Our families helped shape our attitudes about emotions, our abilities to identify emotions, our ways of interpreting events, and our ways of expressing emotions. If you are having difficulties in any of these processes and are trying to change them, you may find it helpful to consider what you learned about them from your family. Many people do not recall being taught “family rules” concerning emotions, but such teachings occurred, whether directly or subtly. A subtle example might be where a parent distanced him/herself from you or left the room whenever you got angry, thus indicating that expressions of anger were unacceptable. In other families a parent may yell, “Don’t raise your voice at me,” suggesting a rule against the child’s expressing anger, but subtly conveying the rule that expressions of parental anger are permissible. Identifying your family’s rules can help you change the ways you experience and express your emotions. Some common examples of problematic family rules include:
- Always treat other people’s feelings as more important than your own.
- Never do anything that might cause dissension or negative feelings for someone else.
- Don’t express anger.
- Use anger to get attention.
- Ignore your feelings, or better still, don’t feel.
- Don’t trust others with your feelings; keep them to yourself.
- Never trust your feelings; trust only your logic.
- Be happy all the time.
As a child growing up you may not have been able to experience or express your emotions in ways different than those prescribed by your family. As an adult you have more options, including replacing those rules which are not helpful. http://www.counselingcenter.illinois.edu/self-help-brochures/self-awarenessself-care/experiencing-and-expressing-emotions/
All parents damage their children.
It cannot be helped.
Youth, like pristine glass,
absorbs the prints of its handlers.
Some parents smudge, others crack,
a few shatter childhoods
completely into jagged
little pieces, beyond repair.
No matter the quality or quantity of sex, some people remain hungry for more and more sex. It’s as though they are sexually insatiable. Most often, their insatiable sexual hunger is related to deep-rooted psychological factors. Toxic early childhood relationships can influence their sexual hunger in adulthood. Although sex addicts can be male or female, for discussion purposes, I will use the female pronouns here. Insatiable sexual hunger is not really a desire ─an act of will─ but rather a desperate need, a compulsion that is experienced as a craving. The need is pursued like a drug. Although sex addicts are enslaved to sex, it is far from their goal. Rather, the pursuit of sex is in service of a different goal─ to dispel feelings of inadequacy, depression, anxiety, rage or other feelings that the sex addict experiences as unbearable. Like a drug addict or alcoholic, the sex addict relentlessly seeks satisfaction from an external source to palliate an internal pain. Here’s a little of what goes on in the brain of sex addicts. The brain’s dopamine receptors ─ the pleasure-reward system─ is activated during sex, drugs, alcohol, or gambling. In the case of sex addicts who quickly slide down into despair after the sex act, their dopamine receptors are left hungry for more sex. These primed dopamine receptor, thus, crave more sex. A craving is, thus, set up biologically and psychologically. Fixes provide a state of ecstasy, calm, nirvana. Alas the shot of nirvana during the sex act lasts only as long as the magic of sex wears off. Result? The sex addict is rendered emptier, distressed, and fragmented. To quell these painful feelings, she is compelled to resume her pursuit for her next fix. As you can see, the sex act is not borne out of love, but performs the function of a drug to satisfy the primed dopamine receptors. Of no consequence other than to provide the sex addict with a fix, the sex object is indispensable. Rather than desiring a sexual partner, the sex addict craves the sexual object─ her fix. She is constantly seeking to repair early deprivations and to palliate depression, anxiety, self-esteem blows. How do sex addicts recover? Twelve step programs work for some people. For others, I recommend deep analytic therapy that focuses on visiting the past, but living in the moment, learning coping skills, finding internal satisfaction, pursuing healthy passions that fulfill the emptiness. From an article by Frances Cohen Praver, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-doc/200910/what-drives-sex-addict
that you dated
somebody is just
a polite way
of saying we banged
a couple of times.
The term ‘recovering from a broken heart’ usually means that there are still strong feelings and attachments to the person you once loved and whom you depended on. It also may tend to imply that the breakup was not the outcome you desired, leaving you feeling some form of powerlessness. There is probably some underlying message that somehow you’ve failed or that you may not have been good enough in some way. Those who have faced an ending to an important relationship with someone they loved, and perhaps still love very much, can certainly relate to an aftermath of sadness, grief, disorientation, self-doubt, and often a temporary feeling of depression and despair. It takes time for your heart to mend, which usually involves a time of thinking through and reliving all the shared experiences. It takes time to re-evaluate your choices from beginning to end, to look for clues that may not have been apparent at the time. This can mean weeks or months and even years for some, of feeling waves of emotion as your mind revisits experiences that keep getting triggered by your daily activities. One of the most difficult parts of breaking up is getting through the initial shock, sadness and loss. Even those who feel that it was their choice to end the relationship go through a period of feeling lost and confused without their former partner. After all, life has changed drastically and quickly! It’s important not to misinterpret the pain you’re feeling as a sign that you did something wrong when the relationship came to an end. Most people tend to feel that they are in more pain than the other person. It’s a natural part of the healing process to feel this and it means that you are now focused on yourself and what you need, instead of thinking in terms of the other person’s needs. Allow yourself time to engage in recognition of your pain and your loss. The deepness and dependence on the relationship is often rooted in unfulfilled needs from childhood. What seems like a brief relationship may take a year to heal, where a long-term relationship may end and be processed in a relatively short time. There are no real rules for how much time it takes, but it’s a good idea to seek help if the time seems extensive and protracted, beyond what would seem a normal time to each person, or if there seems to be no progress in the healing. From an article by Dr. Judith L. Allen http://www.asktheinternettherapist.com/articles/recover-a-broken-heart/
You will lose someone you can’t live without,
and your heart will be badly broken,
and the bad news is that you never completely
get over the loss of your beloved.
But this is also the good news.
They live forever in your broken heart
that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through.
It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly;
that still hurts when the weather gets cold,
but you learn to dance with the limp.
Codependence is a combination of four personality characteristics that ultimately result in a great deal of frustration and powerlessness…insecurity, dependence, other-centeredness and being too passive. In their heart of hearts Codependents have very low self-esteem and they lack confidence. Self-assured, confident, controlling people tie Codependents in knots. Codependents usually haven’t experienced enough sense of mastery in their lives to give them a life-long sense of competency and strength. They are lost and confused. They are looking for someone to give them direction. They just haven’t quite found their true place in the world yet. Instead of fulfilling their true destiny they are usually following an even more confused (person) around more living in his world than living in a world of their own making. They are usually in the wrong place, with the wrong person, at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. When a Codependent starts a romantic relationship they tend to put too many eggs in that one basket. They invest their whole lives in a guy (woman) who ultimately turns out to be an addict, a betrayer, a little boy, a rager, a controller, weak, lost, little, and otherwise not coming as originally advertised. Early on the Codependent is way too emotionally dependent way too quickly. They know who they like. Before too many years go by Codependents learn that the relationship they have arranged for themselves does not include a whole lot of goodies for them. Prince (Princess) charming who put the full court press on to secure her generally is only interested in her these days to try to extract some sex… He (She) is too busy and important to take the time and energy to really get to know her (him) on an intimate and daily basis. That simply isn’t who he (she) is. From an article by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
There are only two possibilities
why you’re disappointed:
or wrong expectation.
Men show their appreciation through achievements, women through words. In one of my seminars a woman asked, “How do you know how much a man loves a woman? They certainly don’t seem to tell us every day, do they?” I asked my husband the same question that evening. He thought about it for a brief moment and then said, “By what he is willing to do for her.” Plain and simple. In relationship coaching, this issue comes up in almost every session. Men and women show their love differently and not only does this create conflict it also causes huge amounts of pain. Women want to talk to men about their feelings. We create environments of pleasure and relaxation by sharing and talking. It relaxes us. The problem is, it does not relax men in the same way. On the contrary, it creates tension for them and confusion. Don’t get me wrong, men do want to please us, do the right thing and say the right words, they just don’t know how. They only time a man knows what to do is when a woman has shown him how. In most cases, men will remain silent and women will feel hurt. Why is it so painful when a man does not respond with attention, words, smiles, and those little gestures that make us feel better? As women, we are aware of what goes on around us at all times. We pay attention to the mood in a room, to the mood of the people in the room, we smooth out ups and downs in the energy, we smile, we touch, we play and we make sure everybody is happy. It’s a natural flow for us, it is easy and it feels good. We are used to showing our affection that way and it creates a void when a man does not respond in kind. Don’t expect him to be something he is not. You can be angry at your guy for not getting it (and be miserable for the rest of your life) or you can accept him for who he is. It’s up to you. Give him a chance to win. Men like to be heroes and they like to win for you. Let him show his brilliance and have the last word. So many women have to constantly prove that they can do it themselves. It’s exhausting. Give in and relax. Realize how much he wants to impress you, how much he revels in your admiration and enjoy your feminine power. From an article by Karin Lehmann http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/why-men-dont-say-i-love-you-and-what-to-do-about-it-481890.html
The most important things
are the hardest to say,
because words diminish them.
Slavery is at the heart of dysfunctional families. When people serve others because they are forced to do so, freedom to truly serve is lost. Slavery hardens the heart, creates anger, bitterness and resentment. On the other hand, true love often finds its expression in acts of serve. It is service freely given, not out of fear but out of choice. It comes out of personal discovery that “it is more blessed to give than to receive. Dr. Gary Chapman author of “The Five Love Languages”
Lack of love from parents
often motivates their children
to go searching for love
in other relationships.
This search is often misguided
and leads to further disappointment.
Dr. Gary Chapman
Once you understand that you actively seek others out to either cater to you, or to cater to, you can start taking better care of your self, and begin attracting healthier people into your life. Most often two people who have found themselves in habitual patterns of codependent behavior and thinking, cannot make a relationship work. Although it is possible, the constant policing of one another’s thoughts can be maddening. Therapy is extremely helpful in trying to break the thought patterns associated with codependent thinking. Journaling is also a useful tool, because it helps keep awareness alive. In addition it is wise to spend time with people who are free of codependent issues, as they offer the best models for relationships to strive for. If you tend to assume the role of caretaker easily, be wary of those who try to coerce you into roles that require you to take care of others emotionally, psychologically, or financially. Any time someone pushes past a personal boundary you have set, chances are you might be engaging with another codependent. In any healthy relationship, freedom of expression is encouraged not discouraged. If you find you are feeling like someone’s parent in a love relationship, it is best to graciously move on. If you are a taker, own that role and begin to understand it is no one’s job to cater to your emotional whims. It is your responsibility alone to meet life head on and to grow as a self reliant individual. It is not enough to cling to others, and to guilt partners into being in a relationship with you. Decide it is no longer enough to be someone else’s project, and head off in search of your true self. A healthy relationship is one that feels like a great pair of comfortable shoes that feel like they were made just for you. Your feet are just happier in them. When relationships are right, they fit. When they don’t they’re as uncomfortable as a size 5 shoe on a size 10 foot. From an article by Lisa A. Romano http://www.examiner.com/article/codependency-and-how-it-destroys-relationships
with the hope
“out there” can
instantly fill up
Stop missing out on enjoying time with your partner, by worrying about something that hasn’t happened, with people that aren’t part of your relationship. …stop focusing on that which you DON’T want to happen, and spend more time creating what you DO want. The universe doesn’t understand that what you are thinking about all the time is something undesirable. It takes any thought you create as a request and conspires to manifest those requests. So, if you constantly focus on the negative thoughts around your relationship, chances are you will keep inadvertently creating negative situations between you and your partner. Changing your thoughts, and letting go of the fear, makes room for more thoughts about what you really want to create in your relationship. It’s a much better way to use your energy and if you focus on how to give more love, how to strengthen your bond and create more intimacy, you’ll find you easily manifest the good loving you really desire. All of this is not to say that you should be ignorant of any intuition or signs of infidelity. If you have a feeling things have gone astray, or there are obvious signs that your partner’s focus may have shifted, then you should trust your own intuition and be willing to address your concerns. Having an honest, adult, and somewhat vulnerable conversation with your partner about what you’re worried about can be the difference between realizing you had the wrong end of stick and getting on with loving each other, or letting your mind run away with the worst case scenario and having that fear ruin your relationship. Open, mature conversation about boundaries and expectations is the only way to really approach the fear of being cheated on and a much more promising way to build a lifetime of love. From an article by Rachael Lay http://www.rachaellay.com/why-worrying-about-cheating-is-pointless/
For a marriage relationship to flourish,
there must be intimacy.
It takes an enormous amount of courage
to say to your spouse, “This is me.
I’m not proud of it — in fact,
I’m a little embarrassed by it –
but this is who I am.”
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.