If we find ourselves… feeling trapped or clung to by our partner, we may want to consider how much we were intruded on as kids. Did we have a parent or caretaker who was overbearing and imposed on us for attention or reassurance? Are we now reacting (or overreacting) to our partner, because he or she is looking to us for similar qualities? While we aim to find partners who complement us in a positive way, we often wind up finding people whose opposing traits can rouse negative dynamics between us. For example, how many couples do we know, where one person does the talking, and the other stays quiet? While one person tells the stories and attracts attention, the other acts as a listener and falls into the background. We frequently choose people who fill out our personalities, then resent them for the very traits that make them our “other half.” Even when we choose partners who complement us positively, we run the risk of eventually distorting them or provoking them to become someone who we are less compatible with. This is often not the case when we first get involved with someone. In the beginning of a relationship, we naturally step out of our comfort zones, forcing ourselves outside our own heads and into an interaction with someone unfamiliar. The scenario of getting to know a stranger forces us to push ourselves, to be our best selves, and to treat the other person with respect and interest. As we get closer, our defenses start to arise. We start to feel more vulnerable, and influences from our past start to seep in. We must be wary in this stage of how we can distort our partners. We may start to insert hidden meaning into their words that suit a way we feel about ourselves. We may start to project qualities onto them or exaggerate characteristics they possess. Dr. Lisa Firestone http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-firestone/relationship-advice_b_824879.html
What you see is only half of what I am.
I have a hundred different faces,
a million different personalities.
Only a part of me is what I show you.
I display a fraction of my true self.
Everything is just a façade.
It’s not the truth of me.
You don’t know me.
You never will.
There are many theories on why people have trouble showing affection, and also cultural studies on how different groups show affection. Some theories suggest that such gestures of affection are often determined by our degree of nurturance as children.. In families or cultures where affection is common, people will more commonly show affection. Others also suggest a gender difference, especially in many Western cultures, between showing affection to boys and girls. Girls may receive more affection than boys, especially when they are emotionally distressed. Boys, alternately, may be told when they seek affection, such as when they are injured, to toughen up. Even though we think we’ve shed these gender differences, evidence to the contrary is available in a variety of studies; we are still harder on boys. This can matter a lot when boys and girls grow up, because girls will expect a higher degree of affection than boys, who have been nurtured to give less. Women will claim their husbands have trouble showing affection, and men may actually complain that their wives show too much. There are other reasons why people may have difficulty showing affection. People who have experienced sexual or physical abuse may find it very difficult to receive or give affection, even very simple things like a caress or hug. For these folks, touching itself has become a violation of self, and they don’t want to receive touching, or give it and possibly be considered as abusers too. More simply, some children are just less acclimatized to affection than others. Parents can love their children but have trouble showing affection to each other or to children. http://www.wisegeek.org/why-do-some-people-have-trouble-showing-affection.htm
Do not be afraid of showing your affection.
Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate.
Men are more helped by sympathy, than by service;
love is more than money, and a kind word
will give more pleasure than a present.
The approach of dissolving our image of perfection sounds contrary to our sense of logic about building confidence and esteem. This is because we have the belief that achieving the image of perfection will result in positive happy emotions and feeling confident with our success. We desire to feel these feelings and chase the image of perfection we have attached to them. What we may not be aware of is that achieving our image of success doesn’t effectively change our emotional state. It doesn’t do anything to permanently change the way the voice in our head speaks to us or what we believe about our self. Many times people have achieved their goals only to find themselves still unfulfilled. Your emotional state may briefly change in the euphoria if the immediate success. But the core belief of not being good enough and your long term habit of self rejection in the mind hasn’t been altered. The critical voice in our head is more likely to put a higher goal in front of us to achieve. The second belief to dissolve is that we are inadequate and somehow not good enough. These are the beliefs that create emotions of insecurity and fear. The emotions are not the problem they are just the resulting symptom of negative core beliefs. The “not good enough” image is a construct of our imagination. It is a belief about ourselves created by the mind concluding that we are “not good enough to meet the image of perfection.” A step to changing this belief is to recognize that we the one observing the “self” image. We can not be the “self” image we are looking at. We are the one doing the looking. This means the “self image we create is really a “non self” image. Taken from “Insecurity and Confidence” http://www.pathwaytohappiness.com/writings-insecurity.htm
I’m interested in the fact
that the less secure a man is,
the more likely he is
to have extreme prejudice.
Reality check: You cannot change a situation or circumstance when you’re in the process of resisting it. Just as you can’t catch a beach ball if you’re holding another one in your hands, you can’t embrace something new until you let go of the old, stale, and painful reasons for and arguments about why things are the way they are. To be clear, I’m not saying that we should release everything to the wind, watching passively as the world and other people go by. Not at all. The opposite of control is not laziness or apathy. The opposite of control is acceptance. When you accept, when you give up the illusion of control, you not only discover the peace and freedom that come with it. You become — perhaps for the first time — truly empowered to handle any and everything that comes your way. Why? Because there’s no energy being dedicated to holding yourself back any longer. The emergency brake you’ve had on yourself and your life comes off, and you’re finally able to cruise forward with power, freedom, and the ability to express yourself fully and create in the world — a world that you now realize is filled with opportunity. So make peace with life. Accept yourself, others, and the world the way they are. Surrender to riding the waves instead of standing stubborn and still as they crash down upon you. When you do, the urge to control dissipates and freedom emerges. And along with it, the sense and eventually the knowledge that anything, and everything, is possible. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Some people believe that holding on
and hanging there are signs of strength,
but there are times in life when it takes
much more strength just to let go.
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.
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.
Couples who can sit down together and discuss problems calmly, without blaming, criticizing and accusing, find that looking for a mutual solution to their problems increases their commitment, their intimacy and bonds them together. Nothing binds you in relationship more powerfully than the awareness that by working together, you can solve whatever problems arise. No relationship will be perfect; and how to successfully interact your lover cannot be worked out in advance. Yes, you can learn basic communication techniques, build your self-esteem, and develop patterns for healthy, equal, balanced loving before you get together — and all of these will make your relationship, when you do find it, much more successful. But, because you are unique, and so is your partner, what works for the two of you must be developed on-the-spot. The only way I know to do this is through experience, communication and negotiation. If you understand that your relationship, to be successful, must be healthy and satisfying for both you and your partner, you will also understand that codependently putting your partners feelings, needs and wants before your own is as harmful as compulsively putting your wants, needs and feelings before your lover’s. 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
When you model your relationship on someone else’s,
your partner can never match up to the fantasy.
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. These men are often stuck in codependent relationships. The term “codependent” is commonly used to refer to individuals who are overly reliant on their partners, using them as a crutch and not wanting to leave their side. However, it can apply to any unhealthy emotional dependency. 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. All relationships should have plenty of mutual acceptance, space to be alone, time with friends (of both genders), and respect. Often, codependent relationships are lacking these things. There are two dynamics going on in such relationships: 1) Her issues (often revolving around low self-esteem) prompt her to be controlling, jealous and overly sensitive. 2) Your issues (often involving shame and the desire to please) prompt you to stay in an unhealthy relationship — despite the stress and dissatisfaction — for fear of disappointing her. By Michael S. Freeman http://ezinearticles.com/?Men,-Are-You-in-a-Codependent-Relationship-With-a-Needy,-Controlling,-Or-Emotionally-Volatile-Woman?&id=2220700
I’ve been burdened with blame
trapped in the past for too long…
It’s often obvious that a needy, demanding woman who clings to a man has codependent tendencies. However, a relationship consists of two people, and HE is no less responsible. In fact, his behavior can also be labeled “codependent.” Two people who have codependent tendencies may act in opposite ways: While one is needy and drains her partner, the other may have an enlarged sense of responsibility to his partner, and is overly sensitive to her needs and demands. In fact, people with opposing codependent styles tend to attract each other. These opposing psychological profiles have been termed “takers” and “caretakers.” Codependent relationships are complicated, and they’re often characterized by manipulation, lack of boundaries, repressed emotions, emotional volatility, jealousy issues, verbal abuse, etc. Both partners tend to have complicated back-stories, which often serve to justify abnormal behavior. If you’re a man feeling stuck in a codependent relationship, realize that your happiness is worth the effort it takes to move on. http://www.codependencyfreedom.com/codependency/for-men-11-signs-youre-in-a-codependent-relationship-and-how-to-get-out.html
To be rejected by someone doesn’t mean you
should also reject yourself or that you
should think of yourself as a lesser person.
It doesn’t mean that nobody will ever love you anymore.
Remember that only ONE person has rejected
you at the moment, and it only hurt so much
because to you, that person’s opinion symbolized
the opinion of the whole world, of God.
“Like everything in life, any time you take anything to an extreme—either you say “yes” to everything or “no” to everything—you’re going to be in a position that’s often untenable and often unhealthy,” says Dr. Nancy Elder, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine. We can get stressed out by nearly everything on the planet: money, women, money, personal problems, money, etc. The largest, however, may be the actual drive to become successful. A work hard and ye shall be rewarded kind of thing. It’s tough to work hard when you have extraneous obligations getting in the way of your main goal, though. “The most important thing that people who [say yes or no] well is to temporize,” Elder says. “It’s important to acknowledge the request. ‘Yes I hear you asking this. Yes I hear you asking to put this on my plate,’ then saying, ‘Give me twenty-four hours to think about this.’” There’s an old Zen saying that goes like this: “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” Keeping focus is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s a necessity to get where you want to be, and the ability to say “no” when you need to is an overlooked, under-appreciated tool able to help us get to that place. What it comes down to—well, what everything seems to come down to—is attaining balance. It’s about being ever-conscious about your decisions and never letting your ideal endgame get out of sight…and keeping the path up there as straight as possible. By Gin A. Ando http://www.primermagazine.com/2012/live/the-importance-of-learning-to-say-no-the-power-of-learning-to-say-yes
Learn to say ‘no’ to the good
so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.
John C. Maxwell