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> Attraction To Abuse
J.Butterfield
post Feb 17, 2008, 09:15 PM
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Say, a daughter has an physically abusive Dad growing up. Instead of trying to avoid dating these types of men, she will be attracted to these abusive guys.

My hypothesis to this is that as human beings we seek protection. The daughter, knowing only an abusive father will try and seek out abusive guys because that is the only type of person they know. They will be safe from outside harm, not from the abusive boyfriend though.

Your thoughts, and revisions?

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maximus242
post Feb 17, 2008, 11:27 PM
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I assume you are heavily into evolutionary psychology?

The problem with this thesis is it assumes that the father is the only predominant male figure that she has.

Second, if human beings seek protection and if the male figure is abusive - then logically she would avoid figures like that, not be attracted to them. If she seeks protection and a source of danger is from her father, then logically she would probably have a fear of males or at least those resembling the characteristics of her father.

If the daughter seeks protection, then it is only natural she would seek protection from the abusive father. Thus whatever she sees as a protector from the danger (her father) one would assume she would be attracted to the protector instead of the danger.

I don't really get where this whole theory comes from. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to me. If the daughter seeks to avoid danger, then the last place she would go to for protection is that which brings her harm.
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trojan_libido
post Feb 18, 2008, 05:07 AM
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I think the point is the daughter would assume the male dominant role is one of aggression and its 'normal' for a relationship to be like that. Although thats not the original hypothesis at all.

I have a old friend whose father beat and abused his mother all his childhood. His father got the name Psycho, and he was regularly heard shouting expletives in the corner of the local pub. The father was so abusive that his mother left him many many times for a battered wifes home/shelter. She would always come back though, which I found strange. When my friend was too old to go with his mam, he was left with his father. One day his dad came home with his uncle, and after the dad tried to control his son with vengeful words, and didn't get the required response, him and the uncle kicked seven shades of shit out of my friend. He ended up living at mine for a fortnight til his mam came home.

This turned around a couple of years later when a similar thing happened and my friend snapped and broke his dads ribs and jaw. He was in hospital for quite a while. He hated him and everything he did.

His dad later died of a heart attack, and now my friend wont have anything bad to say about him. He was burned badly in a housefire, and what with his childhood abuse and his fathers alcholism he's picked up all his nasty habits.

My friend has always been demanding to his mother, to the point of abuse, and absolutely following his fathers lead. This behaviour has tended to bleed into his friendships although the response he's recieved from his demands has always been "Fuck off, we're not your mother".

Now people just keep away from him. He also has major issues with women, saying things like 'can I put my arm around you?', 'can i kiss you?' etc. My favourite so far has to be:
'Can I give you a kiss?'
'No'
'Can we just have full sex?"
LOL. Always makes me laugh bless him.

I'm fairly certain that this behaviour would be replaced with the same abuse he has seen in his
parents relationship, as soon as some girl agrees to be with him.

I know this is not the same situation as the OP posted, but its very relevant.
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BrainStim
post Feb 22, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Well I think evolution has selected people to look for traits that are similar to those found in their opposite sex parent when selecting a mate. So a daughter would look for traits in a male that are similar to her father. A son would look for traits in a female that were similar to his mother. Its weird, but studies done in animals indicate that this is the case (at least for male offspring). I can't find the research, but somebody else gives the basic idea inthe post below.

au.answers.yahoo.c*m/answers2/frontend.php/question?qid=20071231185325AAiFKGG
QUOTE
Yes. When a male animal is raised by a female of another species, he grows up to be attracted to animals of the same species as his "mother". This experiment was done with goats and sheep. A male goat was raised by a female sheep, and he grew up attracted to sheep. The opposite was not the case. When a female goat was raised by a female sheep, when she was an adult she would be attracted to other goats, not sheep. I do not know if similar results would be found with species that are wildly divergent...after all, goats and sheep are pretty similar.

Now in animals it doesn't appear to occur for the female offspring. However in humans, researchers have found that daughters prefer a mate with similar qualities to their father if they had a good relationship with him. So it is quite possible that a daughter might seek out the very same traits in her mate (such as abuse) as those that are found in her father. If the relationship between father/daughter was good, it would be more likely to happen than if the relationship was bad. So if the father was abusive to the mother but not the daughter, then the daughter might be more likely to seek out partners who also had that specific trait. Just my own personal speculation, though.

oldandsold.c*m/articles09/sexual-emotion-46.shtml
QUOTE
"Burgess and Cottrell have proposed that "If the childhood affectional relation to the parent of the opposite sex has been a satisfying one, the person will tend to fall in love with some-one possessing temperamental and personality characteristics similar to those of the loved parent." (5) This statement appears to mean that adult amorous experience is directly related to the child's affection for the parent of opposite sex. It seems doubtful, however, that these writers intended to suggest that the adult experience of being "in love" is the same or even very similar to that of love for a parent. The love between man and woman is generally regarded as sexual, and, as Robert White says, "It is justly pointed out that love and sex are not the same: that the child's love for his mother, deeply grounded in the nonsexual satisfaction she has given him, might well wax strong . . . even without a trace of reinforcement from sexual needs."
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Flex
post Feb 22, 2008, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE(J.Butterfield @ Feb 17, 2008, 09:15 PM) *

Say, a daughter has an physically abusive Dad growing up. Instead of trying to avoid dating these types of men, she will be attracted to these abusive guys.

My hypothesis to this is that as human beings we seek protection. The daughter, knowing only an abusive father will try and seek out abusive guys because that is the only type of person they know. They will be safe from outside harm, not from the abusive boyfriend though.

Your thoughts, and revisions?


Personally I believe the phenomenon can be explained like this: an abusive father in childhood creates a feeling of lack of control. As an adult the individual then seeks other abusive people essentially trying to recreating their childhood trauma to try to gain control over the situation; however, they are not successful and create a cycle of abuse. In this way it is possible for sources of fear in childhood to become sources of attraction latter on in life.

What do you think? Plausible?
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trojan_libido
post Feb 25, 2008, 04:40 AM
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Possibly, like trying to recreate their childhood trauma because its 'normal'.
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paros
post Feb 28, 2008, 11:12 AM
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I'm going to jump in here if I might.

Many times you have a boy who watches his father get drunk and beat up his mommy for years. Later in his life he is getting drunk and beating up his own wife. Like father like son. Why is this behavior repeated, one might ask?

I've really decided recently that this have everything to do with intelligence. And I don't mean IQ or book learning, (I don't think IQ tests measure anything btw, and I'm not going to get into THAT issue in this thread).

So intelligence. It's sort of a nonsense-word is it not? Ask 10 people what the word means and get 11 answers. Am I right?

I, and many people in my "camp", define intelligence as adaptive behavior. The wife-beating drunk mentioned above repeating his father's behavior patterns can be said to not be adapting his behavior. And that's what it all comes down to. Intelligent people can stop engaging in habits and change their behavior. Unintelligent people cannot.

I mean you can tell me that I'm being overweening or over-generalizing here. But I've always said that a true IQ test that actually measures your "intelligence" (in the biological sense) would not be a happy little test on pencil and paper taken over the course of 45 minutes. To really create a true IQ test you would have to be put through an ordeal somewhat on par with basic training in the marine corps. This process would take your brain through a whirlwind ride of pain and emotional trauma. But I'm gonna stop right there to keep myself from digressing this thread into an "IQ Test" thread. So there.
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Yocttar
post Nov 15, 2008, 12:05 PM
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QUOTE(paros @ Feb 28, 2008, 09:12 PM) *

I'm going to jump in here if I might.

Many times you have a boy who watches his father get drunk and beat up his mommy for years. Later in his life he is getting drunk and beating up his own wife. Like father like son. Why is this behavior repeated, one might ask?

I've really decided recently that this have everything to do with intelligence. And I don't mean IQ or book learning, (I don't think IQ tests measure anything btw, and I'm not going to get into THAT issue in this thread).

So intelligence. It's sort of a nonsense-word is it not? Ask 10 people what the word means and get 11 answers. Am I right?

I, and many people in my "camp", define intelligence as adaptive behavior. The wife-beating drunk mentioned above repeating his father's behavior patterns can be said to not be adapting his behavior. And that's what it all comes down to. Intelligent people can stop engaging in habits and change their behavior. Unintelligent people cannot.

I mean you can tell me that I'm being overweening or over-generalizing here. But I've always said that a true IQ test that actually measures your "intelligence" (in the biological sense) would not be a happy little test on pencil and paper taken over the course of 45 minutes. To really create a true IQ test you would have to be put through an ordeal somewhat on par with basic training in the marine corps. This process would take your brain through a whirlwind ride of pain and emotional trauma. But I'm gonna stop right there to keep myself from digressing this thread into an "IQ Test" thread. So there.


Vouch ^^
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Atention All Shipping
post Nov 16, 2008, 05:45 AM
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I think learned response and basic attraction has a lot to do with it. I have heard of research showing that women (possibly men too) tend to be more attracted to men with a physical resembelance to their fathers as they were when the woman was still a child (eg simplifying a little - Dad had a beard when she was little so she'd tend to be attracted to bearded men as an adult). I don't think its unreasonable to extend this to behaviour too and assume a predisposition to seek & be attracted to those behaviours exhibited by your opposite sex parent. This also seems to bear a relation to the Oeidipus complex (& the female equivalent, Electra I think).

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maximus242
post Nov 17, 2008, 09:47 AM
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I think alot of this attraction to abuse isnt that women are attracted to abuse. Its more so that they are attracted to a man, who happens to abuse them.

"Nice Guys" just dont trigger attraction for the woman and given the choice between being with a nice guy who she feels nothing for... or being with an abusive guy who she loves, she picks the abusive guy.

Most of this has to do with those men possessing certain traits women seem to find universally attractive. Confidence, Being A Leader, Decisiveness, Dominance, Power, etc.

It is best illustrated in the film "A Streetcar Named Desire" where Stanley is an abusive jerk who beats his wife and rapes her sister, yet through the whole film she cannot help but be attracted to him.

On top of that, when it first came out in the 1950's, women were fainting in the theaters while watching the film and young girls were going home to their families reporting very strong feelings towards the main character, Stanley.

How is it that a man who did such horrible things, could have so many women fall in love with him? I believe it is because he possesses characteristics and traits that women find extremely attractive and that attraction is so strong, they cannot help it despite the fact that he is an abusive jerk.

This is dealing with emotions not logic. Logically women should be attracted to nice guys with good jobs, a steady income and strong family values... so why is it that women universally are attracted to the untamed badboy instead? Because these types of men possess characteristics that
trigger attraction. Its emotional not logical. Thats why women are attracted to a man despite the fact that he's abusive.

If you dont believe me, I suggest you look up on YouTube "A Streetcar Named Desire" and read the comments.

Just pulling a few of them here...

QUOTE

"Oh how I wish I was in Stella's place right now. Lol "

"Looking at him being so vunerable made my heart lurch!
He was a bastard, but a mighty fine bastard tongue.gif"

"oh sweet jesus HELLOOOO Marlon Brando "

"marlon brando is so incredibly sexy. i remember this scene in the movie when you first see him- i actually lost my breath for a second."

"So fuckin sexy! I'd have him on top of me anytime! If only I could travel back... "

"I have 2 say that must be the best near enough start of any film in history!! wen he walks up to blanche and that music is hotttttttt!!! if i was her, id forget abut the camera's n strip off right in front of him n jump on him!!! xxxx "

"hottest human 'meow' ever. damn. "

"bet she is wet as hell"

"Oh my tongue.gif
Marlon's such a maaaan lol "


I think you get the point. Despite everything disgusting he does in this movie, women are still very attracted to him.
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Temeraroius
post Jan 29, 2009, 10:03 PM
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You could always follow the freudian interpretation of this...
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Rick
post Jan 30, 2009, 08:11 AM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Nov 17, 2008, 09:47 AM) *
I think you get the point. Despite everything disgusting he does in this movie, women are still very attracted to him.

Good point. Makes me want to see the movie again. My reaction was that he was a no good jerk who got what was coming to him.
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Rick
post Jan 30, 2009, 08:12 AM
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QUOTE(Temeraroius @ Jan 29, 2009, 10:03 PM) *

You could always follow the freudian interpretation of this...

And the freudian interpretation would be...? Freud was just plain wrong in so many things.
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slackjawyokel
post Jan 31, 2009, 06:25 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 30, 2009, 08:12 AM) *

QUOTE(Temeraroius @ Jan 29, 2009, 10:03 PM) *

You could always follow the freudian interpretation of this...

And the freudian interpretation would be...? Freud was just plain wrong in so many things.


This subject caught my eye.
I won't bother pretending like I am talking about a "friend"

I was raised in an abusive home, my father abused my mom and us.
And I was attracted to abusive men through most my life.

I am in my 50's now and live happily alone.

This is a question I asked myself so many times!
Why can't I fall in love with a nice guy?
I did once ( pre-therapy)
and I cheated on him and treated him like crap.
Judge me, whatever, at least I'm being honest.

Here's what I think.
You go with what is familiar.
That's where the comfort zone is-
no matter how uncomfortable.

From the outside, to someone who was never abused
it could seem like an intelligence issue,
But I find those kinds of comments rather simple and ignorant.
Going against your upbringing
making real life changes
takes a life time of work- it's on going.
It never comes 'natural' to you
because that isn't what you were embedded with:
things like self worth and care
have to be learned .

I still suffer PTSD from back then, badly enough that
I need medication to deal with it. ( YAY! Stablon!)

Chemically- I think we can become addicted to the hormones
the crazy up and down ride with someone intense.
Whatever it chemically did to my brain, I am still trying to fix.

we are all freak monkeys.
That's my theory.

and just for the record- 50 years ago
women didn't just leave their husbands
no matter what they did.
Things were radically different for women then.
Nobody even talked about it.
I like to think I helped change some of that.
and I hope that now that it is a spoken subject
and there are places to turn to
that abused women can break through the pattern
and make their own lives better.
thanks for reading my rant.

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Rick
post Jan 31, 2009, 02:17 PM
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QUOTE(slackjawyokel @ Jan 31, 2009, 06:25 AM) *
thanks for reading my rant.

You're welcome.
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Rene
post Feb 04, 2009, 12:13 AM
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QUOTE(slackjawyokel @ Jan 31, 2009, 06:25 AM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 30, 2009, 08:12 AM) *

QUOTE(Temeraroius @ Jan 29, 2009, 10:03 PM) *

You could always follow the freudian interpretation of this...

And the freudian interpretation would be...? Freud was just plain wrong in so many things.


This subject caught my eye.
I won't bother pretending like I am talking about a "friend"

I was raised in an abusive home, my father abused my mom and us.
And I was attracted to abusive men through most my life.

I am in my 50's now and live happily alone.

This is a question I asked myself so many times!
Why can't I fall in love with a nice guy?
I did once ( pre-therapy)
and I cheated on him and treated him like crap.
Judge me, whatever, at least I'm being honest.

Here's what I think.
You go with what is familiar.
That's where the comfort zone is-
no matter how uncomfortable.


From the outside, to someone who was never abused
it could seem like an intelligence issue,
But I find those kinds of comments rather simple and ignorant.
Going against your upbringing
making real life changes
takes a life time of work- it's on going.
It never comes 'natural' to you
because that isn't what you were embedded with:
things like self worth and care
have to be learned .

I still suffer PTSD from back then, badly enough that
I need medication to deal with it. ( YAY! Stablon!)

Chemically- I think we can become addicted to the hormones
the crazy up and down ride with someone intense.
Whatever it chemically did to my brain, I am still trying to fix.

we are all freak monkeys.
That's my theory.

and just for the record- 50 years ago
women didn't just leave their husbands
no matter what they did.
Things were radically different for women then.
Nobody even talked about it.
I like to think I helped change some of that.
and I hope that now that it is a spoken subject
and there are places to turn to
that abused women can break through the pattern
and make their own lives better.
thanks for reading my rant.


We, as humans, are constantly trying to make sense of a reality that is completely senseless. We search for familiarity and comfort.

^slackjaw said it herself. She spent her youth in an hectic household with an abusive father figure. That is her comfort, what she knows best. Although it may seem strange that children raised in dysfunctional enviornments tend to repeat the same destructive behavior that caused them so much pain as a child(such as being attracted to the "bad boy" types), it is clear it is caused by the nearly irresistible urge to revert to something familiar, something that makes sense to the individual. Its human nature, and wether we know or not we all find our own comforts and realities and cling to them. It happens that this idea tends to manifest itself in people who have been through a traumatic childhood.

@Paros

I don't agree with The idea of unintelligence being the means, rather that the ends of this repeated behavior. I see the apparent unintelligence to be a byproduct of an incredibly unstable environment. What happens if I took that boy who grows up to be his old abusive father back in time, and placed him in a household with two responsible and loving parents? Would he be just as unintelligent?

If your definition of intellegence is "adaptive behavior", then I would consider the wife beater very intelligent, considering he's just adapting to this world the best way he can, the way he grew up learning from his parents.


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Indigo Sky
post Feb 10, 2009, 03:56 AM
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Bear in mind that there isn't always a connection between the two facts. I grew up with an angry, shouting father (who admittedly mellowed a lot as he grew older and we had all grown up). My boyfriend wasn't like that at all when I first met him and it came as a shock when he first turned on me and started accusing me of being selfish etc.

I couldn't have reasonably known, judging by his behaviour early in the relationship, that he had this side to him. And I've made it abundantly clear to him that I don't find this behaviour attractive, and have made some progress in assertively curbing the less attractive sides of his behaviour, while refusing to be a victim.
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trojan_libido
post Feb 10, 2009, 04:11 AM
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QUOTE(Indigo Sky @ Feb 10, 2009, 11:56 AM) *
...it came as a shock when he first turned on me and started accusing me of being selfish etc.
...I don't find this behaviour attractive, and have made some progress in assertively curbing the less attractive sides of his behaviour, while refusing to be a victim.

Forgive me but the points I've highlighted are probably not the same as what are being spoken of here. You don't mention physical abuse and you're asserting yourself over your man. Thats like every mans perception and worst nightmare of women. smile.gif
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Rick
post Feb 10, 2009, 08:35 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Feb 10, 2009, 04:11 AM) *
... you're asserting yourself over your man. Thats like every mans perception and worst nightmare of women. smile.gif

What happened to equal partnership? To maintain balance, at some point each side must assert what's right.
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trojan_libido
post Feb 11, 2009, 12:10 AM
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Equal rights is as much bullshit as Political Correctness. The ideas a noble one, but the execution is lousy. Adults shouldn't need to be told to give respect to people.

However...

Personally I think that equal rights has caused more issues for humanity (short term) than we bargained for. Think about it, kids are becoming very unruly and lack respect. This may be due to the tightening of laws on who can punish a child, the removal of corporal punishment etc. But it may also be down to the parents constantly squabbling over who wears the trousers. It seems there are more power struggles, which quite often end in bitterness and divorce, than there ever could be with a 1950s style family hierarchy.

This may seem old fashioned, I'm the last born in large family, my parents are in their eighties. But I've been toying with the idea that the changes to the family unit and family heirarchy could be giving the ultimate wrong message.

Before the heirarchy was generally: Father>Mother>Child
There would be no answering back to the Father figure, at least not in front of the child.

Today its more Father fighting Mother for the top spot in the heirarchy while the child watches, and the child is sometimes used within the arguing. This seems like a very bad idea, given developmental paths of children.

I'm not advocating a 1950s attitude, but I believe the structure enforces the point that everyone answers to someone, and so may infuse respect for order instead of a tendency to chaos.

(Probably get a lot of flack for this post, its an idea I've toyed with, not my personal view)
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Joesus
post Feb 11, 2009, 12:55 AM
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It is possible to have a relationship equal in participation with a partner rather than to be dominant or subservient. If you have a the ability to treat yourself and your partner as an equal it would be through the understanding and resonance of intelligence within yourself and the other. I'm not talking about education and background as the lead in to intelligence but that intelligence that dwells within all things.

Trojan, you speak of fractals within a universe but talking about these things and experiencing it live 24/7 within yourself and another puts a different perspective on things. If you open yourself to expansion of knowledge and experience by making yourself available to those around you, you can gain insight into places and ideas you yourself haven't gone. The problem is that the ego holds extremely tight to self identification and self worth so instead of opening and receiving it compares and judges and if it feels it can do so without compromising self ideas may incorporate some others ideas and experience as long as it doesn't threaten anything that has been accumulated into the personal box of worth.
The person of low self worth does not in any way want to feel threatened for what has been accumulated thru past accumulated experiences, beliefs and ideals. If one was to suggest that the past is of no value and nothing you have experienced means anything and is only getting in the way of the present moment the ego reacts and defends with every ounce of self identification and judgment towards the other for suggesting something of that sort.
With this fragile identity prepared to defend at all times it has little room for anything new. It takes a lot of time to break the barriers down between people when there is that much energy spent in protecting ones own self worth and idealism in accomplishment.
Trust comes at a cost of lowering defenses and for the ego a compromise to not focus on ones self and ones own self worth. To let in another and give notice to the other. If in any instant the other begins to threaten the fragile foundation of personal identification and ideals the walls go up and the two struggle against each other for ownership of control and respect.
This is fear based and the result of one limited dysfunctional person passing on their limited ideals and fear to another.

The only way to begin something new is to begin as a whole individual without the fear of losing something because there is nothing that can or could be taken away in value. One stable personality can support the growth of another into stability and so on. Two stable parents would have the ability to nurture their children no matter how busy they were because their time would be quality time, and giving, without the need of self preservation. Without the emptiness of not having been fulfilled by the knowledge and love within themselves that is, and has been there to begin with.

Children are taught in school and by their parents who were educated in such a system that supports competition and favoritism for achievement. We judge our children by their abilities to accomplish goals standardized by those who fear their own failure.

We are dysfunctional as a society and fail to change because you cannot fix something from the level in which the problem was created.

The only real authority is that which supports the growth of all, and that is not democratic.
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trojan_libido
post Feb 11, 2009, 01:55 AM
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QUOTE(Joesus)
It is possible to have a relationship equal in participation with a partner rather than to be dominant or subservient.
I believe this to be true, but I am really commenting on society as a whole and not just the utopian destination. Having two people in complete equilibrium and still instilling a sense of respect within children are two noble causes, but I feel we fall short as a species.
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post Feb 11, 2009, 05:42 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Feb 11, 2009, 01:55 AM) *

QUOTE(Joesus)
It is possible to have a relationship equal in participation with a partner rather than to be dominant or subservient.
I believe this to be true, but I am really commenting on society as a whole and not just the utopian destination. Having two people in complete equilibrium and still instilling a sense of respect within children are two noble causes, but I feel we fall short as a species.

There's nothing wrong with female on male domination! At least not in my house!!!
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trojan_libido
post Feb 11, 2009, 07:01 AM
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Hey! I've got no problem who wears the trousers in your house cb! I've got no problem who wears the trousers in mine either... because I know we both have a trouser leg gripped in our teeth and are running in opposite directions biggrin.gif

I guess the attraction to abuse may well be similar to whatever floats the S&M boat. The pain/pleasure mechanism has had a fair bit of research done on it - have we not got some interesting papers to read?
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magellan
post Jan 08, 2010, 10:49 PM
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learned helplessness AKA Seligman Theory
the person becomes comfortable with the situation horrible as it might be
since change is difficult sometimes, they go back to the 'known' situation
because the coping behaviors they learned worked (they survived to that point, right?)
they go back to the known situation because it's better to know that not know
no ontological insecurity in that
only with time and guidance can they be led out of it
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