Have you heard of Club "Shouldsville"? Not only is Club "Shouldsville" (quite literally) the hottest place in town, it's a very special place — a lounge the Devil himself has reserved for the unhappiest VIP members of relationship hell.
The entrance requirements for the club are actually quite straightforward. To become a VIP member of Club Shouldsville, you must constantly suffer from the belief that one "should" and "should not" say and do certain things in relationships. And since reality almost never lives up to most people's expectations and ideas about how their partners and their relationships "should" and "shouldn't" be, there are actually quite a lot of people who easily meet the entrance requirements for Club "Shouldsville".
Club "Shouldsville": A Hellish Corner of Relationships
Once admitted, Club "Shouldsville" is the place where all the "shouldists" can stamp and scream and wail and whine over the fact that their partners and their relationships are simply not living up to their ideas of what they think they "should" be.
So you can see Club "Shouldsville" is a truly hellish corner of relationship hell. It's either sizzling like a furnace (for those who are frustrated or furious at their partners) or freezing cold (for those who love giving their partners the silent treatment or icy stares or sarcastic remarks that sting like hell).
The interior design of the Club is pretty radical too. In one corner of the VIP club, there are stacks of broken dishes for people who need to vent their rage at their impossible partners. And for the most extreme members, there is the "Blood & Gore" corner with dolls that members can smash and trash and beat up all they want. And of course there's also the trendiest bar in town with everything the heart desires when it comes to booze, pills, smokes, and drugs for all the unhappy souls who want to drown their sorrow, pain and anger.
The Difference Between: "I want", "I have to" & "I should"
Another important entrance requirement to Club "Shouldsville" is that potential members do not know the difference between "I want", "I have to" and "I should". People who qualify for membership tend to mix the three together. Members of the club simply do not understand that "I want" is a free choice that often leads to "I have to".
Here's a simple example of what club members fail to understand. Let's say "I want" to earn $7,000 a month so I can pay the rent and go to the movies once in a while. If that's the case then "I have to" do something to earn the money — like going to work every day from 9 to 5. But there are no "shoulds" involved here.
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It doesn't say anywhere that "I should" or "shouldn't" have money enough to pay my rent and go to the movies. There's no law that says this. It's something I choose to do because "I want" to have the $ 7,000 a month for my rent and the occasional movie.
In reality, the same holds true in relationships.
There Is No "should" in Relationships
There are no "shoulds" when it comes to relationships either. For example, when my girlfriend asks me to go with her to her family get-together this weekend, I can go or not go. There are no "shoulds" involved. But if my girlfriend tells me that going with her is a requirement if I want to be in a relationship with her — well then I have to make up my mind if I want to or not.
In other words, I have to decide if I am willing to pay the price for having her as my girlfriend. And if going to the family event is the price and "I want" her to be my girlfriend, then "I have to" go.
It's that simple. It's a straightforward exchange. But there are no "shoulds" involved — even if my girlfriend or I believe otherwise. Even if we believe that this is something one "should" do if one is a decent human being, if one really loves someone, or some other similar story. But in reality, there are no "shoulds" involved.
But as you can guess, the members of Club "Shouldsville" seem to lack the ability to look at life in this realistic manner. They simply can't do it.
Thoughts & Beliefs About "should" and "shouldn't"
Unfortunately their inner "mythbusting" antenna is broken so they can't see the difference between reality and their thoughts and beliefs about what one "should" and "shouldn't" do in a relationship. Instead they believe their thoughts with the same dedication and passion as the most die-hard fundamentalists. And anyone who questions their "shoulds" is threatened with... eternal damnation in relationship hell.
But of course it doesn't work like that.
The only ones who go straight to relationship hell are the "shouldists" themselves, where they can hang out permanently, torturing themselves around the clock.
Right now Club "Shouldsville" is opening its doors for a new wave of VIP members. Do you know any perfect candidates — hey what about you???
When one is in a relationship one should/shouldn't ____________________
My partner should/shouldn't ____________________
I should/shouldn't ____________________
©2010, 2012 by Tim Ray. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press. www.findhornpress.com
101 Relationship Myths: How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness
by Tim Ray.
About the Author
Tim Ray is a popular relationship columnist and blogger, and has appeared in relationship programs on TV, been a guest lecturer at couples’ therapy school, and has a private counselling practice. He calls his work “Getting Real” and by this he means how to live a happy life by waking up to the nature of reality and the way the mind works. "Mythbusting" is an important part of this process in which Tim helps people identify and investigate the thoughts and beliefs that make them unhappy. Tim works closely with his mother Barbara Berger and together they have shared their "Getting Real" observations and tools in Denmark and other countries for many years. Visit their website: www.beamteam.com