April 2, 2009

How To Destroy A Marriage

This has nothing to do with psychiatry.  Or maybe it's the only thing that has anything to do with psychiatry.

The writer of ShrinkTalk writes about an experience as a marriage counselor.  He lists 7 reasons why marriage becomes difficult for some people.

He comes up with his reasons based on his experience with couples.  Interestingly, however, all of those reasons are generally of the type "unrealistic expectations" or at least "the wrong impression."   In other words, the marriages failed not because of what went on in the marriage, but because people were oriented wrong before they even got married.

This may partially explain why arranged marriages or marriages "in the old days" lasted so long.  Everyone knew precisely what marriage was all about, there were no illusions or confusions.

If this is true, than perhaps the role of counseling is to quickly reorient disoriented people's expectations; or, perhaps people should go into counseling before they get married in the first place.

I thought about this, and came up with my own observations, all of which are post-marriage accelerators of divorce.



Contempt.

This statement is 100% accurate: cheating on your spouse is less detrimental to your marriage than rolling your eyes, looking away, and saying, "oh my God, you're so annoying."

I'm not saying you can get away with cheating.  But contempt in the marital interaction is the most important predictor of marriage failure; and, probably, those marriages should be dissolved as soon as possible anyway.  No good will come of them.


Bring work home with you. 

And I don't mean the quarterly reports.

You have another bad day at work, you come home and she asks about your day.  You answer from a 15 year olds playbook: "fine;" "nothing;" "same stuff."  And so she asks you to cut the carrots, and you snap.  "God damn it!"

You've brought your suppressed work-emotions home, and you let them out on your family.  Why?  Because you can; you don't need to suppress at home.  You're curt and irritable and withdrawn.  Maybe your wife understands.   For now.

I know, it's hard to keep those emotions in check after your boss has been riding you all day.  Yet then the UPS guy comes to the door and you are instantly nice, bright, warm. "Hey, thanks, have a good one buddy!  Go Raiders!"   You'll say it's an act, but the other way of looking at it is that you think it's worth  faking politeness to the UPS guy, but not to your family.  See? Does your family need to see the real, irritable you?

Oh, I hear you, my special, special, generation, the one that counts hypocrisy the greatest of all possible sins: "if I can't be myself at home, what's the point?"  Because that isn't the real you, there isn't a you.  Who you are is what you do.  If you come home and are cranky and curt and bossy at home, then you are a jerk.  You don't get to say, "I'm a nice person, but I just happen to be irritable every day."

Even if you aren't a jerk, what your family sees is a jerk.

Leave work at work; leave work emotions at work.  They have no place at home, they are not useful and they serve no purpose.  Of course you can talk about your crappy day, you can show her the schematics for the bomb you want to build. You can be angry at your boss, but don't be angry at your spouse because you can't get angry at your boss.


No time to yourself.

Self help guides get this wrong.  They say that to preserve sanity, you need some time for yourself; they say new moms need some "adult conversation."  That is counterproductive.

You rush through dinner, through clean up, through idle conversation ; you're checking off your "responsibilities" so that you can get a moment to yourself.  The result is you are not there, you're passing through, emotionally, until you can get to what you think you want to get to.   

Life is what happens while you're trying to get to the computer.

A lot of people are going to disagree with me, and they are wrong.  First, understand that your family is all there is.  There is no break, there is nothing else, there is no "adult conversation."  It is possible you may never golf again.   The kids aren't the distraction-- everything else is the distraction.   If golf is a pleasant diversion that doesn't cause you to rush through family life in order to get to it, then it's ok.  Otherwise, it's out.  Otherwise you will be rushing through family life to get to course.  And you will miss out on the family, and will still not get any real relief from golfing.

Once you have accepted this, you can then proceed to step 2: decide on two or three "distractions" you really like, and put them into your routine, with dedication and commitment.  If you are truly committed to them, your spouse will understand (and they'll have their own.)  But if you pick, say, going to the gym MWF, but you yourself aren't dedicated, it will appear to your spouse that you use it as an escape only when things get tough. (Because that's what it will be.) 


Loyalty over truth. 

This is going to be controversial: no matter what happens, your family is first.  That doesn't sound controversial?  Read on.

If I have a kid on the lam for a series of crimes he did coked up on heroin, and he asks me for some money to hide out in Uganda, guess what?  I'm giving him the money.  I may take some corrective actions; but no one else gets to.  

I know this doesn't work within the framework of a just society, but I do not happen to believe we live in a just society.  The only thing I do know is my family is all I really have. I may want to kill them, but you can't.

Knowing that many won't agree with that posture, I'll soften it a bit:

The same loyalty code applies to your discussions with outsiders about your family.  No jokes at your spouse's expense.  Ever.  You never tell your coworkers about your kid's drug habit, or your wife's porn addiction, or that you wish your wife had a porn addiction.  Certainly you have a best friend that you can commiserate with, but even within that relationship you cannot tell them anything permanently damaging.  No facts, only feelings.   For example, "my husband doesn't listen, he doesn't understand, he ignores me, etc" is ok on special occasions.  But "my husband punched a window, he takes Zoloft, he has a shoe fetish, etc" is definitely out.  Honor means: shut your trap.

First, it's disrespectful to your spouse.  Second, more practically, it changes the other person's relationship to your spouse, and consequently to you.  Telling your coworker you're divorcing your husband because he's sleeping with a cheerleader also tells your coworker things about you, e.g. "what the hell is going on in that house?" and "she talks a lot."


Communicating through kids.

If most of your conversations with your spouse are about your kids and not about each other, you're normal.  If all of your conversations are about your kids, one of you is probably cheating.

Couples end up talking with each other, towards the kids; but not to each other, about each other.  At some point you forget your spouse is an individual; you forget they had a past.  You forget they have a future.  All you know is that they are in your present.

Have you thought about what it will be like the day your kids go to college?  Sure.  Have you thought about what you'll do next?  Sure.  Have you thought about what your spouse will do next?   ("Be sad" means you haven't thought about it.)


Refilling Hedonic Supplies

See above.  You know how most sleights roll off you because you have a fairly stable sense of self, and a stable position in your family?  Awesome.  Now the same should go for complements.  Especially for complements.

You should say, "thank you" and move on.   If you find yourself flattered; or find yourself fishing for complements; then something is lacking at home which needs to be addressed, but more urgently you need to fix yourself that these complements have any power.

Remember the hot girl in high school, and you said to her, "I like your jacket" and she maced you?  She did that because she doesn't need your complements, and immediately senses that you're only doing it because you want something from her.  You need to adopt a version of this stance once you are married.

Every Lifetime Original Cheating Movie has the following line: "he made me feel alive again."  I know, that's the problem.  Your husband's problem for not making you feel alive-ish ordinarily; and your problem for needing that from someone else in the first place.

Marriage means: not having to look elsewhere for affirmation of identity.  


----


I'm on twitter.  If enough people sign up, I'll try to make it worthwhile.

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych







Comments

Thanks for this article. I ... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 1:18 AM | Posted by ying: | Reply

Thanks for this article. I know most of the stuff. But I needed to see/hear/read it again.

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great post.[compli... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 1:20 AM | Posted by Shaan: | Reply

great post.

[compliment is spelled with an "i"]

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Thanks for posting. I'm goi... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 5:35 AM | Posted by Yue: | Reply

Thanks for posting. I'm going through some rough patches with a "difficult" family member, and I need reminders not to whine about their behavior to friends.

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Citing Malcom Gladwell isn'... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 5:35 AM | Posted by Sean: | Reply

Citing Malcom Gladwell isn't generally considered the most legit, but your point about contempt reminded me about the story in Blink where he talked to the Psychology researcher with the accurate track record of predicting whether relationships would still be working a few years down the road. That researcher cited seemingly small signs of contempt as the number one giveaway that a relationship was doomed.

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Complements = Compliments. ... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 9:22 AM | Posted by leigh: | Reply

Complements = Compliments.

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Yes, excellent post -- it's... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 9:28 AM | Posted by fraise: | Reply

Yes, excellent post -- it's nice to see these things in a negative light, since they are, in fact, negative! The breathlessly optimistic "how to have a GREAT marriage!" things are often so vapid as to be of very little practical use. Whereas your basic respect for humanity and its foibles shows through in your writing, and helps immensely.

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If your family is everythin... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 12:01 PM | Posted by antidrugrep: | Reply

If your family is everything, then why would you reinforce poor judgement? Because you don't want Junior to become somebody's bitch in lock-up?

Where does it end exactly?

More importantly, where did it start? I'm assuming Junior didn't go from Boy Scout to trainspotter without any warning. If he did, you weren't paying attention. Period. Which means family WASN'T the most important thing in the first place.

So what do you think you're going to accomplish by aiding and abetting NOW? Preserve some pathetic illusion of togetherness? Junior's sense of togetherness evaporated long ago; you gonna turn all that around by subsidizing his permanent vacation in Uganda?

This is one of those ridiculous hypotheticals that have no right answer - the right answer is to reframe the question (how can I keep this from happening?). But yeah, in that situation, I'd become an accomplice. Because I love my son, and don't see that ever changing. Maybe you can say the same.

But don't pretend it's the "right" thing to do. Not for Junior, not for society, not for yourself.

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your problem for needing... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 12:36 PM | Posted by Joseph Bergevin: | Reply

your problem for needing that from someone else in the first place

Head hit nail. Maturity isn't about doing the right thing, it's about knowing and owning yourself. When you don't, you're at the mercy of being defined by others, and their input isn't well researched.

Having an affair make you "feel alive" only proves that you don't afford your spouse the same intimacy you're happy to give to a stranger. Of course the affair partner sees you differently - you treat them differently.

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All true. Sounds like you'r... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 5:15 PM | Posted by Another Shrink: | Reply

All true. Sounds like you're in a relatively well-functioning marriage, or are in a good therapy trying to fix one.

P.S. "coked up on heroin" makes you sound uncharacteristically dumb.

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Ingredients for an empty ma... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 7:44 PM | Posted by Jen: | Reply

Ingredients for an empty marriage. I know, I'm in one. Contempt exists but for the most part we ignore each other. Husband spends most time alone to detriment of family. All hours are devoted to reading philosophy books (in bed, at son's basketball games, most of the weekend). Conversations are utilitarian. Limited to talk about kids, household obligations. Complements? No. My husband doesn't believe in words please or thank you. Sex needs to be added to your list. I had an emotional affair & would love one again. I feel dead and stuck with someone who could care less.

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Nice "feel good. I'm morall... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 7:51 PM | Posted, in reply to Joseph Bergevin's comment, by Jen: | Reply

Nice "feel good. I'm morally superior" cliches. Doesn't apply to everyone though. Your statement "Having an affair make you feel alive only proves that you don't afford your spouse the same intimacy you're happy to give to a stranger." assumes that there's actually intimacy in the marriage. In my case, I'm married to an extremely "self absorbed" man who can tolerate no intimacy (AKA narcissist). Intimacy with a substitute partner (not stranger - that's a little harsh) is better than no intimacy at all.

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Nice "feel good. I'm mor... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 9:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Jen's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Nice "feel good. I'm morally superior" cliches. Doesn't apply to everyone though.

Let me qualify my statement: if you're in a relationship you wish to further, it's not productive to entertain an exit.

An equally true statement is that no one should have to suffer a situation they find unbearable.

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"If this is true, than perh... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2009 9:34 AM | Posted by V: | Reply

"If this is true, than perhaps the role of counseling is to quickly reorient disoriented people's expectations; or, perhaps people should go into counseling before they get married in the first place."
Doesn't the Catholic Church do pre-marriage counseling, essentially, that serves this role? My parents went through it and found it immensely helpful (as it identified before they got married most of the major disagreements they had)

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To: Another Shrink,<p... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2009 6:17 PM | Posted by paul: | Reply

To: Another Shrink,

"coked up on heroin" sounds like a great weekend in vegas to me!

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Alone,The reason f... (Below threshold)

April 5, 2009 2:14 AM | Posted by Claudius: | Reply

Alone,

The reason for the "he makes me feel alive again" lifetime movie quote is due to lame sex. Actually, I'm incredibly surprised you didn't mention a healthy sex life between couples as a criteria for a successful marriage. 70% of women don't have vaginal orgasms during sex. How many men do you know who don't have an orgasm during intercourse? Over 50% of women have faked.

These facts are disturbing. Any man who's REALLY rocked a woman in the bedroom knows that all those repetitive relationship squabbles dissolve away quickly, because a masterful lover is so difficult for a woman to find. So when women say "he makes me feel alive again," maybe that's because the man she's cheating with makes her feel passion, through sexual pleasure. Now husbands just have to wake the fuck up and read a manual.

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Thank you for this:<p... (Below threshold)

April 5, 2009 6:36 PM | Posted by AK: | Reply

Thank you for this:

"You've brought your suppressed work-emotions home, and you let them out on your family. Why? Because you can; you don't need to suppress at home."

I would add, in addition to being nice and not nasty to your spouse, dont use your kids as a toxic dump site, either. Dont live a lie by being nice to your friends and nasty to your kids behind closed doors.

Two...if you dont actually enjoy children as children, dont have children and then sit around gritting your teeth, waiting for them to grow up.

I am NOT a fan of the current fad for letting kids run the household--Ive seen that and it is repugnant and makes me fear for the future of the republic.

But...if the two of you dont have social support, and dont have the resilience and stamina needed to do the limit setting, conflict resolution, and cope with sleep deprivation, age appropriate noise, and all the mess and spilt milk that go with the territory when you have a small child...dont have children.

(Final note, dont have children if you barely have time to see them--because you're working your ass off to earn money supporting them or contantly driving them around to all the organized supervised stuff you feel obligated to provide. If you dont have time to see your kids, whats the point of having them?)

Three, its not ethical to turn celibate after marriage if you've had a good sex life prior to marriage. (Or prior to kids)

Ditto for getting slobbish and careless about manners, physical health and hygiene, thinking you can let things go because you've landed someone and dont have to be on your best behavior anymore.

(This applies to both guys and gals)

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good point.i stand... (Below threshold)

April 5, 2009 7:29 PM | Posted, in reply to paul's comment, by Another Shrink: | Reply

good point.

i stand corrected.

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"Loyalty over truth" is an ... (Below threshold)

April 5, 2009 11:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Loyalty over truth" is an infuriating concept.

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Loyalty over trut... (Below threshold)

April 6, 2009 7:45 AM | Posted by SusanC: | Reply

Loyalty over truth.

One of the unfortunate side-effects of this is that people will also lie to their therapists or to researchers. So the therapist can have an uphill struggle trying to figure out what their patient's problem is. (e.g. Patient is upset with her husband because she thinks he's cheating on her, but is unwilling to say so). The researcher may mistakenly conclude that a treatment is harmless, when it's actually causing a problem that the study participants won't admit to. (e.g. Husband has become extremely irritable and difficult to live with since he started taking drug X).

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So when women say "he ma... (Below threshold)

April 6, 2009 10:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Claudius's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

So when women say "he makes me feel alive again," maybe that's because the man she's cheating with makes her feel passion, through sexual pleasure.

This misses the point entirely. Yes, of course sex with a new partner is exciting, especially if they're "gifted". No one is denying that. It's why people cheat.

The point is that a marriage is a vow, not a suggestion. If you're unhappy with your sex life, either you tell your spouse and work it out or, if it's that bad, you leave the marriage. You can't have both.

Leaving, though, entails openly accounting for your own life. Affairs are no longer illicit and safe in their infeasibility. Will that super-lover always be so super if they're saddled with you full time? Yes? Great. Problem solved. Shoulda married him/her to begin with.

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You miss my point entirely,... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2009 2:33 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Claudius: | Reply

You miss my point entirely, anon. It is possible to make a woman feel the same amount of passion--more--than they would by cheating. I do not condone cheating, in fact, I agree with your moral outline of a spouse's obligations. In the real world, though, women do not like talking about these things. They expect their man to know. This could be considered the fault of both the husband or the wife, but that is beside the point.

It is folly for a husband--or anyone--to ignore his lover's sexuality. Why should a husband bother with having effortless sex with someone he loves? If I REALLY love someone--like a wife--wouldn't I want to give her the BEST?

For example, I have a girlfriend that I love. But I'm not married to her. Nevertheless, because I care about her, I desire to give her such pleasure.

I am going to assume that the love that causes one to get married is greater than or equal to the love I have for my significant other. If this is true, then shouldn't men be seriously looking into how to better satisfy their women?

70% of women don't orgasm during intercourse. This means that at least 70% of husbands need to read a frickin' sex manual or romance novel. If she already loves you, it will be multiplied many times over. I swear if you give her her first she will cook you breakfast every morning. But it's not about that...

You do it because you want the best for her.

NB: "Gifted" makes it sound like it comes naturally; it doesn't. It comes through knowledge of female anatomy and knowing what (mentally) turns a women on. This does not require laying 100's of women. If you're curious, google David Shade.

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I dont agree with the 'loya... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2009 9:48 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

I dont agree with the 'loyalty over truth' axiom.

My family concealed all sorts of things about abuse. As a child I sensed things were not right. But I had no validating information.

And as I became old enough for it to be age appropriate that I be given such information, none was given.

I grew up having strange dreams and feeling something important I needed to know was hovering just out of sight and that I was too crazy or stupid to know what it was.

Spent my adolescence fearing I was on the brink of insanity.

Years later, reading letters I inherited after my parents deaths, I discovered my father was narcissistic, abusive to my mother, may have had a live in boyfriend with us at the house (He was my honorary 'uncle') and my father had lied about something for which he could have lost his US citizenship and been deported.

Because they lied to me, I lacked information that I needed and my therapists needed to make sense of my situation.

And..there are violence ridden ghetto neighborhoods where the police are unable to solve murders and other kinds of crime because in loyalty, the families of the murderers and gang members all clam up and potential witnesses are intimidated into staying loyal to the no snitch rule.

Entire neighborhoods cant clean up their acts because to a dysfunctional degree, they honor loyalty over truth and the thugs win out.

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About the loyalty over trut... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2009 12:26 AM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

About the loyalty over truth, you really have it wrong.

Talking about your family behind their back is gossip. There are times when it is not only appropriate, but necessary to talk about things. If you catch your son masturbating, that's one thing. If you catch your son seducing your daughter, that's an entirely different thing.

If my son committed some sort of crime, I would have to consider the crime before I make a blanket statement about things. If I caught him doing pot, I would not sent him packing off to jail, I'd discipline him my own way. If I got word of him starting and hurting someone badly in a fight, I'd give him a choice, either personally compensate that person through a variety of creative means, or deal with that person under the law. If he killed some one, I would not hide him. I would order him to man up and face the consequences, while at the same time being there for him. If he ever raped anyone, I would probably kill him. He knows all of this.

Just because someone does something illegal, does not mean to immediately go to the police and lock him up, that should be a last resort. I will always advocate consequences for bad actions, but the consequences should not only fit the crime, but also be a conduit for reform, and relief of guilt.

Your concept of loyalty over truth is a good way to corrupt and destroy society.

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awesome... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2009 7:58 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

awesome

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Though I should add, everyt... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

Though I should add, everything else was spot on though.

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my spouse brings his work e... (Below threshold)

April 15, 2009 2:59 PM | Posted by Jen: | Reply

my spouse brings his work emotions home with him every day. also I think he says too much to family and friends about our personal finances and decisions, it makes me uncomfortable. but the worst is him taking his anger out on me because I am convenient.

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As other people have pointe... (Below threshold)

April 17, 2009 11:41 AM | Posted by Emily: | Reply

As other people have pointed out, there are consequences to the insularity of family: hidden incest and abuse principal among them, and also dysfuntion becoming the norm for growing children.

But my larger objection is the implicit fear of the outside world. Yours is a really traditional view, that family is your only barricade against a cruel cruel world.

Not everyone has to "act" to be in the world. Maybe if we didn't act so much, we wouldn't be so exhausted with our families. Your comment that being honest with people will reflect on you: why is it so wrong that people would see you and know you more intimately than through coffee talk? If there's an imbalance than maybe we all need to be more ourselves in the world AND in our families. This might dispel the tension and difference of behavior between the two spheres.

I really agree with your points about contempt and bring work home emotionally. I've been guilty of these. These are variants of the same idea, which is: your relationship is in trouble when you stop being on the same side.

This relationship sounds claustrophobic to me, but I'm very independent. I need real friendships outside of the relationship, and space. Maybe some people are better at relationships because of their natural character than others.


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There are so many errant as... (Below threshold)

April 23, 2009 1:19 PM | Posted by RobS: | Reply

There are so many errant assumptions and misguided conclusions in this post I don't know where to start. Or end. But I will address one item.

In other words, the marriages failed not because of what went on in the marriage, but because people were oriented wrong before they even got married.
This may partially explain why arranged marriages or marriages "in the old days" lasted so long. Everyone knew precisely what marriage was all about, there were no illusions or confusions.

In societies where arranged marriages predominate, divorce is often considered taboo. The social repercussions of divorce are so great that it is never considered as an option. That is why the marriages last so long. The length of a marriage in no way correlates to the happiness of the couple.

In arranged marriages it is rare the that couple know each other to any great degree before hand. You could say that the expectations of each half of the union should be low then.

But that isn't saying much is it?

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What about when you have re... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 5:22 PM | Posted, in reply to Claudius's comment, by justin Farmer: | Reply

What about when you have read all the manuals and your wife refuses to even open page one! How can you keep things exciting in bed with a woman that puts no effort into it herself. Why is it that before you marry a girl she will do almost anything in the sack and refuses to after you put a ring on her finger? From my personal experience I believe that it is more often women that cause marriages to fall apart. I watched my neighbor destroy her marriage. She complained all the time about her husband. Even when she was forced to admit he was doing every thing she always wanted. She told me "I know he is doing every thing I want him to do but I will never be happy with anything he does even if it is what I want." I see the same behavior in my own crumbling marriage. Women are incapable of forgiveness. They hold grudges for decades. Villainise there men and play martyr and victim. I see in my own wife. That she has no value for the spiritual aspect of sex nor the importance of just maintaing some kind of a physical bond with me. A lot of women are like this and it is evil I can think of no other word for it.

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I enjoyed this post very mu... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2009 12:54 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I enjoyed this post very much, and believe you are right on with every point.

It's funny to me that all the vehement "disagree-ers" go on to demonstrate, in the midst of defending their position, that they are current in or holding on to a toxic marriage/relationship and desperately need counseling or to move on with their lives.

I am divorced, and, after a good bit a grieving and blaming, ultimately came to the realization that neither one of us was/is a bad person...we brought the wrong expectations into the marriage, which led to contempt, apathy, avoidance, and gossip. Now that we are apart, we have a wonderful friendship that will truly last the test of time.

I believe, very much, in the commitment of marriage (for ALL!), but harboring contempt for your spouse, dumping your angry on the one's you love, "emotional affairs", ignoring your parter's physical needs, and/or, just plain withdrawing your emotion, are all violations of the commitment, as much as, and are, in fact, abusive. There is no value, for either party, to remain in an abusive relationship.

That will conclude my litte rant. Again, thanks for the great post.

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The problem with loyalty ov... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2010 8:54 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The problem with loyalty over truth, I would have thought, would be pretty obvious to a shrink?
How often does the heroin-addict son happen upon committing some awful crime out of nowhere (and the heroin addiction, as well)?
The problem is that the heroin addict come very well come from a family that has been hiding its deep dysfunction beyond family loyalty; simply a justification to fail others/themself and then perpetuate the problem.
Fromm's "Art of Love" touches upon the madness of such loyalty- one must have as much loyalty to others in order to be a good their own family.
Disagree? Take a look at the mob.

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No time to yourself.<... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2011 12:25 PM | Posted by Neal: | Reply

No time to yourself.

That section.

Thank you.

It's refreshing to hear some sense on that topic. So many people tell us we should take a break from our families. Puh-lease. As Fr. Stan Fortuna says, F.A.M.I.L.Y. Forget about me, I love you.

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TLP! Your homophone abuse i... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2011 12:21 PM | Posted by elena: | Reply

TLP! Your homophone abuse is so distracting. Sleights = slights.

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TLP! Your homophone abuse i... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2011 12:23 PM | Posted by elena: | Reply

TLP! Your homophone abuse is so distracting. Sleights = slights.

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help... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2011 2:42 PM | Posted by ken: | Reply

help

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Thank you! The content is e... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2011 10:25 PM | Posted by cheap jewelry: | Reply

Thank you! The content is extremely rich.

cheap jewelry

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I have to disagree - ... (Below threshold)

September 15, 2011 7:22 PM | Posted, in reply to Claudius's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I have to disagree -

A few years ago I with a girl who I eventually dumped for cheating.
We worked very well together in bed, and as far as I can see the reason she cheated was to fill some inadequacies she felt from her work life.

We keep in touch, and sometimes talk about her relationship with the other guy, who she is still with. She talks about being very sexually unsatisfied, and about how good sex with me was.
Now, I'd guess there is more than sex wrong in that relationship but I'd ask you, was she really leaving for better sex?

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i liked this article. <br /... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2012 3:43 AM | Posted by katy: | Reply

i liked this article.
the 'what you do is who you are' is a very Jewish way of viewing things (are you Jewish)?
this is totally beside the point, but my couples counselor friend told me confidentially that in her opinion the couples she sa had problems mainly because one of them was mentally ill and the other one was trying to work with this in any way they could-adapting around the other person.

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i like what he said about l... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2012 4:03 AM | Posted, in reply to katy's comment, by katy: | Reply

i like what he said about loyalty. everybody needs to have somebody who is going to be willing and able (to the greatest extent possible) to see their side, no matter what. That's love! Actually it is empathy (or sympathetic imagination, if you wanna say it in a real downer of a way).
When I was a very little girl, I had a stomachache, and I told my dad, and he said he had a stomachache too, which he called 'sympathy pains.' He didn't need to explain it any more. It meant more than it literally meant; it was my first introduction to the idea of compassion and it made me feel really special to be loved like that. And I'm sure it made me a more sensitive child. When you love someone you're willing to feel what they feel and let the boundaries get a little squishy.

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What a help to marriages an... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2012 7:01 AM | Posted by Elsid Callanta: | Reply

What a help to marriages and relationships. We men could take a lesson from this as well.As you know, marriage is a struggle and a journey. Very good advice for men and women both.

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I once read that the number... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2012 7:55 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I once read that the number one reason marriages break up is a partner points out the difference between the other partner's idealized self and their real self.
I'm not a big thinker about this kind of thing, but I do think one way to keep any relationship is to not do this.
It's kinda like rule number one in this blog entry.

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When is the book coming out... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2012 7:15 PM | Posted by Gabriel: | Reply

When is the book coming out?

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Wow. Does anyone have a fai... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2012 8:01 PM | Posted by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Wow. Does anyone have a failed marriage where you both are just sad you didn't make it?

I mean, my ex is a decent kind and likable person. I feel guilty that I wasn't able to do what it took to make the marriage work. I suspect he might too. I feel really guilty that the marriage failing hurt him, though it hurt me too. Neither of us wanted that. We both didn't do the right things to save the marriage. We both did things that hurt each other, though in reality we didn't mean to really hurt each other. We could blame each other, but why? I know he's a kind person, considerate, and a person with feelings that matter and I know I hurt them. I didn't mean to, but I didn't *not* hurt them. I failed because I set up a situation where I would fail. I can't speak for him. But I can say that I think well of him, and it hurts to have hurt him and to have lost what once seemed so wonderful.

In fact, TLP is correct in his assumption that we entered the marriage on the wrong grounds, and sadly I suspect if we hadn't we would not have failed. Or if we had admitted that, but decided to work through it some how. Perhaps that would have worked. But it's all hindsight now. And to this day, he's a great guy, a person with real feelings who was motivated to act in the way he thought was the best way.

But then on the note of talking badly about your family. I wish in my own that some one had. I wish some one had, and that I hadn't been forced not to. If I admitted anything the family, even those victimized worse than me, would turn on me. I wish my mother hadn't lied to protect the family all those years. She sacrificed our survival, our physical well being, our lives... to save the marriage that failed anyway because after everything else had been lost and even the last child had become a memory she finally thought of herself.

And everyone is still alive. It could have happened twenty years before with less collateral damage. But family first... unless so long as you don't have any sense of self about it. You don't have feelings. You are the thing other people's feelings own. Your life is whatever they say it is. Those bruises came from here not there. You lived in this house since you were a toddler, not since you were 12. Because... family first, nothing happened last night. Shut up or you'll wish you had pain to feel. This gun isn't a joke. You're dying. Good morning! Aren't we happy this morning! Be happy. everyone else is happy. Now. Because we have to be. Oh no, you're feeling ashamed. now we all have to feel sorry for you, or what you do now will be even worse. No I'm crying because you're hurting me, not to make you feel bad for me! Ok, I'm crying to make you feel bad now I deserve it... will you stop now? Will anyone help any of us?

Nothing happened... ok? And if you still feel something it's because you hate us and hate your family. This is your fault anyway because if you weren't here nothing could happen to you... if you hadn't been born I wouldn't have to do this!

It was always going to happen, the divorce, but lying to keep up face made us all sick and taught us all we didn't matter. Two generations now of it. And to this day, we still do have to unlearn family first... even after the first time one of us was raped and left to die in shit, vomit, and blood... believed we should protect the person who does this because they said they loved us once and their our partner. Because we love them. And we protect the people we love. Even if it kills us.

And... now... I have a failed marriage with a kind man because I'm fortunate. Very fortunate. More fortunate than most. But very fucked up. Or do you believe me? Perhaps I don't know what any of it would mean.

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Or do you believe me? P... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2012 9:20 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Or do you believe me? Perhaps I don't know what any of it would mean.


Think I'm paranoid btw. It would disappear if I talked with someone, very fast.

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Paranoid? How so?I... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2012 9:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Paranoid? How so?

I'm dramatic. But what I speak of is the past. I'm not well, that would be a lie to say I was. And yet, I'm content. A lie would be that it would disappear though. What happened happened.

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Perhaps paranoid isn't quit... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2012 12:29 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Rajan: | Reply

Perhaps paranoid isn't quite the word, but despite believing in your good intentions and and thinking I know who you are, I get insecure and frightened.

I have been manipulated before. What if...?

Can't comprehend why direct communication is off the table. It make me think that you intend to exercise your power over me in malicious ways. Or it might be a game of sorts, which would be ruined by direct communication.

I'd like these sort of thoughts to be put to rest. Am I expressing it well enough? Are we mind to mind? Please do tell if it's unclear.

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Not unclear. well, how do y... (Below threshold)

November 11, 2012 12:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Rajan's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Not unclear. well, how do you feel now that direct communication has happened?

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In one of the books from th... (Below threshold)

March 20, 2013 3:03 AM | Posted by Atarii: | Reply

In one of the books from the series "The Dresden Files," the main character, a wizard, displays his anger by launching a blast of fire at a garbage can across the street, launching it away and shattering several windows in a building close by.

His police friend has a conversation with him about it thereafter, saying something to the affect of, "At that moment, you BELIEVED it was O.K. to do that; you believed that your anger justified the use of your power in that way."

Reading your article, I recall how I often remember this advice, and the advice from that Christopher Nolan Batman movie: "You may still be that little boy, but deep down, that's not who you really are: It's your actions that define you."

It does not matter if I'm "really a nice guy!"
All that matters is how I act, what I do. When I go to work in the morning, on three hours of sleep and I hate the world, I wonder if my curtness and silence will be "wrong," objectively? Or even subjectively?

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Hi everyone i will never fo... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 4:32 PM | Posted by Selina: | Reply

Hi everyone i will never forget the help the priest of JAYEMA temple render to me in my marital life. i have been married for 4 years now and my husband and i love each other very dearly . after 3 years of our marriage my husband suddenly change he was having an affair with a lady outside,i notice it then i was praying for divine intervention the thing became more serious i told my pastor about it we prayed but nothing happen. my husband just came home one day he pick up his things and left me and the kids to his mistress outside at this time i was confuse not knowing what to do again because i have lost my husband and my marriage too. i was just checking my mails in the office when i saw someone sharing her testimony on how the priest of JAYEMA temple help her out with her marital problems so i contacted the email of priest JAYEMA i told him my problem and i was told to be calm that i have come to the right place that i should fill some information concerning my self i did after 30 minus he called me again congratulating me that my problems will be solve within 48 hours. he told me what went wrong with my husband and how it happen.that they will restored my marriage but i will make a free donation to their JAYEMA home anything my heart told me. to my greatest surprise my husband came to my office begging me on his knees that i should find a place in my heart to forgive him i quickly ask him up that i have forgiven him.friends your case is not too hard why don't you give priest JAYEMA a try they work surprises because i know they will also bring back your husband. contact him via jayemamagictemple@gmail.com

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This is my testimonial on h... (Below threshold)

November 6, 2013 5:44 PM | Posted by JASMINE: | Reply

This is my testimonial on how Dr.Zabaza of zabaza.logan@yahoo.com brought back my lover within 48 hours, I came across Dr.Zabaza email address through the search engine few days ago, so i emailed him about my condition and how my lover left me. He told me it would take him only 48 hours to get my lover back to me, And within 48 hours later my lover called me begging me to forgive him and forget about the past and he is ready to make up for lost time.Thank you Dr.Zabaza for the good job you did for me continue the good work. Contact Dr.Zabaza via email on zabaza.logan@yahoo.com or call +2348182620374

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Hello everybody, my names i... (Below threshold)

December 12, 2013 1:02 AM | Posted by Cindy Davis : | Reply

Hello everybody, my names is Cindy Davis Am from Canada i want to give thanks and honor to Dr.ATILA for the great work he did for me, he brought my lover within 24 hours which i never taught it will ever come through in my life, but this great man Dr. ATILA proved to me that powers can do wonders, i got his contact from a friend in the USA who he helped, this friend of mine told me that this man is great but i felt as hmm are you sure? cause i hardly believe those kind of things,so she told me not to worry that when i contact him, that she is guaranteeing me 100% that my lover will come back that if it does not work that she will be the one to give me back my money, to show her sincerity to me, she gave me her car that if it does not work that and she did not pay me the money that i spent that she i should collect her car and she gave me all the documents, i was so so surprised she was very serious about it so that was how i contacted him and i told him what i want he just told me that everything will be done within 24 hours so with the assurance my friend gave me i was having confident, so in the next 24 hours that he told me i just heard a knock on my door i never knew it was mark, so that was how i opened the door the first thing he did was to go on his knees, he started begging me to forgive him that he is very sorry for everything, i was really surprised and was also happy, so that was how i forgive him and now we are living together happily than ever before, and am using the media to invite my friends on my wedding which will coming up on 30/10/2013, am very happy thanks be to Lucy who gave me his contact and honor be onto Great DR. ATILA who helped a lot, if you need his help or you want to thank him for me you can contact him through atilahealinghome@yahoo.com or cell number +2348169457829

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Complement = something that... (Below threshold)

April 20, 2014 11:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Shaan's comment, by H: | Reply

Complement = something that completes or makes perfect.

Telling someone you think you're ugly so they'll tell you you're wrong is fishing for compliments.

Cheating on your spouse is fishing for complements.

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