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Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #144181
08/09/11 01:10 AM
08/09/11 01:10 AM
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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It's funny, reading this book and then going to read help threads. I keep thinking "It's ok, just work on your differentiation. Learn to self-soothe"

I think differentiation is a powerful tool for growth - and conflict between DH and I doesn't seem as negative seen through that lens.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #144188
08/09/11 01:30 AM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
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I know....and every time I feel myself wanting to reach for something or someone but I look to myself first, I feel stronger. Not that reaching for people is wrong....but there is a difference between reaching and dependence.

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #144190
08/09/11 01:33 AM
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yes to you both. Conflict is actually up for us, but I am coping with it so much better. And I totally am reading other threads and thinking "you should read the book"

My only concern is that I am coming across as stand offish to H and others now frown I am trying not to, but it sort of creeps in a bit.


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Lil] #144193
08/09/11 01:45 AM
08/09/11 01:45 AM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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This is random....but lil I have meant to tell you I LOVE the av.

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #144202
08/09/11 02:12 AM
08/09/11 02:12 AM
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Quote:
My only concern is that I am coming across as stand offish to H and others now I am trying not to, but it sort of creeps in a bit.


Interesting - I think I've been coming off similarly. Perhaps this is part of the process of 'holding onto self'. Maybe with practice I can become more adept at doing this and reaching out to DH simultaneously.

One thing I have noticed, and it has made me cringe to see, are the ways I've 'trained' my H to interact with me. I've noticed him speaking in ways that almost seem like 'walking on eggshells' and constantly providing other-validation to make me feel better. I am seeing my insecurities reflected in his behavior, in how he interacts with me.

It isn't a pretty thing to notice - to see how we've twisted our interactions around as a result of emotional fusion and borrowed functioning (it's nice to have terms to put to the interactions between us).

Differentiating seems to spur conflict, in a good way, because you changing yourself seems to force change upon your spouse - they have to chose to differentiate as well, and it isn't comfortable.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #144336
08/09/11 01:05 PM
08/09/11 01:05 PM
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Don't think I should avoid this thread any longer - will read it (the thread) soon. Too much talk about it. Looking on amazon - is it worth spending the extra 4 for the latest edition?



Married 22years (this year) ~13y since dday(?)
DD17 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Squeaky Tree] #144357
08/09/11 01:48 PM
08/09/11 01:48 PM
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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I don't think there are any changes to the new edition - in fact I think in the intro of it he says he wouldn't change a thing (I'm going from memory here) so I don't think there's a problem with getting an older edition.

I'm getting my own copy from Paperback Swap in a few days! So I can stop making notes on post-it's, lol.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #144370
08/09/11 02:33 PM
08/09/11 02:33 PM
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thank you


Married 22years (this year) ~13y since dday(?)
DD17 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Squeaky Tree] #144413
08/09/11 04:36 PM
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OK,

I've now the thread and I think it would be useful. I guess I don't fully understand differntiation...but sometimes I think: yep, that's me - I'm differentiated.

Thing is I think I maybe take it too far, from what I am picking up here it is kind of an extension of boundaries.

I've been thinking about the highs and lows of my sex life, try to isolate my fear of intimacy.

The most sexy I felt was just after DS was born - but that could have been desparation to keep J - he was angry and resentful of both me and the babe.

The other time was during the A. I didn't have sex with OM and I didn't fantasise about him while I was having sex with H during the A. But during that time I felt very very sexy and I was certainly having WSS with my H.

I remember loving my body for both periods (one at 200lb and the other at 150lb)....

some time later things went wrong with my intimacy levels.

And that was s'posed to be about standoffishness but I've forgotten what I was going to say and how it relates. grin


Married 22years (this year) ~13y since dday(?)
DD17 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #144703
08/09/11 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
It's funny, reading this book and then going to read help threads. I keep thinking "It's ok, just work on your differentiation. Learn to self-soothe"

I think differentiation is a powerful tool for growth - and conflict between DH and I doesn't seem as negative seen through that lens.


Me too, Vibrissa! In fact, I've told several people about the book. I finished it on the plane today.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: believer] #145163
08/11/11 01:26 AM
08/11/11 01:26 AM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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Okay.....so I read chapters 9 and 10, and I am having some trigger related issues. I think I should delve into them. Not sure about.....how okay I am with just putting it out here though.

Has nothing to do with me feeling uncomfortable about the content....more like troubling things that I wish I wasn't thinking about. Hmmmmm

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #145179
08/11/11 01:51 AM
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Stop thinking about them, HRF. That's what I did.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: believer] #145180
08/11/11 01:53 AM
08/11/11 01:53 AM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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Yeah......but this is stuff I did not let myself cycle through when I was going through it. It has nothing to do with wishing I could have some sex. I joke about that but I'm not about to implode or anything.

I don't know. It's all in the past so maybe it just needs to stay there. Too much "navel gazing" can be....too much.

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #145249
08/11/11 04:28 AM
08/11/11 04:28 AM
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Chapter 9: Wheres Your Head During Sex? Mental Dimensions of the Sexual Experience

This chapter explores our mind during our sexual encounters. Apparently, everyones mind starts to wander a bit during sex. Often people fantasize sometimes even about having another partner. This produces struggle, because we all secretly fear that our spouse is fantasizing about someone else, which plays havoc with our need (our dependence) on our partners validation. What could be more invalidating than to know our partner is imagining being with someone else while they are with us?

Originally Posted By: pg 243
Heres the paradox: the very thing that makes poorly differentiated people go crazy over their partners sexual fantasies predisposes them to do the same thing themselves! Being dependent on validation from others, they have to lie about it even while they are complaining about their partner. And in the midst of all this, they want their partner to validate them and make them feel secure.


Originally Posted By: pg 243
Humans will always fantasize; thats not necessarily a problem. The difficulty is that the way we fantasize (and hide it) interferes with intimacy

So fantasies can be used to bring a couple together and differentiation can help you not take it personally SHOULD your partner chose to fantasize about someone else.

Schnarch then identifies 3 common mind sets for sexual encounters, and how increased differentiation can allow each mind-set to deepen the connection and intimacy between partners. We all probably have a preferred mindset, one in which we are more comfortable.

Sexual Trance is where one experiences an altered state of consciousness. Often you focus on the sensations you are feeling and so dont want a whole lot of talking or outside noises. People who can only achieve low levels of sexual trance often have to tune out their partner to achieve orgasm. This can leave their partner feeling used which lowers the intimacy between partners. In order to increase intimacy in the Sexual Trance style both partners can attempt to trance and/or go deep into a trance, so that your eyes can be opened. This allows you to make a connection with your partner without losing the necessary awareness of your sensations.

Partner engagement is all about the bond between the parties involved. There are various levels from one extreme to the other. On one end are sexual predators, each level progresses until partners actually recognize one another as real people as opposed to walking genitals. The last two levels require higher levels of differentiation. As the differentiation of the partners increases, there is deeper engagement between partners. This, in turn, lowers the potential partners available to you. It takes time and effort to reach higher levels of partner engagement you cant do it with a great number of people.

Finally is Role Play, which is all about exploring and acting out your secret sexual desires. Role Play requires that the role you are playing fit with your personal sexual self-image. As your differentiation increases, you become more comfortable in various roles, without feeling awkward or fake.

Sexual boredom in marriage often arises from using limited styles. Couples often rule out various things they arent comfortable with (those that are frightening because they are beyond their ability to self-sooth) and then have to make do with what is left. This provides only limited opportunities for variation in the ways we connect as a couple. By increasing our differentiation, we can find a balance between the use of all 3 styles.

Originally Posted By: pg 257
Someone with truly balanced sexual development is equally comfortable with all three psychological dimensions of sexual experience. Such a person has no sexual pseudo preferences that is, preferences based on limitations.


Originally Posted By: pg 259
Sexual conflict in marriage is not just inevitable its important The resulting friction stretches youRemember, this growth is the differentiation that has to keep pace with your spouses growing importance in your life if you want to keep intimacy and sexual desire alive as you stay together longer. Poorly differentiated people mistake the absence of open conflict to mean that everything is ok



Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #145250
08/11/11 04:33 AM
08/11/11 04:33 AM
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: heremainsfaithful
Yeah......but this is stuff I did not let myself cycle through when I was going through it. It has nothing to do with wishing I could have some sex. I joke about that but I'm not about to implode or anything.

I don't know. It's all in the past so maybe it just needs to stay there. Too much "navel gazing" can be....too much.


This presents an interesting conundrum. Schnarch says in several places that you can use the present to work through past problems - use the present to build differentiation and resolve those past issues. However, all the examples he describes are within the context of an intimate relationship (obviously). So how does one resolve the past in the present when there isn't an intimate relationship?

Is it navel gazing to examine the past, and process the anxieties it brings you; acknowledge the ways it is shaping you today and chose to no longer allow it to do so?

I don't know what it is you are working through Herf - but I think there is a difference between navel gazing via rehashing the past over and over and over again and honestly examining what went before and how it is hampering you now and committing to a plan to change that.

I don't know if you can process it here - maybe not - but I think there is a way to process it, get through it and move forward, and I don't think that is a bad/unhelpful thing to do. I think it's healthy.

Just my $.02


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #145252
08/11/11 04:41 AM
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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So on Chapter 9. Honestly it's been harder for me to resonate with this chapter. Mostly because I didn't really identify with any of the 3 states strongly. Also DH and I are usually pretty good at sharing fantasies - sometimes I can tell he isn't 100% there, sometimes I'm not either - but other people don't commonly intrude in our thoughts.

I'm more of a 'gotta do x, y, z when we're done here' type of person. I am fairly sure DH doesn't think about other people - he doesn't like to do that even on his own (though I could be wrong about that...)

Plus none of the styles seemed like 'me'. We do a little bit of all 3 - perhaps Personal Engagement a little bit more than the other two, but they're in there from time to time.

We typically teeter on the dividing line between level 4 and 5.
Quote:
His/Her happiness and satisfaction become as important as one's own. Compassion, consideration, mutuality, and integrity steer the interactions, made possible by one's ability to calm one's anxiety and self-soothe one's conflicts and hurts
We've stood on the cusp of this threshold several times in our marriage.

Sometimes we come closer to it than others. One big thing holding us back was the lack of connection my husband craved and I felt uncomfortable giving (or I thought I was uncomfortable giving - I've tried it recently and it isn't that scary at all!) Implementing a lot of the last few chapters over these last 2-3 weeks has made a DRAMATIC improvement in that area.

I will say I take a lot of comfort from his stance on conflict - that it's ok, that it is part of marriage, in fact that it is NECESSARY for a healthy, strong marriage.

I like that message - I hope that is one I can pass on to DD well enough to counter the constant message of "If it's meant to be it's all just a ride off into the sunset".


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #145333
08/11/11 02:25 PM
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herfuturesbright Offline
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The more I thought about it the more I think....nah. I'll go ahead and say that when I was thinking of the more "intense" levels of sex and referencing it with my own experience, it was making me sad that those times that I really did feel....in the moment and uninhibited were not with h. That made me sad and regretful again. But it is what it is. And I think the best way for me to process it is to not worry about all that and just think with the mindset of learning for the future.

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #145666
08/12/11 02:49 PM
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herfuturesbright Offline
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Finished the book. Now I am going to go back and read some things again.

That last section was amazing! My brain is still digesting. I loved what he had to say about the past. And it brought to light a few things about me that I need to work on (again). Because I have to admit that I see some "mom" in me at times. She was a master of manipulation......and gosh, I can see ways that I have tried to do the same. And it is interesting....the people in my life who have been around the longest and who I most respect will not allow me to manipulate them. They won't play the game.

Very interesting.

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #145985
08/13/11 08:47 PM
08/13/11 08:47 PM
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I am still reading the book, time wise my choice has come down to read the book, or read on MA. Book wins smile

For those who have finished - Believer and Herf - would you write a synopsis of the book, and what concepts where important for you? Overall this is a great thread and very informative.

Herf, I have been very interested at how often I can either relate the book to my relationship with H and former relationship with my mother. I wonder if he will ever write a book about differentiation with an emphasis on FOO


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Lil] #146005
08/13/11 11:43 PM
08/13/11 11:43 PM
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herfuturesbright Offline
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That is interesting. I thought some about my mother....as well as my relationship with my own children, esp. DD.

I wanted to cry when I finished, partially because some of it was exhausting, and partially with this feeling of...freedom?

This is a new thing for me. I have always used lots of words, and words were my way of making sense of things. But it's like the things in me - good things - just seem inexpressible with words. I am just......content - not complacent, just peaceful.

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #146047
08/14/11 03:06 AM
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I finished the book and gave it to my niece today. She and her SO are having some problems. I did talk to them both about some of the stuff in the book. YIKES!


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: believer] #146052
08/14/11 03:26 AM
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Did you tell them to go home and have WSS????

Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: herfuturesbright] #146083
08/14/11 06:38 AM
08/14/11 06:38 AM
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Vibrissa Offline OP
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I see most of us are finishing the book - I've dropped the ball a bit. I got a job (yay) and have been desperately trying to prepare for my first day and finish setting up the new house, so my reading fell behind. I would love to hear y'all's thoughts.

Chapters 10 and 11 are here(I plan to post summaries of the last three chapters Monday):



Chapter 10: F***ing, Doing and Being Done: It Isnt What You Do, Its the Way You Do It.

I struggled a bit with this chapter. Ive read it three times and am still having a bit of trouble summing it up. This is probably just me.

Schnarch introduces 3 terms F***ing, Doing and Being Done. He uses Doing and Being Done almost as euphemisms of F***ing. F-ing seems to be a subjective you know it when youre doing it type of things that is uniquely defined by each person(probably why I struggled with this).

Originally Posted By: pg 267
Commonly described as: (a) two-way vs. one-way energy, (b) equally shared, (c) a profound energy link, (d) effortless flow, (e) aggressive give it to me! sex, (f) no secrets/self-revealing/ nothing held back, (g) Clearly seeing and accepting each other, (h) brain/body/sould connection, (i) going to the limit, (j) losing oneself (wild abandon, uninhibited, (k) Finding oneself, (l) amazing, (m) timeless, and (n) transcendent.

F-ing can be done without sex or genitals, at all. However, it is difficult for many people to do. Doing so requires harnessing your sexual power and aggression (phallicness in males and muliebrity in females). Aggression is often pushed out of sex it is associated with anger and abuse. However healthy aggression has a place in f-ing. F-ing uses the anger and aggression that naturally occurs in marriage and digesting it through sex.
Women seem to know more about doing and being done. However, they often stifle their sexuality and eroticism for the sake of their partner.

[quote=pg 286] Doing your partner and allowing yourself to be done takes more than getting over hang-ups. It often dakes developing what hasnt existed before: self-master and self-development.


Section 3
Chapter 11: Two-Choice Dilemmas and Normal Marital Sadism

Life will present us with two-choice dilemmas: choices we dont want to make. The consequences of choice present us with anxiety. Often we will want both, but can only get one or we dont like the result of either. So we will avoid making a choice for as long as we can and try to keep our spouse from choosing as well.

However, accepting these events as an opportunity for growth fuels differentiation. Anxiety is inherent to growth. We will often try to remove anxiety before we move forward but anxiety is resolved while moving THROUGH change. Eventually we have to make choices, typically we chose the option that causes the least anxiety or has the more expendable consequences.

While avoiding choice we often become sadistic.

Normal Marital Sadism is something that occurs in every marriage. Hate occurs in marriage sometimes we hate our partner BECAUSE we love them so much, and thus we are vulnerable to them.

Originally Posted By: pg 310
People who cannot acknowledge their hatred are most pernicious to those they love. One cannot control what one wont acknowledge exists. Mature adults have the strength to recognize and own their ambivalent feelings towards their partner. They self-soothe the tension of loving and hating the same person at the same time and the fact that their partner feels similarly.


It is hard to admit that we hate our spouse. It is painful to accept that we are hateful, malicious and vindictive. We try to deny that we are this way, even to ourselves. However, we cannot overcome this, and create intimacy if we refuse to acknowledge its existence. We cannot fix something we wont admit is broken.
This is the dark side of each of our natures, made even more so by our desire to ignore its existence.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #146084
08/14/11 06:47 AM
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Quote:
I have been very interested at how often I can either relate the book to my relationship with H and former relationship with my mother.


I have struggled with my relationship with my mother for .... well forever (the story is elsewhere - don't feel like rehashing it).

I remember sitting with my pastor discussing my relationship with my mother (he's never met her) and the struggles I've had with our relationship and he stated "You're trying to break the cycle." It made sense, in many ways I'm trying to break the cycle of abuse and .... failure(? not sure if that's the right word) ... parental inadequacy (?). In many ways she's the best mother she is capable of being - given the limitations of her own mother.

There was a paragraph in Chapter 10 that spoke to me powerfully:
Quote:
When we stand up and confront ourselves in ways our parents have not, a desire for justice makes it harder to forgive them in some ways. However, the increased differentiation this endeavor provides allows one to better self-soothe, to validate one's own experience, thereby unhooking the need for confession from one's parent. At this point, forgiveness becomes an act of self-caring and a deliberate decision to get on with one's life


Going through all this - I definitely feel the bolded section. I just haven't gotten to the latter point - the forgiveness part. I get closer and closer to it. Sometimes I feel like I almost have it - then the anger and need for justice emerge....Someday I'll get sick of this invading my life. I keep holding on and holding on, I don't know why I can't let it go....well I probably could figure it out if I thought about it hard enough.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: BR: Book Club: Passionate Marriage - Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Re: Vibrissa] #146089
08/14/11 08:26 AM
08/14/11 08:26 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,566
New Zealand
Lil Offline

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Lil  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,566
New Zealand
I hear all that ^^^

I have mummy issues, will join you in a thread about it one day....just not now please laugh

I was listening to Radio Rhema today, and a devotional thingy came up. The guy was talking about forgiveness, and how you're suppose to go talk to someone who offends you etc. Anyway, he said a bit into it "sometimes we forgive and let go, some times we forgive from a distance, either way we forgive because God forgave us". The bit about forgiving from a distance really struck me. I get peace of mind by staying distant, which stops me finding new things I need to forgive wink


Hey, well done on the new job!! claps I started work last week.


AKA Lildoggie

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