4 steps to being HAPPY (and in love!) again.
When a woman’s relationship or marriage is in a life-threatening state of high alert, and you dig down deeper to ask a woman what is wrong, she will often blame herself, and her issues with self-esteem will become apparent.
Her remorse might start like this:
“I am embarrassed to say this …”
“This is going to sound stupid.”
“I don’t know, I just don’t trust myself anymore.”
After talking with hundreds of women in our divorce coaching practice, we have to say, ladies, your first instinct might be right. On some level, you are to blame for your relationship.
Although you and your partner should be equal players, bearing equal brunt for the logistics of your relationship and emotional support, the fact that you don’t respect yourself is what’s causing lasting damage to your relationship.
But it’s hard to feel differently about yourself — because, by some measure, you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid that you are not deserving of something better. You’ve convinced yourself that if only you could fix yourself, you’d magically transform the sorry state of your marital affairs.
It’s a Catch-22, or what we call Stage 1 of Divorce: a vicious circle where you blame him, but really deep down you blame yourself, and then you override it, because, it’s all too much to remedy. Where do you begin?
It is remarkable to watch what happens when a woman begins to feel the support she needs to start the repair work of respecting herself. Not only does her relationship change, but her life changes for the better, too.
Women who begin this work can inspire their partners, their children, and other women who feel hopeless.
It is our hope that these 4 active steps will inspire you to find your own precious, irreplaceable value so that your relationships grow — especially the one with yourself.
1. Acknowledge your state of being right now.
Find a journal or a notebook to begin.
Date the top of the page and record how you feel about your life by choosing a number 0-10. 10 means you feel competent, confident and 100 percent positive about your life and future (not likely if you are reading this post!). Zero means you feel nothing. You are flat about your prospects for good things to happen now or ever after.
Pick a number. For the next four weeks following this week, date your entry and record your number again.
2. Commit to doing something different.
In your notebook, brainstorm three things you can do that would be different from what you have been doing to change your life and relationship.
Ideas might be: find a therapist to help you understand what emotional issues you need to heal and give space to; identify a coach who can help you gain the clarity to take the action you critically need; meet with a financial person who can help you understand or learn about your money challenges; download a walking app to help you follow through with exercising every day.
Commit and begin the work. (Make sure you are recording your well-being each week.)
3. Remember the good you.
Dedicate 30 minutes of writing time in your notebook.
Begin by reflecting back to a moment in your life (not dependent on a romantic relationship or your children), when life was sweet.
This is a time when you felt good about yourself, inside and out, when you felt competent and confident. When your state of being was a 10 or close to it.
Journal about this time in your life: where were you? How old were you? How did you know life was good? Who was there? What did it smell like? Look like? Sound like? What was possible for you then? Name this memory so you have a title for this moment in your life. Got it?
Now ask the woman in that scene, what would she tell you about your current circumstances? Write down what she says. What would she tell you is your next step?
4. Reconnect with the people who bring you joy.
Now that you’ve reconnected with your sense of well-being, identify who in your life makes you feel this way.
Write their names down in your journal. Email or call them to arrange to spend time, have lunch, go away for a girls’ weekend. These people cultivate you and recognize what makes you fabulous.
You know they are the right people for you if after being with them you feel energized and uplifted. She is definitely your gal if she makes you laugh!
Reviving takes time, but begin.
These steps are a slow but powerful process that cultivates your spirit, body, and mind.
We want you to be patient and forgiving of yourself but also recognize that there is urgency here. You know your past. If you do not do something to change your circumstances now, nothing will change. Check in with your notebook and watch the number you record each week. Make connections between your sense of well-being and the actions you take each day.
Appreciate these brutal truths: you are responsible for making the critical moves you need (not him, not her) for changing things, and learning to respect and love yourself is the first step to being loveable.
Get Liza and Kim’s free weekly coaching letter for women seeking to rebuild their lives and grow … either inside their relationships or by leaving it and possibly, dealing with divorce. Reinvent the rest of your life.