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Finding "Third Alternatives" #409150
05/10/16 08:58 PM
05/10/16 08:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
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Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline OP
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Quote:
When you don't like your mate's friends, the two obvious alternatives are (1) your mate spends less time with his friends (or less pleasant time, if you insist on joining in annoyed) or (2) you spend less time with your mate.

If these are the only two alternatives you see, you're likely to push for alternative 1 by insulting your mate's taste in friends, language, humor, and fun. Not the best way to build a relationship, especially with a male partner, for whom respect is the very foundation of any relationship -- the one with you and the one with each of those friends.

So, how do you find a Third Alternative? First, you jump the net. You acknowledge that you want the person you love to get the benefits he seeks from spending time with those friends. You acknowledge that whatever those benefits are, they are obviously important to someone you love. You offer to work together to find a better way for him to get them, a way that doesn't deny you what you need or drive the two of you apart.

Third Alternatives: Rude Friends


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: Fiddler] #409295
05/12/16 06:28 PM
05/12/16 06:28 PM
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The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline
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How about the fourth and fifth? smile Alternatives are awesome. The more you have, the more power and security you have.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: AntigoneRisen] #409572
05/19/16 06:02 AM
05/19/16 06:02 AM
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Tinker Offline
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Respect was an important foundation in relationships and I am a female.

I am confused a bit, are you saying the third alternative is doing the hobbies the man likes to do since he is happy doing them? And if you love him you will follow?

That did not work for me, in fact it led to a total demoralization of me and also put me in a place of no respect by him towards me, a subservient sort of.


Last edited by Tinker; 05/19/16 06:04 AM.
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: Tinker] #409601
05/19/16 05:13 PM
05/19/16 05:13 PM
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Fiddler Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tinker
Respect was an important foundation in relationships and I am a female.
For me, respect goes both ways. The way it applies in these situations is to have respect for one's partner's wants as well as ones own. The key element is to explore what underlying wants are met by various activities and coming up with many different alternatives that meet those wants.1

Originally Posted By: Tinker
I am confused a bit, are you saying the third alternative is doing the hobbies the man likes to do since he is happy doing them? And if you love him you will follow?
That's not how I interpret what the author wrote, and that's certainly not consistent with what is being advocated here. One element is the fact that not all of one's wants can (or should) be met by one's spouse or partner.

Originally Posted By: Tinker
That did not work for me, in fact it led to a total demoralization of me and also put me in a place of no respect by him towards me, a subservient sort of.
It makes sense that that would not work, since what I believe you are describing is placing your wishes beneath his. In other words, you not respecting what you want. Discovering a "third alternative" (by exploring the fourth, fifth, etc. possibilities) means finding an outcome that meets both your wants.
________________________
1From my perspective, our "needs" consist of air, food, water, clothing, and shelter. Anything beyond that is a "want."


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: Fiddler] #409857
05/24/16 04:43 PM
05/24/16 04:43 PM
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AntigoneRisen Offline
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Quote:
From my perspective, our "needs" consist of air, food, water, clothing, and shelter. Anything beyond that is a "want."


How minimalist of you, Fid! grin grin (I have a mental image of you yelling, "This is Sparta!") grin grin

What are your thoughts on Maslow? Sounds like you consider any level above the physical to be a want?



Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: AntigoneRisen] #409866
05/24/16 05:34 PM
05/24/16 05:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,370
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Miranda  Offline
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I'm almost as bad as Fid,

Anything that's not some shade of purple on that chart qualifies as a "want" in my mind.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: AntigoneRisen] #409883
05/24/16 08:05 PM
05/24/16 08:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,203
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline OP
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Fiddler  Offline OP
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Pretty much...

I'm fine with Maslow, with the understanding that anything above the bottom layer is a want, not a need. Which is not to say that they are not important, or that having a hierarchy of "wants" can be helpful.

I want to feel secure, safe, and out of danger, but I don't need to. Working with the military as I do, any soldier deployed who feels safe, secure, and out of danger will not last long.

In the "Esteem" layer, I very much distinguish between self-esteem (I am okay and inherently worthy) and other-esteem (I am okay because I am seen as okay and worthy by others). From my point of view, emotional maturity involves more of the former than that latter.

Still, from my perspective, for any item above the bottom layer...


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: Fiddler] #409884
05/24/16 08:10 PM
05/24/16 08:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,370
midwest
Miranda Offline
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LOL! I love this.... truly love it. This is life giving, totally affirming... PERFECTION!


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: Miranda] #409889
05/24/16 09:04 PM
05/24/16 09:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
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AntigoneRisen Offline
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I think whether or not something is "needed" depends on the outcome desired. Only when an outcome is identified can we then identify necessary and sufficient conditions.

I also think the age of development matters greatly. Research shows that infants need physical touch for their physical development.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: AntigoneRisen] #409897
05/24/16 10:05 PM
05/24/16 10:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,203
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline OP
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Fiddler  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
I think whether or not something is "needed" depends on the outcome desired. Only when an outcome is identified can we then identify necessary and sufficient conditions.
I think that is a very different meaning of "need" in this context. "Needing" something in order to obtain a desired outcome is not the same as "needing" air to breathe.

Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
I also think the age of development matters greatly. Research shows that infants need physical touch for their physical development.
Certainly infants do have those, as well as other "needs." For adults, however, not so much.

The reason I think the distinction is an important one relates to the original article. Namely, perceiving something as a "need" tends to make one insistent on getting it. If the partner perceives that there is a "need" to hang out with friends whom the other dislikes, then there will be more resistance to any alternatives to the status quo than if it is perceived as a want. A need is non-negotiable, and tends to result in either/or type of negotiation, which usually leads to resentment on one or both partners. A want, on the other hand, can be typically be met with any one of a number of things, which opens the door to many other possibilities which are mutually satisfactory - i.e., each gets their wants met.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: Fiddler] #409921
05/25/16 01:19 PM
05/25/16 01:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
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AntigoneRisen Offline
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In terms of getting something from a partner, or discussing giving something to your partner, I don't think defining something as a 'need' or a 'want' is particularly helpful (at least if you externalize it beyond your own 'needs' and 'wants'). We each have our own definition. In my experience, discussing whether or not something is a need or a want changes the conversation to a power struggle. Therefore, I've learned to avoid it.

Quote:
I think that is a very different meaning of "need" in this context. "Needing" something in order to obtain a desired outcome is not the same as "needing" air to breathe.


Actually, I think that's the exact meaning of the word need in a relationship:

"This is what I need in order to feel connected with you."
"This is what I need in order to love you in the romantic way."
"This is what I need in order for marriage to be worth the effort for me."

That's what I see people speaking of in terms of needs in a relationship. They don't seem to me to be talking about what they need to sustain their life, nor do they seem to mean that they will die without it.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Finding "Third Alternatives" [Re: AntigoneRisen] #409933
05/25/16 08:15 PM
05/25/16 08:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
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holdingontoit Offline
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I agree with AR. "This is what I need for me to be willing to do my part in keeping the marriage alive. You and I may not die without this, but our marriage will."

I know, not very validating. Expressed that way, it reeks of power dynamics. But at core it is a truth that one's partner needs to know.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.

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