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.
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.
Fidelity is an absolute must. In fact, men want a woman who does not have a “roaming eye” and who can wholeheartedly commit to the relationship. Many may define commitment as fidelity plus the willingness to work on the relationship — even when the going gets tough. Women think that all men want is sex, and that men will leave a relationship for the next prettier face. Women think men cannot be trusted to be faithful. Women believe men do not want to work on a relationship; that when the going gets tough, they run. Many women treat men in ways that diminish their egos, making them feel inadequate. Men would rather have more praise, more acknowledgment of what they do right, more acknowledgment that they are great guys who are loved and appreciated. Women think men do not need them, do not value their opinion, their support, their praise. Women also think men do not care about many things important to women, which is why they criticize. Criticism is a way to verbalize resentment. From “What Men Want in a Relationship” by Rinatta Paries http://powertochange.com/sex-love/menwant/
Maybe that’s what it all comes down to.
Love, not as a surge of passion,
but as a choice to commit to something,
someone, no matter what obstacles
or temptations stand in the way.
And maybe making that choice, again and again,
day in and day out, year after year,
says more about love
never having a choice to make at all.
From “Love the One You’re With” by Emily Giffin
You or your spouse are more likely to have an affair than you are to divorce. And your chances of divorce are already 50-50. An affair is devastating to almost everyone involved. It’s one of the most painful experiences that the jilted spouse will ever be forced to endure, and it is also very painful for the children. Friends and members of the extended family are usually hurt as well. But what most people don’t realize is that the unfaithful spouse and the lover are also hurt by the experience. It almost always causes them to suffer acute depression, often with thoughts of suicide. With all this sadness, why do so many people do it? Affairs are almost always with friends and co-workers. That’s because the people you work with and those you spend leisure time with are usually in the best position to meet your most important emotional needs. But in the world of the internet, total strangers can also meet your emotional needs through chat rooms and e-mail because they meet your need for conversation so effectively. Do you and your spouse talk as much and as deeply as you talk to people on the internet? If not, watch out. As you probably know, an affair through the internet is becoming one of the most dangerous risks of owning a computer. We are all wired for affairs. The only people who are exempt are those who are utterly incapable of meeting someone else’s emotional needs. If you can’t meet anyone’s needs, no one will ever fall in love with you. But if your spouse has anything to offer others, and you are not meeting an important emotional need, commitment to “forsake all others” can become words without meaning. From “Coping With Infidelity” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5059_qa.html
There are all kinds of ways
for a relationship to be tested,
even broken, some, irrevocably;
it’s the endings we’re unprepared for.
From “Not To Us” By Katherine Owen
“Love is all you need.” For the person addicted to love, this becomes more than a popular lyric. It becomes literal truth. Love addiction is a psychological addiction, a result of unfulfilled childhood needs. Children whose needs remain unrecognized may adjust by learning to limit their expectations. This limitation process may take the form of core beliefs such as, “My needs don’t count,” “Getting close will hurt” and “I’m not lovable.” Such beliefs do not satisfy childhood needs, leaving them still to be met later in life. As adults, addictive lovers remain dependent upon others to care for them, protect them and solve their problems. Those with love addiction are characteristically familiar with desperate hopes and seemingly unending fears. Fearing rejection, pain, unfamiliar experiences, and having no faith in their ability–or even their right–to inspire love, they wait, wish, and hope for love, perhaps their least familiar experience. According to Pia Melody author of Facing Love Addiction there is a distinct pattern of love addiction. There is the love addict and love avoidant. Both of which do a distinct and toxic dance with each other in which the love addict pursues and wants the love avoidant to love them back, to be with them, to pay attention to them etc. and the love avoidant who is afraid of engulfment, turns away from the love addict. At times the love addict may then turn away, and the love avoidant turns back to chase them, but they are rarely facing each other, they are rarely in the same place, committed to the same relationship. http://www.theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/ish-articles/addicted-to-love/
Letting go doesn’t mean that you
don’t care about someone anymore.
It’s just realizing that the only person
you really have control over is yourself.
Ask yourself whether you are withholding your thoughts, opinions, or feelings because of your fear of your partner’s reaction. If so, this means that you cannot trust that your opinion will be valued in some way by your partner if you say what is true for you. Think about what that says about your relationship. Nor do we condone spewing out your feelings without some forethought or consideration about your delivery. Being aggressive or abusive with your feelings is just as unhealthy as walking on eggshells or tiptoeing around somebody. Being forthright and “adult” means expressing yourself directly, as in “I feel ______” or “When you do this particular thing, it makes me feel _____”. No one has the right to criticize you for the way you feel.
Excerpt #1 from “He Said, She said: Codependency vs. true love — how to tell them apart” By Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D. and M’Lissa Trent, Ph.D.
I believe all suffering
is caused by ignorance.
People inflict pain on others
in the selfish pursuit
of their happiness or satisfaction.
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. 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. Michael S. Freeman
Don’t smother each other.
No one can grow in the shade.
The best you can hope for in a relationship is to find someone whose flaws are the sort you don’t mind. It is futile to look for someone who has no flaws, or someone who is capable of significant change; that sort of person, exists only in our imaginations. Scott Adam
Indifference and neglect
often do much more damage
than outright dislike.
Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence. Henri J.M. Nouwen
your innermost feelings.
Asa Don Brown
Destiny, I feel is also a relationship-a play between grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over, half of it is absolutely in your hands and your actions will show measurable consequences. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny; he’s a little of both. We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses-one foot is on the horse called “fate” the other on the horse called “free will”. And the question you have to ask everyday is, Which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort? Elizabeth Gilbert
You will have bad times,
but they will always
wake you up to the stuff
you weren’t paying attention to.