Breaking Up: A Heart and Mind Struggle


There is a fierce heart and mind struggle when a relationship is over, no matter what the reason. Breaking up due to cheating, once the anger is over, is difficult, although for some, it should be cut and dry. Love is an emotion which has no logic and your mind can be your truth. Your loved one cheats, and while you know it should be over, it’s not that easy. You brings all kinds of emotions until accept the truth. There isn’t anything we can do about our emotions but our mind can change hundreds of times. Let me get a little more in-depth, so you can visualize what I’m saying. 

You have been in a relationship for one year, and then you find out your other half is cheating. You don’t just stop loving that person. You might be angry for a while, but the love is still there. Your heart tries to justify the relationship to you by making you feel that maybe, just maybe, there is something you should have done or can do to fix what’s wrong. Your mind, however, is telling you the relationship wasn’t all that, there were so many issues that you ignored, and that this was bound to happen. It’s almost like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, except there really isn’t a devil – it’s your truth. A breakup can cause you to think that a relationship was much better than it really was. You can be near perfect and so into being that you don’t see that maybe that isn’t what the other person wants or you can flip this and the other person is doing all he/she can but it’s you’re still not satisfied. The heart won’t tell you this, but what it will say is: “go talk to him/her or just pick up the phone and call.” The heart wants to give the relationship every opportunity to continue, even though your mind tells you it’s a dead end street. The mind wants you to move on, not try to justify and fix. 

Breaking up is not easy, and if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it’s very difficult to see how to move on. It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This heart and mind struggle is part of the process of breaking up, and in order to get to your truth you have to go through a process of self-examination and being able to look at your relationship for what really was. It’s very hard to be objective when your heart is broken, no matter how much you’re hurting. The heart/mind struggle is when you have to decide which one you will listen to; not just listen, but also act upon. You can try to go back, or you can go through the process and trust that, in time, your heart will heal and you can move on. The choice is yours of which way you go, but don’t rush to any decision. Take your time. Treat it like two boxers feeling each other out. There’s no quick knockout. You keep dancing around until you feel that you are ready to deliver that final blow to your heart that’s holding onto your ex. I think most people who have dealt with a breakup or are going through a breakup know that time is the healer of whatever kind of hurt you have. The heart mind/struggle is not just for breakups but can looked at in all things that have hurt you. I guess, when you love someone, no matter what he/she has done, the emotional bond is a bond that is not easily broken, and to get to that point takes one day at a time to get the strength to deliver that knockout punch. 

The next blog will be: You found that next person, or so you think.

Blogs
The Art of Cheating
Surviving The Art of Cheating
Breaking Out After The Breakup
Sex and Money: Vulnerable Conversation
Dating After Cheating

Dating After Cheating


You don’t realize how strong you really are until your heart is broken and you go through the process of making yourself feel whole again. It takes time, sometimes a long time, to heal a broken heart, but it’s not a race you need to win – take the time you need to know who you really are. We sometimes forget that in a relationship you give part of yourself to make compromises. Remember that when it’s over you can take that back. Take ownership and to learn what YOU want, not anybody else. 
Dating is not something you should rush into, especially if you want it to turn into something serious. You have to take your time to get to know people as friends first. A relationship without friendship will never be a lasting relationship. When you date someone, don’t look at them as a potential love interest, but as a person you just enjoy going out with, with no sex involved. You should get to know the person first, and that takes times. I don’t mean just the good act that people put on, but the real stuff they hide deep inside because it may not be so nice to face. It’s up to you to decide if that is something you can and are willing to deal with. It takes a honest discussion with yourself. The more you date, the more you get to see not only what you’re looking for, but also what you don’t want from a person. Be patient. Don’t get serious too fast and throw yourself headlong into a situation just because all your friends have somebody. You are still fragile in your heart, so don’t go on a date and think you’re in love just because someone said all the right things on that first date. The second date you might see a totally different person that you don’t like at all. When you feel like you are ready to date, do it with another couple. This way, you have someone to make you feel a little less nervous and you have a second set of eyes and ears on the person you are dating. If possible, even if it may sounds strange, don’t just date one person – remember these are supposed to be casual, amicable dates, not romantic dates with no ‘hidden agenda’. Romance shouldn’t be in your thought process for a long while. If you think it’s a ‘love at first sight’ kind of situation, what you need to do is go back home and stay put until that feeling goes away. Sure enough, there are rare occasions when you meet someone and both of you immediately know that love is in the air, but since you just got over a bad experience, I wouldn’t trust my judgement. Again, take your time, have some fun and be true to yourself. You want to feel whole, and if you think that sleeping with somebody right away is going to fix you, then you’re wrong. You will only hate yourself the next day, don’t do it. This is another situation where the intervention, the interference if you will, of another couple could help you avoid making that big mistake. The more you go out and the more people you meet, the more you can and will trust yourself. There’s nothing worse than having your heart and mind fighting, and that happens once you get into a relationship. Don’t forget all you’ve been through to get to this point. Another thing you need to steer clear of at all costs is comparing people to your ex. That’s a big no. You should never compare and contrast people, and if you do then you aren’t ready to date. You still have some issues that haven’t been resolved. You have to be able to look at each person individually, and not judge that person based on your past experiences. Everyone has their own qualities and you need to accept them based on what you think will contribute to your happiness, regardless of what your relationships were like in the past. You want to be yourself, not who you think that person wants. You, and only you, know who you are, so don’t put on any act because eventually it will be exposed. Have some fun dating, and enjoy just being able to breathe some fresh air, because now you are free.

The next blog will be about the struggle between heart and mind when a relationship ends.

Blogs:
The Art of Cheating
Surviving The Art of Cheating
Breaking Out After The Breakup
Sex and Money: Vulnerable Conversations.

Sex and Money: Vulnerable Conversations


There are many reasons that people cheat, and usually sex and money are two things that are high on the list of reasons for someone to step outside of their relationship. I’m taking a step back in advising you on how to get beyond the hurt of finding out your partner, straight or gay, has cheated on you. When you get wrapped up in the emotions of love, there usually isn’t a conversation about money. You’re probably already engaged in sex, so no conversation is usually needed unless you aren’t open minded to new positions or you’re just lousy at it. (There are people that are lousy at sex.) You can get so involved in the emotional part of the relationship that you forget about your own needs because you’re usually more involved on making your relationship work, which means you’re being accommodating. This is a big mistake. You can’t keep it up, and as time goes on, you’re going to feel very unfulfilled.

Sex should never, ever be a one-way street. You want your gratification just like you’re try to give gratification to the other person. When you forgo your needs to please someone else, you are asking for a huge problem as time goes on. Sex needs to be part of a conversation you engage in, so you know that mutual needs are being met. If it’s bad, but you really feel that this person is someone you would like to invest time and energy in, then you have to speak up. No, it’s not easy to say to someone, “You should do this or that to satisfy me,” but think about it, if you don’t in the beginning, then as time goes on, you will be looking for this gratification outside of your relationship. Then you will want to have the conversation that you should have had months ago. You have to introduce the sex conversation slowly, and doing a show and tell is a perfect way to approach the subject. There’s also the after sex glow, when you’re both relaxing and enjoying the moment; a perfect time to have the discussion. Intimacy is not sex, but intimacy can lead to sex. Make sure you have intimacy. Intimacy would be kissing, holding hands, anything short of actually engaging in performing a sexual act, therefore you can be naked and have intimacy going on. You just have to realize that intimacy is also the ability to have delicate conversations that may hurt the person’s feelings, coming from you in a way that is loving and shows that you understand how that person is feeling. How would you like someone to break it down to you if you were on the other end of such a conversation? 

Money is a very, very, very hard conversation for two people to have. Unlike the sex conversation, which should happen in the beginning of any and all relationships, money should be discussed as soon as you feel that this person is the one. There’s no reason to do this with every person you get involved with because then your business will end up just out there to be talked about by everybody. (If you’re rich, you might not care.) If you feel every relationship is the one, then you have a problem that needs to be addressed before you have any relationship. The only way you will know how to progress in your relationship regarding financial items is to discuss what each of you are bringing to the table. Actually, if you’re going to the movies and dinner, who will pay? A conversation does not need to happen until you know each other well enough to know that no one feels that he/she is being taken advantage of. This conversation is much different from a what you have in your bank account conversation. That’s a deep conversation that exposes you financially, so you must be so sure that living together or marriage is on the horizon before having this conversation. If you’re giving, giving, and giving, and the other person is just taking, this will almost certainly lead to cheating. The person that’s taking will be the one that cheats because that person doesn’t have to work on the financial aspects of a relationship. The giver will not be the cheater because all of their time is spent trying to keep the other person financially happy. There is, for certain, a financial aspect to a relationship. If there isn’t, how could you buy things like a house or have any type of living arrangement? 

No one wants to feel used, and if you get nothing in return, either in sex or money, that is how you will feel used. It might take you some time to actually realize what’s going on because you are so busy trying to keep the relationship going that you get blindsided when the truth of what’s really going on hits you. Conversations in the beginning of a relationship can save a lot of heartache as the relationship progresses. It is not easy, and the longer you put it off, the more vulnerable the relationship will be.

Blogs
The Art of Cheating
Surviving The Art of Cheating
Breaking Out After the Breakup

Next blog: Dating After The Breakup.

Breaking Out After The Breakup


Are you ready to leave your shell? I talked about giving yourself time to learn about you in “Surviving The Art of Cheating”. When you are getting over a breakup, especially one that involved cheating, you have to take all the time you need to heal. The mind and heart battle is hard, and it’s grueling. You can’t rush it or you will end up back in the same place of blaming and trying to go back to the cheater. There is no race. You will know you’re ready to break out of your shell and face the world when you can evaluate your past relationship with honesty and not fall apart at the mention of the cheater’s name. 

Try to think of this whole process like a turtle. You go into the shell for protection to evaluate the situation, and then you slowly stick your head out to test the waters. And finally you move ever so slowly to a new place to be comfortable and hopefully find love. When you break out, this is when you start to slowly mingle with others and try to get your life back in some order. There’s nothing wrong with going out as long as you go home alone. This is not the time to be dating. You need time to get to know you what you like, what you want, and what makes you comfortable. This is best done alone. If you involve someone else, it wouldn’t be about you but would be about us. And that’s a big no. That’s not the best right now. Stay away from places you used to go to with the cheater. Stay away from mutual friends as they have nothing to offer you at this point. And if they are really your friends, they will understand that you need time. This isn’t forever, just until you are emotionally strong enough to hear about your prior relationship. 

You have to realize how far you have come from finding out your partner was cheating to being able to see the relationship for what it was. There should be some clarity before you decide to break out. Again, I’m going to tell you it’s not easy. Actually, it’s hell going through the process of a break up and then adjusting to being alone. There are some people that feel they can’t be alone. That’s bull. Each of us can be alone and thrive. It’s just so much easier with someone else, but you can do it alone. It is just a matter of you taking your time. You breaking out is the most important person. 

The first time you go out into the world, go with a purpose. You go out with confidence and a determination that you know you can go forward in your life. You go out with a smile that you never turn into a frown while you’re out. The point is even if you’re not ready to go a mile just go half, or hell go a quarter, whatever you are comfortable with. Do something that consumes your thoughts with anything but where you’ve been. Again, its not easy, and hell it’s hard as hell. But you can do it, just don’t give up so easily. You take every little step you can forward because if you go back, what’s there? Nothing but heartache. 

Breaking out after a break up is challenging and mentally exhausting, but you can survive. You have good friends. Talk to them. These are your friends, not your mutual friends. You talk to your friends. Be honest with them, and hear them when they give you a different perspective on you, not your previous relationship, just you. We all need a different perception on who we are sometimes. The way we think of ourselves is sometimes not how others see us. That outside the window person can give a clear view into that inner person that we sometimes ignore. You should listen and think about what they are saying and give it some real consideration that maybe this is a part of me that I din’t acknowledge. Give their perception time in your healing process. 

You’ve broken out after the break up. Just exhale and smile.

Blogs
The Art of Cheating
Surviving The Art of Cheating

I will discuss the two biggest reasons people cheat, sex and money next.

Surviving The Art of Cheating

Surviving The Art of Cheating 

You are ahead of the game and you don’t even know it. It takes a lot of strength to get out of a cheating relationship. Surviving takes a lot of time and though the first thing you might think of doing is something impulsive like having sex with the first person available, it is the wrong thing to do. You just want to feel something, anything that will make you forget about your cheating partner;, you want to forget that feeling that is slowly eating you alive, you want to stop the fight between your heart and your mind, which are both trying to control your emotions. But getting involved with someone else, even just for a night, is not the answer. It would be a selfish deed, because no matter how hard you try to justify it, all you would be doing is using another person – not healing yourself.

Your unhealthy relationship is over, and it’s time to heal yourself even if you don’t know where to start from. It’s okay to be angry, but you need to channel that anger; you cannot simply dismiss it, because that is what would happen if you were to engage in one-night stands – you may think it would help, but it would only be a numbing, useless harmful practice that definitely would not assist your recovery. You need to address your anger, and direct it at the cheater. Don’t fall into a trap, do not harbour that vicious feeling unless you somehow physically or mentally contributed to bringing that into your relationship. I want to explain what I mean by that. Did you really, deep down in your heart, know that the relationship was nearing its end, but couldn’t voice your emotions and say you were not happy out loud? Does this entail that you consequently stopped to actively participate in the relationship? The only thing you knew was that your partner had stopped caring and all you wanted was to get that person back. If you’re angry, throw something, scream or watch a lot of mindless TV. Reality shows are good for this. I wouldn’t even recommend you tell your friends about what happened yet, because what they are going to do is bash your cheater, but that would not benefit you at all. You have to be like a turtle, with its head tucked in its shell – wait a little longer, there’s no rush to get out of that shell. 

That shell is your shelter, it’s where you can’t get hurt, where you can let your feelings flow freely. It’s where your heart and mind fight. And the battle is long. The heart wants you to find any excuse to call the cheater and to take the blame for this situation. The mind tells you it’s okay to move on, it tells you that you knew what was happening but you didn’t do anything to solve the problem. The mind tells you that it tried to warn you, that suggested you get out, but you would rather listen to sugarcoated lies than to the bitter truth. This is a fierce battle, but that’s all it is – the war is yet to be won. Stay right there in that turtle shell and let you heart and mind battle it out until you can declare a winner on your terms. When you are ready, you will slowly come out and face the outside world. It won’t be easy. The first thing you might do is just taking a shower or zapping from channel to channel on the television. The point is that you do something, no matter how insignificant it may seem. And if doing those little things is not enough and you feel like going back inside your shell, that’s perfectly okay. You just weren’t ready as you thought, but don’t beat yourself up, just keep trying and every time you will get a little farther out of the shell. One thing you should be able to do before you are completely out of your shell is thinking about that person without bursting into tears or getting so angry that it makes you want to do something stupid. You have to be able to say the person’s name and look at your situation for what it really was. When you decide to get out of your shell, it doesn’t mean you are necessarily whole again, but it does mean that you will survive. Breaking up, for whatever reason, is hard, but it has happened or will happen to each of us. What matters is what you learn, not just from surviving the breakup but from the relationship itself. There are lessons to be learned from every situation, you just have recognize each situation and act upon it. 

The Art of Cheating is the first blog post you should read before getting to this point.

The next blog post will be about facing the world as a survivor.

Retirement: Introverts vs Extroverts

Retirement: we can’t wait for it. We count the days, the months, and in my case, the years. I didn’t have a monthly calendar; I wanted a big yearly calendar so I could see each day as it went by. When we are young, we start thinking about retirement when it cuts into our activities at night. It’s hard as hell to go to work after partying into the night. You end up dragging yourself to work, only for the boss to yell, “You have to stay late because you’re late!” The years go by, and retirement is front and center in conversations at the water cooler. Retirement is the reward after spending years having a boss to tell you what to do. 

We can’t wait for the retirement party and the well wishers wishing you good luck. Then one day, it’s time. You gather your belongings, and off into the retirement world you go. 

We hear all the time about the money aspect of retirement (“you need x amount of money to retire”), but we don’t hear a lot about the mental aspect of retiring. Retirement is great for the extroverted person who has lots of friends beyond work. It’s great if you are a social person who likes to go out on a regular basis. Retirement might not be so good for the introverted person whose only social outlet is work, whose coworkers are their only friends, and who at the end of a work day is going home to a lonely house. That person who can’t wait for the next work day should maybe pump those retirement brakes. The retiree who lines up at the bus stop for that trip to the casino could just be lonely, and that is their only way to be around people. The casino-bound retiree might have never gambled a day in his life, but sitting on a bus surrounded by people is better than sitting at home all alone. You can usually tell these people because they start a conversation with anybody who takes that seat next to him/her. This does have ramifications because gambling can put a retiree on a fixed income in a financial crisis. 

The main conversations we have while working are about work; we talk shop. When we retire, that conversation stops; you aren’t in the loop anymore. The people you worked with could have moved on, and there are new people at the job whom you don’t know. One day, you realize the telephone is no longer ringing from the people you worked with, so you call. The conversation is strained; these’s a lot of silence. This is when you realize that your relationship with your work friends is over. For the extroverted person, this is no big deal because they have an outside life, but for introverts, this could be a horrible realization. You think, “What should I do now?” You clean the house on Monday, you clean the house on Tuesday, you clean the house on Wednesday, you clean the house on Thursday, you clean the house Friday, you clean the house on Saturday, and you clean the house on Sunday. The house is white-glove clean, but with nothing else to do, you start the ritual all over again. The next week, you watch every show you had meant to watch but couldn’t because you were working. There are times you wish you never retired because this isn’t all people make it out to be. 

Retirement is hard on the introverted person. If you know someone who was a introvert at work, more than likely that’s not going to change with retirement. It’s not some much that the introvert wants to be alone as that the person has to get comfortable in a new setting. If they start to go to the casino, the first time might be awkward, but as he/she goes more often, their comfort level increases, and so do their interactions with other people. The conversations might be casino-related; for introverts, that could be all that’s needed to make themselves comfortable. 
I’m just using the casino as a example, but it could be senior groups, YMCA programs, cruises, anything that can that bring about social interaction. 

Retirees have enough to worry about, like money (unless you’re rich) and whether Social Security will be around for their entire lifetime. Money is a big issue because it comes monthly instead of biweekly or weekly. You have to stretch the dollar to last for a month, and with the price of food, there’s no room for goodies, just the necessities. Your savings start dwindling because the price of everything keeps going up and your check goes down faster. There are also more health issues as you age, and dealing with those alone is never good. You begin to realize that death is a closer reality than life because the people you know are passing away at an alarming rate. There is an overwhelming sense of loneliness if you’re an introvert.

Retirement is great if you’re an extroverted person who is very sociable, but if you are an introvert, think about it. You should prepare not just financially, but also mentally. You need to think about what you are going to do, and start doing that before you retire. If you don’t have a hobby while working, it doesn’t just come about when you stop working. Start pursuing that hobby while you’re still working. Join a club, or better yet, create a club. Join a group to get the feel of what it’s about. You should visit family, but don’t make yourself a pest. Take care of the grandkids until they get on your nerves. The point is to plan ahead and be honest in your assessment of yourself and what you’re capable of doing. There’s only so much house cleaning to do.