Posted in Healthy verses unhealthy

my past versus the present

“Don’t look back”!!! is often what people will say to you when you make a massive life change and in my case I walked away from a 27 year marriage to start all over again. I do agree with the statement of not looking back, especially if it prevents you from moving forward. For myself I have been thinking lately about some of the obvious differences that are in my life now to what they were in the past. To be more specific I wanted to look backwards a little to see how far I have come in the present from just over 4 years ago.

To even consider that it has been 4 years since I drove out of the gates with my then 9 year old son is incredible. The car was full of both our clothes and not much else. With little cash in my purse I took the opportunity at the request of my ex husband to move out. It was time. All I can say is that I tried for 27 years to convince myself the marriage relationship would get better and it never really did. It was unhealthy from top to bottom. No amount of prayers or church attendance changed anything. No amount of apologising, day dreaming or wishing helped our relationship. Our relationship was tense at the best of times and always on the brink of problems.

What did my relationship look like with my ex husband:

I met him in Church as a young 17 year old girl who had no value in herself. I hated myself. I believed that I was ugly and unloved. I was always searching for love and desperate for it. As much as I was searching for love I didn’t really know what it looked like. Sadly for me I accepted less then I deserved when I said “I DO” that day in front of my family and friends.

As crazy as it sounds I had no idea what I was committing myself to for 27 years. I thought it was love. I thought it was right. I thought it was normal for two people to be fighting and having problems as we did. The arguments and problems started when we were only going out a few weeks in. Getting married didn’t change that, the arguments continued. It was messy and it was complicated.

What were we arguing about?

The bottom line was I hated myself and wanted to be loved. I thought he loved me. I thought he had all the answers to life that he was wise. I listened intently to his words as he spoke with conviction about God, The Bible, Forgiveness, Healing and Loving Yourself. Sometimes the conviction he had took him too far. Like the day we were driving from Holbrook back to Canberra which was about a 3 hour drive. He was convinced that I needed to say out loud that I was beautiful. I couldn’t get those words out of my mouth, I told him I cant say that as I don’t believe it. He then put his left hand on my knee and started to squeeze it really hard demanding I say that I was beautiful otherwise he would keep squeezing me. At first I was shocked and immediately thought why is he hurting me? He sounded so convincing that I had to do what he said and start saying out loud that I was beautiful. This went on for what felt like forever until finally he was satisfied that I had done what he had asked.

We did a lot together I went with him to lots of places and often sat for hours in peoples houses while he talked with them about his convictions. Other occasions I sat in the car for hours while he was visiting either for business reasons or personal. He lived life in his own world and I was in the background. His ideas and decisions were his. My attempts at providing input were not really considered to be valuable. My fears, doubts or concerns about our finances was unimportant. As long as God was happy with him tithing we were going to be just fine as he was convinced that giving 10% to God would mean we would never be without. It didn’t quite go that way. There was no planning or budgeting only spending. He would say to me I can earn money as fast as I can spend it so stop worrying. I worried. I lived under so much stress as debts gathered momentum, debt collectors started calling and knocking on the door. I was left to deal with that all by myself as a young mum with no help from him. It was awful.

I started to lose trust in his decisions. I felt unheard and unimportant. Money was a major area but then there was the communication. My attempts at trying to communicate with him about my feelings and concerns created tension. It created silence. It always became about me. All our difficulties were identified as being my issues. He didn’t take responsibility for his actions. The only action he took was to manipulate OR emotionally withdraw to get me to do what he wanted. This then set the scene of years of emotional abuse.

Where am I now 4 years on from leaving him:

As I got to Canberra with my then 9 year old son it was about rebuilding a new life. I had no choice but to stay here so I decided to make it work. I found myself a small two bedroom unit while on unemployment benefits. Eventually got myself an entry level job and was promoted into a new role within that company. My bank account was in my control and I had the pleasure of paying all my bills on time. Problems and troubles started to feel like a thing of the past. I was now able to live peacefully in my small unit. My safe haven.

Just over 2 and half years ago I met a lovely new man. He does what he says he will do. His genuine and very loving. His good with money and makes the right choices. He asks for my input and takes it seriously. He never wants me to feel unheard. He doesn’t cause trouble and he has respect for my family and friends. He loves to communicate. He has helped me to speak up and not be afraid. He never puts me down in front of others or in private. He supports me always. He does life with me. We walk side by side. There is never any judgement or criticism. He never ignores me. He cares about my children.

The best part about our relationship is we don’t argue.

There is nothing to argue about.

We may have had a few misunderstandings however they were resolved with no effort at all it was natural and it was beautiful. With him life is peaceful, safe and loving. We are building a life together.

The first part of my life was turmoil and now the second part is beautiful.

I cant change my past but I am certainly embracing my future. Its good to look back when you want to get a clear picture of how much you have moved forward. Let the past show you how much you can appreciate your life now.

I’ve reached 100 blog’s #Celebrating!!!

Thanks WordPress for keeping tabs on how many blog posts I have published!

Each and every blog has been written to inspire, encourage, comfort and shed some light on what it is to take a step UP and out of a very unhealthy relationship….

It all started with VALUING myself. This allowed me to put a stop to what was a constant roller coaster ride of uncertainty.

HEALTHY LOVE builds you UP and doesn’t tear you down.

HEALTHY LOVE builds trust and respect.

HEALTHY LOVE creates a secure and safe place to communicate.

HEALTHY LOVE allows you to be yourself at all times with no fear of judgement.

HEALTHY LOVE listens to you.

HEALTHY LOVE never gives up on you.

HEALTHY LOVE is EQUAL.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

When words are not enough…

Over the years I have heard it said that our words have power. That we should be careful with the words we speak. It’s been said that negative words can produce negative circumstances as much as positive words create positive results. Motivational books are filled with this topic! Often in church you will hear preachers speaking about the power of our words. In the bible it says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).

Words do carry influence. If you hang around someone who speaks negatively for long enough you may find yourself speaking negatively and vice versa with positivity. Words can fall from our lips loosely until we catch ourselves and become aware of the words we speak. Words have the power to hurt someone deeply. Words also have the power to bring a smile to a person’s face. Words can be calming, encouraging and inspiring. Each human being is in charge of their words and how they choose to use them.

Words are powerful…

Then there are times when words are not enough. In those times the words only have power when action follows. There is nothing more frustrating than listening to someone say all the right words and yet contradict every sentence by choosing to act the opposite. Someone may tell you for years that they will change yet eventually you realise that nothing much has changed at all. Perhaps it is easier to use words as filler with an attempt to patch the gaps. Just like those areas in the bathroom that eventually erode and the only way to repair it is to either replace it or fill in the gaps. The right words can stall time yet eventually if the actions don’t change then the true meaning of those words become very noticeable.

Relationships can only survive for so long with temporary fixes. Eventually the time will come when a drastic renovation is needed in order to save what might be left. Renovations can cost a lot of time and money. Sometimes renovations can’t even fix the problem. It may need bulldozing as the damage has gone down deep to the foundations.

Have you heard the saying?

They can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

Words of forgiveness lose their power when there is no change in behaviour. A person that chooses to change their hurtful behaviour will find better results as opposed to using only the words ‘will you forgive me’. While it is nice to hear ‘will you forgive me’, those words only really mean something when the person saying them decides to follow them through with what they do. Forgiveness and action go hand in hand.

When someone breaks your trust no amount of words are going to fix it. Only the right type of action over a period of time is going to have a chance of healing any damage.

When someone says ‘I love you’, the truth of those words is seen in what they do. People are only fooled for so long with mere words. I’m reminded of the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover. The true heart of a person is always seen in their actions.

While words have the power to heal or destroy, actions carry the same responsibility. Action often requires more from us than words. Perhaps we are not always willing to follow through. Whatever our actions are, you can be sure they always send a message or tell a story.

Words combined with contradictory actions create all sorts of problems in relationships. Whether it be in business, marriage, family or friendship. Most people appreciate when the right action follows words. This allows trust to grow strengthening relationships.

Following through with words can put you in a favourable position at work. Employers will always seek you out when they know you can be counted on.   Reliable and trustworthy people always rise above those that rely solely on their many words.

Relationships strengthen and grow closer when each partner knows that they can count on each other to follow through. In the same way relationships fall apart when one partner loses trust. Words with the wrong actions send mixed messages. It destroys the foundations that are necessary for maintaining a healthy relationship.

As parents it’s always good to remember that kids watch what we do not what we say. Kids learn how to do life by watching their parents. Your actions are their teacher from a very young age.

So much of life rests on what we do not on what we say. Just as the bible verse at the beginning of this blog describes our words as producing fruit, actions are the same.

I suppose it comes down to how much do we really mean what we say?

Are we just saying words in the spur of the moment, or buying time. Perhaps we forget that others remember what we say.

What do we want our relationships to look like?  Do we want relationships that are solid?

It’s impossible to have a true relationship with someone who may find the right words to say yet behave in such a way that shows you the emptiness of their words.

Sometimes words are not enough we need to put action to them. How great is it when someone keeps their word! The best types of relationships are the ones  you don’t need to keep second guessing. Don’t get lost in someone’s words ignoring their actions. If the actions are hurtful and unhealthy it might be time to rethink the situation. There comes a time when you need to consider hurtful and unhealthy actions. You can only ignore it for so long as eventually it will affect the quality of your life.

Don’t enable people to keep hurting you, set boundaries. You are of no use to anyone if you keep getting injured. You have every right to take care of yourself.

Words + no action = empty

Words + hurtful action = damage

Words + the right action = VALUE + RESPECT + TRUST = HEALTHY