Quick post on “Tough Love”

What is “Tough Love”?

I found one definition online that nearly summed up all other examples I found. “promotion of a person’s welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions”.

Love as a word has been overused and has lost a lot of its weight. Simply put, to love something, in the past was to give over an unconditional devotion to it. It was never a term that was meant to be used lightly. In today’s vernacular we love everything “I love the color green” as an example. Language changes and words, over time have their meanings changed based on the current social construct.

To “Tough Love” there really isn’t such a thing, if you love someone you will do whatever you have to do to make sure they are okay. There isn’t anything tough about it, it’s an absolute that if you can do it, you will do it, because you love that person. That is the traditional application of the word love anyway.

Is it truly heartfelt?

The next time you or someone you know has to make a hard decision, like removing an alcoholic from a home, throwing away a hoarder’s hoard, or disconnecting a porn addict from the internet it’s just love. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t bother and to suggest it is “tough” should only be in the context of the situation that occurs once you facilitated this act of love.

Don’t be fooled or brow beaten into this false narrative that forcing hard decisions on those you love is somehow a negative. It’s actually just the opposite, the person who loves you the most will force you to change if you are self-destructing. Honor them when you can, and never ascribe it to “tough love” it is just love, period.

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How to be a great dad: How to ensure your daughter has good relationships with men.

This is another post in my series of how to be a good guy/better man. I see all over the web about MGTOW and men checking out and to be blunt I completely understand why. We aren’t going to get into that in this post but I want to make sure I am clear here, traditional gender roles, traditional relationships and traditional marriage might not be for you regardless of gender. I happen to be in one, by choice many years ago and that is the context of this advice.

Children watch adults and mirror behaviors. I don’t think that is going too far out on a limb, it’s how we all learn by exposure to situations, observation and modeling successful outcomes. That out of the way let me state for the record I am no expert in women romantically, I mean I have had a decent amount of romantic relationships in my time but I am years removed from that.

I am however experienced and nuanced in female relationships. I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother and mother, I have sisters, I have a wife, I have a daughter. IMHO I have observed the women in my life conduct themselves in just about every normal situation you can think of. Again this isn’t a post that is pertaining to sex but rather real life (power goes off, flat tires, sick spouses, politics, work issues). So while I am not going to proclaim I am an authority I do have a broad scope of experience.

Enough
OMG is this guy going to get to the point….

How do you ensure your daughter has a good relationship with men as a dad? Conduct yourself toward the women in your life the way you would want a man to conduct himself with your daughter. Your daughter is watching you and how you treat women and it’s the most likely influence for her to base her future relationships with men. Treating women with respect, and conversely expecting women to treat you with respect is paramount. Respect leads to trust, trust leads to several positive outcomes in personal relationships.

If you are an angry aggressive man, chances are your daughter ends up with one. Are you a pushover, and are miserable at work and your spouse doesn’t treat you well? That’s likely to be what your daughter does as well. The point here is pretty simple, your daughter is looking to you for more than just the normal emotional support you give children but what she should be looking for in a man in the future, if she in fact wants one.

It’s not just how you behave in the home or with family that is crucial it’s how you expect others to treat you as well. Stand up for yourself, be compassionate but confident. Be understanding but firm. Work on yourself as best you can, work on improvements where you deem it needed and remember she is watching you.

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Dressing to feel good !

How to be a good Husband, Boyfriend, Man – 1 critical tip

While the title might be targeted toward my male readers this tip is actually most useful for females, or other males, who need to gauge a man in their life. I don’t care what your sexuality is, what you identify as or how you view relationships. I can say that that this one critical tip can be applied to anyone really but as I am male, a husband and have been a boyfriend that’s what I can speak to with a great deal of experience.

The Tip? Be honest, be direct, be kind.

“Karac that’s three things” Its three concepts but it’s one tip. When you talk to people, particularly your partners with whom you maintain an intimate relationship with you need to evoke these concepts as universally as possible. We see all over the web people being “direct” now, behind their VPN’s and made up names. What about in the real world? How about when you are in the car driving home from a movie and you are asked “do you think she is prettier than I am?”

That happens, so how do you answer it? Particularly if you do in fact think she was.

Be honest “Prettier? Yes, she’s beautiful”

Be direct “Prettier? Yes, she’s beautiful” this is both honest and direct

Be Kind “Prettier? Yes, she’s beautiful, just like you” this is all three

The person asking likely knows the woman is prettier, the movie star has a team doing her make-up and hair for the filming…. Questions like these are integrity tests really. What if you said “no you are way better looking than she is”? You are sending the clear message that you are willing to lie to make someone feel good, even when you both know it’s a lie. The damage of doing this is hard to measure in the short term but over time it is crippling.

Lies are not an option

Look at it this way, if a woman knows you will lie to her to make her feel better how can she ever respect you? Women, in my experience, want their partners to be honest. It’s one of the most important traits they look for in a good man even if, sometimes, that honesty hurts. I can’t speak to how other non-heterosexual relationships work but I don’t think I am going out on a limb here when I say everyone desires honesty.

Honesty allows for deeper intimate relationships. Without it, the lines of what is or is not truth become blurred and it’s a never ending game of trying to keep up the appearance of a reality that’s based half-truths. Eventually words stop having impact “you look great” you might say to her. Do you mean it? Does she think you mean it? Being honest, direct and kind is challenging. You will have relationships that crumble because of it because there are many people out there who don’t want honesty, they want an illusion of honesty to fit the narrative they have created in their mind.

In the end, your most successful relationships will be with people whom you can be honest with. Who can be honest with you and can do so directly and with kindness. This takes time to hone as a skill, I am not suggesting you share your honest feelings about every little thing that comes up. If you are asked though? Yes, you must. You will begin to build the foundations of a relationship that can start to employ trust through your ability to be honest, direct and kind.

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Anxiety and Relationships – The good, the bad & the ugly

Had an opportunity to reflect recently on some of my past relationships, but before I get started an old joke from and old man (humor me please). “Some relationships are like algebra, ever look at your X and wonder Y?” Now that you pulled yourself together from that knee slapper let me explain a little bit. Relationships I have had, mostly, have been based on physical attraction first and once that begins to wear off you really find out if you like being with the person. I mean the everyday stuff like folding towels, waiting in traffic, discussing the day’s events.

Physical attraction is usually what drives most initial interactions with the opposite sex, at least it is with me. While I am happily married back “in the day” I dated my fair share. Upon reflection of some of my past relationships I often wonder how my anxiety influenced the outcomes. I’m going to give 3 relationship experiences I had and link an interesting article below for a decent read.

(names have been changed)

The Good- Mindy M: High school, Mindy was 5’10 dyed blond hair and was absolutely insane. What do I mean by that? Mindy was up for anything, and I mean anything. We partied a lot, we went to dead shows together and while we were young our sexual experiences were remarkable IMHO. Mindy made me better, but instilling in me the confidence that every young man needs to be successful. She didn’t do this by simply “being hot” or being a “party girl” she was devoted to me, we did everything together. I remember when a good friend of mine died I was extremely depressed, we were seniors. Mindy talked to me, made sure I knew someone gave a shit. She was awesome in almost every way a perfect girlfriend for a young man. She also gave me one of the corner stones in my life, how to treat women. Mindy demanded respect, she never let me get away with being arrogant as a young man, she never let me treat her poorly or as an object. We stayed together for almost 3 years, it was one of the best relationships of my life.

The Bad – Tina K: Fast forward to early 20’s, my group was into the bar hopping scene. I met Tina K at a bar, she was, and still is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met and been with. Sadly, the beauty was only skin deep. Tina was an extreme party girl shallow and judgmental. My car wasn’t nice enough, my clothes could be better “are you wearing that cheap cologne again?” really she was material girl 101. It was bad and in the time I was with her I was in constant competition with her expectations. I felt inadequate, small and never good enough. I was too young at the time to understand what was happening but I realize now this was a trigger for my anxiety. This woman was very attractive, everyone wanted to be with her and she was technically my girlfriend. I should have seen it coming, she cheated, I was devastated due to blindness. I thought it was me, I changed everything about myself. I tried to conform to an ideal set forth by someone else. I was in full anxiety mode, and I was blaming myself 100% when it wasn’t 100% me.

The Ugly – Dawn H: Around the same time as Tina K I met Dawn H. We fought constantly but the sex was great. It’s unfair I guess to list Dawn as “The Ugly” but it was in this emotionally and verbally abusive relationship that, upon reflection I realize now was the real beginning of my anxiety increase. I was no angel in this relationship so dear reader do not take this as “I was a saint the woman was to blame” I was a full participant in emotional black mail, verbal abuse, and mental detiriation. We were both wallowing in the misery of being miserable together. We lived together for a time, there was never enough money, never enough anything. I became withdrawn, I stopped talking to friends and family. It was just Dawn and I, and it was during this relationship when I started suffering anxiety symptoms in a more extreme way. I couldn’t t go to work somedays, I didn’t want to be in public and have people looking at me. I was a mess.

Notice I haven’t given to much specific detail on the relationships. These women are not present to defend themselves so I think it’s fair not to delve to deeply. Also notable is I haven’t listed my wife as “the good” that isn’t to say that it isn’t the best relationship with a woman I have had, it is. When I met my wife I was emotionally mature from the relationships of the past. I am functioning and was able to offer her a great relationship with a man who KNEW HIS ISSUES.

And that’s the point here, the good, the bad, and the ugly relationships of your life help mold you into who you are now. Maybe you are in one, take a step back think about how you feel, be honest. There really wasn’t an overarching point to this post other than to say anxiety is a journey and along the way you meet people and have relationships. They help shape who you are and they shape your anxiety. Embrace the good, work on the bad, and get out of the ugly.

Here is a decent article I read about anxiety and relationships, maybe there is something in there for you?

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