The Other Woman's Heart

The aftermath of loving a married man

Self Care and Emotional Well Being After our OW Experience

Hello sweet gals!  I hope everyone is doing well and that your weekend is starting off with good things.  Just some thoughts on self care today and looking at our emotional issues and needs after the OW experience.  I think many of our personalities are wired to look outward for validation and also look outward to care and nurture those around us. There is nothing wrong with these traits and I think they can be good when balanced with proper self care!  I know for me personally, it has been a journey to focus inward and on myself vs. looking to “help” and be the one who is the “go-to” and “life-saver” type that people use.  And, I don’t mean use in a bad way necessarily.  It can be very gratifying to be there for someone…to be that cheerleader for one that needs it and appreciates it, and who can even can turn around things a bit because of our support.  But, it can get a bit uncomfortable to think of doing those same for ourselves, can’t it?  I’ve felt that tinge of discomfort in trying to focus inward and telling myself the same things I may tell a friend who is down in the dumps…maybe she is disappointed about a guy or a job situation or other relationship in her life.  I’m sure it comes very natural for many of you to jump in there and be there for that friend and maybe even check in on them and let them know how much you care and that you are there for them.

What if we said those same words to ourselves that we say/said to our friend in need?

“I care about you… I am here for you!”

Even now, as I say those words to myself, it feels a bit odd.  But I’m determined to do better and to be there for myself…whether it’s to switch up the job situation or update the home or clothing or friends or money/budgeting!

If we start with the statement to our selves, “I care about you… I am here for you!”, how does that change the overall feeling?

You may have heard a bit on self-parenting, and I think this idea illustrates that point well.  I believe many of us that end up in an OW situation often have had emotional abandonment issues with our parents or care-takers.  Our script got arranged in a way that we did what we needed to do to survive in our family dynamic, whether it was that care-taker/peace-maker role, or becoming invisible so as to avoid an ill-tempered and sometimes abusive parent…maybe both!  It did leave us with craving that deep acceptance and care and love that should be a given in the family, but as we well know, this isn’t always the case due to our own parents being wounded and at a consciousness level that couldn’t give us the things we needed, to truly thrive.  And, this isn’t about placing blame on parents, although they did obviously impact our lives.  It’s more about looking clearly at our base of operation and deciding to create a new base to our lives.  Maybe we never felt that our parents were truly there for us or cared about us in a way that was deeply felt.  And, frankly, I think we all feel things quite deeply, thus our ability to want to be that loyal and loving OW…to give in way that feels so selfless and “needed”.

But, as we well know, these feelings and the love we gave to the attached man just wasn’t reciprocated…not even by a long shot.  We were truly shocked at the 180 they did and to find out who they truly were, and what we thought was such a deep connection (the one thing we truly craved) was not built on rock, but on sand… thus it quickly sank when the truth was revealed.

That initial blow is devastating…it hurts and opens up all of our wounds from the past and brings everything to the surface…NOT FUN!!!  It is like a tidal wave!

But, at anytime, I think we can look at that base of our operations, and with the support and love of self, first and foremost, we can chose to re-program that base.  It takes work and courage… to look at all of those issues that fill up the surface after the “damn” has been broken, and the gush of present and past wounds come rushing in.  Again, not the most fun in life.

Sometimes when I focus on self, it isn’t necessarily all reflective and pensive.  It can mean sometimes, putting on my best face to start the day, by doing my make-up and picking out my favorite outfit or buying that favorite outfit.  It can mean, taking time and money to take that vacation.  It can mean, investing in therapy or other services that will all work to help you realign to a place where you can then begin again. It can involve spending no money at all… taking those long walks outside or calling to catch up with that friend that you’ve been meaning to call for ages now.  There’s no one way to self care, but it should involve different components…physical, emotional, perhaps professional and finances to name a few categories that need our care and attention.  And, not to be forgotten, giving to others.  BUT, with our personalities, it has to be with clear boundaries when we venture out to “help” and assist those in need.  We have that propensity to be pulled into co-dependency, so we just have to keep that in mind as we volunteer and give to those in need.

I would love to know how others have worked on self-care post OW experience and creating a new “home base” emotionally speaking.  It felt so impossible during that first year for me.  I was just in a survival mode for so long, but once you are out of that first phase, how did you go about “re-programing” your base of operation.  Is anyone actively dating?  I want to hear and I know everyone does, so please post, post, post and thank you for reading this post!

xoxo… TOWH

 

 

 

January 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 87 Comments

A resource for healing emotional wounds

I recently ran across this gal and have found her videos to be so helpful and spot on with the issues I’m personally dealing with and I think most of us are in our journey of the aftermath of an OW experience.  I’ve had several a-ha moments in listening to her and wanted to pass it on.  If you enter  her name on YouTube, you’ll also see a lot of videos that you can tap into.  Let me know what you think and if it resonates with you.

http://www.melanietoniaevans.com

Also, if you have some resources that are available on-line that you want to share, please reply and add in the site you want to recommend or name of the person that has been a good resource for you.

-TOWH

 

 

 

December 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Update…closing out 2015!

Let’s move our new comments up!!

Just a little hello, update and thoughts on life.  :-)  I’ve personally had a really really tough year so far.  I took a new job that ended up being very stressful as well as triggering some emotional/esteem issues that linger around my heart.  I’ve had to fight my way through the year when to be honest, it would be so nice to have that soft spot to land with a supportive partner… But I suppose life has other plans.  BUT, I’m trying to acknowledge how far I’ve come on my path. I know we do that so well for others, but I find it difficult to do for myself!  I think back to when my life was dark… So dark that I no longer wanted to exist, and I realize that much has happened and for better or worse, I am here.  At times I am truly at a loss as to what it’s all about, but I’m here.  And, that has to matter in some small way.  At least I very much want it to!:-)

I do date on and off but the connection and passion I want has not yet to be found with someone  who has mutual feelings.  I’ve experienced additional heartbreak in the romantic department, but do my best to remember I have come so far from the gal who started this blog.  I do set the bar rather high these days in terms of what I will and will not accept with behavior from men. And, I’m sure that does close options off, but I see how many men operate and ladies it is often NOT good.  And, life is short.  I’ve determined that life with friends, and activities and adventures I love are preferable to putting up with bad behavior from men, who just don’t really care enough to treat me with love and respect.  So, I work to cultivate my life in other ways outside of romance.  This isn’t always easy because I do experience depression and disappointment, and it takes a conscious effort for me to not let it derail me.

But, on a good note, I was able to take a much needed vacation earlier this year and tonight I have some fun plans with some fantastic friends that I truly value.  They make things so much easier… Just having a pal and a friend can make all the difference for me I’ve found.  I’m looking and interviewing for a new job which has been challenging to say the least, but I’m moving along and trying to not let the rejections get me down.

Wherever you are along your path, don’t  forget that you truly have  accomplished things, whether it be moving past the heartbreak or just having a better day or better hour.  Give yourself a little pat on the back and remember to get the help and support you need if and when you need it.

“We can become happier, with the realization that we will never be pain free.”

I’ve adapted this from a quote I heard a while back and put it into my own words.  Life I’ve found is truly a mixed bag.  I don’t know why it is the way it is, but every once in a blue moon the different elements of my life come together and make sense.  It may be that this happens only for a few hours but it definitely matters, and it restores my hope to continue plugging along and navigating the path to the best of my ability.  We all have different struggles and circumstances but I know you gals get a certain element of my journey that no one else ever will.  I’m so thankful for that!!

Don’t give up on you!   It’s a thought that I have to remind myself of, sometimes often.  Life is hard.  I know that is nothing profound, but the struggles are tough and there is no point in sugar coating it.  I hope you can find some fun activities and adventures you want to embark on and make it a point to do them stat!!  The struggles won’t disappear, as we often need to face some deep truths to resolve deeper issues, and that is it’s own journey.  But, I do hope you can, in the meantime, start cultivating small joys in your life.  Go for it…do it!:-):-)

Lots of love sweet gals!!!

December 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 34 Comments

August 2015

FollowYlwBrk

Happy Saturday gals and guys.  Hope you are all starting out with a great weekend.  I saw this on FB this week and absolutely love love love it!  I will write more later but wanted to encourage you all to take control over what you can right at this moment and to let go as much as you can the other pesky little things.  Trust me, I have to work on this too, but this picture really inspired me. Don’t let the bad apples out there impact you at all or for long if they do.  They will always be a part of our world.. the liars, those who are completely self centered, narcissists, sociopaths…they’re out there and they target those usually who are sweet, kind, understanding and have an open heart.  But, go back to controlling what you can… walk away from individuals who don’t treat you in the way you want to be treated and focus in on the things you enjoy and love.

Take care my friends and talk soon.

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 72 Comments

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Hey sweet gals!  Happy Memorial Day weekend.  Hope you guys are getting a three day weekend!  This quote really spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you.  I know the grieving process is personal and I know the time table can vary.  But, I don’t want to see you give up on you and your lives!   We are all wired to love and it hurts to feel rejected but it’s part of the process.  I’m not saying I like it by any means!  I hope you can take time to let the words in this quote really sink in.  You deserve good things and nice and kind people in your lives.  Don’t let one bad egg ruin all the potential that is around.  Men are often very selfish even in the best of situations.  In our situation I think it’s doubled!   And we all deserve better!!!  We do we do we do!!  Constantly remind yourself of this and then remind yourself again and again to not give up.  I have to do it too.  Also, when you can, inject a little humor into life and/or the dating process. I think it can alleviate some of the stress and fear!  I mean it’s all sort of silly the way we behave and none of us really know what we’re doing.  Allow yourself to go with the flow and use your intuition to determine what is or isn’t right for you.  It’s very ok to say no to things if they don’t feel right.  I mean men certainly do not worry about being too nice so maybe we should follow suit!  And, like this quote says, be determined to rise!!

Happy weekend!  Go do something fun!!

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 76 Comments

Hello everyone!

 Be Genuine

Hello my sweet ladies!

I have been in a bit of a sea of misery the last several months as far as my job has been concerned.  I’ve been beyond busy, working overtime and the stress level has gotten a bit out of control.  But, I still am here and read your posts when I get a chance and want to keep this blog somewhat active, but my time as of late has just been very limited.

I had to focus on job stuff for quite a few months but am trying to focus back on dating again and boy is it not a piece of cake.  I’m trying online stuff and am meeting a man tomorrow for a drink, so we’ll see.  I don’t expect much from these little dates but it’s important to put ourselves out there and you never know when you might meet someone cool.

I hope you all are taking time to regroup and heal after all the trauma that you have experienced in loving an unavailable man.  It takes work.  It really does but I promise you that a day will come when you don’t think about them so much and the sun feels warmer and you want to try again with someone else.  Or, you just want the possibility of trying with someone else.  There’s no fast and easy answer and I had to learn that day by day as I fought to regain some sort of happiness in my life again.  But, it ‘s so worth it to keep up the good fight, if you will, because if you don’t, who will do it for you?  The answer is nobody!  We have to be our own best friends and advocates.  It’s not easy at all because I feel that most of us that end up in these situations are strong nurturer types and turning that softness and understanding around on ourselves feels a bit unnatural but just go with it…it will in time start to make a difference and then you’ll be ready again to give and also never be willing to over compromise.  And, all of this pain and unpleasantness must lead to something better down the road.  I think it just takes some time to figure out and time to accept that we’ll never quite be the same gal we were before.  Betrayal truly is painful and I know we all felt so used, lied to and in the end betrayed even as we accept our own part in the situation.  It had been a huge life lesson for me and I’ve hated it at times but I suppose it had to be part of my path for some reason.  I don’t fully understand it, but I learned to accept it.  There are some less than honorable people in this world, that is true and hopefully I’m learning to be more selective about who I let into my life while still be open to the possibility that there are good people too.  It’s not an easy line to walk, but I’m working on it.

My computer is really acting up so I’m going to end off here.  Enjoy your weekend and will work on getting more posts up.

Hugs

May 7, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

One more valentine post

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Ok, one more for Valentines. We all need some light hearted fun between our serious conversation that we have each day.

Woo hoo!!!!

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 77 Comments

Happy Valentines!!

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Lol!! Isn’t this the truth!! Happy valentines my dear sweet gals!! Remember what an amazing loving person you are each day and that one day your love and care will be fully appreciated.

Xoxo
TOWH

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Let’s move our Convo up

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Hey guys. We’re getting crowded with comments in the previous post so let’s start a new thread here. Of course feel free to continue previous conversations.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a comment Lori posted about her therapist asking why she loved her MM? I’ve also been thinking in connection with a man I’ve recently tried to date, “how did he make you feel?”

I still believe you can’t help who you love and who your attracted to. But when I think of times I’ve not felt good as a result of trying to be with someone or in a relationship, I’ve often stayed much longer in a less than ideal situation because if those “in love” feelings. Which I think to be fair, are valid and legitimate feelings. But if the other side of the equation is a man not valuing me (usually through his actions) and not treating me well, I have to learn to let these loves go. It can hurt for sure and you can be left alone but there are worse things in life. We can’t put the attraction and love ahead of everything so we end up lost and hurt in the end. Which, I know I have done because I thought it was a true connection and maybe it was but when it’s not reciprocated I’m learning the skill of walking away. You don’t have to be super sweet or nice about it or a total bitch about it but it definitely can’t be left to fester as I know for sure that strategy doesn’t work.

Thanks for all the great comments ladies. I’m so grateful to you for participating in this tiny little corner of the universe. Wishing you all happy times ahead and maybe an available man or two who treat you like precious gold!!

February 10, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 61 Comments

You’re Like a Walking Poem

Louie Season 4 Episode 10

Check out this clip from the show Louie. What a way to shift your thinking on heartbreak.  Not them I’m going to seek it out again:-) but such an interesting And I think wise perspective.

January 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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