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Have you ever been 'dumped'?
And is there really such a thing?

 


How often have you heard the sad statement, "I've been dumped" by so and so, or you've used it to bemoan the loss of a valued partner? It is a common term used to express regret and perhaps resentment at not being the right person for someone else. But is there such a thing as being 'dumped' by anyone? Let's look at the situation closely.

When people enter our lives it is usually for one of four reasons:


1. To boost our confidence for the next stage of our journey;

2. To teach us something;

3. To help us out of a crisis;
4. To be our permanent partners.

Notice how we are likely to meet our soulmates ONLY 25% of the time that we come in contact with potential dates. However, the eagerness to find a partner tends to cloud our vision and judgement so that our expectations are dashed when the person does not conform to them. We then miss the real point of why they were with us in the first place. Yet, because of our ongoing development and evolution, it is difficult for two strangers to live forever and ever, no matter the wish for this to happen or the religious expectations placed upon any union. As we develop from one age to the next we CHANGE in expectations and aspirations, otherwise we would still be thinking like a teenager, with the same needs and desires, when we are 40 or 50!

We are all spiritually connected to each other in some way, so whenever anyone enters our life, it is for a reason. But we are so often judging that person, or burdening them with our expectations, we miss their mission entirely, then feel great disappointment when they fall foul of what we expect. We miss the main point that they are likely to be incompatible with our values, our desires, our needs and our aspirations. They are on their journey of discovery too and have to learn by experimenting and experience. Instead, we try to make them 'fit' our world, or we hope they grow to expectations. Many people, who are not even sure what they are looking for, often find that too difficult to live up to and continue on their way, which is then interpreted as being 'dumped' by the affected party, but there is no such thing as anyone being dumped by another. Relationships simply come to an end when there is not enough between the couple to sustain them, especially if the parties are at different stages of development.

To feel 'dumped' is to assume permanence where none was meant to be. Both partners are on their individual unpredictable journeys which will gradually unfold. Moreover, a feeling of being 'dumped' comes from a lack of self-esteem, and a failure to acknowledge that you were both unsuitable in the first place, or the friendship has come to its natural end; a failure to give thanks for what they brought to your life, and to move on. By feeling 'dumped' you refuse to acknowledge the reality and actually hand over your personal power to someone else to dictate your life. While you are feeling sorry for yourself and what has happened, you could be missing someone else who is even more suitable but would not be attracted to your self-pity or negativity.

Next time you are tempted to feel 'dumped' because someone does not wish to continue with the relationship, stop feeling inadequate and start loving yourself. Give thanks for having the person in your life, wish them well on their way and perhaps grieve for a very short time, if you feel the need to. That's normal. But prepare for the next stage of your journey, hold your head high and shout very loudly: "Next"!

You will feel tremendous for it too.






How to Recover From a Broken Heart

 


Broken hearts are mainly caused by unfulfilment of our expectations coupled with low self-esteem. Often we think so low of ourself, we put our whole life in the hands of one person to get 'happiness' and then when that happiness is withdrawn, the pain of losing it is too much to bear. We meet someone, we like them a lot, we come to trust them and believe in them, then start to weave our dreams around them and build our life around them too. When they fail to conform to those expectations, we are often devastated.

It is natural to feel some loss when a relationship breaks up. But any break that causes us to feel really badly and lasts for too long is self-inflicted. If we really love and value ourselves, everything in life - whether happiness or heartache - then becomes part of our natural routine. Not extraordinary, because life has two natural sides: good and bad, up and down, birth and death. We can't have one without the other.

To mend a broken heart has five stages:

First, take time out for you, while you slowly detach yourself from your lover. Often the hurt is prolonged because you still keep yourself in their orbit. Do NOT continue to be 'friends' until the hurt stops and you feel better. Make a complete detachment otherwise you wil be constantly reminded of the situation, especially at the early vulnerable stage when the pain is worst.

Second, accept responsibility for your part in the break-up. Nothing is ever one-sided and when we are hurting and blaming the other person it merely prolongs the pain and keep us in denial. By acknowledging and addressing your part in the process, the grievance will be lessened even quicker because you won't just be simply judging your mate on his/her actions, you will be addressing the partnership that is involved in any relationship. You will wish to show understanding and compassion too which speeds up the healing process for yourself. The minute you put bitterness, resentment and anger above forgiveness or compassion is the minute your prolong your pain and agony because all you will be thinking about during that time are negative things which will only make you feel more inadequate and crappy.

Third, reinforce your self-love because you will feel unwanted and undesirable at this time. It is easy after a heartbreak to believe that no one will want you anymore, that you are no longer attractive and you will not fnd another relationship like that. But to love and be loved, you have to love yourself first. You cannot give away love if you have none for yourself. Nurturing your self-love is crucial to mending a broken heart quickly because you will chalk it up to experience. It also takes the focus off partners and puts it squarely on yourself. That tends to speed up the healing process and re-affirm your esteem and worthiness.

Fourth, accept the situation as a natural part of the pleasure/pain cycle of life, important for teaching us lessons we need later on to live our life satisfactorily and to build our resilience. You can then begin the forgiveness process. Life consists of both pain and love, manifested through death and rebirth, being two sides of the same coin. We cannot have one without the other other. The love is there to nourish and sustain us while the pain helps us to develop our experiences and to face our challenges with resilience and new knowledge. If you seek to be vengeful or to vilify lovers in any way, you drag the hurt and pain around for years, like a smelling carcass, while you are stuck back then in the past. Nothing comes from being bitter after a relationship. It is best to learn the lessons they give and move on briskly, knowing that there is likely to be someone even better and more deserving of you in the near future.

Fifth, remind yourself daily of your appeal and value and do not judge the rest of your existence by one occasion. Moving on is most important. Just because someone is not keen on you does not mean your value is any less in everyone else's eyes. In fact, that is the time to bid that person a firm goodbye and loudly say "NEXT!". Your life is a journey, made up of numerous experiences, not based on one event. There is ALWAYS a good reason behind why someone isn't right for you. It's just that you cannot see it at the time. Use rejection as a lesson in finding the right people for you and move on to a more fulfilling experience. If you really love yourself, you won't give a damn about another person's actions. You will be thankful for the moment, look ahead positively and move on without living in regrets or in the past - and feeling much better for it too.






Six key tips for coping after breaking up

 


Breaking up is a very difficult time for anyone and, no doubt, there would be lots of advice, especially from people who might not have experienced it! However, there are six simple tips to follow after a relationship has ended:

1. Take time to grieve. Allow yourself time to feel bad, wretched, down, but for not more than a month at the most! The longer you allow yourself to feel badly, the harder it is to recover.

2. Keep thanking that person in your head for coming into your life and adding to it. Believe me, regardless of the state of the relationship when it broke, you would have changed as a result of it. So give thanks. What then happens is that you will resist the temptation to simply blame the other person, it will stop you feeling vindictive and, above all, it will surround you with good karma so you appear even more attractive to the other people you are going to meet in the future. There is nothing more off-putting than a bitter, vengeful person going round blaming all men or women for their predicament.

3. Begin the process of self love. You will not feel good at this time and, if you did not precipitate the break up, you will feel downright rejected. You will mistakenly believe that you have no appeal to others. Don't go there. Start telling yourself that the break up had a good reason for happening; you enjoyed the relationship, you LOVE yourself as you are, and it is time to move on. If you find it really difficult to say loving things to yourself, practice just praising yourself for anything good you do each day. Remind yourself how special you are as a unique being and reduce the negative thoughts that are bound to plague you at this time.

4. Try to make new friends as quickly as possible, or join a dating site etc. That will stop you from feeling morose and downhearted as you will be moving your life along and developing new connections. Resist the temptation to keep thinking of the other person and what you had, unless it is to remember it with a smile, not with sadness.

5. KEEP OUT OF THE NEGATIVE PAST! There is nothing happening back there, so get out of it. Stop wishing you were back together, or just living in the old relationship. It will trap you in negativity, it will make you look like a victim, it will give you even more pain fretting over what you cannot help or change and will end up making you feel terrible and inadequate. Victimhood merely keeps you stuck and unable to go forward confidently. The best way forward, even if you didn't ask for the break, is to move on from it very quickly and try to get a different life. The more you keep yourself looking like a winner and feeling like a winner is the better you will actually look and feel, and the more you will be able to put things in their true perspectives.

6. Don't try to force anything to happen. Just let your life unfold while you start nurturing yourself. Things will then happen you didn't even dream of. When we allow life to give us surprises by not trying to control it too much, they are truly magical.

Many people forget that their life is a journey. It's not made up of single events. It is a journey leading from birth to death with a lot of things happening along the way to develop us and to help us to GROW into resilient, strong and knowledgeable human beings. Nothing happens in life by accident. We are evolving each day so that when we reach 30 we are certainly not the person we were at 25. Our natural evolution would have ensured the change. Hence why we should take every event in our stride, good or bad, give thanks for it and keep moving on to something even better. We will feel much better for it!!




How much time should I give myself to heal before another relationship?

 


Q. I just broke up with my boyfriend, and there are others telling me that they like me and one saying he loves me and felt stupid telling me about it coz I only saw him as friend. I really loved my ex. but it would probably take time for me to get over him. So I was wondering if you would jump into a relationship and try to love someone else on a rebound, or give yourself time to heal? Is it bad to be practical, and move on to another relationship while still getting over the last one?

A Time to heal after a relationship is very important, but like any bereavement, that is relative. One person can take a month to mend a broken heart and another can take a year. It depends on the intensity of attachment between the couple and, most important, the degree of self-love one has.

Many people don't love themselves very much and so when someone leaves their life, it is a traumatic time as they feel an acute sense of rejection because of it. There is no one around anymore to love them as substitute for that self-love, and that is a very painful thing which enhances their sense of rejection. But when we love ourselves, mending that broken heart becomes easier because that person was the icing on the cake, not the cake itself, and icing is not compulsory!

I think there is no harm in making friends while you are healing, but seeking another relationship when you are not quite ready isn't fair to you or the other person because it won't last. You really wouldn't be able to give that person the attention, the feeling and the affection they deserve because you would probably be still stuck back there in the past relationship, still feeling the pain and still yearning for the old friend. Deep down this new person would only be a stop-gap to you when they might be seeing the relationship as something more solid.

It is best to give yourself as much time as possible, but there is no hard and fast rules about the length of time. That is entirely down to how you feel. However, the best advice for healing a broke heart is to allow yourself to grieve for a SHORT while then get out of that negativity and into something positive as soon as possible before the bad times take root and make the feelings harder to overcome.




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Do You Still Feel Angry Over a Past Hurt or Rejection?

 


On the face of it, every relationship is a perfect relationship when it begins. It's the people who spoil it by bringing their expectations to burden it! Just think about it for a moment, if either party had NO expectations of the other, and merely enjoyed what unfolded in front of them, accepting their partners as they are, there would be far fewer breakdowns. We kill relationships with our expectations because, as they are unfulfilled, we then get resentful, frustrated and bitter towards our partners. We blame them for things not working as expected.

So your man (or woman) has hurt you, or you feel rejected and unwanted by a fellow you fancy. Bitter vengeful thoughts occupy your mind. You could cheerfully throttle them today. You feel really bad every time you think of them. But bitterness should be avoided for five important reasons.

First, potential partners come into our lives for any of four main reasons: To help us out of a crisis, to teach us something new, to boost our confidence and build us up to face the next stage of our journey, or to be the permanent spouse we seek. The trouble with many single people is that they are so keen to find such a person, they tend to believe every person they meet will be the BIG ONE, the permanent partner. They burden every meeting with that expectation and are then surprised and bitter when it doesn't work out. Instead of allowing it to unfold in their own way, they expect a lot which is then not delivered. You cannot be bitter in such circumstances. You have to use it as a valuable experience for life while you continue to seek that specific person.

Second, by being bitter, you are really blaming someone else for your feeling of failure or rejection, not taking responsibility for your own life. If things do not work out, then that guy is perceived to be responsible. But BOTH parties are usually responsible for any bad experience in a relationship. There is always a trigger, even unintended, for the reaction of others. If your man is suddenly seeing someone else, what is he missing at home? Why doesn't he find you attractive anymore to hold his attention? What message is he trying to give you? Pointless just calling him a 'bastard' without looking at what you are not doing to prevent his defection. It is always easier to focus on others when things are not working out, but, most times, focusing on ourself to get the change we seek is the most effective way of doing something positive about our situation. Blaming others is only a temporary palliative which does not make you feel any better long term because partners won't respond the way you want them to. Thinking up ways you can change the situation in your favour works every time.


Less Attractive and Depressing
Third, being bitter just keeps you in the same rut and robs you of a future. If you are stuck back there in the past reliving things and being bitter towards every new man because of another man's boorish behaviour, not only do you become less attractive and depressing in the process, but you merely keep potential suitors away from you too. It also means that you are not learning from the situation and moving on to something better. You are actually using it to feel vengeful and martyred, which prevents your own development or any new perspective. Only by leaving such feelings in the past where they belong can you give yourself the new start that is essential in such situations.

Fourth, bitterness is negative emotion and that does not empower you and actually endangers your health. It merely destroys good emotions, makes you physically vulnerable and keeps you feeling impotent and inadequate. The more inadequate you feel, the more bitter you will become in a never-ending circle of negativity. You have to break that cycle to affirm the quality person you are, to reinforce your positive self so that you can control your own destiny without leaving it up to the actions of others.

Finally, any form of bitterness or resentment of others keeps you tied to them too. Forgiveness is the key to moving on and to achieving greater things in your life. Harbouring bitter thoughts keeps you in a negative morass which gradually suffocates you, despite your best efforts. It would be like operating on one cylinder instead of three. By forgiving others, you also forgive yourself and replace the negative vibes with positive feelings. You also break the bad connection permanently to get even more joy in your life and the kind of relationship you seek.




Can you accept your mate loving someone else?

 


Q. If your boyfriend loves someone else, can you accept it? If he loves your best friend and your friend says she also loves him, can you accept that?


A. I would have to accept that love or attraction. What am I going to do about it? Force him to love me? I cannot think of anything worse than to try to hang on to someone who doesn't wish to be with me - a constant second-best.

There really is nothing great in being second best and trying to live with that.

There is always someone else for us if we believe in ourselves, love ourselves and are patient. People come into our lives to help us on our journey. They will always teach us something, whether it is good or bad. It all helps in our development and resilience as we go on our individual ways. However, while many people can accept that someone can easily fall in love with them, their fear of rejection and low self-esteem prevent them from recognising that their lovers can fall in love with someone else too at any time. The minute we get together with someone a barrier doesn't simply drop down in our heads, cutting off all other contact. Our emotions are still free to fall for someone else.

Falling in love is not a forever activity. It is for the moment. When the two strangers have a chance to get to know each other properly, that initial love/lust will either die away altogether, because there is not enough emotional, physical or intellectual feelings between the couple to sustain it, or it will thrive and become much longer lasting ending up in a long-term relationship. When we love ourselves we are in a better position to accept rejection, to accept that the other person might not want us anymore. But when we lack self-love, we expect others to compensate for that lack by loving us instead. Soon we become unattractive because of that expectation as the relationship becomes clingy and claustrophobic. We probably become distrustful, interfering, invading their space and watching their every move. The friendship gradually loses its joy and then the other person wants out.

The best way to attract others is to begin to love ourselves. To appreciate ourselves and to respect ourselves. We then have people on mutual terms, not just theirs. The first law of respect says: When someone comes into my life, he comes in freely and we both have the right to be with each other, if we so wish. Equally, when the feelings are no longer there on either side, it is also our right to terminate the friendship, freely, and move on, no problems. That's a part of growing up. Denying people their right to move on, and refusing to acknowledge when a relationship is finished, is what causes the greatest problems. I might feel sad or rejected when that person doesn't love me anymore, but that does not give me the right to curtail his movements, to demand that he stays with me or to refuse to accept his actions. That's not the action of a fully mature adult. Jealousy, revenge or vindictiveness are not attractive qualities. Just as he has found someone else, if I truly love and value myself, I will realise that, in time, I too will find someone. He is not the only man available.

It might be doubly hurtful because the new woman is my best friend. But it shows what kind of guy he is too, which makes it good that I have found out earlier rather than later who I am dealing with.

Whenever you might doubt what to do in such a situation, ask yourself this important question: If YOU fell in love with someone else, regardless of who they are, would you expect your boyfriend to accept it fully, or to keep hanging on to you doggedly?

Your reply would be the right answer for you.






How do you keep a breakup from hurting your self-esteem?

 


It is very easy for our self-esteem to take a nosedive the minute we have had a break up, especially when we did not instigate it and feel rejected, because breaking-up is emotionally draining. Nothing prepares us for it. The reasons for the low self-esteem are threefold.

First, we all want to be liked and desired and tend to judge our worth by the significant others in our life, the ones we admire the most. Once they reject us, we are likely to believe that we are worthless and have no value to anyone else either. It would take quite a while for us to feel differently.

Second, if we did not love ourselves in the first place, that rejection would have cemented the negative view we have of us as 'bad' or someone not capable of being loved. To break-up with someone we really care for confirms our worst sub-conscious fears.

Many people expect their relationships to last a long time and when they break up it leads to self-blame and deep disappointment as their expectations are dashed. But relationships often break because there is one taker and one giver instead of two givers. This usually happens with people who expect to be loved but give little back in return.

The best way to keep a break-up from affecting our self-esteem is to recognise five main things.

1. Our life is a journey from birth to death. Everything we experience is designed to develop us, to help us evolve, to make us more resilient in coping with setbacks and forms the route to where we are going. Events in our lives are like signposts to the next stage, not ends in themselves. They are means to achieving what we really want. Just because one relationship did not work does not mean there is anything wrong with us. It is likely to mean a need for more experience in dealing with relationships, or a greater understanding of potential partners and their needs.

2. Begin the process of self love by daily affirmations. Most people don't really love themselves at all because they are more used to finding fault with who they are than to appreciate themselves. They expect others to love them instead to compensate for that lack, but no one can love what we reject. We have to start to accept ourselves as we are, to affirm ourselves daily as wonderful human beings before we can begin to love another person and appreciate their feelings for us. We have to stop the self-criticisms and self-negation and be happy with ourselves before anyone else can truly appreciate us.

3. Know who your are. We cannot have successful relationships and greater self-confidence if we do not know who we are, what we want in life and where we are going. Otherwise we won't recognise what we want when we see it. For example, the signs of incompatibility in a relationship are always there at the beginning, but a lack of self knowledge and our desire to make others 'fit' our grand plans blind us to their presence.

4. Accept that life consists of both pleasure and pain. We cannot have one without the other. Like pleasure, pain is a natural part of our lives, a natural twin of the pleasure we seek: birth and death, joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness - they are all double-sided coins in life. We have to accept them totally when they come our way without seeking to expect just the pleasure while missing out on the pain. It is not possible in this life. By expecting pain as well as pleasure we will keep the self blame and the self-pity to a minimum and strengthen the way we cope with break-ups.

5. Accept that we do not need someone else in our lives to make us lovable human beings, but they are desirable. It means learning to love and nurture ourselves first, to know who we are, what makes us happy and to value our independence. It keeps us from being dependent upon another human being to reinforce us while we reinforce ourselves. When that person is no longer there, it is easier to accept because we were the cake in the first place. They were mainly the icing and, as we all know, icing is not mandatory!

6. Let events in life unfold and try not to control them. Often we burden new relationships with our expectations of perfection instead of accepting whatever they bring and letting them gradually unfold before us and . We want the fairy-tale ending so much, we tend to worry and fret about what might happen in the end when that day could be our last! The best thing is to just enjoy life, each moment at a time, without too many expectations of what we want. In that way, we allow life to give us some surprises.

The essence of preventing our self-esteem from being affected by any break-up is to learn self love. By learning self-love and appreciation we will gradually accept that people will come and go in our lives but we have to live with ourselves 24/7. In that way a lover's departure might affect us briefly, but loving ourselves as we do, our journey would continue with greater determination and self-acceptance than ever before. Hopefully, we would have learnt more from that association about ourselves and move on with greater pride and clarity in who we are, our self-esteem fully intact and even higher than before.






Are you still bitter about a break-up?

 


Are you still churning inside at the loss of a relationship? Feeling wronged by it? Can't seem to let it go? Wishing you were still together or feeling angry at their actions?

The loss of a partner, especially if not by mutual agreement, means a loss of belonging and self-esteem. We suddenly cease to be attractive in our own eyes and we often do not care about anything else until our perception changes for the better. We become isolates whose value has dramatically fallen. Like Glen, a member of a dating club, who said that after his marriage broke up, he joined a few dating agencies "to make friends as quickly as possible and to avoid feeling the crap my breakdown made me feel". Interesting word he used to describe his emotions.

At such times, it is pointless telling someone to snap out of it', or that things will get better. Their lack of belonging and feeling of being unwanted means they cannot see what well-meaning advisers can. They have to go through a painful period of denial, anger, grief and acknowledgment, followed by reluctant acquiescence, then anger and, finally, full acceptance of their situation before they can even begin to come to terms with their loss and rebuild their self-esteem.

Generally, women suffer from a lack of belonging more acutely than men. Being more emotional and tactile because of their nurturing role, they are constantly questioning the behaviour of partners towards them, frequently assessing their role in the family and requiring reassurance of their place and value within it. Hence the desire to be told that they are loved, and physically shown appreciation, instead of it being merely implied. This attitude is not easily understood by many men who may be reluctant to display any form of affection too often (perhaps being deprived of it in their own childhood) and wish it to be taken for granted.

This desire to belong and have absolute commitment to the relationship means that women are deeply affected by illicit affairs while, for men, it is their egos which take a roasting (especially if their rivals are perceived to be more powerful and have higher status). They often become non-persons in the process. Both partners' sense of belonging and, indirectly, their value and usefulness in the relationship, are determined by their place within the home. Competition from other love rivals immediately brings this role into question, confuses their sense of belonging and devalues the perception of their own significance.

Allowing Natural Grief

I remember not being able to contemplate divorce for the first three months after I left home. I could not tolerate the thought of a permanent separation and saw an early reconciliation as the best result. Six months later, after the most awful isolated December I ever experienced, despite my attempts to engage dialogue, filing for divorce seemed not only natural, but long overdue. I was such a different, positive person, it was unbelievable. In effect, I had gone through all six stages without even realising it. The two weeks spent entirely on my own that Christmas (the absence of my family killed my desire to see any friends), while deeply grief-stricken, feeling sorry for myself, then very angry, was the obvious key point to see me on my way.

Allowing myself to grieve naturally, instead of wearing a 'happy' front to please others, was the most important element in my new life. It pushed me forward to full acceptance of my situation with a greater faith in me as a new single person. The death of my young sister and father during this period on my own (everything coming in threes!) served not only to increase my own appreciation of being alive but also to focus my attention even more on the need to be independent and to rebuild a positive life.

Some people who lose their jobs, their loved ones or relationships never reach the fifth and sixth stages of 'acquiescence' and 'acceptance'. Remaining locked in perennial grief and anger, they continue to question the obvious, or to be bitter and vengeful for years. The present means little to them while they cling to the past because, with the memories being so painful, they are difficult to relinquish. By living in a kind of limbo in which they feel insignificant and wronged, while clinging to a scapegoat, the past remains unresolved. Hanging on to the pain of loss, as hurtful as it may be, means they still have a cause and a 'victim' status as a crutch; one to attract continued attention and sympathy but one which prevents action, keeping them stuck in their ex's orbit, while providing a 'good' reason to do nothing to change their situation.

Emotional Void

However, along the way, they lose their sense of purpose and respect in relentless negativity. They soon develop an emotional void, which not only saps their capacity to maintain positive relationships by emphasising distrust, but also reduces their personal appeal. This often irritates potential partners and employers and keeps them at bay. It is difficult to move forward when one party is still stuck in time. Only reinforcement and affirmation from others can help, but often these times are precisely when such 'victims' are denied encouragement.

Feeling hurt and unable to bear it, people in this predicament are not exactly exciting to be with, so they often fail to attract the very sympathy, and new partners, they desperately need. At such times friends or relatives, who would be fully conversant with the story by then, often shy away to avoid feeling further discomfort, embarrassment or simple boredom. They are likely to have heard the tales of woe or seen the consequences too many times and feel powerless to effect any change.

We are on individual journeys from birth to death, developing all the time. NOTHING is permanent in life because it it's ale about change, like the four seasons. Thus everything in life happens for a reason and for our development. We should take all relationships in our stride, give thanks for them, LEARN from them, and move on being more knowledgable, more aware and more skilled, aremed with the belief that the right person for us will pass by in time. That is the only way to deal with life instead of perennially looking backwards. There really isn't anything happening back there!







The problem of hanging back in the past with a failed relationship

 


Q. I am over my resentment and I have moved on with a new partner, though I do think about what my wife did and blame her. Will I ever feel better?

A. You might have moved on physically but I sense you haven't yet emotionally. And that is the key to your future life, especially as you are in a new relationship. The essence of moving on is not just having another relationship. It is forgiveness, understanding and compassion. You would not still be negative about her if you had moved on. You would want to forgive her and get on with your life in a positive way and hope that she finds happiness too.

Unless we forgive entirely, we can never move on. We keep ourselves stuck to that person while they have moved on, not realising that we cannot feel positive if we are still rotating in their orbit. Worse still, new relationships don't stand a chance because old and fearful mindsets are used to kill them off in a judgemental way before they begin. If we are using old partners as a yardstick to judge new ones, sooner or later they will begin to behave as expected because we would still be acting in the old ways to elicit that reaction. A self fulfilling prophecy, one might say!

The biggest tragedy of all, is that if we are still replaying the negativity in our head, we haven't got the time to feel loving in the present; to be expressive or to appreciate the daily blessings we are getting. We miss so much in the process of bitterness and regret which don't build anything. They simply destroy possibilities.

Nobody can ever go back in time to remedy a wrong, so the best action is to leave the past where it is and focus on improving the present. Everything happens for a reason and there is always a GOOD reason too, though we cannot see it at the time. Look at it this way: if you were still in your last relationship you would not have met your current partner and be much happier. But often people tend to just look at the negatives instead of counting their blessings.

Feeling trapped and unhappy
I have achieved so much since I left my marriage, it is astounding. I am not saying there aren't things I miss, especially when my kids have taken sides, and it was an extremely difficult decision without any relatives for support in the UK. But I would not have developed into the rounded, more knowledgeable and more loving person I am now, or have the time to sit here and assist good people like yourself, if I were still in that relationship. I felt I was not understood and my talents were being suppressed because he felt inadequate with me.

I had stopped growing, I was deeply unhappy and I felt trapped. That is not a nice place to be. So though his affairs hurt me at the time, they proved to be the catalysts to get me out of there. I don't think I could have done it without a major reason because he was a good man otherwise, very caring to his kids, and loved me in his own way. I would always have found excuses to stay, especially at 54 years old when the world isn't exactly kind to older women. But I found the courage to leave and now I couldn't be happier. Regardless of what he did, I wish him well now and hope he too finds the happiness he seeks.

Until we truly forgive we cannot be at peace with ourselves either. We will simply be locked in our ex-partner's negativity too, seeing only their faults and the rejection we felt instead of the positive things that were shared and what we are enjoying now. We also talk about communication a lot, but many people don't realise that it is very difficult for others to truly communicate, either because of the way they were brought up, the male/female imbalance where some women might feel intimidated trying to express their feelings for fear of negative consequences, especially if they say how they truly feel. So everyone lives in denial, hoping the other person will act and make things better. Of course, that doesn't happen, because of the fear involved, and things simply get worse, despite the best intentions.

Please remember that the past is ALWAYS only memories inside our head. It doesn't exist anywhere else. That person would have changed too and is getting on with their lives. By sticking inside your head and dwelling on your past you ignore your present and miss out on even better things which could give you greater joy. You are also only giving half of yourself to your current parter who deserves better. When we forgive we feel much more happier and contented. If you are still replaying things inside your head, you are a long way from forgiveness and letting go.




Do we Divorce Because we Married the 'Wrong' People?

 


The short answer to that is NO! There is nothing really 'wrong' about the partners being divorced. That's what we like to believe when we don't want to accept responsibility for the choice we made. No one makes a 'bad' choice when they meet someone, because all relationships are based upon trust until each party reveals him or herself.



We can never know someone in a short space of time so we have to go on the superficial things like looks and communication until we get to know the person's better. Later down the line, when things do not work out, people then believe their relationship broke up because they were living with the 'wrong' partners whom they should not have married, or set up home with. They believe they made a costly 'mistake' and should have known better. But that is a myth and a fallacy which suits the blame instinct and provides a handy scapegoat for assuaging personal guilt and remorse. Knowing better at that time would have been impossible because both parties would have lacked the knowledge, experience and maturity to make a different decision. That was the only decision possible at that time. Otherwise another decision would have been taken.



NO ONE makes a mistake when they select a partner. We choose exactly the right partner for THAT moment in time in our lives, otherwise we would have chosen someone else! Often people vilify their spouses, forgetting the fantastic time they had at the beginning, the hot intense feelings they had for each other, the way they didn't want anyone else because they desired that person so much. Years down the line when the fire of love has dwindled to flickering embers, replaced by resentment and anger, when we have actually evolved into different beings, we then believe we did something wrong in choosing that person. But we didn't, unless the relationship was arranged for us, or we were coerced into it. Every decision we made about our life back then was precisely the right one because it matched our MOOD, FEELINGS, DESIRES and ASPIRATIONS at that moment in time - our emotional priorities.



For example, back in 1966 you might have got caught up in the free love and flower-power sex of the liberating Sixties. That would have encouraged you to get a girlfriend who embodied those beliefs, who would grow with you in love and who matched your aspirations according to what you both said to each other and how you treated one another. You would have been in Stage 1 of your emotional development, focusing on money, making your name, getting a great job and realising your own potential.



Twenty five years on when you are far more mature, you have dramatically increased in experience and your partner has not really grown with you, your feelings and aspirations would have changed in many ways, especially if you are in the mid-life crisis of Stage 3. Of course, you wouldn't feel too happy now and are likely to desire a new partner who reflects those changes in your thinking and living. Hence why many relationships go to the wall at this time. You have simply outgrown each other because of the natural EVOLUTIONARY changes that we all have to go through in our journey of life.

Using Hindsight to Justify Decisions

Unable to accept the negativity and the unhappiness within the relationship, it is now becomes easy to use hindsight and return to the Sixties to knock yourself with blame about the 'mistake' you made in choosing that woman; a mistake which the power of hindsight, a useless tool, will confirm for you. But you can never go back to that time and understand the young person who was you then. That young person has matured into someone else and the current partner would have done their bit for your journey, would have helped your development and helped your focus. Thank them graciously and move on because, especially where there are children involved, that was no mistake, otherwise your children would be mistakes too!



Religious demands of married couples to stay together till death, and our own desire for security, kill relationships and burden them with unrealistic expectations which human fallibility find near-impossible to fulfil. We tend to keep comparing the past to the present, when the past is the foundation we build on, not the crafting tool which makes us what we are. Only time and experience do that for us.



The past sets us off on our journey and helps us to become what we are today. If we keep looking back at everything and being dissatisfied with it, that merely makes us doubt our competence, faith and credibility because the past always looks much better, or much worse, than it actually was, according to our level of confidence and feeling of success. It is our desire to make it perfect in our head which makes us look to past actions as 'mistakes' instead of accepting them as the essential ingredients necessary to mould us into the amazing beings we are today.



Always remember that you chose someone to match your feelings at the time, feelings that are no longer there. It goes without saying, that, without those feelings between you to sustain the relationship, and with greater knowledge of yourself and what makes you happy, your union would not be able to survive, and that partner would have lost their usefulness. You personally would have evolved into two different people trying to match with one partner.



Most important, the past was also the present in its time. It would have been the only yardstick which mattered to your life then. You should never compare it to another age where the norms, ethics, values and expectations would always be different. Fully accepting every stage of your life, without hindsight, while you accept your unique development on your personal journey, is the best way to enjoy your existence while making the most of its opportunities.



So, we do not divorce because we married the 'wrong' people. We divorce because we are feeling differently and they have not evolved with us. Most important, they no longer share what we value or suit our aspirations, and have simply outgrown their usefulness.






Should I take him back?

 


Q. My husband and I had a very serious problem that almost ruined our family.. He cheated on me many times and this time I gave up. I returned everything including our wedding ring, packed his clothes and all his belongings. For the first time i said everything I wanted to say. Now for the very first time he asks for my forgiveness.. begs me not to leave him.. What do you think? Do I have to give him another chance? Right this moment I'm having mixed feelings. I still love him but I have had enough pain.

A. In a simple word: NO! Do not doubt your instincts and stand by your decision. The key words here are that he cheated on you 'many times'. If he had done it once or twice, we are all entitled to second chances, even third ones because no one is infallible, or without faults. But this gentleman has cheated several times and you still put up with it, even though it must have been a very painful, lonely and anxious time for you. That reinforced his actions and encouraged him to keep doing it.

Your husband has not treated you with any RESPECT at all, and that is the key part of any relationship. We cannot say that we love someone and don't respect them. That would be shallow and insincere. Once respect goes, it never returns because one party begins to take advantage of the other, which your husband has been doing up to now. If you are not sure you are doing the right thing, always trust your instincts. It is a very powerful silent protector and you are acting according to it now. You have had enough and you are doing what you should have done a long time ago, actually doing something about your life instead of waiting for him to change. Do not let self doubt take you back into the abyss. He is feeling insecure and rejected now, but as soon as he feels comfortable again, and someone else catches his eye, he will be back to square one. Only this time he will probably be even more secretive about it.

It is not the cheating that should really be cause for concern between you both. That is just a major symptom, a sad consequence of the state of your relationship. What needs looking into urgently is what is wrong with your connection that he feels the constant need to cheat. It could be that he has fallen out of love with you, the attraction is no longer there, he is incapable of true commitment or he is simply a user who doesn't care about your feelings. Whatever the reason, it needs to be addressed, not just the cheating, and you need to let go.

You have acted as your head and heart have dictated. Don't go back on it now. Hold your head high and move on with your life. That is the only way you will make yourself available to find someone who truly loves and cares for you. But you won't get that sitting in the same marriage. You will simply get more of the same because he will continue to please himself when the dust has settled. Your pain will simply continue and you will feel even more resentful then when he has broken his promise yet again. I will almost guarantee that!

Nothing changes unless we change ourselves. By sticking with him, you are hoping he will change, but he won't. Change will only come with you. Forgive him by all means, but get a new life for you. It's time you had some real loving too and, above all, regain your self respect, even he has none for you.

Good luck, but you'll be fine if you follow your instincts.

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Would you go back with a guy or girl who once dumped you?

 


Q. My ex dumped me over 2 years ago because he said he needed his space. We had been together for 5 years and I never stopped loving him. Just before he was to go in for bypass surgery he got in touch with me to apologize for the way he had treated me. I had been hoping for two years that he would eventually come around, so I offered for him to stay with me while he recuperated after surgery and he has been here for over a month now. He referred to me as his girlfriend when I visited him in the hospital, but we haven't talked about any relationship yet.

A. There is nothing wrong with getting back together with an ex. People are evolving every day, week and year of their lives. It means that the person who is here today is unlikely to be the same person a year from now because they would have gained in knowledge, experience, confidence, assurance and self-awareness. In essence, they would be more mature than they are today. So they are likely to be better people down the line, if they have learnt from past actions.

However, because you still have feelings for this man, the issue is more cloudy and needs to be resolved. You need to ask yourself whether you are just being used because he is going through a traumatic time and needs someone in his corner, and whether he will still need more 'space' when he feels better. For some people, it is amazing how they might have little use for their friends and girlfriends when they are all right, but suddenly appreciate them when they are ill. It is thus very important for you to have clarity, and soon. You need to ask him what is the position between you, whether he wants you both to try again, or not. Otherwise he will just carry own in a way that pleases him until he feels better and then he might be off again. I am not saying that will definitely happen, but it is a distinct possibility and you should be mindful of it.

On the other hand, he is probably waiting for you to broach the subject to sort things out. If he refuses to discuss it, or to make excuses, it would be time to ask him to leave. You see, while he is occupying your heart and home without anything in return, he is stopping someone else from coming into your life, from loving you and treating you with value. Self respect means that we are never second best. We decide what is best for us and work towards it. We do not wait for the crumbs to fall off another's table, we actually make the bread ourselves.

My guess is that you could be afraid to hear his answer if you discuss the situation and so you go along with whatever he is doing, hoping for the best. But that is the biggest recipe for more hurt and is not advised. You need to bite the bullet on this one, in view of your feelings, so that at least you know where you both stand to proceed with your lives the way you both wish to.




Help! My ex wants me back but he is married!

 


Q. My ex just call me today asking why I left him. I told him that I sent him a letter stating all I wanted to tell him. It was because of a third party and I wanted to give way. He called 6 times this afternoon because he wants me back to his life. The problem is I don't love him anymore. He said he was sorry for everything he did to me. I am trying to move on in life with a new relationship. Besides, I have heard and seen pictures of his wedding day. What should I do? Should I still see him? I just want him to be my friend, nothing more.

A. Please tell this gentleman where to go, very clearly. First, he is married. Second, you have moved on. There really is nothing else to it. Unless you are not really sure in yourself?

Why would you wish to be his friend? If someone still likes you sexually, it wouldn't work because his reasons for being 'friends' would be different from yours, so he would always be pushing the boundaries to get more from you. Is that what you want? Real friendship only works when both of you are at the same level of understanding and when you both know where you stand.

Are you being swayed by his attention? I ask that because if you had truly moved on you would not even be considering him. You would have put him firmly in your past and told him a definite 'NO' by now. Flattery is wonderful but it has its dangers. If you saw fit to end it five years ago, then you had good reasons to do so. They would not have changed just because he is back!! Try to remember what those reasons were and bear them in mind every time he rings so that you don't lose sight of the most important issue here: that if you really wanted what he had to offer, you would still be together!

This gentleman is going through a crisis state in his marriage. It is probably not working, he is feeling neglected and unloved, and perhaps he now has a lot of time to think back to what you both shared. However, in his troubled state of mind, what you both had would seem very rosy to him. He would be yearning for you because he would remember the fun times you had together while deliberately forgetting the reasons for the break-up. In essence, he is evading his responsibility for sorting out his marriage and turning to you instead to make it all better for him. Don't encourage such irresponsibility by being his handy refuge, especially if the wife was the reason he broke up with you. He would simply be doing to her what he already did to you!

Are you also being honest with yourself about your feelings for him? If you are, and he really means nothing to you, then stop taking his calls and leave him well alone because the more your speak to him is the more you give him hope, the more he will interpret what you are saying to suit himself and the more you'll be drawn back into his life. If you have really moved on, prove it to yourself and send him on his way before you discover that you're still stuck back there too!

We don't solve problems in life by running away from them. You have only two choices here, to send him on his way pronto, or to see him, if you are not too sure about your feelings. See how you feel when you are actually in his presence and decide what to do then. But living in denial won't help you. This situation needs firm action to resolve it before you become just a handy refuge for him while he enjoys the best of both worlds and you are left none the better for it. It is really up to you and what you truly want. If you are being honest with yourself, the answer will come to you very clearly.






What did you learn from your past relationship?

 


Personally speaking, I learnt that guilt solved nothing except to keep me in the past and in regrets.

I broke off my last relationship because the guy had constant guilt about how he treated his ex. Even though he had moved on physically, he was still back with her emotionally, which meant our relationship was doomed before it began. What many people who are in hurt situations don't realise is that you have to have closure of all the negative feelings before you can start a new relationship. Otherwise the negativity of the past is likely to overwhelm any positivity in the present, especially where there is still bitterness, frustration and unforgiveness.

Life is naturally made up of birth, growth and death. We cannot skip any of those stages at all. Hence, as William Bridges reiterate in his book, "Transitions", to have a new beginning you MUST have death first. Spring has to die to give us summer and winter has to die first to give us spring. Most human pain comes from living in the past trying to hold on to the smelling carcass of a dead relationship, or event, instead of learning from it, giving thanks for it and moving on wiser and brighter. Yet without complete emotional closure, which should include forgiveness, anything new cannot really take root.

One will always be comparing the new experience to the past, dreading a repeat of the hurt that happened, perhaps expecting the worst to happen and being unnaturally sensitive to interaction. Not surprisingly, these expectations affect the actual actions in the present. This explains the eventual collapse of new relationships, no matter how well meaning the couple is at the beginning.

The one overriding lesson from all this is that we must always celebrate the past, give gratitude for having experienced it - when many others have not - and LIVE the present to the fullest.






Can deep pain or hurt cause someone to lose control and turn into a monster?

 


Pain or hurt does not turn anyone into a 'monster', neither does it last forever. That's using one incident to judge a whole lifetime when we are all on a journey from birth to death. What happens when we hurt deeply is that we go through stages of adjustment: from shock, disbelief and bewilderment, for example, to anger, perhaps feelings of revenge and, ultimately, resignation and acceptance.

It is while we are going through those stages that we are usually gripped by fear (of the consequences of what happened and a desire not to experience it again) and perhaps revenge to hurt the person who is perceived to cause the hurt. But revenge never solves anything, except to make us feel self-righteous and to prolong the hurt while denying the healing process.

However, we are all responsible for our actions and one hurt does not turn us into anything we would NOT wish to be. We choose all our actions. Everything we do is a conscious choice to match how we FEEL, our emotional health. People who become 'monsters' through being hurt would be using that pain as an excuse to behave badly!

Life consists of balance: good and bad, up and down, in and out. It means everything that happens - both the good and the bad - is part of our evolution and development. We cannot accept one part without the other. Every hurt we experience, just like joy, is always momentary. It might feel as though it will last forever but time heals everything.

The main thing is to learn the lessons the hurt brings and move on rapidly to the next stage of life, more confident, more knowledgeable and far more capable of handling the next setback we might face. That's the mark of maturity and intelligence. Not to allow a single hurt to overwhelm our mood, to rob us of our sensitivities or our humanity. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

Translation: We CHOOSE how we react to what happens in our lives. Choosing a negative reaction does nothing for us except to prolong the pain, to keep us in the past and to rob us of our present. However, choosing love, forgiveness and the future is always the best antidote to any hurt we might feel, because we allow ourselves to learn from it and to rise above it, enabling us to be even better human beings in the process.


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