We as humans understand the premise that good communication is an important aspect of a healthy, interpersonal relationship. We take for granted though, the choices we utilize when good, bad or indifferent situations play into our lives. Maybe our learned responses are limited? Maybe for personal, or selfish reasons, we simply ignore other forms of communication that could produce better results. The unfortunate reality is, people in general communicate poorly, and do not give due consideration to outcomes and consequences. Most people simply react, and deal with it the best way they know how (usually fight or flight!) Allow me to communicate and plant a seed for the theme of this post: Individual awareness of how one communicates, and fully understand the consequences of their communication, (physically, mentally, emotionally) may just save their own life!
Below is a basic layman explanation of human communication and physiology that will help you to understand the relationship between the two as related to effects upon the body and brain. As well, the extreme importance of our emotional and physical stability through homeostasis (metabolic equilibrium). Internally, things happen to us that we cannot explain, we make statements like, “I don’t know what came over me?” or “it is totally unlike me to do something like that” or “I have never fought and argued in any other relationship like I do in this one!” We all know it’s wrong, yet, we continue to react and remain in the abusive relationship!? We even become less tolerant of situations outside our relationship, maybe even with our own family (children especially.) Below will give you an idea of the effects your body and brain endure when you’re in an abusive environment.
THE “STICKS AND STONES” of COMMUNICATION
Each and every personal interaction we have, based upon circumstances of emotions/feelings, speech, touch and intuition, engages literally every area of the human brain. One word, or one statement can instantly affect brain activity in either negative or positive ways. As well, even more impressionistic to our brain is, visual interpretation of an individual(s) physical/bodily reactions. This may surprise many of you that 55% of human communication is accomplished through body language, 35% is done through emotional tone and relative auditory volume, the other 15% or so relates to the actual words and context. We can then presume that body language/tonality/and volume, are primary and words/context are secondary aspects of successful or unsuccessful communication. I remember with my abuser, her “presentation” of a thought was always an issue for me. She presented a perception or opinion with sarcastic or arrogant tonality(facial expressions), most times it was impulsive. I would ask why she felt compelled to be so forthright when it wasn’t necessary?! She would then reply, ”I do not need a daddy correcting my ways of verbal presentation.” There were many variations of these impulsive acts, each time it was brought to her attention, and each time she defended the same way. She was totally aware of her impulsive acts and the mode thereafter was to reverse blame and project guilt immediately upon me as being quote-unquote “her daddy” (an authoritarian figure), rather than her lover. It’s interesting the entitlement the abuser believes they have Vs the rights of the abused. Clearly truth and reality, gets “under the skin” of the abuser.
Think about the disagreements between you and your abuser. Visualize those disagreements, see the images of body movement, facial expressions, arms flailing about, arrogant smirks and sarcasms, loudness and tone, and words casted upon one another. These are conscious, and unconscious impressionistic displays of theirsuccessful ways of ”Communicating to Win” , not communicating towards mutual resolve. They are literally experienced actors, and actresses in the discipline of “emotional manipulation.” Your abuser understands that words and context can be side-tracked with ease through the use of theatrics(body language, tonality, volume.) The volume ramps up and down(angry to serene), love to deprecation, and so continues the roller coaster of emotions. Key words or statements, cue the disordered individual’s skill sets that will serve to their advantage. Here’s a short example ; Abused: “Our relationship has truly affected me and my relationship with my family.” Abuser: “Oh!, So now you are blaming me for all your problems with your family!!” Abused: “No, what I am saying is OUR relationship, affects MY relationship with the family. I take the blame for enduring this relationship and allowing myself to become affected by all this madness!” Abuser: Endure what! You never had it so good! And what about how it has affected me! Do you ever think about me and how I feel? Abused: I have attempted to discuss our feelings and emotions, how we communicate, and every time I do, you always somehow seem to avoid the truth of the matter and I end up taking the blame!! Abuser: When did this ever become about you?? I asked you first, “do you care about how it has affected me, how I feel?!?!” .. for that matter, damn your family!, they don’t give a f*#k about us? I’m beginning to believe you take their side over mine! Do you even care about us? And on and on and on.. The abuser always sorts context to a simplistic form of “Me Vs You.” The abuser quickly selected “what the abused endured,” and then manipulated and projected instead, that they were truly the victim of enduring the poor relationship. They simply take the focus off themselves. So in essence, the common sequence of events are, 1) When abuser’s are confronted, self-preservation “autopilot” engages. 2) Manipulation process begins. Goal is invoke guilt and project blame 3) Vindication accomplished through submission of their perceived tormentor. If issue left open-ended or unresolved, abuser will still expect a submission. They will wait days, even weeks to secure the submission. If a submission is not accomplished, then it will be used against the abused in future debates. Bottom-line, you lose!
Attempts to empathize with a PD about relationship issues(context portraying realities/truth) is like sticking a “hot poker” in their eye. All they understand is, they are being made out to look bad, and that is simply unacceptable. Mutual resolve is not an option, for the abused is perceived as an incriminating force, therefore, they must suffer. It is quite simple, and primal what a personality disordered person does to break down their victims. They eliminate the complexities of context, whereas, the abused dwells and mulls upon the complexities (emotions, logic, rationality, ethics, etc.)
How else can one feel inside except emotionally distraught, confused, frustrated, and angry! The pressure builds and our mental compass is spinning, unable to steer a proper course in order to achieve resolve. Why do we endure this time and time again, why can’t we simply see through it all? Why can’t we get along, how can we learn to communicate better?!
Words cue the expression of tone and/or use of body language. In the case of verbal and emotionally abusive relationships, these excited, emotional, and dramatic forms of communication between the abused and their abuser, are the prelude to neurological and physiological dysfunction. These internal changes are most times not realized, due to a physiological (brain & body) collaboration inherently transitioning us through compensatory functions, in order to maintain an equilibrium. In other words, what we put ourselves through (societal, job related, family, inter-personally, etc. ) the mind and the body will chemically adjust accordingly to survive. These adjustments are most times, not physically or mentally beneficial. Chronic and continued exposure to poor environments will eventually reveal apparent symptoms as a result of these physiological imbalances.
To have a true dialogue with a person would imply that you are mutually expressing, words, tone, body language, and facial expression in a positive and diplomatic manner. Attainment of true dialogue with a personality disordered person is largely futile. Much of their words and actions create spontaneous and perpetual overtures of emotional assault. They create verbal setups that enable them to attain a specific response or need that is self fulfilling. They are skilled at deception, manipulation, deprecation, invoking verbal/emotional anguish, and lies, all to serve for self-preservation and control over others. This ”crazy making” as some refer to, is creating within the abused, the same, or similar unhealthy chemical/hormonal, and neurological imbalances/impairments, that their abuser experiences! Whaaaat?! That’s right, all the emotional turmoil, and internal struggle you the abused are presently enduring, is the result of chemical changes in your brain and body. You are just a “newby”emotional personality, as compared to your abuser. What we are implying is this, the basic principles of physiology are applicable to all humans beings. It can happen to any of us!
There is no question in the minds of the abused, that their abuser’s “ain’t all right.” They’ve owned their condition since childhood until present, without change, and will likely get progressively worse as they age. Every person’s physical and mental reaction is a result of programmed neural and chemical integrations. Stress, high emotional responses, create over and/or under stimulation of chemical neurotransmitters in the brain. As an example, repeated daily stress inhibits the release of dopamine, a key neurotransmitter for cognitive function. The limbic area of the brain, represents our emotions, and continued stress will affect the chemical balance and proper function of this highly important area. Our “fight or flight” self-protection mechanism is initiated when our abuser engages us in highly negative interaction. Adrenaline and Cortisol ( hormones) persistently rise and fall when stress/emotionally aggressive situations occur. Given enough exposure to chronic stress related activation of adrenal function, cortisol will eventually diminish, impairing overall adrenal function by virtue of this cortisol shortage. This is important for women to know because, in the absence of cortisol, progesterone is then robbed to produce the needed cortisol. This chronic condition will most certainly affect metabolic balance and thyroid function(hypo/hyper) which regulates what it metabolizes, thereby affecting weight regulation. Bone loss, fatigue, hot flashes, decreased libido, digestive problems, liver function impairment, are symptomatic of prolonged cortisol loss, integral to your stress, i.e., your dysfunctional interpersonal relationship! These symptoms will likely flip-flop around over time, as the body robs from one area to compensate for the need of another area. As our body and brain are highly adaptable, the inevitable price as a result, is usually not beneficial to overall health. Draw-backs are, neurologically, physical and/or organ failure/impairment, and weakened immune system.
Personality disordered people have likely experienced variations of these symptoms throughout their life, dependent upon age, gender, genetic pre-disposition and general health. They typically will not age gracefully, nor will they live quality lives( mentally/physically) due to years of self-induced stress/trauma. The cumulative effects vary between men and women due to the differences in overall body and brain chemistry.
Now you can see why I want you to understand that achieving this metabolic equalibrium (homeostasis) is essential to physical and mental health. In summary, every action we take, be it mental or physical, is a synchronization of synaptic and chemical actions. So when the abuse starts, usually with poor interpersonal communication, and interaction, the evolution into chronic stress creates abnormal pathologies and/or functions in the human body and brain. Essentially, chemical imbalances result in poor integration of neural networks causing dissociative/functional symptoms, such as cognitive impairment, brain structure abnormalities, biological, physiological and neurological damage or impairment. Although we have protection mechanisms that adjust for such traumatic episodes, we are only designed to endure such physiological states for limited periods.
A SAMPLE OF HOW IT ALL STARTS
It is safe to presume, that personality disordered people have endured many years of poor integration of their neural networks. This literal hard wired dysfunctional integration is relative to the lack of success, in therapy and drug treatment. The personality disordered brain has adapted, through conscious choice (as a child/adolescent) based upon their environment. Through trial and error, practice and conditioning, the PD’s actions become less premeditated/intentional and become more unconscious, or instinctive. Their minds have evolved into a “security system” of sorts, protecting boundaries, and when such boundaries have been perceived as “compromised,” then action must be taken against the perpetrator. Boundaries are everything (some more than others) to PD’s, because no one will enter their psyche at a level that allows any form of emotional vulnerability. Psychologist claim that traumatic life experiences (some form of abuse or neglect) is the basis of most personality disorders. Studies have also found that parents who are highly critical of others (including the child) create a poor relative development of a child’s skills to be non-judgemental. Such displays of criticism by parents inhibit nurturing of mindful thought that all others are created equal will allow the child to perceive themselves as superior. Many parents lack the ability to understand how much a child pays attention to our actions, i.e., what we say,what we do and if we “walk our talk.” Here is another scenario; If a child witnesses one parent manipulating the other parent successfully, a child might believe this to be a useful skill on their peers/schoolmates. If they achieve a series of successful manipulations with peers, then it could be construed as purposeful, and become integrated as a part of their social skills in adulthood. The child will also discover that this perceived skill will back-fire on occasion. What to do now?, says the child. After a few episodes of failure, the child must then challenge the validity of their perception, or the actual skill itself. This skill of manipulation was usually overcome by an authoritarian figure (parent, teacher, family, etc.), however, it was still effective with their peers. The choices for the child are; a) give into rational and logical belief that this skill causes trouble with authority figures and conformity is the resolution. b) avoid authority figures at all costs, as they threaten the personal reward the child gains through their manipulative skills.
To a child, all things they incorporate into their life, is about Reward Vs Punishment. What most have not realized about their PD/Abuser is, they are still much like the child, too concerned about the same Reward Vs Punishment. Parents underestimate the prowess of their own children, and in most cases, parents are in denial where it concerns such undesirable traits of their children. Children by design, absorb, and learn from the adult environment (parents, neighbors, friends,school,Internet, media, etc.) As much as a child is part of their parents (genetically), they are still individuals, exposed to different societal influences and environments than their parents. In summary, children/adolescents establish choices, derive perspectives and perceptions, based upon exposure, influences and experiences that vary from good to egregious in nature.
I wish to emphasize the word, “Perception.” Most of us that have “done battle” or are still “doing battle” with their abuser, still believe that logic and rationale are worthy of such debate between our abuser and us. Perception, be it yours, or your abuser’s , has validity for approximately 10 seconds in any given debate. Once emotion engages, the abuser pervades the issue with innuendos and rhetorical verbosity, all in an effort to “win the battle.” Understand this with your ability of higher reasoning, that logic, truth, ethics, morals, opinions, quote/unquote “perceptions”, absolutely do not play into your abusers mindset!! It is a fruitless and futile endeavor in these debates with a personality disordered abuser, for the primary objective of your abuser is to win the battle by virtue of your submission. This submission makes it less complex for your abuser to remember the facts or context. Believe it or not, your abuser is all about simplicity. I call it the “LESS IS MORE” theory. Do you recall familiar scenarios like these; how many times have you brought up a previous debate, and your abuser simply “don’t recall it happening that way?!” or “you are a liar and I would have never said such a thing!!” or “you’re putting words in my mouth,.. I’d never say that to anyone!” etc., etc. They don’t remember because it was not mindfully retained to memory as pertinent data! All the abused did was open up another bucket of worms with logic and rationality! As much as you may care for your abuser, love your abuser, you must submit to this reality and truth that, “you are nothing more than an object.” You fulfill a need of presence that fits the facade they create for themselves. They only wish to own you for as long as it serves their selfish needs. Personality Disordered individuals are dysfunctional in the sense that allegiance to anyone else (intimacy at any level) would compromise and complicate their self-preservation. Emotions and intimacy are much too complicated and require efforts that the PD will not invest. This self-destructive, self-deception is why you will never be able to reach their heart or soul towards the end of intimacy. If you attempt, you will be manipulated and consumed by their ego-centric energy.
Communication and Nurturing skills of parents and other authority figures, reflect highly upon what personality/ overall demeanor the child will maintain in adulthood. In other words, how a child is reared (home and school), programs the brain’s neuropathways, thereby determining human functionality both socially and inter-personally. Authority sets the stage, however, there is small mindful view by a child that authority is also an adversary of sorts. Influences outside the home is where the child chooses/decides whether these perceived adversarial authorities evolve into respect worthy figures or into opponents.
Environment inside/outside the home (family, teachers, and parent’s actions and interactions) are also crucial factors of how a child will function in their adult life. As an example, if there is apparent manipulation, criticism, argumentativeness in a child’s environment, then you can count on a higher percentage of children that will emulate such behavior. All behavior is formed through repetition of environmental circumstances, be it desirable or undesirable (barring brain disease, injury, pre-disposed conditions, etc.)
Whether a child’s environment is healthy or unhealthy, they will adapt according to authoritarian truths and realities or self created truths and realities. To incorporate “discipline of the mind” (teachings of ethics and moral values) as it relates to child development, can only be accomplished through disciplined adults or authoritarians. The teachings of morals and ethics are reinforced by logic and rationale, and defined through truth and reality. Personality Disordered people “perceive” themselves as highly logical and rational. Where their logic and rational is differentiated is the inability of the PD to accept actual truth and reality. It’s like the old saying goes, “You can argue most anything, if you throw logic and rationale out the window!!” Without logic and rationale, truth and reality cannot be defined. Logic and Rationale are only words to the PD. It serves only their endeavor to win. If a PD can manipulate truth and reality and project guilt and blame upon their victim, then they must indisputably be, logical and rational. There are two sets of morals and ethics where is concerns personality disordered people. One set of standards which conform to the normal social order that the PD maintains through manipulation( the facade) and of course, their own standard, that maintains the ego-centric self. Their own standard entitles them to break the rules of true morals and ethics, i.e., the PD can practice infidelity, however, if the mate does, it is unacceptable. Just my humble opinion, to oppose the teachings of morals and ethics through self-entitlement (the double standard), would lead me to believe that a transition or developmental stage into adulthood was neurologically by-passed. I base this hypothesis upon the fact that we are what we choose to think. If the proper transition of the belief systems between child and adolescent stages do not occur, then can we assume there was a conscious effort to remain, in what the child construed as useful, viable, workable , and integrated such thought(s) consciously, thereby creating unconscious result through natural neuro and biological processes. The child remained and the adult protects the constitution of their inner-child. It’s like being Peter Pan existing in the adult world. With that said, there is an awareness, especially of “perceived” authority. Perceived authority could be anyone that would question their motives, character, opinions, or actions.
If you really bring it down to “brass tacks”, how the personality disordered person operates is simple and predictable! (hint, hint abused!!) Truth and Reality will always be nipping at the heals of the PD. Remember what we said before, PD’s don’t care about perceptions for more than 10 seconds? Opinions and perceptions of others is not mindfully interpreted/assimilated normally through the mind of a PD. It is an absence or inability to embrace another’s thoughts or opinions. Instead of normal conversation/interaction, it seems there is a shut-down of the typical reasoning and emotional pathway and the PD subconsciously redirects to the primal area of the brain (fight or flight.) Remember, view the abstract function of a PD’s brain as a “security system”, preventing penetration of boundaries, to protect, fend off, and conquer the perpetrator. This is the programmed logic of many PD’s. If we believe through thought, that something works for us, the brain will accommodate. It is done through conscious life long conditioning and is revealed through both conscious/unconscious actions and patterns of behavior. The longer a human exists within such thoughts or belief patterns, the more difficult it is to reverse those patterns. If no permanent damage to ones neural pathways are present, then it is possible to reverse. However, efforts to undo the mindset of a personality disordered individual (BPD, NPD, Histrionic types) has proven in the past to be futile. A PD would somehow have to disengage the egocentric area and engage their emotional area of the brain via extremely high levels of conscious and positive thought. The notion alone for a PD to engage in such therapy is considered highly stressful for them, and not worth the effort. They feel they have survived well under their belief system and see no reason to fix what they perceive as not broken. Truth of the matter is, they simply aren’t wired correctly.
There is always the debate about a PD’s consciousness/awareness of their actions, whether they premeditate, etc. Pre-PD years (child/adolescent) trial and error alone made the child aware of their manipulative actions as a behavior unlike others for it suited their perceived environment, it was a method of protection, self-preservation. As this person moves forward into adulthood, through their life’s experiences(unsuccessful personal , interpersonal, and incomplete social adeptness) that they are “aware”, that most people have not dealt well with their antics, and their demeanor/personality. Therefore, I do not advocate the concept that the PD believes all others are like them, motivated towards the same emotions, desires and fears. Their world is too confined by their boundaries unlike most others, and PD’s understand they can penetrate most other’s emotional boundaries with ease. Lies, deception, ellusiveness, I believe are areas of pre-meditation. As an example, the abuser intentionally starts an argument with his spouse, so he can leave the house in supposed anger, because a friend/co-worker said earlier in the day, “we’re having a “get together” at Joe’s Bar and it’s “ladies night! Make sure you come by!” The phone is an especially functional tool for the abuser on “out of town” trips, because their mate cannot see, and what you can’t see, well, let’s just say the PD is opportunist and the point is, they are consciously doing it.
Superiority by conquering another’s emotion is more desirable to a PD, than to share such emotion through intimacy. They ignore the context of their victims words, “let me in, I wish to know you in much deeper, emotional and intimate ways.” PD’s have encountered this countless times in other relationships, and they know full well, those desires of other’s differ vastly from theirs. Each and every time the context of truth and reality challenges a PD, their most devastating fear arises too, “admission to their dysfunctional beliefs and actions.” Their umbrageous nature easily taunted by the undeniable presence of truth and reality hovers above the PD like an annoying fly. To swat and kill it, prevents this inner turmoil from revealing itself. It just seems easier for the PD to approach their life this way, as it has always worked before, so why change now?! This is why the prognosis for change of a personality disordered person is poor, it’s like taking a lifetime of their own creation and asking them to throw it away. Their life style is much too valuable for them to simply discard or give up. Here is a statement that will help you through some of those debates with your abuser: Reality and truth ever present, this your abuser cannot deny, responding always as threat, your abuser shall defy. Incorporate this little ditty into your thought patterns when your PD engages you, then you will become more aware and anticipate their reactions.
HOW IT HAPPENED TO YOU!
Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to let go of your abuser? Much like your abuser, you have remained long enough in your stressful interpersonal relationship to allow this negative influence to alter your neuropathways, thereby initiating undesirable neurological and chemical changes. Read back through every aforementioned thing discussed and it has been happening to you. It’s nothing you can see, and many times you cannot feel it, except when engaged in the actual “crazy-making” mode. In short, your neural network is integrating and accomodating stress. Your ability to reason and rationalize effectively is compromised. Refer to the many lists available, of reasons that people stay with their abusers(co-dependency.) Would you agree that many of those reasons are due in part to dysfunctional rationale and logic?! The longer a person is exposed to such a dysfunctional life, the more chemical imbalances occur. Continued chronic exposure will land most into depression, and thereafter PTSD.
The solution is not always simple unless we can understand why it is happening to us, first and foremost. You can have all the understanding in the world about your abuser’s condition and it will do very little for you. If you understand why you are in the abusive relationship, as related to your abuser’s condition and the environment they have created to keep you there, then you can rationally sort out truths and realities. I can assure you of this, truth and reality are the enemy of a PD.
Start with small steps that have the largest impact on recovery. Eating habits would be my first suggestion. As crazy as that may sound to you, you will find it far more difficult to properly deal with the stress of an abusive relationship, if your body is not nourished correctly. To provide proper physical nourishment,will maintain the health of cells that maintain proper brain and physiological functions. People really need to learn more about the maintenance of their body/mind through proper nutrition. Plenty of free information is available on the internet about foods that provide balanced nutrition. To subsist on fast food, restaurant buffets, and such , can drastically slow down, if not reverse, the mental pursuit of positive personal goals. Proper nutrition also provides the advantage of natural weight loss without exercise. This is your body at work finding its physical equilibrium. So, if you look at this as a pure necessity to nourish your body as part of your recovery(which it is!), then the “Dieting” mindset has been eliminated. We are all affected through mindset and perceptions, so if the challenge is “nourishment”, then nothing else should enter your mind. A healthy body can more efficiently, and thereby more effectively, deal with stress and emotional situations.
Many people who exercise religiously, still eat improperly, and use their exercise as a means to burn off calories of their “bad food”, to maintain a desired weight. Exercise is a good thing, however, if you feed yourself poorly like this, you are doing an injustice to your body’s internal balance. Sure it’s better than being obese, however, proper nutrition is truly, more important, than the exercise itself. Fact: 80% of body fat retained, is regulated through proper diet, and only 20 percent through exercise. It’s like making your car look beautiful on the outside and ignoring the maintenance required to keep it running properly. Looks good, runs like crap!
Walking and/or riding a bicycle is a great way to start out. It’s also a good time while doing such exercises, to reflect upon your reasons for manifesting these positive initiatives in your life. In other words, it’s a great time to become reacquainted with self and encourage self. If you eat properly,even with minimal exercise, your chemistry will quickly respond and the physical/mental recovery begins. For a couple of weeks, while you’re implementing new diet and exercise habits, raise your awareness of your thoughts and feelings (refer to phases I-VI on this blog site.) It’s difficult to make positive thought/emotional changes when the brain and body chemistry are still imbalanced. So allowing yourself a period of a couple of weeks of true change in diet and exercise (diet first and foremost) will enable you to deal with those changes in your patterns of thought. Avoid at all cost, prescription drugs to control your emotional anguish, especially if they come from friends! Most of these drugs have 20 or more side effects and couple that with an already imbalanced, physically run down body and brain, well, it will only makes things worse. Proper nourishment has no side effects, positive thoughts and emotions have no side effects (well they all have good side effects!)
SO, WHAT YA GONNA DO ABOUT IT?
With all the aforementioned information, what will be your clear choice? Do you want to become like your abuser inside and out?(most likely you have already acquired some of their traits!) Are you willing to resolve your trauma? I can assure you, your abuser will avoid any sort of resolution for themselves. They are proud of their self created alter ego. They will continue to nurture and protect what is perceived as their ultimate survival tool,.. themselves, because no one else matters. Thousands of years have proven that the power of mind through thought creates whatever we desire. With that in mind, we know that manifesting positive thought and actions will nurture our minds and our bodies. That’s all we really need to know. Power of the mind my friends, don’t allow yourself to become a walking biochemically imbalanced disaster of humanity like your present or former PD! Remember, “you are, what you think!” You manifest your positive chemical balance by consistently practicing good habits of communication, eating, exercise, and thought patterns.
Learning to communicate and interact in better ways will come with time and practice. We all know the abuser has trouble with this, however, what got the abused in trouble was poor communication skills as well! Instead of walking away from this awful person much earlier on, you chose to stay and fight!? With time and practice, daily interactions with other people, proper communication skills can be restored, especially knowing what you know now!! These are far more appealing options than remaining in an “emotional hell” or gathering emotional sustenance in the form of “pity parties” all the time! Do justice for yourself, take the simple route and relieve yourself of this horrible interpersonal burden you endure. When the percentages look like this: On average, 90% of all personality disorders that have been to some form of treatment have never fully recovered. Respectively, if the abused decides to remain with the personality disordered mate, there is a 90% probability that the relationship will endure the same problems. Not very promising,.. makes the choice a bit easier, don’t you think?