Saturday, June 11, 2016

Post Estrangement: Leaning to create equality in relationships

In estrangement, various stories all have the same underlying content; a power play gone wrong.  Love and kindness is seen as a weakness to be exploited.  The kindhearted person is used as a supply for love, attention, financial gain etc. Controlling and manipulative tactics are used to keep the submissive “doormat” personality in check while feeding the needs of the dominant, power seeking personality.

Healing, in life after estrangement, has a lot to do with working on the underlying content, recognizing the imbalance in the relationship, which has the dynamic between abuser and victim, or between bully and target.  The second phase of healing is then to look deep within to discover the source of the imbalance and to take steps to change those personality traits that allow the submissive personality to be exploited.

Learning about this relationship imbalance is the first step to recognizing it.

In the first place we must become able to look back in hindsight and to see where we were being used, taken for granted etc.  We have to learn how our actions of caring and peacekeeping were seen as weaknesses to be exploited.

Then in the second phase we have to develop a different way to see and evaluate new relationships with awareness so we can take steps to stop exploitative relationships from forming or to extricate from them sooner.

For the most part when kind people become "doormats" in an effort to "keep the peace" the users and abusers of that kindness get too much power in the relationship. 

Healing is learning how to continue to be kind without having that kindness be abused or taken for granted.  Healing is learning how to “stand up for oneself” and learning that “peace” is about equality not about backing down.

Learning about how to take steps to not "act like a doormat" empowers us to find and maintain relationships where we are among equals and limit relationships where we are not seen as equals.

We need to internalize that as important as it is to give respect to others we deserve equally to be respected in return.

We need to recognize and truly believe that being treated with dignity and kindness is our right not something we have to earn through submissive behaviour.

Learning to correct the balance is changing how we think of ourselves, how we talk to ourselves and how we treat ourselves. When we start to expect better treatment, when we truly believe we deserve better treatment we send out different vibrations to the universe.  Most importantly, we become less useful to the users and takers when we don't offer them an easy target.  

Renate Dundys Marrello

Link to my Facebook Reflections Page

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.
If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page. 


  1. I agree with this, but it won't necessarily bring the estranged back to you. It is good to do for yourself though.

    1. Correct! Healing oneself is quite different from reconciliation. One must never confuse one with the other.

      However, in the face of estrangement, healing the self is the only thing we have control over.
      I therefore chose to focus on that aspect because in doing so I retain my own power.

  2. Yes I agree - this does help to sort out one from another. Healing is so important even though, as you both say, it may not bring the estranged back. Throughout my life, I have been victimised/bullied by certain kinds of people - I seem to have been a magnet for them and have always felt powerless against their brand of mistreatment and never found a way in 60 years to stop those kinds of people from 'seeing' me and homing in. It has broken my heart that I have now had that very treatment from my own son. Healing for me means working on that aspect of me that attracts bullying behaviour. I want to be one of those people that bullies down bother with because they know they won't find a soft target - it's just figuring out how on earth you change the subtleties in your personality that scream 'VICTIM OVER HERE!' at such people.

    1. Well said, I really like your perspective as I too can relate to it.

  3. I had no idea you spent that much time in my house. Just kidding, you identified me so very well. The biggest problem is that I am an 81 year old man and recovering will take a LOT of time and soul searching. I really do not know where to start.

    1. I do believe that in facing the challenge you have already started on the journey!