Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Lindsay and Dina Lohan: 5 Signs of Mother-Daughter Dysfunction on Display

posted by Linda Mintle

Lindsay Lohan could be quoting the title of  my book pictured here, I Love My Mother But…She may love her mother, but the two are quite the dysfunctional pair.

The latest incident reported by all the entertainment sites involves an audio tape obtained by TMZ of Lindsay calling her father, while arguing with her mom in a limo around 4:00a.m. In the audio tape, Lindsay accuses her mom of using cocaine and threatening everyone in the car. The argument was over money Lindsay supposedly loaned to her mom to make a house payment. Dad, Michael, dialed 911 to call the cops.

There is so much wrong with this picture:

1) Enabling substance abuse. What are the two of them doing out partying until 4:00a.m? Lindsay has already served three times in jail for probation violations linked to two drunken driving arrests. What mother goes clubbing with a child who got out of Betty Ford Rehab Center in 2011 and has a history of drug and alcohol problems and has her own drug and alcohol problems?

2) The child becomes part of a dysfunctional martial triangle.  When two married or divorced people can’t get along and drag their child into the middle of their dislike for each other, they form an unhealthy triangle. On the audio recording, dad is heard telling Lindsay that her mom is horrible. And in the past, mom has had plenty of negatives to say about her husband. It’s a classic triangle in which the child is caught in the middle and plays the two. It’s highly dysfunctional.

3) Conflict that escalates from verbal to physical. If the reports are true, the screaming and arguing between the mother-daughter pair also led to a gash on Lilo’s leg and a broken necklace. While no domestic incident report was filed, escalation to a physical end indicates trouble.

4) Name-calling and blame. Accusing your mom of being on cocaine and kidnapping you are not common themes with most mother-daughter pairs. Blame, criticism, and contempt are part of a larger pattern of emotional distancing.

5) Lack of clear parent-child boundaries and clear definition of parent-child roles. Mom needs to start acting like a parent and not her daughter’s friend. I suspect that would take individual therapy to help her know what that would look like and how to lead by example.

It’s all very sad, but could be corrected with a willingness to stop this insanity and get into family therapy. Let’s pray the family sees this dysfunction and agrees to a road of healing instead of more harm and in the worse case, more destruction.

 

 

24 Ways to Get Unstuck: Today National Depression Screening Day

posted by Linda Mintle

Today is National Depression Screening Day.

Free screenings are happening all around the country to bring awareness and help for those suffering from depression.

Check out this slide presentation we put together to help get you or someone you love get unstuck. If you are depressed, get help now. Treatment works!

Share this and tell a friend, there is hope!

CLICK ON THE LINK

Getting Unstuck: 24 Ways to Fight Depression

Why a Neurosurgeon Believes Heaven is Real

posted by Linda Mintle

Imagine floating above clouds,witnessing transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky…leaving long, streamer like lines behind them.

That was the experience of a reputable neurosurgeon, who taught at Harvard Medical School, while in a coma. He believes he visited heaven. Dr. Alexander’s neuroscience career taught him that near-death experiences are brain-based illusions, but his own journey changed his beliefs. A Christian by name, but not a person who held deep faith, his near death experience opened his eyes to a new reality–the home of God.

In 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander, fell in to a meningitis-induced coma for seven days. From a scientific point of view, the coma made it impossible for him to experience even limited consciousness. But something happened that took him beyond scientific understanding. He experienced the afterlife and chronicled that experience in a new book, Proof of Heaven.

This story caught my eye because it speaks to the possibility of holding deeply religious beliefs as a scientist.  If one truly believes that God created all things, then scientific discovery becomes man’s way of learning what God designed. In other words, science will only discover what God has created. A lack of scientific explanation may indicate our limited ability to completely understand the complexity of our Creator.

I am reminded of the story of Job. God shows up during Job’s troubles. He doesn’t enlighten Job but allows Job to know how little he really knows. He reminds Job that his view of the universe is very limited. As author, Philip Yancey notes, we need faith most at the precise moment it seems impossible. Job, through his suffering, learned that God cared about him intimately, and that God rules the world–a message that perhaps Dr. Alexander learned as well.

 

 

Does Your Relationship Pass an Easy Test?

posted by Linda Mintle

Years ago, martial researcher, John Gottman, discovered an easy marker for healthy relationships. It can provide you a quick assessment on how well you are doing with your partner.

The “test” is called the five-to-one rule. If it is operating in your relationship, then you are probably a stable couple. It not, you could be in trouble.

The five-to-one rule states that for every negative interaction during a conflict, there are five positive ones to counteract the negative. Couples who evidenced this 5:1 ratio of positive to negative were less likely to divorce then couples who had an 8:1 ratio. For example, Tim and Sheila argued over a parenting issue. Tim criticized his wife during the conflict, but there were five positive statements to counterbalance the criticism. Because of this positive to negative ratio (5 to 1), Tim and his wife’s relationship remain stable and conflict doesn’t escalate to a negative point. Couples who do not have this positive affect during conflict were more likely to divorce.

So imagine a researcher standing over your shoulder and counting the number of positives to negatives during your couple interactions. Would you pass the test?

 

For more help on divorce proofing your marriage, I Married You, Not Your Family and nine other relationship myths by Dr. Linda Mintle

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