Posts

why we can love someone abusive

Why We Can Love Someone Abusive And Why We Stay

why we can love someone abusive

 

Falling in love happens to us; usually, before we really know our partner; It happens to us because we’re at the mercy of unconscious forces, commonly referred to as “chemistry.”

Don’t judge yourself for loving someone who doesn’t treat you with care and respect, because by the time the relationship turns abusive, you’re attached and want to maintain your connection and love. There may have been hints of abuse at the beginning that were overlooked because abusers are good at seduction and wait until they know we’re hooked before showing their true colors.

By then, our love is cemented and doesn’t die easily. It’s possible and even probable to know we’re unsafe and still love an abuser. Research shows that even victims of violence on average experience seven incidents before permanently leaving their abusive partner.

It can feel humiliating to stay in an abusive relationship. Those who don’t understand ask why we love someone abusive and why we stay. We don’t have good answers. But there are valid reasons. Our motivations are outside our awareness and control because we’re wired to attach for survival. These instincts control our feelings and behavior.

Why We Love Someone Abusive

Denial of Abuse to Survive

If we weren’t treated with respect in our family and have low self-esteem, we will tend to deny the abuse. We won’t expect to be treated better than how were controlled, demeaned, or punished by a parent. Denial doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s happening. Instead, we minimize or rationalize it and/or its impact.

We may not realize it’s actually abuse. Research shows we deny for survival to stay attached and procreate for survival of the species. Facts and feelings that would normally undermine love are minimized or twisted so that we overlook them or blame ourselves in order to keep loving. By appeasing our partner and connecting to love, we stop hurting. Love is rekindled and we feel safe again.

Projection, Idealization, and Repetition Compulsion

When we fall in love, if we haven’t worked through trauma from our childhood, we’re more susceptible to idealizing our partner when dating. It’s likely that we will seek out someone who reminds us of a parent with whom we have unfinished business, not necessary of our opposite-sex parent.

We might be attracted to someone who has aspects of both parents. Our unconscious is trying to mend our past by reliving it in the hopes that we’ll master the situation and receive the love we didn’t get as a child. This helps us overlook signs that would be predictive of trouble.

The Cycle of Abuse

After an abusive episode, often there’s a honeymoon period. This is part of the Cycle of Abuse. The abuser may seek connection and act romantic, apologetic, or remorseful. Regardless, we’re relieved that there’s peace for now. We believe promises that it will never happen again, because we want to and because we’re wired to attach. The breach of the emotional bond feels worse than the abuse. We yearn to feel connected again.

Often the abuser professes to love us. We want to believe it and feel reassured about the relationship, hopeful, and lovable. Our denial provides an illusion of safety. This is called the “Merry-Go-Round” of denial that happens in alcoholic relationships after a bout of drinking followed by promises of sobriety.

Low Self-Esteem

Due to low self-esteem, we believe the abuser’s belittling, blame, and criticisms, which further lessen our self-esteem and confidence in our own perceptions. They intentionally do this for power and control. We’re brainwashed into thinking we have to change in order to make the relationship work.

We blame ourselves and try harder to meet the abuser’s demands. We may interpret sexual overtures, crumbs of kindness, or just absence of abuse as signs of love or hope that the relationship will improve. Thus, as trust in ourselves declines, our idealization and love for an abuser remain intact. We may even doubt that we could find anything better.

Empathy for the Abuser

Many of us have empathy for the abuser, but not for ourselves. We are unaware of our needs and would feel ashamed asking for them. This makes us susceptible to manipulation if an abuser plays the victim, exaggerates guilt, shows remorse, blames us, or talks about a troubled past (they usually have one). Our empathy feeds our denial system by supplying justification, rationalization, and minimization of the pain we endure.

Most victims hide the abuse from friends and relatives to protect the abuser, both out of empathy and shame about being abused. Secrecy is a mistake and gives the abuser more power.

Positive Aspects

Undoubtedly the abuser and the relationship have positive aspects that we enjoy or miss, especially the early romance and good times. We recall or look forward to their recurrence if we stay. We imagine if only he or she would control his or her anger, or agree to get help, or just change one thing, everything would be better. This is our denial.

Often abusers are also good providers, offer a social life, or have special talents. Narcissists can be exceedingly interesting and charming.  Many spouses claim that they enjoy the narcissist’s company and lifestyle despite the abuse. People with a borderline personality can light up your life with excitement . . . when they’re in a good mood. Sociopaths can pretend to be whatever you want . . . for their own purposes. You won’t realize what they’re up to for some time.

Intermittent Reinforcement and Trauma Bonding

When we receive occasional and unpredictable positive and negative intermittent reinforcement, we keep looking for the positive. It keeps us addictively hooked. Partners may be emotionally unavailable or have an avoidant attachment style. They may periodically want closeness. After a wonderful, intimate evening, they pull away, shut down, or are abusive. When we don’t hear from the person, we become anxious and keep seeking closeness. We mislabel our pain and longing as love.

Especially people with a personality disorder might intentionally do this to manipulate and control us with rejection or withholding. Then they randomly fulfill our needs. We become addicted to seeking a positive response.

Over time, periods of withdrawal are longer, but we’re trained to stay, walk on eggshells, and wait and hope for connection. This is called “trauma bonding” due to repeated cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates emotional bonds that resist change.

It explains why abusive relationships are the most difficult to leave, and we become codependent on the abuser. We may completely lose ourselves trying to please and not displease the abuser. Bits of kindness or closeness feel all the more poignant (like make-up sex) because we’re been starved and are relieved to feel loved. This feeds the Cycle of Abuse.

Abusers will turn on the charm if you threaten to leave, but it’s just another temporary ploy to reassert control. Expect to go through withdrawal after you leave. You may still miss and love the abuser.

When we feel completely under the control of the abuser and can’t escape from physical injury, we can develop “Stockholm Syndrome,” a term applied to captives. Any act of kindness or even absence of violence feels like a sign of friendship and being cared for. The abuser seems less threatening. We imagine we’re friends and can love the abuser, believing we’re in this together.

This occurs in intimate relationships that are less perilous due to the power of chemistry, physical attraction, and sexual bonding. We’re loyal to a fault. We want to protect the abuser whom we’re attached to rather than ourselves. We feel guilty talking to outsiders, leaving the relationship, or calling the police. Outsiders who try to help feel threatening.

For example, counselors and Twelve-Step Programs may be viewed as interlopers who “want to brainwash and separate us.” This reinforces the toxic bond and isolates us from help . . . what the abuser wants!

Steps You Can Take

If you feel trapped in a relationship or can’t get over your ex:

  • Seek support and professional help. Attend CoDA meetings.
  • Get information and challenge your denial.
  • Report violence and take steps to protect yourself from violence and emotional abuse.
  • When you miss the abuser or are longing for attention, in your mind substitute the parent whom you’re projecting on your partner. Write about and grieve that relationship.
  • Be more loving to yourself. Meet your needs.
  • Learn to set boundaries.

©Darlene Lancer 2019

The post Why We Can Love Someone Abusive And Why We Stay appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

divorce when you still love him

4 Ways To Deal With The Divorce Process When You Still Love Him

divorce when you still love him

 

In my divorce mediation practice, I often work with couples where one party is still, deeply in love with the spouse who wants a divorce. In this article, we’ll focus on advice for wives who find themselves in this painful situation. To be honest, I’ve found it’s just as often true that it’s the wife who wants to end the marriage and the husband who is still in love.

In any event, these are heart-wrenching divorce cases and over the years I have given this topic a lot of thought. Here are my thoughts.

4 tips for dealing with divorce when you still love him.

1. Do not retaliate or act out

The momentary urge to “get even” or act on hurt feelings can be difficult to resist. Taking action in the midst of hurt or anger may be satisfying and feel good in the moment, but be aware that acting on this urge will have consequences.  In one of my early cases, I observed the consequences of a young wife and mother who acted on those feelings when she was angry at her husband whom she deeply loved. During a marital argument, he moved out and demanded a divorce.

In the midst of their argument, he had made a caustic comment about her haggard appearance and post-pregnancy weight retention. The comment was understandably deeply hurtful to her. Reacting to the pain of his callous remark and his decision to move out, she retaliated. She had a short fling with one of her husband’s close friends.

A few weeks later the couple patched things up and he moved back home with his wife and their two young children.  A few weeks later she discovered that she was pregnant (…the pregnancy was not the result of make-up sex with her husband).

They stayed together for a few more years rationalizing that since he was the one who had left, he really shouldn’t complain about her behavior during the breakup. Meanwhile, the husband’s former good friend was paying child support every month and had visitation with the baby. As you can guess, this arrangement just kept reminding the husband of his wife’s retaliation; eventually, the marriage failed.

So my best advice is to avoid taking any action which will harm the man you love or the marriage you say you want. Examples of what NOT to do may seem to fit a stereotype. Even so, I’ve found them to be very common in cases where the husband seeks divorce and the wife is still in love, but hurt and angry. (Could this same advice be given to husbands who still love their wife who’s asking for a divorce? You bet.)

 Here is a partial list:

  • Don’t bad-mouth him to your girlfriends or your parents. If you need to process your feelings, find a therapist or support group.
  • Don’t buy things for yourself which you have wanted but cannot readily afford. Divorce often centers on money issues. Racking up credit card debt or draining a bank account on an impulse purchase usually brings more grief than joy in the long run.
  • Don’t act out by damaging his car, destroying his tools or lashing out in any way. If you want to physically express your anger, take a brisk walk or enroll in a martial arts class. (Don’t even think about anything which would end up as a YouTube video!).

I do not mean to promise that he will come back to you, but I can attest that you make it a lot harder if you retaliate or act out when he delivers the news that he wants to leave.

2. Try not to escalate

If while still married you and your husband are fighting and he threatens divorce it is imperative that you remain as calm as you can. Yes, he may truly want a divorce and be committed to that path. However, it’s also possible that while he may have said that what he wants is a divorce, what he may truly want is to stop fighting with you.

Divorce may seem like the way to get the fighting to stop. He may also be yearning for the dynamic that existed in the early years of your relationship but not know how to reclaim it. When arguments escalate it’s common for one or both parties to say things in anger they later regret.

Of course, when the prospect of an unwanted divorce raises its head, it is wise to protect yourself and look out for your own interests, even if you still love him and would prefer to stay married. Depending on the circumstances, hiring an attorney at this stage may seem to be the best course of action.

Just keep in mind that hiring an overly aggressive lawyer may preclude a smaller step like one-on-one mediation. Being a divorce mediator, I may be biased, but I’ve seen mediation work wonders in these situations.

Remember that divorce attorneys make their money by litigating divorces. Mediators thrive by creating harmony through mutual effort to resolve conflict. Many men have told me they find divorce mediation far more satisfying than marriage counseling because it is focused on problem-solving, (often their strong suit) rather than therapy which is focused on exploring feelings (often their weak suit).

If you need legal perspective, talk with a mediator with legal experience or call a lawyer from a town far away just to get some general advice. If you still love your husband and the marriage still has a chance of survival, jumping into litigation is highly unlikely to yield the results you seek.

3. Consider whether addiction is a factor and if so, get help.

One of the frequent coping mechanisms of couples going through the hard times prior to a divorce is to escape the pain of their lost romantic feelings using addictive behaviors. If your husband has shown any signs of addiction, then it is likely that you have reacted with your own countermeasures. Sometimes they are co-dependent behaviors like nagging, trying to shame him into good behavior, lying to cover up problems and so forth.

Whatever the details, when a couple is in this addictive cycle the marriage has almost no chance to thrive unless the addictions are addressed. If you have addiction anywhere in your marriage, then start with an honest assessment of your own reactions. If he has a problem behavior, and you still love him, there are proven ways to maintain your dignity and sanity in the relationship. Try Alanon or another 12–step program geared to support the friends and family of someone with an addiction problem.

4. Explore Your Deepest Truth

The hard truth is that I have seen cases where there are wives who love their husbands and there are other cases where the wives are attached to being married but seem to be indifferent toward their husband as a person. These might seem the same, but there is a world of difference.

Explore your deepest motivations about your relationship and your marriage because at some level your husband can probably tell how you really feel about him. If you are clinging to the idea that you love him but actually, deep down, you are insecure about not being married, that will tend to energetically push him away.

On the other hand, if you truly love him and that is the priority in your heart and soul, then living in accord with those emotions may have the effect of drawing him toward you.

What might this look like? Every relationship has its own qualities and dynamics; there are as many ways to put this advice into motion as there are couples. It takes some self-examination and wisdom to know what is a kindness you can genuinely offer without feeling like you are being taken advantage of or becoming a doormat. Healthy boundaries vary from individual to individual and relationship to relationship. This is definitely not a case of one-size-fits-all.

Here are a few approaches I’ve seen succeed in drawing a couple back toward each other rather than driving them further apart:

  • If you have children, and abuse is not a concern, consider allowing as much access as possible during the first phase of your separation. Show him that you value his role in their lives as a father even if he wasn’t the greatest dad before the divorce started. Invite him to visit with the kids in the home and be gracious when he shows up. Preparing extra food for dinner so he can eat with the kids is an act of kindness which he will notice and may appreciate. If the children are engaged in after-school sports, be sure to give him notice of all the games and ask him to sit next to you when he attends. Make an extra effort to include him in family gatherings and celebrations.
  • If he has moved out, you might provide him with a generous share of the linens and silverware, maybe even spare furniture so that he does not need to go buy replacements. Consider letting him store his big-ticket items in the garage rather than force him to move them to a storage locker.

It may be counter-intuitive but sometimes making it easy for him to leave, makes it easier for him to come back.  At the same time, only you can determine what crosses the line into unhealthy co-dependence and being overly generous for the situation.

Conclusion

Every case is different because every couple is different. If you still love your husband and he says he wants a divorce, you will have many opportunities to choose how you show up when whatever happens next unfolds. Over the course of my mediation practice, I’ve witnessed couples move toward reconciliation after one or the other, or both, initially thought divorce was inevitable. Of course, many couples do complete the divorce process, even when one of them really wants to stay married.

Either way, these four principles help provide the best chance of moving forward with a positive outcome. 1) Don’t retaliate, 2) try not to escalate, 3) if addiction is a factor, get help and 4) explore your deepest truth.

The post 4 Ways To Deal With The Divorce Process When You Still Love Him appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

fell in love with a narcissist

Maddie’s Story: How I Fell In Love With a Narcissist

fell in love with a narcissist

I fell in love with a narcissist and lived to regret it.

 

The night we met, the moment I saw him, I wanted to get to know him. He didn’t make a move, though. Every time I smiled at him, he smiled back. I caught him looking at me several times but, that was as far as it got.

Connie and I left and went to another local bar. We sat at a table with friends and were talking. Within a few minutes, I looked up and saw HIM and his friends walk in and sit down. They sat next to an empty table. Connie and I got up, went out the back exit and back in through the main entrance. We sat at that empty table next to where he and his friends were sitting.

I was determined to have at least a conversation with him and, where there is a will, there is a way. I was determined to make it happen. You have no idea how many times I’ve asked myself since that night why I didn’t just let it slide. If wishes were horses, this beggar would be riding a damn fast one!

When we sat down next to his table, he felt the movement and turned to look. He saw me and a HUGE smile swept across his face. With that smile, he sealed the deal and I welcomed him in with no awareness of what that would mean for our children and me.

He was easy to fall in love with. He dropped a love bomb on me that no woman could have resisted. Unless, of course, she didn’t care for dimples and blue eyes.

What do I mean by love bomb, think flattering comments, tokens of affection, or love notes on the mirror, kitchen table, or windshield, or, flowers sent to my workplace. He pulled out all the stops. Within a month I couldn’t imagine life without him. I was full throttle in love.

What were some things he did to reel me in?

He was a jeans and T-shirt guy. I liked my men buttoned down. He went out and purchased 6 Izod buttoned-down shirts.

At least twice a week he would drop by work to take me to lunch.

Every time we got in his car he would reach over and buckle my seatbelt.

If I left his apartment in the middle of the night to go home, he’d give me time enough to get home and call to make sure I was there and safe.

He told me I was beautiful but not often enough that it would sound manipulative or cheesy.

He loved my friends and family. He genuinely appeared to enjoy their company and was always willing to spend time with them.

He shared his life with me. I didn’t have to dig for information about him, he readily volunteered it. He entertained me with stories of growing up with 8 brothers. He shared with me what it was like living in a mining community in Alaska and fishing for Salmon on a big fishing boat. He had led a life of adventure. I was a small town girl whose head was turned by phrases like, “I’ll take you there sometime.”

We planned our first sleepover, and he picked me up and took me to a local department store. He purchased new sheets, pillows, and a comforter and duvet. “Only the best for my girl,” he said. Imagine that? He wasn’t just thinking about getting in my pants. He wanted me to feel comfortable and cozy while he was in my pants. That’s the kind of shit that will make a girl swoon.

Two of my favorite things back then were Dr. Pepper and Snickers candy bars. On Valentine’s Day, he gave me a dozen roses and a gift basket with a dozen Dr. Peppers and a dozen Snicker’s bars. Imagine that, he had been paying enough attention that he knew my favorite soft drink and candy bar.

If I liked Chinese food, so did he. If I like riding Rollercoasters, so did he. He liked EVERYTHING I liked. I like romantic comedies, guess what, so did he. I loved John Grisham books, low and behold, so did he. I bet if I’d told him I like Herpes he’d have done whatever he needed to gift me some Herpes.

His father and brother came to town to visit him. He insisted I be part of all their plans.

He marked his calendar down to my birthday and made sure I knew that he was going to make it special. He told me I deserved to feel special, and “you just wait, your birthday is going to be something else.” And, he was right, he pulled out all the stops.

He was the most caring and giving lover I’d ever had. His focus was on satisfying me and making me feel cared for during sex. It was true lovemaking. Or, it was to me anyway.

He was like a fantasy, a gift of a man.

A man I had never imagined. You can’t fathom that kind of attention, affection, and love. Thoughts of a man like him didn’t lurk in the shadows of my mind because I had no idea such a man was possible. I felt like a 4-year-old who’d been given permission to eat a bowl of sugar.

We dated for a year. A year filled with comfort when he held my hand and feelings of security when he would verbally include me in his future plans. As an adult child of an alcoholic father, he gave me everything I’d ever craved. And then I became pregnant.

That’s when I was devalued, got my first taste of what it’s like to be on the wrong end of a Narcissist

To be continued.

Maddie’s Story Part I

The post Maddie’s Story: How I Fell In Love With a Narcissist appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

5 Reasons Some Men Love to Date Separated Women

5 Reasons Some Men Love to Date Separated Women

Sexual freedom, no strings relationships, no pressure to get married. What’s not to like about dating a separated woman?

The post 5 Reasons Some Men Love to Date Separated Women appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

Read More –>

a message of hope on mother

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms

a message of hope on mother's day

Courtesy of Brooke Kelly Photography

We have all the odds against us, but we are going to beat those odds.

 

“Four years ago, my life fell apart. I was married with a 3-year-old little girl, and we lived in an adorable gated neighborhood in the suburbs, just 4 miles inland from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I could cross highway A1A at work and eat lunch on the beach. My Jeep always had sand and seashells in it.

I felt so fortunate to have this opportunity in life after working my way through nursing school, and eventually finishing grad school with a newborn. I finally had my dream job as a pediatric nurse practitioner. My career took me to Nashville, Kansas City, and that’s where we ended up on the beach. Sounds like an amazing adventure, right? Well, little did I know, my husband was living a double life and my world was going to come crashing down on me very soon.

I was on my way home from work on a Monday afternoon, just 2 days after my daughter’s luau birthday party, and I found out we had been evicted. All of our belongings were thrown out like trash, even her new birthday presents. I wasn’t allowed back in our home, and I was told the locks had been changed.

I felt sick and like I had no control, like I had been stabbed over and over and I was moving too slow to stop the bleeding. After questioning my husband and our landlord, I discovered that we were 3 months behind on rent and other bills, despite the fact that I was shelling out money to him for our living expenses. He couldn’t answer where the money was going, but all of a sudden, things made sense. His erratic sleep habits, weight loss, running errands all the time. He always had somewhere to go and never wanted us to tag along.

I did some digging and found empty pill bottles and many empty beer cans in his car. The car that drove my child to daycare. The car that always parked in the guest parking spaces in our neighborhood instead of the driveway. I also found several years worth of MY mail in his trunk. He had been keeping random letters from collection agencies, bills, and birthday cards from me for YEARS. Why did he keep all these secrets from me?

Confused, hurt, and angry were my only emotions for the next few days.

I was running on fumes and couldn’t eat or sleep. I felt so stupid for not seeing the signs. I had been so busy with raising a child and building my practice at work. I was married to a drug addict who abandoned us in a Target parking lot 4 miles from the beach.

He had been lying to me for YEARS, and my credit was unfortunately ruined because of it. I had no idea how easy it was to open credit cards and take out personal loans in your spouse’s name. I thought I had stayed on top of my bills but had no idea he was secretly hiding things from me over the course of our 7-year marriage.

I later found out that he had another daughter! He lied about being in the Marine Corps, he lied about his education and his job. I had been living nothing but lies for almost a decade of my life! I thought to myself, ‘How could life be so cruel? How could I be so dumb?’

That first night living in a hotel, I made a Walmart run at 8 p.m. to get clothes and toiletries for us to survive the next few days while I planned my next move. I washed clothes in a hotel sink. My daughter and I tried to make the best of our ‘vacation’ as I called it, while I cried over the things we had lost, wondering how in the world I would sort through this mess. My sweet baby girl lost everything, and we had no support there.

Our closest family was in Tennessee, about 10 hours away, and my soon-to-be-ex-husband left us alone to fend for ourselves without showing any remorse. At night, I would just think of all the things we had lost. I cried silently at night, in the shower or while I was driving. I missed my belongings, and I missed the part of my heart that was stolen. I could never get those things back.

I cried for my daughter because she didn’t deserve this as part of her story. I worked so hard to get where I was, career-wise, and everything was just ripped away. Why couldn’t I just go back and change things sooner? He was a con artist, and I got duped.

I tried to smile through the pain and be strong for my daughter.

I tucked my tail, hung my head, and began my journey home. At 32 years old, I moved back into my old bedroom with a 3-year-old. I was so ashamed of myself. I left the beach and moved back to crummy ole Tennessee. To make things worse, it was SNOWING when we moved back. It was March and snowing in Tennessee. How could this situation get ANY worse?!

My daughter, on the other hand, was thrilled to make snow angels and ride in a makeshift sled with grandma and grandpa. My parents were ecstatic to let us come home. My daughter had her own playroom and slept with mama every night. (Fortunately, my parents keep EVERYTHING. Her playroom was like taking a peek back into my childhood. We’re talking original Cabbage Patch dolls, a Little Tykes kitchen from 1985, y’all. It was glorious!)

Since I had to work diligently on getting my nursing licenses in order, I wasn’t able to apply for any nursing jobs for the next few weeks. My plan was to take an assignment as a travel nurse to save up some money and pay off these old bills that I recently discovered. In the meantime, my daughter and I were going to the gym and the park almost daily.

My heart was bruised, and I needed to slowly put my life back together. I needed to show my daughter that this was our new normal and that living with grandma and grandpa would be a fun adventure. I was trying to convince myself of this too.

A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms

I desperately needed to find some friends, but I had no idea where to even start.

I finally texted an old guy friend from high school (actually, I think I went down my Facebook list and sent messages to everyone in town. I was THAT desperate for adult interaction). I jokingly asked if he knew any hot single dads. This wasn’t even relevant in our conversation, just a random thought that popped in my head. To my surprise, he said yes and immediately gave me a name.

Good heavens, was I ready for this? I was SO newly divorced, but hey, I needed friends and I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to get out of my parents’ house to meet people. My Facebook detective brain got to work. This single dad had a daughter, who appeared to be the same age as mine. After showing my mom his Facebook picture with his daughter, she screamed, ‘I KNOW THAT LITTLE GIRL!’

Come to find out, his ex-wife’s sister does my mom’s hair, and my mom had seen pictures of this little blonde girl. We live in a big city, so this is a rare occurrence. My mom wanted some juicy gossip, so she pushed me to meet him. (If she thought meeting a stranger was OK, then surely it was fine, right?!) I sent this random guy a Facebook message, and he answered back. I gave him my number and HE. CALLED. ME. So, awkwardly, I answered the phone.

He said he wanted to talk. Like, with his voice. What in the 1990s was going on?! We talked all night just like teenagers. I think it was 2 am when we finally hung up. Maybe it was sleep deprivation, but I felt like one tiny piece of my heart was placed back.

Two days later, we met for lunch. I was a little rusty on appropriate first date clothing, and I was raiding my mom’s closet for most of my attire since I was just starting to rebuild my life and wardrobe. I happened to have a job interview that day, so I wore some comfortable black flats and a pair of my mom’s black dress slacks. Yup, slacks. With pleats down the front. I also wore this shirt I lovingly call ‘the curtain shirt’. This was my 1st first date since I met my ex-husband, 10 years earlier.

He was on his lunch break, so he showed up wearing police gear and a gun on his hip. I was intimidated at first because he is a big dude with a beard and a lot of tattoos, and again, this was my first date in a decade. I am a nurse practitioner and I had never had any type of personal interaction with a police officer in my whole entire life. Now I was on a date with one!

He insisted we take a selfie that day to send to Brian, the guy that introduced us.

We went to the Bayou and sat on the patio. I don’t remember one thing we said during the entire date because I was nervous and trying not to make a mess. I ordered a shrimp po’boy (I couldn’t have ordered something messier, right?) and I don’t even remember if I ate half of it.

I just remember looking at him and getting butterflies. He had the prettiest hazel eyes and I had never dated anyone with a beard, so I’m sure I stared at it. When we were done eating, he walked me to my Jeep and gave me a hug.

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms 1

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

After lunch, I was on cloud nine. I had the biggest grin all day, and I was smitten. I could not stop thinking about him! Was I ready for this? I thought, ‘There was no way he could be interested.’ After all, I was just damaged goods. With my awful credit and all the baggage I had, surely this guy would just move on and there was no reason to get my hopes up. I just couldn’t stop thinking about him, but I definitely wasn’t ready to jump into a relationship.

To my surprise, he called me that night. (What is up with this guy? Why can’t he just text?) We had our second date on Friday night, and our first kiss. I knew at that time this was something special. However, I wasn’t quite ready to trust him, and I certainly didn’t want my tender heart to be yanked out of my chest again.

I saw him again on Sunday, which happened to be Easter. We decided to let our girls meet each other that afternoon. My daughter needed some friends too, and they became instant best friends. We looked at them playing, and then looked at each other. Huh, these girls could be twins. I could feel my heart slowly starting to grow back together.

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms 2

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

On Mother’s Day, he told me he loved me.

I knew I was falling hard and fast. When you know, you know. But, I wasn’t quite ready to let my guard down. He gave me a key to his house and told me to ‘snoop away’ while he was at work. And…I did just that. I went through every piece of paper in that house, and I couldn’t find anything. He always left his phone unlocked, his email pulled up on his laptop, he was an open book. He did not have a thing to hide.

He showed me his credit score, his bank account, and his up-to-date mortgage payments. He was a genuine, honest, open, loving person. I was damaged goods with a credit score of 300 and a deadbeat ex-husband. But, for some reason, this guy loved me and adored my daughter. I was slowly letting him into my heart and he was helping me rebuild, piece by piece. I certainly didn’t need to be saved by anyone, but he swooped in and saved me.

We discussed moving in together, but I just wasn’t sure. Things were still new to me, and I just had to protect myself and my child. I couldn’t move her again if things weren’t going to work out with us. And plus, staying in Tennessee wasn’t part of our plan. This was supposed to be just a pause in our story. Or so I thought.

He asked me to be his forever wife.

We were sitting on the couch one morning in June before he went to work, and he pulled out the biggest sapphire ring I had ever seen. He asked me to be his forever wife, while my daughter watched E.T. and clapped for us. At that moment, I knew my intent to move out of Tennessee just wasn’t part of the plan right now. Something brought me back home and love was going to keep me there.

My daughter and I moved into his 3-bedroom, 2-bath bachelor pad, which he insisted that we call OUR house. He had almost no furniture and nothing on the walls, so he told me to ‘go nuts’ with it. I had so much fun starting over from scratch. Losing all of my belongings had been so terribly painful, and I got a lump in my throat when I thought about my things just being tossed out like trash.

I shed millions of tears over the things I would never get back. However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I had a blank slate so that we could start OUR home. Funny how life works out sometimes.

We talked about getting married just to make things official, and I started researching courthouse weddings. I knew we needed a photographer to capture our special day, so I emailed a husband/wife team to check their availability. Well, they had 1 available date for a wedding. August 15. Wow. This was less than 2 months away and my heart skipped a beat knowing this was actually happening. I called Steven and asked him what he was doing on Saturday, August 15. He said, ‘Marrying you.’ That was all I needed to hear in order to make this happen.

We decided to elope on August 15, 2015, which was about 4 months after our first date.

I could not believe how my life had changed in those few months. I survived a failed marriage to a con-artist, moved back in with my parents as a single mom, and was now planning my wedding.

The plan was to keep our marriage a secret until our Halloween Party, and then surprise everyone by dressing as a bride and groom and showing off our wedding pictures. However, Steven refused to take off his wedding band and we just couldn’t keep it a secret longer than 2 weeks.

We got ready for our special day in a hotel room at the Peabody and walked to Court Square Park where a family friend performed the ceremony. Our little blonde girls were the flower girls and the bridesmaids. My new husband and I danced to our song playing on his phone in his shirt pocket. ‘Fall Into You’ by Brantley Gilbert. Yes, it’s cliché that we live in Tennessee and danced to a country song, but have you heard it?!

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms 3

Courtesy The Kennys Photography

The girls went home with my new mother-in-law for a slumber party so we could spend our first night as a married couple, kid-free. We had an amazing dinner, laughed over drinks in the Peabody lobby, and I could not wipe the smile off my face. This was not a dream, but my real life. The entire day was perfect.

We eventually bought a bigger house with a pool, and then right after my 35th birthday in 2017, we found out that we would be adding an ‘ours’ to the mix. We had our 3rd daughter, Junebug, and completed our family. We had our little blonde bookends, and this brown-eyed baby girl is the perfect caboose.

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms 4

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

Some people will tell you that our marriage is doomed. We both have extremely stressful jobs (his more than mine). We are both divorced and got married 4 months after our first date. We both have ex-spouse drama and are currently involved in a custody battle (I am winning). We have all the odds against us, but we are going to beat those odds.

People are always curious to hear our story, so we just look at each other and smile. Usually, our story goes, ‘We met on a blind date and got married 4 months later.’ In the end, love wins.”

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms 5

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

The post Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

3 ways to get over your ex

Still Love Him? Here Are 3 Ways To Get Over Your Ex

3 ways to get over your ex

 

As an intimacy and relationship expert, the one main question I receive is “How do you get over an ex?” Oh, I could go on. I could probably do a whole workshop on this. I mean maybe I ought to because the chance of us having one lover for our entire life is very, very slim. At some point, we’re going to have our heart broken.

If we let our heart stay closed and never open it again, we will never be open to the love that is waiting for us.

Below are 3 Ways to Get Over Your Ex

1. Let yourself feel, cry, emote, let it be okay for emotion to have its way with you. Don’t try and stop it, squish it, control it, or make it mean anything. Just let energy be in motion and emotion. Just let it go through you. Make it easy…put on a sad movie, get in the bathtub, go be in nature whatever you need to do to make feeling emotions as safe and as easy as possible for you. That’s number one.

2. I don’t know why you broke up. There could’ve been a whole number of situations that caused it. I can’t say because I’m not you. A really great process to run no matter what the reason is about forgiveness. It’s this statement: “Thank you for giving me this experience because now I’m stronger. Now I’m wiser. Now I have healthier boundaries. Now I speak the truth. Now I’ve learned compassion.”

Repeat that 10 times and then really go oh my god look at how much more elevated my consciousness is. Look at what a more amazing human being I am. Look at how I’ve grown. At the end of those ten thank yous for giving me this experience, I guarantee you’re going to feel a lot better. A lot of not getting over an ex is that we have not gotten the lesson. As soon as we get the lesson, you’ll be amazed how you can integrate that and move on with a more open, strong yet still soft heart.

3. This is a really great way I had forgotten. Then, my ex-lover reminded me about it. When I am with my lover from before, the energy is literally palpable. If I think right now I’m going to tap into the energy that we share. It’s like I get this big inhale of all this yummy energy. I smile. I soften. I thought that “he was the source of that and that I shall never have that again.” No, remember when we’re together and this is the response this is the mirror of me. So it’s really your yummy mojo energy going out being reflected back by him so what your feeling is you.

Let’s look even deeper, what does it mean? Why is the universe having its way with me?

You can choose to feel into the energy of your next soulmate or your next beloved. What is it going to feel like to be with them and just feel their energy? It’s a way of connecting with them. It’s right there. The energy is right there. We just need to be aware of it and welcome it.

It’s a way of connecting with them. We need to play in it and dance in it. So do that as a way to remind yourself that you’re never alone, never have been and never will be. Remember that this energy of yumminess and support and deliciousness is mirrored back with wonderful partners. It’s also mirrored back 24/7 from the universe and earth.

The post Still Love Him? Here Are 3 Ways To Get Over Your Ex appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

how to love what you already have

How To Love What You Already Have

how to love what you already have

 

So, you want to know about one of my favorite guilty pleasures?

You might have a similar one.

I love watching House Hunters on HGTV! There’s nothing better to do on a lazy Sunday morning, coffee in hand (or let’s be honest…a homemade mimosa) than curled up on my couch watching TV, and shouting at it, telling the clueless couple to go with House #2 because they can just repaint the damn walls instead of making the horrible decision of going with House #1.

But lately, I’ve noticed something after watching. Instead of feeling relaxed from binge-watching a silly show, and being grateful for not having to work, I started to feel a little resentful. I started to think, “Wait, why can’t I have the opportunity to buy a big fancy house? Why am I here instead, in this small apartment?”

And that resentment got me thinking about something that many of us do as we recover from divorce. It’s a nasty habit that keeps us from being happy and able to love this new chapter in our life.  So this week, let’s take a look at that slip-up and learn how to overcome it.

How to Love What You Already Have

The big obstacle in our face: we focus on what we lack.

When we’re learning how to get our lives back, it’s an easy trap to fall into.  Once we start feeling bad about where we are, instead of being happy with it, we forget all the awesome stuff.  And the roadblock only gets worse, because then we start telling ourselves things like this…

“I’m too old to be single. I should have a partner right now.”

“I should still be happily married right now.”

“I should be as successful as the family and friends I have on social media.”

This way of thinking is dangerous as we move on because it relies on some external force to dictate how our lives should be. Only we have the power and control to do that.

The next obstacle: we compare ourselves to others.

Ever heard of the Facebook and Instagram effect?

You know what I’m talking about. The one where the old high-school classmate has uploaded a picture of her million-dollar beach house and puts #blessed in the caption.

Or the one where a distant relative has posted a picture of their feet in the sand by the beach with a tropical drink in hand and writes “so lucky in my life” or some crap like that.

We have all been guilty of thinking we need other things in our life in order to make our lives how we want them.

We forget just how much good we have in our own lives.

I like to think of this as the Psychology of Abundance. When we are going through divorce, or recovering from it and trying to figure out the rest of our lives, we forget that we actually have the world at our fingertips and that we actually have an ass-load of things going for us.

Sure, your life and stability have changed.

Sure, your financial situation may seem shaky and you may be worried about supporting yourself.

Sure, your identity may be in existential crisis and you may be lost, not knowing who you are now or what you want as you start the next chapter of your life.

Nobody’s denying the shake-up. But guess what riches that shake-up represents?

The fact that you are still alive.

That you are here.

That you are given a second chance at life.

Do you have any idea how rich those gifts are?

I remember when I was going through my own divorce. I was floored and stressed and reeling from all the things I thought I lost—a comfortable financial situation, a partner in life, a future I thought I knew.

One day, as I was mourning my losses and not focusing on the abundance of things I actually had (my health, a decent job, my dogs, good friends, and a supportive family), I got a kick in the butt.  I was flipping through an old literature book from my college days, and a quotation popped out. It was written a world away and a lifetime ago, but it was like it was written just for me.

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.” ~Ranier Maria Wilke 

That last part woke me up—for the creator, there is no poor indifferent place.

Once we start celebrating what we have and not bemoaning what we do not, we become free. Our stress levels decrease. Our anxiety goes away. Feelings of jealousy and bitterness start to disappear. And we become grateful, recognizing each new day as the gift that it is.

So, want to begin thriving with what you already have and not what you wish you possessed?

Do these four easy things.

1. The next time you feel bad because you think you’re lacking something, stop and explicitly state what you feel it is. Take a look at my example below.

Ugh….I don’t have enough money for a down payment on a nice condo!

2. After pinpointing your perceived lack of something, reverse that way of thinking. Explicitly state why your lack of what you have is actually a good thing at this time.

Wait…that nice condo is going to have some super-high HOA fees! Geez..that actually means I will have to pay even more money a month than what I pay now—money I currently put in savings. Maybe a fancy condo isn’t such a good thing for me at this time.

3. Acknowledge something you actually have for which you are grateful.

Well, I don’t have a fancy condo, but I do have a delightfully cozy and affordable apartment that is super-easy to clean and helps me stay within my budget—two things that many people do not have. Dang. I guess I am pretty thankful for that.

4. Make a habit of acknowledging those things you have.

Do it often. Heck, write it in your gratitude journal if you have one.  You will find that the more often you divert your way of thinking about the things you lack and focusing more on the things that you have, you will find that the previous feelings you had of being hard on yourself, feeling jealous, resenting others for what they have, and feeling bitter start to decrease, and may even just disappear.

When done regularly, you then start to notice all the great things going on in your life. And once you notice them, little by little you will find yourself grateful for them and you realize just how rich you really are and how abundant your life really.

Because you have enough. And you’re doing great with what you have.

But you can still watch House Hunters if you want. 🙂

The post How To Love What You Already Have appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

make love last

How To Make Love Last In Spite Of Conflict

make love last

 

During counseling sessions, couples often ask me some version of this important question: How can we get back on track after a disagreement and build a strong relationship that lasts a lifetime?

Typically, I explain that conflict is an inevitable part of an intimate relationship and that one of the main ingredients of a healthy, long-lasting partnership is making a commitment to repair hurt feelings and bounce back from arguments fairly quickly.

How to Make Love Last

In over 40 years of research in his classic “Love Lab” studies, Dr. John Gottman discovered that the number one solution to marital problems is to get good at repair skills. He explains that repair attempts allow a couple to get back on track after a dispute and are an important way to avoid resentment.

In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. Gottman describes repair attempts as the secret weapon that emotionally intelligent couples employ that allows their marriage to flourish rather than flounder. A repair attempt is any statement or action – verbal, physical, or otherwise – intended to diffuse negativity and keep a conflict from escalating.

Couples who discuss concerns in a timely and respectful way and adopt a “we’re in this together” mindset have a better chance of creating a happy long-lasting partnership. They’re resilient and don’t let anger destroy the loving feelings and affection that brought them together in the first place.

7 Steps to getting good at repair skills:

  1. Do not blame, criticize, or show contempt for your partner. Talking about specific issues will reap better results than attacking him or her. For instance, a complaint is: “I’m upset because you didn’t tell me about spending money on new clothes. We agreed to be open with each other and money is tight right now.” Versus a criticism: “You never tell me the truth. How can I trust you?” Avoid defensiveness and showing contempt for your partner (rolling your eyes, ridicule, name-calling, sarcasm, etc.).
  2. Starting a conversation with a soft and curious tone such as, “Could I ask you something?” will lessen your partner’s defensiveness. Dr. John Gottman reminds us that criticism is extremely damaging to a marriage and that talking about specific issues with a soft approach will reap better results.
  3. Avoid character assassinations. Don’t attack your partner’s character, values, or core beliefs. Remember that anger is usually a symptom of underlying hurt, fear, and frustration so stop and reflect on your own emotions. Listen to our partner’s side of the story instead of focusing on your counterargument. Validate their perspective first – then share your viewpoint. When you feel like attacking your partner, ask yourself: what am I trying to accomplish?
  4. Don’t make threats or issue ultimatums. Avoid saying things you’ll regret later. Being vulnerable with your partner can make you feel exposed but it’s an important ingredient in a trusting, intimate relationship. You may have created a psychological armor since childhood due to being hurt or judged but this might not serve you well as an adult. Be assertive yet open in your attempts to negotiate for what you want from your partner. Both individuals in a relationship deserve to get some (not all) of their needs met.
  5. Approach conflict with a problem-solving attitude. Avoid trying to prove a point and examine your part in a disagreement. Listen to your partner’s requests and ask for clarification on issues that are unclear. Discuss expectations to avoid misunderstandings. Engage in a conversation with your partner that is productive rather than shutting down or criticizing him or her.
  6. Take a short break if you feel overwhelmed or flooded. This will give you both time to calm down and collect your thoughts so you can have a more meaningful dialogue with your partner. Author David Akiva, encourages couples to develop a Hurt-Free Zone Policy which is a period when criticism is not allowed between partners. Without it, couples usually feel less defensive and as a result, feelings of hurt and rejection dissolve within 3 to 4 weeks.
  7. Practice having a recovery conversation after an argument. Daniel B. Wile, Ph.D. believes that your focus needs to be on listening to your partner’s perspective, collaborating, building intimacy, and restoring safety and good will if you want to develop good repair skills. A recovery conversation can reveal information about your relationship, lead to a resolution of the fight, and restore intimacy. It’s best to wait until both partners have calmed down before starting it and to be careful not to rekindle the fight. If you stay focused on the present, this will prevent rehashing an argument.

Be sure to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Instead of focusing on your partner’s flaws try spending your energy fostering a deeper connection. Avoid building a case against your partner. In its place, express positive feelings and gestures of love often and become skilled at demonstrating acceptance and gratitude in your words and actions.

Can a Marriage Thrive with Unresolved Conflict?

Dr. Gottman advises us that couples can live with unsolvable differences about ongoing issues in their relationship as long as they aren’t deal breakers. His research informs us that 69% of problems in a marriage don’t get resolved but can be managed successfully.

Author Marcia Naomi Berger, explains that many couples buy into the myth that if a marriage is healthy all issues get resolved. She writes: “Simply put, it is not the presence of conflict that stresses the relationship; it is the manner in which the couple responds. Positive, respectful communication about differences helps keep a marriage thriving.”

Once you have gotten better at recovering after a dispute, it becomes easier to restore loving feelings with your partner. If you find yourself struggling, tell him or her what’s on your mind. For instance, say something like “I feel flooded right now. Can you hold me or tell me you love me? I feel like attacking you but I don’t want to do that.”

Most of the time, you’ll restore intimacy during times of conflict or stress by being honest and vulnerable with your partner. Adopting these skills takes time and patience but will help you recapture the love, trust, and intimacy you once experienced.

Follow Terry Gaspard on TwitterFacebook, and movingpastdivorce.com. Terry’s book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-lasting Relationship was published by Sourcebooks in 2016. He new book The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around will be published by Sounds True in 2020.

More from Terry

This blog originally appeared on movingpastdivorce.com

The post How To Make Love Last In Spite Of Conflict appeared first on Divorced Moms.



Read More –>

love and support during divorce

Take Advantage Of Grandparents Who Want to Share Their Love And Support During Divorce

love and support during divorce

 

One of your biggest assets during and after divorce can be your children’s grandparents – on both sides of the family. Don’t let these grandparents get caught in the drama between you and your former spouse because it’s usually the children that suffer the loss.

In most cases, grandparents love their grandchildren. While they want to help in any way they can, many grandparents are afraid to get involved. They don’t know how to ease the hurt, confusion and other emotions affecting the grandkids as well as their own adult children.

Since every divorce is unique there are no cookie-cutter solutions or steps for grandparents to follow.

But here are some guidelines to help you reach out to the grandparents who want to share their love and support during divorce.

If the grandparents haven’t been close to the kids before your divorce, post-divorce is a difficult time to develop a relationship. But if grandma and grandpa already have that bond established, it’s important to keep the love connection at this time when the children are facing so many unknowns.

When communication and trust are strong between grandparents and grandchildren it’s easier to bring up challenging issues for a chat. Children who are comfortable in their relationship with their grandparents are more likely to confide their frustrations, fears, and insecurities in them. Of course, it’s always more effective for grandparents to offer advice once the kids ask or bring the subject up. Then the elders can share their love and wisdom in an age-appropriate manner. But G-ma and G-pa can also ask questions and initiate conversations if they’re mindful of how the kids are feeling and responding.

One important word of caution: If grandparents want to discuss issues regarding divorce or other life challenges, it is essential that they discuss this subject first with you and your former spouse to get permission in advance!

It’s never a grandparent’s place to interfere if they are not welcome — tempting as it may be. So bring up the topic you want them to talk about with the grandkids first. Explain your concern on behalf of the children, and what message you’d like the grandparents to share with them. If G-ma and G-pa understand and respect your values, then encourage them to give it their best shot.

Should a child be resistant to the conversation, grandparents should not push the issue. They are better off retreating into safer territory. If the children do confide in their grandparents, advise the elders not to make judgments about either parent to the kids. Instead, have them listen, offering comforting support and embraces. Then encourage the grandparents to talk with you and your ex about ways they believe they can provide healing, reassurance, and support to your children during this difficult time.

If the subjects that come up are complex, advise the grandparents you will be bringing in professional counselors to handle the situation with all involved. Therapists and divorce coaches are trained to handle heavy emotional and psychological issues. So leave it in their hands. You want grandparents to be loved as the caring family they are – not as a therapist or judge!

If the grandparents are unaware of the emotional turmoil the divorce or other challenges is taking on their grandchildren, schedule time to talk with them. You can bring articles, websites and other valuable resources about how children can be adversely affected by family drama and share that during your conversation. Have some positive and concrete suggestions regarding how they can help, if possible. Don’t criticize or blame your ex. Focus on their love for the kids. Don’t accuse, judge, dismiss or demean their grandparenting style. Remind them your family is not unique and that most families coping with divorce face similar issues.

Remind the grandparents how much their support means to you so they don’t overlook their relationship with the kids following the divorce, especially if relocation or other major changes are in the works. Children need, want and value the safety and reassurance of their grandparents’ love. Let G-ma and G-pa be there for their grandchildren as a positive asset in the children’s adjustment to divorce and other challenges now and for a long time to come.

The post Take Advantage Of Grandparents Who Want to Share Their Love And Support During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Love After Narcissistic Abuse

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Love After Narcissistic Abuse

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know, in this Community, Valentine’s Day can be a very painful day. When I was single I originally used to dread Valentine’s Day – it felt like such a confirmation that I was a  ‘relationship disaster’, yet once I started Thriver Healing it became my self-love day … and I thoroughly suggest you do the same!

But, more than this today, I want to talk to you about how you CAN Open your heart and love again after being devastated by a narcissist.

And it’s a very BIG and IMPORTANT topic because so many of you (as I originally felt too) never wanted to risk such excruciating love devastation again.

I understand – totally!

However, I also know what life is like on the other side – to make it here to real, safe, respectful and fulfilling love and I extend to you my hand and my heart to grant you the Life Raft to bring you here too.

 

 

Video Transcript

Zac and I just arrived off the plane and got settled in London, after a day and half of travel, and I just wanted to do this video for you today on Valentine’s Day. It’s such an important topic, about love, that is very dear to my heart.

But before I get into today’s topic, if you didn’t know why I am in London, I’m here doing a book tour for the next two weeks, celebrating the release of my new book. You Can Thrive After Narcissistic Abuse’. You can find out all the details of the events and dates for the events here.

Okay, so onto today’s episode!

And it’s important for me to share this with you.  Some of you, as I am, are lucky enough to have wonderful partners in our life as a result of our inner work and breakthroughs. And others, as I once was too, are still struggling in painful relationships, or are single and feel a terrible defectiveness and loneliness on Valentine’s Day.

So many people in our community say, “I just can’t consider love again, I couldn’t risk ever going through that again.”

I get it. I truly do, one hundred percent! And please know, I am totally all for a healing hiatus after not just something as impactful as narcissistic abuse, but also any painful confusing or difficult relationship.

But can we safely love again? Can we open our heart enough to ever connect with another?

In today’s episode, I want to share with you how and why I believe the answer is a whopping big YES! As well as how this is possible, no matter how many times your heart has been broken and even if you think that real and true love is for other people, but just isn’t possible for you.

And the great news is, that you may not have realised yet that your ability to find and generate true love and avoid narcissistic and false love, has absolutely nothing to do with other people at all! You can take your power back and be the firm creator of this, regardless of what other people are or aren’t doing.

That’s not just glib. It’s the absolute truth!

So how can we have different love experiences than our past? The answer is: by changing the only person that we have the power to change, ourselves, at the Inner Identity level, because it is then that we DO change our internal love code.

Let’s look at this.

 

The Breakup:  The Breakdown Leading to Love Breakthrough

I really want you to know that after breaking up with someone, straight away or even decades later, this grants us the most incredible opportunity to heal within, to ensure we will never have to go through what we suffered again.

And of course, we can’t do this if we do what narcissists do, try to replace a love partner with new supply, just as someone would purchase a new puppy after their dog got run over. Of course, this is simply a continuation of more of the same, as well as absolutely no idea about what true love requires from our self and others.

Most of us could not just go after a new love partner after narcissistic abuse anyway. The truth is, for most of us, our soul is/was so shattered that there is very little chance of jumping back into a fire, and if we did the results would be almost sure to be disastrous.

Without Thriver Tools to deeply partner and heal our shattered self, it can take a long time before we feel ready for another relationship, or could even contemplate risking going through such a near-death experience again.

That’s exactly how I felt after my narcissistic relationship. It took me over three years to have another love relationship. At first, I was devastated that I was alone and shattered and thought that I would have no choice but to remain that way. However, as my Thriver Recovery got underway, I realised that the most profound relationship that I needed to establish was an integrated, unconditionally loving and accepting one with myself.

I realised that I had been the person missing in my life all along, and it was the lack of this that had caused me to hand my power away to abusers trying to earn their love, as well as cling to them throughout the abuse, because I hadn’t been filled and whole enough with my own love to let go.

The greatest relationship we can ever have is the one with ourselves and Source. And now I know that means seeing ourselves as Source sees us, lovable and worthy of love and Life’s blessings as we are and knowing that if we know this and let go of all the internal and extremal trauma not allowing us to be this, then we can be and will experience an incredible life, as well as true love.

The thing that I had been missing to this point regarding ‘love’ was this; True Love had to be between me and myself first.

There is a huge difference between loneliness and aloneness. The first experience is condemning the state and place we are in, whereas aloneness is using the state and the place we are in to have our healing hiatus to change our life and love potential beyond previous painful patterns.

 

How Did We Get Our ‘Love Beliefs’?

Why would we want to miss out on love? Everything that is great is a derivative of love. Love fills our heart, and it deepens our connection with life, self and others in blissful and miraculous ways.

Love can be ignited within us whether we are looking at the perfect symmetry of a flower, or being the recipient of a child’s smile, or petting our animal companions, or being held in the warm embrace of someone we love who loves us.

This following is the only reason we want to forego love – because of the traumatic beliefs that love hurts, and even that love can annihilate us.

Okay, so how did these terrible love beliefs get on board?

They are to do with our past life, epigenetic, childhood and repeat adult love traumas. These are the horrible experiences we’ve had in granting our hearts to people, who have smashed us open.

For many, this happened in childhood as complete dependents relying on caretakers who were possibly much less than healthily loving.

I firmly believe the truth is because of Quantum Law, ‘so within so without’, the traumas of these painful experiences were already in our energy fields pre-birth (science is now proving the truth of epigenetically inherited trauma), and the patterns continue via childhood and then into adulthood, until we can change the trauma pattern deep within ourselves.

Thankfully, now with Quantum Tools, we can release these traumas and free ourselves of the fear of love, to be able to show up in love healthily and solidly whilst being able to be loving, open, powerful and self-honouring simultaneously.

That is our love success holy grail.

The people I know who have got to that level, did everything to let go of the traumas of their past as their greatest mission, knowing that these weren’t keeping them safe, and they brought in their Source True Self replacement in its place, which allowed them to be authentic and showing up as their own Source of true power and safety.  They did this by working with NARP.

That’s what granted them the powerful shift in their internal Love Code.

 

When We Change Our Love Beliefs, We Change Our Choices

If we are free of the fears of love (the trauma related to it) as a result of the inner work, and we know how to navigate love healthily and safely, then I promise you we can connect with real love that is beautifully fulfilling.

False, unhealthy, unsafe love starts with a bang and degenerates. Real and healthy soulmate love is more of a slow burn. It is humane, respectful, and caring. It’s built on a basis of friendship and shared values as well as attraction and connection. It grows and expands over time. Respect, care, love, and consideration deepen as the relationship progresses.

And this is so interesting because truly our intimate relationship can mirror the Thriver healing relationship we are having with our self.

Over time, whilst on our inner dedicated healing journey, the more we self-partner, release trauma and bring in Source, this is exactly how our relationship with ourselves grows, as deeper and deeper self-love, tenderness, connection and devotion.

When we love our Inner Being, we do what any concerned adult would do for their own child, treat it with care, sensibility and wise guidance.

No longer do we live in ‘instant relationship’, ‘fairy-tale-love’ or ‘if love hurts it must be because it’s real‘. We drop these illusions, knowing that they are fraught with disappointment, heartfelt pain and even abuse.

And we stop believing that love ‘just happens’. It doesn’t.  It means getting very clear about our values, who we can have a wonderful relationship with and aligning with that truth.

Real love means choosing to take our time to get to know people and having the relationship grow at a pace that is healthy and incremental, to ascertain if this person, their life and character is a fit for who we are and how we wish to live.

If we have come from previous relationships where we handed power away and clung to abusers, instead of leaving to take care of ourselves, it means treating ourselves with the love, respect and boundaries that allow others to know our worth and how to treat us.

Real love can mean tough love. Not only does it mean going the extra mile for others out of the goodness of your heart, it also requires having difficult conversations when needed. And, if it turns out another’s values are not aligned with yours, then you love people enough to let them go and no longer hold them responsible for not giving you what you believed they should.

Real love also means taking on the gift of your own development to keep generating your truth with yourself and available people who are aligned with that truth.

 

The Belief That ‘The End’ is Something Terrible

Real love means growing out of the requirement that all relationships must end as ‘happily ever after’ and that they are a failure if they don’t. Or, that suffering is inevitable when we end a relationship because we feel we want to die if they end, or we can’t stand the thought of that person being with another. We may fear this terribly even though we were miserable and completely mismatched with them.

Or, maybe, we are so scared of ending a relationship, or feel so bad about doing that, that once we have connected with someone we make every excuse to just ‘go along’ even though we know in our heart that it’s not right to do so. That’s not serving them or us lovingly or truthfully at all.

Naturally, and for obvious reasons, these are major limiting beliefs that we all need to work with and heal to be able to explore and connect with relationships healthily, which also means having the right and power to end it if it becomes ‘no longer a true and healthy connection’.

 

Authenticity – Your Love, Power and Safety

This I know now after narcissistic abuse, healing my relationship with myself and being determined to enjoy the wondrous life and truth of ‘connection’ – that my ability to show up truthfully is what makes relationships safe. As does being truthful to myself about what character and values I require in a partner, in order to relate to such a person on a deep, true, loving soul level.

People who are ‘not nice people’ show you who they are. They tell you or demonstrate to you their lack of values, empathy, and lack of consideration for others, if you give it some time and don’t make excuses for them.

If we choose someone without the resources to be a loving partner, we are only going to have either a very superficial relationship with someone who doesn’t grant us what we really want, or we will have a struggle trying to force them to be who we wish they could be.

Either way equals how to lose at love.

The real questions are:

  • Are we prepared to be and connect to real love at that level?
  • Do we deserve to receive the best in love as well as give our best?
  • Are we going to be self-devoted enough to work on our wounds so that we don’t keep emotionally rolling around with more people who represent these exact wounds hoping they will do it better ‘this time’?
  • Are we able to choose people for their character and heart rather than their flashiness, looks or stuff?
  • Are we able to walk away if the relationship turns out not to have the resources and foundations that would make it safe, prosperous and divine?
  • Are we prepared to lose another rather than lose ourselves?

I hope that somewhere deep in your soul I have inspired you this Valentine’s Day to believe there is a way through the mess we have lived with narcissists, to reach real love. I promise you that if I could do this, after what I’ve experienced, you can too.

Okay, so, if deep inside your soul you know love is for you and you want to connect with it first safely and powerfully within you, and then as a healthy, kind and powerful outflow to others (in a way where you never have to go through abuse again) then I’d love to help you achieve this. To do so come over to my 16 Day free course, where you start healing your traumas and your heart to go free and experience love with other beautiful people for real.

You can get this started by clicking the link here.

And, if you liked this video, click the Like button, and if you want to see more of my videos subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And please share this with others so that they can learn how to create truly loving relationships.

And again a very happy Valentine’s Day from me in lovely London and I look forward to your comments and questions below.

 

Read More –>