Relationships are about learning, growth and connection, beginning with our first relationships with our parents. We did huge amounts of learning during those growing up years. Besides the physical stuff we learned language so we could communicate our needs and then begin to understand the needs of others. We learned the rudiments of love and connection.All of this was essential to our being able to connect successfully with others as adults. We are hardwired to seek connection with others and hardwired to seek intimacy…
Is it possible to have a marriage relationship unpolluted by criticism?
Could a relationship without criticism be healthy?
Answer: Yes. (One of them would not have to be dead, as an uncle suggested to me when I was entering my first adult relationship.)
Could you express your emotions and strongly disagree about something and yet still not criticize?
The Upward Spiral of Communion
When you first meet someone, you talk, you get to know each other, you find you like each other, and you both want to talk more. Communication, knowledge and affection lead to a deep connection between you, so I call the process “the upward spiral of communion.” You are connecting at the heart, mind and spirit level. There can be no criticism.
If he or she were to criticize you early in your relationship, it would break the connection and you would part. If you were to feel critical, you would just leave with a silent “I don’t need this.”
In my previous post, Alcoholism: Addiction with a Twist, I commented on how addiction can lead to addictive or co-dependent relationships. I ended with,
“The benefits to all of overcoming an addiction to the wellbeing of another are far reaching, but as always, the healing process begins with awareness.”
Awareness alone doesn’t remove the problem, but it may produce a road map to wholeness. And with wholeness can come real intimacy.
Codependency is full of opposites
Imagine a husband and wife where the man is addicted to alcohol and the woman is addicted to him and his well-being. She has an intense pull towards her husband. She loses herself in the intensity of the need to care for him. On the other hand she has a strong need to pull away from him and get a life for herself.
We have all seen it: one of them leaves and comes back, and then leaves again and comes back again. There seems to be no middle ground. It’s either total enmeshment or complete cut-off.