When Reconciliation is Impossible: Settling for Personal Peace

Not everyone makes it all the way to reconciliation. You can’t get there alone. If your partner has not done his part, you’ll have to settle for Personal Peace. Personal Peace is nice; but, because it’s personal, you can’t share it.

If you have done your part to arrive at reconciliation, you’ve already experienced much of Personal Peace. You assessed the injury and noted the part of you that can’t be hurt. You put the damage in perspective and have not been carried away by your feelings. You acknowledged your role in the matter and have done what you can to make that part right. You’ve asked for the kind of justice you can get, in an effective manner, and waited long enough for it to be delivered. If you have done all that and your partner has not, you won’t have a true reconciliation; but it may not matter so much anymore, at least you are starting to have a sense of Personal Peace.

In Personal Peace, you can’t change the past or undo what has happened. You’re not going back to the way things were in the beginning. You’re at peace with what happened. You haven’t effected change or stopped her from harming anyone ever again; but you’re making the best of a bad situation. You took a bushel of sour lemons and made gallons of delectable lemonade. Continue reading

Learn to Walk

Stand with your feet comfortably together. Take one foot and stick it out in the direction you want to go until you throw yourself off balance. Then, at the last instant, when you’re about to fall on your face, bring the other foot forward to stop yourself from falling. Repeat this dangerous operation as long as it takes to get where you’re going.

When you think about walking this way, it’s a wonder anyone would try it. Why would you throw yourself off balance and risk injury when you could stand in one spot?

Because you want to get somewhere. Continue reading

If You Can’t Find Help

Let’s face it, it is a whole lot easier to acquire a Problem than it is to get help in eradicating it. In many localities, there are drug dealers at every corner, but to get your loved one to a clinic, takes two buses. Intake coordinators will make him wait in a room with old magazines and ask him a million questions; but bartenders will serve him right away and leave him alone if he doesn’t want to talk. Insurance companies will seek to deny him coverage, but he can play the horses with his credit card. He can get narcotics from every doctor, but it’s tough to find one who prescribe a medication that can assist him in getting off narcotics. There’s even an Act of Congress that limits doctors from prescribing it. Like I said, it’s a lot easier to get a Problem, than it is to get help getting rid of it. However, that’s not the same as saying that help is far away. Continue reading

Get Help to Defeat the Problem

When a Problem takes over a relationship and hurts people, the people in the relationship disappear and the needs of the Problem consume everything. If you’re the person with the Problem, your job is to recover and get your self back. If you’re the other person, your job is to recognize the problematic portion of the relationship, stay connected with the healthy parts, and get help. Continue reading

Team Up with the Person Against the Problem

If you get the opportunity to work with your loved one to vanquish the Problem, don’t mistake this opportunity for the Problem, itself. You could blow your chance because of the presence of your own Problem.

Let’s say your husband has not been able to keep it in his pants. He’s flirted with others, cheated on you, and generally made a mess of things. Now, you’re sitting in a restaurant, having a nice meal, he leans over to you, and says, “See that woman over there, I’m going to have a hard time keeping my eyes off her.”

 Continue reading

Don’t Play the Problem’s Game

There’s no question about it, starving the Problem is a brave thing to do, even if you’re careful to not starve the person. Your partner certainly won’t give you any credit for doing it. He, after all, has already been overcome by the Problem and is thinking like it does. When he’s suicidal, he’s going to say he feels betrayed because you called 911. No Problem likes it when the guys in the white coats come; but, when he’s in his right, true mind, he’s going to be glad that you made that call. 

You also should not expect to see any changes right away. Before anything sinks in, you’ll get caught in the snags of an intermittent reinforcement schedule.  Continue reading