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What is a supportive relationship to you?
January 11, 2007
11:29 am
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Sakti
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Don't criticize the situation
Don't use resistive body language
Don't suggest obstacles
Don't decide what I "should" do
Do be a good listener
Do offer a compliment
Do realize I get to be my own person
Do always take my side
Do let me know you care
Do take interest in my activities
Don’t critique the situation, or even attempt to fix the problem. Unless I come to you with a question such as, “What should I do?” or “What do you think about this,” your supportive role does not call for you to judge or criticize. If and when I ask for input, resist the urge to tell me the brutal truth of what you really think. After all, this isn’t about you!

January 11, 2007
11:44 am
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caraway
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Sakti,

Too many rules!! Who would be able to keep up with all of that?

Cary

January 11, 2007
11:54 am
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risingfromtheashes
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where did you get this from?

honestly, I saw a few good suggestions, but there are many bad ones in there too.

a supportive relationship SHOULD allow for both partners to feel their own viewpoints and SHARE them and know they are heard. We are not required to follow the advice we are given, but it's nice to have input from our partners. And our partners WILL have their own feelings to share. And it's not fair to dictate "when" they are allowed to share it.

Do always take my side - No, I don't think one should be "required" to take ANY side.

Do take interest in my activities - No, you can't dictate what a person must take interest in...it's healthy to "share" interests, but overall, it's quite necessary to keep our own separate interests.

If and when I ask for input, resist the urge to tell me the brutal truth of what you really think. After all, this isn’t about you! - If you don't want the truth, why ask? It's totally unhealthy to ask your partner to "sugar coat" what they think or not be totally honest.

As I said, some I agree with...some I don't...just wondering where this comes from.

January 11, 2007
11:54 am
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Sakti
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Your to "funny" Cary!

You could post one for instance on a mirror as a reminder for a couple of weeks and maybe it might become part of who you are, unless you are resistant to being supportive.

Are you perhaps resistant to being support or perhaps trying one of this supportive behaviors.

I don't see them as rules Cary, not at all. Make it simple, break them down.

Isn't it interesting that our perception about this is different.

Sakti

January 11, 2007
12:03 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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Sakti,

I don't think there should be "rules" to anything...rules are made to be broken.

I do see these as guidelines...BUT, I don't agree with all of them.

Being careful of your body language, being careful not to be overly critical, being careful not to give advice when none is asked for...yes, all important stuff.

But agreeing with your partner all the time and sugar coating truth, I do NOT agree with.

It is one thing to be supportive, it's another to be in total agreement.

January 11, 2007
12:17 pm
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Sakti
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I didn't say these where rules. Cary added rules to her post.

This has really ruffled some feathers. We all have our own ideas of what a supportive relationship is or is not.

When you blasted out your post with in a minute of mine I felt attacked. Was this a reation? Perhaps I pushed a button...

Sakti

January 11, 2007
12:35 pm
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Sakti
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risingfromtheashes,

I appreciate your diverse viewpoint. I was wondering do you know about boundaries? How to set them and how to not violate a boundary.

Blessing,
Sakti

January 11, 2007
12:56 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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Satki,

I do know about boundaries, and I know alot about being codependent too.

I have been in therapy, as well as attending coda meetings, as well as posting here, and using self help books to learn...since August of 2005.

I am still learning, but have a VERY good grasp of what is healthy and what is codependent.

why do you ask?

January 11, 2007
1:48 pm
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taj64
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The first time I read it I saw some negatives in it, but I also saw positives too. I do not like some statements made such as "always take my side" because a supportive relationship to me is someone who listens but does not necessarily agree. I see these do's and don'ts as crys for help in that someone does not feel like they are listened to and have a need to control how their partner listens' to them. There are good aspects of this but I see negative as when i first read it, it ruffled my feathers so I declined intially to speak out. I did not like the last statement as I felt it was condenscending to the person who you feel you want support from. These "guidelines" or as rules as I took it intially, don't allow the other person to be themself and I feel it is important to remain true to yourself as well in giving to another person.

And I do think you assume when a person "blast" a response in minutes as for me I respond often when I first see a post but sometimes I have to pass and to be honest initally I passed for internal reasons and I try to be better with reacting and do more listening. I might not be so good at first but willing to try.

January 11, 2007
2:06 pm
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caraway
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Sakti,

Hi, total coincidence that my respose post came out immediately, just logged on and responded.

I don't think that it struck any nerve for me, just an honest response. I read it and it sounded more like a list of demands than a healthy realtionship guide. I am a GUY and that may have something to do with our different points of view.

I am not upset, agitated, irritated, etc. in the least. I enjoy talking through these things and hearing a fresh point of view.

You may be right.

Peace, Cary

January 11, 2007
2:08 pm
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turnabout
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Hi Sakti,

Knowing your story, it sounds like you posted some generalizations really as a response to what is going on between you and your husband. Want to flesh that out a bit? I understand you've been frustrated, so I imagine that's where a lot of these definitions come from ... in your mind addressing particular frustrations. Want to discuss the particulars? We might then be able to get down to what kind of boundaries are REALLY needed. Got to peel back the layers one at a time, remember.

I think you were really trying to express what you WANT in a relationship, but since you did it with a "you" focus about what you aren't getting, what came across were expectations placed on someone else rather than what you just want for yourself.

January 11, 2007
2:35 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I don't read all the posts here, and didn't know the story...my post was based just on what I read, not on other posts I saw.

sometimes that makes it harder to respond.

January 11, 2007
2:44 pm
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truthBtold
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A supportive relationship to me means that I feel safe. I don't need to focus on solving the other person's problems....nor they of me.

I can be "real" with them and they reciprocate that same honesty.

A supportive relationship is absent of agendas.

A supportive relationship is a two way street. The other person has my best interests at heart and I of them.

It is also absent of control, guilt or manipulation.

A supportive relationship feels GOOD in your guts!!!!

January 11, 2007
2:55 pm
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Sakti
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Hi Turnabout,

What a blessing you showed up...

I really just stuck this out there to get some feed back. I've been ask to write out what a supportive relationship might look like to me.

I can assure you it was not my intention to feel attacked.

But whatever!!!!

Sakti

January 11, 2007
3:01 pm
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Sakti
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Thanks TruthBTold...I liked it!

January 11, 2007
3:29 pm
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truthBtold
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I'm glad!!!

I guess for most of us.....we know all to well what a supportive relationship...isn't.

(Thanks for helping me to clarify it myself through your question.)

(((((HUGS))))))

January 11, 2007
3:41 pm
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Sakti
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Turnabout,

Below you will find the last post I made on the other thread. I feel like I have sold myself short due to lack of support from him. I have made an appointment with my LCSW for the first of February.

During holidays when I was young our family had a lot of traditions, right down to the bowl my “Granny” fixed the cornbread in. I can remember those times and the feeling of belonging and well-being long after the event was over. Those traditions acted as glue helping our family stay connected and strong. It gave us something to look forward to and a lot of happiness. Since my parents moved from AL to TN, those traditions were lost. My mother and father were self-involved (no blame). I wasn’t married long enough to establish or be a part of my husband’s family traditions. A couple of years after my divorce I became addicted to drugs. Needless to say my mother, father, son, daughter or I didn’t make an effort to establish family holiday traditions of our own. Now, I have dinner with my father and step-mother the week before Xmas and my son, daughter, granddaughter, I and husband met on December 26.

I have truly wanted to understand and have made a lot of progress discovering my issues with the EX.

The EX is completely estranged from her family and my husband’s family is all she has during the holidays. She has been at he parents home every Xmas for 20 years. The reason God didn’t make a way for my husband to speak with her about spending every other Xmas with his family, is because God knew I would understand one day and I do.

Love never excludes anyone, nor should I in this case. I may or may not go to Xmas at my husband’s parent’s home next year, but I will not have a problem if he does. It is a very special time of year for him. I swear he turned into a little boy for a few weeks.

As for my husband and I, we can make our own family traditions. It will be part of what binds our family together for generations to come now that we are married.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I didn’t hurt anyone from baggage I still carry from childhood wounds.

Blessing, Sakti

I have compassion for the EX now, but that is all.

January 11, 2007
4:39 pm
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turnabout
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I saw your post and meant to respond, but just haven't had the chance yet. Can't really talk right now, so I'll try to check in after work.

And, like I said,... while I know the situation, I still don't know what your specifically talking to in your first post here. Instead of saying "don'ts" and "do's", could you maybe phrase it with "I'm frustated with or because" and just say directly what is getting under your skin with your husband and in-laws.

Oh, and I don't know what LCSW is... racked my brain and can't figure out what you're talking about.

January 11, 2007
4:43 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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satki,

I haven't followed your other posts, due to time constraints....

however, I do relate to what you say about traditions and how they fall by the wayside and how it's important to create new ones.

When my grandma was alive, tradition was thanksgiving and xmas at her house, as well as easter when we were all little...cuz the easter bunny always left a second basket at her house.

anyway, I have very vivid memories of what the holidays were like.

they are so clear, I could swear they happened yesterday.

you mention a special bowl your gramma used...my grandparents had a wooden nut bowl they always brought out for the holidays...ugly old thing...but every holiday you would find my cousin and I crouched over it, eating ourselves sick on almonds and pecans.

when gram died, I made a special effort to purchase this ugly looking bowl from the yard sale before someone else bought it (like anyone would)...it sits in a place of honor in my home and now at the holidays, it stays stocked.

gram had special xmas dishes...thankfully I was able to also save them. gram had special furniture in that room, we only went in there on holidays and half of the furniture was too "rigid" to sit on...I saved four of the chairs.

Anyway,once gram had passed, the traditions died immediately.

the following years, my brother and his gf and her mother started a new one...we would have seafood dinner in lieu of turkey on xmas eve...so they could spend the time with her family on xmas day.

we did this for three years and oh boy did I look forward to it. I LOVE seafood and will take it over turkey any day.

well, this year, I moved north, almost to canada and my mom moved south, to florida. my brother still in CT.

It was VERY weird.

we celebrated thanksgiving early with my boyfriend's family - and he was on the road and couldn't be there. thanksgiving day, I went to another friend's house and celebrated with them. it wasn't much of anything, but a relaxing day...AND i brought gram's nut bowl with me.

xmas was much of the same...we had xmas brunch the day before, after church with boyfriend's family and then spent xmas day with my friend and her family....small to-do...again the nut bowl was right there.

who knows what next year will bring....but at this point it doesn't matter.

all that matters is the spirit in my heart and what I bring to the day.

and a sidenote...my aunt and I never really got along and it always was very painful being around her at the holiday time...but as an adult, I learned to suck it up and tolerate her, so that the traditions could continue....without drama...tho she provided plenty on her own...starting the moment she'd walk in the door. I remember her coming into the door, always holding something hot, screaming for someone to open to door, hair flying everywhere like medusa, in her bedroom slippers...with her family in tow, all holding another hot dish...and her mouth would start and the whole kitchen would get turned upside down...I can laugh about it now.

Anyway, sometimes you just have to open up and "accept" people as they are, and the holidays turn out okay after that.

rambling, sorry...I miss my gram and her traditions.

January 11, 2007
4:59 pm
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Sakti
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I'm frustrated becasue I don't feel supported by my husband or my MIL.

I don't have that good "Gut" feeling TruthBtold spoke about.

When my MIL spoke to the EX, it wasn't about supporting me as my husband says it was. I was about trying to control the situation and manipulation. Last night when we spoke about this again he said he felt his mother did this with me in mind. "Bullshit" I say!

In my husbands eyes, his mother can nor will make an error.

O.K - now I've choosen to go and support my husband by going to his second wife's father receiving friends.

Later,
Sakti

January 11, 2007
6:21 pm
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healintime
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Hi Sakti,

This is a good question. Seems like there are a lot of differing opinions - maybe we each have our own standards when it comes to support and I think that it's an individual thing.

I'm struggling withthis one lately - had a bad case of the blues and emailed a friend who I was really, really there for last year to vent a little/talk about how I was feeling. No response. At all. Nada. Hmmm. Relationship not as balanced as I thought it was - I always thought she would reciprocate if I needed her, but I guess I don't reach out much and when I do I learn more about the people in my life than sometimes I want to. It hurt.

So firstly I guess that supportive to me means being there when things hit the fan. Knowing that a person cares enough to make the time to just listen - or empathise.

But if someone is supportive of me - and of my well-being - I also expect to hear things that I don't want to sometimes. If I'm about to do something that a friend knows me well enough to realise may not be a good choice - I'm okay with hearing "Hmmm, I can see your dilemma - if you do xyz might it be because xyz and is that going to make you happy in the long run?" Not judgmental - not harsh, but someone who will twll me what they think I need to hear - not just what I want to hear and will let me do what I think is best with the input.

In my friend's case - it would have been nice to get the input..

Hugs,

H.

January 11, 2007
6:51 pm
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truthBtold
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One of my closest friends has told me things that I did not want to hear.....at the time. But in the end, she was right.

I knew that she always had my interests at heart....and though it was tough to swallow what she was saying - in the end - she was right.

What's that saying......a TRUE friend will tell you what you need to know.....not necessarily what you want to hear....Amen to that!!!!!

January 11, 2007
10:24 pm
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turnabout
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hey Sakti,

I guess I was suggesting something more of an exercise. I know that you're feeling frustrated by a lack of emotional support from your husband. I know that. But what would you say if you were to write out "I'm frustrated with ..." to your husband? What would you like him to know about how you're feeling. Would you like to say it to us as though you were saying it to him?

In the spirit of your question, though, I would consider a relationship to be supportive that is ALWAYS honest in a loving manner. It doesn't cater to me, nor does it dismiss me. It is capable of equally acknowledging my flaws and my strengths and helping me become more aware of both. My flaws, while not indulged, are understood, and my strengths are encouraged.

January 15, 2007
11:18 pm
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serenityali
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Someone told me once that I will know when the right person comes a long because I will not need to change anything about me and he will not need to change anything about him. Being together will only enhance who we are.

Ali

January 15, 2007
11:54 pm
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scyllamessina
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Has anyone actually found that?

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