Important but Painful Realizations about Divorce


Important but Painful Realizations about Divorce

Are you going through an unexpected divorce? This can be a devastating experience. Whether it’s being constantly reminded of your spouse or having trouble adjusting to single life, lots of people have made these important but painful realizations about divorce and come out the other end stronger. Though this advice may sound hollow or cliché, it may be exactly what you need to hear to help you get back on the road to independence, recovery and contentment.

Just remember that following a divorce should be a period of grieving. But things can only improve over time. In the beginning it can be an emotional roller coaster. But once things level out you do feel a little bit better every day. If you have children with your ex, you are going to have to get used to the situation. Don’t let seeing them again open old wounds. Find a healthy way to interact. Put on your best face and move forward. Find healthy ways to help yourself heal and feel better; exercise, meditation, or talking to a good friend are all good ways. Alcohol, junk food and locking yourself up for months at a time, not so much.

You’re going to be okay. This is a mantra for a lot of divorced people. But if you repeat it to yourself enough times, have enough talks with friends, cry, and reconnect with yourself, though the pain is immense in the beginning, you start to know that your happiness doesn’t begin or end with a divorce. It begins or ends with you, who you are, who you choose to be and the choices you make. Realize how better off you are without that person in your life. Is this the kind of relationship you want? Of course not. You need someone who is loving, supportive, appreciative and who will be there for you no matter what. And if you are reading this it’s obvious your ex wasn’t that person.

You can view it as the end of a marriage. Or you can view it as a new beginning. If someone tells you they are there for you to talk, believe them and use them. It will really help you. Gather your network around you. You need all the support you can get. When people tell you their sorry, understand that they are on your side. They don’t know what to say exactly. But they want to comfort you. If they say this, believe them. For more advice read, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser.

Ending a Manipulative or Controlling Relationship


Ending a Manipulative or Controlling Relationship

If you somehow found yourself in a manipulative or controlling relationship, it may seem impossible to end it. Though it can be difficult, it can certainly be done. You may feel guilty, somewhat responsible, wondering if they can make it without you, or visa-versa. But that’s just the manipulation talking. How can you be happy, fulfilled and truly free with this person in your life controlling you? You need to prepare, go through with it and move on with your life.

First, realize that you are being controlled. Has the person had terrible outbursts followed by how much they want and need you? Did you try to leave before and they threatened you, or even threatened suicide? Have they slowly wormed their way into every aspect of your life? Do they put you down in front of others? Are they extremely jealous? Write down a list of all the controlling and manipulative things they have done, or are doing. Keep this list and refer back to it when you feel your resolve wavering. Remember all the reasons you want it to end, and then make arrangements. Are you two living together? Make arrangements to move elsewhere. Do so quietly. Plan what you are going to say. Make it short, sweet and to the point. Let them talk but don’t let them drone on. And don’t let them charm, or cajole or convince you to stay. Don’t budge. Remember your list and don’t back pedal, keep moving ahead.

It may help to end the relationship in your mind first. Pretend you are confronting the person and say all the things you wish you could say, if they weren’t so manipulative. Remember the good times and the bad. Reflect, but realize it’s better this way. You’ll never be able to live your life with them controlling and manipulating you. Think of yourself as single. Be firm. And once you drop the hammer, don’t contact them. Erase them from your phone. Block their email. Unfriend them on Facebook and other social media sites. Keep away from them. Don’t give them a chance to explain. How many chances have you given them? Do not tell them where you are going or where you’ll be living. If you see that person, just walk away from them. Do not give them a chance to chat or explain things further. They are only looking for an in to suck you in. Realize that they are a charmer and have the ability to manipulate you, and resist them.

If there is something you absolutely need to contact this person for, do so through a mutual friend, or have your friend contact them and pick up the item. If it has to be you, pick it up in a public place. Take the item. Thank them and get out of there. Give them short yes and no answers. Be cold. Don’t give in to any of their advances. Spend some time with your friends, relatives and other loved ones. Get busy with work, school or whatever you are doing. Love yourself. And recognize how much better life is without someone manipulating you. For more advice read, In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by George K. Simon, Jr., Ph.D.

Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?


Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?

If you are in a relationship where you feel emotionally drained bending over backwards for your significant other, while they hardly lift a finger for you than this isn’t real love. In fact, you are being taken advantage of. Some people are born givers and they don’t know where to draw the line. Some people are codependent. And although it may look alright on the surface, in fact this is a very unhealthy relationship for both parties. And some people have low self-worth and so let their significant other walk all over them. Or perhaps, someone could just be in the wrong relationship, where what they do for their significant other is no longer appreciated. Instead, they are taken for granted and don’t see much coming down the pike in the other direction. Traffic only goes one way.

Are you giving too much and not getting enough in return? Here are some indicators. See if these fit your situation. The first question is, do you agree to disagree on a whole host of topics? It’s hard for two people to agree on everything. Negotiation, compromise and commitment to one’s word are key for any relationship. But if there are a bunch of things you don’t like and are expected to ignore, you are giving too much. Stick to your priorities. Demand fairness. And if it isn’t possible or doesn’t come, perhaps it’s best to move on.

Do you apologize immediately when there’s a problem? Do you do this whether it’s your fault or not? In healthy relationships, people analyze the conflict or problem and only apologize for what they’ve done wrong. But if you do this you are over-apologizing. Your partner, whether they realize it or not, will soon feel free to take advantage of you. Instead, apologize for what are your mistakes or missteps only. Otherwise you are giving way too much. Are you in a happy relationship or an unhappy one? If you fight all the time, how long has this been going on? Codependent people stay in bad or tumultuous relationships for fear they won’t find anyone else. If this is you, seek professional help. This is a serious problem and can prove dangerous depending on who your partner is. You may be experiencing emotional or even physical abuse. If you are in a high conflict relationship get out as soon as you are able. If there are children involved take them with you too. How much do you prioritize the relationship? If your partner is all you think about, putting school, your job or career, friends, family and other things aside for this person, you may be codependent. Each person in a relationship should have their own lives. But if your entire life is wrapped up in the other person, but they don’t feel the same way, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return.

When you go out, do you worry constantly whether your partner is enjoying themselves, that you can’t relax and enjoy yourself? If parties, clubs, bars and other social situations are a constant source of worry about your partner, but they aren’t concerned whether or not you’re having a good time, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return. Have you changed your entire life to fit this person, while they have hardly changed, if at all, for you? If so you’ve given way too much and them not enough. Do some soul searching. Talk with friends and family. Then discuss it with your partner. If they aren’t willing to change, or don’t change, get out. Find your self-worth. And then find someone who appreciates you for the incredible person you are. Don’t accept this situation. You deserve far better. And if you don’t know it, find out how you can come to that realization and feel how great you are inside. It will help you one day find the person who will recognize it when they meet you. If you believe you may battle with codependency read, Codependency- Loves Me, Loves Me Not: Learn How to Cultivate Healthy Relationships, Overcome Relationship Jealousy, Stop Controlling Others and Be Codependent No More by Simeon Lindstrom.

Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing


Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing

TIME magazine has a new Facebook app that, using an algorithm, tells women when it thinks they should get married. It comes to this conclusion using data culled from the women’s Facebook friend’s pages. News of the release of this app sent women in an uproar. Articles were written, lines upon lines of comments were found on forums all over the web asking women what they thought. The app has a few shortfalls. It doesn’t collect any data for people who are too lazy to change their Facebook status, or don’t update it because they believe that information is best kept private.

The true nature of this app is to play on the anxieties of single ladies, and to market products to them. The problem is that some women may also see TIME’s new marriage app as a blessing. It could be a wakeup call for some on how much time you really have. For having children, there is a biological window to produce happy, healthy offspring. This app could help wake a woman up to the fact that she better get a move-on with dating, or else the window might close.

Of course, most women who talk to their doctor about it know that a healthy child can be born well into the late thirties and, with procedures, beyond. The question is, should there be? Will the child get all the care, love, attention and energy from parents that they deserve when the parents might be a little too old to chase after them? Of course this varies from person to person, couple to couple and situation to situation. Extreme cases have hit the news. Biologists tell us that the late teens and early twenties are when women and men are most fertile. However, due to the extensive education needed to perform well in today’s economy, most experts take this into consideration and suggest around the early to mid-thirties as the optimal time to have children.

What gets women irritated is a whiff of being judged. It’s whether or not the app is saying that a woman made a wrong choice to stick with her career rather than have a family. Reasonably, this is a choice that every woman, and to a certain extent man, must make. Of course we don’t want to be reminded of the other path. But it’s there. We should think about it and come to terms with the choices we made. It’s the only way to find peace in our life. So don’t let this app get to you. Stand by your choice and love who you are. Come to terms with any regret or misplaced aggression, and you’ll live a fulfilling and happy life. If you are considering marriage read, 1001 Questions to Ask before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

When an Ego Battle Replaces your Relationship


When an Ego Battle Replaces your Relationship

Relationships can do funny things to people. The feeling of attachment can also bring confusion, fear of intimacy and the need to guard one’s self. This is due to past traumas during childhood or in previous relationships. So to protect one’s self this person will often lapse into creating fights, sarcasm, vengeful gestures, passive-aggressiveness, resentfulness, over-the-top competitiveness, self-doubt, frustration and aggression.

This person is afraid of letting their guard down or letting someone in for fear of being hurt. If you yourself think you have become stuck in an ego battle that has replaced your relationship, take a look at these signs. Ask your significant other or consider whether you are experiencing these symptoms. This person has a need to control things and situations. They may have a constant critic going in their head. They may be full of put-downs, sarcasm, criticism or ridicule. The ego tries too hard to control the situation. It is doing so in order to protect itself from love and so ironically becomes the very obstacle to what the person desires most, bonding with their love.

Some people go completely the other way. They give up everything to be with their spouse, their friends, family, hobbies, education and everything they value, just to be with the object of their desire. They lose themselves and this becomes their obstacle to their own pleasure, equal love. The last sign that you are in an ego battle is when one person is “Flat-lining.” This is behavior where one person in the relationship tries to disappear in order to not raise the ire of the other, and avoid conflict. They withdraw from their partner and stay in the relationship in name only. There is no engagement or intimacy. If the right relationship skills aren’t learned, even if this relationship doesn’t last, the person with commitment issues will bring the same problems into their next relationships.

Instead of using negative means to interact in your relationship, see the pattern and learn to dis-engage it. If this is your spouse or lover, teach them that they don’t have to act like this, that this isn’t what love is about. Whenever a problem arises, each side should take a deep breath, relax and manage the negative emotions that come to the surface. Both parties should consciously reach deep down inside and bring out the skills they need to make this relationship work; patience, understanding, openness and the desire to come to an understanding. Counseling or couples therapy may also be necessary. The first step is realizing the problem. The next is working through it. For more advice read, Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships by Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Gary Sibcy.