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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Only You Can Change Your Distorted Perceptions

How often have you heard, "You can't change another person"? Most of us have expectations or perceptions we don't know we have. One of the most common is, if I love him/her enough, he/she will feel loveable and capable. It certainly helps to be loved, but the only person who can correct the distorted perceptions they developed as a child is the person who is that child grown up.

The most extreme example of adult distorted perceptions are people who grow up as survivors. They grow up truly victim and they learn to survive as victims. When they become adults they often don't realize how much personal power they have. They may continue to live as victims rather than as free powerful adults.

Most of us know about books like, "Women Who Love Too Much", "Co-dependent No More", and "Men Who Hate Women". We know we can't love someone enough to cure addiction or deep seated fear of the other sex. If you marry someone who has unresolved issues about capability or self-worth, it may take a long time for that person to realize his/her own self power. People quick to take blame for things or think they have made a fool of themselves may find it hard to believe that everyone makes mistakes.

Love your mate or friend for who he/she is. Acceptance heals and will accelerate your mate's ability to accept himself as loveable, as remarkable as it may seem. One of my readers responded to my last post, "How sad". It is sad, but the therapeutic process continues for both of us. Knowing we are loved  makes feeling loveable seem possible.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Biggest Disappointment in Marriage

When I met Everett I was a 21 year old first grade teacher in San Diego. He was a sailor aboard a destroyer in the San Diego Harbor. Instantly, I loved his smile. By the time his ship left San Diego, I had agreed to answer his letters if he wrote to me.

Our relationship grew in the following year. Everett's ship sailed for the Pacific and I moved to Sanger where I continued to teach. By this time our relationship had become serious. We married when he got out of the navy in 1955.

Everett was the sixth child in a family of seven children. His family moved often. He didn't learn to read until he had a fourth grade teacher who realized he was bright but hadn't learned to read. She worked with him after school and taught him to read. Like most children who struggle in school early, he developed a distorted perception about his ability to learn. He did well in high school and became an electronics technician in the navy. When he got out of the navy, he went to college to become an electrical engineer.

No matter how successful Everett became, he continued to believe that he was flawed and somehow inferior to others. He has many friends and a family who adore him but no amount of love can shake this deep-seated belief that he is somehow unlovable. The most disappointing thing about my marriage is that no matter how much I love him, I can never love him enough to make him see himself as loveable. He just shakes his head and says, "I know you love me and I am glad, but I don't see why you do. I am a lucky man." I wish my love could help him understand how loveable he is and why so many people find him easy to love.

Sailor Everett 
Teacher Elva