It’s over you think. You feel deep inside that your marriage has been falling apart for a long time. What was once a relationship you thought was second to none, has now turned into something that is coming to a close.
Everything, since your marriage failed, may feel upside down. And all of the things you use to take for granted, seem murky and blurry. And before you know it, that person, who use to be “you”, is hardly recognizable.
Are so you think.
You see, sometimes things ARE as bad as you think. Sometimes the floundering relationship you have with your husband or wife is worse than you realize. And sometimes things are not nearly as bad as you fear. More often than not, that is the case.
So give things a chance to settle down in your mind and in your life before you draw any meaningful conclusions. Acting impulsively in matters having to do with marriage and breakups usually lead to a compounding of your problems.
When a client of mine tells me that they are struggling in their marriage and don’t know where to turn, I usually encourage them to try and step outside of themselves.
How does this work, exactly?
Stepping Outside Yourself To Find Yourself
So what does it really mean to step outside ourselves? How does that help us with gaining a new perspective on what you should do to repair your marriage? And an even more important question is how “finding yourself” can help you determine if your husband or wife is someone you wish to spend the rest of your life with.
Don’t you think that is an important thing to know? Seldom do such insights arrive when what you use to count on….namely a solid and stable relationship…is torn from your life.
I know that may sound a bit scary or even harsh. The very thought that your marriage may not be working and is not worth investing in sounds depressing in the least.
Let’s not go there right now. It is far to early to come to terms with how you wish to proceed. Before you grapple with such life changing decisions, you ought to take a closer look at who you are and what you truly want. When you start peeling back all the layers of this question, you may discover that it is a far more complicated inquiry than you ever imagine it could be.
Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that ending your relationship is the path you should pursue. Nor is it the relationship path you ultimately may end up following. What I am trying to help you understand is that sometimes, we cannot know what is right for us. We may be too close to the marital situation to adequately evaluate what is really happening or what one should do.
My last few posts for this website have been on this topic of how you should focus on your own healing. It is important that you a wider perspective of what you want, before taking any definitive action around what is best to do.
But like a climber, you won’t be able to see the larger view of your world until you climb to a higher plateau.
Think of this process as a series of stepping stones Often, when we are mired in a situation that seems dark and difficult, it easy to get lost and uncertain as to how to proceed.
I think, before acting on anything around your marriage, you need to start taking care of yourself. What you are going through is very difficult. This approach may sound a bit selfish, but you will discover that until you have taken care of “you”, it is nearly impossible to make progress with something as complicated as a relationship.
So these recovery exercises I am about to describe, hopefully will help you discover that better and wiser person you can become. And for good measure, I will throw in some “attraction” tactics so that you have something to work with inside your relationship if you decide to go that route.
Your Marriage is Falling Apart – Then Catch a Fit (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
I have a challenge for you! I want you to catch a fit.
Now, you may be wondering, “what the heck is Chris talking about!”. It’s pretty simple. If you are coming off a breakup, you need a healthy dose of endorphins.
I love endorphins! They are the brain’s feel good chemicals. They are produced by our bodies as a natural opiate and are great stress relievers and deliver a wonderful calming, pleasurable feeling.
So this is what I want you to do. It will be fun. Once you do it the first time, I bet you will want to do it over and over again. And that will be a fantastic result for you because you will feel better about yourself.
Are you ready to Catch a Fit!
It is not going to be real easy. But it won’t be really hard either. For starters, I want you to to take some vanilla extract with you. I also want you to take a little chocolate with you.
Why should you take these things?
Well, if you sniff the vanilla and eat some chocolate, it will help with releasing the endorphins. Oh, by the way, take some bottled water or sports drink of some kind with you.
Then I want you to go find a hill….the higher, the better. If you can’t find a hill, then find a park or a running track. Now, I don’t know what kind of shape you are in, but I want you to run or walk up that hill or track several times. Don’t wear yourself out, but your exercise effort should be robust. If you can commit yourself to a 20, 30, or 45+ minute workout, then go for it.
When your fitness workout is over, take a short stroll to cool down. Then go sit under a nice shade tree or someplace pleasant. Take a whiff of the vanilla and take a munch from your chocolate and rehydrate with your water.
I am telling ya….a nice wave of endorphins will come over you. I want you to feel the sun and breeze on your face. Soak it all up
Lady in Red (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise and An Attraction Tactic)
Ok everyone….this one is mostly for the ladies, though it works for guys too.
This recovery tactic serves a dual purpose. It is intended to make you feel special, because you are special. So in that respect, it is a recovery exercise. But it can also be used as an Attraction Tactic.
If your Ex just happens to be nearby and sees you, then mission accomplished. We are simply trying to plant a seed of attraction. Once it takes root in a person’s brain, it is hard to shake loose.
It has been demonstrated that the color red can lead to increased sexual attractiveness. Men are often unaware of the effect color has on their level of attraction for a woman. While guys may think they are thoughtfully assessing what they are attracted to, the data suggest that men’s preferences are much more primitive than they even realize. And the color of red can send silent signals of sexual attraction.
The science on this matter is well researched and a woman dressed in red is more likely to increase amorous feelings in men. When a man wears red, he is generally perceived as strong and masculine.
So ladies….it’s time to treat yourself to what you have long deserved. We are talking about a little feel good time. Go find your very best red dress. The kind of dress that makes you feel like a million bucks. Buy one if you wish.
Then I want you to go out with your friends or if you so choose, you can turn this into a solo event. Whichever the case, go somewhere like a shopping mall where there is a large gathering of people. I want you to call upon the very best “ungettable girl” persona you can muster up! With you looking lovely in that red dress, you will undoubtedly be the envy of many, with lots of prying eyes.
Your “Lady in Red” day is all about fun and feeling good. And if you happen to learn that your Ex is in the vicinity, then let your dress do the talking.
Zen and the Art of Breakup Maintenance (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
I have discussed elsewhere on the website the importance of pursuing the “positive”. It makes you feel good and it makes you feel attractive. And that is a really good combination!
So how does one find positivity when it seems that this dark cloud just keeps hovering over you?
Do your remember when we talked about how the release of oxytocin has multiple benefits, including reducing stress and enhancing relaxation. One of the ways in which you can get that oxytocin surging in your body is through yoga. If you have little or no experience with meditative activities, then you are in for a treat.
To move away from the heartbreak of a breakup, sometimes you just need to take a plunge into some new experiences. Yoga has been around for over 5000 years, so it is not a fad or some silly exercise. Rather, it combines both a mind and body discipline.
There are untold benefits. Try it, you may just fall in love with it.
The Texting Bible (Multiple Attraction Tactics)
I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to check out one of my most recent e-books. It is called, “The Texting Bible” and is very likely the most comprehensive resource available that deals with the Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why of texting your Ex.
It consists of over 350 pages of valuable content about all kinds of situations you may be facing now or in the future. I offer up over 250 sample text messages.
But I don’t just talk about texting strategies and tactics. I get into many other relationship related topics. I created this book with one key thing in mind. I want it to be the “Constant Companion” to anyone dealing with with a breakup situation. You can get more details about the Texting Bible at any of my other websites (e.g. exboyfriendrecovery.com).
Miracle Works (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
Do you believe in miracles?
I have to admit, I am quite skeptical about such things. Or what about Good Karma!
Maybe you do. Or maybe you don’t.
Quite frankly, it does not matter for what I am going to ask you to do. Because whether you are seeking a miracle or trying to generate some good Karma, essentially what you are doing is calling on HOPE.
I like hope!
If “hope” was a companion, I would ask him (her) to follow me around all the time. From hope, usually comes good things. Studies reveal that hope can have positive emotional and physiological benefits for an individual.
When it comes to our neurochemistry, hope has a way of altering our pain centers by releasing endorphins
Hope can mold your mind in such a way that it creates a positive mood. And that is what you are shooting for. Anxiety, depression and even pain can be quelled by a healthy dose of hope.
Now, I don’t want you to put all your stock in hope. I am a firm believer in people taking actionable steps and steering their own course into the future.
But hope has its place in elevating our moods, so let’s get out of the box with a Hope Activity.
Now, “what might that be”, you are probably asking?
Well, we are going to church!
If you are not a church goer, not a problem. You can go to your nearest library or Barnes and Noble.
I want you to take with you two bookmarks because I am going to suggest that you mark two passages in the bible.
So what if you are an atheist or an agnostic or what if the bible is not your holy book?
That is OK. I am not trying to convert you. I am just asking you “mark” two passages. By doing so, you are laying out your marker for HOPE.
Let’s just say we are calling upon the “Gods” of Hope to bestow upon you some good fortune.
You see, hope also starts off as a little seed. Let’s give it an opportunity to get planted into your subconscious. Your mind is fertile grounds for positive things to spring forth.
So are we dealing with false hope, here?
Heck no! A person without hope, lacks in imagination. Once something is imagined, chances increase that such a thing can become a reality.
False hope is when someone clings to a notion as if it is the most important thing in the world.
No, no, no! You are not doing that. You are just planting a seed!
Now, here is what I want you to do….
Take your two bookmarks and write your name on one and your Ex’s name on the other. That’s right! You are going to offer some hopeful “wisdom” to your Ex as well. Then place these bookmarks in the Holy Book where the passage appears. You decide which passage goes with which name.
The two passages are:
“You will be secure because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety”
“Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”
With you passages marked, I want you to walk out with a little smile on your face. Hope is in your corner!
The Big Thank You (An Attraction Tactic)
There may come a time where it will be beneficial for you to do what I call Video Text Pairing.
This attraction tactic probably works best after your 21 or 30 day No Contact period is concluded and there has been no response to your “First Contact” texts.
What I want you to do is simply produce a thank you video, with you looking very attractive at a favorite place the two of you once frequented. This thank you video is intended to, with all humility, simply tell your Ex that you “wish them well” and to genuinely “thank them” for all of the “loving” experiences you had with them. Keep it brief and classy. Then send the video text to your Ex.
Don’t tell them you love them or miss them. Don’t gush about how they are “such an amazing person”. But keep it positive.
What you are trying to do is plant that seed of curiosity and stir something up in your Ex’s mind. If you really want to know the psychology behind it, what you are doing is called “anchoring”.
Perhaps there are still some strong feelings looming just under the surface. Even if they are in denial, it is likely there is something embedded in their subconscious. Perhaps there is a sliver of a thought about unfinished business. Love between two people just simply does not dry up when the couple parts ways.
You are trying to dislodge these thoughts and feelings that may exist. Do you remember when we talked about psychological reactance? You remember, right? (i.e. people want what they don’t have). Well, what you are also hoping for is that the video image of you will trigger that response.
Meet the Parents (An attraction Tactic)
First off, let me tell you this approach can be risky, but it could produce a big opening for you to leverage. You should employ this tactic only after the No Contact period and after your attempts to re-connect using multiple First Contact Texts have failed.
If you have had a relationship with the Ex’s parents, go on a very brief visit. Make sure your Ex is not there.
Now, both parents need not be present for this to work. Bring with you a Thank You Gift. You are thanking them for their friendship and the kindness they extended to you in the past (if indeed this was this case).
Tell them that while your Ex, no longer wishes to see you (make sure you say it that way), you hold no resentment. That is all you should say on that topic.
You are there to thank the parents for their kindness and friendship and that you only came because you realize you probably won’t be seeing much of them in the future. If the topic of your Ex comes up, say only very positive things about them. That is important.
Don’t overstay your welcome. Tell the parents you would prefer if they not mention anything to your Ex about your visit. In a very quiet tone you could say something like, “perhaps it best you not mention that I was here”.
Then leave. It’s OK if you look a little vulnerable.
Chances are the parents will say something to the Ex. That is what you want to accomplish. Hopefully, this approach will net you a positive contact from the Ex.
If the Ex contacts you with anger and accusation over dragging the parents into the break up, then simply tell your Ex you regret he/she feels that way and end the conversation. Less is more. Say nothing else and concluded the conversation. Sometimes, even a negative initial response from an Ex can turn positive in time.
The “Chris Cherry Challenge” (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
Breaking up can be hard to do and the aftermath can leave you feeling hollow. If you go on to implement a No Contact Period, that too can also be very tough to go through, particularly in the early days. But we are going to inject some fun.
I believe in rewarding oneself. Get a couple jars of those delicious, sweet red cherries and for each day you are successful in carrying out the No Contact Period properly, you get a cherry.
You are shooting for 21 or 30 cherries. Let the cherry symbolize your success, one day at a time.
Success is more than just getting through the day without contacting your Ex. It is also about you getting better and feeling better. So your day should also include an activity or activities that helps you with your emotional recovery process.
When you get to the final day of your No Contact Period, I want you to treat yourself to a humongous dessert (with the final cherry on top).
The Swaddling Solution (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
We are creatures that need to feel safe.
When our world is turned upside down, our sense of who we are becomes challenged. We may feel unsafe, vulnerable, insecure, weepy, sad, or anxious.
Let’s do something about that.
If there is no one around to learn on, then help yourself.
Swaddling is a well known technique used to calm one’s nerves and promote a sense of security. You might just need a few hours of healthy downtime.
So find a quiet place and put on some soothing music. Then in your bed or on your favorite couch or recliner, just swaddle yourself with a quilt. Sometimes we all just need to “peace out”.
The Man Crate (An Attraction Tactic)
This one is for the ladies.
If you are looking to spur a positive reaction out of your Ex-boyfriend, try purchasing a gift for him at www.Mancrates.com. Let say that you have completed the No Contact Period, but you have not had any luck in getting him to respond. Well, maybe by appealing to the real “man” inside him, you might just be able to break through that hard exterior.
Come to think about it, you could also use this tactic as a “primer”.
Now, I have no affiliation with Mancrates.com. I just came across them and thought it would be cool to receive a gift in a crate. At Mancrates.com you can purchase gifts that literally come “hard wrapped” in a crate. He is going to need a crowbar to gain access to whatever you got him.
So the whole appeal here is that you are turning this “crate” gift into a bit of a mystery. When it first arrives, he has no idea who it’s from or what’s inside it. He will eagerly open the crate with the thought in his mind of “who is this from and what the devil is in it?”
There are a couple ways you can play this. You can leave no note. Let him puzzle over it. I actually prefer that approach.
Or, you can leave a very brief note. Something like, “Enjoy, from D.”