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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Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode Number 22 Show Notes

Welcome to the

Mean Lady Talking Podcast

This episode is MORE

Talking About Dating and Self-Revelations, Standards and Fooling Ourselves

This is the podcast that tackles tough questions about

relationships, life, love and loss.

The Mean Lady Podcast is hosted by grief therapist, motivational speaker, best-selling author and attorney, Susan J. Elliott

To see a list of all episodes with links to each episode’s Show Notes, go HERE

For a list of all places to listen to and subscribe to the podcast scroll down to the bottom of this post

To see all episodes and to subscribe via iTunes go HERE


Show Notes for Episode Number 22

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Why The Mean Lady Talks Mean: Learning What You Need to Know

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

“I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” – Winston Churchill

The first episode of the Mean Lady Talking Podcast (for a listing of episodes go HERE) explains the meaning behind the title.

But here’s a bit of tip about giving and receiving “advice.”  You don’t always like the package it comes in.

When I first started my journey toward wholeness, I spent a lot of time wishing that someone would feel sorry for me, take pity on me, see that I had been through a lot.

My first therapist did not feel sorry for me but told me what I needed to hear. My support group could be brutally honest as well.

As it explains in Episode 1, I was told that if I was looking for sympathy I would find it “in the dictionary between sh&% and syphillis.” Harsh words but ones that helped me to realize that there was no prize in getting sympathy. There was only a prize in hearing the truth about me. And if the truth is told with love and caring, it is a great truth indeed.

Some of the greatest truths are the hardest to hear.

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Is #texting or #sexting #cheating?

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. © 2019

Decide What Is Right for You and Your Relationship

There is a fairly large distinction between fathering a child with another woman while married and flirting with a coworker in texts.  There is a fairly large distinction between hiring prostitutes and typing out sexual fantasies to an anonymous internet chat room  There may even be a distinction between porn addiction (while in a relationship) and sexting (while in a relationship) and some might say they’re all the same.   Some believe that all of the above is cheating and all of the above is, therefore, wrong.

When I see clients who have had a breakup, I often see them rushing to get out there sooner than they’re ready to. In Getting Past Your Breakup, I caution people to take it slowly and heal from your breakup before even thinking about dating again. Unless you want to get into another failed relationship just like the one you just got out of, wait and do the work prescribed by Getting Past Your Breakup before Getting Back Out There!

When they ARE ready, I counsel people not to put anything on the internet you would not want your grandmother to see, but they do it all the time anyway. It can be destructive to your relationship, your job and your reputation.

Unless you want the whole world seeing what you’re up to, don’t put anything in text and don’t snap photos of your private parts. If you say it forget it, if you write it, regret it. If you live by that rule, chances are you are not going to have lots of explaining to do to anyone at any time.

People still continue to behave in ways that leave a fairly distinct trail. Every day people are caught sexting or engaging in other behavior their partner objects to. Every day hearts are broken when illicit behavior comes to light. Every day people become confused over their own behavior or their partners.
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Breakup Grief Ends. Bank on it. Believe in It.

by Susan J. Elliott ©  2004-2019

I wrote this essay in the summer of 2005 and edited it the summer of 2007 right before my youngest son got married.  Both my ex husband and my husband were alive at the time.  Each has since passed. I’ve left the present tense alone.

Breakup grief ends. Know it. Bank on it. Believe in it.

But only IF:  if you do your work, it ends. If you work through it, it ends. If you feel your feelings and allow grief to happen, it ends.

When it is the breakup of a relationship, it definitely ends. If it’s a marriage with children you might forever regret that your children did not grow up in a loving home with both biological parents, but that is not the same as continuing to grieve your relationship. That grief can and will end. Continue reading

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Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode 44


In this episode we are talking about grief – teenage suicides, gratitude, murder and sharing with others. Podcast player and platform links after the jump.

#grief #loss #murder #suicide #sharing #communication #gratitude

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Mean Lady Talking Podcast Episode 43

In this episode we’re talking about taking in information about other people and how we either jump to conclusions without enough evidence to judge harshly or to believe quickly.  Some of the things on here are difficult to hear – because it involves a documentary about pedophiles.
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MLT Ep 42 Switching Gears, Anger, Approval, Abandonment

January reminds me of all of these things: not being able to switch gears, trying to get approval for someone who would never give it, homicidal anger, self-soothing and abandonment (or “How Wacky Can One Person Be?”) The WORLD should TG that I found recovery!


For the media player OR to find the link to the podcast on your favorite platform, click on continue reading —>

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Breaking Up and Deciding to Make “The Turn”

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.©

Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power. ~ Blaine Lee

Each of us has the power to decide whether or not a hurt, a loss, a change in circumstance is going to keep us down.

Each of us has the power to say, “NO MORE” to someone who is hurting us. Each of us has the power to walk away and look at our inner selves instead of trying to get whatever it is we are trying to get from the outside. It comes down to CHOICE.

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Valentine’s Day


Requested Repost: 
Valentine’s Day is the epitome of our romantic love fantasy. It represents all that we wish love could be and would be 365 days a year. Valentine’s Day feeds into our notion of romance….every romantic comedy, every heartfelt love song, every “We’ll always have Paris.”

by Susan J. Elliott J.D., M.Ed. Copyright ©  2005-2019

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“You Complete Me” or “Why I Need to Get a Life”

Live your own life to find someone who is a true, supportive partner  

Copyright © Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. 

When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter. ~ Tom Robbins

I’ve said over and over that in order to find the right person, you need to BE the right person.  No one else should complete you.  They should COMPLEMENT you.

A healthy person finds independence and completeness of another to be wildly attractive.  Many people would think why would two people who were each complete and happy in their own life, partner up with someone similarly situated?  Because secure in your own skin and complete in your own life is good, and complementary with a partner who can help carry the load is really good.

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The Original Leaving the Abusive Relationship

This post has been pulled apart and made into parts of other posts and had a few different versions.  Someone reminded me of this post tonight, and I thought I’d rerun it. I originally wrote it in 2007 a year before Michael got sick.  There still may be some references to him and our relationship in there.

I’ve changed a few references to Michael that were in the present tense, but may have missed some, but the point is that you CAN leave abusive relationships and get happy and whole and find REAL love with a REAL person who will not abuse you and who will treat you wonderfully every single day. Michael was always in an annoyingly happy mood. When I asked him once why (as I was having a complete sh&t storm of a day and in a foul mood), he said that every day he woke up and I was in the world, was a good day.

He was absolutely serious about it as he treated me EXACTLY that way, as if I was an incredibly special person who made the world a better place. And it took me years to develop the attitude that I deserved to be treated that way and believe that a person like that existed…but he did…which is why–when he got sick–I turned myself inside out to provide as much comfort and joy and peace as he could possibly get while being terminally ill.) But I found REAL LOVE after abusive relationships…and you (or someone you love) can too. You can read my story in the introduction to GPYB and our story in the back of GBOT and our story on RopeBurns and my story on the GPYP YouTube Channel. (for links to any of those, go HERE.)

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Building Your Own Life

Way back when I wrote this post and followed it with the second post.  FOr those afraid to get out and build your life, I hope this is some kind of inspiration.


Post 1:

There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less. ~ Kurt Hahn

When we discover who we are and all the riches we contain (or as Walt Whitman said, the multiples we contain) we understand the depth of our goodness and we refuse to settle for less than we deserve.

The way OUT of garbage and INTO goodness is to recognize our own self-worth, to affirm that we are good and deserve good things and to treat ourselves with dignity and respect. Continue reading

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If You’re the Family Outsider, Give Yourself A Hand!

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

Copyright © Susan J. Elliott All Rights Reserved

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.~ George Bernard Shaw

The Road to Sanity Starts with Insanity

Sometimes we are the family skeleton, the black sheep, the shame of the clan.  Many times it’s because the clan is as dysfunctional as the day is long. If you don’t belong in a family like that, you might come to realize how lucky you are. But many times it’s a rough road from being the family skeleton to being a happy and healthy individual. But you can do it. In fact, being the family skeleton, the black sheep, the shame of the clan, actually gives you a head start.

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Gratitude, Support Groups & Getting Better

gratitudeJohn F. Kennedy once said that as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

M. Scott Peck said that love is an action.

Both love and gratitude are actions. It doesn’t matter what you say, it matters what you DO. Every year I post the YouTube video HERE for my readers on gratitude and I was touched, and grateful, for both the public and private response to it. I am always humbled by being in a position to give even one person a small ray of hope, especially on a difficult day like a holiday. We may be fine before the holiday, but holidays and anniversaries and birthdays can trigger all kinds of unexpected sadness and anxiety.

My life would not be possible without others who helped me during those very bleak and dark days when I was depressed, anxious, borderline suicidal and feeling hopeless.

I remember driving down the road and the only way to avoid driving the car into a wall was to keep chanting, as tears streamed down my face, “I am a child of God and God loves me.” Someone gave me that to say when I was sitting in a therapist’s waiting room and my hands were physically shaking. This man, someone I didn’t know and had never met, turned to me and said, “Just remember, you are a child of God and God loves you.”

He said it in this sweet and kind voice, almost a whisper, that was incredibly soothing. I wasn’t even sure if it was true or even if there was a God but I held onto it, and I said it like a mantra whenever I didn’t think I could go on another minute.  Many of the techniques I’ve taught over the years – affirmations, mantras, acceptance statement, “even though” statements are in the workbook.  And in that dark moment, before anyone taught me anything, I held onto that mantra like it was the only lifeline I had.  At the time it was.  But I learned the importance of all of them.

I see the amazing healing that takes place in GPYB boot camps, seminars and workshops. The healing comes from the willingness to do the work, to support each other and the feeling that you don’t have to do this alone.  Because you know what? YOU DON’T!  There is an amazing transformation that I am honored to witness when my groups share with each other. Wonderful healing takes place.

I’ve told the following story when I’ve done speaking engagements and in seminars and on the blog. It’s a story that really has stayed with me all these years.
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