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Dr. Lynne Namka
Licensed Psychologist
www.AngriesOut.com

 

What Does Love Got To Do With It?
Why People Stay in Relationships
With Angry People

Lynne Namka, Ed. D © 2002

 
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Do you wonder why you put up with a continually angry partner, family member or friend? People who give too much, too soon and too easily often have neurotic needs that keep them in unhealthy relationships. Anger, the love addictions and codependency often go together to keep people in destructive situations. Anger kills romance and intimacy. It destroys the trust between two people and fuels betrayal until the good feelings of love disappear.

Love addictions come out of a neediness to be loved, which started when the young child was not loved and cared for in safe and supportive ways. Perhaps the baby was not wanted and picked up this message from the parents. Perhaps the child was criticized and scolded leaving her with a feeling of being flawed. Maybe she felt that she could never meet her parent's unrealistic expectations. Or decided that she was unworthy when she was rejected and abandoned by those she loved. All of these possibilities create insecurity and low self esteem in the child.

The person caught in addictive behavior goes through life trying to feel good but never making it. She seeks closeness and connection to try to make up for early feelings of loneliness and abandonment. And she invariably chooses partners who have anger and addiction issues of their own.

Anne Wison Schaef, in her book, Escape From Intimacy, Untangling the 'Love' Addictions: Sex Romance, Relationships, discusses the role of "love" addictions that underlie much of the pain of unhealthy relationships. Underneath the love addictions is the belief of personal unworthiness, which results in choosing a partner who is fearful of connection and intimacy. Sex, romance and relationship addicts are those individuals who lack their own sense of spirituality and seek their identity in other people. Their addictive behavior allows them to avoid personal responsibility for their behavior and escape intimacy.

Ask yourself why you need to love a person who creates pain for you. Ask why you care more for him than you do about your own happiness. Why is your caring so misguided? You know you can't change your partner. But you can become stronger, set some limits and insist on more appropriate behavior from him. Find the weakness in that prevents you from doing this. Real love is not about continued pain. It is about creating a partnership which each person cares and nurtures the other person.

Codependency--Hooked On Rescuing

Codependency is caring too much for another person who has dysfunctional behavior at the expense of one's own self. Caring too much and enabling the other person keeps people in destructive relationships. Co-dependent people try to get validation from others and are willing to give themselves away to get it, as opposed to those who can know their own self-worth and seek what they need within themselves. Outward seeking results in a psychological dependency on the other person due to deep feelings of being unworthy and undeserving of a better relationship.

According to the consensus of experts in the field at the First National Conference on Codependency: "Codependency is a pattern of painful dependence on compulsive behaviors and on approval from others in an attempt to find safety, self-worth and identity." Physical dependency is a stage to be outgrown as are emotional and psychological dependency. Here are some of the characteristics of co-dependent behavior, which are learned coping strategies:

  • An overly sensitive nature being concerned for the needs of the other person.
  • Overemphasis on being responsible for others and not looking at the irresponsibility of one's own behavior.
  • High levels of guilt and beliefs that they are at fault for anything that goes wrong
  • Enmeshment in a relationship with a chemically dependent or disordered personality or another co-dependent or power addicted person.
  • Fear of abandonment from that partner resulting in ignoring important issues, giving in and submissive behavior.
  • Pervasive lack of self-esteem resulting from inner beliefs of worthlessness.
  • Acceptance of the sick, martyr, or victim role.
  • Need for seeking gratification and validation from others but not from one's own self.
  • Shutting down of emotions and feelings resulting in emotional numbness.
  • Need to control others through passive aggressive behavior and manipulation.

Behind the intense caring for another person can be a hidden need for power and control gone awry. This is the same power drive that underlies all addictions. You give up your own personal power when you pursue any addiction of choice, be it alcohol, drugs, sex, a person, activity or relationship. In codependency, the power drive manifests itself as the need to control the behavior of another person. It takes the form of rescuing, worrying or obsessing over the other person. Mental energy is used to try to control the other person thus ignoring personal responsibility for one's own problems. "I get to feel good because I take care of others." is distorted thinking. If this describes you, see my book, The Doormat Syndrome.

  • Here are some skills typically taught by assertiveness classes to break into co-dependent behavior:
  • To stand up and speak assertively when threatened.
  • To say "No", state boundaries and where you draw your line.
  • To leave when boundaries are not respected.
  • To shield against the negative energy of name-calling and ridicule.
  • To break into dissociative states of fear and numbing out.
  • To use techniques of self-soothing when upset.
  • To identify and name feelings and use the "I formula" when appropriate
  • To speak feelings appropriately when threatened but refrain when it's not safe.
  • To deal with others who discount feelings and do not want to listen.
  • To express anger in safe and productive ways to increase self esteem.
  • To use anger constructively to bring changes in an unjust situation (MAD--Make A Difference with your anger)
Relationship Addiction--
Hooked On Saving the Relationship

People with relationship addictions are stayers. They put up with anger and inappropriate behavior of those they care about. They have the mindset of "My relationship, right or wrong, no matter what." They are needy and define themselves in terms of their status within a relationship. They have an intense need to take care of the relationship just as they have the co-dependent need to take care of the other person. They tend to hang in, hold on and weather the storms and conflicts. The conflictual nature of the relationship can provide them with the adrenalin that they need to feel alive. With their need to invest their energy outside of themselves, they do all that they can to keep the relationship intact even though it brings them much personal pain. They live in romantic illusion and irrational thinking. The personal values, interests and identity of the individual are given up in the process of obsessing over the relationship.

Relationship addictions represent a relinquishment of individual autonomy to love another human being no matter what the cost. Loving without setting limits and boundaries in a loss of personal boundaries. Fluid boundaries develop between the self and others making the individual vulnerable to depression, anxiety and estrangement as she loses her sense of personal identity.

Boundaries become blurred in symbiotic relationships where one partner merges with the other. In symbiotic relationships, another person is used to try to gain a sense of meaning in life. "I feel powerful only if I am part of a couple" is the misbelief that feeds relationship addiction. If the relationship breaks up, they start all over again by finding a new relationship or live out life suffering the pangs of unrequited love.

Control of the other person through jealously and manipulation to protect the relationship is a hidden agenda for the relationship addict. Acceptance and attention by the other person becomes an obsession. They define themselves in terms of how the relationship is going. Yet when the relationship is defined by constant anger, it withers. Anger, when expressed destructively, prevents intimacy.

Here are some of the characteristics of people caught in relationship addictions:

  • Narrowing of personal interests to focus intensely on the relationship.
  • Trying to change and control the partner to meet one's own need of being secure in the relationship.
  • Emphasizing "working on the relationship" as a life style instead of living life.
  • Excessively reading self-help and how to books and attending workshops on relationships rather than directly dealing with their personal immaturity.
  • Manufacturing a constant crisis to gain the attention of the partner.
  • Remaining committed to saying in the relationship despite its destructive nature.
  • Having a high level of suffering and becoming a master of martyrdom.
  • Compromising and sacrificing of personal interests, ethics and values.
  • Attaching yourself to your partner in dependent way and seeking to make the partner dependent.
  • Having another relationship waiting in the wings while the present one is deteriorating or hanging on to the past relationship and being unable to move on with daily life.

Trauma Bonds

Trauma bonds, according to Patrick Carnes, psychologist and authority in sexual addiction, are those ties that keep people attracted to people that hurt them. Trauma bonds cause people to obsess about the other 's problem and do not look at how unhealthy their own life is.

Carnes says you may be caught in a betrayal bond if:

  • You stay in dangerous relationships, attract friends or a partner who use you or hurt you.
  • You have to keep secrets or cover up your partner's anger, abuse or addictions
  • You feel that you have to make your partner understand how you are and he or she does not care about your feelings.
  • If people who are truly your friends are worried about your situation but you are not, you are in denial.
  • Your partner expects you to isolate from others, meet every demand, read his or her mind and always give him or her what is expected.
  • The two of you have destructive fights where behavior deteriorates to hurting each other with words or actions instead of trying to solve the problem.
  • You are supporting someone who is financially irresponsible.
  • You have given up your sense of self to meet the needs of someone who is selfish and uses you.
  • You long for someone from a past relationship that was unhealthy for you.

Being around violence can cause symptoms similar to PTSD in partners and children. Emotional angry outbursts can create confusion, helplessness, insomnia, anxiety, and stomachaches and other physical symptoms in those who are present. If you stay in an abusive relationship, you or the children WILL be affected mentally and physically.

What you may have viewed as love may be obsess ional, addictive behavior. Psychological pain is the result of trying to ignore and deny the process of growth and not coming to grips with the underlying unresolved childhood issues. Depression and anxiety can indicate that you are stuck in belief systems and a lifestyle that is not right for you. If you have blocked and repressed your true self, then you will experience pain. Blocked love and identity loss always turns to suffering. In blocking the love to yourself, you must block the healthy type of love with others.

If It Hurts All the Time, It Ain't Love

Codependency is a form of trauma bonding. You give your self away for the relationship and do not object to the partner's acting out of anger inappropriately or addictive behaviors. The problem of the other person's harmful anger then becomes your problem. You live your life putting up with his bad behavior

Your worry, your pity, your concern for this person keeps you from looking at your own behavior and choices. How you react to the angry person's behavior causes your pain. You allow his misbehavior because you do not know what to do except "hurt" for him. And of course you justify it because, he is a "good person" the rest of the time. Or because you "luv" him.

As Tina Turner asks, "What does love got to do with it?" If you are in pain over your relationship a lot of the time, it ain't love! Not if you feel sorry for him. Not if you feel achy, overwhelmed and agitated when you think of him. These heady feelings are just emotional arousal. They are just a habit, fear, addiction, dependency or codependency or a combination of all of these! But they are not love.

Here is one of the best descriptions of love from the Bible: "Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all thing, endures all thing. Love never ends." First Corinthians 13:14

The reality is that you choose to stay in a relationship with an angry person who acts out with inappropriate verbal and/or physical behavior. You set the bar of standards for inappropriate behavior too low. You are desperate about his problem while he gets off free by avoiding responsibility for his misbehavior. He goes too far with his anger or drinking, drugging, womanizing, whatever. Then there is a "honeymoon" period where he is charming, giving, regretful, crying, courting you or whatever he does to hook you back in to feeling sorry for him. This is the abused spouse syndrome.

Anger Can Jump from One Person to Another

Watch out, because you too can become an abuser. Anger is contagious and is passed from one person to another. Resentment builds up when you are subjected to someone's anger. You may start to fight back. Across time, people who are abused can become angry and start to act in aggressive ways. Living with an aggressor, they take on the energies and behaviors of aggression.

People who have been abused may act out the abuse in their next relationship. Children who live with parents who are angry often act the anger out on others. The "victim" can become the "aggressor" in other relationships. Abuse and aggression are learned behaviors that then are acted out on the weaker members of the family. Thus the cycle of anger is perpetuated in families. This issue is discussed in my book, How to Let Go of Your Mad Baggage listed on the Angries Out web site.

Anger and Addictions Destroy Relationships and the People in Them

How do you know when your anger-laden relationship is no longer workable? A relationship is not salvageable if you have done everything possible to make it work to no avail. It is impossible to improve a relationship when one partner is invested in keeping things they way they are.

A relationship is self destructive if one partner has severe problems of anger and addictions that are not addressed: alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, adultery and chronic verbal or physical abuse. It is unworkable when the one partner has done all that he or she can do to preserve the alliance in terms of getting personal growth therapy, self-help groups or couple counseling, and the other person refuses to admit that there is a problem. It is unworkable when one partner is emotionally on one's own and feels stuck in ongoing depression, misery and physical illness. It cannot work when communication breaks down completely resulting in pain on one of both partners' part.

When a relationship has soured to the point of no return, then it can be considered unworkable. As Anne Wilson Schaef says, "Dead relationships can be that--dead relationships." It is dead if you feel that your spirit is dead when you are with your partner. It may be past the point of no return if you cannot be yourself when you are with your partner.

People who care about others do not leave important relationships easily. They tend to hang on to them long past the time when they should have moved on to something healthier. If you have truly done everything that you could do to stay in the relationship but nothing changed and you continue to be unhappy, then you might decide to a healthier life. Learning about yourself, so that you can succeed in an intimate relationship, is a challenging task. Look long and hard at your romantic illusions.

Questions to Determine the Quality of Your Relationship

Recently the psychological research is examining couples to better understand how people function. Robert Sternberg who is a psychologist and researcher on the concept of love has developed a list of questions to help determine the quality of a present or past relationship. Here are some ideas from his research plus others in the field.

Ask yourself these questions to determine the qualities of your thoughts about the relationship. Answer the questions honestly from both your point and your partner's point of view. Be realistic as you describe how you think your partner feels. This assignment can be an eye opener!

Write a few sentences on each question. Write out the answers and ask your partner (if he is willing) to do the same. If he refuses, write the answer from his point of view and try to capture his way of thinking. Sharing these questions and answers can be an avenue of opening up lines of communication.

  • How is the stress and anger in the relationship affecting your physical and emotional health?
  • How does the anger affect the children or other family members?
  • How much time do you spend recovering from your partner's anger? What are the abusive behaviors that you and your partner engage in? Does the relationship give you what you need in terms of emotional support? Do you get sufficient rewards from your partner? What is the cost/benefit ratio of your relationship?
  • Is your partner unable or unwilling to give you the support and love that you deserve? If so, is it because he does not have the resources to give or that you have not been able to ask for what you want?
  • Are you being reinforced once in a while? Do short periods of calm and contrite behavior on your partner's part carry more weight in keeping you in the relationship?
  • Is the pattern of giving and receiving within the relationship equitable for both partners? If not, what can you realistically do to change this?
  • Do you and your partner have the same values? Are there serious value conflicts that are unresolvable?
  • Do you justify staying in the relationship because of your past investment in it and amount of time that you have given to it? Do you stay out of habit or guilt rather than because you want to?
  • Is your commitment to staying based on how things used to be or how things are now? Is it based on how things are or how you wish they would be? How long have you been hoping things will get better?
  • Do you and your partner have the same type of friends? Do the differing values of each other's friends pull and tug at the relationship?
  • Have the two of you been through bad times before and resolved your problems? Or were the problems just swept under the rug to continue?
  • When you think of the future together, is it more trials and tribulations or can you see yourselves pulling through this bad period?
  • Is there sufficient trust between you so that the relationship can survive? Is the anger due to past betrayal between you so strong that you cannot forgive each other?
  • Do you still respect each other? Do you still like each other? Liking your partner is an important part of love.
  • Is the relationship alive? Does it have positive energy or is it dead? Does helping save the relationship exist in your mind only?
  • Are there obsessive qualities to your loving your partner? If those obsessive thoughts would disappear, would the caring still be there for you? Does obsession substitute for love?
  • Do you love the other person as she is or are you still trying to change him? How many times a day do you think about changing him? How much of your attachment is unresolved codependency?
  • Are you looking to the other person to give you salvation in the relationship? Are you expecting him to give you what you cannot give yourself? Does the relationship represent your feeling good about yourself?
  • How do you cope with the stresses of the relationship? What patterns of excusing, avoiding, blaming, distracting, ignoring or problem solving do you and your partner have?
  • What amount of intimacy does each of you need? What is your style of loving? Does it mesh with your partner's?
  • How much do you care about your partner's needs and what happens to him? How much does he care about your needs? Is the caring equitable?
  • What addictive behaviors do you and your partner engage in? How do you act differently under the control of alcohol or drugs?
  • How much are each of you committed to the growth and maturity of the other person? Does the attachment to your partner stifle your own growth? Do you foster dependence or do you encourage independence and individuality for each other?
  • Are you and your partner capable of the personal changes it will take to make the relationship successful?
  • Do you and your partner have a plan to carry out the necessary changes? Are you and your partner committed to do the hard work to save the relationship?
  • Are you willing to get some outside help and stop denying that the relationship will get better on its own?
  • How do you feel writing about these issues? Which question caused you the greatest insight, pain or anger?
  • And one more question. Why are you reading this article?

If you find yourself stumbling on these questions but choose to stay in the relationship, it back to business as usual. Unless YOU or your partner drastically changes, the anger level of your partner will probably not change.

Deciding to Leave a Chronically Unhealthy Relationship

How do you know when to leave a situation that is continually unhappy for you? For some, there is a sudden decision after a specific incident that has been demoralizing. Others need many small decisions points going back and forth for some time before they make up their mind that things are unbearable. As alcoholics need to reach a bottom before deciding to change their drinking habits, people with relationship addiction need to hit bottom emotionally. Some people need to make the decision to leave time and time again after each attempt to resolve the problems in the relationships fails. Sometimes it takes many years to reach this decision.

Caring people typically stay too long in unhappy relationships due to their high levels of guilt. Some people have an excess of guilt and shame that keeps them from moving on. Guilt rules their life. They stay and take abuse to keep themselves from feeling bad. They can also have an erroneous belief that they cannot hurt the other person's feelings. This skewed way of thinking blocks their common sense-it can be so strong that they allow damage to be done to children and themselves because they don't want to hurt someone else. When someone you love is actively hurting others, let them know. It won't hurt them to have their feelings hurt and they may actually learn to become a better person.

If you are caught in an unhealthy relationship due to your high levels of guilt read Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt by Susan Forward, How Good Do We Have to Be? and New Understandings of Guilt and Forgiveness by Harold Kushman.

Harville Hendrix in his book, Getting the Love you Want: A Guide for Couples, urges married people to stay together to work out their issues. This approach to marriage counseling believes that your partner is the right person to help you heal your childhood wounds. With this approach, many marriages can be saved. However, Hendrix says there are three reasons to leave a relationship: The Three As. There are severe abuse, severe adultery and severe addictions. These three extreme conditions rarely change. Only you can decide what emotional baggage you are willing to live with.

Before you make the decision to leave, invest in couples counseling. Counseling can help you learn the necessary skills of how to do a better job of living in relationship. Even if the relationship does not survive, you can learn how you contributed to the partnership getting out of balance.

Leave or Stay Differently

Exiting from the pain of an unproductive relationship comes down to a matter of two choices: to leave or to stay differently. You can change whom you are with or you can change the beliefs that keep you caught in an unhealthy situation, thus changing the relationship. When you change your beliefs to healthier one such as those in an open system, you can stay within the relationship and make things better. Get the book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It, How to Respond to It by Patricia Evans and learn about stopping the cycle of abuse!

If you choose to stay, then you will need to learn a new set of skills to balance out that inequality of power. You will need to learn to move past the passivity in which you have been caught. As the sage said, "In this enormous room of your life, there must be an exit from pain. Your responsibility must be to pass through that door." Read my companion article on the Angries Out web site called When You Live with an Angry Partner.

The Reasons You Stay Stuck:
Psychological Reversals

Sometimes others outside yourself can see what your problems are in your relationship and you can't. When you continue doing the same thing, which results in more unhappiness and pain for yourself, you are in denial. You may have a Psychological Reversal.

Psychological Reversals are pervasive mental blocks that prevent you from making changes that are in your best interests. They are areas of yourself where you cannot change and do not understand what is happening to you. They are the dogmatic self-limiting beliefs, which keep you stuck, even when you want to act differently. They usually are in the subconscious mind and you are not aware of them. They are what you cannot see about yourself in continuing unhealthy behaviors and relationships. They are hidden way excuses and ingenious reasons for staying as is! Often they are programmed into the child who was naive and open to condemning judgments of others who learned to feel worthless and helpless.

Ask yourself, "What is my excuse for not changing? What part of me is afraid of change? What is the underlying fear that keeps me from changing this situation that hurts others and myself? Why have I given in repeatedly to someone else's anger?"

The following list gives the most common reasons people stay stuck. These are the Psychological Reversals that prevent you from making the necessary changes for you to be happy in life. Down deep somewhere inside of you, not rocking the boat is serving you in some perverse way.

Be honest now. There are reasons why you do not make changes. Your objections to change have to do your deepest fears. Check the self-limiting beliefs that prevent the release of your long-term problem. Then do the tapping and eye roll procedure listed below on each objection that you have for not being able to change.

Fear, Doubt, Readiness and Willingness
____ I am NOT READY to eliminate this problem
____ I DO NOT DESERVE to get over this problem
____ I AM UNWILLING to get over this problem
____ I CANNOT GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION to get over this problem
____ I MAY TRY AND STILL NOT GET OVER this problem
____ I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LET GO of this problem
____ I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS RIGHT to let go of my problem
____ I will have to STOP DENYING THAT MY PROBLEM is not important
____ I will LOSE SOMEONE OR SOMETHING IMPORTANT If I get over this problem


Codependency
____ I will have to BECOME MORE ASSERTIVE AND SAY NO
____ I will have to HURT OTHER PEOPLE'S FEELINGS
____ I will have to be ASSERTIVE AND CONFRONT SOMEONE
____ I will have to GIVE UP MY IMAGE OF BEING THE GOOD GUY OR GOOD GAL
____ I will have to STOP CARING MORE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS THAN MY OWN
____ I will have to start TAKING BETTER CARE OF MYSELF
____ I will have to STOP BEATING MYSELF UP AND FOCUS ON THE SOLUTIONS
____ I CAN'T MEET MY OWN NEEDS AND OTHERS at the same time
____ I will have to GIVE UP MY BELIEF THAT I AM NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT THE ONE I LOVE
____ I may have to BREAK MY CODEPENDENT UNHEALTHY, ATTACHMENTS WITH LOVED ONES
____ I may have to GIVE UP UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
____ I may have to GIVE UP POSITIVE ILLUSIONS
____ I may be HARMED IF I CONFRONT MY PARTNER
____ I may have to LIVE ALONE IF I CONRONT MY PARTNER
____ I will have TO ADMIT WHAT I HAVE BEEN DENYING MY UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
____ I will no longer BE ABLE TO FOOL MYSELF ABOUT MY PARTNER'S ACTIONS
____ I will have to STOP USING MY CONCERN ABOUT MY PARNTER AND FACE MY REAL ISSUES


The Shortened Collar Bone Breathing Technique

This technique helps break into lockages of the breath that may have happened when you were frightened. The deep breathing technique puts a strong vibration in your body and helps you forgive yourself for settling for less.

Address each harmful belief that has kept you stuck and do this technique to release any blockages in your breath around this issue. Put the fist of your right hand on your right collarbone.

Make a fist with your left hand. Use the knuckles on your left hand to tap on the back of your right hand about 1 inch below the web between the little and fourth finger. Your left hand taps on your right hand, and your right hand taps on your collarbone simultaneously. Change hands and go to the other side of your collarbone when they feel tired in the first position.

Don't worry about whether you are doing this technique right or not. Just do it to the best of your ability, and maybe something will shift in you. Do not use this technique if you have wrist injuries or carpel tunnel syndrome.

Repeat to yourself: "I deeply and profoundly love, forgive and accept myself, even though a part of me believes. (Say the Psychological Reversal objection identified above.)

I choose to stop my self-judgment and limiting belief. I can correct this error and learn from it. I deeply and profoundly love, forgive and accept myself, even though.... (Say the Psychological Reversal objection from above.)

Take a long, slow deep breath in and hold. Breathe deeply from your belly. Release slowly and blow it out your mouth. Push out any emotion or stuck breath that you feel.

Take a half breath in and hold. Take another half breath in and hold. Let half the breath out through your mouth and hold. Let the rest of the breath out and release.

Take small, rapid, flutter breaths in as you breath in up, up, up, up as if you are singing up a musical scale. Then blow the small breaths out your mouth as you go down a musical scale. Repeat the small breathing up and then down, while you think of your unhealthy way of coping. Forgive yourself for having the belief and tell yourself you did the best that you could.

You may have to work this exercise many times to get to the bottom of your limiting beliefs. What do you have to lose except your time? To quote Tina Turner again, "I'm looking for my own protection. I'm heading in a new direction."

Heading in a New Direction

Change is always hard even when it is crucial. If you find necessary change hard, read Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. Once you have shattered the unwholesome beliefs that you have adopted about yourself, practice new skills of assertive behavior. Knowing is only part of your transformation. Your task will be to go and do what you know. Assertiveness needs practice just like any new skill of learning.

Change is prompted by people who want it and decide to make it happen. You need some support to make positive change in your life. Find friends who will support your through your transition. New friends who come into your life when you are ready to make change are called 'transition people." They may or may not become a permanent part of your life, but they are there to provide some cheerleading for you when you need it the most.

Whether you leave or stay in your relationship, your responsibility is to take care of your own negative feelings. Raise your bar of being treated with respect. Insist that you be treated fairly. You can't change your partner. But you can get a better life for yourself. Stop blurring the boundaries between you and your loved one. Do more positive things for yourself. Use the tools of transformation such as education, meditation, psychotherapy, support groups and assertiveness training. Find out your interests and follow them. Discover who you are-your strengths, creativity and source of wisdom.

As my teenage daughter told me when I started to change after living with an unhappy, angry man, "Go for it! Mom. Go for it!" I wish the same for you as you grow and change to make your life a happy one. "Go for it!"

Recommended Books

Carnes, Patrick. Contrary to Love, Understanding Sexual Addiction.

Minneapolis, MN. Compcare, l989. Carnes, Patrick. Trauma Bonds See his web site at http://sagetimes.com

Elgin, Suzette. You Can't Say that to Me: Stopping the Pain of Verbal Abuse.

Engel, Beverly. Encouragements for the Emotionally Abused Woman.

Engel, Beverly. The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself.

Evans, Patricia. Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out on Relationships and Recovery.

Evans, Patricia. The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond to It.

Forward, Susan. Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt

Grad-Powers, Marcia and Ellis, Albert. The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse.

Hassen, Steven. Combating Mind Control. Rochester, VT: Oak Street Press, l988.

Jampolsky, Gerald. Goodbye to Guilt. Bantam Press, 1985.

Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese?

Ketterman, Grace. Healing the Hidden Wound.

Ketterman, Grace. Verbal Abuse: Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the "Love" Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships, 1989.

Miller, Mary Susan. No Visible Wounds: Identifying Nonphysical Abuse of Women by their Men.

Namka, Lynne. The Doormat Syndrome, Authors Press, 2001.

Namka, Lynne. The Mad Family Gets Their Mads Out, Talk Trust and Feel Press, 1997.

Kushman, Harold. How Good Do We Have to Be New Understandings of Guilt and Forgiveness

Real, Terrance. How Can I Get Through to You?

Wilson Schaef, Anne. Escape From Intimacy: Untangling the "Love" Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, l989.

Web Sites:

http://www.feminist.org/gateway/vs_exec2.html

Women and Verbal Abuse Bookstore http://www.cyberparent.com/abuse/femalemental.htm

Dr. Irene's Verbal Abuse Advice Site http://www.drirene.com/abuserpages.htm

 


 



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