Posts tagged ‘life’

June 8, 2012

Enriched is the woman who takes UP her life……

by Rod Smith

1. Enriched is the woman who does not lose herself to her marriage or motherhood. She has a strong spirit of independence while being a loving wife and mother.

2. Enriched is the woman who does not accommodate poor manners (being taken for granted or being victimized) from anyone (not husband, children, in-laws, siblings, or her parents).

3. Enriched is the woman who lives above manipulation, domination, and intimidation. Her relationships are pure and open; her boundaries are defined, secure, and strong.

4. Enriched is the woman who does not participate in unwanted sexual activity. She honors her body as her private temple and shares it, even in marriage, only by her own deliberate choice.

5. Enriched is the woman who has developed a strong, clear, identity. She regularly articulates who she is, what she wants, and what she will and will not do. She is unafraid of defining herself.

6. Enriched is the woman who knows that pursuing her dreams to be educated, to work, to accomplish much, to expect much from her life, are profound acts of partnership in marriage and profound acts of mothering. She knows that the woman who “takes up her life” does more for herself, her husband, and her children than the one who surrenders it.

November 14, 2007

He says he wants to marry me….

by Rod Smith

“I have been struggling for months. When can one say that they are ready for marriage and how long must you date to take that step? I have been dating this guy for the past five years and we have a son together. I can officially say I’ve met the person I want to spend the rest of my days with. We are both 25. He says that he wants to marry me and I am ready. I feel like I need to know whether he’ll ever actually propose so that I can figure out what direction my life takes. My biggest fear is that I’ll wake up in five years to find no progress in our relationship. How do I make him aware of how I feel without making him feel like I’m pressuring him into a commitment?”

I do not seek to be unkind – but let’s give this a little thought! You have a son together, you are adults, you are both 25 – yet you cannot tell him it is time to get married? Tell him. I could care less if he feels pressure. He is a dad and it is time to be a husband. I officially tell you it is time to think about the child rather than about yourselves.

November 13, 2007

To get the best out of sex….

by Rod Smith

The power and sacredness of sex …

Morality, religious beliefs, and family values and expectations aside, which, by the way I believe is impossible to do, don’t have sex with a person whom you do not know, and are not committed to in every area of your life, for the long haul.

To say “it (sex) is just a physical thing” is naïve, shortsighted, and misguided.

Sexual behavior is powerfully connected to the essence of who and what each of us is, and to regard it lightly or with flippancy, dismisses the powerful, creative, and beautiful place sex occupies in the engine room of each our lives, whether married or single.

To regard sexual acts as purely (only) physical is absurd.

Sexuality, and its expression through physical acts, potentially combines your whole heart, mind, your spirit (or inner being) and your body – in a sacred act of shared love, resulting in mutual replenishment, mutual recharging, and the willing refocus, as a couple on all that is mutually and individually important.

It is impossible to get the best out of sex (or put your best into sex) with a stranger, or with someone you hardly know, and with whom you have no long-term shared responsibilities and commitments.

November 8, 2007

Every now again, when she has problems, she does not want to be around people, including me…

by Rod Smith

“I have been going out with ‘Jill’ for several years. We do not live together. Every now again, when she has problems, she does not want to be around people, including me. I find this very difficult. I don’t think she understands how to love or be loved. I have tried to get her to understand that I want to help her but she will not listen. She says she wants to be left alone to go where nobody can find her.”

Jack, avoid interpreting Jill’s desire to be alone, or escape, to be about her capacity to give or receive love. These desires, however triggered, most certainly pre-date your relationship. Love Jill enough to grant her the fulfillment of her desires that you have difficulty understanding.

Love – by letting alone. You, Jack, love by being present, and through absence. Both can be acts of love. Some people simply need (no, I am going to say ALL healthy people) or desire some alone time. It allows for the natural stresses accompanying even the most loving of relationships to dissipate.

And, when she goes away to be alone, resist your powerful, understandable urge to go looking for her. Trust Jill, Jack, to get what she needs. This is a very important component of your love for Jill.

October 31, 2007

For 8 years he’s waivered back and forth …

by Rod Smith

“I met a guy and fell in love. I moved in with him and got pregnant and started planning the wedding but then he was physically abusive so I moved home. He moved back once the baby was born when he realized what he was missing. For 8 years, he continued to waiver back and forth between ‘Nice’ Mark and ‘Mean’ Mark. I finally kicked him out but we were still having sex. I really wanted him to get counseling and come home because I do love him. But he met someone else and is now seriously dating her. He sends texts to her with ‘XOXO,’ which makes me sick. He says he still loves me and is more attracted to me than her. What must I do?”

Attraction is strongest between people of similar emotional health (and un-health). You are at least as confused as he is. Until you take responsibility for your own life, and confront the fact that this man is not good for you, your treadmill of pain and disappointment will continue.

I continue, even as a therapist myself, to be awed by the overwhelming pervasive belief people place in the power of counseling. This man doesn’t need counseling. He needs women who refuse to play his cruel, hurtful games.

October 16, 2007

He compares himself to a cripple in a wheelchair…

by Rod Smith

“I married 26 years ago out of a sense of guilt and it has never left. We have had a very difficult marriage and yet we both have a high level of commitment.  I want a healthier relationship but I don’t know how to get it. I know a healthier relationship starts with a healthier me, but as I try to get healthier, I feel a wider distance coming between us. I have never felt emotionally bonded to my husband, and for years it was heart breaking. I have talked with him hoping things would get better. He justifies his distance, which makes it harder for me. He compares himself to a cripple in a wheel chair. He knows that I would not insist on a cripple walking. He believes himself to be emotionally crippled and I should not expect something that he is not capable of giving. I am at the place where I feel I want to move on, but my sense of loyalty will not let me. I thought I had moved through the bitter stage but now I am not so sure.”

Repeatedly challenge his dramatic metaphor. It’s possible to remain married while also refusing to share his wheelchair. I’d suggest you do all you can to get healthy and well despite his protestations (the distance you feel, and so forth).

Let’s talk further. Until you leave him (I do not mean divorce him) in the “safety” and the “comfort” of his emotional wheelchair you are also in it! Grow on your own. Your personal development is not contingent on his cooperation.   

October 15, 2007

Do you think like a victim?

by Rod Smith

I’d suggest that if two or three of the following ring true you might want to get some professional help (or coaching, or peer supervision or whatever is available to you):

1. You think someone has more power over your life than you do.
2. You think your future is not primarily in your hands.
3. You think other people’s needs are always more important than your needs.
4. You feel surrounded by eggshells and therefore monitor everything you say.
5. You live as if someone close to you is carrying a big stick and looking for opportunities to punish you.
6. You generally think you deserve punishment.
7. Everyday you have a sense, a conviction even, that you are going to lose a little more, that another shoe is about to drop, or more unwelcome news is coming.
8. You feel guilty on the rare occasion you are moderately happy.
9. You lie to friends and say you are busy or unavailable when the truth is you are afraid to make plans that might upset your partner or family.
10. You find it difficult to receive favors especially favors you cannot repay.
11. You are suspicious when people enjoy each other and wonder what is really going on.
12. When people are kind to you, you wonder what they really want.