Licensed Philadelphia-based psychologist with a holistic psychology based on learning theory research and health energy flow in the body and emotions  Dr. Jeanette is a licensed psychologist with a holistic psychology based on learning theory research and healthy energy flow in the body and emotions; a Philadelphia psychologist since 1975 when she worked with Joe Wolpe, MD at Temple Medical School.
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Holistic Psychology Free Library

Alternative Therapy Answers to Your Questions by Dr. Doris Jeanette

Loving Relationship Advice Question

Why do women aspire to romance above all else? How can I regain interest in hobbies, etc. rather than my relationship? Susie

Loving Relationship Advice Answer

You are correct. Women are more interested in relationships than we are in anything else. This is a good quality.

Everyone needs to value their relationships to others more than how much money they make or success they achieve.  This is a feminine quality that needs to be embraced by men and women because it will improve all aspects of life, even the work place.

The problem occurs when women and men are conditioned to take care of others instead of themselves.

Placing relationships first is a healthy thing for everyone, but being conditioned to sacrifice ourselves for another person is not healthy.

Most mothers and fathers teach their children to "take care" of them rather than encouraging their children to focus on their own well being. 

The consequence of this relationship pattern is that children learn to be co-dependent. They are attached to people in ways that make them weak and insecure rather than strong, and healthy.

The old joke about the Jewish Mother laying guilt trips on her children to take care of her is true for all of us. For more on how guilt controls you and how to stop it from ruining your life read "How to Live a Guilt Free Life.

You have been classically conditioned to feel guilt if you focus on your own hobbies and interests. This is why you are having such a hard time staying in touch with yourself when you are in relationship with someone you love.

You have been taught that your purpose in life is to take care of others, rather than being taught to take care of yourself. This makes you co-dependent.

You need to regain your interests and your sense of self. This is extremely important. Otherwise you will be unhappy and so will your partner. Pretty soon there will be no romance left.

This unhealthy, caretaking relationship pattern is the greatest problem to overcome if you want to create a healthy, love relationship.

The world at large is conditioned to think that "rescuing" others is a loving thing to do.  It is not.

Caretaking is called the "Messiah Complex." This is because you are saving and rescuing others.

You can tell you are "taking care" of your boyfriend when you feel responsible for his welfare and happiness. When you do this, you do not trust that he has his own strengths.

When you "take care" of others, you act superior to them. You think and act like they are not strong enough or smart enough to take care of themselves.

When you spend your time and energy "taking care" of others, you are not dealing with your own fears, needs and shortcomings. You focus on someone else's problems instead of dealing with your own.

This means to become stronger, you need to feel your own fears and insecurities.

Feeling your own inadequacies and dependency needs will help you become more independent If you feel your real fears you will get back into your own interests and sense of self. You need to do some work on yourself so you are more emotionally secure.

There is a big difference between real love and "taking care" of others.

For example, a healthy mother, like a healthy person, is someone who takes care of herself and gives her children the example of a fulfilled human being.

A loving mother shows her children how satisfying it is to be fulfilled as a human being by having a life of her own. Her children grow up to enjoy life rather than feeling guilty because they are not doing what they "should" be doing.

A healthy, loving mother trusts that her children can take care of themselves. She does everything she can to empower them.

She teaches her child to trust his own inner strengths.  She does not tie her child to her in unhealthy ways with a sense of obligation.

She sets her children free. She does not sacrifice herself for her children and put guilt trips on them.

A loving mother sets an example of a person who takes care of herself and lives her life fully, so that then her children are free to do the same.

To Correct Your Co-dependency Problem

You need to be responsible for fulfilling yourself. And let your boyfriend be responsible for fulfilling himself. Romance and sex will never make you self confident.

You need to create an equal, loving relationship with your boyfriend. He will benefit if you stay in touch with yourself.

You are the one he fell in love with. You are the one who is interesting and exciting.

Get back into your hobbies and interests. Don't let the relationship become boring and mired in the past with unhealthy caretaking and co dependency.

Instead, empower yourself and feel your own feelings and emotions so you are strong and healthy.  You need to be yourself in a loving relationship and give up your co dependency learning.

Resources To Help You:

1.  Work with the emotional guide, "Opening the Heart" audio or ebook. You can find, accept and follow your own interests so you continue to be attractive to others and can feel strong in a loving relationship.

2.  Study the audio, "Find Peace Beyond Judgment and Guilt." to help you break free from your conditioned responses to please others and caretake them. Getting rid of guilt will help your feel self confident.

For more free psychology articles like this one visit the free holistic psychology library.