Posts tagged ‘help’

August 15, 2010

Rage is never pretty…..

by Rod Smith

Call me....

Want wisely.....

Rage is never pretty – not in you, me, nor in the man in the moon. It has no upside. It produces nothing worth having. It reduces everyone in its environment to a victim. It scares children. There’s nothing redeeming about rage. It causes physiological distress, psychological pain, and accelerates physical exhaustion. It hurts relationships. Rage is always ugly, always destructive.

Rage is never helpful

I’ve witnessed rage erupt in clients during therapy where there’s a sudden burst of rage over a matter that might appear inconsequential to the observer. I’ve seen it while I am engaged in the give and take of life – a woman loses it with her child in public, a man yells uncontrollably in the traffic, a teenager storms off from a parent in the mall.

Regretfully, I’ve felt it in me. Forces collide, my world feels out of control, I resort to blaming others for whatever I perceive as having gone wrong. Something primal snaps. I’m momentarily blind, deaf to reason. Then, I breathe deeply. I hold onto myself. Reason returns. Logic prevails. I get my focus off others. I look at myself. I take responsibility for myself. Do I always catch it? Handle it well? Of course not.

How is a person to handle a moment of rage in a loved one? Keep a level head. Walk away. Try not to react. Don’t personalize it. It’s not about you. You may participate in the precipitating event, but you don’t cause the outburst. In the moment of his or her fury don’t try to reason, negotiate, or restrain.

This too shall pass.

January 25, 2009

A wife writes….

by Rod Smith

“I was the wife in an extra marital affair. The woman (You & Me, 22/1/2009) is at fault because the man was married, and, since he did not leave his wife in four years, he is in the affair only for a good time. She may have not given him an ultimatum but there is indirect pressure. She says his wife subjected him to “Henpecking, bossing him, sleeping in separate rooms.” This is only what he told her. The mistress would not know the truth. He told her only what’s music to her ears. My husband told his mistress that he only lived with me and had nothing to do with me. In the meantime there was nothing wrong in our marriage. Others looked up to us. Our friends asked us advice on marriage. My husband cherished me and showed me love with all his heart and showered me with gifts. He never forgot special days like birthdays anniversaries. This is behind us now after some counseling and lots of prayer. I forgave him for his mistake and we renewed our marriage vows. We now have an even better marriage than before, but my wounds are still healing and it will be a while before I place 120% trust in him again.”

January 8, 2009

A woman writes and seeks opinion….

by Rod Smith

“Regarding affairs: it’s not fair to generalize. Of course affairs aren’t right, but life isn’t perfect and people change. People fall out of love all the time and it’s hard to hurt someone you’ve been with for a long time even when you don’t love them anymore. Affairs are a big ‘gray area’ where situations differ. Often, it’s two people finding each other at the wrong time. I agree that those two people need to do what is needed to make is right. Sometimes it takes time to work through the details. I found that my affair partner was ‘comfortable’ in his relationship with his wife but not in love with her. At the same time, she knew she had not done anything wrong. It was hard for him to hurt her and be the ‘bad guy’ in the eyes of family and friends. It’s the same with my husband: I no longer loved him but he had done nothing wrong. I simply fell out of love with him. Does that make my affair and me bad people? We care enough about our spouses to not want to hurt them, but realize it’s not fair to them or ourselves to live a lie.” (Edited only for word count)

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.

March 9, 2008

Husband says I talk too much….

by Rod Smith

“It seems my husband dislikes it when I talk. He says I want to be the boss of the home. I don’t believe this is true as all I want is just a good family life, like most families. We are married for 26 years and I can count the number of times we had a good conversation. He does not listen to my conversations. I’ve stopped talking to him for two weeks. This seems to work as I’m happier now. When we do talk its not for long, as then he says I’m talking too much. What is your response? I would appreciate your comment.”

Nothing you do (or I say) is going to (a) turn your husband into an active-listening, engaged, and supportive conversationalist, or (b) modify your words, message, or the sound of your voice into something he welcomes. This does not mean you ought to stop talking!

You might want to consider communicating only bare essentials with your spouse and accumulate other outlets (clubs, church, neighbors) for everything else you want to express. In the event others begin to send you a message similar to that of your husband, then it is you and not your husband who is in need of enhanced training in the subtleties of communication.

February 17, 2008

Are you listening to what he / she is saying…..?

by Rod Smith

If you can hear the voice of a spouse of lover saying any of the following 10 points to you, I’d suggest your relationship could use some renewal.

Don’t say you love me and then…

  • Disregard (write off, refuse to consider) what I say, think, and feel.
  • Demand from me, or try to manipulate me into, sexual acts I do not want.
  • Offer me less times and energy than you give to your most casual acquaintances.
  • Refuse to initiate or participate in respectful and helpful conversations.
  • Avoid initiating mutual, regular physical, mutually desired, intimacy.
  • Hold grudges for years, bring up old issues time again, and hit me with things I thought were long forgiven and forgotten between us.
  • Abandon me (physically or emotionally) with the responsibility of rearing our children under the guise of supporting the family. I need you to support the family AND help with the children – this is what adults, who are parents, do.
  • Blind-side me with the unexpected: unpaid debts, hidden activities, unusual expenditures, and secret, inappropriate liaisons.
  • Avoid “alone” time with me.
  • Belittle me in any manner, let alone in front of our family and friends.
January 26, 2008

Alone and hurting….

by Rod Smith

“I am in an affair with a married man. Although it is a year it seems like a lifetime. I was married when we began our relationship. My husband moved away and I thought he was going to make the break with his wife. One day he tells me not to give up on him. The next day he tells me he never said such a thing. He talks about ‘boundaries’ and how he ‘chooses not to leave’ his wife. I’m miserable. I go to bed alone every night. Every day I help him with his work while mine falls further behind. I would love some pearls of wisdom. I need to end this: but how?” (Edited)

The pearl of wisdom – “I need to end this” – is in your letter. Until you sever this destructive alliance (it’s not a “relationship”) you will have no joy. Until you have extended time alone (without a man in your life) you will not re-establish your integrity.

How do you end it? There is no easy way out! Resign. Disappear. Move to a new city. Change your phone numbers. You owe him no “closure” or explanation. Of course this is tough but the sooner you act, the sooner you will find relief from your misery.

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: rodesmith.com/2006/01/13/the-seductive-nature-of-an-extramaritial-affair/

January 4, 2008

Comments pour in from women hurt in deceitful relationships…

by Rod Smith

….. please continue to provide each other with helpful and supportive comments. New visitors are encouraged to search this site for related articles on affairs, abusive systems, and difficult relationships.

I respond (via the web) to as many readers as possible but I need your help (through your comments) to reach more and more hurting women with a message of hope and triumph.

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December 18, 2007

Typos have a life of their own…. HELP!

by Rod Smith

I ordered the book containing the 450 DifficultRelationships.com columns and – to my dismay – found numerous typos. PLEASE, if while reading a column on this website, you trip over a typo, please drop me a comment so I can fix it!

In the meantime I have decided that typos are like ZITS:

Seven things to know about Zits (and typos):

  1. Zits appear in conspicuous places
  2. Zits emerge no matter how much you scrub
  3. Zits (on you) appear larger than they are
  4. Zits look worse if you try to fix them
  5. Zits go underground when you look for them
  6. Zits have a willful and perverse life of their own
  7. Zits collaborate – get one, and before you know it, three new ones appear

Typos are zits in print. Actually, typos are worse, they are like finding a fly in your soup, or a dead mouse in a box of cereal after you’ve just indulged in two bowls.

Don’t let my typos stop you from enjoying the Fourth Edition of A Short Course in Good Manners – see, I knew it was “Fourth” and not “Forth”. With the help of readers we’ll get the website cleaned up, too.

Oh for the day the copy editor could get her hands on the web just as she does before the column goes to print.

Thanks for your help,

Rod