There are always times when you worry about whether or not your relationship is going well. You fret over something that your partner said to you, or are convinced that you said the wrong thing to your partner. The concerns may fleet through your mind and you figure you misunderstood…or you may become so preoccupied that you can hardly concentrate on anything except why you haven’t heard from your partner. People high in what psychologists call attachment anxiety chronically assume the worst about their relationship partners. They fear being dumped at any given moment, and as a result, may seem overly needy and clingy. This behavior, of course, only makes their situation worse unless they have a patient and understanding partner. Israeli psychologist Guy Doron and a team of researchers from the School of Psychology in Herziliya in a December 2013 publication believe that attachment anxiety is only part of the picture when it comes to explaining the fears and worries that people develop about their relationship partners. Doron and colleagues propose that some people fall victim to double relationship-vulnerability in which they are not only anxiously attached, but also rely heavily on their relationships to define their feelings of self-worth. The doubly vulnerable may be particularly prone to another set of relationship concerns in which they become obsessed or preoccupied with doubts and fears about the future of their relationship. The combination of double relationship vulnerability with obsessional worries can spell emotional chaos to individuals with these psychological tendencies. Start by identifying the triggers that set off your worries, whether it’s a missed phone call or just something thought or event that makes you wonder whether your partner truly loves you, or vice versa. Once you get past that first step, then you can work on changing those troublesome thoughts. Next, see if you can reduce your urges to act on your thoughts. Compulsive behaviors often do follow obsessional thoughts. From an article by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201312/what-do-when-your-relationship-worries-get-you
Worrying is like a rocking chair;
it gives you something to do,
but it gets you nowhere.
No matter how much time you spend controlling and trying to prevent your partner straying, if the person you are in love with, is the kind of person to be disloyal, then all of the energy you put into worrying about whether they will cheat won’t stop it from happening. You can’t control what another person does. You can only control how you think, feel and behave. Let Go Of The Fear! It really is your choice to let go of the fear, and actively decide that you will no longer waste your energy trying to prevent, predict or control the actions of your partner, so you can feel more positive and calm in your relationship. The first thing to do is to stop seeking constant reassurance. Receiving reassurance can become an addiction. It feels good to have someone tell us how much they love us and would never hurt us, and it’s possible to get caught up in a cycle of creating conflict, just so you can get that hit of reassurance you’ve become hooked on. But just like a drug, the power of that hit wears off pretty quickly when you keep taking it and soon, it’s never enough. It’s also exhausting for a partner to keep trying to convince you of their love and many will just stop if they feel like you don’t hear them anyway. Step into your own power and nurture the belief that you are valuable, loveable and important to your partner. Provide your own reassurance when you start to feel doubtful with affirmations like ‘I am all that I need to be’, or ‘I am loved, valued and important’. Choose whatever feels good to say to your self and use it in times of fear. Being confident and self assured is much more appealing and a kind of sexy that’s hard to stray from rather than being needy and lacking self value. There will always be someone out there that could be considered more attractive, more interesting, funnier, richer, or smarter. It’s not about trying to measure up so that your partner will want only you, it’s about believing that you are loveable and trusting that your partner picked you for exactly who and what you are. From an article by Rachael Lay http://www.rachaellay.com/why-worrying-about-cheating-is-pointless/
Cheating is easy.
Try something hard
Independence vs. Intimacy: Since women often think in terms of closeness and support, they struggle to preserve intimacy. Men, concerned with status, tend to focus more on independence. These traits can lead women and men to starkly different views of the same situation. When Josh’s old high-school friend called him at work to say he’d be in town, Josh invited him to stay for the weekend. That evening he told Linda they were having a house guest. Linda was upset. How could Josh make these plans without discussing them with her beforehand? She would never do that to him. “Why don’t you tell your friend you have to check with your wife?” she asked. Josh replied, “I can’t tell my friend, ‘I have to ask my wife for permission’!” To Josh, checking with his wife would mean he was not free to act on his own. It would make him feel like a child or an underling. But Linda actually enjoys telling someone, “I have to check with Josh.” It makes her feel good to show that her life is intertwined with her husband’s. Advice vs. Understanding: Eve had a benign lump removed from her breast. When she confided to her husband, Mark, that she was distressed because the stitches changed the contour of her breast, he answered, “You can always have plastic surgery.” This comment bothered her. “I’m sorry you don’t like the way it looks,” she protested. “But I’m not having any more surgery!” Mark was hurt and puzzled. “I don’t care about a scar,” he replied. “It doesn’t bother me at all.” “Then why are you telling me to have plastic surgery?” she asked. “Because you were upset about the way it looks.” Eve felt like a heel. Mark had been wonderfully supportive throughout her surgery. How could she snap at him now? The problem stemmed from a difference in approach. To many men a complaint is a challenge to come up with a solution. Mark thought he was reassuring Eve by telling her there was something she could do about her scar. But often women are looking for emotional support, not solutions.When my mother tells my father she doesn’t feel well, he invariably offers to take her to the doctor. Invariably, she is disappointed with his reaction. Like many men, he is focused on what he can do, whereas she wants sympathy. by Deborah Tannen http://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/you-just-don%E2%80%99t-understand-by-deborah-tannen/
The way we communicate
with others and with ourselves
the quality of our lives
Someone who is dealing with heartbreak follows patterns similar to those of the stages of death:
1. Shock and Denial- you may deny the reality of the situation; this provides emotional protection from feeling overwhelmed by the situation. The shock of loss allows a state of emptiness to move in, clouding most judgment.
2. Pain and Guilt- after the shock wears off it becomes replaced with suffering and unbearable pain. Regret for things you did wrong, or things that you weren’t able to do with this person adds to further tears. Life feels chaotic during this time, and its best to openly discuss feelings and stray from bottling up your emotions.
3. Anger and Bargaining- lashing out is a common form of attempting to release all unspoken emotions. This is the stage where the “why why why?!” questioning comes in. The pleas for returned love run rapid, trying to bargain with fate or with the person who was just lost.
4. Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness- like everyone else in this situation, a period of sadness clouds and absorb your entire sense of being, leaving feelings of emptiness. This feeling occurs when you finally realize and accept the magnitude of your loss. Isolation from people is exceedingly normal, and offers a time to reflect on the past.
5. Acceptance and an Upward Turn- The feelings of depression lift slightly and life becomes possible to survive without that person so deeply intertwined with each activity. The days are a little easier to shuffle through, and you see the possibility of continuation. The reality of the situation is fully accepted and, although happiness may not return for some time, the ability to move forward has occurred.
Sometimes giving someone
a second chance is like giving
them another bullet for their gun
because they missed you the first time.
Maturity is being able to move from environmental support to more internal self-support. People who won’t leave a bad marriage because it scares them too much are afraid of independence. Dwelling in a bad marriage is a form of need wrapped up in resentments, which can get very ugly. Remember that drama always obscures the real issues. It is important to learn to stop the drama and learn to soothe yourself. It is too often true that the work and struggle of solving relationship problems is avoided. Ask yourself: What are new ways to give yourself comfort? As difficult as it can be to make new friends reach out and build up your support system. Don’t tally up the rejections while licking your wounds, but instead learn how to be able to be alone. Try going to a bargain matinée or eating lunch by yourself; tolerate the anxiety that this may provoke by knowing no one is really paying much attention to you. Learn what your triggers are for anxiety, the ones that make you lurch into retreat and old patterns of hiding. Remember that transitions are the hardest parts of life and that they must be faced in order to grow. One thing to keep in mind is that people will often get angry as a way to avoid saying goodbye. That is how hard transitions can be. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
In a consumer society
there are inevitably
two kinds of slaves:
the prisoners of addiction
and the prisoners of envy.
In times of emotional crisis, there is an opportunity to grow and learn. Just because you are feeling emptiness in your life right now, doesn’t mean that nothing is happening or that things will never change. Consider this period a time-out, a time for sowing the seeds for new growth. You can emerge from this experience knowing yourself better and feeling stronger. In order to fully accept a breakup and move on, you need to understand what happened and acknowledging the part you played. It’s important to understand how the choices you made affected the relationship. Learning from your mistakes is the key to not repeating them. Step back and look at the big picture. How did you contribute to the problems of the relationship? Do you tend to repeat the same mistakes or choose the wrong person in relationship after relationship? Think about how you react stress and deal with conflict and insecurities. Could you act in a more constructive way? Consider whether or not you accept other people the way they are, not the way they could or “should” be. Examine your negative feelings as a starting point for change. Are you in control of your feelings, or are they in control of you? You’ll need to be honest with yourself during this part of the healing process. . Try not to dwell on who is to blame or beat yourself up over your mistakes. As you look back on the relationship, you have an opportunity to learn more about yourself, how you relate to others, and the problems you need to work on. If you are able to objectively examine your own choices and behavior, including the reasons why you chose your former partner, you’ll be able to see where you went wrong and make better choices next time. By Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Gina Kemp, M.A., and Melinda Smith, M.A. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/coping_divorce_relationship_breakup.htm
The loss of love
is not nearly
to accepting it.
Losing a loved one can make you feel as if your heart is breaking—and sometimes it really is. Broken heart syndrome isn’t just Valentine’s Day hyperbole. It’s an actual medical condition, also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy. In broken heart syndrome, extreme stress brings on heart attack-like symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath. This isn’t just an anxiety attack. The heart is actually in serious distress. At times, the person may experience irregular heartbeats or cardiogenic shock—a condition in which a suddenly weakened heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. In rare cases, broken heart syndrome can even lead to death. Broken heart syndrome is triggered by very severe stress. “That could be anything from the death of a loved one to the loss of a job,” says Malissa Wood, MD, at Massachusetts General Hospital. Doctors think that broken heart syndrome may be the heart’s reaction to a sudden surge in stress hormones. Symptoms can mimic a heart attack. “You may have chest pain and shortness of breath,” says Dr. Wood. “Other possible symptoms include sudden onset of chest pressure, sweating, palpitations, and pain radiating from the jaw, back, or neck.” The good news: Most people with broken heart syndrome make a full recovery. “The condition starts improving within days, and within weeks to months the heart is usually back to normal,” Dr. Wood says. “Very few people are left with a permanent problem.” …the onetime, extreme stressors that trigger broken heart syndrome—from catching a cheating spouse in the act to being in an auto accident—are often unavoidable. But starting out in good heart health can’t hurt and just might help with a faster recovery. By Linda Wasmer Andrews http://health.yahoo.net/experts/allinyourmind/broken-heart-syndrome-very-real
You will never know
until you have
and you will
what pain really is
until you have lost it.
Feeling bad when you do something wrong is natural, and maybe even useful. Without it, where would we find the motivation to do better next time? But not all bad feelings are equally beneficial. Shame, which involves negative feelings about the self as a whole (i.e., feeling worthless), is associated with defensive strategies like denial, avoidance, and even physical violence. Feeling like you’re just a bad person at your core can undermine efforts to change, as change may not even seem possible from this perspective. Guilt, by contrast, involves feeling bad about one’s behavior and its consequences. Research suggests that criminal offenders who recognize that doing bad things does not make them bad people are less likely to continue engaging in criminal activity, and remorse, rather than self-condemnation, has been shown to encourage prosocial behavior. Healthy self-forgiveness therefore seems to involve releasing destructive feelings of shame but maintaining appropriate levels of guilt and remorse to the extent that these emotions help fuel positive change. In theory, self-forgiveness is only relevant in the context of transgressions that an individual has acknowledged and taken responsibility for. Without the recognition of wrongdoing, what would there be to forgive? In practice, however, self-forgiveness can be code for avoiding culpability. The self-forgiveness formula most conducive to constructive change seems to involve an acknowledgement of both positive and negative aspects of the self. Research suggests, for example, that people who have more balanced, realistic views of themselves are less likely to use counter-productive coping strategies like self-handicapping than those who either inflate or deflate their self-images. Along similar lines, self-forgiveness interventions have been shown to be most helpful when combined with responsibility-taking exercises. Alone, self-forgiveness seems to do little to motivate change. By Juliana Breines, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-love-and-war/201207/the-dangers-self-forgiveness-and-how-avoid-them
Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed,
is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have
behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can
and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time.
On no account brood over your wrongdoing.
Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.
A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event. When you’re going through the emotional wringer and dealing with major life changes, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The strain and upset of a major breakup can leave you psychologically and physically vulnerable. Treat yourself like you’re getting over the flu. Get plenty of rest, minimize other sources of stress in your life, and reduce your workload if possible. Learning to take care of yourself can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a divorce or breakup. As you feel the emotions of your loss and begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward. Pay attention to what you need in any given moment and speak up to express your needs. Honor what you believe to be right and best for you even though it may be different from what your ex or others want. Say “no” without guilt or angst as a way of honoring what is right for you. A divorce or relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy. Try not to make any major decisions in the first few months after a separation or divorce, like starting a new job or moving to a new city. If you can, wait until you’re feeling less emotional so that you can make better decisions. Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or food to cope. When you’re in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. But using alcohol, drugs, or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential to find healthier ways of coping with painful feelings. A divorce or breakup is a beginning as well as an end. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past. When you’re going through the stress of a divorce or breakup, healthy habits easily fall by the wayside. You might find yourself not eating at all or overeating your favorite junk foods. Exercise might be harder to fit in because of the added pressures at home and sleep might be elusive. But all of the work you are doing to move forward in a positive way will be pointless if you don’t make long-term healthy lifestyle choices. Source: Mental Health America http://www.helpguide.org/mental/coping_divorce_relationship_breakup.htm
Forgiveness is not the misguided act
of condoning irresponsible, hurtful behavior.
Nor is it a superficial turning of the other cheek
that leaves us feeling victimized and martyred.
Rather it is the finishing of old business
that allows us to experience the present,
free of contamination from the past.
Anyone who’s ever gone through the emotional pain of a heartbreak more often than not can express the experience through the form of some type of physical pain. Emotions affect physical health in more ways than many realize… The depression caused by heartbreak creates a barrier that can prevent us from feeling and experiencing life to the fullest, in all aspects. Symptoms vary by individual and range from withdrawal from society to physical sickness and pain. You lose a part of yourself when connections are lost, and it’s not far-fetched to say that you feel completely empty inside. There’s an ache, a deep ache that erupts from the inside of our bodies longing for the past. The pain is real and there’s no other way to describe how bad it really hurts than to name it heartbreak. It’s a longing for the past and the pain of feeling completely empty and abandoned. It makes it hard to get up in the morning and to get through the day, but all wounds are inevitably healed through time, and thus you hope for the future to approach quicker. When a person feels secluded or feels loss, changes in the brain’s blood flow occur. The anterior cingulate cortex (responsible for regulating physical pain distress) becomes more active during these times. Symptoms of breakup might include loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches, stomach-ache, nausea, a ton of tears, occasional nightmares, alcohol/substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, loss of interest, fatigue, loneliness and hopelessness. The best thing for a broken heart is to be patient and allow time to settle all unresolved feelings. Talking about your feelings with friends or family help to smooth the passage of the loss, as will allowing yourself time to reflect on all feelings and answer questions you may have for yourself. Keeping busy with hobbies you’re passionate about and trying new things also keeps your mind busy during hard times. Get a group of friends together and watch a movie, or if you’re more to yourself, try a quiet walk through a forest or even around the neighborhood. Give yourself time, and do things that make you happy. You are your own best friend and it’s important that you accept who you are and like who you are as a person before you expect anyone else to. By Ashley Cox http://www.science20.com/variety_tap/science_behind_heartbreak-33900
I don’t know why
they call it heartbreak.
It feels like every
other part of my body
is broken too.