Archive for July, 2013
Revamp your life in just 90 days Sure, your life is pretty fabulous, but with a little help it could be sensational, says Juliet Rieden.
So, life is good. You’ve got work, friends and a loving family, not to mention a closet full of designer clothes. But could it be better? Honestly, are you completely happy with every aspect of who you are? In this ridiculous world of frenzied activity and no time to think, it’s easy to fall into the trap of settling for less.
Striving to get the best out of life – to fulfil the dreams you’ve let fall by the wayside – is not only natural, it’s achievable. The hard part is finding the motivation to overcome your stalling. Everyone’s dreams are different, but whether you want to shed a few more kilos, land a better job, pay off a mounting credit card debt or even find love, you’d be amazed how far you can get with a practical plan and some help.
More and more people are turning to life coaches to achieve their goals.
By devising a strict 12-week step-by-step program – customised to suit your individual needs – they encourage you to think about the areas you’d like to improve on (or change completely) and the feelings you want to banish. To help you get there, they monitor your progress weekly.
Life coach David Rock, 36, set up Results Coaching Systems in 1998. He now has coaches and operations throughout Australia and in Europe, North America and New Zealand. During the past decade or so, Rock has personally coached more than 100 people and claims that within 12 weeks his clients achieve 85 per cent of their goals. “Life coaching is all about changing bad habits,” he says. “People think it’s all new age but it’s one of the most real and pragmatic things you can do. The people who come to me for help are usually quite successful but are interested in doing better in some way.”
Life coach and single mum Malti Bhojwani, 32, established her Sydney-based Multi Coaching International business in the middle of past year. She coaches people through their problems via telephone.
She says that most of her clients are “either stuck in a rut or don’t have time to think, but they’re all looking for something”. Like Rock, Bhojwani works on a 12-week program.
“Ninety days is the minimum amount of time needed to instill a habit,” she says. “Those first 12 weeks are the hardest part.”
Whether life coaching is for you or not, the underlying principle of setting positive goals within a fixed time scale has been proven to unleash impressive results. There’s no hidden secret to the process, but says Bhojwani “you have to be willing to make a shift”.
Forging better relationships, be they with lovers, family or friends is the one goal most people dream about. “Everyone wants a great relationship, but the biggest thing is getting people to face scary things like asking someone out,” says Rock.
The great news is that improved relationships are often a by-product of fixing other areas of your life. “I needed to do something different to change from being a “gonna do it person” to an “I’m doing it person”.
“An avid creator of collages and montages, Lewin set a goal to put on an exhibition. The show went ahead and she sold four original works and three copies. Having been ill for so long, the satisfaction of achieving her goal changed Lewin’s life immeasurably and even improved her marriage.
“We’d been married for 21 years but until I did the life coaching my husband wasn’t at all interested in personal development and growing,” she says. “But afterwards he could see how much happier I had become.”
show me the money
Not only is earning great money imminently achievable, but so is hanging onto it and digging your way out of a quagmire of debts. Emma Hohnen, 30, was a Strategic Marketing Manager for Zurich Financial Services when she enlisted with life coach Susan Denington (from Results Coaching Systems) to help her pursue her passion for natural healing and train as a naturopath.
Despite her high income, Hohnen’s finances were on rocky ground when she quit her job, so she was apprehensive about student life.
“But Susan taught me to stay in the moment, within each week,” she says. This meant following a strict budget (only $100 spending money a week), giving up her gym membership and forgoing meals out and shopping trips. The results were beyond her wildest dreams. “I discovered that all that stuff I was doing like eating out and shopping I was actually doing to fill me up, but it didn’t work. Before, I focused on making money and being successful. Now I realise that those are things that will happen in time, you just have to trust yourself,” she says.
let’s get physical
Unless you’re a natural athlete or gym junkie, finding the time and motivation to stick to a regular physical regime isn’t easy. But, as with other areas, achieving your goal is all about creating a great plan.
“Instead of saying I want to lose some weight, go for a positive goal like fitting into that red dress,” says Rock. He recommends finding a partner to exercise with or, if money’s no object, hiring a personal trainer. There are also ways of exercising for free. Emma Hohnen quit her gym and started running outdoors and swimming in the sea. Alternatively you could power walk or simply take the stairs instead of the lift at work.
a new you
” I just want a job I love. I want to be excited about getting up for work each morning.” Sound familiar? A 2002 study by the Australia Institute revealed that nearly a quarter of Australians have actively chosen to downshift, swapping high stress and high incomes for less money and less stress.
Helping you find a new path is what life coaches excel at. Sydney based architect John Burgess, 40, wanted to build up his business and make time for creative pursuits. So, he teamed up with Rock who helped him align the two areas. Burgess wanted to put on an exhibition of his own light fitting designs, so he developed an entirely new concept for his business, putting out new products and setting up licensing deals.
Emma Hohnen’s sea change, swapping a finance job for training to be a naturopath, also left her in raptures. She’s still studying but has set up a part-time massage business. “I’m more relaxed and healthy, my skin glows and people even tell me how young I look,” she says. “Plus, I no longer have that anxiety every morning in the pit of my stomach.”
“Ninety days is the minimum amount of time needed to instill a healthy habit” – Malti Bhojwani Professional Life Coach
Multi-Coaching International on +61419 119 00. www.multi-coaching.com
The Sunday Telegraph
This report appears on NEWS.com.au.
My first every article since becoming a life coach. This was when I had graduated from ICA (International Coach Academy) and I was working with a coach myself – Sandhi Spiers.
This is what led to (a decade later) my published best-seller “Don’t Think of a Blue Ball”
I was amazed to see how many websites this article still appears on and it has even been translated into several languages!!! 🙂
Our marriage was falling apart and we completely hated each other. Our child’s world was crumbling, too. It was at this exact time when we needed to work constructively as parents. By Malti Bhojwani.
I have been divorced for over 5 years now and have a beautiful 11-year-old daughter. My ex-husband has remarried and the couple now has a baby girl. I get along very well with my ex-husband and his wife. There are many reasons for this alliance.
On the rocks
The most important thing for me has been to sustain a happy family life for my daughter. Deciding to have a child was a separate commitment from the one we made to marry each other. So from day one, we established that we needed to have utter respect for each other, if not as life partners then just as co-parents.
Trust is one of the most important ingredients in any relationship. Both parents need to feel that the other will do what he or she says they will.
This was easier said than done. We were both malicious. He hid our daughter’s passport and often threatened to take her away from me and go where I would never be able to find them. I threatened to get a restraining order that would keep him from coming within a certain radius. There was name-calling that lasted for months. Friends and family had to mediate. We competed for our daughter’s love and affection and each thought one was “better” than the other. We put each other down in front of friends and family. We both swore we were doing all this for the benefit of our daughter!
Seeing the light
Luckily, we both grew up. We owned up to our respective childishness. We also came to accept that we both loved our daughter very much and wanted the divorce to work. My ex-husband and I genuinely started to cooperate.
I realized that no one, apart from my ex, had our daughter’s best interest at heart as much as me. When he was about to remarry, I also realized that I didn’t want my daughter to have to be with a fairy tale wicked stepmother. With these things in mind, I decided to make being friends with my ex-husband a priority. I worked on nurturing a healthy friendship with his wife, respecting her role as my ex-husband’s partner and my daughter’s stepmother, often seeking her support and opinion. I was careful never to cross the boundaries or to take advantage of the fact that I, too, was once married to her husband.
I appreciate her influence in my daughter’s life. Sometimes she sees things that I miss. For example, she has instilled some good habits in my daughter and given her beauty, nutrition and hygiene tips that I had overlooked. I discovered that people generally have so much to contribute to others, if we would only let them.
Malti Bhojwani is a trained Life Coach based in Australia. She specializes in working one-on-one with people to help them enhance their relationships. Call 0419 11 99 00 for a free trial session or visit www.multi-coaching.comOther things I have learned along the way: Never refer to you and your ex-spouse as “we” in front of your or your ex’s current partner. Never make references to your intimacy and life together in their presence. Try not to bring up or reminisce about your life together. This may only make your current partner insecure and possibly resent you and, therefore, your child. I knew I had to show my ex-husband and his wife respect and honor their marriage if I wanted to sustain the pleasant co-parenting we had achieved by then.
You may think that this is about sacrificing and giving in but really it’s about being selfish. This is an approach advocated by Ron Wilkinson, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in Dallas with 23 years of clinical experience working with families. Dr. Wilkinson has been co-parent to his two sons, now 21 and 24, with his ex-wife for the last 13 years. He and his wife remain good friends.
“I encourage parents to be goal-oriented and selfish,” Wilkinson told me in one of our discussions. “In our culture, ‘selfish’ tends to be [interpreted as a negative] word. In a more pure sense, however, a selfish person is someone who gets what he or she wants.” When parents see that there is something in it for them, to have a friendship with the ex-husband or to appear like the good guy, for example, it makes the whole task easier to do.
Family functioning has been the major emphasis of Wilkinson’s study and training at both the master’s and doctoral level. He has treated many families struggling with this issue, and has found time and again that nothing is more important to a child’s life after the divorce than the relationship between the parents. His 1992 doctoral dissertation confirmed this fact.
If you want your children to think well of you, now and when they grow up; if you want your former spouse to be more cooperative, if you want to have a say in your child’s life, be selfish and go for what you want, Wilkinson tells his patients. When they grow up, children always value a parent who stayed in their lives; they are resentful and angry when a parent leaves them or continually causes difficulty. A child is not concerned with who is right and who is wrong; he or she is concerned with having a relationship with both parents-regardless of the child’s age.
Respond rather than react
I learned slowly that this is not a goal for the faint-hearted. It requires a lot of restraint, strength and focus. In my training and experience as a Life Coach and a parent, I have learned to respond rather than react.
A reaction is automatic, not thought through consequentially, whereas a response is chosen. Between an action and its reaction there is a space, and in that space is the opportunity to choose. Responding is using that space to make that choice and to do or say what will get you closer to your goal. In your dealings with your ex-spouse, always remember that your goal is having a working and pleasant relationship. It is your goal because of what it’s going to bring your child and YOU.
I did my share of reacting and the result was more reactions from him and, in no time, we were threatening and abusing each other, ending up with a very frightened and confused little girl crying her eyes out and begging us to stop. Since then, we have developed the habit of carefully choosing our responses instead of impulsively reacting to each other.
Keep your promises
Trust is one of the most important ingredients in any relationship. Both parents need to feel that the other will do what he or she says they will. If you say you are going to drive your child to a birthday party and arrange for the present, pay for your child’s dental treatment or call your child at 7 p.m., do so.
Be polite. Say “please” and “thank you.” Remember: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” In human relationships, such as marriage and co-parenting, either both partners win or one wins at the expense of the other. And when this happens, the one who really loses is the child. Adopt a WIN-WIN approach in everything that you do.
The factors that enable married parents to work harmoniously are the same as those that help divorced parents work together, says Rick Hanson Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and the first author of Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships (Penguin, 2002). He and his wife, Jan, have a 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.
These factors include personal well-being, emotional openness, civility, empathy, goodwill, clarity about the values and principles that guide parenting practices and skill at negotiating practical arrangements. Separate your feelings about the divorce from the business of co-parenting, working out the details of finances, custody, vacations and grandparents, and integrating new friends/lovers/mates, Hanson adds.
Maintaining a working alliance with our child’s other parent will give your child a sense of family and belonging. When parents make a decision to have a child, it is a lifetime commitment.
Forgiveness is crucial
Perhaps it was a little easier for me because my ex-husband did not leave me for his wife. If such were the case, feelings of insecurity, resentment, jealousy and bitterness would have definitely cropped up between my ex’s partner and me.
For people who have been hurt or had to give up so much in going through a divorce, revenge or “making the other person suffer” may often be the aim. This is when it is crucial to stay focused on your child and your fulfilment as a parent and as a human being. You can’t turn back the clock, and being nasty to your ex’s partner or teaching your child to do so will only make it harder for them to accept and love your child. To “for-give” is to free yourself to give-“for-giving!”
It’s okay to love them
When was the last time you thanked your ex or your child’s stepparent for their support in your child’s upbringing? Acknowledgement is a beautiful way of reinforcing and encouraging positive behavior.
While researching for this article, I realized all the things that I was thankful for. I wrote a letter to my ex-husband and his wife, thanking and acknowledging them. The letter was received graciously and we shared an emotional and touching moment as a result. My ex asked if I would mind if he showed the letter to our daughter, to let her know that I liked her father and stepmother and that it was OK for her to like and love them, too.
Often, children feel torn between their parents. It was important for my daughter to see that I was not jealous or hurt that she also loved her stepmom and her half-sister. We have pictures of her little half-sister all over our place.
Two things: First, if you and your ex-spouse don’t come to a mutual agreement regarding child support, custody and visitation, you’re only leaving it up to the government to decide on the matter. You end up giving up your choice. Second, ensure that power as well as responsibility is shared between both parents.
There is nothing easy about this. But it’s all worth it. We all want fulfilment, pride and the knowledge that we did our best as parents. Maintaining a working alliance with our child’s other parent will give your child a sense of family and belonging. When parents make a decision to have a child, it is a lifetime commitment.
As we have all heard, life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to what happens to us.
We have emotional relationships with certain words. This is also true of many other things, gestures – someone pointing a finger at you, a particular tone of voice or sound.
I call these “triggers” or “buttons”
One of the greatest blocks to communication is that some words are emotionally charged. They are words that trigger an automatic emotional reaction within us. To use a trigger word in an argument – a word such as controlling or manipulative – can turn a discussion into a battle instantly.
Words like never and ever also do the same.
We have an emotional charge attached to certain words because of our life experience.
When someone flings a trigger word at us, or we at them, it is like we have shot or hosed them down. It usually causes them to go on the defensive and start flinging some back at us – or perhaps go into some other defensive mode, many women would panic or cry and create waves, and often men would hibernate and go into their caves. (Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus – John Gray)
As long as we are not willing to look for the cause behind our emotional relationship with a word we are still giving power to our past and whatever circumstance caused our emotional wound.
These words bring about our UACs /Gremlins/Underlying Fears.
In my coach training at ICA (International Coach Academy) we called these Underlying Fears/Gremlins – UACs – Underlying Automatic Commitments.
In simple terms, they are the things that you believe to be true about yourself and they then determine the basis for how you operate. It doesn’t matter whether they’re true or not, you believe they’re true and so you make them your truth.
We call them commitments, because a part us is habitually committed to reacting certain rehearsed and familiar way, that does not serve you anymore.
Examples of some common ones are:
– I am not good enough
– Noone loves me
– Will I ever be loved for who I am
– Am I a bad person?
How to break the pattern of reacting to triggers that activate our UACs instead of from our authentic self and our true desires?
First things first. In order to respond from the ‘our authentic self’, first we have to decide who that is.
Who am I?
Malti – no – that is just my name
Drishti’s mother – no that is who I am to her.
A life coach – that is my vocation.
A woman – my gender
So, who am I?
“Aham Brahmasmi” is how I discovered – “I am”
You can find definitions of this in Hindu scriptures.
I personally resonated very well with Deepak Chopra’s definition in the first of his seven sutra statements described in his book, Synchrodestiny.
THE CORE OF MY BEING IS THE ULTIMATE REALITY, THE ROOT AND GROUND OF THE UNIVERSE, THE SOURCE OF ALL THAT EXISITS.
You could also try this:
Inner Being 20 minute meditation:
Free download from here:
Increasing your self-awareness is about living authentically and overcoming your fears. These fears include the ones we are consciously aware of like the fear of spiders for example, and some that we are not aware of, but these are the fears that cause us to react and feel a certain way about any given circumstance.
The circumstance may be a problem or it may be an opportunity, our underlying fears will determine which.
Increasing your self-awareness is a journey full of steps forward and regression. Searching for your identity is a process with no real destination. You’ll never be “done” because you’re always growing and changing.
Living authentically and finding your identity involves dealing with your past and forgiving others.
Noticing how we react to situations and the emotions that come up will help give you the key to what your underlying fears are. After the reaction, stop and look at the feelings and doubts that come up in your mind.
When you find yourself afraid, panicking and resisting whatever is going on.
When you find yourself willing and praying for a certain outcome, you will be face to face with your deep-rooted underlying fear, which in my experience boils down to “I am not good enough” for many of us.
To help you discover these underlying fears think of what the trigger was?
We all have some triggers that would fire off the process of negative emotions.
I have some trigger words that get me going, I am sure you do too. It is that word or that assumption that often *somebody else uses on you that sets you off – and often to an uncontrollable downward spiral where you are reacting and reacting.
Not realising that you are not reacting to just the current situation but you are reacting to the primary situation. The first time you experienced these feelings and associated them with these triggers.
*Tat Svam Asi
The second of Deepak’s Sutra Statements in the Synchrodestiny:
THROUGH THE MIRROR OF RELATIONSHIPS I DISCOVER MY NONLOCAL SELF
I SEE OTHERS IN MYSELF AND MYSELF IN OTHERS.
So it is only in relationships that we get to see ourselves truly and how we react and behave, eventually through this “relating” we get to peel the layers and discover our real selves.
So, what to do?
The next time someone you are in any kind of relationship with pushes one of these buttons that triggers a negative emotion, stop, breathe and wait. Take time to respond rather than react automatically.
When that trigger is fired, ask yourself, what behavior do you want to do instead?
This can only be answered when we know who we are and who we want to be. Then ask yourself, if I have already been through my journey and have already discovered this self, this beautiful self, how would he/she react in this situation? What outcome do I want here?
What am I committed to creating here?
To fulfill and give more supporting evidence to my old negative beliefs?
Let this be another time I get to prove that –
“All women are users”
“All men are bustards”
“There are no free rides”
“People are always out to get me”
Or….. do you want to create an outcome where you get to break the old patterns and reaffirm how you can live the life you desire and that you deserve to be happy?
When we react based on our commitments (underlying or conscious),
We will create an outcome.
The key is to react based on the desired outcome rather than the limiting negative old belief.
Practice makes perfect.
Whenever we learn a new response to a predictable old pattern, we have to practice doing it deliberately. The difference is, when you do it on purpose, you can accelerate the learning. Otherwise, you are left to the slow learning that comes from repeating undesired behaviors over and over.
In the movie Yes Man, Jim Carrey’s character Carl starts out as an extreme example of someone who has an Underlying Automatic Commitment (UAC) to “No”. No matter what opportunities come his way, no matter what someone may offer him or ask of him, Carl is pre-programmed and ready with an excuse as to why he can’t do it. Later in the movie, he is hypnotized into saying “Yes” to everything.
In the end, Carl finally learns how to say “Yes” or “No” authentically and with equal conviction, based on what he truly wants rather than an old negative belief that rendered him a prisoner of his own pre-programming.
The old habit of living in the Underlying commitment only serves to give us a way to automatically come up with excuses and it prevents us from fully living and experiencing life itself. While when we start to create a new habit of responding to the situations based on our truths, not the bullshit we made up as we were growing up, we are present, aware, receptive, vulnerable and open to the uncertainty of the very next moment in time, being authentically who we are.
Relationship “A Verb not a Noun” 3 ways to relate with your partner lovingly everyday. Look at your relationship as a verb not a noun. It is something that you are doing everyday rather than a ship you are sailing on.
You are in a relationship for as log as you are relating with this person. And if you are doing so lovingly then you are in a good relationship! Whose responsibility is a relationship? Is it 50-50? 80-20? In my opinion, each partner has to give 100% in order for a relationship to work. 1. “Want to” Vs “Have to” Relationships are “created” and do not exist until two people unite in a common purpose. The only purpose that can work is “to commit to relating with each other in a loving and positive way.” You make a choice to continue to relate with another person so that each of you can meet your life goals and attain personal growth. If you have children, then creating a loving environment would be one of the common purposes.
When you know that you want to be with this person more than you want anything else in the world, then everything you do for each other and to keep your life together harmonious will come from desire and a true “want” instead of a compulsion or a “have-to”. You will not have anything to complain about. 2. Respond Vs React Learning to respond with your “goal” in mind rather than reacting angrily or defensively to each other is essential. The said “goal” is “to relate with this person lovingly everyday”. So the next time your partner pushes your buttons or says something that almost invokes an impulsive reaction, wait and think about that goal.
(Look out for my next article on “Buttons by Professional Life Coach Malti Bhojwani)
“A reaction is automatic, not thought through consequentially, whereas a response is chosen. Between an action and its reaction there is a space, and in that space is the opportunity to choose. Responding is using that space to make that choice and to do or say what will get you closer to your goal” Choosing to respond in a sensitive manner to the feelings of your partner is a priceless habit to form in order to have a loving relationship. Selfish vs. Selfless All this is different from letting your partner walk all over you.
No one wants to be a doormat, or be involved in a relationship with a pushover. So it is your responsibility to take care of “Number 1” – you. Being selfish simply means taking responsibility for yourself, which is far more commendable than being a victim and blaming others and your circumstances for your situation. When you are selfish in this way, only then can the people around you be happy too. Sometimes, you may realize that in fact, “giving” your partner what they want instead of being stubborn about what you want, will often in fact make YOU happy. There is a delicate balance between giving freely and thinking of our own needs. This is the trickiest relationship skill to master, but perhaps the most rewarding. – Malti Bhojwani Life Coach
Nona Walia, TNN | Jul 1, 2013, 12.00 AM IST
“It took me 23 years to walk out from an abusive marriage. I have suffered every day of my life, emotionally and physically, but I didn’t have the confidence or the self-esteem to walk out. I felt isolated. Most abusers have a pattern. They isolate you and then begin the abuse, when you feel totally disarmed. In my case, my husband would always say terrible things about my friendsand family. So, I was even cut off from my parents. I didn’t have anyone to rely on. I used to wonder, even after continuous abuse, how I can live without this man because no matter how successful women may be, they question their capability if their man criticises them continuously. They never have the confidence to walk out. The mind becomes weak. Even though women may appear to be super successful to the outside world, they are helpless to act in such situations.” — Jaya Khanna, victim of domestic abuse
She is known as the domestic goddess with an estimated worth of £23 million. But the picture of TV cook and author Nigella Lawson’s (53) distraught face as her husband, art collector and advertising guruCharles Saatchi (70), held her by her throat during an argument a fortnight ago would leave you with an awful, but familiar, pit in the stomach. Too many women — no matter how smart, educated, powerful or emancipated — tolerate abusive relationships for far too long. But why? We ask experts, who deal with abusive relationships in their chosen fields of work, to tell us about the reasons given by most women…
“Good or bad, most women allow relationships to define them”
“Good or bad, most women allow relationships to define them. A lot of women are scared of being alone. Some even get their sense of worth from being in a relationship and being viewed by society as so-and-so’s partner/wife/girlfriend. Outwardly, women may appear to be confident and smart, but inside, they only get their confidence and sense of value from being in a relationship. That’s why they find it hard to let go of a relationship even if it’s abusive.” — Gopika Kapoor, author
“Women don’t want to let go of the security the man provides”
“A woman in an abusive relationship will never admit to the world that she’s under emotional or physical duress at home and that her success hasn’t really empowered her. She does not want to tell the world that her man treats her badly. She likes the security of a husband because we live in a world where the image of a married woman, no matter how battered, is better than a single woman!” — Rekha Aggarwal, High Court lawyer
“Sometimes, women confuse violence for love”
“Nigella Lawson is the domestic goddess. She has a lot of brands riding on her, and one reason for not walking out could be that her £23 million empire is based on this image — the woman who has everything! A rich husband, a wonderful career, a fabulous face… and now even a slimmer figure. But there could be something deeper. Apparently, she had an abusive mother, who used to threaten to beat her till she cried when she was a child. Nigella now says she learnt not to cry. So whilst there are no economic reasons for someone like her to remain in an abusive relationship, sometimes women do get caught up — for all kinds of psychological reasons — in a violent relationship. They confuse violence and abuse for love, especially, if there was a childhood history of violence. And many women, even those who are rich and famous all over the world, may have faced some kind of violence in their life, sadly.” — Kishwar Desai, author
“Fear of uncertainty keeps women from walking out”
“In a bad relationship, there is loss of self-worth. Women need to live and rotate on their own axis, but they don’t. When one revolves her life, and bases her happiness solely on one man, she loses herself. Women tend to become dependent on the man to make them feel good. So, anything he says and does has an impact on them. Even in an abusive relationship, women lose the concept of reality. Any small act of kindness from this man is all they live for. They are willing victims of abuse because they prefer any attention from him than none. The fear of losing him is worse than death. Anyone who stays in an unhealthy, abusive relationship needs medical help because it is clearly not love. You can only love another person when you love yourself. And a person who loves herself would protect her life and safety first. This dependency is an unhealthy obsession. There is also the fear of uncertainty for the future which keeps women from walking out of bad relationships.” — Malti Bhojwani, life coach
“Most victims feel disempowered to walk out”
“I think physical abuse does not exist in isolation, it comes with emotional and psychological abuse as well. Most women in such situations suffer not only from physical scars but a depleted sense of self-esteem. They feel disempowered. When someone is in that frame of mind, it is very difficult for them to extract themselves from the situation.” — Advaita Kala, author
“Women who find themselves weak have had dominating fathers”
“Helplessness to act against abuse has its roots in childhood conditioning. If someone chooses to stay in a violent relationship, it shows that her defence mechanism is weak. As a child, these women probably never rebelled or spoke their minds. Now, they see their father’s image in their partner and don’t want to rebel. Women, who find themselves weak, almost always have had dominating fathers. And the best part is that most of them don’t even realise that they had one controlling parent, if not both. So they let their partner dominate them, unknowingly, right from the beginning of the relationship. Another reason is the fear of losing their sense of security. That fear is much higher than the pain of abuse. This makes them suffer just how an addict suffers. An addict fears the dreadful condition much more than the probability of his death because of the drug or alcohol abuse. But the most important reason is the innate fear of abandonment in a woman. Today’s educated woman has made herself powerful enough to deal with this fear, but somehow, it still prevails in the subconscious mind.” — Kamal Khurana, marriage counsellor
“A woman will go to any extreme to preserve a relationship, however abusive”
“The internalisation of patriarchal violence for centuries — where women have been told they were responsible for men hitting them — is the reason why most of us still find excuses to condone it. ‘He was stressed, I should have understood better’, ‘He has not seen a better role model, I should give him time’, ‘This is the last time’… there are reasons galore why women think they are far better off with these men rather than leaving them. Another major reason is that women equate the end of a relationship with a failed life. So they will go to any extreme to preserve it. For a few, it is that misguided sense of destiny. We are a country of so many cultures and yet one thing that strings us together is that we all feel that the sole proof of ‘having a life’ is either being in a relationship or being married!” — Raksha Bharadia, author