Category Archives: codependency in relationships

Losing Oneself


These words make me pensive.

They make me delve deeper into myself.

There are many ways to interpret them:

Losing oneself…

in writing,

in one’s work,

in another’s arms,

in daydreams,

in tasks,

in crafts,

in creating,

in music,

in art,

in church,

in Nature,

in a Higher Being,


in a book,

on your path in life,

in space and time,

on the waters, drifting…

in addictions,






losing your mind,

in depression,

and in countless ways.

It is important not to ‘lose yourself.’

It is meaningful to go~ beyond yourself.

It makes a stronger relationship, if

you are you, and they are they.

Don’t go off the deep end, please!

I’d place my ‘bet’ on you being a

winner, in whatever ways you choose

to contribute to this world.

Take comfort, reach out if you need

a shoulder to lean on.

Three songs that cheer me up when I am

thinking of sad times,

1. “Go Your Own Way” by Lindsey Buckingham,

Fleetwood Mac album, “Rumours,” released

in 1977.

2. “I’ll Be There,” sung by the Jackson Five,

featuring Michael Jackson. This song was

written by a team known as the Corporation,

including Berry Gordy, Bob West, Hal Davis

and Willie Hutch. This was their third album,

released in 1970.

3. “With a Little Help From My Friends,”

(Written for “The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely

Hearts Club Band” album with Ringo as

the singer, in the character of “Billy

Shears.”) Released in 1967. Joe Cocker

sang this at Woodstock in 1969. Someone

at work had thought Joe wrote it, but it

was written as a collaboration between

Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Oh, and

I had to look up this fact, now you know

too that the Beatles came BEFORE the

legendary Woodstock!)

Try not to lose yourself in a negative

way and keep your chin up,.

I hope, mainly, you will find yourself.

Here in the colder part of the country,

I feel for the even more frigid areas,

those up North and East of us!

Its Not Meant to Be


An Analysis of Recent Dates

My world is spinning, things have spun out of control.

Here is a bit of advice and wisdom from someone who has

been around awhile, past fifty years.

Wearing a t-shirt to a possible picnic, okay.

Wearing a t-shrit with holes and too short so when arms

are raised, belly shows, not okay.

Bringing a gift to meet someone’s mother, appropriate

and shaving is always nice, too.

Not thinking at all of these polite gestures, seems ‘out of

touch’ and possibly lacking respect.

My Dad was a “diamond in the rough,” Mom shares on the


I prefer not to tell her the “nitty, gritty” details…

After a wonderful date, mentioning how “horny” one is,

when in your teens or twenties, okay.

When same thing happens at age forty-six, not okay.

Spending time driving home from a far off place, nice.

Driving home and saying three days are ‘just too much

time spent together’ and would ‘like to get a 12 pack’ to

help a guy move into your apt. building, to get a “buzz

on,” not nice.

Focusing on texting about my surface appearance, sounds

very sweet,

But not looking deeper, means that I am an “object.”

Daily texts exceeding 40-50 times, even while I am mentioning

I have other plans, (including relaxing), not so sweet.

Keeping in touch through phone calls and texts for confirming

plans and saying “hello,” “good morning,” and “have a good

time!” are wonderful and reassuring.

Keeping in touch, and when I don’t answer within an hour,

asking if I am “mad” or breaking up,” not normal reactions.

Dependence deserves time,

independence needs to be the “norm.”

Keeping the “ship afloat” by daily contact is a friendly habit.

Keeping “even keel” helps the boat keep moving forward

and staying “cool” is the best kind of temperament.

Constant contact prevents the fun and interesting “longing” and

“missing” each other.

Anticipation is such a sweet emotion!

I enjoyed the fun, attention and youthful energy shown for the past

month. Sometimes, though, there were some “warning signals” that

I tend to always ignore.

Steps to build and create a relationship takes lots of time and effort,

but not all at once. Establishing ground rules must be done in a way

that both parties are contributing their thoughts, values and their


Nothing permanent for this man who really tries hard to please.

Someone out there will benefit from the shower of attention and

be happy with the possibilities.

We were faced with almost ‘polar opposite’ personalities and habits.

It would have taken too much work to make these two puzzle pieces

fit together.

There are women who don’t mind spending time and indulging their

younger men. Both sexes have those who tend to want to “mold” their

partners. There are the “cougars” who are famous for this. Then, there

are the men like Svengali and Henry Higgins (character), for example.

But, I have been the “acceptor” and the “fixer” so many times in the

past. These roles wear thin quickly at my age.

It was “fun while it lasted.” I had my hopes up but gradually, I saw the

concerns forming.

Nothing personal and I hope all who read this can find their way and

find their partner. I had parents who felt the other one was their

“better half” and “soul mate.” I wish all, out there, to have this, too.


Although good friends are great to have, my search continues…


Safe relationships


I have written a few posts about my own personal experiences

with control and abuse, along with the battered women’s

shelter job as the Child Advocate. In my stories, I try to indicate

that everyone should be loved, cared about and treated in a kind

way, whether married or in a relationship. I encourage men also

to find that secure and “safe” love.

I have watched several movies over the years that had good

content, ideas and moving stories about women’s struggles

to get free and improve their lives. My story about the woman,

Maria, who lived in my apartment building was a haunting

one that from time to time, I stop and stand still. A prayer comes

to mind, then I try not to worry about her.

I just watched, “Safe Haven” and would recommend it. Although

it is not as wonderful as Nicholas Sparks’ book and following

movie, “The Notebook” which dealt with another serious subject,

Alzheimers and dementia. Both James Garner as the patient elderly

husband and Gena Rowlands make that movie meaningful through

their subtle portrayals of a couple who have been together many

years. The younger actors, Ryan Gosling and Rachel Mc Adams

portray the couple as younger and more impetuous, combatting

some class issues and yet, overcoming them.

Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergen were in the movie, “Sleeping with

the Enemy.” The story made from a book, covered similar subject of a

scary, angry husband as found in “Safe Haven.” Julia’s character has

to “fake” her own death to get away from her abusive husband.

Another fine movie, “Enough,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Billy

Campbell covers the abuse theme but I like the proactive moves that

Jennifer’s character chooses. She begins to train in getting fit by learning

skills called “Krav Maga” which teach her strength. She learns that she

must listen to her own voice and approaches her ex-husband in his own

home, breaking in to scare him one last time to leave her alone.

Jennifer’s character has hidden his guns and weapons. She pretends to be

hurt and weak, then strikes back. I won’t tell you more but I liked the fact

that she did not just hide and try to make a new life. She tries this, but the

movie and story goes beyond running, gives some other areas to develop.

I think that in “Safe Haven” it is interesting to have the “bad” man be a cop.

He makes his way  southward to Atlanta by flashing his badge to get

information. Somehow, he lands in the nice, peaceful town where the woman

lives and had found her “safe haven.” Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough

are the beautiful actors that depict the future happy couple. The chilling cop

and ex-husband “villain” is portrayed by David Lyons.

Although each movie promotes the idea of freedom from abuse and control,

I find that the dependence on a “new man” a little disconcerting. It is always

nice to have hope of a better life, more friends, and possibly a new love. But

it would be nice to show the women standing on her own two feet, being

happy and secure on their own first. Finding that “safe haven” within oneself

really is the best way to move forward wherever you head after getting out of

an abusive or controlling relationship.

Self Love


We all need a healthy dose of self love to get through this world

in a successful way. There are some who have too much of a

dose of this and they are labeled, “narcissists.”

I am going to tell you of a man who I once knew and dated

It was long enough ago that I am not worried that he would

associate this post with himself, if he would stumble upon

reading my blog.

This man had what one dear friend later, much later, revealed

to me: “A stable of women who were attractive ponies he liked

to take out and trot around town with.”

Wish I had known that BEFORE I dated the man!

This attentive man seemed to anticipate all that would make me

happy. Looking back, he had quite a charming and smooth

manner about him. He showered me in the first few weeks

with nice meals, special words, extravagant gifts and the

ability to look deeply into my eyes. He seemed to absorb all

of my desires and produced tickets to a theatre production

and one concert. Along with being interested in rubbing my

feet and back after a couple of  long days.

There were of course, since I am telling you a story about a

narcissist, evidences dropped like hints of the underbelly or

seamier side to him along the way. If I should after he listened

to my recounting my  busy day, interrupt him as he was starting

to tell me about his day, a flash of anger shot through me like

daggers from his eyes. He was able to tamp it down within a

short moment though. Less noticeable but there. Other subtle

hints of things to come. He wanted me to meet his family so

we traveled out of town. At dinner, while his  6 year old niece

was eating quietly, he proceeded to start a rather pompous

story about his military responsibilities at his past weekend

reserve duty. Sandy accidentally asked,

“Uncle ____ did you know I have a recital next week?”

He kept on talking, as if she were a gnat and he wouldn’t even

bother to swat at it.

I interrupted his long reserve duty story to ask,

“Hey, did you hear Sandy has a recital coming up?” and I

turned to her and asked, “What are you going to wear?”

As a teacher, sometimes I learned that adults can remember

the subject matter of what they may want to continue talking

about, so assumed he would be okay listening to her answers.

When she was done, he did this hurt (passive aggressive action)

thing when I asked “Now what were you saying about such and


He answered, “Never mind.”

On the way home from his brother and sister in law’s

house, I was given a searing scolding about how ‘we

don’t interrupt’ and ‘children need to seen and not


Being the way I am, since this was only the first or second

time I had heard him lose his cool, I assumed he was just tired.

I rationalized his behavior. I did not worry about the situation.

The next time we had dinner after he came back from reserve,

I asked him while we were eating and catching up on each

other’s weekends,

“So, how many people do you stay in touch with between

weekends?” (Meaning do you have friends that you hang

out with from reserve?) He scowled at me and asked me,

“What do you mean by that?”

I then said what I meant and he was very nasty about the fact

that it was ‘not my business.’

I had more men that were friends during this period so I

just put this egotistical man on the “back burner.” There

were too many warning signs that he was demanding and


Now, there is, and always should be, good self image in the

people you surround yourself with. Many successful people

have strong, assertive natures. They surround themselves

with others like themselves and understand about not

taking themselves too seriously. They need to share their

experiences without bruised egos when there are expressed

differences in their approaches. Sigmund Freud addresses

both healthy self love and narcissism in his psychological

studies and books. His book, “On Narcissism” may be

helpful but is challenging to me to read. There are many

other newer studies and professionals who write about

this subject.

The moment that I started to appear busy and did not answer

this man’s phone calls, he was like a changed man! His

responses on the phone when I did answer, were caring and

thoughtful. He inquired about ‘what had he done?’ Also, he

insisted that I needed a nice meal out at a fancy restaurant.

He would not take “no” for an answer! I backed down and

stopped resisting him. Instantly, he was so pleased and told

me the time to be ready.

We had a pleasant evening and I allowed him to talk about

his own career and did not inquire about his military reserve

duty at all. When we were saying ‘good night’ I mentioned

that I had to go to a professional workshop that would mean

I was out of town all day the following Saturday. He said,

“No problem. Have a nice time and hope it is more meaningful

than most workshops are.”

Once I got back into town, I asked my girlfriend if she would

want to go out, last minute notice? We went to a local dance

and sports bar. We were dressed fairly casually and I was just

wanting to have a relaxing time. We looked at the dance floor

as we sometimes were searching for a couple of our other

girls that would possibly be out. There on the dance floor,

was the man I had been dating. The woman with him

was tall and lanky. She had dark, long hair and she was

wearing dress that I would call a “party” dress. Or maybe

even a “New Year’s Eve” dress.

Granted we had had only five or six dates, so we did not

have any verbal promises, but I was hurt. I had become

attached to this prideful man. We both looked at each

other, he kept dancing and did not indicate by a wave of

his hand nor a smile that he recognized me.

I turned around and started walking out, my girlfriend

was chatting with someone. I had gotten to the door

when he was pushing through the standing room only

crowd. I heard him saying, “Excuse me, excuse me.”

He called, “Robin, wait!”

I felt so lucky to be able to turn and say, “Don’t bother

explaining yourself! We really don’t have that much in


Years later, I met a man that I ran into who knew him and

had served along side him at Rickenbacker for Air Force

Reserve that this man I had briefly (thankfully!) dated,

used to, in his words, “Banging every cadet there was

who would go into a supply closet with him!”

Well, it is like ‘the other shoe dropped.’

That explains that!



I Was a Rebound Girl More Than Once!


Lunch Table Talk

While listening to one of my friends talking about how she

had finally met a good “rebound guy” I am thinking back to

my unfortunate experiences of this in a reverse role. I cringe

inside as I listen to her saying things about the “man who is

going to get me over Dave!” (A Christmas through Easter

romance.) I have genuine concern for this recent “nice guy”

who is ‘wining and dining’ her.

I was a “rebound girl” at least twice in my life. I was so caught

up with the first young man, it did not dawn on me,

“This might not last!”

When it was close to being over, I got clingy. When I knew it

was definitely over, I went into near hysterics. I was very bereft

at the time. I thought that my involvement with this man would

be different from his ex-girlfriend’s fate. Although he had been

adamant to express her blame in the break-up, I had my doubts

as the “nails in my coffin” were in place! He had many times

given me some foreshadowing that could have been warnings

to stay clear of this man!

Here are a few of the signs you need to proceed with caution:

1.  Every woman this man has been involved with caused the

break up or created the friction that ended the relationship.

This negativity can at first cause you to lend a very sympathetic

ear. (Oh yeah! I listened and murmured such empathetic

comments into this man’s ears. I vowed to never be as MEAN

as that EX was!)

Or the complete opposite is another possible warning as in:

2.  The woman (or man) is always placed on a pedestal or

held in such high esteem you wonder,

“Why did he leave her in the first place?”

I have run into this one time where she was “Miss Perfect.”

Everyone, including me, paled in comparison with the glowing

description and details that should never have been imparted

to my vivid imagination! I think of the Beatles’ song, “Something

in the Way She Moves Me.” This song depicts this princess who

you need to realize you will try and try to win this man’s love, with

no possibility of overpassing this woman’s fine attributes.

Either way, situation one or situation two, you might as well give

up and move forward.

I lingered too long when the person was in the comparison stage.

I did not realize how many situations this would impact our

relationship. I could not cook the holiday meal as well. I could not

decorate or wrap presents in the wonderful way she did. I did not

like this but somehow it set me up for my competitive self to kick it

into high gear. When it was finally gasping its final gasping breath,

I realized there was relief after not being able to be “Miss Perfect.”

Now, let’s dish! Please tell me, have you ever been the rebound

person? Have you ever had a relationship purely to ‘get over’

another person? (In other words, you got involved to rebound

from that other person?) Now, come on, we are all friends

and confidantes, aren’t we?




Love is the Air!


There is love in the air recently with the warm breath of Spring coaxing it along!

There are two stories to prove it is happening close to us around here!

Scott C. (worker at Advance Auto) who recently went through a divorce, had

some good news. I had written a story about him mentioning his young age

of 30 years old and being a childhood friend of my middle child, and only

son. Scott had been online talking to a woman who is a teacher. Scott came

up to me at work to tell me first he had been chatting for almost a month.

Recently, Scott and his online acquaintance had been Skypeing. When he

heard she was going to Pennsylvania for Easter he felt an impulse to act!

He looked up her hotel online and started to think, “Hey, my kids are with

their mother for the holiday and my parents are going out of state to visit my

brother and sister in law… Maybe, I could meet her for the first time and

surprise her in PA!”

Well, if that isn’t a sweet thought, I don’t know what is! I realized to go over

7 hours driving one way would be a truly romantic gesture that only a young

and impulsive man might do! (Would a middle aged man do that for me?

Hmmm…. I wish!) Scott also made a hotel reservation at the same hotel for

himself where she would be staying at with her two Kentucky friends. The

three women would be traveling together since her friends had been invited

to her parents’ house.

This surprising her could have gone either of two ways! He could impress her

and make her very happy or he could embarrass himself ! (OR it could go over like

a lead balloon!) I was so happy to hear the end of the story and the pleasant results

that everything went smoothly. She said she already had a “big crush” on him and

now, she was beginning to “fall in LOVE” with him! He got to meet her family and

he said they really liked him also. Her friends that were staying at the hotel due to

her parents’ smaller home and tight quarters, also liked him. Scott did not expect to

be invited to the dinner, just had hoped to be able to go out with the three women on

their first night there (Good Friday).

Scott C. is a good catch and he stumbled upon her in an online chat room for

singles. Just a word of encouragement for those looking and using these places.

Another happy start to his new life as a single man, is a story involving a nice

man named Chad A. He is also a coworker of mine. I have become over time his

second mother. He is probably vaguely referred to in my posts that include my

breakroom and lunch table mates. Jill, Anna, Peggy and David are some of the

rest of the fellow group members.

Chad had married three years ago after meeting a woman named Pat at a friend’s

party. He had taken his bride to the hospital to see his mother who was not doing

so well with chemo treatments for her cancer. He had felt closer to Pat in a short

time than any other relationship from his post high school days. He now looks back

and can see the signs of future trouble but did not pay attention at the time. He feels

being distraught over his mother’s ongoing cancer and rapid health deterioration

made him make a rash decision to get married while she was alive. He and Pat made

uncomplicated arrangements with a short amount of time with help from Pat’s parents

and some financial help from his father. We, at work, were happy for Chad to have Pat

to support him through a lot of his mother’s ailment.

Chad asked his mother if she was really sure she wanted his bride and he to go on their

honeymoon after the wedding? His Mom said, like the amazing mother she was,

“It is my only source of joy, Chad!” These words created a powerful effect on all of us

while listening to his plans three years ago.

They had had their family’s pastor marry them in the hospital chapel.

The two families had their small reception with finger sandwiches and cake served in

a conference or gathering room. Chad’s mother was tired but able to attend.

Chad and Pat hugged her frail, upright body in the wheelchair and said they loved her.

She replied, “I love you both. Now go and celebrate your marriage!”

While Chad and his bride were on their Caribbean cruise, his mother died. Unusually

so, his father and brother did not call him. This took courage and a lot of love on his

small family’s decision to wait until the newlyweds came home. They met the couple

at the airport and then, still waited to take them out to a quiet restaurant. That is where

they told Chad and Pat that his mother had passed away. His father emphasized,

“This is what your mother wanted for you, Chad! To be happy, to be married and to not

know if she died until the honeymoon was over.”

Fast forward  to only one year ago, Chad was struggling immensely with the burden of a

virtually psychotic wife. He was at his wit’s end and had asked for his Dad, his father- and

mother- in- law along with his brother to join him at his small house out in Kilbourne.

Chad had these people wait on the porch until all were gathered, he served them iced tea

and cookies.

Chad said he started to weep but would not tell them what was wrong. He had them enter

the house together. This was during Spring, 2012 and it was already hot and we had started

working our ten hour days. He was worn out in more than one way.

What the families saw shocked them! Chad’s wife had allowed clutter to pile to the ceiling

in their short two year marriage. She did not work at all, so Chad had decided to be the

‘chief cook and bottle washer.’ Chad had tried to decide what responsibilities to carry out

and what he had decided would be a fair amount for Pat to do while she stayed at home

not working at all. Finally, with some periodic conversations with us at work about

where he  should draw the lines. He had decided not to touch or handle all of Pat’s clothes

and magazines that she seemed to accumulate daily into big messes. He enjoyed taking the

dog outside. He also drove Pat to the psychiatrist for her weekly visits.

On this Spring day, he had asked this close knit family group here that day to see for

themselves what he had been living with for the past two years.

He wanted to ask for forgiveness, he did not want to carry on any longer the charade he had

kept hidden.

We had counseled him at our work between the five of us, three older divorced women

and Anna, the widow, plus occasionally a man named Melvyn. We all had helped him to

decide to take Pat to a counselor.

This action had not been easy for Chad to almost force Pat to leave the house to go to the

mental health center. We had suggested him to seek Christian counseling for their marriage

from their pastor. Chad had felt guilty and done a lot of worrying about his not having a “good

reason for seeking a divorce.” We had compassion and also, most importantly, we felt as his

‘surrogate mothers,’he needed permission to give up the sinking ship!

None of the family had gone to their house since they had been married. Mostly, Chad had

chosen to always go to Pat’s or his Dad’s house. Only a few times had they been able to afford

to go out to eat or meet at a restaurant.

The intervention lasted an hour with Pat sitting on the sofa listening. Chad continued to show

remorse and cried throughout. When his Dad said, “Whatever my son wants to do, I am 100%

behind him!” Chad was shocked because in his few times he would complain about Pat to his

Dad, his father had always said, “You need to try harder.”

His brother and his mother in law were in sympathy for Pat. His father in law, in contrast,

almost yelled at his daughter,

“What is the matter with you? You never were allowed to make such a mess under our roof!”

Chad gave them a final tour of the house. None of Chad’s clothes were in piles, he walked

them to his closet where even his work t-shirts were on hangers. He had no mess on his

half of the bedroom and the kitchen was very clean. The area where Pat sat and watched

television all day was cluttered and dirty with dishes, food wrappers and magazines.

Chad explained he gave her $40 for groceries and she almost always would buy junk food

and only a few good choices. He had gotten in the habit of stopping by a Subway to get his

lunch food, sandwiches or soup and a salad. We had noticed some of this and heard of most

of it over the years.

Anyway, the love found on the internet last Fall, 2012 after the divorce was “just a friendship.”

Chad had found a woman who listened to all his recent troubles. This remarkable woman who

was 26 years (Chad is 31 years old) was willing to be his friend. They went to parks and engaged

healthy, outdoor activities together. She had drawn a line with any kind of romance. She really

wanted him to be soundly single and not make her the “rebound relationship.” Chad is a trusting

man so we worried when he started this so soon after the summer’s divorce. But we did encourage

him to relax and have some fun!

Last Friday, while walking around Delaware, Anna and I ran into Chad and Miranda! We were

so pleased, they approached us holding hands and looking all “moony” at each other. We waved

from a distance and Chad said something to her and then waved back. We crossed the street where

the laser tag and different games were going on, surprised we even spotted him through the crowd.

They are both tall and Miranda has strawberry blonde layered hair. They looked perfect together!

We are so glad that  we had helped him to move on in his life. It was an enormous decision to


By giving up a marriage that was weighing him down, mainly holding on because his mother

had given her blessing. The last thing she had emphasized had been to say their marriage was

her reason she would hold onto life. We have to hope she sees Chad is happy and would want this

to be the way it ends up.

Being the angel Chad’s mother was, she may have changed her blessing to “Be happy!”

Love is a Battlefield


This is going to appear as a stream of consciousness on

the subjects of marriage, relationships that fall apart,

whether or not some are salvageable or not. Then how

to handle divorce.

Love warfare can mean “all’s fair in love and war!”

We have all been down in the trenches with someone we

had a commitment with and wanted to make it work.

Let’s start with dating situations…

Don’t be a doormat. When you meet a man you can come

across as someone who is strong and assertive without

being bossy or the opposite; whiny and weak. The best way

to be able to present yourself in a dating situation is to be

happy and act as if everyone is your best friend. That does

not mean be too comfortable!

I am going to tell you something, this is directed to either a

man or a woman: Don’t be listening to stories about his or

her ex! This is something that I meet men and they want to

start to spill their guts about all that went wrong. Wrong! I

am not your counselor and I am sure that we may eventually

talk about your problems and take out the baggage. But never

start on a first date! Please, trust me on this!

When you become the “listening date” you are ‘losing ground’

and losing the chance in becoming the next person that this

date will have in their life! You will only be a “rebound” friend.

You will cover all kinds of bonding and feel like you are building

a great foundation and BOOM! You are out of the frontline of this

person’s interest. You think, “But I am only being nice by


Please don’t defend this strategy.  I am speaking from

experience. Been there, done that!

You need to get an edge!

My Mom has an interesting perspective (age plus some wisdom that

comes with age!) She says, “Try moving in a different direction to get

attention. Try a new recipe, hobby, read an article to share,… because

like magnets, people are attracted to others who are moving away from

them. It is FUN to be chased!” My mother said one time, “Go on your

merry way and soon right behind you, almost on your heels, is who you

wanted to catch all along.”

I am looking forward to some input that will validate this position.

Let’s go on to marriages or committed relationships…

Now, I am speaking on the subject of unfaithfulness. I have felt the pain

of being the one who is not being loved. But I do think you may need to

decide if there is any chance, especially if there are children, to reconcile.

This is not the way you would expect me to respond! I know!

Be strong while dating and be compromising if trying to save a family.

Children are the casualties in the war between the spouses.

“If you want something bad enough, you will fight for it!”

Men or women, gird your loins, gear up and get ready for the battle of

the century!

May the best man/woman WIN!

Hopefully, you will be the last one standing with your mate side by side.

Unfaithfulness can be fixed, it takes a lot of effort, and tons of forgiveness.

Letting the hurt one tell what really needs to be done to reassure him or her,

by having a counselor guide the couple through the problems until they are


Draw your lines in the sand, letting him or her know what won’t be allowed

to happen in the future.

No repeated mistakes or ‘there’s the door!’

Give it your “best shot.” Once you start that path back to a healthy

marriage, be gentle with each other’s hearts.

And if after counseling and trying to get the spark back, you both agree

the damage is done and the marriage is over….

If you don’t make it back to that place where you are secure together, try

to remember again, if you have children, to make sure you develop as

close a friendship as you can. After the damage has been done, moving

towards the patching of a relationship after the divorce to be a sane and

peaceful one filled with open communication is important.

Give up the fight, lick your wounds and move forward one step at a time.

I have a very good friend who was in the military and an officer. Sue and

her husband were back at “home” on the base for a period of time. She

had been trying to unwind (basically, “detox” from the action) and get

acclimated to being not in such a stressful place anymore. Meanwhile,

her husband  was spending a lot of time at either the officer’s club,

playing pool, drinking or socializing.

Sue felt he was “escaping from the horrors we had experienced.” She

also overheard a rumor going around the base that he was having an

affair. They talked, she found out the truth and since there were no kids

they decided to dissolve their marriage. One thing she knew was, she

could have pursued a court martial! I was not aware of this potential

blow to this man, but she told me that was true. A married officer is not

to be unfaithful on the base nor with another military person. Instead

she chose 50% of his assets and pension. My friend “won” money but

also chose to not ‘re-up.’ She got out of the military, feeling very remorseful

since they had gone in young, stuck together during skirmishes in the Iraq

war and now, she was alone.

Another unfaithful story makes me upset just thinking about it! A young man

chooses who he considers the “hottest girl in high school” and goes after her.

He marries her, somewhere down the road 3 years and they have 2 children.

She is working during the day and he is working afternoon shift. He has an

affair with the woman’s best friend and neighbor. He thinks it is funny, he

says, “One day the wife comes home and just misses the action going on.

Clothes are on but not even buttoned and she carries in the 2 toddlers and

doesn’t notice. Can you imagine how out of touch she is to her husband?”

This story was told me in the Fall and I was appalled. I guess the laughter is

one reason for me to see “red.” The other is that he chose her and now, she’s

a mother to his children and she is no longer enough?  It hurts me to think

back to a different time, a different scenario during my personal life. I heard

the similar attitude from the man I was married to and raising children while

he had several affairs.

I tried to fight to save the love especially for the children’s sake.

If given a chance, couples should try counseling and hope that the therapist

is able to give them steps to repair the relationship. I have read a few Ladies’

Home Journal Magazines over the years where the counselor is able to convince

the couple that they still love each other. Soon they have put their marriage and

love as a higher priority than the affair that could have wrecked their marriage.

Hope springs eternal!

The words Inner Strength come to mind. The hurt one by unfaithfulness needs to

use Inner Resolve to get through to the other side.

I like the song that has these lyrics from Rodney Atkins,

“If you’re going through Hell, keep on going, don’t slow down.

If you’re scared, don’t show it.

You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there.”

Now, because I have used the word Hell, I want to make a final statement about

what marriages should not be saved: Physically abusive ones are very challenging

and usually not worth saving. This goes to the deep rooted need to hurt by hitting,

wounding, shoving, and other dangerous moves that are nearly impossible to

“cure” or “fix.”

The biggest problem is that the abuse can escalate and become life-threatening.

It is nearly impossible to rehabilitate a man/woman who hits or hurts their spouse.

It is hard to get counselors that can give the intense counseling needed to “break

the cycle of abuse.”

You are not a loser in this war.

You are a survivor.