Things Divorce Teaches You about Marriage

divorce

Things Divorce Teaches You about Marriage

A divorce can be devastating. It’s one of those pains that you don’t really understand unless you’ve been through it. Not only does it cause tremendous upheaval in your life, it alters how you view yourself and romantic relationships. Some people swear off marriage wholeheartedly, while others jump into the next one as if their last had nothing to teach them. But most of us reflect on the state of marriage and relationships at this time. If a split is anything it’s a great teacher. Here are some things divorce teaches you about marriage. First, marriages are always different for those living them than how they are viewed from the outside. Sometimes when someone gets divorced, others are shocked, thinking they had the perfect marriage. Issues that seem reconcilable to some are end games to others. But some people somehow find a way to make it work. Everyone’s marriage is a bit messy, much like human life, though they may seem picture perfect from where you stand. If we could just break down the walls and talk about what marriage is really like, instead of putting on airs, perhaps we could make everyone’s better.

Another problem leading to divorce is a sexless marriage. Make time to be physical together. Statistics show that 20% of marriages today are sexless. But becoming physically intimate is a way for both people to bond. Being in a sexless marriage itself may be a big warning sign that things aren’t going well for one or both parties. Of course men tend to compartmentalize. With women, if things aren’t going well in the relationship, goings-on in the bedroom suffer. That’s because to a woman the emotional intimacy in the relationship is what’s most important. Though this may be important for a man, most men are more driven by libido. A failed marriage makes us look at other marriages in a new way. What are others really struggling with and how do they make it work? Communication is always crucial. But so is negotiation, not holding grudges, clearing the air and coming to a deep understanding of one another. We also need to accept the flaws in ourselves and our spouse for what they are. Recognition is one thing, acceptance another. One of the common causes of divorce is infidelity. Some people are shocked when they find that their husband or wife was cheating. A person may be an incredible breadwinner, an expert parent, a phenomenal homemaker and still have a spouse who cheats. The reason people go astray is they are trying to heal something wrong inside the relationship through outside means.

One of the problems with modern marriage that experts often point out is that we expect our spouse to take up all of the roles that traditionally an entire village provided. We want them to be our mentor, coach, partner, lover, confidante, best friend, co-parent and more. Find some of these needs outside your relationship if you can, and take some pressure off of your spouse. Spending some time with friends or close family members and becoming more well-rounded people by spending time at one’s favorite pursuits can help replenish each person and the marriage as well. But tenaciously clinging to one’s partner can bring the whole thing down. It’s best when both people are totally fulfilled, realized people who choose to go through life together. Marriage isn’t easy. But for most Americans, they see little alternative. We’ve been called serial monogamists and perhaps it still fits, at least if you are of a certain generation. Statistically, second marriages are less likely to last. Some say the third one is a charm. Be that as it may, don’t wallow in a failed marriage, learn from it and make your next relationship the romance of a lifetime. For more pick up a copy of, Learning From Divorce: How to Take Responsibility, Stop the Blame, and Move On by Robert LaCrosse and Christine A. Coates.

BDSM Dating App Helps the Kinky Get Together

kinky

BDSM Dating App Helps the Kinky Get Together

Tinder has been so successful it has bred a near universe of similar apps with their own twist on its successful model.  If you are a shy guy, there’s Catch. Stylish sack jumpers who are also cerebral can meet on Hinge. Those who are very health conscious can find each other on SaladMatch. To select someone who knows how to give a proper salute try Uniform Dating. If you care about the person’s personality and not so much their looks give Willow a try. Black professionals can find possible mates on Meld. Try The League if you are wealthy and the other person’s net worth is of importance to you. The latest in this dating app tsunami is for those who want to get their kink on and find a partner that’s into the kinds of freaky things they want to do. Take Tinder and BDSM, put it in a blender and what shoots out is Whipir. This app does in fact allude to the likeness of the prior landscape-changing app. They also claim to be the only platform solely for the BDSM community. It is important to find someone who is open-minded enough, and trusting enough to allow us to explore our deep desires, and help us find out more about ourselves. We do so when we lead someone else through their deepest fantasies as well.

Whipir is user friendly offering free calls, real-time messaging and video chats. The usability of dating apps is one reason why people are pivoting away from the old-time desktop version which requires a lengthy profile process and often membership fees. Apps are so convenient and cost little if anything to use. Whipir is easy to navigate. You upload a normal photo, answer a few questions including your gender, location, kinky interests and level of experience and away you go. Your choices filter out other members and hopefully put you in front of people, or put people in front of you, that are looking for what you are. Then you can chat up those who seem as though they have potential and even send out a few “sparks.” These are interests you can propose to someone you might like to experience them with. This isn’t just for the initiated. Whipir invites the curious or those who have only just started exploring to join in the dark, titillating fun.

There are what they describe as “kink categories.” These include materials, accessories, objects, sounds and fashion. If you are into latex, love the smell of leather or can’t wait to be tied down, you imply it here. One unfortunate drawback though, it doesn’t get any more specific than these categories. So if you want to spank someone there’s no way of specifically knowing without chatting and finding out what another is into. Chief communications officer Daniel Sevitt told Refinery 29 that these categories were left vague on purpose. This was because they wanted to allow a broad interpretation of kink, and even to allow users themselves to define their own fantasies and interests, without the platform dictating it to them. There is another BDSM site called FetLife. They bill themselves as the Facebook of kink. This is more of a social networking site, whereas Whipir is an efficient dating platform modeled after Tinder. Analysts wonder due to the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon if the app will become huge or sort of fizzle out. But if you are interested, Whipir may be the next great place to find someone to get your freak on with. If you’re interested in learning more about the intersection of technology and dating read, Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating by Dan Slater.

Free yourself from Post-Divorce Negativity

Leave-Negativity

Free yourself from Post-Divorce Negativity

Few events in life can fill you with so many negative emotions such as sadness, a sense of loss, despair, depression, anxiety and hatred like a bitter divorce. Even conscious uncoupling can be deeply unsettling. The first thing to realize is that it is all inside your own head. You may feel a torrent of emotions. But you decide exactly what to do with them, how to manage them and ultimately whether you come out a stronger, more developed, self-actualized person at the end who has experienced a kind of personal growth from this experience, or if you miss that chance due to retaining bitterness. If you are hurling all of this hatred and anger at your spouse, you’ll soon realize it’s like swallowing poison to murder someone; it hurts you terribly, but the impact on them is limited. Instead, an outlook of yourself both as patient and doctor is sufficient. You have these emotions and now it’s time to see how to best tend to them so that you get the best outcome. Your spouse as well may be casting vitriol at you every chance they get. You can’t control what happened or how they feel. Nor can you control their behavior. What you can control is your reaction to it, and how much you will let it bother you. There are some simple beliefs you can adopt to help shed your negativity and also protect yourself against your ex’s. Here’s how to free yourself from post-divorce negativity.

Realize that whatever your spouse says about you is their problem, not yours. Be sure to clear your name. And if they are using the children to spy or as a weapon, make sure to nip that situation in the bud. The children should never be put in the middle. They will suffer for it. But other than that, they will say what they will. You choose how you react to it. Their speech is all about them, not about you. What’s more, other people will be watching how you react. Will you be classy all the way, or sink to their level? In the end others judge them for their behavior, and they’ll sink themselves. Instead of seeing divorce as an end, which it invariably is, see it as a new beginning. You have freedom to be who you want to be, and discover a whole new you. Your life won’t be perfect after divorce, but it is still pretty good and it can be even be better. Make a dream board. Write in a diary. Make a bucket list. Go back to school. Get some more training or try and climb the ladder at work. Invest in a hobby. Take a trip with a friend. There are so many things you can do and so many directions you can take your life in now that your ex isn’t weighing you down. There will be good days and bad. If you need to cry it out, do it. It’s a healing process and think of it as such. But don’t wallow in grief. Know when it’s time to pick yourself up and get going again.

Realize that every experience you have in life is another lesson that makes you wiser and therefore a better person in the end. It may not feel like it now but this could be a completely transformative experience for you. Not everything in life is meant to endure. Change can be very scary and it can be hard to say goodbye. Just keep things moving. Make the necessary steps, no matter how small or staggering. Sooner or later you will make it to where you are supposed to be. Sometimes it feels satisfying to take part in divorce drama with your ex. But sooner or later you will understand that it weighs you down far more than it lifts you up. After a divorce you may feel like damaged goods. But the truth is people are judging you far less than you think. Understand that your life and your happiness is ultimately based on your own thinking and no one elses. You can make the world a better place and you can make your life all you want it to be. It’s all up to you. For more, pick up a copy of the book, The Rediscovery of Me: Reinventing Life after Divorce by Dr. Marcia Brevard Wynn and Earl Sewell.

Why all Relationships are Valuable

BREAKUP-STRESS

Why all Relationships are Valuable

Sometimes a relationship ends and we can’t help but feel that it was all just a huge waste of time. We invested so much in the person and the relationship and now we decry the loss of all that time and energy. It’s only natural to feel this way. But if you can take a step back and look at your love life as a continuum and a progression, you’ll see that all relationships teach us something valuable. There are lots of lessons to be learned that you can apply to your new relationships. Not only can it teach us about love, but even greater than that, a breakup is one of the most useful tools for teaching us about ourselves. Any relationship, if reflected upon in the right manner, can show you areas where you need improvement. Here are some things to think about after a relationship has ended. First, reflect on what didn’t work here. What was the crux of the issue that tore you two apart? You can use it as material for reflection so that next time you will have a better shot at making things work. Now we can see more clearly what love actually is and what it should be.

You can so easily perceive now what traits you don’t want inhabiting your relationship, things that previously you were more apt to put up with. Anger, jealousy, substance abuse, neglect, an inability to communicate and more may have been at issue. If you have one or some of these issues you can work on them. Or you can work to avoid a mate who has one or many of these. Then move to refine your search and what qualities you require in a mate. You can understand more clearly what type of behavior doesn’t work well with your personality, and what you will and will not put up with. If we look closely we notice that each new relationship entered into has certain elements that are the same. Your patterns of behavior are the same or similar or you are attracted to the same type of person. We can learn from these patterns. Nothing promotes growth better than examining our behavior in a relationship and how that behavior contributed to its end. Of course it may be ultimately the other person’s fault. But it takes two to tango. It is truly a rare breakup indeed where one person is completely at fault for everything. If you cannot isolate your own negative behaviors you are doomed to repeat them.

After a relationship ends there tends to be a change in one’s self-respect. It can be shored up or degraded depending upon the outcome and what has occurred. A relationship can show you where and how to apply your self-respect. If we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, our relationship will inevitably show us that this is a poor choice, for all involved, and the relationship in total. If you allow yourself to be taken advantage of, your self-esteem degrades, the other person’s respect falls and the balance of power is knocked off kilter. It’s important that we assert ourselves. Our relationship is one place where we establish ourselves, where we negotiate, where we speak up for ourselves, show our value and learn to discuss things and talk about our needs, hopes, dreams and desires and how to fulfill them. It you are shut up and your needs and desires are not allowed to be communicated then this relationship is not for you.

Grief is never fun. But it is one of the biggest catalysts to personal growth. Throughout our lives we continually confront the cycles of beginning and ending. With love it seems particularly painful when it ends. But this cycle is no different than the others that occur in life. Loss is to be expected at the end of any relationship, whether you were sad to see it go, or relieved. We feel deeply connected with and identify with those whom we love deeply. Some people try to pull away from grief. It’s important to let yourself grieve and not paper over your feelings or pretend like everything is okay. Instead, allow yourself to grieve in a healthy way. Find someone you are close with to talk to. Do some soul searching. Make plans. Use this experience to fuel a personal transformation.  Each loss, though painful, teaches us to love ourselves more. We become more confident, mature, knowledgeable and self-aware. Remember that a relationship is a mirror. Nothing will reflect back on you or help you to see yourself more clearly like one. When we come up with a way to overcome our obstacles, we will find ourselves in the right relationship, one that is healthy and satisfying. For more help on getting back on your feet after a breakup read, Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person by Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.

What you learn after a Decade of Marriage

happiness

What you learn after a Decade of Marriage

If you get to your ten year anniversary you can feel pretty lucky, especially nowadays with so many marriages ending in divorce. Lots of people will ask what the secret is when they hear of marriage longevity. And lots of couples too look back and reflect on what it was that kept them together for so long. Relationships are hard to keep on track and sometimes easy to derail. But all those who make it always say that it was worth it. The first thing to remember is that you are on each other’s side. Of course your spouse can drive you crazy. But don’t blow up at them, especially in front of other people.

You need to always have each other’s back. That’s what a marriage is for isn’t it, a safe haven against the volleys of a heartless world? Forgiveness, help and the benefit of the doubt should be the norm in your married life. Next, don’t keep track of who owes what to whom. This will always make you disappointed, especially if the other person isn’t keeping track. And who exactly is to evaluate what each person does for one another and its weight against other same such things? Don’t act the martyr. But don’t try to get over on your mate and win all the time, or else it will come back to bite you in the end.

Understand that no one is perfect. Don’t try to be perfect in your marriage and don’t expect your spouse to be. You will see each other at your best and worst. The most important thing is to be there for one another to celebrate those victories or to help scrape them off the pavement, get them cleaned up and try to cheer them up. Don’t treat one another as children. If you start babying your spouse they will resent you for it. You are putting yourself in a position of power over them. What’s more, you are diminishing them. Doing this can only spell resentment in the future and one party leaving. Instead, make sure that each party feels respected and has equal say in what is going on. One party being good at one thing can handle that for the marriage while the other can handle something they are good at, instead of setting them up for a fall and making them feel like a child.

You should at all times be helping to hold up your spouse rather than bringing them down. Go outside your comfort zone now and then to keep things interesting. But don’t be afraid of being comfortable either. If things feel boring don’t blame the relationship, find a way to put a spark back into things and reconnect. If you want to know more tips on making your marriage great and keeping it where it needs to be, read Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America’s Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies for Strengthening Your Relationship by John M. and Julie Schwartz Gottman.