When Fear of losing Love Makes Us Boundless

We do not set boundaries. At the moment. Even though we recognize it, we should do so. We let it go. Although the experience takes hold of us, we allow it, without standing up for ourselves.

We trivialize it, as “it’s nothing,” “it is not so important”, “it does not matter,” “she is right and I get peace.” We’re lying about the incident. To ourselves.

You may experience it with your mother? With your children? Your friend? Your boyfriend? The feeling is the same even though the source is different.

Towards special people in our lives we find it hard to say no. We are afraid of their reaction. In order that they would withdraw from us. Push us away. And shut down their love.

2015-06-13 10.44.37

We smile and continue with the conflict, we do not dare to face it outwardly, now instead it has started inwardly.

It will be unsafe for everyone involved when we cannot rely on the answers we get and give. There must be congruence between what we think, feel and say if it should feel good.

For the energy behind always speaks louder than your words.

 

2015-01-31 06.37.00
IT’S OK TO TAKE CARE OF OWN NEEDS AND SET BOUNDARIES
Our story regarding not disappointing our mother or children is not true. They can handle our response. It’s about us. We cannot handle the emotions that arise within us when we are witnessing others’ response to our answer.

Therefore, we often rather undermine ourselves and our own bordaries, than we will stand for others.

When you cross your own boundaries or agree to something that is not ok with you, then your subtle energy speakslouder than the action itself. Your mother notice it. Your children will feel it.

Each one of them concludes something about you or about themselves. Whatever the conclusion, it comes between you.

It is not beneficial for a close, honest and loving relationship.

Therefore, we must exert ourselves by being honest with ourselves and set boundaries in a clear and loving way.

Without doing others wrong.
Without defending or explaining ourselves.
Without wanting to (try) to control the reactions of others, so it is consistent with our expectations.

Indeed, it is the real challenge here is; We spend SO much (wasted) energy wondering about other people’s behavior and reaction, when the only interesting question really is: What how do other people’s reactions make me feel? How do they mirror what is happening to me?

It is deeply healing using our relationships that way.

Are the DISCUSSIONS with your partner FUTILE? Understand WHY and WHAT you can do about it.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I INTERRUPT A DISCUSSION YOU AND YOUR PARTNER ARE HAVING AND I ASK YOU: “WHAT DID YOUR PARTNER JUST SAY?” OR I ASK YOUR PARTNER WHAT YOU JUST HAVE SAID.

Most likely your answer is that you don’t know. You did not listen, because you are both concerned about the next argument. In leading a monologue, where both are pretending to be occupied by the issues, that got the discussion out of hand.

The discussion is going nowhere. No one listen. You are only concerned about being right. Both of you. A prosecutor. A defender. The roles are interchangeable. We go in circles. Over and over again.

We get NOWHERE, neither AGAINST or WITH EACH OTHER. And we do NOT develop as partners. But we pretend we are fighting for the relationship. And justice for ourselves. On behalf of “Fair Play” and for a complicated point system, that only you (and I) know the details of :-).

Charlotte Egemar Kaaber
Far behind the things that got it all to culminate, the truth lies hidden. The seed of our pain. The real reason for the discussion: There is a need we have not yet satisfied, and we now project it onto our partner.

All of us (almost) all do this. I do it. My husband does it. We are not communicating our needs LOVINGLY, CLEARLY and PRECISE. Earlier. Before the discussion.

Let’s pause and reflect on what it really is all about. Deep inside. For it is never about the laundry. The laundry is only a symptom.

But why is it so difficult for us to communicate clearly and honestly, WHAT we want and HOW we want it? And WITHOUT our mile-long explanations which nobody around us has the energy to listen to (not even ourselves).

Because we will not stand up for ourselves. Take leadership. So we hide. Convolute issues. Confrontational. Prosecutorial. Indirectly. Or we say: our partner can damn well figure it out … I should not have to explain… .. (fill in the blank yourself ).

The reason is that we do not want our emotions exposed. We do not dare to stand up for who we really are. Deep inside. Because we are not always perfect and polished. We are afraid to look at your innermost selves. For we believe that part of us is unlovable. And do not tolerate daylight.

What is so crazy is what we are trying to cover up, our partner (and the world around us) have already discovered. They know it very well! They sense it already from our energy! We cannot hide things. The energy behind it speaks always louder than our words.

Mod til at stille op til mig selv

Therefore, there’s really NOTHING to “reveal” about the way we are and the way we feel. It is a concoction. An ego-strategy.

We can confidently train ourselves to tell our partner (and others we have relationships with) what we want and how we want things. Lovingly, clearly and precise. Completely without condescending!

And while we’re at it, let us also decide to resign from our dysfunctional communication patterns:

  • The role of being a victim (having pity on ourselves)
  • The role of being a martyr (I do whatever I want to do)
  • The use of guilt and shame (I can’t believe he did that, I have done so much)
  • The use of power (I won’t give up until I get what I want)
  • The use of rightfulness (… I fight like my life depends on it ….)

But instead, let it be our common goal to communicate LOVINGLY, CLEARLY and PRECISE in our relationships. They will love us for it. :)

Are You The Heroine And Your Ex The Villain?

Most of my clients are women. They exhibit a specific behavior in relation to their ex. They compensate. If their ex does not behave towards the children as they think he should, then they try to balance things on their side.

I coached a woman with two boys. The boys complained that they had too many duties with the father. The woman listened to the children and decided that they should have none with her. The children soon found out that if I complain about dad to her, then I have my way with her. I will not be “burdened” with anything by my mother.

I asked the woman if she was satisfied with the solution. She was not. She was annoyed with her ex. I asked her to describe what she would demand of the boys if her ex was not part of the problem. The response was immediate. She was not in doubt. The boys would be part of the community and help out.

Do not compensate for your ex. You cannot compensate for your ex. If your kids complain about conditions in their father’s, just listen to them and assess whether it is something you have to agree with him about. Or if the kids are older, they can even take it up with him. The best part is that the challenges are to be solved where they occurred.

It is good to assess whether the problem goes under the category “children’s well-being” or “minor issues.”  Choose your battles wisely. If you take the fight with your ex, be aware of your motivation and your way of speaking. Speak gently without anger and condemnation.

When we compensate for our ex, we do so indirectly to make ourselves be heroines and our ex to be the villain. It feels good immediately, but in the long run, we give our ex the power to decide what the kids should contribute, within our own house.

Within our four walls we determine whatever our ex can do. Within our ex’s four walls he determines what works. Everything else creates imbalance, dependency and anger.

 

Avoid making a fatal error when you and your boyfriend talk about his ex

I had a good chat with an old girlfriend. We talked about her boyfriend’s ex. My friend was completely devastated and cried because of the ex-wife.

She had been so ‘thoughtless’ to ask her boyfriend how his ex-wife looked like, to which he honestly replied – “She’s beautiful.”

The answer struck her out completely, but she did not stop there. She also asked to ex-wife’s figure and was told that it was what you would probably called the ideal female body.

THE “INNOCENT” ISSUES
In itself an innocent question, as her boyfriend – unaware of the pervasive impact and still in a good mood – honestly answered.

My friend heard more than the phrase – “She is beautiful and has an ideal body.” She also “heard” her boyfriend say – “She’s beautiful, and you are not. She has the perfect body, and you don’t. I have to settle with you. If you want to keep me, you have to do something about yourself, otherwise I will leave you. ”

Do you recognize the feeling of having asked that question about your boyfriend’s ex and not want to hear the answer or know the truth about? (I can tell you it took my girlfriend more than half a year before she made peace with the answers.)

I can! I’ve done it again and again.

Isn’t it interesting? Although I should know better, I often fall into the
trap.

Why?

Because we will seek confirmation of our own worth and our boyfriend’s love for us through his-hopefully – criticism of the ex because we compare ourselves to her. We need to know that he wants us MORE than he ever wanted her.

She was better at cooking than us?
Was she better at sex than us?
She was more successful than us? etc.
Does our boyfriend in reality really
like his ex better? Maybe he wants her back.

STOP THOSE THOUGHTS
The concepts about the ex can be so overwhelming that they feel real. But it is
fare from reality. They are simply a product of our imagination.

The good thing is that you can do something about it. You can start practicing being a curious observer instead of an obsessed lover.

What actually happens inside my head?

Ask yourself the following questions:

• What did my boyfriend really say/do?
• What are the facts here?
• Is there anything I need to say to my boyfriend about my feelings?
• What do I need for my boyfriend do/say so I can get rid of those feeling?
• What can I do right now to change the focus?

You can practice being aware and honest about what is going on. When you finish this exercise you must do something for yourself, something that makes you happy.

Practice how to ask for a compliment from your boyfriend if you feel that you are about to turn into “ex-monster” person.

Love,

Charlotte

Do you dare being yourself as a stepparent or are you afraid of your stepchildren?


As I sat in my bathtub this morning, I suddenly remembered an episode I experiences years ago with my fusion daughter, which immediately changed my view of my role in her life.

Until that day I had incredibly difficulties saying no to my fusion children Oscar and Andrea. I was somehow afraid of them. Afraid for their response to me. Or more accurately, I was afraid that I would not handle their response in an “adult-like” and authentic manner.

I did not dare to correct them. Instead, I chose to ‘hide’. Oozed and insinuated things. Said things between the lines. If it had been my own boys, I had reprimanded them without hesitation. And without feeling bad about myself.

Very unfairly, I took my irritation out of my own boys, hoping it would rub off on Oscar and Andrea. That they could sense I was irritated and gave them an indirect hint.

It went on like this until the day I looked out the window and saw that Andrea was about to take off on her bike WITHOUT a helmet. I ran out the door and gave her quite a spontaneous bashing, where I clearly explained that I was not going to debate with her whether or not she should ride with or without a helmet!

I gave her the helmet and went back inside. Watched her through the patio door, where she was about to buckle on her helmet firmly. Suddenly I realized to my great surprise, the largest and broadest smile on her face. Super happy she took off.

That smile and that moment made something crystal clear to me. To set boundaries and show how we adults want things to be is to care and it is an expression of love.

I had with my anger and my demands shown Andrea that I loved her. It made her happy and secure.

The episode made me look at and revise my role as parent and fusion parent to all my four children.

I discovered that:
I asked the children too often about their opinions and gave them too many options. Do you like this? Do you like that? Would you like meatballs or chicken? Do you want to go here or there? Etc.

I concluded that:
Children like to have set boundaries, so they know what they are to expect. Everything should not be discussed or negotiated.

The parents (also the fusion parent) should not be afraid to set the agenda. Because when we do that, the children don’t have to try to figure things out, guess, ask or sense what is right or wrong.

When we live up to our roles as parents and clearly define the rules of the game, we give our children space and the right to disagree with us.

The children know where we stand and where they have us. It is in my opinion, security and care. Even if children do not agree and think we are a little tough.

Maybe you can recognize yourself in my story. And let yourself be inspired. For me it was a relief (I also hope for my fusion children) that I found the courage to live up to my role as a parent in their lives.

I’ll give you 3 tips on how you can practice living up to your role as a parent towards your fusion kids.
Remind yourself that practice makes perfect and be kind to yourself if you are a chicken (like I was) and hide from your fusion kids.

Tip 1
Practice with small and easy subjects first e.g. you can start by enforcing the rules at the dinner table.

Tip 2
If you have an issue that is important for you to establish rules about, but you do not really dare to get started, ask your partner to help you along the way. Let him/her be physically next to you, the first few times you introduce them to kids. It will give you peace of mind.

Tip 3
If you are afraid of speaking out, stop and ask yourself, what and why are you afraid of? What are you afraid of would happen, since you do not dare say no? Are you afraid that the children would distance themselves from you? Become mad at you? The fact that your partner might get upset with you? Try to find a way to reduce your anxiety. What can you do creatively not to feel so anxious?

I hope with this blog to have inspired you as a fusion parent and parent to (dare) become even more confident in your role.

Remind yourself that when you are true to yourself and live up to your role, then your kids know exactly what you stand for and how you want things to be.

You make it easier for them when they know the boundaries. They can just concentrate on having a good time. You have set them free.

Sincerely,

Charlotte

 

5 tips to survive by when your boyfriend says he does not like your children

– “I do not like your children” – is the worst sentence you as a parent can hear. And especially when it comes from one’s partner. It is almost unbearable. You are ready to leave him/her on the spot!

Our spontaneous reaction will be anger or grief. We are fiercely defensive. We defend our kids (and ourselves) vigiously.

We do what we can to highlight all the fantastic situations where it’s obvious that our children are lovable.

The situation may seem quite unmanageable. How can we possibly continue with your relationship after this message?

How to handle the issue? I want to give you my best guess.

# 1 – Ask your partner
Find the courage to ask your partner what it is he/she dislikes about your child. Avoid going into defensive position (that’s a big challenge.)

Listen. Be on the lookout. Look for clues. Is it in the same situation your partner feel resistance against the child or is it in many different situations. What characteristics “trigger” something in your partner.

Find out what your partner feels is needed, so he/she can get a more positive perception of the child. Ask your partner to be as specific as possible.

What can the child do/say/handle differently?

Based on the answers to the various questions you can work together on a solution that is healthy for you all, realistic and possible to integrate. Remember to notice the smallest, but positive changes along the way.

# 2 – A “hidden” side of your partner
Your partner’s reaction to your children can also be caused by a trait or a side of him/herself that he/she is in denial about. Often these are called our shadow sides.

When he/she for example experiences your children exhibit “greed”, he/she might feel disgust. For him/her it is not okay to be greedy.

There is an English proverb that says it very accurately. And there’s something about it.
What you resist, will persist.”

Again and again we deal with the same type of people and situations.

I think we need to learn from the situation. When we have learned our “lesson” then these confrontations disappear magically.

Maybe your partner was never allowed to be greedy when he/she was a child. Maybe he/she was raised to believe that it is wrong. What did his parents think about greed?

Ask what happens if you “allow” yourselves (and children) to be greedy some times. (We all are in one area or another.)

Try to identify which stories your partner has attached to the word and see if you can find a way, so your partner can have “peace” with the word.

# 3 – Jealousy towards your children
My third bid can be said very briefly. Your partner might be jealous of your children. They “steal” time with you from him/her. And it can be difficult to make up for having to admit it. Therefore, jealousy is projected onto the children.

If you feel that jealousy is the reason for the resistance, then spend a few minutes every day, BEFORE you attend to the kids, by hugging and being present with your partner.

I bet you you’ll have a happy and smiling partner for the rest of the day. You gave him/her exactly what he/she needed (maybe he/she won’t even be conscious of it.)

# 4 – Service level is too high
Are you one of those parents who occasionally forget that children themselves have arms and legs. I did. I catered to my boys without any limits, making my partner angry. My boys seemed spoiled and without any initiative. I did not demand anything from them.

Is it something you can recognize from your own life? If it is, then see it as a welcoming opportunity to turn down the service level. But remember to inform your children that things will have to change from now on. There are new rules.

They will probably complain loudly, but will eventually get used to it. And best of all your partner’s annoyance with your children will hopefully change in proportion, as that will get your family to work as a team.

# 5 – Takes up too much
Honestly – Maybe your partner’s annoyance with your kids is reasonable. Maybe they are completely unreasonable and need to be put in their place. But maybe the children feel that they must compete with your girlfriend about your attention.

If you’ve been alone with them for many years, they had been accustomed to always have your full attention. They need time to get used to that you are no longer their sole “property.” But remember that it’s perfectly ok to tell them that you’re just busy with something else, but that you will return to them as soon as you have time. (It is mportant to remember to get back to them.)

It is a good opportunity to introduce children to the concept of “situational awareness” that they just may find out about what is going on around them. Notice what are the others are doing, before they start to yell for you.

When you show your partner that you give him/her priority status and say no to the kids with respect for both your relationship and them, it might help your partner to remember that habits take time to change. You must have patience. But it is worth being good at noticing the little progress that constantly will show up when you are consistent and loving in your demands of the children.

I hope you have found some new inspiration in my (long) blog.

Have a good day. If you like my post please LIKE The Worlds Biggest Fusion Family on FACEBOOK and/or subscribe to my newsletter.

Affectionate,

Charlotte

 

VACATION TIME! What If You Don’t Like Your Stepkids?

It’s vacation time, but what do you do, if you do not like your partner’s children?

The summer vacation is approaching and you feel the unrest and resistance grow. You are uneasy about spending the summer vacation with your partner’s children.

Fact is that you do not like them and would rather not spend your vacation time with them.

You are in love with your boyfriend/girlfriend, but do not feel any affection towards his/her kids.

Fact is that children are part of the package in many cases. They are not a conscious option, but they are part of the package, which means that there are other rules that apply here.

Do not expect miracles in terms of mutual feelings, you and your fusion kids “should” have towards each other. Understand and accept that it will take time and effort to get the relationship with the children to work, so it will be bearable for you all.

You should expect this to be a long process. But be ready to show willingness to take responsibility and care of the children, even though there is no “great love” between you.

You can choose to view the upcoming summer vacation as a source for your personal development. You can practice expanding your limits.

Charlotte Egemar Kaaber


Let it be your goal to spend the summer without an eternal inner resistance to the kids. Anger and irritation are like drinking poison and expecting the other die. I think it’s worth remembering that it would just drain your energy.

I would recommend that you try to be introspective in order to find the real source from which your irritation stems.

YOU CAN START BY ASKING YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
• Does your boyfriend/girlfriend demand respect from the children also in regards to their behavior towards you and does he/she back you up properly?
• Are you jealous? Do the children take too much time/room? Do you feel neglected?
• Are you angry at yourself that you are not doing well enough?
• Do you not meet your own expectations of yourself in the given situation?
• Is there anything in their upbringing, which can cause children’s annoying behavior? And it is something that can be changed?
• Are the children trying to achieve something specific with their behavior?
• Are the kids jealous of you?

If you answer the questions above honestly (even if you are embarrassed) you can take responsibility and do something about it. Take responsibility instead of pointing fingers, and gently explain to your boyfriend/girlfriend how you feel and what you need from him/her, so that your experience with the children will be more pleasant.

Blended family - divorced family


INVEST IN YOUR STEPCHILD
Your relationship with the child may benefit from taking a small trip together and be able to really experience the child’s personality beyond the already established role in the blended family. The change of finding out whether it is the child’s role or the child’s perception of his/her role in the family, which is why you object, is possible.

If your impression of the child is surprising and more positive, you may find it easier to identify the source of your resistance. By deliberately changing the facts/things that could move your relationship in the positive direction, you have both helped the child to be more comfortable in his/her role in the family and in his/her relationship with you. If the child is behaving differently than usual, you will also react differently than usual. New input creates new output.

SAMHØRIGHED I SAMMENBRAGTE FAMILIER


WHAT IF THE KIDS ARE REALLY ANNOYING DUE TO LOCK OF DISCIPLINE?
It is quite natural that you become irritated or angry at your boyfriend/girlfriend’s children. Do not blame yourself, and if it is not an isolated case, but an increasing irritation, you have to do something about it, you need to discuss it with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

If you act furiously and show your dismay over their children’s behavior your boyfriend/ girlfriend will most likely immediately take the children’s side.

You get nothing out of it and it only creates distance between the two of you. Wait till you calm down and then talk about it later on in a solution-oriented and welcoming tone.

It is worth remembering that the only thing your boyfriend/girlfriend wants you to like his/her children.

It is a good idea when you initiate the difficult conversations to mention something positive about the children. Something they have done or said that you like.
This provides a better foundation for addressing the difficult conversation about what you want changed.

It is not the easiest conversation to have, but it can be done, if you remember to stay on impartial and speak from the heart and not from anger.