PART FOUR - RELATIONSHIP
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Posted on Fri, Mar 27, 2009
The dictionary describes a relationship in four ways: 1. connection: a significant connection or similarity between two or more things, or the state of being related to something else, 2. behavior or feelings toward somebody else: the connection between two or more people or groups and their involvement with one another, especially as regards the way they behave toward and feel about one another, 3. friendship: an emotionally close friendship, especially one involving sexual activity, 4. connection by family: the way in which two or more people are related by birth, adoption, or marriage, or the fact of being related by birth, adoption, or marriage.
Let’s look at President Obama and Michelle. The relationship has been set before the world. What do you see? I see a wife at her husband’s side whenever needed. She is supportive, loving, firm, and still beautiful. A mother to her children, a daughter to her mother, and a role model to women around the world.
There are several types of relationships-- let’s look at a few:
SURVIVAL RELATIONSHIPS - These exist when partners feel like they can't make it on their own. The choice of a partner tends to be undiscriminating, made out of emotional starvation and almost anyone available will do. This involves relating at its most basic: "Without you I am nothing; with you I am something." The survival involved may be physical as well as emotional, including the basics of finding shelter, eating, working, and paying bills. For example, a drug addict may be connected with a rigid, regimented partner who holds things together. In such a connection, the desperate quality of my choice is based more on my needs than on what you actually can offer me.
VALIDATION RELATIONSHIPS - A person may seek another's validation of his or her physical attractiveness, intellect, social status, sexuality, wealth, or some other attribute. Sex and money are especially common validator’s. In response to a sexually unsatisfying relationship, a person may choose a new partner with whom sexuality is central. Many teen-agers and young adults who are looking for a sense of identity form relationships based on physical or sexual validation. The packaging tends to be very important: physical beauty, sharp clothes, a cool car and the package of romantic images which fit the reference group the person wants to be a part of.
SCRIPTED RELATIONSHIPS - This common pattern often begins when the partners both are just out of high school or college. They seem to be "the perfect pair," fitting almost all the external criteria of what an appropriate mate should be like. The marriage involves living out their expectations for the roles they learned they were supposed to play. He has the "right" kind of job and she is the "right" kind of wife and they have the "right" kind of house or apartment or condo in the "right" place. Their families think it's the perfect match. These relationships are intended to be for the long haul. They are often very child-focused. Everyone is getting raised at the same time: The parents are growing up while they're raising the children. READ MORE...
ACCEPTANCE RELATIONSHIPS - This is what many of us thought we were getting into when we entered a relationship, including many people in the three categories above. In an acceptance relationship we trust, support and enjoy each other. And within broad limits, we are ourselves. But each of us has a good sense of which aspects of our personal selves lie outside those limits. I find ways to restrain myself from pushing those limits that erode your trust, strain your enjoyment, and weaken your support for me.
INDIVIDUATION-ASSERTION RELATIONSHIPS - These relationships are based on the assertion of each person's wants and needs, and on respect for the other person's process of personal growth. Often they are focused on partners' struggles with what is missing or lacking in terms of self-discovery, becoming whole, and developing their potentialities. They require each person's acknowledgment and appreciation of their differences.
HEALING RELATIONSHIPS - These liaisons follow periods of loss, struggle, deprivation, stress, or mourning. Participants typically feel wounded and fearful. They need tender loving care badly, and at the same time need to undertake some reassessment of themselves and their ways of relating. They don't have to be at the same place at the same time in their own growth and development, and frequently they aren't. By external criteria the partners may appear to be misfits, sometimes greatly so. The lack of fit may involve age, with twenty or thirty years difference between them. It may involve I.Q., like the brilliant woman lawyer with a ski instructor who's not too intellectual. It may involve sexual attitudes and experience, based on recent or ancient traumas, or on a questioning of old attitudes.
EXPERIMENTAL RELATIONSHIPS - These are "trying it out" relationships. A man who has always chosen partners emotionally similar to his mother, for example, may try being with someone very different. The intention is to find out how to relate to someone like this person, and what such a relationship is like. That can open a door to finding new ways of behaving with others, and perhaps to discovering little-known sides of oneself and allowing them to grow. Dating relationships often have this quality of exploration. When two people in an experimental relationship make a connection that clicks, it may evolve into one of the dominant forms. Or an experimental relationship that almost clicks, but not quite, may influence what a person looks for in the next partner.
TRANSFERENCE RELATIONSHIPS - To a greater or lesser degree, a relationship which falls into any of several of the categories above can be a transference relationship. In these, we perceive the other or behave toward the other in the ways in which we perceived or behaved toward another person earlier in our life, like a parent or ex-partner. Projection and mistaken attributions are a large part of this when you do a certain thing, I conclude that you mean what my parent or ex-partner would have meant by it, even if that's not the case at all. If a person is committed to these mistaken interpretations, attributions, and expectations, then the prognosis for the relationship is not good. If they are willing to hear the other's statement that, "I meant something quite different by that than you inferred," then confronting and letting go of mistaken or counterproductive patterns transferred from the old relationship onto the new one can be an important source of psychological growth, and may lead to an enduring relationship that works.
MATURE RELATIONSHIPS - In many people over 40 (the figure is a rough one), the needs have shifted, and there is no long such a need to use the relationship to make a statement about oneself. As they grow, partners tend to move away from largely predetermined scripts in which the response to anyone will be more or less similar, toward relationships that are responsive to the uniqueness of each other person.
As you see there are many types of relationship. There is one relationship more important than all, and that is your relationship with Christ. Does He know you. Do you know Him. When was the last time you dined with Him. Did you know being intimate with Jesus is the best yet. Just in case you don’t know Him take this opportunity to get to know Him. Just take a few minutes and bow your head and say this prayer.
“Father, I know that I have sinned and separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”