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Fixations, Enmeshments and Happiness
Untangle your emotions and your life! Martyn Carruthers

Online Help: Coaching & Counseling to Untangle Your Life

Entanglement refers to relationships in which one person
affects another person without direct interaction.

Are you Entangled?

Relationship entanglements can hurt you. The most common symptom is that you feel irrational emotions ... emotions that are more appropriate to another time, to another place or to another person. Entanglements are very, very common.

You probably have many habits - things you do with little or no thought. Your ability to enjoy your life and your relationships reflect your habits - and your habits reflect your personal history, your family and cultural traditions ... and your entanglements.

Are You Entangled?


You try to cling to a person


You feel depressed without cause


You identify with another person


You pretend that you are someone else


You project your prejudices onto someone


You depend on someone who depends on you

Belief Bonds

You must believe something to stay close to someone


You behave as if a person were someone else

Are you bothered by emotional reactions, confusion or relationship habits following events such as codependence, emotional incest or abuse by therapists? We help people free themselves from emotional and relationship problems. (See Victim Identification and Quantum Thinking)

Healthy Detachment

Do you mourn a past relationship? Do you obsess about a past partner - or potential partner? Do you try to relive old memories - again and again?

Do you sometimes act like a lost child or like a victim? Do you often play victimizer, victim or rescuer roles? These role-playing games can be intense and they have high stakes. You bet your life.

Cults, marketers and politicians may enmesh people to control their behavior. So do many families. There may be rules, but often the rules are taboo and cannot be discussed. In which of your relationships is it against the rules to know the rules?

Some Signs of Entanglement

Excuses Blaming Complaining Criticizing
Threatening Coercing Begging Gossiping
Don't say what you mean Don't take yourself seriously Claim everything is your fault Never say "No"
Don't mean what you say Tell people not to take you seriously Claim nothing is your fault Never say "Yes"
Don't know what you mean Take yourself too seriously Avoid talking about yourself Lie, protect and cover up for people
Apologize for being alive Are never sure what is being discussed Talk too much Talk in self-critical, or hostile ways
Only say what provokes people Only express opinions when people will agree Claim to sacrifice your happiness for others Cannot express emotions appropriately
Compulsive spending Believe lies Tell lies Become workaholic

Many people are manipulated by - and manipulate others by - sex. People who provide sexual pleasure - often without receiving pleasure themselves - expect some benefit. Other common entanglements are in sales and marketing - good looking young women can be used to sell just about anything.

Sexual Entanglements

  • Do you initiate sex when you feel bad?
  • Can you ask for what you want in bed?
  • Do you withdraw from your sex partner?
  • Do you have sex when you don't want to?
  • Have you lost interest in sex?
  • Is sex just robotic movements?
  • Do you consider intimate affairs?
  • Do you invent excuses to avoid sex?

Sexual Abuse . Sexual Solutions . Sexual Issues . Sexual Affairs

Are you addicted to your own emotions - even unpleasant ones - or obsessed with hiding your emotions? Many relationship problems get worse over time, descending through symbiosis towards codependence. Codependence is a common form of entanglement - and a step away from having no relationships at all.

A few questions about your emotions can indicate your level of entanglement.

Anger / Rage Fear / Anxiety Sadness / Melancholy
  • Are you afraid of your own anger?
  • Are you frightened of other people's anger?
  • Do you hide or swallow your anger?
  • Are you afraid of authorities?
  • Do you fear being abandoned?
  • Are you anxious about consequences?
  • Do you proclaim your sadness?
  • Do you punish people who make you sad?
  • Do you feel guilty for feeling sad?

Entanglements often include avoiding or overloading responsibility. Entangled adults often appear immature and childish, or may obsess about other people's behavior. Protection is often a small step from control. Mothering can become smothering.

Entanglements & Responsibility

  • Do you give unwanted advice?
  • Must you help people with problems?
  • Do you obsess about people's needs?
  • Do you only try to please other people?
  • Do you feel victimized?
  • Are you overly irresponsible?
  • Do you only attract needy people?
  • Are you attracted to needy people?

Intelligence is not wisdom. Intelligent people may feel entangled if they cannot find logical solutions for problems that less intelligent people cannot perceive.

Most people must suffer before they seek help. Have you suffered enough?

Are You Entangled?

  1. Elite: You feel that you are special
  2. Guilt: You cannot enjoy your success
  3. Loyalty: You cannot commit to a partner
  4. Confusion: You cannot identify your own needs
  5. Obsessive: You endure compulsions or addictions
  6. Impulsive: You act without considering consequences
  7. Emotions: You do anything to not-feel unpleasant emotions
  8. Distractions: You search for short-term fun - not lasting happiness

Do you want a life based on emotional maturity?
Do you want to untangle yourself from other people's lives?

Do you want to Untangle Your Life?

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2002-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email