Use this Force field on Your Ex

Use this Force field on Your ExIf a man you loved ended the relationship, does that say anything about you?

Did you do something wrong to make it end?

Did he see something in your personality that made him turn away?

Your answers reveal how well you deal with rejection.

That’s the word from a study published in the January 2016 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.[1]

Taking the end of a relationship personally by blaming yourself makes it more difficult to move on and find someone new.

On the other hand, people who see breakups as something that happens to everyone can move on more easily. Their faith in themselves and faith in love remains intact.

Any time you open your heart to someone, you risk rejection.

Even if you marry the man of your dreams and celebrate your tenth wedding anniversary, you both retain the option to walk away at some future point.

So reducing the negative emotional impact of rejection is worthwhile for all women, whether they’re in a relationship or not.

Study authors Lauren Howe and Carol Dweck suggest the best way to thrive in the face of rejection is to realize that we are all capable of growing and changing as people.

Even if you did something to cause a relationship to end, you can learn from your behavior. You can use what happened as a springboard to become a better person.

But not everyone believes they can change. Some people believe that who you are now is who you’ll be forever.

This “fixed mindset” hampers your ability to recover from rejection.

If you believe you have some fundamental flaw that sabotages your relationships, you’ll be wary about exposing your true self to someone new. You’ll put up walls and hold parts of yourself back.

For example, let’s say you were in a relationship with a man who continually criticized you for being too sensitive. He claimed you were too much work. He left you because he said being with you was no longer fun.

A woman with a fixed mindset might turn over the details of her relationship to find out what his rejection can tell her about herself.

Maybe she is too sensitive. Maybe she overburdened him with the details of her emotional life.

Knowing this dire secret about herself, she is careful about letting any new man see her sensitive side. She may even present herself as tough and uncaring. She can’t let the same thing happen again. She sees it as a fixed trait, not an area for growth.

The growth mindset protects us from feeling crushed by mistakes or setbacks.  When we stay focused on growth, our future relationships just get better and better.

That’s the promise of Howe and Dweck’s research. The study authors conclude:

“By encouraging the belief that personality can change and develop over time, we may be able to help people exorcise the ghosts of their romantic pasts – and move on to satisfying relationships in the future.”[2]

Nothing an ex says about you can wreck your chances at finding future love.

But you have to be willing to see mistakes as way points, not as a permanent diagnosis of character flaws.

And remember, no one wants to date a superhero anyway. You’re allowed to tell a future partner about areas where you’re trying to change or grow.

You may be surprised to find you’re even more attractive to men when you admit you’re not perfect. But you’re getting better every day.

[1] http://psp.sagepub.com/content/42/1/54.short

[2] https://theconversation.com/why-is-it-so-tough-for-some-to-exorcise-the-ghosts-of-their-romantic-pasts-53028


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16 thoughts on “Use this Force field on Your Ex

  1. Anette said:

    Great post James.

    My ex was exactly the kind of man you describe. He hated my “emotional storms”, and I believed I was flawed – forever “emotionally disabled” because my father was aborderline alcoholic.
    It’s not easy to grow up as a child with this dysfunctional pattern wiring your brain with stiffling fear of being abandoned.

    But even harder is ot to be kicked out of your own home, loosing 80% of your friends because of it – and a while after realize he was suck a d*ck about it all because he had been shagging your former best friend (who just “happened” to stor up a conflict coveniently afterwards which led to another break-up).

    I got tough as nails. I stayed 100 arms lenghts away from men, trying to make sense of it all, dealing with the “atomic bomb” and self blame when I discovered it was my fault (or so I thought at the time).

    How I turned it atound I’m still not sure. I was terrified when I met a new man a year after the break-up. We started out as friends and I was “numb” with anxiety several times when he got Closer. I was about to run away several times, I dared not to open up and be loved.

    But when you’re really LOVED – even with your flaws and everything – you start to heal slowly. And that’s what my partner’s love did to me. He was very patient. Very caring, tender and gave me space to open up. I still close off completely from time to time, but when I realized the cheating wasn’t completely MY fault… Or that it wasn’t my fault that my ex was extremely emotional unavailable… Then I started to heal. I saw how my assumptions about the whole relationship and myself had led me astray.

    I AM GOOD ENOUGH. Theres nothing “wrong” with me or something that needs “fixing”, despite what he said. I’m broken in certain areas but that doesn’t make me Incomplete as a human. Rather, it offers compassion for others.

    What people say to you is a projection of who THEY are. Not the other way around.

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Annette,
      How very, very true your perception is that people “project” their feelings, insecurities and flaws onto us, so as not to “own” them themselves and see how THEY really are themselves. Understanding this is a HUGE step forward to loving ourselves, as well as them. People will use you as a punch-bag if you allow them to. “Don’t let them get you down” is my motto!! And don’t let them make you feel YOU are always wrong and need to build a crust around your heart.
      I am not religious, but I have found that trying to be more compassionate and forgiving towards others has helped ME to also love and forgive myself. To “Walk a mile in their shoes”. Reading the Dalai Lama’s thoughts in the book “The Art of Happiness” (Howard C. Cutler) helped me understand a lot. We ALL have flaws, it is part of being a human being, no-one is perfect or ever can be, or never make mistakes – but if we can accept this, embrace it and move forward with compassion, forgiveness and love, I believe it allows us to find peace and happiness in our lives, and project it out into the world. It may sound a bit airey-fairy, but it has cetainly helped ME to feel better after having enormous emotional problems over the years concerning the actions of my father, my sister, my divorce from my (Aspergers) husband after almost 40 years together and subsequent problems with my three grown-up daughters, and recent problems with the current man in my life who drinks too much (he has huge problems of his own). I believe it has saved my sanity and my life, as there have been many. many times I thought I was going mad, lost faith in the human race and felt suicidal. It sounds as though you are moving on, too, and I wish you luck with your new relationship. You are very lucky, make the most of it. Lorna (LaLa)

      • Anette said:

        Amen, Lorna.

        I do hope I will one day forgive my ex completely, but the first task is to forgive YOURSELF for your own mistakes (and in reality it was very valuable lessons).

        I am lucky indeed.

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Thank you so much for the response, Anette. It is nice to know that our comments are being read. Your story has helped me, too, because I realize that I am closing myself off from my current man. Actually, we are both closing ourselves off – we know that we care for each other, but he gets anxious and drinks too much because he is scared to allow himself to open up, and afraid of failing sexually, too, and feeling “less-than” as he has no money and nothing to offer me – and then I close up and back off because I am afraid to allow myself to love a drunk. He tries so hard not to drink when I am there, and he can, but of course, that causes it’s own problems, and he gets anxious and grumpy. Oh what a mess!! What complicated things people are.
          I wonder if it would help you come to terms with your husband’s and friend’s behaviour if you can accept that we are all our own people and that no-one “owns” us, for want of a better word. We should be free to live our lives the way we want, and not feel obligated or bound to a person/situation if it is not working any more, in spite of an original promise that we would. Your husband should have had the guts to say so, rather than going behind your back. I have viewed my ex-husband in this way – and would not want him to stay with me if he was not happy and yearning for something else. I know he was ready after retirement to “do his own thing” – even though he then was obviously lonely and went on the internet to find another woman. It still hurts like hell, but I have found this softer way of viewing things has helped me come to terms with being alone now – and not to feel rejected. Try not to look back, draw a line under the past, move forward and live in the present – it is all we have, after all. Love and peace to you. Lorna

          • Anette said:

            Hi Lorna, you’re absolutely right.

            But remember also that your love can’t save your boyfriend – he must be willing to open up on hos own and let you in – otherwise I should be worried that you let him take away your own powerful spirit.
            I think there’s a delicate balance between understanding someone and their sorrows vs wanting to save them. The person will have to work on the issues himself. I do hope that your husband understands this – otherwise he could end up using your good intentions and kind heart, no matter his intentions.

            For me you touch the focal point in the betrayal og my ex: if you weren’t happy, why didn’t you do anything? He thought he did the right thing when in reality he lied not only to me but himself. His dishonesty hurt more than if he had told me “this doesn’t work, I’m not happy”. We were very young when we moved in with each other so you din’t know yourself that well, but I sure as h… have learnt a lot from this experience which led me to find a man that could open up (in fact he has opened up his feelings so much that it’s ME who get scared of all the intimacy, LOL). All of this could explain why I stayed with my ex too, because in reality I also closed up and didn’t want (couldn’t handle) real intimacy and closeness. So of course I found a man who couldn’t either. So that’s MY part of the problems in the past and I have taken full responsibility for this by trying to and working on this issue by allowing my current boyfriend get closer than any man has been. The anxiety about intimacy is always there but at least it’s tolerable now (only took me two years or so to get here *cough*) 😉

          • Lorna (LaLa) said:

            Thank you for getting back to me, and I take on board what you say. You see how far you have come now? – you are able to open up and tell ME things about yourself. I understand from stuff I have read that that is the only way we heal – to actually dig into the wound and allow it to heal, rather than fester. Have a good old howl and get it out of your system. I do hope some day you will forgive your ex-husband. And if not actually forgive, then understand. Remember “Bearing a grudge only hurts the hands that hold it”. People stay in marriages for all sorts of reasons, you know, and he probably thought he was doing the right thing by staying put, even though he obviously wanted his freedom. He probably didn’t want to hurt you, in a funny way, but ended up hurting you even more. Like I say, he should have had the guts to tell you, but it is a scary thing, too, ending a marriage, so he took the easy way out by having an affair. Lots of people can’t face the trauma of ending a marriage and moving on – and he probably wasn’t sure enough to take that final step when he started the affair. These things have a way of getting out of control. I knew for a long time that my marriage was not what I needed, my husband was an un-emotional man, too, but I could see no way out. I think he felt the same and it took a silly row over a loaf of bread for us to both say that we wanted to separate. He packed a bag and left the next morning. I do miss him, though, even after 8 years. Miss his practicality – he could fix and make anything. Miss his common sense to sort things out. Miss him being there in the evening just sitting together watching TV. Miss his dependability. Missed him most of all during the divorce, when he should have been the one to be there to support me through it, instead of making things impossible – crazy!! Also miss the family unit, which is totally fragmented now. Being on my own is no fun. And now I have this man in my life who has a drink problem, and it seems that there is no future there. Isn’t life strange? But I guess it makes it more interesting. It would be pretty boring otherwise. We just have to learn to be strong enough to rise above all the s**t and let it flow away. Rejoice in your new-found happiness, and do not let your bitterness marr it – let it go, it is in the past. It can only hurt you now if you allow it to. With love, Lorna

          • Susie Chamblee said:

            Hi Lorna
            Thank you for sharing. I have to say someone once told me the best revenge is success. I don’t believe in revenge but it found me anyways. I loved this man with all my heart. I gave him every part of my being and soul and in the end he decimated me both emotionally and financially. But before he left he told me it wasn’t my fault. That I was the perfect wife. The perfect partner. Well I’m not stupid. I know it takes two but I couldn’t get past what my part was. I did end up forgiving him but still yearned for him over the years even while I dated many other men and couldn’t figure out for the life of me why I couldn’t go a day without thinking about him. Consequently the longest relationship I had over the past six years lasted a year and I called it off. I will tell you I threw myself the biggest pity party ever!! For a year I had my head up my ass. And then one day I just realized – I hadn’t changed my inner being – the person I’ve always been and genuinely liked and I worked so hard to heal my heart and heal my credit score. I knew one thing for sure – I never wanted to be dependent on a man ever again at least financially. Once I found my footing I bought a new home on my own and felt fantastic and proud!! And then I did something I never thought the me that I was would ever do to another person – I met him for a drink a couple of months ago and I actually rubbed his nose in my success. I have to tell you – it was pure closure for me when he finally opened up and told me he didn’t know what he really wanted and I actually believed him for the first time in a very long time!! Even tho he is still with the woman he left me for he is incredibly unhappy. Now I am not a mean or rude or vengeful person at all and I did feel some shame in this action that I did BUT I was finally FREE. I got my WHOLE HEART back!! And it’s a good heart and I’m ready to share it again should the right man come along. James has helped me immensely in this by helping me to see that I am actually OK!! And I’m LOVABLE!! I’m not afraid to put myself out there again and if I don’t meet “Mr Wonderful” – then I’m ok by myself too. And don’t think that I haven’t been thru many similar life altering situations as well as y’all because I have. But over the years I have learned who I am and that is a strong and independent and funny and loving and honest woman who still has a lot of life left!! Not perfect – but I’m OK!! James lesson today really hit home for me. No I wasn’t proud of what I had to do to get closure but it was necessary for me to be able to move on and I didn’t hurt him in the process (except he got to see what he really lost!!) because it was he who was the lost one and although I forgave him I could still have empathy for him. So I continue to do positive affirmations and positive activities with positive people and I’m happy. And now days go by when I don’t think of him at all. I wished him well that night and it was I this time that walked away. And I took my dignity with me. And life is good. Take care and just remember when you give so much of yourself to one person – you leave very little for yourself. Susie

          • Lorna (LaLa) said:

            Oh, Susie, your story is SO heartwarming, because it just demonstrates that you have finally found your SELF-RESPECT, SELF WORTH AND SELF LOVE – and that is what we all need to find within ourselves. I have read time and again that it is no good looking for love OUTSIDE of ourselves, we have to find it INSIDE ourselves, and that is exactly what you have now done. I didn’t understand this concept, but I am also, finally, coming around to that realization, which has taken me a long time to understand. When I look back over the years, and dig deep, I see now that I was always looking to a man for validation of myself, instead of giving it to myself. I think without knowng it, it stems from my childhood. My father was old-fashioned, and believed there was no reason to encourage his two daughters to have a career. He fervently believed that as we were going to get married, we should not waste our energy on getting a good education and career. This was not vindictive on his part, it was just his fervent belief, – he was born in 1919 and just had different ideas. He believed the man should be the bread-winner and often said, with pride “No wife of mine will EVER have to work”. In some ways, he was right, because an educated woman would never be happy being a stay-at-home homemaker. However, he idolized his only son, the youngest of us three, which only reinforced, subconsciously, his negative attitude towards us girls. Also, in those days, we women (or girls, as we were) had the belief that if we were not married by 21, we were “on the shelf” and would never find a husband. My sister married at 20 to her first boyfriend (they are still married now 52 years later), and when my engagement fell through at age 23, I married my next boyfriend on the rebound a year later at age 24, because I was in “marriage mode” and was probably panicking at being left on the shelf. How silly that was, looking back now 45 years later at age 68!! – but the whole world has changed in that time. Women made very little money and were not able to support themselves without a man’s support, and certainly could never have children and take care of them herself financially. Little wonder that we had no good opinion of ourselves – self respect. We were constantly made to feel subservient. And don’t forget, it is not that long ago that a woman’s wealth went to her husband on marriage and she had to marry who her parents chose or gave their blessing to. A friend of mine was thrown out of the family home because she became pregnant at age 15. They married and are still married now more than 50 years later. Her parents never forgave her. I don’t think you need feel bad at all about the way you achieved your self-respect. You needed to show your ex-husband that you no longer needed him, to achieve your own self-respect, to lay the ghost to rest, and that was healing for you. As you say, you did not do it in a hurtful, spiteful way. It was just part of your necessary healing process. I’m sure you do not have a spiteful bone in your body. Good for you, for picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and moving on. You probably still have a little way to go yet, it takes time, but you are now on the right path. Follow it forward into the future, with your head held high, a spring in your step, gleam in your eye and song in your heart. Don’t look back – a bright new future awaits you. Go for it! You can do it! Good luck!! Love, Lorna.

          • Susie said:

            Hi Lorna
            Thank you for your sweet reply and encouraging words. We are not far a part in age. I am 65 so we have seen much of the same history together. My background is I am full blooded Italian and catholic and traditional. I am the oldest of four girls with my one only brother being the oldest of all of us and was treated like the first born king. Don’t get me wrong – my only brother is amazing and one of the few men I actually trust in this world. Our dad abandoned us when I was six and then they reconciled when I was eight and moved us to a different state away from our grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Then my dad started molesting me when I was 9 and continued till I was 12. Told me he’d kill me if I ever told anyone. Life changed for me then. Before that I was this happy loving little girl. I met my Donald in high school at 16 and he was my knight in shining armor and I knew he was the one I would marry. But a year later I finally told my best friend what my dad (who was also a raging alchoholic) had done to me and her Mom told me I HAD TO TELL my Mom because I had little sisters that maybe I could save. I told my Mom the next day and our lives were never the same. I felt to blame for their separation. I felt ashamed and I was terrified. A year later Donald and I did get married and it was pure heaven. This man was my love and my protector. We were only married for six weeks before he was sent to Vietnam and 4 months later he had been killed over there. The love of my life….my protector….just gone. The next three years were a blur asni turned to alchohol and drugs and then I moved 6 thousand miles away to get away from the pain. And here is what I learned – until you walk they the pain it will follow you wherever you go. I spent 28 years in therapy, woman’s groups, read countless books because I knew I wanted to have a normal grown up life and amidst it all – I did. The next man I met who would become the father of my three beautiful and incredible daughters had anger issues that just blew me away. We tried counseling. I told him it was ok to get angry but how he dealt with that anger was not ok. Hitting and strangling was not ok. I gave him 23 years and finally had the guts to leave him. He almost killed me twice. I got lucky. He remarried right away to some crazy lady and I became a slut…LOL Good catholic girl finally lets loose and I was smart and beautiful and independent (I had opened my own Italian restaurant with my Mom) and was doing well. And I got sick of the guys that just saw a pretty face and a pair of boobs and I stopped dating altogether. And then one day when I wasn’t looking I met my Michael and for the first time since my Donald had died – I fell in love for the second time in my life. I never was in love with the father of my children; learned to love him but just couldn’t fall in love with him and there is a difference. But with my Michael it was sheer happiness. We had so much in common. He made me laugh out loud. Our families loved us both and he was good to my daughters at least until the end. After 11 years of heavenly marriage Michael changed. I tried so hard to get him to talk to me about it because we used to be able to talk about everything. Michael married me 3 times in 3 different states (including the Catholic Church) and professed his love and undying commitment all three times AND I believed him!!! But one day he changed. It was gradual at first but then he moved further and further away from me emotionally. Hung out more with his friends. Drank more. No more physical intimacy. And he constantly picked fights with me like he wanted me to get mad enough to leave him. But my marriage vows meant something to me and I honestly thought ok – so this is the worse OF for better or worse and surely this will pass. I was patient. I was kind. I was loving and I still believed in him. And I gave him and the marriage every ounce of my being and soul until he had verbally beaten that sweet happy loving independent girl to a pulp!! When I found out about the other woman and he told me he was leaving and wanted a divorce I think I went into shock. What happened? He told me this happens to all people and I said no it doesn’t. Not to all people. But he left anyways. I tried so hard to win him back. I groveled. I begged. I pleaded. Like I said I was a mess for a solid year. But then I found out so many lies about him from family and friends who on their behalf were trying to shield me. Wish they hadn’t but God love them for it. Then I got angry for about two years and then I decided to take back my life and find that happy sweet loving girl who was still inside me. And I worked hard on it. I cried a lot. I worked two jobs. And I dated. And now that I was older I knew what I didn’t want in a man. And then one day I was back to me again and I bought my house!! That night with Michael a few months ago was my closure and I have no regrets. I thought I was the one who had lost everything when in reality he was the one who lost everything!! And he’s still lost. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him and I will always wish him well. But forgiving and forgetting are two different things and I’m way to wise to forget!! I am happy again today and if I meet someone then great and if I don’t well I have my family and my awesome grandsons and good friends and life is good. I bought James package because I still wanted to “Be Irresistible” and I have learned way more about myself than just being pretty. I’m smart and funny and caring and loving and honest to a fault. I still look pretty good for 65 and I take care of myself. I have tried the dating sites but have met more phonies then real men. I belong to co-ed groups like cards and bowling and dancing. Maybe I’ll meet him in a grocery store by chance (I’m also an incurable romantic) or when I’m out riding my bike. Is he out there? I don’t know but I do know I am ready for him if he shows up and I’ll keep listening and learning from James and all of you here on his blog. If you’d like to exchange emails and we are allowed to do that – that would be fantastic. We can never have too many friends!!! Let me know. Take care of you….I think you’re wonderful already!!
            Love & Friendship
            Susie

          • Lorna (LaLa) said:

            Susie, Thank you for that beautiful reply – and for being so honest and bearing your soul to us. You are a lovely, sweet, kind, gentle person – I can just tell that from your loving words. Never doubt that. It is a miracle that you have finally found some peace. Yes, we have so much in common. I did not say before, but my father abused my older sister. When I was about maybe eight, she’d be 12, I saw him cuddle and “fondle” her once when our mother was out (he never did this normally) and when I wanted to join in the “fun” he roughly pushed me away – I must have blocked it out completely until years and years later when he was also trying to “fondle” my eldest daughter when she was 8 or 9, and the memory suddenly came flooding back. That has devastated my daughter, and she has real psychological issues, too, which I think relate to that. To add to this, her first husband was altogether “strange” and her second one now is not much better – very controlling!! She only married him because she was desperate to have children and was almost 40. He won’t allow me near them (they are 4 and 1), I believe because he is terrIfied of losing them, and I might influence her against him (I never would), and now she will not speak to me at the moment, as she is afraid of him, but that is another story!!. When we told my sister what had happened with my daughter, she admitted what had happened to her, but had kept it secret til then – even though she had two daughters of her own and I had three. Can you understand that? We decided not to tell our mother then. For all of that, my sister overcame her ordeal and recently sat with our father on his death bed, holding his hand. He was not a monster. He was otherwise a sweet, gentle, loving, kind, sensitive man. Who knows what makes them want to do this? His own insecurity? His need to be loved? Some hang-over from his experience in the war? His father left them when he was about 7 and he always professed he “hated” his mother, but never really said why. Although we loved her as a grandmother. She began living with another man who had three children of his own, and he was very strict with my father. He preferred to stay living with a maiden “Auntie” who had been a surrogate mother to them all (he had one sister), but then she died not long after that. He went to sea in the Merchant Navy at 16 and served throughout the war. Maybe he had experiences with prostitutes, who knows? Our mother was not demonstrative and outwardly loving at all (I never remember being cuddled and kissed, but then that was not the fashion in those days!!). We are all such mixed up messes, aren’t we? It’s a wonder any of us is “normal”. But they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I am certainly much stronger now. I’ve said this before elsewhere – I have a soft, cuddly doll (LaLa from the children’s Telly Tubbies programme – she is the yellow one who sings and dances – like me!!). She is my “inner child”. She sleeps in my bed, and when I am feeling sad and lonely and scared, I cuddle her in and tell her that it is all alright now, we have managed to come through it. We are all grown up and strong. She has certainly helped me through some bad times. I still have days when I feel all alone – indeed I almost am. My ex-husband hates me due to the divorce and is still trying to subjugate me wth spiteful emails, my two oldest daughters will not speak to me, for different reasons, and my parents died recently. If it was not for my beautiful youngest daughter, who is a real darling – but unfortunately lives a way away – and my lovely friends, I just know I would have “gone under” long ago. I was suicidal going through my divorce, and didn’t care whether I lived or died. But I have managed to rise above it all, and come out the other side a stronger, wiser more understanding person. Going back to your confession about how you got “closure” – I had a similar experience. I had always, always wanted a little sports car, and my husband promised I’d get one someday. He even bought me a scale model one Christmas, when we had no money! After my divorce (which cost us £50,000 – what a waste of money!), I managed to find enough money to buy myself a beautiful silver, top of the range, Mazda MX5 two-seater sports car, complete with automatic electric hard top, twin exhausts and super growly engine! – my pride and joy. I’d have preferred a Mercedes, but then he wasted all that money on contesting the divorce! I had to collect something from my ex one day, and when he saw the car – he nearly choked!! He audibly gasped!! He would NEVER have bought such a “silly” car. I did feel a sense of revenge – and I am not a spiteful, vengeful person. Just that it SHOWED him that I did not NEED him any longer. I could buy my own f…..g sports car, after all those years – I did not need HIM to buy it for me!!! That is my FREEDOM. And I feel so young, vibrant and beautful in it. GIRL POWER!! It would, indeed be nice to keep contact, but giving an email address would not be a good idea. You could look me up on Facebook (surname Gillians), then we could message personally. Keep strong. Lorna (LaLa)

          • Susie said:

            Hi LaLa
            Just love that name for you!! I can almost see you singing and dancing and you should!! You have earned it woman and deserve it!! I am so sorry about your daughters not speaking to you. Has a similar situation that just this past week finally cleared up and we are now speaking again. I can only imagine your heartbreak as mine was unbearable. I wish your sister much luck in overcoming her issues. It’s strange how it all affects us so differently. I so desperately wanted my fathers approval even as an adult and encouraged him to move closer to us when hurricane Andrew wiped out his home in Miami many years ago and I helped him rebuild here. It was an estranged relationship to say the least but I NEVER left him alone with my daughters!! And I never did to my kids what he did to me!! It would be me who would break that cycle and I was damned well sure of it!! Some one once told me they thought someone had once done that to him when he was younger. I could never confirm it with him as I never talked to him about it. And I never forgave him until years after his death. He was a rotten cheat on my Mom all the years they were married so I don’t ever cheat on my spouses because I have seen what that can do. And I get why people do cheat but it’s not for me. If a relationship is not going to work and you’ve done all you can than split the right way for the right reasons. At least thats how I see it for me. I did not want this divorce from Michael. I thought we would grow old together. I never thought in a million years I’d be starting over from scratch at the age of 60!! Your divorce sounded pretty rough as well. And your car sounds FANTASTIC!! And good for you!! These past two years with the riff between me and my oldest daughter has taken years off my life but I hung in there. I don’t want to pass and have the three of them not being together because when I do die they are going to need each other desperately. And I don’t want them to ever feel guilty about how they treated me after I’m gone. That’s an awful burden for them. For now all is well again. Us crazy Italians can have some hot tempers but of course I just call it passion!! LOL always the optimist!! My Mom was a saint. And I miss her fiercely. And I needed her so much these past six years to just tell me it was going to be alright. That I’d get through this ok. Doing it on my own made it harder but you’re right what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!! My Mother was not a demonstrative mom either. But as I got older and in adult situations myself I realized all she must have been going through with a drunken cheating husband and I never blamed her. I admired her strength and I believe it is the best thing she ever taught me and the one thing I want to teach my own daughters. My siblings and I are very close and I am blessed. My family is very close and again I am blessed. I brought my two youngest sisters who are disabled to live with me in my new home because they need me and that is who I am. And they give me enormous comfort as well. Even with their 4 dogs and a cat!! LOL You must continue to look inside yourself and know …..just know it LaLa that YOU ARE “Good Enough” and you are complete and wonderful just the way you are. And no man is worth giving that up for – ever!! Can it be lonely at times? Absolutely!! But dance and sing woman and give in to that inner child that is still the most lovable person in the world!! I hope one day your daughters will see the riff between y’all is just not worth the pain for anyone and I am so sorry about not being able to see or say anything about your two grandkids. That has to be hard. I couldn’t breathe without mine!! They ARE my LEGACY!! I live with few regrets in my life but still they are there. But I’m ready to take on the world – with or without a man by my side!! Would I love to meet someone wonderful? Absofuckinglutely!!!! But I am not desperate and I hope I never will be. I can take care of myself financially but sometimes my heart still yearns to love and be loved again and maybe some day that will happen. But it will happen on my terms and because James has taught me that “I am irresistible” just as I am!! AND SO ARE YOU!!!!! You are old enough to leave the doubts behind you woman!! Time is not on our side but life right now is!! I don’t know what your dating style is but don’t despair – keep talking to me LaLa. I love it!!
            Love and friendship
            Susie

          • Lorna (LaLa) said:

            Oh – I could write a book. I’m sure we both could. I know I am very, very blessed, because I have enough money now (unless the world economy fails), I have a very good financial adviser, I have (mostly) got good health, I have a beautiful house in the country, a huge garden which I love losing myself in, I enjoy singing, which is a real joy, I have some really precious friends, and my wonderful youngest daughter. But I am still very, very lonely, without that someone special – although I am trying very hard to just love myself and be content with that and my own company, which is getting easier. I keep thinking I should get a little dog, but I do not really want the commitment. I had cats until recently. I am, of course, very sad about my two eldest daughters, but I have to come to terms with it, leave them be and hope that they will come round. I took a huge bunch of flowers for my eldest on her birthday in April and she gave me a big hug, then stood on the doorstep in tears saying she could not allow me into her life, for the sake of the children. God knows what that meant! I didn’t get a birthday card or Mother’s Day card, and I doubt I will get a Christmas card, although I have sent them one. Of course Christmas makes it all that much sadder. I recently asked my ex to talk to her, but he sent a verbally abusive email saying I deserved it, as I was a terrible person and indicating that her husband is right to exclude me from their lives in order to protect her (I know I am not – he has Aspergers Syndrome and cannot relate to people). My little grandson and I get on SO well – we have a good giggle together (he calls me LaLa – never want to be Grannie!), and I think it is sad for him that he is missing out on that relationship. I have not seen my grandaughter since she was 6 months old, so I do not know her. My middle daughter was heartbroken when her fiance jilted her two weeks before the wedding just over a year ago. I went to visit her in Dubai and she took her grief out on me in an angry tirade (don’t they always) and when I tried to placate her with emails and texts afterwards, she threatened to report me to the police for harrassment – you can’t argue with that!!.She has blocked her phone, emails and Facebook page. She takes after her father very much, and I believe she has a mild form of Aspergers. She told me her counsellor had said the reason she cannot have a successful relationship is because I have never shown her an ounce of love!! What counsellor would say that? She never wanted to be hugged and kissed, and used to push me away. She is very much a loner, and always has been, like her father. She is very clever, with a high Mensa score and was a high flying lawyer in Dubai, in the Sheik’s office, making mega-bucks until last December – but she had a row with her boss and told him to stick his job, and has been off travelling for the last year.. She has two rental flats in England and a beautful large ski chalet in France, which she has spent a fortune having renovated to a high standard (I have never seen it – only photos – unlike the rest of the family who have spent ski holidays there all together). But money is not everything. She cried and cried and told me she just wants to be loved, and my heart breaks for her, because I know she will always have trouble with this. She is 35. My counsellor explaned that although people with Aspergers cannot relate to others, empathize or communicate their feelings, they nevertheless still FEEL their feelings. She is angry with me because of that, but I just wish she would admit she may have a problem and seek help. She is in denial. It is not MY fault that she may have inherited her father’s gene. But mothers always get the blame for everything. My sister and I have a strange relationship. She has always been jealous of me and still is, but I forgive her for what she went through. She had my husband stay with them while we were going through our divorce, so I did not communicate with her for several years. I don’t believe you should break bread and sleep with the enemy. Only since our parents died have we got back together, but I find it very hard to love her, sadly. We do talk about memories, which is nice, so that bond is there, and I know I would miss her if I didn’t have her. Our brother doesn’t speak to us, as a lot of money was missing after our parents died, which we believe he knows about, but we could not prove anything. He became angry and turned his back on us. Ah well – I never saw much of him, anyway. Regarding findng another man. Well – I have tried the internet with no luck and had another go recently, but came up with another drunk (well recovering, he said). He sounded really nice, we talked on the phone and emailed, but he turned out to be a non-starter – sounds barking mad and kept cancelling dates, so I am not sad. I would dearly love to be able to “make it” with Chris (the sad alcohoic in my life) but until he is ready to take control, there is no hope. I now think at 68 I will not meet anyone, as I would rather have a much younger man – I am very vivacious, slim and pretty – I don’t want an old man in his 70s, but they will want someone younger than them. Regarding your Michael. Can you not still be friends and meet up now and then? Maybe, just maybe, there is a glimmer of hope there – I feel there is, you know. Yes, you have been very badly hurt, but perhaps he has learned his lesson by now. It would be nice if he could still be around, even just for dinner dates, theatre or whatever you enjoy doing. (I am an eternal optimist and very, very romantic, too). Who knows?. You say he is not happy wth his current situation. One of the guys I sing with got re-married again recently to his ex-wife – it does happen. Look at Liz Taylor and Richard Burton!! Do try getting me on Facebook, if possible. With love, LaLa xx

  2. wanda Adeeso said:

    Everything you wrote was kinda referring to my situation. I open up to my friend about the love I have for him after only 5months. He’s a paster of church. I dont know the role of a pasterand his obligations. But he is so busy that he never calls just to say hello. I have to call him first. He’s also an ex abuser of herion but been clean for 20;years after god called him. We will be together one day an have a good time, next day he disappears for a about 3weeks at the most and dont call unless I do. He calls me selfish, dontvtake me around his life, but enjoys me when we are together. He been divorce for a year now. He broke it off with me cause he said he didn’t want to hold up my life cause he have a obligation to the church. But he gives me mixed emotions. Is it me cause I’m not understanding him.

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Adeeso,
      See my response to Annette’s situation above. What she says can also relate to a man. I know that the man I am involved with now is absolutely terrified of getting into a new relationship (and the sex side of it). He has been so badly hurt in the past, that he is the one putting a wall around his heart – even though when he is drunk he pours his heart out in texts and on the phone telling me he loves me and wants me in his life – he doesn’t want to lose me. He just can’t cope wth his emotions, so finds it easier to shut down, back off, get himself drunk to cope with them, but then misses me. Maybe that is the situation with your man. It is early days wih your relationship. He has only been divorced for a year. Just take it slowly – do not pressure him. Accept things the way they are for now. Hopefully, as time goes by he will relax more. You need to get on with your life and your own interests, but be there for him if he needs you. I believe that second and subsequent relationships are very difficult and need to be handled with kid gloves. A broken heart takes a lot of mending. And a broken ego probably longer still for a man. Remember “Slowly, slowly catch ye monkey” – just relax, be patient and you will get there. And don’t forget, also to “walk a mile in his shoes”. Oh – and DO NOT listen to what your friends and family, and worst of all your EGO, tell you. Listen to your heart and intuition – they know best what is best for YOU. Best of luck. Lorna

  3. Roberta said:

    Hello all. My situation is so different yet so much the same as the ones I have read about here. I come from a very abusive back ground, beginning with my father, training me to find men who were like my father as I got older. It took me years to get past the fear and insecurities that I was left with, I had to learn to live a whole new way, abuse is all I knew and without it I was lost to a world that was totally unfamiliar to me. I had to learn to trust, I had to learn to accept love and be able to give love in return. And last and most importantly I had to learn to forgive. I finally married again ( number 3 ) I thought I had found the right one. It didn’t take long to find out I had made yet another mistake, we were married 8 years when I found out he was cheating. He was not physically abusive but was very neglectful and stayed away a lot , worse , when he was there, he wasn’t there. I liked being married and outside of his neglect and never being home, he wasn’t all that bad. When we separated, I went into a deep depression. I felt my world had just ended, I was totally crushed by the fact that he could do such a thing to me ,especially after I was just beginning to trust again and I had been faithful, I supported him and I raised his son as my own. I thought I had done all the right things and now this. I had gained custody of my youngest grandson the same week that we separated, I think having my grandson was what kept me going, I couldn’t just give up, I had a child to raise. Then a friend said to me one day, you don’t mourn the loss of your husband, you mourn the loss of a marriage, it had little to do with my husband but the relationship itself would be greatly missed. Once I was able to put things into perspective, I realized she was right, I didn’t miss him at all, as a matter of fact I had left him so many times in my mind and there was a part of me that was glad he was gone. I was now ready to begin to heal. I threw myself into my grandchildren and was happy and content to be the best grandma I could be. I didn’t need nor want a man in my life. I continued to see a Dr. for PTSD and life was good. About 6 years later, my son ( my ex’s son ) my oldest granddaughter, both my daughters and a few others were all trying to get me to find a boyfriend, You need to go out somewhere and find you a nice man, you are always at home and that’s not good for you. You need to get out more, they would say. But I had no desire to find a nice man or go out anywhere. then another 6 years went by, one day my granddaughters Ex husband called from prison and ask if I would like to write to a friend of his who just needed a friend, after thinking about it for awhile, I decided I would write, I mean, everyone needs a friend and he was doing life so there was no problem with him getting out and showing up at my door one day. We began to write and then he would call a couple times a week, He was the most caring, giving, understanding, loving man I had ever met. I check his record and found out he was convicted under the felony murder rule and in actuality he was innocent. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. ( long story but trust me on this one ) anyway as his friend I began to check things out and wondered if I could help him in some way. He ask me if I would like to meet him, I said yes I would like that very much. we had been writing to each other and talking on the phone and I felt like I had known him all my life. We began bonding even before we met, He was a wonderful man. We had so much in common, we liked the same things, we thought a like, He made me happy to know him. So we set up a visitation. I felt like a school girl on her first date. I was nervous and excited. I had never been to a prison before and it was all very strange to me but I proceeded in with the other visitors and found a table and sat down. We had exchanged pictures so I felt we would know one another. I stood up to get some water and there stood a tall, handsome man with the most beautiful sky blue eyes I had ever seen, he smiled at me and said my name. We sat down and he took my hand, he was very much the gentleman, polite, soft spoken and never once was out of line. He didn’t push himself on me like so many men would. We had our picture taken and I felt like I was in heaven. Finally, I had found Mr. Right. He was absolutely everything I had ever dreamed my soul mate would be. I was very attracted to him. When it was time to leave he gave me a kiss on my cheek, I turned my head and gave him a quick kiss on the lips and walked out the door. I remember thinking how happy I was. Could this be real? was this a dream? I began going on a regular bases to visit him, then about 6-7 months later during a visit he so sweetly ask me to marry him, he said I didn’t have to answer now but he hoped that when I did, my answer would be yes. As time when by, I guess he saw the need to take out the struggles of prison life on me. He became controlling and generally difficult. He always apologized and I felt that they were sincere. I couldn’t blame him for being angry,and distrustful so I did nothing to stop him, until I had had enough and started fighting back. Well, we were married 2 years later and things have not improved. The only difference now is that we argue all the time because I will not allow him to be abusive and get by with it. We have been married 3 years and an attorney said he think he can get him out but it’s going to take some time. He has become a model prisoner, and has improved some but I think it’s only because I refuse to let him get by with his abusive behavior. This marriage is failing. This marriage has also caused my PTSD to show it’s ugly head and I feel like I am in a constant state of anxiety. It’s nothing I can’t handle but I don’t like the idea that this man or anyone for that matter has this much power over me. I know that I should file for divorce but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I feel like I would be kicking him when he’s down. I am his only link with the outside world. He depends on me for everything. I do love him and I really think he loves me, however, I am not sure how much is love and how much is gratitude on his part. He is very unstable, he has been in prison for 29 years and I am afraid that prison has so negatively affected him that if he does get out he won’t be able to adjust. I am both fearful and excited about the prospect of him coming home. I am consumed by trying to find a way to make all this better. So there’s my story, Different yet the same as so many others, God bless

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