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Rabu, 16 Januari 2008

Re: [ACWDYG ] Love, Sex, and Friendship Within Relationships

Petala (Star) - I loved reading your story because I read so much about myself in your "old habits". Most of myself I am aware of but am still insecure about changing. Many, many changes have been forced on me (mostly to the good) because of my past relationships (and marriages). I chose men who were either either recovering alcholics or still drinking/drugging alcholics. I did not really love either of these two men and neither was "good" enough for the person that I am. I just thought it was safer (although my safety then became an issue). Anyway, thanks for helping me poke through that dark hole in my life a little further. I try hard to be aware and am always striving to be better. Step by step.

Petala Steele <> wrote: Thank you, are so right in your words esp on how do we
become loving...however, we need to learn to accept love, too, as
well as love ourselves.

It seems so easy to anticipate defeat when it's what we have faced
all our life and accepted and felt we DESERVED...too many times we
even purposely DESTROY the good that comes our way, along with the
love because we don't believe we DESERVE anything good. We can accept
defeat because we allowed it and others to make us feel that it was
part of who we are but we often cannot accept love because we are
scared of what is good and right. Many of us know what it's like to
lose and not win. So if something good comes our way, we will chase
it away to keep from being hurt, when actually it's our pre-conceived
perception or anticipation of hurt that we are running from...along
with our past.

It took me a long time to realize that I was chasing away potential
relationships or I was choosing the wrong man over and over and could
not figure out why. In actuality, I didn't know how to choose a good
relationship because I never had good role models teach me what to
look for in a mate. I also did not know the difference in sex and

To teach myself how to find good role models, I returned to the
Biblical Old Testament and read the Proverbs as well as other books.
The plan for life and how it should be as well as marriage was
written in the Old Testament but not much was paid attention to in
society today as most people tend to think the Bible is old and out
dated...well, folks, the concepts still exist as does the wisdom and
if you JUST follow it, you will find it's true. I was raised
Christian but tried other religions over the years so I used other
books as well and came up with one thing in common-the plan for life
and marriage and good love involved a set of guidelines that just
didn't change, no matter what religion or belief wrote the book.

I started out with the determination to remain celibate first. That
eliminated a big stressor from my life right off the bat. I didn't
have to worry about impressing anyone else and at first, men would
laugh and try to undermine this on dates. Once they saw my
determination, they either dropped me as a date, went on their way,
or I dropped them. Either way, it elimated riff-raff.

Second, I put the moral compass into effect...what kind of man did I
wish for as a husband/partner/father to children? Someone with
morals close to my own...I didn't want a man who drank or used drugs
or believed it was ok to be a career criminal and was obvious he was
NOT going to change. Or a man interested in only the challenge of
sex. That eliminated married men from relationships right off the
bat! Because many times we may date someone married or fall in love,
as we believe it to be, with a married person, when in honesty, it's
just another way to AVOID commitment...because we FEAR commitment
down deep. We fear rejection and love and are scared of it so we set
ourselves up to fail from the start by choosing someone already
married. They are "safe" for us, or so we fool ourselves into

When I finally figured out the difference in sex and love and made a
commitment to MYSELF first that I would NOT allow sex to enter into
any relationship, without the benefit of marriage or commitment, I
was well on my way to happiness. In my relationships, I started
DEMANDING more of myself and of my dates. I demanded respect as well
as love and morals. I became celibate with a determination to find
exactly what love and friendship was all about. In other words, I had
finally observed a pattern of bad choices and behavior that was NOT
rewarding to me and I was sick and tired of it. This was a very HARD
journey and I shared this journey with my single and married friends,
many of whom I found had similar problems in relationships. In the
end, if I could NOT RESPECT MYSELF the next morning, how the HELL
could I expect anyone else to do it for me???

Third, into my new relationships and dating areana, I read a book one
day by Robin Norwood called "Women Who Love Too Much" and that just
opened my eyes to the wasted time in relationships and co-dependent
behaviour that I was either seeking or enabling in others. Once I saw
the red flags and started eliminating dates immediately and not
wasting any further time on them, I was able to find the right man
for me. Many times we blame our partners or mates as being liars
when the fact is, they told the truth RIGHT OFF THE BAT but we chose
to IGNORE the red flags. Examples of these flags are mostly during
conversation when a person will say: Oh, you deserve so much better
why you chose someone like me (EXCUSE YOURSELF TO THE BATHROOM AND
memorized the list of red flags in her book and I dumped guys
mercilessly. I would leave dates in the middle of a restaurant,
conversation, etc as soon as the flag went up...and my stress went
down! It got so much easier to see what I had been enabling in co-
dependent behavior and how much easier it was to choose "right"
relationships for myself.

FAST FORWARD TO NOW as none of this happened over night: I am
happily married to the most wonderful man on this universe. We both
have had our share of hurts and divorces and set backs...yet we share
the same core values, goals, and desires for our lives together...we
both were loners growing up and yet he turned out extremely positive
and me negative. We are both ADHD and annoy each one to some degree,
yet we conquer all thru communication and a DAILY CONSTANT working on
respect within our relationship. Raised in two different families:
his being positive and encouraging his dreams and life, while mine
discouraged any attempts at life and hope. We are both Capricorns
and yes, we both work on our relationship on a daily basis. Our
children love their dad and we dated, long distance, no less for
three years or so before marriage. We worked hard on a long distance
relationship and that in turn meant I had to rebuild the "trust"
meter inside of me...which as an investigator was severely broken and
almost inoperable as a woman. We have had to build a solid foundation
first before marriage in order to keep the walls from falling down
again. I tried over and over to chase him away and even told him that
was what I was doing...once he figured this out, he began to help me
in baby steps toward commitment and REAL LOVE and what marriage is
all about. We went slowly as I would get scared and create drama.
Something else I had to learn to deal with...DRAMA-as a firm believer
of Dr. Phil, he is right when he says there is a "payoff" in all
behavior. Just ask yourself, if you are doing the same old thing
with the same old consequences over and over, what is YOUR PAYOFF?
THEN, change it! Stop it! Do something else and keep doing it until
you find what works!

My husband introduced me to mediation and affirmations and made me
realize how much I am and have shortchanged myself. Even though I
still do NOT see the beauty in me that he does, not physically or
otherwise, I no longer disparage his compliments to me. I smile and
humor him and accept that there is something about my body and inner
beauty as well that attracts this man and that if it makes him happy,
then I must accept the fact that there is GOOD WITHIN ME! And that
makes me feel good about myself. I can now smile and accept
compliments where I never could in the past.

The book I read now is Dr. Phil's LOVE SMART. I recommend, highly,
this book and the one by Robin Norwood. What I have seen in Love
Smart (and this book is about finding the right one as well as
learning to accept or change behaviors in the relationship you
already have) is that DH (dear husband) and I have already cleared
some of these hurdles. We already figured out the 80/20 % concept
and are working on it. This being that if you can find someone who
is 80% of what you want in life, then you have the RIGHT person, and
both of you continue to work in the future on the 20% that is not
what you would like it to's a lifelong process. DH and I
agree that we are currently at 90/10 and we both have weaknesses or
bad habits that consist of the last 10 percent. We build each other
up and support each other as a "coach" and loving spouse in order to
keep our marriage on track.

We hold once a month weekends where we spend the whole weekend ONLY
with each other away from children and the rest of the world. Daily,
we chat with each other online, talk for HOURS on the phone even if
we just said goodbye for work or whatever. We dedicate our lives and
happiness to maintaining and building and refreshing our marriage
over and over.

This isn't something that happens overnight. It takes COMMITMENT and
DEDICATION to changing what's wrong with your perception, normally
negative, from the past and present and turning it into what you
really want for your future, which is good and postive. There are
lapses of negativity as you can't turn a negative into a positive.
What you do is REPLACE THE NEGATIVE with a POSITIVE and you LOVE
yourself, no matter what. Sometimes I felt I couldn't do something
for myself, so I would tell DH that I would do it for him...then one
day I would wake up and see that I liked the results of what I
changed and that now I do it for MYSELF!

Trust me, no one could be as negative a person as I have been and
still am to a big degree. I even created a separate persona and gave
her a name for the lil girl inside me who never got to grow up
normally, and blamed all the negative and evilness on her The other side of me is an innocent lil girl who
has a beautiful, tender and loving heart and is fragile and full of
sunshine. She is so overwhelmed and scared of the darkness because
she was never allowed to be in the sunshine. I don't know what this
says about me as far as psychologically, but I tell you that as I
tend and nurture the lil innocent girl called "Star" and make her
stronger and more positive, then the girl with the dark side, called
Petala, starts to lose power. I believe some doctors would call this
splitting but I call it healing. Because I am forcing Star to have
to come out of the darkness that Petala has cast over her for so many
years and let Star take over and be the light and goodness that she
should have been all those years ago-I find this very healing and my
DH, bless his heart, understands this and helps by rewarding Star
with good behavior and ignoring Petala's drama and negativeness. To
be able to understand the two sides of myself and behavior really

Because I know in my heart, STAR is the true part of me, the real
inner child and the child who was MEANT to be loved and respected and
cherished by a mommy and daddy somewhere and that it wasn't her fault
about the bad things that happened in the past. STAR holds the key
to her present and future...and while there is a part for Petala to
play at the right time and place, it's not Petala that I want in my
life on a daily basis. Because I know deep inside, I am a soft and
tender and loving and honest woman who deserves so MANY good things
and now that I am receiving them from someone who loves me and
accepts me the way I am yet encourages me to grow up in the right way
that I never did as a child..well, you just cant imagine that

Believe in yourself...

Hugs, Petala

If any of this makes sense... (smiles)

--- In, "Leonard Rubino"
<lmr@...> wrote:

> How Do We Become Loving?
> It seems so difficult for us to open our hearts to Love. We have
been rejected so many times that our Ego says, "No more!" Every
rejection and denial we endure magnifies our resistance to accept the
power that lives within us. We isolate ourselves like a hermit and
retire to our lairs like a hurt animal to lick our wounds. We build
walls around us like a castle to keep the hurt out, only to find we
have built ourselves a jail. Like all trapped prisoners, we slowly
kill ourselves, not physically, but mentally, and more importantly,
spiritually. [snip]

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