June 16, 2009
June 16, 2009


Love, honor, and obey used to be the typical wedding vows. Both parties said it. It was not exclusive to one gender more than another. We all get the love and honor part, but I wonder if the obey symbolism doesn’t border on possessiveness.

Possessiveness strangles the spouse. It demands that the rules of the other party be the rules of the marital union. This creates no problem when both parties agree to the arrangement, but when both have different thoughts on how they should be loved and honored the trouble begins. One would imagine that ones mate would not want to cause the other a moment of pain. Often the pain is not created by the present relationship, but instead by past trauma. Some couples do abide by considering each others background traumas. Unfortunately, when other pairs feel demeaned, or demoralised by the others actions and are unable to take into account how the past has created a less than perfect person with a deadlocked less than perfect relationship: the result is often more akin to enemies than lovers.

The manner in which to resolve most conflicts is to use non-judgemental communication skills. This may be accomplished by communication skills by constructing sentences with Behavior Feeling Effect descriptions which allowing the hearer to comply gracefully. The Behavior of the other person needs to be stated as a fact. When it is presented as a resentment it does not accomplish the desired end result. Getting even, only leads to misery for everyone, and accomplishes nothing. Yet, only if one lets go of the desire to fire back will the couple move forward.

Next the sentence should represent your Feeling using the pronoun “I”. Anger is a secondary emotion and almost always clients start off with anger. Anger is a primitive primary emotion biologically created to protect ourselves when we are hurt, frustrated, annoyed, demeaned, demoralised, etc. When one feels cornered one strikes back. Think of a frightened animal and how they respond if trapped even when you mean them no harm. If the topic is stressful, the primary reaction is lost in mini seconds. People head straight for anger, but it is the primary emotion that one should express, e.g. “I feel demeaned”. Primary emotions get to the heart of the matter. Often the client is attempting to portray his/her feeling of being unloved and missing the affection of the other spouse. Only the primary emotions can express this need so that the issue is clearly presented.

The last construct fo the sentence should be the Effect or result. If there is no Effect, but an opinion, then it must be recognized that everyone has a right to their opinion. So the couple might agree to disagree when it comes to their opinions. Or they might research the discussion and see what authorities state. If the authorities differ, then it is best to shelve that issue as there is a stalemate.

Humanity has fought wars over who is right, whose concepts are the best to follow. Couples get caught in the possessiveness of each other and the possessiveness of a concept that they hang onto as if they were a bulldog with a bone. Possessiveness is when the mate must comply with your rules, and disregard their own including disregarding their own ego needs. Ego needs can be met by many legitimate actions and do not have to include affairs. Solutions should be sought to the Behavior, Feeling, Effect messages. In this manner the marriage does not become a battle ground, but a harmonious love nest.