Real love makes us feel vulnerable. A new relationship is uncharted territory, and most of us have natural fears of the unknown. Letting ourselves fall in love means taking a real risk. We are placing a great amount of trust in another person, allowing them to affect us, which makes us feel exposed and vulnerable. Our core defenses are challenged. Any habits we’ve long had that allow us to feel self-focused or self-contained start to fall by the wayside. We tend to believe that the more we care, the more we can get hurt. When we enter into a relationship, we are rarely fully aware of how we’ve been impacted by our history. The ways we were hurt in previous relationships, starting from our childhood, have a strong influence on how we perceive the people we get close to as well as how we act in our romantic relationships. Old, negative dynamics may make us wary of opening ourselves up to someone new. We may steer away from intimacy, because it stirs up old feelings of hurt, loss, anger or rejection. As Dr. Pat Love said in an interview with PsychAlive, “when you long for something, like love, it becomes associated with pain,” the pain you felt at not having it in the past. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201401/7-reasons-most-people-are-afraid-love Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone at http://www.psychalive.org/author/dr-lisa-firestone/
Love takes off masks
that we fear we
cannot live without
and know we cannot
James Arthur Baldwin
No matter how much time you spend controlling and trying to prevent your partner straying, if the person you are in love with, is the kind of person to be disloyal, then all of the energy you put into worrying about whether they will cheat won’t stop it from happening. You can’t control what another person does. You can only control how you think, feel and behave. Let Go Of The Fear! It really is your choice to let go of the fear, and actively decide that you will no longer waste your energy trying to prevent, predict or control the actions of your partner, so you can feel more positive and calm in your relationship. The first thing to do is to stop seeking constant reassurance. Receiving reassurance can become an addiction. It feels good to have someone tell us how much they love us and would never hurt us, and it’s possible to get caught up in a cycle of creating conflict, just so you can get that hit of reassurance you’ve become hooked on. But just like a drug, the power of that hit wears off pretty quickly when you keep taking it and soon, it’s never enough. It’s also exhausting for a partner to keep trying to convince you of their love and many will just stop if they feel like you don’t hear them anyway. Step into your own power and nurture the belief that you are valuable, loveable and important to your partner. Provide your own reassurance when you start to feel doubtful with affirmations like ‘I am all that I need to be’, or ‘I am loved, valued and important’. Choose whatever feels good to say to your self and use it in times of fear. Being confident and self assured is much more appealing and a kind of sexy that’s hard to stray from rather than being needy and lacking self value. There will always be someone out there that could be considered more attractive, more interesting, funnier, richer, or smarter. It’s not about trying to measure up so that your partner will want only you, it’s about believing that you are loveable and trusting that your partner picked you for exactly who and what you are. From an article by Rachael Lay http://www.rachaellay.com/why-worrying-about-cheating-is-pointless/
Cheating is easy.
Try something hard
Another person’s assessment of you is just as valid as yours—and possibly more so with respect to how you relate to other people, whether these relationships are familial, friendly, or romantic. In simple terms, people who think of themselves as nice may come off as obnoxious jerks to others, and people who think they have nothing to offer other people may be seen by others as very interesting. The point is that you don’t know as much about yourself as you think, especially with regards to how other people see you and think about you. Self-loathers may always feel inadequate, but they must remember that they’re only seeing part of the picture that other people see. Even though they may never believe that their own view might be biased, they have to accept that the part of themselves that they’re seeing may not be the most important part of themselves to others. A person’s self-perceptions are not complete and they’re not necessarily any more “right” than anyone else’s perceptions of him or her. We can learn a lot from how other people see and react to us, but we have to be willing to listen and accept what we learn, especially when it clashes with how we see ourselves. Taken from an article by Mark D. White, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/maybe-its-just-me/201306/do-the-self-loathing-see-the-same-self-others-do
I imagine one of the reasons
people cling to their hates
so stubbornly is because
they sense, once hate is gone,
they will be forced to
deal with pain.
Codependency is a term that originated in work with addicts. It has become a cultural phenomena, way beyond relationships with addicts. Daughters are codependent with mentally ill mothers, sons with fathers who won’t let go and insist on adherence to their own value systems. Codependency is about mushy relationships to keep the scary world of anxiety at bay. Sadly enough, the ultimate outcome of codependency is the damage done by a lack of respect in these relationships. Codependency is about being unhappily enmeshed with someone else’s agenda. Codependency means that you have a lack of imagination for yourself and your are too focused on others. One example would be the wife who is a martyr to an alcoholic husband. He numbs his anxiety/dread with the obliviousness of drinking and she is in hyper drive by controlling all the details of living that he ignores. So she becomes entitled and self-righteous with all her vigilance. It’s important to recognize that interrupting codependent behavior requires that you define yourself and your wants. So many people scramble to fill the empty hole within, by focusing on the care-taking of others while ignoring themselves. So where does someone begin, to build their own identity? Fill the emptiness with more and more layers of authenticity. Risk disagreement which makes things more interesting. Practice the truth with your therapist or your best friend. Stop swallowing your real opinions, choose when to go along, instead of always being a pushover. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
is a 200 lb. shield.
The consequences of being fear-based or operating from fear are extremely varied and insidious. One consequence is that we tend to become narcissistic. When we’re caught in fear of being negatively impacted physically, financially, or psychologically we automatically divert our focus from others or the environment and bring it into ourselves. Obviously if our survival seems to be at stake we may not much care if we pollute or do something that has a negative impact on others. But even when the situation isn’t that extreme, we tend to draw our focus inward and ignore the impacts on others or the environment. We can also be drawn into a victim-like stance where we see ourselves as being unfairly taken advantage of or impacted by other people or circumstances . It’s been said that victimhood is the biggest addiction operating in our country today. It’s not coincidental that fear is operating so pervasively. When we’re fearful it is easier to view the world as being against us. We tend to look for things to go wrong and can feel very disempowered when they apparently do so. When we come from fear, anger, guilt sadness, etc. the result is that we become a source of negative energy. This energy can repel other people or draw a response in kind which adds more fuel to the victim fire as we experience even more loss and negativity. We may look for people who are willing to commiserate with us rather than support us in moving to a more positive place. When we come from fear we tend to be more judgmental and critical of those people and situations we fear. If we fear something, we want to make it wrong. Judgment can become a mode of seeing everyone and everything outside of us. Being judgmental is rampant and creates a lot of unnecessary separation and ill feelings. Love doesn’t judge. Fear does. Being judgmental is another epidemic in the modern world. When anything “bad” happens it almost seems more important to find someone to blame and judge than to do something creative and positive. http://www.yoursecretgarden.org/Articles/20.htm
Your complaints, your drama,
your victim mentality, your whining,
your blaming, and all of your excuses
have NEVER gotten you even a single step
closer to your goals or dreams.
Let go of your nonsense.
Let go of the delusion
that you DESERVE better
and go EARN it!
Today is a new day!
I have a confession to make. I don’t want to hug you. It’s not that I don’t like you. I do, probably. I just really don’t enjoy hugging in any form. I know this probably makes me sound cold or like I suffer from some Monk level OCD contamination fears. Neither is true. Nor did I spend my formative years in a creepy Soviet orphanage where I had no physical contact. Hugging to me just doesn’t feel natural. It is never my instinct to hug someone. The worst is when I run into some random acquaintance I haven’t seen in a while and the first thing they do is try to hug me. In a way though, I’m jealous of these natural huggers. They certainly come off as much warmer and friendlier than me even if it might not be wholly genuine. Since I don’t want to come off as unapproachable or snobby, I’ve gotten pretty good at faking enjoying hugs over the years. I am now able to hug someone without doing the creepy straight armed Dr. Evil style hug. Progress. So I normally let other people dictate the terms of first contact. If they go in for a hug, I will return it warmly. But I will never be the “hug initiator.” Maybe someday I’ll be able to proudly own my non-hugging status and have t-shirts made that say “You seem like an awesome person and I’d like to get to know you better, but please don’t touch me.” From a post by Amanda Fox http://hellogiggles.com/confessions-of-a-non-hugger
We were not a hugging people.
In terms of emotional comfort
it was our belief that no amount
of physical contact could match
the healing powers of a well made cocktail.
From “Naked” by David Sedaris
Yes, you want a great marriage, if the other person is like this, this, and this. Yes, you want a fulfilling career, on the condition that it will always be such and such. And yes you want children so long as X, Y, and Z. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have standards, hopes, and goals. We all do. But if you’re struggling — if you’re feeling out of, or the need for, control — it’s less likely that something’s wrong with the object of your desires and more likely that there’s something you’ve been unwilling to give up in order get what it is you say you want. Including what might be impossible standards. Or, perhaps, a standard that shifts every time what you claim to yearn for gets a bit too close for comfort… When we long for things to be the way we want them to be, rather than the way they are, that’s not a quest for freedom. That’s resistance. Especially if what we want flies in the face of reality. What exactly is it that we are resisting? The circumstances of life. How we and other people are. What was. What might be. We resist life and other people. We resist the past and our future. We resist our feelings, thoughts, and even ourselves. We resist the truth. And then we delude ourselves into thinking that if we resist long enough, if we try to control hard enough, we’ll eventually be free. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in a while,
or the light won’t come in.
Many partners of addicts have told me they feel bad about themselves for staying in the relationship because of the betrayal they’ve experienced. They imagine that the people who know their past judge them to be stupid for staying with the person who’s caused them so much pain. I often counter this thinking, explaining that leaving may seem quick and easy because they can pretend they’re okay and the problem has disappeared. However, if you leave your relationship, you’ll be stuck with your pain and sorrow without the person you loved to help you sort it out. Why is this true? Because even though it feels as if your pain comes from your partner, it’s actually coming from inside you. From the book “Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction” by Alexandra Katehakis,
By reacting from fear
instead of responding from love,
you inject poison directly
into the veins of your relationship.
Probably the main question in the minds of most codependent people who seek help is this: Will my husband/wife/lover quit drinking or doping if I change? The only answer is a great big unequivocal maybe. There’s no guarantee and no exceptions to the rule. The fact is that addicts usually don’t change until addiction problems outweigh perceived pleasures or benefits. And it’s harder to shift that balance, still, when someone that a dependent person loves covers for them, makes excuses, and helps minimize the seriousness of plainly destructive behavior. Because of the denial associated with chemical dependency, addicts and alcoholics generally don’t go looking for help until they don’t see many other choices. The paradox is that codependents have two choices. They can remain accomplices to their partner’s addiction or they can love them enough to let them experience the effects of their chemical use, love them enough to let them feel the pain they create, love them enough to get them started getting well. Gayle Rosellini http://www.doitnow.org/pages/804.html
Oftentimes we say goodbye to the person
we love without wanting to.
Though that doesn’t mean that we’ve
stopped loving them or we’ve stopped to care.
Sometimes goodbye is a painful way to say I love you.