Archive for February 2nd, 2006

February 2, 2006

Enriched is the woman; man; child, who…

by Rod Smith

Woman

1. Enriched is the woman who knows she never has to participate in sexual activity that she, herself, does not want; who knows that her body is her own and private temple which she shares, even in marriage, only when it is by her own sacred and deliberate choice.

2. Enriched is the woman who does not lose herself in her marriage, or to motherhood, and in taking care of her family, but is able to develop a strong sense of self even while being a loving wife, mother and friend.

3. Enriched is the woman who does not put up with poor manners (being taken for granted, being sworn at, being victimized both verbally and physically) from anyone: not husband, children, in-laws, siblings, or her parents, but who appropriately, and sufficiently values herself and therefore does not tolerate those who do not treat her very well.

4. Enriched is the woman who lives above manipulation, domination and intimidation; whose relationships are pure and open, and within which she maintains a strong and valued voice.

Man

1. Enriched is the man who treats others with kindness beyond their deserving. He is generous with family and strangers and he seeks the highest good for all, knowing that the wisdom he exercises in his daily life positively impacts people around him. He regards faithfulness with high regard. The very thought of betraying his family by committing some moral indiscretion deeply unsettles his peace.

2. Enriched is the man who does not play “one-up” games. He applauds the success of others. He takes no delight in the hardships, losses, or pain others endure. He is more committed to being patient, kind and hardworking, than he is committed to being rich or to displaying symbols of success.

3. Enriched is the man who would rather lose at a sporting event than he would cheat in order to appear to have won. While he can be fiercely competitive and loves to win, he watches his behavior, treasuring his valued reputation.

4. Enriched is the man who can drink without becoming drunk; enjoy good humor without resorting to the ridicule of others.

5. Enriched is the man who pauses momentarily, quite regularly, in order to acknowledge his joy at being a man. He treasures his role as one who carries love, truth and kindness to all within his circle of influence.

6. Enriched is the man who can delay gratification in all areas of his life. He does not crave gratification when is is at the cost of damaging his relationships, his finances or his integrity.   

Child

1. Enriched is the child who has never seen a parent drunk, or a parent vent their anger, use profanity, drive aggressively, behave violently, or use racial slurs.

2. Enriched is the child who does not have to worry about a gambling father wasting necessary family resources, or worry that a mother might not return home after a night on the town.

3. Enriched is the child who hears parents laughing with each other both day and night, and who hears the sounds of joy and celebration expressed by his parents.

4. Enriched is the child whose family puts off the TV for weeks on end, who takes walks with his family, who cooks meals from scratch with his family.

5. Enriched is the child whose family reads novels and who sit around a table discussing what each person is reading.

6. Enriched is the child who has a peaceful home where the only bickering is about who is funniest.

7. Enriched is child who hears “I love you” from a caring, non-possessive parents whom the child knows, expect nothing in return.

8. Enriched in the child who rests peacefully each night in a warm safe bed.

February 2, 2006

Living with “packed bags”…

by Rod Smith

Some troubled couples seeking therapy are highly motivated. They are willing to do whatever it takes to rediscover each other. They are each ready to address their conflicts, hurts, disappointment or whatever it is that drives them to professional help. Other couples, by the time they call a therapist, have already reached a point of such distraction that divorce seems to be their only viable option.

Both of these couples can be helped. People can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles, and discover each other afresh, if they were willing to learn and willing to act upon very basic, tried principles of healthy relationships.

Then, and very sadly, some couples seek therapy when one person is already living with packed bags. The spouse has already “checked out” of the marriage, is already resigned to the failure of the relationship, yet agrees therapy in order to say that he or she tried to get help but help didn’t work. This is of course, is a waste of everyone’s time.

The motivated couple, and the desperate couple, are each, closer to resolution and to negotiating a working, loving marriage, than is a couple where one of the partners is already living with packed bags.

February 2, 2006

Reader challenges column about daughter/mom “secret” that excludes dad…

by Rod Smith

“You said (The Mercury, January 30, 2006) that a mother must tell her daughter to speak to her father about a relationship she has that the father thinks is already broken up. You said the mother was ‘in the middle’ when really I think she was being a friend to her daughter. Can a mother and daughter not have secrets with each other?”

A parent’s primary relationship is with the spouse, not with the children. The only exceptions are when a parent is violent, cruel or sexually inappropriate with a child.

It is appropriate that mothers and daughters share secrets, but helping a young daughter hide a relationship of which the father does not approve, is not sharing a secret, but participating in deceit.

The parent, if you take a close look at the dynamics, is being pulled into a giant triangle and the parent becomes trapped by the “secret.” In desiring to please her daughter, the mother stands to alienate her husband. If she is honest with her husband, she lets her daughter down. The kinds of healthy secrets mothers and daughters share do not serve to trap anyone into silence or deceit. Healthy secrets create no victims.

Talking with her father might be difficult for this young girl to do….. but it is a very necessary part of growing up.