“Big boys don’t cry.” “No pain no gain. Tough it out.” “Only sissies get hurt feelings.” “It’s a sign of weakness to let people know you’re hurting.” Men are cautioned to not discuss their feelings, to avoid feelings altogether and to not discuss love, sorrow or pain. Men will often make a joke out of a difficult situation rather than face it directly. Men are taught to be checked out toward the emotions of others, and keep their true feelings inside. All this is not to say that men are incapable of intimacy, dependency or vulnerability. They are quite able but our culture does not support it. One of the main reasons for drug and alcohol use is for medicating pain and that would include emotional pain. Men, who feel bottled up, sad, angry and depressed will often become workaholics, drink or do drugs to avoid feelings. For men to understand how to be intimate they must first learn more about who they are, what they want and what is truly important to them. Feelings tell us what we want and what we need so without them we are like a ship without a rudder. So many men lead lives of quiet desperation, never letting anyone in or themselves out. For men to take a look at who they really are and allow their essence to be known are actually far stronger than the burly silent types who live their lives in utter isolation. Taken from an on-line article by Bill Cloke http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-why-men-have-trouble-with-intimacy/
will never die.
They are buried alive
and will come forth later
in uglier ways.
Through focusing on solving issues and problems together, through honest and open communication, you can learn to achieve a balance. That is, you can work together to make sure both of you get your needs and wants met, and you can both care equally about your mutual satisfaction, health and happiness. Any other definition of love tends to degenerate into dysfunction and codependency, and will become toxic to you and your lover. Finding out if solutions are mutually satisfactory is easy– you ask each other how it feels and whether it’s working. Beginning your relationship with this idea in mind, or renewing an existing relationship on this basis, is much easier and more pleasant than you may believe. I invite you to consciously move your focus from who’s at fault to what will fix the problem, and to increase the mutuality and communication in your relationship, and watch whatever dysfunctional interaction you have, whether mild or severe, be significantly reduced. You can do this with relationships at home, with your parents, your children, your siblings, and even with friends and co-workers. 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
What people need to accept is
that it is their responsibility
to communicate what they need
and what they feel, and to realize
that they cannot expect someone else
magically to make them happy.
The first and foremost factor that needs to be understood before one gets to the treatment phase is that the person has to realize that he is facing a problem and wants to change himself. After which, depending on the intensity of the disorder, the different treatment options can be looked into. The following are the varied steps that can be taken in this direction.
* Keep your distance. At least for a short period of time till the obsessive thoughts don’t threaten to take over and you end up slipping back.
* Do away with everything that is ‘them’. Get rid of all the things that reminds you of them. When the constant reminders are done away with, it is easier to forget.
* Join an activity. Replace the time you would spend obsessing over them or keeping a tab on them by doing something else.
* Talk to friends and family and ask them to be your standby. Tell them that you’ll need their help in overcoming this pattern.
* Join a support group. If opening up to friends or family does not seem like a viable option, then there is always the option of joining certain support groups.
The only way that one can deal with this disorder is to understand that this is not the way to live. It is important that you break this vicious cycle of obsession and fixation with a person and discover and address the underlying causes that support this obsessive behavior. To have someone else in your thoughts and obsess over them leaves you weak and vulnerable, and affects your sanity and productivity. The consequent step is to consciously take up the treatment options that have been provided for and help yourself heal. By Parul Solanki http://www.buzzle.com/articles/obsessive-love-disorder.html
Love is as much of an object as an obsession,
everybody wants it, everybody seeks it,
but few ever achieve it, those who do,
will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all,
will never…never forget it.
Writing that both describes traumatic events in detail and also examines how we felt about these events at the time and feel about them now (describing both negative and positive emotions), is the only kind of writing about trauma that clinically has been associated with improved health . And this is accomplished in Pennebaker’s (Dr. James Pennebaker of the University of Texas) experiments by only one hour of writing – fifteen minutes a day – over a four-day period. Later studies showed that the more days people wrote the more beneficial were the effects of writing. Dr. Pennebaker’s work is compelling. I knew nothing about it during the years when I was working on When the Piano Stops, my own memoir of recovering from incest (and Never Tell: The True Story of Overcoming a Terrifying Childhood, which was the title given its best-selling, UK print). From time to time during those years, my beloved uncle, who had a very limited understanding about what’s involved in healing from childhood sexual abuse, expressed concern about my continually revisiting the most horrifying experiences of my life. The information in this blog would have been great to share with him at that time, but of course I couldn’t. Today, however, I have the opportunity to share it with you, and I do so with the hope that if you’re a survivor of child abuse you’ll take it to heart, gather your internal resources, your memory, your pain, and your creativity, and write on! By Catherine McCall, MS, LMFT http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-child-abuse/201209/how-and-why-writing-heals-wounds-child-abuse
We must be content to grow slowly.
Most of us will still barely be
at the beginning of our recovery
by the time we die.
But that is better than killing
ourselves pretending to be healthy.
Everyone laughs when I tell them that I wrote “Codependency for Dummies”. But codependency is no laughing matter. It causes serious pain and affects the majority of Americans — and not just women or loved ones of addicts, as many people believe. So what is it? My definition is someone who has lost the connection to his or her core self, so that his or her thinking and behavior revolves around someone or something external, including a person, a substance, or an activity, such as sex or gambling. It’s as if codependents are turned inside out. Instead of self-esteem, they have other esteem, based upon what others think and feel. Instead of meeting their own needs, they meet the needs of others, and instead of responding to their own thoughts and feelings, they react to those of others. It’s a haywire system, because they have to control others to feel okay, but that just makes matters worse and leads to conflict and pain. It also makes emotional intimacy difficult. Some people criticize the codependency movement and say that it’s created more loneliness. They argue that relationships are nurturing and that we’re naturally meant to be dependent. I couldn’t agree more. The point is that codependent relationships are not only painful, but can be unsupportive and destructive. Codependents have problems receiving the good stuff that relationships can potentially offer. Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/problems-of-codependents/
We know perfectly well how to be spiritual.
It’s being human that we have trouble with.
Ask yourself whether you are withholding your thoughts, opinions, or feelings because of your fear of your partner’s reaction. If so, this means that you cannot trust that your opinion will be valued in some way by your partner if you say what is true for you. Think about what that says about your relationship. Nor do we condone spewing out your feelings without some forethought or consideration about your delivery. Being aggressive or abusive with your feelings is just as unhealthy as walking on eggshells or tiptoeing around somebody. Being forthright and “adult” means expressing yourself directly, as in “I feel ______” or “When you do this particular thing, it makes me feel _____”. No one has the right to criticize you for the way you feel.
Excerpt #1 from “He Said, She said: Codependency vs. true love — how to tell them apart” By Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D. and M’Lissa Trent, Ph.D.
I believe all suffering
is caused by ignorance.
People inflict pain on others
in the selfish pursuit
of their happiness or satisfaction.
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare. From “The Gifts of Imperfection…” by Brene Brown
Love is made up of three unconditional
properties in equal measure:
Remove any one of the three
and the triangle falls apart.
The past doesn’t exist. There is nothing to be sorry for. Today is when we start to live. Look… look at the sea. The sea has no past. It is just there. It will never ask us to explain. The stars, the moon are there to light our way, to shine for us. What do they care what might have happened in the past? They are accompanying us, and are happy with that; can you see them shine? The stars are twinkling in the sky; would they do that if the past mattered? Illdefonso Falcones
You spend your whole life
stuck in the labyrinth,
thinking how you’ll escape one day,
and how awesome it will be,
and imagining that future keeps you going,
but you never do it.
You just use the future
to escape the present.
I used to think that finding the right one was about the man (woman) having a list of certain qualities. If he (she) has them, we’d be compatible and happy. Sort of a check-mark system that was a complete failure. But I found out that a healthy relationship isn’t so much about sense of humor or intelligence or attractive. It’s about avoiding partners with harmful traits and personality types. And then it’s about being with a good person. A good person on his (her) own, and a good person with you. Where the space between you feels uncomplicated and happy. A good relationship is where things just work. They work because, whatever the list of qualities, whatever the reason, you happen to be really, really good together. Deb Caletti
Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go.
People are constantly changing and growing.
Do not cling to a limited, disconnected,
negative image of a person in the past.
See that person now.
Your relationship is
always alive and
Brian L. Weiss
Signs you’re relating codependently in a relationship:
o You cannot live without the other person.
o You feel trapped by the relationship.
o You feel guilty about moving on from the person.
o You want to save the other person in some way.
o You tolerate mistreatment from the other person.
o You believe if you hang on long enough, they’ll change.
o You can’t stop the other person from hurting you.
o You feel like you can’t get out of the relationship.
o You simultaneously love & hate the person.
o You’re depressed or sad for no reason.
o You fantasize about life without the other person.
o You develop addictions that before weren’t an issue
As long as we haven’t healed our childhood wounds then there are a lot more than
two people involved in our relationships. There may only be two people in the room -
but the room is also full of the ghosts of all of our past emotional wounds.