Marriage therapists are much more likely to see a couple after the marriage reaches the breaking point, rather than early in the process of breaking down. Both partners at this distressing juncture will often be experiencing despair, and they’ll ask the therapist’s opinion about whether they should “just end it.” The real feelings lurking behind such a question actually sound more like this, “We’re so tired of trying the same old things and getting nowhere in our relationship. Can’t you give us something new to try?” The answer is yes, if you’re willing to work hard at it, and learn the signs of marital trouble. Divorce remains at historic highs compared with the 1950s. According to the U.S. Census, one-half of the first marriages of baby boomer couples will end in divorce or separation. Both men and women experience marital disaffection or the dying-out of love between two spouses. The process is painful for everyone; sometimes as agonizing for one or both partners as the death of a loved one. What’s also true is that many married men and women come to the conclusion that their marriage is over prematurely. That is, they give up from exhaustion and despair when there are still things that can be done to save the marriage. When a relationship begins to turn sour, inevitably people blame their partner. Being right and making the other wrong starts to hold more value to each spouse than the goal of maintaining love, peace, and harmony in the relationship. Underlying whatever the couple is arguing about, be it housekeeping, an affair, or one partner’s long hours at the office, there are deep unacknowledged hurts and disappointments. A woman often feels unappreciated or unloved. A man feels nagged or neglected. The danger is that the couple never goes below the surface of the antagonisms reigning in the present, never knows what they’re actually fighting about, and each blames the other for the standoff that results. In this scenario of battling spouses, the ego reigns supreme and love begins to die. When harsh words, physical distance, and immature behaviors such as irrational spending have replaced the gestures of love, it’s sometimes difficult to understand what’s actually going on in your marriage. It appears to have fallen completely apart and you can’t recall why you ever “fell in love” with this person in the first place. From an article by Stephen Martin, MFT, and Victoria Costello http://www.netplaces.com/happy-marriage/danger-signs-in-a-marriage/dont-give-up-too-soon.htm
It is not a
lack of love,
but a lack
Admitting you are wrong is associated with resourcefulness. Low self-esteem makes a person less resourceful and prone to being addicted to being right. A person who is able to admit being wrong is more resourceful because he believes he has the right to develop new capabilities. Admitting you’re wrong breeds an environment of tolerance. I’ve been wrong enough to know that you and others are capable of making mistakes too. We all do. Admitting to being wrong creates an environment of tolerance, not just personal tolerance, but tolerance of others. Admitting you’re wrong creates open-mindedness. By that I mean a more willing environment for your opinions to be reviewed. This is extremely important if you are in search of the truth. Open-mindedness is an essential ingredient to discovering the truth. Admitting you’re wrong will help point out where you sound stupid. This may not be a high priority on the list of things sought for by someone who is addicted to being right, but as one becomes more mature it is important to know where you sound like a fool and how to correct it. Addicted to being right sounds fairly lame to people who are interested in truth and high ideals so you may as well figure out early on in life where you sound stupid. Why wait to correct that? Lastly it is important to admit you’re wrong and then listen. Learning to listen after admitting you are wrong is a powerful way to get a fine education. You will learn much more by listening to others that by talking.
We all mess up.
It’s what we learn
from our mistakes
Getting over a broken heart is never easy, especially in the social networking age, when photos of you and your ex in happier times remain plastered on your friends’ Facebook pages. Worse, recent research suggests that romantic rejection can cause physical pain in a way that no other negative emotion—not even anger or fear—can.But it’s actually good to go through the insane despair and bouts of endless tears that result from being dumped, contends bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Piver. We should embrace these feelings rather than run from them, she argues in her book, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. “As unlikely as it may sound, this sorrow is the gateway to lasting happiness,” she writes, speaking of her own two-year experience recovering from heartbreak. Piver and other experts described ways to ride through those uninvited waves of grief.
1. Make friends with your heartbreak. You may be tempted to try and forge past it, numbing the pain with rebound sex or a date with a gallon of ice cream. Or you may harden your heart and swear off all future relationships. But that’s the cowardly approach, and one that won’t serve you well in the long run. “It takes a lot of courage to be sad,” says Piver, “but a fantastic life is not one that is placidly happy.” With grieving comes increased awareness: of what’s truly important to you; whom you love; who loves you. “Of course, no one wants to feel that way, myself included,” Piver adds, “but if you allow [the sadness] to teach you, it actually will resolve faster than any effort to fight it.” By Deborah Kotz, Angela Haupt http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/03/22/8-steps-to-mend-a-broken-heart
Scars have the strange power
to remind us that our past is real.
And at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind ‒ graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you are very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you for life. Jim Butcher
When faced with
two equally tough choices,
most people choose the third choice:
to not choose.
Most people live life on the path we set for them, too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along who knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize freewill is a gift that you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. “The Adjustment Bureau“ More than any other factor my attitude, deeds and choices will paint this day. If there are things I wish were different and want changed, I can change them even if only a tiny, tiny bit, by how I view them. My thoughts are colors on the palette and which ones I put upon the canvas of today is mostly up to me. Over time the complete scene that is painted will be largely of my own doing.
The thought you have now
shapes your experience
of the next moment.
Practice shaping the moment.
Every one of us indulges occasionally in self-pity, but no one likes to admit it. Self-pity is the emotion of covering up. It is a method we often use to cover up our feelings of aggression and our feelings of guilt. It is our excuse for failing to face life objectively – an alibi for inaction. When he learns to walk, the little child must take one step at a time. Even that one step is a faltering attempt. He always takes the risk of falling, but until the child learns to walk he does not become discouraged when he loses his balance. He gets back upon his feet and tries again. Gradually his muscles strengthen and the ability to balance increases. The child leans to walk with confidence, with head erect, rather than half bent over in a position where he expects to fall on his face. In overcoming negative emotions, which limit our lives, we must have courage to stand erect and with patience to take one step at a time, recognizing that growth takes time. Even after we have taken positive action, it is easy to revert to the old, negative emotions. We should not cease to try because of a fear of falling. (From “Search For Serenity…” by Lewis F. Presnall)
A strong male codependent tendency is to meet a woman and be pulled into a relationship by physical attraction and little else. Instead of seeing all the incompatibilities as the liaison progresses, the effort becomes about trying to change her to be something other than what she is. So much time is spent trying to mold a partner that truly compatible people go right by unnoticed. Even more telling is dysfunctional people are usually strongly attracted to other people just as messed up. The results are fiery, but what is shared is almost always scorched in a blaze of immature emotional turmoil . The pattern goes on and on, each time certain the new lover is “the one”. The impossibility of a working relationship coming only later in retrospect, if seen at all. To attach a women who is emotionally healthy, a man must first be emotionally healthy him self. Then he does not have to look. A whole, well and psychologically fit woman will appear when a man is ready.
The key is to get to know people
and trust them to be who they are.
Instead, we trust people
to be who we want them to be
and when they’re not, we cry.
Any job worth doing is worth doing poorly I heard Pia Mellody speak on a recording of one of her workshops about codependence. Seems those attending must have had trouble getting the meaning from the words as I did because she repeated it and then explained. Generally, she said some things are not worth doing any better than poorly. No amount of perfectionism applied will make the task more meaningful. The fear of doing something poorly can also make us not try new things because we think we have to get it right the first time. We have to try, fail and try again. That’s how we learn best. But we don’t have to do it perfectly!
Action and reaction,
ebb and flow,
trial and error,
this is the rhythm of living.
In overcoming bad habits it is common to attempt being perfect; to seek personal growth perfection as quickly as possible. To think healing can be done hastily and/or flawlessly is a sure sign that the behavior pattern being fought against is still winning. Getting better is messy, unorganized and at times, chaotic. Recovery can never be fully achieved. Instead it is a path one walks for a lifetime; not a destination arrived at. A man who attends the same self-help group as I do recently described the process as “fall down; get up; try again”. Never have I heard my path forward described so accurately.
Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
“I will try again tomorrow”.
Mary Anne Radmacher
Choice is the exploration of desire and then the selection of action. In every moment, you are choosing either to align yourself with your own true path or to veer away from it. There are no neutral actions. Even the smallest gesture has a direction to it, leading you closer to your path or farther away from it, whether you realize it or not. (Cherie Carter-Scott) People in healthy, interdependent relationships do whatever is best for both partners. They make sincere, reliable agreements with each other, based on their separate wants and needs, and they generally stick to them. There is no happily-ever-after on this plane of existence. I may find a princess but she will have issues to deal with. We all do.
Life is a choice.
It is YOUR life.