Support Group

Thank you for stopping by. If you are reading the book and found your way here, we have moved the commenting section of the blog to a CLOSED Facebook support group which is a strong, tightly-knit support group.  New posts will appear here regularly, but to join in discussion or just read from like-minded people, join the FB group.
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Holidays and Happiness

christmas“If we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.” – Edith Wharton

The holidays tend to push someone else’s idea of happiness upon us. We are told this is the “most wonderful time of the year” and half the time we can’t figure out why that is.

What we are told and what we feel about it are often two different things. We feel stressed, hurried, broke and on edge. Continue reading

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Reconciliation: A Means or an End?

Reconciliationby Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Copyright @ Susan J. Elliott


“The only hope is no hope.” ~ George Costanza

Most of the time we don’t talk about reconciliations. I find that there is a small percentage of couples who can successfully reconcile. Maybe there are therapists somewhere that have a high rate of reconciliations that work out, but I have not personally experienced that. Couple dynamics can be changed and recharted through couples counseling but it’s an intense (and usually long) process. I find, a lot of times, “confused” couples attempt the most number of reconcilations. Either one or both are confused about the relationship (it’s usually both but one partner is “doing” confusion for both…not confused people do not stay with confused people.)
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Holidays and me-all year round

huckleberryHolidays.  They are fraught with excitement and then there is all the expectation that we are HAPPY and when we are not, we feel as if we, not the world, has failed.

By Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. 

After a VERY bumpy beginning, things had been going well that fall and I wasn’t prepared to be as sad as I was the closer we got to Christmas. On Christmas Eve most people left work at noon, but I straggled out around 3 p.m.

I remember driving home on a deserted highway. The day was grey and the landscape seemed cold and grim. It seemed (in my mind) that the whole world was locked away somewhere hugging, caroling, and drinking egg nog, around the tree, under the lights…far far away from the dreary day. It was all playing out in some fantasy in my head. Some idea we all have of a happy holiday, whether put there by movies or Christmas specials or cards or commercialism or Clement Moore or even some long-ago memory of a happier, magical time.


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The Annual Post-Breakup Holidays Post

 

“I cannot believe I’m alone on Christmas Eve.” – me (first holidays post-separation)


This blog started on November 29, 2006. This post below was one of the first posts and received ASTOUNDING responses from around the globe! I post it every year in it’s original – unedited form. Hope it helps.


I had wanted to separate in September of the previous year but his, “Think about the holidays….” made me back off that decision.

We had always made a big deal of the holidays – we were the type to buy Christmas ornaments in July (yes, the very same people I hate now).  We had huge Christmases and we wanted that to continue for the kids.

So I held off…my anger in September, the gaslighting incident in August…all went away as “stuff” I was holding onto as we moved into Halloween and Thanksgiving.BUT  a new set of suspicions came about in December….RIGHT before Christmas….he un-invited me to his job’s Christmas party – as his group of friends (all women and one gay man) decided spouses weren’t invited to this year’s Christmas party.

I went but knew something was up with one of the women in the group – but I couldn’t figure out who.  It’s the spidey sense of those spouses who have experienced infidelity.  You “knew” when it’s raising its head AGAIN. In December and January, I felt like such a fool.

My job had layoffs mid-January and all hell broke loose leading us to separate the beginning of February.

February 10th. I was anxious and depressed and upset through most of February and March. He was being open about his relationship with a woman he worked with. In fact, he introduced our poor, confused children to her and her children less than six weeks after we’d parted.

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Replaced by the Ex in a Very Public Way?

Time to #GetOverIt!

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Copyright 2018 All Right Reserved


This may not be copied or duplicated without the express permission of the author

Someone in the Facebook group mentioned the anxiety surrounding when the ex starts to date and being replaced.  Time for a rerun of this!


One of the most common questions I receive every single month since I started writing my blog in 2006 is, “My ex has moved on so fast, what do I do?” Since the advent of social media, it has gotten so much worse.  It seems the “replacing” behavior is now very public. Now it has become, “My ex has replaced me in a very public (social media) way.  What do I do?” 

In the Getting Past Your Breakup book I ask, “Does it hurt when you do that?” and if the answer is “Yes.” Then the response is “Don’t do that.”

The other thing I hear, a lot, is “It’s not about (Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, whatever the hell, the ex, the ex’s new partner)…” and when I hear that, I usually say, “Chances are, yes it is.  That is exactly what it is about.”  If you’re being slammed by your ex’s social media posts, it’s time to detox from social media until such a time when you can handle it. It’s time to block the ex and (temporarily) any mutual friends.  If you can’t do that, it’s time to get off social media altogether. Continue reading

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Leaving The Abusive Relationship

Part 1 of 4: I Didn’t Know That I Didn’t Know


By Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Copyright 2008-2018 All rights reserved

A rerun for the FB group.

Abuse can be physical, mental, emotional, verbal and sexual. It can be but doesn’t have to be all 5. Just because someone isn’t hitting you doesn’t mean they are not abusive. Name calling is abusive, cheating is abusive. Feeling as if you’re walking on eggshells is abusive. Being put in no-win situations is abusive.Gaslighting is a tool of the narcissist/sociopath and

If you know someone in an abusive situation, it is imperative that you get them to understand all the things they might not know. I lost friends as a DV victim. I had people who truly cared but then were so put off when I went back.

What they didn’t know was what to tell me. These are all the things I needed to be told. Some are quite rudimentary and you would think a smart person like me would know them, but I didn’t. And chances are, if you are or know someone who is a DV victim, they don’t know them either.

I am a pretty smart person. Fairly high IQ, well-educated and born and raised in New York City. Street smart and book smart, yet I didn’t know that being a DV victim was not my fault or that it didn’t have to be that way. Not knowing is not stupidity. It’s just not knowing. Here are things to tell someone you love who might be in an abusive relationship. Abuse of any kind – physical, mental, verbal etc.

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Men As Stalking Victims, Part 2: 10 Things To Know For Safety’s Sake

stalkingWould Travis Alexander and/or Ryan Poston be alive today if everyone was duly informed about men as stalking victims?

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

 

There is a fine line between serendipity and stalking. ~ David Coleman

What Is Stalking

The reason the David Coleman quote above resonates with me is that a woman who appeared to be stalking a man called it serendipitous when she wound up in a club a half mile from his home, where he was known to frequent, on the same night he did.  She said to me, “It’s serendipity!” and I said, “No, it’s stalking.”  I don’t know when the quote above was made by its source, but I had this conversation 14 years ago.  Another quote that came to mind, is “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  She kept thinking that their “accidental” run-ins meant they were destined to be together.  It didn’t and they weren’t.  Thankfully she moved on, and no one died.

Stalkers Who Turn Into Murderers

It has long been known that female stalking victims have been killed by their stalker. Laws to protect people have been put into effect after stalking turns to murder. Rebecca Shaefer’s murder in 1989 led to stronger laws in California to hide addresses of public figures. It’s not a small thing and it’s not unusual. What is unusual is the small amount of attention paid to female stalkers as murderers and their victims. While we may pay attention to the murder trials, we have done little to educate everyone about how men can protect themselves if they have a stalking ex-girlfriend or obsessive girlfriend they can’t seem to get to go away.

The Murders of Travis Alexander and Ryan Poston

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No Contact: Searching and the Rules of Disengagement

disengagement

No contact is hard, but so important to healing

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Pining is the subjective and emotional component of urge to search for the lost object. ~ Colin Murray Parkes.

Getting Past Your Breakup was the first program and first book to suggest going “no contact” with your ex.  Since that time both legitimate therapists and authors have jumped aboard the No Contact train, but it has also been “bastardized” into a manipulation strategy for getting your ex back.  That is ridiculous and ludicrous and completely against the way a healthy person behaves.

The NC suggestion worked for me back when the breakup of my marriage caused daily anxiety attacks and depression and reaching out to the ex was what I did.  Over and over again.  It was like putting my hand on a hot stove.

I was divorced in 1991 and from that point on, I recommended to people that I worked with – usually women coming out of bad situations – that no contact was a key to healing.  I ran volunteer groups until I graduated, in January 1995, with a Masters in Counseling Psychology.  After that I recommended it to all my clients coming out of a bad situation. Even co-parents and co-workers can do it. It’s called “brief and business-like.”

Since then, everyone who is anyone suggests No Contact (let’s ignore the ones who want to manipulate people with it).  But many people who are just “echoing” what they’ve heard don’t get the theory behind it. I studied this closely – both as a technique and then, something my own therapist didn’t understand – why it was so hard. This is the WHY.  This was part of my Master’s thesis in 1995, which was written as a Handbook for Mental Health Professionals, so I doubt that anyone anywhere can point to a 1995 suggestion of theirs to go No Contact.  GPYP/GPYB was definitely the first. 

As a researcher, I credit others with their contribution to GPYB. It’s frustrating that others fail to credit GPYB with the concepts that were put together here first: grief, self-care, no contact, building a life, affirmations, boundaries etc.  You will be hard-pressed to find these concepts put together by anyone before 2006-2009.  GPYB was published in 2009  and if you look at all the “coaching” pages, you will find they were written long after. These concepts – working together – are original to GPYB and no other program can claim that.

So here is the WHY to No Contact and why it’s so difficult:

Colin Murray Parkes was a grief expert who studied the phases of grief and the behavior in those who are grieving. Searching behavior often explains why people try to connect with those whom they have just lost to death…but when the person is still out there, still “reachable,” it makes it difficult to suspend contact and simply let the searching compulsion pass without doing anything about it.  Hard, but necessary.

Parkes was one of the first to analogize human searching behaviors to that of animal species that mate for life.

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Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode Number 36A Show Notes

 

Welcome to the Mean Lady Talking Podcast!

In this episode, we’re talking about

Grief and Loss Part 1 of 3

Show Notes and Player for Episode 36A

See below for links to listen and subscribe on your favorite platform:

iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio

(links to the show on all these platforms is below)


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Posted in bad relationship, breakup, communications, dysfunction, featured, GPYB, grief, healing, healthy relationship, legal system, loss, mean lady talking podcast, mistreatment, podcast, reconciliation, reconnection, recovery, relationship, relationships, secondary losses, unacceptable behavior | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode Number 35 Show Notes

 

Welcome to the Mean Lady Talking Podcast!

In this episode, we’re talking about

TEXTING!!!!

Show Notes and Player for Episode 35 

See below for links to listen and subscribe on your favorite platform:

iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn

(links to the show on all these platforms is below)


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Posted in bad relationship, breakup, communications, dysfunction, featured, GPYB, grief, healing, healthy relationship, legal system, loss, mean lady talking podcast, mistreatment, podcast, reconciliation, reconnection, recovery, relationship, relationships, secondary losses, unacceptable behavior | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode Number 34 Part 2 Show Notes

 

Welcome to the Mean Lady Talking Podcast!

In this episode, we’re talking about

Listener Email with Two Long Podcsts

Show Notes and Player for Episode 34 Part 2

See below for links to listen and subscribe on your favorite platform:

iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn

(links to the show on all these platforms is below)


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Posted in bad relationship, breakup, communications, dysfunction, featured, GPYB, grief, healing, healthy relationship, legal system, loss, mean lady talking podcast, mistreatment, podcast, reconciliation, reconnection, recovery, relationship, relationships, secondary losses, unacceptable behavior | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode Number 34 Part 1 Show Notes

 

Welcome to the Mean Lady Talking Podcast!

In this episode, we’re talking about

Listener Email with Two Long Podcsts

Show Notes and Player for Episode 34

See below for links to listen and subscribe on your favorite platform:

iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn

(links to the show on all these platforms is below)


Continue reading

Posted in bad relationship, breakup, communications, dysfunction, featured, GPYB, grief, healing, healthy relationship, legal system, loss, mean lady talking podcast, mistreatment, podcast, reconciliation, reconnection, recovery, relationship, relationships, secondary losses, unacceptable behavior | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode Number 33 Show Notes

Welcome to the Mean Lady Talking Podcast!

In this episode, we’re talking about

Codependency and Building A Life

Show Notes and Player for Episode 33

See below for links to listen and subscribe on your favorite platform:

iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn

(links to the show on all these platforms is below)


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Posted in bad relationship, breakup, communications, dysfunction, featured, GPYB, grief, healing, healthy relationship, legal system, loss, mean lady talking podcast, mistreatment, podcast, reconciliation, reconnection, recovery, relationship, relationships, secondary losses, unacceptable behavior | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode Number 32 Show Notes

Welcome to the Mean Lady Talking Podcast!

In this episode, we’re talking about

Listener Email  

Today we answer several listener emails

Show Notes and Player for Episode 32

See below for links to listen and subscribe on your favorite platform:

iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn

(links to the show on all these platforms is below)


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Posted in abusive, bad relationship, breakup, cheating, communications, dysfunction, featured, GPYB, grief, healing, healthy relationship, legal system, loss, mean lady talking podcast, mistreatment, podcast, reconciliation, reconnection, recovery, relationship, relationships, secondary losses, unacceptable behavior | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment