Mindfulness In a Bad Relationship

He says the most hurtful things to me!

Why can’t they just accept me?

Why does she put me down all the time?

My friends and family tell me that my ideas are stupid.

What’s wrong with THEM???

When you do The Work, you see who you are by seeing who you think other people are. Eventually you come to see that everything outside you is a reflection of your own thinking. You are the storyteller, the projector of all stories, and the world is the projected image of your thoughts. ~ Byron Katie

It’s All About You

The problem with them is the problem within you.

If someone does something that irks you but that same action causes no response in the person next to you, something about the action or the person performing the action is igniting an issue within you that you haven’t dealt with yet.

If someone called my friend and me ugly, the comment would have no effect on me because I’m confident of my internal and external beauty.  But my friend, who looks just like me, may be deeply offended if she has issues with self-confidence, self-esteem or body image.

The Universe has a peculiar way of dishing up an ever-increasing mélange of situations that will push just the button that needs to shift.

The more we resist, react and defend, the more the situations hurt.

Without looking inward and asking why these situations affect us so strongly, we play the victim.

“Why does this always happen to me?”  “This” will keep happening to you until you change yourself.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness

While it’s easy to point fingers and play the victim, it’s a sure-fire detour away from happiness.

One thing I’ve learned for sure over my decades on Earth is that nothing in your life changes until you change.

This became crystal clear when my husband and I ran into issues early in our marriage.  The pattern I had repeated in so many previous relationships was to leave when the going got tough.

Just as I was about to repeat my pattern, my intuition said to me, “Not this time.  Stay.  Learn something.  You can leave later but, for now, stay.”  It stopped me in my tracks.  It was the first time that I realized that it was the same old me doing the same old things in a relationship and getting the same old results.

I felt the wisdom of my intuition and stayed.  It wasn’t easy.

Instead of putting the old me back into the relationship, I told my husband that I was putting our relationship on hold while I worked on myself.  I had no idea how long this would take or what I would do but it felt like the right move.

I began seeing a therapist and reading personal development books for the first time.  I journaled and completed all the homework that my therapist gave me.  I worked very hard on me.

And a funny thing happened.

The more I changed, the more my husband changed.  I thought this was awfully odd since I was doing my best to keep my distance to avoid conjuring up the same issues we had been dealing with.

Eventually we were able to repair our relationship.  It wasn’t all smooth sailing.  Over the years we’ve both had plenty of internal demons to deal with.

Blaming and defensiveness have been difficult habits to overcome.  I grew up with plenty of it and have had to learn how to look inside myself before pointing fingers.

Like all things mindful, it’s a practice.  Some days I’m better at it than others but I tend to catch myself more quickly and make different choices about how to communicate and work through things.

Turn the Victim Questions Around

When you ask yourself the types of questions at the beginning of this post, instead of asking them of others, ask them of yourself.

For example:

He says the most hurtful things to me!  →  What hurtful things do I say to myself?  How can I support and encourage myself?

Why can’t they just accept me?  →  How am I not accepting myself?  What can I do to love and accept myself unconditionally?

Why does she put me down all the time?  → How do I feel that I’m not enough?  Who gets to decide what “enough” is?  How can accept myself just the way I am?

My friends and family tell me that my ideas are stupid.  →  How am I unsure of my ideas?  How can I test my ideas to prove they’re good?

As long as your problems are with other people, it’s impossible to change them.  You’re giving your power and all the responsibility for solving the problem to them in hopes that they’ll do what you want.

Usually they won’t.

The Key to Happiness

The biggest key to happiness is to take responsibility for your life, your thoughts, your beliefs, your actions.

Until you do that, your happiness depends on others and their well-meaning misinterpretation of what might make you happy.

Happiness doesn’t depend on anything outside of you.

Happiness is a choice.  You can choose to be happy regardless of what’s happening around you.

When you work on yourself, you change.  When you change, your thought patterns change.  When your thought patterns change, you make different choices.  When you make different choices, you get different outcomes.

Congratulations, you just learned how to step off the merry-go-round you’ve been stuck on.

Simple Steps

When other people in your life are wreaking havoc for you, take responsibility for yourself and decide what you’re going to do about it instead of wishing the other person were different.

Look inside yourself to understand how you’re attracting the difficult person or situation.  Look deeply at yourself to understand why that particular person and their actions drive you crazy.

See how you’re contributing to the difficult situation and take responsibility for your actions.   Maybe you jumped to conclusions and misjudged someone or misinterpreted their actions.

Try to see yourself through the other person’s eyes as they filter you with their lifetime of personal experiences.  Maybe they’re going through their own tough times, self doubts or trying relationships that have nothing to do with you but are affecting their ability to be objective in other areas of their life.

Often, when  people feel hurt, they’ll attempt to hurt others in an attempt to feel better about themselves.

Step back and look at the situation with curiosity.

With a new perspective, you may find a completely new set of options for dealing with the relationship.  You may decide to change how or what you communicate.  Maybe the relationship needs more space or you realize that you’ve never fully committed to it.  Or maybe it’s so damaging that you need to leave.

If you’re just beginning with this practice, it can be difficult.  It can be painful to shine the light on your own fears and trepidations.

Be kind with yourself.  Love yourself as if your life depended on it.

 

If you’re going through a tough time, I invite you to check out my latest guest post at Goodlife Zen:  How to be Happy When Your World Is Falling Apart which goes into more detail with steps you can take to turn a negative situation into something happier.

Book Recommendation

I just read: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant and I highly recommend it.

I read Love Yourself three times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I’ve added the simple practices Kamal describes into my daily practice. Yes, the book is short and seems to repeat the same idea but this simple practice is amazingly powerful.

My favorite practice is to ask myself, “If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?” If the answer is “no,” then I make a choice to feel differently, think differently, act differently in any situation.

We get so caught up in our ways of being that we forget that we can make a different choice in an instant. I’ve found myself automatically asking myself this question any time I’m feeling any kind of negativity or physical or emotional pain. It’s like a soft cloud has enveloped me and shown me how to make everything alright.

The concept reminds me to show myself the same kind of unconditional love and compassion that I show my young children. Yes, I deserve it as much and they and everyone else do.


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30 Responses to Mindfulness In a Bad Relationship

    emma
    Commented:  07/27/2013 at 8:14 pm

    Greeting: I so appreciate every word shared in this article. I have a come along way in understand and letting go of limited belief about my self and how and why i choose to do and react to things in my life. Self -love + unconditional love as much as i am aware is my foundation, my go to, my queen of Lords. My answer. My deliberate intention are to always feel good as i can, to see different perspectives, and to appreciate all things. I do believe my life is a reflection of my thinking. That was a hard pill for me to take. But i am better now. So thanks for helping me know even more that i am on the right path for me. Your example are great. ONE LOVE!

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/29/2013 at 9:39 am

      That’s wonderful Emma! Sounds like you’ve been on quite the journey and have found your way.

      Becoming aware of our internal limiting beliefs is one of the hardest steps but is absolutely critical in moving past those beliefs. I don’t think it’s possible to simply think positive thoughts without uncovering the thoughts that are zapping the positive ones. In order to replace one thought with another, it’s usually necessary to know what you’re trying to get rid of.

      You’ve also got some great intentions and those tend to drive our thoughts and actions. Many blessings to you Emma!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..It’s Never Too Late – Change Is Always PossibleMy Profile

      Reply
    Rebecca
    Commented:  07/28/2013 at 6:11 am

    Great article! So glad I took the time to read it. I have just ended an engagement to a person that is not bad, just not for me. I actually feel so much lighter than I have in a very long time. My choice to end the relationship is that I am on a spiritual journey and he is not. He said that he would support me through my journey, and my first response to that was, great! However, as time went on and I continue my journey, the realization that we could not be two more different people. I am a ‘glass is half full’ person and he is the exact opposite. In fact, I came to realize that when we spent time together, I began to feel agitated and sad. When we were not together I felt happy and positive. Long story short, I ended our engagement and relationship. I am 47 years old, and in past relationships I see the pattern of my choice to be with people that I tried to ‘make into what I needed’. I now choose to STOP doing that and love and nurture myself. In time, the person that is for me will come and I will know it. No more trying to fix others. I’m going to fix myself!
    Love,
    Me

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/29/2013 at 9:45 am

      From personal experience, I know exactly what you mean Rebecca. So often we think that another person will fix or complete us but it never works out that way. We are the only ones who can fix and complete ourselves (although I don’t think we’re ever completely “fixed” – whatever that means).

      And it’s certainly not our job to fix anyone else. That’s their job. Much happier relationships result when both people understand and live this.

      I think that trying to fix others is our misguided attempt to fix the things within ourselves that we don’t want to see.

      Best wishes on your new journey Rebecca!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Shift from What’s Wrong in Your Life to HappinessMy Profile

      Reply
    Meg Sylvia
    Commented:  07/28/2013 at 9:06 am

    Great insight! I love when you mention, “If someone does something that irks you but that same action causes no response in the person next to you, something about the action or the person performing the action is igniting an issue within you that you haven’t dealt with yet.”
    It’s so easy to blame someone else for bringing out negative emotions in us, and a whole lot harder to realize that it is something within ourselves that is in need of attention. But I’ve begun to realize that when I take a moment to step back instead of reacting immediately, I find that it is much more effective to check myself rather than act out towards the other person!
    Meg Sylvia recently posted..Mind, Body, Spirit: Warning Signs to Get in BalanceMy Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/29/2013 at 9:50 am

      Exactly Meg! I’ve also found the “power of the pause” when we take a breath before responding in the same old ways. As I’ve written about in a few different situations, that pause is an open door to completely different outcomes. It’s our choice as to which direction we’ll follow but it’s hard to see that we have the ability to choose without taking that extra moment.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Ultimate Productivity HackMy Profile

      Reply
    Straycat
    Commented:  07/28/2013 at 11:13 am

    I really hope that none of the readers of this blog are living through domestic violence.

    If your emotional and physical welfare are at stake then it is not the time for teachable moments. It’s the time to get out and stay out, and *then* do the emotional work (preferably with a therapist) to ensure that you start to heal any weaknesses your abuser may have exploited.

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/29/2013 at 9:57 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more Straycat. None of my writings are meant for people in crisis situations and living with domestic violence is definitely a crisis situation. It’s practically impossible to heal yourself if you’re in the midst of such a situation.

      From my interactions with a variety of therapists, I’ve learned the power of EMDR in working through traumatic life experiences, including domestic violence.

      Yes – Get out, then get professional help.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..When It’s Time To Say NoMy Profile

      Reply
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  2. Betsy/Zen Mama
    Commented:  07/29/2013 at 3:07 pm

    Paige,
    Such very good advice! It reminds me of my favorite Wayne Dyer quote… “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

    I’ve had a very busy summer and it’s great to be back at your blog!
    Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted..Are You A Validator?My Profile

    Reply
    Erik Frimann
    Commented:  07/29/2013 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Paige. Been busy, missed you a lot.

    Response to your great post:

    Sometimes I almost have a bit of gulity conscience, because everything is so easy once the work is done and you find yourself on the OTHER side of Mt. Complexity. When he the prevailing feeling is pain, it can be hard to see things clearly – clearly enough to deal with hurtful remarks and such.
    All I can offer is my compassion, and gratitude that there in fact are people like Paige who takes it upon themselves to help. It always eases pain to help, and who of us goes through life without it?

    Well, however much we would like to, we cannot change other people. And in a given situation it may be a tall order to change the way we percieve things. We’ll might as well handle the hurt, and play to win in another court so to speak. By being very, very practical, building up strength that in fact crosses over when needed.

    We all have taught or almost instinctive responses to a lot of stuff. Out first reactions, to hurt or otherwise, are not allways the great moves we think they are. And by training a better response in other areas, normal straightforward areas, we teach ourselves to pause and react with the intire Martin Seligman optimism-method in the blitz of a moment. Oh, yes. If we can do push ups, sit ups and crunches aren’t that scary. And we get both at the price of one. Oh, the bliss of a good bargain.

    There is nothing I can do about it (everybody can do some. Do yours now)
    I can’t handle that challenge or any other (I’m all so weak – or – it looks hard)
    Well, I kinda dunno (don’t settle for what comes your way, do what you’re were build to do)
    It’s not MY problem, someone else is to blame (get a grip, and a firm grip. Take the helm, it’s your ship)
    I’ll just do what I have to (go the extra mile, it’s super fun to be good at what you do)
    Yeah, well. Maybe some day or another day (let them stew in their own, not yours. Do it NAUGH!)

    There’s a first and a second reaction to stuff that are not hurtful or inflicted by other people, but meets all of us every day. When we follow the first impulse we can hardly that what we do now echoes in eternity, can we? A bit more strengh and honor in the second. Just saw Gladiator again, sory, but that is what we are. We will get hurt unless we do something. If change is needed, well, that’ll be us. As always. But these changes do not adress all the mechanisms around injury, offense, interaction. They are private, silent, resiliant and much more important. Think twice, another day in…

    So you don’t have to feel unjustly teated or anything like that. Anyway, deailing with these six is enough work for most, and something you can happily sink your teeth in. After a while, you’ll get better, and I mean that literally. You’ll be worth more to yourself and for that matter to others. Then read some of Paige’s stuff on gratitude. You won’t have time to feel hurt, and if someone tries to be hurtful, it must be their own pain seeping through. Oh, well. They’ll learn when their time comes, one must leave at least some decisions for the jury and for people themselves.

    You’ll be grateful that you have the outrageous luck to be exactly YOU and not some other poor sucker. Hurt? Isn’t that some actor dude?

    And the best part? You know this. You do.

    Reply
      Erik Frimann
      Commented:  07/29/2013 at 4:09 pm

      A little rusty, it seems. If possible, I would like to get my grammar and spelling in order, and re-publish my reply. Proof reading AFTER pressing – the quick road to embarassement.

      Reply
        Christine Ngene
        Commented:  07/30/2013 at 3:52 am

        Dont mind that’s past now. The best way to get your grammar correct is by reading wide. make sure you read keenly though…Everything is possible.

        Reply
          Erik Frimann
          Commented:  07/30/2013 at 4:16 am

          Thanks Christine. Did the points I try to make get through? If so, I’ll rather do something useful somewhere else. If not, it’s worth it.

          Reply
            Christine
            Commented:  07/31/2013 at 12:17 am

            Hi Erik, Your message is loud and clear.in deed we should always go an extra mile in evereything we do and for sure its really fun. About changing people I tried to change my brothers but nothing happened. I got very frustrated everyday when they could not change. Thanks to paige after she advised me that I cannot change anyone and the best thing to do is to set an example and live my life everything changed. I began focusing on my personnal happiness setting a good example and apparently they have changed and become more responsible.
            Be blessed.

            Christine
            Commented:  07/31/2013 at 12:28 am

            Hi Erik,
            Your message is loud and clear that we should always go an extra mile awhich is actually fun. Today am planning to go an extra in my job and I cant wait to be the best in my team. About changing people I tried and I got more frustrated untill I wrote Paige who later advised me that we cannot change people. I could never be more happier am free than before. What I do is focus on setting a good example to the rest live a happy life and respect and treat everyone kindly. Am entitled to agreat life and I should live that life without worrying. lets do our apart.
            Be blessed.

            Erik Frimann
            Commented:  07/31/2013 at 2:52 am

            Hi Christine
            Yes, that’s it. Live kindly, and remember that we are always either an example or a warning to others. Breathe deeply, and set out to have a great life. Why not? I see my points demonstrated clearly by the tone of your reply – it reminds me to take my own medicine, so to speak, and for that happy reminder I am truly grateful.

            Strength and Honor (and a pinch of happy madness)

    Christine Ngene
    Commented:  07/30/2013 at 1:35 am

    Hallo Paige,
    Its always a blessing to read you post. The bible puts it clear that we should love ourselves but often we are carried away by the negative issues going on our daily lives which changes most of us and we tend to turn to the blaming game. Honestly have read your post like 3 times to remind myself that am wonderfully made and I should love myself everyday no matter what because if i don’t who will? Am like the run away bride but in my next r.ship I shall stay n wait so God help me : )…I have made my resolution to count my blessings everyday….Whatever makes me happy I count it as blessing.

    Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

    I will always treat myself right and I trust everyone else will treat me different. Everyday I’ll remind myself that a mirror of the world and I should reflect right.

    Thanks Paige and May the Almighty God Bless you abundantly.

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/30/2013 at 9:32 am

      Thank you so much Christine! The more you love yourself, the more you teach others to do the same which helps to create a loving and compassionate community.

      In relationships, running may not always be the wrong step (i.e. the comment about living with domestic violence). But if you find it’s a pattern it’s time to look inside. I’ve found the reflective process to be much more effective when you’re not in a relationship. This gives you the time and space to examine all your internal intricacies without the competing needs of a partner. It also allows you to get clear about who you want to be and how you want to be in a relationship. That’s generally difficult when you’re in the middle of a relationship.

      Many blessings to you Christine!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Choose YourselfMy Profile

      Reply
    Tania Potter
    Commented:  08/08/2013 at 6:31 am

    Hi Paige
    What a lovely article and how courageous of you to work on yourself at a time when i’m sure blame would have been the route of least resistance! Wonderful reminder of so many important things.

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/09/2013 at 7:02 pm

      Blame was my default for many years. It took mindfulness to see what I was doing and how that led to so much buried anger and resentment. I’ve seen how resentment can eat people up from the inside and I didn’t want to be one of those people.

      It’s tough to do but taking responsibility for my actions and responses allowed me to choose different actions and ways of thinking and feeling. All that allowed me to let go of the blame, anger and resentment and opened the doors to creating a much better relationship with myself and my husband.

      Blame may seem easy at first but, ultimately, it’s the most difficult path to walk.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Deal With Negative People Who Sabotage Your Life Passion PursuitMy Profile

      Reply
    Artemis
    Commented:  08/13/2013 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Paige… this is such a great article. I just graduated college and my boyfriend of 2.5 years are currently on a break =/ He said he was thinking about breaking up and we agreed we should take time to think about it. I am so frustrated because I am discovering this all and it might be too late to help our relationship, which was really in the doldrums and definitely could have used some of this.
    I am going to try to take the two weeks to pursue being more mindful of myself and being more patient and loving, less selfish. I have definitely done almost every no-no in this article, and I am really ready to look to myself and try to change my ways. I just hope that it is not too late to share this with my boyfriend, who I really and truly love, who has stuck with me through many hard times.
    Any advice about what to do with these concepts if we are not talking right now? I am hoping I can go to meet him in a few weeks and actually practice all that I have been reading about without him totally closing off to me!

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/13/2013 at 4:15 pm

      Artemis,

      A two week break is a very short one. Take this time to focus on yourself, not to try to become what you think your boyfriend (or anyone else wants). That will always backfire. Focus on changing the things in yourself that you don’t want to have to look at in the mirror any more. Change the things that will help you to feel more love and acceptance for yourself. Change whatever you feel needs to change in order for you to bring the best you into any relationship (most importantly, your relationship with yourself).

      Don’t try to “teach” any of this to your boyfriend – another almost sure-fire way to make things worse. Be the best you can be. If he notices and is interested, he’ll ask what you did. He may notice and not really care what you did.

      It’s probably a good thing that you’re not talking during this time. When I’ve gone through these spells with my husband, I think it would have been easier if we weren’t in the same house, speaking to each other. There was a time when I moved out and we divorced. We realized that we could still be good friends and parents so I moved back in nine months later.

      We both grew immensely in those nine months and probably couldn’t have gotten re-married if it hadn’t been for that time of separation and growth. It was a very tough time but we both learned what we needed to change within ourselves in order to make our relationship work.

      Every time I’ve simply tried to “make him happy,” it backfired. The things I did didn’t register with him and I felt bitterness and resentment. At the same time he felt like I wasn’t addressing his needs. I was doing what I would want someone to do for me. What he wanted someone to do for him was completely different and it took me a while to realize that.

      The more we’ve both focused on loving and accepting ourselves and each other just the way we are, the better things have been.

      My advice would be to focus on yourself and (as hard as it may be) forget about him during this time. Lose any sense of desperation or “OMG I might lose him if I don’t…” If he likes/loves the real, authentic you, things will get better. If he doesn’t, move on and don’t try to change to please him.

      Love yourself.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Deal With Negative People Who Sabotage Your Life Passion PursuitMy Profile

      Reply
        Artemis
        Commented:  08/13/2013 at 6:34 pm

        Paige, this is the most helpful thing I have seen all week! I can’t thank you enough! I definitely understand the idea of not trying to be what he wants… I think I’ve already been guilty of those thoughts, but I know I have to do this for myself.
        I guess my question is more along the lines of not teaching him! I have definitely tried that before and it didn’t really work. We are going to meet to have a conversation where ultimately I suppose we will stay together or break up =/ Should I try to tell him about the changes I’ve made in myself? I told him when I proposed this break that I wanted to work on being more strong and independent, which are two things he has told me he loved about me and always encouraged me to feel that way. Should I avoid the whole topic of trying to look into myself and improve myself and just try to embody it for that conversation? Or should I actually tell him what I’ve been trying to do?
        Paige, honestly, thank you so much. It’s so hard to believe that strangers on the internet actually care enough to try to give someone heartfelt advice, but I would really hug you right now if I could! Once I get through this on either end I am going to share some of these blogposts on facebook!!

        Reply
          Paige Burkes
          Commented:  08/14/2013 at 9:31 am

          Regarding being a “stranger on the internet,” we’re all strangers until one person reaches out and says Hi! Thank you so much for being strong enough to say hello in a fairly public way! I’m sure our conversation can help others.

          When you meet with your boyfriend, I would suggest mentioning that you’re working on moving yourself back to your strong and independent self but don’t elaborate. Elaborating can feel like teaching him which will push him away. If he’s interested, he’ll ask for more.

          If he admires your strength and independence, show him that you’ve found that you can be quite happy on your own. Tell him that you want him in your life just the way he is today just because he’s an awesome person. You don’t “need” him in your life to complete you or make you happy or anything else. Expressing neediness will probably turn him off.

          Put yourself in his shoes. What would you want to hear from him that would make you feel like he truly loved you and simply wanted to be with you? How would you convey that he’s perfect the way he is and you love him for who and what he is right now?

          Also think of the saying: If you love them, you’ll let them go. Be OK with letting go. Not because he might come back if you let go. Just because it’s OK to let go.

          Best wishes on your conversation with him – no matter how it goes. You’re an awesome person who deserves the best!
          Paige Burkes recently posted..Choose YourselfMy Profile

          Reply
            Dee
            Commented:  08/19/2013 at 10:47 am

            Hi Paige- thank you for the good advice, it really made me feel better. Apparently he had not meant it as a break and informed me over text that it was over and he was changing his status on Facebook. I still have not talked to him in person and am feeling extremely hurt. He said he would meet me if I wanted, but it was over. I feel really upset that he didn’t even want to talk to me to my face or want to hear from me about this relationship at all. It has been so long and he has been really committed to me. I’m doing my best to accept that it’s over, but I have no idea why this happened or why he is doing this and I feel totally heartbroken. I don’t want to go meet him and have him just yell at me if I try to ask any questions. I feel very regretful because we both really had the same hopes for the future and were really compatible. Part of me wishes we were older when we had met, or that I could fast forward a few years to when we are older and he has grown up enough to make a real commitment. I know this guy well and I will give someone a million if he never regrets this don’t work out.

            How do I leave the door open for him? I can’t be friends with him now. But I want him to realize this isn’t right… Maybe sooner but maybe later. How do I leave the door open for him once he’s said it’s over? What did you do with your husband? I guess you were connected by your kids, but anything else?

            Paige Burkes
            Commented:  08/19/2013 at 11:47 am

            That’s a tough one Dee. Seems he didn’t communicate very well with you all along if this type of big misunderstanding could occur. The heartache will sting for a while, and that’s OK. Trying to understand why he made this decision is fruitless. Even if he spoke with you about it, you would come up with more why’s. There are no good answers. It simply is. Acceptance is the best next step.

            Don’t worry about leaving the door open for him. By doing this, you’re shutting the door to all kinds of potential greatness in your life. In a few months or years, issues that you can’t see today may become blatantly obvious (this happened to me). Don’t worry about trying to be friends either. Just let it be. It’s not your job to prove or explain anything to him. That will only make things worse.

            When I left my husband, I thought it was over, never to be mended. The first few months were tough, especially since he tried to hard to get me back. I knew that the things he was doing to get me back were only short-term and wouldn’t last (I knew this from my past experiences with him). Once he became comfortable with the split and started to get on with his life, our friendship had room to grow. The more we both became comfortable with ourselves and being on our own, the better we were together because we weren’t trying to get something we thought we needed from the other person.

            The biggest lesson we’ve learned in our relationship is to let each other be who and what we want to be without trying to please the other person and without trying to make the other person who or what we want them to be. Sometimes our internal demons try old tactics but, over time, this lessens and we’re both so much happier.

            The next few months will probably be tough but the rough stuff will pass and you’ll be fine. Don’t jump into another relationship. Start a new relationship with yourself. Rediscover yourself. Who are you and what are you all about? When you get clear with this and feel confident about it, it will be much easier to find a guy that loves you because of this.

    Jessica
    Commented:  08/14/2013 at 10:03 am

    Love the advice – take responsibility for your own happiness. Such true words! Work on your internal world first and gradually, these changes will begin to reflect in your external world too. Thank you for this – great post =)

    Reply

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