60 seconds on one of the big problems in marriage (or long term relationships).
This is the first in a "What to Do Series" in readiness for my
Get DIVORCE Fit program, which is launching in October.
Divorce or break ups are bad enough without the cruel twist of the betrayal dagger in an already traumatised heart.
To break up is one thing, to be told “I’m leaving you because I’m in love with someone else” or to discover your partner cheated after you’ve separated seems to take the suffering to a whole new level.
I’ve been that woman who was betrayed, I found out about my ex-husband’s affair and confronted him one night whilst the kids were in bed asleep, to be told “It’s not what you think, it’s something else”… my ex husband had the gall to tell me he had been “doing drugs”! As an ex-drug addict that could have been believable, but I knew it was a lie. As we were arguing a text came through on his phone . It read …”Babe, the bed’s too big without you…”
I later discovered my husband had cheated on me with a number of people in our marriage and after we split up, he introduced one of the women into my new circle of friends and she kept showing up in my life. I couldn’t help but feel betrayed all over again. It was horrendous, talk about having salt rubbed into your wound.
As a relationship coach, I knew I had to peel back the layers and look within. It was my belief that if something was showing up in my life then on some level I had created it. I don’t mean I wanted my husband to cheat or betray me, I'm saying, if betrayal was showing up in my life then I knew it was a reflection of a vibrational match within me.
One night I woke at about 3 in the morning, with the realisation that I had been betraying myself all my life and this was happening to wake me up. A movie of my life started to play in my mind of all the times I had been betrayed or I had betrayed others or myself.Every time I said "yes" when I meant "no", every time I dropped what I needed in favour of someone else’s needs, especially his needs, every time I put up with bad behaviour, every time I didn't follow through on my own words
Life will show us where we are vibrationally. We draw to us experiences that reflect our inner world, so we can do the work of healing our wounds and our disconnection to the truth of who we are.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU DISCOVER YOUR EX HAS CHEATED ON YOU?
So the best piece of advice I can offer anyone who was in a relationship with a cheater, is to reflect the mirror back at yourself, and ask:
"Where do you betray yourself?”
“What do you lie to yourself about?”
“What are you cheating yourself of?"
“Who have you betrayed?”
“What do you need to take ownership of”
Do this with COMPASSIONATE KINDNESS TO YOURSELF. Don't beat yourself up over it, use it as an opportunity to reflect and discover what you need to learn about yourself, so you can clear it within you and not repeat the patterns of the past.
We are not victims of our circumstances, we are powerful creative souls and we’re here to rise up in our personal power of love.
If you have any questions about this post, please comment below and I will happily answer them.
I get asked this a lot when I’m coaching clients, so I thought I’d do a quick blog post on this today…
If you and your partner have decided to call it a day and you’ve agreed to go your separate ways (for whatever reason) then it’s important to focus on yourself and give yourself the best opportunity to heal. So if you’re in the first 4 to 8 weeks of your break up its best to have the least amount of contact as possible.
If you’re feeling vulnerable and emotionally raw (which is natural) then communicating with your ex will likely trigger feelings of uncertainty and in turn you’ll start to feel needy, desperate, jealous and even enraged. It’s confusing you’ve gone from being best friends and lovers to someone saying they don’t want to build a life with you. It’s tough and painful.
Minimising contact is the best way to set yourself up to take care of yourself so you can heal and start the process of rebuilding your life.
Obviously not every situation is the same, if you have children or run a business together, you will need some level of communication, if you don’t then things will be different.
If you have no reason to stay friends (other than you think you should)
Okay our brain will tell us we have lots of reasons to stay friends, it’s the trick it plays to keep ourselves safe as we don’t like uncertainty or discomfort… so we say “we’ve got shared friends or a dog, or we like the same pub etc” – right now, the best thing for you is to break all contact… Especially on social media, SMS or email.
You need healthy boundaries; one’s where you’re not stalking your Ex on social media or in your car (I know, we’ve all done it). If you’re friends on social media it will keep throwing up things your Ex is doing and guaranteed they’re going to be things they didn’t do with you that you might even have begged them to try… it will set you back and will stop you from creating happy healthy love within yourself and with someone else.
Healthy boundaries start by knowing your “NO”s and the most important no when a relationship ends is no communication… You have to focus on you, there’s a reason why you’ve broken up and even if it’s your choice to break up the “don’t want them, but don’t want anyone else to have them” mindset can also kick in.
Suddenly someone seems attractive and interesting again usually because we’re scared we’ll be alone forever and no one will love us again. So we go back to what wasn’t working a few weeks ago. The going back and forth creates even more confusion when you need a clear mind in order to heal your heart.
So drop all contact until you're settled into your new life, and ONLY then, decide from a clear head and heart if it’s good to be friends… of course if you do bump into them be pleasant, but keep boundaries that support you.
If you have children or run a business together.
You have to accept that you will need to communicate, of course you might extricate yourself out of a business, but with children that’s obviously not an option… so here are some simple guidelines to help you get going… . Firstly, the above comments apply, especially the social media and stalking… close all connection on that front.
1. Set a clear intention to behave respectfully and civily with your Ex… I’m not saying this will always be easy, but the intention is a stand you make for yourself so you show up in a way that honours you and your children.
2. Do not bad mouth your Ex or discuss any of the divorce arrangements in front of your children, tempting though it may be. It’s important to allow your children to have a healthy relationship with both parents, even if you are aggrieved. Think about what’s triggering you to want to share information about your Ex with your children and work on this in private with a friend or even better a coach.
3. Make sure your divorce and custody arrangements for your children are clear and concise, so there’s no confusion around expectations and responsibilities. This helps to minimise misunderstandings and mis-communications.
4. If you have any angry ex, who is prone to emotional outbursts then it’s important to know how to respond in advance. It’s very likely that you didn’t learn to deal with this in the relationship and it may even be part of the reason you’re separated now.
The most important thing here, is that you have to take care of your emotional wellbeing, and it is not acceptable for someone to communicate in this way with you. You have a right to ask someone to stop communicating in this way, and this requires you to be in your own authority and to speak up. The first thing I remind my clients is;
"It's not personal" - even when it feels like it is...
Someone’s behaviour tells you more about them then you. It’s usually because they are communicating from their wounded child, and they’ve learned to respond in this way in childhood… It doesn’t make it right, it’s just helpful to know this and to say this in your head when they behave in this way.
One of the best techniques for stabilising yourself and dealing with the emotional stress is the Heart Focused Breathing™ I teach in my HeartMath™ coaching, this is easy to learn and if you would like to know more click here.
5. Don't use your children to send messages or relay information. It’s unfair on the children and they get confused. Children often favour the underdog in any situation (as do most people) and it’s very likely that your children will end up feeling more compassion for your Ex than understanding why you’re behaving like you are.
If you have any questions about this post, please comment below and I will happily answer them.
You might be asking;
“Is it possible to positively flush out my Ex in 5 steps?”
In the spirit of keeping it real, it’s definitely possible, but not always easy. To be honest it takes a genuine desire to honour yourself and the relationship you had, a brave heart and a large dose of generosity. The rewards though, are immeasurable, especially if you have children.
Six months into my separation, I was at my lowest. It was the week between Christmas and New year and I was having panic attacks about the future. I was full of despair and at the same time I didn’t want to start the new year feeling this way. Inherently I knew I had to take charge of my healing. It was a pivotal moment, choosing not to be a victim of my circumstances helped me turn everything around and it can for you too.
The popular myth “time heals” is full of BS, time passes but it doesn’t automatically heal.
I’m sure like me, you’ve had a friend who got divorced and never got over it, even after 5 or 10 years. In my experience, it’s the choices you make and specifically the choice to heal, that will give you the emotional freedom you crave. The moment I decided to take charge of my own healing was the moment that everything changed for me.
As a coach, I know relationships are an inside-out job, and by that, I mean we are co-creating with life through our thoughts and feelings, our external world is a reflection of our inner world.
At some level I knew I had unconsciously co-created these circumstances for some inner healing of a childhood wound. Where had I given my power away in my relationship and what did I need to take responsibility for?
This is such a powerful questions as we’re used to blaming others, especially when we’ve been hurt. However, there’s a huge gift in taking responsibility, as you get to reclaim your power and you discover life doesn’t happen to you, it happens through you. (As my mentor Katherine Woodward Thomas likes to say).
We’re so used to clinging onto things, people, relationships, (stuff) and I desperately wanted to cling on to my marriage for safety. I was madly in love when I found out about his affair and I didn’t want a divorce as I believed our love was way bigger than our problems. Yet you can’t make someone work at a relationship if they don’t want to. I had to choose to accept his decision and let him go.
The thing that so often stops us is the fear of the unknown, the fear of being alone forever (will I ever be loved again), fear of stepping out into the world as a single person. Our pain and suffering can be a trusty companion compared to the uncertainty of the future.
Yet it’s through acceptance and letting go that we get to move forward.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us” – Joseph Campbell
Forgiveness is ONE of the keys to healing, the others are love, compassion and appreciation. Often what blocks forgiveness is the fear that if we forgive we are condoning the other person’s behaviour or invalidating our suffering. This is far from the truth. I like to see forgiveness as a “selfish blessing” because when we practice it, we receive the benefits. If you don’t forgive its very likely you’ll end up bitter, angry or resentful. This impacts your ability to have happy healthy love going forward and is hugely detrimental to your health and wellbeing.
After making the choice to let the marriage go I had to practice forgiveness hourly, and on some days when my buttons were pushed it was every ten minutes !!! (I’m a person, not a saint)!!
This really is the fun bit! You have to create a new vision for your life, just like the Joseph Campbell quote, there is a life waiting for you. One that can be even greater than the one you previously had and that’s because you get to take the gold from your heartache and the richness soften your heart some, making you a wiser, more generous and compassionate person.
I do believe everything in my life has made me the person I am today, and my greatest heartaches have also given me great gifts. I re-discovered my creativity and intuition after my breakup, wrote a children’s book and created the Divorce Detox, an online transformational course for women.
So, in this last step give yourself the gifts your divorce and heartache brings you… trust me, there’s always gifts if you choose to find them.
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What's LEAP FROG dating?
Does it help you get more clarity on what you want
or make you more confused than ever?
We all have a friend or know a friend's friend who is a leap frog dater, someone who jumps from relationship to relationship, often in search of love or “finding the one”!
Leap frog dating is different from rebound dating where someone dates quickly when a long term relationship ends, often falling head over heels in love with the first person they meet in an attempt to avoid the break-up pain. In a rebound relationship, there's a tendency to want to replace the love and intimacy from the previous relationship and to not have to deal with the emotional pain of the break-up.
The signs of a leap frog dater are different, in that the leap-frogger is constantly moving from relationship to relationship with the relationships only lasting for two to four months. The leap frogger always removes themselves at the point where they start to see qualities in the other person they dislike and/or the relationship becomes challenging. The leap frogger takes very little time in between relationships, sometimes joining dating websites or apps within days or hours of the previous relationship breaking up.
That moment in Jerry Maguire... when he says "You complete me"
The leap frogger is unconsciously searching “to complete” themselves
They're seeking out the “perfect” partner who has the qualities they don’t think they have within themselves, ie. Looking for someone to take care of you financially when you don’t believe you can support yourself or seeking someone who's outgoing and social when you’re uncomfortable about socialising and making friends.
Often what happens, is they believe they've met the “perfect” man or woman, they see them as special and someone who could be the “One”. Of course, this is lopsided as at the beginning of a relationship we tend to have a one-sided view of the person. We only see the good points or we tend to be “blinded” about someone’s personality as we're fixated on falling in love or being part of a couple. In our lopsided view of the person, we fall in love and everything's great, in our minds eye we see them as perfect long-term partners.
As the leap frogger reaches the third or fourth month, the illusion starts to drop and they begin to see all aspects of their new partner. Previously endearing qualities become annoying and irritation sets in as they see their partner’s previous adoration or attentiveness as being needy and their desire to please as overbearing and claustrophobic.
The perfect partner is now not so perfect as the leap-frogger starts to focus on the disliked qualities, which expand and magnify and become issues of huge discontent.
Suddenly this person is not quite
what we’re looking for.
So the leap frogger at this point has a tendency to bail.
Instead of seeing and accepting the whole person, they start to zone in on the negative aspects and get caught in oscillating between the parts they love about them and the parts they dislike, they're caught up in the polarities of someone’s personality rather than focusing on the “whole” aspect of their being. The relationship is mirroring back to the leap frogger the aspects of themselves they need to embrace and own. When the leap frogger does this wholly and completely they'll no longer find these traits unacceptable in others, they may even begin to see the benefits of these traits.
So the true benefit of leap frogging is
when it's done consciously,
as a way of healing your incompleteness.
If you seek to understand and embrace the traits you dislike and find unacceptable in others. By seeing each relationship experience in its totality, choosing to learn from the relationship and not just “leap” at the first sign of discomfort, you can grow.
When you notice something you don’t like about the person you’re dating, instead of moaning and complaining about it, ask yourself;
“When do I display this trait?”
“How does it show up in my life?”
In asking these questions, you begin to own the displaced parts of yourself and the relationship becomes a place to heal. If you stick with it and are open to being vulnerable and honest with yourself you begin to feel more complete. In doing so, over time, you'll stop seeking to complete yourself externally, but feel whole from within. PLUS you won't have to keep leap-frogging!!
IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW LONG YOU'VE BEEN SEPARATED OR DIVORCED
If you still have a relationship with your Ex, because you have children together or you share a business or just because... the fighting can be a nightmare... let's face it, if you got on well you would still be together!
It doesn't have to be that way...
With the right skills and a desire to be your best self, you can transform your communications with your Ex so that you don't end up feeling guilty, bad, angry and peeved all the time.
I'd love for you to join me on our 5 Day Free Challenge to get over your Ex...