8 Steps For Recovering From A Messy Break UP

Nobody likes to suffer from a broken heart, due to a bad break up. Life would be great if couples could learn to dissolve their relationships in an amicable manner. Wouldn’t it be great if two people could simply say; “this is not working, we both agree that we want out, have a nice life, and see you around.” Unfortunately this rarely happens, instead there is name calling, fighting, court battles, lies, accusations, and sometimes violence. The person you once loved, you now hate and wouldn’t shed a tear if they died the next day. The truth is that the hate and anger is usually rooted in pain; the result of betrayal. So, how can someone move on from a broken heart and a messy break up? Hopefully the following suggestions will help.

1. Perform a relationship (autopsy)= examination of a dead relationship: figure out what went wrong, what role you played in the relationship demise. Maybe you ignored red flags, maybe you had poor communication, maybe you did not assert your thoughts or feelings etc.

2. Create boundaries: change phone numbers if necessary, change locks to your home, close join accounts, change passwords to online social media or any other accounts, create distance from your ex. (exceptions are made when children are involved), stop phone calls and texts

3. Social support: create a support system of friends and family, seek group or individual counseling if necessary, church support can be helpful

4. Exercise: to release stress, yoga, walking, running, or hand weights work well

5. Occupy your mind: volunteer to help others to keep your mind off of your problems, learn a new hobby, work a second job if possible

6. Positive words: choose your words wisely, don’t dwell on the break up, don’t share the story over and over, don’t ruminate in hurt feelings, don’t focus on the negativity, don’t burden friends and family with stories about how horrible your ex is or what their latest antics are (seek counseling if necessary)

7. Spiritual connection: prayer and meditation are essential, God heals all

8. Journal: express emotions, regrets, and lessons learned

Stop Sign

The stop sign is an interesting object, often individuals can be seen yielding instead of stopping at the stop sign. The stop sign is important if one is going to successfully use it they must press the brakes of their car and come to a complete stop and then look for oncoming traffic in all directions, before driving on. Quite often individuals speed through the stop sign or simply yield, and forget about looking for oncoming traffic, one might look down at their cell phone or the dial on the radio before checking the safety conditions or traffic, or simply are just lost in deep thought.

One way to practice mindfulness is to STOP at the stop sign, to stop, take a deep breath, and look for traffic before driving off. This same technique can be used within relationships, before proceeding with a serious relationship, STOP, take a deep breath, look for signs of things that might hurt you (traffic) and then proceed once you have taken a careful look. In relationships important aspects are often overlooked such as signs of violence, lying, criminal histories, inconsistent stories, or unaccounted years in a person’s life. That’s why it is important to STOP and give yourself the opportunity to consider whether or not to proceed with a relationship, this act of Stopping may save time and heartache.

Here are some benefits of stopping:

1. Having the opportunity to gather your thoughts

2. Having time to consult others about your relationship

3. Feeling secure in your decision because you were not pressured and did not rush

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Patience In Relationships

Relationships are a lot of work, and like many other aspects in our lives, relationships require patience. Patience is key to having peace in life and in life’s circumstances. Ideally, we should have a greater level of patience with those whom we are in relationship with. Quite often those who we are in relationship with have the ability to evoke great emotional responses, because of the history, and emotions that are tied up within the relationship. With this being said, those that we love are sometimes difficult to love, which makes patience difficult as well. Can you remain in love and show kindness when your patience are being tested? Can you be patient when you are angry? Can you show patience when your heart is hurting and you feel betrayed? If not, how should one show patience in trying times? Here are some helpful ideas for maintaining patience in difficult times.

  1. Show patience by walking away from negative behaviors until you are calm.
  2. Show patience by praying for yourself and the other person.
  3. Show patience by reading bible scriptures daily regarding your specific issue.
  4. Show patience by meditating daily, this will improve your mood, give clarity, and allow for more patience.
  5. Show patience by understanding that you cannot change others only yourself.
  6. Show patience by listening to the other person, don’t interrupt.
  7. Show patience by not having the last word.
  8. Show patience by validating the other person’s feelings.
  9. Show patience by using humor, make yourself and or the other person laugh to ease the tension.
  10. Show patience by compromising and taking the higher road.

The Rally Around Relationship Sin

When we are behaving badly, what is the motivation?  Why do we allow ourselves to be pulled into more sin and dysfunction with the encouragement of others? How often have you listened to or participated in conversations such as women encouraging other women to engage in negative sexual acts, or men encouraging other men to abuse women? Who do you take your counsel from? What qualifies that person to counsel you? When others encourage certain behaviors in you, do you ever take the time to question their motivation? I have experienced and observed people who encourage others to do wrong, and their motivation is usually for selfish gain, wanting to disrupt or gain something in the progress.

How do you determine who is worthy of giving you counsel? Well, for starters the person who counsels you whether friend or family should be someone who has values that are aligned with yours, and your values should be aligned with God’s. Often we allow others to give us advice when they are simply not qualified to do so; and or have the wrong motivation. We cannot afford to arbitrarily allow others into our lives and advise us when they are not qualified to do so, because this could lead to more negative behaviors.

Negative Behaviors that are often encouraged:

  1. Promiscuous sexual behaviors
  2. Disrupting marital vows
  3. Stealing from work or unknown people
  4. Gossiping about others
  5. Retaliating against others
  6. Lying for personal gain or to avoid responsibility
  7. Belittling others for a so-called justified reason or cause
  8. Betraying the confidence of others because of a lack in loyalty
  9. Encouragement to physically harm others
  10. Encouragement to evade responsibility such as parenting, paying childhood support, and admitting to or serving a sentence for illegal behaviors
  11. Encouragement to use drugs or alcohol

Others may benefit from your negative behaviors in the following ways:

  1. Dismantling a relationship that you treasure
  2. Causing you pain misery
  3. Positioning themselves to have a relationship with you that would otherwise be prohibited
  4. Receiving support in engaging in their sinful behaviors. Ex. encouraging you to commit adultery, lie, cheat, or steal (they may feel less guilty if they have company in committing their negative acts
  5. When others are afraid of trying and progressing they will encourage you not to try as well, they cannot stomach the idea of you being successful They are more comfortable with you remaining on their level

You may be easily influenced and coerced into sinful behaviors if:

  1. You are more interested in pleasing people and not in pleasing God.
  2. You are not secure within yourself, and believe whatever others tell you.
  3. You are too lazy to read and study the bible to find out God’s plan for your life.
  4. You live in fear because you are afraid to confront your fears.
  5. You are easily manipulated

Change Yourself and Change Your Marriage

I am a firm believer that you cannot change other people, you can only change yourself. Often, couples come to counselors for counseling because they are upset with their spouses’ actions. Usually one of the two appear to be miserable and spend a considerable amount of time nagging, complaining, and criticizing the other. This is a waste of time, couples have to realize that they do not have the right to force someone else to change. Who is to say whether or not someone needs to change? If someone does need to change wouldn’t the change be more effective if the individual came to this realization on their own? Individual change cannot occur because someone demands for it to happen or because they are shamed into change. For change to occur and to be meaningful it needs to happen because the individual sees a need, and desires to make it happen.

The best approach is to change yourself which will change your marriage. When you change the manner in which you respond to others, they will in return change the way they behave.

Guarding Your Heart

The heart is not only one of the most vital organs in our body it is also one of the most sensitive organs that requires protection physically and emotionally. Last night I was reading the following passage in my amplified bible “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:21, 23 AMP)” What I learned from this scripture is that the heart is the center of all that is good in human beings. It is important that we protect our heart because once our heart is damaged it is difficult for us to function.

After reflecting on the importance of the heart I began to examine ways that I have allowed my heart to be damaged, because I failed to protect it. So, here goes a little disclosure; in the past I was guilty of allowing others to hurt me and therefore hurting my heart. Every time I allowed my mate (past not present) to verbally assault me, every time I entered into impossible relationships that I knew ahead of time would not be able to fulfill my emotional needs, and every time I pretended I had control over others and their poor decision-making, therefore blaming myself when they inflicted pain upon themselves.

Whenever I listen to negative messages that counter the positive messages I normally tell myself, I am guilty of not guarding my heart. Words are some of the most common ways in which we do not guard our heart. I have learned that I am responsible for guarding my heart and I must take this task seriously. So many times I had difficulty functioning because my heart was afflicted with pain. Pain that I allowed into my life and my heart. Now that I am wiser and stronger I have learned to guard my heart, and I have learned that this is an ongoing task; I have to work on this task everyday.

Be sure to guard your heart!

 

Relationship Insanity

Life is short, so ideally we should spend our time being productive and loving life as well as each other.  Well for some life is long, painful, and traumatic because of relationship choices. At what point do we stop participating in relationship insanity? You may wonder what exactly is relationship insanity?? Well relationship insanity is the act or process of engaging in constant mistreatment, but saying that you want something different and something better, but doing nothing proactively that could bring about change. For instance, staying with a chronic cheater, continuing to have children without a commitment, having unprotected sex and complaining about contracting STIs (sexually transmitted infections) etc. All of these acts require full participation from you, people can only do what you allow them to do.  What sense does it make to cry and complain about mistreatment when we have free will to change our circumstances and our relationships.

Why do people participate in this type of insanity? Well I suspect that some of the foundational reasons may be low feelings of self-worth, high levels of neediness, fear of abandonment, and poor relationship outlook. All of this leads to a willingness to accept mediocre relationships that are hurtful, dangerous, and pointless. Perhaps some people feel it is better to be with a loser than to sleep alone. But at what  cost are you willing to compromise your self for the sake of “so-called love” I am always amazed at what people consider love.

The bible says “Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.  It is not  conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5 AMP)

So how do we break the patterns of insane relationships? Here are some tips:

  1. Conduct a reality check and break the cycle of denial, if everyone around you can see the insanity, you might want to examine the relationship.
  2. Be sure that you have a definition of love, if love is not present in your relationship then let it go.
  3. Care more about your mental and emotional health and well-being; more than the relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Sex You Will Ever Have

So what does the best sex ever look like? The best sex ever will take place inside a committed marital relationship, with someone who is selfless. Selflessness is important because sex will not simply be about them only,  they will consider your feelings and work hard to please you. When someone truly cares about you, they will not pressure you to do things sexually that you are not comfortable with, and they will be patient and kind. They will understand any possible past sexual trauma, they will make you feel that you have the ability to meet all of their sexual needs, and those needs will be aligned with God’s word, the person that makes his or her spouse feel inferior by requesting to bring outside people or experiences into the relationship perhaps do not have your best interest at heart.

The best sex ever should include the following:

  1. A committed loving relationship which breeds respect and morals.
  2. High frequency, meaning as much as possible, with exceptions for health problems and long distance marriages.
  3. Creativity and spontaneity, nobody wants the same old boring sex.
  4. Free of health concerns, if there is concern of STDs then the enjoyment of sex will be hindered, condoms were meant mainly for those practicing sex with multiple partners, marital sex should be free of health worries, as this will provide a damper on sex.
  5. Respect is vital, because if one respects his spouse then he will not ask for uncomfortable or risky sex, who wants sex that someone had to pressured into.
  6. Patience and the desire to learn new things and explore each others bodies in a respectful manner.
  7. Trust, love, and security that sex is long-term and not just for one night.
  8. Freedom to share desires and passions in a safe environment.

Sex should not include the following:

  1. Guilt, shame, or force
  2. Deception
  3. Risk to health
  4. Other people besides your spouse
  5. Dread
  6. Being uncomfortable
  7. Feelings of loneliness
  8. Regret
  9. Contradiction to God’s word

Toxic Parents

Ideally parents are supposed to teach, love, and protect their children. Sometimes parents lack the ability in any of the above  mentioned duties. Parents should value and cultivate their children, but unfortunately some parents are very toxic. By toxic I mean abusive and neglectful, abusive by means of verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional withholding or parental neglect. Some children are lucky enough to receive help in repairing those old wounds of abuse, but what about the children who are not rescued, counseled, or engage in spiritual healing? Well they turn into adults who may someday have children of their own. The question then becomes how do adults avoid becoming a toxic parent? Well lets identify all the ways one can be a toxic parent and then we will examine ways to recover from toxic parenting.

The following should be considered toxic parenting:

  1. Verbal abuse in the form of criticism, yelling, name calling, cursing, discouraging your child, overall negativity. Ex. “you are useless” “you are stupid” “you are not smart enough to do that” “I wish you were never born” “I don’t like you”
  2. Sexual abuse in the form of touching, forcing a child to watch pornography, sexual intercourse, forcing a child to watch adults have sex etc.
  3. Neglect in the forms of not providing adequate food or shelter, meeting the adults needs before the child’s. Ex. buying food or clothes for adults but not the child, leaving children unattended in order to hang out socially, withholding emotional affection/emotionally unavailable.
  4. Physical abuse in the forms of hitting, beating with objects which leave long-lasting bruises, yelling, all punishments are physical, slapping a child, punching a child, pushing into furniture for mere infractions that are age appropriate.
  5. Untreated mental illness in which the child suffers because the parent is suffering from depression, mood disorders etc. the parent refuses to be medicated and refuses mental health counseling. Untreated mental illness leaves the child to suffer with abrupt moods, extreme anger, witnessing suicide attempts etc.
  6. Substance abuse which leaves the child witnessing parental black outs, drug and alcohol abuse by many adults within the home (parties), drug selling, neglect because the family finances are used to obtain drugs or alcohol. All of this can leave the child with trust issues, developmental issues (if use occurs during pregnancy), co-dependency issues, etc.
  7. Manipulating and controlling parents who constantly manipulate their children to fulfill their own agendas such as using guilt trips, using money to control children, using religion to inflict guilt etc.

Ways to recover from toxic parenting:

  1. Adults recovering from toxic parenting should seek mental health and spiritual counseling.
  2. Create boundaries such as staying away from those who have or continue to abuse or mistreat you.
  3. Self reflection exercises: listing your good qualities, volunteer work that makes you feel worthy and needed, and showcases your talents.
  4. Journal often, this helps to regulate feelings and is good for releasing anger.
  5. Learn the art of prayer and meditation.
  6. Join a support group.
  7. Surround yourself around positive people who love and support you in your goals, and who can help further your goals in life.
  8. Seek a mentor, a person who is healthy and possibly have overcome the same type of experience with toxic parents.

Marital Insecurity

What causes one to feel secure or insecure within a marital or committed relationship? Security or insecurity could be based upon the quality of the relationship and individual issues such as mental health, medical, or relationship issues. Adults, like children thrive better when they feel secure and can somewhat predict their daily routine, and response to their emotional needs. When thinking about security, the quality of the relationship is also important.  Security could be based upon individual issues that each of us carry inside.  Like security, insecurity, could also be relationship based. Insecurity could be the result of mistreatment in the relationship.

Ideally, when we enter into relationships we want, crave, and expect to feel secure with our significant other. But holding our significant others accountable for our total security could be dangerous and a difficult task for them to accomplish.  Such things like infidelity, abuse, and personal baggage could promote insecurity.  Also, those who do not have a connection to God, may feel less secure.

Examine yourself within the context of your relationship, and ask yourself whether or not you feel secure.  Regardless of the answer, next ask yourself why do you feel secure or insecure.  What could you do to promote security in your relationship? What major factors lead to insecurity in relationships? The following list may be helpful,

Ways to promote Security:

  • Being open and honest
  • Being loving to your spouse
  • Being trustworthy to your spouse
  • Having a significant relationship with God
  • Taking responsibility for your own happiness

Signs of Insecurity:

  • Chronic unhappiness
  • Chronic neediness
  • Inability to control emotions
  • Low self-esteem
  • Constant critical words toward others