What are three words you never want to hear while making love? “Honey, I’m home.” ~Ken Hammond
Before you get the wrong idea – this is NOT a blog promoting infidelity. Rather, it is about gleaning the gold from what feels like an awful relationship situation – whether that comes from being dumped, or finding yourself in an intolerable situation and finally leaving, or maybe you’re still there and you are looking for ways to take care of yourself. I can’t wave a magic wand and make all of your problems go away. I will, however, share some healing steps that I went through after finding myself rejected for another woman.
My motivation for conducting deep soul searching came from never wanting to go through this experience again. Sure, it was all his fault, but I had married him, and I was paranoid about making the same mistake over again with someone else. Besides, I was in my 50’s when this happened, so I figured it had nothing to do with being old or mature enough. Dysfunctional relationships are often a pattern. And I was determined to figure out what was driving me to marry someone that everyone else in my life seemed to know I shouldn’t marry, but I did it anyway.
I hope you are interested in determining the same thing for yourself. When I hear that someone’s marriage has failed, I often wonder if they are taking the time to really look at what happened – what drew them together in the first place and what eventually ended it. Too often, an inquisition into this quagmire of emotions brings up too many painful memories, and there is also a deep-seated fear that I will have to look at things about myself that I don’t want to confront. That was one of my initial concerns, especially since I had already committed myself to writing a book about it. Initially, I thought I could leave out a few details – like what I knew about him before I married, but I married him anyway. I also wanted to ignore my own behavior and the things I had done to contribute to making the marriage fall apart. If I did that, I would not learn anything about myself. So I opted for raw, painful honesty.
During the writing of Too Much Gold to Flush, I had a sense of walking around in the nude. How was I going to face my friends and most especially my family if I admitted how absolutely stupid I had been? But I did it, and, guess what? It was downright liberating. And it has made me accountable for the choices that I am currently making about relationships.
So if you are brave enough to face your own demons, I invite you along for an adventure in analyzing how you might choose to do things differently. Your ego mind may be arguing with you right now, saying all you need to do is simply watch out for jerks like your ex, which sounds good in theory, but if you can think back far enough, this guy you now detest was at one time quite charming, enough to woe you into a long-term relationship. You certainly didn’t think he was a jerk then.
My intent with this week’s blog is simply to establish the idea that we can learn from the really crappy things that happened to us, AND if we do not take the time to do so, we are destined to repeat those painful choices that got us into that situation in the first place.
Some of the fears that you may be wrestling right now are:
- Will I ever find the right guy?
- Will I always be alone?
- Will looking at my relationship be more painful than I want to deal with right now?
My desire for you is that you give up finding the right guy and start enjoying your life based on who you are and what you want out of life. If the right guy shows up, that’s icing on the cake, but if he never does, you won’t notice or care because you are too busy being you and having a fun-filled life.
My second wish for you is the gift of learning from your experience and walking away with a new sense of ownership, which translates into the ability to make new and better choices because you have acknowledged your part in it and are ready to move on. Clinging to the idea that it was all his fault leaves you powerless to change anything – because you certainly can’t change him.
Give yourself permission to go through this reflection process with a willingness to own your part in the relationship, which is the only part you can claim since you cannot change anyone else – only yourself. This will require enough vulnerable to face your own stuff. And you will need to let go of blaming. The reward is that you claim your power to make different choices, and in the long run live an awesome, rich and totally rewarding life. I am living proof of that transformation.
Beware! You may fall into a few traps along the way. The first and probably the most common is the guilt trap. It is easy to beat yourself up for not being pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough – whatever enough you want to name that might have kept him married to you. Here’s one thing I know for sure – You are enough. You are precious, unique, and authentic – except when you start trying to be who he wanted you to be to the point that you lost yourself. We will go there, too, but not today.
The second major trap is getting caught in that cycle of telling and retelling the story of how wronged you were. We all need to go through a certain amount of commiserating, but don’t cling to the martyr role in lieu of claiming the gold that is available for the taking. And I promise you it is solid gold when you begin to see how you can shift your thinking and begin to make healthier, smarter choices.
Finally, continuing to focus on how wrong the other person was keeps you stuck in a relationship that no longer exists except in your angry retelling of the story – both aloud and in your mind.
Here are the advantages to starting this journey with me:
- It gives you a chance to look at your “stuff” without criticism or guilt
- You have the chance to look at your options and make different choices – about yourself, your relationships, and what you expect out of life in general.
- If you don’t take advantage of this “golden” opportunity – you are destined to repeat it again and again and again – not just in an intimate relationship with a guy, but with your boss, your co-workers, and your family.
The chief reason why marriage is rarely a success is that it is contracted while the partners are insane. ~Joseph Collins
I am currently using Too Much Gold to Flush as a Crowdfunding project called Empowerment through Education. The intent of this project is to help women who have sought refuge in domestic abuse shelters. Through it I am creating college funds and supplying copies of Too Much Gold to Flush. If you are ready to help women help themselves you can donate to the General Donation, which will be split among all the shelters in this campaign. Or, if you are interested in donating to a particular shelter click here and then scroll down the page and choose a shelter. Once you donate, you will be asked if you want a tax receipt, which we will request from the shelter. Click here to see all the shelters in this campaign.
My email address is: email@example.com I’d love to hear from you.
The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him. ~Cher