Posts tagged ‘Family’

June 7, 2012

It is anxiety that will derail your family, not something on TV……

by Rod Smith

Anxiety is the killer. It is probably not your children’s school, violence or sex on TV, or the Internet that will potentially derail your children from potential greatness. It’s family anxiety. Often chronic, often hidden or disguised, it is that cumulative cloud of reactions to unresolved conflicts, the worry upon worry, the anger toward unmet dreams and expectations, and the bank of resentment gathered from multiple life disappointments.

Yes. You can send your children to the “right” schools, monitor their organic diets, safe-guard their television intake, pre-read their literature, create intricate computer firewalls, secure coaching and extra-lessons from the finest humans available, and then nullify all your determined efforts simply because your source of “care” and concern is soaked in anxiety and propelled and driven by it.

Family Anxiety is managed, reduced, redirected, when individual family members recognize it and address it individually. It is reduced through meaningful, appropriate connection and reconnection with blood and legal relatives where possible. It is reduced through determined “differentiation of self” (increased intimacy and increased autonomy) on the part of all members of the family (although even the efforts of one will have its rewards). It is reduced when individuals “see” that love and worry are not the same thing.

June 25, 2011

Women, and jealous men…

by Rod Smith

Jealousy serves no useful purpose. Jealous men (It’s men in my experience) try and tell me it comes with love. Nonsense.

Ugliness is never a symptom of love.

Placated? Appeased? Entertained? Jealousy won’t dissipate. It will grow. And grow. Become increasingly demanding.

The sympathetic, those allowing jealousy to do its ugly work, will discover the virus to be insatiable. It will only becomes more restrictive and ridiculous.

“I stopped talking to men at work, I stopped dressing in pink, I stopped calling my sister, I stopped smiling – these behaviors of mine made him jealous,” she says, “now he doesn’t want me talking anyone, or wearing clothes he didn’t pick out for me, or talking to anyone in my entire family!”

Rings of pure love, doesn’t it?

It is common for a woman to believe she causes a man’s jealousy.

“I make him jealous,” she says.

“No you do not. You are not that powerful,” I say, “his jealousy predates you, and now you are the unlucky victim of the virus.”

Don’t mess (negotiate) with it. Stand up to it. Or it will get you every time. It will contaminate your every move, your every thought. (This is the nature of a virus.)

Address him with: “This is your issue, not mine. I love my life too much to allow your jealousy to manipulate or dominate me. If you want me, you have to accept that I will not allow your issues to have any power over me. It’s sad enough that your issues control you, I am certainly not going to let them control me. I’m interested to see what YOU will decide to do with YOUR problem.”

January 5, 2009

The women always make the decisions in the end…

by Rod Smith

“I have been in a four-year relationship with a married man. I still believe in his love but also believe he needs a push to do the right thing. I told him he has to own up to the affair and tell the wife himself, or I will tell her. I am not walking away with nothing after giving four years of my life. Then the wife can either have the choice of working things out with him or getting a divorce. It’s the women always make the decisions in the end.”

dsc_0642You might believe in “his love” (for you) but it is hard to believe you have any love for him. You clearly ignored any “push” to do the “right thing” and regard married men as “off limits.” While you are apparently vengeful and determined, you will most certainly find only temporary and limited personal peace.

I hope you will have some dramatic moment of insight, some divine encounter, an event of sorts that transforms you from within, and makes you ready to learn and ready love in ways that are helpful to you and to all persons in your sphere of influence.

March 25, 2008

My family is troubled…

by Rod Smith

My family is troubled. We are facing financial issues, relationship problems, and change (one sister is getting married, one sister is getting divorced). I am 23 and feel as if my parents are looking to me to be the wise one. In the meantime I am trying to build my own life and get an education. I work two jobs and I really don’t feel like I have the time or the energy to be my family’s helper as well. I feel a lot of guilt over this. Please help. (Condensed)

There are no easy answers, no formula to tell you what you should or should not do, but there are broad guidelines: assume no debt you did not incur, go to the source of an issue rather than recruit others through gossip, define clearly what you will and will not do given any requests for help.

You will contribute more to your family’s problems (than you will contribute to the solutions) if you try to be more than a son to your parents and brother to your sisters. It takes great wisdom to avoid taking on what are not legitimately your responsibilities, and perhaps even greater wisdom to take responsibility for what are legitimately your responsibilities.

February 6, 2008

Single mom and growing daughter…

by Rod Smith

“I am a single mother with a teenage daughter. This is very tough: earning a living, trying to be available for school activities, trying to have a life of my own, and trying to make up for the absent father who could get in his car and visit occasionally but chooses not to do so – claiming it upsets his new wife. Now my daughter is at an age where her friends are much more important than her family and yet, while I want her to be free, I also do not want to lose the sense of family we do have. Please help.” (Letter shortened)

Your load is not an easy one. I’d suggest you allow the natural process of separation to occur while also keeping some semblance of a schedule that allows your family to remain in tact. Get your focus off what dad is not doing. Celebrate your daughter’s growth, her desire for friendships. Make it easier for her to find her feet apart from what you have known together. Create some flexible arrangement where you share a meal or a movie on a somewhat regular basis. Enjoy your own freedom in the midst of domestic demands. This will offer your daughter something attractive to call home.

January 21, 2008

Because I am your friend I will…

by Rod Smith

1. Be aware of the unique, honored position I have in your life, and regard it with the respect it deserves.
2. Hear you, even if you are telling me things I’d rather you not say.
3. Be willing to disagree with you, when, in my estimation, you are wrong, off target, or unfair in your actions or thinking.
4. Forgive you when you hurt me, even though I will sometimes make it very clear to you how the hurt occurred.
5. Expect the very best of you and applaud your use of all of your skills and talents.
6. Tell you the truth as I see it, as kindly, efficiently, and succinctly as possible.
7. Live my life as purposefully as possible in my daily journey toward fulfilling the deepest, most powerful yearnings of my head and heart.
8. Be generous to you (without giving you money) and be kind to you (without trying to solve your problems).
9. Not inflict my anxiety upon you.
10. Stand on my own two feet without pushing you over.
11. Engage you in necessary conflict that I may love you more powerfully.
12. Speak well of you in every circumstance.

January 14, 2008

A woman writes, after ending her affair…..

by Rod Smith

“Wow! I happened to fall upon this site and I am so amazed at all the responses on this matter. I am not proud of what I am about to say but I fell in love with a married man. It started out as a professional relationship, but he flirted and pursued me and eventually I relented.

I believed him when he said, “nothing would change between us professionally.”

I believed him when he said “I have never done this before”….but little clues led me to believe different.

The fact that when his wife called him on his cell and he answered (while I was present) he would look me straight in the eye and not act nervously at all. Another time (I tested this) by hugging him while he was conversing with her, and he did not wince, or push me away at all!

So, either, he really hated her, or he is very used to this situation.

I wised up and left this relationship. She caught on, and I could tell that she had dealt with this before. She wasn’t even angry, it was more like: “Here we go again.”

I feel sorry for her. He is (so-called) “high profile.”

He makes a good living and they have several young kids. It hurt to leave, because I did love him. I probably still do,…but bottom line is it was so wrong!

One doesn’t intentionally try to get into these situations….at least I didn’t….it just happened, and like a fool I fell for his charm.

Don’t be stupid like I was…..realize…that if he really loved you. He would leave her for you….but then…..”buyer beware”….you just might get what you wished for! Hmmmm………? No Thanks. I don’t want to spend MY marriage looking over my shoulder and babysitting my husband…..just like it has been stated previously….if he did it to her? What is to stop him from doing it to you? What makes you better? You are NOT the mother of his children, you do NOT own property together, you do NOT have a history together….so why wouldn’t he cheat on you too?? Just an FYI….take it from someone who knows….

Here’s an update: AFTER I broke it off with him I ran into a girl at a nightclub and she told he that he had sex with one of her co-workers! Now who would have thought?”

This comment was left on the article found here:

January 8, 2008

Best things you can do if your husband says he doesn’t love you…. a woman (Ann) writes…!

by Rod Smith

I thank Ann for this comment...

I thank Ann for this comment...

“Hi Ladies, just a bit of advice, if your husband says he doesn’t want to be married or doesn’t love you anymore, as much as it hurts, the best thing you can do is nothing. Go about your business, act happy, be nice, don’t beg, don’t plead, don’t cry and make him try to feel sorry for you. Listen to me, as hard as this sounds, it works. Work on yourself, be your own person, let him always see you are happy. Men don’t want to pull away from happy women! They want to pull away from a woman who is yelling, and nagging. I am not saying this is your fault by any means.

“Starting today, start taking care of yourself, pamper yourself, love yourself the way you want to be loved, throw your energy into your kids and yourself. Any contact with your husband or boyfriend be nothing but pleasant and nice: no fighting, no blaming. If he brings up divorce, breaking up tell him you don’t want that but YOU’LL SUPPORT HIM IN HIS DECISION. And leave it at that.

“Get your hair done, nails done (if you can afford to do so) give yourself facials, make yourself feel good about yourself and it will shine through.

“Remember, no yelling, no begging him, no freaking out on him, that will only push him further away.

“And don’t keep bringing up the past of hurtful things he has said and did, that just creates more drama.”

January 1, 2008

Single-, or solo-parenting will probably improve if…

by Rod Smith

1. Your courage, determination and your willingness to fully live; your ability and willingness to employ all of your skills and expedite your wildest ambitions – will go a long way toward compensating for the absence of the other parent.

2. Being debilitated by the absence of a partner and living as if a successful life is impossible to lead without a partner will stand to hinder your child and your relationship with your child almost as significantly the absence of the other parent.

3. Having your own life, pursuing interests and dreams that do not involve your child, is good for you and for your child. The laser focus that often comes with solo parenting is hardly helpful to the parent or child.

4. Try to get the focus off your child and how your child is doing in the wake of finding yourself single. Single parents have reared many very successful persons and, believing your child will be successful, despite the absence of the other parent, will set a healthy tone for your family. Besides, as stated by family expert, Rabbi Edwin Friedman, when studied under a microscope even an ant (a small issue) can look like a monster (a significant problem).

December 30, 2007

I have a problem sibling….

by Rod Smith

“I have a problem sibling. My sister and I spent four long years not talking, much to my mom’s distress, and many other years bickering. We made up, mostly for my mother. It didn’t seem fair to me that I had to humble myself and beg her to let things go (even though the whole thing was almost entirely her fault) but I did it for the sake of family harmony. My children wanted to see their cousin (her son). We are now on speaking terms, but because of distance we only see each other once a year. She drives me crazy, but for that one short visit I just suck it up and smile.”

Congratulations. You are no doubt stronger and wiser for your humility and your enduring acts of reconciliation. As a result of your efforts your mother is potentially less anxious and your children get to see and know their cousin: everyone, including you, appears to gain.

It is not who caused the issue or the division that is as important as who is strong enough to facilitate the healing.

Besides, let’s remain aware: it takes at least two to tangle! (No, I did not mean to say “tango.”)