Secrets…Partial or Full Disclosure? When you are in a monogamous relationship, married or not, should you share deep secrets from your past?
Secrets like; Infidelity, addiction or traumas like molestation, rape or abuse.
In the safety of a deeply committed relationship you should be able to share without the fear of shame or rejection. The issue then lies with how much you want to share and why.
As someone who has experienced trauma, it is something I rarely disclose. It isn’t about hiding my past, it comes from not wanting to relive the agonizing experiences.
If and when I choose to share my past, I state that the trauma happened but do not include the specific details. If I was pushed to disclose more that what I was willing to, two things would happen;
1.) I would completely shut down and never speak of it again
2.) Regret sharing at all and feel as though my sharing something so painful wasn’t enough. Enough that I bared my broken soul
For some people talking about their trauma is helpful in the healing process and releases the trauma a little at a time. For me, sharing the details of a traumatic event is reliving it down to the sights, sounds and smells. Fear, pain and horror return with a vengeance and I am thrust right back into that terrifying place and time.
It took years of on and off again therapy for me to move forward and deal with the hurts from my past. If and when I choose to share it could be to possibly explain why I might react to a situation, place or event in a negative way.
Imagine you have a wound that has almost completely healed and someone walks up to you and rips the bandage off. Your wound is now open, hurting, and once again needing time to heal.
Anyone that has experienced trauma processes it their own time and fashion. Sharing those buried secrets is sacred and those who hear them should actively listen, be supportive and understanding. Be respectful of boundaries knowing the high level of trust it takes to express such an experience.
For those of you that have a partner who has experienced trauma, thank you for your compassion, empathy and patience.
If you have been a victim of abuse, please see the resources listed below and know you are not alone.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Hours: Available 24 hours 1–800–656–4673 (HOPE)
Domestic abuse: Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or text 88788
“You get more bees with honey; than you do you do with vinegar”
If you haven’t heard it before, now you have.
Think about it this way…
Who do you think I’m going to call back and assist first, if it all?
The person that left me a expletive riddled message (vinegar) or the person who was respectful with their request (honey)?
Whose food do you think the server is possibly going to mess with?
The person who berated them for taking too long with their cocktail order? Or the person that was patient and thanked them when the drinks did arrive?
Who’s car in still in the shop “waiting for parts”?
The list is endless with scenarios like those above and the real events below.
Last week I witnessed an angry, middle-aged male customer verbally bash a young female retail worker in a department store as she tried address his concern. As I rounded the corner, the interaction was quickly escalating. Just then another male customer approached them and told the irate man to stop harassing the woman. He stepped in, stopping the verbal abuse that contained foul language and name calling. The angry man, obviously “vinegar” then began to verbally assault this gentlemen, who promptly said, “Let’s take this outside.” Of course, it ended there because the irate man was a coward.
It was awe inspiring to see a stranger step in and defend someone being bullied that way. Truly a hero.
To me, being polite/nice is just about being a decent person. But, for many people like myself who work in the public service industry receiving basic politeness is sadly becoming more uncommon.
Recently, I went to have a few thick glass shelves cut shorter to re-purpose them. While waiting l watched the master glass cutter cut other pieces of glass along with my pieces like they were butter. I sincerely complimented him on his work. He refused to let me pay and stated he appreciated my patience and that he didn’t feel like he had to rush his work.
When these types of events occur, they solidify polite “honey” behavior and create a pay it forward domino effect.
Keep “vinegar” in the bottle and share some “honey” today.
Marriage is supposed to be forever, but as statistics show, it’s a 50–50 crap shoot. Marriage can be such a source of joy, but it isn’t always easy, and it’s not supposed to end. Divorce is hard and then it’s over, but the scars never go completely away.
Repeating a pattern of choosing the same type of partner with the same dysfunctions or emotional issues is relatively common from first to third marriages. Self-awareness and good therapy can help a person avoid making these same mistakes.
Many newly divorced people don’t take enough time to deal with the pain and loss, heal and reflect on what went wrong in the relationship. Instead of taking the time necessary to grieve and recover, some divorcees rebound into a relationship to avoid being alone.
Some people are so afraid of being alone they will stay in an unhealthy relationship/marriage. Learning to be and live alone is paramount is learning about yourself and what you may or may not need or want in your next partner.
Typically second and third marriages don’t have children to help bind the relationship, as most children are born into the first marriage. Children of previous marriages can cause complications and create chaos, thus potentially destroy second and third marriages.
Why is there such a deep culture of “Divorce Shaming” when approximately half of all marriages end in divorce? It takes an enormous amount of courage to risk your heart again for a second, third or whatever time.
If the marriage fails, it doesn’t mean the couple should be shamed for its demise. Ideally they will take the time needed to evaluate what went wrong and why, analyze their actions and patterns, and address any shortcomings and make positive changes. Are you not entitled to love again and have another marriage if you want one? You are certainly not predestined to live in a loveless, abusive or dysfunctional marriage for fear of “Divorce Shaming”.
I have this friend Donna; who met her first husband at 19 and married at 22. He was the “life” of the party until that “life” fell into alcoholism. Donna’s divorce number one ended with two small children. Donna then rebounded into marriage number two. She married a man she already knew and trusted and with whom she felt safe. But she later discovered he had been addicted to drugs. He was over six years clean and sober when they married. Then he fell off the wagon twice during the last few years of their marriage, which led to divorce number two. Five years later, Donna’s third marriage was to a man who had to undergo drug testing for work. She thought he was the safe choice. However, Donna was wearing “denial goggles” with regard to his level of alcohol consumption.
Donna had unwittingly chosen three addictive personalities without addressing the common denominator in all these marriages, which was her. Breaking her negative pattern of selection took therapy, self-acceptance and accountability for her decisions. During her therapy it was noted that the failure of these marriages was not entirely her fault. It was at that time Donna finally learned to become unashamed. Her ex-husbands had addiction issues that were not addressed, as well as issues that were hidden from her until after the “I Do’s” were done.
Donna felt “ashamed” and stayed longer in all her marriages than she should have for fear of judgement and failure. She hated herself for being a poor role model for her children. Her friends even convinced her to stay, saying things like “There aren’t any good men left at your age” and “Who would want you with all that baggage?” Those words sunk deep into her psyche, heart and soul, which were already badly broken.
Who has the right to judge? Who has the right to “Divorce Shame” anyone else? Would you shame a child for bed-wetting, especially if they did not or could not understand the root of the cause?
Does “Divorce Shaming” stem from religion and guilt? In the Bible it states that marriage is forever, yet David was committing adultery with a married woman and then had her husband killed to boot. Not only did God forgive David; he anointed him a king.
I know many couples who have had separate bedrooms for years, live like roommates and probably want to stab each other in the neck with a steak knife. (Just kidding.) Many grown children have stated they wished their parents had divorced when they were growing up. They hated listening to them berate each other, yell and fight continuously. The irony is their parents always stated that they stay together for the sake of the kids. Huh? What?
So if you are or have been “Divorce Shamed”, let it go. Maybe your lessons make you a better partner, lover, husband or wife. Why would it be considered shameful to try again? Only your own fear will hold you back. Words have no power unless you give it to them.
Divorce Shamers…shame on you. Not everyone gets the first marriage that lasts forever. Some do, some don’t. But no one on earth gets to judge, ever.
Remember role models, upbringing and expectations play a large role in whom we marry and why we divorce. Some people have solid foundations at the beginning and some have cracked and broken ones. Bottom line is we are all human and we all deserve to have love, give love and be loved.
Is judg”ey” an actual word? Not sure. To me it means that you may judge something or someone in a lessor context than being fully judgemental.
Judg”ey” ~ “That girl’s lip injections make her look like a duck”.
“Judgemental” ~ No one should inject their lips because it looks fake and disfigures what God created. Either statement is a form of negativity and negative expression.
Generally, people that make judg”ey” or judgemental comments are not secure in who they are and build themselves up by tearing others down. They seek the approval of their judg”ey” remarks by people with same opinions and self esteem issues.
We live in a country that allows exceptional freedoms and we as humans are gifted with free will. That gift is priceless.
That free will allows people to do, speak and live as they see fit. That doesn’t mean you have to agree or condone anyone else’s choices.
With the ever growing push for acceptance of all people, from all backgrounds, wouldn’t it be helpful, if we stopped and replaced a judg”ey” comment with a positive one or didn’t say anything at all?
My Mom was forever repeating a few catch phrases when I was growing up and at the time her words went in one ear and out the other. But now, I can truly appreciate their simple wisdom.
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
“Do unto others, as you wish them to do unto to you.”
Can you imagine a world like that?
Consider a self challenge and refrain from saying anything judg”ey” for 21 days. When those judg”ey” thoughts arise find and replace them with a positive about that person/situation or even something positive in your life, like your health, family, etc. to avoid speaking the judgement.
Your personal relationships, especially with your partner and children will benefit the most from this practice. Loving someone unconditionally means that you don’t judge them. You are accepting. Don’t be afraid to positively share necessary constructive feedback and guidance with your partner/children regarding certain behaviors. That guidance is priceless when also modeled.
Rules are in place for everyone’s protection and to circumvent anarchy. If someones behaviors/beliefs are not going to cause you or anyone else harm, what gives you the right to be judg’ey” or judgemental?
Have you ever been left wondering what went wrong in the demise of your relationship? Have you been blindsided when someone has broken up with you? Do you know if it one big issue or a combination of things that built up over time? Was it just lust and then no foundation? Wouldn’t you want to know so you could process, learn and grow?
Why not conduct a relationship exit interview?
Employers have been implementing this process for years gaining valuable information about employees, supervision, company vision and other insights.
My suggestion for this process is to wait a while after the initial break up to let emotions settle down. Then reach out to your ex and ask to meet in a neutral location to talk about what went wrong and why. This might be to their benefit as well.
They may or may not be willing, but if you don’t ask you won’t know. You can also go back to previous exes as well.
In delving into the past, you can see if any patterns present themselves in your behaviors or in the type of personality you are drawn to.
Maybe as a man you are drawn to very strong women because your Mom was, but in turn your Mom was also very critical of you. You may be unconsciously attracting a partner that belittles you. The next time you meet someone make sure they make you feel good about yourself, if not, they are not your person.
Asking your ex why they left you may seem masochistic as no one wants to hear about their faults or shortcomings, however it is how we learn and can adjust our behavior(s) if necessary.
My pattern was what I coined as “being a runner”. For me once an argument ensued I would shut down and leave. Every argument no matter the issue was the grounds to leave the relationship. This was incredibly unfair and unrealistic. My mentality was if I left first, I won’t get hurt.
Boundaries tend to be a very common relationship tanking issue. Boundaries with friends, family, co-workers, and money are just a few.
There could be a variety of reasons why your relationship could have failed but being willing to find out and make improvements takes maturity.
You can use 7, 8 or 10 seconds, whatever it takes to get you to slow down and think before reacting. Reacting can include speaking, facial expressions (frowning), body language (like rolling your eyes) and reflex physical movement (waving arms). Taking the time to pause, breathe and think first, can make all the difference in the world.
When you respond too quickly, you run the risk of saying or doing something you may regret. Our personal relationships can suffer the most when instantaneous reactions come before thinking them through.
The next time you are facing a confrontation, an argument or hard to handle news, try to stop for those 8 seconds and think about what you are feeling and why. Before replying think clearly if what you are about to say will be helpful or hurtful.
Putting yourself in the other’s persons shoes can also bring needed perspective. Most of the time, the upset or angry person is mad at themselves too. Their frustration may be thrust in your direction even if you are not the root cause.
Empathy can help play a large role in perception. Instead of becoming defensive, think of what the main issue might truly be. Reaching out with comfort and genuine listening can defuse a negative situation and potentially turn it positive.
I was gifted a “23andme” kit last Christmas. It sat on my desk for months because I was truly afraid of what it might turn up. Let me explain why…
My ‘sperm donor’ father (never was my dad) abandoned me at two years old. It was in my 17-year-old wisdom that I finally decided to meet this man. From this point forward my father will be referred to as SD (sperm donor).
My mother was mortified because she know what and who he was. She never bad-mouthed the man who never paid her child support or helped her in any way raise me. My mom made my upbringing look easy for her, but I now know how she struggled alone to make ends meet.
I was a scared, insecure teenager who was meeting her father for the first time. SD promptly and proudly informed me that I had three half siblings. In order as follows:
1. One half-brother, Daniel (seven years older) from a previous marriage that ended in divorce
2. Two half-sisters; from the same mother; marriage also ended in divorce
a. Anne, 13 years younger than me, and
b. Sue, 15 years younger
So, in a matter of a half hour I had gained three half siblings I never knew existed.
It was overwhelming at best. SD excitingly explained with his heavy Italian accent all about his immigrating to America from Italy in the late 50s and how he had to learn to speak English before he could get his green card.
During the first year of knowing SD, I also met my three half-siblings. My two half-sisters were so young that I felt more like their aunt.
SD and I had infrequent interactions over the years with long periods of no communication at all. After several very disturbing interactions with him and by now having children of my own, I knew I did not want SD around me, my babies, or my family, period.
What I learned from these disturbing interactions is what my mother did not share with me. SD was an alcoholic, a compulsive liar and a complete textbook narcissist.
I severed the relationship with SD at age twenty-seven. At 40, I received a distressing confession letter from a forwarded email. The confession was from SD to Daniel, Anne, Sue and me informing us we had another half-sister, Tammy. SD had not previously acknowledged Tammy’s existence. So she hired a private investigator to hunt him down along with all of her half-siblings. Now there were five of us, four baby mamas and three marriages.
Back to recent events and 23andMe. After spitting into the DNA collection tube I felt almost ill from trepidation. But, curiosity got the best of me and into the mail it went. As soon as the kit left my possession a feeling of dread overcame me. When the results arrived I didn’t open the email for two weeks.
My gut was screaming that I was going to have another half-brother or sister or two, who knew. Well, I was right. I now have another half-sister, Linda. SD did not acknowledge her existence either and her mother put her up for adoption.
So the now the “Jerry Springer” tally goes like this:
1. Half-brother Daniel (Born 1957)
2. Then myself (Born 1964)
3. Half-sister Tammy (Born 1966)
4. Half-sister Linda – (Born 1970)
5. Two half-sisters from the same mother
Half-sister – Anne (Born 1977)
Half-sister – Sue (Born 1979)
The total now is six children with SD genes, four baby Mamas and three marriages that we know of.
Ancestry is still out there waiting for me to spit. Should I or do stay with the current “Jerry Springer” family tree I have accumulated thus far? The jury is still out…
5 tips to screen out women that don’t really want YOU
Lots of women say they can’t find a nice guy. That is a lie. There are plenty of nice guys out there. The problem is there are too many women that are either; vain, materialistic, entitled, gold diggers, emotionally immature, bitter or unstable.
Good guys listen up. You need to OWN how great you are. It might go against your grain, because most good guys are humble. But please stand up with confidence and be proud you have a job, morals, ethics, standards and a promising future.
Tip #1 – Avoid talking about money, houses, cars or anything material in the beginning stages of dating. If you want to share this information, be sure you trust this person and you consider them long-term relationship material. She will know by your job/career, your appearance, shared interests and chemistry if she wants to continue to date you. She doesn’t need to know your portfolio or your retirement package. If you are pushed for financial information, run or get a pre-nup, you will need it.
Tip #2 -It is natural to want to impress your date with a nice car, but if you don’t have a fancy or new car this will weed out any woman that is all about appearances and/or materialistic. If you happen to have access to two cars, take the lessor first, this will also help the weeding-out process. This also goes for the event, location or restaurant for the first couple of dates. Keep it nice, but mid-range in price. Side note: I dated a guy because I liked him for him. I had no idea how wealthy he was until our 7th date. He picked me up in his Porsche and took me to his box seats at Petco Park. He was confident but humble and treated everyone with respect. That is what a nice guy does.
Tip #3 – Do not talk about anything heavy on dates 1-3. This includes; politics, religion, sex, past marriage(s), divorce/custody issues, crazy ex-girlfriends, childhood trauma, etc. Keep things light and positive. Ask her the questions, get her to open up about herself, her job/career, aspirations, goals, dreams, hobbies, favorite shows, movies, books, etc. If she presses for more personal information right away just state that you want to get to know her better, before getting into more serious topics. If she pushes or shares too much right away like she’s couch surfing right now, she may be trying to push your “rescue button”. Nice guys want to help people out, but please be wary of any stories of financial woes. Same goes for her sharing that her ex-boyfriend is a lying, cheating loser; she may be bitter and/or not ready for dating, a new relationship or unstable.
Tip #4 – Cell phone use and social media; if she can’t leave her cell phone alone while you are on a date (unless it is an emergency and she needs to check it for an ailing child or parent issue) there is a problem. It is rude and inconsiderate to have your phone out and/or check it while you are on a date. To make that even worse would be to check social media while on your date. Need I say more?
Tip #5 – Most important tip of all…JUST BE YOURSELF. If you are shy then that is who you are, tell her and open up when you are comfortable. If you’re a computer genius own it, obviously you are smart. If she says she loves going to the beach for long walks and you hate the beach, be honest. There is no reason to pretend to like something you don’t. This is very important for her as well. Many women will lie about their likes/interests to match up with the man they are dating. This backfires eventually. Not all couples have everything in common. If you like her, and she doesn’t like you, NEXT! If she likes you and you don’t like her, be honest and tell her right away. No one wants to be strung along. If you like each other, take it slow. What’s the rush? If she pushes for a loan, moving in, borrowing your car or needs your resources she may be using you.
P.S. Bonus Tip: Most women bond quickly after the first sexual encounter, so be prepared if you decide to have sex too soon. She’ll be writing your last name and picking a wedding dress in her head.