Does Time Heal? They Say 18 Months – I Say 21 Days!

e08c65b4068a173f39c0f51ca1db5dd1A survey covered in this Daily Mail article interviewed 155 people and found that breakups take 11 weeks to get over on average. The article also says it takes 18 months to get over a divorce.

Actually, I’d say with no good strategy, even breakups take 18 months to heal from. It may take just 11 weeks to get over the split, but not to fully heal and get back to your joyous, strong, positive, life-loving self again. Because:

Healing requires active engagement with the topic!

Which is why it really takes 18 months to heal without any system or engagement or strategy, or without the right support.

And during that 18 month period, without the proper healing, you’re very likely to move into more unsuccessful relationships, which will end in breakup or divorce too. 56% of second marriages also end in divorce, and 72% of third marriages – the statistics don’t lie!

Time alone does not heal wounds

Many types of relationship therapy may tell you that it just takes time to heal and there’s nothing more to do about it, but it’s just not true! It makes me sad that so many people believe this nonsense and live unnecessarily with their pain or depression for months and even years.

I’ve seen time and time again that healing happens in short spurts during that time.

Healing is not a linear chronological process – it happens when you focus on healing. And with good strategy, process, attention and support you can make those short spurts of healing happen quickly, over the course of a few weeks. Not months or years.

Here’s another statistic for you – 97% of divorcees who take my Naked Divorce program are successfulin getting over AND healing from all their trauma in 21 days.

Back on track, happy and loving life once more. Check out their personal stories here.

It’s a pity the study above didn’t ask the recipients exactly when and how they felt little bursts of improvement and how they worked to those points and through them.

When you actively embrace the healing process, and face the sometimes very difficult feelings and stages to work through, in an intelligent way, you create an environment where these flashes of improvement and healing begin to happen.

Unfortunately, there is evidence that traditional forms of therapy don’t help the recovery process at all. In fact, there are clear conflicts of interest that certainly don’t incentivize therapists to get their clients cured, healed and happy as rapidly as possible.

Clients become dependent on therapists, and therapists gain secure, long-term clients and income

Imagine if a relationship therapist had to find new clients every month because they were helping them heal so quickly. Business would become extremely tough. Far better to have a guaranteed monthly or weekly client paying for a year or more – make sure you don’t become one of these clients!

With my program, I’ve deliberately incentivized myself and my team of Divorce Angels to help people truly, properly, deeply heal faster and more effectively. Our reputation depends on it.

I want that 97% success rate in 21 days to go up to 99%, not down to 95%.

Come and try the system, we’d be delighted to prove it to you!

Or if you have any questions at all about getting over your divorce, do ask.

I’m here to help.

AdeleSign2

If forever single and 50+ – are you a woman who emasculates men?

In a recent article for the Daily Mail, Kate Mulvey bemoans the fact that as she approaches 50, she is not yet married, putting this down to the fact that men are unable to cope with a woman ‘outshining’ them. She refers to recent research confirming this, saying ‘I have lost count of the times men have rejected and insulted me simply because I was brighter, wittier or cleverer than they are.’

Image

In her article, Kate talks about several occasions when her partners (for she seems to have had many), have reacted negatively when she has demonstrated her superior knowledge or intellect. She is ‘convinced that the reason I am still booking a table for one..[is] because men are so threatened by my intelligence.’

Kate outlines her academic prowess, including having breezed through university, stressing how she continues to enjoy learning, and how she is keen to flex [her] intellectual muscles, and to never let a man get the last word just because of his sex. Kate concludes that it’s necessary to become a giggly man-pleaser in order to have a successful relationship, and is unwilling to sell-out by doing so.

Fair enough Kate, but I am not sure if your assessment of why you are single is accurate…

I don’t think men are threatened by you, I think men feel emasculated around you so don’t like the way they feel about themselves when with you, so they leave you…

I agree that it’s not necessary to conform to some stereotypical view of a submissive doormat, who flutters her eyelashes and simpers, because it’s impossible to attract a man otherwise BUT I also think shoving your superior knowledge or intellect in their faces is not going to win any relationship points.

Consider what makes a fulfilling and positive relationship. What do most people, male or female, look for in a relationship? Of course, there are many answers to this, and what makes one person happy in a relationship may not make another person feel the same. However, at the heart of any strong relationship is the concept of mutual love, support and respect, and the idea of your partner wanting the best for you, and helping you to be the best that you can be. No-one feels happy in a relationship where one partner is so concerned to demonstrate their capability or strengths, that they don’t take their partner’s feelings into consideration.

The sad thing is I SEE SO MANY WOMEN LIKE KATE WHO DO THIS. They then blame the men for being threatened!! Ladies: showing a constant need to be the best, or always wanting the last word, is not a good way to communicate care and respect for your man. For a relationship to deepen and strengthen over time, it needs to be carefully nurtured and nourished, by letting him know that he is the most important person in the world to you, and that you care about how he feels. Continually undermining him, or competing with him, will exhaust him and damage and end your relationship.

Here are some sure fire signs that you emasculate men:

  • Ask him for help, then either criticise what he did, redo it or do it your way
  • Fight and shout in scream in public
  • Call him names in front of other people or mock him in public in ANY way, shape or form
  • Belittle what he does for a living
  • Mother him
  • Flirt with his friends in front of him
  • Tell him another guy could do it better
  • Straighten his tie or preen his clothes for him in public (like his mother used to do)
  • Pat him on the head in public
  • Never praise anything he does, just criticise
  • Nag and nag ang nag him shouting instructions at him to do x,y or z
  • Belittle his manhood
  • Micromanage his every move
  • Tell him you will pay for things all the time or ASSUME that he cannot pay his own way
  • Embaress him by giving him bigger presents than he gives you
  • Nothing he does is ever good enough
  • Go on and on about how clever you are
  • Laugh at him mockingly often
  • Make his salary an issue

What makes a great relationship? When both of you feel like the best person of yourselves when together. Most men I know have no problem with a highly intelligent woman – on the contrary: they look for them. BUT when a highly intelligent woman is also arrogant, haughty or emasculating to be around – most men will run a mile.

If a couple lays a foundation of mutual support, encouragement and respect, this builds confidence in the relationship. True love is demonstrated by the willingness to compromise occasionally, and a genuine concern to act with their best interests at heart. You will not want to hurt or embarrass your fella, especially in public. Choosing not to outshine your man on occasions, (even if you could), is not selling out. You simply recognise that consideration for his feelings is far more important to the health of your relationship. A man who truly feels loved and valued will not want to leave.

SO, if you are forever single, serially dating and being dumped and 50+ and have been telling yourself that you are just too smart and intelligent for all the men out there – stop. Take a look at yourself. Has your positive sense of self turned your arrogant and do you emasculate the men around you? If so, then come and do the Naked Divorce program and get to the source of why you keep pushing great guys away and sending most men running a mile. As you are the common equation in each relationship you have ever been in, it might be time to look deeper at what you can be responsible for.

Till next time

Lots of hugs,

Image

TANTRUM – the anger management program so you can LET RIP and GET FIT

Coming to your from the founders of the critically acclaimed Tantrum Club, find out what people think about the all new anger management FITNESS program. For the first time ever you can completely LET RIP whilst getting FIT. Not only will you release all negative emotions like anger, frustration, anxiety and sadness whilst getting an INSANE workout – you will re-balance and recenter yourself at the end of the class. Tantrum is based on months and months of research into which movements release which emotions culminating in a never-seen before series of choreography and dance moves.

The danger of suppression: Don’t bottle up your emotions

TantrumLogo

Any serious scientist will be familiar with the assertion that stress causes immune-compromise. A recent study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health has finally put this long-held knowledge into perspective, deciphering that those who bottle up their feelings have a cardiovascular disease risk of 140 per cent and a risk of cancer of 170 per cent when compared to individuals who share how they feel. Overall, the risk of premature death for those who keep their negative feelings to themselves is around 135 per cent that of individuals unafraid to speak their minds. When framed in this way, the dangers of suppressing emotions are hard to ignore, but how exactly does bottling up your emotions lead to real and tangible damage to the body? The article below will explore the molecular and physiological mechanisms behind this startling array of statistics, and provide some helpful tips to managing your rage, and keeping your body healthy!

Although the concrete mechanism linking bottled-up emotions and premature death has yet to be established, several sound scientific principles may be applied in order to elucidate some facts about the forces at work. Firstly, it is conceivable that those who feel that they must hide their emotions from others are more susceptible to seeking comfort in substance abuse such as alcohol addiction, cigarette smoking, or the use of other harmful drugs in order to relieve their stress. The use of these substances has several obvious and detrimental effects to health and so needs no explanation here. The second suspected mechanism is slightly less direct in nature.

When the body is coping with a stress response, such as un-vented anger or pent-up rage, a hormone known as Cortisol is released. Cortisol is a hormone of critical importance to humans, but it also has some unwanted effects in individuals experiencing high levels of stress. Cortisol is a steroid hormone, specifically a glucocorticoid, meaning that it is capable of suppressing the immune system’s response to damage or invading pathogens. This unfortunate effect means that individuals who have a higher than normal stress level, and thus a raised Cortisol level, will have under-effective immune systems, not only opening the floodgates to any nasty bugs that may wish to make your body their home, but also preventing a complete response from being carried out towards invaders from within – cancer cells. Every day, the immune system destroys a cell that would otherwise have become cancerous, so it’s easy to see how quickly things can go wrong when this response is working below optimum levels.All is not lost, though. Studies have shown that releasing anger actually increases blood flow to those parts of the brain responsible for pleasure and reward, thus making taking out your frustration a ‘feel good’ experience. However, there are those of us for whom releasing anger at every turn can very quickly end both friendships and careers.

Perhaps a change in outlook is the answer? Conditioning your brain to be more optimistic about everyday situations and into overlooking the minor foibles of others can quite literally be a lifesaver. The statistics speak for themselves, and lend credence to the thought that optimistic people really do live longer than their pessimistic, stressed out counterparts.

Speaking of which, we are about to launch www.tantrumworld.com – a whole new approach to releasing your anger whilst becoming healthier. So, why not try to LET RIP whilst GETTING FIT?

Till next time

Lots of hugs,

AdeleSign

A rant about having sex with an ex whilst healing

sex-with-exThere is an article in the Daily Mail today entitled “Why ‘ex-sex’ CAN be a good idea: Sleeping with an old lover lessens psychological distress of break-up… if you’re not over him” (You can read all about it here: LINK)

Apparently research from the University of Arizona (published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology) found that divorced partners who slip back into the marital bed find sex can actually lessen the pain of the break-up.

No kidding… 

We even have the UK sex expert Tracey Cox agreeing with this idea that sex with an ex can provide closure.

Seriously?

“She said: ‘Sometimes we need to go back to move forward, and revisiting the sexual side of the relationship can sometimes make us see very clearly that we’ve idealised the relationship or feel much less pain than we thought. So there’s a sense of closure that can be helpful.’

I know she is an expert, but I definitely don’t agree with this concept at all. I have worked with hundreds of people and I can tell you one thing: If you are hung up on your ex and you sleep with him or her – it’s not called CLOSURE. There is another 7-letter word which is more appropriate and that is called TORTURE.

Sleeping with your ex whilst in the pain of processing your divorce will open a can of worms/spiders/scorpians and all types of critters. Those Z-listers from I AM A CELEBRITY GET ME OUTTA HERE would not even be able to stand 30 seconds with the critters unleashed from that can of worms. Confusion will reign. Time will pass. Future dating partners will disappear. Your children will be confused. They will lose respect for you. You will lose respect for yourself.

Read these hashtags as if my lips were mouthing it: #sexwithexleadstodisaster #sexwithexarmageddon #sexwithexnotworthit #sexwithexcausespain

I think Tracey recommending that we revisit our sexual partners from the past to get closure must be talking about people who want to roll in the hay with someone they feel nothing for where one last shot in the dark concludes the whole relationship swiftly. But life is NEVER that simple. Both parties rarely ever feel nothing for each other so sex rarely leads to closure. Entire seminars have been dedicated to how human beings confuse sex with intimacy and use sex to get closer to people so why think that sex can lead to a severing with the ties?

In many break ups and divorces where kids/houses/betrayals and issues are involved, it can be very complex and not as simple as saying that “partners who had not accepted the break up actually found their divorce less painful whilst they were having sex with their ex.”

OF COURSE THEY FOUND IT LESS PAINFUL.

By sleeping with their ex, they “re-set” the roller-coaster of pain. They delayed the inevitable and important process of grieving and healing by artificially creating HOPE. Maybe one party discovered that they no longer felt anything but rarely will both parties sleep together, high five each other and declare that they are over each other. This study concluded that by sleeping together and delaying the inevitable pain, the pain was lessened overall??? Totally illogical. Whoever came up with the hypothesis and this study did so in a fishtank as there are so many errors of reasoning and co-morbidity factors at play. I think someone needs a hypothesis-testing lesson. I have 3 years of university stats behind me and I have never seen a study like this one. Those journal dudes must have been sleeping when they let this puppy in.

Without being any more Facetious, I must state categorically that this study is ludicrous.

Anyone advocating that you sleeping with an ex whilst healing can actually help you to heal is doing the study in isolation and within a period of days if not weeks. They are not doing their due diligence on the worst-case scenarios which come months or years after or looking at the long-term impact or at how long it takes the individuals to heal whilst bonking their ghosts from Christmas past. By delaying the inevitable pain in severing ties with your ex, retail therapy, alcoholic or drug benders, dinners with mates, dates, working long hours or anything which is about being ‘busy’ whilst dying inside and avoiding being alone — you have fallen foul of the classic SHORT TERM EMOTION AVOIDANCE TACTICS. In other words, you are valuing short term satisfaction over moving on and over your values like pride, self respect and honouring yourself.

Basically, find another way to double click your mouse. Your ex does not need to be the one to do it.

 Sex with an ex can be psychologically very confusing and damaging!

I do know that sometimes partners will continue to sleep with each other after a break up. The break up brings up really sad and awful feelings and sometimes the sex is a way to break the loneliness and maintain closeness with someone. Because you are less familiar with each other, the sex can feel more passionate but it’s born out of a neediness rather than a genuine commitment between two people to stay together. Sometimes couples will ‘use’ each other in this way whilst they are breaking up. This prolongs the inevitable, because the moment either party meets someone new, the sexual relationship will end or fizzle out and the pain will be too great to bare. I know some instances where women continue to sleep with their ex even long after he has got married to someone else and had new children.

Personally and in my experience I recommend the clean break option. It is truly the best for both parties and brings clear closure to the relationship. It hurts and feels awful for a few weeks but you don’t waste your life or your time hanging onto the old relationship.

Also, I believe that women and men are more susceptible to have sex with their ex during the ‘Panic/ Negotiation’ phase within The Naked Divorce Grief Cycle as a way to get back together with their ex. The major drawback is that one partner can have sex and it doesn’t need to mean anything to them, whereas the wounded partner will make sex mean all kinds of things and could wound up getting really hurt.

Understand the phases you will go through after your divorce. Understand your hormones and those angst-ridden feelings and where they are coming from. The next time you feel compelled to contact your ex, ask yourself a few questions:

¤ Do you miss being with your ex or do you simply miss being in a couple?

¤ What if your ex says yes and says ‘let’s give it another go’ – will you be able to change what didn’t work with the relationship?
¤ If you are leaving the outcome of your relationship with your ex and very much in their hands – what do YOU want? Is this the person you want to be with for the rest of your life? EVEN IF absolutely nothing changed?
¤ How does being single make you feel?

If you are Struggling to get over your Ex or in Letting the relationship go, find something like the Naked Divorce Program. Our program has been designed to support you in getting over your relationship and there are loads of exercises each day to support you in making the break between yourself and your ex.

 Some Communication Guidelines For the 1st Year

These guidelines are in place to support you in your healing within the first year and in you developing your own interests and your own life. If you feel you can have a friendship with your ex where you still maintain your own life, then you choose which of these points below support you in your new life.

There is no right or wrong answer, you need to find the path that works for you. Here are some principles behind the CLEAN BREAK approach which is useful to adopt in the initial stages of healing. Once you have healed, friendship can certainly be on the table…

¤ Do not call your ex, e-mail your ex or visit unnecessarily to brag about how great your life is, to tell them about a promotion, the death of a relative, or a terrific trip you just took. Don’t try to make your ex jealous or find excuses to engage with your ex because you are lonely or curious or needy. Allow your ex to move on with his or her life, and you do the same. It will be easier for your new partner to get involved in an unencumbered relationship. Be graceful and accept it’s over and focus your energy in new relationships or existing relationships with relatives or friends

¤ If you have a new partner, and you and your ex are friendly, you may have dinner with your ex and your children. If your partner is along, too, and your ex’s partner, if he or she has one, is included. Never disparage your ex in front of your children. It is damaging to the children

¤ I recommend not inviting your ex to your wedding – There is no reason for your ex to be there and many reasons for your ex not to be there. Your attention should ALL be on your new spouse and his or her family and friends. If your ex invites you to his or her wedding, kindly decline and send a modest gift that doesn’t imply anything

¤ Remove your ex from Facebook, Test Messaging and Social Media – at least for a while. If you were hoping to keep tabs on your ex by tracking his every online move or possible new dating adventures then remove him from your social media networks. It’ll just make you wonder who he/she is talking to (or obsess about those girls who keep posting messages to him), and you don’t need that. Remove your ex’s page from your favorites and look for a new friend or two to take his MySpace place. If you have established your new life and feel there is a clear boundary between the two of you which is healthy, feel free to re-establish this contact

¤ If you know that you might call or email your ex when you are drunk, then write their contact details down safely in a book and delete his/her number, email address and IM address from your mobile phone. That way when you’re having a fragile moment at three A.M., you’re not tempted to contact your ex as the repercussions the following day can be both embarrassing and costly to your recovery. Again, once you are over the relationship and have established your new life, feel free to add his number back onto your phone

¤ Limit in-person contact for a while – as there are just too many emotions swirling around in your post-divorce head, I recommend not seeing your ex in person for a while. If you see your ex too soon, you run the risk of suffering potentially bad consequences, including waking up beside him the next morning and realizing you just had sex with your ex or even worse, getting arrested for assault and battery

If you are torturing yourself and not moving on, you need help. TIME IS PRECIOUS and rather than prolonging the pain, do stuff.

If you want to know more about what we do, call us. We are here to serve.

Till next time

Lots of hugs,

AdeleSign

Your divorce: Are you an Eeyore or a Tigger?

I remember my first Pooh bear book when I was a kid. I loved it to death and pawed at the pages on a daily basis. I was so in love with the characters that when it came time to find ways to earn money for my school as a debutante, I even wrote and directed a play which starred almost my whole school when I was 16. Those were the days…

If you have never read A.A. Milne’s classic tales of a bear and friends – allow me to enlighten you.

Tigger

Tigger is the overly excitable, wildly bouncy tiger who is always bouncing around the enchanted forest. His attempts at spreading sheer joy to all those around him is infectious – even if he bowls everyone over like a bull in a china shop. He spread joy and gave energy to everyone. His most endearing quality (other than his cute listhp) was his knack of referring to himself in the 3rd person. Classic lines from tales of Pooh included:

  • …because “bouncin’ that’s what Tiggers do!”)
  • Woohoo hooo hooo hooo hooo!?
  • TTFF – Ta ta For Now
  • And then there was his little song:
The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I'm the only one

Eeyore

Eeyore on the other hand is a somber donkey.  Oh everything bad happens to this donkey as even his tail is held on by a button. Gloom and doom, and he is known for saying in the saddest tone “Thanks for noticin’ me”.  His energy is vibrating pretty low and the outlook is bleak to status quo at best.  He is the antithesis of personal empowerment. Eeyore has very little expectations from his friends and therefore wherever there is an occasion where his friends gather around his to help him, his thoughts of receiving the worst are dismissed and he has a feeling of being grateful to them. Eeyore’s biggest problem is when his tail falls off and that happens frequently (he has lost it many times).

Although always sad, he has very cute endearing qualities. So there is alot of compassion inside him. This is shown when Eeyore is able to grow a plant which Rabbit, a much respected gardener is unable to grow. Eeyore achieves this by giving the plant some of his love. His most famous quotes included:-

  • Thanks for noticing me
  • If it is a good morning
  • It’s not much of a tail
  • Most likely lose it again
  • Days, weeks, months, who knows
  • It works. Didn’t expect it to

The choice…

We all go through times in our lives when we become Eeyore. With anxiety we spend our time and energy fruitlessly by worrying about things we have no control over, things that are not real, etc… The thing to notice is that it’s kind of self-perpetuating. The more you believe nothing good will ever happen and it’s all gloom and doom – the more you will attract those things into your life. You need to switch your focus and be grateful. Grateful that there is nothing really wrong with you. Grateful for having another day on this earth. Grateful for all the people and things in your life.

Our thoughts are one of the few things truly within our control. Even if it is challenging to completely control what comes to mind, we can certainly learn to control the thoughts that stay in our minds, the thoughts we focus on, dwell on. Thoughts create world paradigms, impact our energies, and drive our actions. Even if you had a bit of Eeyore in you in the past, the past need not be the future and your tendency does not have to be your destiny. Even if a negative thing is true, does it serve you to focus on it? Even if a negative thing is true, odds are there are many positive things that also are true or could become true about a person or situation and your thoughts and energies may better serve you focused on the solution rather than the problem.

The key to becoming a Tigger

The principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy talk about Behavioural Actualisation – i.e. stop sitting around moping and get moving – take action and do stuff to pull yourself OUT of the abyss of gloom. Once you sink into the abyss of doom, it’s hard to get out.

As this youtube video from The NeverEnding Story, once you get stuck in the abyss, it could be deadly…

http://youtu.be/y688upqmRXo

The Naked Divorce is a great programme for getting over a divorce and pulling yourself out of that doom and gloom.

  • It has a structure with a defined beginning, middle and end
  • You focus on the end goal
  • You have a programme to follow and starting taking actions towards changing your behaviour today
  • You have all the support you need

So, it’s up to you. No need to be an Eeyore in the situation you find yourself in. I will paraphrase a line from Morgan Freeman’s character Red in the Shawshank Redemption “Get busy healing, or get busy dying”

Till next time!

Lots of hugs

What I have learnt from the passing of my aunt…

My aunt Estelle died three weeks ago. It really shook me up and what was incredible was the sermon which the priest gave at her funeral. I want to share elements of it as I think it is so empowering in the context of mourning anyone who has past away as well as give us things to think about in the healing from divorce or breaking up. I learnt a great deal in the context of divorce about how important it is to grieve and feel your emotions.

After her death, I subsequently made a list of everything I want to do before I die and as I cover on Day 19 of the naked divorce – it’s important to take a step back from life from time to time and revisit your dreams and the things that really matter.

I have edited out bits of the ceremony – these are the parts that I wish to share with you.

Remember Her – a sermon by Kerryn Barton from St John’s ministry in South Africa

To the living, SHE is gone.
To the sorrowful, SHE will never return.
To the angry, SHE was cheated.
But to the joyful, SHE is at peace
And to the faithful, SHE has never left.
SHE cannot be seen, but SHE can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea – remember her.
As you look in awe at a mighty mountain and its grand majesty – remember her.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity and its
delicate perfume – remember her.
As you hear melodic harmonies in the music she loved – remember her.

Remember her in your heart, your thoughts, and your memories of the times you loved, the times you cried, the times you fought, the times you laughed.
For if you always think of her, SHE will have never gone.

Grief can isolate us …. even here among family and friends. We all grieve differently…
Grief can silence us … when the pain is beyond the words we can use … when it silences us from song
Grief can bring anger … sometimes passionate and overwhelming for the future that we have lost.
Grief stretches us to our limits … and from this awful experience, we learn a profound appreciation for the love and compassion that can be freely shared and unselfishly given.
It’s hard to get your mind around death (or divorce) – because of the sense of loss one feels, and you may ask, why celebrate at the loss of a loved one, a friend. Well, while we acknowledge that sense of loss, we must also acknowledge the fact that She, in so many ways that perhaps you have not even realized, has touched your
life, taught you something, shown you something, enriched your life – and for that we should celebrate what she has given to all of us.

We don’t realize that every time we connect with a person, even if it is a fleeting moment of meeting only once, we touch each other’s lives and somehow we are enriched by that connection – however insignificant it may seem – but that short-lived
relationship between/connection to our individual lives does make a difference – the thing is that we don’t realize what that person has given us and what we have given them until we reflect on it. Whenever we connect with someone – they and we cause
ripples in each other lives.

And the reality is – WE NEED TO GRIEVE – Talking about her will help. Having a good cry – taking time to reflect and chatting to people about our feelings is good.
There is one truth that gives us hope even in our deepest grief. Love never dies.
That’s true. You might not physically be able to touch and speak to her any longer but the love you have for her and the love she has for you is still there. It’s alive in your heart. Everytime you hear beautiful music you will find a smile breaking on your
face as your heart warms. You will find you’re thinking of her.

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she’s gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Powerful stuff hey?

Sending you lots of love

Why therapy doesnt work and what you should do about it!

 

Now that I have stuffed myself full of mince pies and Christmas cheer – I think the time for jollyness has passed.

I am in that place called the CRIMBO LIMBO – that weird Bermuda triangle time between Christmas and new year. It’s a time of reflection and – dare I say it – a little ranting (she says with evil glint in her eye) at the ineffectual people who pass their advice over this holy period.

I feel it’s time for a little rant because I just read another winning article by a ‘renowned’ relationship psychologist in the Sun and then another prize-fighting article by Dr so-and-so in the Independent, who has been termed as ’a psychiatrist with 17 years of counselling and trauma experience’. You would think with all the letters behind their names that these two clowns know what they are talking about and that their advice should certainly be considered. Well people, I am utterly stunned that these individuals can get away with sharing these ‘sage’ tips or advice which endorse people to further intellectualise their emotions and engage in short term emotion-avoidance tactics whilst healing from their break up or divorce.

Take a line from one of these ‘experts’:

“whenever you are feeling low and upset after a divorce, forget the ex by going out with your friends on the town – wear a short little number and dance your cares away. Then when feeling low upon returning home, have a little treat – it’s better for you than a shot of whiskey”

OMG.

Are you frikking kidding me?

And this isn’t even the worst one. Dr so-and-so actually commented that Demi Moore deserved being dumped by Ashton Kutcher because she “should have known that marrying someone considerably younger was just full of trouble” and that “she should do something useful, like volunteer at a shelter or take up new hobbies to take her mind off things” as well as “giving it lots of time, as that is the ultimate healer”.

Oh and of course “Get a fresh make-up look and try out a new hairstyle signalling a new phase in  your life. Resolve to get out and about, proving there is a new life for you  and your children post break-up.”

Incredible.

Well Dr and Ms fancy-pants – if your profession was so good at sorting out people after their break up or divorce, then why is it that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th marriage divorce rates are exponentially getting worse on a global scale year-on-year? Only 14% of people married for a 3rd time have a chance at a happy ending. Your sage tips to ‘give it time’, ‘take your mind off things’ and ignore the issue by getting a ‘fresh make-up look’ is NOT HELPING the millions of people out there who are facing divorce every day.

Ok, rant over. Apologies for all the therapy-loving people out there. I think there is an important place for therapy and counselling in society but in my experience, many therapists have lost their way and become lazy or too focused on making money vs. actually helping people get over their break up or divorce.

Statistics show that people are not healing from their first divorce, so practically, people are carrying their weight in relationship baggage from one relationship to the next. Over the past ten years, this is a summary of the global marriage failure trend:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The average statistics across the USA, UK, Australian, South African, Canadian and New Zealand statistics over the past 12 years show that people are not healing from divorce leading to an increase in 2nd, 3rd and 4th marriage failures too.

Additionally, the Office of National Statistics in the UK and the USA Census Bureau has reported that over the past 10 years;

  • On average, over one third of marriages fail.
  • The most common age of divorced women is between 37 and 42.
  • At 49%, the USA has the highest divorce rate, followed closely by countries like the UK and Russia.
  • The average marriage lasts 11 years and in half of all divorces, there are children involved.
  • 50% of all divorced people say that they ‘felt there were things they could have done to prevent their divorce and they wish they had done more’.
  • 65% of people divorced for a 3rd or 4th time said that they wished they had handled their divorces in a more ethical and graceful way, taking a more active role in their healing. They also said that they wished they had gotten to the root cause of the break-up so that they didn’t ruin their next relationship.

Wow, now isn’t that fascinating :)

Ok, I know I am super sarcastic but it just infuriates me that good people are trusting the advice of these people and doing the best they can with this advice, only to find that they have not healed, have not gotten to the source of their divorce and are no further along the healing journey than when they started.

During the very early days of my divorce I took some action. I saw 2 therapists. This is what everyone said would be a good idea to do.

Both therapists told me that as I had been married for 7 years, it would probably take me at least 18 months – 2 years to get over the relationship and that I should ’take my time’.

The first therapist commenced the therapy session by taking me back to an incident from my youth. I was 2-years-old and was in hospital for many months due to a congenital hip birth defect. The doctors were spending months building me hip sockets and due to the strict rules of the hospital, my parents were not allowed to visit me very often. Consequently I developed some abandonment issues and rather than focus on the divorce, my therapist was linking my feelings related to the divorce to the fear I’d felt in childhood.

We explored that incident for some time and after 2 hours of deconstruction (and a hefty bill later), I left feeling thoroughly disempowered and confused. Not only had my husband ‘abandoned me’, my parents, doctors and family had abandoned me, and in turn, not only was I now annoyed with my former husband, I was now annoyed with the world too.

The parallel relevance of exploring the moment of abandonment in childhood and my husband leaving, although fascinating was not helping me get out of bed in the morning and deal with the issues right in front of me. I resolved that I did not want to spend months dissecting each aspect of my childhood in order to make sense of my divorce. I had very real issues to face in front of me right now. I wanted to talk about how I felt today and not about my life when I was 2-years-old. This process went on for a couple of weeks until I tried another therapist which was the same story.

Now, I know therapy works wonders for many people. I also know that it works very effectively in many situations and that millions of people all over the world choose therapy above any other process. Personally, it was very nice to have someone to talk to. I won’t knock that for a second.

I do, however, think that certain people do not have the patience for it and I count myself within this category. I wanted to get on with my healing. I wanted to take active steps and get to a place of empowerment again. I did not want to gaze longingly at my navel whilst I drifted back into my childhood.

I was seeking an alternative and in most cases, the clients who choose to work with me, have similar feelings.

My specific issues I had which then lead me to develop the naked divorce were:

  • I had no understanding of what I was going through and going to therapy didn’t give me any power in taking charge of my own healing. I felt dependent on my therapist.
  • It felt like we were going to do a great deal of analyzing during therapy and it was going to take an enormous amount of time. As human beings, we can tend to become fascinated by ourselves and our stories and I believe that taking great time to heal can be very destructive if we allow ourselves to become too self-indulgent. Renowned UK psychotherapist Nea Clark (http://www.balancedbusinessladies.com/) says “there is no need to indulge your feelings over a long period of time. Time doesn’t heal them. Better to do a program like the naked divorce and focus intensively on healing within a period of time. It’s healthier for your mind but also for your body”. Independent surveys conducted by the Stress Society of the United Kingdom have also shown that those who take a very proactive approach to healing, lead happier lives.
  • The healing process didn’t feel transparent, it felt like the therapists I saw had the secret to healing and the only way I was going to find out the secret was to commit to seeing them on a weekly basis for 18 months.
  • I felt that there was no goal or focus to my healing. The focus was rather on me fitting in whatever I needed to say within 1 hour. We would talk and I would say how I felt. This didn’t work for me.

 

  • My therapists were not experts in divorce. They were expert therapists and knew techniques for healing from all kinds of ailments. What I didn’t realize then and realize today is that divorce is a very specific set of circumstances and emotions and requires healing in a very specific way. Working with someone who didn’t specialize in those emotions and circumstances was not particularly useful.
  • My healing did not fit into the ‘let’s meet once a week for 1 hour’ structure. I required around-the-clock support with a phone call here, a text there, an email at 1 a.m. or a session with 1 day’s notice. I wanted a friend to walk with me through the process and not interact in a conventional way. Everything in my life was moving so fast that by the time my weekly session arrived, everything had changed and I spent the session catching my therapist up on my life VS actually making any real progress.

The REAL healing formula

I want to share a little secret with you – the real healing formula for divorce. I have worked on this particular theory with 67 people and this is what I found to work time-after-time:

Healing = SUM of 3 breakthroughs whilst keeping 3 critical factors in mind

That is it.

These 3 breakthroughs happen at any point and time plays no factor in these breakthroughs simply occuring. In fact, time plays no part in healing at all – it simply passes and waiting passively to heal whilst time passes, just wastes your life.

Healing is an active process and journey, requiring active engagement with the process. Basically stop stuffing around, waiting to heal – get busy with it and work on it.

The 3 breakthroughs are:

  1. Establishing a grounded routine so you can handle the transformation – in the naked divorce, this is called the Divorce Cocoon.
  2. Getting over your ex and processing your old relationship – in the naked divorce, this is called the Metamorphosis.
  3. Re-establishing your relationship with yourself redefining yourself, now that you are no longer married – in the naked divorce, this is called Release.

The 3 critical factors to keep in mind whilst healing is:

  1. Having a pressured environment — giving yourself a time restriction, combined with the pressure you naturally experience within your divorce creates perturbation which is an alteration or transformation which only occurs when you experience pressure whilst you have a cocoon or supportive environment with you. It’s the kind of breakthrough transformation that happens when you go through a near-death experience or life-threatening experience. These transformations are utterly life-changing and incredible. Divorce can be a catalyst for this kind of life-changing transformation, if you let it
  2. Having the right kind of support – in the naked divorce, we talk about interviewing someone to be your Divorce Angel. This person can be someone in your life – but it has got to be someone who will hold your hand as well as kick your butt. Criteria for choosing one is covered in my book
  3. Follow the critical habits for transformation – Stephen Covey created the 7 habits of highly effective people – WELL to heal, there are 7 habits for transformative healing. Ensuring you eat well, handle your emotions properly, behave appropriately at work, don’t engage in short term emotion avoidance tactics, have a good game plan and ultimately take daily action and focus intensively on your healing – then you will not only get over your divorce – people will NOT actually recognise you when you are over it.

Ultimately, stop listening to Dr so-and-so and these pathetic old-wives myths about healing and taking your time. They don’t work and causing families to be ripped apart. Take action. Get busy healing or get busy dying – the choice, I leave to you.

With love and a touch of Xmas cheer

 

Why people drift apart when married…

Far from running from the idea of relationships during my divorce, I found myself fascinated by the dynamics of successful relationships. I wanted to learn everything I could about relationships and what makes them successful. This model from world-renowned life coach and self-help author Antony Robbins made an enormous difference to my life. Essentially, he moves through the cycles of how we communicate with each other in a romantic relationship and how, if we’re not vigilant, intimacy and love can break down. The 5 R’s are:
 Resistance
 Resentment
 Rejection
 Resignation
 Repression

Initially, you start out your married life with some kind of hope for a prosperous relationship. You’re in love, your partner is amazing and everything is perfect. One day, something happens. He says something unkind or does something that elicits resistance in you. You get that “Whoa! Hold on, that was not OK!” feeling. This initial resistance is a completely normal reaction to learning new things about your partner and also normal for any behavior he displays that is not OK with you. As women, we often assume that men will know when they’ve done or said something wrong. So we wait for them to acknowledge this by sulking or withdrawing into silence.

Some men are very perceptive and will know something’s up, others won’t have a clue that their behavior has made their partner unhappy. When we keep quiet about our resistance, the feeling can shift into resentment. Many people in unhealthy relationships simply avoid facing reality. Sometimes this can be because the people involved may be trying to make themselves appear superior. Or perhaps they don’t want to face the fact that their mates really aren’t who they say they are, or that they’ve fallen from the ‘perfect mate’ perch.

For example, Anne B covers up and makes excuses for her mate, Ben B, who is always late from work and almost always misses family functions. She might be trying to avoid the truth: that he’s a workaholic, or having an affair. She does so because she doesn’t want to destroy their ‘perfect couple’ image in everyone’s eyes – and perhaps even in her own eyes.

It’s like ignoring that broken handle on a door in your home or not replacing that light bulb. If you don’t address the resentment, other resistances and other resentments will begin to build up. Once there is some momentum with your resentment, then you or your partner may begin to experience rejection within the relationship.

Once rejection creeps into a relationship, it becomes overwhelming and makes it difficult to create or sustain an intimate sexual relationship. Those of us who have been married a long time know that once the relationship feels strained, the regularity of sex is affected, and things can spiral downhill very quickly. The bed becomes divided into ‘his’ and ‘hers’ zones and intimacy suffers. Even the smallest things he says or does are irritating and more resistance, resentment and rejection builds up. If you don’t discuss your feelings of rejection, then your relationship can shift into the place of resignation.

This is when you can so easily slip into co-habitation; operating as housemates or mere friends. Passion, love and chemistry, and all the elements needed to maintain the spark and fire within the relationship, exit through the window. You can end up with an amicable friendship.

This is dangerous! Contentment and harmony are wonderful hallmarks of a marriage, but be sure they’re not camouflaging deep resignation in a relationship. When left too long, resignation can lead to repression. We’ve all been out to dinner and watched the married couple opposite sitting in complete silence. They’re courteous to one another and exchange pleasantries, but perhaps they have succumbed to resignation or repression and no longer actively discuss their relationship.

Repression completely kills the passion and chemistry in a relationship. At this point you may begin to question your commitment to the relationship. You may wonder if your partner was ever right for you. You may begin to spend hours day-dreaming about escaping from the relationship. When we’re not claimed as women by our men in a relationship, we can become obsessed with romance and escapism, daydreaming about being rescued from the disappointing reality of life and marriage.

When you’re removed from the reality of your relationship and your life and escape into a fantasy world, then you’re in real danger of seeking fulfillment outside your relationship and marriage. This is fertile ground for cheating. This is when the ‘midlife crisis’ happens. This is when we start eating for comfort.

Because we didn’t communicate openly, vulnerably and humanly about all the little resentments, in the moment, they built up and killed the relationship.

Here is a video describing this in more detail:

So I here is an exercise which I want you to do together with your partner every day to defuse some of the stress you both have. Once you have de-stressed then start focusing on managing the 5 R’s in your relationship.

Every evening when you have put the kids to bed, I want you to do the following:

BUCKET YOUR FRUSTRATIONS

  • Go fetch a bucket (a real one) and sit together with no TV or chaos in the background with the bucket between you both
  • You start by vomitting your frustrations into the bucket – it’s not allowed to be aimed at him or aimed at fighting with him – he is not allowed to respond except to acknowledge that he hears what you are saying – aim it into the bucket and vent everything that is pissing you off about life, how life should be, what your finances should be like not like etc.
  • The job is – JUST LISTEN
  • He will ask if you are done – if not, keep going until the bucket is full and you can think of nothing else annoying you
  • THEN he will ask again if you are done, if you are – you both pick up the bucket and throw out these frustrations out of the window or door
  • Now it’s his turn
  • You also are not allowed to engage in conversation – he simply will vent his frustrations into this bucket – everything will go into it
  • You need to listen only and not argue or speak – just allow him to vent and encourage him to vent so he learns to speak more about how he feels about life
  • You will ask if he is done – if not, encourage him to keep going until the bucket is full and he can think of nothing else annoying him
  • THEN you will ask again if he is done, if he is – you both pick up the bucket and throw out these frustrations out of the window or door

GRATITUDE

Now you both take turns to say what you are grateful for about your life. Your lives are actually very rich and amazing BUT because you dont focus on that, you dont see this. I want you both to come up with at least 5 things you are grateful for

CREATE TOMORROW

Now you both take turns to say what you will accomplish tomorrow. This is important because at the moment, life is happening to both of you – neither of you say how you want your life to go or feel like you have any control over your lives. Examples include: I will finish the filing tomorrow, I will take a nap in the afternoon and find someone to take care of the kids etc. It will also be good for your husband to share with you more about his job.

The goal for the next week is to do this exercise daily. Once we have you both calmer and in a place where you can defuse the stress, we will move onto next steps!

Till next time!