A married couple who stays passionately in love is indeed fortunate and has the best of all worlds. But those are the minority (according to some research, less than 10% of cases). There are marriages in which there is neither passionate love nor companion love and the two people suffer a lot while being with each other. For these people, there is no doubt that they should not continue being together while mentally torturing each other. Life is too short to allow such kind of living. The dilemma is more profound for couples who are, on one hand, not madly in love with their partners but who, on the other hand, are having a reasonably comfortable life together. Given that the odds of passionately loving each other for a long time are low, there are several available alternatives: (a) keep searching for passionate love and not get or stay married without it, (b) settle from the beginning for companion love with some traces of passionate love as well, or (c) completely separate the two and have passionate affairs to compensate for the lack of passion in the relationships. There can also be some combinations of these alternatives. In all the above alternatives there is some kind of compromise, and the question is which of them is the least painful. Choice (a), above, emphasizes the Romantic Ideology which assumes that “there is no mountain high enough and no ocean deep enough” to stop our love, and there is nothing “our love couldn’t rise above.” In opposition to this ideology external circumstances play a role in our life and should be taken into consideration, especially in light of the risk of the disappearance of passionate love. Indeed, many people in many traditions assume that raising children (and not love) should be the primary factor underlying a successful marriage. Passionate love may also be absent in arranged marriages when the two do not know each other before the marriage. Giving up passionate love altogether is giving up the sweetness of life. In contrast, completely disregarding reality is also not wise, as after all we do live with day-to-day realities. By Professor of Philosophy Aaron Ben-Zeév http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/201105/i-married-because-external-circumstances
It’s true that nothing in this world
makes us so necessary to others
as the affection we have for them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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
Loving too much can be problematic when it hurts the lover, which typically occurs in the long-term. The lover’s intense love might be excessive in the sense that it prevents her from realizing the true nature of their relationship. Lovers may also feel that they love too much when they believe that their beloveds do not love them to the same extent. When a lover feels that she gives more than she gets, she will feel that she loves her partner too much. People who love too much often keep investing in a relationship that has no chance of surviving as their beloved does not love them to the same extent. Loving too much may also hurt the beloved. A typical example of this is when the lover does not allow the beloved to enjoy sufficient private space. It should be noted that the wish to be with each other as much as possible is a main characteristic of love and not an external feature of it. The nature of the private space is determined by the given personalities and by other factors, such as the stage in which the relationship is currently. Thus, this wish may be more pronounced in the infatuation stage, when it makes little sense to accuse lovers of loving too much. Profound romantic love is not in its nature excessively wrong; but some cases of such love has a greater chance of being so. From “ Loving Too Much” by Aaron Ben-Zeév http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/200908/loving-too-much
To fall in love is
but to fall out of love
is simply awful.
Yes, you want a great marriage, if the other person is like this, this, and this. Yes, you want a fulfilling career, on the condition that it will always be such and such. And yes you want children so long as X, Y, and Z. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have standards, hopes, and goals. We all do. But if you’re struggling — if you’re feeling out of, or the need for, control — it’s less likely that something’s wrong with the object of your desires and more likely that there’s something you’ve been unwilling to give up in order get what it is you say you want. Including what might be impossible standards. Or, perhaps, a standard that shifts every time what you claim to yearn for gets a bit too close for comfort… When we long for things to be the way we want them to be, rather than the way they are, that’s not a quest for freedom. That’s resistance. Especially if what we want flies in the face of reality. What exactly is it that we are resisting? The circumstances of life. How we and other people are. What was. What might be. We resist life and other people. We resist the past and our future. We resist our feelings, thoughts, and even ourselves. We resist the truth. And then we delude ourselves into thinking that if we resist long enough, if we try to control hard enough, we’ll eventually be free. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in a while,
or the light won’t come in.
People want control. We’re all desperate for it. What we wouldn’t give to have more of it in our relationships, work, and lives. Not that we come right out and say so. Instead, we hedge a bit, asking coaches, therapists, and friends how to better manage our careers and other people. How we can change this or that aspect of ourselves or our circumstances — how we might better deal with specific situations and relationships. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting growth and development. Yet that’s not what most of us are really after. Subtle as we try to be, the proof is in the pudding of our thoughts, feelings, and actions; in spite of all our questioning and questing, many of us feel pretty stuck. No matter the energy we exert, we remain in a standstill. Why is this? Why do we as a culture persist in attempting to control our way to personal, creative, and professional freedom? The answer, I’ve found, is pretty interesting. And that is that most of us don’t actually want freedom. Before you disagree, take a look at your own life. Look at the areas in which you wish you had a greater level of freedom, peace, and aliveness. If you’ve yet to achieve these things, I’d gamble that what you’re really after is control. Or said another way, freedom your way. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
It makes no sense to worry about things
you have no control over because
there’s nothing you can do about them,
and why worry about things you do control?
The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.
Fidelity is an absolute must. In fact, men want a woman who does not have a “roaming eye” and who can wholeheartedly commit to the relationship. Many may define commitment as fidelity plus the willingness to work on the relationship — even when the going gets tough. Women think that all men want is sex, and that men will leave a relationship for the next prettier face. Women think men cannot be trusted to be faithful. Women believe men do not want to work on a relationship; that when the going gets tough, they run. Many women treat men in ways that diminish their egos, making them feel inadequate. Men would rather have more praise, more acknowledgment of what they do right, more acknowledgment that they are great guys who are loved and appreciated. Women think men do not need them, do not value their opinion, their support, their praise. Women also think men do not care about many things important to women, which is why they criticize. Criticism is a way to verbalize resentment. From “What Men Want in a Relationship” by Rinatta Paries http://powertochange.com/sex-love/menwant/
Maybe that’s what it all comes down to.
Love, not as a surge of passion,
but as a choice to commit to something,
someone, no matter what obstacles
or temptations stand in the way.
And maybe making that choice, again and again,
day in and day out, year after year,
says more about love
never having a choice to make at all.
From “Love the One You’re With” by Emily Giffin
You or your spouse are more likely to have an affair than you are to divorce. And your chances of divorce are already 50-50. An affair is devastating to almost everyone involved. It’s one of the most painful experiences that the jilted spouse will ever be forced to endure, and it is also very painful for the children. Friends and members of the extended family are usually hurt as well. But what most people don’t realize is that the unfaithful spouse and the lover are also hurt by the experience. It almost always causes them to suffer acute depression, often with thoughts of suicide. With all this sadness, why do so many people do it? Affairs are almost always with friends and co-workers. That’s because the people you work with and those you spend leisure time with are usually in the best position to meet your most important emotional needs. But in the world of the internet, total strangers can also meet your emotional needs through chat rooms and e-mail because they meet your need for conversation so effectively. Do you and your spouse talk as much and as deeply as you talk to people on the internet? If not, watch out. As you probably know, an affair through the internet is becoming one of the most dangerous risks of owning a computer. We are all wired for affairs. The only people who are exempt are those who are utterly incapable of meeting someone else’s emotional needs. If you can’t meet anyone’s needs, no one will ever fall in love with you. But if your spouse has anything to offer others, and you are not meeting an important emotional need, commitment to “forsake all others” can become words without meaning. From “Coping With Infidelity” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5059_qa.html
There are all kinds of ways
for a relationship to be tested,
even broken, some, irrevocably;
it’s the endings we’re unprepared for.
From “Not To Us” By Katherine Owen
“Love is all you need.” For the person addicted to love, this becomes more than a popular lyric. It becomes literal truth. Love addiction is a psychological addiction, a result of unfulfilled childhood needs. Children whose needs remain unrecognized may adjust by learning to limit their expectations. This limitation process may take the form of core beliefs such as, “My needs don’t count,” “Getting close will hurt” and “I’m not lovable.” Such beliefs do not satisfy childhood needs, leaving them still to be met later in life. As adults, addictive lovers remain dependent upon others to care for them, protect them and solve their problems. Those with love addiction are characteristically familiar with desperate hopes and seemingly unending fears. Fearing rejection, pain, unfamiliar experiences, and having no faith in their ability–or even their right–to inspire love, they wait, wish, and hope for love, perhaps their least familiar experience. According to Pia Melody author of Facing Love Addiction there is a distinct pattern of love addiction. There is the love addict and love avoidant. Both of which do a distinct and toxic dance with each other in which the love addict pursues and wants the love avoidant to love them back, to be with them, to pay attention to them etc. and the love avoidant who is afraid of engulfment, turns away from the love addict. At times the love addict may then turn away, and the love avoidant turns back to chase them, but they are rarely facing each other, they are rarely in the same place, committed to the same relationship. http://www.theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/ish-articles/addicted-to-love/
Letting go doesn’t mean that you
don’t care about someone anymore.
It’s just realizing that the only person
you really have control over is yourself.
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.
I’ve known numerous men who have been in relationships with clingy, needy, overly emotional, jealous, and controlling women. These men are frustrated with what they perceive as their girlfriend’s flaws. They often don’t realize that their own behavior is contributing to the unhealthy relationship and allowing it to persist. When a man stays in a relationships with a clingy, jealous, critical partner, he feels dependent on her approval. Any man with a high level of self-esteem and healthy attitude towards relationships would not tolerate such a relationship. He’d either take action to stop the pattern, or simply leave. Men who get stuck in a codependent relationship, on the other hand, end up pursuing an endless pattern of trying to please their partner, and feeling frustrated when their desire for freedom conflicts with their partners need for rigid conformity to her needy patterns of behavior. Michael S. Freeman
Don’t smother each other.
No one can grow in the shade.