Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Your Ex & "Yes" To Love Again

It was late… what time was it?  I pressed the button on my iPhone and the screen lit up… the time displayed that it was 11:25 p.m. Resting my tired head on the pale pink pillow, my mother perched at the end of my king size four poster bed. Naturally a night owl… it was nothing for me to stay up and begin drafting a blog at midnight… and work till 1 a.m. … tonight, the blog was drafted to be edited the next day and published… work had been particularly busy that day…  I always pushed myself more than usual on the weeks I didn't have my daughter… but tonight sleep was calling and my eyes were quickly becoming bleary.

Hair pinned up in a bun and my favorite lightweight wrap around my shoulders, I listened as my mother spoke to me in the dim bedroom… mirrors and framed photos of my children across the room sparkled on the wall. "It's amazing to me… the lengths some people will go to just to make their point… to let you know that they are mad… that they are angry with you and they want you to pay… because essentially that's what this is… this is someone who is so angry, so mad that they were dumped… that now they are expending all their energies into creating havoc… them getting dumped chapped them so bad they are willing to go to any and all lengths to let you know just how mad they are. And they will stop at nothing it seems… because they have nothing else to do with their time. They don't realize that in the grand scheme of things… the other person already won. They are rid of them… they are rid of the toxic, abusive person they are… and they have moved on… it's really hilarious when you think about it… because the abuser is so angry that such a good person got away from them… because how dare they do that… it's believing the person needs to be punished and whatever means they have to do that they will utilize… whether it's emotionally, using the children or financially, they will."

Listening to her words I stared up at the tiny white twinkle lights canopied with white gauzy sheers across the ceiling over my bed… creating a romantic haven… the tiny lights cast a pretty glint on everything. I looked over at her…

"It's true… it's been how long?" I mused aloud... "I will have filed for divorce two years ago this October. It's crazy. And you're right… at the end of the day… even though there are undeniably aggravating moments here and there… I certainly still have my days, for sure… but for the most part… I've checked out of the nonsense and getting all up in arms about it. Because it's not worth my time. I have to keep going back to that. No matter what I do in his eyes it's wrong…  it's all a game to some people… jump through this hoop, no, jump higher next time… it doesn't matter what he thinks because it's always met with pointed fingers of how it wasn't good enough… any good efforts made are twisted or minimized or dismissed. It's truly laughable, really." I chuckled… then paused… and quietly added with my head on my pillow clutching it… curled up like a snug bug... "I'm ready to move on… I'm looking to the future… enjoying a career… raising my daughter… I want to fall in love. I want to love someone with a kind heart… I want to share a beautiful life with someone special…  " I trailed off in deep thought…

At some point we are ready
 to move on from our past relationship... move on from our broken marriage… even if the other person, our ex, seems to be holding on for dear life through any and all manipulation and or punishment to keep discord alive and well through their negative actions toward us. But we don't have to subscribe to their unwillingness to let go and move along… there are things we can do to begin our new life in the best way possible.

We can remind ourselves that just because a relationship has ended our life hasn't. Quite the contrary… life is just beginning. There is life after a broken marriage… and just because the marriage failed doesn't mean you can't thrive. This is another chance at creating the life you want and in that the picture you have of what makes up a family may have to be redefined. That is perfectly okay. It might be a struggle managing finances, a new career and raising children alone… but with time all things are new. We can make way for new things in our life with the mentality that this too shall pass… nothing is forever… removing any catastrophic thinking does wonders… because statements like "It will never get better…" or "This is so horrible, I can't see it improving…" and "Life sucks!" is not helpful at all… it's that type of thinking that leads to a dead end… and keeps us in a negative spin cycle.

Love: A New Beginning: 3 Tips

1. Saying No To The Wrong Qualities: 
Jumping into a new relationship that is wrong for us too soon after divorcing can be catastrophic… leading us to reel backward and find ourselves hurting even more than before. One way we can avoid this is by first taking the time we need to heal from our past relationship. Once that has happened then we can slowly begin dating… but is the person were interested in have the qualities that we would value in a spouse? This is essential. If they don't have the qualities we believe to be important and that have God's blessing… then we are ultimately wasting our time and the other person's. Obviously physical attraction is important but we know a relationship can't live off that alone.

2. Refining Our Communication Skills:
There are some who claim "there are two sides to every story"… and in fact sometimes that's true...  sometimes relationships can be undeniably messy with a lot of gray area. Yet that statement can't be applied to every relationship. Other times there is more "blame" for the failure of a relationship on one person's shoulders… but with that… even the one who is possibly the more innocent of the two… it's crucial that they can communicate effectively in their next relationship. It's so easy for us to say in the aftermath of divorce about our ex... "He has been such a jerk… he makes me so mad!" when in reality the root of anger is always hurt. When we acknowledge our hurts instead and voice "It hurts me when he behaves that way" ... that is a much more effective way to communicate our thoughts and removing the attack on the person.

3. Willing To Trust: 
Being a member of online support groups since my divorce has helped tremendously with my healing… I have witnessed the absolute most endearing actions of so many men… men who were married to women that were of a narcissistic sociopathic nature… these men who were faithful and loving yet were cheated on, even abused in some way. It's been amazing seeing what dedicated fathers these men are to their children as they try to co-parent with less than amicable ex's. These men may struggle with trusting again… and as women we may as well. Yet in time after we've healed we can all take that chance… be willing to bare our souls, to be vulnerable… to dive in and allow a man to pursue us… and let our care for him shine as well. Not all men are like your ex… they cannot be lumped into one single pile… the next person you date, possibly become exclusive with and even go on to marry is an individual…

He is a person with a past and he quite possibly could be part of your future… 

We just have to be brave enough despite our past to say "yes" to him.

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

When The Ex Makes The Child "The Messenger"

When we grow up with an emotionally, verbally, perhaps even physically abusive parent we naturally have ambivalent feelings toward them. As children we may understandably have difficulty grappling with the fact that this person… the one who is to care for and keep us safe is actually inflicting great damage and hurt. In that we may waffle back and forth… one minute being frightened of their potential wrath and yet still obviously desiring their approval. As with all children we want our parents approval, affection and love… and daughter's very much want their dad's. This is why if a woman had a father who was less than involved or loving as a child she may then later turn to a man to fill that void she feels within. This unfortunately potentially leads to her becoming involved with a man who treats her as terribly as her father or even worse… hence the cycle continues and another generation suffers.

And yet in all this… as little girls we want our dad to show his love, care and affection for us. We want to know he hears us, he values us, that we have his loyalty and he has our back. I struggled for years with trying to make sense of the fact that my dad was not the healthiest person for me to be around… being strong willed and vocal about how his ways weren't the norm, him resisting my truth, yet my fearing his wrath… and deep down wanting his approval… it messes with a child emotionally. We grow up naturally wanting someone to feel safe with… and the value we place on emotional safety is huge. As a child we want to believe the best in the male role model in our life. It stands to reason while residing under the same roof we may not only scatter like scared kittens when we hear him on the angry prowl but yet yearn for him to know us. It's not really black and white… there is actually much gray area to muddle through and as kids we dissect it all… we analyze it to death… trying to figure out how we can appease our parent without getting annihilated in the process. It is without a doubt walking a fine line and one that causes much internal distress in a child.

Here's the truth…. 

A child who is truly wary of his or her parent still wants to please them on some level. They won't claim to "not feel safe"… but instead they struggle in an internal battle within… they see the horrible actions by this person yet they want them to be the parent they so desperately need them to be. Eventually… years down the road they may make that decision as an adult to cut ties with their abusive parent… but not without pain and a feeling of loss. 

Whereas a child who makes statements of "I don't feel safe with you" is being coached by an adult in their life… to be "the messenger"… a child who views one parent in a limited black and white perspective is not struggling with ambivalence but in reality alienation. 

What if a mother requests her son to please brush his teeth before bed? That would be a reasonable… even an expected request of any parent who is looking after their child's well-being… namely dental health. But instead the child reacts defiantly toward his mother… he refuses to brush his teeth and what's more… he retorts he "doesn't have to do anything she tells him to!" Now she's met with him lashing out… slamming his door, throwing things… attacking her upon her attempts to calm him down. Nothing works, his anger escalates and he injures her… bruises speckle her arms and legs along with hateful language spewed at her by him. 

He retreats to dad's…. to cool down and yes, his mother is perfectly fine with him doing so… at least for an interim of time because she's exhausted… mentally and physically spent from his tirade toward her. But as time passes the son realizes he wants to stay at dad's house… after all, dad's house doesn't have rules… he doesn't have to brush his teeth if he doesn't want to. 

Now mom is feeling rejected by her son… even if she can no longer physically handle his abuse toward her… understandably so, she feels hurt…. and her son's father is enjoying the satisfaction of having their son to himself… he's basking in the glow of being the "super dad"… the "rescuing dad"… the one who is happy to provide that safe place for their son to flee to… it's an ego stroke… because mom is so "unreasonable" and any other myriad of excuses he can possibly come up with. 

And yet… 

Mom has done nothing wrong. She simply set healthy boundaries, as we can see. She told her son he wasn't allowed to hurt others… to not inflict harm and pose as a threat to himself or family members. She set reasonable expectations of any child… brush your teeth and don't hurt people. And despite all that… she's the one who is being pegged at the "bad guy"… the "problem"… etc. 

So as a parent what do you do if your child is now viewing you with contempt? If they have been alienated from you? How do you handle coping with the fact your otherwise delightful and sweet child… perhaps at times your "challenging child"… erroneously perceives you to be some type of monster? As a parent we have to tread carefully here. We can certainly continue to call our child out on his or her rude, (and should) perhaps even downright nasty and contemptible behavior toward us. But we can do that with firm love. We can do that without anger, without yelling, without freaking out on them. We can very simply state "That's disrespectful"… "Please use a nicer tone when you're speaking to me"… "It hurts my feelings when your tone is rude toward me"…

This way we are addressing the specific actions of the child… we are stating that his or her words hurt… that yes, even as adults we have feelings as well… and in that we can tell our child… "It sounds like you're angry with me. Do you want to talk about it?" … or "Your tone seems irritated toward me…  I'd love to hear how you feel… but I need you to use a respectful tone please." It takes a strong parent to step in and teach character building skills of gentleness with their child who is treating them like yesterday's discarded newspaper when they may very well feel anything but charitable toward their child… there is deep rooted hurt within and no one blames you for being angry and hurt over it. But harboring those hurts doesn't help our child come back to us… instead it ultimately pushes them further away…  right into the arms of the alienating parent with a personal agenda.

Instead we can acknowledge that when our child is using hurtful words to wound us… it's not really our child who is using them. He or she is merely the messenger. We often want to "shoot the messenger"… but reminding ourselves that it's actually the words of our ex coming out of our child's mouth… it's our ex's manipulative ways and he's handed our baby the gun… our child is in a very real internal battle within… a battle of loyalty… we can keep this in mind… and when we do… we can view our child with love not frustration.

We may not have taken the steps we need to… we may have had difficulty seeing the situation for what it is… it may be difficult when entrenched in a situation emotionally for so long that we aren't able to see the bigger picture… but fret not… no need to wring your hands. You have today… you have tomorrow… we have a new day to begin again. And one day your child will look back and see your love for them… and they will know that you loved them enough to keep trying no matter what.

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

sharing and commenting! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

What Can You Do For Your Spouse? 5 Tips

“Ask not what your country 

can do for you; 

ask what you can 

do for your country.”

-  John F. Kennedy 

That quote by John F. Kennedy  is one that still rings true today… and even applies to other facets of our lives. In our marriages we may often ask what exactly our spouse is going to do for us? And yet the truth is… both sexes should be asking what specifically can they do to please their spouse? 

Our ultimate role in marriage… for men and women (and goal) is to reflect Christ. Each day if we wake up asking ourselves the question of… What can I do today?… whether it's this morning before I head to work, at mid-day... or this evening what can I do that will show my spouse love? … and then once we follow through… we will be on the path of loving the one we married oh so much better and our marriage will shine outward from within. 

1. Nurture:
Today in the modern world we may believe nurturing, caring for a man is seen as silly, perhaps even outdated or antiquated. But when did showing our love for someone…. anyone… especially the one person we vowed to love, care for and stay true to become passé? It could be argued that some folks would have been better suited to be born in a different time, maybe a different era… but at the end of the day is there truly anything wrong with showing our affection for someone we care for with a homemade meal? A batch of fresh cookies? A cup of hot coffee brought to them as a surprise? A sweet note left on their windshield? Their favorite book inscribed with a love note and left on their bedside table waiting for them? It's the little things like these in life that are meaningful and finding out what makes our spouse tick, what they enjoy… what they hold dear to them is always worth the extra effort. 

2. Create A Haven:
Home should be a place where you come together with the one you love… where walls keep out the world and together you nest in comfort. Wives don't have to spend a fortune to make a house a home. Husbands want to come home and see the woman they love… he wants to breath a sigh of relief that he's in the haven he's provided and you've created. Together… you make a great team… home is a place of warm inviting scents like lasagna or cinnamon bread baking… a Yankee candle in your favorite scent burning… blankets to cuddle under... houseplants that bring life to a room… photos hanging of the both of you on your last vacation together… and you wearing his shirt when he comes in the door… (sigh)… it's these little things that matter and make up the beautiful place he refers to as "home." 

3. Date Night:
When were married it's essential we take the time to have date nights. As women we can't deny that occasionally we want to dress up and feel extra special for a night. We want to look nice and spend time with our guy. A few years ago when my ex-husband and I went to see Phantom of the Opera I wore a long gown… it was the one formal gown in a sea of short dresses but I didn't care. I loved that gown… I still do… one day I'll wear it again to something special with someone I love. And yet we can also spend quality time with our spouse just grabbing dinner in jeans or sweats on a patio after an afternoon of gardening, going to the local botanical gardens or a car show. Spending time together doesn't have to cost a fortune… it doesn't have to be over the top… but taking the time to plan something means everything. 

4. He Wants You:
Men have a desire in their marriage to show their love and affection for their spouse... they want to make love to their wife. Someone who truly loves you won't make you feel indebted... as if sex is to be a trading of food, shelter, etc. We know this. But sex can lead to problems even in the healthiest of couples. If a wife or husband is over extending themselves too often... if work or child care is becoming all consuming and the energy simply isn't there for making love... then the marriage screams of imbalance. Raising the bar will simply add more stress and undoubtedly frustration for both people. It's time to look at where more time as a couple can be added in small increments. Maybe that project can wait. Can the dishes be put off another night? Perhaps small amounts of time can be blocked out each week as a start and build from there. What can be removed from the schedule? Does little Johnny really need to play soccer again this season? Maybe couple-time has been put on the back burner due to an overload of activities planned. Another aspect to consider is when was the last vacation? Especially without children? It's essential that couples have plenty of uninterrupted time away so they can connect and re-charge. 

5. Speak Love: 
After we marry we often get so caught up in the day to day. Yet we don't want to forget the little things we said and did when we were in the courtship stage of our relationship. Whether we take him a hot coffee to his office with a sweet note written on it because we know he's freezing, or we tell him "You make my heart smile"... "I'm so blessed"... or he says "I can't wait to see you tonight"... it's important that we share how we feel. It's essential that we pause and ask ourselves how much life have we spoken over and to our spouse that day? Were we patient? Difficult? Short? Critical? When were humble, when we step forward and speak up where we weren't so lovely... whether we sincerely apologize or just make an effort to speak love into our relationship… when we pray for our spouse... we know we are watering the roots for our bond to grow stronger and undoubtedly our love will bloom even more oh so beautifully. 

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

6 Tips To Happy

September  2014 

names have been omitted in this post 


My daughter opened the door and clambered in, bright multi-colors on her backpack slung behind her like the shell on a turtle decked out for a festival. Her blonde ponytail bobbed behind her tied back with a hot pink hair elastic and she closed the car door.

"Hey!" I greeted her all happy to see her smiling face.

"Hey!" She smiled back and began getting settled in, yanking on her seat belt and once I heard it snap into place I slowly pulled away from the curb exiting the afternoon school car pool lane.

"I missed you today. Did you have a good day at school?" I asked her.

"Yeah…" she replied "but I don't know why my foot was itchy today…" She murmured with a frown on her face. "It bothered me all day." She added.

"Hmmm…" I said as I slowly approached the stop sign and stopped, letting several mothers and their children cross first. "That is odd…. maybe you're about to go on a trip." I told her teasingly.

"Well… I DID trip today." She admitted with a grin.

I burst out laughing at her words and smiled affectionately at her in the rear view mirror.

"Oh, my goodness… that is hilarious. Not you tripping, what you said." I giggled. She cracked me up.

She laughed too and started talking about some "meanie boy" who was bothering her in class that day.

I responded with "You know what we say to that!" I quipped in my southern drawl.

She broke out in a backseat dance and song…

"Can't touch this… oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh… Hammertime!" 

Life is like that on some days…. we feel the bite of the dog, the sting of the wasp, the hurt of a snap… maybe a boy is mean or we trip and scrape our knee… but there are things we can all do to up our "happy quotient" even on the worst or best of days. We undeniably all want to be happy… and yet so many of us search our whole lives for just what exactly makes us so. 

So what makes us happy? 

Here are a few ideas to consider… 

Humor makes us happy… when we can take a a bad day and inject humor into it… when we can see the funny side of things we will not allow something irritating or even downright maddening keep us down. We can do this by saying "Okay, that was wrong. I'm angry, disappointed, sad…" Whatever the emotion…  Acknowledge your feelings. Embrace them. Then choose to move on. Allow a certain amount of time to deal with it and then find something positive to focus on. Watch a comedy, call a friend, recall a funny moment in the past that had you in stitches with laughter. Humor really is the best medicine. 

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. 

And the other nations said,

 ‘What amazing things the Lord has done for them.'

Psalms 126:3 (NLT)

Gratitude makes us happier. Studies show that people who keep a gratitude journal, that are cognizant of the little things… jotting down two or three things at the end of each day that they are thankful for… they tend to be happier than their peers. I've been doing this the past few years and it makes a huge difference. It might be something you can share with your spouse or do alone. If you have children teaching them a heart of gratitude is essential… in a world so focused on the materialism of cars, homes, money and status. Giving them their own gratitude journal may be the stepping stone for them to discover how much they truly have to be thankful for. 

Connecting with family and friends… strong marriages and friendships correlate to a high happy factor.  Not spending time with those we love leads to one of the top regrets on a deathbed. Having a reliable network of loved ones that have your back and them knowing you have theirs… boosts us up and along with that connecting to a higher power. Seeking God and having a relationship with Christ… hope is especially crucial, as it means life has meaning. Simply telling ourselves to "get happy" generally doesn't work… we need to do something to get us there and in that it's about building a life that generates happiness. So often when were much younger we may believe that we need this and that… we need the fast car, we need the flashy condo, we need to go out every weekend and get plastered and have fun. But the truth is… happiness isn't loud, it isn't wrapped up in "things." It's actually correlated to having meaningful conversation with someone we care about, playing with our children, and sharing enjoyable experiences with those we love.

Contentment is all about feeling safe and calm… even if a storm brews outside your window and the world is being not so nice. My daughter always says "Some people are meaner than a dog bite." She's never been bitten by a dog but she knows already at a young age how mean people can sometimes be. Even if you are in a storm… there are things that can be done to alleviate the rush of overwhelm and simply find your calm spot. Exercise, kick boxing and relaxation techniques, even yoga may not make the meanies go away but will certainly help in giving you the help you need to deflect any mounting stress from outside factors that perhaps you have no control over.

Fear is something that has the ability to paralyze us and keep us behind… stagnant and not moving forward. We fear so many things… we fear the unknown, we fear whether or not we can succeed in our jobs, we fear if our relationships will last, we fear flying, swimming, you name it… we fear it. I nearly drowned when I was six years old… I still remember that day like it was yesterday. To this day I can't swim. I am determined to take lessons and learn. It's been on my to-do list and yet I've never gotten to it… it's easy when we are fearful of something to say "I will… but, um... later." Yikes, "later" just keeps coming and coming. We have to make that commitment and follow through because when we don't it undeniably holds us back. When we don't face whatever is on that list that we each have… it keeps us imprisoned.

Accepting our past and acknowledging the pain that has occurred is essential for moving on. When we admit those past disappointments without minimizing or denying what took place we open the door to freedom and close the one to "what should have been". Instead, we can smile and say "Things didn't go as I thought they would… but I know God will use it for good!" This is truth. When something withers something beautiful grows in it's place. Maybe someone needs to hear what you've been through… even if it's just one person you're sharing your story with it might just help more than you could ever imagine!

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Related Posts: 

Where Does Your Self-Worth and Happiness Come From? 

Like Fireflies: Being A Light and Sharing Our Story 

Timing and Sacrifice: When God Uses Us To Help Others

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sex And The Narcissistic Male

Let's talk about sex….

and the Narcissistic Male. 

Sex is everywhere it seems… in the media, music, movies and advertising. In our modern world today we are bombarded daily with the subtle whisper of sensuality to the other extreme... an in your face, can't be missed type campaign.

It goes without saying that an addictive desire for sex holds great dominance in a narcissist's life…

and obviously enough 

the sex is self-focused at that. 

Sex is by definition supposed to be about two people coming together, focused on each other, making love, giving each other satisfaction and showing how much they care for one another. Each gives the other pleasure, affirming their deep love for another.

Naturally that would be expected of two healthy people joined in love before God. But what about when one of those people is of a narcissistic nature? Is it even possible to have a healthy intimate marriage? Unfortunately, the disappointing answer to that question is no.

When it comes to love making in a marriage just coming together in the physical sense isn't enough… there is an entire part of the equation that involves emotional intimacy, a spiritual connection in two becoming one.

When it comes to a narcissist's "love making" it's really about them making love to themselves. You are a tool, a means for them to reach their destination but essentially it comes down to them merely masturbating... yet their using your body along the super highway to ecstasy… after it's reached, the grand finale has passed...  you lie there wondering why you feel like you were forgotten somewhere along the road some time back. It feels empty, like you could be just anyone, as if you are just a shell of a human they need to perform their self-fulfilling pleasure and then you're discarded afterward.

This is no way to live… 
to live a life that as we all know is undeniably fleeting.
 God gave us sex to be enjoyed within the parameters of marriage and that enjoyment should be mutual not one sided. 

A narcissist's view of sex within a marriage holds a limited, selfish and stunted one. My own outlook was already affected by a past trauma (rape) before I married. This is common for anyone who has had a traumatic experience... for their view of sex to perhaps be affected. Naturally needing someone healthy more than anything, someone who was a soft place, a place of understanding, a place that included respect and who knew that sex didn't include strings, deals, bargaining, guilt trips, or shaming… it unfortunately screamed of the latter. It made me hate sex. But now… with time I've realized that's not really true… we may come to believe we hate something… but later over time and hindsight look back and the truth hits us… we don't hate it at all. We hate what it did to us. We hate the way it made us feel. Cheap, used, like nothing but a blow up doll… like we could have been anyone. We realize now more than ever that what we had in our marriage wasn't healthy and that's why we medicated with a pint of ice cream, that's why we became defensive, that's why we felt like just going through the motions to get it over with already… why if we made an innocent but revealing comment to a friend that "I'd rather have a slice of cake than have sex" we'd feel their eyes on us… we instinctively knew by the glance they gave us with a furrowed brow that something just. isn't. right. That deep down we should want to be desired by our husband and want him as well. We begin to realize that we are on a dry island all alone… devoid of intimacy and even though we crave it… we just can't seem to grasp it with who were married to.

It's one thing to occasionally not feel up to sex... sometimes we truly feel exhausted, we really do have a splitting migraine or were sick. But if we always find ourselves trying to get out of it... it's time to face some serious questions:

How does our spouse make us feel about sex? 

Do we feel it's expected out of "duty" or obligation? 

Do we feel shamed or pressured? 

When it comes to sex a narcissist goes straight to the main event… foreplay is a waste of time… and when it comes to pleasing you… likely you will be met with grumbles of "it takes too long…" and his gratification usually if not always comes first. He may withhold any pleasure for you. Your body is not your own, it belongs to him and him alone… remember when OJ Simpson grabbed Nicole's crotch and was quoted saying "This is where babies come from and this belongs to me"? The Narcisstic male objectifies you… and it slowly chips away at you bit by bit. The flip side is you always feel indebted… as if you always owe him between the sheets. Because he's vocal of what he's done for you… how much he works, how hard he has it, how you don't appreciate anything he does (yet you actively vocalize your appreciation all the time) and shames you into having sex because he's done "x,y,z" for you. Before long… you wish he'd do nothing for you… because you don't want your tab to continue running sky high… you're exhausted, you're spent and you look in the mirror wondering why you feel so drained physically and mentally yet he's like the energizer bunny who never gets a full fix… who keeps going and going.

Narcissists Are Addicted To Sex

Narcissist's are addicted to sex… their desire is never quenched…. they have an insatiable appetite that must be fed. They are known for cheating… for having affairs, for having sex with prostitutes, taking risks and living a life filled with lies, deceit and never really showing their hand. It's ironic that he has all the control over your body, your desires, your pleasure yet he also chooses what to do behind your back. He makes the rules, be assured that he believes he owns you and yet despite any and all protestations on your part he doesn't care or listen… your needs and feelings fall on deaf ears.

One of the most important aspects of intimacy in marriage is sex… it's important for a man, as it's how he is wired… the affirmation of love is wrapped up in sex. A man pursues romancing a woman out of a passionate affection for her. A woman wants to feel emotionally safe and loved by him, her love affirmed for him with sex. There has to be mutual respect for one another… respect is essential for healthy sex between a couple... for one person to not feel merely as a pawn.

When we truly love someone we want to nurture them, we want to have empathy toward them so we can love them better, deeper over time… marriage is supposed to be a safety net for couples, a place where unconditional love abounds… where we know and love one another on the deepest level humans can possibly have.

That is God's design… 

It's beautiful and should be fed…

to be allowed to shine…

not dirtied with everything love isn't.

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014 

this was an important post to write,
 as I believe many are suffering behind closed doors 
not knowing that there can be peace after being 
married to someone of a narcissistic nature. 
You don't have to suffer, you are not alone, 
God sees your pain and loves you unconditionally. 

you can heal... 

God is a healer of hurts

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Healing Post Divorce & Beginning Again

fall 2013

names omitted in this post 


With my left hand gripping the tan leather steering wheel… I maneuvered the curving road with enjoyment... was there nothing better than not being in a hurry and music playing, being able to just fall into a song and let it carry you to your next destination.... the sunroof was open allowing a fall breeze to blow in… trees in changing colors of copper, mustard yellow and radiant red passed by along my route... my long brown hair flew behind me with glints of auburn catching the afternoon sun… the top of my head shining like a crimson irish crown in the rearview mirror. Music… lyrics blasted from the radio and I sang along to the lyrics, taking the curves as they came…

"… listen to the wind blow
       watch the sun rise
       run in the shadows
       damn your love
       damn your lies

       and if you don't love me now
       you will never love me again
       I can still hear you saying
       you would never break the chain…"

~ the chain fleetwood mac

The night before had been emotionally trying… to say the very least. It was a season of just post divorce… and unlike my ex who had upon my filing a year earlier immediately joining a divorce support group at a local church... I hadn't.

Instead, I had diligently attended individual therapy sessions which had been an enormous help in navigating the rocky road of divorce and learning about how incredibly toxic my ex's behavior was. That his behavior wasn't something to be minimized… ours couldn't be chalked up as "just another divorce" like many other's. It couldn't be explained away as two people "who just can't seem to get along" but it was due to controlling, emotionally toxic behavior that was purposeful and punishing on his part. This was someone who consciously chose not to behave with respect and chose to merely win… who you couldn't have a conversation with on the phone because he would merely shut you down with "Jennifer!", who then followed ironically with… "If you'd like to have a discussion about the issue in person we can… otherwise this is what I'm doing" … it left you bewildered… obviously wondering how you could possibly fathom having an actual discussion "in person" when it wasn't possible to communicate properly in the typical give and take healthy folks have on the phone… conversations with him always involved stonewalling and my being interrupted, my feeling belittled, with his agenda being spewed full force like venom from a monster… and it understandably left you so exasperated that you weren't really sure if you wanted to beat the phone, him or your own head against the wall out of complete and utter frustration.

The previous night I had done something I'd never done… opened up about my divorce in a personal group setting. When the gentleman leading the divorce care group I had attended at a local church turned to me and said "Jennifer… why don't you tell us a little about your story"… I was a little taken aback… I'd been fine with watching the video and filling out the workbook… but talking about it in a group? Really? I hadn't been prepared for that. Faces stared at me expectantly and waited.

"Um… I really didn't think I needed this class" I began… feeling like I'd been in a state of denial on some level... "but watching the video upset me." I admitted and my bottom lip began to do that quivery thing I hate and I tried to bite it to make it stop it already… I knew what was coming behind that quiver and I wanted to stop it… a floodgate of tears that had been kept at bay for over a year. "The thing is… I've only cried like a few times during the divorce. I don't think I realized until I got here tonight how much I needed this. I've been holding most all of it in and just pushing forward."

He nodded and gently asked who I could relate to in the video and I told him… then I briefly explained how I had discovered my ex's infidelity… how I had initially been angry I'd had a husband who wasn't loyal. How his actions had broken up our marriage and yet… really, the truth was, at the end of the day the marriage wasn't healthy anyway. This I knew. That the relationship was comparable to a ticking time bomb. I told him I'd experienced a mix of hurt, anger and yes, even relief at the demise of my marriage and yet as time went on… most of my deep hurt had been buried, pushed deep down, viewed like a high maintenance need no one had time for and I certainly didn't... this was game time, this was hit the deck time, this was me less than gracefully telling myself daily "Get your arse out of bed(!)" and going out each day attempting to make up for lost time in creating a career and financial stability. There was maybe self-focused anger on some level that I'd allowed someone else's life's dreams to over shadow mine. This was "I don't have time for tears... I've got a business to build"... and that was more important than facing (with a box of tissues) what some creep had done that at one time I was married to.

As I explained a bit more of what had led me to where I sat at that moment… I wiped tears from my hot cheeks and he nodded sympathetically. Others murmured in agreement that they too had experienced a similar mix of emotions as well. The woman beside me kindly handed me the tissue box for the third time and our group leader spoke…

"It sounds like your ex believed he could just do what he wished. That he believed you either wouldn't find out or he thought you'd accept it." He told me sadly, dressed in khakis and a burgundy golf shirt… his peppered hair shone under the lights in the room and his kind blue eyes twinkled. I nodded in sad agreement and balled up the wad of damp kleenex in my right fist laying in my lap wishing the tears would stop already... I felt like a snotty three year old girl and it couldn't be even close to pretty.

He began moving around the wide circle and one by one each person told their story… hurts and injustices abounded as well as tissues passed to one another. It was affirming to hear that so many people seemed to have similar emotions and very real fears… one woman spoke of how she was terrified of having to now support herself after many years of marriage, as her husband had been the provider. She kept questioning if she was truly capable of doing it. She was job searching and not having much luck, she admitted… I smiled kindly at her with total and complete understanding... praying encouragement for her, determination and favor to wash over her.

Once making his way back around the circle our group leader spoke of how God was grieving beside each of us in the loss of our marriages… that He would help each of us move forward… bit by bit into the next chapter. He confirmed that by admitting our deepest hurts and true feelings only then could we begin the healing process… because feelings that are pushed aside or squashed only serve to keep us in the past… in that quagmire of suffering. But when we can honestly admit what were experiencing and not feel shame or the need to escape it… but embrace it… then we can break that chain… the cycle of pain and move into the future.

With his eloquent words he assured us that one day we may very well meet someone new… likely when we least expect it… as he himself had… and he was incredibly happy… he praised his wife and spoke of how incredibly blessed he was. He looked over at me and smiled...

"Just take it slow… heal first… and then you'll be ready for someone that will make you realize love is totally possible… and it can be so much better than it ever was before."

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014 

3 Tips For Healing After Divorce: 

1. Be gentle with yourself: 

Take time to relax, to pamper yourself. 
Read a book, journal, take a bubble bath, listen to relaxing music. Don't over-schedule or hold high expectations of yourself. Life may seem a bit foggy right now… and there may be times you feel frazzled like you can't locate the basic things you need or function as efficiently as you previously had. But your energy is being used to grieve and heal. It's normal to be tired and maybe
fatigued. If fatigue persists, or
sleep issues, even depression,
 see your doctor.

2. Begin a fresh start: 

Painting your home, getting 
started on a new creative project, 
re-organization, volunteering, gardening... as your comfort level increases small changes can be a good thing. This is your new life and whether you're wanting to learn new recipes you've put off way too long or to travel… tiny steps can make a big difference. 

3. Find forgiveness:

Even though you find forgiveness for your ex it also doesn't equate to condoning the poor behavior of his or her actions. Forgiveness cleanses your spirit, brings you peace and calm. It is a process and it can be yours. 

To My Readers; 

Thank you for reading,

commenting and sharing!