Category Archives: Trust

Is That You?

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My Dad loves to drive. Except, he’s dead.

This is why my experience of him driving my car the other day gave me collywobbles.

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Dad, my brother, me, the car

Growing up, all bikes, skateboards, baseball bats, and badminton nets could not cross the two-foot invisible barrier that surrounded the family car in the garage. My Dad was a little obsessed with the safety specifics and monitored the inches between our kid stuff and the paint finish on his car.

God forbid a baseball, or any object for that matter, bounce off the car. I swear he had some hidden CIA radar for such occurrences. He could be two houses over in someone’s backyard, and he would hear the thump when a foreign body hit the metal on the car. There would be scoldings and lectures from him every time this happened.

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Dad, Mom, and the car

No matter the terrain or weather, he was your man on the street. My Dad took pride in his skillful art of maneuvering through the snow on any road, even no road. The rest of us in the family weren’t so unafraid of that skill. There could be a blizzard warning, and my Dad thought nothing of throwing all of us into the car and driving 70 miles to Wisconsin to visit family in Clinton or Beloit. “We can make it,” my Dad would say with confidence. My Mom would think about it, all of one minute, and call him crazy.

As he got older, he still made car care a priority. He was a State Farm man, after all. Every couple of years there would be a new car to pamper with pride. I’m sure his military experience of managing the care of the equipment he was entrusted with contributed to his viewpoint about other possessions. In WWII, it was a rifle he pampered. Home from the war, it was a car.

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My dad at 88

My Dad drove his car until a fracture in his foot sidelined him at age 90. Before that happened, dad gave anyone who rode with him something comparable to a cardio workout. He would drive: s-l-o-w. I chuckle now just remembering a few of those adventures. Every driver knows that when you’re clear to proceed across two lanes of traffic that you don’t dilly dally. My Dad would pull out quick enough, but then he would just peter out and linger while oncoming traffic was getting closer and closer. Inevitably, my brother or I would yell “Dad!!”

When he died in 2006, there were a handful of noticeable dents and dings on my Dad’s car. Something he would have never tolerated some 50 years earlier. All the dents were signs that his driving ability was reaching its limit.

So on that day, I was driving on the road my Dad would always take to get home. I was looking at the sidewalk where I used to ride my bike as a kid. I drifted off in thought. I was riding in the car with my Dad. He was driving us home. There was a warm and comforting light that filled the car, the way sunlight does but brighter. There was a stream of energy that rippled. There was no sound.

Then suddenly, it was gone. The radio returned to its bellow. I was driving again and realized I had just felt the presence of my father–driving my car. Wow! Tears filled my eyes. I couldn’t recall driving the last mile. Did that just really happen? I looked down to see how fast I was going and realize it had to be my dad; I was driving 10 miles under the speed limit!

Thanks for the visit dad. Glad you’re still driving, and you were not here to pick me up!

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

Do Men Owe Women? Before you say yes, read this

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In our civilization, men are afraid that they will not be men enough and women are afraid that they might be considered only women. -Theodor Reik (1888-1969) Psychoanalyst

How many times in your life, have you been in love? A man and woman union with love at its axis is a new pattern in human history. So, starting from the images (37)beginning of time until around 1930, love had literally zilch to do with matrimony. It’s reasonable to conclude that your great grandparents’ wedding was arranged without love’s infringement. Throughout history marriage has been the artifact of economic and political arrangement agreed upon by the parents of the couple, or by the government of the times that dominated the social law of wedlock. History reveals even in America, marriage has been faithfully a merger of need or convenience, not an act based on choice and love.

It was not until the late 18th century that a few male leaders of society began to toy with the novelty that marriage would be better if based on the passionate feelings and free choice of both individuals in the relationship. This change of heart represented the male concession to woman’s rights and their fight for Antisuffragists-e13299347546061equality in the early 1900s. However, even as recent as 1960, marriage remained a lopsided union between an obedient wife and a leading man—wives were to be compliant housewives and mothers, with men the superior breadwinners. Love might have been present in this union, but the pyramid of power had only one person at the top—the man—the husband and father. This is still true, today, in various cultures.

For centuries, young women were stuck, however reluctantly, to culture rules regarding female and male intimate relationships. They learned early from their Kitchen Scenefemale predecessors what to anticipate from a man, and it was rarely the promise to love, honor, and cherish with equality and faithfulness. Women may have doubted male superiority, but men remained with the power in the relationship. Societies squelch the female aptitude so women traditionally were dependent on a man to provide money, protection, food, and shelter. Any goals women may have had, like fulfilling personal aspirations, pursuing a talent or education, or insisting on an equal say in a relationship were not an option. Women, traditionally, were expected to tolerate male behavior. It was customary for our ancestor sisters to suffer irresponsibility, deceit, injuries, drunkenness, infidelity, rape, imprisonment, degradation, and inferiority in any relationship with a man.

Men have historically been in conflict with other men while their maltreated, indifferent women laid in waiting with Band-Aids and a beer for the heroic return. Traipsing off to battle to conquer a kingdom was (and still is) a guy thing. Men by nature compete to be right, to win, to have control, and to rule. Whether it was off to war or off to the saloon, men thought of a woman in basically the same category as wanting a hot bath and a turkey drumstick.

A look at women in history helps explain why relationships today with men are so screwed-up:

IN THE BEGINNING 4000 B.C. – 450 B.C. (about Genesis – Jonah)
~Women were prohibited to have a say-so anywhere, about anything.
~Women were denied rights over their body or life.
~Women were to make the home, children, and mate the priority in life.

GOLDEN AGE OF GREECE: 450 B.C. – 27 B.C. (about Micah – Malachi)
~High-class prostitutes were held superior to wives.
~When Greek men fell in love, they were considered sick.
~Wives were considered only as housekeepers and mothers.
~Wives were not allowed to eat at the same table as her husband.
~Kings claimed they descended from gods; and held all-powerful positions.

ROMAN EMPIRE: 27 B.C. – 385 A.D. (about Matthew – Revelations)
~Love in Rome was guilt-free sex, not a feeling.
~Women remained inferior to men and under Roman rule.

DECLINE OF ROMAN EMPIRE: 376 A.D. – 476 A.D.
~Women were considered sex and labor slaves.
~Women born into royalty were raised as sexual partners for Kings.

CHRISTIANITY & THE DARK AGES: 385 A.D. – 1000 A.D.
~In 585 A.D. the Church argued that women did not have a mortal soul.
~Religion viewed sex as an unromantic, harsh, and an ugly act.
~By the 1st Century, women were viewed as disposable property.
~The Church sanctioned wife beatings.
~Only small fines were enforced for killing women.
~Noblemen had the right to rape any woman.

PRE-RENAISSANCE RISE OF COURTLY LOVE: 1000 A.D. – 1300 A.D.
~Courtly Love was a relationship considered to make men better warriors.
~The sex act was considered false love.
~It was believed that unsatisfied passion improved character.
~Women were viewed as utensils.

THE CHURCH VS. THE RENAISSANCE: 1300 A.D. – 1500 A.D.
~Religious people saw Courtly Love as sinful.
~By 1450 A.D. the Church believed all physically desirable women were witches.
~The Pope authorized the burning death of 30,000 women.
~Pope Alexander VI possessed many teenage mistresses.
~Marriage remained a lifelong financial transaction that took place when a girl was 14-16 years old, and included a dowry plus income/property guarantees.
~As the Renaissance enlightenment prevailed; people associated sex with love.
~A new idea that married couples should live together alone in a dwelling of their own began circulating in the 17th Century.
~Wife beating was legal.

THE PURITANS: 1500 A.D. – 1700 A.D.
~Dr. Martin Luther battled Catholic beliefs asserting that sexual impulses
were natural and irrepressible.
~Women remained inferior to men, dominated by the male population,
religious judgment and discrimination.
~Henry VIII put two wives to death for unproven adultery, though he had several mistresses while married.

THE AGE OF REASON: 1600 A.D. – 1800 A.D.
~By the mid-18th Century man turned “to reason.”
~Louis XIV set rules of etiquette to suppress all evidence of emotion.             ~Men viewed women as ornaments, unreasonable nitwits, and subservient. ~Love was a malicious sport with the motive to seduce; flirtation became a common societal hobby.

VICTORIANISM & THE RISE OF CAPITALISM: 1850 A.D. – 1900 A.D.
~U.S. Surgeon General, William Hammond, stated that decent women felt not the slightest pleasure during sex.
~Many physicians considered sexual desire in women pathological.
~The 1842 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica stated that women had no privileges or rights in marriage.
~The clinging-vine persona in women developed as the culture encouraged women to be modest, sweet, weak, and anxious to be dominated by men.
~Men had legal power over their wives and could imprison or beat them.
~Women were not allowed to vote.
~Married women had no property rights.
~Divorce and child custody laws favored men.
~Women were not allowed to attend college.
~Women were forbidden to serve on a jury.
~Women were forbidden to participate in political or church leadership.
~Elizabeth Cady Stranton began in 1848 The Women’s Rights Movement to achieve full civil rights for all women.
~Sigmund Freud concluded females suffered neurosis and had little purpose.

20th CENTURY ROMANTIC LOVE: 1900 A.D. – 1930 A.D.
~In 1920 women won the right to vote; 72 years after its initiation.
~Romantic attraction became the basis for choosing a partner.
~Divorce rates grew although a woman’s place was still in the home.
~Birth control information started circulating secretly.
~Women were mainly housewives and caretakers to men and children.
~The restrictive clothing don by women for centuries began to loosen up.

MODERN ROMANTIC LOVE: 1930 A.D. – 1970 A.D.
~Dating started in 1930 as a new method of mate selection.
~Women were expected to adopt behaviors to build up a man’s image.
~Alfred Kinsey provided specific details that changed views on sex.
~Playboy franchise created in 1953 exploited women who consented.
~Women were allowed to enter college, sports, politics, and military.
~In 1963, The Equal Pay Act required equal wages for women.
~In 1967, a law prohibited any hiring bias against women.
~Women could not obtain credit.
~California became first state to adopt a no-fault divorce law.

CONTEMPORARY RELATIONSHIPS: 1970 A.D. – PRESENT
~Ms Magazine published in 1971, sold out 300,000 copies in 8 days.
~Marriage no longer mandatory for financial support.
~Supreme Court ruled in 1971 unmarried woman’s right to use contraceptives.
~The word obey is dropped from female vow in marriage ceremonies.
~Marriage rates fell.
~In 1976, the first marital rape law was enacted.
~In 1988, women were paid 32 percent less than men for same job.
~Despite working, women were expected to be caretaker at home.
~Women entered politics and held government positions.
~Sexual discrimination suits toward women flooded courts.

IMG_0994Attitudes toward women today are, at best, trying to be politically correct in America. There remains an undertow of inbred inferior opinions towards the female sex in business. During water cooler chats men still minimize a woman’s abilities and degrades her existence within a company. Despite the gains over the years to show women equal respect as a man, women are still being raped, trafficked, violated and discriminated against — not just in the rest of the world, but here in the United States. And though feminists continue to fight gender injustices, most men seem to think that outside of a few lingering battles, the work of the women’s movement is done.

Do you think men today are afraid of equality with women or simply
stuck under the influence of history in their interpretation of women roles?

Think about it. Look for Do Men Owe Women?, Part 2, tomorrow.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are Little White Lies Okay?

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Like most other kids, you and I were taught in childhood not to lie. The lesson usually came early in life when by the age of six we knew the difference between right and wrong; and what was true and what wasn’t. The first time we made up a story to avoid wrath, we may have discovered that the penalty for our inventive tale was worse than if we had truthfully admitted our error.

IMG_0862Dishonesty, basically, is avoiding truth. It’s not surprising that people whose lives have been influenced by a damaging past really struggle with honesty—they’re afraid to be honest. It isn’t a type of dishonesty that is pathological and conniving. Rather its motive comes from a sincere desire to avoid conflict, disapproval, disappointment, and rejection; and to make others happy. They might see their dishonesty as being harmless or as merely “little white lies.”

Truth though, is a necessary choice in life, if we want self-respect, self-esteem and a reputation for possessing integrity. When asked, for example, if we like someone’s haircut, outfit, spinach casserole recipe, car color, or wallpaper, there’s always something truthful that can be said, instead of a little white lie. “Oh, that looks good on you,” “I can totally see you in that color,” and so on. We can be truthful without being mean spirited and without hurting someone’s feelings.

Psychologist, Dr. Chris Thurman writes: There is another important reason why IMG_1595we must seek the truth and live by it. There is a direct, inescapable connection between our self-esteem and whether or not we are dedicated to truth. If dedication to truth characterizes our way of living, we develop stable positive feelings of worth. The moment we wrap our lives around lies, genuine feelings of self-worth are virtually impossible. We’ve all had moments in our lives when we suddenly saw that something we believed to be true was false. Instantly, the truth cuts like a knife.  http://www.drchristhurman.com/

A pattern of telling little white lies can easily get out of control with a drive to appear adequate and flawless. We may find ourselves deceiving others about our opinions, actions and accomplishments. In a need to be loved and accepted, we justify fibbing.

IMG_2761 (1)Yet, isn’t it true that if someone is dishonest with us, we get all bent out of shape? In a warped way of thinking, we can be merciless to other individuals that we’ve caught lying. We park in the denial of our own dishonesty and feel betrayed, used, made a fool of, or taken advantage of by others we catch being dishonest with us: How could they do that to me! We, however, tend to not see our own dishonesty when we do that to them.

Think about it.

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
IMG_2731Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

What do you do when you’ve hurt someone?

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IMG_1564When you’ve hurt a person by something you’ve said, what do you do? Hurting someone’s feelings is usually unintentional and spoken in a moment of high emotional intensity when you’re not thinking straight. Whether it’s a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, family member, co-worker, or friend, what can you do now?

1. Apologize face-to-face, not in a text, email, or by phone. To really make amends you need to be present. Your apology must be sincere–trust has been broken so strip away your pride and humble yourself.

2. Take responsibility. Own it. Make no excuses. That means do not attempt to IMG_0491 - Copyblame someone or something else for your screw-up. That means not trying to shift blame onto to the very person you just insulted. Whatever the circumstances, what was said that was hurtful came from you. No one forced you to say insensitive remarks, it’s no one else’s fault, so take responsibility. Own up.

3. Sometimes it’s fitting to explain. Providing a reason for what happened is different than trying to excuse what happened. “I know I shouldn’t have said those things, but I’m under so much pressure right now,” is an excuse. “I’m under a lot of pressure right now, but that doesn’t dismiss the hurtful words I said,” is an effort to explain, not excuse.

IMG_24194. Don’t just say “I’m sorry,” ask to be forgiven. Promise it will not happen again. Describe what you’re going to change so it doesn’t happen again. “I’m going to talk to someone about managing the stress I’m under.” This action is the best choice if you truly want to make amends. Otherwise, the hurt person only has your say-so that it won’t happen again. Since the trust element is shattered between you and the other person, an action plan on your part goes a long way to rebuild trust.

5. Give it some time if the person isn’t able to accept your apology at the moment. Allow the person a couple of days to think and sorts things out–free of harassment or stalking. Bugging or nagging the person won’t speed up the forgiveness process, and can make the situation worse.

6. Forgive yourself. Beating yourself up is pointless. And listening to someone lecturing you about what a jerk you are is also pointless. Making a mistake or screwing-up doesn’t make you a bad person. No one is perfect. Everyone make mistakes. We all do things we regret.  Meet tomorrow as a wiser person.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

What defines cheating in a relationship?

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Trusting someone is always a risk. But at some point in your relationship, you should know if you can trust your partner based on observing how he/she has handled various situations and how he/she treats other people, especially how he/she treats YOU.

What defines cheating in a relationship?

The time to get answers to this question is before both parties become exclusive so that there’s an understanding and agreement prior to IMG_0355becoming a couple. Don’t assume your partner will have the same definitions as you when it comes to what describes infidelity. It should also be determined what the outcome will be if either of you break the agreement of fidelity. Decide if you will leave the relationship, and make that a declaration so the consequences are known beforehand. If cheating should occur, keep your word and follow through with the consequence. Otherwise you lose all credibility and self-respect; and your partner will think he or she can get away with it again.

Is this cheating to you? Is it cheating to your partner?

⇒Having lunch alone with the opposite sex who is a co-worker, or friend?

⇒Having “friends” of the opposite sex?                                                        

⇒Hanging out alone with a friend of the opposite sex?                              

⇒Flirting with the opposite sex in your presence or not?                           

⇒Kissing the opposite sex on the cheek or lips?                                            

⇒Giving a ride to a co-worker or friend of the opposite sex?

⇒Stopping after work for cocktails alone with the opposite sex who is a co-worker or friend?

⇒Touching the hand, arm, shoulder, waist, or leg or other physical contact of the opposite sex?

⇒Hugging the opposite sex?

⇒Sharing your emotional/sexual/private moments with a coworker/friend of the opposite sex?

⇒Getting caught in a lie when out alone for drinks, etc. with the opposite sex?

⇒Talking on the phone with old boyfriends/girlfriends?

⇒Exchanging emails with friends of the opposite sex?

⇒The use of pornography in your relationships via magazines, photos, videos, porn websites?

⇒The use of chat rooms with the opposite sex?

⇒Being more attentive to other women/men in your presence leaving you to feel ignored, embarrassed?

⇒Taking nude or seductive photos of each other with cell phone access and showing others the photos?PH01823J(p)

⇒Texting friends/co-workers of the opposite sex that are not work related?

⇒Being unwilling to show your partner any texts, emails exchanges with members of the opposite sex?

⇒Purchasing gifts for another woman/man, or trying to hide it?

⇒Going to strip clubs, getting lap dances, or other “services?”

Your thoughts and comments are especially invited on this subject. What is cheating to you?

Thanks for your time! Stay at it! ~Dr. Sandy