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Let's Talk Life - Separation blues

Published:Saturday | February 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson, Contributor

  • Dear Counsellor:

    I have been reading your articles each week and I find them helpful and encouraging.

    I am having marital problems. My husband and I have been separated for three months now and I am depressed about the situation. I feel like my world is crumbling around me.

  • - Gloria

    Dear Gloria:

    I am glad that you find the articles encouraging. The main purpose of writing is to provide useful and encouraging information. The objective is to be informative and helpful.

    It is unfortunate that you are having marital problems. There are problems in all marriages and couples have to try to deal with them.

    Depression is a sequel of separation and divorce. Individuals have negative thoughts about life and visualise everything as gloom and doom. Conflicts and the resolution of conflicts are part of life. Individuals have to devise a variety of coping strategies. You did not say what was the cause of your marital problems but the factors are usually multifaceted.

    You need to seek the help of a marriage counsellor to help you both sort out the problems. There are certain issues in marriage - trust, commitment, affection, money and activities. Sometimes, the solution to marital problems is reconciliation, and other times, divorce.

    Marriage is also about being able to negotiate deals, being long-suffering and being willing to make sacrifices. Remember, you are two totally different personalities, with different backgrounds and a variety of needs.

    If an individual's needs are not met, there will be conflict. One needs to know what values and beliefs you subscribe to so you can clearly argue your case. Individuals often try to change each other, which triggers another set of challenges.

    Depression is a treatable condition. You should see your doctor. It is treated with medication and counselling. Diet, exercise and spirituality help a great deal.

  • Trying to keep track of time
  • Dear Counsellor:

    I am 40 years old, a professional, devout Christian, and married, with two children. I have difficulty managing my time and completing my activities. I would like some recommendations on coping.

    - Marie

    Dear Marie:

    Life is a challenge and we have to organise ourselves and prioritise tasks. You need to make a list of all the activities in which you are involved. With this list, you will be better able to monitor your time.

    Taking care of yourself, looking after your husband and children and working are your priorities. Your relationship with God takes centre stage. In life, you need to set goals and plan your strategies. There are only 24 hours in a day and you need time to sleep. Sleep regenerates your body and refreshes your spirit.

    We are all interdependent because we all need each other. Your immediate family and extended family can help you in childcare responsibilities. You may be able to carpool with friends or co-workers.

    Stress management and the pursuit of happiness are at the forefront of our lives. We need to manage the stressors and our responses to them. Sometimes we overgeneralise and ascribe negativity to certain activities.

    We need a positive attitude, combined with tolerance and persistence. What is required of us is commitment towards our tasks so that our goals can be achieved. We need to make a schedule of our activities and devise a framework to help us complete the tasks.

    Having set up schedules and frameworks, we need to look at time management to ensure that our time is wisely spent. When you set goals, you are able to weed out the unnecessary activities or behaviours that will impede your progress.

    Family meetings are important, and couples need to sit down and plan their lives from year to year. Good luck!

    Email questions for Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson to or call her at 978-8602.