Surviving a breakup can be both draining and hurtful. The fear of being hurt again can create a wall in front of your heart. This is very normal, yet very damaging because although you are protecting yourself you are also blocking the possibility of finding true love. Here are a few things to consider.
Do you want it? First, ask yourself if you want a relationship because not everyone has the desire to commit.
Self evaluate: Stop the blame game. Take a look at yourself and address the issues that you may have. Not all failed relationships are the other person's fault. You can not control what someone does to you, but you have control over yourself. How can you make yourself better as a person?
Be happy: Before you start a relationship make sure that you are happy within first. Your mate should add to your happiness not completely supply it.
Be open: Yes you were hurt, but that is the chance we take in life. Don't shut down and close yourself off from the world. Learn to accept what comes and find a strategy to deal with it.
Be positive: Love is a beautiful thing that is not always perfect and this is ok. Don't let your bad moment turn into a bad day. You have the control!
Keep going: You may fail and so what! Try again and again, but every time be more cautious and aware. Real love is worth fighting for, but only when you are your first love.
Of course if you feel overwhelmed please seek professional help.
Verbal abuse can be difficult to detect at times, but it is pretty common in a lot of relationships. A word does not have to be harsh to hurt. Anything said to attempt to control, punish, or manipulate is as much harmful as any physical abuse.
It's easy for you to identify physical abuse because we all know when we've been hit. You don't have to get a second opinion because the bruises are there but with emotional damage the scars are internal. Self esteem does not appear on the outside nor does a broken spirit. Here are some key warning signs:
RESPONDING TO VERBAL ABUSE
If your spouse or the person you are closest to consistently verbally abuses you and dismisses your feelings, you will begin to see yourself as a non-factor, irrelevant, and not worthy of good treatment. When you finally wake up and realize that you are being verbally abused you need to also become aware that you should work on changing your situation. Here are some steps you can take if faced with verbal abuse:
There is never an excuse for abuse.
You should never feel that it is your fault. Communicate to your abuser and let them know how hurtful their words are and discuss with them the fact that it is unacceptable to you. Set boundaries on what you will and will not accept from your abuser.
Seek counseling either together or separately.
Get yourself a support system of family and friends. Let them know what is happening and how you are feeling.
If the verbal abuse escalates to physical abuse, then leave.
Your personal safety is far more important than the relationship.
Do not engage in conflict with your abuser.
If your spouse becomes angry stay calm, walk away and, don't give him/her what they want…a reaction from you.
Take back your power.
If you react to the abuser, then you are rewarding them. You are letting them know they have power over your emotions. Don't allow the abuser to have control over how you feel.
Leave the situation!
If setting boundaries, getting therapy, and refusing to respond to the abuse doesn't work, then it is time to consider walking away. There are times when the best thing you can do for yourself is break all ties with your abuser. Stay in close contact with your support system and focus on learning good coping skills.
You have a list of things he needs to stop doing/saying/wearing if he wants your relationship to work. If you're fixating on his flaws, he's either not the one you want or you're not ready for a serious relationship. Cutting him loose allows you time to grow and gives you the opportunity to meet a guy whose flaws you can embrace—or at least accept. News Flash: You Actually CAN Change Him!
2. You don't trust him. A small dose of jealousy can be healthy, but if you're hacking into his email account, and popping Xanax when he hits up happy hour without you, something's wrong. If there's something about him that truly warrants your distrust, then perhaps he's not the right one for you.
3. You avoid conflict at any cost. Fighting is healthy. And, when done right (in the non-accusatory, rational sort of way), it can be a great way to air grievances, fix problems in your relationship and come to a deeper understanding of each other. Ignoring problems is not the same as having no problems at all... even if it looks that way.
4. When you're sad, you don't turn to him for comfort. When you're a giant ball of tears and snot, do you lock yourself into the bathroom so he can't see you at your worst? If you're worried about scaring him away, one of you isn't ready for total commitment. Mr. Right should make you smile through your tears, and be a calming, not stressful, presence
5. One of you is struggling with an addiction. He's sweet. He's exciting. He loves you very much. But he loves his alcohol habit or his weekly gambling fix more. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can change him or that your relationship will be strong enough to withstand the heartache that addiction will inevitably bring. An addict may be able to change, but he'll do so on his own terms.
6. You can't really imagine him as the father of your children. Ask yourself: Would he make a great parent? Is he financially responsible? Would he be an equal partner in your future together? If you have doubts, he's probably not the one.
7. Your long-term, non-negotiable goals in life are incompatible. You want kids; he doesn't. You go to church every week; he's an atheist. He lives in the country and doesn't want to move; you can't imagine ever leaving the city. Superficial differences can be overcome, but differences in basic values are harder to smooth over. Ask yourself: "Would I be willing to compromise on this?" If the answer is absolutely not, you may not be right for each other. The Thermostat War, And 6 More Silly Compromises
8. You don't respect each other. He puts you down in front of your friends and complains about you to his parents. You roll your eyes when he talks because there's just something about him that embarrasses you. A relationship without respect can't sustain itself.
9. You're not attracted to him. Sex is a hugely important component of a romantic relationship. If he doesn't do it for you, he's probably not your best long-term match. The Truth About Sexless Marriage
10. On paper he seems great, but you have this strange feeling... Don't ignore your gut. You may get along on a superficial level, but if your instincts are telling you he's not the one for you, listen. That little voice inside your head does not lie.
Do you remember feeling that way about your partner… newly in love, excited and passionate about each other? Maybe you’re fortunate enough to still be in that state. You know how to give your relationship the attention it requires. If not, would you like to get back there again? We have tips that can help.
Renewal is commonly seen as a process of improving, repairing, or making something more successful. We’d like to look at renewal as a welcoming in of Springtime after a long winter… and a freshening up of our relationship. It is easy to slip into bad habits … perhaps not giving your relationship the time or attention it requires. It is not uncommon to get busy with work, family and other outside obligations. Before you know it, your relationship is shoved a notch or two down the priority list or, in some cases, totally ignored. Over time you get used to the status quo until one morning you wake up and the spark is gone… or at least hidden from view.
Many people feel that a good relationship should not require work. It should simply be. This is not true. Relationships require attention, much the same as a beautiful garden. Untended, a garden can quickly become full of weeds and insects. With a little attention, it can once again be beautiful and flourish. Our relationships are no different.
How do we freshen up your relationship… improve, repair, and make it more successful? Here are some simple steps to a thriving relationship.
Check your frame of mind. This is key. Do not judge your desire for improvement as a bad thing. This will only cause worry. Instead, look at this as an opportunity to refresh and upgrade the quality of your relationship.
Talk to your partner in a positive way, sharing your desires. Don’t start the conversation with: I’m not happy or I want more from you. Instead, recall a fond memory and share how it made you feel. For example: Remember when we use to take walks by the lake after dinner. You used to hold my hand and we’d talk about our day? I love that. I love our special time together. I’d love to start doing that again. What do you think?
Be open to alternative suggestions. This conversation is about connecting. Maybe your life circumstances have changed. Perhaps you now have children. Make room for adjustments. Maybe you take a walk pushing a stroller. Or maybe you can cuddle on the sofa and talk after you put the kids to bed. The point is having special time together in a way that works for both of you.
Be careful not to place blame or use generalizations like always or never, e.g.: we never go out any more. Instead, make a list of all the things you love to do together. Then talk about how you could re-incorporate some of those things into your life. You might even write each idea on a slip of paper, fold them and put them in a jar. Pull one out on free days and do whatever the slip of paper suggests.
Take responsibility for what you can do to improve the relationship instead of pointing the finger at all the things your partner should do. Think about the things you’ve let slip. Did you use to make dinner? Tell your partner how much you cared? Give compliments? Look at them with loving eyes? Smile when they looked your way? Hold their hand? Plan special weekends or date nights? Do those things again. Everyone wants to feel loved.
Renewing your relationship is a matter of focusing positive attention on it, keeping the love alive. Give your partner your full attention. Listen when they talk. Notice what makes them happy. Make it a point to bring a smile to their face. Open your hearts to one another and allow the love to radiate out. The Winter is coming to an end. Enjoy the Spring.
According to an article in Ask Men, women who date older men often do so for a variety of reasons. For example, they may desire financial stability, be attracted to a confident male who has clear goals, or find an older man able to be more sensual in the bedroom. Keep these tips in mind to help your relationship start out - and stay - on the right path.
1. Ask His Opinion
Since an older man may have a broader perspective on life simply because he is more experienced, you can ask him questions that a younger man might find threatening. For instance, you can ask him about career growth or money management because he is likely to be very supportive, offering you advice from his experience, referring you to professional colleagues, or simply pointing out where you can find your best answers.
Additionally, an older man will probably really enjoy talking things over with you. By asking him about important decisions you're thinking of making, he will not only be able to offer insights, but he will also feel recognized and appreciated. Older men like to share their knowledge, wisdom, and advice. They enjoy being generous and helpful.
2. Stay Well-Informed on Current Affairs
If you focus on reading more and staying abreast of current events, you'll find it easy to dispense with the awkwardness that sometimes accompanies getting to know one another. Being on top of what is happening in the world will make you a good conversationalist.
Learn how to talk about a variety of topics that might interest a professional man or one involved in business or current events. While you don't have to be an expert on the things that interest a man with an established career, you need to know enough to ask interesting questions. It's only when you're completely clueless and naive that he might feel uncomfortable talking to you about social issues or inviting you to meet with his friends at cocktail parties.
3. Pursue Your Interests
When you do your thing, such as pursue your favorite athletic interests, forms of entertainment, education, or career path, you will give your older man space to do his thing too. Some men, especially men at the height of their career, often need space to just figure out their next move in life or how to resolve work-related problems. If you're busy doing your thing, then you won't smother him with an excessive amount of attention.
4. Don't Become Dependent or Needy
While men do appreciate a woman who needs them, they also appreciate a woman who is independent - someone who is able to make decisions, earn money, and take care of herself. When you don't feel independent, you place a burden on the relationship. Even if a man earns much more than you and can easily take care of all your expenses, he will feel stifled if he has to take care of all the bills and expenses, as well as make all the decisions on where to go out for dinner, where to shop, and other simple things. So stay self-assured, confident, and fairly independent.
5. Avoid Referring to the Past
Your past and his past are different. So avoid talking about past events, especially cultural events, like movies or trends. When you talk about these things, it emphasizes the age difference and creates an awkward feeling for both of you. Stay centered on what is happening now or how the future might look.
Age Doesn't Have to Be an Issue
When you meet an older man that you want to date, don't let age be a barrier. As Lori Gorshow, a professional dating coach with Dating Made Simple points out, "Science has shown us that chronological age is only a number. Areas like health, family history, exercise and mental attitude are more of an indicator of body age than the birth number." She points out, "Some people may be much younger than their actual age mentally, emotionally and socially, while others may have had life experiences that make them seem older than their birth age."
If you really like someone who is considerably older, the relationship is usually based on compatible personalities, common interests, and chemistry. An age difference between two people who really like each other is something that quickly becomes a non-issue.
Four Steps to Relationship Repair With The H-E-A-L Technique: New Therapist-Developed Strategies to Rebuild Trust & Love.Read Now
Love relationships are one of the greatest sources of happiness and meaning for human beings, yet also the cause of lasting sadness and regret. Growing up, we learn much about fairytale weddings, but not a whole lot about what it really takes to keep love and caring alive for the long haul. According to the latest statistics, 41% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages end in divorce Even the strongest relationships get off track sometimes, because of the stresses of living, mismatch of expectations, or what author Dr. Sue Johnson calls "attachment injuries" – ways in which we fail to hold & comfort each other during key moments of need. I have developed The H-E-A-L (Hear – Empathize – Act – Love) technique to repair damaged relationships by replacing defensive self-protection with compassionate presence and loving connection
HEAR - To Hear Your Partner, Stay Present & Listen
When your partner speaks, make an effort to stay mentally present & listen. Open your heart and take down your defenses. It’s not about defending yourself, but about trying to understand your partner & learning to fulfill each other’s needs. Listen beyond her words for nonverbal signs of emotion. Does she have an angry expression on her face or sadness in her eyes? Is his body language open and reaching towards you or closed off and guarded? What do you think your partner is feeling? What are the needs she has that are not being met (such as for love, companionship, understanding, control,or respect)? The best way to soothe an angry spouse is to let him know that you hear and & accept his unmet needs and are willing to make changes to help meet them.
EMPATHIZE - Allow Your Partner's Experience to Deeply Affect you
Once you think you understand what your partner feels and have checked it out with him, pay attention to what feelings YOU have when you observe him feeling this way. It is especially important to search beneath the surface for the softer, tender feelings. My clients often express anger when what lies underneath is feeling stuck, sad, or lonely. Can you stay present with your partner, and connect with her deeper experience, perhaps feeling pain because she is in pain? Can you feel compassion, and let him know that his expression of pain or anger affects you deeply? Your first instinct in hearing your partner’s distress may be to try to solve the problem or give advice. Often this advice comes across as critical or judgmental, which makes things worse. On the other hand, staying emotionally engaged and expressing compassion can provide healing comfort and connection. Many times, that is all she needs.
ACT - Take Action to Address Concerns & Show Willingness to Change
The next step is to commit to intentional action to address your partner’s needs and concerns. These actions can range from helping more with the dishes to calling your partner during the day to let her know you are thinking of her, to spending less money because it makes him anxious. When your partner sees that you take his concerns seriously, he will be more likely to feel valued and respected. This can create a positive cycle in which he appreciates you and feels more loving towards you. You don’t have to be perfect at it – just the fact that you care and are trying to change is enough to help most people feel validated.
LOVE - Feel and Express Unconditional Love
Make space in your life to deliberately reconnect with the loving feelings you have for your partner, even if recent interactions have made you feel distant or angry. Think about the good qualities he has that originally attracted you to him. Perhaps look at old photos or visualize special times in your relationship and the hopes and dreams you had together. Can you find a way to forgive yourself and your partner for the mistakes you have both made that got you off track? What do these feelings of love motivate you to do? Might you want to reach out to him and express your love and affection physically or with action, such as cooking a meal or writing a note? Love is defined as a concern for another’s wellbeing and a warm feeling you have towards another. Do not make your expressions of love contingent on what your partner does, but rather reach out and express unconditional caring, support, understanding and forgiveness. If there are unresolved trust issues that hamper your ability to love your partner freely, think about the next steps you could take to air these issues and what it would take to rebuild trust.
Contrary to the way relationships are portrayed in the movies, they are not all sunsets and roses. A better analogy is that of an ever-changing, complicated dance. When two people come together with different life histories, sensitivities, and current stresses, you are bound to bump up against each other or get blown off track over the course of a many-year relationship. Repair your relationship using the H-E-A-L technique. By Hearing, Empathizing, Acting to Change, & Loving, you are actively reaching for your partner and letting them know that they matter and you care. This should create HEALING energy to move your relationship back to health.
Long distance relationships are definitely risky, and if you are unfortunate enough to be far away from your significant other, the prospect of potentially ruining your relationship can seem daunting. Just because long distance relationships are difficult, doesn't mean they're impossible. Simple adjustments to your attitude and lifestyle can help you keep your loved one in your life.
For many single parents, dating relationships are simultaneously a source of energizing excitement and numerous questions. In the midst of the euphoria of new love, the questions of "How?" and "When?" to introduce children into the mix become some of the most pressing issues. When it comes to introducing your children to an individual who has become very important to you, consider the following factors:
Look at Your Relationship
A lot of parents want to know, "When should I introduce my kids to the person I'm dating?" Peter Sheras, a clinical psychologist at the University of Virginia, and the author of I Can't Believe You Went Through My Stuff!: How to Give Your Teens the Privacy They Crave and the Guidance They Need, advises parents to look first toward the quality of the dating relationship before worrying about how or when to introduce children. "The commitment is the most important piece because, when there's commitment, that becomes obvious to the kids."
Being honest with yourself and your partner is key. Not every dating relationship reaches the level of commitment that necessitates including the children. You may very well be enjoying a casual, lively social life with a person who is fun to be around, but with whom you simply don't envision a future. This is critical because once you introduce children, you leave them vulnerable to becoming attached. Frankly, doing so before you've even determined for yourself that this will be a long-term relationship is unfair to your children and could potentially be as painful for them as your initial separation or divorce from the other parent.
Before you introduce children, you should:
WARNING: This might get you an awesome spouse.
Here are five steps to becoming marriage material.
1. Know who you are.
- Knowing who you are is key. The last thing you want to do is go into a marriage thinking it will fix your identity problems. Although being a husband or wife will definitely play a role in WHO YOU ARE as an individual, you need to realize that you must first have a personal foundation to build upon. Begin evaluating who you are, what you do, and exactly what your purpose is. Knowing your purpose is a wonderful start to becoming grounded in personal identity, and it will take you a step forward towards becoming an excellent catch. Read (2 Corinthians 6:18)
2. Say goodbye to mommy and daddy. (Directed more towards the men)
- Recent studies show that the average person doesn’t move out of their parents house until they are 24-26 years old. This doesn’t mean that these people aren’t mature or responsible, but I can tell you that the experience of living on your own is something that cannot be taught while living with ones parents. Moving out on your own will play a big part in taking ownership of yourself. The responsibilities you encounter in life will not only help you in your personal growth, but they will also help prepare you for a future with someone. Say goodbye to mommy and daddy, jump into the real world, and start building your responsibilities from the ground up. Respect your future spouse enough to grow in maturity and knowledge. Family hardships and medical reasons are obvious exceptions to this step. Read (1 Timothy 5:8)
3. Learn how to manage.
- Understanding how to manage your time, money and energy will not only help you as an individual, but could also help you avoid potential arguments on these topics in the near future. Having management skills will not only show people you are diligent, but that you also put time and effort into the things you care about. Most married couples will tell you that money is the biggest topic of discussion when it comes to arguments. And although these arguments can’t always be avoided, going in to a marriage or relationship with management skills will always be a plus on someones radar. Read (Proverbs 21:5)
4. Admit when you are wrong.
- This is one of my biggest pet-peeves, and also one of my biggest flaws. Although I still struggle with admitting when I am wrong, the struggle is nothing compared to how I once was. Pride can be something that can ruin a friendship or relationship before they even begin. And although not everyone is perfect, nobody wants to be with someone who thinks that they are. The reality of life is that you are going to be wrong sometimes! Even though sometimes it’s really annoying to admit it, confessing your mistakes will show a sense of humility to those around you. Drop the pride. Nobody wants to marry an arrogant know-it-all. Read (Proverbs 11:2)
5. Honor and respect.
- I’m positive there are thousands of books on the shelves that unpack this topic on a much deeper level than I can, but the reality of it’s core is pretty simple. You will need to learn how to honor and respect those around you if you are looking to be taken seriously. It’s tough to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect you, and it’s even tougher to love somebody who doesn’t honor you. Take time to learn the disciplines of love and respect. Any guy or girl who is serious about getting married will always be on the lookout for someone who is honorable and respectful. Read (1 Peter 2:17)
- Jarrid Wilson
You and your partner have decided to make a life together and form a new, blended family that includes children from one or both of your previous relationships. Congratulations. What lies ahead can be both a rewarding and a challenging experience. It can take a long time for a blended family to begin to feel comfortable and function well together.
While you as parents are likely to approach remarriage and a new blended family with great joy and expectation, your kids or your new spouse’s kids may not be nearly as excited. They’ll likely feel uncertain about the upcoming changes and how they will affect relationships with their natural parents. They’ll also be worried about living with new stepsiblings, whom they may not know well, or worse, ones they may not even like. To give yourself the best chance of success, it’s important to start planning how a blended family will function before the marriage even takes place.Laying the foundations for a blended familyHaving survived a painful divorce or separation and then managed to find a new loving relationship, the temptation can often be to rush into remarriage and a blended family without first laying solid foundations. By taking your time, you give everyone a chance to get used to each other, and used to the idea of marriage.
Given the right support, kids should gradually adjust to the prospect of marriage and being part of a new family. It is your job to communicate openly, meet their needs for security, and give them plenty of time to make a successful transition.
Authors: Gina Kemp, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Lawrence Robinson.
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