A Guest Post By Naomi Woodford
I was 18 years old when my parents divorced. I knew it was on the cards, it had been for many years and instead of feeling sad they had finally parted, I was so relieved my Mum had finally left my Father. I felt like I could breathe again.
From the age of 14, I remember begging my Mum to leave him. I could list a million reasons now to help you understand why I felt this way. He had a temper, would make mess in the house specifically for us to clear up, he only purchased essential, basic items for us, however, did not hesitate to spend a fortune on purchasing luxuries for himself. He was lazy and self-serving.
That is how I saw it – my perception. Looking back now, he was an emotional abuser, especially to our Mum and in the process, made me feel like we had to earn our keep for him to acknowledge our existence. We simply survived our childhood but having each other made it bearable and, at times, I was happy. And best of all, we had our Mum. She was my best friend, and I was hers.
It was difficult for her though. She had the 6 of us to take care of and being that she was so submissive, she struggled to even contemplate the idea of leaving, let alone seeking the resources to go. (more…)
Last week I saw a quote about rejection which read:
“No person walking this earth is worth you sitting awake at 3am feeling like you aren’t enough”
And yet…as the rejected party this is what we do. We conclude that a person not wanting us, means that we are somehow lacking or unlovable.
Sometimes the ex-partner may have actually said these words. Sometimes it’s implied in their actions; if they have left for someone else or they meet someone new when the dust has barely settled on the relationship.
This post is not about judging anyone’s grounds for leaving a relationship . It’s about helping you, as the person who was left, to recognise that your worthiness was never determined by that relationship. Because when it comes to healing, it is vital to understand that it’s the meaning we give to the rejection that hurts more than actually being left. (more…)
I had a question recently come up in my Facebook group about rebound relationships which went along the lines of “how long after a break-up is a new relationship considered rebound?“
There was so much to to explore from that question, that today I wanted to share all of my thoughts on the subject.
Defining a rebound relationship
Rebound relationships happen when you start dating following a break-up, before you are emotionally ready. I believe it’s considered a rebound when you:
- Move into a relationship to fill a void in your life. You feel your life is lacking without a partner and you can’t be alone.
- Need another relationship to distract yourself from feeling the emotions of the break-up, or from doing the personal growth work you know you need to do in order to be happy with your life.
I don’t believe that rebound relationships are necessarily sought out deliberately. You might think you are ready. You may simply meet someone who it feels good to be around, and think “what’s wrong with feeling happy after what I’ve been through?”
But is it too soon?
A couple of months ago I found myself in a really stuck place. After the break-up of my 8 year relationship in January, some emotional stuff resurfaced which I couldn’t shake off.
Having let the feelings run their course, I decided to do what always works for me – focus on what I can control instead of what I can’t.
I teach people to focus on themselves instead of their ex-partner in order to move on. It sounds obvious but I know how hard it can be because it takes a committed practice.
In early May I was inspired by a podcast from Hal Elrod, to undergo his Miracle Morning Challenge for 30 Days. Being someone prone to procrastination, I need a bit of discipline. I decided that this would give me the framework I needed to use my strategies for healing and moving on.
The challenge asks you to choose one specific area of life you want to improve and, as Hal says, to commit to your decision “no matter what“. So, I decided that by the end of the 30 days I wanted to love being single.
Today I want to share with you the highs and lows of that 30 days and what happened next. (more…)
Have you ever been in an online divorce support group and come away feeling worse than when you went in? There’s often a good reason for that.
Many groups, in their efforts to help you feel not so alone, end up thriving on the unhappiness that the community is going though. People in pain look to have that pain validated; this is entirely natural.
As a counsellor (and a human), I believe it is vital to acknowledge the grief that someone feels.
But in many break-up groups the support stops at the validation. This was my experience after my divorce. (more…)
If you are currently going through a break-up you might find yourself wondering what the hell you are supposed to feel, in the context of what’s going on in the world.
Should you have different or better priorities right now?
Is it selfish to be thinking of your heartbreak when there is so much else happening?
Is it weird that you can’t tune into the global anxiety because your small corner of the world currently feels much more real? (more…)
“Don’t be afraid to start over.
This time, you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.” Unknown
At the start of 2020 I experienced something I never saw coming.
Almost 10 years on from my divorce, I was breaking up again.
I’m telling this story today because, 6 weeks in, I’m just about in a place where I can talk about, write about and feel the break-up without tears.
Break Up and Shine has always been about the real me sharing the genuine processes that changed my life, in order to help you to change yours too. It has felt strange for me that you have not known about this significant episode in the journey and I’m grateful that I now feel able to share.
In January this year, I lost an 8 year relationship with a man I deeply loved; I cannot deny what a painful blow this was. Having rebuilt a really great life from the emotional wreckage of my previous marriage, life suddenly felt cruel and unfair. I had healed, grown, shared, supported others and taught them how to move on and be happy. And I was now experiencing deja vu in the most awful way. (more…)
Valentine’s day after a divorce can bring painful memories of happier times. Even if you were never a “Valentine’s Day person” it’s normal to feel a sense of loneliness on this most coupley of days, which emphasises the fact that you are alone and missing out on what everyone else seems to have.
Today, I’m not going to talk about how to get through February 14th because it’s something I’ve already covered in another post. Instead, I’m going to invite you to go deep on self-love.
Every couple of months I treat myself to a self-love yoga workshop. Oh wow! I wish I could prescribe this remedy to anyone needing break-up support on Valentine’s day (or any other time). It is a gentle yet powerful two-hour reminder of where we can find the love we most need; by looking within and remembering to connect to ourselves.
It can be grating to read about self-love in a Valentine’s day post, when all you want is for somebody else to care for you. But I’m writing about it anyway because, even though it might not be the kind of love you want to receive today, it’s the most important of all, and learning to embrace it will bring you more happiness than any card, gift or romantic meal. (more…)
“If you don’t heal what hurt you,
you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you” – unknown
The wounds of our past impact on every relationship we ever have. Whether it’s insecurities with a lover, or an inability to create close friendships.
If we are lucky enough to recognise the events that caused pain in childhood we can work through the issues. This prevents that pattern from being played out in our adult relationships.
But often, the first indicator of this long-held wound, is when a relationship goes wrong and we either experience distress or cause it to the people we are supposed to care about.
Hurt People Hurt People
When my marriage ended 10 years ago, I spent so much time in suffering. I couldn’t understand how my ex-husband could have treated me with so little care and love; how had I come to be betrayed and abandoned. (more…)
New Year’s Eve, with it’s positive celebrations, can feel bitter and painful when you are without the person you thought you would be spending your life with.
The period leading up to a New Year is commonly a time for reflection and looking ahead, and this is never more poignant than when you’ve had an emotionally difficult year.
Here are 5 reminders of how to use this special time to your advantage and take the first steps to make the end of your relationship feel less like the end of your life. (more…)