to provide immense satisfaction and excitement, such as gambling and gaming.


“Addiction is defined as a habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control.” — Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Some of these activities are harmless, except for smoking and substance abuse. However, some people develop an irresistible obsession with these behaviors, sometimes going to extreme lengths to perform them. This phenomenon is called addiction, and millions of people globally find themselves unable to stop.


A strong link between stress and addiction exists, and it is, therefore, essential to consider stress management when trying to break away from addiction. By delving deeper into how stress influences addiction, better treatment strategies for addiction can be devised.


On Stress And Developing Addiction

Stress is a bodily response designed initially to protect against threats by putting vital systems, such as the circulatory and respiratory systems, into overdrive. In small quantities, stress can be beneficial, as it can promote feelings of relaxation and achievement after the stressor has gone away. However, intense or chronic stress is harmful, as too much stimulation can wear down the human body and exhaust mental reserves.


Addictive behaviors are sometimes utilized by people under extreme stress as a coping mechanism, as these behaviors tend to bring about strong but temporary improvements in mood. For example, drugs can cause the release of certain neurotransmitters that promote feelings of ecstasy and happiness. Activities like gaming evoke feelings of thrill and excitement, which can help counteract the constant feelings of anxiety and dread brought about by chronic stress.


“Addictions are secretive habits the person has unsuccessfully tried to stop, and that have disrupted work and home. An addiction takes an outsized role in the addict’s life and affects those they love.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.


However, as the stimuli are short-lived, these positive feelings eventually disappear, forcing people to seek out another opportunity to consume the substance or to perform the activity. Also, the oversaturated brain can learn to become resistant to these stimuli. It means people will need more of the stimuli to experience the same level of ecstasy. This results in a cycle of addiction, which was initially triggered by the need to relieve stress.


Research literature supports the role of stress in promoting the onset of addiction, but stress can also become a burden to those trying to break free from addiction. Significant stress levels can reduce recovery rates. By draining mental reserves, it becomes harder to stick to proper treatment. Patients may relapse into their old addictions to deal with the stress.


Fighting Addiction By Fighting Stress

While the case may seem hopeless, there are effective ways to fight back. The key is to acknowledge that addiction cannot be treated independently of other mental conditions, especially stress. 


“In addition to worrying about a slip, a recovering addict has anxiety that the substance abuse has masked. Drugs smoothed over difficult feelings and situations that now must be faced “on the natch.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT


If you find yourself suffering from both, then learn more about stress management. Many resources can provide you with all the knowledge you need. Some good sources of information are the articles from BetterHelp, which have extensive writing on the nature of stress as well as ways to cope with it.


Adopt activities that promote calm, such as yoga and meditation. Discuss your problems with people you trust and do not hesitate to ask for support whenever you need it. Talk to your mental health specialist about anything that causes you stress and request for assistance in creating a stress management plan that complements your anti-addiction program.


By now, you should realize the strong link between stress and addiction. They are a powerful duo, but stress and addiction are far from invincible. Merely fighting against stress is a step towards solving addiction problems. By doing all of these stress management tips, you will significantly reduce your stress levels, making the fight against addiction more manageable.

Activities To Boost Your Marriage And Prevent Substance Abuse Relapse

“If you and your spouse had poor communication, this situation might have a very different outcome. Frustration, mistrust, tension, and defensiveness can intensify your conflict.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


The road to recovery from substance abuse can get difficult. However, with your life partner by your side, your recovery period can be fun and exciting times.


Try some of these activities with your partner. These can get your mind off substance abuse while having a great time with your spouse!




  • Engage In Physical Exercise

Physical exercise can be a no-brainer for some, but don’t underestimate the power of physical activity. Exercise definitely has its benefits!


Physical exercise can increase your endorphins or “happy hormones.” Thus, the regular physical activity can keep these happy hormones high in your system. More endorphins can lead you to regulate your stress levels better.


Engaging in physical exercise with your spouse can increase your physical intimacy with each other. It can also increase your regard for each other.


  • Go Outdoors

Rediscover the great outdoors! Make this activity more memorable by exploring mountains and cliff sides with your friends and your spouse.


Plan a new destination each month. You can explore favorite trails and parks or even get to know lesser-known destinations. Make it more exciting by giving it a theme. Anticipate for your trip by planning your itinerary and your barbecue cookouts ahead of time!


Going outdoors will refresh your soul. You will have a renewed mind after you leave the hustle and bustle of urban spaces for even a few days. This activity is a must-try!


“William James said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”” — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.


  • Try A New Sport

When was the last time you played a sport with your spouse? Was it five years ago? Or 10 years ago, perhaps? Maybe it’s time you discover another sport with your spouse.


There are a lot of options out there. A step going forward is to print out a checklist of all possible sports activities. You and your spouse can tick your picks. After that, plan when you will try similar sports. You may even plan a sports day for just the two of you!


Trying out new sports will increase your bonding time with your spouse. More importantly, trying a new sport can keep your mind off from wandering into substance abuse again.




  • Get In A Support Group

Getting to know more people outside of your social circle can be exciting. You will get to know people who have entirely different stories to tell, whose lives can potentially pique your interest.


It is the joy of going into harmless social gatherings. You can share lives with new people. More importantly, your spouse is there with you as your support. You are never alone out there.


“…sobriety destabilizes the status quo, offering opportunities for positive change. But it’s also an unsettling time. Both partners feel vulnerable. It’s a rocky transition in the relationship presenting many challenges.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT


Going further, having a support group in this life journey is essential. Life is unpredictable, volatile, and uncertain. You will need rocks to stabilize you and not let life sway you around. A support group can precisely do that.


Ultimately, you can prevent substance abuse relapse and boost your marriage at the same time. These activities are designed to help you do just that. In time, you will be able to shrug off any invitation of substance abuse from former peers and live cleanly. 


Smoking And Its Effects On A Married Couple’s Life

Sometimes, some people think they’re better off alone than be with a smoker. Because more than just a case of stress relief, pleasure, social situation solution, smoking is highly addictive, and often, dangerous for the health.


“Most marriages go through rough times, which can change the way spouses communicate with each other. Many couples develop bad habits and create destructive patterns when things aren’t going well.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


Smoking may be one of the less desirable traits a person may have.  It’s one thing to be in a relationship when both partners are smokers, but if one is not, then that may be an issue. It is as if there is no regard for your health.


In marriage, you get to live your life together with your “the one.” Are you honestly okay with your beau to smoke all throughout his life? Or maybe you don’t bother because you are a smoker too?


Here are some of the effects smoking carries for a married couple:


If both are smokers:



  • You Are Intertwined In An Intimate Relationship.


We see it in movies. Couples already have smoking part of their relationship pattern, such as after having sex, after taking breakfast together, or when discussing problems. Taking a drag seems like a normal and “relaxing” thing because both of you do it, and you understand your partner in a way a non-smoker partner couldn’t. Maybe that also means you know the health effects. But what does it matter, right? There is romance in a good smoke.




  • You Experience Less Tension, More Enjoyment.


A couple that smokes together is more relaxed and chill than the average couple. The couple sees the habit as a simple thing that keeps them both happy and contented. For the more “experienced” couples, they’re not just smoking cigarettes, but weed. They claim that it heightens the quality and happiness of their relationship.


“Your husband is responsible for his own behavior, just as you are responsible for yours. You are not “allowing” him to use and you are not condoning it either.” — Holly Counts, Psy.D.


If only one is a smoker:



  • You Are Hurting Your Relationship Without Even Knowing It.


Smoking is a vicious cycle. “You smoke, partner complains, you argue about it, you feel stressed and get upset, then you smoke again.” For a fact, divorce rates are found to be significantly higher, at 76% to 95% if only one spouse has the habit of smoking.





  • You Will Start To Look For Another Partner.


Whoever says vices can’t break a relationship obviously haven’t been in a serious, committed relationship. Some think that their beau’s conviction not to quit smoking is a sign that they don’t care about their health, and yours (secondhand smoke). It is an exceptionally challenging issue for a married couple because being in a marriage means you are committed to building a life together, not a problem.


  •  You Will Divorce With Your Partner For Fear Of The Future.

When smoking gets the best of your partner’s life, you tend to second guess if you even married the right person. It is a fact that smoking can be passed down through generations. It poses very harmful effects to a pregnant mom, and to the newborn child, who might experience breathing and nutrition problems.


 “While it may be true that addicts need to want recovery in order to truly turn their lives around, the choice is hardly ever that simple and if we can tip the balance in the favor of treatment, or a better way of life, I say let’s go for it.” — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.


Marriage is a big step in two people’s lives. If smoking’s advantages outweigh its advantages, you are free to do as you wish. But if not, maybe try to change for the better for the sake of your family’s future. 

Asking Your Neighbor To Seek Therapy

In any situation, to even begin to identify someone who might need therapy is a daunting task. A concerned person would hesitate to approach someone because it’s almost impossible to ensure that the struggling person would receive it well. There’s always a risk of coming off as offensive or overstepping. Worse, the confrontation could be a trigger for them.


There’s a world of reasons why encouraging someone to seek therapy is tricky, but what if the struggling person is almost a stranger? Like a neighbor who strikes the community as troubled? The task becomes that much harder, but the need to address it is not any less critical.


Why The Community Should Care

The essence of the community is to be a safe and positive living environment for families. If a person belonging to the community is suspected to need professional help, it’s a cause for concern. People concerned should address the possible danger immediately. It could be that the struggling person could be a danger to oneself, or to people around them.


However, having a seemingly troubled neighbor doesn’t automatically mean the community should be alarmed. If there are no visible red flags like violence or particularly odd behavior telling of mental illness, it’s important to give enough time to observe and understand more of the person’s situation before coming to any conclusion.


Allot A Proper Observation Period

Like what was said earlier, confronting a person comes with many risks and should be handled with utmost care. The best precaution is to be as sure as possible that professional help would benefit the troubled neighbor. It means to observe for at least 3 weeks, to see if the neighbor’s concerning actions are regular, as to differentiate between a person having a bad week or a person needing professional help.


It helps to talk to other members of the community for advice and as additional observers, but not to the point where suspicions arise. It’s essential to give courtesy and to be sensitive to the situation of the troubled neighbor. Consult with therapist friends, seek information online and understand more about the neighbor before deciding that the person needs help.


Involve The Community

Given that it’s a concern for the community, it’s ideal to approach the situation as a community as well. Talk to people who are in the position to instruct and organize how things work in the community. The community leaders could then give everyone the necessary information like to invite the community as a whole to attend health and wellness activities, or instructions to report any suspicious activity.


It’s not recommended to approach the troubled neighbor directly and alone. The goal is to encourage the troubled neighbor to slowly immerse in the community to hopefully show signs of improvement and eventually be open to seeking therapy and to further validate whether or not there is any threat to safety.


It’s not explicitly written anywhere, but to be part of a community means to look out for each other, and even for those that might strike others as troubled. Have an open mind and the heart to reach out when there’s someone whose life could be made much better with a little help.