Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Ex's Bittnerness Could Be Averted

Today at the park my ex said he wasted the first 40 years of his life. How dare he. Living through one difficult period in life does not constitute 40 years of life experience. His parents are wonderful people who worked hard to give him a safe and happy upbringing. He went to top-rated universities for undergraduate and graduate school. He has traveled and seen more of the world in the past 20 years than most people see in a lifetime. Finally, he wanted and has 2 beautiful children who need a positive role model--not an excuse-generating, negative, bitter parent.

I believe my ex's fatalist attitude is what keeps my ex in his state of depression. He won't seek help and refuses to talk to his family. At the end of the day, if he does not face his issues and begin to cope in some way, his issues will never be resolved. At best, his issues will be buried.

I use the word "issues" often because my ex went through 3 years of career confusion, online gaming addiction, responding to craigslist personal adds, recklessly spending money, and a long-distance affair. This is simply a short-list, but it is not difficult to understand the complexity of his troubles. He got lost in an ocean and does not know how to find land.

To go through a few years of difficulty and to react to circumstances instead of coping can lead to big life changes. I believe there is also a big attitude adjustment that comes about as well--positive or negative, just not neutral. When my ex said he wasted 40 years of his life, i believe he is experiencing a negative outcome to a few bad years of life and not using his experiences as a a catalyst for positive growth. Unfortunately, the nexus of a few difficult life episodes left him grieving for himself and then becoming narcissistic. The end result is no good memories about the past and only self-gratification as a source of happiness for the future.

If he would do the work to move out of this dark point in life, he might see some light in the months and years ahead. Unfortunately, this work is not easy. It involves introspection and a review of potentially difficult questions about self-image. I hope one day, my ex realizes that he does have a choice in creating a better future and that his past was a growing experience toward building a better future.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Find an ounce of happiness one day to be happier the next

Recovering from a bad relationship is like traveling on a long, jagged road that takes weeks or months to travel before the road ahead straightens. It's an exhaustive journey that you never really expect to travel. One way to survive the daily mire is to find or do something that makes you happy.

For me, happiness comes from time spent with family and friends. Every time I have dinner with a friend or do something with my kids, I feel a little better about myself and how my life is progressing. This gives me a little reinforcement that happier times are ahead and that there are other paths to achieving what I want out of life. My last relationship was not the end.

Every person has a different experience of happiness and finding that source of happiness will make surviving a bad relationship go faster. Try focusing on small things that are easy to achieve. Some ideas to consider are:

1. Go to dinner at a new restaurant. Use this as an opportunity ti try making small changes in your life.

2. Have a sleepover at a friend's house. A mini vacation without the cost of a hotel.

3. Try a new class in something different. Consider trying a dance class or jewelry-making course.

4. Join a book club. Book clubs offer the opportunity to discuss different topics of interest and explore how those topics relate back to your life.

5. Get a new hair style. A new haircut can quickly give you a new image. If you don't like the style, it simply grows out.

6. Talk to a stranger while waiting in line. Consider striking up a conversation with someone in a Starbucks line. You meet a variety of different people and gain confidence in your social skills.

Building happiness into your everyday life will jumpstart you to moving beyond a broken relationship.