Living with a person who is overly critical and insists that things be done their way can, over time, wear their partner down mentally, emotionally and physically. Marriage is usually viewed as partnership where both people compromise for the betterment of the family unit. It can be extremely tiring when only one individual is bending. Everyone is different and there is no set remedy that will fix all situations. One of the partners needs to stay positive and that requires charging your emotional batteries. Ideally your spouse should help you accomplish this but if it’s not happening find something else and insist on spending the necessary time. For some people it may be physical activity as it gets the body moving and eases stress. For others it may be painting or writing. Or maybe it’s some time out with friends just to talk and laugh and get away in general. Take the time to heal yourself because if you’re not whole you won’t be able to help your spouse. By Cindy Abbate http://www.helium.com/items/2341232-how-to-deal-with-a-demanding-spouse
Don’t smother each other.
No one can grow in the shade.
Withdrawal is the emotional reaction to the loss of something that gives great pleasure. It’s similar to the feelings an alcoholic has when he makes a commitment never to drink again. It’s also similar to the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one. A lover is like alcohol and like a loved one. Not only do unfaithful spouses miss what it was their lovers did, meeting important emotional needs, but they also miss the person they had come to love. Our most common emotions are anger, anxiety and depression. Symptoms of withdrawal usually include all of these in a very intense form. I usually suggest that anti-depressant medication be used to help alleviate these symptoms. While the most intense symptoms of withdrawal usually last only about three weeks, in some cases they can linger for six months or longer before they start to fade. It is extremely likely that a commitment to remain separated from a lover will be broken unless extreme measures are taken to avoid it. That’s because the emotional reaction of withdrawal is so painful. Honesty is an extremely important element in reconciliation, and it should be understood that if the unfaithful spouse ever sees or communicates with the lover, he or she should immediately tell the spouse that it happened. They should then agree on a plan that would prevent a recurrence of contact in the future. But as soon as any contact is made, it throws the unfaithful spouse back to the beginning of withdrawal, and the time it takes to overcome the feelings of grief begins all over again. It’s the stage of recovery after withdrawal that gives spouses the best opportunity to learn to meet each others most important emotional needs… By Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
If a relationship
is to evolve,
it must go through
a series of endings.
You criticize or micro-manage your partner. If you’re always concerned with some aspect of your partner’s personality or appearance, don’t look at them — look at yourself. People who are in love overlook minor annoyances and see the bigger picture. You compare your partner to others. When you love someone, you don’t compare him or her to others. If you find yourself doing this, you should re-evaluate your relationship. You try to change your partner. Often we fall in love with people who don’t suit us. If you find that you’re constantly trying to change your partner, it may be time to move on. You don’t laugh anymore. Humor is something that all relationships need. If you no longer find his jokes funny, or you can’t have lighthearted conversations, it may be a sign that the relationship has lost its zing. You’re doing all the giving (or all the getting). Relationships are about mutual benefit. If one partner is benefiting over the other, the relationship is unhealthy. Your friends no longer like being around you when you’re with your partner. Your friends may like your partner, but they no longer like the affect your partner has on you. Dr. Northrup says when a relationship’s not right, our friends tell us the truth and often are the first to see when a relationship turns sour. You no longer feel good about yourself. Think about how it felt when you first fell in love with your partner. If this feeling is lacking, you may want to look at your relationship. No matter how appropriate it is to leave a relationship, the loss of any significant relationship can feel like a death, says Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. You have to feel the sadness and grieve fully for what might have been, adds Dr. Northrup. You can’t skip from, or otherwise hide from the pain if you’re to emerge at the next stage free to develop. http://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/advice/when-is-it-time-to-leave-the-relationship.htm
The end of a relationship is not always a failure.
Sometimes all the love in the world is not enough
to save something. In these cases, it is not a matter
of fault from either person. Some things cannot be,
it’s as simple as that.
Unless you’ve been through it yourself, it’s hard to imagine the emotional tangles that life serves up to someone who is married (or otherwise intimately linked) to an alcoholic or drug abuser. Their lives are filled with guilt, exasperation, loneliness, anxiety, resentment, fear, and depression. Their ineffectual attempts to come to grips with their partner’s drinking or drug use may even trigger physical and emotional illness for themselves — one reason that addiction is sometimes called a “family disease.” Ask anyone who’s enmeshed with a drinking alcoholic or an active drug abuser and they’ll tell you they’d do anything to make their partners change. Just don’t believe them. Because as often as not, they’re lying — or confused. The difficult truth is that a husband or wife (or friend or lover) can’t make an addict or an alcoholic change. They can’t control out-of-control behavior or drinking. The only thing they can change is themselves, and the sooner they find that out, the faster they discover how they can really help their partner. Codependents are people who, through ignorance or fear (and maybe even a little chemical dependency of their own), can actually enable a dependent person to keep on avoiding the reality of a drug or drinking problem. It’s rarely a conscious choice, but in trying to protect themselves, their partner, or their children from embarrassment (or worse), a codependent will deny, cover-up, excuse, even lie about the extent of the problem. Too bad, because all they usually get for their trouble is more trouble — and a continuation of their partner’s chemical career. Because the fact is that people generally don’t seek help for problems they don’t admit they have. Gayle Rosellini http://www.doitnow.org/pages/804.html
Wine hath drowned
more people than the sea.
Two codependents were out walking one morning when they came to a shallow river. “I’m scared of getting wet.” said one. “If you really love me you will carry me across the river.” The first codependent naturally agreed to this but, as codependents do, added a condition to the agreement. “I am so scared of walking in the dark woods on the other side” said the first one. “If you love me, you will walk in front of me as we go through the woods to scare away the bad spirits. After all I am doing for you, carrying you over the river, that’s not much to ask.” The second codependent agreed to this condition, as codependents do, so they set off across the river. But before they could reach the other side, the first one started to make comparisons as codependents do: “This isn’t fair. All you have to do is walk ahead of me in the woods. Carrying you is much harder. You make me so angry!” The more anger she felt, the more exhausted she became from the strain of carrying her partner (as codependents do) until she couldn’t go any further. “I’m too tired.” she said “You’ll have to walk the last bit to the river bank yourself.” And with that, she let him down (gently but firmly) into the river. This hurt the second codependent very deeply because it meant she no longer felt any love for him. So, naturally, as codependents do he hid his sadness by getting angry, hoping this would bring the love back again. After complaining bitterly about getting wet he stormed off, forgetting about his half of the bargain. The first codependent was even more hurt by this because she now knew that there was no love between them any more. She walked sadly through the woods, feeling alone and lost and scared but naturally hiding this behind a mask of anger. However, she built up courage by working out what to say that would hurt her partner the most, when she got home. Unfortunately neither of them ever discovered that had they looked a little further along the river bank they would have seen a pretty little bridge where two lovers could hold hands and look at the view. Nor did they ever discover that the bridge led over the river to a path that went safely round the dark woods and on through a meadow full of green grass and flowers, just meant for lovers who wanted to stroll together, side by side, instead of taking turns to carry each other or walk in front of, or behind, one another (as codependents do). http://www.growingaware.com.au/FABLECODEPND.HTM
But rarely do they act.
A parent who is controlling their child’s actions and is constantly concerned with what their child is always doing could be considered a codependent parent. Codependent parents may view themselves as being caring and helpful. However their codependent behavior is damaging the overall well-being of their child. To help understand what are some signs of a codependent parent and how someone can stop being a codependent parent, I have interviewed therapist Nicolle Zapien LMFT. (She said) “Codependence is a complex pattern of excessive selflessness and preoccupation with another person that does not serve both people optimally Codependence is a well-meaning attempt to be kind but really tends to stem from difficulties with anger, boundaries and strong self-structure. The impact of codependency on a child can be great. He or she may have difficulty with boundaries (addressing others’ needs more readily than considering one’s own), may end up as easy prey for people to manipulate, may more easily fall victim to self-harm, rape, date rape or abuse. There is some research to indicate that codependency is related to lack of assertiveness and as a result many codependents end up unhappy because they are less likely to ask for what they need or many changes to get what they want. But it is difficult to say how it will impact anyone in particular, because there are many variables that go into defining us, protecting us and prodding us toward particular emotional, cognitive or behavioral experiences. Codependency is never a positive experience, however, and is not to be misunderstood as altruism or caring. It does not allow the codependent to have full access to his self or feelings and instead is more like a parasitic relationship.” Jaleh http://voices.yahoo.com/how-stop-being-codependent-parent-7503416.html?cat=25
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently pressed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.
I came again when years were gone;
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress bore,
And I could fashion him no more.
“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.
Witnessing physical and emotional abuse is harmful to children, even when they’re not being targeted. Just because your wife/girlfriend isn’t currently attacking your children doesn’t mean it’s not affecting them. We learn about relationships from our parents and other caregivers. What do you think your children are learning by observing mom’s and dad’s relationship dynamic? If you could choose a relationship partner for your children when they’re grown up, would you want it to be like your relationship with their mother? By staying in the relationship, you’re telegraphing that it’s okay for the person who “loves” you to abuse you and that one individual’s needs and feelings are more important than the other’s. Additionally, when and if the children ever begin to assert their own identities and challenge mom in any way—that is if they’re not terrified to do so after witnessing the way mom treats dad—they’ll typically be subject to the same hot and cold abuse. Your kids are going to have issues, especially around relationships, whether you stay in the marriage or not. You’ll be in a much better place to help them later on if you’re healthy, strong and happy. Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD http://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/10-lies-men-tell-themselves-in-order-to-stay-in-emotionally-abusive-relationships-with-their-wives-or-girlfriends/
There are far too many silent sufferers.
Not because they don’t yearn to reach out,
but because they’ve tried
and found no one who cares.
Richelle E. Goodrich
All relationships have conflict. Conflict is healthy. Yes, BUT it depends on the kind of conflict, how it’s handled and if it’s resolvable. Blaming isn’t part of healthy conflict. Neither are name calling, demeaning, belittling and having the same fight over and over again. It’s also unhealthy to bring up previous conflicts that happened months or years ago. This kind of woman confuses conflict with intimacy. She substitutes anger for passion. Furthermore, don’t confuse her pathology for passion. Passion and intimacy require a certain degree of vulnerability in expressing your desires. This woman only knows how to express angry demands. It makes her feel powerful and invulnerable. Her desire is for total control and anger is her hook. She uses it to keep you engaged in one pointless conflict after the next. Things will get better if I’m more patient and pay closer attention to her needs and feelings. This is also a trap. The nicer you are to this woman, the more she’ll view you as weak and pathetic and interpret it as a license to steamroll you. Sex and affection aren’t important. Yes, they are. Enough said. Seriously though, sex may not be the most important thing in a relationship, but it’s in the top three along with kindness and respect. Small signs of non-physical affection are equally important. It’s not the infrequent big gestures that count; it’s the little things a couple does for each other that really matter over the long haul. For example, picking up the other person’s dry cleaning because you happen to be in that part of town, going to a chick flick when you’d rather gouge your eyes out with red-hot pokers, making the other person’s favorite dinner when it’s not your fave, etc. Emotionally abusive, narcissistic and borderline women are rarely affectionate, considerate or generous. If they do something nice for you, they experience it as a loss and a degradation. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in a lopsided, nonreciprocal relationship? Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD http://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/10-lies-men-tell-themselves-in-order-to-stay-in-emotionally-abusive-relationships-with-their-wives-or-girlfriends/
Many people lack the basic equipment to be in a relationship
and there’s nothing you can do to change it.
You can’t take a skunk and dip it in perfume
and hope it becomes a puppy.
Eventually, the perfume will wear off
and you’ll still have a skunk on your hands.
Children from highly dysfunctional households often feel that things will get better someday, that a ‘normal’ life may lie in the future. Indeed, some days things are fairly ‘normal’, but then the bad times return again. It’s the normal days that encourage the fantasy that all problems in the family might someday be solved. This is a common cycle in highly dysfunctional families. When they grow up, these adults carry the same types of fantasy into their relationships. They may portray to others the myth that they have the perfect relationship and they may believe, to themselves, that someday all of their relationship problems will somehow be solved. They ignore the abuse, manipulation, imbalance and control in the relationship. By ignoring the problems, they are unable to confront them and the fantasy of a happier future never comes to pass. Unhealthy boundaries, where we collude with our partner in believing the myth that everything is fine, make it difficult to come to terms with the troubles of the relationship. Healthy boundaries allow us to test reality rather than rely on fantasy. When problems are present, good emotional boundaries allow us to define the problems and to communicate with our partner in finding solutions. They encourage a healthy self-image, trust, consistency, stability and productive communication. John Stibbs http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/emotional_boundaries.html
There is only one thing more painful
than learning from experience
and that is not learning from experience.