Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Check this out about labeling our children, its only a minute.

By Timothy D. Evans and Raymond J. Corsini

Grousing is a common behavior that is highly destructive to relationships. It increases interpersonal conflict and provokes revenge while generating attitudes of resentment and no cooperation. Parents grouse at their children because they believe it will make them more responsible. One or both members of a couple may grouse at each other, convinced they know what is best for their partner. Despite its prevalence, grousing is a discouraging way of interacting. It destroys the potential for developing an encouraging and intimate relationship.

What is grousing? Webster defines grouse as “to grumble or complain.” It is related to the word “grouch.” Roget equates the term with “fret, chafe, frown, crab, or pout.” The usual synonym for grousing is nagging. The phrase, “Get off my back” means to stop grousing.

The initial step in encouragement training is to teach couples, parents, and teachers how their seemingly innocuous behavior irritates and discourages others. Nothing will improve in marriage until one starts working on him- or herself without trying to change the other person (Evans, 1989; Meredith & Evans, 1990). Marriage reconstruction requires the grouser to stop nagging, complaining, arguing, judging, criticizing, punishing, or rewarding (anything that irritates the other person). In short, the grouser needs to shut up and be pleasant.

GROUSING EXERCISE: An especially effective exercise for improving relationships entails the elimination of grousing for 4 consecutive days. After the therapist explains what it means to grouse, the following directions are given to couples or individuals: If you are guilty of grousing, are you willing to stop it for four consecutive days? If so, here is the assignment: You must stop grousing immediately and completely for four consecutive days. If you’ve been attacking, criticizing, yelling, reminding, nagging, threatening, bringing up the past, comparing, or pointing out mistakes, stop it now. This includes all negative behavior, no matter how “nicely” presented or well-intentioned.

Instead of grousing, act “as if” you are a sensible and self-controlled person who has decided to get off your spouse’s back and enjoy their company in spite of their shortcomings. You are not to do anything else other than to avoid grousing at your partner, child, or the person closes to you. After four consecutive days you have the choice of reverting to your old behavior.

You are only to participate in this exercise if you agree to do it for four consecutive days. This means that if you go for three days and grouse, you need to start over. You are not to perform this exercise with the intention of shaping-up the other person. You are changing your behavior because it is the decent and reasonable thing to do.

Assuming you follow through with this experiment, what might happen! There are several possibilities:

1. You will feel better about yourself. After all, who likes to be a prison guard monitoring someone’s behavior?

2. You will look better. Nags look like nags.

3. You will show/generate goodwill. Your mate will have evidence of your intention to improve the marriage.

4. You will become a more encouraging person.

5. You will reduce tension.

Your family will develop a friendly, supportive atmosphere. The Grousing Exercise is one that benefits everyone as both therapists and their clients can encourage themselves and their families. Practicing encouragement via the elimination of grousing is a win-win quality relationship proposal. ‘

REFERENCES

Evans, T. (1989). The Art of Encouragement. Athens, GA: University of Georgia, Center for Continuing Education.

Meredith, C., & Evans, T. (1990). Encouragement in the Family, Individual Psychology, 46, 187-192.

The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families ~ Vol. 2, No. 1 (1994) pp. 70

[1] Appeared in: The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families ~ Vol. 2, No. 1 (1994) pp. 70

Life is made of one-third what I choose to do with my thoughts, behaviors, and attitude. Another one-third is the choices people around me make, in which I have no control. Hopefully, my wife will continue to choose to be with me. I cannot control her choice. I can decide how I will behave in hopes that she will find me pleasant and interesting, but in the end, the choice is hers. The final third, which again I cannot control, is what the universe, biology, nature, or what some believe God determines. I have no control over a hurricane hitting Tampa, my cat having heart disease, or a friend getting cancer. This is biology. I do have a choice in how I interpret and relate to those specific events (again my one-third).

If we live long enough, we will encounter events that force us to face our vulnerability as human beings. This can be interpreted as an injustice because “I have been doing everything right (if there is such a way) therefore nothing bad should ever happen to me.” This “injustice” may be because of someone else’s choice or biology. When it occurs, I will experience vulnerability and know that I am not totally independent. Some may guard against these feelings of vulnerability and say his wife’s cancer is the work of the devil. These life events will test our emotional self-reliance (self-responsibility) and push us to need others.

When we confront and experience our vulnerability we receive a dose of humility, which connects us to others. From these incidents, we will learn there is only one genuine need we all have and that is other people.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have misbehaved and made poor choices. Take for example the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. His brothers sold Joseph, the youngest and special son, into slavery. This was the beginning of Joseph’s trouble. He was falsely accused of having sex with his owner’s wife and thrown into prison. Yet he survived. Before he reached age 30 he was appointed as a top official by the ruler of Egypt. He predicted a famine and was put in charge of a food storage that saved the region. His brothers were forced to journey into the city seeking food, starving, and begging. Who did they appear before? Joseph! His chance to get even.

So it would seem that justice will prevail and what goes around comes around. His brothers did not recognize him and Joseph’s natural inclination was revenge. However, Joseph recognized that revenge was an easy way out. The courageous choice — and the only way to be happy — was forgiveness. One difference between happy and unhappy individuals is the ability to forgive.

Tragedy, error, inhumanity, and struggle will not go away. However, the realization that you have a choice in how you respond is powerful and influences your happiness and well-being, in spite of the other two-thirds. Forgiveness is done through the use of good psychology. It requires courage, emotional self-reliance, and a desire to be free.

Anyone who has done you harm will continue to have a stranglehold on your life, until you are willing to forgive them and free yourself from the resentment, anger, hurt, injustice, and sometime hatred.

Joseph took an active approach to the injustice and pain inflicted upon him. He used the situation to become socially interested instead of self-interested.

Forgiveness is an active process that requires these steps:
• I will not bring up the incident again and use it against you.
• I will not talk to others about this incident.
• I will not let this incident stand between our personal relationships.
• To do this I will not dwell or ruminate over the problem or punish you by withdrawing and keeping emotional distance.
• I will free the relationship to develop, unhindered of the past wrongs.

“We do not suffer from the shock of our trauma but we make out of it just what suits our purposes”

Alfred Adler

How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers? Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning? For shutting doors or speaking through walls? For never speaking, or never being silent? Do we forgive our fathers in our age, or in theirs? Or in their deaths, saying it to them or not saying it. If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
From the movie “Smoke Signals”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120321/quotes?qt=qt0320335

We all have this distorted picture, in our society, where we grow up with this constant fear that we are not good enough, constantly being humiliated, constantly a threat of making mistakes being a failure. In our lifestyles we find an escape from the danger if I can’t please, I am not good enough, if I am the first one I am good enough, if I can make other people do what I want, if I can fight my way through, I am good enough. We find in the lifestyle this pessimism, this doubt, which we try to overcompensate on this vertical plane. So we try to be somebody by trying to be more. Once we free ourselves with the idea that we are good enough as we are, we don’t need this accomplishment to be somebody, then we are free from fear and we see all the energy come forward and we can devote ourselves to the task.

Rudolf Dreikurs

We are always better prepared if the marriage of our parents has been harmonious. Children gain their earliest impressions of marriage from the life of their parents. If the parents are not able themselves to cooperate, it will be impossible for them to teach cooperation to their children.

R. Dreikurs

The worst preparation for marriage is when an individual is always looking for his or her own interest. They are alert to how they are being treated or mistreated. If partners have been trained in this way, they will be thinking all the while what pleasure or excitement they can get out of life. They will always demanding freedom and relief, to have their own way, never considering how they can ease and enrich the life of their partner.

“We too have the power to choose happiness over righteousness. Righteousness means remembering every time someone hurts us or disappoints us, and never letting them forget it (and—frightening thought—giving them the right remember every time we hurt them or let them down and constantly remind us of it). Happiness means giving people the right to be human, to be weak and selfish and occasionally forgetful, and realizing that we have no alternative to living with imperfect people.

Boston Globe columnist Linda Weltner makes the point in a story she tells. She remembers sitting in a park watching children at play. Two children get into an argument, and one says to the other, “I hate you! I’m never going to play with you again!” For a few minutes, they play separately, and then they are back sharing their toys with each other. Ms. Weltner remarks to another mother, “How do children do that? How do they manage to be so angry with each other one minute, and the best of friends the next?” The other mother answers, “It’s easy. They choose happiness over righteousness”.

The quest for righteousness estranges people each other; the quest for happiness enables them to get past their shortcomings and connect with each other. And strange as it may seem, happiness may be a more authentically religious value than righteousness. “

From:
Harold Kushner, How Good Do WE Have to Be? pp. 108-109

Book available on our website.

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish
ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends
and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by
the smallest people with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for the underdogs anyway.

What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight,
Build anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the
teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

Author Unknown