Tag Archive for divorce

Fault, Blame, Victimizing–How to Overcome Your Relationship Obstacles

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Relationship ConflictThere are times in our relationships that we feel stuck.  There are times in our relationships that we fight.  There are times when we are not very nice to our partner.  Then there are times when everything is going perfectly.  And it’s during the tough times that allow us to grow.  It is the tough times that point directly at what it is we need to go to work on.  And it’s only revealed to us when we are open to it. 

Let me tell you a short story.  It’s a good one that has been told many times before.  But the context of how you read/hear it today will be completely different than you heard it before.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

Source: Stories To Make You Think

As you can see this story is about overcoming obstacles.  And before you walk away thinking that you’ve heard it before I’d like you to consider that maybe you haven’t heard it THIS way before. 

You see, we tend to live our lives in a world of fault and blame.  We point the finger at others when they “make us feel a certain way”.  We point the finger at ourselves when we “fail to perform” at something.  In the story above, the boulder is just another way to point the finger. 

“It’s not my problem.  The boulder was there when I got here.”

“The guy before me should have moved it.”

“Damn it, I don’t know how to move it.  I don’t have any tools.  I so useless.”

All of that could go through our minds.  And those same ways of thinking are what clog our brains in our relationships when things go wrong.

Now, if we approach our fights, arguments, and problems differently – more like the peasant – new opportunities for action may open up.  What if the next time an argument broke out you became the peasant.  Instead of fighting, reacting, blaming or pointing the finger you asked yourself…

“How can I use this as a learning opportunity?” 

“How can I act differently that may cause a different outcome in this situation?”

“How can I take responsibility for the current circumstance allowing me to regain power and move the conversation in a different direction?”

This is how you can begin to maneuver the boulder.  You now can have a choice when things don’t go your way.

When things don’t go as planned you can…

Be a victim, complain, bitch, moan, and blame either others or yourself

OR

You can create choice, look for new ways of acting that will allow you to learn from the experience and progress your relationship and partnership in the direction you want it to go.

It’s up to you now.  You have the choice.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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A Triple Punishment

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A Triple PunishmentImagine you’re at home with your partner.  You can’t seem to get on the same page.  You can’t seem to agree on anything.  One minute he’s agreeing with you.  And the next minute you are at each other’s throats.

You feel like you want to throw something at him.  You have already yelled at the top of your lungs.  If not you probably wanted to.

It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it seems to linger like a case of bad breath.  But you want to do something about it.

You don’t know what’s causing it but you are punishing each other on different levels as you go through this argument.

Let me share a story I was reading the other day that seems fitting…

A man well known for his prodigious greed and selfishness was brought before the judge, accused of corruption. The case was clear; the man was manifestly guilty. It only remained for the judge to decide upon the punishment.

The judge, a deeply wise and perceptive woman, considered the nature of the crime and the personality of the man she was dealing with. After a little thought, she looked at the convicted man and said, “I am going to offer you a choice. You may choose your punishment. Choose between these. The first punishment is to pay as a fine a thousand golden dollars. The second is to accept a hundred lashes across your back. The third is to eat ten kilos of raw onions.”

The convict was delighted. He could save his money and escape the pain of corporal suffering. “I’ll take the onions,” he shouted, a huge smile breaking across his face.

However, by the time he had finished just half of the first kilo of raw onions, his eyes were streaming, his thirst was raging, and his stomach felt as if it was going to burst.

“Please,” he pleaded, “spare me the onions. I’ll take the hundred lashes.” And so it was that the official appointed for this task picked up the lash and began to apply his art to the back of the convict. After no more than ten strokes, the convict could bear the pain no longer. He thought he would die.

“Please,” he pleaded, “spare me the lash. I will pay the thousand golden dollars.”

And so it was that the convict was punished in each of the three ways for his crime against society, and the judge’s insight into character and personality was shown to be profound.

Primary source: Nossrat Peseschkian.
General source: Oriental tradition.

Source: Owen, Nick (2001-01-08). The Magic of Metaphor: 77 stories for teachers, trainers and thinkers (Kindle Locations 1529-1543). Crown House Publishing. Kindle Edition.

As you can see the convicted man went through lots of punishment.  And it wasn’t needed.

It’s similar to how we argue when things don’t go our way.  First we have something to argue about.  Then things are said that don’t feel good.  That causes another level of suffering.  That in turn causes thoughts and concerns about yourself, your partner, and your relationship.

Next thing you know you’re playing a movie in your head that send you into a deeper spiral of despair.  It’s suffering that you don’t have to be going through.

When you consider that all of that can be stopped with a simple conversation you’ll realize how not significant the fight, argument, and suffering really was.

Consider in Bobby’s book, that you can get on Amazon, he talks about how to choose and deal with men.  Don’t think that it only applies to single women.  This applies even if you’ve been married for 60 years.

Why?

Because he talks about your world view and how it filters every decision you make.  He talks about how you walk through life with a set way that causes the insignificant to become significant.

But there’s hope!

You’ll quickly realize from the book and this discussion that it all can be handled through an authentic two-way conversation.  Once that begins you’ll start to uncover the hidden meaning you give things.  You’ll see why you make things significant.  You’ll understand that he said what he said and there isn’t much you can do about that except for react.  And it’s in YOUR reaction that says how the rest of the conversation will go.

I want you to be aware of yourself and your thoughts of those around you.  Remember, it’s how you see them that has you act the way you do.

Leave me your comments.  Tell me what you’re dealing with and let’s begin to dissect the issues.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

 

Jay

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Relationship Patterns – Improve Your Relationship Now

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Today I’m doing things a little differently.  You get a video instead of a post.

In this video I begin to explore the idea of patterns in our lives and our relationships.  If you take a close look at your own relationships you may begin to notice the patterns you use over and over again.  Watch the video…

YouTube Preview Image

If you can identify your own patterns and start to use them instead of allowing them to use you subconciously you may see a shift in how you view your relationships and how you view life.

Let me know what you think.  Leave your comments below.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 3

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RelationshipBreakthroughSmallIf you missed the first two parts of the Relationship Breakthrough you can check them out here…

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 1

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 2

I would recommend you read those first two posts first to get the greatest impact of today’s lesson.  But either way you will GET value.

In this part of the Relationship Breakthrough you’re going to get an idea of why you may see your relationship as not working, what causes you to feel the way you do, and how to take your relationship to a new level.

Get ready to unlock the blueprint of your relationships.

When you look at your relationships and how they’re working for you it stands to reason the first thing that needs to be done is look at where your relationships come from.  Why does it seem you get into the same type of relationships over and over again?  Why does it seem like you end up with the wrong man over and over again?

So first, ask yourself…

How have YOU made your relationships be the way they are?

You’re probably saying… What!?  How have “I” made my relationships this way?

That’s right… It’s time to take responsibility.  If you recall from part 2 of this series the focus was gaining your power back by being responsible for the way things are.  It’s time to do that RIGHT NOW.

You’ve made your relationships the way they are by finding the person you’re with as a result of the story you’ve told yourself over the years about YOU and others.

For instance, if you think “I’m not good enough.”  You may find yourself looking for partners who are less than you.  Not like value you but like they need something from you to be right.  That way you feel a little better, like you have everything figured out.

I’m not saying you do this consciously.  I’m saying that based on the story “I’m not good enough” that you’ve built up at an unconscious level you do things to find people who fit that mold.

Now lets add to that a story you have that says, “I’ll never find the right partner, I’ll have to change them.”

You may find yourself looking for partners who are sub par.  People who NEED YOUR HELP.  That’s also congruent with how you see yourself.  If you’re not good enough and you find someone who needs your help, WOW you might feel loved and appreciated for once.

I’m here to tell you, none of it’s true.

What is your story, exactly?

Your story consist of your experiences, feelings, and memories in life.  In essence, it’s your past.  AND it’s what you have made the past MEAN to you.

Let me give you an example…

Henrietta grew up with an abusive father.  He verbally abused and sometimes smacked her around.  Her first experience of a man was her father.  At that age she decided she never wanted to be with a man who was like that.  She drew conclusions of what he looked like, how he talked, the tone he used, and how he acted around women.  This happen when she was a child and stayed with her forever.  A few more instances of this type of abuse occurred as she grew up that solidified those thoughts.

Now, she won’t be with a man who looks, acts or uses the tones like her father and those other men.  Now she is with men who are weak and are submissive to her because she wants to be in control.  She doesn’t want to be treated like that again so she compensates.  But she does it at an unconscious level.  It’s the young girl that’s driving the bus, not the grown adult.  She has no idea why she’s picking these men.

There could be more too it.

When she was a girl she figured she wasn’t doing things right, she wasn’t good enough, because her dad treated her that way.  That thought has stuck with her.  She feels like she’s not good enough and compensates with the men she’s with in one way or another.  So, not only does she not find the RIGHT man for her, she also treats them differently because the story is running her life.

She hates her relationships because they don’t go the way she thinks they should go.  But they ARE going the way she has created them to be – from her past.

You’ll probably say, “She didn’t cause her father to do the things he did.  She didn’t cause the men she was with to be submissive.”

No but she made the meaning and she went looking and accepted the relationships of the submissive men.

So why doesn’t she have the relationships she wants?

It’s because our lives are like a thermostat.  We set it to 76 degrees.  If the temperature is 80 degrees then the air kicks on and it cools the house till it gets to the set temperature.  And vice versa.

If you have a vision of how your relationship should look but your story has run it a different way, you’re not happy because your thermostat is off.

You strive for your relationship to be a perfect 76 degrees but your story guides you down a different path.  (You’re A/C unit is broke.)

If you keep doing the same thing and you never interrupt your story you’ll continue to get more of what you’ve always gotten.

That’s why it’s so important to take responsibility for everything you’ve created in your relationship and your life.

So why don’t you change things, knowing that you want your relationships to go a certain way?

It’s because we take actions congruent with how our relationships occur to us.

For instance, if in your relationship you view your partner as broken, needing to be fixed, weak, or anything of the sort – you will act accordingly.  You will treat your man that way.  At the same time if you “aren’t good enough” you will treat yourself in your relationship as if you aren’t good enough. (You stay with someone who is not the right fit only because you think it’s the right thing to do—again story.)

Your story may be telling you – My partner needs fixing and in order to make me feel like I’m good enough I’m going to stick it out and try and fix him.

You act in accordance with how you see yourself and how you see your partner.  Combine those two things and you have the reason why you do the things you do in your relationship.

And it all stems back to getting responsible about yourself, your past, and the people you’re with in a relationship.

So that begs the question…

Can you change your story, the meaning you’ve given things?

Yes!  Yes!

You can’t change the events but you certainly can understand why YOU created what they mean and you get to create new meaning or leave it be.

For instance, Henrietta can’t change what her father did and what the other men in her life did but she can be honest and understand what she made those things mean.  She can be responsible that SHE created the meaning as a little girl and she no longer has to live her life that way.  She can now be responsible for her actions.

She can now choose to stay with the man she’s with – all issues and everything – or she can choose to move on.

There are only a couple of ways Henrietta can get through this.

She may realize that she was compensating for her stories about how she sees herself and how she sees her partner, realize her partner is not the RIGHT person for her and go find someone knew.

Or

She could realize all those things and stay with her partner if she TRULY believes this person is right for her.

Now that she realizes those things about herself and her story she can be aware of her actions, change the way her relationships occur and how she occurs to herself.  That by itself will change the actions she takes in her relationships.

It all boils down to taking responsibility for yourself.  It’s just being done in a way you may have not seen before.

How do you change the meaning something?

This might be easy to grasp and allow me to explain it.  Have you ever reacted to something negatively or in a flammable way.  Ask yourself, why did you react that way.  It will more than likely take you to a belief you have about something.

Now be honest and ask yourself why you have that belief.  You may find that you don’t know why, you may know why, but either way that belief has a certain meaning for you.  And if someone drives in the opposite direction of the way you THINK it should be, you react.  And you do it at an unconscious level.

Now, if you can be responsible for the fact that you MADE the meaning up or transferred that meaning from someone else, like a parent, you can see how changing the meaning is a matter of accepting responsibility for it and choosing to change it.

You can change it or allow it to be neutral.  It’s your life, your belief, use the event and the beliefs how you want.  But don’t let them use you.  Don’t be at the affect of life.

Be responsible.

How do you take that and move your relationship to the next level?

Now you can live your life productively with your partner.  You can powerfully choose to stay or leave based on what you uncovered about yourself and how you view your relationships.

Once you understand and can utilize this you will either take your current relationship to a new level or you will create a new relationship. But ultimately you are FREE to choose that for yourself.

You are not locked in.

And remember you can NOT change your partner.  You have to do the work first.

I remember a time when my wife asked me to take the trash out.  It took me 3 hours because I didn’t do it right away.  She got pissed.  She had expectations that I was going to do it right when she asked, but she didn’t communicate it.  Also, she got inflamed because she ended up taking the trash out and figured it was my job to do that.

After we talked about it we both realized that she got pissed, not at me but at what her belief was about what I should have done.  I realized that when she made a request it was in the moment.  Now we communicate a whole lot clearer.

Now go practice.  Take some time by yourself and follow these steps.

  1. Pick one area about yourself that you would like to investigate.
  2. Ask yourself why you are that way. Be honest and think back to the earliest memory you have that would make you the way you’re being or seeing yourself.
  3. Write it down like this… Write down what happen and then write down what you made it mean.  And be honest.
  4. Now that you have identified that, write down ways that meaning has filtered your view of yourself or others around you.

If you do this and you’re honest with yourself, you may find that you’ve been letting a meaning that happened long ago has been driving your bus.  You just didn’t know it.

In the next post of this series I’m going to show you why you find yourself not taking action when it comes to confronting your partner or people in other relationships.  You’ll see clearly how to overcome what it is that stops you.  Stay tuned…

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Love And Respect-What Men Want In A Relationship

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Love and Respect Is MissingDo men NEED respect in public from their women?

I’ll answer that in just a minute but first I want to tell you why this topic came up.

I’m sitting here reading a book about what men think and it’s written by a woman.  I’m not saying women can’t write about what men think.  They sure can but unless they’ve talked to countless men and gotten past the surface level answers, I’m not sure you can get the full story.

She states that one of the most important things men want from their partner is to get respect in public.  She indicates there is an alarming amount of public disrespect of men by the women they love.

She indicates that dozens of men told her how painful it is when their wives criticize them in public.  She goes on to say that these guys have women put them down, criticize them, and question their judgment in front of others.  She also goes on to say how delicate and fragile men’s ego is.  She indicates that it’s not our ego that’s hurting when this happens but our secret feelings of inadequacy as a man.

Ok, I have to call Bullsh*t here.  I can’t go along with that.

First, let me say that if you think respect is a one way street you’re sorely mistaken.  A woman should respect her man’s judgments, considerations, and word in public or private.  And her man should do the same for her.

Respect is an equal opportunity value.

I don’t care who you are, man or woman, if someone you love criticizes you, teases you, and questions your judgment in public you’re going to be upset if not straight up pissed.

I don’t know what type of guys this author was interviewing or what their situation looks like but she must have found the absolute worst case scenarios.  I go out in public a fair amount and I have to say, I don’t see much of this disrespect going on.

If it’s happening, it’s not being done in my circles.

But like I said, respect is not a male thing or a female thing.  Respect should be given to each other as part of the relationship.  If there is no respect one way or the other, you should either work it out or walk away.

In my opinion you can’t have a relationship without mutual love and respect.  That’s what men want in their relationships (I’ll let the women speak for the women).

Ok… and a little sex too (just adding some humor).

Are there times when teasing can be hurtful?

Sure, but again it goes both ways.  And it’s up to both of you in the relationship to discuss what’s going on.  Your man can’t expect you to know what he’s thinking and feeling if he doesn’t tell you.  And yelling or arguing about the problem doesn’t help at all.

I suggest that you set a time to talk when both of you are alone.  Then have an open and honest conversation explaining how you feel.

Look, everything in our world exists through the language we speak.  You can’t describe the color blue if you didn’t have the words to describe it.  That’s why it’s so important to choose your words with care and communicate exactly what it is you intend to mean.  And when he’s expressing himself try not to cast judgment.

When things don’t turn out like you expected, if he’s upset or if you’re upset, then it’s time to have a discussion and be open and honest about it.  If you don’t have mutual respect and love with open and honest communication how can you expect to have a relationship.

Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes Divorce

A great example of this is the current divorce that’s been announced by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.  Consider that any marriage will end if there is some expectation or ideal that was not fulfilled or put to rest.  Of course I don’t know what went on in their household but when you can’t come to a mutual agreement on “show stopper” type matters then all there is left to do is split.

One thing is certain so far, we do see mutual respect for each other because they are staying quiet. They’re not talking down to each other in the media.

All of this begs the question, why should anyone stay in a relationship where there is constant friction, bickering, and unfulfilled expectations?

I think most of the time conflicts can get resolved through communication.  But if one side is unwilling to budge, there’s not much to do except to give in or if it’s a show stopper to end the relationship.

Let’s look at Tom and Katie again.  There has been speculation that the cause over their break up has to do with Tom’s unwillingness to let their daughter out of the Scientology way of schooling.  On the other side, there is speculation that Katie doesn’t want their daughter to grow up in a Scientology school.

I don’t know much about Scientology but it’s like this… if they can’t agree and this particular disagreement is a show stopper for either one of them, then they are doing the right thing by breaking up instead of continuing to bicker and fight.

If you can’t tell, I don’t think fighting, yelling, and bickering is the answer to anything.  Talking, communicating openly, and expressing yourself fully to your partner is.  And if conflict still can’t be resolved then you can both CHOOSE to end the relationship.  I can’t understand why anyone would stay in a relationship that consists of constant bickering and fighting where neither of you can agree.

Relationships are supposed to be filled with love, joy, and engagement… aren’t they?  That’s up to you and your partner to define.

Now back to the crazy lady whose book I was reading… In my opinion, the author of this book clearly missed the mark.  In a way she describes men like you would a child who gets upset because they can’t have their way.

Ladies, if you want to get into the mind of your man please don’t read a book from another woman, talk to a girlfriend, or ask other women.  Ask a few men that you trust for their honest opinion in the matter.  Ask to hear it straight and exactly how they think.  Then you might get part of the picture.

If you want the full picture with love and respect, talk to the man who you know, love and trust.  That’s who you should be getting your information from anyway.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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