I have discovered a stark contrast between what each sex thinks the opposite sex wants from them, and what the opposite sex really does want. What women think men want from them causes women to have resentment and anger toward men, and feel hopeless about ever developing a wonderful, warm, romantic partnership. What men think women want from them causes them much of the same feelings and frustration. The sad part is that it does not have to be this way, if only we would realize that both men and women are human beings first and pretty much want the same thing. I asked a number of men and women who are actively involved in personal growth and development what they want from a partner in order to build a great relationship. You will find their answers unexpected. Honest communication is top priority for men. They want a woman who answers questions honestly, and perhaps even volunteers information. They want a woman who confidently asks for her wants and needs to be met. They want a woman who can see the truth and tell it like it is while communicating with kindness. Men want a woman who can communicate without being too critical, who cares about preserving his and her dignity. Women think men want them to be superficial, to keep quiet about their needs or wants, and never to ask for anything. Women think men believe them to be too needy and too sensitive, and that men simply want women to get over it. Some women believe they do not have the permission to tell it like it is, that they will be rejected for speaking up. Great men want and need straightforward, courageous communication without anger or criticism. One way to attract a great man and build a satisfying relationship is to learn how to communicate your truth and needs effectively. Men want what women want — a whole partner. One powerful way to attract a great man and build a vibrant relationship is to create a full, rewarding life for your own fulfillment. Men want no manipulation of any kind. They do not want to read their partner’s mind or try to interpret signals. They do not want to be forced to move faster in a relationship than they are ready. They do not want to be manipulated into taking all the blame for things gone wrong. They do not want to be on the receiving end of game playing. Women think men want little or no communication, and the only way to get needs met is through manipulation. Women think men either need or want to be reminded that the relationship needs to move forward. Women think men don’t want or value praise and acknowledgment, and so tend to only verbalize criticism. From an article by Rinatta Paries http://powertochange.com/sex-love/menwant/
Men and women
play the same game
but with different rules.
Looking at codependency therapy, “family involvement is key,” according to Smith (Ann W. Smith MS, LPC, LMFT, NCC). She says that “the addiction was not caused by the family, but it thrives in a painful system.” She then goes on to explain the Attachment Theory Perspective, saying, “Every human being adapts to some degree in an effort to sustain emotional attachment.” She notes that “anxiety increases when we don’t have a secure and consistent connection as children” and goes on to explain three factors that determine how a person adapts and tries to maintain that connection: Temperament, Birth order and Degree of stress or trauma. If a first-born child is born exhibiting traits of compassion or a “Leader Gene,” that child will most likely demonstrate a natural fear response to move toward painful situations to try to help. Smith says this side of the spectrum is called “Anxious Attachment Style.” On the other side of the spectrum, children that are born second, third or fourth and exhibit traits of an extrovert or independent spirit, may tend to leave the situation when anxiety increases. A child in this same birth order category that shows traits of an introvert may withdraw into themselves when anxiety increases. Either one of these is known as the “Avoidant Attachment Style” as they pull away from conflict. Smith also touches on insecure attachment and says that these patterns often emerge without conscious awareness. “They are stuck in patterns that they have no awareness of and they end up not knowing themselves at all,” she explains. Attachment injury, she says, occurs when a person feels abandoned or betrayed at key moments where comfort and connection are important. By Shannon Brys, Associate Editor http://www.addictionpro.com/article/codependency-patterns-attachment
Behavior is a mirror
in which every one
displays his own image
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
A marriage is a living family system. Like all living things, it can get infected with toxic agents that result in its death. Immunities are what combat potential infectious agents. I call these potentially fatal–to-your-marriage phenomena the 3 A’s: addictions, affairs, and anger. Almost all folks from time to time get impulses to do things that their head would say are out-of-bounds. Drinking a bit too much, getting a bit too friendly with someone of the other sex when your love has already been committed elsewhere, and speaking harshly when a cooperative voice would have been preferable are mistakes. Mistakes are for learning. Mistakes like these create feelings of guilt and regret Those are the signs that it’s time for figuring out what went wrong, a totally genuine apology, and learning. The learning is the basis for building an immunity. A small dose of a toxic phenomenon can strengthen your immune system’s ability to resist the sexual-drinking-anger impulses that might otherwise grow increasingly toxic until they get you in trouble. A vaccinated relationship is likely to grow ever stronger and more loving over time. By contrast, repeatedly making the same mistakes instead of using small incidents as a vaccination against larger problems can lead to one of the 3 ‘A’s’. The 3 ‘A’ mistakes can get you fired from the job of spouse. Alcoholism, affairs and anger, in addition to wrecking your marriage, can have profoundly negative impacts on your children. Modeling addictions, affairs and anger teaches your kids that this is what adults do. At the same time, addictive, sexually unfaithful and excessively angry behaviors teach your kids that attachments are unreliable and unsafe, making your kids less able to establish secure positive relationships as they reach adulthood. By clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author Susan Heitler, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201110/resisting-the-3-main-temptations-destroy-marriages
A successful marriage
in love many times,
always with the same person.
True communication spans far beyond spoken words. It’s verbal and mental, as well as even physical. More than half of the failed relationships out there, including your own, are due to the fact that there was a severe lack of communication between the two of you. In order to have a long and lasting relationship with someone, you must have excellent communication skills. You must be able to convey your emotions and your thoughts, as well as being able to absorb your partner’s emotions and thoughts. Communication is definitely not a one-way street. The “phone-lines” must run both ways. You could sit your partner down and talk to him/her all day long about how you feel, and about where you think this relationship is going. But if you don’t LISTEN TO THEM, than all of your words are meaningless. Mainly because they know you aren’t willing to listen to them, and you will not hear them out because you are too involved with yourself to allow anyone else to join in on the conversation. The art of listening is probably even more important than the art of talking. You will learn and grow far more in your relationships if you would sit down and listen to your partner, instead of talking and voicing all of your opinions at once. Don’t get me wrong; it is very important that you do voice your opinions. But you must listen to THEIR opinions as well, and take them into consideration. If you feel that you are not hearing from your partner, or they aren’t “communicating” with you then more than likely they are, but you just aren’t listening correctly. Some people don’t communicate with words, they communicate through actions. Which, if you pay close enough attention, are far more incisive into what they want to say. But the problem is, most of us don’t pay close enough attention. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
The most important thing
is hearing what isn’t said.
Speak up and make sure you are one of the balls you juggle in life, instead of leaving yourself out. The best cure for codependence is authentic disagreement. Healthy conflict is not a betrayal of trust and niceness as is so often believed in this culture. Healthy conflict keeps dialogue intact and trust can build based on a more real relationship. The work of understanding differences is worth it in order to beat back anxiety & codependency. Those who are codependent are very afraid of being alone; there is a scramble to stuff someone else into the emptiness within when a relationship breaks up. People who are codependent mistake enmeshment for love and can’t bear to be without it. We should all recognize the old saying “you can’t love someone else unless you love yourself” as true. Being alone is one way to learn how to love yourself. Face your fears and try learning to enjoy life alone without the safety factor of a built-in partner. Give up the people-pleasing and hiding behind the false 150 watt smile. Risk more disagreement. Be willing to not be liked instead of being a chameleon. Ultimately, people who are codependent have done themselves the greatest injustice by losing track of who they are. Pay attention to being annoyed. Underneath feeling grumpy is a buried want that you are ignoring too easily. Speak up to undo the legacy of codependency. Anxious people swallow their own truth which is very stressful. It’s scary in the short-term to be more authentic, just try to remember there are tons of long-term payoffs that will make it worth it. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
I don’t have to agree with you
to like you or respect you.
“As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims”. One of the biggest problems with relationships in this society is that the context we approach them from is too small. We were taught that getting the relationship is the goal. It starts in early childhood with Fairy Tales where the Prince and the Princess live happily-ever-after. It continues in movies and books where “boy meets girl” “boy loses girl” “boy gets girl back” – the music swells and the happy couple ride off into the sunset. The songs that say “I can’t smile without you” “I can’t live without you” “You are my everything” describe the type of love we learned about growing up – toxic love – an addiction with the other person as our drug of choice, as our Higher Power. Any time we set another human being up to be our Higher Power we are going to experience failure in whatever we are trying to accomplish. We will end up feeling victimized by the other person or by our self – and even when we feel victimized by the other person we blame our self for the choices we made. We are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic Relationships because of the belief system we were taught in childhood and the messages we got from our society growing up. There is no goal to reach that will bring us to happily-ever-after. We are not incomplete until we find our soul mate. We are not halves that cannot be whole without a relationship. True Love is not a painful obsession. It is not taking a hostage or being a hostage. It is not all-consuming, isolating, or constricting. Believing we can’t be whole or happy without a relationship is unhealthy and leads us to accept deprivation and abuse, and to engage in manipulation, dishonesty, and power struggles. The type of love we learned about growing up is an addiction, a form of toxic love. As long as our definition of a successful relationship is one that lasts forever – we are set up to fail. As long as we believe that we have to have the other in our life to be happy, we are really just an addict trying to protect our supply – using another person as our drug of choice. That is not True Love – nor is it Loving. By Robert Burney http://joy2meu.com/codependent2.htm
You have no control over
what the other guy does.
You only have control
over what you do.
A. J. Kitt
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.
Treating Codependency is not something a doctor does to or for a ‘patient’. It is more like having diabetes. The patient has to learn how to take care of themselves every day for the rest of their lives. Recovery starts when a Codependent understands and has insight into their condition. …I almost always strongly encourage… Codependency Recovery groups. Group is like the gym. It is where a Codependent goes to lift weights and get stronger… Group therapy rocks – it is inexpensive, weekly, powerful, fun, insight building and affirming. Recovery from Codependency is not just about gaining a strong voice. It is also very much about learning how to take good care of one’s self. It is about learning how to take the time to have fun, to exercise, to have a huge hobby that enriches your life and to nurture one’s self well. It might involve getting regular massages, joining a book club, making new friends, scheduling travel with your newly romantic and sensitive husband, getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising often, getting enough help in raising the kids, getting help with the household chores and getting enough alone time. Doesn’t all of that sound great? You can make it happen. You are in charge of your own life. The Recovery process for Codependency is an adventure. It is not torture. Recovery works. You just have to work at it really hard over a period of time. Today is the best day for you to start… From “Codependency – A Serious Disease of Lost, Confused, Undeveloped and Other-Centered Selves” by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
Scars are not injuries…
A scar is a healing.
After injury, a scar is
what makes you whole.
Anxiety is loving certainty. It is stressful to live in an anxious world, and learning to embrace uncertainty seems impossible to those suffering with anxiety. We must each find a strategy to help us shuttle back and forth between the comfort of what we know, and the discomfort of all that we don’t know to become healthy. Anxiety is about fear being in charge of most of your choices. Getting stuck in fear robs you of possibilities in your life. An example of this is when you are too afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is the lynchpin to learning, in fact we learn far more from our mistakes than our successes. If you have anxiety you must learn to use your thinking to balance your exaggerated feelings of fear. Courage is the ingredient that, if sprinkled on that world, would make all of us better people. Greater courage is the antidote to anxiety. Learn to imagine new ways to have courage and to make your world larger. Real courage always has fear attached. Fearless courage is only the foolishness of youth. Follow your curiosity and try new small steps out into the world instead of waiting for life to happen to you. Invite fear to take a back seat instead of driving the train. Fear and excitement always travel together. Remember being scared of learning to ride a bicycle and being excited at the same time? Learn to allow room for both emotions. Don’t let fear erase excitement. Growth depends on one foot being in the familiar and one foot in the unfamiliar… Confusion is the emotion that is crucial to “allowing room for change,” which is exactly why adolescents are both confused and changing. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
The fear of becoming old
is born of the recognition
that one is not living now
the life that one wishes.
It is equivalent to a sense
of abusing the present.
Feeling ‘not good enough’ is very common. As a child, we have often been criticized by our parents, told off, told we should, could, must, be and do better. And often this results in the extremely damaging sub-conscious belief ‘I’m not good enough, and nothing I do is ever good enough’. The result is that we feel dissatisfied with ourselves, and with everything we ever do. It is a hard existence! If you have this belief, you will find it very difficult to complete anything (because, if you complete it, it will not be good enough… at least, if it is incomplete, you have an excuse.) You may go from project to project, never be able to rest, admire your creation, say ‘I did that!’ and feel proud. Your negative belief will be projected outwards and you will feel dissatisfied with your partner, your friends. Nothing about them will be ‘good enough’ either. Your partner cries ‘you’re never satisfied!’. You feel guilty you are ‘not doing enough’. Nothing is ever enough. If you think about it, ‘I’m not good enough, and nothing I ever do is ever good enough’ is a total negation of self. The entire self has been rejected, and consigned to the scrap heap. The process for changing it is NOT to go around saying ‘I feel good about myself’ fifty times. Positive affirmations do not work. They just overlay on top of what our sub-conscious KNOWS is true – which is ‘I’m not good enough’. The way to clear a belief is simply to go into the dark cupboard, pull out the belief. Bring it into awareness, and say, yes! This has been true for me. I acknowledge it and surrender to it. In this instant, as we embrace it, the belief’s power magically goes ‘ping!’ and it is no longer true for us. Please note that in embracing a negative belief we are not condoning it. We are merely bringing it into the light and acknowledging it so that it can be changed. From an article by Jelila /Angela Torrington http://www.baliadvertiser.biz/articles/spiritual/2005/feeling.html
Vanity and pride are different things,
though the words are often used synonymously.
A person may be proud without being vain.
Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves,
vanity to what we would have others think of us.