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Don’t Fall For The Love Bomb! What It Feels Like To Date A Narcissist

Don’t Fall For The Love Bomb! What It Feels Like To Date A Narcissist

 

Narcissists like to love bomb! They like to shower you with gifts, turn on the charm and move things on very quickly.

When it comes to dating a narcissist how do you NOT fall for the love bombing?

How do you know the difference between love-bombing and real healthy attention and consideration?

Find out if there is a way to tell the difference between someone who is genuine, attentive and generous and a wolf in sheep’s clothing in this episode.

 

 

Video Transcript

What does it feel like to date a narcissist?

Heady. Exciting. Intoxicating.

(Before being healed up of course…)

How does all your sensibility go out of the window?

Why does it feel like you are on The Love Train Express, on a one way track, even though you sense there is something terribly dangerous about this?

Don’t real people show up as loving, genuine, trustworthy and caring as well?

You bet they do, and in today’s Thriver TV Episode I am going to explain to you what dating a narcissist is like, as well as what it is like to date a DECENT, loving and genuine person who is showing up interested in you and attentive towards you.

As well as HOW you can put this to the test!

Okay, before we get started, thank you everyone who has subscribed to my channel and for supporting the Thriver Mission. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, I want to remind you to please do.

And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.

Okay, let this episode begin!

 

The Feelings of Dating A Narcissist – When We Don’t Know!

What goes on with the narcissist and us when love-bombing happens?

The narcissist’s manoeuvre:

I’m going to try to hook up with this person. I’ll ask questions. I’ll find out what they are looking for and what they feel hurt about in their past. Then I’ll appear to care deeply about them and be everything they have been searching for.

The unsuspecting target’s feelings:

Oh MY GOD! This is the person I’ve been dreaming about, visualising and putting up on my vision board. He/she has arrived!

The narcissist’s manoeuvre:

I know this person is trusting and believes me. Now I’m going to snare this person quickly. I’ll take over their heart and infiltrate their body, soul and life. Heck, I’ll even connect financially with them as soon as they allow me to.

To get them to give me the key to the fortress, I’ll make them think I’m taking my time and have great respect for them. That is if sex and chemistry doesn’t get the better of them.

The unsuspecting target’s feelings:

Oh MY GOD! This person is everything I have ever wanted; I’m so attracted to him/her and he/she is so sweet and considerate. This is it – this is my beloved. There is no point wasting time, I know he/ she is the real deal and would never hurt me. I’m in!

(Mind you, this person’s intuition, their Inner Being, is dinging warning bells. Yet that niggly feeling is pushed aside by the over-enthusiastic reckless neediness to enmesh.)

The narcissist’s manoeuvre:

I’m SO high on new narcissistic supply that I am getting off on this. I know this person thinks we are crazily in love.

The unsuspecting target’s feelings:

Oh MY GOD! I feel so in love and attracted to this person I can’t even see straight.

That, in a nutshell, is a classic narcissistic love bomb. It is no more complicated than that – find out what a person craves and pretend to be it.

This is why narcissists get new supply in the time it takes to boil an egg.

The odd person reports that they didn’t feel head over heels when love-bombed. They didn’t feel the big chemical reaction to the narcissist – yet they still got hooked in because of some neediness within, like: ‘I’ll be on my own if I don’t accept this person’, ‘This person has the contacts, intelligence, wisdom, spirituality, money or lifestyle that I need to be happy, whole and safe’ and the list can go on and on and on.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when we believe it is about ‘love’, that connections with narcissists are a dual interior subconscious game of neediness and supply. The narcissist NEEDS significance and someone else’s energy to survive, and we NEED what is missing in ourselves and our lives to try to feel whole.

Hence, why our connection with a narcissist ends up being as painful as anyone’s relationship is with a drug dependency that is killing them.

We don’t believe there is any other option than the narcissist, who originally appeared as our saviour to ourselves – until we realise that our entire lesson with narcissists is to let go, detach, turn inwards, heal and become a FULL source to self.

The narcissist who will never become a source to self believes that people are just objects and that they are dispensable sources, when necessary, that can be mined from virtually anywhere.

It’s true there are many unhealed people who feel empty about something on the inside.

 

Dating Fearlessly

Please hear me when I say to you – it is SO not true, that it will never be safe for you to date because narcissists are everywhere.

Yes, narcissists are everywhere – that is totally true, and so are great people who you can have healthy, fulfilling relationships with.

Your future relationships are never about what other people are or aren’t doing (oh gosh I promise you this).

Rather, they are about WHO you are BEING.

Beingness is not something you can just logically decide – it’s the work you do inside yourself to heal, so that you can show up, not CARING who other people are, because you know who YOU are, what YOUR values are and how powerfully (and not needily) you can take your time to get to know people and put yourself (and them) to the test.

I really want you to discard the ridiculous romantic notion that love is all about being swept off your feet into an instant relationship.

Fairy-tales, sitcoms, novels, plays, advertising and blockbuster movies have made us believe this – but truly, if you want to be safe, healthy and happy then you need to GROW UP and take your time when dating.

If you do, you have narcissistic repellent working powerfully in your favour from the get-go.

Narcissists HATE to take time; they need narcissistic supply to survive – like yesterday.

If you can get it through to yourself TO TAKE YOUR SWEET TIME to get to know someone, rather than be like my previous self who used to put more thought into buying a pair of shoes than I did into choosing a relationship, then watch on – because we are not going to leave any stone unturned.

Your Criteria to NOT Fall For the Love Bomb

I want you to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your life whole enough, as a single person, to NOT need a relationship to feel happy and have a fulfilling life?
  • Do you feel like you are established as your own generative source of love, acceptance, survival and security – and no longer feel like an empty, broken child in an adult’s body looking for a partner to be a pseudo parent for you?  (I know that is such a tough question and one I want you to get really honest with yourself about – because it is NO one else’s responsibility to give you your happiness and life – it is yours.)
  • Are you healed beyond the beliefs ‘all the good ones are gone’, ‘I have to accept who turns up because there may not be another’ and ‘if I have a connection of (whatever it is) with someone, I may never experience that with someone else again’?
  • Are you healed and truly over the trauma of your past relationships?
  • Are you very clear on what you will and won’t accept and, so, will not compromise yourself because of neediness and feelings of lack?
  • Are you prepared to ask for what you need and want? And will you, respectfully without resentment, walk away if this person does not meet your values and truth, and accept that you are just not a match for them – regardless of what stage the relationship is at?
  • Have you evolved past the beliefs of ‘going on dates with the wrong people is annoying, terrible, disappointing and a waste of time’?
  • Are you healed beyond capitulating to other people’s demands even if it means you lose this person?
  • Are you able to accept someone discarding you because you didn’t go along with their version of dating (such as having sex too soon), without blaming yourself and wondering what is wrong with you?
  • Do you now accept that what comes up via dating grants you the perfect opportunity to heal beliefs and release even more trauma, show up in truth with healthy boundaries and become an even greater generative force of true, healthy love?

I promise you, I used to be a ‘No’ in all these areas. Today I am a ‘Yes’ because I know not just healthy love depends on it – my life literally does.

I worked my BUTT OFF with the inner work to get myself there.

Okay, so I’d love you to be honest and share with the entire community below – how many do you score a ‘yes’ out of these ten questions I just asked you?

I promise you this…until you stop dating trying to find someone to heal you, or deciding that you could never date ever again because you are too broken, and instead heal yourself in your key inner areas to become whole, not only will you date effectively, you will have a total blast doing it – no matter how many narcs you initially come across.

I also promise you that once the Quantum Mechanics of so within so without, get clear so that you are solid within and taking wonderful and powerful care of the sovereignty of your soul – the seas will part, the narcs will all get washed away, and great people will start flowing towards you.

Before then, you will be susceptible to a love-bombing narcissist. If you are starving or dying of thirst, you will eat crap on a stick or drink your own urine if you have to. With a narcissist who was originally wrapped in glamour, you’ll see that when the mask falls you will be left with the chilling truth of who they really are.

The total solution is to heal you, then you will never accept that again, and you won’t put yourself in a position to even start a narcissistic relationship.

When you heal, you will put as much thought, time, diligence and care into a relationship decision as you would any other impactful life decision – even more so – and certainly more thought than purchasing a pair of shoes.

The Difference Between Love-Bombing and Real Healthy Attention and Consideration

I love that I get to live so many experiences for myself AND this community.

Sometimes I feel like a crash-test dummy, in a good way!

‘Love’ has certainly been a journey for me, full of richness and experience, and I am very blessed to have enjoyed being able to have my heart open to receive new relationships even after narcissistic abuse.

EVERY relationship since the two N’s, has been a wonderful step up for me in certain areas.

You may ask what the difference is between decent caring people who are lovely and being love-bombed.

I promise you I KNOW the difference. And the reason I was able to enter a healthier relationship trajectory was because I was DIFFERENT enough to attract and accept this into my life.

My current partner of just over a year is a lovely man. From the day I met him, I felt a familiarity, a soft warm feeling. It was like putting on an old sweater that I adored. It was a feeling like ‘coming home’. It wasn’t the high anxiety, blood pumping ‘thrill’ of hanging out with a narcissist.

(Which for a long time I have been quite repulsed by!)

In the past, leading up to this man, I had been adamant about NOT being with men that were at all love-bomby! Because I knew how narcissistic that can be. I have to laugh about how the Universe says, ‘your wish is my command’ as I had been experiencing ungenerous relationships.

Meaning they were NOT romantic or caring, even though I was clear (previous love-bombing or not) with what I wanted, ‘I want romance. I want to feel like a revered woman. I want to MATTER!’

From day one I received flowers every time my partner picked me up on a date. He would send me beautiful thoughtful messages, including poetry. I was being beautifully romanced.

I still am to this day.

And I was totally allowing things to unfold whilst sizing him up, as well as evaluating how I was Being in this.

A dear girlfriend asked me ‘How do you know this isn’t love-bombing?’ My answer was ‘Because if I am busy and can’t get to his text, he waits respectfully until I do. And if I have other plans, and can’t meet up, he is totally understanding with this’.

This man was NOT needy, pushy, demanding or sulky. He was being a real romantic steadfast man. He respected my space and never encroached on it.

He didn’t play ridiculous ‘let’s throw caution to the wind in the name of passion’ games.

And, I was not giving up my life to completely fall into his arms. As it turned out, he didn’t want that either. We took our time through a friendship and courting process to get to know each other, as two whole people seeking another whole partner, to share a life with, rather than to self-medicate with or take away our emptiness and loneliness.

We remained platonically dating for three months before the relationship deepened.

In those three months, I watched and waited, as did he.

The other values I was very clear about included consideration for people, and one’s word being backed by real action, or taking responsibility if not possible (such as when stuff happens).

He has integrity. He is a really good person at his core.

I was clear on what character and kindness looked like and I was totally prepared to say ‘Okay, if he isn’t it, this has been a beautiful exercise in developing a relationship for both of us, and the next man will be even better.’

I truly believed that with all of my heart.

I still do, and if for whatever reason we decide our journey together wasn’t compatible with what we wanted any more, then that would all be totally okay too.

Right now, it is wonderful.

The Only Relationship That Creates All Others

I know there is a lot going on in this episode, and I hope that it can truly and deeply help you.

You know I am always banging on about the inner work, and that is because I know without it, after narcissistic abuse, just how hard it is to heal our fractured relationship with ourselves and life, let alone be powerful, solid and wise enough to engage in healthy relationships with a non-narcissistic intimate other.

What I love about truly cleaning up the relationship that we have with ourselves and feeling whole and satisfied in our own body and in life, is that we are no longer dependent and needy in relationships.

That is when we are TOTALLY free enough to choose and engage in ones that ARE healthy.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to get there, and I know it will be for you too.

If it’s time for you to put an end to the narcissistic madness and fear, please click this link to start your trek on your true love path today.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released.  And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

As always, I am greatly looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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marital compatibility

Marital Compatibility: It’s About More Than Being “In Love”

marital compatibility

 

Emily Cowen, a musical artist I enjoy sings, “Even though we just met, these feelings are so beautiful, you and me were meant to be together.” And that is where “love” songs get love wrong. You’ve just met, the feelings are beautiful so, goodness gracious, you must be meant to be together.

Wrong!

Long-lasting marriages and relationships aren’t based on beautiful feelings. They thrive because of compatibility and the unique differences both genders bring to the relationship and how well each can resolve conflict.

Let’s look at the role compatibility plays in lasting marriages.

Initial compatibility, the butterflies and raging hormonal attraction is not a good indicator of how successful a marriage will be. That immediate chemical attraction felt with someone new isn’t concerned with the other person’s value system, personality characteristics or those other beliefs and personality traits that bond a couple together for the long-term.

Attraction and butterflies are important if a marriage is going to stand the test of time, but what is more important is a couple’s common plan for what direction the marriage will take and what role each will play in the marriage.

What does marital compatibility look like?

Friendship: Are you friends with your spouse?  Is there a sincere likeness and level of comfort? Successful couples enjoy spending time with each other. It is this friendship that can be the foundation for solving problems as they arise in the marriage.

Role expectations in the marriage: This isn’t only about how household responsibilities will be handled. It’s also about who spouses treat each other. Very few conversations about role expectations come up when in the throws a brand new relationship. Roles will form naturally as time goes on or the couple will define what role they will play in the relationship. If you aren’t happy with the role you play, there isn’t much hope for the marriage.

My son’s wife isn’t a domestic goddess. She has a high pressure job and a Master’s in Nursing. She is more interested in cerebral pursuits than what art is hung on the walls or, cleaning the kitchen. My son, on the other hand, loves his career but also loves to cook and keep the house tidy. I tease my new daughter-in-law and tell her she has a “fine wife.”

Before marrying they discussed who would do what and they now not only enjoy each other intimately, they are both quite comfortable with how to household is run and the role each plays in the decision making process. It’s an equation for success!

Emotional honesty: Successful spouses trust each other, they feel safe being vulnerable and when discussing their feelings. There is an emotional give and take. When one spouse is in need, the other is there for them and vice versa.

Sexual expectations: Setting these expectations is not only about how frequently a couple will be intimate. It is important, very important that they both be on the same page about sexual frequency but there are other aspects of a sexual relationship that need to be defined. Not everyone is on board with experiencing every sexual act known to man.

Defining what you are and aren’t comfortable with sexually is imperative, right out of the gate. Couples who have similar sexual expectations experience more bonding with each other which sets them up for long-term success as a couple.

Shared goals: Mutually committing to and following a path you both agree on is something successful couples do. Do you want children, how will they be raised if you do? What is more important, spending money on furthering education or saving money for a down-payment on a house? Common shared goals and values are things that are the foundation for a strong marriage.

Most successful marriages come about because both partners came into the relationship with similar belief systems and values that match. This makes it easier for two people to reach agreements on issues such as sexual intimacy, gender roles and to be easily emotionally open with each other.

This isn’t to say that a solid marriage is made up of only couples with good qualities. Two people who avoid conflict, have hot-blooded temperaments and prefer to go with the flow can also make marriage work, as long as they are both on the same page.

The post Marital Compatibility: It’s About More Than Being “In Love” appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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5 Reasons a Passive Aggressive Man’s Love Comes With a Big Price Tag

5 Reasons a Passive Aggressive Man’s Love Comes With a Big Price Tag

Passive Aggressive Man Mask.jpg

If you were married to him, you know what I’m talking about. If you have divorced a passive aggressive you SURELY know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, be on the look-out because chances are you will cross paths with a passive aggressive man.

Who is the passive aggressive man? He is that guy who avoids responsibility and conflict through passivity and withdrawal. He is the “Nice Guy” who reels you in with his adoration and once you are in the game he turns the tables so quickly your head will swim until you decide to take a hike.

But what is passive aggressive behavior and how do you recognize passive aggressive men?

5 Reasons the Passive Aggressive Man’s Love Comes With a Big Price Tag

He…

Withholds to Punish: He says one thing but means another. Sure, he wants to go to a movie. He even appears to enjoy himself until later that night when he rejects you sexually. You see, he didn’t want to go to a movie but, his passivity would not allow him to own it. His fear of conflict means punishing you in covert ways for something you “made” him do. What better way to punish than withholding something he knows you want?

Fears Conflict: He will do anything to keep from arguing with you. He has been taught that anger is unacceptable. Well, expressing anger in an open, honest way is unacceptable and is not something you will get from this guy. What you will get is a relationship with a man who avoids solving relationship problems, avoids taking responsibility for problems in the relationship and most importantly avoids making an intimate connection with you.

Why? A passive aggressive man will always choose to avoid conflict because he has come to experience conflict or disagreement as terrifying. He may have a great desire to connect with you emotionally but they don’t have the tools required for them to do so. For this reason, the retreat from those they love because of their fear that something will go wrong or they will be rejected.

In other words, they forfeit a relationship they long for, out of fear and, basically cause their worst fear to come true. Not only do they break your heart, they break their own heart by constantly giving up on relationships. When your passive aggressive husband starts avoiding conflict, it’s the beginning of the end of his emotional attachment to you and the relationship.

Plays The Victim: This poor guy can’t win for losing; not in his mind anyway. He will not show for a dinner date but find it unreasonable that you are upset. It is, after all, his bosses fault for making him work late. He could have picked his cell phone up and called but calling isn’t nearly as pleasurable as letting you sit and wait. You waiting on him gets his angries out at you.

He gets to punish you and blame his boss…he is off the hook, a “good guy” who is the victim of an unreasonable woman AND boss who both expect too much from him.

How does the passive aggressive benefit by playing the victim? When they play the “poor me” card it elicits other’s sympathy and offers of help. He enjoys being noticed and validated in such a way. Being a victim is also a great excuse for not confronting difficult life issues…avoiding conflict, again.

If he is viewing himself as a victim he can remain passive and not be held responsible for his bad behavior. This enables him to shift responsibility for his own misery off onto you.

As long as he is holding onto the victim role he puts himself in a low-risk, take no chances position. It’s all your fault since it’s your fault you should be the one to fix the problem! He is off the hook.

Is Forgetful: He forgets birthdays, anniversaries, anything important to you will be forgotten by him. My ex used to forget he needed something from me until the last minute.  If there was a social event related to his work, I would get notice the day before. I spent a lot of time running around trying to prepare for something in a few hours that would normally take days.

Is Afraid of You: They want you but they don’t want to become attached to you. He is in a constant battle with himself to pursue you then distance himself from you.  According to Scott Wetlzer, author of Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man: Coping with Hidden Aggression – From the Bedroom to the Boardroom.

The passive aggressive man is “unsure of his autonomy and afraid of being alone, he fights his dependency needs, usually by trying to control you. He wants you to think he doesn’t depend on you, but he binds himself closer than he cares to admit. Relationships can become battlegrounds, where he can only claim victory if he denies his need for your support.”

You have a lot of anger toward the passive aggressive man you are involved with. You just can’t figure out exactly what you are angry about. He is sweet, kind and loving. He never argues, does exactly what you wish. There must be something wrong with you or such a good man would want to have sex with you, remember your birthday, put effort into solving the problems in the relationship or just show up on time every once in a while.

And that is the trap women who are involved with passive aggressive men fall into, they become responsible for all that is wrong in the relationship. He keeps you hanging in by doing for you when he doesn’t want to, by never arguing, by being such a nice guy. All those puzzling behaviors that send the opposite message that the other negative behaviors send.

That is why they call it “crazy-making” behavior. The passive aggressive man is very good at appearing to be calm, cool and collected while you are going off the deep end. It isn’t his intent to frustrate, offend or cause you to feel guilty. He truly does only want to help.

The only issue, the kind of help he has to offer comes with a price. He has expectations he is unable to openly express and when you don’t meet those expectations you get resentment and covert punishment. And, you should never expect your expectations to be met, not even when you’ve expressed them in a clear, easy to understand fashion.

Want a relationship with a passive aggressive man to last? Become a mind reader and keep your expectations low.

The post 5 Reasons a Passive Aggressive Man’s Love Comes With a Big Price Tag appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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