The New Year: Cycles and Goals

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I feel like 2016 has been a year of consolidation and sowing the seeds for the next fruitful chapter of my life. I have barely written on this blog all year and have considered whether, six years on from the end of my marriage, it is still relevant or necessary to do so.

I’m in a very different state to when Break Up and Shine began; my life has shifted beyond an exploration of why things happened the way they did and from my initial healing path from divorce. For six years I’ve been busy laying the foundations for a new life, and enjoying it as it unfolds. I’ve grieved for and learned from my marriage; trained in a new career; shared a loving new relationship and reclaimed my life on my terms. (more…)

Divorce Boundaries: Closing a door

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As I approach the end of my counselling training this year, I have also just reached the end of more than a year of my own personal therapy. Although personal growth is a job for life, I left knowing that, for the present, I finished what I went there to do.

So what was my goal?  Well, although it wasn’t articulated or planned as such at the beginning of the work, I realised that I had gone into therapy to loosen a lifetime’s grip of shame and criticism which had begun in childhood, and culminated in the car crash ending of my marriage. I finished  my counselling at a point where I gained the courage to set some divorce boundaries and literally close the door on my ex-husband.  (more…)

New Life

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Today is my daughter’s birthday and I was feeling quite reflective this morning, as I often do when I contemplate the birth of my children. This time six years ago I felt blessed. I’d just given birth to our third child and our family was complete. It was a smooth, easy birth. She was healthy. We brought her home and introduced her to her two adoring older brothers. Of course it was hard work, but I was happy and I stayed for some time cocooned in new baby bliss, feeling thankful for my family.

But I was actually clueless about what was going on behind the scenes. My husband was cheating on me; 3 months after our baby was born I found out and he left me. The cosy bubble had been on borrowed time. Everything I believed exploded around me and left me reeling. (more…)

Good Therapy? Feel More, Think Less

As humans we possess a natural curiosity to find solutions for problems, and to look for reasons why things don’t work. When dealing with emotional issues, this can have real benefit, but it isn’t always the most helpful thing we can do, particularly in the beginning.

A colleague on my counselling course recently used the term “analysis paralysis” with regards to healing; the need to analyse, intellectualise, make sense of and understand what has happened can hold us back from actually feeling what we need to. We then become stuck and unable to move forward. (more…)

The Loneliness of Unmet Needs

Here’s an interesting revelation that only came to me through my current counselling training:

It’s not wrong to have needs in a relationship

It may sound obvious to many, but I really didn’t understand that properly during my marriage. My ex-husband used to try to convince me that it was wrong to need anything from him; he made it clear that that he thought people should have no expectations of others. I realised eventually that it was a theory which allowed him to suit his own ends; he believed that having needs was the same as being “needy”. He may or may not have been doing this with awareness, but the ultimate result was that he got to satisfy his own wishes, while I felt clingy and like a nag for asking for anything from him. (more…)

Resilient Children: The Divorce Heroes

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My beautiful boys were 6 and 4 years old when we sat down and told them that daddy was not going to be living with us anymore; my baby girl was little more than newborn. I was as angry that day for them, as I was for my own betrayal; my grief was as much for the hopes and expectations for my children’s childhoods, as it was for our relationship.

But in the last four years I have witnessed that children have their own life paths to lead too; this was part of their journey. I couldn’t shield them from the event, but I was committed to ensuring they were allowed full emotional expression. Their needs were at the forefront of any decisions made; they had been let down badly enough already.
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Got to be real

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It’s been a long while since I last posted here; almost 6 months! When I stopped feeling guilty, lazy, or like I was letting people down, I realised that that’s ok. I’ve really missed writing, but when life takes over, or when the blog is not calling me, I can’t force it. So this post is dedicated to being true, and thank you to those still reading.

It’s important for me to share today because sometimes the most uncomfortable things are the things which will help us most. Healing from break-up means looking at the pain and acknowledging it, as well as being positive and striving to move beyond it.

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Sometimes it’s ok not to be ok

This week I had a mini revelation.

It’s ok to say you’re not ok.

During the healing of my marriage break-up I worked hard to turn around my perspective on life; focus on the good stuff in order to bring in more good (the law of attraction); learn to love myself and my flaws, and see the opportunity for growth in all situations. Living this way healed me from my crisis, it brought me new love and a happier life.

But I got myself into a bit of a fix. Being positive, a survivor of hardship and strong under pressure became who I was. At times I felt amazingly strong, but I forgot about the part of me that was just human, not superhuman. I began to put higher expectations on myself to achieve personal goals. I hoped that I could fit everything I wanted and needed to do into a mere 24 hours a day, and still be happy and serene. I realised I was trying to juggle three children as a single parent, run a household alone, write a book and a blog, find quality time for me, find quality time with my partner, work a job, train on a course and care for my elderly mother who is in declining health. (more…)

Trust that things happen when they need to

Next week I will be returning to study to train as a counsellor. It’s been 18 years since I graduated and ever since then I never really knew what I wanted to ‘be’. I had jobs, I became a wife and a mother, then a single mother. It used to frustrate me that other people knew their career path and I didn’t. Then, through the experience of divorce and healing from it, I found my purpose. A part of me wondered “why didn’t I do this years ago?”. But here’s why. (more…)

One of the year’s 10 Best Break Up blogs!

I’m feeling so honoured and excited this evening to find out that Break Up and Shine is considered one of the year’s best blogs about relationship break up, by the website Dating Advice.

It makes me so happy to use my experience to support others who are going through a really difficult time, and inspire them on their healing journey. Being recognised as great source of support is such a boost!

Check out the list of top 10 break up blogs on Dating Advice.com, and see what other support could be out there for you!

I am off on a summer holiday this week with my gorgeous family, so if you want to get in touch please do, and I will respond as soon as I can on my return in around 2 weeks.

With love

Marissa x