Independence vs. Intimacy: Since women often think in terms of closeness and support, they struggle to preserve intimacy. Men, concerned with status, tend to focus more on independence. These traits can lead women and men to starkly different views of the same situation. When Josh’s old high-school friend called him at work to say he’d be in town, Josh invited him to stay for the weekend. That evening he told Linda they were having a house guest. Linda was upset. How could Josh make these plans without discussing them with her beforehand? She would never do that to him. “Why don’t you tell your friend you have to check with your wife?” she asked. Josh replied, “I can’t tell my friend, ‘I have to ask my wife for permission’!” To Josh, checking with his wife would mean he was not free to act on his own. It would make him feel like a child or an underling. But Linda actually enjoys telling someone, “I have to check with Josh.” It makes her feel good to show that her life is intertwined with her husband’s. Advice vs. Understanding: Eve had a benign lump removed from her breast. When she confided to her husband, Mark, that she was distressed because the stitches changed the contour of her breast, he answered, “You can always have plastic surgery.” This comment bothered her. “I’m sorry you don’t like the way it looks,” she protested. “But I’m not having any more surgery!” Mark was hurt and puzzled. “I don’t care about a scar,” he replied. “It doesn’t bother me at all.” “Then why are you telling me to have plastic surgery?” she asked. “Because you were upset about the way it looks.” Eve felt like a heel. Mark had been wonderfully supportive throughout her surgery. How could she snap at him now? The problem stemmed from a difference in approach. To many men a complaint is a challenge to come up with a solution. Mark thought he was reassuring Eve by telling her there was something she could do about her scar. But often women are looking for emotional support, not solutions.When my mother tells my father she doesn’t feel well, he invariably offers to take her to the doctor. Invariably, she is disappointed with his reaction. Like many men, he is focused on what he can do, whereas she wants sympathy. by Deborah Tannen http://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/you-just-don%E2%80%99t-understand-by-deborah-tannen/
The way we communicate
with others and with ourselves
the quality of our lives
Though almost three-quarters of Americans believe spanking a child is good for them, I’ve never been able to understand how we figured that hitting a child could teach a child not to hit others. Catherine Taylor at Tulane University and her colleagues reviewed data from a 20-city study that took place between 1998 and 2005. Data from almost 2500 children shows that 3-year-olds who are spanked twice a month are one and half times more likely to be aggressive at age five than children who are not spanked. What’s particularly interesting is that Taylor and her group were able to rule out the confounding effect of factors like the mother’s own history of maltreatment, intimate partner violence in the home, or the mother’s substance use, depression and stress. They even ruled out whether the parents considered aborting the child before birth. Though any one of these factors might create a home environment that makes a child more likely to be aggressive, none of these factors explained the difference between the children who were spanked and those who were not. On most issues I follow the lead of the parents with whom I work. I can be convinced of many things, from bedtimes to mealtimes. But tell me that spanking a child teaches them discipline and I have to shake my head. “Do your child a favor,” I say. “Teach them discipline through words and actions that are neither violent nor degrading.” Your child is much more likely to succeed… From an article by Michael Ungar, Ph.D. in Nurturing Resilience http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/nurturing-resilience/201009/spanking-makes-kids-more-aggressive-the-research-is-clear
Spanking and verbal criticism
have become, to many parents,
more important tools
of child rearing than approval.
Obsessiveness is common in many ways – not being able to sleep at night because of hurting someone you love, for example, or developing a childhood fascination with dinosaurs that never leaves and you eventually become a paleontologist. Then there is an addiction to obsessiveness which stifles creativity. Obsessiveness is not only boring, it also lacks any faith in process. Process is always out of your control. You must be open to finding out what will happen instead of seeking a false sense of control. An example of this false sense of control would be to think: If I always know where you are, you can’t have an affair. Part of the control of obsessiveness is to nurse hurt feelings, exaggerate disappointment, and constantly blame the other for not coming to the rescue. Obsessiveness is very interesting because there are two sides to it: the positive side is creative passion that helps you know what really matters; the negative side is an addiction which makes you unable to prioritize anything. As a result, things have the same weight. Is s/he having an affair? Just how clean can my house be to prove I know what’s what? Are all those towels really folded correctly? Obsessiveness is a focus on what is NOT. Truly focus on the here and now in the moment and the obsession will change itself. Obsession is a substitute for action. Both polarities of obsessiveness are available. What is more mentally healthy, especially as we age, is sorting out what is important and what to let go of. Ultimately letting go is the final lesson of death. One of the many wonderful aspects about raising children is that elegant dance of knowing what’s important combined with the letting go work of adolescence and not knowing. The not knowing leaves room for respecting their choices as different from your own ideas of who they should be. Too many parents stifle and interrupt children’s abilities to make their own mistakes and their own choices. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
is like theft.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
There are four common traits found in adults who have been abused as children. A person who has experienced severe sexual, physical, or emotional abuse will usually have all four. A person who experienced limited abuse will probably have only some of the traits, and those that are present will interfere with this person’s life in only a limited number of situations. The first trait is the tendency to be triggered by specific events, which has been called time tunneling… The second trait is difficulty modulating emotions. This means that it is easy for a person to become anxious or angry, and, once angered or frightened, it is difficult for this person to calm down. An adult who had to suppress many emotions as a child may also find it difficult to feel emotions at a low-level because the tendency to suppress emotions has become automatic. The third trait is a tendency to view oneself and the world negatively. The three key areas affected are the ability to trust, feel safe, and believe that it is possible to bring about desired outcomes. Two key areas in terms of one’s self image are whether or not one is normal and whether or not one is lovable. The nature of the abuse can greatly affect the form of these negative views. For instance, if a person was abused by a stranger, he or she may feel a sense of safety when close loved ones, and a sense of danger when far away from them. However, if a person was abused by someone who was supposed to protect and give love, the identification of what and who are “safe” becomes confused. The fourth trait is a reduced ability to understand events. People with this tendency find that they often go into a daze or become confused, especially when they are stressed, dealing with conflict, or emotionally upset. When a child is being abused and cannot escape physically, the child often takes the only other form of escape possible: dissociation. The more frequent and severe the abuse, the greater the tendency to remove oneself mentally from the painful experience. …people with abusive childhoods often find it difficult to distinguish unhealthy individuals from healthy ones. Their childhood experiences taught them to ignore the important indicators that to those raised in healthy families became danger signals. Instead, they “numb out” or use an old response pattern that causes them to walk into harm’s way without even knowing it. In addition, an abused child often develops a self-concept that contains beliefs about being dirty, inadequate, guilty, or responsible for what happened. As a result, a person like this often makes up a “cover story” and tries to hide who he or she really is… From article by Reneau Peurifoy http://rpeurifoy.com/Articles/TraitsinAdultswithAbusiveChildhoods.aspx
Not all scars show,
not all wounds heal.
Sometimes you can’t
always see the pain
that someone feels.
Everybody lies. It may only be “white” lies, but everyone tells lies or “omits the truth” sometimes. We start lying at around age 4 to 5 when children gain an awareness of the use and power of language. This first lying is not malicious, but rather to find out, or test, what can manipulated in a child’s environment. Eventually children begin to use lying to get out of trouble or get something they want. White lies, those concocted to protect someone’s feelings, are not a big deal at all. The person, however, who seems to feel compelled to lie about both the small and large stuff has a problem. We often call these folks pathological liars (which is a description, not a diagnosis). They lie to protect themselves, look good, gain financially or socially and avoid punishment. Quite often the person who has been deceived knows that this type of liar has to a certain extent deluded him or herself and is therefore to be somewhat pitied. A much more troubling group is those who lie a lot — and knowingly — for personal gain. These people may have a diagnosis called antisocial personality disorder, also known as being a sociopath, and often get into scrapes with the law. Lying often gets worse with the passage of time. When you get away with a lie it often impels you to continue your deceptions. Also, liars often find themselves perpetrating more untruths to cover themselves. We hold different people to different standards when it comes to telling the truth. We expect, for example, less honesty from politicians than from scientists. We have a vision of purity about those who are doing research, while we imagine that politicians will at least shade the truth about themselves in order to get elected. Why do we dislike liars, especially sociopaths, so much? It’s a matter of trust. When a person lies, they have broken a bond – an unspoken agreement to treat others as we would like to be treated. Serious deception often makes it impossible for us to trust another person again. Because the issue of trust is on the line, coming clean about the lie as soon as possible is the best way to mend fences. If the truth only comes out once it is forced, repair of trust is far less likely. Dr. Gail Saltz on The “Today Show”
No man has a good
to make a successful liar.
To many professionals in the treatment field and their clients, the term “codependency” can be confusing and unclear. Some clients even find the term offensive and/or say that it is a poor fit to describe them, according to Ann W. Smith MS, LPC, LMFT, NCC. Smith is the Executive Director of Breakthrough at Caron, which is a 5 ½ day residential personal growth workshop designed for those who are struggling with relationship patterns developed from early attachment injuries in core relationships. She explains the evolution of codependency starting in 1980 when the addiction field began to show interest in involving the family in addiction treatment. Soon after that time, Caron introduced a residential family program. She discusses the labels that were used before the term “codependency” came about. One of these labels was “co-alcoholic” and she says that this one didn’t stick because the term chemical dependency replaced alcoholism. Another label that was used early on was “chief enabler or ‘collateral,’” which were used for the spouse of an addict when their spouse was in treatment. As time went on, committees met and the terms “Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)” and “codependency” began to emerge across the country around 1981. At the 1989 National Conference on Codependency, a commit of experts in the codependency field… came together to establish this definition: “Codependency is a pattern of painful dependence on compulsive behavior and on approval seeking, in an attempt to gain safety, identity and self-worth. Recovery is possible.” Although Smith was on the committee that developed this definition, she still felt that it was too general and that it couldn’t be applied to specific people. She explains the following definition of codependency that she created: “Codependency is a condition or state of being, that results from adapting to dysfunction (possibly addiction) in a significant other. Codependency is a learned response to stress which, over a person’s lifetime, can lead to the development of the following characteristics: External Focus, Repressed Feelings, Comfort with Crisis, Boundary Conflicts, Isolation, Stress related illness. By Shannon Brys, Associate Editor http://www.addictionpro.com/article/codependency-patterns-attachment
It’s hard to give up the self-esteem connected
to being codependent and appearing ‘right,’
which is probably a survival behavior learned
from growing up in a crazy family.
It feels like you will actually disappear.
1. Love – Development of self first priority.
* Toxic love – Obsession with relationship.
2. Love – Room to grow, expand; desire for other to grow.
* Toxic love – Security, comfort in sameness; intensity of need seen as proof of love 3. Love – Separate interests; other friends; maintain other meaningful relationships.
Toxic love – Total involvement; limited social life; neglect old friends, interests.
4. Love – Encouragement of each other’s expanding; secure in own worth.
* Toxic love – Preoccupation with other’s behavior; fear of other changing.
5. Love – Appropriate Trust (i.e. trusting partner according to fundamental nature.)
* Toxic love – Jealousy; possessiveness; fear of competition; protects “supply.”
6. Love – Compromise, negotiation or taking turns at leading. Problem solving together.
* Toxic love – Power plays for control; blaming; manipulation.
7. Love – Embracing of each other’s individuality.
* Toxic love – Trying to change other to own image.
8. Love – Relationship deals with all aspects of reality.
* Toxic love – Relationship is based on delusion and avoidance of the unpleasant.
9. Love – Self-care by both partners; emotional state not dependent on other’s mood.
* Toxic love – Expectation that one partner will fix and rescue the other.
10. Love – Loving detachment (healthy concern about partner, while letting go.)
* Toxic love – Fusion (being obsessed with each other’s problems and feelings.)
11. Love – Sex is free choice growing out of caring & friendship.
* Toxic love – Pressure around sex due to insecurity, fear & need for gratification.
12. Love – Ability to enjoy being alone.
* Toxic love – Unable to endure separation; clinging.
13. Love – Cycle of comfort and contentment.
* Toxic love – Cycle of pain and despair.
Love is not supposed to be painful. There is pain involved in any relationship but if it is painful most of the time then something is not working. There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship – it is natural and healthy. There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship that will last forever – expecting it to last forever is what is dysfunctional. Expectations set us up to be a victim – and cause to abandon ourselves in search of our goal. If we can start seeing relationships not as the goal but as opportunities for growth then we can start having more functional relationships. A relationship that ends is not a failure or a punishment – it is a lesson. By Robert Burney http://joy2meu.com/codependent2.htm
A marriage is a living family system. Like all living things, it can get infected with toxic agents that result in its death. Immunities are what combat potential infectious agents. I call these potentially fatal–to-your-marriage phenomena the 3 A’s: addictions, affairs, and anger. Almost all folks from time to time get impulses to do things that their head would say are out-of-bounds. Drinking a bit too much, getting a bit too friendly with someone of the other sex when your love has already been committed elsewhere, and speaking harshly when a cooperative voice would have been preferable are mistakes. Mistakes are for learning. Mistakes like these create feelings of guilt and regret Those are the signs that it’s time for figuring out what went wrong, a totally genuine apology, and learning. The learning is the basis for building an immunity. A small dose of a toxic phenomenon can strengthen your immune system’s ability to resist the sexual-drinking-anger impulses that might otherwise grow increasingly toxic until they get you in trouble. A vaccinated relationship is likely to grow ever stronger and more loving over time. By contrast, repeatedly making the same mistakes instead of using small incidents as a vaccination against larger problems can lead to one of the 3 ‘A’s’. The 3 ‘A’ mistakes can get you fired from the job of spouse. Alcoholism, affairs and anger, in addition to wrecking your marriage, can have profoundly negative impacts on your children. Modeling addictions, affairs and anger teaches your kids that this is what adults do. At the same time, addictive, sexually unfaithful and excessively angry behaviors teach your kids that attachments are unreliable and unsafe, making your kids less able to establish secure positive relationships as they reach adulthood. By clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author Susan Heitler, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201110/resisting-the-3-main-temptations-destroy-marriages
A successful marriage
in love many times,
always with the same person.
We are all consumed with our feelings; we focus on what is wrong with THEM. We are hearing what we are saying, and not what they are saying. Thus, we are solving the problem with you, instead of joining with the other person and solving it TOGETHER. I mean, you are dating another person aren’t you? So why don’t you involve them in your conversations? “Well, they won’t listen to what I have to say.” Could this be because you say the same thing far too much? From personal experience, you will never go far in your relationships if you are “nagging” your partner to death. Another reason that they aren’t listening to anything you say, is because what you are saying frankly isn’t important. If you are one of those people who point out every “defect” in a human, then most likely they tuned you out a long time ago. You must first take a look at yourself and realize that you are not Miss./Mr. Perfect. You have problems, you have issues, just like everyone else does. Your relationships will go far if you’ll stop bringing attention to the minor things that really don’t make that big of a difference. On the other side, if your partner is not listening to you, than there could be something seriously wrong there. Ultimately, the lack of attention narrows down to a lack of respect. You must have respect for the person that you are in a relationship with, and they must have respect for you. If no respect is involved, than you will both be looking at each other as if each of you is less than the other. Respect is something that is so important in every aspect of life. A lack of respect equals a lack of communication, which in turn equals the beginning of the end of your relationship. You must give in order to receive. In order to obtain respect from someone, you must show them that you are respect worthy. You can’t just sit there and expect them to automatically respect you. You must show them. How? Prove to them that you are a loyal and honest individual. Be yourself, don’t lie, and treat them as you would like to be treated. If that doesn’t gain their respect, than something is seriously wrong with them. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
When men and women
are able to respect
and accept their
love has a chance
One of the most important things to remember is that your partner is with you for a reason and not with his or her ex. The past is the past. It can’t be undone. The future is what matters. Be honest and open with your partner and usually everything will be fine in the relationship. Don’t compare your partner to your ex. Don’t talk about your ex very much. It makes you sound like you are still in love with them. Don’t call your ex unless it is business related. Don’t call your partners ex to ask questions about your partner or to start trouble. Don’t listen to his or her voice mail on the cell phone. It will only get make matters worse. Let your partner have privacy unless you suspect something weird is going on. Don’t go through your partners stuff unless you ask him or her first. Remember Please Don’t go through their stuff just to be snoopy because that indicates that you don’t trust him or her or just being paranoid. From an Yahoo article by Shelly K. http://voices.yahoo.com/dont-let-ex-threaten-current-relationship-13874.html?cat=41
Such is the inconsistency of real love,
that it is always awake to suspicion,
always requiring new assurances
from the object of its interest.