Relationship Advice From Your “Big Sister” Part One: I Know Who You Are!

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I Know Who You Are!

Now that is a pretty bold statement, but hear me out. If you were curious enough to open this little blog entry, then I know that you are either currently involved in a troubled relationship, or you have been, at some point.  You need help to move forward.  You may be questioning who you are, and what has happened.

As a life coach, I am asked for help with relationship issues more frequently than any other problem.  Does that make me immune to relationship issues in my own life?  Heck no!  Sometimes I think that people are sent to me so that I can coach myself and them at the same time! 

For purposes of easy writing, I will refer to the person that you are in a relationship with as “he’ or “him”, simply because more women than men will eventually be reading this, but make no mistake, women cause their own share of heartaches in relationships, so everywhere that I use a masculine pronoun, you can just as easily read it as feminine if it is more appropriate in your individual situation.

People come to me for advice thinking they must be crazy, or worse, schizophrenic!  They have been on a roller-coaster ride.  The adrenaline rush of the climb and crest, followed closely by the crash of downward-spiraling emotions.  They have been riding the coaster telling themselves that the highs are worth the lows. But, in fact, they are beginning to feel the nausea of a ride that has gone on much too long.  It just may be time to get off!

You may easily relate to their experiences.  You may have often sat by your phone, hoping for a text or a conversation from your significant other, only to come up empty, time and time again.  You may have begun to hate holidays and birthdays spent alone, or worse, feeling alone when your significant other is right there with you!  On those days, you cling to any little crumb of communication or any action that would prove that “he cares”.

You have allowed yourself to imagine an idyllic future with this “special someone”.  You have built him up on a pedestal in your mind, that is so high, and so very unrealistic.  You have created this person to be everything you have ever wanted, even if he truly has none of the traits that you have assigned to him.  You are beginning to mourn a future that you saw so clearly, once upon a time.  And the scariest part…..you have no “Plan B”!

You are a different person since meeting him.  Your friends are tired of waiting to get together with you because you “might have something else you need to do”.  The way you dress, the interests you may now have all revolve around him, and what would make him happiest.  You have lost yourself-but take heart, you can find yourself again.  You just need a good shove in the right direction!  I am here to give you that swift kick, that jump-start you may require.

You may be hidden under a mistaken “I must not be good enough” mentality, always striving to be more of what he might like or need or want.  Being “perfect” takes a lot of effort, and you are getting tired.  This is a tired that sleep cannot cure, because you are tired in your soul.  The burden is becoming more difficult to carry with each passing day.  My beauty, “perfect” is not real, and ultimately not very attractive.  If only you had known this all along.

If things don’t seem to add up, have you let your mind wander to the very real possibility that you may not be the only one that he is in a relationship with?  What if there are others?  You have not allowed yourself to think about how you would handle this situation.  Let your mind go there.  Let these things settle in.  Getting real is the first step in healing.

You may have been living an idyllic fantasy when the two of you are together, mistakenly thinking that this is how life would be “if only you were together permanently”.  You may not have lived through any life crises with this man to see how the two of you would fare together under stress.  You have probably not paid bills together or agreed on how to manage money, or children, or an illness, or a bankruptcy, or a broken family, or any of the many other challenges that life brings.

You always try to look your best when he is around.  He may have never seen you as you tumble out of bed in the morning.  He sees you in heels, pretty lingerie, or cute work-out clothes, and never in dirty sweats or with your hair a mess, face free of make-up.  You have not even thought of what it would be like to keep up that level of maintenance for the long term.  And doing all of that with children…how does that work?

You believe him when he says that he loves you.  He probably does.  You meet most of his needs.  Who wouldn’t love you under those circumstances?

If you have read this far, I know that you have related to some, or all of what I have said.  How do I know you so well?  Because, at certain points in my life, I have been you! Now that is embarrassing, but you know what?  We have all had relationship issues.  I have watched my friends and family members in troubled relationships.  All of these examples have given me insight that has led me to believe the old adage that “The Universe (Life) will keep giving you the same lessons until you have truly learned from them”.  I have been guilty of not allowing myself to hear the little voice of wisdom in my heart, because I was too busy denying it’s truth. The voice starts as a whisper, and grows until you can no longer ignore it.  The next step is to take massive action.  Let me help you!  I am thankful for my relationship journeys, but I do not want to continue to make choices that cause pain to myself or anyone else.  Can you relate?

I care about you.  I want to give you some insight and a new game plan.  I want you to wake up well before I did.  I want you to have the beautiful life that I know is waiting in the wings for you.  Choose it. Move towards it.  You will be glad that you did.

A strong word of caution if you may be in an abusive relationship.  If it ever becomes physical abuse, just get away, immediately.  Physical abuse is ALWAYS a deal-breaker.   More insidious is emotional abuse.  It sneaks up on us and takes a different, but very real toll.  

Elizabeth Enochs gives us nine signs that you are being emotionally abused in your relationship.  “Love should never be manipulative”.  If any of these signs are present in your relationship, then realize that you have been abused long enough and take action:

  • His mean jokes, criticism, and judgement are constant
  • You feel guilty all of the time
  • He refuses to communicate
  • But, when you are apart, he texts/calls you incessantly
  • He blames his bad moods on you
  • He is so jealous it is scary
  • He tries to control your spending
  • He is unfaithful, or he threatens to be
  • He’s threatened to hurt himself if you leave him

I will be coming from a woman’s perspective in this blog, because that is the perspective that I know best.  If you are a man, then just know that everything that I say, easily applies to women, too.  One of the sad parts of the Woman’s Rights Movement, is that we have become more alike than different in oh so many ways, and not all of the similarities are “pretty”.

I may, at times, use language to get your attention. Please forgive me if that offends you. I want to take you from #Iamsofuckedup to #unfuckwithable.  Let me help you learn the hard lessons.  Let me help you to see with more clarity.  Let me be your fairy godmother, your mentor, your sister, your mother, your friend, your confidant.  I am every woman.  So are you. You can do this.  We will do this together.  Your stories and input help me, too!

Now, pick yourself up and start walking forward. Let me accompany you on your journey. You will come out, on the other side, stronger and able to make better choices for your future.  You will feel empowered.  You will be a warrior.  You will be strong.  You will attract what you become….and we are never done “becoming”.

Follow my blog, over the next few weeks, and I will begin to address many different relationship issues, how to spot red flags, personality types, and how to deal with each.  I trust you will find at least a few answers, a new game plan, some tidbit that just may get you “unstuck” enough to have some forward momentum.  As one of us heals, let’s share our wisdom, so that others can begin a healing journey of their own.

Now, let’s begin with some beautiful words by Jeff Foster. Read them slowly.  Let his words fill you up.  I want you to feel them in your soul:

“WE ARE LIFE ITSELF”

Friend, if you are experiencing stress, sorrow, physical or emotional pain in your life right now, it doesn’t mean that your life is going wrong, that you are broken and sinful, that you have failed as a human or spiritual being, or that you are far from awakening. You may just be healing in your own original and unexpected way. Sometimes we need to feel worse for a while. Sometimes the old structures, things that we once defined and identified as ‘me’, need to crumble. Sometimes we need to be brought to our knees before we can stand again. Sometimes illusions need to die. Sometimes our sacred plans and hopes, our schemes and dreams of “how things were going to turn out”, need to burn to ashes on the ruthless yet ultimately compassionate bonfire of the present moment. As we open up to life and love and healing, as we awaken from our dream of separateness, we meet, not just live the bliss of existence, but also its pain; not only the ecstasy of life, but its agony too. Awakening doesn’t always feel good or comforting or blissful or ‘spiritual’, for we are inevitably forced to confront our deepest fears and darkest shadows –those parts of ourselves that we have cut-off, denied, repressed, numbed ourselves to all these years, and the meeting can get messy to say the least. But eventually we come to trust the process of no process at all. We learn to see even our deepest sorrow as an intelligent movement of life, not a threat to life. We remember that we are vast enough to hold all of it –the good and the bad, the pain and the pleasure, the light and the dark, the agony and the ecstasy. We are not nearly as limited as we once imagined. We are life itself.”

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