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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An attempt to define strength

This is likely the single hardest topic to address effectively.

Three examples of - well - that is the question - what exactly is happening?

1. M2 is near the edge of a switchback trail and I ask her to step back from the edge, which she does. Am I implying she's clumsy? Nope. She is in fact quite sure footed. Is she showing respect for my fear of heights? Yes.

2. M2 mentions she is going to swim laps and I tell her I'm going to the gym for a couple hours. She complains that - that seems like an excessively long workout. Is she accusing me of lying? Showing distrust - despite having no basis for it? Or does she instead have some phobia of my 'independent' behavior? She has a phobia. Her comments have nothing to do with my behavior.

Do I make it about me? No. I say something playful and go work out.

3. In a group setting I suggest a restaurant. M2 uses the 'stupid husband' tone in response. I respond with a puzzled: I thought you liked that place?

A couple minutes later we are alone in the car and I mention that my suggestion was based on her recently expressed desire to go to the restaurant I suggested. She profusely apologizes asks if she is such a bltch frequently. I say no - which is true. In certain social situations she gets anxious - and does stuff that is competitive and critical. Is that about me or about her?

So yes - I could make M2 more afraid of me, and consequently less likely to make unfortunate unfiltered comments. But if I do that, then many of those delightful spontaneous things she does - disappear as well.

Do our friends know I'm a decent guy and she loves/respects me? Yes. Do they know she can be unfiltered in an unkind manner on occasion? Yes. So why would I make this about me?



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I disagree. If you feel disrespected chances are that's because you are. We all define that differently but still an important value to hold.


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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 02:59 PM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

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I completely agree. It will become easier, but the outcome will be poorer.

When you can take how you feel about something, pull it into your awareness, and address it as part of your truth, then and only then are you fully resilient and functional as a human being. To extract emotions or even attempt to do so and use only logic for your decisions is to extract your humanity. Robots make totally logical decisions. I wouldn't want to be one or be married to one.
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that's true for common mortals, in theory.

In practice, you can assign a value or weight to emotions and have them be part of the mental models used in your decision making process. We do that subconsciously...

(That was a part of my dissertation btw )
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 03:05 PM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

MEM, that's NormalPeople responses. Here's the NotNormalPeople side for comparison. We had to go to the landscape place to return a dead shrub so we needed the receipt. The receipt was in my important pile, on the top. J2 asks for it, I point out the pile, she picks up the pike and after 5 seconds starts panicing that she can't find it. I point it out and politely suggest she wears her glasses. Needless to say that did not go well and she throws in a mini-fit for good measure.

I listened patiently and told her that it would be to her advantage to be more mindful... Since this is J2 we're talking about, it won't happen...
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 04:25 PM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

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This is likely the single hardest topic to address effectively.

Three examples of - well - that is the question - what exactly is happening?

1. M2 is near the edge of a switchback trail and I ask her to step back from the edge, which she does. Am I implying she's clumsy? Nope. She is in fact quite sure footed. Is she showing respect for my fear of heights? Yes.

2. M2 mentions she is going to swim laps and I tell her I'm going to the gym for a couple hours. She complains that - that seems like an excessively long workout. Is she accusing me of lying? Showing distrust - despite having no basis for it? Or does she instead have some phobia of my 'independent' behavior? She has a phobia. Her comments have nothing to do with my behavior.

Do I make it about me? No. I say something playful and go work out.

3. In a group setting I suggest a restaurant. M2 uses the 'stupid husband' tone in response. I respond with a puzzled: I thought you liked that place?

A couple minutes later we are alone in the car and I mention that my suggestion was based on her recently expressed desire to go to the restaurant I suggested. She profusely apologizes asks if she is such a bltch frequently. I say no - which is true. In certain social situations she gets anxious - and does stuff that is competitive and critical. Is that about me or about her?

So yes - I could make M2 more afraid of me, and consequently less likely to make unfortunate unfiltered comments. But if I do that, then many of those delightful spontaneous things she does - disappear as well.

Do our friends know I'm a decent guy and she loves/respects me? Yes. Do they know she can be unfiltered in an unkind manner on occasion? Yes. So why would I make this about me?
Not sure I follow your question here. I don't think you would make it about you unless you felt it was disrespectful. Seems the only one you felt disrespected was the last one where she had a belittling or *****y tone. You called her on it, clarified and moved on. I see no issue with any of that. What would have been an issue is she had the tone, you were bothered, you don't say Anythng and let that resentment build. Can't expect her to be a mind reader . I think you did fine
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An attempt to define strength

Wolf,
The best I can do to explain this is to say that I used to get angry - when M2 did this type stuff. Anger comes from hurt or fear. So I was either hurt/afraid that she didn't 'respect/trust' me or my judgement.

But the gestalt - says just the opposite. Vast majority of the time it's obvious M2 respects/trusts me. Those situations where her behavior is contrary to reality are - 'not about me'. So why would I get upset about something, that has nothing to do with me?

That doesn't mean I don't react. I do. But it's more of a low affect 'why did you do that' type thing.

I hope this makes sense.


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Not sure I follow your question here. I don't think you would make it about you unless you felt it was disrespectful. Seems the only one you felt disrespected was the last one where she had a belittling or *****y tone. You called her on it, clarified and moved on. I see no issue with any of that. What would have been an issue is she had the tone, you were bothered, you don't say Anythng and let that resentment build. Can't expect her to be a mind reader . I think you did fine
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 06:33 PM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

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Wolf,
The best I can do to explain this is to say that I used to get angry - when M2 did this type stuff. Anger comes from hurt or fear. So I was either hurt/afraid that she didn't 'respect/trust' me or my judgement.

But the gestalt - says just the opposite. Vast majority of the time it's obvious M2 respects/trusts me. Those situations where her behavior is contrary to reality are - 'not about me'. So why would I get upset about something, that has nothing to do with me?

That doesn't mean I don't react. I do. But it's more of a low affect 'why did you do that' type thing.

I hope this makes sense.
Hmm well that is interesting and I think that it's not that I don't understand what your saying just maybe can't relate. Can I ask why you were hurt or afraid she didn't respect you. Do you know where that came from? Could it possibly be insecurities in yourself and not her?

Trying to clarify because when I have felt a SO was being disrepectful to me in the past it wasn't anger, fear or hurt that I felt it was just disrespected. I guess I kinda see that as its own thing. Best way I can explain it is I expect to be treated by her the way I treat her. So if she is being disrespectful what that translates to is she is doing, saying something, or acting in a way that I wouldn't do to her so I call her on it. It's not based on fear or hurt though.

Dug gave an example in the workplace. There I expect and demand professionalism which is what I give. So his somewhat strange example of the employer wanting his people in the same room with him instead of having their own offices would never bother me. I don't find that disrespectful or unprofessional. It's just want the boss wants. I'm not taking away they may have found it that way I know I just wouldn't personally.
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An attempt to define strength

Wolf,

Part insecurity and part assuming if it was being done to me it must be about me.

But that just isn't true. A lot of stuff that a partner does to us - is about them.

Golden rule is fine to a point but not in a literal sense, more of a virtual sense. Literal is: I wouldn't do that exact thing to you.

But that thing is driven by your specific phobias/quirks - which differ from mine.


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Hmm well that is interesting and I think that it's not that I don't understand what your saying just maybe can't relate. Can I ask why you were hurt or afraid she didn't respect you. Do you know where that came from? Could it possibly be insecurities in yourself and not her?

Trying to clarify because when I have felt a SO was being disrepectful to me in the past it wasn't anger, fear or hurt that I felt it was just disrespected. I guess I kinda see that as its own thing. Best way I can explain it is I expect to be treated by her the way I treat her. So if she is being disrespectful what that translates to is she is doing, saying something, or acting in a way that I wouldn't do to her so I call her on it. It's not based on fear or hurt though.

Dug gave an example in the workplace. There I expect and demand professionalism which is what I give. So his somewhat strange example of the employer wanting his people in the same room with him instead of having their own offices would never bother me. I don't find that disrespectful or unprofessional. It's just want the boss wants. I'm not taking away they may have found it that way I know I just wouldn't personally.
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-11-2016, 12:58 AM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

I consider my husband to be resilient. He inspires me in various life scenarios.

I think resilience and strength is cultivated - and usually with the help of others. When he responds to the 'bat signal' and takes off, there's a crew of supportive, level headed people helping each other. He's one of them and they're in it together. And strength is developed. When he returns to the bat cave, from putting himself in situations that we instinctively run from, not towards, the body and mind needs time to adjust. I'm there to listen, support and reassure.

What I've had to learn for myself, and get secure with, is there are other options than to 'cut and run' when confrontation is needed. I discovered I can feel safe and trust within my husband to no longer need that reaction. Then I discovered I can feel safe and trust within myself to challenge that reaction.

When I consider who we are surrounded by, they are people I would consider strong and resilient. Developing a strong back becomes easier when surrounded by such people. This flows into our marriage. Sometimes I feel he expects me to be as resilient as he is... and sometimes I'm simply not. Still, we're getting better with understanding and accepting each other in that regard.

Music belongs in a place with hearts beating and brains dreaming and people falling in love. - J.Buckley
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-11-2016, 01:03 AM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

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Wolf,

Part insecurity and part assuming if it was being done to me it must be about me.

But that just isn't true. A lot of stuff that a partner does to us - is about them.

Golden rule is fine to a point but not in a literal sense, more of a virtual sense. Literal is: I wouldn't do that exact thing to you.

But that thing is driven by your specific phobias/quirks - which differ from mine.
Well I definetly have different view but I don't agree it's based on phobias or quirks. Just a desire to give and get respect. I'm perfectly comfortable with that. My GF says it's nice because I am never passive agressive or bottle up my feelings. I'm straight forward about things in a calm manner and she appreciates knowing "where I'm at" vs guessing. Her X really played a number on her.
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 12:01 AM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

I don’t know much about the standards of E-IQ other than the global definition of recognizing awareness of self and others, the ability to control and make use of emotions and apply them to solving problems, and the ability to manage and regulate self and apply to others to encourage or calm.

That said, I wonder if there can be a static (single) definition of strength more than a vision of what is attainable in the given moment… you never step into the same river twice.

For me, strength is found in the simplicity of the daily Eightfold Path:

An attempt to define strength-everyday-life.jpg

Now, within that strength is an incredible value of self, because bad things can happen to good people and when it does, the foundation of calm so that those things strengthen you with the stamina being mindful brings. It defines you with the good baggage leaving the bad behind, or destroys that particular portion of you weakening the infrastructure to allow doubt of one's endurance to persevere.

@Relationship Teacher spoke or managing your own impulses while recognizing others attempting, with attempting navigation for a healthy outcome... an everybody wins result and the most favourable by far, but there will be times when one simply cannot maneuver these tasks, conditions, and standards into a win-win or even a quid pro quo where both humbly agree to disagree, and that is where the seed of strength grows or withers.

Desire of any kind is an interesting exercise, often resulting in a destabilization of some form or another. That destabilization can be positive, like the breaking down tissue to build muscle in an emotional sense, or it can be negative and lead you in an emotional game of "crack the whip". It's all in the warm-up and stretching in the beginning that insures an injury-free exchange.

So, still speaking of desire, eventually one can attain such mindfulness that when such emotions come at you, the congruence of the mind and heart are so in tune that it's not that you have to dodge them or take the hit and withstand it... the ability will be that you simply part the waves of them where you can observe as they move past but few, if any, touch.

That is one avenue of how I define strength, or at least the first that comes to mind.

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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An attempt to define strength

John,
Your temporal awareness is - high. M2 and I have a lot of banter about the clock. I think it's important to understand core differences between you and your partner. M2 is faster than I am at everything other than racquet sports.

Maybe that is why I am very patient and she isn't. This gap is a point of humor between us.

Planning - M2 LOVES when I have a multi tier (plan A + plan B + plan C) plan. Loves it. The graceful transit to plan B makes her happy - maybe even hot.

Accomplishments - very big thing - I note that you skipped over the abstract 'skills' and focused instead on results. I think that is spot on. Skills sans results are simply a source of frustration for your partner.



Quote:
Originally Posted by john117 View Post
Strength is great when dealing with NormalPeople (tm).... When dealing with NotNormalPeople (tm) very little of the above applies. So, assuming we are in the realm of NormalPeople (tm), here it goes.

Patience - it is sort of implied in your list but it's worth repeating.

Anticipation and planning - there's a reason I love games. A relationship is not too different. Without anticipation you're simply reacting, regardless of other traits.

Accomplishments - whether putting up a retaining wall or bringing home some dough, real accomplishments help define you externally as well as innately.
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 06:51 PM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

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For instance, when I came to TAM 5+ years ago I believed that walking away from M2 when she was in full melt down - was a show of strength. Now I'm of the opposite view. More on that in a subsequent post.
Just wanted to comment on this part.. as long as we've been together.. I can't think of one time where my husband walked out on me or had to get away.. even when I surely deserved it -for my attitude.. I have always LOVED this about him.. and I've shared how strongly I feel about it... this attribute calms me.. now if he did slam the door - telling me he needed his space.. this would flare me more so.. I know how I am.. (I can't be the only woman like this.. sounds like M2 is similar then)

I'm not even suggesting men should never do this...but again...he's never felt it was TOO MUCH to put up with me.. He'd say he can "handle it" -where maybe some other macho man couldn't (Mr Alpha)... ya know.. all I know is.. I do see it as a strength in him.. it's certainly not hurt our union.. It's an area of conflict that brings us closer .. where we get deep and work it out..

@jld is the 1st poster here I've seen really address this.. and she took a lot of slack for it.. those feeling Dug should slam the door on her.. if/ when she is being disrespectful...as they read it this way... I know her husband is less emotional over mine.. so it makes sense he can DO this.. and finds it rather easy for that matter... He also recognizes that many times, he has neglected her needs - which in effect, causes her to flare up unleashing on him.. (there is HIS self awareness)...

I have hurt my husband's feelings ... my only excuse is... I'm mad at the time.. I am emoting (never said I was perfect).. he seems to "get this" and doesn't hold my mouth against me.. Thankfully...

All I know is.. this has been a part of our conflict dynamic on a # of occasions ... and it's been a good thing for us... I can only speak for our own marriage, of course. If this automatically = doormat.. then we're screwed up .. cause I have NOT lost attraction to him over such things.. I praise him and do see "strength" of character for loving me through whatever I am "going through".. He is there.. he is my ROCK.

I think it's Great that you have come around on this one @MEM2020 , that you've experienced the other side ...I'm sure it has endeared M2 to you.. her feeling the deepest of care, even during her worst moments..(which true.. may not even be about you)...
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An attempt to define strength

SA,

Thanks to you we've meandered back here. So there's this theme in the initial list called 'self regulation' - refers to a person's ability to either remain calm - or to recover quickly if they get upset.

But in a marriage - there's a bigger theme - call it partner regulation.

When your partner melts down, here's the primary outcomes from best to worst:
1. You synchronize them to your calm state (this is the ultimate demonstration of power in a marriage - up regulating a partner who is crashing).
2. You remain calm, engaged and present, and let your partner self regulate on their own. (The difference between this and (1) is that here - you are helping by being present - but - they'd get to the same outcome at the same pace without you.
3. They destabilize you - it's obvious - but you manage not to say or do anything stupid.
4. They destabilize you and you leave
5. They destabilize you and you make the situation worse



Quote:
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Just wanted to comment on this part.. as long as we've been together.. I can't think of one time where my husband walked out on me or had to get away.. even when I surely deserved it -for my attitude.. I have always LOVED this about him.. and I've shared how strongly I feel about it... this attribute calms me.. now if he did slam the door - telling me he needed his space.. this would flare me more so.. I know how I am.. (I can't be the only woman like this.. sounds like M2 is similar then)

I'm not even suggesting men should never do this...but again...he's never felt it was TOO MUCH to put up with me.. He'd say he can "handle it" -where maybe some other macho man couldn't (Mr Alpha)... ya know.. all I know is.. I do see it as a strength in him.. it's certainly not hurt our union.. It's an area of conflict that brings us closer .. where we get deep and work it out..

@jld is the 1st poster here I've seen really address this.. and she took a lot of slack for it.. those feeling Dug should slam the door on her.. if/ when she is being disrespectful...as they read it this way... I know her husband is less emotional over mine.. so it makes sense he can DO this.. and finds it rather easy for that matter... He also recognizes that many times, he has neglected her needs - which in effect, causes her to flare up unleashing on him.. (there is HIS self awareness)...

I have hurt my husband's feelings ... my only excuse is... I'm mad at the time.. I am emoting (never said I was perfect).. he seems to "get this" and doesn't hold my mouth against me.. Thankfully...

All I know is.. this has been a part of our conflict dynamic on a # of occasions ... and it's been a good thing for us... I can only speak for our own marriage, of course. If this automatically = doormat.. then we're screwed up .. cause I have NOT lost attraction to him over such things.. I praise him and do see "strength" of character for loving me through whatever I am "going through".. He is there.. he is my ROCK.

I think it's Great that you have come around on this one @MEM2020 , that you've experienced the other side ...I'm sure it has endeared M2 to you.. her feeling the deepest of care, even during her worst moments..(which true.. may not even be about you)...
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 10:38 PM
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Re: An attempt to define strength

Depends on what you measure as faster. I'm patient, deliberate, slow even, but also thorough and virtually always right. When needed, I go into action mode and get things done quickly.

My wife believes in shoot first and ask questions later. Unless it's for work where she's very thorough and methodical.

Planning, I'm very good at. What would we do without Microsoft Project . But I prefer to make it appear it's all too random. Chaos brings out the best in people...

Accomplishments.... I feel I should do more but I'm not willing to kill myself working. But they don't get appreciated by her. Back in August I had my mid year review and was blown away when Bob told me to use 10% of my and my team's time for Google style R&D. Essentially to come up with ideas. Did she care? Did she care DD2 nailed the MCAT? That both girls are working on publishing research work? Nope.

The strength is to not be bothered by her indifference
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An attempt to define strength

John,

Why do you think she isn't more excited by your daughters successes?

I'm only asking because it is the rare parent who responds to their kids success with indifference.


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Depends on what you measure as faster. I'm patient, deliberate, slow even, but also thorough and virtually always right. When needed, I go into action mode and get things done quickly.

My wife believes in shoot first and ask questions later. Unless it's for work where she's very thorough and methodical.

Planning, I'm very good at. What would we do without Microsoft Project . But I prefer to make it appear it's all too random. Chaos brings out the best in people...

Accomplishments.... I feel I should do more but I'm not willing to kill myself working. But they don't get appreciated by her. Back in August I had my mid year review and was blown away when Bob told me to use 10% of my and my team's time for Google style R&D. Essentially to come up with ideas. Did she care? Did she care DD2 nailed the MCAT? That both girls are working on publishing research work? Nope.

The strength is to not be bothered by her indifference
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