Okay, so you and your mate have been through it all. You have begun discussing separation, maybe even the big “D” word. If you have further decided that divorce is not an option, then here are some tips for truly starting anew.
Starting anew means just that. Everyone gets a clean slate. You must both forgive and forget in order to move on. Moving on does not mean giving someone a free pass to do what they have done before, but it does mean that you do not bring up past failures. If you are going to forgive and forget, then do so. If you have a big fight, that does not give you a free pass to bring up the past. The past is the past. Leave it there.
Trusting completely is another step towards moving away from a painful experience. Trust is lost when someone betrays their mate. Breaking trust can happen in many ways. Whether your mate let you down by not doing as promised or they cheated on a monogamous relationship, trust must be restored completely.
Hanging someone on the cross every time you are suspicious is not a positive step forward. Either you trust or you do not. The person who has done the betraying can only promise to do right by you. They cannot prove themselves unless you give them the chance. Please note that by the time a couple begins discussing the “D” word, it is likely that both mates have performed betrayal of some sort.
It does not matter who started it. It does not make any sense to punish one another over and over. Someone has to take the first step and it may as well be you.
Try to get into the other person’s head. Try to understand what is happening when they are yelling at you. Try to understand that although they are expressing themselves badly, they are hurt and afraid. Try to understand their position. Hear what they are truly saying instead of what they appear to be saying. Get to know your mate.
Do not react to provocation. Just because your mate is behaving badly does not justify you doing the same type of behavior. Choose your words. Choose when you will discuss the problem. Stay in control of yourself and remember you cannot control your mate.
Change your old patterns. He comes home late, you begin to panic. Stop thinking the worst. Stop imagining him getting a little something from the hottie with whom he works. When he gets home, greet him with loving open arms instead of anger and suspicion. If he is sitting on the sofa instead of looking for work, then do not criticize. Instead sit beside him for a minute and tell him how much you love him. A minute of love lasts forever and does more to motivate than an hour long critique of all he is doing wrong.
Begin new rituals that restore intimacy. Date night is always a great first step. NOTHING gets in the way of date night. Unless one of you is having a heart attack, the date is on. Take turns planning a date. Plan to do something you both enjoy. Plan to do something he enjoys. Plan to do something you enjoy.
If he loves the rodeo, then go to the rodeo with him. Do not try to love the rodeo, instead watch him enjoying the rodeo. Figure out what it is he loves about the rodeo. Love him loving the rodeo. . Learn what fascinates him and why.
Take a weekend getaway as often as possible. Seeing someone in a different, relaxed environment is a great way to get reacquainted. You need not fly to Hawaii, just go to the motel down the street and have a swim.
See only the positive in your mate. See all that he does right instead of all that he does wrong. Give him kudos for his progress. Do the same with yourself. See only what you do right in the relationship. Do not hang yourself on the cross for mistakes. See your positives. Seeing positives creates more of the same in the relationship.
Have a meeting once a week to discuss your relationship. Really practice positive communication. Do not criticize. Tell your mate how you feel. Practice what and how you are going to say something before the meeting. Do not go in all fired up with the idea of making him do or feel anything. Be calm, be loving and be nurturing. Practice active listening. Hear what is said and repeat it back to your partner explaining what you heard.
Be willing to experiment. Try new things. Work the plan you set with your mate. Set goals and reach them. Pay attention to what your mate is going through instead of just how it affects you. Be as good to your mate as you are to your child, your parents, your siblings, your best friend. Remember that ultimately this is the person with whom you have chosen to spend your life and the quality of that life is as dependent on your actions and thoughts and feelings as it is his.
By Maria Etta Anabel
Maria Etta Anabel is a relationship energy therapist. If you are having relationship issues, you may contact her at: [email protected]