Devil woman

Paper devil, photo by Brian S, Jakarta Indonesia, no faultHow often have we heard “the devil made me do it”? In actual fact we make choices and sometimes we regret these choices and find it necessary to blame others in order to save face. This is especially the case when the consequences are not wanted. No one can make us feel anything we don’t want to – we allow them to make us feel in a certain way.

he had cheated before but convinced his wife that
it wouldn’t happen again and she believed him
then one day he disappeared with his best friend’s wife
she suffered for two weeks not knowing where he was
then he came back and professed his love for her
insisting that he did not love the other woman
but that she had thrown herself at him and
eventually he weakened and gave into her spell
the devil woman made him do it
that was the line that convinced his wife
it was impossible for them to
have a happy life together so she ended it
to this day he cries over being dumped by her
and his friends actually feel sorry for him!

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Dignity or pride

My dog, photo by Lily Rosen, Tel Aviv, Israel, animal posture
My dog, photo by Lily Rosen, Tel Aviv, Israel

This photo depicts the utmost dignity and beauty. There is a fine line between dignity and pride. Dignity is a strength of character which helps us to deal with life, maturely. This can mean that we survive the worst of life’s ups and downs by having such a strength. Things happen which can either be absolutely terrible or unbelievably amazing, yet how we handle such events determines our health and wellbeing because extremes can stress us. Pride on the other hand leads to a closed character and secrecy, which keeps emotions buried causing illness and unhappiness.

as a young man he was charm itself
popular and loved by men and women
women wanted him, men wanted to be like him
he appeared dignified but was closed
and especially secretive about himself
he became dysfunctional and in time his aggression
lost him his family and the respect of many
unfortunately, he doesn’t see that there is
anything harmful in his choice of behaviour
and he leaves ‘dead bodies’ in his path
whilst self medicating with unhealthy things like
cheating, lying, excessive drinking, overeating and
who knows what else?
his only chance is that he comes out of denial
and becomes more transparent about who he is

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Generation gap

Mummy and me, photo by sanja gjenero, zagreb, Croatia,  parent  childTake back your authority as a parent, regardless of the age of your children. Even adult children need to feel that there is a healthy generation gap. You are the parent they are the children. You can be a friend but that role is governed by your role as the parent. They have friends who are there to share in their fun and foibles but do not confuse that role with the role of being a parent. In this way you keep good boundaries for yourself and also role model healthy boundaries for your children. Otherwise, children take on parenting roles towards their siblings or even towards their own parents – they become the parentified child. So, before long the roles are reversed, with children becoming critical towards their parents or feeling overly responsible for them and this is all due to the ambiguity. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensuring this does not happen by not relinquishing their role as the parent.

she wondered why she felt fear around her adult children
unable to express her needs to see them more often
she became depressed and confused
their claims that she was being needy felt accurate
until we discussed it and she became aware that
her expectations were quite normal for a mother who
had spent her life dedicated to the wellbeing of her children
now that they were adults it was not unreasonable
to expect her love to be reciprocated accordingly
expecting her busy offspring to reach out was unrealistic
yet trying to arrange visits was being met with
resistance and sometimes intolerance
until she realised that she had to take back
her role of mother and correct the imbalance
before more harm was caused to her and
to her adult children by being role modelled
ineffective parenting skills
in taking back her role of parent she became
confident, nurturing and specific about
what her needs as a mother were
resulting in renewed respect from her children

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Unresolved grief issues

“I am wondering how much the loss of a parent contributes to a new, hopeful, but tentative relationship becoming dysfunctional and morphing into a love addiction.”

Holding hands, photo by Laura Kennedy, Johannesburg, South Africa, lost loveLetitia made this comment when I wrote about the loss of a parent and my response is that awareness is 50% of the solution to a problem. So if we are aware of our unresolved grief issues then we can avoid letting them contaminate our relationships and turning them into dysfunctionality and/or love addiction. With unresolved grief issues it is difficult to avoid loving someone who subconsciously reminds us of our parents, whether it’s a loving parent or a punishing parent. This is, mainly because we search to find either a replacement for the loving parent whom we miss, or the punishing parent whose approval we seek. That is why grief counselling is vital, so that we stand a better chance of developing healthy loving relationships.

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