Another necessary ingredient for rebuilding a marriage involves the willingness of unfaithful spouses to demonstrate sincere regret and remorse. You can’t apologize often enough. You need to tell your spouse that you will never commit adultery again. Although, since you are working diligently to repair your relationship, you might think your intentions to be monogamous are obvious, they aren’t. Tell your spouse of your plans to take your commitment to your marriage to heart. This will be particularly important during the early stages of recovery when mistrust is rampant. Conversely, talking about the affair can’t be the only thing you do. Couples who successfully rebuild their marriages recognize the importance of both talking about their difficulties and spending time together without discussing painful topics. They intentionally create opportunities to reconnect and nurture their friendship. They take walks, go out to eat or to a movie, develop new mutual interests and so on. Betrayed spouses will be more interested in spending discussion-free time after the initial shock of the affair has dissipated. Ultimately, the key to healing from infidelity involves forgiveness, which is frequently the last step in the healing process. The unfaithful spouse can do everything right; be forthcoming, express remorse, listen lovingly and act trustworthy, and still, the marriage won’t mend unless the betrayed person forgives his or her spouse and the unfaithful spouse forgives him or herself. Forgiveness opens the door to real intimacy and connection. But forgiveness doesn’t just happen. It is a conscious decision to stop blaming, make peace, and start tomorrow with a clean slate. If the past has had you in its clutches, why not take the next step to having more love in your life? Decide to forgive today. By Michele Weiner-Davis, M.S.W. http://www.divorcebusting.com/a_healing_from_infidelity.htm
The saddest thing about betrayal
is that it never comes from your enemies…
It comes from friends and loved ones.
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.
The marriage rate is at a record low in this country, and a new study from Cornell University might have found the reason why. According to the study, two-thirds of cohabitating couples report that they fear divorce and the financial, legal, and emotional ramifications of a failed marriage. Fears such as these might prevent couples from tying the knot, particularly for younger generations who might have experienced the pain of divorce firsthand within their own childhood homes. Operating out of fear is never a good way to make a decision. While marriage should never be entered into lightly, an overwhelming fear of divorce can actually impede your happiness or serve to block your commitment to your partner — especially if your partner wants to take your relationship to the next level. Examine your past. As mentioned above, many children who witnessed their parents’ painful divorces might later become hesitant about marriage. A front-row seat to the deterioration of a relationship can be very traumatic, even more so if the situation involved infidelity, abuse, screaming, arguments, and the like. Overcoming this kind of a background can be very difficult, especially if you never worked through those emotions or addressed your lack of trust and fear of love. Marriage certainly isn’t always happy and fulfilling or even long-term, and it’s not for everyone. However, if your resistance to marriage is fear-based, you have to wake up to the fact that those nagging fears and “what if’s” can ruin your chance at happiness. Until you are willing to open your heart to all possibilities and trust that you will always be okay, you will never live your fullest life or enjoy the love and intimacy you deserve. By Dr. Laura Berman http://www.drlauraberman.com/sexual-health/afraid-of-marriage
The truest form of love
is how you behave
not how you
feel about them.
Opening your heart and loving someone else is an act of bravery, and when the relationship doesn’t work, heartbreak can be a traumatic experience. When your heart is broken, there is a deep and dark sense of despair, a mourning of a love lost. There is a sense of loneliness and a looming doubt that things will ever be right again. When we love, when we open our hearts, we form emotional and spiritual connections and bonds with our beloved. A romantic relationship should be supportive, loving, and make you feel good. In our hearts we know what we need from a relationship, but we don’t always get what we need. When we are in unhealthy relationships, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to end the relationship and separate ourselves. We know in our hearts when it’s time to end a relationship. If you are being abused, if you are unhappy, or if the love isn’t being reciprocated, your heart and your emotions will let you know when it’s time to go. Ignoring these feelings and staying in a relationship that is wrong for you will only make things harder. Listening to your feelings and making the right choices will allow you to learn, move forward, and grow. But it won’t be easy. The road to recovery, peace, and acceptance can be long and feel impossible at times, but there is inevitably a light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, there’s nothing you have to do to heal. Feel the despair, let yourself be consumed with the pain. Don’t close your heart to love or build walls, don’t be hard on yourself of beat yourself up. Healing will come with time. With time, your heart will heal and you will feel whole again. The time you spend heartbroken seems to be a necessary process. And when you do heal, you will feel an amazing sense of freedom and growth. As low as you feel when you are in the midst of heartache is as high as you can feel once you heal. Take it day by day, let the momentum of the good days take you through the bad ones, and look forward to your light at the end of the tunnel, knowing that you will be better and wiser once you come out the other side. Adriana Love
Sometime you just have to
hold your head up high,
blink away the tears
and say good-bye.
5. Feel some kindness toward your ex. “The most potent step you can take in your own healing,” Piver [Susan Piver in her book, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart”] writes, “is to extend loving kindness to your ex.” Although that seems counter-intuitive and next to impossible, the process of extending your heart to someone whom you have no intention of loving ever again, she says, can actually bring feelings of stability and peace to your inner mind. You don’t need to forgive or forget your ex’s past transgressions or stay in touch. (In fact, Piver says it’s a good idea to de-friend him on Facebook to keep from obsessing about his every move.) Your focus should be on letting go of anger. Piver recommends sitting in a quiet, comfortable place and spending a few minutes wishing yourself well—may I be happy, healthy, peaceful, accepting of myself—before wishing your ex the same. Remember that no matter how badly he treated you, he has the same longing as you: to find love and be happy.
6. Write the story of your relationship. Do it from the third-person point of view in three different writing sessions. First, tell about how this woman/man met this man/woman and how they fell in love. Then write about the love story and how it started going south. Finally, tell the story of the breakup: She said this; he did that. “Just taking that step back and looking at your circumstance as if you were describing someone else may sound silly, but it helps you bring a very valuable perspective,” says Piver. “And it also helps you look at your story from the stance of someone who’s OK instead of someone who’s embroiled in agony.” You might also gain some valuable revelations: what you miss about the relationship and what you don’t. By Deborah Kotz, Angela Haupt http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/03/22/8-steps-to-mend-a-broken-heart
Every man has his secret sorrows
which the world knows not;
and often times we call a man cold
when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Getting over a broken heart is never easy, especially in the social networking age, when photos of you and your ex in happier times remain plastered on your friends’ Facebook pages. Worse, recent research suggests that romantic rejection can cause physical pain in a way that no other negative emotion—not even anger or fear—can.But it’s actually good to go through the insane despair and bouts of endless tears that result from being dumped, contends bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Piver. We should embrace these feelings rather than run from them, she argues in her book, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. “As unlikely as it may sound, this sorrow is the gateway to lasting happiness,” she writes, speaking of her own two-year experience recovering from heartbreak. Piver and other experts described ways to ride through those uninvited waves of grief.
1. Make friends with your heartbreak. You may be tempted to try and forge past it, numbing the pain with rebound sex or a date with a gallon of ice cream. Or you may harden your heart and swear off all future relationships. But that’s the cowardly approach, and one that won’t serve you well in the long run. “It takes a lot of courage to be sad,” says Piver, “but a fantastic life is not one that is placidly happy.” With grieving comes increased awareness: of what’s truly important to you; whom you love; who loves you. “Of course, no one wants to feel that way, myself included,” Piver adds, “but if you allow [the sadness] to teach you, it actually will resolve faster than any effort to fight it.” By Deborah Kotz, Angela Haupt http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/03/22/8-steps-to-mend-a-broken-heart
Scars have the strange power
to remind us that our past is real.
The unsuspecting jilted spouse usually senses a problem when an affair begins. For one thing, an affair usually takes up quite a bit of time, and all sorts of excuses are given to be away from home — having to work late, impulsive trips to the store and unexplained absences from work — they all become more and more difficult to believe. Telephone records and credit card receipts are carefully hidden, for if they are found, they will often reveal the scope of the affair. When the spouses are together, an emotional distance usually prevails. Sex is almost always a problem for women who are having an affair, and many men having an affair find they cannot make love to their wives, either. In many cases, intimacy in marriage becomes so bad that a separation is requested to “sort things out.” An affair is often suspected by the jilted spouse, but almost always vigorously denied by the offending spouse. It usually takes solid evidence… to get an unfaithful spouse to admit the truth. I’ve seen so many spouses lie about affairs, that when one spouse wants a separation, my best guess is that he or she is having an affair. I’m right almost every time. Why would anyone need to be alone to sort things out? It makes much more sense to think that being separated makes it easier to be with their lover. Granted, there are many good reasons for a separation, such as physical or extreme mental abuse. But of all those I’ve seen separate, most have had lovers in the wings. Since an affair usually creates emotional distance between spouses, lovers describe their increasing dissatisfaction with their marriages. They talk about how incompatible they are in marriage and how compatible they are with each other. The addiction they have for each other turns the relationship into a passion that makes an eternal relationship with each other an absolute necessity. Many would rather commit suicide together than to return to their horrible spouses. “Coping With Infidelity” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5059_qa.html
A love affair is like a short story–
it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The beginning was easy, the middle might drag,
invaded by commonplace, but the end,
instead of being decisive and well-knit
with that element of revelatory surprise
as a well-written story should be,
it usually dissipated in a succession
of messy and humiliating anticlimaxes.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
You or your spouse are more likely to have an affair than you are to divorce. And your chances of divorce are already 50-50. An affair is devastating to almost everyone involved. It’s one of the most painful experiences that the jilted spouse will ever be forced to endure, and it is also very painful for the children. Friends and members of the extended family are usually hurt as well. But what most people don’t realize is that the unfaithful spouse and the lover are also hurt by the experience. It almost always causes them to suffer acute depression, often with thoughts of suicide. With all this sadness, why do so many people do it? Affairs are almost always with friends and co-workers. That’s because the people you work with and those you spend leisure time with are usually in the best position to meet your most important emotional needs. But in the world of the internet, total strangers can also meet your emotional needs through chat rooms and e-mail because they meet your need for conversation so effectively. Do you and your spouse talk as much and as deeply as you talk to people on the internet? If not, watch out. As you probably know, an affair through the internet is becoming one of the most dangerous risks of owning a computer. We are all wired for affairs. The only people who are exempt are those who are utterly incapable of meeting someone else’s emotional needs. If you can’t meet anyone’s needs, no one will ever fall in love with you. But if your spouse has anything to offer others, and you are not meeting an important emotional need, commitment to “forsake all others” can become words without meaning. From “Coping With Infidelity” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5059_qa.html
There are all kinds of ways
for a relationship to be tested,
even broken, some, irrevocably;
it’s the endings we’re unprepared for.
From “Not To Us” By Katherine Owen
Codependency becomes an addiction when codependents subconsciously seek out troubled individuals as a way to avoid dealing with their own problems. By compulsively trying to “fix” an alcoholic, a codependent can feel, by comparison, like a healthy person with no problems. Yet, if the alcoholic goes away, the codependent will compulsively seek out another troubled person to “fix” in order to avoid his or her own feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy. Like any addiction, codependency stymies personal growth as the codependent uses it to avoid dealing with emotional pain just as the alcoholic uses alcohol to avoid dealing with emotional pain. Codependents are generally nice individuals who are very stressed from carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are perceptive of others but not at all perceptive of themselves. Therapy with codependents involves teaching self-care skills, and most importantly, convincing them they are not selfish, or in danger, for choosing to take care of themselves. http://serenityonlinetherapy.com/codependency.htm
Numbing the pain
for a while
will make it worse
when you finally feel it.
You can learn a lot about codependent relationships in the library, even if you aren’t in the self-help section. In the fiction area, Romeo and Juliet features a couple who felt their relationship was more important than their own lives. Over in the history section, the wives of Henry the Eighth found that marriage to the self-absorbed king could lead to misery (or worse) if they didn’t produce the son he craved, says Tina Tessina, PhD, a marriage and family therapist in Long Beach, Calif. Most codependent relationships don’t end in tragedy, of course. But they do keep people from living the full, rewarding lives they could be enjoying. “Codependency, by definition, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself,” she tells WebMD. “It’s kind of a weird phrase, and it doesn’t sound like it means a one-sided relationship. But that’s what it is. It means you’re trying to make the relationship work with someone else who’s not,” Tessina says.
Eric Metcalf, MPH
Accept everything about yourself;
I mean everything!
You are you
and that is the beginning
and the end;
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