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Relationships: Should I Stay, or Should I Go?

This morning I was inspired to write my first blog. “Why now?”, I hear you ask? Well, because this morning I read something on my personal FB account that initially shocked me until I remembered something very important. “What did you realise?”, I imagine you’ll be wondering. Read on and I’ll eventually get to the point…

During lockdown a very special person set up a FB group/page to cheer up her many friends, family, and readers and one of my friends invited me to join. Every morning this person, who I only know virtually, cheered up my day with short funny stories about her life and her 3 young boys and husband. She clearly has funny bones and a powerful love for her family, it oozed out of in her writing, and the interaction really kept me going. I know too, from the messages, that she kept many people going and indeed became a real force in our ability to deal positively with what was going on. We laughed at times when the news in the UK and around the world was miserable at best. This person told us stories of her young son riding a bike and even wrote and sang a song that made me belly laugh for days. She also did on-line exercise classes, which I’m sure many enjoyed in an active way, but I would simply watch and laugh and at least my own funny bones and my lungs got exercise with the hilarity of it all.

Throughout this time, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the antics of this happy, loving, funny person and her family and the fun they enjoyed, memories they created and experienced, even when faced with some difficult challenges. I believed and enjoyed that they were a strong family unit with a strong wife/husband relationship. This person became a part of my life during lockdown, as did others within the group who took her lead and shared hilarious stories and memes.

Strangely, now we are out of lock down and life is resuming, albeit slowly and with lots of other disasters going on around us, I’ve not given much thought to this person recently. Then this morning a message popped up on my FB from their page, and I was filled with anticipation of having a bit of a giggle. Sadly, the message was to let everyone know the reason why she’d been quiet more recently and that her marriage had broken down. It seems that people had been messaging her with “advice” and she needed to message us all to provide the full picture.

It struck me that although I don’t know, and never will know, the reason for this breakdown, that this person’s strength of character will help her to navigate this difficult path and she’ll make the right decisions for her and for her boys. I wish this wonderful person all the best and believe that she will be okay and find happiness for her and her boys as she has the support of close friends and family (makes me think of the saying, “plant a seed of friendship and reap a bouquet of happiness” – Lois L Kaufman).

My virtual friend and her husband have fallen out of love for each other, for whatever reason or whatever circumstance and rather than making each other miserable, perhaps “for the sake of the kids”, they’re working through the split amicably and in my humble opinion, this is a sensible, safe and healthy approach.

Now I get to the point of my first ever blog (don’t worry I’ll get better). Many of my clients come to me because they have low mood, or confidence issues, anxiety or stress etc. One of the first things I do, after building our working/helping relationship, is to establish their history and often we identify early relationship difficulties with their parents/caregivers. I worked with a client a while ago who had been leading a very unsafe life, with alcohol, drug misuse and self harming as a “coping strategy”. His parents had divorced when he was age 5 and they had been very much wrapped up in being angry with each other, possibly assuming that at such a young age my client would, “get over it”, that they couldn’t see the longer-term damage. My client hadn’t been able to talk about it to anyone because his parents were either hurting or trying to pretend nothing had happened and he believed it was best to be a “good lad” and not get into trouble or cause them any problems. He did this until around age 14 when rebellion first started to kick in, along with teenage brain and some hormones to boot. The rest is their story and thankfully, we were able to process my client’s trauma with hypnotherapy, EMDR and IEMT techniques. They are now living a safe, healthy, sober and happy life.

So, if your relationship breaks down, should you stay or should you go? There’s lots of advice out there, so I’m not going to bore you or patronise you with all that. What I will say, is you are the most important person in your life – there is no one else that will be on your journey from the very beginning of your life to the very end. Only you. You are your best advocate and life, as the saying goes, is a bus journey. Drive your bus carefully and make sure when you are ready for people to hop off your bus, after exploring every safe, healthy and helpful option/alternative, then ring the bell and open the door to let them off.

And if you are affected by this and would like some help, feel free to get in touch and we’ll work together.

And finally, in the words of that great bear, Winnie the Pooh, “life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved”. Make your journey safe, true and with the route to happiness. Sandra C Thompson - SCT Therapy.


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