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She blames her mum's alcoholism for their dad's death!

Written by Bunmi Sofola
~Vanguard Nigeria. Sunday, February 19, 2017.

ALCOHOLICS have always been accused of making the lives of their loved ones miserable whenever the dreaded alcohol takes over their personality. And this happens as often as they get drunk. When Tomi's father died a couple of years ago, she was heartbroken and bitter that their mother's hostility towards him, especially when he was ill, coupled with her unreasonable grumpiness to the children hastened their father's departure to the grave.

"Our dad was diagnosed with cancer over three years ago. He needed extra care at home and I rescheduled my work at the school I ran so, I could be with him more often. Dad welcomed the change, but mum didn't," Tomi, a 42-year -old mother of three said. "Even before our dad became ill, I had a difficult relationship with our mum. In our teens, my sisters and I would cringe as we listened to her pick fights with dad. She was clingy, jealous and self-absorbed. I had to endure hours of her complaining about him when I got home from school – details too intimate for a daughter to hear about her parents' relationship. My sisters used to disappear but as the eldest, I had to endure it. At some point, I felt brave enough to tell her she wasn't being fair, that he was my dad and I loved him. Her focus has always been inwards, which means she barely asks about my life. Dad, on the other hand, was immensely proud of me and we could talk for hours – this made her more resentful.

"When I spent those last few months with him, I tried hard to talk about anything but his illness. Meanwhile, mum became a martyr to his care, complaining how exhausted she was, while pushing away offers of help. I tried to anticipate what I could do to relieve her burden, yet knew this irritated her. It came to a head one evening when she asked me directly if I got homesick. I replied that my husband was fully in charge of the kids and understood why I had to be with my father in his dying moments. She kept on at me until dad asked her to shut up. Next morning, she told me point blank she wanted time alone with him and that I was welcome to visit at the weekends.

"After dad's death, my sisters and I (and dad's siblings and friends) were relegated to small parts in a play that put our mum's grief at centre stage. This all with the embarrassment of her drinking to excess. She has no sense of self-awareness, so never thinks to curtail her drinking to save her children from public embarrassment. My recent birthday was dominated by keeping her from harm and putting her to bed, stark drunk. I tend not to hold grudges, but with mum I can't slake off something close to hate – since I spent more time crying over the way she treated me than I did for my dying father.

"She offers comments that our (me and my sisters') loss isn't as crippling as hers and this makes me angry. How do I get to be a good daughter when I have to brace myself to call her and don't want to visit her on my own? Our dad's death has proved he was the glue between mum and the children, and now there's nothing."

I told Tomi she wasn't really fair to her mum. At a relatively young age, she began to see her mother's faults clearly and took sides, preferring her father. Being a father's girl, her hostility towards her mother developed to such an extent she didn't want her help when her father was dying and even sent her away. Tomi made it sound as if the feelings of anger and rejection were all one-sided, ie. from her to her mum. But as the saying goes – it takes two. Tomi had rode roughshod over her mother's feelings and perceived incompetence by moving in and taking

over when her dad became ill without finding out what her mother's feelings were about her unsolicited help.

"Tomi needs to accept that her mother is allowed to grieve for her late husband, and that it is impossible for her to know the extent of her feelings – or how guilty she may feel over private things that went on between them throughout their marriage. What is the cause of her mother's excessive drinking, and has she ever had any help for it? She's angry that her mum has a list of grief, refusing to give weight to her daughter's mourning but it is vital that she steps back from her own feelings enough to acknowledge the extent of her mother's loss – there should be no competition between them.

Five Reasons Why You Need A Good Night Sleep

(a) It helps keep you trim. If we have a bad night's sleep, our body doesn't release as much of the hormone that regulates appetite. As a result, we feel hungrier, and are more likely to choose high- calorie foods.

(b) It reduces your risk of dementia. Scientists believe that while we sleep, brain fluid washes away proteins that cause conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Getting 7 – 8 hours will give your body the time it needs to do this effectively.

(c) It keeps you beautiful. Studies have shown we look less attractive to others the less sleep we've had. While we sleep, the body produces collagen and boosts blood flow to the skin, giving you a healthy glow. That's why your skin looks drab after too many late nights!

(d) It makes you a better driver. Being tired affects reaction time and decision-making. Having insufficient sleep for just one night can be as harmful to your driving ability as having a drink.

{e} It reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. If you regularly sleep less than five hours a night, then you double the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also increases your blood pressure – putting stain on your heart. Source:

Want To Have A Happy Marriage? This Is How

Most newly married couples' prayer is to get their marriage on the right tracks. With little or no experience to rely on, most of them rely on their parents' experience. Sometimes this work, but most times adjustments have to be made and they have to discover their own ways to decent matrimony. In short, saying "I do" is the easy part, but having the happy-ever-after takes a lot of work. Here are ten secrets to a happy marriage offered by a relationship expert.

Have Sex! The average person has sex: about 130 times a year, but the average married person only gets down and dirty 98 times. It is easy for a love life to wane when you get beyond the honeymoon period. But having an active sex life is important. It promotes intimacy and lets each partner know they're loved and needed.

Don't give the silent treatment: It doesn't work, will leave issues unresolved and your spouse feeling unloved, hurt and confused. No matter how angry or upset you are, it is always better to talk about it. If your partner is ignoring you, recognise it is a manipulative tactic and walk away – doing something you enjoy to take your mind of it – until they're willing to respond to you properly.

Have date nights: It may sound obvious, but partners who enjoy high levels of 'couple time' are less likely to get divorced. Having regular date nights (just the two of you at least once a fortnight) improves communication, can relieve stress and help you rekindle that romantic spark.

Surprise each other: Leaving little notes or small gifts around the house, making their favourite dinner – whatever it is, regular, thoughtful acts let the other person know that you're still in love with then.

Give plenty of compliments: Apparently, couples who are happy have a ratio of at least five positive interactions to every negative one. And giving and receiving compliments is a great way to boost your ratio. Plus, it helps the two of you feel connected, appreciated and part of the

same team.

Say "I love you": But don't be afraid to get mad either! A recent study of 1,000 married couples found that those who were the happiest said 'I love you' to each other ten times a week – and argued three times a month.

Talk about money: It might not be sexy, but talking about finances is better in the long run. After all, money issues are responsible for 220/0 of all divorces. It's important you know about your spouse's history – whether they've been bankrupt, have debt and so on – and that you are on the same page when it comes to planning your financial future.

Don't go to bed angry: It might be a bit of cliche, but this was the answer long-married couples gave when they were asked the key to the successful union.

Ask, don't tell: If you want your partner to do something, ask – don't demand. Instead of saying, 'You should .. .' say, 'could you … ?' In general, we all respond better to requests than orders.

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