In this transformational book, the authors have supplied ground-breaking research study to construct four primary trends of relating to one an additional that shed light on our actions--and also just how we deserve to learn to love and also be loved even better.

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Tim Clinton, Ed.D. (The College of William and Mary) is President of the almost 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and many diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and also Pastdental Care, and also Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and also Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor (LPC) and Marriage and also Family Therapist (LMFT), Tim now spends a majority of his time functioning with Christian leaders and also skilled athletes. He has actually been married 30 years to his wife Julie and also together they have actually two youngsters, Megan and Zach.

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Why You Do the Things You Do - Tim Clinton

All civil liberties scheduled. No percentage of this book might be redeveloped, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any kind of means—digital, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—other than for brief quotations in instrumental reviews or write-ups, without the prior composed permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennescheck out, by Thomas Nelchild. Thomas Nelchild is a registered tradenote of Thomas Nelchild, Inc.

Publimelted in association with Yates and Yates, LLP, Literary Agents, Oarray County, CA.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles might be purchased in bulk for educational, service, fund-elevating, or sales promotional usage. For indevelopment, please e-mail SpecialMarkets

Other Scripture references are from the following sources:

The King James Version of the Holy bible (KJV). Public domain.

Names and also details in the situation research studies and anecdotes included in this volume have actually been readjusted to safeguard the identities of those involved. Some examples are composites of actual instances.

Why You Do the Things You Do is a revised variation of Attachments.

Cover Design: Christopher Tobias; Tobias’ Outerwear for Books

Interior Design: Inside Out Deauthorize & Typesetting

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication File

Clinton, Timothy E., 1960–

Why you execute the points you carry out / by Tim Clinton and also Gary Sibcy.

Includes bibliographical referrals and index.

1. Interindividual relations—Religious aspects—Christianity. I. Sibcy, Gary.

II. Title.

BV4597.52 .C55 2002



Information around External Hyperweb links in this ebook Please note that footnotes in this ebook may contain hyperlinks to outside websites as component of bibliographic citations. These hyperweb links have not been caused by the publisher, that cannot verify the accuracy of these links past the date of publication. Dedication

Tim: To the ones for whom my love knows no bounds: Julie and also our children—Megan and also Zachary. You lug such joy to my life.

And to my higher family, both the Clinlots and the Rothmanns.

Gary: To Lory and our children, Jacob and also Jordan, the family members I love the majority of deeply, and to my father, Gary Sibcy Sr., via love and also respect.


Foreword: The Secret to Loving and also Being Loved by Stormie Omartian


1. The Heart of the Matter: Relationships in Everyday Living

Why You Do the Things You Do

2. Shaping Our View of Ourselves and Those We Hold Dearest

Dynamics of Healthy Relationships

3. Soul Wounds

How Injuries to the Heart Occur

4. Equipped to Face Challenges and Take Risks

The Secure Relationship Format

5. The Hardened Heart

The Avoidant Relationship Style

6. Don’t Abandon Me!

The Ambivalent Relationship Layout

7. The Grass Is Always Dead on Both Sides of the Fence

The Disarranged Relationship Format



8. God and also You

Embracing the Relationship That Transcends All Others

with George Ohlschlager

9. Taming Emotional Storms

Conquering Depression, Anxiety, Anger, and also Grief

10. Love, Sex, and Marriage

Working Out Our Many Intimate Relationship

with Sharon Hart Morris, Ph.D.

11. Parenting Secure Kids

How to Be a Sensitive, Secure Parent to Your Children

12. Breaking Free!

A Prescription for Making Changes That Heal



Select Bibliography

FOREWORD The Secret to Loving and also Being Loved

I understand what it is choose to feel unloved and have actually no emotional link to the human being who are supposed to be the many necessary ones in your life. That’s because I spent a far-reaching percent of my at an early stage childhood locked in a clocollection by my mentally ill mother. My dad was gone a lot, and also once he was house, he was worn down and bacount there.

Because of the condition of my primary relationships, I never before felt loved or connected to another person in any type of connection. At leastern not until I received the Lord. Then I started reading the Holy bible and also learning around God and His means. I involved see that He is a God who loves us more than we deserve to imagine. I was amazed to learn that He loves also me. And although I had actually constantly lived via fear, depression, loneliness, and also stress, God’s love was effective sufficient to penetrate my brokenness and take all those negative emovements away. God’s love made me into a entirety perboy.

As I acquired to know my heavenly Father better and much better, I learned that we will certainly never be able to uncover any type of level of wholeness in our stays without His love. It is the air that keeps us breathing. We need to be able to take it in, and also we need to know just how to offer it out also. And we deserve to better perform both those vital points when we understand why we perform what we execute.

That’s what this book will certainly assist you to execute. How I wish that back in those early years I had had a book choose Why You Do the Things You Do to help me understand also why I did the things I did in my relationships and also learn the secret to loving and also being loved.

If you have actually come out of a painful, damaging, or traumatic past; if you have proficient as well many type of empty, damaged, or unfulfilling relationships; if you are tired of feeling unloved, disconnected, or lonely; then you are going to love analysis this book. It will aid you affix with the true Lover of your spirit. It will assist you endure the love and closeness you desire to feel. It will teach you just how to discover loving, fulfilling, wealthy, and satisfying relationships. Reading this book will certainly be a refreshing, encouraging, enlightening, comforting, and also life-transcreating experience. Tbelow is healing within its hope-filled pperiods. Who in the people doesn’t require that?

—Stormie Omartian






Anyone that goes also much alone . . . goes mad.


Wright here have you been? Sandra’s voice was harsh and also accutilizing. Do you have actually any principle exactly how late you are?"

A thirty-four-year-old mom of 2, Sandra had actually bappropriate blue eyes and brown, highlighted hair. She was wearing her new bathing suit and a bappropriate fldental cover-up as she scolded her husband also, Mike, who stood framed in the hotel-room doormethod, his expression both taken aback and laced through weariness. Had they been at home in Virginia, he would have expected to be accosted at the door prefer this; right here, though, he had intended a truce.

You view, he and Sandra were in Hawaii—a perk of Mike’s success. What’s even more, it was February, and also much of America was locked in ice and also scurrently. Virginia had been pitched right into a deep freeze, cursed by unusually icy temperatures and also whipped by nail-sharp winds. Had he assumed it would certainly make a distinction, Mike would have pointed out—again—that they were absent all that and that the civilization they were in was perfumed by orchids, hibiscus, and also royal tuberoses, fragrances brought alengthy by heat, balmy sea breezes.

They were at a luxury hotel on Poipu Beach, Kauai, an island Mike loved. He was a computer devices engineer who’d made a decision a decade earlier to go into computer system sales—and also he was excellent at it. Eextremely year considering that then, he’d made his numbers, and Sandra had accompanied him on among these award trips. Last year it had been a week in Cancun, the year prior to some retype in the Dominideserve to Republic, and also next year—according to the rumors—a seven-day Caribbean cruise.

Why isn’t she happy? Mike wondered incredulously. How deserve to she not be happy in Hawaii? The place even smells happy.

Sandra herself thought she should be happy on her vacation. But she wasn’t. And the much longer she’d waited for Mike, the much less happy she’d become—and also the angrier. After all, what excellent was it to be in a area like Kauai and also spend it alone? Well, okay, she wasn’t constantly alone, yet she can too be. Like this morning, when they were scheduresulted in go snorkeling. A watercraft was leaving in less than fifteen minutes. And just currently did Mike present up. And he kbrand-new just how much she loved to snorkel. The initially time she’d gone was almost six years back once the award expedition wregarding the Virgin Islands. Because then, snorkeling, once offered, had actually been the highlight of the trips for her. And he’d ignored all that and also been late— also late for them to go. Why? Because of a stupid meeting. A hastily dubbed point that had already interrupted their lanai breakrapid buffet and also now threatened to destroy not just her afternoon however her totality Hawaii endure.

Mike recoiled. It’s not my fault.

Sure, it’s your fault, Sandra fired earlier, turning her back on him and stalking earlier right into the room. "It’s absolutely not my fault."

It’s nobody’s fault, Mike deflected. It was a meeting. An essential meeting. Very crucial, actually.

You know how I prefer snorkeling with you. It gives us a chance to carry out somepoint together. Then her voice turned bitter. But I need to have actually well-known you’d put your meeting first.

My boss wanted to talk to me. It was important.

Important, she spat. What’s crucial about you and the men swapping computer-sales war stories roughly the silver coffee urn? Real necessary.

Tright here are rumors the firm can be marketed, Mike volleyed.

Tright here are constantly rumors, Sandra shelp. And you’re always doing this to me. Putting me second, third, or fourth to every little thing else. They wouldn’t fire you if you had gotten up and also left. You could hear about your silly rumors tonight at dinner. But you chose coffee over me.

Coffee? Is that what you think I do? It’s that meeting and also a bunch even more prefer it that gained us right here. Anymethod, he shelp, taking a step or 2 amethod from her, his tone withillustration right into a don’t-hurt-me-again area, we can still go.

No, we can’t.

Sure we deserve to. With the meeting going so lengthy, they delayed the departure.

It doesn’t issue.

Doesn’t matter? He shook his head. Of course it wouldn’t issue to you. It never matters how much I execute for you. Look around you. You’re in Kauai, for cryin’ out loud. Flowers. You love flowers. The area stinks of flowers. You understand what you are? You’re an ingprice.

An ingrate? She stepped towards him aggressively. I should be grateful that you damaged our day together?

Mike expelled a substantial, accmaking use of jet of air via his tightly drawn lips. I’m done. If you don’t want to go, we won’t go. It’s much better anyway. Mike grabbed a folder from the open briefinstance on his bedside table. I’m chairing a meeting in the morning. I should acquire all set for it.

Anvarious other meeting? Why’d you carry me in the initially place?

He simply waved a dismissive hand and also stomped into the bathroom. He closed the door simply as she stepped approximately it. The door virtually hit her.

I can’t believe it. You’ve deserted me aacquire. The first night we were below, you left me waiting for you in the hotel lobby. And this day you left me waiting in this room, waiting for what I thought would certainly be time for the two of us.

Go snorkeling by yourself, he called with the door.

No, Sandra cried to the door. I’m as well angry. Too hurt.

Do what you want. I’m going to the Jacuzzi.

I can be an ingrate, she sassist, falling against the door. But you’re an abuser. You acquire my wishes up and also then you dash them. You smash them to smithereens. You’re cruel—cruel and also insensitive. She took a deep breath as if loading her emotional firearms. You’re just favor your father.

In the bathroom Mike was stepping right into his bathing suit. The immediate he heard those words, he felt Sandra’s emotional fist bury itself in his stomach. Pulling up his swim trunks, he all yet fell versus the marble counter, reasoning, Relationships just don’t work-related. Womales just don’t make feeling, so just how can you figure them out? No matter just how tough you try to please them, nopoint works. No wonder Dad left Mom. Mom drove him crazy simply like Sandra’s driving me crazy. Nopoint might please Mom, and nothing pleases Sandra.

The organization papers clutched in his hand also favor a lifeline, Mike got a towel with his various other hand also and tossed it over his shoulder. Then he stepped from the bathroom to the hotel-room door.

That’s the method it constantly is, isn’t it? Sandra fired her last shot as Mike opened the door. You go your way; I go mine. I think you gain deserting me.


Did you know that as many as 40 to 50 percent of today’s marriperiods end in the brokenness of divorce? Marrieras conceived in love and blessed in heaven construct major fissures and also begin to crumble. Sadly, that’s been Mike and also Sandra’s experience—and also possibly your own too. Have you ever felt betrayed and abandoned as Sandra does? Or felt battered and also, choose Mike, withattracted into yourself? Or have you and the one you love had a fight that’s been left unresolved, leaving you and also the other perchild emotionally further apart than ever?

Mike and also Sandra’s trouble in paradise reminds us of trouble in Paradise with a funding P. Remember Adam wandering about the Garden of Eden by himself? God saw that it wasn’t great for male to be alone. So He resulted in a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and then He offered Adam someone he might relate to—a womale, Eve. Later God would certainly offer Adam and also Eve other humans to relate to— their kids. Clearly, God created us to be in partnership through various other people and via Him. But keeping and also nurturing our relationships—that’s the tricky thing.

Hardwired for intimacy—simply as you and I are—Adam and also Eve had actually a perfect connection . . . for a while. But even in Paradise things went wrong. Evil lurked. Satan tempted. Eve little the apple. Adam caved in. Soon they were blaming each other. Their previously easy intimacy was no much longer easy at all—and also this was prior to their kids came down on the scene, entangling them in an completely different set of relational challenges.

And isn’t this precisely what happens today? Our relationships begin out so beautitotally, and also the next thing we understand we’re hurting or being hurt by those about us, especially the ones we love the most. Why does this happen? What are we contributing to the pain? Why, in our relationships, carry out we perform the unadvantageous points we do? How can we store this hurt from happening? And just how have the right to we repair the partnership when it has actually been damaged—or we’ve damaged it?

Teaching you those secrets is the emphasis of this book. You can learn why you do the things you carry out. And you can learn to develop and maintain—or gain back and also maintain—strong, nurturing, loving relationships with the world closest to you. That’s what God has intfinished for you all alengthy.

The Desire for Intimacy

When God gotten in the Garden and also called out, Adam, wright here are you? God already kbrand-new what had actually taken place and where Adam was hiding. Yet He was inviting Adam to walk through Him—to continue to be in relationship with Him. And, as counselors, we notice that component of the story the most: not the eating-the-apple part, yet God’s desire for intimacy via us. The Genesis account of production reminds us not just of the power of God’s love and of love itself however additionally of the truth that He’s given us various other intimate relationships like those with our spouses, our children, our parents—world to be tright here for us with thick and also thin—to aid fill our hearts and satisfy our longing for love.

Unfortunately, so much today competes for our relationships and tears at our love. With time our important relationships have the right to sour and end up being seriously flawed. As our relationships sour, our feeling of wellness can sour too. Filled via hurt, and also maybe dealing with a feeling of rejection and also aloneness also, we pull inward to defend our hearts. We begin to distance ourselves from the human being we treatment about a lot of. Empty and desperate, we attempt to fill the holes in our souls with points prefer job-related, play, or entertainment, points which may end up being various other lovers that provide us objective, definition, and also worth. As one wise observer detailed, Modern man is drinking and also drugging himself out of awareness, or he spends his time shopping, which is the very same thing.

See more: Why Harry Potter Should Have Carried A 1911, Harry Potter Should Have Used A Gun

¹ Before lengthy, we discover ourselves intensifying our aloneness, magnifying our damaged selves, and also probably also denying our God and bring about more hurt to the people we care around most.

Why carry out we do the things we do? All of us cause pain in relationships as well as experience it—and we can’t help ourselves. And we store going ago for more! The persistent humale cry is for someone to love us. Our need for connection is even even more effective than our need for food.

Understanding what you add (consciously and unconsciously) to your relationships and then acquiring understanding into what the people you care about are contributing to those relationships—this knowledge is essential to unlocking the keys to loving and also lasting relationships. Providing you that crucial is our goal in Why You Do the Things You Do.

We’ve introduced you to Mike and also Sandra, one relationship that is feeling the push and strain of people trying to obtain alengthy. As their story unfolds in this book, we’ll show you exactly how seeds planted at an early stage and throughout their resides matured right into these frightening and also deeply destructive moments—and also seeds prefer that are planted in all of us and also are at job-related in all of us. We’ll likewise follow Mike and also Sandra—and others—as they journey toward a better place.

Abandoned Parent, Abandoned Child

Two of those others are Hannah and also her seven-year-old kid, Darcy. He came for counseling about a month after he started second grade, a well known time for habits difficulties to surconfront in children. Hannah was twenty-6 and also blonde; she wore slacks and also an untucked blue blousage. Built like a bear cub, Darcy had actually dark hair, wide shoulders, and busy, fast-moving hands.

Hannah was a single mommy. My divorce came to be final just three months ago, she said. My ex stays in Florida now. He’s training to be a police officer tright here. He’s additionally obtained a new honey and hardly ever sees Darcy anyeven more. The girlfriend has actually a baby that takes all his time.

His baby?

She shook her head. No, but he treats it like it is. She provided Darcy a pertained to glance and also went on. I’m a nurse. In the emergency room, the ER. Like on the old TV display. I’m babbling, aren’t I? She took a deep breath to calm herself. Then she slumped. I’m simply overwhelmed. I’ve obtained civilization bleeding anywhere me during the day and sometimes fifty percent the night, and I’ve gained Darcy screaming at me when I’m home.

That sounds overwhelming. How does it occur that Darcy ends up screaming at you?

He simply won’t do what he’s told, she explained. I come home exhausted and also ask him to pick up his playthings or his dirty apparel, and also he explodes. She sighed as if just thinking about it were tiring. "He’s so angry all the time. He talks earlier, throws tantrums—also kicks things. And he suggests about everything. It rained the other day. I asked him to put on his jacket before going out, and also we ended up in a large fight. ‘I don’t want to wear a jacket!’ he screamed. ‘But it’s raining,’ I sassist. ‘Who cares?’ he said. He simply says to argue.

"And he argues via other adults, not simply me. My next-door neighbor gets the brunt of it: ‘Don’t swing on that branch; it’ll break,’ she’ll say to him. ‘I’ll swing if I wanna,’ he yells back at her. ‘Don’t throw that ball so cshed to my house. You’ll break a home window.’ ‘I won’t break no home window.’ ‘Don’t throw the ball.’ And he simply itches to save throwing the ball. He’s annoying me—purposely annoying me—and I’m exhausted. I’m tired from job-related, and then I go house and walk into this hurricane. Right away we’re both yelling—yet no one deserve to hear.

"And Darcy walked over to a kindergartner the other day at school and also stepped on his lunch. Mamelted both the sandwich and also the Twinkies. It was the 3rd time in the last six weeks or so that he’s destroyed one more kid’s lunch. And yesterday he deliberately wrote on a tiny girl’s white dress with a black marker— and also he created A-C-B. He couldn’t even gain the alphabet right. That’s one of the factors we’re here. The institution told me I needed to have actually him evaluated."

Helping a Child Feel Loved and Cared For

We strongly think that, prior to even more structured behavior approaches are supplied to aid a defiant kid, the parent-child connection need to first enhance. Clearly—and also understandably—Darcy was filled through a lot of anger. If a kid is angry, if he feels unloved and uncared for, no parenting strategy have the right to make him behave actually. So, to help enhance Hannah and Darcy’s connection, we assigned them special times.²

Special time is playtime that parental fees deliberately invest in their son, and it is entirely command also complimentary. Parental fees are not permitted to offer their kid any type of regulates or suggestions. If you say, Let’s play army, you simply blew it. A parent in command-cost-free time is like an announcer at a steed race: You’re connected in the moment along with your kid. You’re watching, describing, being with, but you’re providing no commands and also giving no suggestions. None. And we wanted Hannah to spend one-on-one time with Darcy for twenty to thirty minutes at a time.

In our counseling exercise we have viewed phenomenal outcomes from one-of-a-kind time. But this type of relating can be challenging for parental fees that may not be provided to connecting through their youngsters in the time of playtime. And what provides it also more challenging for paleas is that they have to refrain from asking intrusive concerns or providing commands. Hannah had to let Darcy take the lead, and she had to follow him. If he need to end up being excessively disruptive in the time of unique time, she wregarding ssuggest soptimal playing and rerotate later. Of course she wouldn’t tolerate unacceptable habits.

When they arrived for their following session, Hannah admitted that she hadn’t discovered time in the previous week to do day-to-day special times. She had actually been as well busy. My life is so crazy, she said. And anymethod, what are we intended to carry out throughout special times? She had tried once, she sassist, but it had turned into a substantial fight.

After just a few chaotic minutes, she had angrily withdrawn from the activity.

Let’s execute distinct time below in the office, we suggested. Although we witnessed the reluctance in Hannah’s eyes, she agreed, and a few minutes later on she and also Darcy were on the floor of our playroom. Hannah tried to begin out on a positive note, however then Darcy took off throughout the floor via a Hot Wheels auto. Hannah, unwilling to chase him, dubbed him back. You’re always doing that, she accsupplied. I’m not going to run almost everywhere the location after you. Suddenly he turned, looked at her for an prompt, and then puburned the vehicle at her. It slid across the floor choose a hockey puck and also zapped her in the knee. She shot a piercing glance earlier at Darcy and also grumbled, "You’d better reduced it out—now! "

Darcy turned amethod from Hannah and played with his cars in the edge of the office. Hannah, still noticeably angry, simply stared off into room. This was a stunning instance of anger and also distance in between a stressed-out mommy and her angry, defiant seven-year-old boy.

It would have been easy for us to framework Darcy’s difficulty in conventional terms: he’s simply a brat in need of some great, tough technique. But we observed that Darcy’s concerns and his mom’s concerns had actually intersected. She is a solitary mom and a deserted wife, left behind by a deadbeat husband also and also tired by her two full-time jobs: job-related in the ER and motherhood. (Later we would certainly learn that she likewise has actually a harsh background filled via abandonment, anger, and also abusage.) Like his mommy, Darcy has actually likewise been abandoned. His father has actually practically disappeared from his everyday life, a case confronted by millions of youngsters in America who live in a house acomponent from Dad. Many kind of of them haven’t also viewed their dads in the last twelve months.

Overwhelmed by the demands of single motherhood, Hannah was bacount able to muster the power and also focus essential to get dinner on the table, let alone sit dvery own on the floor, enter right into Darcy’s people, and center her attention on him. Obviously, assist for Hannah and Darcy should not only encompass some brand-new technique techniques; it also should deal with an extra main problem.


Although these two cases seem various, the recoexceptionally of all four human being we’ve met hinges on the way they answer the complying with inquiries about the human being they’re in partnership with and around themselves: