To Change My Relationship With My Unhappy Parents
Are You Trapped & Unhappy in Your Relationship?
Do you feel trapped in a relationship you can’t leave?
Of course, feeling trapped is a state of mind. No one needs consent to leave a relationship. Millions of people remain in unhappy relationships that range from empty to abusive for many reasons; however, the feeling of suffocation or of having no choices stems from fear that’s often unconscious.
People give many explanations for staying in bad relationships, ranging from caring for young children to caring for a sick mate. One man was too afraid and guilt-ridden to leave his ill wife (11 years his senior).
His ambivalence made him so distressed, he died before she did! Money binds couples, too, especially in a bad economy.
Yet, more affluent couples may cling to a comfortable lifestyle, while their marriage dissolves into a business arrangement.
Homemakers fear being self-supporting or single moms, and breadwinners dread paying support and seeing their assets divided. Often spouses fear feeling shamed for leaving a “failed” marriage.Some even worry their spouse may harm him- or herself. Battered women may stay fear of retaliation.
Most people tell themselves “The grass isn’t any greener,” believe they’re too old to find love again and imagine nightmarish online dating scenarios. Also, some cultures still stigmatize divorce.
Despite the abundance of reasons, many of which are realistic, there are deeper, unconscious ones that keep people trapped – usually fears of separation and loneliness. In longer relationships, spouses often don’t develop individual activities or support networks. In the past, an extended family served that function.
Whereas women tend to have girlfriends in whom they confide and are usually closer with their parents, traditionally, men focus on work, but disregard their emotional needs and rely exclusively on their wife for support.
Yet, both men and women often neglect developing individual interests. Some codependent women give up their friends, hobbies, and activities and adopt those of their male companions.
The combined effect of this adds to fears of loneliness and isolation people envisage from being on their own.
For spouses married a number of years, their identity may be as a “husband” or “wife” – a “provider” or “homemaker.” The loneliness experienced upon divorce is tinged with feeling lost. It’s an identity crisis. This also may be significant for a noncustodial parent, for whom parenting is a major source of self-esteem.
Some people have never lived alone. They left home or their college roommate for a marriage or romantic partner. The relationship helped them leave home – physically. Yet, they’ve never completed the developmental milestone of “leaving home” psychologically, meaning becoming an autonomous adult. They are as tied to their mate as they once were to their parents.Going through divorce or separation brings with it all of the unfinished work of becoming an independent “adult.” Fears about leaving their spouse and children may be reiterations of the fears and guilt that they would have had upon separating from their parents, which were avoided by quickly getting into a relationship or marriage.
Guilt about leaving a spouse may be due to the fact that their parents didn’t appropriately encourage emotional separation. Although the negative impact of divorce upon children is real, parents’ worries may also be projections of fears for themselves. This is compounded if they suffered from their parents’ divorce.
Lack of Autonomy
Autonomy implies being an emotionally secure, separate, and independent person. The lack of autonomy not only makes separation difficult, it naturally also makes people more dependent upon their partner. The consequence is that people feel trapped or “on the fence” and wracked with ambivalence.
On one hand, they crave freedom and independence; on the other hand, they want the security of a relationship – even a bad one. Autonomy doesn’t mean you don’t need others. In fact, it allows you to experience healthy dependence on others without the fear of suffocation.
Examples of psychological autonomy include:
- You don’t feel lost and empty when you’re alone.
- You don’t feel responsible for others’ feelings and actions.
- You don’t take things personally.
- You can make decisions on your own.
- You have your own opinions and values and aren’t easily suggestible.
- You can initiate and do things on your own.
- You can say “no” and ask for space.
- You have your own friends.
Often, it’s this lack of autonomy that makes people unhappy in relationships or unable to commit. Because they can’t leave, they fear getting close. They’re afraid of even more dependence – of losing themselves completely. They may people-please or sacrifice their needs, interests, and friends, and then build resentments toward their partner.
A Way Your Unhappiness
The way out may not require leaving the relationship. Freedom is an inside job. Develop a support system and become more independent and assertive. Take responsibility for your happiness by developing your passions instead of focusing on the relationship. Find out more about becoming assertive in my e-book, How to Speak Your Mind — Become Assertive and Set Limits.
Are You Trapped & Unhappy in Your Relationship?
6 Reasons We Choose the Wrong Partners and Stay in Unhappy Relationships
One of our most essential needs as human beings is to love and be loved. Since we are wired for relationships from the moment we enter the world, one would think it would be easy to pick partners that suit us well.
But the truth is, many people repeatedly pick the wrong partner and end up feeling unhappy (and perhaps utterly pained) in their relationship. For some, it’s easy to walk away from a relationship when it’s not right but for others, not so easy.
Many people stay in relationships and are even aware of their unhappiness as they know deep down that their partner is not the right one.
In my psychotherapy practice two of the most common themes I hear among my clients when discussing romantic partnerships are: “Why do I keep choosing the wrong partner?” and “Why do I stay in relationships that make me unhappy?” These are important and complex questions that can only be answered when we take a hard look at ourselves. There are multiple reasons that motivate how we choose our partners and why we stay in dead end relationships—some of these reasons are conscious while others are unconscious. In order to understand what motivates our choices we have to be willing to work on ourselves and build awareness around our patterns.
I want to address some of the factors that may lead us into unhappy partnerships, and what keeps us in them. Once we have a sense of why we choose the way we do, we put ourselves in a better position to make conscious choices and to shift our negative patterns. This will help us get on the trajectory of finding a healthy whole relationship.
Reason #1: Fear
We can all relate to making choices fear: deciding whether or not to ask your boss for a raise, confronting someone we feel angry at, and, very commonly, staying in a relationship we know (on some level) is not right for us.
Fear is one of the worst decision makers when it comes to choosing a partner. As instant gratification seekers, we thrive on the fantasy of the sparkly life experiences —the grand engagement, wedding, a house, and babies; we just figure we’ll deal with the rest (ie.
our relationship struggles) later.
Fear tells us that we better lock a partner down fast or we may be alone forever. It causes us to obsess and sends us the message that it’s too late to break up and start over. In our culture no one wants to be the last single friend, or the really old parent, or be judged for still being single.
However, what we should fear most is spending the rest of our lives unhappily with the wrong person. One solution to working with fear is to lean into it, as uncomfortable as it might be, and be real with ourselves about how we feel in our relationship right now.
If you are aware that you are with your partner because you are afraid to leave (for whatever reason), try to be aware to the fact that you are choosing to be unhappy now because you are afraid to be unhappy later.
There comes a point where we need to make a choice: We either choose to value our own worth or we don’t. Your partner cannot fill this void.
Reason #2: You Don’t Value Yourself
We all go through periods of feeling high and low. I think it’s helpful to think of self-esteem as existing on a continuum that fluctuates over the course of our lives.
However, in relationships nothing interferes with the ability to have an authentic, reciprocal partnership chronic low self-esteem.
It can cause you to sabotage relationships or settle for a relationship in which you’re treated poorly, which ultimately matches your beliefs about yourself. There are so many valid reasons we do this.Yet there comes a point where we need to make a choice: We either choose to value our own worth or we don’t. Your partner cannot fill this void. No relationship with someone else can ever compensate for secretly believing you don’t deserve it.
Depending on your life circumstances, the concept of valuing yourself may feel impossible. I get it—but it is also possible. It’s about starting small and making a commitment to practice being kind to ourselves and recognizing we are valuable, even when we think we don’t deserve it.
It’s a process, it will take time, and it will change your life.
Reason #3: The Pressure is Real
Lets just say it: Society gives us terrible advice around our decision making for choosing a partner. We are told things rely on fate, go with your gut, and hope for the best. We’re bombarded with images on social media that make us feel behind in life.
We are indoctrinated with the belief that we have to find a life partner before we are “too old,” which depending on where you live, could be anywhere from ages 21-35. This pressure leads many to settle for partners they know in the long run are wrong for them.
While it’s true that pressure is abundant, remember, this is your life we are talking about.
As the writer Tim Urban profoundly stated, “When you choose a life partner, you’re choosing a lot of things, including your parenting partner and someone who will deeply influence your children, your eating companion for about 20,000 meals, your travel companion for about 100 vacations, your primary leisure time and retirement friend, your career therapist, and someone whose day you’ll hear about 18,000 times.” Enough said.
Reason #4: You Believe Your Relationship Will Complete You
There is a huge mistake that many people make when looking for a partner. It is the belief that a romantic relationship is the key to being happy. It’s not true. In fact, this mindset may actually be sabotaging your experience of finding a partner. Here’s why: Other people can feel it when you have anxiety about finding love.
When you approach a relationship from a sense of emptiness inside, the people you’re dating will sense it and it won’t feel good to them. When you’re confident, the energy you give off will convey that being in a relationship is your choice, not a dire need.
When you have that underlying feeling of needing to find a relationship fear, your entire vibe can change from calm and collected to insecure and riddled with self-doubt.The truth is that only you can complete you, and by that I mean the job of healing one’s own emptiness cannot be handed over to our partners. This is personal work that if left undone will follow you from one relationship to the next.
Many of us pick partners who help us stay within our comfort zone, even if that zone turns out to be less than desirable.
Reason #5: Familiarity
As human beings, we are drawn on an unconscious level toward the familiar. The experiences that make us who we are also influence whom we choose as a partner. Many of us pick partners who help us stay within our comfort zone, even if that zone turns out to be less than desirable.
For example, if our past was filled with feelings of rejection or inadequacy, we will be drawn to scenarios in which we feel the same way as adults. Imagine this scenario: You may be initially attracted to someone whose attention makes you feel good about yourself, but eventually, you start to notice that your partner is resistant to getting close and can be dismissive.
This will in turn trigger your fear of rejection, validate that you feel inadequate, and trigger anxiety.
Let me be clear that your fear of inadequacy being validated does not mean you are inadequate. What it actually means is that you are being put in the position to confront this belief and to act from a place of self-worth.
I want to challenge you to respond differently the next time you feel rejected in your relationship. Notice if there is a familiarity of the situation and ask yourself, “Am I OK with this? Is this what I want in my relationship?” If the answer is no, it is time to act.
If you feel you can’t act on your own, it is time to reach out for help.
Reason #6: Your ‘Wounded Self’ is Doing the Attracting
Are you attracted to people that you want to fix? Are you drawn to the “project” aspect of a relationship where you get to help your partner change for the better? If you answered yes, you may be choosing partners from your “wounded self.
” The wounded self is the part of you that feels incomplete or damaged; it is the part that makes you question your worth or makes you think you are flawed in some way, always wondering if you are worth loving.
When you put your energy into helping your partner heal from their issues it is a way of unconsciously acting out how you wish to be treated.
The patience, love, support you provide to your partner is an unconscious desire of what you craved in your early relationships. It gets unconsciously framed in the psyche as “if I can get “x” to change, then I am worth it, I am loveable.
” For some people it is easier to put their focus and attention on how their partner needs to change because it allows them to avoid having to look at their own “stuff.” There is much healing to be done when we are choosing our partners from an unhealthy part of us.When we show up this way in our relationship we are actually abandoning ourselves and avoiding our deeper needs. This is a recipe for unhappiness.
Each relationship you encounter in your life comes with lessons for you to learn and what you need to evolve.
One of the most profound and challenging aspects of being in a relationship is that it provides us with the opportunity for personal growth, if we allow it. Each relationship you encounter in your life comes with lessons to learn and what you need to evolve. But you have to want to evolve.
And until you do, you will continue to face the same issues with each relationship moving forward.
If we can think of each relationship as an opportunity to examine where we get stuck or triggered and aim to work on those parts of ourselves then we put ourselves in a better position to choose healthy, whole relationships.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in individual or couples therapy I invite you to contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Causes Of Unhappy Families , Sample of Essays
Storming the living room crying, Josh shouts out, “I hate you guy’s” He’s yelling this out to his family. As many of you are wondering why someone would be yelling such hurtful words to his very own family? Not only does this kid say this but many other children out there do the same because they are unhappy.
How many people out there feel their family is unhappy? People wonder why their family is very unhappy occasionally. Many families have opportunities to have a strong happy family and many others do not.
They are a few causes in unhappy families, but can also be fixed if families are willing to make the sacrifices into becoming a better healthy family. Sometimes these things just happen naturally but nothing can stop a family into becoming a happy one. There are many forces that create unhappy uncommunicative families.
Some of those forces to cause a family to be unhappy are financial problems, stress problems, and drinking problems.
The first cause in creating unhappy uncommunicative families is financial problems. Financial problems not only bring stress to the family but also bring lack of bonding. Many families go out once in a while but when having financial problems it’s hard to do so.
For example, going out for a nice family dinner every Sunday night can bring families closer together and can be a great way to communicate, but it’s hard to even do that when there is no money for it.Another example of why financial problems makes families unhappy is because families to go out once in a while to have fun, especially if there are very young ones in the family.
Kids love to go out and have fun, but not being able to take your kid out to have fun is unhappy to the kid and hurting for the parent. Couples argue frequently over financial problems.
The wife wonders were all the paycheck went, and always says the money was not spent wisely, when it’s time to pay the house bills. That there also causes stress to the relationship between those two partners. Kid’s seeing their parents struggle with financial problems is unhealthy. Kids are too young to be aware or seeing that but a lot of families to argue in front of children.
The Essay on Young People Family Person Problems
… self-esteem or rejection Unexpected events such as pregnancy or financial problems Predispositions, stressors and behaviors weave together to form a composite … / physical disabilities Absent or divorced parents; inadequate bonding in adoptive families Family conflict; poor parent / child relationships Personality traits, especially when they …
Drinking is a second cause of unhappiness in families. Men are mostly the ones that have drinking problems in families. Drinking has so much effect in families in many ways. It brings argument, violence, and money problems and possibly abuse so all of that brings unhappiness to the family.
Not only does their partner suffer but also the children suffer as well. People that drink to stay out late at night to drink instead of staying in with the family. That’s where the arguments between couples come in. The wife or husband doesn’t appreciate that their partner is out late drinking.
Wife or husband will wait up all night just waiting for him or her to arrive home and then possibly start the argument which is not a great idea if that person is drunk. That’ll make the drunken person react in many ways. It’s not good for the children to see the parents argue frequently over their drunken parent. Drinking also falls into financial problems.
An alcoholic can buy alcohol almost every day, that’s where most of the money will go into. Money is spent on something people don’t need over something they need the money for, bills. That only causes more conflict with the spouse and children. Children do not alcoholics as their parent or parents.
It is also bad because children want to follow in their parents footsteps and an alcoholic parent is not a good role model.
The Research paper on Relationship Between Parents and Children in Chinese Family
… and son. Conflicting parents-children relationship in Chinese family causes more serious problems on adolescents, alcohol drinking, drug use, and … to get a harmonious relationship.
The same interests can make parents-children relationship close, almost friendship. Take E. B. … , some adolescent who cannot suffer from the painful stress and high requirement prefer to commit suicide.
The final cause of unhappiness in families in today’s world is stress. Families are all caught up in their own worlds. Some are working, some go to school or some are doing both. So that causes stress toward the family because their all stressed out about school and or work.
Families have different school/work schedules so that makes it hard for them to see or even communicate to one another. Some families even have to have their own board of communication, to write to one another or to remind one another about different stuff. That’s a good idea, but not so good because that’s sad that that’s the way the family communicates.Family stress can stop the family to sit together for a simply daily dinner. So that causes lack of communication. Being able to sit as a family is a great way to communicate, tell everyone what’s going on in their lives, what’s bothering them and doing this can even release some stress.
Being able to talk about things to one another can really release stress in the family and can link one another closer together as a happy healthy family.
In conclusion, no matter what there will always be unhappy families out in this world for these reasons or various other reasons. Many families break up and many others find a way to fix their problems and try to make the best of it. At the end of the day families will always love one another even though they are unhappy and broken.
The most important thing to do is try to fix the relationship and have a closer happier family. Make a better effort in even just sitting as a family at the end of the day to just sit and communicate and tell one another what is going on in their lives , so they don’t feel strangers to one another.
Even if it’s just for a little amount of time, it still helps the family’s relationship, and makes them feel less strangers. If alcohol is the main reason in the cause of unhappy families, there is help out there; many people that want their family to be happy will leave the abuse of alcohol.
And by talking to one another about their problems with anything or anyone can release some stress towards the family relationship and become a much happier family.
The Essay on Family Values 4
… ’s ABCX model, identifies contributors to family stress, buffers against stress, and agents that cause family crisis (Grunert, 2013). In the … anxiety of the child and the family member combine.
In the perioperative setting family stress adaptation theory is conducive to … is taking longer than it usually predicted. Families adapt to stress in different ways, or possess different coping mechanisms …
Teaching Guide: Getting Along with Parents
HOW TO HAVE
A GREAT RELATIONSHIP
WITH YOUR PARENTS
1. RESPECT EACH OTHER
Without mutual respect, any relationship will be an unhappy one. People who respect each other: a) value each other’s opinions, b) listen to each other, c) disagree without screaming or insults. And remember, your parents have lived longer than you – don’t discount their experience and knowledge.
2. COMMUNICATE: Your parents want to know what’s going on in your life. If you keep them in the dark they won’t know when you need their help or whether they can trust you. Tell them what you’re up to, share your thoughts and feelings with them, and seek their advice for your problems (you don’t have to take it). Communication builds closeness.
3. BUILD TRUST: Trust is your key to freedom. The way to build trust is through honesty and responsibility. Honesty means you don’t lie or manipulate. Responsibility means you are reliable and can be counted on to use good judgment. When your parents trust you, it’s a lot easier for them to say “yes.”
These guidelines work both ways. If, on occasions, your parents violate any of these guidelines, talk to them about it. Pick a time when you are both calm and feeling good toward each other (never when you’re angry). Then, explain to them what they did, how it makes you feel, and what you’d them to do instead.
Unfortunately, these guidelines don’t always work. Since we can only control what we do, and not what our parents do, sometimes we are truly helpless to transform a bad relationship. If this is the case, try to use these guidelines to at least improve things a little, and talk with a trusted adult who may be able to help you.
|To find additional teaching guides on related topics for K-12, click here.|
If you are using the video, ask the first two questions before viewing.
1. What things do your parents do that really bug you?
2. What do you do that really bugs your parents?
3. Do you think your parents understand the changes you are going through at this age? If not, what could you do to help them understand?
4. What are some things you would to talk to your parents about but feel you can’t? Why don’t you think you can talk to them about these things? How have you tried? What happened?
5. Do you find it difficult to express your emotions to your parents? If so, why?
6. how many of you think you have good communications with your parents? What makes it good? How many of you are unhappy with your communications with your parents? What gets in the way?
This material is from the teaching guide
for the video “Getting Along with Parents“
in the 12-part DVD series Big Changes, Big Choices.
7. What are the benefits of communicating with your parents?
8. Does the amount of freedom your parents give you change from time to time? What are the factors that influence those changes?
9. Do you think your parents should give you total freedom, with no limits at all? If not, what should those limits be?
10. One girl in the video said that building your parents’ trust is the key to freedom. What did she mean by that? Do you agree? Why? What can you do to build that trust?11. Do you respect your parents? How do you show it? In what ways would you your parents to show you respect? Have you earned that respect? How?
12. In an ideal relationship with your parents, what would be their responsibility to you and yours to them?
13. What differences exist between your parents’ values and your own? Do these differences have anything to do with some of the conflicts that occur between you? Do you try to consider their values when you talk to them about difficult issues?
14. Are there things you feel you need from your parents that you’re not getting? Do you tell them that? If not, what would happen if you did? Do you ask your parents what they need from you?
15. It’s often said that people do what they’re rewarded for doing. Do you ever tell your parents when you think they’re doing a good job of being parents? If so, how do they respond? If not, how are they supposed to know?
16. What was most meaningful to you in this video? Why?
Other teaching guides in this series:
1. What are some things that kids your age say that are guaranteed to close down a conversation with parents? Let’s make a list.
2. What are some things that parents say that shut things down? Let’s make a list.
3. ROLE PLAY (For girls) You are going out with your friends to a big school dance. You’ve bought some new clothes and jewelry for the event.
You spend a lot of time getting dressed and putting on your make up and you think you look great.But when you come downstairs, your folks go through the roof and say that girls your age shouldn’t dress that way – dress is too short, too much makeup, etc..
4. ROLE PLAY (For boys) You have a friend who always gets in trouble. Your parents want you to stop hanging out with him. You still him and don’t think your parents understand. He asks you to spend Saturday with him at the mall. Now you have to get your parents permission.
Follow-up questions for both role plays. Put yourself in your parents’ shoes and ask these questions:– What would be my worst fear?– How could you talk to me about these fears?– How could you show me that you are ready for this responsibility?– What would be a fair solution to this problem?
5. BRAINSTORM: Let’s think up some rules that would help make relations between parents and teens better. (See “How to Have a Great Relationship With Your Parents” at the top of this column.)
How I Found Peace in My Relationship with My Parents, Part 1: A Child’s Wish
This is part 1 of my 4-part series on how to improve your relationship with your parents.
(Jul 12, ’11) – Some of you may have noticed that I’ve never written about my parents or my relationship with them. It’s not by intention; just that there’s never been a reason to write about it. That is, until recently, as I start gaining resolution in new areas of my life. Today’s post marks the first post where I share in detail about this as-of-yet unknown side of my life.
I foresee this to be the first in many posts to come where I share more of the inner sides of my life.
With PE, I want to create a common, safe space where every single one of us is free to openly discuss about our vulnerabilities, our deepest desires, our fears, and our passions, without judgment or discernment by anyone. I want all of us not to be afraid to say what we’re feeling on the inside.
Where others may see the sharing of one’s emotions and desires as being weak and vulnerable, I see this as a strength, because it is from our emotions that we draw our greatest power in life. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
To show our emotions, to be vulnerable, to open ourselves fully, without holding back, is the most beautiful thing we can ever do. I think it is by bearing yourself that you progress in your growth and become a stronger person.
The more you open yourself up, the more you’ll grow.
I look forward to connecting with more of you in this journey of life ahead. Here’s to an extremely exciting journey ahead.