Early parent-child attachment is a strong indicator that a child will grow up to have healthy and loving relationship, while insecure attachments in early years can lead to an increase in anxiety and depression in adulthood.
Consistently negative parenting practices lead to poor emotional self-regulation and an overall dismal view of the world.
However, we are not forever to be victims of bad parenting. Our intimate partners in adulthood can be positive factors in overcoming negative self-image and other psychological conflicts that impair our daily function and interactions with others.
New research suggests that if an adult did not benefit from a secure attachment, he/she will be able to enjoy "emotional repair" and healthy marital attachment with a responsive and fit romantic partner.
Connection and engagement are markers for a secure sense of well-being, leading to longevity, better health in later years, and meaningful relationships throughout life.
Similarly, a supportive father can offset the effects of a mother's stress or strained relationship with a child. (Of course, in family structures with two parents that are high in supportive co-parenting, with low parental stress, it is likely that they will have a greater degree of relationship quality through out a lifetime).
Perhaps this is where high-risk kids have proven to benefit exponentially with just a few cheerleaders along the way (Big Brothers, Big Sisters, CASA's, a loving aunt, an attentive teacher).
triangulation is the unhealthy mechanism that entangles three individuals into a pattern or system: it often "pulls together" a sense of loyalty and maintains balance. Alliances form, creating an unspoken way of interacting and behaving; taking sides and creating rivalry. When the triangulation is stopped, anxiety actually increases, as it is a new way of being, unknown and foreign. The process of separating into autonomy is called differentiation.
Every ecosystem struggles to maintain homeostasis.
Whether it's a terrarium or a glass of water seeking its own level. In terms of
human beings, overtime, we develop patterns, norms, and roles, often unspoken. When any new change is attempted, even if it's healthy, there is always
push back. This is normal, and if you can expect that, you are able to
respond patiently for the healthy change to take root.
Three's a crowd. Third wheel
(ever see three teenage girls struggle to get along?)
The triangulated family member will have a sense of the distance OR closeness between the other two parties...always maintaining an equilibrium. This is often seen in families with drug or alcohol problems. Example: Mom secretly gives adult son money. They now have a private relationship that excludes dad. Mom continues to feel important and needed via her enabling. Dad will grow angry and pull away from his wife, feeling undermined and harmed by their alliance deceit.
The mother/father/child triangle is commonly seen in blurred boundaries, enmeshment, and fusion.
In the case above, if Mom and Dad strengthen their relationship, the adult son will act out negatively and employ old tactics to bring the system back to something that feels familiar..
Most couples WANT to stay together Men and women equally cheat
Women are statistically less forgiving of infidelity
Patterns: Multiple infidelities are harder to recover from than single events.
In the case of multiple infidelities, sexual addiction may be the underlying issues.
Sexting and emotional affairs can be equally hurtful to one's spouse as a physical affair outside the marriage.
Unhelpful Statements:| "I can forgive, but I can't forget." "When is my punishment over?" "How long am I in the doghouse?"
"Our sex life had dried up so..." "If you're not going to get over it, tell me now."
Increasing sexual frequency to satisfy the cheating party.
Feeling forced to increase sexual frequency so partner isn't jealous or to prove fidelity.
Placing tracker or GPS on phone or auto.
Cheating partner surrenders household power (e.g. "no longer disciplining the kids because he/she is now in charge, not me.") or relinquishes all decision-making to appease partner.
Solutions: Counseling with a clinician who has vast experience working with infidelity
Reading materials (After the Affair)
Weekend couples retreats Voluntary transparency of passwords, cell phones, and money spent. Individual reflection of past choices, perhaps reviewing early childhood experiences, self examination.
Participation in church or spiritual community
Increase time with other healthy couples
Making the marriage a priority (saying no to extended family and commitments if it takes away from time together)
Review job demands. e.g. travelling, time away, etc. and seriously consider making drastic lifestyle changes.
Anticipate triggers towards a relapse.
Set ground rules for outside relationships or "friendships."
Do not push the injured partner to hurry up or "get over it" quickly. Do not discuss the infidelity or marital discord with other family members.
If children are aware of the infidelity, ask that they be brought into a counseling session. Recovery is not a linear trajectory. There are many bumps along the way; the path is not smooth. Once trust is broken, there will be random and unpredictable reminders of the deeply painful experience. Agree in counseling which details need to be revealed in order to begin repair. The injured partner will feel compelled, almost to an obsession, to ask gory details about the extra-marital relationship. It is a fine balance to rebuild trust: getting it on the table and being honest, yet, sharing only what is helpful and not further hurtful. The unfaithful partner must take full responsibility for their choices, without blame. And, the injured party must take responsibility for any mistakes they have made along the way as well. Both parties have unspoken needs - it is critical that both are allowed to bring them to the table. The future of the relationship depends upon this.
Acceptance: If the marriage is not able to rehabilitate itself after an exhaustive effort, there is an appreciation and personal satisfaction that all stones were overturned in hopes of reconciliation. Goals: A NEW relationship with the same person. To preserve and improve the family system. Surpass your individual personal best. Be better in all areas. Re-invest in your life. Re-boot.
reading a new book, The Collapse of Parenting. The
physician/psychologist/author spends quite a bit of time making a compelling
argument that the children of today are being raised in a culture of
disrespect. 🌱And that they themselves are incredibly disrespectful
towards parents and authority figures. The number one, priority fix is teaching
children humility, an antidote for entitlement. 🌾Yet, many of us are afraid to have
our children dislike us, not share their confidences with us, or even appear
unpopular to their peers. 🍃The swing towards "happy childhood" and
child-centered marriages have perhaps brought over-empowered, ill-equipped,
lethargic little people.
Who makes decisions about dinner? Vacations? Free
time? School? Chores? Do they wash cars, vacuum their room and clean toilets?
Or are they picky about food and clothes? Are they chauffeured when they could
walk? Do they have unlimited data? The sad truth is that all of these "gifts" DO NOT MAKE KIDS HAPPY!
If you're looking to increase your
parenting backbone, with love, support, AND limits, this book will be helpful. 🌿