Thursday, June 30, 2011
The key to a good marriage is being able to adjust to change

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

There are many theories of human development. The most famous is the theory developed by Sigmund Freud which talks about stages such as the oral and anal stage in infants. Eric Erikson also had a human development theory which covered people from birth through old age. The first four stages cover childhood and the last five cover adolescence and adulthood. Stage 5 is adolescence which starts at about age 12-14 and ends at age 18-24. Everyone develops a little differently which is why there is an age range. The task is to discover who we are as individuals. We need to separate from our family and become members of society. We struggle with social interactions and we grapple with moral issues. Peer groups are our most important contacts. The key concept in this stage is establishing identity. The next stage is young adulthood which lasts until about 35 years of age. In the initial stage of being an adult we seek out a companion. We look for mutually satisfying relationships. We do this primarily through marriage and friends. We generally also begin to start a family. Our spouse and our friends are our most important contacts. The key concept at this stage is intimacy. The next stage is middle adulthood which lasts from 35 years until retirement age. In this stage work is most crucial. It is important to have meaningful and creative work. This stage involves many issues surrounding family. We become interested in transmitting values of our culture to those around us. Workplace, community and family are our most important contacts. The key concept is generating good things. The last stage is late adulthood which takes place during retirement. This is a stage of looking back on the years. It allows us to reflect on what we have accomplished. For most of us, this should be a time of contentment. Our contribution to mankind serves as the most important contact. Contentment is the key concept of this stage. One might wonder what all of this means on a practical level. The key meaning is that every one of us changes over the years. This is an inevitable fact of life. Young couples who marry each other do not quite grasp this concept. The "for better or worse" part of the marriage vow could be more properly termed "with change over the years." Each of us is affected by so many things such as the children we have, the work we do and what we do in the community. Those changes impact those around us and this is especially true of our relationship with our spouse. The person that we marry changes over the years. We change over the years. When those changes occur, we need to adjust to them. That is what makes for a strong marriage. Unfortunately, many married couples do not realize that they need to grow with their spouse. They look for a simpler solution which is often divorce. When you come right down to it, in most cases divorce is a failure of the individual to develop over time. That failed development is blamed on the spouse. We really need to look inward when times are rough. It usually means that we have more work to do. The approach needs to be a developmental one. We need to change as we grow. Running away from the problems by thinking divorce is the solution is not always the best way for that change to occur. We will most likely make the same mistake in the future if we do not learn from the past.

Visit NHS at the annual Riverfest Nanticoke Health Services (NHS) will once again be part of Riverfest with a health tent located at the Nanticoke Network Building across from Gateway Park in Seaford (corner of Front and Market Streets). The tent will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. Healthcare professionals will provide free blood pressure checks, health screenings, information on healthy lifestyles and programs and services available at Nanticoke and cancer screening information. A first-aid station will be located under the tent. There will be health information for all ages and interactive displays, including a teddy bear "clinic" set up for children to bring their stuffed animals in for "health care." In addition, the first 100 participants will receive a free gift. Limit one per family. To learn more about Nanticoke's health tent, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Marketing Department at 629-6611, ext. 8948.

New FHR Peer Center Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. (FHR), a nonprofit mental health and substance abuse treatment agency, will open its new FHR Peer Center at 123 W. Stein Hwy., on Friday, July 1.

The center will offer educational and employment services, health and wellness, arts, culinary and horticulture programs to its adult members. "In addition to the Peer Center, we will be adding a transitional housing component to meet the needs of eight individuals on August 1," said Regional Director Ken Donovan. As a nonprofit agency that offers both clinical and supportive services to persons with mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and other life challenges, this location will become the ninth building operated by FHR across the state. FHR currently serves individuals in nine different regions across the east coast and Donovan plans to continue expanding the agency's presence in Delaware. For more information about Fellowship Health Resources, Inc., visit

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospice's "New Beginnings" bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program. The location rotates each week of the month according to this schedule:
  • 1st Thursday: Grottos Pizza, Rt. 26, Bethany Beach;
  • 2nd Thursday: Georgia House, 300 Delaware Ave., Laurel;
  • 3rd Thursday: Millsboro Pizza Palace, Rt. 113-southbound lane, Millsboro;
  • 4th Thursday: Blue Ocean Grill (formerly Milton House), 200 Broadkill Rd., Milton;
  • 5th Thursday (when applicable): Texas Grill (formerly Ocean Point Grill), 26089 Long Neck Rd., Millsboro. "New Beginnings" luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required. There is no fee except the cost of your lunch.
For more information, call Carol Dobson or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.

Hospice holds camp for grieving kids Delaware Hospice has spaces available at its free, four-day Camp New Hope in Sussex County, which benefits children and teens coping with the loss of a loved one.Camp New Hope will be held from July 12 through July 15, at Trap Pond for Sussex County residents. Since 1990, Delaware Hospice's New Hope program has offered individual and family counseling to more than 1,500 children and adolescents aged 6-17 who have suffered a loss.New Hope supports children referred from the community as well as members of Delaware Hospice families. The New Hope program is based on the belief that children can be supported in the process of grief reconciliation if they are provided with opportunities to express their feelings. Camp New Hope is the annual highlight of the New Hope Program.This inspirational day camp takes place over four days, connecting children in similar age groups in order to help them process their feelings of loss and grief. Many of the children in New Hope have lost a parent, a grandparent, or another close relative to illness or sudden death. The children are encouraged to express themselves by creating art projects such as murals, memory boxes, pillows and clay sculpting.They sing, participate in role-play, discuss their feelings in a one-on-one setting, enjoy group discussion with peers and counselors, play, exercise and find that they are not alone in their grief. Each camp concludes with a memorial service attended by parents and family members. You may refer a child to this year's Camp New Hope by contacting New Hope Coordinator for Sussex County, Angela Turley at 856-7717, ext. 3104, or

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.