I’ve been doing some thinking…
It’s been a while since I last wrote here. Lots of reasons why—large staff to work with to train to be the best Chaplain corps in the nation; final prep for CPE launch (more work than I imagined, but have a great Senior Leadership Team to lean on); Connie’s surgery; actual launch of CPE, to name a few.
As I have been planning this unit of CPE, the topic of genograms popped to the surface. What a revealing exercise for any of us! I am literally looking at each descriptor of relationship mentioned. The ‘fused relationship’ was one I wanted to explore more fully. Some say it describes people who can’t live with or without someone else. Man, what a conflicted relationship. I came across some really insightful material that speaks to this. Read on for your own edification.
One of the best tests of whether a couple is emotionally fused or not is how they handle conflict. Emotionally fused relationships often struggle to live in any sort of disagreement. Because individuals in emotionally fused couples define intimacy as “getting what I want” they will often listen only to those messages that make them feel loved. But as therapist David Schnarch puts it,
"Communication is no assurance of intimacy if you can’t stand the message. “Good communication” is often mistaken for your partner perceiving you the way you want to be seen or understood. “We don’t communicate” is code for “I refuse to accept that message—send me a different one! How dare you see me [or the issue] that way!” (from fire by fire, by Matt Anderson, http://www.conversantlife.com/relationships/when-emotional-fusion-happens)
As a Chaplain explores his or her most valued relationship, this concept has to be examined in some fashion. Modeling healthy relationships goes a long way to validating our message of hope and comfort delivered with a non-anxious presence.