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Romantic Relationships - an index of web pages

This dance of Codependence is a dance of dysfunctional relationships - of relationships that do not work to meet our needs. That does not mean just romantic relationships, or family relationships, or even human relationships in general.

The fact that dysfunction exists in our romantic, family, and human relationships is a symptom of the dysfunction that exists in our relationship with life - with being human.  It is a symptom of the dysfunction which exists in our relationships with ourselves as human beings.

And the dysfunction that exists in our relationship with ourselves is a symptom of Spiritual dis-ease, of not being in balance and harmony with the universe, of feeling disconnected from our Spiritual source.

That is why it is so important to enlarge our perspective.  To look beyond the romantic relationship in which we are having problems.  To look beyond the dysfunction that exists in our relationships with other people.

The more we enlarge our perspective, the closer we get to the cause instead of just dealing with the symptoms.  For example, the more we look at the dysfunction in our relationship with ourselves as human beings the more we can understand the dysfunction in our romantic relationships.

(Text in this color is used for quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)

"As long as we believe that we have to have the other in our life to be happy, we are really just an addict trying to protect our supply - using another person as our drug of choice.  That is not True Love - nor is it Loving."

This index page lists, describes, and give quotes from the Joy2MeU pages which are focused directly on romantic relationships.
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 The Heartbreak of Romantic Relationships

The following quote was written as an introduction to a web page called The Heartbreak of Romantic Relationships that I wrote in February of 1999.

"In the past 3 or 4 months the Universe has led me to focus more and more of my attention on the area of Romantic Relationships.  This led to me scheduling a workshop and announcing on my web site that I would have some new articles ready by Valentines Day 1999.  I have had a great deal of trouble in writing those articles.  I have been talking about the issues and aspects of relationship dysfunction for many years but have not written very much about it (perhaps because until recently I hadn't been able to get past my own terror of intimacy.)  So I have an overabundance of things to say on the subject.  The problem has been trying to decide how many articles I was writing, what the focus of each was going to be, and how to communicate as clearly as possible about this issue.  It turns out that there is so much material that I may just be writing a book here.

Romantic Relationships may be the most powerful, meaningful, traumatic, painful, explosive, heart wrenching single topic for most people.  As I say on my flyer for my new workshop "Our hearts have been broken because we were taught to do the Dance of Love in a dysfunctional way/to the wrong music." 

Our hearts have been broken!  And then they were broken again.

If you can Truly own the pain in that statement - take some deep breaths, visualize breathing White Light into your heart chakra (which will break up and release some of the trapped grief energy) and say out loud, "My heart has been broken." - you will probably not only produce some tears but some sobs of emotional energy being released. If you cannot own, feel, and release some emotional pain energy in relating to the Truth of that statement, it could mean that you don't feel safe to be emotionally honest in this moment, or that you don't feel safe to be emotionally honest with yourself in regard to this topic.  It could be a sad commentary on how much you have had to shut down your heart, how closed off you have had to become to the emotional Truth of how painful being human in a dysfunctional, emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile, Love retarded cultural environment has been.

It is not your fault.  It is not your fault!  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

It is a set up.  We were set up."

In the year since that time I have done a lot more writing on the subject - and in fact am getting ready to teach a college course on Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics and Healthy Relationship Behavior.  So, perhaps there is a book here - although I am already working on finishing two other books, so this one is not in the picture in the immediate future.

The thing that is so important about the issue of Romantic Relationships is to realize how we were set up to "fail" in romance - to really get it on a gut level, so that we can forgive ourselves.  Once we start letting go of feeling responsible for something we were powerless over, letting go of the false guilt and toxic shame about our "mistakes" and "failures" in romance - then we can start to learn how to take healthy risks.  Loving and losing is much better than never loving at all.

As I say in my latest article on the subject:

"The more we heal our childhood emotional wounds and change the dysfunctional intellectual programming the clearer we can see reality.  The more we learn to have boundaries, to ask for what we need, to be direct and honest in our communication, the healthier we become in our relationships.  Healthy enough to get out of them quickly if we see too many warning signs.

Romantic relationships can be a great adventure if our perspective and expectations of them are realistic and healthy."  Healthy Relationships - Part 6 - Romantic Love

Hopefully, the pages in this index will help you to heal some of your wounds and forgive yourself enough to start owning up to the Truth that you do deserve to have a Loving relationship in your life.  ~  Robert Burney

Relationship book cover September 2012: Announcing the publication of
Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth

Codependent Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics & Healthy Relationship Behavior

Also available as two eBooks in
Amazon Kindle format  eBook 1 & eBook2
and in Barnes & Noble Nook format eBook 1 & eBook 2
As of Jan. 2016 also available for Kobo ereaders eBook 1 and eBook 2
eBook 1 is also available as an audio book
on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
Joy2MeU pages which are focused directly on romantic relationships

It is so important to realize how we were set up to feel like failures in Romantic Relationships - to really get it on a gut level, so that we can forgive ourselves.

Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing both romance and heartbreak. Toxic Love   -  A column originally written in 1996 that was expanded as part of the Codependent Relationships Dynamics series in 1999.  This is the updated version that is part 2 of that series.  "As long as we believe that we have to have the other in our life to be happy, we are really just an addict trying to protect our supply - using another person as our drug of choice.  That is not True Love - nor is it Loving."
Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing both romantic relationship & Valentine's Day. Romantic Relationships and Valentine's Day  -  This is the first column published by Robert Burney in February of 1996.  "Traditionally in this society women were taught to be codependent on - that is take their self-definition and self-worth from - their relationships with men, while men have been taught to be codependent on their success/career/work."
Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing romance commitment. Wedding Prayer/Meditation on Romantic Commitment  -  A Meditation/Prayer written for the Commitment Ceremony of two friends.  "In any specific moment you will have the power to make a choice to feel the Love in that moment as if you have never been hurt and as if the Love will never go away."
Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing both romance and heartbreak. The Heartbreak of Romantic Relationships  -  A 3 page web article about how we are set up to have our hearts broken in romantic relationships. "No one has the power to make someone else love him/herself, we only have the power to change our relationship with our self.  We cannot love someone else enough to make them love them self."
Part 2 of Heartbreak  -  Includes Shame Core - Inner Child Healing and Emotional Dishonesty - Emotional Intimacy.  "It is a double set up for women in this society.  First of all the men were taught that it was not manly to be emotional and that what makes them successful as a man is what they produce - and then women were taught that they needed to be successful in romantic relationships with emotionally unavailable men in order to be successful as a woman.  What a set up!"

Part 3 of Heartbreak  -  Includes Sexuality, Metaphysical, and Reasons to take the Risk.  "Romantic Relationships are one of the most important arenas of Spiritual growth available to us - it is important to our souls to be willing to take the risk of Loving and losing.  It is also important to our hearts to take the healthiest risks possible.  If we are not doing our healing, we are doing ourselves the ultimate disservice - we are abandoning and abusing our self."

Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing both romance and heartbreak. The Emotional Dynamics of Dysfunctional Relationships  -  A 2 page web article about the inevitable and normal dynamics of romantic relationships in a Codependent society.  "We need to be willing to make healing a priority in our life if we are ever going to have a chance to have a healthy relationship.  Unless we are healing we will fall prey to the very predictable emotional and behavioral dynamics - the Toxic Romance Two Step - that our emotional wounds and intellectual programming set us up to keep repeating."
Part 2 of Emotional Dynamics  -  Includes codependent & counterdependent behavior."Passive-aggressive behavior can take the form of sarcasm, procrastination, chronic lateness, being a party pooper, constantly complaining, being negative, offering opinions and advice that is not asked for, being the martyr, slinging arrows ("whatever have you done to your hair", "gained a little weight haven't we?"), etc."
Finnish Translation
A good friend in Finland (who dedicated a poem to my writing that I have a link to on the Awards page) and some of his friends - have translated some of the pages of this section into Finnish.  Here are the pages they have translated into Finnish as of January 2004. (While updating this page in November 2012, I checked out the site and see that they have 22 articles translated from this section - and also 23 articles translated from the inner child healing section.)
Toxic Love Romantic Relationships Wedding Prayer
Heartbreak of Romantic Relationships Heartbreak part 2 Heartbreak part 3 Emotional Dynamics
Codependent Relationships Dynamics ~ Healthy Romantic Relationships - Two series of short articles about the ways in which romantic relationships in our society are set up to be dysfunctional and the ways in which it is possible to be healthier in romantic relationships.  These articles were originally published online on the Inner Child / Codependency Recovery page that Robert edits for Directory - although bits and pieces of the articles have been part of articles and web pages published previously.
Announcing the publication of my newest book - or at least the Kindle e-book version  in July 2012.  The actual book was published in September and  is linked above.
Romantic Relationships book cover Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth
can be purchased for $9.99.

Codependent Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics & Healthy Relationship Behavior
Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics 
Codependent Relationships Dynamics - part 1, Power Struggle  -  Relationships are set up to be power struggles because of the shame we are carrying. "A relationship is a partnership, an alliance, not some game with winners and losers."

Codependent Relationships Dynamics - part 2, Dysfunctional Definition of Love  -  Column originally published at Toxic Love and then expanded.  "True Love is not a painful obsession. It is not taking a hostage or being a hostage. It is not  all-consuming, isolating, or constricting."

Codependent Relationships Dynamics - part 3, Codependent & Counterdependent Behavior  -  Both codependent and counterdependent behavior are part of the condition of codependence.  "Both the classic codependent patterns and the classic counterdependent patterns are behavioral defenses, strategies, designed to protect us from being abandoned.  One tries to protect against abandonment by avoiding confrontation and pleasing the other - while the second tries to avoid abandonment by pretending we don't need anyone else.  Both are dysfunctional and dishonest."

Codependent Relationships Dynamics - part 4, Come Here, Go Away  -  Fear of intimacy keeps people in a come here - go away dance.  "It is very boring and incredibly painful to keep repeating dysfunctional relationship patterns.  The way to stop repeating those patterns is to start healing the wounds that we suffered in childhood."

Healthy Relationship Behavior
Healthy Romantic Relationships - Interdependent, not codependent  - an updated and expanded version of the article Codependence vs Interdependence.  "You may find your prince or princess but they will have issues to deal with."
Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 2, Clear Communication is the foundation - an article focused on the vital importance of clearly communicating.  "The single most useful tool is simply to ask.  "How do you define that word?"  or "What did you just hear me say?'"

Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 3,  Emotional Honesty Necessary - If we are reacting to old wounds and old tapes then we are not being emotionally honest and are incapable of healthy emotional intimacy.  "Just to think of how many ghosts are in the room, when two unconscious people are interacting, is mind boggling."

Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 4, Partners in the Journey - An article focused on the priceless gift a relationship can be if both people are in recovery from childhood wounds.  "My issues are my responsibility to work through, it is not the other persons job to compromise her self to accommodate my fears and insecurities."

Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 5,  Healthy Joyous Sexuality - When two people are connecting in a healthy way on all levels - physical, emotional, mental, and Spiritual - the physical union can become a sacred experience.  "A Loving God/Goddess/Great Spirit would not give us sensual and sexual sensations that feel so wonderful unless we were meant to enJoy them."

Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 6,  Romantic Love as a Concept - about the importance of changing the dysfunctional definitions of romance and love that we learned as children. "Another way it is important to change our perspective of love is to own that falling in love is a choice.  It is not some camouflaged trap in the sidewalk you are the victim of falling into."

Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 7, Valentine's Day 2000 - A completely rewritten version of the column listed second above.  "It is very sad that it is so hard to connect with another being in a healthy, Loving way.  It is very sad that so many of us have had to shut down our hearts and lock the romantic part of us away in a deep dark place within us."

Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 8,  Pay Attention and Communicate - Seeing and hearing clearly, and communicating honestly are vital to becoming healthier in romantic relationships.  "The purpose of saying "I am afraid you will get angry" is not to prevent the other person from getting angry, it is to help the other person understand you (in-to-me-see)."

Healthy Romantic Relationships - part 9, The Greatest Arena for Spiritual growth - A romantic relationship is an adventure in growth, an joint expedition into intimacy.  "A relationship will be work.  It will be challenging and exciting, frustrating and painful.  It will help us to access Joy and get us in touch with grief."

(The pages above are linked together so that you may go from one to the next in the order listed.)
Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing both romance and heartbreak. An Adventure in Romance - Loving & Losing Successfully  -  In December of 1998 Robert had an adventure in romance that proved how miraculously the healing process works.   This is the story of that experience.  "It is a tale of how my greatest fear came true but my response to it took me to a place of Joy and Love that is sublimely, exquisitely, magical and mystical - and Amazingly miraculous."
Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing both romance and heartbreak. Letting Go of Unavailable People - An article in a series focusing on how the Spiritual principles of twelve step recovery can be applied to facilitate learning to have healthier relationships.  "Codependents focus on others to keep from looking at self.  We need to let go of focusing on the other person and start focusing inside to understand what is happening." - Newly added 8-03

There is also a series of 17 articles focused on
issues involving gender, sexuality, romantic relationships which evolved into articles focused on fear of intimacy - here are links to those articles without the description and quote. 
Men and Women are from the same planet

The Maiden and the Horndog

Old tapes / traditional beliefs and gender roles

Monogamy - A Spiritual Teachers Perspective

Setting Internal Boundaries in relationship to Romantic, Sexual Relationships

Taking self worth out of the equation in Romantic Relationships

Falling in love as a choice

Homosexuality - and the Bible

The Crippling Shame of Incest / Sexual Abuse

Sexuality Abuse

Emotional Incest = Sexuality Abuse

Energetic Attraction - emotional familiarity or Karmic connection?

 Emotional Intimacy = in to me see

Fear of Intimacy -  Relationship Phobia

Codependent Defenses - Part 1 The Gatekeeper

Codependent Defenses - Part 2 disassociation vs healthy detachment

Codependent Defenses - Part 3 My Gatekeeper

 Hearts with arrow through them symbolizing both love and heartbreak.
There is also information about romantic relationships in the True Nature of Love series of articles and this second chapter of the online book that was called The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! 

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Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney is copyright 1995.  Material on Joy2MeU web site (except where otherwise noted) is copyright 1996 thru 2016 by Robert Burney  PO Box 98 Fallbrook CA 92088.