Happy Father’s Day

Fatherhood

Happy Father’s Day.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Lonely.

Lonely Flower

Lonely.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Lonely.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”

― Jean-Paul Sartre

“All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot!”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and The Lorax

“The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.”

― Charlotte Brontë

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Mothers day

Happy Mother’s Day

To all the mothers out there who have given their unconditional love regardless of what your children look like or do here is wishing you a happy mother’s day.

If you didn’t have a mother like that, then work on giving yourself that love on this day devoted to the way a caring mother can make us all happy.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Love.

Valentine’s Day love. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine’s Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine’s Day on February’s shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed.”

― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

“Do what you do. This Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Twelfth Night, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Paddy’s Day, and every day henceforth. Just do what you do. Live out your life and your traditions on your own terms.

If it offends others, so be it. That’s their problem.”

― Chris Rose

“Valentine’s Day is the poet’s holiday.”

― Ted Kooser

“Let’s forgive someone for Valentines day, it’s a great way to show love, and forgive yourself too for the hurt you held onto.”

― Jay Woodman

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

The Link Between Narcissism and Financial Abuse. 

The Link Between Narcissism and Financial Abuse. 

Source: Unsplash.com | By: Mathieu Stern | Rights: Free to Use

Although it’s not always the case, there is a strong correlation between narcissism and domestic violence. When a narcissist is abusive, it is most commonly referred to as narcissistic abuse. Many people may think that narcissists just use emotional or physical means to control their victims. However, there is another method used in narcissistic abuse that can be even more damaging. Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s important to shed light on one of the most common but unspoken forms of domestic violence, financial abuse. 

Narcissism. 

Narcissism, or narcissistic personality disorder, is a condition in which a person has an inflated sense of oneself. This is often paired with a lack of empathy and a need for an excessive amount of attention and admiration. Narcissists tend to be motivated by extrinsic factors such as money, power, and status. Because of this, narcissists struggle immensely with intimate relationships.

Narcissistic Abuse.

Often, dating a narcissistic person can be a troubling experience. Narcissists go after people that are the opposite of them because they are easier to control. Those people are usually more empathetic and value personal fulfillment, fairness, and friendships. Since narcissists demand special attention and to be treated as superior, they are more likely to use abuse as a means to get what they want. Common tactics used in narcissistic abuse include gaslighting, manipulation, and verbal attacks. But what is just as common, and not as visible, is the use of financial abuse. 

Financial Abuse. 

Financial abuse involves controlling a victim’s ability to make, access, or use any of their own money. Money is one of the most powerful ways to trap a victim. The Center for Financial Security found that 99% of domestic abuse victims experience some form of financial abuse. Narcissists use money as a way to make their partners feel dependent and inferior. By restricting their partner’s access to money, the victim is forced to become reliant on their abuser, since they have no resources to leave. Financial abuse is also the most common reason people return to their abuser, yet, many don’t notice financial abuse in their lives. 

Money as a Weapon. 

Many narcissists associate money and status with power. Because of this, money is often used as a weapon to gain control over the relationship. Some common ways narcissistic abusers control their victims are by withholding their finances, stealing their money, sabotaging their credit, or preventing them from getting a job. Doing this causes the victim to be reliant on their abuser and prevents them from obtaining any financial or personal freedom. 

What to Do if You Suspect Financial Abuse.

Some narcissistic abusers don’t make financial abuse obvious. Many narcissists will even lie about their financial situation, or take control over your money without you knowing. One way to check if you are being financially abused is by looking at a credit score report or bank statement. 

Unfortunately, credit scores play a huge factor in financial freedom. Purchases that allow you to be safe and independent, such as buying a home, require specific credit score ranges. Abusers know this and will try to damage your score by opening lines of credit with your name and creating massive debt on your account. You can get a free credit report to see if there are any discrepancies in your credit. Likewise, if you notice big withdrawals from your bank account or purchases made without your consent, it could be a good indicator that you are being financially abused. 

Leaving Abuse. 

Narcissistic financial abuse is a serious matter. It can cause many to go into severe poverty and prevent victims from escaping their situations. Your safety is more important than anything. If you are a victim of financial abuse, do not call out your abuser, as this can make it even more dangerous for you. Instead, talk with a trusted friend, family member, or the Domestic Violence Support Hotline about your situation to help plan your escape. No matter how bad the financial damage is, recovery is possible. There are many resources available to help guide you through this process and get you back on your feet. 

Final Thoughts. 

Many people still don’t know about narcissistic financial abuse and the long-term effects it has. Knowledge is power. To help prevent others from falling victim to financial abuse, we must first talk about it. That is why it is important, especially this coming month, that we spread awareness around this topic to help put an end to financial abuse. 

Surviving the relationship breakup blues.

Couple not talking

Relationship Break up Blues
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

How do you cope with Break–up sadness?

Whatever a relationship ends, there’s bound to be sadness. Even in those unhealthy relationships that have been bad from the beginning breaking up can be a mixture of relief that you’ve gotten out of the relationship and sadness that the relationship you wanted wasn’t what you got. The longer the relationship, the more difficult this can be. In this post, I’m going to talk mainly about relationships that break up during the dating or living together stage. Once two people have gotten married or had a child together, there’s likely to be a whole lot of additional wreckage that needs to be cleaned up. These are some of the things you need to do to recover from the emotional part of the relationship.

It’s okay to grieve.

Whenever a relationship ends, it’s normal to experience sadness. Even the relationships we know will end, like four years of college, are often followed by a period of emotional letdown and sadness. Ending a relationship you thought would be forever can be catastrophic. Don’t think you should be over it in a day or two. Allow yourself the time to process the changes. Humans change when we are in relationships. When you’re newly single, you’re going to have to shift back. It’s okay to experience a period of sadness as long as that feeling does not turn into depression which interferes with the rest of your life.

Try not to lose the good parts just because the relationship has ended.

You went to someplace new with the person who is now your ex, and you had a good time. That doesn’t mean you will have to avoid that place forever. Initially, going back to that “our favorite restaurant” can be difficult. It can be a reminder of your loss. After waiting a time, try revisiting that restaurant with a friend. Let yourself remember the good parts.

Don’t start assessing blame.

It’s easy to blame your former romantic partner. You can probably think of dozens of reasons why this breakup was their fault. You may also want to blame yourself. Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. If you did have ongoing problems within the relationship, consider getting some counseling. If you have had more than one failed relationship, don’t automatically look for what’s wrong with you. But do consider why you keep picking potential relationship partners who are not a good match for you.

Try something new.

Vary your routine. Don’t do a geographic and think that moving to a different city will solve your problem. Don’t think that rushing into another relationship with a new partner will make you happy. Do try out some new activities, hobbies and visiting some new places. Consider taking a class just for the fun of it. The time between relationships is an excellent opportunity to develop new interests.

Don’t torture yourself.

Avoid staying connected to your old partner on social media. Stop asking your friends what your ex has been doing. Some people find it helpful to remove their former partner’s phone numbers and emails from their contact lists. Don’t be tempted to reach out and try to reconnect when you’re feeling down or even a little tipsy.

Stay busy.

You don’t have to be frantically active, but you do need to use the time you would have spent with your former partner to good advantage. Reconnect with old friends. Pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read. Do some of those things you had been putting off because your partner didn’t like them, or you didn’t think you had the time.

Learn the life lessons this experience taught you.

Not learning a life lesson when it’s presented dooms you to repeat the lesson. The lessons we don’t learn when we are young continued to repeat themselves. This is especially true of feelings and relationships. If you have been in a relationship of any kind that has ended, there are sure to be critical life lessons you need to learn. Be careful about jumping to the easy conclusions. Failed relationships are rarely the fault of only one person. Look at your contribution to making the relationship succeed or fail. Also, examined the reasons you chose to enter a relationship with this person and whether you would want to do the same thing again.

Show yourself some Self-Compassion.

Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and resolve to do better in the future. There’s no evidence that being hard on yourself or wallowing in self-pity will reduce the suffering or prevent this from happening again. Treat yourself with kindness and take good care of yourself. Healing from a breakup is going to require all the Self-Compassion you can muster.

Stay single for a while.

Rushing into a new relationship, whether it’s a committed one or just casual sex, can create even more wreckage. The most important relationship you will ever have in your life is the one you have with yourself. People fresh out of a relationship are encouraged to stay single and work on themselves for a while. People in early recovery from substance use disorder realize they had fallen in love with their drug of choice. We encourage them to stay single for at least two years to avoid substituting a romance or sexual activity as another way to make themselves feel good.

Don’t expect anything from your ex.

Some people hope to still maintain a friendship with their ex. Just because you try to do this, don’t expect your former partner to be willing to stay friends. For some people, it’s simply too painful to be in contact with a former partner.

Also, don’t keep hoping for some form of closure. Don’t expect them to tell you why they made that decision or to apologize for things they did while you were together. It’s also not a good idea to apologize to your former partner for the things you did wrong. Offering an apology and getting it rejected can create more wreckage that’s even harder to recover from.

Don’t think you have to be self-sufficient.

Just because you’re out of a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t reach out for support and help. While your romantic partner may be the closest person to you, they shouldn’t be the only person you connect with. It’s recommended that everyone have at least five people in their support system. That might be friends, parents, siblings, other relatives, or even professionals. Don’t be ashamed if you must ask other people to help you with some of the things that your ex used to do.

What do you think?

Have you recently gone through a relationship breakup? What did you find most helpful? Consider leaving a comment to share your experiences with others. If you’d like to contact me directly, please use the contact me feature on this blog.

I’m looking forward to hearing what worked and what didn’t for each of you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel 

Is Your Relationship Toxic?

Toxic Relationships – photo courtesy of Pixabay

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

What is a toxic relationship?

Relationships we might describe as toxic lie on the extreme end of unhealthy relationships. The term toxic relationship is commonly used to describe a lot of unhappy and unhealthy relationships. One way of defining a toxic relationship is any relationship that lacks emotional safety. These relationships are characterized by chronic disrespect and frequent personal attacks.

People in these relationships often report that they experience gaslighting, their words are being twisted, and every conversation ends in an argument. If your relationship makes you feel bad about yourself and you are always on edge when you’re around this person, it’s likely that you’re in an unhealthy or toxic relationship.

Toxicity can range from high to low.

Like most aspects of personality, there’s a range for how toxic someone might be. For example, the trait of narcissism ranges from so low that the person has little self-esteem to so high that they’re unable to empathize or see others’ points of view. Some people can handle being around a severe narcissist and not be damaged, but most people can’t.

The same thing is true of many of the personality characteristics associated with toxic relationships. What you may be able to tolerate in a partner might be harmful to some of your other family members. What someone else may be able to put up with in a relationship might damage your self-esteem and ability to have a well-functioning life.

Being in a relationship that you find toxic can leave you chronically unhappy and even depressed. It makes your life feel unstable and unpredictable. Here are some signs you may be in an unhealthy or toxic relationship.

They are dream destroyers.

If your partner constantly belittles you and makes fun of your dreams, this will turn destructive over time. There’s something wrong with a partner who needs to pull you down in order to feel good about themselves. If your partner can’t support you in pursuing your dreams, you better reevaluate that relationship.

Their lives are full of drama that has nothing to do with you.

Some people live in the eye of the hurricane. Their life is always full of drama. If nothing is going wrong, they create more drama. You are constantly being dragged into their drama.

Whatever they want is more important than your wants and needs.

In toxic relationships, one partner will disregard the other wants and needs. Everything becomes about them. A healthy relationship is characterized by give-and-take. If you’ve come to expect that what you want will be disregarded and that your needs don’t matter, you’re in a very unhealthy relationship.

They belittle your accomplishments.

Healthy relationship partners are delighted when the partner accomplishes something. If your partner needs to minimize your accomplishments, this is a sign that your partner is insecure and only able to think about themselves. Having your partner constantly minimize your contribution to the relationship and your individual accomplishments will chip away at your self-esteem. Eventually, this kind of relationship will turn toxic.

You would avoid this person if you could.

Are you ever tempted to stay at work a little longer just to avoid having to go home? But then, when you get home, do you try to busy yourself with something that avoids the person you live with? If you find you would just as soon avoid this person if you could, that’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

When you’re around them, you can’t be yourself.

You feel that the person is constantly evaluating you and judging you negatively and that it’s not a healthy relationship. If you have to hide your true self when you’re around someone, it’s not a healthy relationship. If you have to change who you are to please this person, it’s not a healthy relationship.

Being around them makes you physically ill.

There’s a lot of truth to that old saying that someone makes you sick to your stomach. The body reacts to unhealthy or dangerous situations by motivating our defenses to freeze, flee, or fight. If when you’re around someone you chronically have headaches, an upset stomach, or other unpleasant body sensations, and you’re not having those problems when you’re alone or with supportive people, your body is trying to tell you there’s something wrong with this relationship.

Do they avoid hearing about your feelings?

In a healthy relationship, you should feel free to express feelings about things without your partner getting defensive. If your feelings are a taboo subject, it’s an unhealthy relationship. Does your partner get angry whenever you tell them how you feel about something? Not wanting to hear about your feelings, or worse yet, not wanting you to have feelings, is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Do they blame you for all the problems in the relationship?

Having a good work relationship requires two people, each caring about the other. Most relationship problems can only be solved by work on both parties’ parts. If your partner won’t look at how they contribute to the issues between you and tell you everything would be fine if you would just change, your relationship is not very healthy.

Relationships in which one person has a significant problem, an addiction, a severe untreated mental illness, or uncontrolled anger issues can’t be made healthy by their partner no matter how hard that partner tries. But if you’ve done your best to be a healthy partner, their problems aren’t all your fault.

Have you become totally dependent on your partner?

A characteristic of unhealthy relationships, particularly abusive relationships, is when your partner insists that you rely solely on them. If your partner doesn’t like your friends and family and doesn’t want you talking to them, it’s an unhealthy relationship. If they don’t want you going anywhere without them, they control all the money; your relationship has become unhealthy.

You disagree on your goals and values.

The things that tear couples apart are often the things that they hadn’t discussed when they got together. Does one of you want to have children, and the other wants to put it off maybe forever? Do you disagree on whether to spend or save? Have you discussed where you want to live and what you want to do when retirement arrives?

Think about all these factors, particularly in your primary intimate relationship. Beware if you see signs of an unhealthy relationship. Recognizing toxic relationships early on can save you years of unhappiness.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Mothers day

Happy Mother’s Day

To all the mothers out there who have given their unconditional love regardless of what your children look like or do here is wishing you a happy mother’s day.

If you didn’t have a mother like that, then work on giving yourself that love on this day devoted to the way a caring mother can make us all happy.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Love.

Valentine’s Day love. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine’s Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine’s Day on February’s shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed.”

― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

“Do what you do. This Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Twelfth Night, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Paddy’s Day, and every day henceforth. Just do what you do. Live out your life and your traditions on your own terms.

If it offends others, so be it. That’s their problem.”

― Chris Rose

“Valentine’s Day is the poet’s holiday.”

― Ted Kooser

“Let’s forgive someone for Valentines day, it’s a great way to show love, and forgive yourself too for the hurt you held onto.”

― Jay Woodman

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration