April 25, 2003
April 25, 2003


IN COMPETITIVE GAMES the opponents try to demoralize each other so that they might win. It is psychological warfare. In life, spouses exhibit the same behavior so that one is topping the other. In marriage, this strategy loses. In fact an individual who downgrades another person is always the loser, for in his/her heart they know that they are unfairly usurping the advantage.

Children take in these issues and frequently identify the aggressor as the wrong model, but unfortunately sublimate the messages and find that as adults they are doing exactly what they decided was something they had vowed to never do or become. Calling obscene names denigrates the aggressor as much or more than the victim. However children hearing these appellations may be destroyed because they model who and what they are from the adults surrounding them. Their self-affirmations become more warped and hurtful.

Other debasing messages are those that cut down a person’s self-affirmations. “YOU CAN’T: cook-clean-sing-work-take care of the kids-make enough money, be humorous.” If I have left any description out, fill it in with the one you have been hearing lately. I hope you are unable to do this, but if you can, then follow these suggestions:

Make a written list of all your accomplishments. Don’t forget to include your personal hygiene, driving a car, being a member and/or an officer of any volunteer service or organization, your hobbies, and your attitudes towards life. Remind yourself that these successful attributes are you. If you can do them, you can do anything you wish. Throw your negative messages away and replace them with the ones you have just established.

Hopefully you are not in denial and believe yourself to be the victim protecting yourself by verbally stabbing your significant other. Should you feel this way, projecting negativity will only cycle it back to you, so STOP what you are doing, and think about what you wish to accomplish. If you honestly feel that the person is what you are labeling them, then perhaps you need to distance yourself from that objectionable being. Why allow that person to trigger your worst qualities when you are being constantly frustrated? If you want someone to perform in a different manner ask in a clear, specific ,pleasant, manner just exactly what you want done. For example: On one occasion I had six hours of consecutive appointments ahead of me starting in one hour. During that hour, I had financial accounting to do, dishes in the sink, a floor that needed to be scrubbed, and laundry. These tasks were left over following a very busy day. My husband had put in his usual day of eight hours and as usual was resting for the remaining part of the evening. I suppressed my annoyance and thought of what I could ask him to do that he knew how to do and would not object to helping. I said, “Would you please put on a wash? I don’t expect diamond or furs to feel loved. But helping me occasionally with my overwhelming load of work would make me feel very loved.” He smiled and said, ”Would it? Sure.” He, then, went into the cellar to do the laundry.

Determine your issues that accompany your emotions and thoughts, think of a positive way to represent them and then present them as a kindly request. Welcome to harmony and happiness. You have just made a wonderful breakthrough!