An ideal marriage is considered to be the one which is based on passionate love. As Frank Sinatra told us, “Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage… You can’t have one without the other.” However, this is not entirely correct. There are good marriages which last for a long time without profound love. Consider the following real story of Dan, who is now in his mid-seventies and celebrating the 50th anniversary of his marriage. Dan was single and in his mid-twenties when he was living abroad and met Mary, a woman in her early twenties who came from his country. They were alone in the new environment and connected quickly. They had greater loves before, but became attached to each other, and after a short period they decided to get married. They did love each other, but it was not as passionate as some of their previous relationships. Dan told me that he married because of external circumstances related more to their given situation than to intense love-though they did care for each other. Their marriage had ups and downs and each of them had a few affairs, but they stayed together and were great companions over the years. Dan does not regret his marriage. Some people marry because of external circumstances (such as the wish not to be alone or the wish to have children). Others refrain from marrying or divorce because of external circumstances (such as the possible damage to their present families and work). In all such cases, there are compromising circumstances. The dictionary meanings of compromising circumstances refer to “situations which are likely to expose somebody to danger or disgrace.” The potential danger in situations like Dan’s is obvious: living together without love means possibly giving up the sweetest experience of life and thus ruminating about a possible better alternative. By Professor of Philosophy Aaron Ben-Zeév http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/201105/i-married-because-external-circumstances
rather than marry
From “Pride and Prejudice”
by Jane Austen
Emotional abuse is elusive. Unlike physical abuse, the people doing it and receiving it may not even know it’s happening. It can be more harmful than physical abuse because it can undermine what we think about ourselves. It can cripple all we are meant to be as we allow something untrue to define us. Emotional abuse can happen between parent and child, husband and wife, among relatives and between friends. The abuser projects their words, attitudes or actions onto an unsuspecting victim usually because they themselves have not dealt with childhood wounds that are now causing them to harm others. In the following areas, ask these questions to see if you are abusing or being abused:
1. Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating, judging, criticizing:
- Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others?
- Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you?
- When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive?
2. Domination, control, and shame:
- Do they treat you as though you are inferior to them?
- Do they make you feel as though they are always right?
- Do they belittle your accomplishments, your aspirations, your plans
3. Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations…
- Are they unable to laugh at themselves?
- Do they have trouble apologizing?
- Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness?
- Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests?
4. Emotional distancing… isolation, emotional abandonment or neglect:
- Do they use pouting, withdrawal or withholding attention or affection?
- Do they play the victim to deflect blame onto you instead of taking responsibility for their actions and attitudes?
- Do they not notice or care how you feel?
5. Codependence and enmeshment:
- Does anyone treat you not as a separate person but instead as an extension of themselves?
- Do they not protect your personal boundaries and share information that you have not approved?
- Do they disrespect your requests and do what they think is best for you?
By Maria Bogdanos http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/20/signs-of-emotional-abuse/
She will cry and get over it,
she will hate you
then love you again,
but one day she will leave
and won’t come back.
There are people who are never content, never appeased, forever dissatisfied; who continually look to what escapes them, convincing themselves that if only they could attain that one desire outside of reach, they would be happy. It seems almost pointless to give to these people because their eyes immediately shift from the gift to stare miserably at the portion held back. Their wants, demands, expectations, appetites are never satiated, thus, they refuse to be happy. And you cannot make them so. Richell E. Goodrich
Millions of couples out there practiced the art of sadomasochism every day, without even realizing it. They went to work, came back, complained about everything, insulted their wife or were insulted by her, felt wretched, but were, nonetheless, tightly bound to their own unhappiness, not realizing that all it would take was a single gesture, a final goodbye, to free them from that oppression. Paul Coelho
The only thing that feels worse than being stuck in a situation that makes you unhappy is realizing that you are not ready or willing to change whatever it is. Ashly Lorenzana
For a torture
to be effective,
the pain has to be
it has to come
at regular intervals,
with no end in sight.
Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. It divides up what’s yours and somebody else’s, and that applies not only to your body, money and belongings, but also to your feelings, thoughts and needs. That’s especially where codependents get into trouble. They have blurry or weak boundaries. They feel responsible for other people’s feelings and problems or blame their own on someone else. Some codependents have rigid boundaries. They are closed off and withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones. A consequence of poor boundaries is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words, because there’s no boundary. With a boundary, you’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements. By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/symptoms-of-codependency/
People who violate
They steal time
that doesn’t belong to them.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders
I have a confession to make. I don’t want to hug you. It’s not that I don’t like you. I do, probably. I just really don’t enjoy hugging in any form. I know this probably makes me sound cold or like I suffer from some Monk level OCD contamination fears. Neither is true. Nor did I spend my formative years in a creepy Soviet orphanage where I had no physical contact. Hugging to me just doesn’t feel natural. It is never my instinct to hug someone. The worst is when I run into some random acquaintance I haven’t seen in a while and the first thing they do is try to hug me. In a way though, I’m jealous of these natural huggers. They certainly come off as much warmer and friendlier than me even if it might not be wholly genuine. Since I don’t want to come off as unapproachable or snobby, I’ve gotten pretty good at faking enjoying hugs over the years. I am now able to hug someone without doing the creepy straight armed Dr. Evil style hug. Progress. So I normally let other people dictate the terms of first contact. If they go in for a hug, I will return it warmly. But I will never be the “hug initiator.” Maybe someday I’ll be able to proudly own my non-hugging status and have t-shirts made that say “You seem like an awesome person and I’d like to get to know you better, but please don’t touch me.” From a post by Amanda Fox http://hellogiggles.com/confessions-of-a-non-hugger
We were not a hugging people.
In terms of emotional comfort
it was our belief that no amount
of physical contact could match
the healing powers of a well made cocktail.
From “Naked” by David Sedaris
If we find ourselves… feeling trapped or clung to by our partner, we may want to consider how much we were intruded on as kids. Did we have a parent or caretaker who was overbearing and imposed on us for attention or reassurance? Are we now reacting (or overreacting) to our partner, because he or she is looking to us for similar qualities? While we aim to find partners who complement us in a positive way, we often wind up finding people whose opposing traits can rouse negative dynamics between us. For example, how many couples do we know, where one person does the talking, and the other stays quiet? While one person tells the stories and attracts attention, the other acts as a listener and falls into the background. We frequently choose people who fill out our personalities, then resent them for the very traits that make them our “other half.” Even when we choose partners who complement us positively, we run the risk of eventually distorting them or provoking them to become someone who we are less compatible with. This is often not the case when we first get involved with someone. In the beginning of a relationship, we naturally step out of our comfort zones, forcing ourselves outside our own heads and into an interaction with someone unfamiliar. The scenario of getting to know a stranger forces us to push ourselves, to be our best selves, and to treat the other person with respect and interest. As we get closer, our defenses start to arise. We start to feel more vulnerable, and influences from our past start to seep in. We must be wary in this stage of how we can distort our partners. We may start to insert hidden meaning into their words that suit a way we feel about ourselves. We may start to project qualities onto them or exaggerate characteristics they possess. Dr. Lisa Firestone http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-firestone/relationship-advice_b_824879.html
What you see is only half of what I am.
I have a hundred different faces,
a million different personalities.
Only a part of me is what I show you.
I display a fraction of my true self.
Everything is just a façade.
It’s not the truth of me.
You don’t know me.
You never will.
Every individual is diverse and complex and carries with them a unique set of baggage from their past that impacts and informs their close relationships. Given this complexity, one is often left to wonder, “Why do I keep choosing the same partner? Why, no matter how many new criteria I mentally create, do I keep winding up in a slightly varied version of the same, not-so-great relationship?” The answer for every person is to first look at ourselves. The experiences that make us who we are also influence who we look for in a partner. While most of us claim to be looking for true love, real compatibility and no drama, there are often unconscious influences — thoughts and behaviors leading us to just the opposite. One influential factor is that many of us seek partners who help us stay within our comfort zone, even if that zone turns out to not be all that desirable. People seek what is familiar. If our past were filled with feelings of rejection or inadequacy, we are likely to seek scenarios in which we feel the same way as adults. Often, we look for partners who reinforce existing views we have of ourselves. For example, if we had a parent who was not always emotionally available to us, or who was inconsistent in offering us warmth and affection, we may think of ourselves as unlovable on some level. When we look for a partner, we may be initially drawn to someone whose attention makes us feel good about ourselves. Eventually, we may start to notice that this person is resistant to getting close and can be disregarding. Even as we are tormented by feelings of rejection, we often fail to realize that the very reason we were so drawn to this person may be because we sensed that they support those all-to-familiar feelings of being inadequate and undeserving. Dr. Lisa Firestone http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-firestone/relationship-advice_b_824879.html
Humans have a knack
for choosing precisely
the things that are
worst for them.
J. K. Rowling