How To Make Your Ex Husband Regret Letting You Go

We all work very hard to make our marriages work.  But sometimes things happen and before we can even realize what has happened, we are looking back at a broken marriage and a trail of regret.

There are no easy answers as to how to ensure that your marriage will be among those on the “successful” side of relationship statistics.  No one can assure you that your husband will not some day turn out to be an ex husband.

husband leaves wife

But what if your guy was actually a good choice, with a big heart.  And whatever happened….happened….and now you are sure you want him back.  What could a woman in such a situation do so that their ex husband regrets letting her go?

Or on the flip side, should you be fishing to catch him in a net of regrets?  Maybe, just maybe you would be better off with another approach.

I recently heard from one of my clients whose name is  Callie and she detailed a situation similar to what  I am talking about.

what to do with a flighty husband

She told me…

Chris. I think it is time for me to retool my thinking about what is best for me.  My ex husband and I enjoy a happy marriage, most of the time.  He does a lot of the little things that I appreciate and when I needed him most, he is usually there for me.  We have known each other since college.  I can honestly say we started off with a good sense of what we wanted in our life together. I know you probably get all kinds of sob stories so I will cut to the chase.  He left me.  It seems to happen with regularity. We have been married for 18 months but he will freak and start saying things like he is not ready for this and just needs alone time. Like I said, he does this ever once in a while. He goes off and does his thing and then we end up back together again.  I know something is going on with him and I can’t yet get to the crux.  I know he will regret leaving me.  Like I said, he has gone through theses phases before.  Ans I write this I am thinking I really want him to miss me badly.  I want him to rue the day he left me. I want to do something to make him so afraid to ever leave me again.  I know I am still angry and that is why I am reaching out to you for help.  I feel so attached to him and also so upset that he quit the marriage, yet again.  This on/off patterns is familiar to us. It just seems so stupid for a 25-year-old guy to think he can simply bail out of our marriage, thinking he will not have regrets or miss me or want me back.  I know I am good for him.  The sex is good and we party with friends a lot and he likes my friends.  I think he goes through these insecure times in his head where he is afraid to be tied down.  Since we got married, I rarely can get him to talk about any meaningful concrete plans for the future, like having a family or buying a house. We talked about this problem earlier when we were dating and I thought it was nipped in the bud.  He kept saying that we will grow into it and that we are still young and enjoy just being carefree. Doesn’t 18 months count for something in a guy’s head? Look, I know this will take some time, but I really would like to know what you can offer up to me that can make him realize that he is blowing it with me and it I am not going to keep putting up with these walk offs. I miss him terribly and ache. I am afraid that the longer we are separated, the worse it will be for our marriage. I am so upset.  He acts like a child and right now I am having a lot conflicted feelings.  Sometimes I want to scream at him.  What is the point of  forgiving him if he does this again and again.  I have invested so much to make this thing work. So tell me, Chris, what can I do to make him regret leaving me?  Should I start seeing other guys?  He is a jealous type.  His mother called me because she knows he is blowing it with me and wants to help make things right. Should I use her to get him back?   I do love him and know he has insecurities and hang ups.  I fear that as more time goes by, it will lead to my husband possibly meeting someone else or retreating deeper into his man cave.  He can tend to be impulsive and act upon feelings that are not very well centered. Part of me knows he will be back and another part worries about it happening again.  I am so tired of this already.  Help!

husband and wife part

Well, as you can see it can be quite difficult when you become attached to your husband emotionally.  The sex you enjoyed with each other acts as a bonding agent.  All of the things you are accustomed to doing together create a comfortable routine.  Take all that away and vulnerability can set in.  So being so connected has its downsides.

Don’t get me wrong.  Being emotionally and spiritually attached to your lover can be a healthy thing so long as there is balance in one’s life.   In the case above, there have been warnings signs of a frayed relationship going back to the period even before the couple was married.

Each of us have different attachment styles.  Some women (or men) can become so invested in their husband, despite all of his shortcomings or lack of commitment to the marriage, that when things go south it can feel to them like their entire life is a wreck.

And I don’t mean to minimize the reality of how awful it will and should feel if a marriage starts breaking down.  One should feel bad and will feel broken for a period of time.

In marriage,  most couples become very much invested in making the relationship shine.  We invest much of ourselves into bettering the marriage and making it work on many levels because we hunger for a special union.    When it falls short of our aspirations, we can feel let down.  And if our lover acts in a way that makes us feel they are lesser invested, it hurts.

With Callie’s situation, we have a woman who loves her husband even though he has left her once again. She feels attached to the idea that their marriage is worth saving.  It probably is. But sometimes, we can’t help ourselves, unless we get out of our own way.

Right now, Callie is filled with emotions and wants her husband back in her life. She reasons that if she can find ways to make him regret ever leaving her, he will “see the light” and come running back to her.

wife dealing with emotions of being dumped

As you probably noticed, Callie’s state of mind is far from balanced. It is fair to say she is battling a lot of conflicting  emotions. And who could blame her.  On one hand, she is terribly angry with her husband for leaving her. The angry side wants to fill her husband with every emotional regret she can muster up.  And I confess, this approach can sometimes be an effective play.  If you try to do things to accelerate the mountain of regret you would like to see grow in your husband’s mind, you indeed might be successful in the short-term.

But one has to be careful with what they create.  In other words, the notion of making your husband regret that he ever let you go  may actually work.  But what do you do next?  Do you just slide right back into the routines of the past?  Are both parties really ready to carry on like nothing really happened….like the break up never occur ed.

My experience with couples is that more often than not, something close to that is what usually happens and the core marital problem (whatever it is) does not get addressed.  Or the perceived “problem” gets a lot of lip service, but no real progress is made in drilling down to the core problem and getting therapy or some kind of help.

This is usually the pattern behind a typical couple’s on/off breakup pattern.  In fact, psychologist have assigned a name for this kind of phenomenon.

Beware of What is Called “The Insecure Attachment”

a woman influenced by insecure attachment  

Couples who break up, then come back together but still have the same problems are usually driven by what psychologists call the “Insecure Attachment” Problem.

This is what is happening to Callie.  She is clearly attached to her husband who repeatedly goes off on these personal walkabouts.  He just up and leaves her.  Clearly, her husband has an emotional attachment issue.

The wife’s emotional response it to find ways to increase her on value and attractiveness .  She is talking about employing jealousy tactics to make him regret ever leaving her.

Her own insecurity of being separated from her husband is playing on her wants and needs.  And if she is successful in roping her husband into a “jealousy play” such that he come running right back into the dysfunctional relationship, she will in effect be playing on his anxiety of potentially losing her forever.

But bear in mind, this kind of approach comes from a place of an engineered emotion.  And while emotions play a role in every marriage reconciliation, attachments based wholly on manipulation are usually not long-lasting.

Let’s talks about this phenomenon in a different way to help you make some sense of it, because I think there is something useful here for you to be aware of.

Usually a marriage split up or relationship breakup happens because the couple was experiencing considerable conflict. Something repeatedly happens and it usually is not a good thing.

In Callie’s case, she points to her husband’s habit of periodically walking out of the marriage.  Her husband’s behavior has become so common that it has become part of the landscape of their relationship.  In the wife’s mind, she is fairly confident he will be back.  She knows that he is going through a sort of emotional freak out period.

But it is more than that, isn’t it?  Let’s separate symptoms from the actual ailment. The husband’s behavior of repeatedly leaving her is the symptom.  What Callie needs to discover is the root cause.  And the crux of the problem doesn’t appear to be so much what Callie is doing or not doing, but lies with some psychological issues her husband is wrestling with.

You can see that she really wants to reunite with her husband.  This is a perfectly normal way of reacting to the situation.  But coming back together again so soon, in light of her husband’s track record, has all the earmarks of what is characterized as an insecure attachment.

Certainly, there is not a lot security around investing oneself into a relationship in which one of the parties has a pattern of “freaking” and going off on his own.

Rather than falling back into the pattern of accepting her husband back with open arms when he finally gets his act together, I advised her to spend an extended period away from her husband.

A No Contact period would allow Callie not only to recover and heal from the wounds inflicted by her husband who once again has decided to go on one of his “walkabouts”, but it would break the pattern of Callie trying to cling and grab on to her man.

I suggested a 30 day no contact period.  If you wish to learn more about the No Contact Principle, you can read about it in this post I wrote a while back.

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

 

But I warned her that her emotions (and his too) can cause her to break the no contact period and dive right back into the marriage without taking meaningful steps to identifying and solving the core problem.

In most cases, the problem needs correcting (or at leas addressed) before the couple agrees to resuming the marriage.  There needs to be a high degree of confidence that the pattern of behavior which is contributing or causing her husband to abandon her has been addressed.

emotional attachment to husband

Like I said, let’s dig a bit deeper into this notion of “insecure attachments“.

Sometimes a marriage can end abruptly because of the discovery of a betrayal.  While this does not appear to be the problem with my client’s situation, just know that cheating while married is front loaded with great potential for relationship chaos.

Sometimes things end abruptly because one or both parties to the relationship were immature and not ready to be a couple.

Sometimes things end abruptly because one of the partners is just downright mean or cruel.

Or perhaps the husband is selfish or flighty.

But most of the time, a relationship comes to an end after the couple have struggled off and on, for a meaningful period of time.

An “insecure attachment” can form when you are in the No Contact Period and anxiety builds to such a level that you miss your partner terribly.  

It is not unusual to fear that the forced separation triggered by the No Contact Period is the cause of your problems.  This same principle can also hold true even if you are not engaged in a brief chilling out period.

Like in  Callie’s situation, you can fear that the more time you spend away from your husband, the greater things can get twisted up.  But often, it is the opposite effect that holds true.  If you rush back into the relationship, you can find yourself back on the breakup merry-go-round.

It is entirely possible that in your haste to try to patch things up with your husband, as you are bombarded by the feelings of anxiousness and even panic, you decide it is time to contact your man.  This is where mistakes can happen.  I have seen some women so stricken with fear that their guy may never return, they end up capitulating and assuming all the blame for the breakup.

Your Emotions Can Hold Sway Over Your Relationship Decisions

don't let your emotions betray you

I have to frequently caution my clients who are in the midst of a breakup or separation situation to be wary of being betrayed by their own emotions. When you are in a vulnerable state of mind, you will almost jump at any rationale to contact your lover, with the hope you can make things right.

Some of my clients have told me about elaborate and intricate fantasies they construct in their mind about how all the post breakup actions will unfold.  They become convinced that if they do not act with haste, they will lose their husband (or boyfriend) forever.

In some of these cases, a contact is made with the husband (or ex boyfriend), who ironically may be suffering in a similar way.  Both parties  offers reassurances that all can be made well if they just forgive each other and give it another go.

You may both start feeling supported by hearing each other’s voices. You may meet up and the strength of being in each other physical presence and visibly seeing each other can bring back all of the good memories. Maybe sex gets worked into this chemical cocktail of emotions and feelings.  Without realizing it, you both fall under the spell of what I call the Pied Piper of Insecure Attachment.

And this force has a unique and powerful sway on your emotions and physical needs.  The way our mind and bodies work in response to being with our ex lover, particularly in the early  moments after prolong separation, can throw a monkey wrench into the entire way our “reasoning minds” should operate.

This is the problem with making important decisions with far too much influence from our right side brain (i.e. the emotional  center).

You are just doing what feels natural your reason to yourself.  It feels right.

Except what you don’t realize is you are answering to a part of the brain that is highly addicted.  That part of the brain, like an addict, will do almost anything to get those chemical juices flowing.  It  can cloud your better judgement in the short-term.

So when a wife and husband have had a serious breakdown in their marriage, leading to one of them walking away, be assured that for a period following this event, you will be vulnerable to what I would describe as a premature reconciliation.  And the villain that leads you down this slippery slope is often your own biological responses.

This kind of premature re-attachment with your husband usually does not last because it emerges from anxiety and insecurity.

The problems that plague a relationship must get addressed if a couple ever expects to avoid the on again – off again break-up cycle.

So if you are still wondering what steps you should take to make your husband miss and regret ever letting you go, then the center piece of your strategy should revolve around spending some time away from your husband.

I know.  It sounds backwards, but it tends to work more often than not.

During this time you can rebuild your own sense of who you are and what you really want.  That is not going to happen in a few days or weeks. Don’t be in a hurry to get right back in the saddle.  This does not have to be done in a cruel or impersonal way.  You should inform your husband that you need to take some time for yourself.  You can do so by letter if you wish.

During this period of No Contact with your husband, seek to become the best version of yourself and allow your husband to wrestle with the notion that he indeed may have made the biggest mistake of his life.

In Callie’s case, her husband has become accustomed to her initiating the actions and discussions the ultimately lead to reconciliation.   I think she should tack in the opposite direction.  She should make herself scarce.  That will increase her husband’s sense of her value and also cause him to examine the impact of his behavior.  Making herself too readily available, given the trend of the past circumstances that have unfolded, is shortchanging her value.

But bear in mind the most important actions you will want to accomplish is having a genuine and honest conversation about the root cause.  But before you get there, the husband or boyfriend needs to have a paradigm shift in how they view your worth and the repercussions of their irresponsible actions.

In most relationship breakup scenarios, scarcity creates demand.  Eventually, that is what will lead to the husband regretting his actions.  And it will help prime him to have the serious discussions that will need to take place so that the problems leading to the breakup are properly addressed.

I am going to conclude this post here.  But I am far from through with talking about this topic.  Feel free to explore my website for more insights.  And if you are trying to draw closer to a how you can strengthen a marriage that is prone to problems, then take a few minutes and read about what I consider are the critical elements in every successful marriage.

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

 

 

Why Do I Blame My Husband For Everything in our Marriage

Sometimes our biggest problem is ourselves.

Ouch…..that kind of hurt, didn’t it?

Well, I am just trying to help.  And we know it’s true.  I mess up all the time and it is easy to blame your spouse (or yourself) for things going wrong in a marriage.

So let’s make sure we are all on the same page.

blame husband for everything

To blame someone is to find fault with something that they did or are doing.  It doesn’t mean, necessarily, that what they are doing is wrong.  Whatever it is, the person is being made an example of or worse condemned for their participation in the event or activity.  It is when we hold someone accountable or responsible and through our actions make sure they know it.  In effect, it is calling them out on some behavior the exhibited.

I bet you never realized blaming a husband or wife entailed so many things.

But what makes this even more slippery is that our feelings are pretty complicated. So sometimes how and why a person blames their husband or wife is not always straightforward.

Sometimes our feelings can get in between what we know we should be doing (e.g. instead of blaming, praising more) and what we actually end up doing in our marriage (e.g. holding the husband to an impossible standard).

finding fault with your husband

Without even realizing it, sometimes we just can’t get out-of-the-way of our own anger and resentment.  So as a result,  we fall victim to the tendency of laying blame on our husband or wife for something bad that has happened.

Now, we do have some cases in which one of the marital partners is simply a very mean-spirited person.  In these cases, such individuals use blame as a tool to wield control.  We won’t be talking to much about those kinds of folks today.

But let me say this on that topic.

If you do find yourself in a relationship where either your husband or wife frequently harasses you and finds fault with just about everything that goes wrong, then we may be in the abusive zone.

If your spouse seems to take some kind of perverse joy in blaming you for things, then the marriage is not working and is unlikely to improve unless both of you get some professional counseling.  No wife (or husband) should have to tolerate that form of treatment and the marriage partner who is dishing it out has a serious behavioral defect.

To Blame or Not To Be Blamed

always to be blamed

Now, is it fair most couples habitually blame their husband or wife for EVERYTHING that goes sour in the relationship?

No, of course not.  That would be overkill.

So when I get an inquiry form a client who is really down on herself and wonders what she can do to stop beating up (i.e. emotionally) on her husband, I try to first give her some perspective.

The other day, I had a client who emailed me a question:

“Chris, I really feel guilty.  I can’t get past my constant desire to blame my husband for so many things that go wrong in our marriage.  I know he tries, but I don’t think he really tries all that hard.  It is like his heart isn’t in the relationship. There are just dozens of things where he falls short.  It is like he does it on purpose.  Realizing this, it makes me mad and I think I carry that those bad feelings around and they come out in all sorts of ways.  What can I do to stop this blame cycle.  My husband is a good guy, I just what him to try harder at things.” 

I see this pattern of  being too quick to blame the husband (or wife) happening frequently in marriages.  It does seems to occur much more frequently in those marriages where the couple has not learned to communicate effectively.

But I also know from experience that some clients, when describing their marital situation, are sometimes too hard on themselves.

After I ask a lot of followup questions, the truth of what is really transpiring in the marriage will come out.  And it is usually different from the initial portrait that was laid out.

I also see that in marriages where blame is thrown around like a hot potato, there is usually little appreciation for learning how to discuss things constructively or effectively work through conflict . I talk about that in detail in the post below:

How To Stop Fighting & Arguing From Ruining Your Marriage

Do you find yourself sometimes blaming your husband for everything, even if it is not true?

Perhaps he is only blamed for the things  he does that drives you a little crazy.

Hey, my wife does that all the time and we have a great marriage!  She usually inserts a little humor to keep the tone positive.  But more often than not, the lesson she was seeking to convey is learned.

So don’t get hung up too much if that is the kind of blaming behavior that is being tossed around.

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes succumb to the temptation to blame your husband for whatever?

You might be surprised at the underlying cause.

Just perhaps there are some things going on within the marriage (or yourself) that is creating friction and resulting in accusations and fault being cast about.

The Marriage Blame Game – Understanding its Origins

marriage fights start with blaming

It is an age-old game we all play.  

I have done it and you have done it.  We all at some time, play what I call the “blame game”.  

Let’s assume that your marriage has gone south. Blame is being thrown around like it is going out of style.  

In such a situation, you certainly are in no mood to be receptive to any blame missiles launched in your direction, particularly after all the shenanigans your husband has been pulling for a while.

So what is the common reaction?

Well simple.  It is to launch your own volley of blame bullets at your husband.  Things can really get convoluted when one or both spouses begin engaging in preemptive strikes in an effort to find fault with something that their marriage partner did or said.

There is a seductive quality associated with playing the “You Can’t Do Anything Right” game with your husband (or wife).  It is not unusual in these situations where both spouses  take turns blaming the other for whatever hot issue is happening at that moment.

So let’s dig deeper into marital behavior.

We have to ask ourselves why can couples choose to find fault with their husband or wife?

It is not enough to simply accept this kind of behavior, passing it off as part of the way things are in relationship.

Sometimes it is much more than that if you dig deeper into the root causes.

Sure, there will be times when you have to blow off some steam.  You might have had a tough day at work and when your husband crosses you with the wrong look or tone, you strike back out of defense.

All those things that your husband said he would do, but did not get done, comes flooding to the forefront.  Whatever they were, they are causing problems.

Somebody has to pay the piper, right?  Well, at least that is the rationalization.

So out of fatigue, frustration, or annoyance, you find yourself launching into a litany of blaming accusations as you seek to hold your husband’s feet to the fire.

Of course, once you let it all loose, with your husband ducking and darting away from your efforts to hold him accountable, laying blame where it most certainly belongs (you reason), your husband decides to launch a counter attack.

The way he figures, if he doesn’t get started with “leveling the playing field” and start in on you with his list of complaints, then the whole conflict is going to be lopsided.

What I just described falls within into a somewhat normal range of how you and your husband may end up getting trapped into marital blame game.

It starts off very innocently with a mild lashing out, but can escalate.

What Do We Have To Lose When We Find Fault

signs of marriage crumbling

When we partake in this back and forth of  “he blamed me” so “I am going to attack him”, we end up participating in a zero sum game.  No one is a winner. Both the husband and wife will eventually lose out when they make it a practice find fault with their spouse.

I am sorry to report that this is behavior we all succumb to. While it may be sad and shameful when we look back at it later, it is pretty much par for the course for most marriages.

At least to the extent that it does not happen with too much frequency.

Look, I get it, we are all human and sometimes we give into the temptation to listen to the darker side of our nature.

This would be the dark voice that tells us that instead of accepting responsibility for our own behaviors, seek ways to blame another.  This dark voice sometimes speaks to us from a place called ego or anger or frustration.

Or sometimes, we end up capitulating to the dark voice when we are weary and tired.

However we may come to it, we sometimes listen to this voice far too often. That is what makes us human and imperfect and of course, that is why marriages can be so challenging.

In most cases, we are just doing the best we can in a very complicated world that is full of good, bad, sad, delightful, surprising, exhausting, and depressing outcomes, to name a few.

Think of it as the maze of life.

We are all just trying to get through it. And sometimes, with our imperfect ways, we will get drawn into a petty blame fest with our husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend.

He attacks you.  You attack him. And so on.

What About More Serious Forms of Blaming?

its is dumb to fuss

In discussion above, it is mostly emotions on the surface that serve as the catalyst that ultimately leads to you faulting your husband for just about everything.

So what can you do about this behavior.  First up, you need to understand that a single incident or even a few cases where you indict or blame your husband (or wife) for something, is not in itself going to create lasting damage to your relationship.

As I described above, all of us succumb to the lesser angels of our nature.

But if the blame behavior becomes a routine in the marriage, with each of you falling prey to assigning fault to your spouse for a host of things, the net result is erosion of trust and intimacy.

So how do you combat this behavior?

For starters, you need to call yourselves out.

Habits and routines we form in marriage (and in life) can be difficult to break, unless there is an intervention.

So intervene.  Call for a truce.  Sit down and discuss how the petty, back and forth, little fights where one or both of you are pointing the finger and finding fault with one thing or another is hurting the marriage.

Make a commitment to each other that when one of you adopts a “blaming attitude” with your partner, you will call it out.  Say, “hey, you are playing the blame game and we agreed not to go there”.

The idea is that you break the routine of what would normally happen in the past where blame leads to escalation and further conflict.  In this situation, you “call it out” and then turn your attention to dealing with the underlying problem more constructively.

Don’t expect for this to work always.  After all, it was not that long ago when we all roamed wild.  But by making this recurring problem of blame more visible, you and your husband stand a much better chance of working through issues that arise in a much more positive manner.

If you make this commitment not to find fault with everything, you slow down the impact incrimination can have on your marriage.

A Deeper Level of Blame That Unfolds in Some Marriages

serious fighting can lead to marital woes

Then there is a different kind of blame game some married partners get involved in.

In my view, it is a more serious problem when we reach deep down to find things that have been festering for a long time.  It could be something far below the surface of the everyday marriage activities.

It is of such depth that it is best to describe the origin of such blame as coming from deep seeded resentments, anger, or even jealousy.

It can take the form of a highly vocal form of verbal attacks you can launch on your husband (or wife).  Or it could be things that are never said, but rather the blame is held inside, growing and building to ever deeper levels of resentment, even hatred.

This is when the subject of what the person is being blamed for is not something small or insignificant, but rather something very important to the foundation of the marriage.

I had one client who was very angry inside with her husband.  He had cheated on her and not only did she blame him for his infidelity,  she also believed the chaos stemming from his decision to cheat on her had destroyed all of the trust she had in the marriage.

She could not let go of what he had done to her and their life together and blamed him for many months.

It is the deep seeded forms of resentment that can wreck a marriage over time.  It is usually the catalyst that allows recurrent blame to take shape and endure.

If you find yourself in a marriage where either you find yourself frequently finding fault with your husband for things that go wrong or you are the victim of a husband or wife consistently blaming you for a host of things, it could be due to a meaningful underlying problem.

This is one way how resentment and anger can manifest itself in a marriage.

Sometimes it does not reveal itself in outbursts or down and out fights, but rather through the veil disguise of knit picking and finger-pointing.

If you suspect this could be the cause of the blaming behaviors in your marriage, then it might be useful to open up with your husband (or wife) and discuss the underlying problem(s).  Only then will you be able to get to the crux of why there is such an atmosphere of incrimination in your marriage.

Sometimes this is best accomplished with a 3rd party, such as a marriage counselor or coach.  In some cases, the issue that is disrupting the marriage is buried deep and either the individual is not fully aware of the impact it is having on their relationship or the spouse has been afraid to bring it up.

How Else Can Incrimination Take Hold in Marriage

getting serious about blame in marriage

Yet, another catalyst that can stir up the blaming pattern is when an individual is unhappy with themselves.  Instead of acknowledging their own shortcomings, the spouse ends up taking it out on their husband or wife.

Sometimes one of the marriage partners is wrestling with a significant issue and are internalizing it.   It could be something like not getting the promotion they had worked so hard for.  Or it could be a poor decision they made with the finances.

Whatever the event, it can lead to the spouse projecting the pain of their own failures and disappointments right back on to their husband or wife.

Once again, the best medicine is to first acknowledge the behavior to yourself, then to your spouse.  Just put it out there.  Recognize and verbalize you have been pulled into the blame game cycle.

Say it out loud to yourself.

Then voice it to your husband or wife.

The key is putting the issue on the table for all to see, recognizing that while no one is perfect, you do not want to continue using blame as a crutch to avoid dealing with your own personal issue.

Just putting the problem out there and discussing it with your spouse can help you, help yourself.

And in the process, you contribute to greater transparency and honesty in your marriage.

My Husband Left Me and I Want Him Back

So you say that your husband has left you, but you want him back.

And by the way, just follow along like this is your story.  I realize some of the details could be a far cry from what you are actually experiencing, but the lessons learned should apply to everyone.

marriage ended but want husband back

So let’s get this straight.

You have explained that your thoughtless husband, the guy who you fell in love with and married, has decided to give up on the relationship.

Even after committing that he was “yours” forever, this man you wed has not only left you, but somehow you still want him back.

Are you really sure?

I mean, are you really, really sure?

And the reason why I ask is not because I am trying to be a wise guy.  I have no doubt that on the surface of how you are processing things, you really want your husband back.

Perhaps you feel you have a lot invested in the relationship and so you are going to fight to get him back. Maybe you believe he acted out of immaturity or anger and will come back down to earth.

Let’s just draw the curtain back and take a look at the bigger picture of what is going on.

For whatever reason, he has left you.

splitting up

Maybe this is not the first time he has left you, literally abandoning you and the commitment he made to overcome “the worst of times“.

I mean, shouldn’t the vows you and your husband exchanged when you were wedded, stand for something.  You probably believe they do.  But what about your husband?

Is he truly committed to the marriage through thick and thin.

I have found that a lot of guys say their vows, but really don’t think too much about the words.  Where women, take those words and the images that they invoke and hold them close to their heart.

Ok, so maybe I am being a little harsh on the guys today.  But let me explain where I am coming from.

Things can happen within a marriage that are not so good, right?  Indeed, lots of bad stuff could unfold, from constant high-octane arguments to even cheating.

As a result the relationship can suffer and before one can even process it all, the vows are broken and the marriage is declared over by one of the parties.

My experience is that men tend to initiate these kind of outcomes more often.

Women, on the other hand, tend to really listen and absorb every word that makes up the marriage vows.  Why do I think this?

Well, I could be completely wrong about this.  I have not performed any exhaustive studies.  But my experience is that I have many more women contacting me and telling me that their husband quit on the marriage.  In such cases, they report their man has left them in the cold, so to speak, and they know not where to turn.

Examples of this would include:

Sarah: “please help me with my marriage.  It’s a mess. My husband has suddenly left me after 2 years and I don’t know how to get him back or even get him to open up about what is triggering all this”.

Kat:  “I don’t know where to turn. My husband just doesn’t want to try to make the marriage work.  We are hanging on by a thread he says, but I really don’t see things like he says they are.  I don’t want to lose him and need help with how to get him to come back up.  Doesn’t he realize or even think about what he is losing?”

I have tons of these stories.

Of course, there is undoubtedly a lot more going on behind the scenes than what these brief stories reveal.  To get to the truth it is necessary to peel back many more layers of what is happening.

And it is always a different combination of things unfolding in these couples’ lives to cause their marriage to come under risk. The truth is always more layered, detailed and complex.

How do I help someone whose husband has left them, but the first thing they seem to want is reuniting with their ex as fast as possible?

It is a bit of psychological challenge for my clients when I start advising them.

So I try to walk them through what is really going on inside their brain.  And eventually, I try to convince them that they really do not want to act or behave in a way that would cause their husband to think that their wife wants them back.

This is exactly what most husbands would expect from their wife, whom they have left.  They would expect a certain amount of begging or pleading.

So let’s return to this theme of getting something by not pursuing it.

Is It The Best Thing To Want Your Husband Back?

do you really want your husband back

Often, after a break up, a person will find themselves mired with a compulsive desire to make sense of it all.  Sometimes thoughts of getting back with one’s husband will start to invade your mind. 

Like an elaborate plot, you can find yourself creating an intricate set of possibilities unfolding in just the right way, resulting in your ex husband at your door asking for forgiveness.

By the next day,  you realize that the whole scenario unfolding in your mind was just a fantasy.  You chastise yourself for thinking this way.  But then the fantasy again starts to take form again.

One has to be careful with how the mind works.  For some people it is constructed to be a “forgetting machine” when its serves your unconscious desires and wants.  

I am amazed at how some of my clients will conveniently forget about all the horrible things they said their ex husband shouted out at them.  It is like all of the ugly and painful events of their marriage never occurred.  

So instead of concentrating on healing and  becoming their own person again, they start thinking that they didn’t do enough.  They think that perhaps the problems in the relationship were “mostly their fault”.  They begin to muse about having a second chance.  They think that if they had such an opportunity to correct certain things, they just knew their husband would much more satisfied with the marriage.

When your husband has left you it can create all types of havoc on your emotional well-being.  To escape the onslaught of these feelings, we can turn to certain coping strategies just to survive another day.  And one such strategy is denial.  We do this because the shock and profound sadness of losing your love connection can feel overwhelming.

Some of my clients have told me;

“I know deep in my husband’s heart, he wants me back.  Maybe he is testing me.”

“When my husband explained that he was leaving I am sure he just meant he wanted to take a few hours to cool off. Maybe he didn‘t mean the marriage was over. Maybe that was just his anger talking to me.”

Another way in which your mind will play games with you is when you become convinced that there is a clear path to understanding and solving why your husband has left.

If you find yourself constantly trying to summon up rational explanations for why your Ex husband broke up with you, then take a time out.

There are not always rational explanations for why your marriage partner has decided to hang it up.

There seems to be something inside a lot of us which causes us to endlessly to away at trying to carve out some understanding as to why it all came crashing down.  

Those days immediately following the breakup is a slippery slope.

breakups can be a slippery slope  

Many experts recommend that you would be better off to avoid trying to make sense of it all, because sometimes none of it makes much sense, particularly in the beginning.

Remember, in most cases, sudden decisions to break up usually flows from anger. 

Therapist argue that instead of chasing this endless quest of gaining closure, you are better off to accept you may never understand everything that went down.

Remember, humans are incredibly complicated creatures.  We do not always act or think rationally.  

We do not always know what we want.

That goes for both You and your husband or boyfriend.

It is very possible, you will never attain full closure.  In fact, it is impossible for you to get inside your husband’s mind and understand everything he is thinking.

Even if he tells you certain things, you cannot be certain if he is speaking from his head, his heart, or from that angry and bitter place.  You cannot even be sure if he truly knows what he wants.

Perhaps in that single moment when he is telling you that the “marriage is all over“, he feels like it is a truth.

But that feeling can be unduly influenced by certain emotional factors. Our feelings and understanding of what we “truly” want has a way of evolving and maturing.

Time is usually the best arbitrator of what it is we want.

Given this is generally how the truth of what we may really want operates in our minds, it is best to allow things time to settle in.  

So what should you do?

I suggest you turn the page.

Turn the page and begin focusing on becoming the best version of Yourself.  

Don’t dwell on fantastical notions of getting him back. Nor should you obsess over every single thing that transpired between you and your husband, hoping to assemble the pieces of the puzzle in order to understand completely why he left you.

Accept where you are in your life in that moment.  Then turn your focus to becoming your own best friend.  Seek to lift up your life.  By doing so, you will feel more attractive to yourself and others.   

That is where you will find meaning and contentment.

Ending the “Pedestal Effect

don't put your husband on pedestal

There is this thing that happens after a breakup.  

I like to think of it as when Reality meets Myth.

Let’s go back in time, for a moment, and look at the peak of the relationship you had with your husband or boyfriend  

Sometimes what happens in relationships is that one or both parties will place their lover on a Pedestal.  

It is as if their lover “walks on water” or can do “no wrong“. 

Extreme cases of this phenomenon is akin to hero-worship in which a spouse will always set aside her own best interests to serve the needs, wants, and desires of the husband.

The Pedestal Effect can result in a person thinking of their lover as the single most important person to them in the world.  Even if there has been a few bumps along the way, a person may look at their husband as absolutely essential to their life and welfare.

Guess what!

Nobody is that important.  

You will discover that you can get along quite well without your Ex in your life. Perhaps in this moment, you don’t feel that way.  Indeed, if your husband and you have split up and he initiated the break, you may be struggling big time with how you will be able to carve out a new life, filled with new experiences and goals.  

So while it may take some time for you to realize this,  mark my words, what I am about to tell you is true!  

You will rise up from what looks like an impossible personal situation.

You are much more resilient than you think!  

What sometimes happens is after the breakup, there is a sort of Pedestal Effect Hangover.

You need to guard against this phenomenon. 

You may be desperate to get your Ex husband back.  You may be temporarily blinded to any other way of looking at your situation.

But you need to know something very important!

You need to embrace a mindset of learning to “live” without your Ex.  By doing so, you increase your chances of potentially reuniting with your husband, if that is in the cards.

And by the way, did you know that over idealizing someone can actually cause them to pull away?  

Subjecting a guy to constant attention, seeking to serve almost his every wish, can in the short run make him feel special, but in the long run cause him to become uncomfortable.

So for your own sake, if you are in a relationship with someone, avoid falling into the trap of putting them on a pedestal.  It is not healthy for either you or your partner.

It is better for your recovery to move forward without your ex in your life. That is what the No Contact Period is mainly about.  Your recovery. 

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

You need to operate under the assumption that your ex husband may no longer be a meaningful part of your life.     

http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2013/11/22/the-dangers-of-putting-your-partner-on-a-pedestal-relationsh.html

Getting in Touch With How You Should Think About Things 

get in touch with your feelings

Ok, so let’s play a quick game of truth and lies to help you get into the right mindset regarding how you should be thinking about your husband who left you high and dry.

So let’s get started. 

Truth: I know I will feel better about my husband breaking it off with me, in time!

Lie: I can’t live without my Ex. 

Truth:  If things do not work out with your former husband, you will be just fine and will very likely find somebody better for you!

Lie: I will never find someone better than my ex husband. He was the best for me and I think I blew it.

Truth: I will become a better version of a happy me.

Lie: My husband made me who I am. Without him, I am just not going to be able to survive.

Truth: I am much more resilient than I ever realized!

Truth: Your presence here suggests that your husband probably screwed up letting you go!  Your interest in learning about and improving your situation speaks volumes.

Truth:  You still have much to learn, as do we all!

Perhaps Your Husband Leaving You Was a Godsend

be happy with breaking up

When you find yourself in utter disbelief about your husband’s decision to leave you, it could be because your relationship was predicated on a “Fantasy Bond”.

A psychologist, Robert Firestone, coined this phrase which is defined as:

An imagined connection a person develops to another person, thereby creating an illusion of security or false sense of safety”. 

Let’s do a little role-playing to illustrate this point. 

So let’s say you entered into the relationship with high hopes and the special bond you have with your man cements your hopes that this guy is the “one”.

Soon the two of you are married and you are convinced this guy is perfect for you. The way you see it, you struck gold with your husband.  He makes you feel strong and happy.  You cannot imagine ever finding a husband that makes you feel so safe.  You think the world of him.

But over time, the relationship begins to erode.  While you can see that the relationship is not what it use to be, you are sure things will eventually get better.

Since your routines are set,  you find yourself adapting to conflict and difficult situations, making sacrifices when needed.  This is hardly unusual as couples frequently settle for what is in reality a somewhat dysfunctional marriage.

We sometimes tend to ignore the existence of our relationship woes.  It is discomforting to think there is something really wrong with the marriage and it may be getting worse.

So often, we cling to the illusion that everything is OK.

This is the false sense of security that is referenced in the quote above.

So when a husband decides he is moving on, leaving his spouse bewildered, trying to absorb what has happened, the wife is not always in the best frame of mind to see the big picture.

In reality, things were not OK before the breakup.  

The acts of love and kindness and affection, which may have marked the beginning of the relationship, have now been replaced with suffocating routines.

So when you are trying to pick up the pieces after the breakup, ask yourself which pieces should you be reaching for.  

Are you reaching for the guy who you knew during the courtship and the early days of marriage?  

Or is it the man you lived with for many years.  The same guy who has decided to leave you.

If you are reaching for pieces of your relationship, my advice is to take your time and carefully evaluate which pieces of that past life you wish to take forward.

If you are not careful, you might be reaching for an illusion.

Sometimes it takes a while to realize it is not the loss of your husband that you are mourning, but rather the loss of the illusion of security your ex provided.

Don’t Overestimate the Time it Takes to Recover

you will get over your ex husband sooner

Before we part ways today, let me leave you with one other interesting fact.

The good news is you will recover faster than you think.  

Your heart is strong and things are almost always better than you think.

Most individuals think it will take longer to get over their break-up due to what is called the “initial intensity bias.

What happens is we end up fooling ourselves.

Here is how it works!

The more “in love” you were, then the more you will feel a new relationship is out of the question.  If you are coming off a breakup, you will not see much light at the end of the tunnel for your own personal recovery. 

And if you were the one who was dumped….then the greater the intensity bias.

You will think your personal recovery is far, far away.

The good news for you is that things are not nearly as bad as you may think.  

What does not kill us, makes us stronger.

This is what is referred to as our “initial intensity bias.”

Things can get pretty intense when a couple splits up.   Expect emotions to be flying everywhere.

Just remember, the future is “always moving” and you will have many opportunities to carve out a better life.

 

How To Get Over Your Ex Husband – Marriage Survival Guide

One of the frequent questions I receive from my visitors is “How do I get over my Ex husband”?   People want to know what to do and how to make it happen as fast as possible. 

But sometimes, some of these same folks also want to know what they can do to get their ex husband back or at the very least, keep the option open.

An odd pairing of desires, don’t you think?

getting over an ex husband

Actually, it is not that unusual.

I do think it is critical to keep the two goals separated.

Recovery from an ex breakup is not something that just comes natural.  It is important one acquires the knowledge of how to fully recover from a divorce or separation.

Understanding what struggles you might expect to face and how to get over those hurdles as quickly as reasonably possible are important goals.  Spending time trying to assemble a plan to possibly reconnect with your ex husband will often get in the way of your own healing and recovery process.

But for some people, giving the relationship another chance to succeed is important.

I am not saying it can’t ever happen.

There was a groundbreaking study performed by the Family Institute at Northwestern University.  The looked at this question from the perspective of the children that were involved.  What they found is that 92% of the time, parents that had split up, decided to reunite and work on repairing their relationship if their kids asked them to do so multiple times.

So getting back with your ex husband is not out of the question.

healing after splitting up with ex husband

But before we put the cart before the horse, let’s get back to how you should go about getting over the breakup he dragged you through in the first place.

You see, any success you might have in getting your ex husband back (if you later choose to pursue that path), is specifically correlated to how committed you are to getting over your ex.

You have to let him go, before you can expect to have a decent chance of being with him again in the future.

Often, my challenge as a relationship consultant is convincing people to not think in terms of trying to reunite with their ex.

Unfortunately, my initial advice is often ignored by some.  Or, I get this very odd and quizzical look.

Some people who come to me are often singularly focused on what they can do to get their lover back.  As far as they know, they have lost something special and must get it back.

Often, it is the only thing they can think about.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that some of my clients are OBSESSED with reuniting with their ex husband or ex boyfriend.

So imagine their shock when I tell them, “No, what you really need to do is focus on getting yourself back”.

I explain to them, “if you can really get your life in order, you stand a better chance of getting your Ex back if that is what you ultimately wish to do.”

Recovering From Losing Your Ex Is About Engagement

embracing life to get over ex

People who are struggling with the pain of a breakup tend to gravitate to isolation.

That is something I want you to avoid.  If you find yourself often left alone with your thoughts, a lot of negativity can follow.

Now, sometimes it is a good thing to spend some quality time, just with yourself.

But when your behavior to seek out isolation becomes the norm, you open yourself up to a dark place.

An idle mind and body “is the devil’s workshop

The breakup devil is not a nice guy.  I think of him as the King of Chaos.

So how do you combat the tendency to isolate yourself?

How do you go about keeping yourself engaged?

I have a simple, but very effective solution.

In all of my coaching of thousands of love-lost clients, I have come across two main personality traits.

For purposes of illustration, I am going to exaggerate just a tad! 

First we have what I would characterize as the “Stay Alone Bunch”.

When a relationship breakup happens, these folks tend to shut down and stay down.  They don’t feel inclined to go out.  Rather, they find comfort in just staying put.  We all have some stay along tendencies in us and that can be a good thing, if practiced in moderation.

Just getting some alone time, at first feels perfectly natural and necessary.

At least, that is how it all starts.  

But soon a “Stay Alone Type”  can get locked into a routine of shutting out the outside world.  They can be seduced into over eating, drinking, excessive video game playing, and other addictive behaviors.  

However they act out their misery, they frequently will just stay put.  They are content to exhibit the attitude of, “me against the world” or “I just don’t give a damn”.

Then we have the “Wild Bunch”.   

These are some very interesting people!   They pretty much are as they sound….outgoing and extroverted. 

Now don’t get me wrong. The “Wild Bunch” can sometimes take it a bit too far.  I once had a client who convinced himself that nothing was wrong in his life. He acted like his breakup was really not a big deal.  

He went out a lot and had a great deal of fun.  Indeed, he had a little too much “wild” in him and went overboard. That adventure lasted about 3 days and he ultimately morphed into a “Stay Putter” when the reality of what had happened to him finally clicked in.  

But generally, a “Wild Bunch Type will exhibit an attitude that irrespective of their sorrows, they are going to make a grand effort to “keep living life” and enjoy it to the fullest.  

They may decide to do some impulsive things, even takes some risks, just for the enjoyment  They figure it will help them keep their mind off their sorrows and better yet, it will be fun. 

A “Wild Bunch Type” is usually good at moving forward and keeping up their healthy, daily routines.  Though sometimes, they move too fast, trying to do too many things.  

They like to get out.  They might go  on shopping sprees with family and friends. These folks tend to be gregarious, less prone to get depressed and into sports and outdoor activities.  They also tend to be a bit reckless, even sometimes getting involved with the wrong person.

What you want to do is embrace the positives from each of these personality types.

There is a time to find peace and solitude and enjoy the serenity of a quiet walk in the woods or along the beach.  And there will be times in which you should get involved with a new activity and meet new friends and experience new challenges.

Having balance in your life includes both increasing your spiritual connect with the world around you and seeking out avenues to be physically and intellectually active.

Lose Yourself In Life

lose yourself in life to get over ex

I want you to consider something very carefully….

Emotionally, you may not be in the right place to accurately process things right now.  

If you and your ex husband have gone through a gauntlet of bad experiences, chances are that there is a lot of personal debris that needs tending to.  

You may be lost.

You may be confused about where to turn after the  bitter disappointment of your marital breakup.  

That is why I think the No Contact Principle can potentially be of great benefit.  It allows you to get in touch with your feelings and to improve your station in life.  

I have discussed this Principle in great detail in a few posts on this website.  You can read about it more in the article below:

How the No Contact Rule Can Work in a Failing Marriage

You will benefit from having additional perspective.  

You will also want to take an objective look at what may have gone wrong in the relationship and shore up those things you can control.

This is how you are found.  You hold the key to your own recovery.

There are a lot of things I want you to consider as you embark on your journey to become the best version of yourself.

Perhaps you should take a Yoga or Fitness class to reduce anxiety and gain a better life balance.  

Perhaps you will realize you have been too clingy or too demanding.

Perhaps you will want to start a journal to draw closer to your feelings about things.

The other day I doing a podcast with a relationship expert and she made what I thought was an excellent suggestion.  She talked about writing a “Completion Letter” following your break with your ex husband or lover.

The Completion Letter is NOT something you write and give to your ex so that he knows that you are completely through with him.  Rather, what is is used for is to capture your feelings about the relationship, with a focus on the positive things you learned about yourself.

Every relationship and experience we have can serve as a stepping stone in our life’s journey.

It’s Time For Self Examination

time to evaluate your life

The No Contact Period can also be a time for self examination.

Go out and get feedback from those you trust and who you feel are objective.  Ask them what they think you can do differently to heal and grow as a person.  You will be surprised at the number of people who wish to offer you support.  And you will be grateful for some of the creative ideas they share with you.  

Perhaps it is several things or just a few things or possibly very little you could have done differently.

Perhaps it’s your Ex husband that needs to take a lesson from the “wrong of his ways”.

The core intent behind the No Contact Period is about  creating an environment for you to heal and grow as an individual. 

Spend time with close friends and family.

Make new friends

Do not isolate yourself.  

Your tendencies may be to obsess over your Ex.  I don’t think it is practical to expect people to stop “cold turkey” from reflecting back on the times with their ex husband.  

If you can’t seem to control certain past thoughts, then allot yourself 15 minutes during the day to think about the relationship with your ex, then slowly unwind the amount of time you spend on such an activity.  

And if you allow yourself to reflect back, choose those memories that are positive. Express appreciation (to yourself) that you were able to experience these positive moments.  When you play them in your mind, be sure to emphasize to yourself that you help create these moments because of the nature of who you are.  Thank yourself.  

It is also important to keep engaged in life.  You need to keep to your regular routines that give you fulfillment.  

Add more routines.

Seek counseling as needed to enhance your awareness and understanding of the troubled times you experienced.

While you may feel like you have entered the “wasteland” following your breakup ..….trust that these next few weeks of your life have every opportunity to be lesson filled and enriching.

Draw Closer to Your Attachment Preferences

learning about your attachment style

One important learning I wish to pass on to you, revolves around something called “Attachment Theory”.

Our understanding of a person’s “attachment preferenceemerged from research that took place over 50 years ago.

It has a lot to do with how people relate to each other. It goes to the feelings people express, how we think, and ultimately how we behave within a relationship.

Understanding this concept will give you greater insight into the psychology of what drives some people to push others away or struggle within their marriage. 

It might just help you understand a bit more about yourself and your Ex husband. 

Perhaps your ex husband has an “attachment style”  that is not conducive to having a successful relationship.

Possibly, the catalyst that drove your ex husband to call it quits was influenced by his “avoidant style”.

Don’t expect to have answers for all the reasons why your ex behaved the way he did.  Human behavior is complex and is neither entirely logical or rational.

You could spend a lifetime trying to understand your ex husband’s behavior during and after your marriage, yet never entirely make sense of it all.

But I do want you to understand something about the different types of attachment styles as  I believe the information can benefit you in the future.

Since you will be getting back on your feet.  You will want to expand your insight on how you might go about finding a man that will be a much better match for your needs and values.

Ok, so let’s get into this!  

This is how it shakes out.

There are essentially 3 types of attachment styles.  

And some words of advice!  While we each may have a dominant style, we all possess elements of the other attachment styles…some more than others.  

Now,  I will tell you right up front, since we humans are such complicated creatures, I am always a little skeptical when a psychologist or some really “brainy” person reduces our complexity to only 3 types of attachment styles.

There are probably many ways one can slice and dice what I am about to present to you. 

But with that said, I think this is very useful and insightful information.  

Just understand, there are very complex environmental and biological forces at work that shape and mold us all.

So, let’s get started with describing these styles:

  1. The Secure Attachment Style:  This person tends to embrace the world with positivism.  They see the glass as half full.  This individual is relatively secure with who they are and have a network of meaningful relationships with friends, family, acquaintances.  They tend to gravitate to other individuals who are positive and when relationship roadblocks are encountered, they take action to make constructive changes.  Such a person is usually socially adept, with a balanced attitude.  In most cases, a person with a secure attachment style was positively influenced by their parents who were supportive. Though one cannot ignore the biological component as helping shape an individual, one’s family upbringing plays a meaningful role. This person has a history of forming strong bonds and believes a relationship should be filled with trust and intimacy. While many who embrace a Secure Attachment Style adopted this behavior when they were quite young,  anyone can learn to embrace this mode of thinking.
  2. Anxious/Preoccupied Attachment Style: This individual tends to give out a vibe of being somewhat insecure. Mind you, they are not totally insecure. For the most part, they may have a lot on the ball. It is just that sometimes, this person can fall prey to needy behaviors.  While they can interact in the world effectively and are often socially well adjusted, they can succumb to their insecurities.  Fear is usually the driver of their insecurity….fear of doing something wrong or losing out on something.  Sometimes an individual with this style can be obsessive or moody. Then again, they could be relatively upbeat much of the time, but may tend to follow the cues of their partner since they are determined to please. Sometimes this person worries too much about pleasing their partner (lover).  All of us can be anxious and preoccupied for a variety of reasons. So don’t be surprised if you see some of this attachment style within yourself.   
  3. Avoidant/Dismissive Attachment Style:  This individual tends to avoid commitment.  They may be afraid if they get too close to another individual, they could get hurt.  Their trust levels are often lower for those around them.  They tend not to be very supportive if their partner is distressed and are generally uncomfortable with sharing their own feelings or hearing about other’s feelings. Empathy is not their strong suit.  They tend to view the world as somewhat chaotic, where others can treat each other badly.  When confronted, they tend to push away their partner (lover), creating emotional distance.  This approach to “escape” can backfire and make matters even worse, which confirms their secret fear that “relationships” are inherently troublesome.  Of course, they are wrong, but they cannot seem to escape thinking about things in this way.  Fear lies at the heart of this kind of thinking.  The fear of rejection, abandonment, or even the fear of falling in love and how that could effect them in the future.

There seems to be considerable research which strongly supports the notion that our attachments styles formed when we were as young as 12 months old and that the parental influence is a strong component in the attitudes ultimately shaped.  

It is said that if one’s parents were consistently available to love and support their children, it can positively shape one’s attachment style.  

If an individual grew up in an environment in which intimacy and feeling close to another individual is considered a vice, this can adversely shape one’s attachment style.

But as you probably realize, our behaviors are not all shaped by parenting and environment.  

There is a biological (i.e. DNA) and nutritional component that plays a role in how our brain develops and this accounts for some of our behaviors.

Putting It Together In Order To Move Forward

putting love back on the front burner

So how does knowing all this, help you?

Well, for one, it gives you a perspective of how attachment styles can shape and influence relationships.  

No one individual is forever trapped in any particular style.  Our attachment styles change to some degree depending on who we meet and the chemistry or connection we have with that person.  

Our style is also influenced by our experiences and where we might be in our life.

And the same goes for your Ex or your future lover.  

Once you have insight into a person’s attachment style, it can enhance your understanding of their behavior and support future discussions about the root of the problems within the relationship.

Also, knowing about someone’s attachment style give you a window into their behaviors during and after the breakup.

It also helps you with finding the right man for your needs. 

Those with an “Anxious/Insecure Style”, tend to deal poorly with rejection and can easily jump from one relationship to another. The rebound relationship is an effort to placate the anxiousness of being alone, which can be very uncomfortable for some.

The individual with the “Avoidant Attachment Style” has little interest in reconciling at first.  They are pushing away from any form of commitment.  Such individuals are more known for seeking out one “night stands” or quick sexual encounters and/or dates to satisfy their physical needs.

Now, if you are concerned that your particular attachment style contributed to the breakup or may not allow you to be successful in another relationship, please STOP thinking that way!

I don’t mean to be fussing at you.

Most everyone, on occasion, will suffer from the “mind wandering into the dark places”.  

If you have some insecurities……well join the club!  We all do.

Just recognize that when the dark inner voice is speaking, it’s intent is the lead you astray.  

Chase such thoughts out of your mind.  

Seek to recognize your strengths and weaknesses.  

Work on the things you want to improve.  But take little steps.  Don’t over think things and don’t rush things as you will put more pressure on yourself than necessary.

We can all make meaningful strides in life, but if they happen incrementally, that is better.

You want to avoid any quick or impulsive decisions in Life.  

 

Marriage After Heartbreak – Are You Ready For Romance Again?

This is a story of marriage, then heartbreak, eventually followed by an amazing personal recovery, ultimately leading to a new romance.

So you put yourself out there to be loved and to love back.

Perhaps you were a single woman who fell in love with a man that you sincerely believed was going to be your rock. A man who you thought knew every inch of your mind and body. You believed he accepted you for everything you were and wanted to be.

a woman in love before heartbreak

He was your best friend and you loved him like no other.  Your romance seemed as natural as every breath you took.

It was like a story book beginning and before you could even imagine, the ringing of the marriage wedding bells ushered in a new chapter in your life.  One that you thought would be exciting, adventurous, and fulfilling in every way imaginable.

The very thought of marriage heartbreak or a wrong turn off of the happiness path you so eagerly embraced, is the furthermost thing from your mind.

But over time the bloom of the romance slowly begins to wear off.  And over a period of a few years, something that you still cannot even explain to yourself, went horribly wrong.  It turned out that the man you loved and who you thought loved you, decided he was not cut out for a settled down life.

an ex leaves you with a broken heart

And to make a very long and sad story, much shorter, the marriage that began with some much hope, is over.  Your are left with a broken heart and a wounded spirit.

To make matters worse, the awful memories filled with heartbreak and disappointment have not yet stopped gnawing at you.

Its only been a month since the divorce.  And with your world turned upside down, you not only have to deal with the constant pangs of a heavy heart and suffering soul.

In the back of your mind you wonder if you will ever be able to trust again.  To love again.

Can you even dare ask the question, “Is there the possibility you can have a successful and fulfilling marriage after your previous marriage left you heartbroken?”

Go ahead and ask away.  The answer is a resounding, Yes!

And we are going to talk about how you get there from the starting line of heartbreak.

How Do You Know That You Are Ready For Marriage Again?

are you ready to be married again

While the above account is a fictional story, it might as well represent a portrait of what several of my clients have experienced.

While everyone has their own real story and the details of their marital woes will most assuredly vary, along with the levels of heartbreak and recovery,  my overall advice is generally the same.

If you understand what you are about to face and apply some recovery strategies and lessons learned, you will not only lift yourself out of the painful memories of a marriage that went bad, but you will prosper in the most beautiful of ways.

Yes, you will fall love again and the lessons of your past romances will pave the way to a more successful relationship in the future.

I know you may feel  dispirited right now if your circumstance is remotely similar to the story described above.

It is not easy to trust another, then something happens and it all comes tumbling down.

Where does that lead trust now?  For most people, probably in the gutter.  

Some of my clients have told me their stories of love lost caused by things like poor communications, controlling behaviors,  compatibility issues, conflict over values and of course the “mother” of all break up catalysts…. betrayals.  

Just listening to these good and descent people relate their sad stories can be heart wrenching.  Not for me (though I weep for then inside), but for the client who suffers through the painful memories again when they described what happened in their prior marriage.  

But out of difficulty and sadness can arise opportunity.

You see, over the years I have come to discover that there are essentially two key common denominators to look for in determining the success or failure of a marriage or relationship.

So let’s talk a bit about what are the primary drivers or predictors of whether a marriage will turn sour.

Its one thing to have the “wind at your back” and sail through the easy and calm waters.

But would your romance flourish under the dark skies?

a couple testing their relationship

First up is what I call the Principle of Creating Adverse Conditions.

Rather confusing sounding, isn’t it.

You might be wondering, “why on earth is Chris advocating for the creation of adversity in my marriage.”  Heck, you may be thinking you already have enough of that.  What good will it do to have more strife…more chaos.

Well, that is not quite what I have in mind.  So let me explain where I am coming from and how it fits into your strategy to improve your chances of a successful relationship.

And by the way, I have not forgotten about the discussion we need to have about understanding and managing heartbreak.  Most assuredly, you need to navigate the post marriage breakup waters successfully and come out the other end with a renewed outlook on life, before undertaking a new romance.

But trust in me.  All of this will come together and make sense.  Most importantly, you will be able to walk away with some actionable advice that will help you better tackle life after heartbreak and find the right man or woman you want to spend your life with.

But first, let’s get back to The Principle of Creating Adverse Conditions.

Let me tell you another story of “truth”.

 making a good impression with lover

Typically a couple as they get to know each other, seek to put the best foot forward.  Makes sense, right?  

You don’t want to leave a bad first impression.  So as you get to know the person that you eventually will fall in love with, you try to do and say things that are not too controversial.  There is nothing wrong with that, right?  First and last impressions usually do leave a mark on someone’s impression or view of what you are about.

Naturally as the romance progresses, the couple will seek out fun things to do. They will get to know each other’s likes and dislikes and will naturally gravitate to those things that are enjoyable and will create fulfilling experiences and memories.

Now the courtship is in full bloom.  There is a lot of beaming smiles and happy laughs.  There is a lot of play and fun and sex and then more sex and more sex.

Well, you get the picture.

With all the fun and festivities in full stride, the neurotransmitters (chemicals released in brain) of our typical couple, are being pumped out to the the reward center located in the brain.

I don’t mean to get to technical, but you should know that the love chemicals (like dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin) are sending out a lot of positive, feel good signals.  You and your lover are soaking it up and the cycle of the relationship keep churning forward.

Now, to be realistic,  there are some peaks and valley even in those early months of a relationship.

But I think it would be fair to say that the entirety of the courting stage (prior to marriage) is biased to the “positive” kinds of mutual experiences you will share with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

So most everything you and your honey are experiencing is colored through the lens of trying to impress each other, trying to have fun, and soaking up the natural “feel good” brain chemicals.

Notice I used the word “bias”. Essentially, without realizing it, a couple can conspire together to create an environment that is more prone for “success”.

The “get to know each other” template a couple can lay down for themselves in the early months of the relationship can seem natural and reasonable.  And that is because it is.

Therein lies the problem.

a stressful date to test the relationship

It is better to be more pragmatic and put yourselves in situations that test how effective you are as a couple in handling conflict and dealing with stress with grace.

But that is usually the exception to the rule. Men and women usually prefer creating a courtship environment where things are going smoothly.

That is how things typically unfold as men and women seek to pair bond.

There are also certainly biological drives, like sex and the desire to have children that influence this whole picture.  We kind of already mentioned that, remember? (i.e. “more sex and more sex”).

But in a nutshell, men and women, when they seek to form a relationship, can sometimes unbeknownst to them, stack the deck in favor of themselves.

Hence, they may not get a very good reading on how compatible they are with each other.

Still confused?  Let me try to explain.

So what is missing in the picture above?

If we are trying to create a situation that allows the couple to draw closer together, fall in love, and be successful in their marriage or relationship, what is it that they are NOT doing?

In other words, what should they be doing to be assured they are a good match for each other?

Here is what is missing.

In most cases, couples rarely invest a lot of time with each other in a stressful or difficult environment prior to making a commitment to each other or tying the knot.

Think of it a their own personal “Survivor” episode. 

Subjecting yourselves to less than ideal conditions will help you assess how you might fare in the future.

But this is usually not the norm.

For example, I have found that when a couple meets and eventually falls in love, they do just about everything they can think of that places each of them in the most positive light.  They go to places and do things that will produce a lot of fun.

In other words, the conditions they set up to interact are usually biased toward everything turning out well.  Instead of testing the strength and weaknesses of the relationship by establishing more adversarial  conditions that create stress and difficulty for the couple, they do the opposite.

They effectively greased the skids.

Leverage This Insight!

So if your ex husband laid this big heartbreaking blob of feelings on you, then grieve and recover as you should, but know that your future is bright.

There are ways to better choose you friend and lover for life.

Now you know that when you are ready to pursue romance and love,  you can create an environment that will allow you to evaluate just how well the two of you click in all conditions (good, bad, neutral).

And you will use the passage of time as yet another way to assess if your boyfriend or girlfriend is husband or wife material.

Is Kindness Flowing Throughout Your Relationship?

be kind in your marriage to succeed

The second predictor of relationship success is what is called The Principle of Kindness.

Now in this case, this notion pretty much sounds like what it means.  It has been discovered that how much kindness is exchanged and shared between the husband and wife is the best predictor of whether a couple will stand the long test of time and enjoy a relatively happy and successful marriage.

There is even what is called  a “kindness ratio” which helps with assessing if there is a sufficient amount of kindness, appreciation, and honor being exchanged within the marriage.

Essentially for every 1 act of behavior that could be characterized as the opposite of kindness (e.g. an insult, a selfish act, etc), the individual should be exhibiting 5 acts of kindness (e.g. an extra tender kiss, allowing her to watch her program that night, a surprise gift).

Now, I am not advocating you keep score as that would tend to make things less natural and mechanistic.

But I think you get point, right!  “Do unto others…”

The Cycles of Dealing With Relationship Heartbreak

cycles of heartbreak

Now we are going to return to our discussion about how you can put heartbreak behind you.

It starts with understanding and embracing what you are going through.

Expecting to experience certain feelings and accepting these emotions if they arrive is all part of the process of being prepared and honest with yourself.

But like a loving hug, embrace your relationship pain, then let it go.

Just know that the feelings you are having are normal and NECESSARY.  

You can’t recover fully, if you suppress them.   

So it is not uncommon for you to feel sad, even depressed.  Your Ex probably feels the same way, no matter who instigated the break up.

What you are experiencing  is referred to as the Kubler-Ross Five Emotional Stages.

So that sounds pretty fancy.  What does it mean?

Let me explain.

As a person deals with some kind of loss or difficult transformation in their life (such as a marriage ending), they will encounter certain waves or stages of emotions.

Whatever the event might be, it needs to be big.  It has to be something that has disturbed you in a meaningful way.

Initially, you may first go through a period of denial.  This is considered a Stage 1 reaction to the event.

You will have this sense that what actually happened, can’t be happening.   

The period of denial can last a few days or even weeks.  

Denial gives your psyche a chance to get use to what has transpired.  But don’t live in the wonderland of denial for too long. It is not a healthy place to reside.  

Stage 2 is when anger and resentment usually sets in.  

Being bitter about your husband or wife over giving up on the marriage is not too surprising.  But these kind of emotions can chip away at the quality of  your life.   The sooner you work through this stage, the better.  I will give you some pointers later.  

Sometimes people who have lost their marriage will go through a period of Bargaining (Stage 3).  This is when you try to make compromises with yourself (or even others), thinking that it will be easy to deal with the problem.

You may come up with some short term solutions, only later to discover that these quick fix methods were premature or futile.  

The Fourth stage is called, depression.  

Oh yea….I think most of us know what this is about!  

In this stage, the person essentially gives up and retreats into themselves, not wanting to do much of anything.  The duration of this stage varies widely depending on the person and the severity of the breakup.  

It can last several day or weeks.  Within this stage are various levels.  You can feel mildly depressed or exceptionally depressed.  It can come and go, then return again. Such are the vagaries of some of our mood states.  

The psychologists say most of us experience some form of depression (following an event like a deteriorating or broken relationship) before we move into the Last stage, called Acceptance.  

When we enter into Acceptance, we have largely made peace with ourselves and our situation.  

We are in a better frame of mind to deal with the problems at hand.  We are better equipped to accept what is happening or what is about to occur.  

We are calmer and able to act more rationally. This enables us to explore realistic options going forward. This is where much of our healing unfolds and where personal growth originates.

The No Contact Principle Helps With Managing Emotions

finding alone time to recover

As much as you may think that you will never love again, that you will never risk putting yourself “out there” for fear of being potentially damaged and profoundly disappointed yet again….well, think again. 

I have news for you.  You are remarkably resilient and you will once again desire to give and receive love to a special person in your life. 

There is no doubt it will be necessary for you to go through a period of healing and personal growth.  And it is best not to even entertain thoughts of searching for the right guy or the ideal woman for some time.

Ironically, love has a way of finding us again when we least expect.

Bear in mind that your relationship with your Ex may not be completely severed.   

But you will need to time to recover.  Some people are surprised when they find themselves later thinking about possibly of reuniting with their Ex.

Thoughts of how the two of you may have suffered from a “rush to judgement” to ultimately a breakup,  can weave throughout your mind.  

Just know that if you are plagued with such thoughts, it is in part being caused by what I think of as “rebound forces”.

There are certain chemicals in your brain that you are now lacking since your ex is no longer around.  There is now less of dopamine, vasopressin, and oxytocin in your system.

These are the chemical neurotransmitters that are produced from all the close emotional and physical experiences you enjoyed with your ex husband or ex wife.

As a result, you are going to be more vulnerable to the rebound forces which can act upon you and your ex.  That is one reason why we hear so much about breakup sex and “friends with benefits” types of arrangements.

In a way, we are all addicts.  And our lovers are our fix.

That is the beauty of the No Contact Principle.  

It allows you to work through your cycle of emotional grief  and addiction. This process promotes your personal healing and growth.  You eventually come to accept the situation you are in and are more able to turn your attention to becoming a better version of the person you wish to be.  

I think of the No Contact Period as an Enabler.  

It is what you do with this time that can make a big difference in your life.

Embracing Your Inner Truth

embracing an inner truth

Spending our time wallowing in heartbreak does not seem to be a healthy coping strategy, wouldn’t you think?  

And largely, that is true.

But an interesting research study, which was published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal, suggests that reflecting on one’s recent breakup can help you heal.

The results were based on a study of two groups of students.  One group of students were asked to come to a lab to regularly answer questions about their breakup.  

As a result of these regular visits to the lab over a 9 week period, these students openly discussed a variety of issues around their breakup.

The second group of students just came in twice to the lab.  Once at the beginning of the study and once at the end of the 9 weeks.  The survey they completed was relatively basic as it did not explore the depth of emotions and feelings surrounding the breakup.

The results of the research revealed that the first group of students fared much better, as the frequency of visits to the lab and the opportunity given to discuss their breakup (in a more positive light), allowed the students to process better what had happened to them.    

Group 1 also seemed to develop a greater sense of who they were  “individually”. This led to them feeling less sadness and also contributed to feeling less lonely.

The key finding from this study is that “finding one’s self” after a breakup is key.

Further, it was believed that calmly thinking about what “went down” during the relationship between you and your Ex, can eventually pay dividends.  

This is the case because through the process of opening yourself up to others about your situation,  you eventually end up detaching from the negative feelings you may have had about yourself.  And you are able to think about the past in a more objective manner, learning from your own mistakes.  

This helps pave the way for the person to begin focusing on the future and what it can possibly offer.

Detaching From Your Painful Past

I think of this, as detaching from the Painful Past.  

It is not healthy to constantly think and live in memories of a painful past. But ironically, one way to stop such obsessions is to calmly reflect on what happened, then extract positives experiences or lessons learned.  

This could involve discussing it with someone or writing it down; just like the students did in the research study.

Think of it as a form of purging.  In effect, you are exercising the bad memories or thoughts by raising them to the light.  Once such feelings are “outed”, they don’t seem so fearful or sad. 

Hence, this is one reason why I feel the No Contact Period provides a lot of potential upside.  

If one is constantly trying to communicate and confront their Ex about the relationship, such an approach usually serves to only awaken the bad feelings.

At a certain point following the breakup, an important pivot should take place in order to regain your sense of “self”.

My Ex Husband is Angry at Me – What Should I Do?

Anger…. don’t you just hate that feeling when you see it well up inside your ex husband.

Often, your exes reaction will be to release it.  And if the people he loves are in the immediate vicinity, then look out!   They will be exposed to the angry man.

In all truth, the angry man, whether he be your ex husband or ex boyfriend or whoever, is acting upon a very selfish desire.

And that desire is to blame others for his own mistakes and shortcomings.

angry man breakup

But there is another side to this blame game.  I see it happen all the time in post relationship breakups.  The ex husband just can’t let go of the reality that things did not work out.  And in some cases, as a result of an abusive pattern, the wife will begin to think that it is “her” fault.  She might blame herself for her husband’s behavior.

It makes perfect sense, right?  The husband is still angry and upset, so it has to be the wife’s fault. Right?

Wrong.  There are no simple answers and reconstructing the past and trying to assign blame to relationship mishaps is rarely a constructive use of time.

Unfortunately, these patterns often develop and can result in one of the the partners in the relationship thinking they didn’t do enough in the marriage to make it work.

More often than not,  it is the opposite that it true.

When one side of the marriage partnership is constantly insisting that their spouse is at fault and directs their displeasure and hostility at the other, that is usually a telltale sign of emotional abuse.

Blaming oneself following a particularly difficult breakup, separation, or divorce is definitely the wrong path to take.  It is sad when relationships come to an end and it is not unusual to try and make sense of what happened.

But let me cut to the truth of this chase.  Blame is not where to focus should be. Working in support of solutions, that is where the action lies.

In a moment, I am going to tell you more about a woman who once told me, “my ex husband is always angry at me.  He hates and despises me.  What should I do to make things better.”

She went on to explain all the things her husband had told her she did wrong in the relationship.  It seemed like he spared no quarter and as a result triggered in her a lot of grief and negative self examination.

After listening to her story for a few minutes, it sounded like, quite frankly, that her husband was a real jerk, with anger management issues. In my view, she was better off without him.

The problem is when we direct too much  blame for all the relationship struggles upon ourselves.  When you do so, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to move on.

The truth is that marriages between ex husband and ex wives break down for a host of reasons and both parties share in the blame.

But thinking about casting or assuming blame is a backwards journey.  That is not the direction anyone should be headed.

When your focus is on the past and you begin picking apart things you could have done wrong, you fall prey to some of the most common emotional reactions which plague people after a breakup or  after their marriage comes to an end.

No Marriage or Relationship is a Perfect Union

no marriage is a perfect union

My client, who had reached out to me, definitely fell into this emotional breakup trap.

She explained to me that she felt like a complete failure since she and her husband split up.  She kept repeating to me that he was often angry at her during the marriage.  And since they split up,  his anger had not subsided much.  She said she was left with a feeling of utter despair and didn’t know what to do with all of his negative outbursts.

She understood on one level that she needed to move past her conflicted feelings. She explained she that knew she was thinking too much about him.   She was open to new relationships sometime in the future, but was fearful that what went wrong with her ex husband, could be repeated in the future and really didn’t know what she should do.

I did a lot of listening because I believed she needed to purge some of the feelings she was having.  I believed them to be a reaction to having lived with a guy who was far too controlling and critical of her behavior, causing her to shortchange her own worth.

I explained to her that his anger was very possibly a reflection of his own perceived inadequacies.  An angry guy, whether it be an ex husband or ex boyfriend, is usually coming from a place of dysfunction.

Sure, it is entirely possible for any of us to become upset with our spouse.  I get sometimes get angry with my lovely wife and she get’s angry and annoyed with me.  But these feelings pass very quickly and the anger is usually a reflection of our mood state.  Something else is usually triggering our angry impulse to come out.

But that is not what was happening with my client.

If you have experiences with  an ex husband who seems preoccupied with anger and you feel compelled to try and justify or downplay his angry behavior, then you should seriously give consideration to avoiding any contact at all to the extent that is practical.

You certainly  should not be blaming yourself or allowing yourself to get roped into an argument.   Chances are that is just want your ex wants to happen.

These kinds of outcomes can be further magnified during the immediate aftermath of a breakup or divorce.

When our emotional center is disrupted, it is natural to question why things turned bad.

But in the case of my client, this kind of examination led her to be too highly critical of her own actions. It effected her self confidence.   Of course, this did not happen overnight.  When I see behavior like this, it is usually due to negative conditioning that took place inside the marriage over time.

We spent some time talking about the many things she did in the marriage as a counter measure to the negative programming she had gotten over the years from her husband.

We talked about how she should be proud of her many good and sincere efforts to make things work.

I explained that no couple enjoys a perfectly compatible marriage or relationship.

marriage rough patch

It is our nature as human beings to be drawn to another, but that does not mean we will always effectively connect to each other.

And sometimes, as hard as this may be to process, we won’t know just how compatible we are with another person until we have had considerable time with the individual.

This kind of thinking can fly in the face of your emotional right brain’s way of processing romance, particularly in the early days.  In the budding stage of romance, everything is blissful and wonderful.  So it may be inconceivable to you that your lover is not the perfect match.

But finding an ideal match (or close to it) is never as easy as it may seem.

There are just too many variables to be able adequately process ahead of time whether the union will work.  Try as we might to get it right before we committ to a relationship or get married, it can be difficult to be assured that the match with a prospective husband or wife will really work on most or every level.

To often, our brain chemistry can get in the way, fooling us to think the relationship is more than what it is.

This is kind of what happened to my client.  She and her ex husband had met and quickly got serious about marriage.  He was the old fashioned type and so there was no period of “living together” and the romance or courtship (however you wish to think about it) was not particularly long.

But that was in the past and my client was trapped inside these feelings of being inadequate and feeling generally depressed about how to proceed.

My job, as I saw it, was to help her understand that the emotions and self blame she was experiencing were not uncommon and that they would in time, pass.

In fact I turned it around for her.  I explained to her that the fact that she cared enough about her marriage to enter into this self blame mode indicates that she is a very loving and caring person.

People who do not exhibit a lot of loving feelings, who are narcissistic, tend not to operate in the realm of self blaming behavior.  They don’t think about their spouse or husband hating them.  They don’t care about such things, because in their mind, they can do no wrong.

Where she on the other hand, opened herself up to love and was sensitive enough to consider the possibility that she may have done some things wrong in the marriage.

I further explained that her husband needed counseling  if he treated her in a hateful way, explaining that hate is an all consuming emotion.

He who hates, is eventually consumed by that feeling.

Indeed, in time, she felt better about herself and put away many of the ugly and anxious feelings of the past.

Breaking Away From the Past

breaking away from past marriage pain

So what are the common emotional responses and outcomes following a breakup?

And by the way,  if you are experiencing some of these outcomes we are about to discuss….just know that it’s OK.  

It is part of the the cycle of mood changes people commonly experience.  

The way I would suggest you think about these things is consider them a badge of courage.

I know that may be a bit tough to process because if you are one those people whose ex husband is filled with hate and is aiming some of that ugly and raw emotion at you in not so subtle ways, it can be difficult to feel courageous.

But trust me.  If you have removed yourself from a marriage with a man who exhibited hateful and spiteful behavior, then you are indeed courageous for having tolerated that type of behavior for as long as you did.

Some may argue the point as to whether you were foolish to subject yourself to your ex husband’s angry and mean spirited behaviors.

But I am not too fond of those who are quick to judge.   It is always easier to look in the past and realize the mistakes you may have made.

Those who are too quick to judge did not live or operate in your particular environment.  Nor can anyone really fully understand the background and the push/pull of another’s relationship.   Certainly not without considerable insight and training and personal knowledge of that individual’s circumstance.

Many who are quick to judge fail to appreciate the complex psychology between an abusive husband and the difficulty some victims have in unraveling themselves from dysfunctional marriage.

You do not deserve that kind of treatment and nor should you be thinking in terms of  trying to make sense of your ex husband’s hateful ways.

So if your circumstance is even remotely similar to what I have described, then give yourself a break and stop thinking about what you did wrong to cause your husband to embrace hatred.

He is your ex husband for a reason.

Now, it is time to turn the corner.  

In order to help you do so, let’s take a deeper dive into what you might expect.  

And then we will talk about what you can do about it.  

So as you read on, if you have experienced some of these behavioral outcomes, just check them off and remind yourself that better times are a coming.

When an Ex Husband Treats You in a Hateful Way – Paint Him Out of Your Life

paint husband out of your life

When I think about husbands or Exes that behave badly around their former wives, I am reminded of what Forest Gump said.

I think good ole Forest could have been a really good relationship consultant.  He had a way of simplifying things and getting to the kernel of truth.

As we have discussed, if you come across a hater, you need not try and make things right.  Rather, it is the ex husband or ex boyfriend, whichever the case, that needs to make things right, starting with himself.

He needs to start with accepting responsibility for his own aberrant behavior. That could take time before he discovers his own mistakes.

For now, it is in your best interest to paint him out of your life.

You have your own healing that needs to take place.  You should not be worrying and occupying yourself with what you can do to make him feel better or hate you less.

Even if your own moral compass is speaking to you and trying to convince you that you should do your part to ease your ex husband’s hate, stay on your own path of healing.

This is probably not the time to play Joan of  Arc.  Even if you are sure you still love your ex.  The best thing you can do is allow for space to fill the void between the two of you.  This allows for healing (for both parties) to unfold.

Now that does not necessarily mean that the two of you will never, ever interact.

Never say never, right.

But until then, stop thinking about how and why your husband might have said such hateful things.  Whatever you conjure up in your mind in trying to understand any of the words and actions that may have created the hateful things he said and did, it will not be enough to make you feel better.

Rather, you will find yourself in an endless loop wondering what, if anything, you could have done to instigate his mean and ugly behavior.

So set it aside, those thoughts that lead you back to the chaos of any of those bad memories.

Check that off your “Getting Better List“.

Think of it like Forrest Gump did when he exclaimed, “Good! One less thing”.

Indeed, Forrest has quite a lot to teach us on the subject of love and breakups.

For example, he wisely exclaimed: 

My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.” 

So let’s talk about some feelings you may experience.

Fear them not.  

It’s OK to talk about your feelings.

It will actually help .  Just don’t dwell on it.  

Acknowledge you are going through a hard time.  

Understand you are not alone.  

And remember, the night is always darkest before the sunrise.

Grow Stronger By Understanding What You Might Face

grow stronger by embracing future

I believe we grow stronger when we know something about what we could be facing.  Once we recognize what is happening, it can help us cope better.  It’s like knowing “the enemy”.

That which we fear, becomes less so when we expose it.

Unfortunately, in the aftermath following a marriage breakup with your ex, we can get thrown into an arena of emotions.  There will invariably be peaks and valleys.  And no one person reacts the same in the emotional situations they may be dealing with.

So let’s do an inventory of some of the negative feelings you might be dealing with or could be expected to deal with in the near future if you are coming out of a particularly difficult break up with your Ex husband.

And after proper introductions to these darker sides of our emotional mood states, I will offer a few words of advice to help you with putting things in perspective.

Despair: Expect to feel a huge tug of sadness and grief following the breakup.  Crying is perfectly natural and in fact, I want you to cry it out.  It helps, a lot.  Don’t hold it in. That is stupid!  Remember what Forrest said….”stupid is what stupid does”!

Denial:  When we travel through the valley of despair, anger, and resentment, it is not unusual for people to go through a period in which they simply will not accept that the relationship has ended.  

This is a perfectly normal reaction, so long as you eventually come to terms with reality. Denial is the brain’s way of buying time to wrap itself around a set of in congruent facts.  

On one hand, you are thinking, “I can’t believe everything we were about is all over. But part of your brain is also processing these other inputs you have received which clearly point to a breakup or divorce.  

Sometimes it takes awhile for the brain’s emotional and logical centers to reconcile everything that is happening.

Anger: This emotional reaction can arrive late on the scene.  Sometimes it can be hours or days before it reveals itself.  But when it arrives, it can bust down the door.  

If you have not felt anger toward your former loving partner, you very likely will. It is necessary to release your anger and resentment. Don’t allow it to remain bottled up.  

For some people, a healthy way to release your angry feelings is through physical activity.   You turn chemistry over to your side when you exercise or workout. Exercise promotes the release of dopamine and endorphins which in turn stimulate the reward center of your brain.

Self Blame:  It is only natural for most people to look upon their situation introspectively and find fault with their past decision making.  But please avoid playing the self blame game.  It is entirely unhealthy and leads you down a path of negativity, which positions you poorly for potential reconciliation if that is where you are headed.  

As we alluded to earlier, relationships are just simply complicated.  None of us are perfectly compatible with our partners.   

If your relationship ended in a breakup, I assure you that you and your significant other both made mistakes.  Don’t beat yourself up over the past.  If you recognize things you could have done differently, take that lesson with you.  

I bet there are a lot of things you did for the relationship that were awesome.

Remember, those who dwell in the past, live in the past.  

What you want to do right now is focus on the “present”.  Focus on becoming the best version of yourself.

Jealousy: Don’t be surprised if feelings of jealousy consume you.  If you were dumped and you later hear that your Ex is dating, jealousy will wrap it’s evil little arms around you.

Jealousy is odd in that way.  

On one hand, your “left brain” (i.e. the logical, processing side of your mind) is telling you that your former relationship with your ex husband was not a good thing for you.  You are happy to have put that relationship behind you.  

But the right side of your brain (i.e. the emotional center) is quick to feel the pangs of jealousy, even if they involve a former lover you have discarded.

Or let’s say you are working to get your ex husband back. 

Even if you have no clear knowledge of your Ex cheating, you may still feel pangs of jealousy over just about anything suggestive.  

 

Confusion: When you have been dealt the savage blow of being dumped (or even mutually separating), you will still be plagued by many emotions and confusion is usually right in the middle of the mix.  

It may feel like you have entered into some kind of Twilight Zone episode.  Up is down. What was so right, now seems wrong.  

This is where your sense of self can take a blow.  At one time you thought your Ex was the most important thing in your life.  Now you are not even sure what to think.  

Relief:  If you were the individual that largely engineered the breakup, you might feel some relief.  But your sense of relief will usually be short lived, particularly if you and your Ex were together for a good period of time.

Usually, if you and your ex husband had a close bond covering years, it is likely that you will experience the full range emotions during the aftermath, eventually followed by a depressed mood state.

It is funny how some of the emotions work.  They can sneak right into your life.

Even a relationship plagued with conflict or dependency issues can create a backlog of uncomfortable feelings when its all over. Breaking up can feel like an escape.  But unless this was a highly dysfunctional relationship, don’t be surprised if your feelings of relief give way to a sense of uncertainty or other confusing emotions.

Gaining Perspective on Your Mood States

Most of your feelings, as we have described them, originate from the changes in your brain chemistry as your body is trying regulate its dependency on certain neurotransmitters (dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin) you had grown accustomed to.  

Even bad relationships can be hard to get over.

Knowing how your emotions can conspire to hijack your mood will help you during the period following your breakup.   

Now That Your Ex is Carved Out of Your Life – Are You Love Sick or Love Lost?

growing love sick

It is certainly no picnic when you have been dumped by an Ex or have experienced a difficult divorce or separation with your ex husband.  

Even if you mutually agreed to the breakup, our human psyche is not designed to turn on a dime when our emotions and brain chemicals are involved.

I am fond of saying that when emotions run high, logic runs low.  

Right now, you are probably looking for answers.  You are sifting through all of the emotions following the breakup and seeking to discover some balance.  

You want a way out of your current predicament.

It starts with understanding what is happening to you on an emotional level.

Let’s not worry about “Love Lost”.  

If you just parted ways with an Ex, it is way too soon to conclude that everything is lost, including the love that existed between the two of you.  

Of course the exception to this is if you are legally divorced.  While “love” may still exist in some form between the two of you, it is not likely a divorced couple will reconcile sometime in the future.  

Even then, never say never.  It does happen.   And interestingly, about 72% of divorced couples that get back together again, remain together.  I guess there is something to be said about “lessons learned”.

Do don’t give up on your relationships, completely.   Don’t spend your time thinking about how your future is “screwed” or “pointless”.   If you find your thoughts rolling over into that realm, stop them in their tracks.

 That kind of thinking is negative and pointless.  

All you are doing is borrowing anxiety from the future.  Do not spend your time worrying about unknown future outcomes.

That is a fool’s game.

And I know you are no fool, otherwise you wouldn’t be here now reading this sentence!

Could You Be Love Sick?

getting over your ex husband

It could be said you are love sick.  

You fear that you have possibly lost the love that existed between you and your Ex.  When you lose a “love”, even if it is just temporary, you will experience a variety of breakup pains.

In your mind, you are not sure if your Ex still loves you.  Maybe you don’t even care, but you wonder if you will meet a “special man” in the future that you can share your life with. This uncertainty plays upon both your mind and body.  It creates a variety of symptoms.

When people, who have experienced a breakup, say they are in pain, they are literally referring to both emotional and physical pain.  The loss of your lover can actually make your “heart” feel like it is truly broken.   

You may feel pain in your chest.  Your stomach may be tied up in knots.

There is a reason why people talk about being heartbroken.  The pain can be fierce and concentrated in the center of the chest area.  You may feel like you have been punched in the gut.  It may feel like the entire world is ending.  Emotionally you are thrashing around and physically your body is trying to repel this awful feeling.

The brain treats these symptoms like you are literally ill.

The brain is convinced this is the case. And the sooner you can recover, the better, because what is happening to you can have adverse physiological effects.

Prolong stress is not your friend.  

Fortunately, the road to recovery is available for anyone who wishes to get better. This is why I spend considerable time in posts throughout this website discussing the things you need to know about in order to advance your healing process.

For example, I discuss how the No Contact Principle can be a healing agent in your life.  You can read about it the post below:

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

 

Your personal recovery is a core strategy within the No Contact Rule.

Psychologists and physicians now better understand how the brain processes a breakup event.  The area of the brain that lights up when your suffer physical pain (e.g. falling off a bike). is the same area of the brain that is stimulated when you are dealt the blow of “social rejection”.

When in love, everything is glowing and happy.  

Peel back the layers and look inside your brain and you will see it is bathed in lots of neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin and they make you feel really good.

Take that away suddenly, and it can be a bitch.  

On one level, your brain is trying to make sense of what has happened.   The other side of the brain has been hijacked by a flood of running thoughts.  

And all of those neurochemicals you have grown so fond of, are running for the exits.  You are left holding the bag, full of some pretty nasty stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine.

A constant dose of the love sick chemicals can really set you off.  

You feel tense. Your head hurts. You have muscle aches. Your eyes hurt from reading so much about what to do.  You neck is probably sore from the tension you have been holding in.  And it literally feels like somebody is sitting on your chest.

I know, I know……it really sucks living like this!  

But these stress chemicals eventually get flushed out of your system and there are some things you can do during the “Recovery Phase” to combat the effects of heartbreak.

So what are some of the other Love Sick Symptoms?

You should expect that some of these things could unfold in your life.  Knowing what they are, ahead of time, should make you more vigilant and less reactive.

  • Crying at Songs
  • Appetite Loss
  • Insomnia
  • Weight Gain
  • Binge Eating
  • Committing Petty Crimes
  • Attention Seeking Behaviors
  • Constantly Checking Email/Texts/Social Media
  • Obsessing About Why Your Ex Left the Relationship
  • Various Depressive States
  • Desire to Spy on Your Ex
  • Endlessly Rehearsing What You Would Say to Them in Various Situations
  • Other Binge Behaviors (watching movies/shows late into the night, endlessly playing video games)
  • Going on a Bender
  • Your Immune System Can be Compromised

So Let’s Summarize What You Have Learned

I believe that being informed as to how certain thoughts or behaviors can invade your life, can be very helpful.  

I want you to understand that living without your ex husband can in the beginning have an impact on your physical and emotional well being.  

But know this.  It is just a phase  and you will pass through it in time. 

When you were with someone for a meaningful period of time, you were connected in multiple ways.

This “connection” is both a blessing and a curse.

The blessing is all of the amazing memories and moments that are created.  

The curse is you can’t help but think about all of those experiences you had together as a couple.  That kind of wistful thinking can take a toll on your psyche.  

You are also tied together from a biological rhythm perspective.  

Your body temperature, heart rate, appetite, and blood pressure can be thrown into a tizzy when the two of you are pulled away from each other.

These reactions are all normal.  Knowing about these things will help you if you experience them to any meaningful degree.

The Two Faces of Your Inner Voice

listen to your inner voice after breakup

There is this thing we all have.  

It is called the inner voice.  

It is really fun to talk to yourself as you walk through life.  

You can carry on conversations with yourself about how you are so much better without that scoundrel of a husband in your life.  Your positive inner voice can pick you up when you are having a down day.

Our inner voice can be a really good friend.  I know that I rely a lot on my inner voice to keep up my energy levels and to maintain a positive attitude.

But one thing we all should know is that our inner voice has an evil twin.  

It is sorta like that “Gollum” creature in the Lord of the Rings movies.   

If you are not familiar with Gollum, then try thinking of  the “Force” in the Star Wars movies!  There is the good side of the force.  And there is the “dark side” of the force.

Ok…so if you have not seen either of those movies, then I am fresh out of analogies!  

We all need to stand guard at the gates of our mind’s psyche and try to keep the “Dark Side”  voice away.

Unfortunately, after a breakup, we are more prone to falling prey to the Dark Side. 

Pointing Relationship Anger and Fear To the Light

When we feel rejected, our sense of self can take a dive.  

The dark side of our inner self starts seductively chipping away at our insecurities and vulnerabilities.

Your Inner Critic (i.e. the Dark Side) loves making you feel bad.  It thrives on that.  It loves to take a bath in chaos and drag you along for the ride.  

The Inner Critic likes to use the power of suggestion.  

It will say things to you like, “you will never survive without your Ex”.  

It will play on your insecurities by saying something like, “no one will ever love you again”.

Your Inner Critic thrives on sneak attacks.  Suddenly, some negative thought will just pop in your head.  It is trying to encourage you to do destructive things.  It wants you to believe your life is devastated.

It is really important for you to understand that your Inner Critic is COMPLETELY and TOTALLY full of it!

So let’s make sure you understand that.

First of all, understand that your Inner Critic is not even real.  

It is imaginary.

It came into existence in your mind because it was prodded by fear. And fear is essentially a relic from our past.

We evolved to have fear.

It was a survival mechanism to set us running away from danger.  Think lions, tigers, and bears!  

But your fear can be tamed, just as the dark inner voice can be quieted.

Everything your dark inner voice tells you is utterly false and not based in reality.  

It exists only to sow discontent. It is truly quite weak. You can literally chase it out of your head.

It is the Positive Inner Voice you should be listening to.

It is the only inner voice that is your friend.  This voice is the one that helps you out in a pinch.  It is the “voice” that picks you up when you are down.  

It is the voice that helps you get directed at doing things like exercising, spending time with friends & family, and starting you on a journey of recovery.

The Positive Inner Voice is much more grounded in reality.  It is more pragmatic and is outward focused.  It wants you to do things that can help you. It is your coach and cheerleader.

So as we conclude this post, remember to cast away those negative thoughts.  Your future can truly be very bright.  And if you are looking for more insights around saving your relationships with others and yourself,  then I invite you to read any of my other posts.   

Why is Breaking Up So Hard and Painful

You may feel like your marriage is in shambles.  Let’s say you just booted out your husband.  At first, it felt like the right thing to do.  And it probably was.

Nevertheless, you now feel like your entire life has cratered.  The landscape of your past relationship seems riddled with bad memories.

You wonder what comes next. Chances are, you are not quite ready for the flood of emotions that may rain down on you.

has your life cratered after breaking up

It may even at times feel like you have fallen down into a dark abyss.

And all those times before, when you were carefully thinking through whether you would do it (i.e. breaking up) and how you would do it,  now seems like it happened far in the past.

Your probably even thought the worst was over after you and your husband or boyfriend decided to call it quits.

But for the typical person, the fluctuating mood states associated with breaking it off with their lover,  has only just begun.

I know, it sucks.

The Agony of Parting Ways With An Ex

the pain of separation and breakup

This whole breaking up situation can be expected to be hard and painful and is usually accompanied with conflicting thoughts, anxiety, and uncertainty.

Welcome to the breakup zone. All those who have had a falling out with their husband or wife are welcomed!

Maybe you are not married, but your boyfriend or girlfriend has left you. What on earth were they thinking.  Don’t they realize you are an amazing person!

Ok…I digressed.

It’s fair to say that you are probably feeling like your life has been hijacked by your emotions.  And if everything seems dull and uninspiring due to the mental fog of the breakup, trust me, the fog will eventually lift.

It also probably seems like time has stopped.

Just getting up to face another day is really hard to do. The thoughts of all the events leading up to the breaking up moment plague you.  You wrestle with them. They just don’t seem to leave you.

A relationship that has ended, even if it has been spiraling out of control, takes time to unravel.

For days, following the split up, the dominant thoughts flashing through your mind will likely revolve around whether you did anything wrong or if you could have done something different to save the marriage or whatever kind of relationship the two of you had.

Is it such a bad thing?“, you might think to yourself.

Maybe you were the catalyst of bringing the relationship to an end.

So what“, you might rationalize, “if I am joining the legion of people who call themselves an Ex. It’s got to be better than the suffering I was going through before“, you conclude.

That’s not such a bad thought, if it is true.  It is a step in the right direction.  But as you probably have already discovered, failed marriages and relationships are usually very messy.

Or perhaps the breakup deed has already happened and it is your boyfriend or girlfriend that uttered those immortal words, “I don’t want to do this anymore“.

Maybe your husband or boyfriend instigated the whole business of each of our going your separate ways.

By the way, for the guys who are reading this, just keep on reading.  Even though it may seem like most of my advice is pointed at  women who are suffering through a failed relationship; just know the same principles and advice I offer also apply to you.

That’s right.  The chaos around some relationships does not make exceptions based on gender.

marriage chaos

It doesn’t care if you are a guy or a woman.  When chaos, brought on by two people calling quits, decides to unleash all of its wickedly, unpredictable outcomes, then you best be prepared.

Know thy enemy, right.

Well, often, the enemy to your well being is not your husband or boyfriend or your wife or girlfriend.

More often than not, your enemy is ignorance.  Not knowing what to expect and what you should do in the face of a relationship breakdown or meltdown.

I am not a big fan of relationship chaos.  Nor should you be.  Though there are some couples that seem to thrive in the thrashing of relationship chaos. But that is a different story….a different post.

But breakup turmoil is out there and if you understand what the underlying causes, you can better cope with it.

Yep, breaking up with an ex is not just terrifically hard to do in terms of just finding the right words, but it is “hard to do” emotionally after you and your ex have parted ways.

Within hours after the break up and for many days to come, you will likely experience one of the roughest patches in your life.

Despite how awful you may be feeling right now, just know this.  

THINGS WILL GET BETTER.

Consider this post your survival guide for the post breakup period.

Why Is It So Hard After the Breakup?

pain of splitting up

Let me explain to you what is going on with you emotionally and physiologically.

It is important you understand that the “real you” has temporarily been hijacked. That sounds pretty ominous, doesn’t it.  Don’t let it scare you.  Just consider it part of the breakup situation everyone goes through.

Think of it this way.  There are far worse things that could be happening in your life right now.  Just because your husband or significant other is no longer part of your life does mean you should stop living and celebrating life.

That’s right.  All of us need a pep talk now and again.  We all need to remember our good fortune that we even have an opportunity to love and be loved. Not by just a few people, but by many people in our lives  

That gives your life meaning.

Every moment we live is precious.  

It is said, the present moment is truly a most wondrous and powerful goddess.

Living inside the moment is really critical.

Though I understand that right now, it will be somewhat difficult for you to grasp a hold of such lofty ideas and make it yours.

But you shouldn’t stop trying, because what I have said is a “truth”.

I realize you have this “thing” that is in the way. It’s called “heartbreak”.

And meanwhile, the world just keeps on turning despite all the fallout occurring around your failed marriage, relationship, or romance.  

You probably just want to scream.

In fact, it is therapeutic to let it all out. If you try holding in the pain of having to part ways with your lover, then you simply will take longer to recover.

Let me tell you a story about one of my writers.  You see, I also own and operate two other websites.  They go by the name of exboyfriendrecovery.com and exgirlfriendrecovery.com.

One of my writers goes by the name of Ashley.  And she has what I think is a really cool strategy on how to cope with some of the rough and tumble feelings you will invariably experience after a big falling out with your ex.

She talks about just allowing yourself to feel it all.

sometimes a good cry wins out

It does you no good to hide from your relationship hurts.  You know when you feel bad.  It is healthier to just let it all hang out.

She explains that if she needed a good cry, because of an overwhelming sense of  breakup sadness, then she  would go somewhere private and just let the tears flow.

She would allow herself to have the biggest breakup pity party anyone could imagine.   But it would be just for that one day.

And if it is anger or resentment that is boiling up inside you because of something your husband or boyfriend did, then don’t push it down inside yourself.  Nor should you indiscriminately let it come flying out, such that everyone around you treats you like a plague.

Again, go someplace where you have privacy and allow yourself to scream it out or in Ashley’s case, go to work on a punching bag.

Involving yourself in just about anything physical to rid yourself of the “breakup demons” is almost always a good idea, provided it is a healthy exertion of negative energy.

Think of these kinds of actions as an honest expression of how your are feeling. Don’t allow all these  emotions to stay bottled up inside you.  Otherwise, you are likely to later pay a price. Think of these actions as self help, getting over your ex type of therapy.

But there is a Big But.

Don’t incessantly cry and don’t allow yourself to always be the angry person.  If you need to allot yourself 15 minutes a day to cry it out (for a few days), then that works.  Just avoid making it a regularly scheduled part of your life.

Rather, just rid yourself of these negative feelings that are held over from the relationship ending.  Then start focusing on the positive.  Focus on your future.

It is largely true.  You are, “how you act”.  And you have a lot of control over the mood and attitude you wish to inhabit.

Why Doesn’t The World Notice?

why doesn't the world notice your breakup

If you have a particularly ugly and difficult parting of ways with your lover, do you ever look around and wonder, “Why doesn’t anyone realize that the very fabric of my existence has been torn apart!”

You may feel really small, with no one noticing your problems.  You may feel like a spacecraft could come and lift you away and the world would not pay attention.

It just seems like time keeps marching on, hour by hour, day by day.

Of course, that is exactly what the world and time does.  It just keeps moving forward, with or without you.

But don’t fret.  Everything you are feeling is normal.  It is not uncommon for you to feel like you have been sucker punched by your husband or boyfriend in the days and week following the separation.

On one hand you have to deal with the rush of feelings following your split with your boyfriend or husband.

That in itself is tough enough.  

But life just doesn’t stop and start throwing your softballs.  

Life just has this annoying way of going on.

And by the way, that is your first clue to getting to a better place.  

This post is about helping you understand why you feel the way you do and ultimately how you should go about recovering.  So remember, until you get through the breakup chaos period, it is usually best not to make any grand plans or important relationship decisions. 

The good news is that you can rescue yourself.

Yep, believe me,  It happens all the time.  Right now, you might not feel that is even possible, but I assure you, the breakup process is simply a natural outcome of our selection process.

Not everyone is meant for you.

And likewise, you are not meant to be the right match for every single person you come upon.  It doesn’t matter whether we are talking friends or lovers.

Human beings are not always good matches for certain other human beings.

That is just the way it is.  No one person is perfectly compatible for another.  No even close.  Not even if you are deeply in love and happily married.  Even those couples are far from achieving the state of “perfect compatibility”.

That outcome does not exist. We are far too complicated, us human beings.

It is likely that part of the reason why you and you husband or boyfriend broke it off is due to compatibility issues.

Of course, that is all well and good to know about, but you are probably thinking, “Hey Chris, I am hurting here.  Help me get past it

What you are experiencing now is much like an addict who is suffering from withdrawal.  Indeed, there is considerable research that supports this view.  

Your body, more specifically your brain, has temporarily conspired against you to make your breakup ordeal quite difficult in the early days.

Are You a Relationship Breakup Addict

are you addicted to your ex

There is something both natural and strange happening in your mind right now!   

You are suffering from the “crazies”.

Indeed, you might even strap on a pair of goggles, just to fly over your Ex husband’s or ex boyfriend’s house to see what he is going.

Hey, don’t take it personally, as I believe we are all a little crazy.  But if you have recently experienced a breakup, you are very likely to be feeling it a lot more than me.   

I mean, really, who can blame you for being a little kooky!  

Everything that you use to count on has changed. The very fabric of your life has been torn away.

What was once a shared life with someone you loved….is no more.  All of the things you use to do together….those experiences are no more.  

All of the songs you enjoyed together….those times are in the past.  

Should I go on. I think not.

Consider yourself borderline possessed.

Perhaps we can agree you are suffering from “love sickness”.

Is there really such a thing?

You bet there is!

Now don’t freak out, because it is perfectly natural.  Indeed, understanding what is happening to you and why it is happening, offers some therapeutic value.

You won’t believe how many of my clients become so dazed and confused,  that they can’t quite process what is happening.  It is not until we discuss their feelings, that they are able to make some sense of why they may be behaving in certain self destructive ways.  

That is how overwhelming it can be and I am so sorry you are experiencing heartache.    

Helen Fisher, an esteemed biological anthropologist, tells us that getting over a lost love is akin to recovering from a drug addiction.  

The biological mechanism that triggers this reaction is in our brain. We are wired to mate with one person at a time. Remove that person from your life and the brain’s circuitry goes a little haywire.

The brains of those individuals suffering from a breakup respond to the loss of the lover by activating certain parts of the brain.  These activated areas are in the same region of the brain as those individuals who are coming off an intense addiction to a drug (e.g. cocaine).

This is why we can become fixated on our Ex.

It those darn chemicals being released in our brains!

So actually, you are not heart broken.  Nope!  

If anything, we are closer to being “brain broken”.

Definitely, something is broken.

But we are going to turn this around.  Our focus of most of our posts on this website is about about fixing things.  Speaking of which, here is an outstanding post that is aimed at fixing a great many things in a relationship.

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

So read on, because I want you to understand what is going on inside your head!

Of those individuals who have experienced a breakup, the vast majority think about their Ex 85% of the time.

After a breakup, there are parts of the brain which are activated that affects pain and distress.  So if you ever wondered why these intense waves of pain and despair come over you, now you know.

Will they go away, eventually,  Yep, they certainly will. Stay busy and exercise, is my short little speech.

I guess we could blame it on early man and woman who walked the earth, millions of years ago. These intense feelings you are undergoing got their start long ago.  We are wired to think and feel in certain ways when things happen. 

The good news is you will mend.  The bad news is that there is no surefire cure or remedy that can make everything right in short order.

Though, there are techniques and strategies you can turn to that will definitely help, even in the early days.

It is a bit of a process everyone goes through at different rates.  On average, recovery from a split up usually takes two to four months.

Now you not going to necessarily be able to cast your ex boyfriend or ex husband right out of your mind after a few months.  But you can turn the corner and there is a lot of fulfilling things you can do and achieve when your make that turn.

Now here is something else that is very interesting that came out of that same study Fischer and her colleagues conducted.  It turns out that one of the things you can do to help speed up your recovery is to talk or read about it, preferably in a positive light.    

Understanding and accepting the emotional phases you are experiencing is therapeutic.   Just reading this website of mine and realizing what you are going through has a beginning, middle, and ending, will prove very helpful to you.  

Your “brain” likes it when you actively try to figure things out and make plans for the future.  

So kudos to you, because that is exactly what you are doing right now as you read this post.  

If you have been hanging around my website and reading some of the articles I have written, you probably have already learned about the many ways in which implementing the “No Contact Rule” can be of benefit.  

And you also probably have learned about several other things which can help you understand what you are going through and how you can recover from it.

For example, there is another interesting post breakup relationship insight I wish to discuss with you.

We can all use a little clarity, don’t you think?

Self Concept Clarity

find yourself after splitting up

People going through a breakup commonly go through a period where they ask, “who am I”.  

After a breakup, we can feel lost and detached from the real world.  As a result, people can experience damage to their own self concept.  After a breakup, an individual has probably suffered some kind of psychological wound.   

What use to be “we” and “us”, now has morphed into “me” and “I”.

But, let’s not get too carried away with all this bad news.  

I firmly believe (and scientific research supports this) you can and will recover from this sense of loss.  

In fact, there is a way to do it faster!

So why do people struggle with their identity?      

When you think about it, it’s not too surprising.  After all, when your soul feels like it has been ripped apart, it is hard to get one’s bearings.  

I am here to tell you that if you feel this way now or if these feelings are coming at you in waves, do not panic or despair.  As I have explained, the way you are feeling now, both emotionally and physically, is all part of a natural process.

Remember when I told you about the need to climb the switchbacks to scale the mountain top?

Well, maybe you have not read that post yet!

Anyway, that is what is going on with you now.  

You need to keep moving forward, incorporating positive personal experiences in your life, however small they may be.  Do it over and over again.  They add up.

Keep pushing past your emotional hardships.

You will not only survive, but will be stronger on the other side.

Shift Your Outlook and Find Positive Momentsbe positive in the moments you create

Most people, as they struggle at ground zero of the breakup, cannot see a positive future.

It is the same way for a climber.  You cannot see the mountaintop when you first start the climb.

After a breakup, a person’s concept of Who They Are, is fractured.  

I am here to remind that your moods never move in the same direction all of the time.  

And while you may feel helpless and convinced you have been dealt a “bad hand”, there is much more than light at the end of the tunnel.  Walk in that direction.

What is waiting for you and within your grasp, is the restoration of your “Self Concept Clarity”.  

This is where you want to focus your energies.  

Now, if you are thinking, “what the heck is Self Concept Clarity”, let me explain.

It is actually quite simple. I want you to think of it this way.  When you can tell yourself or another, what kind of person you are and what you wish to do with your life, then you have a clear vision of who you are.

Chances are that this will be difficult for you to do if you are still recovering from a break up.  

You and your Ex were part of a union.  That has now been dissolved.  

Now it’s time for you to detach from your Ex.  Only then will you find yourself.  

Later you may choose to reunite with your Ex, if you genuinely feel that serves your interests.  

All of this takes time.  

This is where the No Contact Period comes into play.   It is far easier to accomplish what I described if you are not dependent or emotionally attached to your Ex.  

I am always looking for silver linings in life.  

I want you to do the same.

Life is unpredictable.  It will throw curves and sliders at you.  If you strike out and walk back to the dugout full of despair, then you are not playing the game of “life” all that well.  

We all strike out. It will happen throughout your life.

But there are many innings yet to play.  There are many games for you to partake in.  So there are lots of opportunities for you to turn things around.  

No one Has A Perfect Marriage or Love Life

road to love lost recovery  

So learn from your negative experiences.

Let this website, be your “Play Book”.  

Take the “learnings” presented to you and shape your life in the way you desire.  

Let’s talk about acquiring  a positive self image.

While we know that one can easily become lost to themselves following a break up and experience emotional pain;  the reverse holds true once the person finds themselves again.  

A very interesting study was performed on this topic.  It showed that when an individual  focuses on improving their self concept, they will recover faster from their break up.  

http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2015/4/15/face-it-recover-the-self-to-recover-from-break-up.html

And that is key from a personal development perspective and it also helps with optimizing one’s chances of rebuilding a former relationship, if you end up going down that path.

I kid you not!  

So make that a focal point in your life.  

The Recovery element of the No Contact Period is essential.   

But to find yourself, you need first to understand that you are probably “lost”.

find yourself again after a loss   

When you lose part of yourself, as a result of your husband or boyfriend calling it quits, your self image and and sense of future becomes clouded.  

http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2014/7/21/when-i-lose-you-i-lose-part-of-me-too.htm

I believe there is therapeutic and practical value, when one seeks to understand the full picture of “Ground Zero” of the break up.  

Think of it this way.   

Once you understand the role biological and chemical processes play in your mood states and behavior, you can eventually wrestle back control of your “real self”.  

It will take some time, but it will happen.

You will come to understand something very powerful.  

You will see you are not alone in this place that is called Breakup Ground Zero.  

Others have been there before.   

They moved past their pain.

And so will you.

On & Off Again Relationships – How To End the Cycle

How does one steer away from the pain and drudgery of an on and off again relationship?

How can you bring an end to this “Groundhog Day” type of cycle that too frequently plagues couples?

Ending such a destructive, seemingly endless relationship loop requires more than just a few words of advice.

I often get these questions from women and men who describe their marriage or relationship as a mind numbing series of ups and downs.

It is as if they are on a relationship roller coaster ride.

They want to know how they can stop the madness of fussing, fighting, and breaking up; followed later by regrets, apologies, and reconciliation.  Only to be repeated again down the road.

on and off romance

I guess, the movie “Groundhog Day” is indeed a good analogy because after the 3rd or 4th time of calling it quits with your boyfriend (or girlfriend), a certain feeling of futility can sweep over you.

You begin to wonder, “Why am I even doing this? Is this guy or girl really worth it?”

I once spoke with a woman whose lover had threatened to abandon her yet again after a particularly angry exchange.  The emotions were running high.  They both understood the folly of their ways.  But it was as if they could not help themselves.

In the back of their minds they knew that the breakup wouldn’t last long, nevertheless they went through it anyway.

It is like that “long winding road” we hear about in the song.  My client was drawing close to calling it quits for good.

When she reached out to me, she wanted to know how she and her husband could quickly end this maddening circle of futility, once and for all.

I told her that it really would be necessary to discuss the entirety of their relationship and both of them would need to embrace a new way of dealing with conflict.

She insisted she would do all those things and was committed to breaking the on and off relationship pattern.  But she stated that she really needed something to work with, right then.  She explained that she was at her wits end and just needed something to believe in.

So I explained, “if you want the fast answer“, though I told her to remember that any advice wrapped into one sentence is wholly incomplete, “then you should consider getting your husband to see you in a different light. Right now he sees you as always available to him, even if the two of you are temporarily split up.”

try not being too available to your man

So I sought to work with her to see the bigger picture of how each of them were rewarding undesirable behavior through their regular antics of splitting up, then getting back together again.

You see, when you really break it down, there is an entire process one should go through before one even attempts to get back with their Ex.

First, one should be asking whether it is really in their best interests to get back with a husband or boyfriend, given the on and off again track record that may be unfolding.

Let’s assume you are in this kind of situation with your lover.

What if the two of you have had numerous breakups during the course of your relationship, to the extent that it has become the norm?

By most definitions, that would be a dysfunctional marriage or relationship.

So what does that point to and how does one go about stopping this kind of relationship busting behavior?

How does one break the cycle of being happily in love to the extent you cannot stand to be apart.  Then later find yourselves in a place where you want nothing to do with the other.

I have to be honest with you.   Ending such a cycle in which problems consistently bubble up causing the relationship to collapse can be tough, particularly if the two of you have been caught up in such a cycle for a significant period of time.

Curiously, some couples caught up in this maelstrom of an on and off again romance seem to be driven to repeat the breakup behavior over and over again.

It almost becomes part of the fabric of their relationship.

It certainly is not a healthy way to create a vibrant and fulfilling marriage.  In such a relationship,  no sooner do they tell each other that its “all over”, than they in turn will start plotting ways to be together again.

There is a reason for this, which we will get too soon.

Hence, sometimes with these serial on and off again romances, you get this obsessive desire and focus to get your ex lover back just as fast as could be reasonably expected.

Except, with such a mindset, reason is usually clouded.  And the mind is often influenced by the chemicals of addiction.

How To Get My Ex Husband Back Fast?

This is one of the most asked questions I get here on the site.

Increasingly, it seems we live in a society where everyone wants to do everything fast.

People who have parted ways with their ex husband or boyfriend are often very eager to get back together again.

Of course, by now, if you have been a regular reader of this site, you probably understand that there are chemical forces (i.e. neurotransmitters) operating within your brain that causes you to succumb to this addictive wish.

I talk about this phenomenon in the post below.

How To Get Over a Breakup With Someone You Love

If you are the one who was dumped, it is likely that all you can think about is how to patch things up as quickly as possible.

While you may not realize it, as these thoughts fly through your mind, the chemical neurotransmitters, which influence love and attraction, are looking for a boost.

When you are in the arms of your husband or lover, dopamine and other chemicals roam freely and bathe you with pleasurable sensations.

Now that your ex is out of our life, you are running at a deficit. Your body is craving for something that you are now deprived.

What was once something you were long accustomed to, without even realizing it, is now missing.  Indeed, you will be in some form of withdrawal as the reward center in your brain cries out for its chemical fix.

Hence, being dumped can lead to addictive behaviors and it is not entirely all your fault.  Evolution has a big say in how your respond to such a situation.  Eventually, it all plays out and your mind and body achieves a balance.  But that also takes time.

And understanding all of this can help you with managing your feelings and better deal with your addictive relationship related emotions and behaviors.

How Do Lovers End Up Dumping Their Partner?

reasons for dumping an ex

Speaking of how people get dumped in a relationship, I think it is important to stop and evaluate what might be going on behind the scenes.  Gaining some insight into the mind of your husband or your ex may help you better frame a strategy going forward.

What clues might there be in how he went about breaking up with you?

In a study conducted by Collins and Gillath, which was published in the Journal of Research in Personality, seven breakup techniques were identified.  

Knowing where your lover may be coming from, can help you with where they may be going and what your prospects are for potentially getting the relationship back on track.

Before going forward, there are two thing I wish to emphasize.

Relationships that don’t operate in truth about the important things, struggle with remaining intact.  And relationships that are not bounded together through mutual values ultimately will struggle.  

Hang on to those two thoughts as they will serve you well.  

So what are these 7 approaches people use in breaking up?

reason why people dump their lovers

  1. Your Ex just increasingly ignores you.  You usually get a taste of what might be coming.  Certain things are said or not said.  You begin noticing your husband’s detachment from the things you use to do together. It can take the form of a gradual decline or it can be a total shutdown.  “Ghosting” would be an example of your Ex breaking it off, cold turkey.  In this type of situation, your lover will suddenly treat you like you are a ghost…like you don’t even exist.  You hear nothing from them.   They walk out of your life, never to be heard from again. More often, this only lasts for a short duration.  But truly being “ghosted” entails never hearing from your ex again. 
  2. Your Ex plays the “Self Blame Card”.  The breakup, by their admission, is “all their fault”.  They explain nothing is wrong at all with what you contributed to the relationship. Rarely is this true. 
  3. Your Ex openly confronts you with their genuine feelings and why they wish to breakup.  There is usually some uncertainty in the “air”.  In this case, whether you agree or not, your Ex honestly tells you why they wish to bring an end to the relationship.
  4. Your Ex plays “Bad Cop”.  They deliberately pick fights and become mean spirited to encourage you to break it off. This is kind of a cowardly way of dealing with a dysfunctional relationship.  Yet, some people are uncomfortable with laying bare their feelings, so they will resort to tricks to blow things up.
  5. Your Ex uses the “Underhanded 3rd Party Tactic”. In this scenario your ex orchestrates a breakup through a 3rd party.  They tell this other individual about their wish to break up, in the hope that the word gets back to you.  
  6. Your Ex uses the “Coward’s Digital Play”. With the frequency in which texting and social media is used in people’s lives, it is not too surprising that some people take a very non confrontational approach and break up with their partner via a text, email, or status change on Facebook.
  7. Your Ex uses a “Vague De-escalation Method”.  This tactic is a close cousin to the non-confrontational approach.  Your Ex might tell you something vague like they need a “timeout” or a “break”.  They might blame it on some other non related event.  The point, though, is that they are looking for a way to escape the relationship, again avoiding the more desired truth telling.

Of the 7 ways in which an Ex can choose to bring a relationship to it’s end, number 3 is generally believed to be the best way to receive the news. Though receiving such news is never easy to digest. 

Sure, it  hurts like hell to hear something negative about yourself and why the other party prefers if the relationship ends. 

But at least, if you believe you are getting an honest explanation, you have something to work with.  

And let me offer a little insight!  

Just because your Ex tells you why they are breaking up with you, does not necessarily mean they are fully in touch with their true feelings.  

They may not really know what they want.  In addition, (and this is important) your husband or boyfriend is usually framing everything from their perspective, not yours.  There is very likely a number of things that he has done that has contributed to the struggle.

Indeed, you may have been the better partner in the relationship, investing more time and effort to make things better.

on and off relationships are trouble

On & Off Relationships – Not So Uncommon

I am a big fan of utilizing the No Contact Principle when a relationship has turned sour, particularly if a pattern of breakups are unfolding.   There are many benefits.  I talk about some of the relationship benefits in this post:

How the No Contact Rule Can Work in a Failing Marriage

When you implement the No Contact Rule, you are making an investment in your Ex and Yourself!  

Just know that you are on the “good” side of relationship statistics when it comes to eventually reuniting with your Ex.  And I believe, if you read and consider the ideas presented throughout my website, you will be able to optimize your chances.

Breakups come in all forms as measured by their severity and duration.  

Some breakups are really bad and ugly (i.e severity).  Some breakups last a very long time (duration).  Those two factors influence just how frequently, as a couple, you may struggle with remaining attached.

Why is this important for you to know?

Well, first of all, if you and your lover have gone through multiple breakups in the past….I don’t want you to think you are hugely different from everyone else out there.  

I don’t want you to panic and become distraught. While on and off again relationships are not anything to cheer about, they are not outside the norm.

You are not alone.

People, particularly if they are young and inexperienced, can struggle with making a relationship last.  

In some ways, it is our nature to explore what works.  Sometimes we are unsure of our own feelings.   

Though you need to know that if you have had multiple breakups with the same person, that behavior in itself is not desirable.  

You could be developing a new routine of “breaking up” when things go sour.  And that is not healthy in the long run.  To be honest, it is a sign of a dysfunctional relationship.  And you will need to strive to get to the bottom of why this is happening.

Research reveals that about 66% of people have experienced an on & off relationship. So repeat breakup offenders and victims (i.e. those dumped) are not that unusual.  

But as I warned, this result is not a healthy normal.

About 40% of these couples broke it off more than two times in the past.  And about 25% called it quits at least 4 or more times in the past.

So why does this happen?

Are we gluttons for punishment?

Are we just so screwed up that we can’t get our act together?

Well, I am sure we all can learn a lot from our mistakes, though oftentimes we don’t.  Yet people still find themselves reconnecting.

Many couples strive to do the “right thing” by reuniting, only later to run into new problems.   

Undeniably there are driving forces that pull couples together.  Yet there are other forces that pull them apart.

It takes work to be a successful couple!  Part of that work is learning about yourself and learning about who you are compatible with.

One powerful force at play in these on and off relationships has to do with the strength of the bond.  Once two people fall in love and share many common experiences, they form a bond or connection.  

That bond is hard to break.  

It lingers.

Lingering Attachment is What Can Pull Couples Back Together

a lingering connection bring lovers back

When a couple gets married, the pastor or officiant of the ceremony might have said something like, “for better or worse…..until death do us part.  

This mindset pervades how the couples think about their relationship.  Once you invest your heart, trust, and time into a relationship, you have a lot of yourself entrusted and invested in this other person.  

This can be both good and bad.  

It can be Bad when a break up occurs because you feel you have lost part of yourself.  It can be Good in the event of a breakup, because the forces of attachment play a role in pulling you back together again, when both parties have healed.

Here is the deal though.  

You need to learn and grow (same goes for your Ex)  individually as a person before you try to reconnect with your Ex.  Otherwise you may end up rushing back into a relationship filled with the same routines and problems.  

You need time to rationally evaluate whether you and your partner share the same values and goals.  If you don’t, then more trouble probably looms ahead.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having shared values.  If your values and principles are aligned, a lot of the problems you may be encountering can be addressed.

This is why utilizing the No Contact Rule can be so powerful.  It is not meant to make your husband or boyfriend miss you.  Though miss you, he will.

Its primary benefits revolve around you having time to think rationally about the direction of your life.  It is meant for you to work on healing and improving yourself.  And it is also intended at delivering a message to your lover that you will not necessarily come running right back into the relationship.

But you need to be aware of one of the forces that will be trying to pull you right back into the relationship fray.

This phenomenon of coming back together again as a couple is described by behavioral scientists as “lingering attachment”.  This driving force can intervene at some stage after the breakup, to drive the couple back together.  

Lingering Attachment”  Can Be Good or Bad!

lingering attachment with lover good or bad 

As I have explained, this can be good or bad, even Ugly.  

It is good, if both partners have invested time to become a better version of themselves and learned from their mistakes and commit to not repeating them.  

It can be bad if the couple learns little from their break up and come back together primarily due to the forces of lingering attachment and sexual attraction.

If the parties to the relationship have worked on their communication skills and sought to identify and solve the problems that caused the break up in the first place, then the cycle of an on & off relationship can end.

The forces of “lingering attachment” coupled with the realization that the “grass is NOT always greener” can together create a multiplier effect which results in a couple getting back together.  

But I caution you…..if you do not work with your partner to drill down to the key reasons that is causing these frequent breakups, the on/off cycle will be unleashed again and again.

A lot depends on what you and your Ex are willing to do to confront the real relationship problems which caused the breakup.

All of this leads us to why implementing the “No Contact Principle” properly can help you with putting an end to the on and off breakup cycle.

By the way, did you know that there are essentially 5 critical components to a successful relationship.  I discuss these at length in this post:

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

Taking time for yourself  is indeed an Important and First Step in your strategy to recover from heartbreak and identify the problems surrounding the relationship.

And your ex will also benefit from the elapse of time so that he can get in closer contact with what is important and meaningful to him. 

Right now, immediately following the breakup, neither of you are in a good position to do each other much good.  

You and your Ex both need to take a look at your relationship with a fresh pair of eyes.  That is nearly impossible to do unless you have had some time away from each other.

And that is why entering into No Contact can be a critical step in ending the cycle of unhealthy relationship breakup behaviors.

In closing, it is important you have time to evaluate if your core values are aligned, which is critical if you wish to break the cycle of on/off and develop a lasting, long term relationship. 

 

How To Get Over a Breakup With Someone You Love

How does one navigate though a breakup when it is you husband or wife that you are parting with?  Or what if your boyfriend  or girlfriend of many months or years has called it quits, choosing to part ways with you.

We are not talking about somebody that you were just casually dating.    

Nope, we are talking about a person you have loved, possibly for many years.

We could be dealing with a man or woman that may have been the love of your life.  He or she may be the father or wife to your children.  Or he or she may have once been your soul mate in every respect.

Unraveling the puzzle of how you should go about processing everything is seldom immediately clear.

big picture of your love life 

I think one of the first things you need to do when a breakup is unfolding or has already happened is to look at the big picture of your life.

I realize that when you are dealing with the whiplash of a failed or failing relationship, that is no easy thing to accomplish.

I hope that after you finish reading this post, you will come to realize the importance of taking a holistic view of what is going on in your life.

Indeed, this is quite important because with perspective and insight, you will be able to make better decisions.  You will be able to better decide if the breakup was premature and whether it is worth trying to re-engage with your ex. 

Hopefully, with a holistic view, you will be able to see the things that happened in your relationship more clearly.   

And if you are seeking to re-establish your relationship, the clearer you can see things of the past as well as “yourself”,  the better are the chances of success.

But I bet, right now, things are probably pretty tough for you.

Love And Breakups – Do They Go Hand in Hand?

love and breakups 

You have heard of the saying, “breaking up is hard to do“, right?

Well, the truth is that which follows the breakup…….all the aftermath and ugly feelings and internal doubts and impaired self image ……..those things are among the hardest experiences for a man or woman to have to deal with.

Unfortunately, the way these things seem to work is when you fall in love with someone, there is always a risk of things going sour and taking an unexpected turn, resulting in a breakup.

You don’t plan for it and it is usually something you can’t anticipate well in advance.

Breaking things off with someone you love can happen suddenly or it can happen after a longer period of conflict.   In the latter case, personal battles and tests of wills may have occurred for weeks or months, further muddying the waters.

But when lovers break up, irrespective of the events leading up to that point, the pain and hurt can still be paralyzing.

There is good cause for this.

When the two of you were together, in each others arms and intertwined in each other’s lives, the reward center of your brain was getting plenty of attention.  The neurotransmitters in your mind were releasing dopamine and oxytocin and other brain chemicals.

After you breakup, the brain chemistry has little time to react to the deficit of chemicals it was so accustomed to receiving.  In effect, you go into a withdrawal period, much like a drug addict does, that is every bit as physical as the emotional withdrawal pains you are suffering.

It takes time to recover from what is happening both in your brain and in your heart.

So it can be quite overwhelming to go through the hardship of losing your husband,wife, boyfriend or girlfriend.  Even if the agreement to break up is just temporary, assuming the breakup was mutually agreed upon, you will still feel like you are being dragged through hell.

The Breakup Blues is Like a Punch in the Gut

love hurts after parting ways 

I have seen cases in which a couple struggled mightily, feeling miserable much of the time.  I have seen couple situations where one or both often felt sick and anxious due to the weight of the relationship conflict.  

Then after a lot grief and relationship damage, some couples finally decide to call a truce or timeout, with the understanding they need to break things off and go their separate ways.

It sounds easy.  In fact the words, when said, seem to just pour out naturally.  But there are like two parts of you.  

There is the rationale and pragmatic “you”.  And then there is the “emotional” somewhat vulnerable “you”.

As a result of the conflict between these two “mind states”, you can at times get caught in between your feelings about what you really want to do.

All of this adds to the difficulty before and after a breakup. 

How Do We Talk To Each Other When We Call it Quits

breaking up talk 

There are all kinds of phrases we sometimes use when we are calling it quits and ending the relationship, even if it is a trial arrangement.  

We might say, “Let’s just try giving each other some room“.

Or we might say something like “let’s explore a trial separation, or “let’s just halt and suspend things with our relationship for awhile.”   

Those who wish to be more harsh in bringing the relationship to and end might say, “let’s sever ties so we can get on with life“.

These are the relatively nicer things people say to break things off.  I rather not give you examples of some of the mean and insensitive language I have heard as it serves us not to dwell on ugliness. 

But it is interesting that people  tend to use metaphors and highly descriptive phrases to describe the act of breaking up as if it could help soften the blow. 

It seldom does.

However one slices and dices the words, there will be plenty of second guessing, confusion, anger, depression and lots of pain.

But I have news for you. 

Don’t fear it.  Rise above it.

Don’t wallow in it.  Build on it.

Just know that the natural progression of recovery is learning to work through the chemical dependency stage of the relationship.

Just as we discussed earlier, you may try to fool yourself into forgetting all the troubles you believe your ex may have caused you, but your brain and its dependency on dopamine and a host of other chemicals, needs time to become regulated.

The Period After a Breakup

after breakup attitude

Sometimes when one or both individuals decide they wish to go a different direction, the hope is that things might get better some day.  They may hold off on making it an “official breakup”, whatever that might mean.

Let me try to define.

In such situations, the relationship is still ending, but the parties involved are postponing making any final decision regarding making it “official”.

I have another what of describing this phase.   

I call this the No Contact Phase of the relationship.  In this situation, the relationships lives on in your mind because you are not quite ready to give it up.

And by giving yourself time alone, away from your estranged lover….essentially breaking off all contact…..you can actually improve your chances of recovering.

Then there is the more traditional break up in which one of the parties decides to end things.

In these situations in which a couple recognizes that the relationship is not working, one or both of them could be at the end of the rope.

They may have tried everything they could think of to make things better, but at some point it will become evident to one of them (possibly both) that things won’t get better while they are together.  

So it is usually one of them that will pull the trigger, putting an end to the relationship.  Sometimes these decisions are accompanied with the notion that, “this is it, it’s finally all over”.

But as we discussed, that is seldom the case.

Relationships seldom come to a screeching halt.  And when they do, it is not unusual for their to be premature efforts to reconcile.  Hence the cycle of on again, off again is born.

This is why a transition into a phase of No Contact can be very important in many ways.

When is the Relationship Really Over?

when is the relationship

As you probably know so well, permanent breakups start off like tremors of an earthquake.

They can come out of nowhere followed by a series of minor break up shocks, before the whole relationship collapses.  But it can take a good while before things get to a point where there is no return.

So when is a relationship finally over?  Well, that is really a tough question.

It turns out that “time” is the arbitrator to that question

And while a couple can in the moment agree to go their separate ways,  thinking they have handled everything as well as possible, the aftershocks of the emotional pain from tearing away from your past lover can effect you in ways you would never had anticipated.

How Do You Cope With Losing Your Lover?

So what are you to do if you and your lover have experienced such a breakup or something similar?

How do you cope?  What should you do with your life?  How should you deal with communications with your ex or your estranged husband or wife? 

I think it starts off with looking at things in a different way.

In effect, you need to make a Paradigm Shift in how you view yourself.

And that is really important because after most break ups, self esteem can suffer.

For a long time, you may have seen yourself as part of someone else, sharing the same long term goals.  

Now, all of that has seemingly changed.  You may begin questioning your own identity and self worth.  You will need to learn that who your are is not and should never be predicated or dependent on the man or woman your are no longer with.

There is a bridge of emotions you need to cross.  It won’t be easy.  But I believe you can do it.  

Why I do I feel this way about you?  

Well, one reason is because you are HERE!  You decided to come to this website to learn what you should do with you life and how you can cope with your emotional struggles.    

You are reading this now and that means you care enough about your situation to get help.  And trust me, most everyone who has experienced a breakup, needs a little help.  

Sometimes, we are so mired in the emotions surrounding a break up, that we are unable to see the bigger picture.  We can all use a guide to lead us through our emotional valleys.

Breakups and The Shadows of Heartache

shadows of relationship endings 

You are probably wondering, what can you possibly do that will cast away the shadows of heartache.

It is important that you recover emotionally from the break up.  To accomplish this, you will need to detach yourself from your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend (or husband or wife)/  

It will be hard, but it will be necessary.  

Sometimes, you have to remove yourself from something in order to become re-attached.  

There are multiple reasons for this and we will get into these methods and the reasoning behind this strategy in due time.  

But for now, I want you to think of this path you are about to take as a pragmatic way of dealing with the situation your find yourself in.

Embrace Your Pain Then Cast Out the Long Shadows!

Right now you are probably looking at everything through the prism of heartache.

Ouch…I know it can hurt.

Heartache colors your entire view and perspective.  

Research has demonstrated that your outlook on what you should do or how long it will take you to recover, is largely biased by your predicament.   

I too have suffered from a loss of an Ex.  

So I can relate to your pain and I also know you probably feel helpless.  

But I know you will feel better about things in time.

I have also advised many thousands of individuals on how to deal with their suffering.  So I really know and understand your pain.  

These long shadows cast by the loss of your lover takes the shape of sadness, depression, self blame, guilt, despair and many other negative emotions.  

What I want to teach you is how to cast  these “long shadows” out of your life.  

And much of your recovery will come about because of your courage and willingness to embrace yourself.

Learning to date yourself is one way a colleague of mine described it. 

Adopt a Practice of Not Contacting Your Ex

don't contact your ex

The No Contact Principle is largely about embracing the courageous YOU. Adopting this principle allows you time to heal and work on improving those areas of your life you have always desired to improve.

I talk about all of that in more detail in the post below.

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

Nothing in our life’s struggles can be condensed into simple statements.  

But if pressed, I would say that there are two types of responses people have when they are plagued by a major relationship breakup.  

There are those who despair and apply desperate efforts to reunite with their Ex, then give up when things don’t work out.  Such individuals usually invest little time in their own recovery and feel damaged and/or victimized for a very long time.

Then there are folks like yourself!  

You too are hurting bad.  And perhaps some of your early efforts to piece things back together failed.  But instead of wallowing in your pain and sorrow, you are taking affirmative steps to explore what you can do to patch yourself up and possibly patch up your relationship with your Ex.   

Believe me, I know.  It takes courage to lift yourself out of that deep, painful place and see that there can be a better tomorrow.  

You are here to learn how to get over your breakup with someone you really, really love.

Ironically, sometimes the best path forward in reconnecting with a lost lover is to do the opposite of what me might expect.   

Hence, learning more about The No Contact Rule and other things things can help you.

Why on earth”, you might be wondering, “would I want to be reminded of my breakup!

Well, there is a process one sometimes needs to go through, in order to become better acquainted with what has REALLY happened.

Stop Stumbling Around  

You will need to embrace a process where you effectively learn to date yourself.  Think of it as getting re-acquainted with who you are and the things that are important to “you”.

Turn away from your ex lover and move in the direction of rebuilding and restoring your self esteem and sense of who you are.

This process I am describing can help you “see the forest for the trees”.  

This is really, really important.  You can’t get far, if you are stumbling around, reminded everyday about how much you miss your man or woman.

The artistic group, “The Black Keys”, have it right with their lyric:

A broken heart is blind”    

I want to help you, help yourself.

So let us begin with a discussion of how it all seemingly came to an end.

Think of it as a NEW beginning!

A New Beginning After The Split Up

a new beginning for you

I know how might be feeling right now.

If you are like most people, you are probably not eager at all to think about the day you learned that you and your Ex were breaking up for good.  

Such memories are things you probably dread thinking about. Or, maybe you are on the opposite end of the spectrum.  Thoughts of that dreaded day may be the only thing you can think about.  

It is important for you to understand that you are not alone.  There are many other people who care very much about you.  

It is not the end of the world.  

You live, you breathe and you eat nourishing and delicious food.

You make a huge difference in many people’s lives.

You matter.  

Life may not feel all that great right now, but you have a lot of good things going for you.  

You can still read and enjoy movies and television.  You can still smell, hear, and see.  Your health is probably pretty good.  You are not in a war zone.  And you have other meaningful people in your life!  

We take so many things for granted.

I have to constantly remind myself of this when I feel down and out.  So I am going to pass it forward!

Despite this recent romantic set back, you have some really great things happening for you now.

Facts & Myths About Relationship Break Ups

facts about getting past heartbreak

It is impossible for me to cover everything you need to know about what is important in relationships or how you should move forward in just one article.

So, I am going to be writing a lot more about this topic.  Just come visit and stay awhile.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a comprehensive treatment on how you can optimize the  relationships you wish to build in the future, check out this post.

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

 

Are you ready to learn some really interesting things about break-ups?

I think it will help you, because a lot of people walk around with a lot of nonsense drilled into their heads from movies and pulp fiction.

Quite possibly, you may have fallen victim to some of these notions, so let’s set the record straight!

Who knows, you might just connect with something that will make a huge difference in your life!

 

Fact:  You will Recover faster from your breakup than you think.

There has been considerable research into this phenomenon.  It’s called the “initial intensity bias”.  Later in this book, I am going to talk quite a bit more about this finding.  

My own work with thousands of people dealing with breakups also support this research finding.  My clients, more often than not, start off with a desperate mindset.  

They sometimes see no end to their misery.  Or they feel weighed down by their despair and can’t imagine ever recovering.  

When I press the issue and ask them how long it will take to recover, some tell me, “Never”.  Others tell me, “Not for many months”.  

But they are almost always wrong.

Their initial feelings can be so intense, they lose perspective and over estimate how long it will take to recover.  They are experiencing what is called the “initial intensity bias”.

And I tell them as much.  Of course, they seldom believe me.  

But in time, sooner than they imagine, they are able to pull themselves together.  

And if they adopt my teachings, most of my clients will find themselves in an even “better place”.

Myth:  The No Contact Rule Must Never be Violated.  

Well, of course, this is utter nonsense.  

I still come across some relationship experts that argue the “no exception” view when implementing the No Contact Rule.  

It is true that correctly implementing a No Contact Period can provide multiple advantages.

It is also true that breaking the Rule could result in a setback.  

But there are circumstances in which it plays to your advantage to make an exception to the No Contact Rule.  

I will be covering these exceptions in some of my future posts.

Fact: Rarely do two people mutually agree that their relationship is not working out.

I still run across some people who swear that their breakup was a mutually agreed upon decision.  

While I am sure it can happen, my experience in coaching thousands of people who have suffered break ups is that they did NOT mutually decide that it would be best to go their separate ways.  

Breakups are almost always messy.  

The beginning of the end is usually revealed in a series of “fits and re-starts”. Then the relationship usually “gives up the ghost” from the action of one individual.  

When we enter into a relationship with an individual we are influenced by many things.  We want to be liked.  We want to be loved.  There are natural chemicals acting upon our brain that influence our behavior and cause our love partners to be every bit as captivating  as we could ever imagine.

These chemicals are both a blessing and a curse as they act upon the Reward Center of our minds  These neurotransmitters, in the form of dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin, form an irresistible cocktail of chemicals that send us through the roof with delight.  And conversely, it is the deficit of these chemicals (after a breakup) that causes us to fall hard.

The very memories of your former lover can serve as a catalyst.  

Both research and my own experience with clients, suggests that women end relationships a bit more often than men.  But who ends the relationship is usually less of the problem.  

The focal point should be what caused the relationship to collapse.

And guess what?

Myth: True Love is the force that pulls people back together after a breakup.

Are you one of those fine folks that believe love conquers all.

Well, as nice as that sounds, it simply is not true.  

The love you have for one another is indeed a powerful force and that bond or connection is difficult to break.

Nevertheless, breakups happen frequently for many reasons.

But something powerful can bring the lovers back together again.     

What is this powerful force that can snap the relationship back together again?

It’s not love.  Well, it usually is not that which we call love. 

It is something that is deeply seeded and formed its grip over a long period of time.  It is what psychologists call, “lingering attachment”.  

When you spend a lot of time with someone and develop a bond of closeness, you become accustomed to being with this person.  The routines you both enjoyed together, form traction in your lives.  

Where love is the “glue” that bonds the two of you together, “attachment” is a psychological force that acts powerfully on your behavior.  

You can think of love as an outcome of attraction.   But in all honesty, love is much more than that. 

An anthropologist might say love is formed through our need to procreate.  Our sex drive can activate this sense of “love”.  

Another form of “love” can also be described as the offspring of our need to form a romantic bond.  Loving feelings can pour from the feelings of romance.  And finally love can be derived from the formation of  a long term attachment.

Hence, according to this thinking, the cycle of love can arise from 3 different places.  But it is not the heart where all this arises, rather it is within our brain and the changing chemistry of our mind.

Certainly with attraction, there are certain hormones and chemicals present in your brain that can quickly ignite those loving feelings!  

Whereas, “attachment” is the result of many days, weeks, months, or years of shared experiences.  It weighs heavily on your psyche and influences your mood, attitude, behavior, and decision making. The force of attachment can be powerful in pulling two people back together.  

There are also other forces that come into play.  

I think of them as the “Rational Forces”.  

After a couple spends time apart, they may come to realize that the “grass was not greener” when they were separated.  They may also conclude in the time they were apart, that they have grown as a person, hence they stand a better chance of making the relationship work the 2nd time around.

Are you starting to see how all this connects with the No Contact Rule?  

Fact: Optimizing Your “Self Concept” can help you recover from a break up more quickly.   

Usually when things go wrong in our relationships, we sink into sadness.  We feel a sense of loss and/or despair.  

Much like quicksand, the more we thrash around emotionally, the faster we sink. Our sense of who we are and what we should do becomes clouded.

We become a victim of our own human nature.  

It is perfectly natural to feel all of these things.  

I spend some of my free time mountain climbing.  It is an enriching experience and I have learned a lot about myself as I try to scale the mountain tops.

Let me tell you something else I learned!

You can’t enjoy the beauty of the mountain tops, until you have struggled on the switchbacks below.        

The sooner you come to appreciate more “YOURSELF” and value the many good qualities you possess, the sooner you will recover from heartbreak.  

These are things you usually learn when you are climbing out of the valley of your emotions.  

When you learn how to detach yourself from being dependent on your Ex for your “self concept”, you will have successfully scaled the mountain top.  

 

Myth: The No Contact Rule is all about not communicating with your Ex Boyfriend or Ex Girlfriend

Nope, that statement is incomplete.  

The No Contact Rule is about much more. I think of it as a two front campaign.

You are focusing on bringing your communications to an end with your Ex, but you are also focusing on the self recovery process.  

During the No Contact Period, you need to be mindful of all of the temptations you will have to reach out and contact your Ex.  You will need to be aware of all of the mind games your brain will play on you.  So you have to be vigilant.  

But you also have to be wise.

Relationship Enablers

There may be certain situations in which you will need to make exceptions to the No Contact Rule.

But you will need to tread most carefully when you do make exceptions.  

One of the reasons why I created this website is to be able to talk to people about these things I call relationship enablers and relationship breakers.  

It is a bit of a minefield out there and I don’t want you blowing up your personal recovery or your effort to eventually re-unite with your Ex unless you have some insight.  

Stay tuned.  I will have more to say about this topic in future posts.

How To Be Attractive, Enticing, and Appealing To Men (or Women)

The other day I was looking through some of my old messages I had received from men and women that were looking for relationship advice.  I was somewhat surprised at the number of people who seemed exceptionally  focused on finding ways to feel more attractive and to come off as more appealing to their man.

The inquires covered a wide spectrum.  Men wanting to be attractive to women. Women wanting advice on how to increase their attraction and increase their sex appeal.  In a lot of these cases, the individual was in the middle of a relationship, but feared their lover was slipping away.

being attractive around your man

This fear of losing their man was causing them to search for ways to better attract and arouse their guy.  I would get these questions about how they can be more “stunning” and “enticing”.  Readers would want to know what they should do to come off as more “captivating” or “lovely”

With the men, many of them were seeking to discover new ways to come off as looking good and sounding good in order to start up a new romance.  They seemed to be a bit more interested in the words or lines they can use to be appealing and engaging with a woman.  They were also interested in what made women tick and how they can successfully attract them, without scaring them off.

But more of the questions around this topic came from the women who simply wanted to feel and look more attractive and appealing to men in general.

Let me give some examples so you can get a taste of why attraction is such an important thing to so many people, in so many different ways. Of course, I will edit them to ensure no private details are revealed.

Chris, my ex husband left me and I just don’t feel attractive any more. I am not even sure what to do or say around men anymore.  I know I am probably being too self conscious, but I needs some tips on putting the zest back into my self image.”

“My husband keeps mentioning that things are too dull between us.  He won’t go beyond that.  He just speaks in generalities.  But I don’t think he finds me attractive or appealing anymore.  Maybe that is saying to much.  I feel I have a lot to offer to a man.  But lately, he seems turned off.

What can I do to keep my boyfriend engaged.  He doesn’t seems all that thrilled to see me sometimes.  Should I try exciting him in bed in a different way?  Should I play hard to get?  Is this going to be a continuing problem with him?  Do you think he has another woman on the side that he is more attracted to? I just need some help please. 

It can really be tough if you start questioning whether you are attractive enough. It is almost always a slippery slope when a woman or man begins to question their self image.  When you are made to feel that you have to do something more of or less of to keep the attraction spark alive, you start questioning everything.

Once you find yourself in this place were you lose confidence in your ability to attract, excite, and arouse your man, you start searching for answers.

You question whether you are being too seductive and whether that is turning off your husband or boyfriend.   Or you start wondering if you are doing enough or too much to properly arouse your man.

You start  reading everything you can get you hands on about sexuality and seduction.  And while there is nothing wrong with that since you can pick up some good tips, the problem arises if you become too preoccupied with the subject.

I had one woman who became a little obsessed over whether she was kissing her boyfriend too much or too little.

Sometimes when we get caught up in all of our anxieties about our body image or what we are doing to present an attractive appearance, these feelings of tension and anxiousness can bleed over into our general behavior.

So what is it women can do to jazz up their sex appeal?  What should men and women alike consider doing more of or less of to maximize their beauty and come off as appealing.

It turns out that beauty and attraction are found both in our appearance and how we project ourselves, but most importantly it resides deep within us.

women and attraction

Don’t Treat Attraction Like an Apple Cart

There is a rather interesting phenomenon I like to call the “Attraction Apple Cart”.

You have heard of the saying, “don’t upset the apple cart”, right?

Well, imagine if you have yourself tied up in knots thinking about things like how your hair looks, whether your makeup is applied appropriately, or if you chose the right dress.

Just imagine how all of that is going to throw off your game.

What do you suppose are the consequences of focusing all your sexual energy into things like frequently questioning if your partner is satisfied, if he (or she) wishes to change positions, or ensuring everything is just perfect from the music that might be playing in the background to the flickering of the candles by the bedside.

Well, I think you get the picture.  If all those things I described above are your focus, then it is entirely likely you will upset the apple cart.

Attraction is one of those forces that best operate from a natural place.

It should arise naturally, just as arousal usually gets its start as a sliver of a sexual thought, then slowly builds to a crescendo.

So, let’s turn our focus on some important facts you should be aware of to harness your natural attraction for all types of men.  We are going to come at this question of how your can leverage your attractiveness from a place of science.

attraction in a relationship

Understanding Attraction’s Role in a Relationship

In other words, let’s talk about, in some detail, the things researchers have learned about what it is that makes us all attractive to other people or attracted to your partner.

Along the way, we are going to dispel some myths about what men and women might find to be alluring and sexy.  We will also probably surprise you with some things you have not heard about.

To the extent that you can, I recommend you act upon some of these ideas and tips.  While I cannot guarantee (no one can) that your man will want to immediately sweep you off your feet or place you on the highest pedestal, I do think some of the information, if put into practice, will improve your situation.

Also, don’t forget that attaining a greater degree of attractiveness in the eyes of men or women is rarely accomplished by implementing one or two quality improvements.

It is usually a plethora of things you do (or chose not to do) that enhances your sexual attractiveness.  But it should never be gimmicky.  It should come from an honest place, otherwise your partner will pick up on it.

There has been a lot of research done on the role the unconscious mind plays in forming love attachments.  These studies speak to how we go about picking up on natural attraction signals and cues from our prospective lover.

The lessons learned from these love and relationship studies is that men and women (when bonding), while that may not be always able to explain in words why or how, they almost always know and understand when they are turned on and when they are turned off.

Sometimes it is little things.

Something as natural as smell.  One study revealed that when women were given sweaty shirts from different men, the ladies were almost always able to pick out the specific shirt their husband or boyfriend wore.

Sometimes feeling aroused and attracted to your boyfriend or girlfriend comes from a place psychologist call “reciprocation”.

If you say and do something kind and loving to a prospective man or women you wish to potentially start dating, he or she will invariable return the favor.  And from there, the attraction levels between the man and woman will escalate, even snowball, provided both parties continue to practice reciprocation.  We will discuss these small acts of “loving behaviors”  in more detail below.

Sometime the connection and bond between the guy and girl can get a boost through something as simple (yet powerful) as peering into each other’ eyes.  Just holding the gaze seconds longer and smiling as well, has been proven to be extremely effective in creating a love connection.

Studies have shown that attraction between men and women can unfold from almost nothing if you simply share something intimate about yourself.  Just the act of opening yourself up and allowing yourself to be vulnerable, can activate the chemicals in the brain that trigger attraction signals.

So don’t just think in terms of making quality improvements in multiple areas of your life including improving your physical appearance, enhancing your communication skills, using tactical strategies to create arousal (see link of post below) to improve your standing with your man (or woman).    All these thing are important obviously, but they only represent some of the puzzle pieces that make up the entire picture of love and connection.

By the way, here is the link I referenced above.  In it, you will find an article I wrote that further amplifies upon things you can do to arouse and excitite your partner.  It is primarily written for women who are looking to “turn on” their man, but many guys will find the information to be useful in innumerable ways.

How To Arouse a Man – A Guide For Women

 

And please never, ever forget that relationships are founded on a natural form of attraction to begin with.

So it not something that you have lost and cannot regain.

It is not like you are inherently flawed and incapable of attracting a man (or woman).  Trust me, there are 200,000 years in which your genes have been hardwired to attract the opposite sex.

Some people are just a better fit for others.

So if you are struggling in this area finding a guy or girl that you want to invite into your heart and your confidence is waning, just know that the blueprint for love resides in you already.

Not everyone will be ideally compatible with the different men and women they encounter in life.  So don’t lose your faith in love.

Remember, even the greatest of couples are not completely compatible. Everywhere, the best of couples are continuously working at being better with each other.

ingredients of attraction and arousal

 

The Ingredients of Attraction

In closing, let me leave you with a summary of some other interesting things science and psychology has come to learn about attraction.  You might just find some little nuggets you can put to use in your situation.

  1. Age Attractiveness – A study from the University of St. Andrews reveals that it matters how old your parents are.  If your are born to older parents, you will have a tendency to be more attracted to older, mature faces.
  1. Symmetry Matters – It has been well documented that people subconsciously pay attention to symmetrical faces. It has long been the standard of beauty for centuries.  Presumably, symmetry signals health and good reproductive genes.  No worries, though, as essentially everyone has symmetrical features. Some people are slightly more symmetrical, but in my book, symmetry is just one of the many faces of attraction.
  1. Average is Good – This does not suggest that plain looking people are the most attractive.  But rather, biologists state that the people who have a collection of mathematical average features, have a more diverse set of genes and that end ups being a preferred selection criteria when your subconscious brain scans the environment for attractive looking people.
  1. The Parent Effect – Another study from the University of St. Andrew indicates that sons and daughters tend to be with partners who have the same hair and eye color as their opposite sex parent. So if you are a woman and your Dad has blue eyes and blond hair, then you will tend to be attracted to a blue eyed, blond guy.
  1. The How of the Chin & Brow – We have these people called evolutionary biologists and after a lot of years of study they have concluded that women are more attracted to men with larger jawlines and a prominent brow. We are talking testosterone.  Whereas men are attracted to women with a smaller chin and less obvious brow.  That is the estrogen at work.
  1. The Golden Ratio – I remember watching a documentary about this a few years ago.  It dealt with where certain facial features should be placed to be optimally attractive.  According to this well researched ratio of beauty, the ideal distance between your mouth and eyes should be 36% of the length of your face. The ideal distance between your eyes presumably should be 46% of the width of your face. While we cannot change the placement of our facial features, people seem to have a subconscious (or conscious) sense about the so called Golden Ratio.  This may explain why women often tweak hair styles and apply makeup to dial in the beauty.
  1. The Color Red – The University of Rochester reported that women are more attracted to men wearing a red shirt as the color red signals power and higher status.  Men were also more drawn to women wearing red (as opposed to blue) as the color signaled sexual desire and readiness.
  1. Voice Matters – A study in the UK discovered that men prefer women with a higher pitch voice as that is associated with estrogen. When attraction rises, women tend to speak in a higher pitched voice.  Women prefer men with a deeper voice as that signals manhood.
  1. Hungry Men – Weird as it may sound, a 2006 study showed that when men are hungry, they prefer women with relatively higher body weights.  This finding is believed to be due to an evolutionary preference as a higher body weight woman signals access to resources.
  1. Chalk One Up For Facial Hair – An Australian study demonstrated that women prefer men with heavy stubble as opposed to clean shaven or a full beard.
  1. Smile or Not – Research suggests that women who frequently smile are perceived as more attractive.  While women prefer men who smile less or slightly.  Male gestures of pride and dominance are often considered desirable.
  1. Love at First Sight? – Psychologists report that it usually takes 2 – 4 minutes for an individual to assess if they are attracted to another.  If you are one of those smooth talkers who try to gin up attraction…guess what!  Put it on the back burner!  The studies reveal that attraction is based on 55% body language, 38% on the tone and rapidity of your voice, and only 7% of the words you use.
  1. Chemicals that Rule the Day – When the love bug strikes, you have these things called neurotransmitters that can literally take over your life.  Dopamine is released which courses through your body causing you to experience euphoria. It’s like you are on cocaine or a blast of nicotine.  Adrenaline is released and you feel like you could jump over the moon.  Your heart rate quickens.  You are sweating more.  You are entering the lovesick zone!  Then there is this very powerful cocktail called serotonin which is the chemical that is responsible for the most insanely, exciting elements of attraction, love and sexual arousal.  Now you see why breakups are so hard. Coming off of all these chemicals in rapid fashion is tough.
  1. First Impressions – The sexiest, most beautiful person in the room is not necessarily the one with the best waistline or the most symmetrical face.  More often than not, it is the person who radiates confidence, happiness, and positive self esteem.  This is probably my favorite of all the scientific findings because it jells with my own experience with attraction and is actionable.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that you can take affirmative steps to make yourself more attractive by simply exhibiting more confidence, charisma, charm, and other positive behaviors.   I have always believed that the earliest impressions, when we meet someone, is an important crossroads between the sexes. Whether you are attracted to someone is based on both the conscious and subconscious mind.  I think in many situations, the conscious trumps the subconscious if you are around someone who is charismatic, confident, and fun.
  1. Reciprocation – Research suggest that attraction can be ignited through reciprocation.  For example, you learn that someone really likes you. You never knew this.  Feeling complimented by these feelings, you return the affection.  It is thought that the force of highly suggestible and positive attention can be a catalyst for your reciprocal affection.  This is probably my second favorite finding because I am a huge believer in the power of “positivity” and “suggestion”.  Think of it as the “Force”.  You know…like the force that we all learned from Yoda. Except this is a real and powerful psychological force.  It radiates from within.  Just the mere suggestion of something, when made with the force of positive energy, can move objects.  The guy or girl of your dreams, could very well be drawn right in.