When Loneliness Leads You Back to a Bad Relationship

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

Also called “Good Sex in Bad Relationships”


One of the first steps of recovery is to develop a full life for yourself. Nothing happens until that occurs. Have a plan what to do if you get lonely so you don’t do the disasterous ‘Drink and Dial!’ Or you don’t do the ‘Daydream and Dial.’ HE’S NOT DIFFERENT! Nothing has changed! Learn to build a great life and avoid the risk factor of loneliness.” ~ Sandra Brown

As many of you know, I am the owner and moderator of a Yahoo Women Who Love Too Much list. I post there and here and have some members from there over here but that group is not open to men and GPYP has a larger-than-usual number of men who post here and attend the seminars (about 30 to 40 percent which is a LARGE number for any self-help group). And the men I’ve met at the seminars and through the blog and email group are some of the nicest men I’ve ever known. And they are thankful for a gender-neutral place to share and be a part of because I think that most breakup books and sites are geared specifically to women. So most of the GPYP material is gender neutral AND I made a big point of making sure the Getting Past Your Breakup book is not gender, sexual orientation, or age specific. It is very important to me for it to be inclusive.

I still work with domestic violence victims and women who love too much (many times one and the same) and that work is pretty much gender-specific. It’s not that I don’t think there are male victims of domestic violence but the numbers truly pale in comparison to women both because of the nature of domestic violence and the fact that it’s underreported due to men’s ego about it. But even if it were reported as much as it occurs, I still think it would not be close. But if you are a male victim of domestic violence, I urge you to do the same things I urge women to do. Have a safety plan and find a way out. Get support and build your life.  Also, please read my articles on Male Stalking Victims and how stalking by a female often leads to murder.

And to help the process of DV victims, I give scholarships to GPYP seminars because many times financial control is one of the hallmarks of a violent relationship and it’s hard to find the money to just go. I think the seminars are healing for everyone not only for the material but for the connection that takes place among the participants. Also, as I say in the seminars: you’re as sick as your secrets and when you come to a seminar, it’s a way of starting to heal…out of the shadows and into the light. Even if you don’t share with us everything that is going on (that is NOT required!). NO ONE knows who has a scholarship and by the time I get there, I have no idea either. So please let me know if you need one.

Seminars and conferences and getting OUT AND ABOUT was key to my recovery. Even today I try to go out and meet people LIVE and IN PERSON. There is so much to be gained by attending seminars and meeting similar people which is why I keep offering them and giving them. I truly believe in it as a very special part of recovery. Donations to the site and buying books from Amazon through the links on the right helps to fund those scholarships so I appreciate that. So the issue of domestic violence is something that I focus on when I can. Having been in abusive relationships, I know how easy it is to push away the same people you are trying to help. So I tread lightly a lot of times and just continue to try to push out the messages “Do your grief work while taking care of yourself and building your life.” That is my CORE message of how to change your life forever.

And get and give support for your work. People here will testify as to how important this support is. I see it here every day. Usually I post on the weekends but the readership is usually down during the weekend and up during the week. So I depend on the other readers to give support and they do a great job. So that support is so important for this process to work and I want to thank everyone here for that.

So my terrific co-mod on the WWL2M group posted the above quote from Sandra Brown one day on that group and I loved it because it truly reflects my own experience and philosophy about trying to move on from relationships. So I wanted to post it over here. It’s not JUST a struggle in sick relationships, but any relationship. But sick relationships have such an attraction because in order to move along from them, it’s HARD HARD work.

One of the post-sick relationships issues is returning to that sick relationship. Or going onto another sick relationship. The loneliness gets to people who have been addicted to the chaos and drama of the sick relationship. The holes in your soul are large and gaping and by keeping everything stirred up on the outside, you avoid the horrible mess on the inside.

It becomes a vulnerability when you can’t possibly work through all the “stuff” quickly enough to outrun your loneliness and emptiness. Sandra Brown also writes: “Of the hundreds of women we have helped, almost all of them have cited loneliness, boredom, or not having a life as a reason they went back OR started yet another unhealthy relationship. One of the first steps of recovery is to develop a full life for yourself. Nothing happens until that occurs.”

Another issue that I think affects men more than women is the idea of “good sex in a bad relationship.” Robin Norwood writes about this in Women Who Love Too Much and Letters From Women Who Love Too Much (the second book is the one I recommend to men). When a relationship is chaotic and tenuous (breakup to makeup) the tension can translate into a sexual outlet and the “good sex” is mistaken for something that denotes intimacy and caring. It’s not. It’s a circus act designed to keep you in the game. It’s an unconscious thing that both parties partake in. If most people were to be honest they would have to admit they were putting on a show on some level…trying to keep their partner there with this “electrifying” performance. It takes more than good sex to keep a relationship alive. If it doesn’t happen elsewhere, what happens in the bedroom isn’t worth much.

Love making happens in every room of the house and happens with your clothes on and off. The intimacy and sharing of love making MUST MUST MUST extend to the respect and caring that goes on day-to-day and if it doesn’t then it’s just sex. And it’s meaningless. It means NOTHING if the intimacy cannot be extended beyond the bedroom. And people, especially men, need to get these images of good sex in a bad relationship out of their heads. It’s worthless.

As I’ve written on here, you have to make peace with the peace in order to move forward. You have to make peace with the ABSENCE of a lot of crazy stuff in your life. You have to embrace the “nothingness” as a good thing and not a boring thing.

But you have to build something. Because nature does abhor a vacuum and the more you take out, the more you have to put in. If you take away an energy-suck-horrible relationship from your life, you are taking a lot of stuff out. Something that has taken up a lot of physical, emotional and mental energy.

It is SO important. So very important. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE.

Please please please build your life. Even if you’re still in an awful relationship, start the process. Other suggestions are welcome.

Be good to you!!!

Copyright 2007-2018Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.
All Rights Reserved No Duplication is Allowed Without Explicit Permission of the Author

 

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