Friday, June 26, 2009

Repairing A Damaged Relationship

Friday, June 26, 2009
John & Kate plus 8 fans are shocked, outraged, not surprised and some unconcerned. Recently TLC aired a Special Announcement from one of America’s favorite families disclosing their decision regarding their relationship status. For those of you are out of the loop, John and Kate have announced they are getting a divorce.

Many of you are probably asking why are we talking about John and Kate’s relationship? Well welcome to Xclusivity Therapy section where real lives and real situations are answered, dissected and reviewed. I am the Xtherapist and I will be writing and responding to questions on the blog. This is not to say that the information provided is the only way or the best way to go but it is another opinion and view from someone who knows absolutely nothing about you other than the information you provide. If you are open minded and able to look at situations from a different perspective which may cover several dynamics; if you like to exercise your mind then this is the Xact spot for you!

Where did it all go wrong? I do not have the answer to this question because I do not have all the facts; I only know what TLC, the tabloids, newspapers and magazines have disclosed. However, I can say that the decision to continue to air the show is sickening and gives the assumption that the family has not done the work needed to repair the relationship. I know what you’re thinking… John cheated and acted out; Kate is rude and controlling! This may all be true or not but nonetheless a damaged relationship can be repaired. I am not saying that the marriage may not still end in a divorce. I am talking about repairing what was damaged and creating the puzzle pieces for how to move forward and eventually how to co-parent while living apart (To be posted in the next Xtherapy column). We live in a real world where often it is better to avoid then to deal with the feelings and emotions. I want to provide you with some simple steps that may be helpful if you are going through a break up. Not necessarily an intimate relationship because the steps provided can help you with a damaged friendship, a damage relationship with a family member or co-worker. See a relationship is just a title of a union of two or more people involved, intimate or not. Remember these are merely ideas to get you started on a road to repair.

I want you to remember that people change. No one is the same person they were 5, 10 or even 30 years ago. When you begin to see the change take notice react. Don’t wait to see how long it is going to take for the phase to be over because it is possible that it may not be a phase.

Acknowledge your feelings and stay true. This is one of the weaknesses John appears to have on the show. He often states, “ I did not choose this life, it was chosen for me. I did not speak up.” This brings me to my next point create boundaries. Creating boundaries will help people to understand and respect your limits. It sets the tone for the things you will and will not tolerate.

Take time out to evaluate your situation alone. Friends and families are great, but think about what you want vs what you need before you talk to someone else. This will help to eliminate someone’s feelings being transferred to you. Bring it back to basics and create a pros and cons list and or use a journal to organize your thoughts and feelings to help decrease feeling overwhelmed.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate, I cannot say it enough. Communicating does not consist of yelling, screaming or using cut throat words. No matter what word you use and or say the other person WILL never feel how you felt and or feel. What? I know this is what you are saying but think about it. Feelings are emotions and they are personal. This means you own your feelings. Yes, I know what it feels to be sad or even happy; therefore, I can relate to your feelings but I will not feel exactly how you feel. Therefore, why waste energy on something that no one except you gets. At the end of the day when the arguing and tears are all over and done the situation has not changed for the better. I tell my client’s screaming is a way for an adult to tantrum. Think about it kids tantrum when they are not getting their way and or they cannot communicate. Well, adults scream when they feel people are not listening and or do not understand their point, most of the time. If you feel the conversation has taken a turn down blame lane, take a time out and revisit the matter later. I am not sure where we picked up the habit that you have to say it all now or you will never have the chance to, is beyond me. If you are working on repairing a relationship it cannot be done in one night. Take a step back and acknowledge you need space and time to bring yourself back together. Look for the future blog, which will highlight Effective Communication.

Take care of your self. Read a book, take a bubble bath, bake some dessert, take a walk, run or jog, or listen to music. These are all outlets that can be helpful in soothing your mind. If you know how to meditate or you take yoga those techniques are also great. It is important to pay extra attention to your mental health and physical health when going through a break up or relationship strain.

If you are working harder than the other person rethink your options. Be clear if you truly are working more than the other person by following the above step of creating a pros and cons list. If what you want them to do is not happening that does not mean they are not working it means you are angry because you are not getting you way and that is another article. Keep in mind that sometimes people are so hurt that they are unable, right away, to work on the repair. It may be helpful to take a week or two to just think and evaluate yourself and relationship.

I hope that some of the aforementioned steps will be helpful in future relationships that become strained. Sometimes it is not possible to repair a relationship to the point where you may stay in contact but often it is possible to repair the relationship in order to close the door and move forward.

" Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." ~ President Barack Obama

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XIKhai said...

I love love love this article! And I know someone has learned something from reading it!

Personal advice is available hit up the Xtherapist!

I am XI said...

This is a GREAT post! We ALL can benefit from these tips to be better communicators when it comes to repairing a strained or broken relationship/friendship. Love it! And will be implementing them in my personal life...

WOW! Excellent job, Xtherapist!

The Xtherapist is ready to see you!

XIKhai said...


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