Starting The New Year With A Breakup

Starting The New Year With A Breakup.  The beginning of a new year is typically the time when couples either become engaged or separate and divorce.  As a Marriage Counselor working with couples deciding whether to stay in their relationship or leave it, January 1st is an important deadline for ending relationships.  Breaking up, separation, and divorce can be devastating.  It can also provide the opportunity for self-examination and a New Beginning.

Starting The New Year With A Breakup
There’s nothing easy about ending a relationship. Breaking up is seldom the ideal resolution to problems within relationships, but all too often is the outcome, despite our best efforts to prevent it. The person who was once your best friend and your companion for life, the one who knew you better than anyone else, has now in some ways become your enemy. You cannot believe that this has happened. How could that love have been destroyed? The breakup of a relationship is one of life’s most emotionally painful experiences. The depth of pain depends on many factors – how sensitive you are to the meaning of your life experiences, how much you have idealized the relationship, and how much you depended on your partner to make your life worthwhile.

Starting The New Year With A Breakup. A broken relationship shatters much that we have known and dreamed about. Our relationships, especially intimate relationships, help us define who we are. Our values, our views of the world, and how we define our most intimate feelings are all embodied within our love relationships. When our relationship comes to an end, our lives enter a chaotic period for which we may be unprepared. We suddenly find ourselves dealing with a host of emotions and thoughts – grieving, despair, anger, revenge and retaliation, hoping for a miracle, negotiating, feeling out of control, hoping for happiness again and not knowing how to get there, fear, and loneliness – and little of it seems to make sense.  Most of us have never acquired the tools to deal with a loss of this magnitude. When we entered the relationship, we put our energies into building a life with our partner. We put little effort into learning to be alone again. A breakup forces us to jump into an overwhelming, and often dreaded world of new experiences.

There are stages of grief that we all go through whenever we experience a loss.  During a Break-Up individuals will undergo a Grieving Process.  These are predictable stages commonly experienced by those in the process of a breakup.  They include:

Denial – Denying the truth of the breakup actually helps us postpone the pain, so denial certainly has a place in the process, at least initially. A problem occurs when we experience so much denial that we are unable to come to terms with the reality of the task before us. There comes a day when “this is not happening to me” is no longer an effective way of coping. Ending the denial stage involves a major shift in our thinking about ourselves, what our partner means to us, and where we must go from here.

Fear – Most people experiencing a breakup are forced to come to terms with a number of fears. What will people say? Whom can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How do I deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? What about money? Can I do the banking and buy groceries and pay bills and fix the car? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change? When we are dominated by our fears and feel unable to do anything about them, we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble. The best way to handle fear is to accept it, with awareness, planning, and support.

Loneliness – The loneliness a person experiences at the time of a breakup may feel overwhelming. The finality of ending the relationship, uncertainty about the future, as well as the knowledge that your partner will no longer be there to comfort you or to spend time with you, all contribute to an empty feeling that seems as if it will never away. While you were in the relationship, you defined yourself as being partnered and you felt that you always had someone there to share your experiences. And now you don’t. The clue to dealing with this is to change the feeling of loneliness to “aloneness.”  Loneliness suggests a longing to be with another person. Aloneness can be a time to observe who you are – you have the opportunity to explore your independence and challenge yourself to do things on your own. It can be a valuable time of self-exploration and self-enhancement.  Because aloneness may not last very long, or not long enough, it can be seen as a valuable opportunity.

Friendship – The breakup is a true test of just who your real friends are. It is important to draw on the emotional support of friends during this time. Unfortunately, many of your friends were those who knew you as a couple and they may have to choose between you. Those who try to stay neutral may find it difficult. Some may feel that your breakup somehow threatens their own relationships, and some friends may now find it difficult to relate to you as a single person. Not only that, but you may find it difficult to trust others during a breakup. Getting out, feeling free, trusting wisely, and opening up to others become major goals of healthy adjustment.

Grieving – It’s normal and necessary to experience a period of grieving over the end of the relationship. You may feel depressed for some time and experience changes in your energy levels, as well as your sleeping and appetite patterns. You may dwell on negative thoughts for a period of time and find it difficult to find pleasure in everyday events. If your negative thinking turns into self-destructive thoughts, you should find a  therapist who can help you through this challenging time. As unpleasant as this period of grieving may feel, comfort yourself with the knowledge that this is a temporary phase and it is how you are saying goodbye so that you can move on to a healthier and happier future.

Anger – People ending their relationships usually say that they never knew they could have so much anger. The rage seems overwhelming at times. Think about it – you have just lost one of the most important things in your life and your partner may seem like your enemy. You have a lot to be angry about. Use this opportunity to look within – explore your anger and find out how it helps and hurts you. One rule: don’t engage in any behavior you will regret as in Acting Out Behavior. Because it may be difficult to contain your anger at this time, your partner is not the appropriate target for your anger. Instead, process your anger by talking about it with a trusted friend or Counselor. Anger is helpful in the sense that it helps us end the loyalty and trust we used to feel for our partner, and this allows us to move on. Starting The New Year With A Breakup.

In Marriage Counseling I help Couples and Individuals think of the ending of their relationship as a process, which is taken one step at a time. Some of these steps are challenging. Not only do we have to confront all of the stages listed above, but we must also deal with making the final break emotionally, understand what really went wrong, learn to feel comfortable with ourselves again, see ourselves as single people, make new friends, forge new purposes and goals, and learn about trust and love again.  There’s never pressure in rushing through any of these stages as everyone grieves losses differently.  As painful as this journey may seem at first, it can lead to a life which is more satisfying as being in a relationship that isn’t working isn’t healthy. Starting The New Year With A Breakup.

You don’t have to do this alone.  For more information on the process of breaking up please contact me at (858) 735-1139

Relationships & The New Year 2021

Relationships & The New Year 2021. With every New Year, there tends to be a New Year’s resolution. As a Marriage Counselor, the New Year brings in couples who are either ending their relationships or couples who are starting new ones. The past year gave those ending their relationship a chance to think about whether or not they could or even wanted to stay with their partner.  Those that are starting new relationships like coming into counseling to ensure they are putting forth their best efforts into making a healthy relationship.

Relationships & The New Year 2021

As a Marriage Counselor, I help couples nurture good relationships and let go of unhealthy ones. We may love our family members, but, there are some we just don’t like and feel good to be around.  Friends who take advantage of and manipulate us aren’t really our friends.  Toxic people create a bitter atmosphere that is not conducive a happy disposition.  I help individuals acquire the skills for self-care and teach others how to behave around them.  Without tools for teaching others how to appropriately behave around us, how can real change occur for those who display poor behavior towards us? Asserting oneself is not always easy, but in the long run, can indicate self-love and help you feel more in control of your life.

Relationships and the New Year 2021 brings about the end of relationships for some couples and the beginning for others.

The difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship is how well each person accepts responsibility and the willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner. (Mark Manson)

Stylish young couple fighting over luggage and playing tug of war with a large suitcase on an urban streetIn unhealthy relationships, two people try to solve each other’s problems in order to feel good about themselves.  A healthy relationship is when two people solve their own problems in order to feel good about each other.  Unhealthy relationships have poor boundaries.  Boundaries mean the delineation between two people’s responsibilities for their own problems.  Individuals in unhealthy relationships with poor or no boundaries will regularly avoid responsibility for their own problems and take responsibility for their partner’s problems.

Couple with unpacked boxes in new home

Healthy relationships consist of both partners being willing and able to say no to one another.  Without being able to say “no” or the occasional rejection, boundaries break down and one person’s problems and values come to dominate the other’s. Conflict is normal in healthy relationships and being conflict avoidant; not being able to hash out differences openly and vocally is a sure way for a relationship to deteriorate as it is based on manipulation and misrepresentation.  Trust is also very important in any relationship.  Healthy relationships experience conflict. Without it, there can be no trust.  Conflict exists to show us who is there for us unconditionally and who is just there for the benefits.

If you have recently broken off an important relationship and are experiencing grief and loss or need help maintaining a new relationship as we enter this New Year please contact at (858) 735-1139 or email me at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com to make sure you get the proper guidance to lead you to the maximum results.

 

 

 

 

Dumped The Week Before Christmas

Dumped The Week Before Christmas. My Husband Left Me The Week Before Christmas. Talk about a hurt ego. I got married after I finished college. That was what I was supposed to do. I did the first-marriage route with all its trials and tribulations and had a beautiful daughter, which made all of it worth the journey. But unbeknownst to me at the time, I had married for the wrong reasons. My lack of a well developed sense of self made me an unhappy person. I believed my “wonderful” life was a facade for how it was “suppose” to look overlooking the feelings of my discontent. That discontent made me behave in ways that were not always appropriate, and often, unkind toward my first husband. My husband left me the week before Christmas because I was controlling and made everything into a power struggle. In December 1986 I had given my husband a 30th birthday party at one of San Diego’s finest hotels. A week later, I was blindsided, as I came home to a note on the garage door stating he was leaving me and needed space. I acted out my emotions of feeling abandoned, hurt, scared, and fear of loss of control. Dumped The Week Before Christmas.

After months of therapy and self reflection, I realized I wanted to reconcile and try to move forward taking responsibility for my part in our relationship. In winning my husband back, I thought if I identified and exercised appropriate and more loving behavior, I would have the successful marriage I wanted.

Nine years later I was divorced and in the trenches of regaining and reesestablishing the life I wanted.

Throughout that reconciliation I realized I never had the intimacy I needed for an emotional connection where I was vulnerable enough to ask for what I need and want, and share my thoughts and feelings. My “tough guy” attitude plus my husband’s narcissistic traits made for a poor prognosis for happily ever after. Happily ever after starts with a well developed sense of self.

With years of gathering information and getting the insight I needed I understand that a happy me makes for a happy we. In relationships we are individuals first. When two individuals come together they are independent in an interdependent relationship. Having a strong sense of self helps keep the boundaries in check as individual issues affect relationship issues. If the individual is happy (me), then the relationship benefits (we).

Happy Me Happy We

My book, Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In a Relationship helps individuals understand what they want and how to get it. Often when I ask my clients what they want, they say they don’t know. I’m not surprised to hear this. I’ve been in their shoes, thinking the same way. By using the six steps, you will find your me–first, before all else–so you don’t jump into finding we before you are ready. These steps empower you to understand what you need and go get it.

A healthy relationship can be yours. Bad relationships can transition into good relationships with the understanding that a Happy Me is a Happy We.

For more information please contact at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com of call at (858) 735-1139

My Husband Left Me The Week Before Christmas

 

A Marriage Counselor Tells Her Story

A Marriage Counselor Tells Her Story

We’re proud to launch Sarah’s book. It debuted as a #1 Amazon bestseller in her category, as well as #1 New Release.

For Sarah Ruggera’s birthday, she received a cake in the shape of her book that was just launched.

I think it looks delicious—both as a cake and a book.

A Marriage Counselor Tells Her Story

Her book, Happy Me, Happy We: 6 Steps to know yourself so you know what you want in a relationship, is about finding happiness in yourself before finding happiness in a relationship—especially if you’re already married.

In her book, Sarah, a San Diego marriage therapist, tells some heartbreaking, tough and inspiring stories.

In particular, we share what I call her Expert Origin Story™. Just as every great comic book superhero has an origin story that launches them to greatness, so does every entrepreneur and visionary.

In an Expert Origin Story™ we show an author’s most vulnerable moment, which launched their journey to mastery. The lessons the shero learns along the way form the key points of the book.

In Sarah’s Expert Origin Story™, she tells how she came home one day to an empty house, with a note from her husband saying he needed time away from her.

Enraged, she stalked him at his office, hunted him down at his hotel and publicly abused him verbally for leaving her. Despite a reconciliation, they divorced. The devastation and shame launched her on a quest for introspection and therapy about how to have happiness within regardless of a spouse.

Twenty-five years later, she is a renowned marriage therapist, specializing in affairs intervention. Her book shares her no-nonsense methods for happiness in life and marriage.  As a therapist, she has helped over 2,000 couples regain joy and fulfillment.

Sarah’s stories of her clients provide a riveting narrative. But it’s her Expert Origin Story™ that creates a powerful emotional bond with her audience.

Helen Chang
CEO and  Editorial Director
Author Bridge Media

 

 

Are You Living The Life You Want?

Are You Living The Life You Want? I thought I was until I wanted a divorce from my high school sweetheart, my first husband. Our relationship made a lot of people happy. My parents were elated when we married as it represented security for their beloved daughter and lowered anxiety for them. I was a compliant child as much as a rebellious one. Compliant because I wanted to be loved and rebellious because that love came with a price. My new book, Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship may offer some perspective if you aren’t living the life you want.

Living the life you want

According to Bronnie Ware, the five most common regrets shared by people nearing death were:

  1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
  3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
  4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
  5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

A 2018 study reached similar conclusions, finding that people were more likely to express “ideal-related regrets”, such as failing to follow their dreams and live up to their full potential.

Living a life congruent to how you feel is the most empowering feeling. Happy Me Happy We shows you how to get what you want so you don’t have those regrets. I understand through the developmental stages of growing up we all tend to be influenced by our environment. It’s when we listen to our intuition and know what to do about it is when we are on the true road to happiness. It’s scary, I get it, but what’s the other alternative? Living a life that isn’t happy? That’s even more frightening because if we don’t get it right in this life, we’ll continue trying to get it right in the next. And, most importantly, what are you role modeling to your children?

If you’re caught up in what other’s have been telling you and want to start doing what makes you happy and content, Happy Me Happy We can give you what you need to do that.

What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die? For more information on living the life you want please go to my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or for the book to to SarahRuggera.com