Posts tagged ‘healthy’

December 9, 2008

If we are “one flesh” isn’t his emotional life also my responsibility?

by Rod Smith

dsc_0642You say we are each responsible for our own emotional health. I read that I am ‘one flesh’ with my husband. Surely I bear some responsibility for his emotional health? (Online question)

Go ahead. Try it. While you are at it, lose weight for him. Get him over his anger. Make him patient in traffic. Make him work more or less, depending on your needs and circumstances. Tackle, on his behalf, any one of the challenges each of us must individually face, and see how successful you are. Before you can say “Jack Robinson” (actually it might take quite a few years) you will be riddled and crippled with anxiety.

One flesh, united, soul mates, joined at the hip – use whatever picture works for you – but avoid taking on what is NOT yours to take on and avoid taking on the things you have no power to change. Resisting attempting to solve what are his issues (and his alone) does not make you less “one flesh” or less loving. I should think it is a greater demonstration of love and respect to “hold your own” while your partner is working through difficulties. Issues that are sufficiently powerful will readily take you both down. Then how much help would you be?

You can, of course, provide a context where your husband is supported in any of the individual challenges he must face but, like each of us, he has to take responsibility for his own emotional wellness.

Be responsible to him (do what is right and good) and not for him. Care about him, and not on his behalf. If this is too overwhelming for him, professional help is highly recommended.

July 30, 2008

Indications he/she might not be the best person to marry…

by Rod Smith

Letters consistently pour in from men and women in unhealthy relationships. I think often of how much pain could be avoided if people were simply willing to see the warning signs before marriage, before children, before hearts harden, and before bitterness sets in. Here are some, of course not all, of the early warning signs that a relationship will sour short of a miracle. Although cumbersome, I have used “he/she” on each occasion for neither gender appears to be guiltless when it comes to distorting intimate relationships:

He/she does not respect his/her parents.
He/she lies about “little” things.
He/she is in debt at a young age.
He/she sees people as expendable (uses, then “dumps” people).
He/she gets angry very quickly with waiters or servers of any kind.
He/she feels entitled to respect he/she has not earned.
He/she is financially, morally, and sexually unfaithful, and appears unconcerned about the importance of personal integrity in his/her life.
He/she opens your mail, snoops in your business, and thinks you should have no secrets between you.
He/she speaks for you and tells you how you “should” feel, think and speak.
He/she tells you that you are stupid and that he/she knows you better than you know yourself.
He/she believes most other people are idiots and often says so.

November 21, 2007

Relationships suffer…

by Rod Smith

1. When being right (correct, moral, accurate) is so important, so insisted upon, that it is at the expense of being loving. A healthy person can sacrifice his or her need to be right in order to love.
2. When anxiety and love are confused. “I am anxious about you” is a far cry from “I love you” and are not the same thing. Anxious people often believe true love necessitates worry. “How will he know I love him if I don’t worry about him?” is the plea of the anxious partner or parent. A healthy person remains non-anxious.
3. When love and control are synonymous. “If you love me you will dress (speak, think, see, hear) according to my will,” says the controller, “or I will question your love for me.” Healthy love celebrates freedom.
4. When love means “melting” into each other, giving up individual identity in the name of love. “We’re so close we even think each other’s thoughts,” proclaims the unhealthy couple. Healthy love elevates separateness, space and individuality.