Chances are, you know one. They do everything together; they share common ideals. They’re the couple that says that they rarely argue. When a disagreement comes up, they talk it out and they come to a compromise. And they live happily ever after. And you think, “If only I found my perfect match, I wouldn’t have marital problems.” While I’ll readily admit there are bad matches, good matches, better matches and best matches in marriage, many smooth-sailing marriages usually have one thing that makes them oh, so easy: a compliant spouse. A compliant spouse—husband or wife—is content to let the other spouse lead the way and make the decisions. He or she isn’t necessarily a doormat, but he usually wants to keep the peace more than have his way. Often times, he’ll suggest ideas but if his spouse shoots them down, he’ll just shrug his shoulders and go with the flow. There isn’t much true “compromise” going on: He just gives in. He takes direction well, and completes his honey-to list when asked. Leaving decisions to his mate allows him freedom to pursue other interests while relieving him of weightier responsibilities, too. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard women swoon over someone’s compliant spouse. And I guess I have to admit, I have done it, too. When your own husband has an irksome bull-headed streak, a complaint spouse sounds terrific. But do you really want a compliant spouse? Compliance is boring. It’s nice when a spouse brings his own ideas into the mix. It’s exciting to hear, “I have a better idea.” Now and then, a little giving in—for you—is good for the soul. It takes humility and love to be able to back down and let the other person get what he wants, even when it isn’t what you want at all. If you’re used to getting your way, be sure you aren’t turning into a total dictator or a spoiled brat—unless he likes it that way. These are the spouses that suddenly up and leave after long years of marriage, to everyone’s shock and surprise. They were quietly compliant but not happily so. If you have a compliant spouse, be sure to address his or her desires. Solicit his or her opinions and take them. If you keep dismissing his ideas, choices and opinions, for whatever reason however logical, he will stop offering them. Appreciate that your marital road is smoother than most, but give credit to the one who paves that way. From an article by Lori Phillips http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art5801.asp
Give me that man
that is not
and I will wear
him in my heart’s core.
There is no universally accepted definition of emotional abuse. It is commonly defined as “systematic attacks on a child’s emotional well-being and sense of self-worth.” Think of emotional child abuse as a pattern of behavior that attacks a child’s emotional development, sense well-being and trust in the world and others. These attacks can include overtly violent verbal acts or simply chronic, excessive, aggressive or unreasonable demands that place expectations on children that are beyond their developmental capacity. Often, parents unknowingly place inappropriate expectations on children. Three-year-olds, for example, can not be expected to sit quietly for an extended length of time. They just do not have the physical control of their bodies yet, nor the coping skills to always manage “listening” to requests to “behave.” Even an overly cooperative child is at-risk for being dominated and controlled through a system of praise and rewards which can be emotionally damaging, as the child feels pressured into a constant race to keep up with the expectations of others. Expectations that do not consider a child’s needs and feelings do more harm than good. The end result: a child who has less ability to organize his thoughts, relate in healthy ways, manage his emotions or resolve conflict peacefully. Violence in our words can manifest in a variety of ways including: verbal attacks, judgments, shame, blame, guilt, comparing, criticizing, teasing, name-calling insulting, rejecting and evaluating children’s behavior. Any time children are exposed to verbal abuse or violence, it chips away at their sense of self-worth and lays a foundation of hopelessness. Sometimes it’s just a scratch and other times it’s a whole chunk of self-esteem that falls off. It is not always the severity of the event but the attention, intention, and follow-up reactions of adults that determine whether or not these disconnections in our relationships (which happen and are normal) become healing moments of growth or moments which undermine healthy development. The child who feels heard, and emotionally supported will grow from negative experiences, learning to cope and strengthening his capacity for empathy. The child who experiences criticism, isolation, punitive consequences, negativity, shame, blame or guilt does not develop in the same ways. From an online article by Lori Petro http://www.teach-through-love.com/emotional-child-abuse.html
I wanted to tell you
all my secrets
but you became
one of them.
Emotional abuse of a child is commonly defined as a pattern of behavior by parents or caregivers that can seriously interfere with a child’s cognitive, emotional, psychological or social development. Emotional abuse of a child — also referred to as psychological maltreatment — can include:
- Ignoring. Either physically or psychologically, the parent or caregiver is not present to respond to the child. He or she may not look at the child and may not call the child by name.
- Rejecting. This is an active refusal to respond to a child’s needs (e.g., refusing to touch a child, denying the needs of a child, ridiculing a child).
- Isolating. The parent or caregiver consistently prevents the child from having normal social interactions with peers, family members and adults.
- Exploiting or corrupting. In this kind of abuse, a child is taught, encouraged or forced to develop inappropriate or illegal behaviors. It may involve self-destructive or antisocial acts of the parent or caregiver, such as teaching a child how to steal…
- Verbally assaulting. This involves constantly belittling, shaming, ridiculing or verbally threatening the child.
- Terrorizing. Here, the parent or caregiver threatens or bullies the child and creates a climate of fear for the child.
- Neglecting the child. This abuse may include educational neglect, where a parent or caregiver fails or refuses to provide the child with necessary educational services; mental health neglect, where the parent or caregiver denies or ignores a child’s need for treatment for psychological problems; or medical neglect, where a parent or caregiver denies or ignores a child’s need for treatment for medical problems.
While the definition of emotional abuse is often complex and imprecise, professionals agree that, for most parents, occasional negative attitudes or actions are not considered emotional abuse. What is truly harmful, according to James Garbarino, a national expert on emotional abuse, is the persistent, chronic pattern that “erodes and corrodes a child”. Most parents want the best for their children. However, some parents may emotionally and psychologically harm their children because of stress, poor parenting skills, social isolation, lack of available resources or inappropriate expectations of their children. They may emotionally abuse their children because the parents or caregivers were emotionally abused themselves as children. http://www.americanhumane.org/children/stop-child-abuse/fact-sheets/emotional-abuse.html
The difficult child is
the child who is unhappy.
He is at war with himself;
and in consequence,
he is at war with the world.
A. S. Neill
The other extreme is to become overly detached in relationships. This also originates as a self-protective measure, usually against an intrusive, controlling other. It often begins in childhood and develops as the person matures and enters adult relationships. Some detachment and ability to set boundaries is healthy. It is important to let the other person in your life accept responsibility for feelings and choices. It is appropriate to protect yourself from someone who might abuse you. It becomes problematic when it results in a pattern of disengaging in every relationship. When you perpetually disengage, there is no real connection – therefore, no real relationship, emphasis here on relating. Just two people co-existing in a very superficial way. An overly detached person finds it difficult to ask for help. It implies weakness. Attempts to allow closeness and intimacy provoke a lot of anxiety. Someone who can’t connect has difficulty feeling or expressing emotions. As a result, the emotions get bottled up and come out in inappropriate ways over (often) unrelated matters. Distance is maintained by keeping conversation superficial, finding reasons to frequently go or stay out alone (work, manufactured obligations to friends or family, etc.), or inability to commit to a long-term relationship. These behaviors come from a deep fear of being trapped or suffocated. There is fear of loss of the self, loss of choice, loss of independence. Ironically, an overly detached person often chooses a controlling, needy, clingy person to become involved with. The two then push each others’ buttons and bounce off each other like crazy till they light up like a pinball machine, and the relationship self-destructs. From an on-line article by Katherine Rabinowitz, LP, M.A., NCPsyA http://www.therapycanwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=99
Real hope combined
with real action has always
pulled me through difficult times.
Real hope combined with doing nothing
has never pulled me through.
Psychologists have identified a number of core aspects of personality, and one of the most important is a characteristic called agreeableness. Agreeableness reflects how important it is for you to get along with other people. If you are highly agreeable, then you organize your life in ways to make sure that the people around you are happy and that they feel warmly toward you. If you are not that agreeable, then you don’t really care much about how the people around you feel about you. Now, you might think that being agreeable is generally a good thing and that being disagreeable is not. After all, if you are disagreeable, you may get people angry with you or you might turn off your friends. Disagreeable people may come off as judgmental or cold. But people who are highly agreeable are often too nice. And that can be a huge problem. Remember, that if you are highly agreeable, you want other people to like you. As a result, you may not want to say things to other people that might upset them. That means that you will not stick up for yourself in lots of situations. You may not tell a friend or significant other that you are not interested in going to an event that they want to attend. You may not tell someone else that they have upset you. You probably have a hard time asking for a raise. What can you do if you find that you’re being too nice? Here are a few suggestions.
Say what you mean. Agreeable people often speak indirectly when they want to criticize or to disagree. If you and your friends are deciding on a plan, and someone suggests something that you don’t enjoy doing, don’t say something vague like, “That isn’t my favorite thing,” or “I guess that is ok.” Be more direct. It is ok to say, “I don’t enjoy that.” You may not always get your way, but at least your opinion will be known.
Write what you can’t say. Writing can help. When you write a note or email to someone else, you distance yourself from their direct reaction. That can be helpful for starting a difficult conversation. While it is always better to speak to someone directly than to write to them, it is better to write than to say nothing at all.
Engage your friends. Often, when you have to say something that you are afraid might offend someone, you assume the worst. You begin to believe that someone else will take what you have to say in the worst possible way. In the end, it is easy to talk yourself out of communicating at all, because you fear a negative reaction. From an article by By Art Markman http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/when-being-too-nice-hurts_n_2122238.html
Being too nice
of being hurt,
taken for granted.
Sibling sexual abuse is as traumatic as sexual abuse by a parent (or any other form of sexual abuse) and has a lasting impact on the victim. Studies have shown that sibling abuse often includes the most serious forms of abuse. However, in spite of this, sibling sexual abuse is more likely to be overlooked, normalized and discounted by families and the wider community. This minimization by others can mean that survivors themselves are less likely to view their experiences as abuse and also find it more difficult to talk about. Like all forms of sexual abuse, sibling sexual abuse (sibling incest) is an abuse of power, where the more powerful sibling abuses the less powerful. Power can be physical, intellectual or emotional. Sibling abuse is sexual contact between siblings who are of a different age, size, strength or developmental level. Sibling sexual abuse often, but not always, involves some form of force, manipulation or intimidation. Sibling incest can involve forms of non-contact abuse, such as forcing another to view pornography or exposing of genitals. In most cases, sibling sexual abuse does not occur in isolation but alongside physical and/or emotional abuse. The term sibling includes all children who grow up together in the same family, including step, foster and adopted children. Survivors of sibling incest often describe spending their childhood in fear, unable to tell anyone of their abuse for fear of being blamed, not believed or suffering retaliation. This fear, along with shame surrounding the ‘incest taboo’, can mean the victim’s silence extends over the years of childhood, and for some, continuing into adulthood. For those who did speak out, many report being further harmed by their families response, with the abuse being ignored, excused or worse still, the victim blamed. http://www.secasa.com.au/pages/sibling-sexual-abuse-information-for-adults-abused-as-children/
In my family, you can rot to hell
on the inside as long as you’re
flawless on the outside,
which is really sick,
but also hard to unlearn.
One thing you will need to spot a person, who is incapable of love, is some experience. The inexperienced person who falls in love for the first time is capable of being blind sided. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t know when you see it. A person who can’t love can be charming, beautiful, even generous. But we will dissect those qualities so you see what they mean in such a person A person who is charming wants you to like them. It’s not about you. A person who is beautiful, is just fortunate, or spends a lot of time taking care of them selves so they can look good on the outside. Again, it’s not about you. A person who is generous gives for a variety of reasons. Generous people can give because they genuinely care about others. But sometimes it’s because they want to feel good about themselves. It has been said that narcissists can’t love others because they are too in love with themselves. This is actually not true. Narcissists don’t love themselves. They hate themselves but they also have huge egos, which are damaged egos. Narcissists require love from others in order to feed off that love, so they can tolerate themselves. http://www.ehow.com/how_4818960_not-love-naricissitic-personality-disorder.html
fall in love
with nice people.
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
Codependency comes in many forms. One aspect is doing for others what they should and need to do for themselves. It may make the other person feel good for the moment, and us important, but it keeps them over-dependent on us. This kind of relationship is extremely unhealthy. Another aspect of codependency is rescuing people from the logical consequences of their negative behavior patterns. This, too, keeps them immature and over-dependent on us. For every alcoholic (or other addict), who is already over-dependent on his alcohol, they say there are four codependent enablers supporting him and his addiction. As long as they are doing this, he never has to get better. If he refuses to acknowledge his issue, get into a recovery program, and resolve his problem, there comes a time when those who are enabling him need to say enough is enough! They need to exercise tough love, quit protecting him or her, get out of the way, and let him crash! This is the most loving thing they can do after they have tried every other avenue of tough love and found that none of it worked. The bottom line of codependency is that need is mistaken for love. The codependent needs to feel needed in order to feel loved. But it’s not love at all. It’s need. It may look like love and it may look very Christian but it’s neither. Furthermore, the codependent person wants to fix others to avoid facing his own issues. Taken from “The Counterfeit Love of Codependency” by Dr. Billy Kidd http://drbillykidd.hubpages.com/hub/codependents-r-us
A hot-tempered man
must pay the penalty;
if you rescue him,
you will have to do it again.
Dysfunctional Relationships are relationships that do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication among them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare or fortify them for life in the larger world. Codependency means that one or both people in a relationship are making the relationship more important than they are to themselves. A classic codependent is hopelessly entangled with a partner who is out of control through alcoholism, addiction or violent behavior; but the term has been more recently used to mean anyone who feel dependent, helpless and out of control in a relationship; or unable to leave an unsatisfying or abusive one. Toxic Family Systems are relationships (beginning with childhood families, and carried into adulthood) that are mentally, emotionally or physically harmful to some or all of the participants. Codependent relationships can also be toxic relationships, although the term “toxic” is usually used to mean the more abusive varieties. In short, all three of these terms refer to relationships that contain unhealthy interaction, and do not effectively enhance the lives of the people involved. People in these relationships are not taking responsibility for making their own lives or the relationship work. Adapted from “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage” by Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. http://www.tinatessina.com/dysfunctional_relationship.html
We are all prompted by the same motives,
all deceived by the same fallacies,
all animated by hope, obstructed by danger,
entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.