WOMAN AND RELATIONSHIPS
JOAN E. CHILDS, LCSW
JOAN E. CHILDS, LCSW
From time memoriam, women have been the center of relationships, whether they are wives, sweethearts, lovers, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, employees, employers, neighbors, professionals, etc. When we think of all the relationships women maintain over the course of their lives, we are reminded of women’s traditional and anthropological roles in the species; that of “keepers of the hearth” and “chatterers.” Women have been balancing, managing and maintaining relationships from the beginning of time. Relationships and women are the core of culture and can often determine or impact the nature of society and men.
We are born into a relationship; live in relationships, and form new relationships throughout our lives. As a practicing psychotherapist, I deal with relationships as the core of my practice. Even if I see just individuals at times, the root of my client’s issues begins in early relationships and manifests in their personal and present relationships. When working with couples, it is not uncommon to recognize that the existing problem they are experiencing is a manifestation of the original relationship they grew out of; namely their parents and family of origin. Relationships tend to mimic the patterns of behavior that were known to individuals in their early child development. Those patterns become the microcosm of the world to them. All behavior comes naturally, as if everyone had the same history and upbringing. It is only when we become involved in a relationship that we realize our differences... When we enter a relationship we bring in all our customs, beliefs, values, experiences and expectations. That is when our relationships get into trouble. Each member of the dyad is out to prove their way is the better way. Comfort zones are created over time, and then become integrated over the years... For instance, a simple issue can be originated in how each person enjoyed their Xmas celebration. Mary’s family may have opened the Xmas presents on Xmas eve and saved all the wrapping paper; whereas John’s family chose to open the presents on Xmas morning and throw away the paper. In their present relationship, Mary and John must work out a compromise and learn how to communicate and negotiate their differences in order to promote the welfare of their present relationship. These patterns of “doing what comes naturally”, becomes pervasive in all relationships including both personal and professional.
We are wired to be connected. When we lose connenction, we go into crisis. Therefore, many times we may think of our relationships as a problem to be solved, but instead, it is a struggle to reconnect. Once we reconnect, quite often the "problem" gets resolved. It is the space between the individuals in the relationship, known as the "relational space" that becomes polluted. The solution: clean up that space! And that's what I help couples do!
Women and relationships is such a common theme that I have chosen this topic as an umbrella for future blog articles to write on this website. Every article produced will continue to run the theme of women and relationships, each one providing specific information for every subject dealing with women and their relationships.
Look for WOMEN AND MEN: The Nature of the Beasts, in the next article.