A lot of relationship experts think that by offering some sly and clever advice, a couple can find that magic again that helps them put their marriage back on the right track.
There is this belief, among some, that if you buy the right book or sign up for the the right Relationship Coach, you will gain access to the secret sauce of how a marriage can get back to the happier times.
I hate to burst anyone’s bubble. That is really not what I am about. If you have taken the opportunity to read some of my relationship building and recovery articles here at my website, you will come to learn that I largely have a positive attitude about your prospects to land on your feet.
So, let’s examine that phrase…”landing on your feet”! What does that really mean. Some people may take it to mean that any advice dispensed should be focused on how the couple can work together to better resolve their differences.
If they work hard enough, with the same aim in mind, they will land on their feet closer, happier, and motivated to make things work. That is one theory.
That all sounds good and I like the idea of a husband and wife working off of the same sheet of music. I can see some good coming from a couple attending counseling sessions together. I can see some benefits if even one of the marital partners participle in coaching sessions. It is not a unreasonable thing to believe that an individual can learn insights and bring that knowledge back home and share it with their spouse.
So all those things are good things. I agree, they should be part of the marital recovery process for most marriages.
But I tend to have a somewhat different perspective in how a couple can finally learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of their spouse. I like to think that the best way a couple can come together to form a better marital relationship is to first focus on forming a better personal relationship with oneself.
That’s right. You need to heal yourself, before you set out trying to make your relationship better.
Building and Growing a Personal Relationship With Yourself
So to this end, what I would like you to focus on is not just how you can re-attract your husband (or wife) if the two of your have separated. Let’s turn our attention to some of the things you can do to help get back on your feet if you have been suffering from the relationship breakup blues.
These series of self improvement ideas are part of a series of posts I have done that can help you wrestle with some of those horrible feelings you may have following the breakdown of your marriage or relationship.
Here is the last post I published in this ongoing series. Remember, your focus should be on healing “you”, before you go about trying to put your marriage or relationship back in order.
And to make sure you have something to act upon in the event you wish to reopen the communication channel with your ex or current husband (or wife), I have thrown in some attraction tactics.
Ok, ready, set go.
Turning Your Marriage Blues to a Rainbow by Living a “Yes” Day (An Attraction Tactic & Recovery Exercise)
This idea can implemented and used in multiple ways. It can be employed during a period when you simply need some space or separation from your ex husband or wife (or ex).
All you need is a good friend to play it with.
Or you can put this principle into effect after you reunite with your Ex. In that respect, it becomes an enabler for attraction and keeping the relationship fresh.
How does it work?
Actions speak louder than words, right? So I want you to consider playing the “Selfless Game”.
Let’s assume you do this activity with your significant other.
You start off explaining that you would like to inject some fun and spontaneity in the relationship. Perhaps things have been somewhat stale lately.
Tell your lover you have a remedy. It is called the “Selfless Game”. You both get a chance to play the “Selfless” role.
The idea is one of you will spend an entire day doing EVERYTHING that your husband or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend wants to do or talk about.
Imagine spending a day or evening together in which magically you are unable to say “No” to your lover. Just imagine the kind of sparks that could ensue from that type of interaction.
You see, often, what it takes to have some fun is getting out of the box. Simply just let yourself go in the moment. Now, I don’t want you or your friend (or lover) to do anything really crazy. There should be some understanding of what is safe and reasonable so as to keep things from getting out of hand.
When it is all said and done, you may find that you had the time of your life and released a lot of pent up stress. And if you are playing this game of dare so to speak with your ex, then you may very well discover that the very notion that the two of your needed space is long in the past.
Getting Back Together Requires that You First See the Light (A “Chris” Recovery Insight)
Did you know that most people overestimate the time it takes to recover from their breakup or separation or divorce?
I know you may be feeling pretty bad about things.
The good news is you will recover faster than you think! Most individuals think it will take longer to get over their break-up due to what is called the “initial intensity bias”.
What happens is we end up fooling ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t like being fooled!
Here is how it works!
The more “in love” you were, then the more you will feel a new relationship is out of the question. You will swear on a stack of bibles that your marriage or relationship has fallen over a cliff or that you and your ex or headed for utter destruction. With that frame of mind, you see no possibility of ever recovering in a very long time, if at all.
Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating just a tad about how you might feel. But I think you get the point!
And if you were the one who was dumped….then the greater the intensity bias. You will think your personal recovery is far, far away.
So, if you think this way…..just know that your are so wrongggggg!
If you want to read up on it some more, then check out the link below for more details. The good news is seldom are things as bad as you may think.
Cobbling Back Together Your Relationship is About Embracing “A Time To Reap” (A “Chris” Recovery Insight)
I want you to reflect on the phenomenon we call time with a different pair of eyes.
Think of time like it is a slice of something.
Think of a massive playing deck. Each card represents a slice of time.
Imagine you only have a finite number of these slices. Every time you use one, your life deck grows smaller.
The lesson is you don’t want to think about how long you have been with your ex or your husband or wife (whatever the case may be) or all of the problems you may have had. Rather, focus on the moments you have remaining and doing something special with that time.
Our universe of 13.3 billion years of age is vast and expansive. Yet were are just the smallest of little specks that walk around on a tiny little planet.
Our life span sweeps by so fast when we place it against the background of all there is that makes of the vast universe. Don’t let these precious slices of time be wasted. You can’t get them back.
Our clock is ticking.
We have 29,220 days (on average) to live. What a shame it would be if you waste those precious moments reliving the ugly times you may have had in your marriage or relationship.
It will tell you something profound and I genuinely hope you never forget this….
I do not want YOU to be the person (once you grow very old) who looks back on their life and becomes angry with yourself for wasting so many precious moments of time caught up in the negativity and sadness of what you perceive as a failed relationship.
Relationships are stepping stones helping you learn things about yourself and others. They enable you to embrace a more positive future, if you choose that path.
Sadness and negativity is not a personality trait you are assigned. It is not a uniform you are given to wear. These emotions are a state of mind. And ultimately, you get to choose your state of mind.
Right now, I want you to look at your watch, clock, or whatever time piece you have around you. I want you to think about all of the time you have wasted feeling bad about the breakup. I want you to think about this journey you are taking.
You can choose to immerse yourself with more negative and unhappy thoughts or your can dedicate yourself to the quest of becoming the best version of your HAPPY self.
You have felt bad long enough.
It is said that “the present moment is a powerful Goddess” (Goethe).
Use all of your remaining days seeking to feel better in the “moment”. Make that promise to yourself.
Better yet, say it out loud.
You just dramatically increased your chances of living within many more fulfilling moments. And you also increased your prospects for past or future relationships with men and women.
Letting Go of Your Ex is in Part About Getting Anchored (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
I like psychology. I think the application of psychological principles can help us with dealing with our breakup sorrows.
There is a psychological technique I want you to consider. Actually it is a neurolinguistic technique, but that word is kinda “out there”, so I figured I would try keep things simple.
Ok, strike that! Nothing is really simple when we are dealing with psychological perspectives.
The technique, I want to talk about is called, “anchoring”.
This is how it works. Think back to those times when you were doing something you enjoyed very much. Perhaps you were using one of your favorite recipes to cook an amazing meal for your husband or wife. You are having the time of your life and the smell of the dinner you are preparing is simply amazing. The dinner was amazing. You and your lover made love and that experience was fantastic. Indeed, the whole affair was so memorable, it gets lodged deep in recesses of your mind. And every time your prepare and smell that meal, you can’t help but link that positive emotional experience with your current mood.
When I reach for my racket to play tennis, I think of many of the wonderful experiences I have had playing tennis in the past. And it makes me feel good.
But here is what is interesting. You can summon up the feelings using what is called “anchors” to color in your mind’s “attitude”.
Don’t you just love the way that sounds!
I mean, you can become “Picasso” like! Sketch out what kind of attitude you want to have. Then fill it in with your actions.
So “anchors” can be deliberately created or resurrected and that can help you achieve a more desirable emotional state.
It is simple to do.
Your brain contains an inventory of all kinds of positive images and memories. They are stored in there for you to call up when you chose to. Pull them up, out of your mind, and take a fun and fulfilling ride such that you can reside in a happier place.
“Picking your attitude” is indeed a real thing you have control over.
If you wish to learn more, check out this resource.
Learn From Your Breakup Through Expressive Writing (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
Another idea I would like you to try is expressive writing.
It is simply to do and can be powerful.
This relationship coping technique has been studied extensively and what has been learned is that for those who have experienced a breakup, a fast route to recovery is to write about ONLY the “positive aspects” of that breakup.
This approach is based on the cognitive teachings of “Positive Psychology”.
This is how it works.
You can simply write on a pad, notebook, journal, or diary. It’s your choice. But the rule is you only write about the positive things associated with your breakup.
You would write for 3 consecutive days and spend about 15-30 minutes a day recording your feelings and thoughts.
You would write about the positive things that occurred before the breakup.
You would write about the positive aspects associated with the actual breakup.
And you would write about the positives in your life since the breakup.
The study revealed that when people did this, they experienced higher levels of positive emotions, along with greater confidence, energy, happiness, thankfulness, empowerment, optimism, relief, satisfaction, and wisdom.
Taking Stock of Your Relationship – Do a Plus/Delta (A “Chris” Recovery Exercise)
I recommend you do a Plus/Delta on your Ex.
“So what the heck is that”, you may be thinking?
It is nothing terribly complicated. But it can be eye opening and help you see the bigger picture of whether your Ex is worth your time.
The way it works is you take out a sheet of paper. At the top, write down the Proposed Future Outcome”. In your case it would be something like, “Should We Get Back Together Again”.
Then draw a line halfway down the entire page so that it is split in two. On the left side of the paper, you can list all of the positive reasons for why you should pursue a relationship with your Ex. List out all of the benefits you will gain from the relationship resuming. Jot down the things that worked. Write down everything you can think of. That is the PLUS side of the equation.
On the right side of the paper, list out all of the things that would need to change for you to pursue your Ex. Not just things you can control, but behaviors of your Ex that would need to change. Evaluate the likelihood of these changes occurring. Be completely honest and jot down every conceivable thing you can think of. That is the DELTA side of the equation.
Now stand back and just reflect on the results and begin weighing in your mind if the Proposed Future Outcome is a likely and a worthy endeavor.
It won’t always be crystal clear what you should do. But this method can help you with seeing all of the important elements that impact your decision.
If you wish to make your Plus/Delta a bit more sophisticated, you can also choose to prioritize certain things. Put a star by those things which are important to you.
It is never wise to rush into things.
As you reflect on all of the qualities (good and bad) of your Ex husband or wife, you enable yourself to make better informed decisions.
I have often seen people, overcome with loneliness or even desperation, jump right back into their relationship far too soon.
When emotions run high, logic runs low. Both you and your Ex need to decide what is truly in each of your own best interests.
This is not easy to do. This is why we see so many relationships suffer from the cycle of on again and off again.
Don’t be that person who is blind to the important things you should know about your Ex.
The canvas of things you should look at in your potential partner for life is wide.
I want you to think about a great many things.
Do you have a shared belief or faith?
Do you really like your Ex’s friends?
What is this person’s experience with love?
How often have breakups occurred in your Ex’s life?
Who initiated the breakup?
Is your Ex kind and generous?
Does your Ex insist on controlling everything?
How is your sex life?
Do you each share similar goals regarding family and children?
What is this individual’s ideas around parenting?
What is this person’s ambitions in life?
What is their track record regarding financial matters?
Behavior psychologists are fond of saying that a person’s past history is “predictive” of their future behavior.
Essentially, this means that what a person has done in the past, is often repeated in the future.
I place a great deal of credibility on this line of thinking as I have seen how an examination of a person’s history can be a very useful way of figuring out what they are likely to do in the future.
So please do not make the mistake of turning a blind eye to a person’s past or fall victim to only listening to the words they have to say.
Actions do often speak “louder” than words.
Now, this is not to say that a person cannot learn from the mistakes of their past or lift themselves up from negative experiences in their life.
I think you are getting the picture here!
It takes time to learn about all these things and it also takes discipline. Just know that you will be fighting against emotional urges to hook it up and get the relationship back on track.
But I would advocate you do something very, very important.
I want you to Wait.
Yes, I want you to wait and ensure you have thought objectively about this person.
The true picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your significant other will come into clearer focus over time.
Before You Walk Back Away – Take The Walk (A “Chris” Recovery Insight)
Did you know that the mere act of walking can cause a healthy release of oxytocin! Relationships are founded on the release of this brain chemical. Marriages thrive because of this hormone. And if you are trying to assemble the puzzle pieces of what to do next after a break up, be assured that oxytocin plays a role in a robust recovery.
Do you remember what oxytocin is? Well, let me go over it again just in case, because it is definitely something your don’t want to forget.
When you break up and are stressed, your body releases cortisol…the stress hormone. A simple act can trigger this release.
You are coming off a breakup. That is NO simple act. So you are experiencing a lot stress. Your body is releasing a lot of cortisol. That is not good.
We have to turn that tide. A lot of the personal “recovery exercises” I am discussing can help you a great deal.
But I also want you to learn about the role oxytocin plays in your life.
A great deal of this book teaches you about “attraction building”. The Ex Recovery System I teach is predicated on helping you rebuild attraction with your Ex. Of course, it does many other things as well.
Attraction building is about stimulating the right side of brain. You want to leverage the use of the brain’s natural hormonal release of oxytocin. The question is how do you do that?
Well, it happens in a lot of ways. The body language you exhibit influences the release of oxytocin. Things like hugging and touching have an impact. The tone and speed of your voice and laughter are other examples.
Actual words you use only account for 7% when evaluating if someone fancies you. What matters most to the subconscious of a person are non-verbal cues, such as your body language and the tone of your voice.
Oxytocin is a hormone released by the brain and is thought of as a chemical messenger that is important to human behavior. It contributes to sexual arousal, enhances recognition, promotes trust and attachment (bonding) and can reduce stress and promote relaxation.
It is called the “love hormone” or the “cuddle chemical”
What causes Oxytocin to surge in Humans?
This is not a complete list, but it covers most of the triggers:
- Brisk walking, swimming, physical exercise
- Nursing a baby
- Vaginal contractions
- Listening to soothing music
- Eggs, bananas, chili peppers
- Playing games
- Talking intimately
- Staring into each other’s eyes without talking
- Revealing intimate details about your life.
We need to rid your body of the cortisol and replace it with some nice chemicals. Let’s order up a dose of Oxytocin and while we are at it, let’s get you going with a neurotransmitter like serotonin.
Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you about serotonin. It is that chemical of the brain that makes you feel serene and leaves you with a lingering pleasurable feeling. Serotonin is produced through consumption of certain foods (e.g. grain like seeds, vitamin B6 food groups) and exercise, stress reduction activities, and exposure to daylight.
So how are we going to do this.
Ok, I am serious about this! Just for fun, try it out.
Take a look at the list above.
Consider going for a brisk walk. Perhaps you should go to the nearest mall. As you are walking, your headphones/ear plugs should be piping in some really nice and soothing music. Take along a banana to snack on. I want you to smile and laugh. Take along a friend. I want you to make good eye contact and talk about something quite intimate. And when you call it a day, give your friend a big hug.
There! That should get your oxytocin levels up!