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  • Writer's pictureMel

When the struggle is real and the ‘solution’ is problematic

One episode into Netflix’s docuseries on Ashley Madison. Some common struggles highlighted:

  • Attachment wounds (e.g. having a dad up and leave the family)

  • Idealised, flawed concepts of love and marriage gained from movies, which focus more on grand gestures and well-intentioned acts of service than on emotional and relational depth and communication (e.g. “I could feel the distance between us so I woke up early to prepare food, etc. I was the perfect wife.”)

  • Need for (external) validation

  • Need for excitement, to feel alive

  • Misguided hope that some imposed moral rules can deny or extinguish very real human needs

The thing is, these struggles and needs are real. There are wounds to be healed, underdeveloped core human skills to be learned and strengthened, and existential needs to be met in healthy ways.

It’s like, great, you’ve identified the problem! Sucks that you were sold a terrible solution. (I have to say though that from a marketing standpoint, those interviews with former Ashley Madison employees are fascinating.)

I’m also reminded of this example I referenced in an old post: “One example of a prompt a user could one day ask the chatbot was a challenging personal question about how to go about telling a close friend who is having a destination wedding that you cannot afford to go.”

I’m recognising more and more that many people have friendships, relationships, and marriages with limited authenticity and depth but a lot of performing, hiding, and mind-reading. They don’t have to be like this.

If you’re interested in working on your relationship with yourself and relational and communication skills that can give you more fulfilling relationships, get in touch.

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