Posts Tagged ‘marriage counseling’

1. CRITICISM (EVEN CONTRUCTIVE CRITICISM)
2. BLAMING AND THREATING
3. COMPLAINING AND NAGGING
4. DEFENSIVENESS
5. STONE WALLING
6. COMPARING AND COMPETING
7. OBSERVING, JUDGING, AND CONTROLLING
8. TRYING TO CHANGE EACH OTHER & CONTROLING
9. CONTEMPT FOR EACH OTHER (BODY LANGUAGE, EYE ROLLING)
10. ANGER CREATED AND USED AGAINST EACH OTHER
11. JEALOUSY CREATED AND USED TO CONTROL EACH OTHER

www.adlerflorida.org

I had a very interesting experience last Saturday morning. I was making breakfast at home for Lori and myself. Lori and I have been married for 21 years, and this was shaping up as a typical Saturday morning. A quick breakfast together, followed by an hour or two of household chores. Lori was sitting with her laptop, at the breakfast counter, totally engrossed in working on a holiday show for the students at Alfred Adler Elementary, so the breakfast preparation was left to me. As I was making the eggs, I remembered a work email I had forgotten to send out, and was mildly annoyed with myself over this omission. I then glanced at Lori happily typing away, completely oblivious to anything else other than what she was creating. That is when it happened. Obi Wan would call it “turning to the dark side”. Alfred Adler called it feeling “less than”. My thoughts went, “Why isn’t SHE helping out with breakfast?” “No wonder I forgot that email. I am doing more than my share. ” etc, etc

Within a minute or two, I had talked myself into a very bad place. All too often, when I get myself in this state, I make a sarcastic joke, and damage the most important relationship in my life.

This time was different. I looked again at how happy she was to be doing exactly what she was doing in that moment. I thought about how much she gives of herself to the school, how hard she works, and her passion for giving each student a chance to be involved. Anger??? I no longer recognized the feelings of the previous few minutes.

Alfred Adler spoke of conjunctive versus disjunctive emotions. Those that pull us together, or push us apart. Rudolf Dreikurs said thought and emotions always work in tandem. Thought provides the direction, emotions provide the force of our movements. My thoughts, as evidenced by my self-talk, had provided direction toward some strong disjunctive emotions, and subsequently, just in the nick of time I might add, some strong conjunctive emotions. Our self-talk can induce disjunctive or conjunctive emotions towards ourselves as well.

So as the holidays are upon us, and we are all busily rushing about trying to do all that we do at this time, as you interact with the ones that matter the most to you, as well as your fellow man at the mall, at home, at work; remember the old adage, “guard your thoughts”.

We wish you many happy thoughts, and (the natural consequence) conjunctive emotions,
Greg and Lori DeCosmo

Marriage today is often the battleground on which the husband and wife, each dubious about his own place, fight for dominance. All predicaments and hardships serve as tests. Yet, financial difficulties, in-laws, sexual problems, infidelity, incompatibility whatever may be considered as the cause for marital trouble-is not in fact the cause of the trouble but the occasion at which each feels defeated. As long as the relationship between husband and wife is friendly, as long as they are not in competition and do not resent each other, difficulties and predicaments bring them closer together and stimulate their common effort to deal with this dilemma. But in an atmosphere of rivalry and competition, each blames the other for their common plight; each feels neglected, humiliated, or abused, and consequently each makes the partner feel unfairly criticized and judged.

p. 135, Social Equality, Rudolf Dreikurs.