IT’S TIME TO CUT THE TIES WITH YOUR EX?

You know the relationship is done and dusted and yet you find yourself in a state of constant struggle with your heart telling you one thing and your head saying something else?

If this sounds like you then you are not on your own.  We can know that we are much better off without them and yet we still really struggle to just cut the ties completely and get on with our lives.

Let’s explore just a few of the reasons why is it that some people keep going back to their ex and of course there is never just one simple answer to a question like this.

At very basic level it can be a raw and calculated decision to survive, have a roof over your head and food on the table for your kids. As a mother I get this! The facts are it is tough starting again on your own. It’s freaking scary and it’s a long and lonely ride and if you are a woman who hasn’t learned how to be on your own or have a strong support network around you it can often be so much harder.

When one or both parties call an end to a relationship for whatever reason, it is rarely a simple matter of packing your bags and exiting forever from their lives. Your lives are already so deeply intertwined on so many different levels, more so if you have been together for a number of years, have kids and a great social network.  All of these things make it much harder and it can and does takes time.

It’s pretty normal for a lot of people who have reached the point in a relationship whether it’s the constant fighting and arguing, the lying and cheating, or perhaps emotionally and physically disconnected, whatever the reason, your dreams and hopes for a life together have been shattered.

Once you have moved out and you are free from all the tension and drama it’s pretty normal to start thinking about all the good times you had together, how much you loved you each other, how good it felt to wake up in the morning together, the long deep conversations you enjoyed so much, the places you went together, the friends you hung out with. And the more time you spend focusing on on these the more your body will give you all those lovely warm feelings that go with it and before you know it you have mentally wiped the slate clean.

And so the cycle begins and often repeats over and over again so that you find yourself ‘stuck’ in the middle of nowhere with your well meaning friends and family telling you get over it and get on with your life. Easier said then done!

Plenty of women fall out of love on their own. It is something that happens over time and they simply reach that threshold, as Stephen Covey puts it, ‘when the emotional bank account is empty’.

And sometimes there are some people who need a little help to learn how to fall out of love. 

There are several things you can do to help yourself and most of it requires discipline and self control to stop picking up the phone, or sending a message but if you are ready to get on with your life and regain your personal freedom these simple steps will help you train your brain to do the work for you.

As you think about this person, just notice the image that comes to mind and as you do remember all times they treated you badly, cheated on you, lied to you, ignored you, the fights and arguments everything little thing about this person that absolutely irritated you and hurt you so very deeply and imagine yourself standing there beside them looking at them and notice how you feel. Then run this movie in your mind, over and over and over.

Now think about something else that is really disgusting to you, notice how you are feeling and then as you think about your ex associate all of these feelings with them. Again just keep running this movie over and over in your mind.

Then take yourself on a little journey into your new wonderful future that you have created for yourself.  Perhaps you have a wonderful man by your side, or you are surrounded by friends laughing and having a great time, out sailing on a yacht perhaps, allow your imagination to run wild as you create this new life, this new future in your imagination and notice how amazing you feel, how light, happy and joyful you feel now.

We all have the ability to redirect our thoughts and decide what memories to associate with different situations. Most of us don’t realise that manipulating our thoughts deliberately, is what is called thinking

Share your thoughts, comments, or personal story via email jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

HAVE YOU SHARED YOUR SECRETS?

Am I way off the mark thinking that we all have our own little secrets? I know I’ve got a few that I have never shared with anyone and nor do I ever intend to.

Doesn’t everyone have some little secret that they have either never shared with anyone or only ever shared with a very close trusted friend?

Then there are those secrets I would describe as the ‘deep and dark’ ones which can take things to a whole new level.

Let’s keep on track here with secrets in relationships because they can and often destroy many long and short term relationships when something from our past comes to light, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

In any fairly new relationship I would really question if it is necessary to bare your soul about decisions and actions that were made in the past? If a guy started asking me some really personal things about me and my life within the first few weeks of seeing each other, for example, how many people I have slept with, I would seriously have to question 1. why they would want to know for a start and 2. what does it matter?  These sort of questions very early on would be sending me some warning signals.  If however, it begins to look like developing into something much more then this is not just a good time but the very best time to clear the air.  If you aren’t starting off a relationship feeling safe to share your biggest fears, your biggest mistakes, your deep dark secrets you are not only setting yourself up for living in fear of being caught out but this is not just about you, it is being disrespectful of the other person and giving them the opportunity to make a decision that is the right decision for them and how they feel about moving forward with the relationship with this new information.

We are all human, sometimes we make a really bad error of judgement that might well have a detrimental impact on a relationship and we are just plain scared that we might lose someone we really love and care for.

As I thought about more about this topic I started to question what might be some of the key reasons that a relationship could be severely damaged as a result of one or perhaps both parties withholding certain information.

In so many situations guilt, shame and fear are the reasons most of us would keep quiet about some aspects of our past and at the time it’s all seems perfectly understandable when we look at what is at risk if we disclose all.

Here are just a few of the things that might just come back and bite us some time down the track if we don’t deal with them right up front and at the most appropriate time.

  • If we are carrying a whole lot of guilt and regret about a particularly difficult decision we made when we were younger.
  • If we have a criminal record or have served time in jail
  • If we have either a current or previous drug, alcohol or gambling addiction
  • If we have a pretty substantial debt
  • If we have been married before
  • If we have placed a child up for adoption
  • If we have suffered emotional trauma of any kind

These type of issues are far too heavy for most people to carry around with them on their own and the price you pay living in fear of one day being found out will take it’s toll physically, mentally and emotionally.

Way up there on the list is of course ‘infidelity’. Can you tell this is a really big thing with me?  I have been on the receiving end of it and I see so much of it each and every day with the work I do as one of the most common reasons for the breakdown of a relationship. From my perspective there is a very fine line between sexual and emotional infidelity. Emotional infidelity is when one partner fosters emotional intimacy with someone else and maintains a secret or semi-secret friendship when there is a clear mutual interest or attraction.

Or, as someone I have been in contact with recently, finding out that the person you have been living with for the past 10 years has been living a double life with his legal wife at the same time.

If you are living with a secret that might have a serious or even slightly negative impact on your relationship I believe it’s time for you to have ‘that’ conversation.

Difficult conversations are never easy and these are the ones we must have, regardless of the outcome, which brings me to the question, ‘is there ever a right time to reveal a secret?’

If your relationship is at risk of your partner finding out from some other source then you must have the difficult conversation as early as you can. The person on the receiving end of the news may need some time alone to process the information so they can come to terms with what it means for them and you have to be prepared to accept the worst and pray for the best.

Yes, it’s scary and yes it’s risky, but so is living with the fear of being found out sitting at the back of your mind all the time and more importantly hurting the people you love the most even more.

People can and do constantly amaze us when we put aside our guilt and shame and share our secrets. It can open up a much deeper level of conversation and trust and give your partner the space to share more about themselves too. Knowing that it’s safe to be totally honest and truthful, not just about your past is what strengthens and deepens a relationship.

Whatever you decide to do involves taking a risk and being vulnerable and sometimes being prepared to risk everything brings with it the biggest rewards.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Brene’ Brown

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

Sitting in no man’s land – woman’s land in this instance!

It’s the mental and emotional struggle when one partner in a relationship will spend countless hours, months and sometimes years going over and over in their minds, talking to friends trying to answer the question ‘Should I stay or should I go?’

I know for sure that I am not the only person to ask myself that very question.  And I’m pretty certain that many happy couples do as well.

I played this very same question in my mind over and over again and one day I heard Mira Kirshenbaum, the author of “Too Good To Leave, Too Bad to Stay,” being interviewed on the radio and it was as if she was speaking directly to me.

I had a good husband, a beautiful family, a great lifestyle and on the surface everything looked perfect.  When you have worked hard at keeping a relationship together over a number of years, life is pretty good, family and friends are important then why would a question like this keep bubbling to the surface.

If you are feeling like this then perhaps your partner is also feeling the same way. We all go through periods of doubt and frustration with different aspects of our relationships whether it is with a significant partner, family or friends. Relationships need to be nurtured through open, honest and clear communication and unfortunately so many of us are sadly lacking in the ability to do this.

My partner and I talked more when we were separating than we had done in years.  If we had done that through our married life things may have turned out very differently.

Over the past several years and a couple of other relationships I began to recognise a pattern.  I was the Queen of Assumptions.  I assumed that my boundaries were obvious.  That what I said was understood. That I understood the meaning behind what my partner said. That my expectations were very clear.  That my deal breakers, well clearly deal breakers they should just know what these are, right.

There are some things you can do to help yourself and a good place to start is by asking yourself some better questions.

  • What do I want?
  • What am I looking for that I don’t have now?
  • What is missing in this relationship for me?
  • What is it about me that is bringing up these feelings and thoughts?
  • What have I been avoiding?
  • When did I stop asking for what I want?
  • When did I stop listening?
  • Is it possible for me to have what I want in this relationship?
  • Where have I placed responsibility for my happiness on someone else?
  • Is there a pattern that seems to be consistently showing up in other areas of my life?
  • If I am really honest with myself what other things have I just accepted in my life?
  • What things have I taken for granted?
  • What am I prepared to do to create the relationship I want?

In many cases the decision has already been made to leave and the struggle is more about taking that next step.

Finding an independent professional coach or counsellor who you feel safe and comfortable with will also help you get clear about what is really going on.

Should I leave or should I stay, a really tough question, whatever you decide.

It’s also a great question when it highlights the things that need to change and allows you to do something about taking control of what’s not working for you and ultimately create the life you want.

If it is a situation where there is physical or emotional abuse or any other indiscretions that violate your values and trust then you already have your answer.

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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