STOP Settling in Your Relationship — You Deserve More

Signs You’re Settling in a Relationship   

Both women and men experience this, and questions like, “What if I am missing out on something better?” or “Am I missing out on something better?” have plagued all relationships (even the healthy ones). The difference between the strong relationships and the ones that eventually end is if you are able to identify the problems and work them out. Read on for the warning signs that you’re not getting what you deserve from your partner and see if you guys can fix the problems.

1. You’re Not Happy in Your Relationship Anymore

The biggest indicator of how well your relationship is doing is your happiness (and your partner’s too). It’s understandable that you won’t be happy all the time, but if you’re constantly feeling down and looking outside of your relationship for that feeling of love and warmth, then there are problems. If you’re not happy, chances are your SO will also take notice.

Try to pinpoint where your sadness is coming from. Have you guys been arguing a lot? Are you in an LDR and it’s becoming too straining? Have you grown apart? Getting to the root of your feelings may shed light on the next steps you should take. Whether that means taking a break or breaking up completely, you and your partner should be making the decision together if possible.

2. You’re SO Won’t Commit to You (or to Anything, Really)

Your partner doesn’t need to have everything figured out in life, because who does? But if he or she hasn’t made that next big step in your relationship (finding a job, moving in, proposing, etc. . . .) and you have been patiently waiting, you’ll need to address the situation. Sometimes a little nudge is enough to get them motivated to step up their game, but if the talk ends up in a big fight or nothing changes in the next couple of months, it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship. You two may just be on different paths in life and it’s completely OK to not want to wait for them to catch up.

3. You Have to Take Care of Yourself and Your SO

The best part of a relationship is having someone to lean on when times get rough. If you’re the one constantly being the rock, however, you’ll start to feel drained. After all, it does take two to make a relationship work. You should not have to be the sole provider financially or emotionally; your partner should also bear that responsibility. Like anyone who is dating or married, you want to feel taken care of and supported. And if you’re not getting that from your SO, then that is really troubling.

4. You’re in an Emotionally or Physically Abusive Relationship

This type of relationship is the hardest to break away from. We all probably know someone who has been in one, and as an outsider looking in, it’s easy to judge and say, “well, just leave.” But it’s easier said than done. You know the relationship is not healthy when your partner is constantly putting you down, threatening you (and your friends), cheating on you, or getting violent with you. In these situations, until you break off all contact with that person, the vicious cycle will continue.

No one deserves to be treated with disrespect, so try to seek counseling (if you’re too scared to leave) or speak to those you trust for advice. A clean break from this type of relationship is the best chance you have for feeling like yourself again.

5. You Changed Yourself For Your Partner

There’s give and take in every relationship, but it is never OK to completely alter yourself for another person, whether that means giving up your hobbies, friends, family, religion, or other important aspects of your life that make you who you are. The point is to not feel forced into discarding a part of yourself for your partner. The person you are with should respect your choices, even if they may disagree. If at any point you find yourself slowly losing your own identity, take some measures to get that back.

 

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A Trip to the Orthodontist – Part 1

Wildwood, NJ – Summer – 1974

We spent our summers in Wildwood, since 1970 when my dad bought a house there. On Wednesday nights the old school at 10th and Central Avenues would show cartoons in the playground.

The kids would play on the swings and jungle gyms, etc. I was climbing on the monkey bars and some random girl who appeared to be a little older than me started making fun of my oversized, protruding central incisors.

“Hey, bucky. Look at his buck teeth.”

This would be the first of many times I would be verbally abused in my life as a kid.

While watching the lame cartoons on a small movie screen while a projector ran, I told my mother about it. She said she understood that kids can be mean. My older sister already had braces to fix her naturally crossed front teeth that came in exactly like my father’s. Funny, my father had such a big personality and presence I never really noticed his crossed teeth. It was just how he looked and I never thought it detracted from his looks. He was probably more self-conscious about losing his hair in his twenties. But that’s why he probably never smiled in photographs and thought it was dumb. Because he was self-conscious about his teeth. He could have paid to have his teeth fixed but he spent thousands of dollars in the 70s paying for his kid’s teeth to be straightened. All four kids!

Anyway, I needed help, and when we got back to Philadelphia in the Fall, and I got braces. I remember the whole process as barbaric and bordering on medieval. I suppose technology was so primitive back then. I think dentistry only began to really evolve in the 80s.

I remember when I was 6 I needed to get some fillings in my teeth for cavities. It was a grueling experience. I could smell my teeth burning as the drill vaporized the enamel on my molars. It was such a long and painful process it almost felt as though the dentist was pedaling the machine to make the drill spin.

But braces were going to be a long and painful process. First, I had to go to the dentist and have FOUR perfectly good teeth pulled from my jaw to make room for my teeth to be pulled back by the future braces. I was with my mother, and we had to take the bus to the dentist’s office. They put a mask over my nose and mouth and gave me sleeping gas so they could mutilate me while I was unconscious. I know this was all so I wouldn’t have buck teeth anymore but I didn’t like the idea of any of this. It just didn’t make sense to me. I wondered why they had to take four things from me that were perfectly healthy and functioning just to give me a pretty smile. It didn’t make sense to try to alter my whole mouth and jaws to straighten my teeth. Why rip out good healthy teeth? Why not come up with a different process? Examine some other options. I used to think about things like this, even at 11 years old. What if they could somehow, simply widen my bridge? Figure out a way to widen my mouth so that the front teeth moved back as the bridge expanded. But, when you’re a kid, you don’t question because you’re basically an inmate to your parents and teachers. Adults know best. Sadly, we all know now that simply isn’t true. I knew this could have some long-term effect on my body in general.

But they ripped out four teeth and in an hour or so, the process was over. My mother and I got back on the bus and headed home. I remember when we got off the bus I threw up in the grass at the side of the road. The gas they had given me had made me terribly nauseous.

So then I got braces. The office was up on Castor Avenue in Northeast Philly. Far from the house by today’s standards, but back then we walked everywhere. Everything was in walking or biking distance if you had the time. I was old enough to know where it was and how to get there, so I could go on my own to fulfill my quarterly appointments.

The man that did the work on my sister and me was named Dr. Beiler. I don’t know if he was a good orthodontist or not, but he didn’t seem all that great. But what did I know about dentistry? I do remember him having halitosis though. I used to think if anybody should have healthy oral hygiene, it would be a guy that specialized in matters of the mouth. That’s his job!

I remember he would have two fingers in my mouth and then ask me a question while he walked around the head of the chair. So I would try to answer him, while I choked on his fat fingers that stirred in my mouth while he walked around the chair. It was awkward and dumb.

But what could I do? It was a necessary evil so the kids would have one less thing to make fun of me about my physical appearance. I remember them giving me a little packet of soft wax when I first got the braces. You were to rip off a tiny bit of the wax and put it over the front clasps of braces where they ran the wires through. They were square and had sharp edges, so it hurt the inside of your upper lip. The wax was used to cover them until your inner lip toughened up to adapt to the metal in your mouth.

Metal mouth, tinsel teeth, chrome dome were just some of the delightful taunts from the children in school.

Then they give you a bag of tiny rubber bands you have to wear. top… front to back. Top to bottom, and another pair from front to back on the bottom. So at any given time, you’d have six rubber bands in your mouth. It was like some sort of oral slingshot!

I once yawned in science class and a rubber band shot out of my mouth and hit the blackboard next to my teacher’s head.

It was a tough four years, but it paid off.

To be continued tomorrow!

 

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Here’s What Happens When You Love Someone Who Isn’t Good For You, According To Experts

If you want to be in a relationship, odds are you’re also looking for a partner who is (at minimum) kind, respectful, and a good fit for you, and to be in a relationship that builds you up and makes you happy. But you also can’t really plan who you’ll fall in love with, and sometimes, it’s hard to tell when someone you’re dating is being genuine. Unfortunately, that means that you might end up in a situation where you love someone who isn’t good for you. It’s not your fault, and we’ve all been there at some point or another.

Maybe you have your doubts, but if you’re not really sure if the person you’re dating or in love with is good for you or not, there are some things to look out for — and most of it is about how they make you feel.

“Someone isn’t good for you when you don’t feel like the best version of yourself in the relationship,” Samantha Burns, dating coach and author of Breaking Up & Bouncing Back, tells Elite Daily. “Oftentimes, when you’re with the wrong person it will feel out of balance, with you giving more than you’re receiving. In a healthy relationship, there should be an equal effort invested by both partners. You can tell if someone isn’t good for you if you’re regularly feeling on edge, anxious, insecure, needy, argumentative, jealous, sad, or crying frequently.”

And perhaps unsurprisingly, being in a relationship with someone who isn’t good for you can have quite an impact on your life and your self-esteem. I asked Burns to weigh in on what happens when you’re in love with a person who isn’t good for you, and here’s what she had to share.

You might alienate yourself from your support system.

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“When you’re in love with someone who isn’t good for you, your other relationships take the back burner, or you alienate yourself from your support system,” Burns explains. “When you’re first dating someone and falling in love, you go through that honeymoon phase where you’re obsessed with spending a lot of time with your new partner, but it takes an unhealthy turn where you stop investing time and energy into nurturing your other friendships.”

Sometimes, that happens just because you’re distracted by new love — and you can fix that by putting in the effort to reprioritize — but it can also be the result of a controlling partner.

“If your partner is controlling, they may ask or force you to stop going out with your friends, or talk poorly about your family, slowly and manipulatively isolating you from others,” Burns says.

If anyone you’re dating asks you to stop spending time with your other loved ones, that’s a major red flag.

It can make you feel needy all the time.

As Burns points out, we all have needs — and we all need things at different levels. All of that is totally normal, too.

“Everyone has needs, and some have more than others, which isn’t a bad thing and you shouldn’t let someone make you feel belittled or judged for wanting more,” Burns says.

If you’re feeling needy all the time, however, that can be a sign that you’re with someone who isn’t good for you.

“We tend to only feel needy when our partners aren’t meeting our emotional needs,” Burns says. “When you’re with the right partner, you’ll be able to openly talk about both of your needs and ways you can help meet each other’s.”

What you want to watch out for is a partner who doesn’t seem to understand or care about your needs.

“When you’re with the wrong person, they will ignore or refuse to help you or change their behavior. There’s an overwhelming sense of disconnection, and one or both of you don’t speak each other’s love language, which is the way in which you make each other feel most loved,” Burns explains.

It diminishes your self-worth.

Being in a relationship with someone who isn’t good for you — and thus, doesn’t make you feel good about yourself — can also pose a problem for your own self-esteem and make future relationships feel more difficult for you.

“Dating someone who isn’t good for you slowly diminishes your self-worth, and you begin to believe that you’re not worthy or deserving of a loving, fulfilling relationship,” Burns says. “You pick at your flaws and mentally beat yourself up.”

As a result, Burns says you might start to settle for less than you deserve. “You feel desperate for love and connection, so you lower your standards for anyone who shows you attention because you don’t think that you’re worth more,” she says.

Your partner might be emotionally abusive.

Sad woman lying on bed after an argument with her boyfriend.

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Something to keep in mind is that a partner who isn’t good for you may also be emotionally abusive, so it’s important to watch out for signs like gaslighting, too.

“Someone who isn’t good for you may also engage in a manipulative form of emotional abuse called gaslighting, in which they deny and invalidate your emotional experiences,” Burns explains.

Gaslighting can make you start to focus more on your partner’s feelings than your own, and make you feel like you’re always wrong even when you’re not.

“They don’t take accountability for their wrongdoing, blame you, and somehow even when you know you’re in the right, you wind up apologizing just to smooth things over because you’re uncomfortable with the tension,” Burns says. “You then start to tiptoe around conflict and worry more about their feelings than you’re own.”

If you feel like you can’t even bring up anything that’s bothering you because your partner will just blame you, that’s a major red flag.

So, how do you move on?

If you’re trying to move on from a relationship in which you were in love with someone who wasn’t good for you, Burns has some advice.

“Spend time rebuilding your self-concept and identity by working toward new goals in your personal and professional life,” she suggests. “Engage in new hobbies, whether it’s signing up for your first 5K, learning to play the guitar, or planning an international vacation, and surround yourself with quality friends who build you up.”

Along with finding new hobbies, cultivating your friendships, and building your identity back up again, it’s important to spend time learning to really value yourself.

“You need to reclaim your power and rebuild your worth,” Burns says. “A healthy, secure relationship develops when you value, respect, and love yourself first. The relationship you have with yourself impacts all other relationships in your life, so you need to get to a place where you know you’re a catch and someone will be lucky to have you.”

And remember, you can absolutely be in a healthy, fulfilling relationship while you’re still working on these things — as long as you’re taking care of yourself and putting yourself first. You deserve a partner who does the same — a partner who’s good for you — and you deserve to be in a supportive relationship where you can both grow together.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Tales of Rock – SPECIAL REPORT – Evan Rachel Wood and Other Women Make Allegations of Abuse Against Marilyn Manson

In the past, actor and activist Evan Rachel Wood has spoken about the alleged abuse she was subjected to by an unnamed ex. In an Instagram post early Monday morning, she put a name to the allegations.

“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood wrote. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”

In a show of solidarity, at least four other women posted their own allegations against Manson, detailing harrowing experiences that they claim included sexual assault, psychological abuse, and/or various forms of coercion, violence, and intimidation. After being quickly dropped by his record label, Loma Vista, and cut from a TV series, Manson posted a statement to his Instagram account, making a sweeping denial without addressing any of the women’s specific allegations: “Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality. My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how – and why – others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.”

Wood, now 33 and a star of HBO’s Westworld, has said that she met shock-rocker Manson when she was 18 and he was 36. In 2018, Wood testified before a House Judiciary Subcommittee as part of an effort to get the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights passed in all 50 states. “My experience with domestic violence was this: Toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse which started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body,” she told the subcommittee, though she did not name a perpetrator at the time.

The following year, she testified before California legislators on behalf of the Phoenix Act, legislation that altered the statute of limitations for crimes involving domestic violence.

In 2009, in an article in Spin, Manson was quoted as saying of Wood, “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.” Last year, when that comment was brought up by a music journalist, a representative for Manson noted that the comment was “obviously a theatrical rock star interview promoting a new record, and not a factual account.” Wood and Manson were engaged in 2010 before breaking up.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in May of 2018, months after the #MeToo movement began sweeping through the entertainment industry, a police report was filed against Manson citing unspecified sex crimes that allegedly took place in 2011. In August of 2018, the Los Angeles District’s Attorney office announced that it was declining to pursue that case because of a lack of corroborating evidence. At that time, Manson’s attorney, Howard E. King, told The Hollywood Reporter that the “allegations made to the police were and are categorically denied by Mr. Warner and are either completely delusional or part of a calculated attempt to generate publicity…. Any claim of sexual impropriety or imprisonment at that, or any other, time is false.”

Here are excerpts from other statements that named Manson on Monday:

ASHLEY WALTERS

“I continue to suffer from PTSD, and struggle with depression. I stayed in touch with quite a few people who went through their own traumas, under his control. As we all struggled, as survivors do, to get on with our lives, I’d keep hearing stories disturbingly similar to our own experiences. It became clear the abuse he’s caused; he continues to inflict on so many and I cannot stand by and let this happen to others. Brian Warner needs to be held accountable.”

SARAH MCNEILLY

“I have been afraid to bring any spotlight upon myself as to avoid winding up in his crosshairs again. As a result of the way he treated me, I suffer from mental health issues and PTSD that have affected my personal and professional relationships, self-worth, and personal goals. I believe he gets off on ruining people’s lives. I stand in support of all that have and all will come forward. I want to see Brian held accountable for his evil.”

ASHLEY LINDSAY MORGAN

“I have night terrors, PTSD, anxiety, and mostly crippling OCD. I try to wash constantly to get him out or off of me…. I am coming forward so he will finally stop.”

GABRIELLA

“It has taken me five years to speak out and say that I was in an abusive relationship. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and still suffer from nightmares. I blocked out a lot of the memories, but the feelings remain and manifest in various ways. The reason I’m finally sharing this traumatic experience is for my healing and because I’m done being silent. I don’t believe it’s fair for someone to not be held accountable for their horrific actions. I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.”

Among the people to speak out in support of Wood and the other women on Monday was Manson’s former fiancee, Rose McGowan, who posted a statement on Twitter that read, in part: “I stand with Evan Rachel Wood and other brave women who have come forward.”

In addition to his career as a musician, Manson has also worked regularly as an actor. He’s appeared in a number of films as well as television programs like American Gods, Salem, Sons of Anarchy, and The New Pope. He was set to appear in the 2021 season of AMC’s horror anthology Creepshow, but AMC has told V.F. that it will no longer air the segment of the episode starring Manson. There may be more fallout to come. California state senator Susan Rubio is calling for the FBI and the DOJ to launch an investigation into the allegations.

In a 2019 interview, Wood said, “I used to think being strong was not being affected. And now, to me, being strong is letting it affect you but being able to move past it, and seeing the pain, walking through it, letting it flow through you, and then letting it leave. You can break and still be strong.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

If Your Partner Says They Don’t Love You, Here’s What It Really Means

People can say things they don’t mean when they’re angry, hurt, or stressed. Sometimes you can be understanding and just let it slide. But if you’re in the middle of a fight and your partner says something hurtful like, “I don’t love you,” that’s not something you can easily shake off. Chances are, their words will linger in the back of your mind long after they’ve apologized. So what does it actually mean if your partner says they don’t love you when they’re angry?

“This is something that comes up quite often,” Linda Stiles, LSCSW, a counselor who specializes in marriage and relationships, tells us. “People do say things they don’t mean when they’re triggered, emotional, or upset. While it’s not something to write off, it’s likely that the hurtful words are not just what they seem.”

For instance, when one partner says hurtful things in the heat of the moment, they may be trying to get the other to understand their feelings. They could be feeling hurt, sad, lonely, or powerless. While it’s really not a good reason to say mean things, that’s just their way of expressing themselves.

According to Stiles, think of it like a child saying “I hate you” to their parents. “The child doesn’t really mean that; it’s just a way of expressing strong emotions in the moment,” she says. “Sometimes this reflects behavior and emotional coping patterns that were modeled in our family of origin. But there are many other factors to consider.”

So here are some other things it could mean if your partner says they don’t love you when they’re angry, according to experts.

1. They’re Hurt By Something You Did

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“When people say things such as ‘I don’t love you’ that could be a way to unleash the hurt that they are experiencing in the moment and say it as a way to get back at their partner so that they can also hurt,” Candice Cooper-Lovett, PhD, licensed marriage and family therapist, and owner of A New Creation Psychotherapy Services, LLC, tells us.

According to her, it’s a method of fighting that’s ineffective and unhealthy. More often than not, you end up coming out of it more wounded than you were before. The best thing to do in this situation is to take a break from the argument and gather your thoughts. When you’re both cooled off, Cooper-Lovett says it’s important to have a conversation about what they really meant when they said they didn’t love you.

2. They’re Frustrated By Something In The Relationship

It’s painful to hear that your partner doesn’t love you, even in a moment of anger. But as Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, licensed clinical professional counselor and certified Imago Relationship Therapist, tells Bustle, try as much as you can to take it with a grain of salt. “When we’re angry or reactive, we leave our rational brain and are in survival mode,” Slatkin says. “Even though we may be extremely frustrated with the relationship, it may come out harsher than we intend.” It’s important to remember that feelings come and go. There may be some moments when you don’t even like your partner. But as Slatkin says, “That doesn’t necessarily define our true feelings.” When things are calmer, tell your partner how their comment made you feel. If they look genuinely remorseful and they appologize, accept it. Chances are, they mean it.

3. They’re Emotionally Immature

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When your partner says they don’t love you, it can be a sign that they’re emotionally immature. As Lesli Doares, couples consultant and coach, tells us, “They don’t know how to handle their emotions, so they give themselves permission to lash out. This is true of name calling and any other hurtful things they express when upset.”

If this is the case, they likely developed a pattern and do this consistently. The reality is, you can only be understanding for so long. As Doares says, “It’s perfectly acceptable to request that your partner alter how they act when they’re upset.”

It’s also helpful to learn their triggers and try to avoid “emotionally charged interactions” as much as you can. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid arguing at all. You just need to be more mindful when you’re in the middle of a fight. If you feel like it’s becoming too intense, it’s OK to take a step back, cool off, and then finish your discussion later.

4. They May Be Toxic

If your partner says mean things to you when they’re angry, take note of how often this happens. As Christine Scott-Hudson, marriage and family therapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells us, you may be dealing with a toxic situation. “Verbal abuse is a repeating pattern of verbal attacks towards another person, including criticisms, insults, derogatory comments, sarcasm, and put-downs that systematically harms the recipient,” she says.

Your partner repeatedly telling you that they don’t love you, may be a form of emotional abuse. An emotional manipulator may even use this phrase as a way to control you and get you to do what they want. So it’s important to be very aware of what you’re dealing with. “The red flags you ignore in the beginning of your relationship will be the reasons for your relationship’s downfall,” Scott-Hudson says. “If your partner is verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive, do not ignore the signs. You can’t love them hard enough to change them.” You may want to consider looking for help.

5. They Really Don’t Love You Anymore

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“A lot of times anger can be dangerous in relationships because we’re acting on impulse,” Cooper-Lovett says. So if your partner says they no longer love you or they want to break up during every bad fight, that should be cause for concern.

At this point it’s become a pattern and it’s hard to believe that there isn’t any truth to it. Your partner may be afraid to say it, so they bottle it up and only let it out when they’re mad. If this is the case, you have to make a decision about what you want to do. As Cooper-Lovett says, “If the person you’re with doesn’t love you or says it in moments of anger, my belief is that in anger we speak the truth and it’s hard to take words back.”

If you’ve talked about it before and nothing has changed, you may want to consider asking for help. A couples therapist can help your partner deal with their feelings in a healthy way or help you figure out where the “I don’t love you” actually comes from.

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.

 

 

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