|name||Break Through: When to Give In, How to Push Back…The Moment That Changes Everything|
|author||Dr. Tim Clinton and Pat Springle|
|genre||Christian Life, Self Help|
|media_type||Print (hardcover, paperback)|
This book is about various dysfunctions in relationship and how to recognize and overcome them, particularly the problem of enmeshment and co-dependency. The authors write from a Christian perspective, quoting the Bible and applying biblical principles to the practice of psychology. In the book, the authors discuss relational patterns of enmeshment, co-dependency, manipulation and control, and offer advice on how to change these relationship patterns.
The book is divided into an introduction and 15 chapters, plus two appendices: one on how to apply the principles of the book in parenting, and the second a guide for group discussion.
The authors use stories of clients who have experienced the relational problems described in the book to illustrate their points. They use illustrations of very common family problems, such as a spouse who continues to endure abuse, parents who allow their children to remain dependent on them into adulthood, parents who cover for a child’s addictions or bail them out of irresponsible behavior.
The book asserts that most people have one or two relationships that cause them pain, in which they endure “name calling, the silent treatment, temper tantrums, even violence” in the name of love, (p. 4) which the author asserts is not really love at all. The book’s key theme is that controlling behavior is “counterfeit love.”
The authors argue that even people who appear to be bent on pleasing others (who act like victims) use that very capitulation to manipulate and control those who appear more powerful than they. They describe “one-up” or “one-down” relationships, where people do not relate as equals but in a power struggle.
The authors write: “In disruptive families, children are taught to remain one-up or one-down into adulthood. And this produces immature adults who either seek to dominate others (one-up) or who allow themselves to be dominated (one-down) in their relationships—one powerful and one needy, one enabling and one addicted, one decisive and one confused.” (p. 11-12)
The authors label four types of trust, three unhealthy and one healthy: “The three disordered patterns of trust are blind trust, passive distrust, and aggressive distrust. If we can identify these patterns in our lives, we have a far better opportunity to take steps to change and cultivate the fourth kind of trust—wise trust.” (p. 163)
Disordered trust connects to different personality types:Heroes: those who offer blind trust, even when their closest family members do not deserve their trust. This is a classically codependent person. “The person who trusts blindly controls others by preventing them from suffering the consequences of their behavior,” the authors write (p 164).Field marshals: those who command people and demand compliance, because they don’t trust anyone. They exhibit aggressive distrust, and “take charge of every situation. They act like field marshals,” the authors write (p. 167)Turtles: These people avoid because they don’t trust anyone, the authors assert. They are passive Distrusters, “terrified of powerful, dominating people, so they act like turtles, pulling into their shells at the slightest sign of a threat.” (p. 165) or Turtles (who withdraw and avoid)
The fourth personality type, the authors write, is someone who trusts wisely.Wise trust: this is the type of person the authors refer to as an adult, someone who is emotionally mature. “People who have learned the art of trusting wisely define love as ‘nonpossessive warmth.’ For them, love is caring for others with no strings attached.” (p. 169)