Time to Move On

 

When my ex-husband walked out the door into the arms of another woman, my ego tanked.  I felt rejected, abandoned and overwhelmed with two little kids and my family shot to bits and pieces.

It was difficult—at best—to keep the self-defeating thoughts from taking over.

I was shaken to the core and everything I believed about love and commitment and Christian marriage now seemed naive in the face of betrayal.

Looking back, I can see that in the mess of divorce (or a break-up), these emotions are a NORMAL part of the grieving process after a relationship suddenly ends.

The death of a relationship—from divorce, tragedy, or a break-up—leaves us with a bag of emotions we aren’t equipped to deal with.  Anger, sadness and self-criticism can overwhelm us if we focus too much on the what, how and why it all went wrong.

While it’s natural to go through a season of deep inner self-reflection and grief, we are at risk of staying in the bitterness if we don’t forgive, accept and move on. 

At some point, we must confront the death of the dream—acknowledge our loss—and begin to plant the seeds of hope for not only recovery, but FULL restoration.

Here are some tips to move you past the pain and into the vibrant future God plans for you:

  1.  Accept your emotional highs and lows as a normal part of the end of a relationship.  Remind yourself “this too shall pass.” My emotions aren’t the truth but an indicator of my heart and its brokenness and need for the great Healer. 
  2. Love Yourself. God, in his infinite grace, “first loved us” so we could extend love to others.  You are a valuable and worthwhile person.  No man or woman defines your identity.  You are complete in Christ alone.
  3. When you get dumpedexpect to feel rejected.  If you are the dumper—expect to feel guilty.  Find a Christian counselor and work through the facets and failures of this relationship BEFORE you jump into another one.  Remember, you will go into the next relationship with all of your same problems unless you start to deal with them now.
  4. Discover who you are.  Now that you are on your own, figure out how you like to eat your eggs (remember Runaway Bride?) and what brings a smile to your face.  Explore new hobbies, rediscover old activities and embrace the life God blessed you with.  For example: my ex-husband had a bum ankle and many of my favorite activities like roller-blading, tennis and skiing had gone by the way side because he couldn’t keep up.  It was time to pull out my equipment, reclaim my athletic MOJO and head to the mountains and the beach!
  5. Create Community!  Find a group of like minded friends and believers to do life with.  Check out the Point at Mariners Church (shameless plug for my hubs), get involved with serving and initiate relationship. Finding people who understand and support you is like an energy drink for the soul.  We need Jesus with skin on and God gives us one another to carry each other’s burdens and cheer one another on.  Find your team!

Last, if depression and rejection are too big to handle alone, please seek counseling and support.  Divorce Care, Celebrate Recovery, and many other groups will help you through the initial pain.

Your divorce or break-up is not who you are. You are not a victim.  This is one more experience that can help you grow into the person God created you to be!

5 Signs It’s Time to Move On

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The beginning of a new relationship is often a whirlwind of euphoria, emotions and intensity.  The last thing you want to dwell on is the negative.

Why focus on the yucky stuff when the awesome part is so—well—awesome?

But you aren’t naive enough to think any relationship is problem free, right? 

Although, it’s strange how some relationships are easier from the get-go and others face strife right off the bat.

The big question we all face, at some point, in a new relationship is whether it’s worth it to invest in and work on the issues or move on to better prospects. 

When should you work through problems versus throwing up the flag and admitting the partnership simply isn’t meant to be?

(Remember, you are looking for your best match and it only takes one to reach your goal)

If your journey to finding the best relationship is plagued with skirmishes and battles, ask yourself these questions:

Does this person have the 8-10 top qualities I desire?  If the answer is yes, and they have everything you are looking for, then it might be worth it to continue on and get help to sort out the difficulties.  If the answer is no, then consider ending the relationship.

Is this person free from all the negative qualities I don’t want?  Now, we aren’t talking about a laundry list of nitpicky items you can’t stand, but a general list of the 8-10 things that you really don’t want in a mate; for example: dishonesty, stinginess, controlling behaviors, anger issues…Yes?  Move on to next question.  No?  Consider ending the relationship.

Are these minor bumps to work through or big mountainss that signal significant differences? Some problems come up because a couple doesn’t know each other well enough and haven’t figured out each other’s personality, communication style and baseline belief systems. These bumps in the road usually work themselves out over time with understanding and patience. More significant issues arise from distinct incompatibility and extreme contrasting beliefs. These kinds of difficulties mostly likely won’t go away and will only get worse.  If one of you is a follower of Christ and the other is not, these issues will more than likely drive a wedge between the two of you.  Do not expect people to change their fundamental beliefs.

Are your thoughts and opinions given credence? Are you in a safe listening environment where you both feel heard and understood?  You certainly don’t always have to agree with each other, but both partners must be willing to try.

Are you already feeling smothered, offended, frustrated and ready to explode? Generally speaking, if you can’t get along well now, it’s not going to get better.  If you’ve already reached your tipping point by month three, it’s probably time to move on.

All relationships take time to discover and discern if it’s a good fit, but once you know what you want and what you don’t want, there’s no reason to drag a relationship going nowhere on and on. 

What do you think?

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