Monthly Archives: February 2016

Strong woman . . . walk away!

A strong woman will automatically stop trying

Do not compromise your self-worth and dignity by forcing yourself to stay in a place where it is evident and explicitly clear that you are no longer valued.

Take heart and move on with your life, there is a better future waiting for you out there. Trust and believe that better things are still to come for you.

African Lion

Battered Women’s Syndrome
Battered Women’s Syndrome is considered to be a form of Post-Traumatic Stress. Battered Women’s Syndrome is a recognized psychological condition that is used to describe someone who has been the victim of consistent and/or severe domestic violence. To be classified as a battered woman, a woman has to have been through two cycles of abuse.

What is a Cycle of Abuse?
A Cycle of abuse is abuse that occurs in a repeating pattern. Abuse is identifiable as being cyclical in two ways: it is both generational and episodic. Generational cycles of abuse are passed down, by example and exposure, from parents to children. Episodic abuse occurs in a repeating pattern within the context of at least two individuals within a family system. It may involve spousal abuse, child abuse, or even elder abuse.

A son, who is repeatedly either verbally or physically abused by his father, will predictably treat his own children in the same way. When a daughter hears her mother frequently tear down, belittle, and criticize her father, she will adapt a learned behavior which involves control through verbal abuse. Similarly, a child who witnesses his parents engaging in abusive behaviors toward one another, will very likely subject his or her spouse to the same abusive patterns. These are examples of generational abuse.

The episodic cycle of abuse is characterized by distinct periods of behavior that eventually result in an extreme episode of verbal and/or physical abuse. Typically, victims of episodic abuse live in denial of this reoccurring pattern.

Flowers on wooden table

Stages of Battered Women’s Syndrome
There are generally four stages in the battered women’s syndrome.

Stage One–Denial
Stage one of battered women’s syndrome occurs when the battered woman denies to others, and to herself, that there is a problem. Most battered women will make up excuses for why their partners have an abusive incident. Battered women will generally believe that the abuse will never happen again.

Stage Two–Guilt
Stage two of battered women’s syndrome occurs when a battered woman truly recognizes or acknowledges that there is a problem in her relationship. She recognizes she has been the victim of abuse and that she may be beaten again. During this stage, most battered women will take on the blame or responsibility of any beatings they may receive.

Battered women will begin to question their own characters and try harder to live up their partners “expectations.”

nature-water-flowers-purple-medium

Stage Three-Enlightenment
Stage three of battered women’s syndrome occurs when a battered woman starts to understand that no one deserves to be beaten. A battered woman comes to see that the beatings she receives from her partner are not justified. She also recognizes that her partner has a serious problem. However, she stays with her abuser in an attempt to keep the relationship in tact with hopes of future change.

Stage Four–Responsibility
Stage four of battered women’s syndrome occurs when a battered woman recognizes that her abuser has a problem that only he can fix. Battered women in this stage come to understand that nothing they can do or say can help their abusers. Battered women in this stage choose to take the necessary steps to leave their abusers and begin to start new lives.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (in South Africa) at 0800-150-150. They will direct you to safe places in your area where you can seek help.

Is love like the ocean, full of conflict and full of pain?

Brook_Water over rocks

What is love?

What does love mean to you?

Complete the sentence: Love is . . . .

Erich Fromm
Infantile love follows the principle:
“I love because I am loved”
Mature love follows the principle:
“I am loved because I love”
Immature love says:
“I love you because I need you”
Mature love says:
“I need you because I love you”

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
“ . . . let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, and make not a bond of love; let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”

nature-water-flowers-purple-medium

Perhaps Love
By John Denver

Perhaps love is like a resting place – a shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort – it is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble when you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

Perhaps love is like a window – perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer – it wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself and don’t know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

Love for some is like a cloud – to some as strong as steel
For some a way of living for some a way to feel
And some say love is holding on and some say letting go
And some say love is everything, some way they don’t know

Perhaps love is like the ocean full of conflict full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside – or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever and all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
Some say they don’t know
Perhaps love is like the mountains full of conflict full of change
Like a fire when it’s cold outside – or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever and all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

When two lives merge . . .

Power and Control (Groom & Bride)

Getting married and living happily ever after are not necessarily synonymous. Personal history (past behaviour) such as previous marriage(s) or previous relationships with the opposite sex and what we have learned about marriage from our parents are usually good predictors of what your marriage will be like.

Dedication and commitment:
Relationships are a flowing stream which cannot be taken for granted but the dedication and commitment to the process will provide the “cradle” in which a real related partnership can begin to grow. There is a need for personal and mutual satisfaction in the relationship.

Communication:
The communication in a relationship is the kind in which persisting feeling are shared for the good of the relationship, in spite of the risk involved, for example:
“I will risk myself by endeavouring to communicate any persisting feeling positive or negative, to my partner – to the full depth that I understand it myself as a living present part of me. Then I will risk further by trying to understand with all the empathy I can bring to bear, his or her response, whether it will be accusatory and critical or sharing and self-revealing.”

One of the most fortunate things about this kind of communication is that it can be started by one member of a partnership. This takes courage, but it is possible.

Dissolution of roles:
In marriages which seem enriching and satisfying, roles seem to play a lesser part. To blindly follow the expectations of one’s parents, one’s religion or culture is to seriously hamper the process of developing a partnership.

This does not imply that all role expectations are necessarily “bad”. In fact, after mature consideration, one might choose to follow the same course of action as his or her parents, but this should be because he or she chose to – not because he or she was expected to. In other words, we will live by our own choices rather than the rules and roles others are determined to force onto us.

Power & Control (man & woman on couch)

Become a separate self:
A living partnership is composed of two people, each of whom owns, respects and develops his or her own selfhood.

Ongoing self-discovery is important as is growing acceptance of the total self including the “dark side” of the self “masks” or facades, such as the “Barbie Doll” or “Macho Man” put up as self protection and which is gradually dropped. Your partners acceptance of the weak and vulnerable side of you is doubly enriching.

Becoming a separate self also implies living by your own experienced values. It is almost inevitable that the growing person will encourage his or her partner to develop as well, and rejoice in each step. When growth towards selfhood occurs in only one partner and fails to take place or encouraged in the other the increasing distance becomes huge, and only a miracle could save the relationship.

“Perhaps I can discover and come closer to more of what I really am deep inside – feeling sometimes angry or terrified, sometimes loving and caring, occasionally beautiful and strong or wild and awful – without hiding those feelings from myself.
Perhaps I can come to prize myself as the richly varied person I am. Perhaps I can openly be more of this person. If so, I can live by my own experienced values, even though I am more of all society’s codes. Then I can let myself be all this complexity of feelings and meanings and values with my partner – be free enough to give of love and anger and tenderness as they exist in me. Possibly then I can be a real member of a partnership, because I am on the road to being a real person, and I am hopeful that I can encourage my partner to follow his or her own road to a unique personhood, which I would love to share.”
– Carl Rogers

Before committing to marriage, you should consider putting a marriage emotional pre-nuptial agreement in place which will outline how you will . . .

• Handle children
• Discipline the children
• Sex within and outside marriage
• Money matters
• Division of labour within the marriage
• Religion
• Careers
• Retirement
• In-laws
• Geography (location – where you will live/work/how you will commute)

Remember: with marriage, two lives need to merge

Are you investing more than you can afford to lose?

If you have to give up your friends, family and career, the cost is too high. If the marriage falls apart, are you going to be emotionally bankrupt? Better to be healthy alone, than sick with someone else.

Have you identified and communicated your needs and expectations?
• What are your absolute deal breakers? E.g. extra-marital affairs?
• What are your partners absolute deal breakers?

The formula for success in a relationship is a function of the extent to which it is built on a solid underlying friendship and meets the needs of the two people involved.

Listening

Hotline

YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME WHEN . . .
You do not care about me;
You say you understand before you know me well enough;
You have an answer for my problem before I’ve finished telling you what my problem is;
You cut me off before I’ve finished speaking;
You finish my sentence for me;
You find me boring and don’t tell me;
You feel critical of my vocabulary, grammar or accent;
You are dying to tell me something;
You tell me about your experience making mine seem unimportant;
You are communicating to someone else in the room;
You refuse my thanks by saying you haven’t really done anything.

Lets_Talk

YOU ARE LISTENING TO ME WHEN . . .
You come quietly into my private world and let me be me;
You really try to understand me even if I’m not making much sense;
You grasp my point of view even when it’s against your own sincere convictions;
You realise that the hour I took from you has left you a bit tired and drained;
You allow me the dignity of making my own decisions even though you think they might be wrong;
You do not take my problem from me, but allow me to deal with it in my own way;
You hold back your desire to give me good advice;
You do not offer me religious solace when you sense I am not ready for it;
You give me enough room to discover for myself what is really going on;
You accept my gift of gratitude by telling me how good it makes you feel to know you have been helpful.

Rose opening Animation

Quotes about listening:
• The first duty of love is to listen – Paul Tillich
• Listening with the inner ear helps to understand the inner person
• A good listener is the best physician for those who are ill in thought or feeling
• We have two ears and one mouth, that we may listen the more and talk the less – Zeno
• To answer a question before you have heard it out is both stupid and insulting (Proverbs 18:13)
• Each of you must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be angry (James 1:19)
• If a word burns on your tongue, let it burn – Persian saying
• If you enjoy listening you will learn – Ecclesiasticus 6:33
• Be quick to listen but take time over your answer – Ecclesiasticus 5:11