Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Spell Check for Relationships

One of the hardest things in a relationship is getting past some of the hurts we encounter. People in relationship will hurt each other. It is just logical that somehow we are going to say something, which leaves a mark. 

If we keep doing this to our relationship partner, it is probably a sign we have a lot of deep anger and need to work on it. However, in most relationships, the hurts are not constant, they are just part of our history together.

It is important to get past the hurt and move into the positive aspects of being together. Our ego loves to hang on to the times when our partners did or said something wrong. We have clients who hold on to past grudges and replay them with such clarity you would think it happened an hour ago rather than ten years ago. Our past is subject to our control and we can change our approach to it if we desire. 

One technique is to view our past memories like a Spell Check in a computer. If I type Txton in my computer, it shows it in red, an indication of an error. If Txton is a word I want to use forever, I simply go into the database of the Spell Check and tell it to add the new word to the memory.

Hurts from the past can be dealt with the same way. If my partner said something a year ago that hurt me, and I want to stop feeling bad about it, I can go into my emotional database and tell my ego this particular situation is no longer painful. If I come up with the thought again in the future, I will remind myself it is no longer a hurtful memory and move on. It takes about three times to truly make the ego go along with the change. Remember, you are in charge of your life, not your ego.

Thus we are never victims.

Any thoughts. Share them with us in the comments section or write us at nyccc1@aol.com. Join the blog by becoming a Follower in the box on the right and we will send you a note every time we have a new post. For more information on our counseling go to NYCCC.ORG

If interested in a faith based approach to counseling see my book Inner Space (click here).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Three Goals for Heathy Relatinships

There are three aspects of conscious focus in relationships that can create a sense of safety between partners. They are:

I believe I am a PRIORITY to my partner

I believe I am SIGNIFICANT to my partner

I believe I am RESPECTED by my partner 
If these critical characteristics of conscious focus are missing, the interaction between partners will focus on how each person can capture this sorely needed piece. An argument will not be about the unresolved difficulty, but about a way to regain the sense of priority, significance, or respect.

To accomplish this focus, partners must ask themselves, in a conscious manner, how can I let my partner know they are a priority to me, they are significant in my life, and are respected by me. When this is taking place as an active behavior, the atmosphere in the relationship is safe and open for growth. To accomplish this we need to focus on the positive aspects of our partner and not on the areas we want to change.

Love is the power within us that affirms and values human beings as he or she IS and not the way we want them to be. Human love affirms the person instead of the ideal we would desire him or her to be, or the projection flowing from our mind. 

Love is the inner place of the soul that opens our blind eyes to the beauty, value, and quality of the other person.  Love causes us to value that person as a total, individual self, and this means we accept the negative side as well as the positive, the imperfections as well as the admirable qualities. When one loves the human being instead of the projection, one loves the shadow as much as one loves the light. One accepts the other person's totality.

Try being conscious of providing this type of security to your partner and watch for the change. If both partners try this exercise, the results are beautiful.

Share your thoughts with us by email to nyccc1@aol.com or even better, share a comment below so all can journey together. Join our blog by entering the Follower and Friends box to the right or check the FaceBook or Twitter  LIKE button. We also offer counseling at our New York office or online with Skype or FaceTime on internet.

If interested in a faith based approach to counseling see my book Inner Space (click here).

See our website at www.nyccc.org for more help and information. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Why Fight?


A reader sent this email to us and ask us to respond:

 “Dr. T and Dr. Jan – I have been in several relationships over the last few years (I am 34 year old and single) but they all seem to have the same pattern. They start in fun, open communication and then digress over time to a place of conflict and non-communication. I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem, but what is going on that causes this to happen.  If you need more information, let me know, but I am really tired of the pattern.  JW.”

JW – Thanks for your email. 
First thing to consider is that conflict is always part of a relationship; we just don’t want it to be the entire relationship. 
Conflict is simply the meeting of different opinions. Fighting is when we try to force the other person to change their opinion to ours. (See our blog “I vs WE”. )

So why do we end up in a highly conflicted relationship? One thought to consider is; “The relationship probably reflects the inner turmoil of one or both of the participants in the relationship.” 

If I am in conflict with my own life, I will carry this conflict to others. Most fights are simply continuing rituals, which develop as a place of expressing energy, but accomplishing nothing. 

Rituals are usually important statements when we begin them, but often fade into unconscious repetition that has little or no conscious meaning. I may have a ritual of brushing my teeth and then having a cup of coffee in the morning. It is not a conscious process, but it is a way of expressing my individuality. The ritual of an argument and fight is the same process. I am aware of how vulnerable I am to the impact of the world around me, so I stand ready to defend myself from every perceived wrong.  If I feel under attack, I will respond out my learned ritual.

In relationships, we develop a better understanding of how the other person will handle life. If I perceive the other person doesn’t handle life as I do, then I may perceive I am under attack and respond accordingly. After a while, we have developed a new ritual of cause and effect, fight all the time, accomplish nothing, and develop even greater mistrust.

 For example, when we first date, you tell me you like the rural country. I am a city person, but I find your thought interesting and let it go. However, as we continue to relate, I see you refer to the country several times and don’t seem to agree with my thoughts about the beauty of living in the city. As this goes on, I now feel you are threatening me and my views, and I need to defend myself before you topple my “correctunderstanding. I personalize your opinion as an attack and now begin to ritually send you negative energy to attempt to overthrow your attacking army. The strange part about this is, you cannot understand why I am so angry about your liking the country, as you wouldn’t really want to live in the country, but you love to visit the country. Now you have to defend yourself from my attack on the country. And on we go!!!

How do we stop this deterioration?

Stop defending yourself.
We don’t have to agree to be close. If we are very close, we may enjoy the fact we don’t agree and thus are challenged by someone we can trust. However, if I continue to think I must protect myself from every thought that is different from mine, then I will remain an insecure, lonely person.

JW; try this as a focus thought for a while: I am entitled to my opinion and I don’t have to agree with you. You are entitled to your opinion and you don’t have to agree with me. But I refuse to see your difference of opinion as a threat to me; it is simply your opinion.

Share your thoughts with us by email to nyccc1@aol.com or even better, share a comment below so all can journey together. Join our blog by entering the Follower and Friends box to the right or check the FaceBook or Twitter  LIKE button. We also offer counseling at our New York office or online with Skype or FaceTime on internet.

If interested in a faith based approach to counseling see my book Inner Space (click here).

If you still feel threatened by the relationship after a few week of making this a conscious evaluation, then it may be time to move on to a safer relationship.
We would love to hear from all who read this blog. Email us at JTTwerell@JTTwerell.com or leave a comment here.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

We are both Masculine and Feminine

In our recent blogs on relationships (click here to see series) we stated it is easier to understand parental influence on children if we  have a clear definition of the masculine and feminine roles in relationships. The interesting thing about this type of definition is the fact the roles of masculine and feminine are actually part of each individual even apart from a relationship.
Robert Johnson, who penned several books dealing with the interaction of the masculine and feminine aspect of individuals,  developed the concept that the masculine, also known as the Animus, is the part of each person and is the warrior/conqueror. It is this part of each of us that drives us toward greater achievement and accomplishment. It is also the aggressive part of our makeup, which can be destructive if not consciously guarded.
The feminine side is called the Anima, and is the aspect of each individual which reflects compassion, nurturing, healing, and the gentleness of living. In each person, the goal would be to have the Anima and Animus work in harmony allowing a power of accomplishment to be balanced with a harmony of compassion. In most cultures the woman reflects the feminine side while the man reflects the masculine part of our emotional makeup. However, if the individual is not in touch with the opposite side of their emotional universe, then they are out of balance. More information on Robert Johnson may be found at (http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/4971/Robert_A_Johnson/index.aspx)
A male, who is not utilizing his feminine side, will be seen as aggressive and uncaring with a detached and non-nurturing persona. A woman who is not in touch with her masculine side will appear as soft, weak, and dependent. 

Obviously, the goal in the individual journey is to bring these two sides into harmony. Further, in the relationship of man and woman, it is also necessary to bring these sides into balance if there is to be harmony and true love. As discussed in the previous blogs on Mother/Son and Father/Daughter relationships, our early lessons on this Masculine/Feminine balance are discovered by all children at an early age and become part or our unconscious definition of who we are and how we relate to others.
 Over the last centuries, the dominant male and supportive female roles have been a fairly normal interaction. However, in modern relationships, the masculine and feminine are not compartmentalized into defined roles and now the individuals in relationship need to find a balance in masculine and feminine not only in their individual walk, but also in the evolving romantic relationship with each other. No longer are the defined roles of masculine and feminine allocated to male and female, but now each individual is learning to embrace both their individual “anima and animus’ in order to live in harmony with each other.  

Understanding the impact of our parents on our own masculine and feminine emotional systems is essential. We suggest you go back to the last three blogs on parent/child relationships and read them again with this understanding of the masculine and feminine sides of our emotional makeup. 

Share your thoughts with us by email to nyccc1@aol.com or even better, share a comment below so all can journey together. Join our blog by entering the Follower and Friends box to the right or check the FaceBook or Twitter  LIKE button. We also offer counseling at our New York office or online with Skype or FaceTime on internet.

If interested in a faith based approach to counseling see my book Inner Space (click here)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Comments on Mother/Son and Father/Daughter Blogs

We introduced the thought that adult relationships are formulated, to a large extent, by childhood. We received a lot of comments and will share a few. We do appreciate your email comments, but would also like to have readers comment on the post page so others can dialog and we can share together. First email response:

Dr. T and Dr. J

Thank you for your post about father/daughter relationships. I am 45, divorced mother of two (19 and 25). My father was a very hard working man, but he was totally absent from any emotional contact with the family. He made contact with my older brother through sports, but he had no real attachment to women (including my mother). I vividly remember how I would go out of my way to make sure his paper was by his chair each day so he could sit and read it when he got home. I did a thousand other things to get his approval, but never really felt like it worked. I went to college and became very sexually active as soon as my feet hit campus. It gained me attention and admiration from the men. I now realize it was not me that got the attention it was my sexual behavior.

When I married, I had a husband who was a great provider, but totally detached from the marriage and from the household. I realize now that I married my father. I kept looking for his approval and did everything I could to please him. My husband  finally ended up having an affair with a younger woman and left me behind. I assumed I had once again failed, as my performance was judged by him and I came up looser. Your quick little post hit me like a lightning bolt. I need help. I am tired of riding the opinion of men as my sense of worth. What can I do? Thanks RLK

We responded to RLK and she is now in sessions with our SKYPE counseling. The beautiful part about RLK’s letter was her ability to see how her unconscious childhood had continued to run her adulthood. When we become conscious, we are 90% healed of past wounds.

Here is another email comment:

I am 28, married for a year, and no children. When I read your “mother/son” post I checked to see if you had sent it directly to my attention. My husband has a very strange relationship with his mother and it is now playing out in our marriage. She is a very controlling woman, who is successful in life, but not in relationships. She has been married several times, and my husband’s father is not in his life since he was a baby. I knew she was a strong woman before I married, but in the last several months, she has been more intrusive than normal. Nevertheless, I am not bothered by her actions as much as my husbands. It seems that the more she tries to run our lives, the more my husband seems to be angry with me. From what you shared in your blog, I think the “Mother Complex” is working and I am getting the brunt of his destructive behavior. I am concerned about this, and would like some guidance in this problem. Thanks for any help and know that your posts are real life savers many times.. MK

We responded:

MK. Thanks for your email. Unfortunately, you seem to be correct in your evaluation of your husband’s reaction to his mother. Because we don’t know him and are only relying on your input, we may be wrong, but it does appear that he is looking for you to provide him the “mothering” that his own mother refuses to give. Most likely she has been a very dominant part of his life since he can remember, and perhaps not the highest level of nurturing. The more she becomes negative about your marriage, the more he feels like a failure and demands that you nurture him. Unfortunately, because the complex is being fed by the negative input of his mother, there isn’t enough positive input available to make him feel better.

The answer is for him to become conscious of his reaction to his mother and separate childhood from adulthood. The two of you are a new unit, and as such are not subject to the mother’s evaluation. Set goals and objectives for your marriage that reflect who the two of you are and, as you meet those goal, celebrate the victory with great enthusiasm. If you set a goal to travel more, when you take a trip, have a great dinner celebration marking the fact that you are doing what you both set out to do. Mom will not change and you can’t change your husband. He has to be willing to see his reactions and consciously move into a better place emotionally. However, you can make the new journey together a place that is a reflection of positive love and acceptance.

Share your thoughts with us by email to nyccc1@aol.com or even better, share a comment below so all can journey together. Join our blog by entering the Follower and Friends box to the right or check the FaceBook or Twitter I LIKE button. We also offer counseling at our New York office, on line, or with Skype or FaceTime on internet.

If interested in a faith based approach to counseling see my book Inner Space (click here)