Excessive texting is a tell tale sign of infidelity

Texting There was a brief article in the Telegraph, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, on 06/25/08 about how excessive text messaging can be a sign of infidelity. Here is part of what the article says:

Excessive texting and emailing is now the number one sign of infidelity, a leading law firm has said.

Family lawyers said an addiction to text messages or emails has replaced "working late" at the office as the main tell tale signs of an extra-marital affair.

Andrew Newbury, partner at specialist law firm Pannone said: "We see the same features in so many of the marital disputes that we deal with.

In the last 3 months I have had 5 couples where the spouse is objecting to the number and type of text messages being sent by his/her spouse. In one case, the wife objected that her spouse had sent 6,000 text messages to a female co-worker the preceding month. The husband claimed it was merely a friendship with a co-worker and there was nothing romantic going on.

Last night, I saw an upset husband who stated that his wife is getting all kinds of text messages from male co-workers at all times of the day and on weekends and when he asked what was going on, his wife became very defensive and denied any wrong doing. She was further defensive when he called the cell phone company wanting the phone records.

I have several other cases now where text messaging and setting up of accounts on MySpace has concerned spouses that their spouse is engaging in behavior that could lead to infidelity. In my experience, sometimes this has happened. In one case and unhappy wife of 26 years, left her husband to meet some man she had been corresponding with on the Internet who lived in another state. The wife knew nothing about this person other than from the emails.

It is interesting to learn how the new technology is being used in human relationships. Often the concern is for children and protecting them from predators and other questionable activities like taking and circulating nude photos of themselves (which I had one 13 year old client do). And yet, it seems that adults are getting into just as much, if not more, trouble.

Like any new technology, the technology itself is value free - in and of itself is amoral, but the use to which humans put it often raises all kinds of moral issues. With technology like text messaging, we are only being to learn how this new form of communication will affect human relationships.

Excessive texting is a tell tale sign of infidelity - Telegraph.

A Good Baby, the film

A good baby Raymond Toker lives in Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. The family home has burned down and apparently his parents and a younger sister have died in the fire. An older brother, LeRoy, is doing time in state prison, and Raymond, a loner, is living in the root cellar next to the burned down house.

One day while out hunting, Raymond finds a baby abandoned, and tries to get several women to take it and raise it but they all refuse so Raymond keeps the baby himself.

This is an odd movie, but somewhat believable, and it casts a man in the role of being a nuturant, and protective parent which is quite different from how men are portrayed in our contemporary society.

I enjoyed this movie and it is quite different from the commercial schlock in the theaters this summer.

A Good Baby (2000)

50% of children born in the United States to women under 30 are born to unwed mothers

Teenparent There was a very informative and important show on July 1, 2008 on On Point dealing with the number of births in the United State to unwed mothers.

Here is a snippet from the On Point web site:

New research finds that more than 50 percent of all births to women under 30 are out of wedlock. Fifty years ago, it was 6 percent.

It's the unintended consequence of big shifts in culture and policy, and it's got long-range implications for the way we live.

The show lasts about 48 minutes and you can listen on line. I highly recommend it.

WBUR & NPR's On Point : Young, Unmarried, with Children

Addiction to attention which turns into promiscuous sex

Loose girl On June 11, 2008, Deborah Harper, President of Psychjourney interviewed Kerry Cohen, the author of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity about her book, her life, and her work as a psychotherapist.

Ms. Cohen talks about her addiction to attention which she obtained by projecting herself as a sex object for numerous boys. As Ms. Cohen says it wasn't about the sex as much as the hope in getting their attention that they would make her whole.

This interview lasts about 30 minutes and is well worth listening to by any psychotherapist working with young women, and/or parents of young women, or young women themselves who crave attention and use their sex appeal to obtain that attention.

I am reminded of a client of mine, a 17 year old young woman,who told me "I'd rather be used than be alone."

I recommend this interview. You can go to the psychjourney web site by clicking on the link below.


Reality forces a person to grow up.

Shit happens My favorite bumper sticker of all time is "Reality is when it happens to you."

In adolescence you are immortal, will live forever, and you have a passionate sense that nobody in the universe has ever experienced your thoughts and feelings. Parents are old fogeys, old farts, who have no idea what they are talking about, and you and your peers will make the world a new.

This is great until tragedy strikes or frustration and depression sets in. One day you may realize that those things that happen to other people have now happened to you and you have a brush with reality. Innocence is lost, naivete decreases, the harsh aspects of maturity start to appear.

Life is full of pain and sorrow, heartache and betrayal, remorse and regret, stupidity and ignorance, jealousy and possessiveness, meaness and cruelty, sadism and masochism, fear and rage -  as the bumper sticker so eloquently and succinctly says - "Shit happens!" My favorite said, "Mega shit happens!" When my two kids were killed, I understood. Reality was in my face.

Class and family structure in America - Dr. William Doherty

Dr. William Doherty discusses class and family structure in the U.S. Middle and upper class people tend to delay marriage and child bearing and get married before they have children. Also, the divorce rate in these classes has gone done over the last 15 years.

In lower classes, child bearing occurs before marriage and very complex family structures result because of parents having children by a number of different partners.

The video lasts 8:34 minutes. It is worth watching if you are interested in the topic.

When the unfulfilled life of the parent becomes a burden on the children.

Helicopter parents Some people try to vicariously live their lives thought their children. The soccer mom phenomenon where parents need a Day Timer or a PDA to organize the kid’s schedules from the play date at 10:00 AM for the 3 year old to the guitar lessons, hockey practice, and dance lessons for the 10 year olds.


You have to wonder what all this micromanagement is about? Kids don’t have time to play in the mud, lay on their backs and make up stories about the shapes of the passing clouds, or look for the constellations of stars in the night skies any more.


Older parents in their 60s when they reach retirement age are hoping that the kids and the grandkids are going to fill up their empty hours when the adult kids have work, raising children, and civic activities. These adult children don’t have the time, energy, or interest  to be babysitting or be the recreational director for their aging parents. I imagine these adult children wanting to say to their hovering and smothering parents one of the high school put downs “Get a Life!”


This unhealthy preoccupation with one’s children, whether when they are young or when they are adults, is perhaps related to the fact that these parents never created a life of their own. I often, in counseling, wind up saying to people in this situation, “You need to be more selfish.” People of course recoil when they hear my suggestion since they have been told since they were children that it is wrong to be selfish. So for a while I changed my wording of the idea and said that people should be more self serving, but self serving implies that people are manipulative,  and exploiting or using other people. I expressed my dilemma to a client during a session that I couldn’t quite find the right word and she said to me, “Oh I know what you mean Dave, you mean self – help.” I said, “Exactly, that’s a great word for the idea, self-help.” A few weeks later I was reading a book and the author said everyone should be self – fulfilled, and I thought to myself, that’s the word I have been looking for all these years, self-fulfilled. Everyone should be self-fulfilled. Don’t be placing the burden of self-fulfillment on your children whether you are in your 30s and your kids are in elementary school or you are in your 60s and your kids are in their 30s and have families and lives of their own.


As Carl Jung said, “Nothing has a bigger influence on children than the unfilled life of the parent.” And as Pink Floyd sang “…leave those kids alone!”

Adult Children of Parent Alienation Syndrome

Pas On May 24, 2007 Deborah Harper on Psychjourney interviewed Dr. Amy J. L. Baker about her book, Adult Alienation Syndome: Breaking The Ties That Bind.

Dr. Richard Garner coined the phrase Parent Alienation Syndrome back in the late 70s and it has been a controversial contruct ever sense. As they say, "Seeing is believing" and over the years I have been involved with families where parent alienation syndome is present and in my experience this is a very real thing which is often misunderstood and made worse by our Child Protective System, our Family court system, and our school systems.

The podcast lasts about 50 minutes and can be listened to on line or downloaded. I highly recommend it if you are interested in this topic. You can access it by clicking on the link below.

Link: [[Psychjourney]].

Prom and graduation season

1/3 of the 1,700 kids, aged 18 - 14 killed each year from accidental injuries (including motor vehicle crashes), homicide and suicide occur during prom and graduation season.

Because of this heightened concern and awareness I have been asked to give some presentations at some of the local high schools. I have three scheduled this year, and the last two days I have given two, and next week I will do the third. These presentations are given to high school assemblies of seniors,  and in some cases seniors and juniors, about DWI and making "good choices". This has been less than satisfying for me for a whole bunch of reasons. However I have been given an opportunity to review some of the data and I thought I would share some of it here because I think it is instructive in many ways of the kind of society we are living in.

1 in 3 12th graders report, on survey, that they have binge drank (5 or more drinks on a single occasion) in the last two weeks. This data is pretty consistent in Genesee County,NY, New York State  as a whole, and across the country.

Goofing on the 150 or so juniors and seniors I talked with this morning, I asked them to raise their hands if they had binge drank in the last two weeks. Surprisingly about twenty hands went up and one kid shouted out laughing, "Yeah, I got wasted!!!", the kids around him laughed.

I asked them why they think so many kids binge drink and they shouted, "Because it's fun."

I guess it is to a point. BUT.............................................................

90% of the estimated college rapes per year (97,000) occur when the victim, perpetrator, or both are intoxicated. I live in a college town and I remember a few years ago seeing an article in the college newspaper reporting that 11 rapes had been reported to campus security that year. I was startled. Is that high, low, under reported? I thought rape was a serious felony crime and rapists, if convicted, go to prison. Are college student rapes on a college campus reported to campus security handled differently? Is this a different type of crime?

25% of sexually active college students , or about 400,000 college students between the ages of 18 - 24 per year, report having unprotected sex per year while under the influence. Studies have found that 20- 25% of young women are infected with a STD like chlamydia and/or gonorrhea without knowing it.

11% of college students report perpetrating property damage while intoxicated.

25% of college students report symptoms of academic failure ( missing classes, late papers, doing poorly on exams) because of alcohol.

Vomit_2 Living in the downtown area of a college town in Brockport, NY, on Saturday morning when I walk the two blocks from my house to my office to see clients, I have to walk around the piles of vomit on the village sidewalks. Last week I could actually see the elbow macaroni and beans from Jimmy Z's garbage plate in the vomit. There were three piles on the corner of King Street and Main Street. This is a common occurrence. I pointed out to the kids this morning that alcohol is poison and your body tries to reject it and if the body cannot, alcohol poisoning leads to coma and death.

Alcohol is readily accepted in our society and glamorized in commercials and advertisements constantly. Is it any wonder that "getting wasted" and "to party" have become synonymous?

After my two kids were killed in a drunk driving crash, perhaps I am over sensitive, but the tragedies and heartache caused by alcohol, it seems to me, far outweigh its benefits and pleasure especially when used to excess as the youth in our society seem to do in significant numbers.

Here is my daughter Brigid in her Irish dancing dress before a performance when she was 5 about a week before she was killed.

Brigid Kathleen Markham

04/11/87 – 03/10/93


Here is my son Ryan in his Irish dancing outfit before a performance about a week before he was killed .

Ryan John Patrick Markham

05/09/84 – 03/10/93


Here is the 18 Wheeler tractor trailer that smashed into the car driven by my wife and with four of my children in it. It was the driver's third DWI.


This is me, a tired old man, talking about it after 15 years. Had they not been killed at age 5 and 8, Brigid would be 21 today, and Ryan would be 24. I miss them terribly. They were great kids and would have been outstanding adults. Our world is poorer for not having them in it.


Missing child now a prostitute

Another Onion satire that can make you cry as well as laugh.

Age progression techonology indicates a missing run away child is a prostitute by now. Today Now with Tracy Gill. Video lasts 2:49

Age-Progression Technology Indicates Missing Child A Prostitute By Now