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Centerpointe Research

marriage & divorce

Stoke The Fire And Watch The Blaze

rp_2793302319_fb8e5d72d7_m.jpgHow come we leave the most important jobs to chance and neglect providing any preparation for them in the aim of providing people the chance to put their mark on something very important or  to ignore it .  Do we have the inalienable right to mess up somebody’s life before the person even has a chance to live it?  Is reproduction a right or a privilege?  Could we mess up another person’s life this drastically if we weren’t allowed to exert this influence until their were of a majority?  Does ownership apply only to property and not to people?  Sometimes you would think so but it is not true.  Do we have the right to mess up a person’s life just because we took part in the conception of him or her?  Environmentalists want to restrict people’s rights to use their property but we don’t want to restrict a family’s rights to shape their offspring’s development and future contributions to society and to stunt or restrict a child’s future potential?

 

rp_277759056_8069814eb7_m.jpgPeople who get parenting classes early enough either before they have children or before it is too late to help their children find it benefits both themselves and their offspring.  In terms of protecting people’s rights to promote have their own set of values we may prevent some people from having any values at all or from being exposed to any set of values.  Are or are not values useful?  Do values help guide people to acqiring goals in life and acquiring respect for other people having their own maybe different sets of values.  Not having values and therefore not teaching them often leads to only protecting the right to not having any values.  Also the value of human life either after conception or after birth often has no value and results in killing and enslaving other humans.

Love often gets left out of the equation when values get left out of the equation.  Babies placed in orphanages in the past to be raised without mothers (or fathers) failed to thrive and did not live to grow up.  Some people get more upset about the abuse and neglect of animals than they do about that of children and babies born and unborn..  Some animals if given tne chance become emotionally attached to other animals or humans if given the chance.  Do humans have the right to be given this chance.  We talk about pets who give their masters unconditional love and how people who are alone and maybe also ill do better if they have access to pets.  What is unconditional love.  It is love given without the expectation of it being returned.  It is recognition of the innate worth of life.  It is something that innately benefits the giver as much as it benefits the recipient.rp_277759056_8069814eb7_m.jpg

Love is giving without expecting it to be returned.  Modern day business people might think that a person would be crazy to do this.   Forced giving does not assuredly generate trust nor reciprocation.  Stoke the fire and watch the blaze.  Each person has something to give.  Love is the core of values.  Caring for other forms of life reinforces the value we have for life.  Often we give up caring about something because we feel it won’t help.  Evil (the absence of values) is facilitated by those who have been encouraged to have no hope that they will to be able to make a difference.

Look up the words, “power” and “force.”  We are often encouraged to think that we don’t have the strength to be able to make something to happen.  This is the core belief behind wars.  That is that we have to exert force and go against somebody’s will in order to make them do something they don’t want to do but what we want them to do anyway.  “Power” is the strength inherent in wanting really to do good.  It is stronger than “force.”  Good people often don’t use it because they don’t think that the have it and /or that it will work against the force of evil.  However, consider Gandhi and Martin Luther King as examples of “power” in action.  “Love” and “good” are  the strength behind power.

rp_2793302319_fb8e5d72d7_m.jpgStoke the fire of “good” and watch the blaze.  Giving unconditional love is the way to do this.  We are not “powerless” as other people who have no values, who want other people to have no values, and who would use “force” to generate evil would like us to think.

Fight With A Friend Or A Loved One?

 

Have a fight with a friend or a loved one?  Do you know that you can be attracted to someone who has as many problems as you do?  Often there is no such thing as a perfect couple or a marriage made in heaven and best friends can have fights.  The glue that keeps a relationship together is often forgiveness and acceptance of each others faults and lacks.

 

Divorce

Divorce (Photo credit: jcoterhals)

Do you know that in divorce and custody determinations that sometimes who’s at fault can’t easily be decided.  That is why sometimes both people are granted divorces from each other in the former and in the later joint custody is granted.

 

As I have said before in this blog, “People with equal problems attract.”  Thus the pot can call the kettle, “black,” and the kettle can also call the pot, “black.”  If you are a friend or a relative or even a mere acquaintance, be careful and don’t spontaneously take one’s or another’s side in this kind of dispute.

Some people repeatedly take on people with problems and that is what their real problem is!  “Can I help you?”  is what they say when they see someone with a problem and the answer that the other person gives is “Yes,” initially but it is soon followed by a, “But.”  Worse yet if these people make up and they often do, then you may become the one who gets blamed for interfering.

 

 

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People With Equal Problems Attract

Getting Back Together With Your Ex

Getting Back Together With Your Ex

I have always said that people with equal problems attract and I admit that was true in my case in a past marriage.  I know you have (like I have) heard recently separated or divorced friends talk about all the problems their soon-to-be ex or ex spouse had.  To hear the story told, your friend is or was a blameless or a helpless victim  in the situation.  Actually a person with fewer problems than the ex- had would not have gotten into a permanent, or ,should I say, semi- permanent, relationship with such a person as he or she described often using not-so nice names like “lazy,” “useless,” “slut,” womanizer, “boozer,” or worse.

Not Her Taste

Not Her Taste

I am sure most people have had a narrow escape where they met a person and got involved with them and escaped before any damage was done.  I once went out with a person whose sex seeking line was, “You wanna?”   He said this at the end of the first date.  He drug me from one college party to another where he would consume “doubles” and “triples”.  I was glad to get out of that relationship as he was the one doing the driving that day and also he had ignored me all day and even stopped on the way home to wait while his buddy had a quickie with the girl he was with.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a cat person like some people are dog persons.  I went out with this guy also for the first time and he told me he liked to go out into the woods and shoot feral cats for fun.  Needless to say, I never went out with him again.  I surely got the wrong number in both cases.

Some people think that they got lucky and escaped into the arms of someone else before their partner could dump them.  No matter what if you left them or they left you, you both could be making the same mistake if you do this.   That is going from one person to another with the same problems.  I did, but I got lucky.    When the first guy I was dating seriously after my divorce dumped me, he revealed his passive-aggressive side which had hurt me before.

It takes at least two years and/or some exploration on your part of what the problems were in your past relationship, both the other person’s and your own, before you can enter into another relationship without making the same mistake as you did before.  Haven’t you heard of women who kept getting involved with alcoholics time after time?

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Family Therapy, Entering A Child’s World

mental-health-family-therapy-counseling-sessionFamily therapy is one way of entering a child’s world.  Often when a child is being seen because of emotional or behavioral problems, family therapy is recommended.  What you might not know is that the child is often not the real problem, but a symptom of the problem.  One way of seeing this is by observing the process of family therapy.

Parents often say they are stumped.  They say that they don’t know what is causing the child’s problems.  Family therapy can reveal hidden problems by entering the child’s world.  Sometimes there is a big secret that the family is concealing from the outside world.  It is can be symbolized as “the elephant in the room”.  For example, there frequently are problems between the parents who may even be on the verge of a divorce or one or both of the parents is or are having an affair.  The child or the identified patient can also be the scapegoat.  Actually there maybe another child in the family who has bigger problems than the child with the referring problem.  Often the child calls attention to him or herself by acting up distracting attention from the real problem.

Not only what is said in family therapy is important, but also what is conveyed by bodily positions, facial expressions, and gestures is important.  It is noticed and commented upon.  Where and by whom a person or child sits is noteworthy.  The volume and the amount someone talks is also of concern.  Whether or not someone responds to another’s comments or questions is noted.  Whether or not a person’s facial expression is conveying something different than what they ares saying can be worthy of interpretation.  Family therapy is fertile ground for exploring and entering a child’s world.

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Read My Lips!

Read my lips, “Hello, out there.  I don’t exist just for other peoples’ convenience.”  I made a crack to some friends in the same situation the other day about how I started my indentured servitude in 1975 and it hadn’t ended yet.  Have  I paid yet for my passage into married life?

Read my lips, “Why do I get taken for granted?”  Back when I traveled and worked outside the home, I had a sign put up that said, “Your mother doesn’t work here please pick up after yourself.”  Of course, no one in the house obeyed the sign.

Read my lips, ” I am someone besides the housekeeper, your personal shopper,  your wife, your mother, and your kids’ grandmother.”   It was suggested that I write a proposal for what I would really like to do with my life.  That stymied me.Personal_Identity_Project_by_LaceX_Foxypowow

Read my lips, “I have always been a mystery to my family, not only my family of birth, but also my current family.  This started in childhood with my father.  He would take me places for activities and pick me up from them; but he never knew what I was doing.  I had the lead in my senior high school play and for all he knew, I had a bit part.  It was a mystery to him.  He supported me financially; and he usually knew where the money was going but not necessarily what for?

Read my lips, “Isn’t about time you and I started living our lives, not vicariously those of others, but our own.”  Have you lost sight of where you were going?  Did you ever know where you were going?  In my mother’s eyes, I was supposed to be a housewife and mother.  She understood that as she was one herself and she did a good job, not only at the basics, but also at the extras like being a room mother, a seamstress,  and a vegetable and landscape gardener.

identity-mind-map-19cc91tRead my lips, “Move over Kim Kardashian, it is my time to shine.”  It is time to stop doing without so others can have what they want.  It is time to be recognized for what I can do, do what I want to do, and go where I want to go.  I have a way with words, I have a good aesthetic sense, I have a singing voice, I am funny, I am well educated,  and it is time I stopped putting myself on the back burner.

Read my lips, “This is my personal space too.”  (I am talking about my house.)  I don’t mind others giving me suggestions, but the final decision should be mine.  I have to live in it, spend the most time in it, look at it, and be inspired by it everyday.  Yet, it constantly reminds me of what needs to be done and how it has been let go.   I feel as if I have little if any power to do anything about it.

Read my lips, “The fight for women’s liberation has not yet been won.”  ( I was there when it started and I won’t tell you how long ago that was.)  Yes, I could write a another whole post on being a wage slave and spending the majority of one’s life working for someone else’s goals.

 

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Set In Stone?

Are agreements set in stone?  How clear are the parameters and do all parties know them?  Clear communication is always your responsibility or otherwise it will come back to haunt you when there are costly misunderstandings in terms of time and/or money.  Worse yet, relationships can fall apart and even feuds can be created.  “I remember when she/he jipped me.  Don’t have anything to do with them.”  In working situations, valuable employees can be lost or a catastrophic mistake can be made.

I know I may come across as insecure or anxious, but I like to be sure of what was agreed upon.  I know when I show up for an appointment that the other party will be there, it is the right place and the right time.  I don’t make appointments just to break them.  It is better to call or contact the person or agency in some way to be sure you got the information right than to spare yourself personal embarrassment by admitting that you might be forgetful at times.

Often people have second thoughts, something that didn’t occur to them while they were making an agreement and yet might be big enough that it might queer the deal.  This person might never do what they promised to do because of this and when they back out (sometimes at the day and time when the agreed upon thing is to be done),  you might be up a crick without a paddle.

Sometimes we just give up when trying to solve a problem.  Tempers get high and people get nervous.  I, personally, don’t like to fight because I might get hurt.  We often say and do things in the heat of the moment that make the problem worse rather than focus on the problem and what can and can not be done about it.  We chastize the person or persons involved rather than mend fences.

For example when newly married, the toilet overflowed and  because of this, I got mad at my husband for not fixing it.  Lots of things happened,  The new carpet we had just put down got soaked and I tried to mop it up with towels which then had to be washed and I had no washer and drier at the house.  My husband was out working ignorant of the situation and I had plenty of time to get mad at him so I exploded when he got home.  This happens a lot in the first year of marriage.  As I look back on the incident, my husband probably was putting off fixing the toilet; but I was loaded for bear.

Book of Feuds

Book of Feuds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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There Is No Accounting For….Part II

English: me and my friend

English: me and my friend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People sometimes handle people like they do finances in my previous post.  They are often found getting others to take their side and listen to their story.  These other people might even fight their battles for them.  They are takers, not givers.  They forget to pay their debts of friendship and may even betray their current friend when something better comes along.  The relationship can be one sided and the benefits are all going one way.  Instead of repaying their debt, the takers move on when something better comes along and may forget that their former friend even exists.

There are two sides to every issue.  Your fair weather friend seems misunderstood and you rescue them.  Often found when one half of a divorce or separation tells people in new relationships that they make that the new person or persons is not like the previous person that they had the unsatisfactory relationship with.  When they turn on you (if they do) you will be just like their ex and they will be talking about you in negative ways, revealing things that you thought they would keep secret, (except for this) forgetting that you ever existed.  No returned phone calls, unexplained irrational behavior, not showing up for planned events, leaving you holding the bag if money and expenses were involved.  Then their friends and family (if they are still talking to you) come out of the woodwork and tell the whole story about what this person is like and what they have done in the past.

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Drama Queen

The drama queen, everything is all about her (or him).  Get a new grandchild, all the pictures are of her holding the new baby.  The occasion might also bring on stories about her child’s birth and delivery instead of the new mother’s.  The outfit (new or old) chosen by the drama queen has to be worn home or to the christening.  When things don’t go her way, she can’t cope.  Sudden tragedies involving the drama queen’s family throw her for a loop as she hasn’t planned for them.  It is difficult for the rest of the family to concentrate on the victim (not her) and what actually needs to be done.

The drama queen has developed what she deems as the ideal scenario for her life:  loving, devoted husband; dream home; successful, supportive children who marry someone of the opposite sex and of the chosen racial and cultural background and have the requisite child or children of the appropriate sex or sexes.  Plans are usually not made for any deviance from this plan.  The chances that something like this will happen are almost 100%.  There is only plan A; there is no plan B, C, or D.

Most of the time the problems, not hers, that this causes are other peoples’ and they deal with them instead of her.  Total collapse can occur when she has to deal with her own problems and there is no one to do it for her.  For example, when she has to adjust to something like the loss of the mate she depended on and focused her life around.  The denial defense often used by the drama queens fails and reality hits.

Lisa the Drama Queen

Lisa the Drama Queen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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A Good Relationship

Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever (Photo credit: 18brumaire)

A good relationship is so much more satisfying than an uncomfortable one.  In the former relationship, you can be yourself, express your own personal opinions, and not have to change for the other person.  It is a breath of fresh air.  BFF (Best Friends Forever) was coined to con-notate this kind of relationship.  Some of these relationships are born and some are made.  I like both kinds.  With the first type, you instantly know you have found a friend and share things you usually don’t share.  With the second type, you have resolved some issues that have kept you apart in the past, and you value the relationship even more because of this.

If possible there needs to be some openness in all your relationships.  This is the ideal situation.   However, in our society, not all people operate this way.  Such openness could make for an ideal work situation and make life in a family a rowdy, often argumentative one with ultimately a feeling of mutual support.  The foundation for such a relationship is mutual respect.  There is also the recognition that individual differences exist and can be accommodated for.  Freedom for you is freedom for me and the foundation for all this is love.

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Toxic Relationships

The Toxic Avenger (musical)

The Toxic Avenger (musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you tell if you are in a toxic relationship?  Often you can tell by your guts.  If you have a stress related illness that impairs your ability to function in everyday life at home or work, you might be functioning in a toxic situation.  You stay in this relationship or job because you think you can’t survive without it.  In this economy, I am not necessarily recommending that you quit your job or ask for a divorce and move out of the house.

Are you losing your sense of self-respect?  Do you start questioning your judgment?  Do you feel very insecure?  You have become more concerned about going along with what somebody else wants than with what is right for you.  Are the “warts” on your own nose actually more offensive than those on the other person’s nose?

When you take a break from a relationship and go away from home (for example, go on a retreat) or have a few days off from your job where you can’t work from home, do you find that you can finally relax and you feel like a wet noodle and you can doze off quickly if there is nothing going on around you.  You may feel very free for once.  You also may have the experience of rediscovering who you really are and you realize that you had forgotten this.

Gaslighting in relationships can cause this.  There is pressure, sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle, to take the gaslighter’s point-of-view and do what the gaslighter wants you to do or if you don’t, to feel guilty about it.

 

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