Many people seem to have a misunderstanding about what it really means to forgive someone for a wrong done to them. The first thing I want to point out is… forgiveness is NOT a gift you give to another, but rather something you do inside of yourself, for yourself. The other person need never know. You can choose to extend forgiveness to the other person, if that is your choice, but it is not necessary in order to forgive inside of yourself and heal the pain you carry for a wrong another has done to you or that has affected you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation – nor does it mean you have to allow a behavior that can hurt you to continue to hurt you. Forgiveness is, in essence, the acknowledgment inside of yourself that the person who has wronged you in some way is a fallible human being – and that, like a human being, they made a mistake worthy of your forgiveness. …everyone deserves forgiveness inside of themselves, because to hold on to old wounds defeats you as a person. It closes off a part of your heart and self that you cannot give to anyone else as long as you hang on to the anger and bitterness that remains in you when you do not forgive. From “Forgiveness – the Gift You Give Yourself” http://voices.yahoo.com/forgiveness-gift-give-yourself-84466.html?cat=5
The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the attribute
of the strong.
Controlling behavior in men or women becomes a habit and it becomes as normal as getting up in the morning and changing out of pajamas. Conflict between two people is bound to happen. After all, what a boring world it would be if everyone agreed all the time. Unfortunately, people who try to resolve conflict by controlling the other person only set the relationship up for failure. Sure, peace permeates throughout the household for a while simply because the man of the house says, “Just agree to disagree and do what I say.” To keep the peace, the woman acquiesces and keeps her mouth closed even though her mind is reeling the entire time. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the women who allow men to continue controlling them are wimps, poor misguided fools, or women who don’t know the true meaning of life. They are nothing of the sort, even if they do maintain some semblance of being less than in control of their own life. Be honest with yourself and admit that there have been times when you, too, have closed your mouth and prevented it from speaking the true words of wisdom you wanted to utter aloud. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the aggravation or frustration of disagreeing out loud just for the sake of disagreeing. After all, controlling people never give in and never admit to being the controlling type. There really isn’t any point to disagreeing with controlling men because you will only accomplish one of three possible scenarios. First, your words of disagreement lead to a full-scale verbal assault that ends with you in tears. Second, your disagreement with his opinion leads to a long night’s harangue centered on your inability to understand common sense, simple concepts, or whatever else comes to mind. Third, you realize that you really only have three options marriage counseling, returning to the status quo, or divorce. From an article by Susan Keenan http://www.lifescript.com/life/relationships/marriage/controlling_men.aspx#sthash.yJArt6eB.dpuf
To be unbroken,
what would that be?
If words that were spoken,
had not shattered me
Women still look to men for strength and guidance. However, they also now look to them for love and respect. Controlling men typically will not adapt their behavior, the loudness of their voice, their habits or the way that they talk. They do not need to compromise or change for anyone. The world around them should fit in with their needs and desires, not the other way around. Imagine a man who leaves little notes for his wife every morning on the kitchen table. Ah, don’t be the romantic and think even for a second that these are little love notes. They are actually lists of chores and errands to be accomplished while he is away at work. Does his wife like them? No. Does she complain about them? No. If you are wondering why not, join the crowd. In the beginning of their relationship, perhaps she didn’t mind the notes or realize he might be one of those creatures known as controlling men. In fact, maybe she thought he was trying to make her life easier by leaving little reminders. After a while, the lists became longer. She began to do chores he normally took care of in addition to the other tasks he had assigned. Is this over the top? Certainly. But it has taken her too long to realize this man is controlling her every move. Not only does he know where she is every day, but also, he knows what she is doing. Does she ever complain? Yes, she does, but by then, it is too late. He is already in the habit of believing he knows what is best since she has never questioned him before now. It is almost impossible to relinquish control of something or someone when you have had the control for so long. From an on-line article by Susan Keenan http://www.lifescript.com/life/relationships/marriage/controlling_men.aspx#sthash.yJArt6eB.dpuf
…New love only lasts so long,
and then you crash back
into the real people you are,
and from as high as we were,
it’s a very long fall,
and we hit the ground
with a thud.
A glance across a crowded room, a chance encounter, stolen kisses in the night, a wisp of heady cologne, and a stolen rendezvous on a crowded weekend have all climaxed into a committed relationship. It seems as though the fates have been controlling the destiny of women for years and leading them to their men. Unfortunately, some women have discovered their Prince Charming is not quite so charming, but rather is among the select group of controlling men who not only control their own lives, but also, those of women. Controlling men like to be in charge. They like to tell women what to do, what to wear, how to speak, and even when to speak. Most controlling men do not admit to the fact that they are controlling. They just don’t see it. In their minds, men like to have things a certain way. They probably grew up thinking that things should be a certain way, partly because of the manner in which they were raised. Some women grew up thinking that little girls get married wait on their husbands hand and foot, bear children, and raise children. On the other hand, some men grew up looking at it in this manner: “girls grow up to do what their husbands tell them to do. They stay home, clean the house, raise the kids, and worship their men.” It isn’t really that farfetched to see how this mind-set in men might lead to controlling behavior. After all, just because today’s woman is out in the world earning her own slab of bacon, doesn’t mean that the expectation that men are stronger, more dominant and hence more controlling got tossed out the door. From an article by Susan Keenan published at http://www.lifescript.com/life/relationships/marriage/controlling_men.aspx#sthash.yJArt6eB.dpuf
But even when I stop crying, even when
we fall asleep and I’m nestled in his arms,
this will leave another scar. No one will see it.
No one will know. But it will be there.
And eventually all of the scars will have scars,
and that’s all I’ll be – one big scar of a love gone wrong.
From “But I Love Him” by Amanda Grace
Men often convey feelings via actions, not words. Divorce often represents the loss of the one person a man feels comfortable verbalizing his emotions to. This may contribute to the fact that during a divorce men are less likely to seek emotional support from family members or a mental health professional, and are more likely than women to act on their feelings about divorce instead of verbalizing them. For example, loneliness may be expressed by increased social activity and avoiding an empty apartment at the end of the day. Other common external expressions of grief include working too much, having casual sexual relationships and even developing physical ailments. In the United States, societal expectations that men will quietly “tough it out” might also contribute to the tendency for men to express emotions non-verbally. Men, if you find your self developing strange physical symptoms or acting in a way that is unusual for you, stop and ask yourself, “is it possible that this is how I’m grieving?” Get professional help if you start expressing your grief through drug use or drinking. Having a delayed, less-direct means of expressing emotion does not equate to a lack of mourning. Though men seem to convey their feelings differently than women, they still need to process painful emotions in order to heal, grow, and move on after a divorce. While it may feel like going-against-the-cultural-grain for a man, seeking professional help can ease the grieving process and provide a confidential setting. From “For Men: Mourning the Divorce?” by Dr. Tom Rogat http://www.divorce360.com/divorce-articles/effects/emotional/for-men-mourning-the-divorce.aspx?artid=394
The only thing more unthinkable
than leaving was staying;
he only thing more impossible
than staying was leaving.
Recovering from any major loss requires a mourning period, and divorce is no exception. Grieving a divorce is an intensely personal process and is different for everyone depending on unique situational and personal factors. A healthy mourning process is typically thought to include recognizing and verbalizing the meaning of a loss and its associated feelings. However, men deal with relationships and stress differently than women, and often are not as verbally expressive. Should men really be expected to mourn in the same way as women? The answer appears to be ‘no’ according to Dr. Nehami Baum’s 2003 article, “The Male Way of Mourning Divorce: When, What and How. ” In fact, Dr. Baum found that men generally appear to mourn the end of a marriage quite differently than women. Men tend to start the grieving process later than women, sometimes even after a physical separation has taken place. This might reflect the fact that women are more likely to initiate the divorce process, giving them a head start on processing the emotions associated with it. Men also tend to recognize that a marriage is in trouble later than women, and they might prefer to wait until after they, or their wife, have actually moved out to address the emotional reality of divorce. Men might not feel that their ex-wife is the greatest loss during a divorce. For a divorced father, losing his family life (owning a home, having a set routine, a sense of identity and security) and daily interaction with the kids can feel like greater losses than the relationship with his wife. Men might need to deal with the anger and other powerful emotions that often accompany a loss of custody before they can mourn a spouse. They also might need to address the immediate task of adjusting to a very different lifestyle first. Some men never grieve the loss of a spouse directly; expressing it via the feelings of loss they have toward their children instead. From “For Men: Mourning the Divorce?” by Dr. Tom Rogat http://www.divorce360.com/divorce-articles/effects/emotional/for-men-mourning-the-divorce.aspx?artid=394
A divorce is like
but there’s less of you.
Recognizing depression and the feelings associated with it is culturally more difficult for men than women. Marianne Legato MD, expert in gender-specific medicine, notes “I have long been convinced that depression is under-reported, under-diagnosed, and under-treated in men, largely because of the way they’re socialized.” Men are taught directly and indirectly not to cry in sadness or pain. The message internalized by too many is not to talk about feelings – not to talk about depression. As one marine who had tragically covered his pain with alcohol described, “I was trying to be the tough marine I was trained to be — not to talk about problems, not to cry . . . I imprisoned myself in my own mind.”
- Rather than seek help, men have a tendency to self-medicate or avoid the anguish, sadness, guilt or self-doubt associated with depression. This can manifest itself in many ways, including sexual acting out, alcohol or substance abuse, risky behaviors (like reckless driving), escapist behaviors (like internet addiction to porn), or being overly involved in work or sports.
- The result is an escalation of emotional pain desperately driving more avoidance, risk, substances, suicidal thinking and a downward spiral of personal, family, and job functioning.
- Self-medication for depression puts men and those around them in harm’s way.
Unlike other illnesses there is a tendency to associate depression with weakness, vulnerability, laziness and withholding. There is a tendency to feel shame and self–blame even as one is suffering. Men often suffer alone. If they stop to consider that their physical symptoms and behaviors might hide depression – they may be able to step out of danger. If they reach for the help of a partner, a buddy, their primary physician, a mental health professional, or a spiritual caregiver – they will have taken the first step. By Suzanne Phillips, PsyD http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/men-and-hidden-danger-depression
Behind my smile, is a hurting heart.
Behind my laugh, I’m falling apart.
Behind my smile, is tears at night.
Given that women are twice as likely to suffer with depression as men, there is a tendency – even in clinical diagnosis – to associate depression with symptoms more likely reported by women. These include sadness, hopelessness, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, loss of interest in people and activities, and suicidal thoughts. According to the STAR-D study, there are physical differences in the overall pattern of depression symptoms between men and women which may go unnoticed: Whereas both men and women may report low mood as a symptom of depression, women are more likely to gain weight while men are more likely to lose weight; women report symptoms associated with anxiety while men report symptoms associated with obsessive –compulsive disorder; women feel less energetic and men typically feel agitated; and men are more likely to develop alcohol or substance abuse in conjunction with major depression. In his cross-cultural research on depression, Jules Angst, MD found that both men and women reported stress as a cause of their depression. Whereas women cited family as the primary source of stress, men were more likely to cite work and unemployment.
- Whereas women choose to share and disclose their stress as a way of seeking help, men are far less likely to disclose stress to others. More common in men than women, depression is often reflected in stress headaches, stomach problems and chronic pain – Something missed by men as well as the people around them.
- Also more common in men is the masking of feelings with anger, irritability or changes in behavior, such as becoming controlling and, in some cases, abusive or violent. It is unlikely that a partner will move closer to support someone whose pain is hidden by angry put-downs or abuse. By Suzanne Phillips, PsyD http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/men-and-hidden-danger-depression
about as close
as you get to
What makes depression in men so dangerous? It too often goes unrecognized and untreated because it is masked by physical complaints, substance abuse, anger and other stealth symptoms.
• Undiagnosed depression is the leading cause of suicide. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women.
• Depression is highly associated with cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Men develop these diseases at a higher rate and earlier age than women.
• Depression is the most common disorder suffered in conjunction with post-traumatic stress disorder (Ursano, Grieger, and Mccarroll, 1996)
• In a recent RAND Corporation study, one in five veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of combat stress or major depression. In turn, service members with such problems more often report heavy drinking or illicit drug use.
• National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics reveal that the number of boomer-aged men dying behind the wheel rose from 2000 to 2009. Analysis showed men are three times as likely to be intoxicated when getting into a fatal accident as women.
A mix of biological and cultural factors often conspires to keep men and those who love them from recognizing and addressing their depression. By Suzanne Phillips, PsyD http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/men-and-hidden-danger-depression
One in six people suffer depression
or a chronic anxiety disorder.
These are not the worried well
but those in severe mental pain
with conditions crippling enough
to prevent them living normal lives.
Most people with addiction problems feel that they have a disease. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous all see addiction as a disease. Professionals mostly feel that the situation is more complex than this. It must be recognized that viewing addiction as a disease helps many people to overcome their problem. The evidence for biological and genetic factors being important in addiction bolsters the illness argument, but there is also evidence for social and psychological factors being important. Low levels of serotonin – a brain chemical – appear to be an important cause of addiction. ‘Drugs of solace’ may increase serotonin levels and depressed people take them for this reason. Alcohol raises serotonin levels in the short-term, but the levels fall in chronic alcoholics. Ecstasy produces the same effect. Cigarettes may increase serotonin levels, adding to their addictive properties. Gambling problems also seem to be associated with low levels of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin may be the result of inheritance, but low status in society also seems to reduce serotonin levels. Drug and alcohol abuse is more common in people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Studies in animals demonstrate that they will self-administer substances – such as alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, nicotine, barbiturates and some benzodiazepines. Therefore, these drugs are described as rewarding or reinforcing. The fact that drugs and alcohol are rewarding does not explain why some people become addicted but not others, but it does lend weight to the argument that addiction is an illness or disease. Do You Have an Alcohol Dependence Problem?
Ask yourself the following four questions (the “CAGE” questionnaire).
+ Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your alcohol consumption?
+ Have you ever felt Annoyed when others criticized your alcohol consumption?
+ Have you ever felt Guilty about your alcohol consumption or the consequences of alcohol consumption?
+ Have you ever had an Eye opener in the morning?
If you answer ‘yes’ to two or more of these questions, it’s possible that you are drinking too much and should seek help. The obvious answer to addiction is to stop taking the consumed substance, but of course this is far from easy. The important thing to remember is that help is available. Probably the most important source of help (it reaches the greatest number of people) is Alcoholics Anonymous. Someone who has been consuming alcohol heavily may require admission to the medical ward of a local hospital in order to ensure safe withdrawal. Coming off alcohol quickly can result in delirium tremens, which can be a fatal condition and must be treated carefully. By Dr. Ciaran Mulholland http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/menshealth/facts/addiction.htm
When you live in an alcoholic family
or an abusive family, you tiptoe,
you don’t want to step on any mines.