Before you click away from this post, let me tell you:
I KNOW you’re not a bitch. I’m not, either.
However, you might want to be after reading this book. You see, the author describes a bitch as a kind, confident and sassy lady ~ who’s got boundaries and isn’t afraid to use them! Heehee!
I’ll share with you a story about a dating situation in which I went from doormat to dreamgirl ~ after reading some of the tips in this book!
If you’d like to order a copy, simply click below:
Are you or have you ever been in a relationship with an addict, My Darling? I have.
I would have never chosen to date an addict, and I didn’t even realize it at first. He hid it very well. Once I discovered the truth, it was too late for my heart. I already had feelings for him.
It’s a tough road to follow. I remember what it’s like to beg and plead for them to stop ~ to make a change ~ FINALLY ~ for the better.
I know what it’s like to be disappointed ~ again and again ~ when they try to “do the right thing” and fail.
So it is with breakups and addiction. Whether you’re married to or dating an addict, there is an extra element of pain added to the end of the relationship.
Sometimes, you just want to physically shake them and say, “Why are you throwing your life away?”
If you don’t give an ultimatum, you can become trapped in a place of cautious hope for weeks, months ~ even years.
You hope they’re going to really kick it this time. They said all the right things. They really seemed sincere this time.
Only they weren’t…again.
So you find yourself at the end of the relationship, for whatever reason, and what do you do?
This is what I did:
1. Stopped blaming myself. Yes, I could have done some things differently. Would it have made a real difference? If I was honest with myself ~ the answer is a big fat NO. In reality, I had no control over this person and their behavior. I tried to help. I failed.
There came a time when I gave myself credit for trying to find solutions to his problem. I knew that I had exhausted all the opportunities I could think of to help him change. That gave me peace.
2. Let myself feel relief of stress. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with an addict, there’s typically a certain level of just daily, underneath-it-all stress.
You don’t even realize it until it’s not there anymore. I started to feel a bit lighter and happier right away. I relished that sense of relief. I relaxed more. It felt good.
3. Put the responsibility where it belonged. At first, I found myself looking back at our relationship and seeing him through rose-colored glasses ~ well, he wasn’t THAT bad. He had a job. He wasn’t abusive in any way. He paid his bills.
But at the end of the day, he made choices about his life that were completely his. It helped me to stand back and give him the responsibility of those choices rather than making it the “addiction’s” responsibility.
Making it the addiction’s responsibility, I could give his behavior every excuse in the book. Doing that didn’t help me or him.
4. Chose what I would tolerate. I realized I was too good for false promises. I had this whole wonderful life ahead of me. I knew if I stayed with him that I would become stagnant too. That wasn’t what I wanted for me.
He made the choice to remain the same. I made the choice to grow and thrive.
5. Forgave him. I know what you’re thinking ~ are you nuts, Laura? Forgive him? But I did it. It was wonderful gift of freedom that I gave myself ~ and ultimately him. I smile now thinking about it. If it feels impossible, click here to read my blog on forgiveness. It’s a beautiful thing.
Ladies, this is a very delicate subject. Everyone that’s been involved with an addict has a different story but I think we all share the same pain.
I know and understand from my experience that you CAN come out on the other side stronger than you ever thought. I believe in you!
First of all ~ yes ~ I did get a haircut! (If you’ve watched my videos in the past, you know it’s a BIG change.)
Click on the image above to watch and learn the best ways to bring out your inner and outer beauty.
After all, you’re the only one that can give yourself that gift.
If there’s a button here, it means that there’s still opportunities available to schedule your complimentary 20-Minute Breakthrough to Groovy call!
It happens. It’s your first holiday with your newly “single” status. You may be feeling a bit sad. You might even think ~ why bother? OR you could be pissed that all your plans have changed. Holidays and breakups can be a bummer.
However, they don’t have to be, Ms. Amazing! What if you made a choice to have a fabulous first holiday with your bad self? It can be easier than you think if you keep a few things in mind and plan ahead.
Here are a few tips for surviving with sass!
1. Plan your day. This is of the utmost importance. Why? If we don’t have a schedule to look forward to, it’s easier to go down the path to a pity party for one. You’re way too spectacular for an ugly cry on a national holiday so make a plan and stick to it. Maybe you’ll have coffee with a friend in the morning or take a brisk walk. In the afternoon, you could catch that movie you’ve had your eye on or your pal’s picnic. The evening (especially on July 4th) could be spent watching fireworks or treating yourself to a great meal and a “spa night” for one. There are loads of options and people WANT to include you so let them. Choose whatever will fill your cup and put it on the calendar and mean it.
2. Begin new rituals. Yes, you may have a standing annual picnic/party at your ex-in-laws’ house each year complete with HIS entire family. It was fun. You could depend on it and you did it EVERY year. Guess what, Sassy? It’s time to make some new rituals for yourself. You’re on a new and different journey now. You have the power to create new and wonderful memories. Isn’t that awesome? Go forward in the direction that feels right.
3. Have some frickin’ fun! This is a HOLIDAY. Holidays usually have a little something called c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-i-o-n attached to them. Moping is not allowed. So what are you waiting for, Gorgeous? Celebrate! Whoop it up! It’s okay to laugh ~ even if you’re a little down about the end of a relationship. Focus on fun and guess what? You’ll have more FUN! Love that!
4. Be grateful. If you take a moment to look around at your life right now, you will undoubtedly find people/things to be grateful for. After your holiday is over, it’s a great little exercise to replay the day in your head, right before you go to sleep, and think of all the things that went right and that brought you joy and that you’re thankful for. Trust me, there will be a sweet smile on your beautiful face as you do this.
5. Be proud of yourself. Yep, give yourself a pat on the back. You are stronger than you know. You got this. As Mae West once said,”I never loved another person the way I loved myself.” Give yourself some gentle reassurance that you will get through this difficult time in your life and you’ll do it with courage and determination to make your new life the best it can be.
I believe in you, Sweet Pea! Happy Holidays!
Have you ever had this happen before? You think it’s bad enough that HE’S no longer in your life. Then you get the added slap in the face that his family suddenly doesn’t want anything to do with you, either.
Forget all the holidays you’ve shared, all the laughs ~ even the big life moments like weddings, children being born, 1st birthday parties, etc.
What about those shopping trips with his sisters? Going out for lunch? Calling his mom for cooking advice?
How could this be happening? What did he tell them? Why are they all unfriending me on Facebook? What did I do?
Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it goes and does.
Yes, it’s painful. You don’t understand it. I adds another layer of uncertainty and ick value to this whole breakup/divorce thing you’ve got going on already. Your mind can run wild with different reasons and possible scenarios that led to this outcome. Enough already!
So what do you do in this situation?
The way I see it, you’ve got two choices, My Darling.
1) Take it personally. This choice is very popular. However, it usually leads straight to a pity party of epic proportions. Why me? Am I THAT bad of a person? In their mind, of course, their son, brother, nephew, etc. can do no wrong! It must be all my fault! How could they think that?
Also, this choice CANNOT lead to a higher self-esteem for you, Gorgeous! It only leads to more self-doubt and possibly some good old-fashioned self-loathing. Is this your idea of a fun Friday night? No way!
2) Let it go. This choice can be a bit tough. After all, your thoughts keep returning to the hurt that this causes and what it says about YOU. However, if you think about it, it says more about THEM…right?
Also, who knows why they’re doing it? Not you. Maybe your ex specifically asked or even forbade them from communicating with you. Maybe they think what they’re doing shows their family loyalty and therefore, it’s the right thing to do.
Maybe they feel so bad about the situation that they don’t know what to say. Then it becomes easier for them to say nothing ~ especially if it’s uncomfortable for them. Maybe they know that their son, brother, etc. was kind of a jerk and so that’s embarrassing too. They can’t deal.
Are any of the above situations really about YOU at all? Nope.
So why would you waste your precious energy worrying yourself about it, My Fabulous Angel?
Yes, it hurts. There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll need to grieve the loss of these relationships. It’s gotta happen. If it makes you feel any better, lots of sassy ladies have done it before you and ended up ~ what ~ completely okay with it.
That’s the thing about our lives ~ people move in and out. Sometimes, they’re with us for it all. Sometimes, just for a split second. As the saying goes, “When someone walks out of your life, let them. They are just making room for someone better to walk in.”
I know what you’re thinking already ~ How could I POSSIBLY forgive him for what he’s done? For all the pain he’s caused me? For abandoning me and our future? NOT gonna happen!
Now, don’t get me wrong. Most people feel like forgiving someone means that you’re somehow suggesting what they did was okay. That IS part of it. However, the reason I’m bringing this up is to help YOU. As John Green says, “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
You see, forgiving someone actually helps you in a multitude of different ways. First, it alleviates some stress. You feel lighter. You feel happier. You feel empowered.
Second, it helps with the energy drain that we typically suffer from while coping with a divorce/breakup. As we begin to forgive, the negative thoughts of him and the relationship start to fall away. We bring that energy back to ourselves and our lives and it helps us focus on the future and what really matters. Yay! Bonus!
Third, your confidence and strength is boosted through forgiveness. Have you heard the saying, “It takes a big person to forgive”? I think it’s our innate desire to forgive those that have wronged us. It does take some gumption and your self-esteem gets the benefit. You feel good!
Forgiveness truly is giving up the wish that things could be different. Yes, do you perhaps wish you had married someone else? Do you wish you would have left two years ago instead of letting it drag on? Sure.
However, no one can change the past. What happened ~ happened.
The question then becomes, My Sassy Darling: What are you going to do with it? Will you let it affect your precious present moment? Will you let it affect your future? Are you going to hang on to the past with both hands? OR release it with a gentle smile?
I know it can be tough and it IS a process. It’s simple to think, “Oh, I forgave so-and-so.” However, when it comes right down to it, you still feel ugly feelings and harbor a grudge. That’s natural. That’s why this is a process. It chips away at the hurt and negativity. You feel better each time you do it.
Here are a few tips on starting the forgiveness process:
1. Find a peaceful spot where you won’t be interrupted.
2. You can either write it out or say it out loud. It’s important to either write it OR verbalize it rather than just thinking it.
3. So you start out with, “I understand that ____________.” Go on and on until you get it all out.
For example: I understand he wasn’t faithful to me. I understand it wasn’t my fault. I understand he left his dirty underwear all over the bedroom floor. (*Smile*) I understand that he is selfish. I understand that he hurt me. I understand that he did this and this. Just lay it all out there.
4. When you get to the end of the list, then say or write, “_________ (insert name), I understand all of these things and I forgive you.”
5. Slowly exhale and feel the release.
At first, it may be difficult to wrap your head around this exercise. It seems like you’re giving him a free pass for breaking your heart.
Actually, you’re giving yourself a gift. Remember that, Sweet Pea.
This is also helpful if you want to forgive yourself for something or for anyone in your life you’d like to forgive such as parents, friends, the guy that cut you off in traffic, etc.
So just remember: There’s no right or wrong way to forgive. There’s no time limit and no rules. It’s simply a great way for you to move on with your fabulous amazing future!
Here’s a question I recently received from Karen:
Q: Hi, Laura. This is more of an OMG. I am feeling sorry for myself but here we go: My fiance of two years and I just recently split up. I have two children from a previous relationship but they have called him Dad a good majority of the time. Maybe a bad move on my part?
Now that we’ve split, he as completely cut the kids and me out of his life. Mind you, it’s only been two weeks but he’s already blocked my number and if there has been contact, it’s been on my part.
All he can say is that he is happier, that I need to move on and that he’s not going to allow me to guilt trip him into continuing a relationship with the kids. This is coming from a man who talked about adopting them at one point.
I am caught in a world of hurt. Sometimes, the pain is just unbearable. I’m left wondering how he could just move on and not care about the kids.
I though maybe you could help me understand and work through this. ~ Karen
A: Oh, Karen, My Darling, I completely understand that you’re dealing with a lot right now.
I’m certain that your pain is coming from not only your own loss of the relationship but also how his absence is affecting your children.
Since I’m unsure of what caused the relationship to end and who broke it off, I’ll just assume that it was a surprise to you. I’m also going to assume that his behavior since has also caught you off guard.
Tips for managing right now:
1. Put a time limit on your negative emotions. I’ve said this in past articles before but it’s really helpful. When you begin to feeling really down or like you need a good cry, don’t try to stop it. Just say to yourself, “Okay. Bring it. You’ve got ten minutes and then you’re done.” It’s good to feel like you’re the boss of your emotions and not the other way around. After the ten minutes (and use a timer if you need it), it’s OVER. You MOVE ON to an activity that you enjoy.
2. Lean into the knowledge that you may never know why this happened. As you’re reacting to his aloofness, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Who is this person? How could he just walk away from us? Why does it seem so easy for him to disconnect and move on? Did he ever really love me and the kids?”
These are thoughts that definitely cross our minds when our ex is acting in ways we never thought possible. Sadly, it happens and the questions regarding why can seem all-consuming.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you’ll probably never know what really happened here. People change. People make choices that don’t make sense and hurt others.
It doesn’t sound like he’s open to giving you any information about why he’s acting the way he’s acting. So, you’re left in that position of wondering…why? why? why?
It’s uncomfortable and you’d really like to know ~ how did we get here? What could I have done to prevent this from happening?
Beating yourself up at a time like this does you no good, Sassy Pants. Even though it’s painful, you may have to begin getting comfortable with the idea you’ll never know exactly what happened and why.
3. Count your blessings. If this is the REAL him, would you want to be with him for the rest of your life? Really? He’s showing you right now who he really is and guess what? It’s not pretty, Girlfriend. Be grateful that you found this out now and not later. I know it hurts but what if you two had gotten married and he pulled this? What if he had already adopted the children and then pulled this? That would be even more difficult. So…while it may be hard to imagine this being more painful, it undoubtedly would be if it happened down the line instead of now.
Karen, my heart goes out to you. Please know that you are strong and you WILL get through this. Countless women have been where you are today and have gone on to lead even MORE FABULOUS lives than they ever imagined ~ and so will you!
You might be saying to yourself, “What? Beauty in pain? Have you lost your marbles, Laura?”
I don’t blame you for thinking this way. I would have thought like this too ~ until I lived this quote.
You see, I was in an unhappy marriage. If I’m honest, I had been unhappy for years. In fact, for the majority of years.
However, I wouldn’t let that in too much. It hurt. In fact, just the thought of that pain seemed overwhelming.
So I did what any good wife does and just fake-smiled and busied my way through life.
Something happened, though, that made that even more difficult. I found out about a four-years-long affair that my husband had been having.
Ouch is an understatement. Wow. That was REALLY painful. It almost felt like every cell of my body was experiencing emotional pain ~ if that makes sense.
The months following that were some of the darkest of my life. It seemed that the rug had been pulled out from underneath me.
He wanted to “work it out.”
I was frightened of the prospect of being alone ~ my daughter without her family unit intact ~ being labeled twice divorced ~ not having someone to spend national holidays with ~ you get my drift.
So we “worked on it.” I soon found out that working on it meant me understanding his need to go to nightclubs on the weekends and never bringing up my feelings again.
Sounds ideal, right?
So there I was. Back to square one. Trying to manage my feelings ~ alone. Trying to shield my young daughter from the sadness and hurt I was feeling inside.
This little scenario played out for two whole years. Yuck. Seriously…ish! It was the least fun I’ve had in a long time ~ let me tell you.
I actually prayed to God for a sign that I should leave. I didn’t know what it was but knowing myself, I knew that I could tolerate pain for much longer than I should. It wasn’t a badge of honor. Just the way I was.
However, a glorious day arrived!
At 5:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning in June, I could hear the garage door open. I was accustomed to him getting home at 2 or 3 a.m. but 5:15 was way beyond my comfort level. (Really? Looking back, why was 2 or 3 a.m. okay?)
Anyhoo, I tore down the steps and asked for an explanation. No. I DEMANDED an explanation. I also asked where his wedding ring was as I noticed it was not on his finger.
What followed was one lame excuse too many.
After he passed out, I quietly looked at his email. Not violating his privacy in this fashion was one way I was “working on” building trust. However, all bets were off.
As I began reading the email exchanges between him and his latest lady love, I understood the quote from Anais Nin.
Despite the terror, pain and intense sadness I felt in that moment, I woke him up and asked for a divorce right then and there.
And then I realized…I was finally ready to blossom.
Sometimes, it happens. You divorce or breakup and realize there are still feelings there for your ex.
Of course, this is natural. Some of us will always feel a certain love or affection for our former spouse or lover. This week, I answer Sharon’s question about being in that space for 18 years.
The 3 main tips I share with her are:
1. Accept that you may never have the closure you desire. Lean into that feeling and get on with your life, Sassy Pants!
2. Play a game with yourself in which you remove the possibility for a future relationship with your ex. How would you spend your days, weeks, months differently? Now go do that!
3. Realize that you deserve more. Begin to take off your “rose-colored glasses” and see him and the relationship in a different light.
Sometimes, there are points in life where we find out who are real friends are. A divorce or breakup is typically one of those times. Why does this happen and what can we do about it?
Firstly, let’s paint a picture of life pre-divorce or breakup. You have your buds ~ your girls. They may be friends from grade school, high school, college ~ someone from the old ‘hood ~ a work friend you’ve had for years ~ a wife or girlfriend of one of your ex’s friends ~ moms of your kids’ friends ~ a sister, cousin, neighbor, etc. All these various women who came into your life under varied circumstances. The one common thread here is: You think they have your back through thick and thin. You’ve shared LIFE with them, after all. You’ve laughed over margaritas or a school play. You’ve commiserated when you’ve had the flu or bought the wrong lipstick color ~ again. You have that fuzzy feeling that they’ll always be there until ~ you don’t.
Yep, it kinda sucks. Once you break the news that you’re no longer in a relationship, people react differently. Some rally to your side. Some can’t or won’t.
It may start as an odd intuition that says, “Hmmm. I called her three days ago and she hasn’t returned my call. That’s weird.” Maybe it’s, “Is it my imagination or did so-and-so just abruptly dart down a different hallway to avoid me?” At first, you dismiss it. “Oh, she must be really busy.” Then it happens again…and again.
You get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Really? She’s going to abandon me NOW of all times?
“Stay is a charming word in a friend’s vocabulary,” says Amos Bronson Alcott. What should you do when a friend doesn’t “stay”?
1. Remember that it’s about THEM ~ not YOU. For whatever reason, for some it is difficult to watch others go through an intense life-changing situation. They may fear it’s somehow contagious and will happen to them to if they get too close to you. Watching people in pain may be too much ~ they can’t deal with it. They’re at a loss for words. They can’t fix it and it makes them uncomfortable. They feel they have to choose sides and guess what? You lost.
2. Choose compassion. It’s easy to go down the path of hurtful grudge holding. After all, you’re going through this hell and they deserted you, right? Holding on to the negative feelings just adds more fuel to the fire. You’re already feeling bad about the breakup. Now you get to feel bad about your friend too. Why not release yourself and them? Gently acknowledge that you may never know what happened and that’s okay.
3. Focus on the awesome people that are still there. Allow yourself to enjoy their companionship and love for you. Be grateful for their presence. Say a silent “Hooray!” ~ she’s fabulous and I KNOW she loves me!
Yes, it’s true that you may emerge from a divorce or breakup with fewer friends. In fact, I’d say it’s inevitable. However, trust that the friends you hang on to are the real deal. They aren’t going anywhere. BFFs Forever, right?
Shine On, Sister!