January Updates

 September 11, 2015

Daily Insight Q/A

FOCUS TOPIC: EVALUATING PRESENT RELATIONSHIPS- SHORT EXERCISES

EXERCISE #1

Is the problem of your currently unhealthy relationship due to partner’s ephemeral immaturity or due to a symptom of more challenging underlying, deeper problem (i.e. addiction, mental health problems, abusiveness, selfishness etc)?

 

1) My partner makes me feel:
     A. Torn down or intimidated
     B. Frustrated
     C. Like a low priority
2) When I voice complaints:
     A. My partner is nasty or retaliatory, so I end up paying for having raised the grievance.
     B. My partner seems to get it, but nothing changes. I’m wasting my breath. My partner makes lots of excuses in a whiny, victimized tone.
     C. My partner has an endless series of excuses that he makes in a defensive, irritated tone.
3) My partner grew up in a home where:
     A. My partner’s father or stepfather was abusive or demeaning to his mother
     B. My partner’s parents let him get away with too much or catered to him too much or both.
      C. One or more adults abused him.
4) If my partner is not the center of attention:
    A. My partner gets mad later
    B. My partner gets whiny later
    C. My partner does whatever it takes to make sure that he is always the center of attention
 5) When I ask my partner to make changes:
     A. My partner makes me feel like I’m a bad person for needing him to make any changes
     B. My partner will eventually make small changes, but it’s so much work
     C. My partner keeps appearing to make changes, but then things go back to exactly where they were before.
6) When I talk to my partner:
     A. My partner doesn’t listen to anything I say and doesn’t respect my opinions.
     B. My partner seems to hear me but then nothing ever really gets through
     C. My partner seems like he’s in another world
7) My partner usually hangs out with:
    A. People who are disrespectful toward their own partners or speak in demeaning ways about their partners in general
    B. People who are all still into the same things they were into in high school
    C. People who seem to get my partner into trouble
8) When it comes to his past partners:
     A. My partner tends to either disparage them or idolize them
     B. My partner was very dependent on them.
     C. They were people who used to party with my partner
9) When I think of breaking up with my partner I feel:
     A. Afraid of what my partner might do to me
     B. Concerned that my partner won’t be able to take care of himself
     C. Afraid that my partner might harm himself.

  
EXERCISE #2
This exercise will help the more “destructive” partner on his/her chronically unhealthy inner thoughts and reflections.  You will need to help direct your partner to reformat and regroup the foundation of the thinking process, values, and personal beliefs for a lasting change in the evolving destructive relationship.

 List of changes for internal messages:





INTERNAL MESSAGE





NEEDS TO BECOME





“I lose control of myself, I’m helpless.”





“My behavior is a choice that I make.”





“My partner is a bitch.”





“My partner is a human being worthy of respect 24/7.”





“My partner expects too much from me.”





“I need to meet my responsibilities.”





“I can’t stand this.”





“These are the kinds of challenges everybody has to deal with.”





“Looking after the kids is a burden.”





“I’m so lucky to have this time with our children.”





“Look at all my partner’s faults.”





“I’m going to focus on what I appreciate about her.”





“My partner owes it to me to have sex with me.”





“Intimacy is never my partner’s obligation”;
OR
“My history of behavior hasn’t exactly been a turn-on for my partner.”





“My partner shouldn’t be upset with me.”





“I’m lucky she’s still willing to give this relationship a chance, given how I’ve been.”

This exercise should help transform list of daily destructive attitudes into new positive attitudes (especially for the more unhealthy partner in a current relationship):
First, list all of the destructive attitudes about yourself:
1) Reasons you tell yourself why you are helpless about your own behavior
2) Reasons why you have to drink or do drugs, or why no one should ask you not to
3) Negative views of your partner, including unfair demands and expectations you have about your partner
4) Reasons why the world is responsible for your difficulties
Next to each item, put a new positive attitude to reflect and take action upon instead.
Second, monitor your own thinking over the weeks ahead, and when you notice a destructive attitude, write it down, and put the corresponding healthy attitude next to it to pursue.
This exercise is used to evaluate the sincere effort in self-reflection in unhealthy relationships.

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ANSWER:
Focused Topic: EVALUATING PRESENT RELATIONSHIPS- SHORT EXERCISES

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 1) ANSWER: Exercise#1 GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Answer- “A”= SIGNS OF ABUSIVENESS
Answer- “B”= SIGNS OF IMMATURITY
Answer- “C”= SIGNS OF ADDICTION/ MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

RECOMMENDATIONS & SOLUTIONS FOR EACH CATEGORY:

A: ABUSIVENESS 
     
      (1) Make your own safety and safety of your children your highest priority, and reach out for support.
      (2) Consider calling the police or seeking protection
      (3) Look for ways to impose consequences on your partner for their actions
      (4) Encourage your partner to take an active role in a specialized abuser program (e.g. “Batterer Intervention”) to evaluate partner violence
      (5) Try all of the following SAFELY:
            a. Demand respectful behavior from your partner, with no excuses
            b. Insist that your partner take responsibility for his/ her actions (and especially that your partner does not blame you in the process
            c. Tell your partner you are considering ending the relationship
      (6) If risk assessment leads you to conclude that you are in danger, call for help through a hotline right away

B: IMMATURITY
      (1) Set firm limits for your partner’s behavior
      (2) Be very forceful with your partner, with a no-nonsense tone (but not mean).
      (3) Refuse to keep helping your partner with his/ her messes and allow your partner to suffer his/ her own consequences
      (4) Encourage your partner toward self-exploration, self-analysis, self-reflection through therapy, meditation, yoga, self-help books,
            group therapy, and other processes of growth
      (5) Let you partner know that you are reaching your limit and that you are thinking about the possibility that you might have to break up

C: ADDICTION/ MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
     (1) Demand that he/she acknowledge the addictive behavior is a problem
     (2) Tell your partner that he/she needs to participate in an outpatient substance abuse program, go to a detox, and/or participate in peer-led groups
            such as 12-step anonymous program(s)
     (3) Refuse to have the substance in the house at all
     (4) Insist that your partner needs to severely reduce or give up the use of the substance and needs to make a completely new lifestyle change
            including a new social circle
     (5) Let your partner know that you are considering the possibility of breaking up, and tell your partner clearly what your conditions are for staying
            together
     (6) FOR MENTAL HEALTH- encourage professional help as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (for trauma survivors), Dialectical
            Behavioral Therapy (for personality disorders), and/or other therapeutic modalities (for depression and mental health illnesses).
     (7) Provide your partner with useful resources (e.g. books/ websites etc) that will help your partner understand his/ her problems
     (8) Make it clear that you do not blame your partner for mental health problems, but at the same time he/ she has to accept responsibility for
           how your partner’s actions/ behavior is affecting you in the relationship
     (9) Tell your partner that he/she needs to get help and make changes for you to be able to stay in the relationship

 INSIGHTFUL TIP:
Please do not try to judge each category like a doctor making a diagnosis for a disease, as your partner may exhibit one or mixture of overlapping relationship issues. Thus, it is best to evaluate the entire situation (understanding that multiple etiologies maybe the cause) and come up with a variety of complementary options and solutions. It is absolutely essential to raise the possibility of ending your relationship in order for your partner to take serious responsibility and be motivated to pursue healthy options before terminating the relationship that involves financial and/or legal difficulties. Most importantly, your overall well-being in the mind-body-and-soul should be a high priority in strengthening yourself and expanding your sources of emotional support in the process.

2) ANALYSIS: EXERCISE #2  REPLACING DESTRUCTIVE ATTITUDES WITH POSITIVE ONES

This simple exercise will be counterproductive if you use it as an excuse to catalog your partner’s faults, feel sorry for yourself, or be sarcastic. Addicted, abusive, and/or unstable relationship partners make a lasting change mainly through deep self-reflection, hard internal work, and thorough reformatting of their daily habits. This is one of many simple exercises for the more destructive partner in the relationship to delve deeper into introspection and meditation. For healthy metamorphosis, it is important to not only to evaluate your partner’s growth, but also focus your energy on your personal growth and development in the process.

INSIGHTFUL TIP:
In order to fully transform the destructive partner, who never exercises into a fit athlete, daily, small commitments should be monitored and recorded through these exercises through the process of scheduling meetings, journaling, individual and group reflections, and mediations.

 REFERENCE:
Adapted from Should I Stay OR Should I Go? A Guide To Knowing If Your Relationship Can—And Should Be Saved
By Jac Patrissi et al.

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Inspiring Quote of the Day

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”
~Eckhart Tolle