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divorce recovery

How to Know Whether or Not to Break-Up

How to Know Whether or Not to Break-Up

Whew. Now that's a million dollar question. But I'm going to help you answer it because I'm going to guide you towards your inner wisdom--that thing called intuition--which, if you can be brave enough to listen, will help you separate the wheat from the chafe. 

First, I see a lot of people breaking up that don't need to break up. They are usually projecting all kinds of malarky from old relationships onto this new person and then breaking up with those ghosts. This is why you probably need therapy. Because you're breaking up with someone who isn't even real. You're likely delusional. Relational trauma will do that. It's an over-active fight/flight/freeze/fawn response. That's why getting calm is the number one relationship skill. 

I read a lot of articles and Instagram-quotes about moving on from people who don't treat you like a queen. If you need to be treated like a king or a queen in order to feel loved, your love tank probably has a hole in it that no human being can ever fill. So keep searching for those loyal subjects and move on from them when they act human or imperfect or have the gall to have needs.

But. Maybe you're on the other side of that equation. Maybe you're the partner who keeps on trying to make your partner feel special, loved and valued--and it's just. never. enough. They act insensitive, cheat on you, aren't available, and generally aren't interested in adult conversations about emotions. 

So how do you know when it's time to walk away and time to just hang in there and do your own work? I apologize, that's a bit of a trick question: because the answer is always in doing your own work FIRST. 

When you do your own work, you won't actually have to do anything except speak how you feel.

An awesome partner will welcome you speaking your emotional truth because they are interested in knowing more of you. They want to be intimate. But a partner who isn't interested in a relationship will be unable to tolerate you doing anything but agreeing with them and/or doing what they want. They will also be unable to tolerate that they might have failed you in some way. They don't know how to live in their humanity.

"Narcissists are very good at finding their 'victims' - the people who don't feel worthy enough of a healthy, happy relationship, and who will play second fiddle just for the sake of being in a relationship. When you've learned to truly love yourself, a narcissist simply cannot operate in your orbit. You will not be able to feed his or her need for adulation and acquiescence at all costs. And you will trust yourself to know when to walk away. That's why, for anyone struggling in a difficult relationship, the fastest path to answer the question, 'Should I stay or should I go?' is always to learn to love yourself. " --Gay Hendricks

That all being said, often, talking and talking and talking will actually drive a quality man away. When I say, "speak your truth," I mean open your posture and your heart space--and tell him what you ache for. Don't tell him what he's doing wrong, tell him how when he wraps his arms around you you feel like nothing in the world can harm you.  When I was in graduate school we had a saying: “speak the truth in love,” that comes from the book of Ephesians. Before you speak, always, as much as you can, ask yourself, “am I going to say this truth in the spirit of love and growth? Or fear and destruction?” The tone you use has the potential to either increase the conflict or help you grow closer together.

What makes great sex?

What makes great sex?

Today I'm talking about SEX. What makes it good? Great? Best you've ever had? 

We live in a culture that sells a lot of sex, but has zero clue about what makes it amazing.  Toys, youth, and all manner of circus acts are believed to increase sexual satisfaction--and yet--those who depend on Cosmo's "tips and tricks" for a better life in the bedroom will inevitably be thirsty for more and be chronically dissatisfied. Techniques, props, and positions are mechanical and ultimately make people feel used and objectified (i.e. not sexy). Cosmo's way is McDonald's (thanks @jimgaffigan for the cultural critique). 

The greatest sex of your life will require all of you to show up. 

Great sex is an issue of integrity. If you want it, you have to own and integrate your desires, your senses, your sexiness, your heart and then share it with your partner. You aren't allowed to blame your partner for not reading your mind.

There's a scene in National Lampoon's Vacation where Chevy Chase ends up naked in the pool with Christie Brinkley. Naturally, his wife is angry with him. But the real reason she's angry with him is because she wanted to be the one having fun with him. (Ultimately, her owning her desire to go skinny dipping too, saves the day and their marriage). 

The betrayal is so much more than sexual: it's that neither of them were honest and true with each other. 

If both people keep showing up in the fullness of their desires, the bliss will be never-ending and will only increase with time. If you allow it, sex can be the vehicle through which each of you continues to grow in all areas of your life. 

The Solution to Valentine's Day Woes: Becoming the Femme Vitale

The Solution to Valentine's Day Woes: Becoming the Femme Vitale

In all of nature, the female of the species requires her mate to compete for her, to work for her, to show off for her—and then she coolly chooses the male who most suits her fancy and her delight....

Betsy Prioleau, says,” [seductresses] strike terror into the insecure male heart…yet paradoxically seductresses are often the best thing to happen to a man. Contrary to fable, they’re usually femme vitales who put air in a man’s tank, conferring growth, creativity, happiness, and authentic masculinity” (Seductresses: Women Who Ravished the World and their Lost Art of Love, p. 2). When a man courageously faces his fears of engulfment and embraces the seductress, he will discover his own kingship, warrior, lover and sage within himself. 

Is your man unavailable?

Is your man unavailable?

Last week, I shared with you ladies that the way to get what you want with your man is to change your approach—namely, to get down to the heart, your heart, and then share that instead of criticism. The male nervous system is sensitive to female fear because of our early years fighting lions in the wild.

 

 But I also shared that some men will ridicule, reject, or otherwise become hostile even when you share your heart. The only way to find out if he is able to respond in a healthy way is to put your heart out on the line—knowing that you are strong enough to handle however he responds.  Paradoxically, the woman who will have his heart forever is the one who knows she can walk away when her heart is not cherished or adored. 

 

But about walking away: most of the time that just means walking away for the moment.  Get yourself calm—self soothe—take a breather. Go for a walk.  Good people are not always able to respond kindly—walking away for good should never be a decision that is made when you are in the middle of a fight/flight reaction.  In another post I’ll share how to know when it’s over-over. Because there are definitely times when breaking up is simply a dramatic re-enactment of some earlier trauma that will inevitably repeat itself with the next person you meet. And other times when not breaking up is a re-enactment, too. Deep breaths my lovelies!