How to Pick Yourself Back up Again After a Divorce

How to Pick Yourself Back up Again After a Divorce

Each couple is unique, and so are the ways their relationships end. But there are patterns. Some couples have known for a long time things haven’t been working out. For others, one person surprises the other. In this case the shock can be earth-shattering. Being rejected by someone you felt so close to, and loved enough to marry (at least once upon a time) can tear you apart. An orderly and predictable life is now tossed into chaos. Everything has to be rearranged with the person you would least like to spend another minute with. Even after the arrangements and agreements, perhaps court battles, are over, and the grieving done, challenges do not evaporate. People may think you are alright at this stage. But for many of the newly divorced, moving forward remains difficult. A large portion of one’s identity has died and he or she has to find out what they can do to fill the void, how to rebuild themselves and make a life anew. That is scary. Such a large form of rejection, for those who were walked away from, can leave deep wounds in the ego that must be healed. And those who have been burned often have trouble reigniting their love life as trust remains an issue. It is not an easy time. But rest assured, you can get through it and find happiness again. Here is some advice on how to pick yourself up after a divorce and build the kind of life you want.

Fall in love with yourself again. Begin by making a list of your good qualities. What characteristics do you have that others admire or emulate? What skills do you possess that make you unique? One of the hardest parts of a divorce is reinventing yourself. We get used to the thought of being married. It becomes a part of our identity. Now it is time to reshape that identity. And the way to do that is to come to a better understanding of who you are, who it is you want to be, and what about yourself you want to project to the world. Dig deep and find what makes you happy, really deeply satisfied and fulfilled. Do you want to own your own business? Go back to school? Wish to totally change careers? Want to author the next great novel or see the world? Understand that as a single person, you have more freedom. You do not have to check in with anyone. You can also reinvent yourself without someone holding you back. A divorce is an ending, sure. But it is also a new beginning. Don’t waste a second chance at new and better life. A divorce may even in hindsight a blessing in disguise, the best thing that ever happened to you.

Reach out to those close to you if you are having a hard time. Sometimes it really helps just talking things over, or bouncing ideas off of someone you trust. Another problem is it can be difficult to meet someone new. Be patient. Online dating can take some time, and be hit or miss. Just work with a one or two websites or a site and an app. Don’t use them together for more than an hour each day. But lots of people have met online. Send out feelers offline too. Shake your social tree and see what singles drop out. It can’t hurt to ask a couple of close friends if they know anyone who is single. Chances are you and the recommended will get along well together. And you have someone in common, so there’s an ice breaker already in hand. Just don’t blame your friend, or feel guilty should it does not work out. Consider what kind of frequency you are emitting into the world. Are you a magnetic ray of sunshine, or a dark and scowling raincloud? You need to feel your authentic emotions, but when you come to that point where the real suffering is over, undo your negativity. Step out of the shadows and examine them. Set out to find their root causes and ways to unravel them. Find a way to radiate light and happiness and you will naturally attract the mate you seek. Build a better you, and a higher quality love interest should soon be at your side.

For more on overcoming divorce and other devastating life experiences read, You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce, or Death by Louise L. Hay and David Kessler.

Should You Let Your Lover Visit a Dominatrix?

Should You Let Your Lover Visit a Dominatrix?

We often think of sexuality as a solid set of likes, desires, and characteristics. But as we grow and develop, our interests might change or deepen. Especially today with so much access to sexual material on the internet, and a looser attitude toward sexuality in general, people feel free to explore experiences and fetishes they may not have otherwise communicated. But this puts the monogamous relationship in a particular bind. Sometimes two people get together with very different thresholds of what is acceptable in the bedroom and what is not. What makes it doubly difficult is that many people do not find this out until later on, after the nuance of what the BDSM community calls “vanilla sex” has worn off. Usually one person gets comfortable with the repertoire, while the other gets bored with it. Another thing that sometimes happens is one person gets interested in a particular fetish, or certain aspect of BDSM, or finally feels comfortable enough to share their other-than-straight-sex interest. At this point, the vanilla loving partner gets freaked out. They may go through a point of insecurity, wondering if they are enough for the kinkier partner, which one hopes they are assured that they are. But then things come to a point where, each person has to ask, what do you do with this fetish or fascination if the other partner is disinterested, or unwilling to fulfill it? Should you let your partner visit a dominatrix for instance?

First of all, take a step back for a minute and realize that for your partner to divulge this to you, your relationship must have good communication. That speaks to a strong bond and a deep well of trust. These are not things to be taken lightly. Often the emotional paradigm and the sexual one are not at the same level. We may be getting all that we need and more in terms of emotional needs, but a preoccupation or overwhelming desire is waiting in the wings. This is a solid relationship. But the fetish if ignored is not going to go away. Instead, it will fester underneath the surface. You do not want to put your lover in a position where they may feel desire to cheat. Reconsider their fetish. Is it really something you do not wish to take part in? Perhaps you can have a playtime for the kinky one, and straight sex for the vanilla partner. If you are totally against taking part, consider allowing them to see a professional. There is no actual sexual interaction between the dominatrix and her client. It is really about focusing on the fetish itself, and fulfilling that desire. It may even make the relationship happier.

Do not think after years of marriage that you have your partner all figured out. Sexuality is a constantly evolving thing. It is one of the aspects after all, that keeps sex interesting. What the practice of tantra but also of BDSM teaches us is curiosity and compassion. Instead of acting out of fear or judgment, push these thoughts aside. Instead, move forward with curiosity. What is it about this act or fetish that they find so appealing? Where does it stem from? Through sexuality we can learn a lot about our partner’s psychology and our own. Supplant judgment with curiosity. Support your partner in their explorations. Set boundaries that both of you are comfortable with. Allow yourself the freedom to explore some fantasies and kinks of your own, and tell your partner about them. Make plans to have them fulfilled. Being open, honest, flexible, practice superb communication, and be responsive to our partner’s needs. This is what being in a long-term relationship is all about. Do not allow them to go if you have misgivings. Talk it out, until you both feel comfortable. You may even want to meet the dominatrix in the flesh. Whatever the situation, remember to make your relationship your own. Don’t try to fit into some preconceived mold of what you think it should be. Instead, make your relationship a place where both of you can be happy and yourselves.

For those who have changed their mind, and want to give it a shot read Dominatrix 101: The Good Girl’s Quick Guide to Dominating Her Man by Rebecca Lawson.

Dealing with your Partner’s Emotional Baggage

Dealing with your Partner’s Emotional Baggage

Even the most well-adjusted person in the world has emotional baggage. But chances are if you feel you are constantly dealing with your partner’s then they have had a rocky past, at least in some respects. The trouble is we are usually ensconced in the relationship by the time we get a sense of what their emotional baggage is. Most of us do not have a radar for these things. Of course, we love who we love and we need to act compassionately towards that person. But they don’t always make life easy. One thing to do is to evaluate this emotional baggage. Some people have a Florence Nightingale complex. They fall in love with someone but perhaps more so with the idea of saving them. But if the person does not want help, is in complete denial, or has too significant a problem to be in healthy relationship, they may just weigh you down instead of you holding them up. If this person is able to have a stable relationship, is working on their issues, and has the ability to support you and give back, the relationship may be worthwhile. If your interaction can be mutually beneficial, and you wish to move forward, here are some things to think about to help you deal with your partner’s emotional baggage.

The first part is to come and understand exactly what happened to them. Was it a sudden, traumatic incident or a long, protracted period of neglect? But do not pressure them into telling you. When we love someone and are motivated to help them, we may try and pry every aspect of the traumatic experience out of them. But this can do more harm than good. Reliving it alone can be very painful. Be patient and ready for when they feel comfortable enough to divulge. When they do open up be sure to listen closely and actively. You need to understand not only what happened, but how it impacted them, and the significance. There should be no judgment or criticism pointed at them, or they may never open up to you again. Instead, merely validate their feelings. If part of their condition includes bouts of anger or irrational fear, such as with PTSD, come to recognize what their triggers are and how best to avoid them. Understand why it is they get moody or clam up sometimes. Do not take such things personally. Realize that they are just part of their condition. When things are going in the wrong direction, be patient. Take a deep breath. Then step back and see if there is a better way to handle the situation.

Remember that you are there to support and love them, not to solve all their problems for them. Be emotionally available and empathetic. But if they need help and cannot handle things on their own, suggest seeking the aid of a mental health professional. Do not expect their recovery to happen overnight. Instead, celebrate even small accomplishments. Do not isolate them. If anything is going to make them better it is having good, strong relationships in their life. Encourage them to meet with friends and family and spend quality time with them. Remember their situation and if they go off on you for no reason, try not to take it seriously. Understand that some things you will have to let go. Don’t forget about yourself. Practice self-care. You need some time to unwind and re-center yourself, as well as spend time with your friends and family too. Some of the strongest, smartest, most caring people in the world have gone through some of life’s most traumatic situations. Remember always that it is not your job to fix them, but to be there for them.

To help your partner further get them to read Heal Your Life Workbook: Resources and Tools for Clearing Emotional Baggage so You Can Love Your Life by Sharon Whitewood

Marry for the Right Reasons

Marry for the Right Reasons

Lots of girls fantasize about their wedding day where she will look gorgeous, and take the princely man of her dreams as his lawfully wedded wife. It is a spectacular event mimicking the fairy tales of childhood. The wedding industry perpetuates this myth and is rewarded handsomely for doing so. Whether it is a deeply fulfilling, edifying experience or not after the honeymoon is over, and moving forward into life depends upon a lot of things. If it is a marriage of two well developed, sound, and self-actualized equals, the marriage while still needing lots of work, and tender, loving care, but will be by and large a happy one. Trouble is lots of women and men too marry for the wrong reasons. This is where things get into trouble. Because whatever one person’s problems are, instead of being muted by the marriage, it is amplified by it. Each person’s problems affect the other, and is reflected back on one another, affecting the relationship as a whole. Marriage unfortunately is never a solution to problems. It only makes them worse. It is like those people who to try and solve the problems of a relationship by having a child, never thinking that the extra stresses that child brings could only make things worse. So make sure you marry for the right reasons, and avoid a painful divorce. Here are some reasons not to get married.

Some people marry to escape a bad situation at home. They have abusive or neglectful parents. Perhaps their closest family members ignore or criticize them. Though flight may be a solution, throwing one’s self into a marriage will only compound your issues. In this scenario their selection process may not be so well honed. They are thinking of the situation they are escaping, instead of carefully vetting their partner to see if this person is who they want to spend the rest of their life with. Some people get married because it just seems like the next logical step. Maybe they were high school sweethearts, and have a long history together. Their parents get along. They have a good group of friends, and everyone seems to be expecting them to tie the knot. But when we enter our twenties, we start to mature quite a bit. Those who marry so young often feel cheated, like they missed out on some great experiences in life. The two may also grow apart. Sometimes these relationships last. But usually, each person ends up going in their own separate direction. If you are young, wait and if it is right, go for it. But even with older people, if you do not in your heart feel that marriage is right, and are doing it just because it is expected, you may not give the marriage your all. Your partner will feel it, and so will you. And this will taint the relationship.

You should never get married to fix your soon-to-be spouse. If one person’s says he or she cannot live without the other, will even kill themselves if the other leaves, marriage is only going to make this situation worse. You cannot fix anyone and you cannot save anyone. The only person who can truly save someone is themselves. They have to come to the realization that their path is wrong and they need help. Unless you are a certified psychologist, though you may be savvy with people, begin to realize that this is beyond your scope. When we get married, we more or less take on the emotional baggage and psychological trauma the other has faced, and this is reciprocal. This situation is draining when one has serious issues to address. The saver spends all their time on the savee, who becomes a suck on their energy, and their life. No one in this situation can develop as a person, and the martyr gets stunted as a result. Both people will end up resenting one another and the marriage implodes.

Lastly, do not get married just to have company and avoid being alone. These are the folks that always had someone. But later in life when the demands of career, perhaps children, and a lack of meeting someone new put them through a dry spell. They fear going home to an empty apartment, and the approach of the weekend fills them with dread. But this is roulette. This person is likely to marry the first lover who shows any interest. They may be compatible. Or they may end up being toxic to one another. When one has issues with abandonment, familial issues, obsessive guilt, or moves from outward expectation instead of inward motivation, a marriage is shaky from the beginning. Become someone who is comfortable in their own skin, and find a partner you love but are also compatible with, and your marriage, while it will have its ups and downs, will be a happy one built to last. Otherwise there is painful litigation, the splitting up of assets, child custody battles, and a lot of emotional turmoil to look forward to. Understand that the person you choose to marry can uplift you to the firmament, or send you crashing down into the abyss. Choose wisely.

For more pick up a copy of, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married by Gary D Chapman.

 

Stop Overthinking your Relationship

Stop Overthinking your Relationship

You know the feeling. You send that text and your love interest takes forever getting back to you. What happen to them? What could they be doing? Usually, you first find little conclusions to jump to. Perhaps they got caught up at work. Maybe they had a drink with a friend, or left their phone on silent and just got busy. Then you jump to larger conclusions like maybe they got in a car accident, maybe they’re with their ex making out in the back seat of the car, or maybe they got called away by the president to infiltrate a terrorist network. Well, perhaps not the last one. But if left to its own devices, the human mind can come up with some creative things that are usually, not true. We are our own worst torturers. But it doesn’t affect just you.

Overthinking can doom an entire relationship. It can make you clingy, or overbearing which might drive your baby away. If you have been in a relationship long-term, it might make you suspicious of your partner. You say think they are cheating, and instead of bringing you closer together—which would prevent them from cheating or some other transgression, your being on guard makes them defensive and this drives the two of you apart.

In most realms in life analysis is good. You take things apart, study all the facts, and then you have a good picture, and a likely place to move forward. But relationships are based on our emotional status, which is not well understood by the analytical part of the brain. So over-analysis can make you cast doubts on yourself, your partner, or even how you really feel. In fact, studies have shown that most people make poor relationship decisions based on over-analysis. Those who were confident in their feelings were more likely to make decisions leading to a positive outcome. Think about when you have admired something. Perhaps it is your favorite band or color. It can be easy to say what our preference is. But when we try to delve deeper, or if challenged by some jerk for our particular preference, lots of times we are at a loss for words. The same is true with emotional preferences. A lot of our choices emanate from the subconscious, including our choice for a mate, according to Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D. She is an associate professor of psychology and the chair of the psychology department at Albright College. How could rational explanations be conjured up when feelings of love originate in the subconscious?

So now that we know the problem, how can you slow down an overactive logic center, and get more in touch with your emotional side? How can you cut our over-analysis when it comes to love? The first step might be learning mindfulness. Learn to enjoy the present moment that you are in, or be fully present in the task you are performing. If you are worrying about everything, there is no room to enjoy your life and actually experience it. When find yourself taking part in obsessive behavior like thinking over and over again what a cryptic text might mean, give up. Realize that all truths are revealed with time. Take a break and go do an activity to blow off steam, something that you enjoy. Some people like shooting hoops, while others go roller blading. There are those that chitchat with a friend over coffee, while others kill as many zombies as they can in the latest arcade horror game.

Sometimes we underestimate our ability to mitigate situations. A good thing to do is to think back to previous situations that you handled well. Get a sense of pride from this, and use it to puts your mind to rest. These people also put an overemphasis on the future. But the future does not happen in a bubble. It is a chain of events that brings us to it. It is how you act now that will determine how your future and the future of this relationship will be. So only by living in the present moment can we safeguard the future. Lastly, if you need some help, give yourself a little mantra. Make up your own, something that means something special only to you. It will strengthen your heart, clear your head, and help you get back to the ever-present now.

For more on beating negative thinking read The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do to Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg.