This is a great summary. Are you willing to share which of the 4 horsemen you default to?
A friend pointed me towards an article concerning modesty. It shifted my thinking and I want to recommend it as a must read, particularly for Christians.
Here are some highlights but please click the link and read the whole thing:
“No one really knows what “immodest” means. It puts the responsibility for a man’s lust and fantasies squarely on the shoulders of women.”
“Many conferences and books have even gone so far as to name women the “gatekeepers” of sexuality. He will go as far as you let him, the narrative goes. Wow! This a staggeringly unhealthy narrative to promote to our children about the way sexuality works, and plays directly into the hands of a rape culture such as the one in which we live: if you are a female and ever get catcalled, abused, molested, raped, or any number of other sexual advances, you are probably at least partially to blame. What were you wearing? What did you say to him? Did you bend over to pick something up? Was your perfume too sensual?”
Putting modesty/immodesty on women and saying they are gatekeepers of men’s behaviour “…grants men and boys amnesty from the responsibility of their own sexual choices.
“Not only does Jesus say nothing about female culpability in a man’s fantasies, he absolutely destroys any excuses a man might make about his inability to control his own urges. No, Jesus says, a man’s culpability begins and ends with his own dang eyes and right hand.”
Wow. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Lately, I have been on a journey to learn as much as I can about trauma. I recently went through a series on trauma presented by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine. It was mind-blowing – and often beyond my brain power – but fantastic nonetheless.
Another topic that interests me is nurturing healthy relationships. Love and belonging are critical to our wholeheartedness – our capacity to deal with the junk that smashes into us on a regular basis.
Anyway, here’s how those two come together. Those who had childhood trauma typically struggle more than others in their romantic relationships. That’s not big news as most of us are aware how our past affects our present. But the key question is why – why does trauma create these difficulties?
Apparently, childhood trauma produces a great deal of self-criticism and it’s the self-criticism that hurts the relationship. To be clear, the studies that have noted this weren’t saying it’s a definitive cause and effect. I’m sure there is more to this story and many subtle differences between people. It’s just a link we need to be aware of.
The good news is, there is help, hope and healing. We can reduce self-criticism and improve our relationships. Talk with a counsellor, check out online resources, pick up a book or two (Dr. Guy Winch’s book “Emotional First Aid” covers this topic fairly well I think.) Explore the options and find what works for you.
Are you overly self-critical? If so, can you see how it’s negatively impacting your relationships? What do you do to reduce self-criticism?
I like to talk about relationships. I’ve done pre-marriage counselling, I’ve done a multi-part workshop on developing a marvellous marriage, and sadly, I’ve sat with a friend having a breakdown because her husband cheated on her. As such, I keep my eyes open for perspectives on helping relationships be stronger.
“The Conversations We Should Really Be Having With Our Partners If We Want Our Relationships To Last” is an article I believe can be really helpful if you want to have a deeper, stronger, relationship with your partner. Here are some highlights, I recommend you check out the whole article.
Conversations you and your partner need to have (consider the following to be quotes from the article):
I want you to tell me what to do because I can’t read your mind – If I truly love my partner, I want to pay attention to their needs. In order for me to do that, I need to know what those needs are. There is a faulty belief that occurs, and we’re all guilty of it: No one can read your mind. If you need something, it’s on you to ask for it.
I want you to tell me how to love you because I take that responsibility seriously – a lot of us are existing in relationships where we feel unloved, neglected, or unimportant. We can make small changes that can create a huge, positive ripple effect.
I want you to tell me how you feel because it helps me understand who you are – What if we give the other person the space and time to open up, and know that we want them to because we want to know what they are feeling and why.
I want you to tell me how to talk to you because communication will make or break us – if you’re having trouble communicating, try focusing on listening rather than trying to get your point across. Ask more questions.
I want you to tell me what you want to do to me because I want to be the one you share your erotic self with – it’s scary to communicate what we want for fear of judgment, criticism, or rejection. Intimate desires, just like emotions, can be really difficult for people to express.
I want you to tell me how to touch you because I care about our intimate connection – when we show interest in meeting our partner’s intimate needs, it’s a way of communicating that they are important.
I want to know what makes you happy. I can’t do it for you, but I can support your journey – the only person responsible for your happiness is YOU. However, we can absolutely support our significant other in trying to achieve, accomplish, or realize anything they identify that might make them happy.
What do you think about these conversations? Could you have them with your partner?
Have you ever cheated on your partner? I suspect that when you consider that question, regardless of your answer, you were probably thinking some kind of sex. The Biblical view is cheating begins with lusting for someone. (At this time someone will ask, “Isn’t it okay to lust after my partner?” Desire is healthy and normal. Lust is when you objectify someone and use them in your imagination or real life to satisfy yourself. Do you think it’s okay to lust?) Cheating starts long before you make physical contact.
Recently, I found an article that made this more clear. You can read the whole article, “3 Betrayals That DESTROY Relationships (And Aren’t Infidelity),” but here are the highlights.
Emotional cheating – having a friend that you are close to doesn’t mean you’re cheating. Here’s the test: “Would your partner would be upset by the things you’ve shared or would be uncomfortable watching the interaction?”
Conditional love – “Couples don’t feel supported when one partner keeps a foot out of the relationship… Couples that unconditionally love each other live by the motto, “baby, when you hurt, the world stops and I listen.””
Emotional withdrawal – “Emotional withdrawal can be something big, like choosing a work meeting over a family funeral, or it can be as small as turning away when your partner needs emotional support.”
The good news is, this cheating can be overcome. It will take an honest look at what you are doing in your relationship. Your partner will have to do the same. If cheating exists, it will take commitment, work, and honesty to bring healing into your lives.
My partner and I recently had a chance to teach a class on marriage survival. It was a great experience. Then just the other day, I found this article: 12 Things Happy Couples Do Every Single Day.
I’m not sure about trying to follow a list of items to do every day. That might make your relationship a bit formulaic. Still, this is a good list of loving actions that will help your relationship be healthier and stronger. Here are a few highlights:
Find ways to brighten your partner’s day!
How about you? What do you and your partner do to keep joy alive and nurture the love you have?
Do you realize that it is not your perfect behaviour – your having it all together, your responsibility, or good character that makes you loveable?
Also, do you understand that it’s not in spite of your mistakes and failures – like you have to be put up with – that you are loveable?
The truth is, you’re loveable because of your mistakes, your awkward moments, and your failures; when you’re struggling to be vulnerable and trying to be real.
I recently shared a post called Blue is for Boys. This is the follow up to that post. I have been listening to the radio program called Under the Influence. It’s about marketing, advertising, sponsorship and how these things impact our world. A two part episode in their last season concerned gender marketing. I encourage you to check out their site and listen to the whole episode.
In my last post, I shared how the blue for boys and pink for girls is an arbitrarily chosen, marketing concept to sell more and more product. The argument is, this has also given ride to the so called Pink Tax.
The Pink Tax is the documented higher prices, really overcharging for products and services marketed to women that are essentially the same as “men’s” products. In the US, there are a few states that have outlawed Pink Tax but there are not consumer protections like that in Canada.
Here are some specifics quoted in the Under the Influence episode:
Why do women allow themselves to be manipulated this way? The argument is, people like and will spend more for products and services they perceive to be made just for them. The thing is, almost all of the time, it’s all just marketing smoke and mirrors.
Now here’s the insult to injury: Under the Influences notes women tend to purchase these products and services more often than men and they are doing so often with less money because of pay inequity!
When I see this, it’s like a whole system designed to be oppressive to women – but that would be crazy, right?
I’ve recently shared how I have been enjoying a radio program called Under the Influence. It’s about marketing, advertising, sponsorship and how these things impact our world. I binge listened to all their seasons over a long drive. So far, I have noticed no ill effects from doing so.
A two part episode in their last season was really fascinating. The topic was gender marketing. I encourage you to check out their site and listen to the whole episode. There was one part that really jumped out at me.
Did you know that the blue for boys and pink for girls is a manufactured concept to sell more product? The story goes, a hundred years ago kids clothes up to seven years old were white. With the development of department stores, boy and girl departments were introduced and not long after, colour was used to define gender. Arbitrarily, pink, a “strong colour” was for boys and blue, a “gentle colour” was for girls.
Yes, you read that right: Boys = Pink, Girls = Blue.
It’s suspected that the introduction of gendered colours was to make hand me downs between boy and girl siblings unattractive and thus promote the purchasing of more and more stuff.
Here’s the twist, decades later, the colours flipped to the now familiar blue is for boys and pink is for girls. Again a completely arbitrary decision.
But people are funny. We like things that we perceive are made for us. Manufacturers, stores, and marketing discovered that “the more stores individualized products, the more they sold.” Remember “It’s strong enough for a man but made for a woman”? Ka-ching!
Of course, if you own a manufacturing business, run a store or make money in marketing, this is good news for you because it generally helps you make more money. For the rest of us, we have to deal with the realization that we are being played.
So next time you’re taking away from/giving something to a child in your life be aware if your actions are based on these arbitrary colours or because they are marketed for boys or girls. It’s possible that you have been programmed to select the “right” item to profit those selling it to you. Even more importantly, you also might want to ask if those programmed choices are helping or limiting your children’s potential.
Check in next time for the follow up post: Pink is For Girls.