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Posted on 2012.05.30 at 15:43


michelle1963 at 2012-05-31 17:19 (UTC) (Link)
Attachment. I suspect when most people read that one should rid himself of attachments, they assume this means that you should not love others. This is an incorrect interpretation. Buddhists do not mean we should not love others. It means that we should be complete as individuals and not rely on things or others to make us feel complete.

The weird side of this is that romantic love in western society promotes the exact opposite idea ~ that we will not be complete until we find our one true love. It starts with our children's fairy tales. Cinderella is rescued by a prince. So is Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. GAG! It inadvertently promotes the idea of dependency.

So the prince stands alone and the princess is totally dependent.

This jives with interdependence psychologist David Schnarch (the subject of Pamela Weintraub's article in PT) who likens dependency in relationships to the emotional security an adult would provide an infant.

While we expect an infant to dependent, we do not expect fellow adults to rely on us for sense of security. When this occurs the relationship becomes decidedly unequal. The person who is the source of security is not allowed to waver, the expectation being that s/he must be available 24/7 to be that bastion. The source is not allowed to be too tired, too down, too preoccupied because this causes insecurity in the dependent person. Even being sick is looked at as a major inconvenience to the dependent person. Often there is no compassion, and instead the dependent person may blame the source of security for being sick. "If you just hadn't worked too hard...," or "If you just hadn't run yourself down...," or "Why did you feel it necessary to help the neighbor? You knew she was sick..."

The source never receives reassurance back, and over time may begin to feel used.

Edited at 2012-05-31 06:08 pm (UTC)
ehowton at 2012-05-31 19:06 (UTC) (Link)
The weird side of this is that romantic love in western society promotes the exact opposite idea

Indeed. Especially given our other idiosyncratic Western ideals. Post-war artificial limitations to enhance quality of life. I like to think of it as a merge between propaganda and utopia. It sure sounds nice, but its not really rooted in reality.
ehowton at 2012-05-31 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
The source never receives reassurance back, and over time may begin to feel used.

You've explained this phenomenon to me before, but from what I've recently learned both parties are responsible for adhering to the cycle. And its far easier to change oneself than to change someone else. How that would work in reality will never be known, but its worth contemplating I think.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-31 19:21 (UTC) (Link)
You've explained this phenomenon to me before, but from what I've recently learned both parties are responsible for adhering to the cycle.

Agreed. The problem is that at the outset often the security source is not completely aware of the dependency. In fact, the security source may initially feel a bit like a hero for being able to soothe his or her companion. It isn't until the patterns are in place for awhile that realization starts to dawn, and then extrication from the pattern becomes difficult.
ehowton at 2012-05-31 19:41 (UTC) (Link)
I think that can be said about a lot of things we ultimately experience - we learn from them - its when we can apply what we've learned that we grow, and that growth isn't always fun or easy, but almost always necessary.
codekitten at 2012-06-02 11:33 (UTC) (Link)
i always feel different than most other women...including my friends. they *bound* from one relationship to the next, frantic to be coupled up.

i suggest things like, say, going outside, reading a book, volunteering, etc....something *anything* for a couple of months. just pause and take a break and be quiet with yourself. but they never do...

you always speak of the biological perspective on things...i wonder how much is that vs. this idea that we are not complete unless we are coupled up.
michelle1963 at 2012-06-02 16:42 (UTC) (Link)
That's a very astute observation ~ the biological imperative. I suspect that biology does play a role and then societal expectation backs the biology for a double-whammy.

Additionally, it seems to me that many people have difficulty with personal self-confidence and security. There's nothing to give both a boost like finding a mate ~ despite the fact that if those are the reasons for finding a mate, it leaves one vulnerable when that companionship is withdrawn.
codekitten at 2012-06-02 11:35 (UTC) (Link)
don't get me started on the Snow White thing...i swore i would never cave on that. i have. she freaking loves all that princess stuff....it's got to be from day care because i sure didn't introduce it.

so i just try to balance it with other ideas/activities/strengths and think it will all *probably* be ok :)

she has recently started asking me, "mommy, will i get married?" my answer - "when you're over 30".
ehowton at 2012-06-02 12:09 (UTC) (Link)
What I didn't know about raising kids before I had them could fill volumes. I used to think that the parents were somehow responsible for molding their children's personalities. Nope. DAY ONE they were set, and individually different from each other. I was fascinated that with no information whatsoever my son gravitated toward traditionally male oriented toys and colors and my daughter traditionally female. I still marvel over it today.
codekitten at 2012-06-02 14:20 (UTC) (Link)
i have tried to be neutral-ish. i'm not fanatical about it but have tried to introduce cars/trucks/etc to A*. she's not interested AT ALL. same for w*...he just immediately veered towards boy things.

it's one of the most interesting real-life experiments to witness in person...i've come to the conclusion that it's mostly not up to us...and that's liberating!
ehowton at 2012-06-02 15:18 (UTC) (Link)
I wholeheartedly agree with that conclusion. My job entails pretty much just providing them experiences, helping them learn how to think, and supporting their ever-changing dreams.

The rest, as you mention, is out of our hands!
codekitten at 2012-06-02 14:24 (UTC) (Link)
here's a scientific study i was reading indicating that "psychological well-being" (happiness?) is largely based on genetics. environment is largely "weak and non-significant". on one hand, it makes it seem like there's very little we can do to influence our own or others happiness. on the other hand, there's not much you can do to screw up the kids! :P

michelle1963 at 2012-06-02 16:46 (UTC) (Link)
Fascinating! Twins are a perfect vehicle for studying such things. I'm almost always amazed at the degree genetics influence mood, behavior, etc.

Thanks for sharing!
michelle1963 at 2012-06-02 16:43 (UTC) (Link)
ehowton at 2014-05-28 04:00 (UTC) (Link)
Is that a John Williams Waterhouse avatar? Big fan here :D
codekitten at 2014-05-28 11:54 (UTC) (Link)
I think Drew Barrymore would be so flattered if she heard you say that!!!


When she and I were about that age (17?) we looked very similar.

So I also will take it as a compliment :D
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