Many times in a marriage or a close relationship and while raising children we will see emotions that not only appear out-of-place but they are,for instance, depressed people will quite often laugh or people who have feelings that are hurt will get angry when both would do better to acknowledge their feelings have been hurt or they are feeling sad. To often relationships will end or be pulled apart because we do not understand our own emotions.
In dysfunctional homes, which comprises of the majority of homes, children are not allowed to have or to express emotions or worse yet, they are mocked for having these feelings. As a result of stilted emotions in childhood, many of us do grow up in denial of our own true emotions. Boys and men have been told for generations that a show of emotion is a sign of weakness just as women have heard for years that they are too emotional to lead. We now know both are the thinking of backward beliefs. We need to know that the Leaders of business and the World do care about those who they lead and that they will make decisions affecting all of us based, on their concern for our needs and futures.
We just had an election where all Americans were concerned because Romney did not show emotions so we felt the candidate lacked sincerity. Emotions that are denied in both genders often leads instead to stilted leadership and unfair practices in both business and government and leaves people feeling that the person lacking any show of the same is untrustworthy. When we deny or hide emotion we cause an imbalance of stress in not only our lives but those who share our life with us.
Those under the most stress will often deny that they have stress while often times those who cause stress in other people’s’ lives will be the first to complain that they are under a great deal of stress. Sometimes they are taking their own stress out on others but many times it is used as an excuse for poor behavior on their part as well. People other times are relieving their stress on others, without even being aware that they are. Determining our own stress related causes is especially important due to the many stressed related diseases that do lead to death in not only ourselves but our loved ones as well. When it does not affect our health,which is rare indeed, it often leads to the end of really important relationships in our lives.
Too many times we just keep going on and never-changing our patterns in life and in doing so the stress builds up in us. In areas where noises are constant such as traffic noises, or trains and planes passing, we may be suffering stress and be totally unaware of the stress caused by noise factors. Parents have been yelling at children for generations because the loud music teenagers often play, may be relaxing to some, while it causes stress in others.
When children feel stressed we quite often find that they will begin to bicker with each other. When they are not under stress they will play together in harmony. When we buy a child under stress a gift or set them in front of a television we do nothing to alleviate the stress they are feeling. If we send them to their room instead of setting them down and asking them why they are exhibiting inappropriate behavior their stress will continue to build. Other times if we ask them to think about why they are behaving the way they are and to report back to us when they have figured it out, they will come up with their own answers. Other times they will blame others before they understand that their own emotions are coming from eternal changes happening in their own bodies.
Children are no different from adults in that to often, instead of dealing with the truth of their emotions, they will blame the closest to them for their own bad behavior. Many times it is, we the parents who are accused to be at fault by our children and too many times,out of a feeling of guilt, because we parents have not dealt with our own emotions, we will reward instead of punish their bad behavior. There are many different ways in childhood, when stress occurs, and our emotions get dismissed,ignored, or criticized. If we reward bad behavior instead of discussing it because we are buying off our own unresolved guilt we can create a monster no differently than we create the same future adult through cruel and abusive treatment in childhood. Other times bad behavior is better explained through chemical imbalances in the brain and our children need early intervention at this time.
When we add abusive punishment to an already stressed child we risk ending up with two kinds of adult behaviors. We may either have very angry adults or we have adults who live in denial of their own emotions, so they stuff their feelings instead of acknowledging them and releasing their emotions through expression. When people stuff down their emotions they often exhibit their emotions in other ways such as in over spending or shopping, being overtly sexual in their behavior, turning to drugs and alcohol,weight gain or lost,or excessive sleeping.
Many dismissed or ignored emotions are the explanation for why angry adults are not aware their own anger lies in hurt feelings from childhood instead, and why they live and breathe the idea that others are to blame when they become angry or withdraw. Too often we hear abused partners in a marriage or a relationship say but they are so kind and thoughtful when they are not angry.Other times adults will withdraw emotionally and use it as a form of control over others who are left wondering, sometimes due to their own insecurities, if they said or did something wrong. Both behaviors are terribly destructive not just in the life of adults but in the lives of children as well. When we give children excuses for poor behavior without taking time to understand their bad behavior they will often times grow up and excuse poor behavior in others and sadly it does reach the point that they accept abusive behavior through the reasoning that they love the abuser or they become the abuser themselves.
When we do leave abusive relationships because we recognize how destructive they are to us, we need to get professional help, many times, to understand what it was in us that allowed someone else to mistreat us. If we try to go back into a relationship without resolving our own emotions or discussing our differences with them, we will only repeat the mistakes of our past. They will not change or become less abusive just because we wish them to.
If the other person in the relationship, tells us they want to start all over and leave the past unresolved, too often we only rehurt ourself all over again because the same words or behavior that hurt us in the past will keep reoccurring unless both of us are strong enough to talk it through and to put an end to it that is welcoming and calming to both of us. Just because we wish to change does not mean they do as well. Too often people who live their lives blaming someone other than themselves, also die that way.We often find this to be true when adult children try to make up with a parent or spouses try to reunite.
Stress related diseases are not found in the remains of the caveman so how do we explain that foraging for food and not knowing if they ate or not was not stressful? The explanations can be as complicated or as simple as we make them. More than likely, it is the simple explanations; they did not know differently because they lived in an isolated environment in communes where everyone else shared their same lifestyle, competition to succeed was not a part of their environment, nor were outside aggravations from other influences that affect modern man a part of their lives, everyone was dependent on everyone else in their group for their survival so when problems arose or they needed to hunt together,they worked the problems out through communication or they were not pressed for time because their lives were less complicated. The stress that we experience was not a part of their lives and therefore the stress related diseases that we see today, were not present either.
There are a number of ways that we can relieve stress that do not cost money and bankrupt us as adults with the most important one being to listen to our children and to validate their feelings. We can go out together as a family for pizza, to the park, or camp out and go fishing, go to the beach, take time out of our busy days to walk together or to set together at the dinner table and discuss our days. The things that we do with our children together, is what helps make them grow up as calm adults. Placing them in an activity while we send them in a car pool does not replace that family time that children crave.
In a relationship men need male bonding as much as women need female companionship. If we do not trust our relationship or marriage enough to accept that there will be times in all of our relationships and marriages that we need to give each other space then, more than likely, we should not make plans to commit to the relationship for life. Trust is the necessary foundation of all relationships and without it we are only lying to ourselves if we cannot trust enough to let go. Women quite often need to release stress through hobbies or crafts just as men do through sports or hunting or both need space to paint or write. It is o.k. to play or watch sports, to hunt or share a hobby together, but to become inseparable when we are young, will usually cause more problems in the relationship than what we will find when we give each other the space we each need, to develop our own interests and responsibilities separately,occasionally.
When we are dealing with a marriage or an adult relationship, many times it is a necessity to have space from each other. We both should be aware of the person who refuses us the necessary space because they could very well be possessive or interested in forming a relationship of co-dependence, that shuts out all of our other important friendships and family members. It is not always the inseparable couple who are the happiest. Quite often it is the opposite of a happy couple, but instead a smothered couple.
In any relationship it helps to have other interests that gives us space as we need separate space just as much as we need shared space. Sometimes when days off are limited, in marriages as in friendships,or families, it does help to take separate vacations if our interests are not shared.When we are a young family then it is always wise to use our days off to expose our children to other parts of the Country or World so they are not intimidated when they need to move on with their own lives. It does us well to understand that vacation time can be just as stressful on children as it can be on adults. It’s always best to start with short trips and limited days until they get older.
Absence may not make our hearts grow fonder, so to speak, but we often find out that the reason we are feeling bad has nothing to do with the person we are blaming but everything to do with our own inability to deal with our own unresolved emotions from another happenstance in our lives, when we make space for ourselves and take time to reflect. This does not mean that we do not make shared time and interests just as much of a priority and we remain close as a couple because if we spend too much time apart we can become a high risk couple as well. Like everything in life it is about balance while recognizing the importance of sharing our time as well.
I caution all of us to think before we find our own behavior destroying our own lives, when we instead are blaming it on others who truly do care about us and are innocent of our own hurt feelings or anger. At the same token, I caution everyone to think equally as hard about the solutions that will be resolved prior to going back to an old abusive relationship or starting a new one, since past behavior often indicates future behavior. When people begin lying to themselves about their emotional history, in order to believe their own lies or to embrace denial, reality is no longer their long suit and they become totally unaware of the fact that they are lying to themselves as well as their loved ones.
Sometimes people,who refuse to accept responsibility for their own poor behavior, really are at fault when it comes to the hurt in us. We are in trouble if we are making too many excuses for them by rewarding bad behavior and taking responsibility for it ourselves. Other times we may be blaming others because of our own unresolved emotions. If we do not allow people to mistreat us they cannot mistreat us but we need to be certain it isn’t we who are mistreating ourselves the most.
If we cannot resolve these issues on our own it often saves the best relationships we will ever have, if we seek out professional help, before we end the relationships. If communications are impossible because they refuse to take shared responsibility for the problems in our relationships or we refuse to hear what they are saying, then we need help. We cannot force others to view the problems the same way we do or see problems when they were not aware that any existed.
If we cannot afford counseling then a good friend who understands what makes others tick, because they have experience in life, may be able to help us, as long as we do not blame them for failing to say the things we want to hear. If we find them agreeing with us instead of pointing out both sides, then seek out someone else because they are not challenging us to see beyond our already written in the stone beliefs. People tell us not to make rash judgements for a reason with the main reason being ,when we do, we often hurt ourselves far worse than we do anyone else if we fail to deal with our own emotions,first.
Be kind and know that unless we resolve our own emotional history we will not find the joy we seek nor will we find it in someone else. It is true, “that familiarity often breeds contempt,” because those who truly care about us are the closest to us. Many times we also know them better than they know themselves, and we make it more difficult for them to make excuses or to lie to themselves when they know, we know the truth, and they refuse to take responsibility for their own emotions or behavior.
We can also be the first hurt by those who are in denial of their own emotions, as we are the ones who often get lied about the most since the goal of the person in denial is to protect that denial at all cost. As difficult as it is in the beginning, if they are not willing to deal with reality in time, we begin to feel the relief of being out of their drama and realize the value of being free from the same, once we do heal.
No one but ourselves can make us happy or at peace with others.Nor is it their job to do so. Other people can add to or compliment our own happiness or joy only if we have already found happiness through our own approval of self, and acceptance of others’ rights to find their own happiness with or without us. At the same token other people can only destroy that inner-peace in us, if we give them permission to do so.
It is very difficult work that is involved and often takes years of laying our heads on the pillow content with knowing we do feel complete because we have given much more to life than we have subtracted from it. We also must be aware that to be real, our contentment in life never wavers no matter how many times it gets challenged,as it will be challenged many more times in life. We cannot mistake what I am writing about with the narcissists who feel they are entitled to everything they get.
We must be cognizant of the fact there are people who are more content with being a victim,due to their delayed or stunted emotional growth, than they are with being a winner. We need to accept that many times those we think we are the closest to are the most toxic to us, just as we must learn to accept those we think are our enemy often times are our best friend. People prove their loyalty to us time and time again but sadly too many people often put their faith in those who don’t support them, because the people they protect lead them into believing they are a victim.
It is the nature of mankind to react to tragedy and injustice when we see it and if we are not selfish by nature, we offer help and support, to those who truly do suffer. Unfortunately there are those who prey on that factor and want us to feel they are a victim as well. Too many times those who do not deal with their own emotional history will use our naivety or kindness to their advantage to manipulate those of us who do care. It especially occurs in those who do not take a good long hard look at themselves and ask,”Why do I keep repeating the same mistakes and hurting myself in the process.
It is nice to write about something other than politics again and now that we are done celebrating our Country’s victory, some of us need to get to work on our own victories. It often entails hard work when we do wish to be honest with ourselves and others. The efforts to know ourselves are greatly rewarded when we do.