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
Some people see the relationship as a Dictatorship, that they will rule, and what they say goes. You could think like this, but you will be ruling over a very, very small Kingdom. A relationship is about two people coming together as equals, and facing the world as two humans as one. Your relationship will not go far if you do not look at each other in equal-eyes, and facing your problems together, as a team. When you join together with someone, you are helpmates; you are two people that will be supportive to each other. Some people come into a relationship not expecting there to be any problems. So when one pops up, they freak out and bail on the relationship without any second thoughts. Though you might be lucky, and never have any problems with your love life, most relationships have there bumps – maybe not huge – but still some roughage. You must realize that this does not mean that your relationship is doomed or that it’s a “sign” to drop him or her. You have to work on the problems, COMMUNICATE with your partner. Talk to them, but also LISTEN!!! Some people foolishly bet on physical attraction, which doesn’t last or simply looses its flavor like chewing gum… If you do this you will be in danger of not finding that person that is genuinely right for you – because, more than likely, this person that you choose solely on “prettiness” will be just as superficial as you are – or more. So, not only will you have a short and unproductive relationship, you are bound to get hurt in the process. And forget about communication, because if you choose this path for finding your partner, you are completely ignoring the communication aspect. Well, outside the bedroom at least. And let’s face it; a good lay will only last so long before it “looses its flavor like chewing gum. Though your relationship may last for a while, if your vision or outlook on life is different, than the two of you will drift apart. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
Anger, loathing, spite, nasty looks,
suspicion, jealously and hate stem
from lack of communication with
the person the feelings are directed.
Eye to eye, face to face
calm conversations are a start .
Empathy is the way to a
peaceful heart, soul and mind.
J K Hobgood
People who won’t leave a bad marriage because it scares them too much are afraid of independence. Dwelling in a bad marriage is a form of need wrapped up in resentments, which can get very ugly. Remember that drama always obscures the real issues. It is important to learn to stop the drama and learn to soothe yourself. It is too often true that the work and struggle of solving relationship problems is avoided. Ask yourself: What are new ways to give yourself comfort? As difficult as it can be to make new friends reach out and build up your support system. Don’t tally up the rejections while licking your wounds, but instead learn how to be able to be alone. Try going to a bargain matinée or eating lunch by yourself; tolerate the anxiety that this may provoke by knowing no one is really paying much attention to you. Learn what your triggers are for anxiety, the ones that make you lurch into retreat and old patterns of hiding. Remember that transitions are the hardest parts of life and that they must be faced in order to grow. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
In a consumer society
there are inevitably
two kinds of slaves:
the prisoners of addiction
and the prisoners of envy.
Codependency is a term that originated in work with addicts. It has become a cultural phenomena, way beyond relationships with addicts. Daughters are codependent with mentally ill mothers, sons with fathers who won’t let go and insist on adherence to their own value systems. Codependency is about mushy relationships to keep the scary world of anxiety at bay. Sadly enough, the ultimate outcome of codependency is the damage done by a lack of respect in these relationships. Codependency is about being unhappily enmeshed with someone else’s agenda. Codependency means that you have a lack of imagination for yourself and your are too focused on others. One example would be the wife who is a martyr to an alcoholic husband. He numbs his anxiety/dread with the obliviousness of drinking and she is in hyper drive by controlling all the details of living that he ignores. So she becomes entitled and self-righteous with all her vigilance. It’s important to recognize that interrupting codependent behavior requires that you define yourself and your wants. So many people scramble to fill the empty hole within, by focusing on the care-taking of others while ignoring themselves. So where does someone begin, to build their own identity? Fill the emptiness with more and more layers of authenticity. Risk disagreement which makes things more interesting. Practice the truth with your therapist or your best friend. Stop swallowing your real opinions, choose when to go along, instead of always being a pushover. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
is a 200 lb. shield.
Unhealthily dependent relationships have serious consequences, both psychological and physical. Feelings of anger, resentment, irritation, emptiness, conflict, guilt, rejection, low self-esteem, insecurity, lack of respect or appreciation are all at risk to become manifest in the various forms of dependent relationships. Emotional consequences include chronic anxiety and stress, suppression of feelings, and the diminishing ability to trust and experience true intimacy. It is not uncommon for physical illness to arise as a result of the persistence of anxiety and stress. So how can this be fixed? It’s not an easy process. One of the most difficult ideas to grasp and accept is the fact that you are not responsible for someone else’s feelings, nor can another person be responsible for yours. Your thoughts, your feelings and your behavioral choices are yours and yours alone. Nor do you have control over someone else’s feelings. Believing that someone “made me feel guilty” is among the most common refrains to surface in therapy sessions. No one can MAKE you feel anything you choose not to feel. True, you are always entitled to your feelings, no one can take them away from you, and we can be affected by what others say and do to us, but if you decided you weren’t guilty in a particular situation, then you don’t have to feel guilty. And if someone is mad at you, it doesn’t mean you are “bad.” It just means the person is angry. The emotion belongs solely to the person in whom it arises. That person is entitled to it, and also responsible for it. This is a very tough concept to accept. It’s so easy to think that someone else made you feel as you do. But the first step in having healthy, interdependent relationships is being willing to be responsible for your own (and only your own) emotions. Learning to use true “I” statements (as in “I feel guilty about…” instead of “you made me feel guilty about” or “I was made to feel guilty about…”) will be crucial. 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
makes slaves out of us,
especially if this dependency
is a dependency
of our self-esteem.
“Codependent” is a word that comes up frequently… Being dependent in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s a component of healthy relationships. Some people fear dependency, interpreting it as a sign of weakness or helplessness, or out of a fear of intimacy. In healthy relationships, this is not the case. It is altogether possible to be an autonomous person and yet be able to be dependent on another. If you exhibit healthy dependency you are willing to admit the need for others in your life, and to let them need you. After all, we all start out life as completely dependent on our caretakers. If we grew up in a family that encouraged a sense of autonomy and independent growth, with parents who praised our achievements and showed us love, we will reach adulthood with a sense of security about ourselves and our internal worth and our ability to move through the world as successful people, in whatever way we define that for ourselves. Setting emotional boundaries, giving someone space (and taking it for ourselves) is acceptable. We can allow people to be who they are, not who we want them to be. We understand that we can’t change other people, and balance feelings of closeness with feelings of separateness. Yet we also know how to care for others and let them care for us – we’re able to ask for help when we need it. In other words, it’s ok to need and be needed, because we know and feel good about who we are independently of another person if that person happens not to be around. We are able to form healthily interdependent relationships without losing our sense of self. Sometimes things don’t go the way described above, and what’s experienced growing up is criticism, rejection, conditional love (often based on achievement that validates the parents’, not the child’s, sense of self-worth), over-dependence promoted as valuable, making it impossible to feel adequate without another person around to shore up self-worth. In this scenario you are unable to take responsibility for your own sense of adequacy. You expect your good feelings about yourself to be validated from outside yourself – usually from another person. You feel weak and vulnerable. You depend on someone else to feel secure, comforted, nurtured, supported, lovable, or worthy. You can’t make a decision without the approval of the other person. Your relationships tend to be enmeshed rather than engaged, and the other person in your relationship probably complains about feeling suffocated. More than likely you’ve been called “clingy.” Since it’s hard to set your own agenda, you’re often at a loss, looking to the other person to fill in what’s missing for you. 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
If you need encouragement,
praise, pats on the back
then you make
everybody your judge.
Mate after mate we find ourselves trying to adapt to who they want us to be till eventually we lose our true identity. We spend countless years learning each mate but never take the time to learn ourselves. In the end we know our mates better than we know ourselves. If and when the mate walks away we are stuck living with a stranger, ourselves. If u can’t find comfort in yourself how can anyone else find comfort in you? Al-Saadiq Banks
You’re reaching out
And no one hears you cry.
You’re freaking out again
‘Cause all your fears
Remind you another dream has come undone.
You feel so small and lost like you’re the only one.
You wanna scream ’cause you’re
You want somebody, just anybody
To lay their hands on your soul tonight.
You want a reason to keep believing
That someday you’re gonna see the light.
You’re in the dark
There’s no one left to call
And sleep’s your only friend.
Well even sleep
Can’t hide you from all those tears
And all the pain and all the days
You wasted pushing them away.
It’s your life, it’s time.
Relationship experts don’t necessarily see problems with dating someone who has been divorced more than once, but it depends on circumstances. “If you are thinking about casually dating someone who has had multiple marriages, then there is likely no issue,” says psychologist Holly Parker, who teaches a course called “The Psychology of Close Relationships” at Harvard University. But if you want to progress to a committed relationship, there’s more to think about, she says. First, consider why the person has been married three or four times, Parker says. And ask yourself: Does this person acknowledge the mistakes he or she made that contributed to the divorces? Research does suggest that people who marry multiple times are more likely to have personality traits and issues with emotional health that make it difficult to maintain satisfying, long-term relationships, Parker says. So be keenly aware of the pot you’ve jumped into and why. Marcy Miller, author of “Rebooting in Beverly Hills: A Wise and Wild Path for Navigating the Dating World” (Bancroft Press), has been married four times. She contends it’s “absurdly judgmental” to assume anything from the fact that someone has had multiple marriages. Still, she allows that catching white lies should be “red flags” and believes you should Google your date, even after the first get-together, just to have more information. “Integrity and trust are essential elements to any relationship, business or personal,” she says. “There are a million reasons marriages fail, and the particulars will be discovered during dating.” Taken From “Dating In an Age of Multiple Divorces” By Richard Asa http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-16/features/sc-fam-0115-dating-divorced-20130115_1_divorce-rates-relationship-coach-multiple-times
Those who divorce
the most unhappy,
just those neatly able
to believe their misery
is caused by one other person.
Alain de Botton
The latest findings from Howard Markman, professor of psychology University of Denver, published in June in the “Journal of Family Psychology,” show that couples who reported they had negative communication before marriage—criticizing each other’s opinions, rolling their eyes, leaving the room—were more likely to end up divorcing. Although research shows that the biggest issues couples argue about are money, sex, work, kids and housework, we all know the possibilities for conflict are endless. It may be helpful to note that the experts make no distinction between arguing, fighting, bickering or even nagging (I was horrified to learn). They’re all ways of expressing disagreement with another person that often become destructive, with one or both people using insults, clamming up or storming off. Why do we do this? For starters, many of us learned by watching our parents have destructive arguments—or bottle up their anger and give each other the silent treatment. We’ve also been raised to believe that success means winning—and if one side wins, the other must lose. Now, here’s the good news: It’s possible to learn to argue in a much healthier way. The first thing you have to do is talk to the other person. “The longer a conflict stews, the more likely we are going to get into catastrophe mode,” says Jennifer Samp, associate professor in the speech communication department at the University of Georgia and a fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Research. “We are mulling it and thinking about it and it will become bigger and scarier and more threatening than if we are able to talk about it if it just comes up,” she says. Dr. Markman has developed a method, for helping couples settle disputes, called the “speaker-listener technique,” which he details in a newly revised edition of a book he wrote with several colleagues: “Fighting for Your Marriage.” He says that couples who have a disagreement should call a “couple’s meeting” to discuss the issue without looking for a solution—and set a time limit of 15 minutes. They may flip a coin to see who speaks first. The person who wins the toss, let’s say it’s the wife, should explain her position in two to three statements. Her husband should listen, then repeat what he heard, to show that he understood. The wife should then speak again, further explaining her position. And, again, the husband should listen and repeat her points. They then reverse roles and repeat those same steps. .”A lot of times, all you need is to be listened to,” says Dr. Markman, who tells couples that by the end of this exercise, it’s likely that an answer to their problem will be evident. By Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703700904575391013484475040.html
Very often in everyday life
one sees that by losing
one’s temper with someone
who has already lost his,
one does not gain anything
but only sets out upon
the path of stupidity.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
People develop addictions to shield themselves from intolerably painful feelings. An addiction always creates harmful, often ignored consequences. Only when the addiction becomes unmanageable will people do something about it. Love addicts spend much time, effort on a person to whom they are addicted. Love addicts value this person above themselves, and their focus on the beloved other often is obsessive. This behavior results in love addicts neglecting to care for themselves in a variety of ways, in essence abandoning important aspects of their lives and well-being to stay connected to the object of their affections. Love addiction doesn’t necessarily pertain only to romantic or sexual relationships. It is possible for a person to relate as a love addict with their friends, children, sponsor, guru or religious figure, or even with a movie star, whom they have never met. A love addict’s core fantasy is the expectation that someone else can solve their problems, provide unconditional positive regard at all times, and take care of them. When this unrealistic need isn’t met, love addicts may find themselves feeling resentful, and may create conflict in their relationships with others. Some love addicts find that when not involved in a love-addicted relationship, they are able to care for themselves quite adequately. However, when they become involved, the love addict quickly finds that their self-care capacity steadily declines. From “What is Love Addiction?” By Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CST, CSAT http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/26/what-is-love-addiction/
My fear of
is exceeded only
by my terror
Ethlie Ann Vare