All Articles Tagged "moving on"
Have you been caught cheating on your partner? Even if you are both working to move past the affair, are you having trouble moving past your own shame? If so, help is on the way.
In this video, divorce coach and YourTango Expert Marina Pearson says that infidelity can be overcome in a relationship. “Learning is growth,” she says. “We’re not perfect and the fact that you can learn from this experience is amazing, because that way you’ll get to learn more about you, improve on what you can do and actually, you can start to change and tweak things about yourself that ultimately you didn’t even know you could.” She shares even more advice on how to get over your guilt.
See more on YourTango.com.
A few weeks ago I was having a phone conversation with a friend that I hadn’t talked to in a while. We caught up and then laughed about some of the more outrageous things that happened when we around each other. As we sighed in delight at our shenanigans, we began to relive the moments of first meeting each other. It was all fun until she began to mention how I revealed information about my troubled past to her within our first meeting. My stomach sank as she retold the stories of the pain I dealt with as a child.
Growing up in Mobile, Alabama was a very difficult time for me and my family. Each person dealt with their own problems, while also facing combined issues. There were a lot of tears, a lot of trying to understand “why did this happen,” and questions of: ”God, I thought you were going to protect me, what happened?” While dealing with these moments, my two older sisters and I decided to just keep our past where it was. We wouldn’t discuss it, not even with ourselves, or with our baby sister who was born during a transitioning period in our lives. She grew up in a great household, very privileged, slightly spoiled, and we wanted to keep her ignorant to how things were before she came along.
It wasn’t until 8th grade that I started opening up to people about it. I first told my “boyfriend,” who essentially used my past against me once we “broke up.” (Those childhood relationships, I swear, we took things soo seriously, didn’t we?) So, when I got into high school, I decided that I would just keep my past to my best friends. My four best friends became my sounding board of support and understanding and could finally piece together the puzzle of my personality that others wondered about. Being open and honest for the first time was so freeing to me. I didn’t have to talk around my past anymore, I could finally address it and there was a strength in doing so.
But, when I got to college, I feel like I got a little haphazard with it. Looking back on it it was like: *handshake “Hi, I’m Kendra, I suffered as a child. What’s your name?” Granted, the people I shared this information with became and still are some of my closest friends; but looking back on it, I get confused by my behavior. I feel as though for so many years I felt beaten up by life, robbed of a childhood, seeing invisible, mental scars from looking at old pictures or even in the mirror. I felt so hurt for so long, that holding on to it, and being able to say: ”Hey, I survived” was like some type of award. It came to the point that I refused to move on from the pain. Refused to let it go. Refused to heal, because I needed to feel it. I needed to know how far I came. I needed to continue to feel that sorrow. I began to realize that I was addicted to the pain, addicted to feeling as though I had survived and I did matter because of it.
About two years ago or so I was doing an interview about a book I contributed to and they were asking me about my passages in it that described some of the hurt from my past. While delving into it I just began to feel so exhausted and felt like fighting the urge to say: ”Could we please talk about something else?” At that moment I realized we couldn’t talk about anything else, because that pain was what I used to define myself to so many people in my life and in the book.
I began to realize that past hurts should be there to help shape us, not define us, and holding on to them can be damaging if you don’t allow yourself to grow from them. I’m not telling you to be ashamed of your past, and continue to hide from it, but when you feel like your identity is wrapped up in your hurt, then maybe you should consider letting go of it. You are a survivor, but just know that you can also be something more as well. Don’t let wading in your past emotional pool stop you from swimming in the oceans of life, because you can miss a lot out there if you stay in the shallow end.
Kendra Koger is afraid of drowning, but you can swim to her twitter account @kkoger.
Relationships can be extremely hard, and ending them can sometimes be worse, particularly if the relationship was troubling or even abusive. If you’re not careful you can sit back and think/obsess over all the time that you “wasted” on that individual. Remembering times when you were being used, feelings of anger and mentally replaying over and over how that person screwed you over can sometimes lead you to the land of bitterness.
Now don’t get me wrong, you have every right to be mad. If you’ve invested a large amount of time in someone, the relationship went southward and it started to affect the way you see yourself, I’m not trying to rob you of your indignation. I’m trying to help you so that two years after said breakup, you’re not cussing strangers out in the street for wearing the same socks as your ex.
So go ahead, get angry, listen to those empowerment songs, and throw away his/her pictures. But when you get done mourning and being angry, maybe these few things can help you to bypass the bitter feelings so you’re not trapped in a emotional remake of the movie Groundhog Day:
Get it all out – So many times when things go wrong, we end up rehashing them because we haven’t allowed ourselves to really express how we feel. We feed ourselves a falsehood by saying: ”If I don’t think about it then it won’t be that bad.” Actually, it makes it worse. Those dormant feelings will continue to bubble under the surface, just waiting for any opportunity to pop back up. Address how you feel, how things went wrong, why you hate that stupid shirt he/she wore. Get it all out. Once it’s all out, you’ll feel a lot better.
Don’t think about what-ifs – The man who I married (and am now divorcing) was highly sought after at the job where we worked. All most everyday was frustrating for me because I would constantly walk in on these women propositioning him as if I didn’t exist. When we made the decision to end our marriage my mind kept on going back to: ”What if I would have just took a step back and let those women have him? Maybe I wouldn’t be going through what I am right now? They would be the ones angry and running after a toddler by themselves while I’d be living some preposterous hyperbolic lifestyle.”
The problem with all of this is, it wasn’t them. It was me. What’s the point of rehashing what could have been? This is your life, this is what you decided and this what you have to deal with. Now, it might not be pleasant, but thinking about the alternative routes that you should have gone down is only distracting you from making better decisions in the future. Forget the what-ifs, just learn better for tomorrow. Like I’ve read somewhere before: “Life is like a camera, focus on what’s important, capture the good, and develop from the negatives.”
Realize that you’re better without him/her – If the person you were involved with was a class A douche, instead of being bitter about all of the crap he did, be happy that that loser is finally out of your life! Celebrate it! For me being in an emotionally abusive relationship where I wasn’t allowed to see my friends when I wanted to after we broke up I remember sitting back thinking: ”I can’t believe he used to isolate me like that.” Now I can go, see and talk to whoever I want to! My dorm room wasn’t a prison anymore and I finally had the freedom that I didn’t have. Instead of thinking about how much of a jerk he was, see the great things that you now have access to because he’s gone!
Take Yourself Off the Pedestal – Okay, this is going to be a little touchy for some. But, it’s important. Sometimes when you’ve been hurt, you can sometimes go from feeling bad about the situation to feeling bad for ourselves. That’s only a slippery slope to victimization and wallowing in your own self-pity. Yes, what happened to you was horrible, but feeling sorry for yourself is just going to keep you in that terrible space and validate your feelings of bitterness. We’re working away from that.
Sometimes you are more than willing to turn an ex loose. You snap the weight of that relationship from around you like you snap that constricting bra off at the end of the day. You’re giddy, joyful like a slave who has just received her freedom papers and a one-way train ticket North.
Then, there are the relationships that leave you curled up in the fetal position, watching The Notebook on replay, ugly-crying Kim Kardashian style into the same three balled up tissues you’ve been using for the past four hours. Nothing matters in the world. Not food. Not your job. Not even your hygiene. You’ve drank ONE glass of OJ all day, called out of work and haven’t shaved your legs. You simply can’t rest for wondering, crying, hoping and praying over the desperate, pitiful remains of your love, feelings and broken emotions.
Yeah, it’s that intense sometimes.
I’ve experienced the former and the latter. While the latter is obviously the most difficult to push through, it’s also the most rewarding to push through. I cried my fair share of tears but at the end of the day, I had to get tough with myself. I fixed my face (and LORD, did that take some fixing), took a shower, shaved my legs, hid The Notebook DVD and laid out some serious honesty for myself. My ex had not changed. In over six years of on-again-off-again contact with him, he had not changed. At 26 he is the same game-playing, insecure, lazy little boy that he was at 18. Am I bashing him? Absolutely not. I can attest to his good qualities as well. The only trouble is that while he may be a good-hearted person, all the ‘good-heartedness’ in the world just AIN’T ENOUGH.
I took inventory. Had I grown? If the answer was ‘Yes’ (which it unequivocally was) then the choice to completely and wholeheartedly walk away from him would be clear, yes? Yes. It should be easy, yes? No.
Sometimes women, as the more nurturing of the two sexes, feel the need to coax, coddle and coerce boys into being men. Wrong. All wrong. If he is not engaging his own free will to become better, there is little you can do or say to persuade him to. I had to stop and realize that my support is and will only EVER be supplemental to my ex’s determination to mature. If he lacked that determination, all the support in the world would do him no good and would drain me in the process.
I looked in the mirror one fateful day and true to the form of any endearing chick flick, gave myself the illest, most girl power-esque pep talk possible: “Girl, you have come too far. You have learned too much. You know what you deserve and it’s not him. You did all you could do to show him how much you loved him. He didn’t get it and that’s not your problem anymore. Something so much better is in store for you.”
I fed myself smaller gems in the same vein as that pep talk whenever I felt weak or lonely. I got busy working, getting involved in the women’s empowerment ventures I had become so passionate about, mentoring young ladies, writing, traveling, spending more time with friends and family. Things were happening. Life was drawing back its curtain and showing to me all the glorious inner workings of its full production. I was falling in love with living, instead of existing. And sure enough a week, a month, a year and a half sauntered on past me. I looked up and thought about him for the first time in ages and felt ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
When I got busy working on ME, that’s when the real healing process started happening. It was like a chemical reaction. Getting to the crux of who I am, what I enjoy, what I’m passionate about is what made all the difference for me. I had no time to bemoan the ruins of a failed relationship when I was out exploring, meeting, seeing, doing, loving and living. But I had all the time in the world for growing.
While I wish him well, I have slowly but surely moved forward by knowing and fully UNDERSTANDING my immense worth. You’ll never get what you deserve if you never understand and fully believe in who you are. People can tell you until they are blue in the face but until it all penetrates your brain matter, it will just be words and you’ll still settle for less than everything you’re worth.
I may have held the blue ribbon for “World’s Ugliest Ugly Crier” back then but please believe holding the title of “The One That Got Away” feels so freakin’ fabulous now.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change. Her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and her Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
Stop wasting time regretting what you did a year ago. Start doing what you have to do now, so that in a year’s time you won’t regret what you did today. – Stephen Covey.
I was mired in regret for nearly a year after a certain relationship. I wanted so bad for things to work out with this guy, and I did everything I could think of to make that happen. Looking back, I’m almost embarrassed at some of my antics that I now recognize as hopelessly desperate. Way after any sane person would have, I gathered up what little self-respect I had left and walked away. More accurately, I allowed him to fade away.
In the weeks and months that followed, I analyzed that relationship in my mind even more than I did when we were still involved. I would sit and think about what I could have said or done differently to increase my chances of a desirable outcome. In hindsight, so many things are maddeningly clear and I would be devastated thinking of the mistakes I made regarding that relationship. Why hadn’t I been more unavailable?, I’d think. Why had I been so nice about that? Why wasn’t I kinder to him about this? Why did I ignore that phone call? Why didn’t I know they were more than friends? Why did I respond to that text? Why did I believe that lie? Why didn’t I wait just a little bit longer for him to come around? Why was I so terrible at this game?
The regret weighed on me for months. I would come across some piece of advice and think about how it applied to that relationship and how I wished I had heard it sooner. I would watch movies about a dating couple and see similarities (that were probably not even there) and imagine we could have had our happily ever after too. I would hope that I could somehow get a second chance to start over with him just so I could do things right from the beginning.
I regretted and regretted some more, going over and over in my mind every little word, action and event between us. I’d all but absolved him completely of any culpability in what went wrong. Somehow, I’d determined that I was totally at fault for the negative outcome because he would have treated me better if only I would have acted differently. I would think about what I could have said here or what I could have done there. I obsessed thinking : “if only”.
The odd thing was, even when I had moved on to another relationship, I was still obsessing about that past one. I wasn’t hoping for another chance to do things right with him, but older and wiser, I was upset that I didn’t know better back then. I was upset that I’d wasted so much time on the futile task of trying to get that man to love me. I was upset that I didn’t see the signs. I couldn’t believe I’d been so stupid about him.
Then one day, talking to a friend about my regret, she got me thinking when she said “What’s the point of still mulling over the situation? You learned the lesson. Now, forgive yourself and let it go.”
She was right. Sure, I made some mistakes, but he was the one who had been a jerk to me. I had found it in my heart to forgive him, so when was I going to find it in my heart to forgive me? How long was I going to beat myself up for not knowing better and not doing better? My dad used to always say, “make the best decision with the information you have at the time”. That’s all any of us can do right? Sometimes the decision we make will prove to be a great one and sometimes it will prove to be an awful one, but oftentimes in the grand scheme of our life, it falls somewhere in the middle.
The only thing we can do with the past is move on from it. Spending time being sad about a situation I couldn’t change was emotionally draining and when I decided to stop doing that, I began to feel better. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re beating yourself up all the time. Acknowledging mistakes is one thing, wallowing in self-pity and and being upset at yourself about old stuff is quite another. Even in the most ridiculous situations, there’s always something positive to give yourself credit for. At the very least, I don’t regret having an open heart and being so willing to love because now that I have better judgment I am able to love a man who truly deserves it. Had I shut down my emotions like I so desperately wanted to back then, who knows what I’d be dealing with now?
Though I’m certain there were some things in life I could have done without, if given the chance, I probably wouldn’t change a thing. Going back and changing anything would mean going back and changing me and possibly changing the good things right along with the bad. I hate talking about lessons learned in a relationship, but we really do learn from every failed (and successful) relationship, right? And after we’ve learned whatever lesson we’ve gleaned from an old relationship, the only thing to do is to let it go and focus on living and loving now in such a way that won’t leave us with a lot of regrets later.
What do you think? Have you ever struggled from regret about a past relationship?
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Our goal is for Madame Noire to be a “no judgment” zone, so this is not going to be some type of lecture. But rather, a way for us to learn from our own bad behavior– or the bad behavior of others and do better. That being said, many of us have had moments in our romantic relationships that we’re less than proud of. Maybe you went extreme like Jazmine Sullivan and bust the windows out his car, maybe you started hooping and hollering in public causing an unnecessary scene, or maybe you tried to challenge his masculinity by talking down to him or even coming at his temple with two extended fingers. Whatever you did, you’re sorry and frankly embarrassed. Hopefully, your little indiscretion hasn’t resulted in your arrest, and you want to make it better and move on. Here are a few ways to get you started.
Pictures of him with another woman purposely being photographed (you can see a friend taking candids in some paparazzi shots) on a yacht somewhere in Italy certainly tell a thousand words, namely, I don’t care who knows or I hope these get back to Heidi. At this point in the game, it’s only been four months since Heidi and Seal announced their split, which by most accounts means it’s awfully soon to have replaced your wife of seven years. But then again, he seemed to not be the one drafted the papers in the first place so maybe this unnamed brunette is his way of coping.
Seal has been pretty mum about his pending divorce since people started questioning why he was running his mouth so much when Heidi hadn’t said a thing, but in a recent interview he told USA Today:
“I’m in an excellent place right now. In a situation like this, your priority is the children. As long as the children are happy, I’m happy.”
He certainly looks happy on that yacht. Check out more pics on TMZ. What do you think about Seal possibly moving on with a new woma already?
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In Finding the Right Path for You I wrote about my first time learning how to ride a bike. I had a bad habit of looking behind myself to see if my father was still holding on to the back. My habit was so bad that my aunt told me that Medusa was behind me (I was really big in Greek Mythology at the time… which is still going on now…) and if I were to look behind me I would turn into stone. However, that made me want to look back even more. Finally, I’m riding, my father let’s go, the wind is blowing through my hair, and for some reason, I look behind myself. Before I could comprehend the cries of: ”LOOK OUT!” I run right into my father’s car.
Now, that would have been fine if I learned my lesson and that was the last time that it happened, but it wasn’t. By looking behind me while riding my bike with my sisters and friends I have successfully crashed into glass doors, people’s pets, and other people. But, the crash that made me finally decide to start looking forward was when I was riding my bike with my two older sisters, and I was in front. Afraid that I was being left out of the loop I looked behind, and before I knew it I was catapulted from my bike. After landing and skidding for what seemed like twenty minutes (though it was only like… five seconds), I got up to find that someone parked their car at the base of someone’s driveway, so their car’s butt was sticking out and that’s what I hit. I had large scrapes over my body that were filled up with dirt, rocks, and other street nitty gritty, my clothes were torn, and I had an inability to ride my bike. Even though I couldn’t ride, I hightailed it out of there before the owner of the car could see the large dent I caused. (I limped away from the scene of the crime like I was on the Olympic limping team. I definitely would have won the gold that day!)
Now, you might not be a bike rider, but anytime that you spend too much time looking behind yourself while you’re trying to move forward, you risk the danger of hurting yourself or someone else. Your past is there as a learning tool to help shape your future. But when you spend too much time looking back, that’s when you put yourself in “danger” by repeating the same mistakes over or by keeping yourself immobilized by not progressing. I realized that every time I looked behind myself was the moment that I would hurt myself.
After a while I realized that my fear was that I was going to be left behind, or left out of something fun. But that crash is what led me to being left out and being left behind. I had to wait until I fully healed before heading back out on my bike, while my sisters were cruising on their ten speeds.
The same principle is true now. If you spend too much time obsessing over your past, you’re going to miss out on opportunities that are happening right now. Too busy thinking about that ex who cheated on you three years ago? What about that cute tenderoni who’s showing you interest now, or did you not notice? Are you stressing about that old frenemey who did you bogus? What about the person who’s showing you unconditional love and friendship now? Still talking about that crazy boss you had? Can you still talk about that old boss while putting in job applications, please?
I’m not saying to ignore your past, but instead of obsessing over it, learn from it. Take a glance, not a step back, because honestly, there are things you can crash into everywhere!
Kendra Koger has been avoiding parked cars since 1992. Follow her on twitter @kkoger.
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I’m great at remembering. It’s probably the reason my favorite animal is an elephant, a pendant often strewn across my heavily burdened chest. Often, I find myself sifting through memories: A familiar song on the highway will push me through tunnel visions of a summer car ride and fling long gone. A passerby’s smell will trigger a yesterday. The awkwardness of someone’s jawline will remind me of the same one plastered on an ex’s face.
I’ve always counted on my reflections. Recollection has always been my forte; the ability to pull from the good and the bad when I’m apt to reiterate the same mistake or shiver at the good ones running down my spine. I’ve always been able to recall, the description of those I’ve loved, in metaphors and similes.
Lately, this talent has forsaken me. Actually if it were not for conversations with friends, highlighting this same issue in their partnerships, I would not have noticed it at all.
My memories were ruining my relationship.
I got into this habit of noticing reflections of exes’ behaviors with my new partner. One of my exes got into the habit of calling late. We’d digressed from the all day check-ins to speaking a few times a week and eventually nothing at all. He’d call around midnight, expressing his schedule was keeping him away, and tell me we’d speak tomorrow. We would, but it was always very briefly and bereft of the love we were once so immersed in.
Another past love, one who’d also been infatuated with the art of the word, frequently joined me at open mikes and poetry slams. We discussed rap lyrics on city steps until the wee hours of the morning, debating whether or not hip-hop was meeting its demise. We flipped through DVR’d HBO Def Poetry discussing the social issues that the poets slung through literary elements. After a while, his interests also began to deviate. Soon he’d grow frustrated at the mention of cafés and microphones, hanging out at the skate park instead. We’d grow apart slowly, my confusion a lingering voice through text messages and infrequent visits.
You see, I remember.
On a reunion episode of “The Challenge” Johnny Devenanzio, also known as Johnny Bananas, quoted his father by saying: “holding a grudge is like *crapping* in your pants. No one else feels it but you.” Trying to find truth in a reality show is sometimes like having enlightened conversations with a toddler. It doesn’t happen often; however, this was something that stayed with me because I do have a problem with holding onto grudges. But like my daughter’s diapers when she “craps” too much, you learn that it can rub off in other areas of your life, making them stink to the high heavens.
So to you, dear reader, are a few reasons why you should drop whatever grudge you’ve been holding onto.