The Handbook for Creating Ordinary Relationships
"If we continue to believe as we have always believed, we will continue to act as we have always acted. If we continue to act as we have always acted, we will continue to get what we have always gotten."
- Marilyn Ferguson
author of Aquarian Conspiracy
The Thoughtmap Of Navigating The Space Of Relationship
In each moment, you have a choice:
Which do you choose?
Complain to your partner about anything that does not suit you. Use a whining, victimy tone in your voice when you complain. Respond negatively to any assurances given to you about anything. Make sure that the object of your complaints can never be resolved. You complain. Your partner tries to fix it. You create reasons why their solutions will not work. At least in this game you always have something to talk about.
Try to be right whenever issues arise. Argue your point. Do not give up until your partner concedes that you are right. Gloat to others on the phone about your victory, or your partner’s incredible stupidity, so your partner accidentally overhears you.
In order to supplement being right, also try to make your partner wrong whenever there is an opportunity to do so. After all, you are not making them wrong. They actually are wrong. You are just doing them the favor of pointing it out to them. Also tell their mother about it, more than once.
Take a rigid position about everything and anything (“I have to wash my face before I go to bed!”). Be fanatical about your positions. Go for the throat. Take no prisoners. Justify your position any way that you can. After all, this is a democracy! Everyone has a right to their own opinions.
Feel resentment about anything your partner ever did that offended or frightened or embarrassed you. Whenever you look at your partner, remember your resentments first. Never forget your resentment. Especially if your partner tries to touch you.
Feel resentment about your own childhood. Remember all of your old wounds. Assume that the people presently around you will wound you again in the same way. Project this onto your partner. Your partner then becomes your enemy with conscious or unconscious intentions to harm you. Stay little. Never grow up. Use the hatred you harbor to fuel your life.
Feel resentment about your children, your boss, your colleagues. Use resentment as a way to take care of yourself by feeling strong and righteous. Never question how you got your resentments, or how they cut off the possibility of intimacy with these people. After all, they are the ones who made you resentful.
Have a never-ending competition with your partner about who has the worst life. Dedicate yourself to proving to your partner your life is less fun than theirs is. If life seems momentarily good, hide it and hold up the shit end of the stick. Search for subtle evidence to demonstrate that your partner has it better than you do. This gives you permission to go shopping.
If your partner does have a little bit of fun, make them feel guilty as hell. They should have been working on something. There is so much that needs to be done or that needs to be cleaned up. Who do they think they are having fun?
Confine your experience of love to the linear, personal, transient, conditional, minimized, localized, ordinary, verbal-reality of the three words: “I love you.” That is what you can give. That is what you can receive. As soon as the echo of the spoken words fades out of the room so does your faith in your partner’s love.
Give up about little things. Give up about life. Have no hope. Try to make your partner rescue you from this utter hopelessness. If they fail to rescue you, blame them for not caring and assume they are having an affair.
Get a nice car and keep it clean. Get a hi-tech smart phone and a slick computer. Live in your car, your phone and your computer. Look at your relationship and wonder why it is so messy compared to your car, your phone and your computer. Obviously, the mess must be your partner’s fault.
Be strong, try hard, be perfect, rush around, always keep pushing yourself on to the next thing. Push yourself until you break down psychologically, emotionally or physically and then make your partner pick up the slack for you so they can finally value all the work you have been doing for them.
Do not be happy. Do not enjoy life. Do not be powerful. Create complex excuses that blame other people or your life circumstances as your reasons for not being happy, powerful, and enjoying life. Consider yourself creative.
Give away your authority so you do not have to make decisions about your life. Give your authority to any authority figure: doctors, plumbers, computer guys, the phone company, the car mechanics, the government, your children, the tax people, anybody. Feel weak and used. Feel stupid. Complain about the bad service, high prices, and poor quality of your life. Nitpick to find ways that people are not taking care of you well enough.
Stay in your head. Think about things. Try to brag about all the things that you know. Righteously value intellectual and rational considerations above all else. Confine your life to your reasons. No matter what, do not feel. Feelings are irrational.
Stay in your bed. Sleep in. Each morning try to keep dreaming as long as they allow. Sleeping and dreaming are better than what is happening in your life. If you are sleeping and dreaming maybe people will leave you alone. Maybe things will change by themselves.
Do not be glamorous and sexy for your partner. Instead be glamorous and sexy for people who do not matter so you can maintain a cool image with them. Make those other people jealous about how your partner gets to be with someone so glamorous and sexy as you.
Conceive of ‘here’ as very big, covering everywhere that you have ever been. Regard ‘now’ as immense, extending far beyond this moment, back into the distant past and far away into the distant future. Ignore the obvious fact that you can do nothing to change anything that is not here, and nothing to change what happened to you or to assure what will happen to you. Include the past, the future, and everywhere into a gigantic ‘here and now’ and then feel totally overwhelmed about how much you carry on your shoulders. Use this overwhelm as an excuse to eat more chocolate.
Never say just “Yes,” or, “No,” in response to ‘yes or no’ questions. Always go sideways instead. Nothing is simple. There are so many factors connected to so many details. Use complexity and confusion as a way to never get cornered into saying “Yes,” or, “No”. Suffocate your attackers in their own drivel.
Never answer the question that is asked. Always assume that your assumptions about the question and about the questioner are more correct than the questioner’s. Dedicate yourself to answering questions that you are certain are more relevant to the questioner than the questioner’s questions.
Always be worried that the worst thing that ever happened to you is any minute going to happen to you again. Make it your partner’s responsibility to protect you from this worry, and your partner’s fault if you ever have this worry. Always have this worry.
Limit your experience to your vocabulary. Have no experience that you do not have a name for. Regard every experience that does not fit into the pigeonhole meaning of a word that you know as ridiculous and irrelevant. Avoid admitting that you have experiences you have no words for. Teach rationality to your children.
Create and maintain the story in your mind that your partner is inferior to you or that your partner is an idiot. Consistently find little pieces of evidence to support that story. Whenever you look at your partner, see your stories about them instead of them.
To supplement the view that your partner is inferior to you, also create and maintain the story that you are superior to your partner. Find little ways to constantly remind your partner of your superiority, especially when in the company of relatives, business associates, or mutual friends. Insult their taste in clothing, food, entertainment, hobbies, investments, etc.
Have expectations about how your partner should act, about what they should feel, about where they should sit, about how they should dress, about how they should treat you, about what they should order to eat in the restaurant, about how they are driving, and so on. Get angry if their behavior ever fails to meet your expectations. Hold onto your resentments that they did not meet your expectations.
Feel afraid if your partner dares to express their feelings to you. As soon as they begin expressing their feelings to you, panic and express your emotions about their feelings to them. After all, if they stop withholding their feelings it is only fair that they must listen to your emotions. Make sure that your emotions are bigger and stronger than their feelings.
Collect up evidence that your partner is out of integrity. After all, if they had integrity, you would be pleased. Blame your partner for everything that is not handled, everything that goes wrong, everything that ever went wrong, and everything that could possibly ever go wrong. What else are they there for?
Attack your partner whenever you feel any kind of discomfort. This way they know you are there. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The more uncomfortable you are the more attention you might get. If your partner ever thinks that you are comfortable, they might not give you any more of their attention.
Be a public doormat. Worry that you might cause a problem for somebody else. Neurotically walk on eggshells around everyone. Keep imagining ways that you might be a problem for your partner and explain this to them. Keep giving many excuses and reasons why it is not your fault, and also blame your partner for the unfairness that they might ever think you are a problem.
Do not live your life. Feel resentment for having to be adaptive and for not being able to be yourself and live your life. Never clear your resentments so that you do not have to live your life.
Make assumptions freely about everything in your life. Assume things should or should not be a certain way. Do not tell your partner your assumptions. Instead, expect your partner to read your mind about what you have assumed. Expect your partner to make the same assumptions as you. If your assumptions ever turn out to be wrong, blame your partner for not correcting your assumptions.
Ignore the possibility of being an adult man or woman. Let your childhood thinking and feeling patterns take over and dominate your adult life. Center your identity on the script and emotions of a scared needy adaptive inner child. Give more importance to this fantasy than to your mate.
Project your father onto your man. Find any evidence you can to prove that he is your father and that he is doing to you what your father did to you. You somehow survived with your father, so if your partner is like your father, then you know you can survive with him too. Stay in survival mode.
Project your mother onto your woman. Be in bed with your mother when you are in bed with your woman. Look at other women and imagine being in bed with them because they are different from your mother. Blame your woman for this.
Be scared about everything that you do not know and cannot control. Use your fear to control your partner. Secretly threaten to make your fear bigger if you ever discover anything about your partner that you do not know or cannot control. Use this threat to force your partner to always stay the same as they have always been.
Whenever your partner is willing to listen to you, complain about the mobbing at work, complain about projects being prematurely terminated, complain about the incredible laziness of your colleagues or employees or your boss, describe people dying in bizarre accidents, describe what is happening in the war, describe what is happening in politics, complain about the housework, complain about the kids always interrupting you, complain about having too much to do and no time to complete anything. Keep talking about something dramatically bad. If you are talking, then you are in relationship.
Always keep the radio or TV on. Above all do not be together with your partner in silence. Without making it obvious, distract your partner and yourself from ever entering spaces where it would be possible to speak together about love or beauty or grace, because you might not know what to say.
Be needy in such a way that your neediness can never be fulfilled. Express your neediness to your partner every chance you get. Make it your partner’s impossible responsibility to fulfill your neediness. This way they will never be confident enough to leave you.
Be adaptive to the man who comes to your front door and asks for donations. Be adaptive at work. Be adaptive to the telephone sales lady. Be adaptive to your parents. Be angry with your partner for not protecting you from all the people with whom you are adaptive.
Let your parents’ opinion about your life have more importance than your own opinion about your life. Let your parents’ opinion about your partner’s life have more importance than your own opinion about your partner’s life. Be afraid that those who have opinions about you have some secret power over you. Stay unsettled enough that it justifies having a drink at night.
Let your parents question and berate your decisions about child raising, vacations, housecleaning, and your job. Let your parents berate your mate. Give your parents controlling authority in your household. Decide that you will wait until your parents die before you start living your own life. Wait impatiently. Let the years go by without living, compensated by the knowledge that you have been a good child.
Draw conclusions about whatever you want in life so as to sustain your present view of things. Believe your conclusions in the face of contradictory evidence. Especially ignore evidence offered by your partner. Make the conclusion that life is like this.
Defend yourself from intimacy. Do not let anyone, especially your partner, closer to you than your mask. If they see that your mask is fake, they might not want to stay with you. You know how to keep your mask looking good, but you don’t know how to take care of your Being. Never let your partner know this about you.
Do not trust your partner. Continuously collect evidence to prove that they are untrustworthy. Manipulate your partner to continuously try to gain your trust. This way you can get them to take you out whenever you want.
Defend yourself from evolution. Do not try to learn anything new. Think that your habits are you. Try to stay solid in your habits and persevere with the set of behaviors that you established for yourself long ago. Always serve the same menu for Christmas dinner. If your partner ever mentions wanting to evolve, immediately report them to the sect police.
Become expert in avoiding responsibility. Procrastinate. Hesitate. Justify. Use your energy creating excuses rather than creating results. Take no risks. Leave things well enough alone. Do not rock the boat. Keep your hands clean. Relate to responsibility as if responsibility means fault, blame, guilt or a heavy burden. Do not live your life full out. As you get ready to die, feel joyful that none of the problems were your fault.
Do not negotiate intimacy. Do not make exact requests or make corrective boundaries. If you do make a boundary, make it so feeble or so late that you get hurt anyway. Feel justified in making ultimatums as a way of getting revenge.
Do not ask for what you need. Expect that by now other people around you should already know exactly what you need. Collect incidents of your unfulfilled needs like savings stamps from the grocery store. When your drawer is full of savings stamps books, turn them all in at once by getting divorced.
Be a nice person on the surface. Never let anyone know of the other people inside of you. When the people inside you do not get their needs met, let them take over and live your double life. Sneak out to get what you want somewhere else. What your partner does not know will never hurt them.
Withhold sex to punish your mate for not giving you what you want. Lie to them about why you are withholding sex. When you go to the relationship counselor, use the authority of the counselor to force your partner to give you what you want. Then start all over again.
Make your own personal comfort and security the highest priority. Make other people dance around you to make you feel comfortable and secure. After all, you deserve basic comfort and security, don’t you? Other people are comfortable and secure, so they should know how to make you comfortable and secure. Be neurotic in ways that make it impossible to be comfortable or have security.
Attach yourself to your partner by getting into their space. Go in their drawers, read papers on their desk, open their email and message apps, cross-examine their friends and colleagues, check their receipts, listen to their phone messages, and snoop into their stuff. Know what they are going to do before they do. Be psychologically, emotionally, and energetically enmeshed with them. Think that fusion is closeness.
If your partner does not give you pleasure, if they do not cook you the right meal at the right time or the way you want it (too much salt, eggs too wet, salad is cut and not torn, etc.), if they leave messes, if they do not touch you the right way, if they play the music too loud, if they dress improperly, etc., then feel insulted and close up your love for them. If they do not please you the way you want, then obviously they do not love you. Why should you love them?
Try to change your partner. If your partner will not change, then complain about them to their mother. Maybe she can make them change.
Try to change your parents, your boss, your colleagues, your neighbors, and your relatives. Hate them for not changing. Hate yourself for failing to change them. Make is so if they do not change, you are not happy. Do not let your partner change you so you become happy.
Be involved in all the latest diet, exercise, and health fads. Secretly think that your partner has no life if they do not get excited about your diet, exercise, or health plans. Spend a lot of money. Change your plan when you get bored. Do not explain anything to your partner so you never have to look at your own paranoia.
Blame the faults of your children on your partner. Your children obviously inherited their bad characteristics from your partner or your partner’s family. Side with your children in any fight against your partner to try to heal your partners faults.
Guiltily buy expensive little things and put them away in your closet or in the garage. Wait. When you finally wear them or use them and your partner notices, say, “Oh, I’ve had this a long time…” This way you can secretly honor yourself without having to honor your partner.
Be a victim of time. Stay super busy. Chase after the clock. Always be in a hurry. Rush around. Do not have enough time to feel or to be relaxed. Do not make time to be present or connect with anyone. Starve yourself from deep, nurturing, adult human contact, and go to bed exhausted each night. Make your own life hell so that your partner cannot add to your troubles.
Do not keep your time commitments with your partner. Never arrive on time. Make them wait for you. Always pack your things at the last minute and be completely wiped out or even sick before leaving on any trips with your partner. Use this to prove how important you are to the world.
Feel overwhelmed about global warming, extinction of species, government psychopaths taking office, dying oceans, the corruption of corporations, the failure of modern culture to create a bright future for humanity. Attack anyone not feeling as overwhelmed as you for being irresponsible or unconscious. Then your relationship problems become small by comparison.
Do sports. Use all your extra energy for athletic competition. Come home exhausted. Get hurt so your partner must respect your sport because it has the power to interfere with their life. Constantly talk about your sport whenever you get together with friends even if your partner does not participate. Use sore muscles and exhaustion as an excuse to avoid physical intimacy. Get up early and run seven days a week because it is inarguable that everyone needs cardiovascular exercise! Then you don’t have to face your fears that come up around having sex in the morning.
Suddenly become holy. Read spiritual books and do whatever they say. Do breathing practices, yoga postures, Buddhist meditations, and shamanic rituals. Fill your house with crystals. Take lots of ayahuasca. Tell your partner what they should or should not do by quoting from your books or your Shaman. Bring over weird friends who are not really your friends but at least they are holy. Then your partner has no chance to find out about your fears.
Surround yourself with persecutors and rescuers. Wake up in the morning and before you even get out of bed, count your enemies. Enter each day as if it has the same lack of possibilities as yesterday, like wearing dirty clothes. The if you ever make a mistake it will be hidden in the smokescreen of low dramas in your life.
Make jokes about your partner’s personality quirks at parties. This way they will remember that you have weapons and they will be nicer to you at home.
Be mean to your partner, but feel well justified that it is pay back for all the times when they were mean to you. Accept disrespectful behavior from yourself towards your partner, because everyone is already doing it to each other, at least on the Netflix series.
Expect your partner to be everything for you. Do not have friends. Do not let your partner have friends. Starve yourself from contact and make your partner starve themselves from contact so that you can prove that you have a ‘monogamous’ relationship. Stay with your partner even if your relationship is no longer alive so that you can have a relationship “’Til death do you part.” Sacrifice your aliveness to the customs of your culture and times. If you stay inside the monogamy construct prison, at least it is predictable.
Mix your emotions from the past and future with your feelings from the present to create massive confusion for yourself and others. Suck as many people in as possible. Your swamp is so full of monsters and demons that no one can rescue you, and then you never have to be accountable for what is happening right now.
Indulge yourself in addictive sentimentality, nostalgia, depression, and melancholy. Expect your partner not to react or to need you to be present for them. They should maintain respect for your deep sadness and grieving for a long-lost past that was so much better than now. Your burden is so heavy that your partner cannot grow strong enough wings to fly off and enjoy the present.
Use your relationship to feed psychological vampire entities. Pretend that you do not know what I am talking about. Try to stay unconscious about the fact that you host psychological vampire entities that feed on your partner as their main source of food. Let yourself be fed upon by your partner’s psychological vampire entities. Call this reciprocal vampire feeding frenzy a ‘relationship’.
Do not notice the predictable feeding patterns of your inner Gremlin devouring your life energy. Do not notice that you explode in rage and have an emotionally charged conflict once a month for five days, or once a week for a day and a night, or a few times a day. Do not notice that your partner is doing the same. Even if you are not having a good time in your relationship, at least your Gremlin is.
Live in the world of “Me! Me! Me!” as if you are separate from everyone else and they are all separate from you. Make it obvious that others should care about you as much as you care about yourself. This way your partner can make up for your mother not loving you enough as a child.
Stay in survival. Live a minimal life. Do not indulge your personal whims for adventure, extravagance, new experience, generosity, learning, discovery, exploration, or expansion. Instead, watch television night after night. Have no imagination. Be timid, linear and predictable. Let your fears stay bigger than you so that you can remain in a life of survival. If you torture yourself worse than anyone else could ever torture you, you have nothing to fear.
Engage in an ongoing power-struggle with your partner. Struggle privately at home, about the children, about money, about timing, about making plans. Struggle publicly at meetings, at parties, at work, so that when you win, others can witness your great victory over your partner. Always make sure that your partner does not have more power or recognition than you do. If they do, figure out ways to undermine their power and partially destroy them. If they are totally destroyed how could you continue enjoying the power-struggle?
Be jealous of your partner’s attractiveness or success. Resent them for it. Pull your appreciation away from them and minimize your love for them whenever they are successful, because they obviously get more than enough love and appreciation from other people.
Feel small. Feel weak. Feel like a failure. Feel unworthy. Feel unlovable. Find evidence to continuously prove the view that you are unlovable. This proves that your partner is stupid because they chose someone to love who is unlovable. This proves that life is bad. When life is proven to be bad, then you can continue to not really care about anything.
Twist everything your partner says so that you are sure they are telling you “You are wrong,” “You are stupid,” or “You are not good enough.” Respond to your interpretation of what your partner says to you, not to what they actually say to you. Drag your friends and relatives into your arguments. Deny that you twist their communications inside out. Derive satisfaction from being able to confuse so many people for so long.
Use your fear to limit your partner’s radiant exuberance. Obviously there needs to be a balancing force. When your partner is effervescing beyond your personal aliveness limit, then dump cold water on them. Keep your aliveness limit low so that you get to dump cold water on your partner a lot. This way you have job security about keeping your partner dead enough to be normal. Only be alive when your partner is not around to see.
Fight unfairly. Call your partner names (like: ‘know it all’, ‘Mr. Independent’, ‘sad sack’, ‘Mrs. Prudence’). Use the words ‘never’ and ‘always’ in your accusations. Be aggressive. Hit or throw things. Threaten violence. Think that the conflict is all their fault and that you are not equally responsible. Use the children, money, and sex as weapons. Plan to write a book about your clever ways to win fights.
Conclude that you know who your partner is. Do not listen to your partner so that you can repeat back what you heard them say. Refuse to be-with your partner in any conflict. After a conflict cut yourself off from your partner for days and sulk until they apologize, because you were right about them the whole time.
Use intimate time with your partner to triangulate (to speak about someone who is not there). Complain about people to your partner rather than speaking only about that person to their face. Do not acknowledge that you again trivialized a moment that could have been profound. Other people’s pain is so important.
Triangulate about your partner. Gossip about your partner to your friends, to your partner’s friends, or to relatives, when your partner is not there. Let the others lead you on until you share intimacies that would embarrass or hurt your partner. Blame your partner for not sharing about themselves with their own friends.
Exaggerate when recounting stories about your partner to other people. Make your partner sound braver, stronger, and smarter, or weaker, slower and stupider than what actually happened. Live in your fantasy world of what happened rather than in the simplicity of what actually happened. This way you defend your fantasy world.
Use your partner as a garbage can for all the bad things that happen to you during your day. When you are finished unloading your psycho-emotional garbage into their heart and mind, then assume that your obligations for being intimate with them are over for the day.
Do not respect the natural inherent nobility, elegance and dignity of your partner as a man or a woman. Do not even see the possibility of such qualities in them or in their lives. Treat your partner as a child, or as a kind of monkey with the capacity for living only an ordinary low-grade animal life. This way you can avoid meeting the archetypal nature of the Universe.
Do not let your partner have their own problems. Do things for your partner because you are afraid that they are incapable of doing those things for themselves. Think that you are helping your partner. If they ever complain, get offended because if they do not want your help then they obviously do not want your love.
Secretly find evidence to support the story that your partner is a pig. Find a little piece of evidence each day. Even the tiniest piece of evidence is sufficient. After all, you have so much evidence already in the ‘evidence sack’ that you carry around with you on your shoulders that you actually do not need to find any more evidence to prove your point. The new evidence finding just helps you to remember that your partner is a pig so that you do not forget. You can also use the evidence on your partner in public so they do not forget their pigness either.
Live as if you are your psychology. Live as if the reality that your psychology paints for you to live in is the one and only true and actual reality of the world. Believe it like the sun shines. Live as if the views that you got from the news are solid as granite, and objective as well. Regard anyone who so much as hints that they doubt you as if they are an attacker. Make your life about defending what you perceive as normalcy so that you seem normal to your partner.
Live as if your partner is their psychology. Assume they are always going to stay that way, and that they are completely inflexible and rigid. Take what they say as a challenge that you must either destroy or become the slave of. Do not assume that your partner is anything but their arguments and reasons. Do not let love or relationship or acceptance or healing be bigger than your psychological differences. Never simply rest in the psychology-free communion of being together. You might not like it.
Try not to know that you are going to die. Live as if you have all the time in the world. Do not appreciate those rare moments of simple companionship as if they could be the last moments. When nothing is happening, it is wasted time. If one of you is sick, it is a problem. Something is wrong. It is a mistake in the program. Again, it is wasted time. If one of you dies or goes away, be shocked, but do not fundamentally learn anything about life.
Feed your addictions. Use part of your attention, even during the most intimate times, to crave videos, foods, drinks, self-gratification, complaining, being depressed, criticizing, staying in your head listening to buzz radio. Never learn to tolerate the ever-increasing intensity of being wholly with another human being. Get yourself a drink and turn down the volume of passionate love. Keep it boring. Only go where you already have been before. Then you do not have to be afraid of how magnificent and glorious life really is.
Do not speak about what matters to you. Do not dare to risk sharing from the depths of your heart. Never trust so deeply as to open your soul to reveal your deepest tender delicate incomplete uncertain desires to your partner. Even alone naked in bed together. Your partner will probably just laugh at you, or later on ridicule you in public. Instead of sharing your inner world, keep your desires secret. Do not allow life to be a creative playground in which you can unfold your being and create what really matters to you. Then you can take your secrets with you to the grave.
Try to be a good boy. You know what a good boy is. Your mommy taught you to be a good boy. So did the teachers. If you are not a good boy, the teacher will tell mommy and mommy will tell daddy and daddy will whip you in the worst way. The rules for being a good boy are deeply imprinted and socially acceptable. Being a good boy is safe. If you keep being a good boy, even though the price is excruciating shame and gut-wrenching heartache about not being yourself, at least you are a good boy. Maybe a nice girl will approve of you like mommy and the teachers and then everything will be fine.
Dedicate yourself to being a nice girl. Give your authenticity over to the magazines and advertising media. Try to make yourself beautiful according to standards set by the makers of anti-aging creams, stylish clothing, and cellulite producing prepackaged cake mixes. Be a nice girl so deeply that you can no longer find the wickedly sensuous creature of whole-body orgasms skilled enough to keep a man at bay until she herself is satiated. Nice girls don’t do that! At least your living room looks like an Ikea catalog.
Permit yourself to be repeatedly disrespected and dishonored. Use this as permission to get revenge. If you save up enough ‘disgrace points’ through silently eating disrespect and dishonor, perhaps you can cash them in for a wild spending binge, for an affair, or maybe even for a righteously justified divorce complete with lawyer enforced alimony payments.
Decide that since you went to school you know everything there is to know about being a man or a woman, being in a human body, being in a long-term committed relationship, and being a parent besides. Do not go outside of your culture to learn things that your culture is incapable of teaching you. Do not admit to the necessity of change. Do not use your relationship as a way to create a path of evolutionary development. Act as if everything is okay. Act as if things are as they are supposed to be, and make it clear that you are not responsible for making them any different. Then you are safe.
Surround yourself with ‘eggshells’. Create a complex and sophisticated protective layer of ways that you can be offended. Maintain a hair trigger to threaten your partner with violent rage or other childish behavior so that you can control them. That is the way your mom did it, and her life was a great example.
Stay identified with the rules and views of your cultural, political or religious affiliation (I am Italian. I drive a Ford. I am from the Big Apple. I am a Dodgers fan. I am Buddhist. I am Republican. I am Vegetarian. I am LGBTQ friendly.). Hold on to your identification stronger than to your partnership. Attend gatherings of your false identity circle to sustain your illusion of self-knowledge, belonging and being accepted. Never find an intimacy that is more subtle or profound than the intimacy of a cheering football crowd or a bar song. It was all a dream, anyway.
Do not really care about the well-being of your partner. They are, after all, an ‘adult’ like you. They should be able to take care of themselves. Use your partner as the butt of your jokes. Feel glad when they lose. Feel superior when they are not strong. Feel arrogant when they are feeling pain. It is only fair that they too should suffer sometimes. Who cares about your own well-being?
Worry about what the neighbors think. Make your highest priority to be seen and classified as normal by your neighbors. Go into deep denial of yourself and endure a lack of connectedness in order to keep up the appearance of being in a happy relationship with your neighbors. Then they cannot turn you over to the Inquisitors, again.
Worry about keeping up with the neighbor’s possessions or vacations. In addition to subtly competing with your partner for whose life is most difficult, subtly compete with your neighbors for whose life is more wonderful. Force your partner to join in the competition. Whoever dies with the most toys wins!
Complain about not having enough money. Buy things on credit. Live in terror and confusion about not knowing how you are going to pay all your credit card bills because your partner does not make enough money. This way you have your partner over a bed of coals any time your Gremlin wants to torture them about something.
Keep mementos and souvenirs of past relationships around the house and in your bedroom, such as photos, letters, gifts, clothes, etc. Keep putting attention on those objects as if they mean something. Do not give that attention to your partner. Why should they deserve all your attention? What if they leave?
Deep in your heart keep comparing your partner to past partners, to their parents, their siblings, their colleagues at work, their friends, and of course, to movie stars. Worry if you have found the ‘perfect partner’ for yourself. After all, this is your one and only life. Now and then tell your partner how wonderful the other people are as a way to force your partner to change.
Do not apologize to your partner. Do not accept apologies from your partner. Never forget what has offended you, even if it was a long time ago. Never forgive your partner. Keep your Santa Clause checklist up to date of all the times they were ‘naughty or nice’. Then you have an excuse to be mean to them, just to balance things out.
Listen to the critical voices in your head. Keep an internal dialog going in your mind about how stupid your partner is, what they are doing wrong, how they will never get it, how they are so self-centered and never think about the wants and needs of anybody else. If you keep your critical voice inner radio station at high volume then you do not have to listen to them at breakfast.
Get offended or scared if your partner is ever unpredictable. Do not allow them any freedom for explorative expression. Require your partner to behave within strictly defined norms. Keep your ‘kinkyness’ detector on high sensitivity, and reject your partner if they ever get weird beyond what you think your mother would accept. (If you only knew your mother…) Try to act sane, and try to make your partner act sane also, especially in public.
Use your bed or your bedroom as a place to emotionally process your partner. Create no refuge. Protect no sanctuary. Permit no asylum free of your criticisms or complaints. Let there be no place in your home, or no hour in the day, that is a safe haven from the all-consuming emotional reactivity of Ordinary Human Relationship.
Assume that your partner’s potential is limited. Assume that your relationship’s potential is also limited. Assume that you have already achieved the maximum of that potential, perhaps years ago. This changes your relationship into an endurance test. How long can you stand it? Whoever breaks first is clearly the bad guy. They were not really committed in the first place.
Assume that one of your children is ‘problem child’. Having a ‘problem child’ distracts you from having a ‘problem relationship’. Focus all of your time and worries on managing the ‘proper education’ and ‘proper socialization’ of your ‘problem child’ and let twenty years go by, zippity doo-dah! Use your children as the reason to postpone learning how to create anything but Ordinary Human Relationship until your learning faculty crystallizes into nonfunctionality. Then you don’t have to think about it anymore because learning won’t happen. (By the way, there is no such thing as a 'problem child.' However, this is the subject of a different website!)
Keep involved in conflicts in many areas of your life. Have fights with your boss and colleagues. Have fights with your partner’s parents, siblings or relatives. Have fights with the labor union. Have fights with the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. Have fights with the tax people, the mayor, the minister of the church, and the dog next door. Then by the time your day is over you are too worn out for sex and really fine kissing. It is not your fault that all those people are fighting with you.
Repeat your parents’ neurotic relationship patterns, whatever they are. Create a cult of pairs with your partner and stay isolated so that you have no friends at all. Then at Christmas time, invite many superficial friends over for dinner and act as if you are satisfied with this level of intimacy. While cleaning up the dishes, decide that this is enough socializing to last you until next Christmas. Then no one can blame you for not being monogamous.
Make sure that all of your life decisions are attached to very good reasons. Insist that your partner’s decisions are too. Do not allow nonlinear or evolutionary influences to enter your life or the life of your partner. Protect your partner from questionable activities. Keep your lives squeaky clean and defensible. Watch the news so that you have something to talk about. When anyone asks how you are doing, say, “Fine.” Do not ask how they are doing. Then change the subject to the news. Then your secrets are safe.
Flirt, in subtle and overt ways, to make up for what you do not get from your partner. Flirt because you have no discipline with your gluttonous greedy and insatiable appetite for sexual energy no matter where it comes from or how it contaminates you. Flirt with sexually overt billboards. Flirt through your computer. Flirt with singers on the radio. Flirt over the telephone. Flirt with the waitress, the postman or your tennis teacher. Flirt with total strangers and with your mother in law. Also flirt when your partner is around in order to make them afraid that you might leave so they shape up. Flirt to prove that at least somebody is sexually attracted to you.
Get worried if you start to feel something. Think that if you are having feelings then something must be wrong with you. Use addictive substances to stay away from your feelings. Use television, sugar, newspapers, alcohol, speeding, shopping, overwork, over exercise, videos, internet, and so on, to keep from being authentic about what is going on for you. Hide any feelings that leak out sideways, or find external reasons to legitimize your internal feelings. Now and then you can blow up, or collapse. But everyone does that… right?
Allow relatives, neighbors, babies, salesmen or friends to have priority over your partner when it comes to having your full admiring attention or expressing love and joy. For example, be vivacious and cheery while talking on the telephone with anyone who calls, and then when you hang up, go back to being dull and contracted. Pretending to be happy is almost like being happy, so why not at least give this to yourself? Keep the ‘at least’ conversation going in your head to suppress the inner voices begging for more aliveness.
Limit your concept of intimacy so that it only includes sex. Forget that you can explore and completely enjoy other physical intimacies such as cleaning out the garage, dancing, gardening, hiking, washing hair, massage, singing, playing music, yoga, martial arts, cooking, eating, traveling, trying on clothes, painting the house, and so on. If opportunities for these other intimacies occur, stay in your head and consider them as merely chores.
Bring your work home so there is no time for intimacy. Stay late for work or meetings so there is no time for intimacy. Use any way you can think of to avoid intimacy. Always have a good excuse. As a back door, be hypochondriac. Always have some physical ailment to complain about. Make comments about your physical pains an important part of your daily conversations. Keep at least one illness alive so that you can use your illness if you ever run out of other excuses to avoid intimacy. Never wonder where your fear of intimacy comes from.
Assume that your partner has expectations of you. React to what you assume your partner’s expectations are, even if your partner does not say that they have those expectations. Get offended about what you assume your partner expects of you. Do not believe your partner if they ever try to convince you that they do not have the expectations of you that you think they do. After all, your parents had these expectations of you so why would your partner not? Who would you be without pressure from other people’s expectations?
Be a slave to your reactivity. Create no gap between your internal emotional reactions and your triggered external actions. Definitely do not develop the discipline to observe your own behavior patterns by splitting your attention so that you can use part of your attention to become conscious of what you are doing with the other part of your attention. Instead stay identified with your reactions as if you had no other choice. If you protect yourself from having free will, no one can blame you for your choices.
When you end your relationship, make it your partner’s fault. (The asshole!) Live the rest of your life permanently scarred. Find evidence to prove that you were horribly betrayed. Take no responsibility. Learn nothing. Hate your partner for eternity. Distrust all men (or all women). Use lawyers, relatives, and the children to get all the money you can out of your partner just for spite! Tell incriminating stories to mutual friends about your partner before your partner can tell stories about you, especially to their family, and whenever possible to the media. Take a pound of flesh. Hit them where it hurts. How could they dare to do this to you? Teach them a lesson they will never forget so that this will never happen to you again. Then, arrange for it to happen to you again.
To make best use of this list of 122 ways to create ordinary relating, read it carefully and slowly once a week for three months.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Each time you read the list new insights will reveal themselves.
Let each insight bubble up slowly into your experience and destroy your world.
Take the time to let each realization hit you with the full intensity of its shocking message, which is that: Something completely different from this is possible right now.
People do not change until it hurts too much to keep doing things the old way. It may feel counterintuitive but if you want to change, then let it hurt intensely.
The above listed behaviors and attitudes are neither good nor bad. The above list is valuable because it allows you to acquire a more precise “X” for locating where you are on the Map Of Three Kinds Of Relationship (ordinary, extraordinary, and archetypal) in each moment.
When you are enacting to any degree even one of the above listed behaviors, then you prove your commitment (no matter what else you might be thinking) to creating Ordinary Human Relationship.
This is your “X” on the map.
Study this list until you are nauseated.
Study it in a weekly meeting group.
Study it with an online team.
As painful as it might be, studying the Handbook For Creating Ordinary Human Relationship gives you intellectual and emotional reference points which you can use for the rest of your life.
These guidelines and hints help you detect what you are actually up to when your mind may be telling you that you are up to something very different.
Knowing what you are actually up to is Clarity in action.
Clarity provides alternative options in that exact moment when you can take a different action.
Such options are priceless.
The point is, if you do not know with accuracy what you are doing in this moment then you will have little success trying to do something different in the next moment. (Review the Marilyn Ferguson quote at the top of this website...)
Relationship Healing Experiments