Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?

We’ve all heard this phrase before and I wonder if it’s entirely true.  This is one of those gray areas that always has an exception to the rule and isn’t so black and white.  I think if a man or woman has the propensity to cheat, then it is a pattern of behavior and self-sabotage that will continue throughout their life no matter who they are with.  Why men cheat is very different than why women cheat, yet both share similarities.

Both men and women that have a propensity to cheat, have a deep seeded need to feel desired by other people, due to some form of insecurity deeply rooted in their psyche. For men, sometimes it is an insatiable compulsion to feel as though they’ve conquered the forbidden.  Men that tend to go outside of their marriage to seek attention from multiple women, have a selfish need to be in a committed relationship, but have a compulsion to be secretive and seek out flirtatious relationships with other women to feed their ego. This appetite can never be filled and the compulsion will always need to be fed. Then there are the men that cheat because their needs aren’t being met or the relationship with their wife is on shaky ground.  Up until this point, they were faithful, loyal men who never thought they would be tempted to cheat on their wife, but they turn to someone at the office for attention and friendship…and the next thing they know, they’re in a full-blown affair.

This is typically why women cheat. I don’t want to sound bias or sexist, but women usually cheat because the marriage has been in trouble for some time and they feel like their husband doesn’t desire them or appreciate them anymore. All it takes is for one decent looking guy to show them the attention they’ve been craving and she finds herself intoxicated by desire. I suppose there are women who may be habitual cheaters that also have an insatiable appetite for sex, but you must admit– it’s very rare.  Biologically, women are not as driven by sexual desire for other partners when they are in a committed relationship.

Women are conditioned to desire stability, protection and the need to be with one partner. The end goal for most women is to settle down and raise a family.  For most men, settling down with one woman for the rest of their lives is either extremely scary or a death sentence. The phrase, “the old ball and chain” never applies to husbands and you damn well know it.  Women don’t stand around at a bachelorette party lamenting about how this is it for the rest of your life and getting one more cheap thrill in with a stripper before the nuptials, but men tend to treat marriage as the end of their life as they know it.  No more fun, no more women, just boring sex with the same woman every two weeks if you’re lucky.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Women can be just as damaged as the men who feel the need to cheat. Which brings me to a level of compassion for both genders who never fully love or trust in anyone. They will never be content with the one they are with and will spend their entire lives lost in the lie of adultery.  I use to demonize people who are perpetual cheaters, but now I just pity them.  What kind of life will they lead if they are always searching for something more, someone different?  How sad it must be to spend your entire life not realizing that the person who loves you is enough.  Love is so precious and at times, hard to find.  To value sex more than love and being loved by your family is a lonely shallow place to be. You will never know true love. You will never feel good about yourself because you are constantly chasing a fantasy that isn’t real.

There are always situations when you just married the wrong person. I can understand how someone who is deeply unhappy in their marriage can fall into the arms of another person, wanting to escape and end up forming very real feelings for that person. Unfortunately, the fairy tale happy ending rarely applies in these situations.  On the flip side, I have seen cases where someone has met a person that makes them truly happy and they risk everything to be close to that person.  Love is a powerful force that can make good people do things they never thought they were capable of doing. The trick is not to confuse lust for love.  Lust is just as powerful and even more deceiving than what you thought was love. It’s hard to decipher when you’re caught up in the passion and irresistible attraction to someone new.  This is how families get destroyed and hearts get broken.  I suppose if couples were more honest and communicative about what they need and want, these affairs may not happen, but once the damage is done, there’s no going back.

This brings us to the question of “what is considered cheating?” Now, this is a tough one and the lines are blurry for some. My personal definition is that if you do something your spouse would feel hurt or betrayed by…. it’s cheating.  In this age of “virtual sex” or “cybersex” people try to justify that if they haven’t “actually” touched the person, then it isn’t considered cheating.  Really? Would your spouse be happy with the fact that your talking dirty to another person online and masturbating in front of a web cam? Would your spouse be okay with you sending dick pics or nudes to someone they know nothing about? I think not. So, don’t tell me that isn’t cheating. What about emotional affairs that never get physical? Still cheating? Would you tell your spouse about it? Then yes, I hate to tell you… it’s cheating.

I’m not sure which is worse. A one night fling or an ongoing emotional affair? I always thought it would be easier to get over a fling that doesn’t mean anything, but honestly it isn’t. I’ve experience both in my sorry excuse of a marriage and I couldn’t get over either one.  The trust was broken. Once the trust is broken…it’s over.  Plain and simple. I know of people that try and work through it. Believe me, I spent 3 years trying to forgive my ex for cheating when he was overseas serving in the military. I told myself that being deployed for a year and a half was a long time to go without having sex for a man.  I tried to forgive him. I really tried.  I just kept coming back to the fact that it wasn’t hard for me to stay faithful…cheating never even crossed my mind. I was too busy raising our three children and managing the house while he was overseas “serving our country”…turns out he was serving a lot of other things too. He was always a habitual liar and was extremely secretive. I never had proof, but there was always suspicion that he was up to no good.  Even when things between us were great.  He is the kind of man that has deep seeded insecurities and lacks the ability to share true intimacy with anyone. In this case “once a cheater always a cheater” may apply.  I feel bad for anyone who gives their heart to someone who doesn’t have the capacity to be loyal and honest.

Listen, temptation is real for everyone. What you chose to do with it defines your integrity as a human being. Don’t let the illusion and seduction of someone new, cloud your ability to see through the facade. It won’t fill the void; it will only make you feel less of yourself if you give in to it. The stupid saying “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side” are simple words to live by. The next relationship won’t be any better than the last if you don’t take a good long look in the mirror and recognize what you need to do to be a better partner and an honest person. If they’ve done that, then yes, maybe a cheater isn’t always going to be a cheater. There is always hope for someone to transform their life, but just be leery of entering a relationship with someone that has been a cheater in their past, because sometimes a leopard doesn’t change its spots.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

~Teresa

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Find out what it means to me…just a little respect is all Aretha and women really want. Is that too much to ask? Seriously fellas, I feel bad for the guys who get a bad rap because of all the disgusting men like Donald Trump out there.  I don’t want to get all political or come across as an angry feminist, but the latest incident with another pig of a man has me all fired up.

Last weekend, I was at a Halloween party with some old colleagues that I used to work with and we’re all having a great time guessing who’s who and picking out our favorite costumes, when this guy tries on a creepy scarecrow mask and proceeds to walk towards me and grabs my chest and then reaches around and grabs my ass! I removed his slimy paws immediately and yelled, “what the hell!?” and walked away wanting to kick this guy in the balls. Luckily I didn’t because this guy was a cop and I might have been thrown in jail for assaulting an officer. (I’m sorry, but I would never date a cop and this is one of the reasons why…most of them think their above the law). Last time I checked, that was considered sexual assault and yet he seems to think it was okay.

respect

I went over to a group of my friends and they could see that I was pissed, so they asked me what happened.  Now, two of them were guys and they just stood there with their mouths wide open in shock.  One of them said, “I can’t believe anyone would do that” and the other said, “I don’t care how drunk he is, a man should never put his hands on any woman like that.”  This made me feel a little calmer and validated my reaction to this unwanted advance.  Hell, I don’t care if the guy looked like Brad Pitt; no woman wants to be groped like that!  Hold that thought…yes….sadly, there are woman who allow men to act like that and that’s the damn problem!

We live in a world of contradiction. On one side we have self-respecting women who are completely turned off by misogynist creeps like Trump (and many others like him) and then on the other side you have women who are so desperate for attention from men that they welcome these sleazy advances or do nothing to stop them.  Are men the problem or the women who allow it? If women were clear and consistent about being treated with respect and not like sexual objects for men to fondle whenever they feel like it, then perhaps we would have a lot less douche bags in the world grabbing a woman’s body without permission!

The guy ended up coming up to me again and I just put up my hand to him and said, “You can stay right there.”  He had the nerve to put his hand on my knee and say, “Aw, I was just joking around.”  I just gave him a look and said, “NOT funny!”  His face turned serious when he realized I was upset and he quickly apologized.  He proceeded to apologize several more times throughout the evening and I could tell he was sincere. I don’t know this guy well, but I always thought he was a nice enough guy.  Guess not.  This led to further discussion of another incident that happened with another cop with someone else and we wondered if the environment they work in breads this kind of behavior? Are certain vocations that are dominated by men a breeding ground for knuckle dragging Neanderthals? I’m not just picking on cops, by the way, there are plenty of other industries where this happens as well. For example, my daughter is an engineer for a manufacturing company and she gets hit on all the time. Not only hit on, but has had men, suggest that if a woman can run one of the machines she is training them on then anyone can do it. That is the kind of bullshit that women put up with every day. That misogynistic sexism that makes women like me wonder if there are more of “them” and less of the “good guys”.

I have to say that most of the men I know are not like that…at least in front of me anyway. I don’t want to chastise all men. What I really want is for women to have more R.E.S.P.E.C.T for themselves.  Men are constantly getting mixed signals from society and I think they have forgotten that women should always be treated like ladies, even though some industries perpetuate the objectification and sexual exploitation of women.  You know I love me some Beyoncé, but she shakes her ass and humps the floor just like a stripper on a pole and makes millions doing it. I’d rather my daughter and all the young women out there emulate Alicia Keys who never sells her body on stage because she has too much self-worth than that.  She is a true artist that is sending a message to all young girls to love themselves for who they are as strong intelligent women and not cheap imitations.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. I know some of you might be rolling their eyes thinking I need to chill out with all that feminist shit, but some of you are yelling “HELL YEA!”  Those are the kind of ladies I respect and so do men…good men.  Just think about it.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

~Teresa

Joy and Pain

It’s been two weeks since I’ve written my last post and it’s been an eventful two weeks to say the least. I’m finally back to work doing what I love to do, which is running enrichment programs for kids at a local school. I’m very grateful to be back to work and the people I work with are so great, but unfortunately the salary is not enough for me to live on and it certainly doesn’t reflect my skills and experience. I guess there is always joy and pain in every transition in life. Especially when it comes to divorce.

I find myself in a constant state of limbo over the last several years. Like that reoccurring dream when you’re stuck in quicksand and you think you’re almost out, but something happens to suck you back in. That has been my experience up until now at least. I try and stay in a place of gratitude and joy, but then my car breaks down for the second time in two months and I come up short with the mortgage payment (yet again), I find myself sinking and powerless. I feel like I just can’t catch a break and I’m stuck between the joy of being free from a miserable marriage and the pain of having to make impossible decisions that will affect my future and my kids.

A perfect example of this is that I recently interviewed for a big job that would pay me a six-figure salary and would allow me to be financially free for the first time in my life. If I get the position, I give up doing what I love and would have to take on a potentially high stress job. The other factor is that if I accept the position, I will have to move to the city within 6 months. It would be a big change and a stressful one, but I’m open to what a new life has to offer.  This could be the opportunity of a lifetime or the biggest mistake I’ve ever made, but I just have to trust my gut and listen to that little voice that always guides me in the right direction. I can feel that I am on the precipice of having a real breakthrough and having a positive change in my life. It’s right there in front of me and I can almost reach it.

The biggest thing that is keeping me stuck in the quicksand is my damn house.  If I sell it, I will lose quite a bit of money on it and I will be in even more debt. If I don’t sell, I’ll probably end up in foreclosure.  Just the thought of that gives me major anxiety. I constantly ask myself, how the hell I got into this mess and the answer always points back to one person….my fucking ex-husband.  Now, I know I have written a lot about finding forgiveness and letting go of anger and bitterness, but let’s just be real for a second; you tell me if it’s at all fair that for the sake of having an amicable divorce, I took on half the debt that he accrued (without my knowledge) and a house that’s under water to keep my children in their home?

Meanwhile, he gets to walk away– making double what he was making at the time of the divorce and pays nothing more in child support. I’m stuck with managing the house and taking care of the kids, while he goes on expensive European vacations with his new wife. That son of a bitch had the nerve to bark orders at me telling me to sell the house so it doesn’t affect his credit and suggested that I’m not taking this seriously.  Really dude???!!! I’m the one taking care of EVERYTHING and he has the fucking nerve to tell me I’m not taking this seriously??  I’m the one lying awake at night worrying. I’m the one taking care of the kids and the house all on my own. I’m the one fighting back the tears everyday trying to stay strong…and you have the fucking nerve to tell me what I should be doing while all your worried about is your next vacation to Mexico?!  Boy BYE!

When I saw this condescending text, my blood started to boil and I hit my breaking point. I decided I was not going to allow this man to place all the burden on me and get away with this shit anymore. I picked up my phone and as I’m finally giving him a piece of my mind and telling him he’s a selfish bastard, my heart is racing and I can feel the heat rise in my cheeks. My hands are shaking as I hesitantly press….send. This was the first time since we went through the divorced that I cussed him out and told him how I really feel and it felt AMAZING! I sat there after sending it and cried. Not out of sadness or fear, but out of relief.  I felt like all that pent-up anger and resentment had been released and I could feel my body relax for the first time in a long time. All those years of swallowing my true feelings for the sake of “getting along” with my ex—all those years of letting him off the hook because I didn’t want to rock the boat were finally over. I felt free. I felt powerful. I felt like I found my voice again.

For all those years, I was so concerned with keeping things cordial between us that I didn’t realize I was suppressing my real feelings and allowing him to get off the hook.  Sure, he was willing to help me here and there, but it was always on his terms. I was sinking in quicksand and he was flying above me feeding me scraps.  Well, I’m done! The gloves are off and I’m not going to carry this burden alone. If I have to, I will take him back to court for the back child support he owes me and ask that he pay for what we may lose on the house. My mama didn’t raise a push over, that’s for damn sure.

I ask myself, what kind of man buys himself a new Jaguar, a motorcycle, expensive watches and travels all over the world on fancy vacations while the mother of his children struggles to pay the mortgage on the home where his children live? What kind of man abandons his children and doesn’t care to spend time with them or barely calls them? Not a man that deserves my respect or my kindness.

What I thought was finding peace and harmony having a “conscious uncoupling” approach to divorce was just me taking all the shit he left behind and letting him get off scot-free. Well, screw that …the bitch is back and I’m not taking sole responsibility of our children anymore. Time to ante up and take some responsibility!

If you’re in a similar situation, please find your voice. Don’t allow your ex to continue to walk all over you. If you swallow your feelings because you don’t want to make waves, you’re only allowing them to manipulate and control you. Suppressing your truth only makes you internalize thoughts of helplessness and pain which will eventually cause you to suffer emotionally and even physically with illness or fatigue.

All these writers or “divorce coaches” that tell you to approach everything with joy and love are full of shit. Not everything can be brushed off. Divorce can’t always be loving and accepting like many people would have you believe. Sometimes it’s ugly. Sometimes things will need to be said that are uncomfortable, but as long as it’s coming from a place of truth and fairness and not bitterness and anger, it will always bring you that much closer to healing.

Never swallow your truth to avoid releasing your pain. Hopefully you can work it out like mature adults, but if you’re the one in the divorce that is always getting the short end of the stick, you have to stop allowing it.  That is the lesson in all of this. Finding the balance between feeling your pain and finding your joy is absolutely necessary to get through divorce. There’s no easy button. There’s no way around it. You have to face it head on and find the blessing in every lesson that you learn along the way.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

~Teresa

 

Listening

I recently read an amazing book titled “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton.  The premise of the book is about her journey overcoming bulimia and abusing alcohol in her twenties and now she is bringing her readers through her journey of heartbreak when she learns her husband has been unfaithful throughout their entire marriage.

I related so deeply to her story because it was much like my own. Her and her husband lacked true intimacy and connectedness partly due to his addiction to pornography and the secrets he carried with a compulsive need to sleep with other women. Yet, he was completely in love with his wife and did whatever it took to piece their marriage back together. These lines from the book when she was struggling to make the decision to leave her husband really resonated with me…

Day after day, the still, small voice insists that the next right thing is to stay away. I do not want this to be true. I want the voice to let us off the hook. But when I am quiet, my deepest wisdom insists that leaving him means staying with God and truth and light. Going back to him—using the security of our relationship to avoid my fear and loneliness—would be abandoning my-self. Self-betrayal is allowing fear to overrule the still, small voice of truth.

I remember so vividly feeling this way. I remember how frightening the thought of leaving my twenty-year marriage was, but I also remember how staying with him and losing a part of my soul was even more frightening. I knew he was saying everything I wanted to hear, but that little voice kept taping me on the shoulder reminding me that he would never change…the damage was done. There was no going back.

I think we all have heard that little voice.  Some call it our conscious, telling us what’s right and wrong. Some call it guilt or fear. No matter how you define it, that little voice is “truth”. No matter how hard our situation is, no matter how hard we try to cover it up with drinking, or shopping, or sex…or whatever your vice of choice may be…that voice is always there telling us what we need to hear.

The story of this woman’s journey taught me a lot. It made me understand my own choices and have compassion for choices that are not my own. Everyone’s journey is different. Everyone’s pain is their own cross to bear. We can’t stand in judgement and try to fix another person’s pain.  We can’t help them fast forward through the hard parts. We can’t get them to the place of realization where they see their vices are a way to cover up the pain. They have to walk their own path. They have to make their own long journey down that road in order to come out of the darkness themselves. No one can do that for you. The lessons we have to learn along the way are uniquely ours. They are the parts of us that are broken and the lies about ourselves that we have been led to believe. The truth will reveal itself when you are ready to hear it and not a moment sooner.

Some people have to play the victim for a while longer. Some people have to justify their own actions even when it feels wrong. Some people have to build a protective wall around themselves in order to feel safe. Others may live in complete denial and  try to move on as if nothing has happened. How ever you deal with heartbreak and pain is neither right nor wrong. It is simply your own journey to teach you the lessons you needed to learn. The real tragedy is if you never listen to them.

I’ve given out a lot of advice in this area and now I realize that I need to shut the hell up. The only advice I will ever give to a person dealing with pain, is to be still and listen to that little voice. It will always tell you the truth. It will never steer you wrong. It never judges you, but it will tell you the truth. It always wants what is best for you because that voice is pure love.  Whatever you want to call it, faith, God, the universe, Jesus, consciousness, inner voice…whatever you use to label it…it is truth and love.  It is the message you need to hear in order to heal those wounds. All you have to do is listen. Once you hear it, it’s hard to ignore. We may continue to make the same mistakes or sabotage our happiness, but we will be reminded of the truth over and over again until we get it.

I’ve had many vices over the course of my journey. I’m still battling some of them.  No one goes through this shit perfectly. No one. It’s difficult, confusing, painful, sensitive, shameful, destructive and enlightening all at the same time. I just had to figure out that all of these self-destructive behaviors were only contributing to my pain. I had to get real with myself and follow the path to my real happiness and not be seduced by the temporary happiness that wine, sex and a new pair of shoes gave me. Those things only made me happy for less than a day…sometimes less than an hour.

I had to dig deep and understand what will make me happier in the long term.  Loving myself is the biggest one. Not letting my shitty circumstances define my entire life and look at them as a training camp for gaining strength. Not allowing things I can’t control make me a victim or a negative person. Not letting men use me and not using men to fill a lonely night. Not using alcohol as a way to escape. Letting down the wall I’ve built up around myself to protect myself from pain. You name it, I’ve done it. We all have in some form or another because it’s part of the personal journey we must take in order to get to the other side.  Just be sure to listen to that little voice along the way. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go organize all these damn shoes that I’ve bought! 😉

With Faith, Hope and Love,

~Teresa

Embracing the Shadows

finding love

There you are again. Lurking behind me like a shadow that I can’t escape. Even on my brightest days…there you are again. I want to embrace you like a shy little child that hides behind her mother and tell her it’s okay—there’s nothing to be scared of little one. I feel my little shadow hiding behind my shoulder every once in a while. It’s loneliness. It’s that little reminder that tells me that your Facebook page may make you look like you’re having the time of your life, but we both know the truth. The truth is you’re trying to embrace your loneliness, but you can never quite capture that little shadow of doubt and fear. It’s always there even when your surrounded by friends and family who love you. It’s even there when you think you love your solitude watching your favorite show, with no one to take your remote. It taps me on the shoulder and whispers…remember what it felt like to share this with someone?

That annoying little shadow. I just wish it would go away. I tried to ignore it for years, covering it up with a glass of wine (or two…or three). I tried to keep busy and make fun plans every weekend to avoid that little shit, but it just wouldn’t go away. I read all the inspirational quotes and practice gratitude for all that I have, but there’s always one thing missing. That one thing that all humans crave, that connection and commitment to the person that is supposed to make you feel whole. We are divinely created to be in love and without that we feel like there’s something lacking. You can have everything in the world; nice clothes, nice cars and big house with nice things, but ultimately those things will never make you happy until you’re in a relationship that makes you absolutely miserable, yet complete. Ironic isn’t it?

Let’s face it…being in a relationship is not all rainbows and unicorns. Even in the beginning when you’re falling in love, you are filled with doubt and fear that this person may not feel as deeply as you do. You worry if they don’t call you or hold your hand or want to spend every waking minute of their lives spooning you. It’s a rollercoaster ride of euphoria and deep insecurity wondering if they feel the same.

Yet, it’s magical and exhilarating and something we all crave……desperately. Until we have it that is. You finally think you found the one and then ten years in– you’re completely sick of this person. It’s life’s little sick joke played on us humans. It’s restlessness. It’s discontentment at its finest. The fact is we never feel content and whole no matter where we are in life, so just accept it the way it is.

This is the first time in my life I haven’t been with someone. I’ve always had a boyfriend. Well, that’s not entirely true, I did break up with my high school sweetheart in our senior year, but I met my husband a few months after graduation and have been married up until four years ago. Funny how I think that being single for only four years is such a long time, yet twenty years went by in a blink of an eye.

Here’s another truth…I felt just as lonely in my marriage most of the time. How’s that for irony? If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we are never really satisfied. We always crave more. That’s why I’ve tried to embrace my loneliness. I’m not like most women who need a man. I’ve just come to a point in my life where I want an equal partner. Not someone who I need to fix. Not someone who thinks they have to fix me. Just a companion that wants to take long walks on the beach, have picnics at the park, or go on a wine tasting tour at a local vineyard.  You know, all that gushy stuff women love to do. I think I’m finally ready to let my guard down, but I won’t know for sure until I’m in it.

I’m ready to fall, but I’m also strong enough to stand alone. That’s the true sign of healing.

You can’t be afraid to be alone and be healed. You also can’t be afraid to fall in love. Trust is the hardest thing to repair after a painful break-up. Trusting that you won’t be blind-sided, lied to or cheated on.  Trusting someone not to hurt you again. That fear will paralyze you. It will keep you bitter and broken. Don’t let fear rule you. Embrace it. Allow it in and invite it to sit down right next to your little shadow of loneliness. After all loneliness and fear are best friends and they would love nothing more than you to stay with them and keep you trapped inside your own head. Quiet your mind. Thoughts will only confuse you and keep you lost in doubt. Open your heart and let that voice be the only voice you listen to. You’re not alone. We’re all here. Feeling the same way. You’re strong enough to heal…just give it time. The wounds will close and the scars will be there to remind you to listen to your heart. If you really listen, it will never steer you wrong. It will tell you when trouble is knocking on your door. It will tell you that they are no good for you…I know because I’ve been listening. I’ve been embracing that little shadow. I hope you will too.

With Faith, Hope, and Love

~Teresa

Loser Magnet

It has only been a month since I went on a date and I’m starting to feel the urge to pick up the pipe again and try a different approach to online dating. I’m not sure why. It didn’t go too well the last time. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment? Maybe I’m just bored…or maybe just maybe I truly believe love is possible…even online. My question is, which site do I use?  There are so many these days it’s hard to choose which one is right for me. Case in point:

Match: Been there done that. I only get hit on by 20-year-old boys or creepy 70-year-old men.

Tinder: If you’ve read my blogs…need I say more? Scratch that one off the list!

eHarmony: No one is on eHarmony anymore except for fat old accountants named Herb or sex offenders like the guy I met in Newport…remember that story?? If not, reference blog post from 6/22/16 “Raising the White Flag”. What a nightmare!

Plenty of Fish: You mean plenty of bottom dwellers?! I was on this site for one day and all I got were married guys, swingers, guys into S&M, and guys that were 5 foot 4”.

OK Cupid: Just okay? What a stupid name. Who wants cupid to set them up with someone that’s just okay? Dumb.

Christian Mingle: Yea, just what I need…some bible banger judging me because I swear too much or believe in gay marriage. That’s one site where I don’t belong. They would probably ban me.

Black People Meet: Um, don’t think I haven’t thought about it. One problem…I’m not black, but I heard white girls have the nerve to join this site. Call me crazy, but it just seems wrong. I’ll just leave it at that Becky. :/

Zoosk: This seems like a title to a children’s store, therefore I feel that pedophiles feel the same. Your creepy uncle is definitely on that site!

Our Time: Dating for senior citizens. I will definitely give it a try if I’m still single 20 years from now.

JDate: This one’s new!  Never dated a Jew before…I’m open to it. The only question is; would I have to convert to Judaism? Not sure I’m down with that…I wonder if there is a “MDate” for the Muslim community or BDate for Buddhist looking for a hook up? Hope I didn’t offend anyone’s religion. These are just jokes people…just jokes. I could care less about religion. Praise whomever you want! Peace be with you. 🙂

Singleparents.com: Where single people go to talk about their kids the entire time…no thanks.

Elite Singles: Where workaholics go to talk about work the entire time…not for me.

SugarDaddy.com: Now you’re talkin’!!! Oh wait…I’m not a 20-year-old super model…nevermind.

Fitness Singles: Haaa! Don’t think they allow curvy girls that barely work out twice a week on that site. That’s out!

LargeFriends.com: What a stupid name! I’d respect it more if they called it “Chubby Chasers” or “Love Large”. I might have to gain a few pounds to be allowed on there, so that’s not happening.

Coffee Meets Bagel: Seriously? I don’t even eat bagels! Too many carbs. Maybe I should create my own dating site call “Eggs Meet Turkey Bacon” or “Peanut butter Meets Jelly”. Wait, how about “Peas Meet Carrots” or better yet, “Box of Chocolates” online blind dates and the slogan could be “you never know what you’re gonna get”. I think that’s brilliant! Of course I would design the algorithms to make sure you’re not matched up with Forest Gump.

Sorry, I digress. So, those are my choices? Guess that answers that! I’m staying off the grid. In fact, I announced to a friend who asked me if I was still online dating that I was “happily celibate.”

Just last night we were at my friends 40th birthday party and I was talking to this guy who came up to me and my friend. It was very apparent that this guy had a little too much to drink, especially when he decided it was okay to thrust his hips into my side making lude noises. Yes, I’m dead serious! Believe me, I wish I was kidding, but it really happened!  I was just talking to the guy and I turned around to get a napkin and the next thing I know he’s air humping me like a dog in heat. My friend’s jaw was hanging open in shock when she saw this. When I proceeded to tell him that it was completely inappropriate and asked him what the hell he doing, he proceeded to slur something to the effect of “when you see something you like you just gotta touch it.” I could feel my blood starting to boil and I said, “who in the hell gave you the right or the permission to touch me in such a lude inappropriate way?!” He proceeded to slur something stupid, so I just walk away before I decked the creep.  When I returned back to my group of friends they just couldn’t believe anyone would do that. Shit like this only seems to happen to me! I really think I have some sort of tracking device or a magnet that attracts the biggest creeps on the planet. Their suggestion was that I should try dying my hair brown to see if I am less likely to attract assholes. I laughed and said, “Oh yea, that will change everything as I point to the creep groping a brunette across the room.”

These are the very same creeps online! In fact, he’s probably on Tinder right now! This is the pool of losers I have to choose from. Which is exactly why I chose to stay celibate thank you. If I get desperate enough for a date I think I might just lurk in the isles of a hard ware store and take my chances. Being single is looking better and better every day.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

~Teresa

Chemistry

Remember that feeling you got the first time you met someone that you had instant chemistry with? Your palms sweat, your heart beats a little faster… you try to remain cool, but you can’t stop smiling in their presence and you stumble over your words. Ahh, it’s the best feeling in the world isn’t it? It’s intoxicating and you find yourself wanting more and more. You don’t know exactly what it is about that person that brings you to complete ecstasy, but you think it’s just love at first sight.

Scientist have tried to explain “chemistry” in terms of hormonal reactions in our body that give off pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin which are attributed to sexual attraction. Oxytocin and vasopressin promote bonding with a particular partner. That sounds like a powerful mixture.  I understand that is what happens in the body when you are physically attracted to someone, but I like to believe there’s an energetic connection between two people that we can’t explain. Something universal.

It really is unpredictable. I’ve been physically attracted to someone that definitely had hormones racing through my body, but I’ve also felt chemistry with someone that I didn’t find all that attractive, but he stimulated me intellectually and I felt that instant connection. For me, you can be the hottest guy on the planet, but if you’re dumb as a stump or arrogant, I’m immediately turned off. Conversely, if a man is intelligent, confident and has a great sense of humor but just “average looking” I will be way more attracted to them than the hottie that looks like he just walked off the cover of GQ.

I’ve always been intrigued by what makes people drawn to certain “types”. One person may like tall, dark and handsome and others may like the more rugged type. Me, personally…I love a tall guy in a suit, but I find myself attracted to all types of guys especially if they can make me laugh. My “type” is kind of all over the place. My celebrity crushes are Idris Elba and Leonardo DiCaprio (yummy).  In the real world you just never know what is going to draw you in. Most of the people I know who are in healthy long-term relationships will say they weren’t instantly attracted to their partners. Those same people will also say that they knew very quickly that they were “the one”. So what roll does chemistry play?

my-brain-gets-angry

Physical attraction is important, but it certainly doesn’t sustain a relationship. You may have an overwhelming attraction to someone who you later find out is a complete asshole. What good is chemistry then? I’m so in-tune with making sure I don’t fall for another asshole. Perhaps my resting bitch face when I meet a hot guy is attractive to them? I can’t seem to figure it out, but what I do know is that I’m not going to let chemistry and a pretty face fool me. They may be nice to look at for a while, but they are not “life partner” material.  I want someone solid, trustworthy, and someone I can have fun with…that’s the most important thing to me.

I think chemistry is overrated. After all, the butterflies fade fast and then you’re left with someone you may not even be compatible with. They may not share the same views, like the same activities or want the same things in life. Then what? Just great sex? Nope, not necessarily. I met someone I had amazing chemistry with and the sex wasn’t that good. That blows that theory! (sorry, poor choice of words).

All I’m saying is be very clear with what you want in a partner. I wrote down all the specific attributes I am looking for and created a vision board of what I want to see manifest in my life. I know it sounds hokey, but it is a great exercise to do when you’re feeling hurt and confused after a loss. Trust me it’s very therapeutic.

When I meet someone and they’re not in line with my needs and wants, then I’m not going to waste my time or theirs. For example, if I date a guy who maybe younger and he wants to get married and have kids, then he’s not for me. I’m too damn old to have more kids and I really don’t ever want to get married again. I want a committed life partner, but I don’t necessarily believe in getting married again. I want to be like Oprah and Stedman or Goldie and Kurt Russell. They seem way happier than most married couples who end up divorced. I feel like marriage changes a relationship and it’s just a form of legal ownership versus choosing to stay with a person forever because you love them.  Don’t get me wrong I believe in marriage when you’re younger and raising a family, but for me there’s no point to getting legally married again. It just makes things complicated and messy. With that said, if I fell in love with someone who really really wanted to get married, I would consider it. That wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me, but I would rather say our vows to commit to one another on a beach somewhere and make it between us and God.

Then again, if my dream man happens to be rich…then that’s another story! I’ll be flying to Vegas in a hot second! Lol!  (Just kidding…not really) :p

My advice is to write down the qualities you want in a partner and maybe create your own vision board. It allows you to become centered and clear about what you really want in a relationship and helps you avoid the pitfalls that caused your past relationships to fail. Clarity is the key to finding true happiness not chemistry.

With Faith, Hope, and Love,

~Teresa

Sex After Divorce

This three letter word holds so much power, doesn’t it? Sex is what connects and bonds a relationship together and sex is what can tear a relationship apart. Traditionally, when you enter into a relationship you promise to only have sex with that one person, becoming monogamous with that person for the duration of your relationship. If you or your partner go outside of that marriage or relationship and have sex with another person you automatically break that bond. You break that promise to that person and destroy the love and trust that person has for you because you shared the one thing that makes your relationship intimate and special. Just that one thing makes or breaks any relationship. You can share a home, kids, pets, money, and everything in your life with that person, but as soon as you make the choice to have sex with another person all of those things can be undone. That’s a powerful thing. That is the foundation of every relationship, but yet people give it away so freely and carelessly.

Ironically, in a long term relationship or marriage, sex can be viewed as a chore. Sex can become obligatory, routine, unsatisfying for many (especially women). So many married women I’ve talked to say they would rather not have sex with their husbands, yet when you are divorced, you miss that intimacy more than anything. That old saying that you only miss something when it’s gone, holds true. This is an interesting dichotomy that plays out time and time again in marriage and divorce.

A woman can be in a sexless marriage for years and be perfectly fine with it. However, once a man strays and goes outside of the marriage to find sex and to feel wanted, the woman feels betrayed and it often ends the marriage. Conversely, sometimes it’s the man who is no longer interested in sex. They may get bored with sleeping with the same woman and prefer to watch porn than make love to their wives. This is a growing epidemic in today’s marriages according to recent studies.

Part of the problem is how women view their bodies and their sexuality. Often times after having children, women start to view themselves as “mothers” and feel they have to let go of their sexual desires to fit into the role of being a caretaker and nurturer. That and they’re just too damn tired to think about sex anymore and they don’t feel sexy when they haven’t lost the baby weight. Men also look at their wives differently after having children. The focus is no longer on just them and the relationship, it is now focused on the children. They feel the same exhaustion when raising children and sex takes a back seat.

According to a 1993 study from the Washington Post, 72% of married men cheat on their partners while 70% of women have cheated.  These are alarmingly large numbers. This same article uncovers the myths about why people cheat. It is not about finding someone more attractive or falling out of love with the person, instead it is more about not feeling as though your needs are being met and wanting to fulfill those needs outside of the marriage.

Sex after divorce is a whole other dynamic. After the marriage ends because of infidelity, a woman often goes through a period of deep depression which causes her to lose her appetite. (This is often the case for men as well). They call this the “divorce diet”. The woman ends up losing a bunch of weight and once she is able to peak her head out of the dark hole of despair she has been living in for months, she starts to realize that more and more men are paying her attention. Typically, after divorce, women start to see themselves as sexual beings again and they go out on the town to prowl for men in order to feel better about themselves.  Women go through feelings of not being good enough or sexy enough or blaming themselves for not being attentive enough. It causes them to seek attention from men, as a way to heal those wounds.

Casual sex becomes a way for women to feel attractive again and for some it helps them through a tough time while others feel used and empty when they realize that sex without true intimacy actually makes you feel worse. Not for everyone, but for most. The most important thing to remember is not to judge others going through this period after divorce. Everyone copes with this pain differently. Until you are walking in their shoes, feeling the heartbreak of betrayal and the end of your marriage, you will never know what that does to the human spirit. Some look for comfort in a stranger’s arms just to numb the pain, others turn to alcohol, shopping, food, work, or other vices that help them get over the hurt that consumes them.  Sex is just another drug in the long list of things that distract us from feeling the emotions we are so desperately trying to avoid. Eventually we come to realize that it is putting a band aid on the wound that’s hemorrhaging.

I feel that women try to lie to themselves and think that they can have multiple partners (just like men do) without feeling slut-shamed, but eventually we realize that all the sex in the world is not going to make us feel better about ourselves. In fact, it will make us feel worse. Even if the guy is a total D-bag, and we don’t really want a relationship with them, we wonder why they are not falling head over heels for us after we have sex with them. All those feelings of not being good enough come flooding back. We start to wonder what is wrong with us? Why doesn’t he love me? It’s our nature. It’s how we have been wired and there is no getting around it. Call it low self-esteem, blame it on generations of women being objectified as sexual objects. Whatever the reasons are, we suffer from it in one form or another.

For some, it’s serial monogamy with the wrong kind of men and for others it’s sleeping around. I chose to be celibate after a few casual encounters with men that didn’t deserve it. Even though I was married at a young age and didn’t “play the field”, I didn’t want to have sex with a lot of men, but I did seek out attention from them.  You see, I view my body and my sexuality as a gift. A gift that only a few rare men will receive. I don’t give it out to just anyone that shows me attention. I have to feel a connection with them. I don’t want to feel used and then discarded when I’m no longer desired. It will only make me feel less of myself.

sex in the city

I love equating everyone’s various approaches to love and heartbreak to an episode of Sex and the City. This show is so brilliant in its simplicity and captures the true nature of women across the world.  Some people relate to the ultra-conservative Charlotte, while others love sex like the horny nymphomaniac, Samantha. I’m kind of a mix between the ever-so-cynical Miranda and the dreamy writer who still believes in love, Carrie Bradshaw. Each of them share a journey through the ups and downs of relationships while supporting each other no matter what path they take. That is what I strive for in my friendships and I always need to be reminded that it’s not a one size fits all process.

We may go through times of being Samantha or we may go through times of being a goody-two-shoes like Charlotte. I can sometimes battle between the two personas. I was definitely raised to think sex was dirty in my Irish Catholic upbringing. As I grew older, I realized that your sexuality was nothing to be ashamed of, but I still hold on to those core beliefs that sex is not something to take lightly. It doesn’t mean the desire isn’t there, it just means that I’m more selective with who I’m going to share that with.

Sex is a powerful thing that people underestimate and don’t value the way they should. They don’t value it in marriage and they don’t value it after marriage. I’m not trying to be all virtuous and shit, I just know for me, sex is something special, that I only want to share with someone special. That’s all. If you give something away doesn’t it lose its value? Does being wanted for sex make you special to that person? No, it just makes you accessible. I don’t want to be accessible. I want to be loved and cherished. We all want that.

To all my married friends and readers, I envy the fact that you get to enjoy sex with someone who loves you. Don’t take it for granted. You don’t realize how wonderful it is until you don’t have someone to share that with anymore. To all my single friends and readers, enjoy whatever it is that brings you pleasure, but don’t confuse that with the need for true intimacy. The real deal is far better than the allure of sex that is portrayed in the movies and tv shows like Sex and the City. Whether you’re a man or a woman, we all need to feel that connection and we should work to make sure we don’t let it slip through our fingers because of the intoxicating lure and seduction of what is on the other side. Love is the real power; sex is just the illusion.

With Hope, Faith, and Love,

~Teresa

The “D” Word

A day in the life of a divorced woman is a blend of empowerment and complete helplessness. The other day I felt like a complete bad ass when I fixed my garage door, cleaned my entire house, mowed the lawn, cleaned the pool, did all the laundry, organized my son’s room (that’s more like a miracle) and even made a delicious dinner (which is also a miracle). That was a good day. Then there are days when I feel completely overwhelmed and helpless like the times when my dishwasher flooded my kitchen, my pool looked like a swamp, my washing machine broke, my radiator blew in my car and I didn’t have enough money to pay the mortgage. These are the times when it sucks to be divorced. These are the times when I wave the white flag and say to hell with this “female empowerment” shit…I need a man.  I know, I know, I’m ashamed to even say it, but I have to admit, I do miss having that companionship and someone to share the workload. It’s exhausting at times, but liberating at others.  I’m proud that I’ve had the courage to stand on my own two feet and I’ve raised three pretty amazing human beings in the process.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that “divorce” is a dirty little word that no one really wants to talk about. I’m shocked that there are so few books or articles that tell you the honest truth about going through divorce. I guess that’s why I’m doing all this. I want to tell the real truth about divorce. I want people to know that they’re not alone and they’re not crazy when you go through the highs and lows all in the same week.

To be honest, I haven’t really decided whether I love it or hate it.  I love having my freedom and finally finding out who I am as a person versus the label of ‘wife and mother’ I had adopted for all these years. For the first three years I loved being single, it wasn’t until recently that I felt like I wanted to be in a relationship, but now I realize it is not going to be as easy as I anticipated to find a decent man.

Dating is the part I kind of hate. I just went on a date with a guy I met when I was out with my girlfriends. He seemed really nice, intelligent, but a little too young.  Too young for me is 35, which I know isn’t a huge age difference, but I realized that I want and need a strong man, because I’m a strong woman and a young buck just doesn’t do it for me.  Admittedly, I want a modified alpha male that isn’t an arrogant prick that spoils me and lets me do whatever I want. That shouldn’t be too hard to find. Right?

This guy I went out with was NOT an alpha male. In fact, he was more like a cute little puppy that would follow me around and annoy me after a while. That wasn’t the only thing that bothered me about this guy…oh, there’s more.  When he called to ask me out, he invited me to dinner and asked me where I wanted to go. Now, I know I’m being a little petty, but I can’t stand when a guy doesn’t plan the first date and asked me to pick the place (something an alpha male would never do).  I threw out a couple of suggestions for an inexpensive restaurant like I always do, because I feel guilty when they’re paying the bill, but this guy insisted on taking me to a nicer restaurant. Nothing too fancy, but I was impressed that he wanted to take me to a nicer place despite the fact that I knew this guy doesn’t make a lot of money (another turn off…I know it’s superficial but as I said before, “I don’t want no scrub”).

tumblr_lzsc6qWvtP1r4lc82o1_400 TLC scrubs

We had dinner out on the patio and there was a beautiful sunset that evening and all I could think about is how perfectly romantic this would be if I was with the right person.  I’m sorry, I just wasn’t feeling it. We had a nice conversation and he was a really nice guy, but just like all of my recent dates, there was something missing. No spark. No connection. No attraction even. The worst part was when the bill came.  It was only a $57 bill because I always try to be considerate and order the cheapest thing on the menu. I see him struggling to read the bill and asked if everything was okay. I quickly saw his discomfort and reached for my wallet. He insisted on paying, but said it was too dark for him to see the amount. I hate to be mean, but he wore these awful colored contacts that made his eyes look a murky gray color and I couldn’t help thinking that if he took off the stupid contacts he could read the bill! He reached for his wallet and he fiddled with his money that was folded up in squares, which was also kind of strange. I offered again to pay half the bill but he insisted that he pay.

He fiddled with his money some more and put $60 in the bill fold. My eyes widened and I offered a third time, knowing that I would be mortified leaving a $3 tip.  He got up to use the restroom and left the check for the waiter. When the waiter came by to collect it, he said, “All set?” I cringed and said, “I think so, but we can add to the tip when you bring back the change”. He looked at me with confusion, but then saw the amount that was in there and said, “I’ll just leave it until he comes back” and smiled.

I was so embarrassed! I quickly searched through my purse praying I had some cash on me somewhere. Sadly, I didn’t. I should have just put my credit card in there, but I didn’t want to show this guy up. When he came back, I hinted that the waiter came by, but I wasn’t sure if there was enough. Before he responded, the waiter came back and asked to take the check again and my date says, “yep, it’s all set!” I wanted to crawl under the table. I wanted to look at him and say, “WTF? A $3 tip? REALLY? You cheap mother f***er!!” Instead, I just thanked him for dinner and scurried out of the restaurant with my head held in shame, hoping that I didn’t see the poor waiter on our way out.

I would rather have paid the entire bill than have this dude cheat the waiter out of a decent tip. I promised I would never step foot in there again without bringing the poor guy some money to make up for my cheap date. I’m sorry, but that sort of thing really bothers me.  It just shows me that a) you’re cheap b) you’re broke c) you have no class OR d) you’re stupid. Either way, you won’t be getting a second date. A while back I made a list of personality flaws that are deal breakers in my book:

#1 Arrogance

#2 Weak or passive

#3 Dishonesty

#4 Ignorance (especially closed minded bigots)

#5 Cheapness or financially irresponsible

The list could go on and on, but these are my top 5. We all have our likes and dislikes and I think it’s important to identify what those are and stick to our guns when it comes to dating people that have attributes you just can’t overlook. Listen, it’s hard out there. Love doesn’t come easy sometimes, but I have realized that it takes three things to make it in the world of dating; Patience, strength, and clarity. Patience to wait for the right person that you are meant to be with. Strength to not give up and jump into a relationship simply because you don’t like being lonely. Clarity to know exactly what you desire in a partner and never settling for anything less.

People don’t realize the power of our beliefs. If you believe you that you can have all of the things you need and desire in a partner, you can and will manifest them in your life. That is true of everything. Your thoughts and beliefs design your life. If you feel bad about yourself and you think you don’t deserve any better than the last asshole you were with, then that is exactly what you will get. If you have grown and learned what your true desires are and you believe they are obtainable—they will be. This is true of your beliefs about being divorced as well. If you think it is miserable and awful, then it will be. If you believe that it was the best thing that happened to you and see it as a life lesson and a chance to find true happiness, then that belief will shape your experience.  I have no doubt and no fear when it comes to finding my perfect match.  It may happen at the most random time or place, like the grocery store or Home Depot. My faith tells me that God will place him in my life when I am truly ready and not a minute before that. I just have to believe it. It will be worth the wait, that I am sure of… I promise.

With Faith, Hope, and Love

~Teresa

Another Lesson Learned

I just finished reading a great article from the Wall Street Journal titled, “Divorcé’s Guide to Marriage” by Elizabeth Bernstein. The first line in this article reads, “Want great marriage advice? Ask a divorced person.”  I thought, ‘this is so true’! People that have been through a divorce often have a clearer perspective on how to build a stronger relationship, because they have spent a lot of time reflecting on what went wrong in their own marriage. They use this as a blueprint of how they will do things differently the next time around.

Of course, this is not true for everyone. Some people rush into another relationship because they can’t stand to be alone and end up in divorce two or three more times. These individuals have not taken pause to analyze the issues in their relationships, nor have they taken ownership of the part they played in the breakdown of the marriage. Sadly, they continue to repeat the same dysfunction time and time again and they tend to end up with the same person in a different body.

Although I agree with most of what was said in this article, especially since the finding came from a longitudinal study by Dr. Terri Orbuch, a psychologist and research professor from the University of Michigan, I do have a few additional insights of my own to share. Take just a few moments to jot down your thoughts to the following questions:

#1) What were the top 5 issues in your marriage that lead to arguments or disagreements?

#2) How did those issues get addressed? For example, did you and your spouse scream and yell or did everything get swept under the rug which caused resentment or passive aggressive behaviors?

#3) Was it always one of you that had to compromise in order to resolve this conflict?

#4) Did these behaviors change or did they repeat themselves throughout the marriage?

#5) Were these issues considered “deal breakers” to you or your partner? Did you recognize these behaviors prior to getting married?

Simply asking yourself these 5 key questions can help to recognize the reasons your past relationships failed and help you avoid heading to divorce court again. Be self-reflective. Don’t place all the blame on the other person. Be honest with yourself about how you played a part in the destruction of the relationship…remember, it takes two to tango.

I have learned so many lessons in the past four years since my divorce. Yes, sometimes I had to learn them the hard way, but never-the-less, I learned. As I write in my book, going through divorce is a process of going through various stages of healing. Much like mourning a death. Just when you think you’re doing okay, you get slapped upside your head with a reality check to let you know you haven’t quite gotten over all of the pain or you are not quite ready to be in a healthy relationship.

A perfect example of this happened to me just this week. I found myself becoming hurt and resentful by all of these pictures of my ex-husband with his new wife touring Europe, while I’m stuck trying to support our kids and pay the mortgage.  I was upset with myself for letting it bother me and getting angry that the person that broke my heart and destroyed our family gets to live a happy care-free life with someone new.

After a few days of lamenting and riding a roller coaster of feeling angry, sad, resentful, jealous, competitive, angry (did I say angry already). I realized that this is a normal reaction for anyone that has gone through a breakup or divorce. Even though you know 100% that you do not want to be with this person, you still feel a sense of jealousy when you see them with another person. This is the ego in full effect. There’s no escaping it. I was beating myself up for feeling this way. I tossed and turned all night thinking of ways I wanted him to suffer and creating these scenarios of how it’s all a facade on social media and in reality their relationship was as miserable as ours was. (After all, we all know that the couples that profess their love all over Facebook are usually living a lie, trying to cover up the truth that their marriage is a fraud). I found myself saying snarky things like, I feel bad for that woman having to put up with him and how it must be nice that all he has to think about is himself and not his kids.

I woke up feeling ashamed at my immaturity and hated the negative thoughts and feelings. It felt gross! I thought I was in a better place? I thought I was better than this? Then, I realized that I’m not perfect and it’s a natural human reaction. I quickly wanted to release these nasty thoughts and learn how to deal with these emotions in a more constructive way.  So, I decided the best thing to do would be to use this as another guide to help myself and others learn how to deal with getting through your crappy divorce:

The first step is to allow yourself to feel the emotions and not to push them away or use distractions to cover them up.  Identify what the emotions are and where they stem from. Talk to a close friend or family member and let yourself have a good cry.

The second step is to normalize your emotions. Understand that this is our human condition and it is completely natural to hold some resentment and jealousy towards an ex when you see that they are with someone else. Psychologically, we want to hold on the belief that our ex is still longing for us and it is a hard pill to swallow when we realize that we are replaceable.

The third and final step is to let the negative feelings go. Instead of allowing your ego to control your behavior with feelings of bitterness and jealousy, find your higher self and wish them well. It’s not always easy because the ego can be a powerful force, but if you look at this as an opportunity to grow, you will be able to shift your focus to finding that happiness for yourself instead of holding on to resentment. If you don’t you may stay stuck in that anger and it will lead to self-destructive behaviors that will be counterproductive to your healing process.

images woman letting go of balloon

Self-awareness is key to the healing process, but stepping back and looking at it with a different perspective is also extremely important. Use this time as an opportunity to recognize the lessons from this seemingly tragic experience and view them as a blessing that will allow you to be in the loving relationship you deserved all along. Don’t waste these important insights by repeating the same dysfunction over and over again. Want better for yourself.

Know your value and never allow yourself to make those same mistakes again. If you don’t…what was the damn point? Do you want to continue to be in toxic relationships that make you miserable?  I certainly don’t!  That’s why I’m taking my sweet time getting into a relationship again. I want that special kind of love that I’ve always dreamed of with someone that is my best friend, someone I can trust with my heart and who will never mistreat me. Isn’t that what we all want? I would rather spend years searching for that special someone than go back to the frustration and pain I felt in my past.  Do yourself a favor and give yourself that time as well. I promise you it will pay off in the long run.

With Faith, Hope, and Love

~ Teresa