Category Archives: break- ups

Signs your dating an unstable person.

She/He has no history of long term or significant lasting relationships. Most emotionally healthy individuals have a dating history of at least a few relationships that demonstrate some stability or consistency.  When they describe why things didn’t work out there is a sense of balance for both parties. If the person your dating seems to carry immense hostility with ALL their  X’s or if they refer to themselves as always being the “victim” of  prior relationship failures, it’s a big red flag. This is a sign that there is no or little insight into their own prior mistakes or failures. They are quick to blame everyone else for circumstances not working in their favor.

Her/His job history is unstable. And it’s never their fault. You may hear things like: “They don’t like me”, or “I had a horrible boss”. If someone has personality problems they rarely own their mistakes and are quick to blame everyone else. Healthy individuals are able to see areas of themselves that need improvement and they accept responsibility for their part of a problem, and hopefully learn from the experience.

She/He fights or is often rude to authority figures, friends, co-workers, or service staff. Of course everyone experiences a bump in the road now and then with other people. Yet his or her life seem to be filled with excessive drama including frequent interpersonal conflicts that seem petty. Chances are this person has a lot of trouble getting along with people.  They may lack social skills and view others in extremes. More specifically, they will vacillate between highly regarding a person one minute then devaluing them the next. If the person your dating  is struggling to get along with lots of other people then eventually, they are going to have trouble getting along with you. 

She/He irresponsible with money or has excessive debt. Enough said.

She/He has few or poor boundaries. Going through your personal things, checking your phone, going through your wallet or purse, frequently creeping your social media and overly questioning you about pictures or people. Emotionally healthy individuals are respectful of you, your time and your belongings. Your allowed to go at your pace with how, when, how much and if you share. Healthy individuals have enough self esteem and clear perspective to know that kind of behavior is inappropriate. If you feel your personal space is being infringed upon don’t second guess yourself. It’s happening. 

 She/He becomes overly attached too quickly. Emotionally healthy individuals  will remain consistent with seeing their own friends and continue to attend activities even after you begin to date. Their life doesn’t stop. That’s not to say that you aren’t excited to spend time together, or that adjustments aren’t made, by you mutually; there’s a difference. When dating begins a grounded person will maintain a balance between living their own life, maintaining their own interests and activities and sharing time with you. It’s all about balance. If the urge to merge happens too fast it’s a red flag. Remember decisions made together is one thing, being held to an expectation when your not ready is another. 

Nothing takes the place of using your own instincts and following your gut. When you begin dating someone and there are things that bother you, listen. Usually break ups occur over things you probably noticed early on but choose to ignore. It is a lot easier to start a relationship then to get out of one. 

Advertisements

Marriage can be a precarious place for women in their 40’s…

When a married woman reaches 40, and often older, her life begins to change. The children she longed to have are growing older, her education has begun to pay off as she has developed her own career. She is earning her own money and is contributing to the household income, often significantly. She has developed a broad and strong support network of other women and co-workers who she trusts, and who provide her with emotional support in addition to social outlets. She has matured. She has developed a “net” for herself. She has reached a different place in her life, emotionally.

The decent, loving, stable, nice man she met 15 or 20 years ago, now her husband, is a good father and provider, and yet she discovers that she does not need him in the same ways that she once did.  So why are so many women at this life stage finding themselves questioning their own feelings and asking themselves “Am I crazy for thinking about leaving?” He doesn’t drink heavily, he’s loyal, he is smart, he loves me, he doesn’t run around at night, and we get along. Slowly, her life which use to feel very fullfiling suddenly feels vanilla. When she speaks to her family and friends about her feelings she hears “What is wrong with vanilla?” or “are you crazy? he’s such a good guy and father you should feel lucky! I think there something is wrong with YOU!” So, she tells herself that she just can’t leave. She can’t justify it. And she can’t hurt him. Her feelings are suddenly not as important as these things in the face of logic. She tells herself that she really has no good reason to leave. She just can’t get out. Marriage is a commitment and it has its ups and downs right? And besides things can’t always be exciting that’s unrealistic. There are dips in all relationships. So she waits, hoping things might feel better. She may ask her husband to go to counseling but he’s not really doing anything wrong. It’s her own emerging feelings that are driving her ambivalence. She says to herself “If I can only hang in there another few years until the kids are done with high school”. The safety, consistency, and love, she once felt, the children they have together  shouldn’t it all be enough? These things once gave her great joy. Yet SHE has changed inside. Her emotional needs have changed, she has grown, she finds herself feeling lonely in the marriage. These are some conditions that often create a dangerous and vulnerable environment and for an affair to be set in motion. Women having affairs isn’t talked about much in social media, but it happens quite frequently. Women simply aren’t as comfortable revealing or owning such behavior.

Many of the reasons that woman marry when they are younger are fulfilled by their 40’s. By that time they are much more comfortable in their own skin and more emotionally mature. Later in life they can  provide for themselves, and the emotional needs they had in their 20’s have been realized. They have also become more comfortable and secure with themselves and the world. Emotionally, they have a built a network of friends and support, financially, they have begun to make their own money, martial sex has become flat as the emotional connectedness has diminished. Conversations have become dry and routine. It is often described to me as an ” unexplained emptiness” never felt before. The desire remains to have a partner yet she doesn’t NEED to be with anyone. She is filled with guilt, angst and confusion.

Of course all relationships go through ups and downs. Especially those that span a decade or more. The stress of raising children, financial changes, job changes, experiencing loss through death, and tragedy that is just life. Couples therapy can significantly help with recapturing the intimacy and connectedness lost over time. It cannot however, change an individual’s  sense of who they have become or how they feel. If one person in the marriage is not “all in”, no matter how wonderful their husband or wife may be, it might be time to change direction. Feelings are feelings, needs change, what you have to offer now may not necessarily be enough 15 years from now for your spouse.  Women are emotionally dynamic and organic creatures. Sometimes it may be about the relationship. Sometimes though it may just be about us. 

“The Truth is…

..Everyone is going to hurt you,
You just got to find the ones worth suffering for” Bob Marley

William James once said
“Wisdom is learning what to overlook”.
Yet when we are in a relationship with a person we love so much how do we know exactly what to overlook or when to step up or put the breaks on?
If something is hurting us, do we overlook it as something that may be Insignificant or inconsequential?
Is it transient? Or do we convince ourselves we are being loved, so it’s ok? And very often that really seems like a fair trade.
Do we allow ourselves to get in so deep that when the door closes behind us, and we find ourselves in menacing places, or even being in situations that we would normally make an effort to avoid what do we do? Hope it’s not there with the new morning sun?
Does “crazy” look the same when you love someone then when you aren’t involved? How does love enslave us to a point where we loose our sense of self? Or better, our sense of what love is or should be for us? Do we deserve better?
Chaos, lies & deceit, rejection, broken hearted hurt can so easily be intertwined that sometimes, we just can’t find the end of the string. Where does the love end and the hurt begin? Is it love at all ? Do we call it love because it is what we know love to be?

Sometimes our hearts want to be loved and held so close that we often take risks against our better judgement. Then suddenly we feel,
we are randomly dumped alone in a dark place with nothing but ourselves and our seething pain to keep us company. We have no idea how we got there or how to compartmentalize the pain and figure out how to find our way back. You may have found yourself in a situation such as this. Your hurting but somehow the hurt isn’t as bad as the love you feel on the other side. So you decide not to get out.

You tell yourself it’s ok while in between you find yourself immobilized by fear confusion combined with passion mixed with disappointment and sadness. Then the tears come that no one sees. The knots in your stomach, the laying awake at night wondering if it’s real love or maybe something is wrong here. Then we stay, knowing full well where we are headed and what’s coming.
How is it that our little tiny hearts over take our big brains every time? We all have experience in these matters we just choose not to use our brains. We just don’t want to. Knowing full well in the end we will crack or break and suffer and create more pain.

Does love or loneliness have the power to move us into places we never thought we would be?
Some of the chaos is familiar and although exasperating at times we continue in the relationship
because we love that person. LOVE.
The pain we feel doesn’t outweigh the pleasure we feel. And as I always say;

when the pain or angst or sadness begin to take up MORE space in your
heart then the love, happiness & warmth it’s time to consider letting go.

If you don’t you may find that you eventually burn one another out fighting
about things that don’t really matter.
One will get broken hearted and loose what they tried so very hard to keep.
The love
The whiteness
The feeling that no one else or nothing else matters.
Love takes us and we are more then happy to oblige.
Because that’s all anyone ever really wants. And somehow even in the darkness we convince ourselves it was all worth it. Because if even for a little whIle we floated. It found us. We experienced it. We felt happy. We belonged.
Even while our brain was screaming at us we closed the window, plugged our ears and just floated.

IMG_6496.JPG

IMG_3036.JPG

What I have learned..

(Thank you Maya Angelou for the inspiration)

I have learned that someone can love you more then you know, without having to show you in the ways you always want.

I have learned that it doesn’t matter how good you look,
if the person you want to notice, doesn’t

I have learned that everyone has a breaking point, no matter how strong they are

I have learned no matter how good something tastes, how lovely something is or how cozy something feels, it’s just not as enchanting unless the one you love is enjoying it with you

I have learned that the bond of true love and soul mates cannot ever really be broken, no matter how many people try to make it so, or how many tragedies occur

I have learned that when you think you are in your deepest despair,
you can go even deeper then you ever thought possible

I have learned that love is fragile gift, and if you are luckily enough for someone to give it to you, cherish it, protect it, and put it first, before anything.

I have learned that you don’t always get a second chance at everything and anything and that making the pain worth something changes you for the better

Loss.

I miss the comfort of your embrace
I miss waiting for your calls
that never came
I miss the excitement of planning things that we never did
I miss waiting to see you each day those days lifted my heart but for only for a second,
as I never got to see you at all.
Each night I spent in quiet isolation, in death, only to unravel myself in the dark, knowing loneliness would be my only companion. The layers I put around your going grew thin.
Each morning I added new layer to myself with the sunrise,
All the time knowing my quiet desolation would be my only partner once more. As the moon grew bright and full and the light shed only enough for me to notice that I was in the same spot with the same darkness, waiting for a new hope that never came.

I will miss missing you.

theresa perfetto®

20140622-051013-18613760.jpg

Expensive free advice.

If I could give one piece of advice I would say to “Trust Your Gut”. Clients pay me a lot of hard earned money so that I can teach them to trust and use the gift they already have that is not only powerful but very effective. Their instinct. The problem is they don’t trust themselves enough to listen.

I spend countless hours reviewing with clients what their perspective was at the beginning of a recently failed relationship. I ask them to look back with me and ask themselves in retrospect, did they see any red flags? Did they see or hear something from him or her that struck them as bothersome?
The answer is most always is ” yes…but.”
“I noticed that he drank heavily BUT he was going through a hard time”,  “You know, I did notice that she became angry easily or her reaction was not in proportion to the situation BUT I thought it meant she really cared about me or that I was making too much of it”. Or “..he worked a lot and we didn’t have a lot of quality time together BUT he was trying to make partner and I figured it would get better”, or ” She didn’t share much about her last relationship but I didn’t want to pry”. The bottom line is this folks:
LISTEN to your gut.
Your instinctual sense of something is keenly accurate. Too many people second guess themselves and find that the very thing that alerted them in the beginning of a relationship with that person was very often the impetus of the relationship not working. For those of you who were brought up in homes where there was an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you have the best instinct of all. I call this your “Superpower”. When a parent has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, children learn to sense the predictability of unpredictability. Addicts are inconsistent, unpredictable, they break promises, and create an environment of fear that also produces shame in their children. After a while the child develops a very good sense of being able to “read” mom or dad. This default skill develops in adulthood into a sense of “reading” people very quickly and most often quite accurately. Look back now at any relationship in your life that didn’t work for you. Can you recall if the reason was something to do with what you spotted early on and just ignored?
Learn to trust your instincts and listen to yourself, because in the end your probably right.

theresa perfetto ®
20140616-193256-70376428.jpg