Don’t let a Selfish Partner Hurt you

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Don’t let a Selfish Partner Hurt you

It may be hard to recognize the selfish, at least at first. Oftentimes they are social butterflies. Everyone loves and adores them. And everyone wants to cater to them, including you. But as time goes on and the charm starts to wear, as you get to peek more and more below the surface sometimes you start to see that this person’s whole world revolves around them. There isn’t room for you at all. You find yourself giving more and more, but they never return your energy or affection like they should. Instead, they suck you dry like a psychic vampire.

Don’t let a selfish partner hurt you. First, realize when a person is selfish and when you haven’t communicated your needs with them fully. Perhaps they don’t know what you want or how to fulfil your needs. Be patient. Communicate in lots of ways. See if they have a need to fulfill your desires but don’t know how to go about it. Help them. If they find excuses or are too resistant chances are they are selfish. But oftentimes one person in a relationship thinks the other should automatically know what they want. No one automatically knows what anyone wants. It isn’t a sign of love or not loving. It just means you have to learn to communicate your needs effectively.

Next, consider what the speech or behavior they are exhibiting is and if it is in fact selfish. What things do you do for them? Make a list. See what things they do for you. How does the list measure up? Some people look to date those that they can manipulate to get their own needs, wants and desires fulfilled without any concern or regard for the other person. Does this sound familiar? In a normal relationship the power dynamic is equal. But if you never do what you want to do, never go to the restaurants you want, never see the movie you want, never visit your family, and always undercut your desires to that of your partner, that person is indeed selfish. Your partner is probably convinced of how great they are and how lucky you are to have them. They think you need them and should get down on your knees and thank the heavens for putting them in your life. Talk about nerve.

If you think you are constantly being manipulated by a selfish person and no matter how many times you confront them, or try to get them to change, they don’t, make plans to end the relationship. Start drifting from them physically and emotionally. Detach from them. If they start freaking out show them the behavior you have to put up with. Use their words against them. Make it really uncomfortable for them. Then approach them about splitting up. Chances are they will be happy about it by then. No one wants to be in a relationship where they aren’t having fun, where they are being used. So turn the tables on them with coldness and you will have your freedom soon enough. For more advice read, Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You by Patricia Evans.

How Men Nonverbally Dominate

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How Men Nonverbally Dominate

A power dynamic is how power exists in a relationship. Does one partner have more power than the other? Does one have all the power? Or do they share power? Power dynamics shape love. They either allow a place for it to grow and develop or they choke it. The power dynamic that is the healthiest and aids relationships is when both partners share in the power equally. You can see a power dynamic at work by examining who interrupts the other, who talks over the other, who makes final decisions, who punishes, who generally wins fights and so on. Men and women utilize and respond to verbal and nonverbal cues in different ways.

Of course either sex can be domineering in a relationship. However, men are the ones who traditionally dominate heterosexual relationships. Men control women either consciously or subconsciously using certain verbal and nonverbal cues. For instance, personal space tends to be different in each sex. Men have a bubble of personal space around them. Others penetrate this to cause discomfort, get closer or create arousal. Women have smaller personal space bubbles. And men tend to invade a woman’s personal space more often in the hope of persuading or controlling her.

In terms of posture, men tend to use more open, expansive forms. Therefore they need more space. This taking up of space is deciphered as dominance. Women are more constricted because they tend to take up less space. If you notice how men and women cross their legs, it displays clearly this phenomenon. Men tend to cross their legs with one ankle on top of their knee or thigh, taking up lots of space. Women however cross their legs at the knee taking up far less space. Expansive positions communicate dominance. Constricted positions tell of submission. The latest research shows that incorporating more expansive body language increases one’s confidence and self-esteem. If you notice the mode of dress, a man’s dress portrays power, a woman’s submissiveness. Women have to cross their legs in skirts, ergo communicating submissiveness outright. Women also carry things in a handbag or purse, which also communicates submission while men carry things in their pockets.

Touch is another way men subconsciously dominate women. Research shows that men who aren’t romantically involved touch women more often as a way of dominating them. This is true of dominant personalities too. They tend to touch in order to dominate; someone that puts their hand on your arm to make sure you are paying attention to their point, for example. Men who care about taking part in a blissful, well-adjusted long term relationship should be aware of what nonverbal cues they are sending their female counterparts, and make sure not to dominate, but to allow her an equal share of the power. To learn more about dominance in relationships read, Intimacy and Power: The Dynamics of Personal Relationships in Modern Society by Derek Layder.

Single Moms are Just as Happy as Married Ones

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Single Moms are Just as Happy as Married Ones

One thing’s for sure, it isn’t easy being a single mom. There are specific financial, time related and psychological challenges. But a new study focusing on single moms in Poland found that they are just as happy as married ones. The research appeared in the most recent issue of the Journal of Happiness. Researchers conducted in-depth one-on-one interviews with single Polish moms to gain a thorough understanding of their happiness level. Poland was selected as it “has the worst system of public childcare provision in the EU.” Furthermore it’s not easy socially in the country to be a single mom as, “bearing a child out of wedlock is not socially accepted, and lone parenthood is not institutionally supported.” This makes it a good place to study the happiness of single moms as it rules out governmental or other programs. Furthermore, besides interviews researchers also used data from Social Diagnosis which is a study in the country that is still going on. Information on 7,633 mothers was culled from this study, 538 who never married, 6,594 who had married and 501 who were once married and now were either widowed or divorced.

Though single mothers have it hard in Poland, after studying the data collected from these two sources in depth, researchers concluded that single moms were just as happy as their married counterparts. The researchers wrote of the results, “Our findings illustrate that children are a focal point in an unmarried woman’s life, and that many important life decisions are made more responsibly for the sake of the child. Motherhood empowers single mothers, increases their sense of responsibility, and allows them to escape pathological environments.” In one interview, a mother discussed escaping an abusive husband. She said of him, “The man I used to be with, he had problems with alcohol and drugs. It was the reason why I left him. I didn’t think only about myself—but about the child, too. I had to start thinking… I had been hesitating before, I had wanted to leave him, but you know… love is blind. And it could be said that [my daughter] simply pushed me to do it.” Single moms did find raising a child alone to be stressful and tiring. But their children gave them energy and so much joy. Many explained that their children were their motivation for life. As one single mom utilized in the study said, “A child’s love compensates for everything.” If you are a single mom and need help finding your happiness or just managing the situation, read The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns by Andrea Engber and Leah Klungness.

Things to Avoid in Order to Co-parent Successfully

COPARENTING

Things to Avoid in Order to Co-parent Successfully

Co-parenting is really difficult, especially when you are just finishing up a conflict-ridden marriage or a bitter divorce. But to raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child it’s important to co-parent successfully, and to know what sorts of habits and behaviors to avoid. It can be enraging, frustrating, and exhausting to have to deal with your ex all the time. But now that you have children, you have no choice. In fact, the better the two of you get along, the better the children will do. First, avoid unnecessary anger. If you are at the beginning of your divorce and are trying to get ahead, try to make the tone of your divorce civil. The tone of the divorce can set the mood for the co-parenting period afterwards. It can be difficult to pivot after a bitter divorce to working together amiably for the sake of the children. Sit down with your ex-spouse and explain to them how important it is that you two work together for the children’s benefit. You can have a detached, professional tone. But anger and resentment are only going to make co-parenting more difficult. Don’t put the children in the middle. Do not use them as a way to get back at your ex-spouse for any transgressions they may have committed. That isn’t fair to the children, and instead of hurting your ex you’ll be hurting them. They’ll be collateral damage caught in a war between the parents.

Do not talk negatively about the other parent to or in front of the children. Encourage instead a healthy relationship with the other parent. Don’t let your ex do this either. In fact, it’s best to have a conversation about it right in the beginning and set some ground rules with one another in order to create a safe and effective environment for the children. You should also agree on a set of rules, bed times, schedules, and consequences if the rules are not followed. Children thrive best in an environment that is structured. When two different households have different rules it can confuse them and give them anxiety. Some people use the divorce as a way to get attention for themselves. They increase the drama and conflict to do so. But onlookers, though sympathetic in the beginning, will soon become aware of what is going on and they will put space between them and that person. Don’t be this person and if your ex-spouse does, ignore them and soon the behavior will end. Be a little bit flexible if you can with your co-parent. If they need to switch weekends or can’t take the kids a certain day, instead of coming down on them, understand. You should do so with the clear, previously discussed understanding that you, if and when you need to, should expect the same flexibility in return. Sticking tenaciously to the rules however can backfire if and when you need them to watch the kids or switch weekends.

When making co-parenting decisions make sure that your ex is in on these decisions. Don’t make them yourself and spring them on him or her, or you may find them cold and suspicious of you in the future. Co-parenting means exactly that. One parent shouldn’t be kept out of the loop or in the dark. The best co-parents are in constant communication with one another. Though it feels awkward in the beginning, soon it will just become the way things are done in your life. If your ex-spouse is dating or has found someone, don’t say disparaging things about that person, particularly in front of the children. Gossip or badmouth them with your friends when the children aren’t around if you have to. But even if they overhear something they shouldn’t, it can be damaging to your co-parent and so they will either think you are jealous or, that negative energy will get back to you. If your co-parent has hurt you deeply, be civil and use a professional tone. Find a way to grieve and forgive them. You don’t have to do it out loud or to their face. But you are the one living with the anger and resentment. So that pain doesn’t affect them as much as it does you. Forgive them instead to release yourself from the pain in which you carry. It doesn’t mean they are off the hook for the things they did. It just means you accept the past as how it happened, and will let it live there, in the past, while you move on with your own life and forward to a better future. For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households after Divorce by Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas.

When OCD keeps you from Happiness in Love

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People with OCD sometimes learn to contain it themselves through neutralization and rationalization. Still, even if one has other aspects under control, OCD can keep you from happiness in love. Those with OCD are wracked with indecision about whether or not to say get married, stay in a relationship or even date someone. Yet, the sufferer may not even be aware that it is OCD that’s blocking their ability to advance to the next level. If you think you or someone you know might be suffering from OCD or if certain OCD like tendencies are torpedoing their love life, check out these warning signs and see if they are familiar. People with OCD can’t tolerate even the slightest doubt. So if this person is wracked with doubt that might be an indicator. Then the fear of making a wrong decision plagues them. They slowly become convinced that the relationship won’t ever work out. Now they go over and over again in their mind whether or not they are truly in love with this person. They become obsessed with the issue. They go through the other’s list of qualities to see if they measure up to what they are looking for. But the victim of OCD will never get to the bottom of this. Soon they seek out the assistance of others and more often than not start to feel better about the relationship.

Soon however the questions begin again. Will this person love me? Will they cheat on me? Soon the OCD sufferer may start acting strange, making their significant other annoyed or worried. This reaction from their lover may make the OCD sufferer feel as though the relationship is in fact doomed, and decide to break it off. Soon however the one who has OCD may come to understand that these troubling thoughts are their own doing. They are going to try then and control them. These impulses however keep coming. Their partner may notice little signs of their self-control and worry about them, which again may backfire as the OCD person thinking that there is trouble in the relationship. Next, the OCD sufferer may try to avoid the triggers that start this line of thinking from occurring. But this avoidance, say of staying in all the time versus going out where the triggers may be could start static in the relationship, causing the doubts to rise up again. Lastly, the OCD sufferer may feel tremendous guilt but not know what to do. OCD has certain genetic links and is triggered by stress. Look and see if others in your family have had an anxiety disorder. Furthermore, seek out therapy. Make sure you find a qualified therapist who you connect with and has dealt with this issue in the past. Open up to your partner and let them know what’s going on. Ask them to come to therapy with you. For more advice on this topic, read Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family by Karen J. Landsman, Kathleen M. Rupertus, and Cherry Pedrick.