S & M is All Too Common in Relationships

Does your relationship involve S & M? Too often couples hold each other hostage in unhealthy patterns. Learn what to do instead.

sadistic,masochistic,50 Shades of Grey,Whiplash,respect,relationships

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After almost 40 years of working to help couples, I offer a podcast of substance on what relationships require to last for the long haul. I use books & movies to illustrate the points I’m trying to make. I offer challenges of things you can actually do in your own relationship at the end of every podcast which is under 10 minutes.

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Sadism & Masochism is All Too Ordinary in Relationships (as demonstrated in the movie Whiplash)

Fifty Shades of Grey, doesn’t hold a candle to the S & M presented in Whiplash. Watch the drops of blood bounce on the cymbals & the tops of the drums. Whiplash is a marvelous & revealing film of what it means to be unhealthy & destructive in relationships.

 I see a lot of relationships involving emotional sadism & masochism. Though it is something we want to remain oblivious to. It’s easier to pretend that is NOT what’s happening. The masachist is held hostage emotionally in believing they are unworthy & the sadist is determined to prove how unworthy they are. It is a distorted & deeply emotionally dangerous relationship.

Too often couples hold each other hostage in an unhealthy pattern, as a kooky way to hold their own insides together & make sense of life. The movie gives us a window into a very exaggerated version. Ordinary people are more expertly subtle in their willingness to manipulate or to be manipulated.

I believe the masochist likes thinking of themselves as the “good one” who is heroic & the sadist is in love with their own very high expectations. This is illustrated beautifully in Whiplash. Neither of them examine themselves and both feel misunderstood, while blaming the other.

J.K.Simmons got an Oscar for his role as the sadistic professor who adores power. He is obvious in his ruthlessness. He enjoys indulging his relentless resentments & dumps anyone that he believes will interfere with winning, because teaching does not even exist as a goal.

The professor does not recognize he keeps capriciously moving the goal posts. He only sees himself as having high standards, even when he pays a high price for what he does to students. He demonstrates a remarkable ability to change the story of the damage he has done. He so blissfully uses denial to ignore the very real consequences that impact two people.

Denial truly is the most powerful force in the universe!

It’s important to understand the masochist likes the ease of blaming the sadist, which ignores their own culpability. As long as the masochist stays stuck in the simplicity of “the sadist is the bad guy, not me” then nothing changes. The masochist student colludes in the process of being hurt by going along with ridiculous standards, because he has an inner drive to do more & more & more until he fails which is of course, inevitable because he is human. When he does fail, he then confirms his own inner fragility by proving he is disappointing.

The sadist professor is so rigid that he sets himself up to constantly be disappointed. He is very entitled & impossible to satisfy. He is selfish & not caring because he uses any flimsy excuse to dump a musician he has deemed as less than worthy reminding everyone else you must come to heel, do exactly as I demand. The sadist is fragile because of their constant disappointment which feeds resentments & inner fragility.

Neither is healthy enough to leave the patterns of ugliness behind. Neither is willing to honestly look at themselves to separate themselves from a relationship that creates misery. Think about how this may play out in your own family.

The missing ingredient is Respect. Neither the sadist nor the masochist is open to being influenced by the other person to grow up and recognize this is a pattern based on insecurities that requires hard work & facing anxieties to have a more healthy relationship.

My challenge to you: Ask yourself who caters & sees themselves as the good one & who is likely to put up with too much crap like the masochistic drummer. & who demands too much & loves being catered to like the sadistic professor? We all tilt in one direction or the other. Which direction do you tilt?

Remember the masochist is sure to be disappointing even though they put up with too much & the sadist is certain to be constantly disappointed because they want too much. Respecting the differences is not a skill either one has.

Thanks for listening. This is Rhoda sharing what I’ve learned from 35 years of working with couples. I hope you’ll subscribe to my podcast.

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About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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