Do you love yourself? This is not exactly an easy question to answer because at times you may love certain aspects of yourself while despising others. Sometimes we feel loved and cherished by other people and sometimes we may feel like nobody loves us. We can’t base feeling loved on the actions of other people or how we feel from time to time. We have to learn to be the one to love ourselves unconditionally. When we do, we will be able to accept and give love in a healthier and more fulfilling way throughout our lifetime.
Everyone will experience trauma or some type of extreme stress during their lifetime. Trauma involves losses such as illness, death of a pet or loved one, divorce, and job loss. It also includes abuse, accidents, military combat, and dramatic changes that occur throughout life. In a perfect world when something traumatic happens we are able to take time to process our thoughts and emotions, be surrounded and nurtured by a support system, and have some time to adjust. However, for many people one or all of these aspects of healthy coping and healing do not exist.
I often write about marriages, the sacredness of marriage and the act of infidelity within a marriage. Of course, everyone knows cheating is wrong and when it happens in a marriage we often times ask, “Who would cheat with someone else’s husband or wife?” What kind of a person would try to date or have a relationship with someone they know is married? We label them as whores, home wreckers and other derogatory adjectives, and maybe they do fit into some of those categories.
Maria consulted with me because she was frustrated about the distance she felt in her relationship with her husband, Carl. He wanted to be close to her, but she didn't feel close to him. "I think the problem is that he often talks to me in a judgmental or condescending way. He sounds like a parent rather than a partner. I just hate being spoken to like that." "How do you respond when he speaks to you like that?" I asked.