Moving Relationship Advice From A Divorced Man
This Facebook post from recently divorced Gerald Rogers contains valuable advice that applies to both men and women in relationships. He wrote this post after the finalization of his divorce from a 16 year marriage. It's advice that he wishes he had put in practice during the course of his relationship. Hindsight often gives us the greatest change of perspective that enables us to view a situation objectively. These are some of my favorite points:
"1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love."
If each party to a relationship take 100% responsibility for the success of the relationship, it brings a level playing field where nether party will feel taken advantage of.
"2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there."
Always remember that no one else has responsibility for your own life. Keep working on your personal growth, this helps create a culture of growth in the relationship.
"4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to have this woman as your wife."
If you struggle with resentment or negativity in general try keeping a diary or notebook. Write down everything that happened in the day that made you happy or you felt grateful for, write down nice deeds that you have seen people doing. This will help you shift perspective to see the good in things.
"7) NEVER BLAME your wife If YOU get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were."
Healthy relationships give us the opportunity to heal negative core beliefs that we have about ourselves. Both parties need to be willing to discuss, compromise and resolve issues as soon as they occur.
"8) Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion. 9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes."
When you take your self too seriously the ego is in control of you. You will be easily controlled by others, make rash decisions and more be more prone to playing games with people. Having fun deepens and strengthens your connection and should outweigh the negative interactions eight to one. Making mistakes and learning from them is what makes us human. Sharing mistakes helps us start learning to be more vulnerable.
"16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don't know i she will like what she finds... Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be."
The mask or 'false self' is the biggest barrier to intimacy. We want to see the beautiful person you are underneath it, flaws and all, that's what people fall in love with.
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