Table of Contents
Negative Emotions & Relationship Problems © Martyn Carruthers
We offer coaching, seminars and mentorship on lasting happiness,
family constellations, resolving family problems and dissolving toxic beliefs.
Do you feel betrayed by love?
What is Love?
Love may have more definitions than any other word. The question “What is love?” can fuel endless discussion, debate and arguments. Ask it and you will likely hear: love is everything; love is nothing; love is God; love is sacrifice; love is a feeling; love is a decision; love is blind; love is manipulation; love is duty …
So many answers – and perhaps all of them are true. (“What is truth?” is an equally awkward question). But if effectiveness measures truth, I will not write about truth but about effectiveness. The question, “How can we express and receive love?” may bring us down from abstractions into the everyday details of our everyday lives.
If a computer is programmed to say I love you – would you believe it? If a computer that looks like a human is programmed to say I love you – would you believe it? If a human being is programmed like a computer to say I love you … would you believe it?
What do you believe? Perhaps your answers will surprise you!
- Can you express your love effectively?
- How would you describe your ability to love?
- What would convince you that you are loved?
- What would convince you that you love someone?
- How would you recognize loving communications?
- How would you respond to loving communications?
- How would you describe your ability to express love?
- What would convince you that your love is accepted?
- How do you check how your loved ones want to be loved?
- How do your loved ones respond to your expressions of love?
The motivations to love and be loved have many facets. Whether your motivation is biochemical, social or spiritual, you are probably motivated to preserve your human body, to create descendents, to give your descendents advantages and / or to protect people you perceive as family. And you may call your motivation “love”.
Space for Love
What is the relationship between a person and a not-yet-met life partner? Between a parent-to-be and an unborn child? Between an artist and a not-yet-created masterpiece? Between a businessman and a yet-unrealized enterprise?
Dreams can motivate us to seek or create ways to express love. In these moments, we become aware of our unfulfilled potential for happiness that we wish to share in healthy, loving relationships.
To express love, we need “space” for love. If we focus our energy on one thing – there may be no space for other things, or at least no space without conflict.
Single people often complain about the difficulty finding a life partner.
I often ask “Do you have space for a partner in your life?” and
I enquire about how much time and energy they have available for partnership.
Many young, single people tell me that they hardly have time and energy
for an affair … let alone a long-term committed relationship.
Sometimes people confuse relationships – for example a child may perceive a baby-sitter as a substitute mother (especially if a substitute expresses more love than a biological mother), or a person may imagine that an employer is like a father.
There are common examples of transference – of substitute relationships. Do you perceive bosses as parents? Some people perceive clients as partners; pets as children; a random crowd as a community; a country as a substitute for “all-of-humanity”…
If we feel that someone important is missing, and a relationship space seems empty, we may want to fill that space. If we lack children, we may semi-consciously perceive partners, parents, things or projects as substitute children – and attempt to express love to them instead of loving children.
Many relationship problems include perceiving a partner as a parent, or as a child, or perceiving a parent or child as a partner. The underlying pattern is similar. We may perceive what we need to perceive to feel comfortable – as an attempt to feel that our lives have meaning or make sense.
We offer solutions for most relationship problems and communication challenges. We coach people to improve their relationships as an integral part of defining and attaining important goals. Our training includes in-depth coaching for many relationship issues.
Encourage & Appreciate Love
I often describe love as having two modes of expression, active and passive. I refer to active love as enthusiasm, and passive love as appreciation. To actively love, I can choose to understand your desired future and I can choose to support your goals. To passively love you, I can choose to understand your past, and I can find ways to appreciate your actions. Some tips:
- Maturity includes expressing love appropriately.
- Accepting love is a powerful way to express love.
- You may choose to love anyone or anything … or nothing.
- Fulfilling adult relationships requires physical and emotional maturity.
- People can participate in relationships for happiness and sense-of-life.
Relationship confusion usually leads to suffering – to a lack of sense. Our basic relationship types are: Original Family, Friendship, Teamwork, Partnership, Parenthood, Community and Humanity. The skills required for each relationship type are a prerequisite for the next relationship type in a predictable hierarchy
- Original Family: relationships with the family into which you were born or adopted
- Friendship: relationships with people with whom you choose to work, rest or play
- Teamwork: relationships with people with whom you co-operate to accomplish projects
- Partnership: relationships with people with whom you create a stable, intimate team
- Parenthood: relationships with children that you create or adopt
- Community: relationships with people with whom you share interests (e.g. a neighborhood, professional associations, …)
- Global: relationships with other communities
Love is just a word people use to make other people do things they don’t want to do.
You may not be aware of what you lack until you notice that some people are happier than you. Happiness is not luck. People who enjoy long-term happiness generally have healthy relationships and quality relationship skills. Observe happy people … notice what do they do that you don’t do; and notice what they avoid doing.
Our relationship coaching, counseling and therapy offers a practical science of happiness – we coach individuals, couples and teams to build happiness through fulfilled success and fulfilled relationships.
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