“The Weak Man & The Strong Woman”

 

marnieMy incredibly talented cousin and writer, Marnie Mitchell-Lister, wrote this and I think it’s worth a discussion.

*A note from Anne Dennish: Please note that this article was written in the context of men and women, yet it is meant for all relationships. 

I can speak from experience about this subject, and from the heartache it causes.

I’ve been told I’m a “strong” woman, which I would say is true. I’ve handled divorce, raised five children, survived breast cancer and handled a million other responsibilities at one time. Although to me, being a strong woman is much more than what you handle; it’s HOW you handle it. And I’ve never NEEDED a man in my life to handle any of it for me, but I had always WANTED a confident man in my life.

A few years ago I started asking men of all ages this question: do you want a relationship with a strong woman or a weak woman? While their responses may have been slightly different, the answers were all the same.

They told me that as far as dating, they want a “weak” woman because she makes him feel important; she makes him feel needed; she feeds his ego to levels beyond belief; and that it makes them feel more powerful and stronger to know that a weak woman is in their “control.”

In other words, weak women turned them into strong men.

Yet strangely, there was another piece to their answers. They said that while a “weak” woman was great for their ego and self-esteem, in the end they wanted to settle down with a “strong” woman. One who didn’t “need” them but “wanted” them; one that wasn’t always whining and asking them to do everything for them; one who challenged them and made them want to be a better man.

Confused? I sure was at the time, but it all made sense.

A confident man doesn’t need a “weak” woman; they need a “strong” one to keep them in balance. After a terrible day at work they want to come home to a woman who understands and makes their night better than their day (a weak woman would expect them to do that for them); they want a woman who can have a conversation with them that isn’t all about them (a weak woman would sit with gazing eyes at them, hanging on every word as they talked about themselves and not her); they want a woman with a life of her own, a passion, a career, a life purpose that they can share in(a weak woman has none of that except for him).

A confident man wants to be called out and held accountable by a strong woman, because they know they’ll be honest enough to do it (a weak woman will tell the man that he’s perfect); they want a woman will engage with him on occasion in meaningful conversation (a weak woman has nothing important to say); and he wants a woman who knows what love is, knows her truth, and doesn’t settle for less than she deserves (a weak woman will take whatever she can get.)

A confident man knows how to treat a strong woman; he knows her worth and value; he knows her heart, mind and soul; he takes the time to listen to her and understand; he’s sure to always let her know how important she is to him.

A confident man knows that if he stops paying attention to a strong woman she’ll find someone else. After all, if you’re not paying attention to the one you love, most assuredly someone else will. While you’re making her feel invisible by ignoring what a wonderful woman she is, someone else will see her and put her on a pedestal.

A confident man will know that he’s blessed and lucky to have a strong woman loving him, supporting him, and caring for him. He’ll know that he can always count on her, no matter what. He’ll always let her know how important she is; how loved she is, and how “wanted” she is.

A confident man won’t “need” a strong woman; he’ll “want” one, at least if he’s smart he will.

Healthy relationships aren’t based on boosting each others’ egos or self-esteem; they aren’t built on the other person making us happy; and they aren’t based on being controlled by another.

Healthy relationships are built on two strong people who love each other and know how blessed they are to have one another. They are sustained on feeling gratitude for each other on a daily basis. They are kept moving forward by keeping the love alive.

Yes, it was an interesting response of answers I received from men, young and old, but I guess in the grand scheme of settling into a long term relationship or a marriage that will last a lifetime, the song remains the same: the confident man wants a strong woman.

And the strong woman wants a confident man.

“A confident man not only understands that, he realizes how incredibly special that actually is.”  ~Marnie Mitchell-Lister~

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Control and Submission”

*On a personal note: I’m not an expert on this subject, but I’ve been in this situation before and know the signs of it happening, which is why I’m writing about it now. Every so often I see someone I care about being controlled by the wrong person and I watch as they become submissive to them. I can only share my personal experience with them to try and help them see the unhealthy situation they’ve allowed themselves to be in, yet as always, it’s a life lesson for them. I can’t fix them, save them, or change their situation…only they can do that. It’s a lesson they need to learn, just as I had many years ago, and all I can do is offer my support and share my experience with them. ~Anne Dennish~

“Submission” is a state in which people can no longer do what they want to do because they have been brought under the control of someone else.

Has this happened to you? Have you lost control of your life because someone else is controlling you?

And why did you allow it to happen?

Maybe you have an underlying need for the controller to love and accept you; maybe you want their attention and time; maybe you idolize them and want to feel as important to them as they are to you.

But it will never happen. They will never give you what you want as long as you’re giving them what they want.

Most times we never see it coming. We wake up one morning and realize that our life is not our own; we find ourselves doing things we don’t’ want to do; we see that our relationships are suffering; we’ve allowed someone to control us without realizing they were doing that; we say “no” to them but we’re beaten into “submission” until we say “yes.”

And that cycle continues until the controller get’s what they want.

And they will always get what they want until you stop allowing them to; until you say “no” and mean it; until you set up boundaries with them which you don’t allow to be crossed.

And until you open your eyes and realize that someone you trusted has been controlling submission 3you.

Why does someone to this?

It’s simple: people who can’t control their own lives will control someone else’s. It’s not because they love you or care for you; it’s not because you think they’re you’re friend; it’s because it builds up their own insecurities and low self-esteem to know that they have the power and control over someone else.

And before long, the people who truly do love and care for you will see what you can’t: that you’re being submissive to a certain someone; that you’re submission affects your relationships with the right people; that you allow someone to control you when the right people wouldn’t do that to you.

There will come a point where the right people will bring it to your attention. They love you and want you to see what they see: that you’ve put all your time and attention into the wrong person rather than the right ones, which are them. They are the ones who will ask you why you allow it; why the controlling person means more to you than the ones who don’t control you; why you allow the controlling person to affect you and your healthy relationships with your significant other, family and true friends. The “right people” will begin to feel unimportant to you because they see what lengths you’re willing to go to for the controller instead of them.

It happens to all of us at one point or more in our lives; it certainly has happened to me, which is why I’m able to see it happening to the people I surround myself with, and it breaks my heart to see the ones I love being controlled by someone and they can’t. I can clearly see the signs of submission and know the exact type of person who will control someone else. It’s never an easy thing to break free from someone like that, but it can be done; you need to accept what they’re doing and begin to do what needs to be done to take back your power.

The first step is realizing it’s happening to you, and if you don’t, accept someone who loves you telling you what they see. Believe the people who love and respect you, the ones who don’t control you, because they have your best interest at heart.

Secondly, break the cycle and that begins with the next time you tell them “no.” Say “no” once, not several times, with no explanation. Don’t let them badger you into submission until you say “yes” and do what they want. Shut them down and stay strong because until they understand that you’re no longer allowing yourself to be controlled by them, they’ll keep trying until they’ve beaten you back into submission again and again and again.

And lastly, walk away from them; let them go; avoid contact with them if you can and always remember what they had done to you. It’s a lesson to learn but one that you’ll have more insight into if it should ever happen to you again.

I wish I could tell you how and why someone feels they have the right to control another human being, or why we become submissive to another. It’s different for all of us, but once you can honestly see what you allowed to happen to you, you’ll become to understand “why.”

Was the controller someone you looked up to or idolized? Was it someone you were in love with and didn’t want to disappoint? Were they more important to you than the people who truly love you? Maybe you have an underlying need for the controller to love and accept you; maybe you want their attention and time; maybe you want to feel as important to them as they are to you. Or maybe you want them to accept you, yet you need to understand that YOU have lost control on giving them more time, attention and power than they deserve.

But what you want from them will never happen. They will never give you what you want as long as you’re giving them what they want. And sadly, that’s the truth, because while you’re becoming submissive to the controller, you’re losing sight of the people in your life who love and respect you, two things the controller will never give you. The moment you allow someone to control you is the moment their respect for you and your own self-respect, fly out the window. Respect no longer exists with control.

The controller plays on our weakness, and because of their own insecurities, low self-esteem and lack of control in their own life, they find their strength in controlling you.  They don’t really care about you; they care about their control over you. They don’t want you to be in a healthy relationship because they’re not in one of their own. They don’t care if their control affects your relationships or your life; they only care about what they gain from it, because once they see you with the right people and loving your life, they will control you even more to make sure you hurt the people you shouldn’t.

Please be aware of your surroundings and the people you allow into them. Control isn’t love and love isn’t control. And if you’re wondering how you know if you’re being submissive to a controlling person, ask yourself this one important question: “Why can’t I say no to them, and when I do say it, why do I let them beat me into submission until I say “yes” and do what they want?”

Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t respect you enough to allow you to be yourself; stop giving in to someone who doesn’t give you anything back in return; stop defending the controller and making excuses for their behavior because when push comes to shove, they’ll have their own back before they have yours.

Take a look at the place in your life that this “controlling person” has and then take a look at the people in your life that don’t control you. How much of your life do you waste on trying to please them rather than them pleasing you? How much of your precious time is given to them rather than given to the people who love you?

And one more thing: how does your being submissive to this person hurt the people that love you? How often has their control of your time prevented you from spending time with the people you love? And honestly, they don’t care what their control does to you at all, just what their control over you does for them.

Does that make your choice to take back your control from someone else easier now?

Don’t hurt the ones you love and more importantly, don’t hurt yourself because of someone who wants you to and who doesn’t care if you do.

“No” is a full sentence.

Say it.

Mean it.

Be done with it…and them.

And never allow yourself to ever be “beaten into submission” again.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Embrace Good & Let Go Of Bad”

embrace all that is good for you

Only you know what’s good for you and what isn’t, so embrace everything that is good for you and let go of everything that isn’t.

Say “yes” to all that serves your Highest Good and just say “no” to all that doesn’t.

It’s a good thing…

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“NO” Is A Full Sentence

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“No” is a full sentence.

And that means that there does not need to be an explanation as to WHY you said “no” in the first place.

I’ve always had trouble telling someone “no,” as I’m sure you have as well, whether it’s our children, friends, significant other, or even someone we work with, yet I know there are times I need to say it, and I say it because it doesn’t serve my Highest Good. I could be tired or not feeling well; I could have too much on my plate at that moment or simply need that down time to just “be.”

And at those moments I’ve always felt compelled to give a full explanation as to WHY I said no, yet over the years I’ve learned that I don’t need to do that. The person on the receiving end of my “no” should respect me enough to accept it. End of story.

But not everyone will accept it.

They are the ones that will keep at you until you give them what they want: a “yes.” It’s their way of controlling you because of their own insecurities over controlling themselves. It’s their way of feeding their own ego by knowing they were able to get what they wanted from you; and it’s their way of making you feel “out of control.”

Remember this: “what you allow will continue.”

It’s okay to think of yourself first and do what’s best for YOU, and if that means saying “no” when you need to, then it’s a good thing. And those moments that you say “yes” when you mean “no” can affect those around you, because when you give in to someone you feel frustrated with yourself, and sometimes even defeated that they won.

Don’t let anyone take your power from you or your free will to simply say “no.”

The people who love you will accept a “no,” but more importantly, the people who RESPECT you will.

And for those that don’t?

Let them go.

You control your life; you make your own boundaries with people; and you have the choice to “enable their behavior or disable their control.”

The choice is always yours.

Think about it.

And please remember this: “NO” is a full sentence.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“You Have The Control”

You need to love yourself the way you want to be loved in order to know who should be in your life and who shouldn’t. All too often we think we’re not good enough for someone and we settle, or we allow them to treat us badly. We live in a life of being hurt and feeling bad about ourselves.

Listen carefully, you are in control of your life, and that includes how you’re treated and who you allow in your circle. Sometimes we feel so low that we believe we can’t change a situation or leave one. But you can…because I’ve done it. It took all the strength I could muster up but I did it and I’ve never looked back or regretted it. Taking control of my life and standing up for myself made me who I am today.

And trust me on this: “when you can’t find the strength, the strength will find you.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Drawing A Line In The Sand”

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Boundaries. I know all about them , write about them, and understand their purpose. Yet, I find myself having allowed boundaries to be crossed…. MY boundaries, that is. It happened without warning, yet it happened. I should have known that the feelings I’ve had in the last few months were my own fault, because I had set boundaries and allowed them to be crossed.

I don’t know if I’m more angry at myself for allowing it to happen or if I’m more upset with the person who crossed them. I was open and honest about my boundaries with them, yet somehow they got lost in the every day business of life and relationships.

Truth is, I have a hard time saying “no” and learning to do this, when it’s for my best interest, is a work in progress. I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, especially when it’s someone I love. Yet I missed one very important piece to this puzzle:

“Why did I allow MY feelings to be hurt and why was I more concerned over someone I love when I should be loving myself just the same?”recite-1kfn7mb

Truth…an awakening…a slap of reality. Yes, yet another “waking up” moment for me, and I don’t like it. I allowed boundaries to be crossed that upset me, hurt me, and messed with my health. And I wonder if the other party knows this, because they should.

Everyone handles things their own way. Things that upset me may not bother someone else. Yet aren’t we supposed to respect and understand each others’ feelings? If someone tells us they react to something a certain way, shouldn’t we accept that as their truth? Or that perhaps they’re telling us that so we don’t hurt them?.

This was a difficult one for me to figure out, and it took longer than it usually does. I’m intrigued by what makes people tick, and that includes myself. I always tell my love that I’m probably one of the few people he knows that really knows herself well, and that includes my faults and my strengths. I’ll admit when I’m wrong, and ask for understanding of him when I need it. (Sometimes I think I make it too easy for him…what he can’t figure out about me I tell him! LOL!)

So, now what?

First, I need to forgive myself, because I’m mad that I allowed this to happen.

Second, I need to put the boundaries back in place, although the hurt and damage from them  being crossed is already done.

And third, I need to take a cold, hard look at my life to see what’s working and what’s not.

Why did I allow the lines in the sand to be crossed? Who and what is my priority? How did this mishap of crossing boundaries affect my family and my life?

Lines in the sand…that was my problem. I should have set a solid foundation of cement for the boundary. I thought I had, but sometimes when we worry more about someone else we lose sight of what’s best for us, and more importantly, we lose sight of ourselves.

And I’m guilty of that. And life is going to change. And feelings will be hurt.

Yet out of all of this, I know with all my heart that more wonderful things will come out of this lesson! Hearts will bond stronger, relationships will grow and flourish, and life will go on…even better than it was before the boundaries were crossed.

It’s a life lesson, and as much as I write about it, it’s a lesson I needed to learn. The Universe whacked me once again, waking me up to something important: I stopped looking out for my well being and what was good for me, even though I knew that someone else was causing me pain.

It wasn’t a mistake or something done out of malice, because I accept that it’s yet another lesson, another blessing, and another story to be shared to help and teach someone else.

Boundaries are not meant to be controlling tools; they are tools to protect us and let other’s know that we are to be respected. They are the simplest of ways to let someone know that what they do, what they say, or what they want, is not necessarily for OUR highest good… sometimes it’s just for theirs.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~