A married couple was in a car when the wife turned to her husband and asked, “Would you like to stop for a coffee?” “No, thanks,” he answered truthfully. So they didn’t stop. The result? The wife, who had indeed wanted to stop, became annoyed because she felt her preference had not been considered. The husband, seeing his wife was angry, became frustrated. Why didn’t she just say what she wanted? Unfortunately, he failed to see that his wife was asking the question not to get an instant decision, but to begin a negotiation. And the woman didn’t realize that when her husband said no, he was just expressing his preference, not making a ruling. When a man and woman interpret the same interchange in such conflicting ways, it’s no wonder they can find themselves leveling angry charges of selfishness and obstinacy at each other. We cannot lump all men or all women into fixed categories. But the seemingly senseless misunderstandings that haunt our relationships can in part be explained by the different conversational rules by which men and women play. Men grow up in a world in which a conversation is often a contest, either to achieve the upper hand or to prevent other people from pushing them around. For women, however, talking is often a way to exchange confirmation and support. I saw this when my husband and I had jobs in different cities. People frequently made comments like, “That must be rough,” and “How do you stand it?” I accepted their sympathy and sometimes even reinforced it, saying, “The worst part is having to pack and unpack all the time.” But my husband often reacted with irritation. Our situation had advantages, he would explain. As academics, we had four-day weekends together, as well as long vacations throughout the year and four months in the summer. Everything he said was true, but I didn’t understand why he chose to say it. He told me that some of the comments implied: “Yours is not a real marriage. I am superior to you because my wife and I have avoided your misfortune.” Until then it had not occurred to me there might be an element of one-upmanship. I now see that my husband was simply approaching the world as many men do: as a place where people try to achieve and maintain status. I, on the other hand, was approaching the world as many women do: as a network of connections seeking support and consensus. by Deborah Tannen http://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/you-just-don%E2%80%99t-understand-by-deborah-tannen/
The single biggest problem
is the illusion
that it has taken place.
George Bernard Shaw
Chances are, you know one. They do everything together; they share common ideals. They’re the couple that says that they rarely argue. When a disagreement comes up, they talk it out and they come to a compromise. And they live happily ever after. And you think, “If only I found my perfect match, I wouldn’t have marital problems.” While I’ll readily admit there are bad matches, good matches, better matches and best matches in marriage, many smooth-sailing marriages usually have one thing that makes them oh, so easy: a compliant spouse. A compliant spouse—husband or wife—is content to let the other spouse lead the way and make the decisions. He or she isn’t necessarily a doormat, but he usually wants to keep the peace more than have his way. Often times, he’ll suggest ideas but if his spouse shoots them down, he’ll just shrug his shoulders and go with the flow. There isn’t much true “compromise” going on: He just gives in. He takes direction well, and completes his honey-to list when asked. Leaving decisions to his mate allows him freedom to pursue other interests while relieving him of weightier responsibilities, too. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard women swoon over someone’s compliant spouse. And I guess I have to admit, I have done it, too. When your own husband has an irksome bull-headed streak, a complaint spouse sounds terrific. But do you really want a compliant spouse? Compliance is boring. It’s nice when a spouse brings his own ideas into the mix. It’s exciting to hear, “I have a better idea.” Now and then, a little giving in—for you—is good for the soul. It takes humility and love to be able to back down and let the other person get what he wants, even when it isn’t what you want at all. If you’re used to getting your way, be sure you aren’t turning into a total dictator or a spoiled brat—unless he likes it that way. These are the spouses that suddenly up and leave after long years of marriage, to everyone’s shock and surprise. They were quietly compliant but not happily so. If you have a compliant spouse, be sure to address his or her desires. Solicit his or her opinions and take them. If you keep dismissing his ideas, choices and opinions, for whatever reason however logical, he will stop offering them. Appreciate that your marital road is smoother than most, but give credit to the one who paves that way. From an article by Lori Phillips http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art5801.asp
Give me that man
that is not
and I will wear
him in my heart’s core.
In studies of more than 2,000 school-aged children, Dr. Amanda Rose of the University of Missouri has discovered boys and girls are fundamentally different when it comes to talking about their feelings. While girls love nothing more than to yap at length about what’s bothering them, boys tend to keep quiet — and not because they’re embarrassed; they just see it as a waste of time. “For years, popular psychologists have insisted boys and men would like to talk about their problems, but are held back by fears of embarrassment or appearing weak,” Rose says in a statement. “However, when we asked young people how talking about their problems would make them feel, boys didn’t express angst or distress about discussing problems any more than girls. Instead, boys’ responses suggest they just don’t see talking about problems to be a particularly useful activity.” That’s fine for school-aged boys, but what about men who know better? Rose suggests their early aversion to talking about their feelings is something they carry with them into manhood: “Men may be more likely to think talking about problems will make the problems feel bigger and engaging in different activities will take their minds off of the problem. Men may just not be coming from the same place as their partners.” So if they’re not gushing about their problems to their friends and family like we do, how do men cope with their feelings? By keeping busy with activities that keep their mind off things, says Rose. Maybe this explains why your man spends so much time in his shop/garage/man cave. It’s something positive men might be onto — it seems many of us women might actually be over-talking our feelings and making ourselves kind of crazy in the process. Females who talk their problems out too often are in danger of engaging in “excessive problem talk,” which causes stress and anxiety. It’s a classic case of completely obsessing over something that’s not that big of deal and then inevitably blowing it out of proportion. No matter what, though, communication is key to any relationship and sharing feelings with your spouse, family and friends is usually a positive thing. Just remember to be respectful of other communication styles. By Martha Edwards http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/09/06/men-talking-relationships_n_950218.html
Don’t allow your mind
to tell your heart
what to do.The mind
gives up easily.
“It is not love that is blind, but jealousy,” according to the writer Lawrence Durrell. Jealousy is defined as a fear and rage response that preserves romantic bonds between sexual partners. Its function, it is believed, is to curb infidelity between parents, which advances the survival of their children and their subsequent reproductive success. Romantic jealously is widely understood to be different for men and women because each gender has a different level of investment in reproduction. For a man to provide for genetically distant children decreases his reproductive success — and because men are uncertain whether they really are the father of said children, they are most susceptible to sexual infidelity. By contrast, women can rest assured that they are the mother of their own children; however, they are more dependent on men for resources, making them more sensitive to emotional infidelity, since it could threaten the supply of resources for herself and her child. While many subscribe to this view, the research has been admittedly inconclusive. Now, a team led by Hasse Walum of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has broken new ground. Participants were presented with two hypothetical infidelity scenarios: “Sexual jealousy: ‘You suspect that while your boyfriend/ girlfriend was on vacation s/he had a one nightstand. You realize that even if s/he did have sex with this other person, they will probably never see each other again. How upset do you think you would feel if this happened?’” “Emotional jealousy: ‘You suspect that while your boyfriend/girlfriend was on a trip s/he fell in love with someone else. You realize that even if s/he did develop these feelings, s/he will probably never see this other person again. How upset do you think you would feel if this happened?’” They were then asked to answer these questions along a 10-point scale, ranging from 1 (not at all) to 10 (extremely). What did they find? Consistent with prior research, women reported higher levels of jealousy on both measures, and both men and women scored higher on sexual jealousy than on emotional jealousy. However, men reported greater jealousy in response to sexual infidelity by comparison to emotional infidelity. These findings square with the theory that men and women differ when it comes to the types of jealousy, that is, sexual vs. emotional. From an article by Vinita Mehta, Ph.D., Ed.M. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/head-games/201308/whos-more-jealous-men-or-women
In jealousy there is more self-love than love.
François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
“We used to talk all night, but since we’ve talked so much, we have nothing else to talk about.” Well, this is a crossroad that every couple has to go through. You have been together so long, you have spent so much time together, you have run out of things to talk about. This is very simple to get over. But first, we must look at why you have run out of things to talk about. Ultimately, if you don’t have anything to talk about, you are becoming numb to the individual. If you truly love them, you will always have something to say to them. Even it is just “I love you.” Your conversations might not be as dynamic and powerful as they were in the beginning of the relationship. And this is simply because you know each other very well, and before you didn’t. So it was automatically exciting and intriguing. But you must realize this, and rest in the fact that you are with this person. Though you might not have deep thoughts to divulge to this person anymore, because they know them all, you still have things in common. You still have things to discuss. Some couples can sit in a room and not say a word to each other for three hours – and that’s fine with them. This is because they are grounded in the foundation of their love, and they know that though they aren’t saying anything, they are both thinking about one another. But if you feel that the lack of constant conversation is hurting your relationship, take the initiative. Make a point to talk with your partner – even if the conversation starts out light and frivolous, it will end on a good note – hopefully. And this will keep you both in each other’s mind. Remember, don’t wait for them to talk to you – talk to THEM!! The most vital and important reasons that relationships fail is because they communication that is happening is because people aren’t following “The Golden Rule.” I know you all know what I’m talking about; we learned it in kindergarten – “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” If you follow this statement, your love life as well as every other part will benefit greatly. But the sad truth is, people aren’t honest. They cheat themselves as well as others. They are self-centered jealous feigns. So no wonder none of us have a satisfactory relationship. We must stop and think – how do you want to be treated in a relationship? If you apply your standards of what you want to your partner, they will ultimately reapply them to you. You are in control of how your relationship will be. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
the termites of
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.
Making small sacrifices for your partner when you don’t feel like it could be damaging your relationship, according to social scientists from the University of Arizona. Men and women offering to take on a chore normally done by the other may make them seem like the perfect partner. Yet when these sacrifices are done by a partner who is feeling stressed, it can make the stress worse, the study found. Doing chores to help out a partner may seem like the right thing to do, but if you’re in a bad mood, these sacrifices can do your relationship more harm than good, claim researchers from the University of Arizona. This in turn can lead to an increase in arguments and partners feeling taken for granted. Research scientist Casey Totenhagen and her team at the university carried out daily surveys among 154 married and unmarried couples. The length of relationship ranged from from six months to 44 years. The couples recorded all their activities from time spent with friends, to child care and chores. They were then asked to record which activities they considered to be ‘sacrifices’. Sacrifices included those they had done that were usually done by their partner. Alongside this, everyone filled in details of how well their day had been, the hassles they had experienced and how it had affected their mood. And finally, a section was reserved for them to rank their feelings towards their partners on a daily basis, including how close, committed and satisfied they felt about the relationship. The kind of sacrifices made were small and not significant in terms of how it could change a relationship but generally carried out to show ‘niceness’, said the researchers. Carrying out such good deeds while in a good mood made the person doing it feel more committed to their relationship. However, it appears to have little effect on the other partner who, in general, felt no different about the relationship after the nice act than they did before. The key to a long and happy relationship is sharing chores, instead of making sacrifices and doing your partner’s chores for them, claims research from the University of Arizona. From A Daily Mail article by Victoria Woollaston http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2317712/Being-MORE-selfish-key-successful-relationship-claims-research.html#ixzz2ezLEFZDV
Almost every sinful action ever committed
can be traced back to a selfish motive.
It is a trait we hate in other people
but justify in ourselves.
What a wicked game to play,
to make me feel this way.
What a wicked thing to do,
to let me dream of you.
What a wicked thing to say,
you never felt this way.
What a wicked thing to do,
to make me dream of you…
What possible good can come from such persistent pain? “There’s a kneejerk bias we have that only ‘feel-good’ states are adaptive, and things that make us feel bad are pathological,” says Matthew Keller, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Colorado. “But there are actually many unpleasant states— including pain, fever, nausea, and diarrhea—that don’t feel good but are nevertheless highly adaptive.” Sure you loved her with all your heart, but your brain played a big role, too. When you’re in love, your brain… churns out dopamine, the “crave” hormone. Couple this with the warm feelings… and you have the recipe for addiction. That’s why you’re in trouble if your drug ever decides to pack her bags and leave. “Often, people will name their partner’s small, strange quirks as the things they miss most,” says Ty Tashiro, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Colorado. “But those mundane details indicate that they miss familiarity and comfort, not the specific person.” Insomnia is a major side effect of heartbreak, and it can impair your ability to view her objectively. “The less you sleep, the less control you have over your emotions,” says David Sbarra, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona. By Jim Thornton http://menshealth.intoday.in/story/Survive-a-heartbreak/0/2018.html
Isn’t that the greatest tragedy?
When someone rejects us,
no matter how they abuse our love,
we hope against reason
that somehow they will come back to us.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Men seem to need nonsexual affirmation even more than women do, Dr. Orbuch says . (Dr. Terri Orbuch is a psychologist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.) In her study, when the husband reported that his wife didn’t show love and affection, the couple was almost twice as likely to divorce as when the man said he felt cared for and appreciated. The reverse didn’t hold true, though. Couples where women felt a lack of affection weren’t more likely to divorce. Do something to demonstrate that your partner is noticed and appreciated every single day, Dr. Orbuch says. It can be as small as saying, “I love you,” or “You’re a great parent.” It can be an action rather than words: Turn on the coffee pot in the morning. Bring in the paper. Warm up the car. Make a favorite dessert. Give a hug. Money was the No. 1 point of conflict in the majority of marriages, good or bad, that Dr. Orbuch studied. And 49% of divorced people from her study said they fought so much over money with their spouse—whether it was different spending styles, lies about spending, one person making more money and trying to control the other—that they anticipate money will be a problem in their next relationship, too. There isn’t a single financial fix for all couples. Dr. Orbuch says each person needs to examine his or her own approach to money. What did money mean when you were growing up? How do you approach spending and saving now? What are your financial goals? Partners need to discuss their individual money styles and devise a plan they both can live with. They might decide to pool their money, or keep separate accounts. They might want a joint account for family expenses. In the study, six out of 10 divorced individuals who began a new relationship chose not to combine finances. “Talk money more often—not just when it’s tax time, when you have high debt, when bills come along,” Dr. Orbuch says. Set ground rules and expectations and stick to them. From “Divorcé’s Guide to Marriage” by Elizabeth Bernstein
We ruined each other
by being together.
each other’s dreams.
People generally become love addicts due to a past history of abandonment from their primary caregivers. Adult love addicts usually recognized as children that their most precious needs for validation, love and connection with one or both parents were not met. This affects their self-esteem dramatically in adult life. It results in a conscious fear of abandonment and an underlying subconscious fear of intimacy. To a love addict, intensity in a relationship is often mistaken for intimacy. As with any addiction, recovery from love addiction is a process of self-discovery. It requires taking specific steps: breaking through denial and acknowledging the addiction; owning the harmful consequences of the addiction; and intervening to stop the addictive cycle from occurring. Ultimately, love addicts must enter a grieving process to address the underlying emotional pain that is at the core of the addiction. Love addicts experience withdrawal symptoms. Working with a therapist can help guide the love addict through the process of talking about childhood experiences of abandonment, navigating through the feelings of pain, fear, anger and emptiness that may surface, and releasing old emotions that contribute to negative acting-out behaviors. A solid relationship with a skilled therapist trained in love and sex addiction can help guide the love addict through this process. From “What is Love Addiction?” By Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CST, CSAT http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/26/what-is-love-addiction/
When one has nothing to lose,
one becomes courageous.
We are timid only when
there is something
we can still cling to.