Sometimes I write a newsletter and get little or no response. Other times I know that I’ve written something valuable because within hours I get emails telling me that I missed something or questioning my answers.
I really value feedback, criticism, debating or whatever you want to call it. Because this stimulates me to become clearer and more precise.
My answers in this newsletter are fairly broad. When one aspect is challenged it gives me a focus to clarify my answer more precisely.
After the last issue I received a lot of emails. This gave me an idea for this issue.
I know that much of what I write gets misunderstood. It always will.
If you stand two feet away from a roaring engine it will sound very different than 100 feet away. The engine still does exactly the same thing and creates the same sound waves, but you receive those sound waves differently depending on where you are standing.
In the same way my words and tone get understood through the filter of your beliefs and life experience. So you interpret this differently to other readers.
But if I become more specific and clear through answering more focused questions, there is less room for interpretation. So for this issue I am going to answer two questions I received in response to the last issue.
I think that your question of “What do you want from the relationship?” was a good one. However, you say that by understanding and accepting the reason for why things happen will stop the pain.
So you basically told the wife that if she understood and accepted the reason why her husband was “cheating” she would be free of pain.
This woman should not just sit by and accept what’s happening. It’s true that she should deeply examine the situation – this is the only way the roots of problems can be identified and thus be prevented in the future.
But once she’s examined the situation and discovered why it is that her husband feels the need for this other woman,
She should take action. She can either:
try to fix the situation – by working on the marriage with the aid of a professional (hopefully with her husband’s involvement)
B). She can Leave him. This situation will affect her feelings of self-worth.
She may be thinking, “What does this other woman offer my husband that he’s not getting from me?”
In addition to her feeling poorly about herself, she will have his dishonesty to contend with. It’s not just about her being happy as an individual, although that is very important. Since she’s married – since she and her husband made vows – they need to work on this problem together.
If, after a good try, the problems persist, she might be better off without him.
Bottom line: it’s not her thinking that is faulty. More likely, it’s needs that aren’t being met within the marriage. The focus should be shifted to actual problem solving.
Her problem will not go away by her simply changing her thinking patterns. She should not just have to sit back and deal with it.
I hope my two-cents worth (or more like dollar-worth!) was of some value. I do agree that happiness comes from within, and you’re very right about that. But this situation isn’t that simple.
I’m really excited at reading your email because it has brought up a lot of things that people misunderstand about various things I have written, but don’t articulate as well as you have.
I hope that understanding my intention won’t make my answer seem nitpicking. It isn’t meant to be. I don’t expect you to agree with me. I am only setting out my view more clearly.
But once she’s examined the situation and discovered why it is that her husband feels the need for this other woman, she should take action.
All of life is action. We are always taking action. So this woman cannot help, but take action in her relationship. I don’t have the answers as to what the right action to take is. There are six billion people living on this planet, each for their own individual reason, with their own individual intentions and aims.
I don’t know enough about this Lady to have the first clue what the right choice would be for her to make. However what I do know is how to help people get more in touch with exactly what they want and work out how to get that.
Therefore the best use I can be, is to help her clarify what she wants. Then she can work through the best option for her, depending on what her intentions and feelings are.
So when I said understanding and accepting the situation, I meant that when she did this her thinking would be clear enough that she would recognize the action she felt she needed to take to move forward and past the pain.
This woman should not just sit by and accept what’s happening.
I agree. Everything I do through my websites, newsletter, books and Coaching is geared to one thing. To stop life happening to you and start directing it in the way to be the way you want it to go. However until you know how something works and why… you can’t change it and confidently know the outcome of your alterations.
She can either: A) try to fix the situation–by working on the marriage with the aid of a professional (hopefully with her husband’s involvement) or she can B) Leave him.
The problem with getting involved in giving people action to take is that immediately you limit them to what you believe. If we sat and really worked on this I bet we could come up with at least fifteen or twenty options this woman could take. Yet even these have taken the unlimited possibilities that life gives us to respond to it and narrowed it down to that which we can see. The most appropriate answer for this lady may be something entirely different to that you or I would even think of. For this reason I prefer to focus on getting people to think more clearly and find their own answers.
This situation will affect her feelings of self-worth.
As I see it, her self-worth is the situation. When you value yourself more highly, that belief goes before you. It seeps through your words and your voice tone. It affects the way that you carry yourself. And of course your actions. Everyone around you responds to that.
If this Lady had high self-worth, this situation wouldn’t affect her as it has, if it even cropped up. Her biggest obstacle, I think, is that she is too afraid to act. Most people in this kind of situation know what to do, but are afraid to do it. Usually when someone says they don’t know what to do, what they really mean is… they know what to do, but are looking for a less scary or an easier option.
It’s not just about her being happy as an individual, although that is very important.
Since she’s married–since she and her husband made vows–they need to work on this problem together.
Depends on your opinion. The conventional view is that Society is most important and then larger groups, smaller groups, families, relationships and then individuals.
My view is that society, groups and families are only tools for individuals. In the beginning, there was Man. Not Government and then Man. For me, groups and committees are only ways we have traditionally organized ourselves. Different cultures have different ways of forming themselves. I don’t see one as being better than another.
I see marriage as being useful for both Partners. Not to tie someone to you out of fear that they won’t stay of their own accord, but as a means of growth and expressing yourself.
Let me ask you a question.
Would you be happy to start a job at twenty years of age, without having experienced the job or really fully understanding what wa
s involved and then sign up for the rest of your life?
Would you want to go out and buy all the clothes that you ever will wear at twenty-five and then forever be constrained to that wardrobe?
I’m guessing not.
Because we are ever changing beings. What we want, what we believe in and feel change from moment to moment and day to day. So I believe let people be free and be together because they choose to be rather than someone or some group telling them they should be. Out of that individual or group’s misguided fear that the world will collapse if marriage becomes undermined as an institution.
Marriage is undermined by making people feel trapped, rather than understanding that it could be so much more enjoyable and rewarding looked at from a different perspective that people would flock to strengthen their marriage.
When you say to someone you can’t do X, people want X more. When you say to people, you can do X, try it if you must, but you’ll find Y far more rewarding, some may try X, but eventually people will choose Y.
And that is how marriages become strong.
Not through governmental regulation, vows or peer pressure. What these do is make people more secretive. Research was undertaken in a hospital of newborn babies and the Man who thought he was their Father.
In up to a quarter of cases, genetic testing proved that the Man who thought he was the Father couldn’t be the Father. What does this tell us?
That the marriage is undermined in many cases through affairs and so on, without anyone knowing. Many would say, yes this is a sign of our moral degeneration, the influence of television and low moral fibre. Yet the first research of this started in the early sixties.
One of the most popular attributes people want is motivation. Why?
Because people do things because they feel they have to. Most companies want their staff to be more motivated because they have got them in an agreement to do certain things and follow certain processes. Often the person won’t want to do these things, but for money, obligation or because they feel they have to, they do. You can buy or force action, but not thought. But the action that isn’t in line with their thought will be weak, uninspired and may have to be enforced.
A marriage that two are in from habit, from fear of being alone or because they feel they have to will be less satisfying than it could be.
The real issue is…
Do you believe what people look like and do is more important than what they think and who they are?
Bottom line: it’s not her thinking that is faulty. More likely, it’s needs that aren’t being met within the marriage.
Action follows thinking. So if a need arises in a relationship it is created by a thought. Either her thinking has caused her to stop doing something that has created the need. Or his thinking has changed in some way.
Unmet needs only arise from faulty thinking.