How Do You Heal From the Grief of Heartbreak?

Michelle D’Avella talks about how to face the pain of heartbreak and heal your heart from grief.

Click the video above for a helpful tip on healing your heart and moving on from the grief of heartbreak.

Michelle D’Avella supports women and men through their journey inward to release pain, open their hearts, and create a life they love. She is a Breathwork teacher, Desire Map facilitator, writer, and mentor. Learn more about Michelle and her work at and follow her on Instagram for daily doses of inspiration.

How Long Does It Take To Get Over An Ex?

How long does it take to get over an ex?

How long before you move on and can live your life again?

Some people never move on. Some people believe there is no more hope after their last breakup and vow their previous relationship will be their last relationship.

How long it takes to get over an ex depends on you.

Here’s what I know: it took me years to get over my ex because I didn’t quite accept the relationship had ended.

Yes, you actually have to accept the relationship is over before you can get over an ex. 

At the end of the day, I’d say it took me about five years to fully move on from my marriage.

“What the #&*(@)!_,” you remark, “5 years?!?! that’s a long time.”

Listen, it’s not about the time. It’s about the process of healing and letting go.

There’s work to be done.

What work?

Click the video above to watch. You get to decide how long it will take for you to get over your ex.

For books on heartbreak and moving on, visit my Amazon store here.

3 Ways to Transform Before You Love Again

When my husband walked out the door and never came back, I thought I would never love again. I was 22 years old and believed that marriage was forever.

How could I even think of loving anyone else when I was sure I would never stop loving him?

About three months later, I met a man. He was nice and sweet, and we seemed to have a lot in common but something was off.

I never would have admitted it at the time but really, I used this man to help me forget my pain. I had nothing to give him but my brokenness. It was a rebound relationship. We dated on and off for three years but I could never commit like he wanted me to.

As much as I tried to make things work with this new individual, there was no way I could. I just wasn’t ready. I needed to heal.

There is something about divorce or a serious breakup that makes a person feel helpless, hopeless, defenceless. The person that you gave everything to: your secrets, your body and years of your life, has rejected you. There is no greater rejection.

You need to heal and you need to grieve before you can genuinely be there for another person. For me, it took ten years before I was truly ready to marry again and give myself fully to another person.

It won’t take everyone this long but we do need to heal before we are ready to enter something new, and give it our best. During the ten years between marriages, I was in two major relationships, both of which did not work out.

For one of those relationships, I couldn’t commit. For the other relationship, I chose someone who was very deceptive and unfaithful.

One reason it is so important to heal is because if you are not emotionally healthy, you can either hurt others (like I did in the first relationship) or be hurt badly by choosing someone inappropriate (like my second relationship.)

If you have recently gone through heartbreak, there are three things you need to rebuild as a newly single person to help you heal and become whole again.

1. Cultivate your strength.

When you were in a long-term relationship, you think yourself as part of a couple. The two of you made plans together, visited together, went out for dinner together.

Other people start to think of you as part of a couple, too. Instead of just being “Sally,” you are always known as “Sally and Joe.”

You are interdependent on another. This is not a bad thing – it is a healthy part of being a couple. When it all ends, however, that unity is torn apart and you are left feeling jagged and torn, like a part of you is missing.”

But through this process, if you allow yourself, you will discover something wonderful: you are stronger than you ever thought. If you quietly listen, you will feel a hidden strength that is emerging from having to endure this terrible crisis.

There is a voice from deep within that whispers: “You will survive. You will endure.”

That feeling that you are going to fall apart and die is powerful but it is only a feeling. The truth is that you are getting stronger. In fact, even when you are still heartbroken, still devastated, you will find that you can do far more than you thought possible.

2. Use your difficult emotions as motivation

When you go through a very painful breakup, you have a lot of mixed emotions. Part of you wants to curl up in a ball and never leave the comfort of your bedroom. Another part of you feels a sense of burning indignation at the betrayal and treachery you experienced.

This anger is part of the grieving process but it also has a good side because it can mobilize you to start something new, to forge forward. It can give you the energy to be able to move on.

After my second post-divorce relationship breakup, I was so depressed that it was hard to function. For many months, I felt no anger – just sadness. I was so sad that it was difficult to get through a work day or to have a conversation with anyone.

One evening, I was visiting with a lady who was also going through a separation and moving to a new province. She told me, “You have to get in touch with your anger. It’s there but you are just hiding it with this depression. Think about what this man did to you. It should get you angry and you need that anger to move on, to get yourself motivated.”

It took a long time for her words to sink in but she was right. I stayed depressed for a few more months but then I was finally able to get in touch with my anger.

When I did, I was really angry, and it scared me. I did not like to think of myself as an angry person but it was a necessary part of the grieving process. During that angry phase, I started to think about the future.

I was working an entry-level job at the time because I thought that was all I could handle with my depression. I started to reassess my skills and knew that I needed to get back into teaching, my previous career.

I started sending out resumes and within a month, had a new job teaching High School English. I had to travel 1000 miles away to get there but what kept me motivated and strong was knowing that I had survived this breakup and therefore, I could handle this new situation.

If you have just recently survived a breakup and are feeling angry, think about how you can use your anger for something good and productive.

Maybe you can pursue a goal you left behind during the relationship, like school or a new career. Maybe you want to renew old friendships that you neglected while being with your former partner.

You are in transition right now. You have survived this experience. If you are angry, take advantage of the energy your anger gives you to pursue your dreams again.

3. Rebuild your self-worth

After a divorce or serious breakup, you must rediscover, or even discover for the first time, your worth as a human being. You are worthy, no matter who does or doesn’t decide to be with you.

Growing up, I was not affirmed by my father. In fact, his anger often led to him yelling at his family and controlling our every action. Around my father, I always felt on edge and unsure of my worth. Without the affirmation of the male figure in my life, I looked for it from other men.

If you look to a romantic partner to affirm who you are, you are in trouble because you are putting the power in their hands for whether we feel good about yourself. If your man loves you, you are happy. When that same man doesn’t love you anymore, you are devastated.

Although relationships can be wonderful, they do not determine your worth. A single person is not worth less than a married person.

You are of extreme worth right now, just as you are.

Don’t look for another man to prove it to you.

One way to rediscover your worth is to rediscover your gifts. You have gifts and talents that no one else has that are needed in this world. Think back to who you were, before you entered this relationship.

Did you give up a dream, a passion? Use this time of newly-found singlehood to renew a dream or passion that was left on the back burner.

When I went to that teaching job far up North, being in the classroom energized me. I was teaching English literature, my passion. I absolutely loved leading the students in discussions and building into their lives.

The thoughts of this man were still there, sometimes at night, but they started to fade because I was so consumed with doing my best at the tasks that were in front of me.

If you are struggling with being unable to focus on anything but your ex-partner, right now, remember who you were before – that person is still there. Do something to move towards becoming more of the person you were meant to be.

To conclude, there are three things you need to find again after a breakup. You need to find your strength again. You need to get back your motivation, and you need to rediscover (or discover for the first time) your self-worth.

Sharilee Swaity and her husband live in the woods of Central Canada. She has just written her first book, Second Marriage: An Insider’s Guide to Hope, Healing and Love. Pick up her book on Amazon here (free for 48 hours). You can also keep up with her writing on her blog, Second Marriage, here.

Love Yourself After Heartbreak

You might be looking for love after a heartbreak.

Once you start on that quest for love and a new relationship, you’ll realize that you can’t open your heart to others until you open it to yourself.

Yes, everything they say about self-love is true. You need to have a deep, committed and fulfilling relationship with yourself before you can love another person.

But how do you do this?

How do you love yourself when you have trouble loving another person?

After walking the journey back from heartbreak myself, I don’t have all the answers but I do have my answers.

I get a lot of similar questions from readers of my blog and I decided to write this book, Loving Yourself After Heartbreak for anyone who was having issues with self-worth and self-esteem after heartbreak.

Loving yourself shows up in so many ways in your life.

It’s not just what you think about yourself and how you treat yourself but it’s about boundaries, it’s about making peace with your past, it’s about grieving and forgiveness, letting go of resentments.

It’s how to live your life, how to surrender and how you find happiness.

I took a stab at answering 21 of the most common questions I receive about the topic of self-love. A few have to do with heart-break but most have to do with taking care of yourself, healing yourself and rebuilding your self-worth after heartbreak.

Here are the 21 questions I answer in the book, Love Yourself After Heartbreak:

Chapter 1: The benefits of loving yourself after heartbreak

Chapter 2: How do you make peace with your past?

Chapter 3: How do you cope with the sadness and pain of a breakup?

Chapter 4: How do you overcome feelings of being “not good enough” or worthlessness?

Chapter 5: How do you overcome self-doubt?

Chapter 6: How do you stop the need for love and validation to feel good about yourself?

Chapter 7: How do you stop pleasing others?

Chapter 8: How do you find forgiveness when swimming in resentment?

Chapter 9: How do you let go of self-pity and victimhood?

Chapter 10: How do you stop judging and comparing yourself to others?

Chapter 11: How do you stop blaming yourself for the breakup?

Chapter 12: How do you deal with abandonment and loneliness?

Chapter 13: How do you deal with rejection?

Chapter 14: How do you deal with fear and worry of the future?

Chapter 15: How do you stop over-thinking everything?

Chapter 16: How do you let go of over-commitments and simplify your life?

Chapter 17: How do you find happiness within?

Chapter 18: How do you love when you’re afraid of love?

Chapter 19: How do you love someone when you have trouble loving yourself?

Chapter 20: How do you surrender and live more lightly?

Chapter 21: How do you love the next time around?

Are you ready for a self-love cleanse? Need specific strategies and tips to make big changes in your life?

The suggestions and tips in this book are practical and focused on helping you make real life changes so you show up in the world differently.

Ready? Pick up Love Yourself After Heartbreak here. It’s on sale this week for $.99.


Overcome Feelings of “Not Good Enough” After a Breakup (New Book)

The relationship is over but your past contains so much wreckage and rubble.

If your relationship was difficult, challenging and full of conflict, you’re not alone.

Likely, in the final days or months of your relationship or marriage, you both spent a lot of time tearing each other down.

After a long and conflict-filled relationship, you will doubt your own self-worth.

If you grew up having your family take shots at your self-esteem, your ex likely didn’t make it any better.

If your partner ended the relationship first and the breakup wasn’t mutual, you’re likely feeling worse about yourself than ever before.

Feelings of “not good enough” and “worthlessness” can consume your life.

This section from my newest book, Love Yourself After Heartbreak, will help you repair your self-worth and self-confidence.

7 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Not Being Good Enough

1.Being Aware. The first step to heal feelings of not being good enough is self-awareness.

Your ex might have destroyed your self-worth but if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that others sabotaged your self-worth as you grew up.

Who did? What did they do and how did their actions affect your self-worth?

If you can acknowledge the things that damaged your self-worth in the past, you have a starting point for the work and healing that you need to do. You know you’ll have to deal with the people who emotionally hurt you before – forgive them and come to terms with the hits to your self-worth.

Also, become aware of your belief system.

When things go wrong, what hurtful things do you say to yourself? When you disappoint yourself or make a mistake, what internal dialogue do you have?

The idea is to notice these thoughts and beliefs as soon as they pop up.

2.Prove your internal chatter wrong.

Observe your internal self-talk and how you’re putting yourself down.

Pick up on these remarks and prove those statements wrong.

If you’re telling yourself you’re not intelligent, remind yourself about your achievements and academic laurels.

If you’re telling yourself you’re useless, remind yourself about all the people you’ve helped and how many people appreciate you.

This is an active process of continuously rebutting the negative self-talk and self-criticism in your mind.

This internal chatter is simply a continuation of the attacks from people who ruined your self-worth as you grew up.

You heard others attack you and now you mentally attack yourself.

3. Rebut with positive affirmations, visualization

Not only acknowledge and rebuild this self-talk; actively replace the thoughts with more positive ones.

Some suggest the use of mantras and affirmations to feel more worthy.

You’ll know whether you find this helpful.

You can also visualize yourself in a state of worthiness and imagine what that would feel like.

How would you stand? How would you interact with others? How would you show up in the world? Continue to picture yourself in that state until you end up living in that state.

Visualize worthiness until you arrive at worthiness.

Replace your negative self-talk and improve your self-worth with words, emotions, images and beliefs of high self-worth. Take every opportunity to confront the negative view of yourself and substitute it with a positive one. Turn this into a daily practice.

4. Declutter your friendships and negative influences in your life

Another action is to see who is around you in your everyday life.

You may need a friend-and-family purge. Yes, in the ideal world you’re mature and strong enough to not let negativity bother you. If you’re already there, forget this step.

If you’re still struggling, take note of every person in your life, especially the people who make you feel terrible about yourself. Do whatever you can to reduce the time you spend with these people.

Stay as far away from them as you can.

If they live in the same house you do (for example, your parents), minimize the time you spend with them.

Create a negativity-free zone around your life and minimize the number of people who make you feel bad about yourself. This is not a permanent solution but a temporary strategy while you are working on your self-worth.

5. Doing good makes you feel good.

You feel good about yourself when you are doing things that make you feel good.

You will feel good when you take part in activities you do well in.

If you’re an expert in a particular area or the go-to person in your family for something, do more of that.

If you’re the family party planner, plan the party.

If you’re the creative one at work, do more creative work there.

If you’re the leader, lead.

Doing those activities you’re good at will make you feel better about yourself.

Soak in all the positivity, compliments and good wishes you get when you do those things you’re good at doing.

The other activities that make you feel good about yourself are those you generally like doing.

All of us have different healthy feel-good activities.

Drinking martinis or relishing carne asadas may be your feel-good activity but other things you do awaken your heart and bring your soul alive.

Which activities bring you bliss and happiness? Which activities challenge you?

Doing more of these activities will help you feel good about yourself. Spending more of your time in nature, gardening, surfing, going to the movies, shopping or whatever else brings you to a place of bliss – do more of that.

6. The expansive view of yourself

One more way to boost your self-worth involves the spiritual dimension.

Beneath your personality and outward appearance is the real you.

This is a person you hardly know or spend time with.

You have experiences as the “external” you who shows up in the world. You’re a sister, aunt, lawyer, friend, neighbor, etc. Everyone, including you, has a perception of who you are but you really don’t know who you are.

Getting to this person is getting to your essence.

Once you realize who you are and live from that place, you have the potential to live a highly worthwhile life.

When you’re living from this essence or your spiritual center, you no longer depend on other people’s values or perception of you.

How do you get there?

You slowly unmask and remove all the layers of who you are.

You detach from the different roles you play in the world, from family member to professional to parent, etc.

You become quiet and get into nature to see yourself as someone deeper and more spiritual than who you currently show up as. You get to the fiber of your being.

What do you do that helps you feel more soulful?

The church may be the last place that does this for you.

It could be as simple as spending time with your children or gardening.

Keep tapping into this spiritual realm.

Work on seeing yourself as part of the bigger spiritual fabric of the world.

7. Trust yourself more. 

When you feel unworthy, you have no sense of yourself. You’re lost. You feel invisible.

To overcome these feelings of worthlessness, like you don’t exist, you have to not only get to your spiritual center as described above, but you have to get in touch with the wise inner person who resides within you.

You have a guide. You have a voice of reason and wisdom.

You have yourself. Call it your intuition, self-knowledge or higher self.

Within you is this all-knowing, all-wise person in majestic robes who knows what’s best for you.

This inner-person is guiding you but if you’re like me, you avoid, ignore and hardly acknowledge this voice of wisdom.

To live more in harmony with this voice and to raise your worthiness, listen to this voice more often.

Check in with this voice regularly and ask it to guide you in your decision-making.

You can read more about how to repair your self-worth in my new book, Love Yourself After Heartbreak here.

Should You Stay In A Bad Marriage?

It’s not as easy as you think.

Everyone and their mother – and, for sure, all Indian mothers – would tell you this is a no-brainer.

Of course you’re going to stay in this relationship – no matter how suicidal you are.

The East would say, “Listen to your head and do what feels practical and takes everyone else’s happiness into account. Don’t kill your family by being so selfish and thinking only about yourself.

Yet, in America and much of the Western world, which values individual happiness, this isn’t going to fly.

In these parts, we hold happiness to be paramount.

Relationships are dynamic here. If they don’t work, they end. People move on in search of other people who will make them happy.

The West would say, “Listen to your soul and do what feels right.  Don’t kill yourself by hiding from the truth.”

Culturally, different parts of the world would answer this question differently.

I’m not going to refer to any cultural norm. Instead, I’m going to encourage you to consider these 7 questions instead.

If you’re in an unhappy relationship and feel stuck, here are 7 questions to consider.

1. Does hope exist for improvement?

Is there something that you haven’t tried?

Being realistic, can your relationship improve?

I’m not asking you to hold onto an impossible dream based on delusional thinking.

I’m asking you to inspect your relationship to see if you, your partner or any circumstance can change for the better?

Is there a chance for change, a new beginning, or either of you showing up differently?

2.Can either of you change?

Now, in part, this is a trick question because you might think the problem is your partner.

“If he only changed, things would be different,” you’re thinking to yourself. More than likely it is him but it’s also you.

The big difference between him and you is that you can’t control him or how he shows up in the relationship.

So really, the only question is, can you change?

Are you willing to change?

Are you willing to do what it takes to make the relationship work, even if you aren’t the problem?

3.Do you value other people’s happiness more or less than yourself?

This is not a trick question. Many people answer this question differently, and different cultures may have different answers.

I don’t think there’s a right answer. Your society and your culture might be telling you to do one thing but you might personally have a different value system.

If you value maintaining the status quo and keeping others in your life happy, you might have to stay in a dysfunctional relationship.

If you value yourself and your personal happiness, it might be time to call it quits.

4.What is the worst that can happen if this relationship ended?

Think about your situation and imagine the worst case scenario occurred.

Your marriage ended.

Think about all the people you would disappoint, sadden and anger.

Visualize your entire life falling apart, like the rug is being pulled out from under you.

Everything crumbles and your world, as you know it, no longer exists.

Now what?

Can you envision this space? Are you still breathing? Are you “okay” here?

Check in with your body and yourself to see if you can be in this space.

5.Could you tolerate unhappiness in this relationship and find happiness in other parts of your life?

If you are going to stay in an unhappy relationship, then what else can you focus your time and energy on?

I know this isn’t ideal but it is practical.

What else can keep you going? Your kids? Your dreams? Your career?

What else can bring you joy? Your spiritual practice, being in the moment, friendships or travel?

6.Are you willing to work on the relationship?

“Working on the relationship” doesn’t mean that suddenly either of you change and become different people.

“Working on the relationship” means not falling to your default behavior and doing what you would usually do.

It’s handling situations differently.

It’s communicating with each other.

It’s respecting each other.

It’s spending time with each other.

At the tail end of a relationship that is falling apart, these are all the things that you don’t really want to do. So, are you willing to do it?

Are you willing to work on the relationship when your partner is absent, uninterested or unwilling?

7.How much would you regret this relationship in 10, 20 or 30 years?

Think down the road and imagine having survived this relationship for a number of years into the future.

You could take it as far as your deathbed.

Can you see yourself having survived this relationship?

Can you stomach the idea of having to stay put in a dysfunctional relationship for years of your life?

Can you find peace today if you decide to stay?

Seeing yourself in the future and imagining how it will be can give you clear answers about what to do today.

Staying in a bad relationship is never easy. Your values, circumstances and priorities are different from anyone else in the same situation.

Ultimately, you know what’s best for you and you’ve got to make a choice that you will live with the rest of your life.

Photo credit Unsplash

Should You Escape Your Marriage?

One of my dear blogging friends is Lisa Thomson, who blogs about life after having left her  marriage. Lisa has guided thousands of women who have made the difficult decision of leaving their marriages. She left one herself and not only survived it, but is thriving after having left it.

Are you stuck in a marriage that you’re not sure about anymore? Should you stay or leave your marriage? What can you expect when you do leave your marriage?

Although Lisa’s first book published in 2012, answers many of these questions, she now has a new book out. Well, it’s not so much a book as a divorce manifesto. A Divorce Companion: The Best of the Great Escape Blog will guide you through the ups and downs of divorce. Lisa prepares you to deal with the psychological, financial, legal and parenting aspects of divorce in her new book which is a compilation of some of her best blog posts.

I chatted with Lisa recently and asked her some of the most pressing questions I had about leaving a marriage. If you enjoy the interview and are considering a divorce, pick up Lisa’s book today here.

Ok, Lisa, a few questions for you.

Thank you Vishnu, for hosting and interviewing me here at your wonderful blog!

What led you to leave your marriage?

Well, I guess you won’t be surprised when I say it was multiple things rather than one event. It was many small and big things over many years that ultimately led to the demise of my marriage. I finally accepted my unhappiness at the core of my being and gave myself permission to accept that life wasn’t turning out the way I expected. I faced the fact that it had to change. I realized too that ending a marriage, knowing what we need in our life to live authentically, is a very personal matter.

What factors should women consider before leaving a marriage?

There are many and here I will list in order of importance;

Children-your children will always be your #1 concern so, ensuring they understand what’s happening, that they are comfortable and well cared for is priority. Keep the communication open and ongoing, too. Often couples forget to talk about things after the big announcement. That is wrong—keep the conversation going and be as honest as possible while reminding them that their only job is to ‘be a kid’.

Finances-determine accounts, credit card debts, loans outstanding and actual income as a couple. Also, get your own credit card and bank account as soon as possible. If you’ve been a stay at home mom, without an income, it is reasonable to take some money from the joint account and put it into your new account.

Living arrangements/logistics-who will move out and will you sell or keep the matrimonial home? These are questions that don’t have to be answered immediately however, you should begin to think about and discuss together.

Child custody- Will you both co-parent? This is the most popular child custody arrangement and works well for the children if you are on good terms and there is no abusive patterns. Best to discuss this together and independently with lawyers. Take into consideration your special requirements and circumstances.

Division of assets-begin discussing a fair division of assets. Knowing what your assets and liabilities are as a couple and agreeing on these can make a world of difference in creating an amicable divorce.

Make all agreements binding-if you are lucky enough to agree with your soon to be ex (STBX) on important issues listed here, then make sure you have ‘consent orders’ that are written by lawyers and signed by all parties.

Family therapy-consider attending counseling as a divorcing couple. This is not something we did but I can see how it would help. Just because you’re divorcing doesn’t mean you’re not going to have to work together cooperatively (with the children and other divorce related issues).

Finally, family and friends-try not to neglect your relationships with extended family and keep them in the loop in so far as the child custody is concerned as well as living arrangements.

What was the most difficult part of leaving your marriage?

Hands down, the hardest thing about leaving my marriage was having less time with my children. It was emotionally wrenching initially. I was a full time stay at home mom (SAHM) at the time and raising them was my job from infancy. My ex-husband was a business traveler and not at home as much. I can say though, that in time, the pain and feeling of loss went away and was replaced with more gratitude for the time I do have with my children.

How do you adapt to life after separation and divorce?

Slowly LOL. It really is a personal process. One thing I can say is, I don’t know one divorced woman who hasn’t found happiness after a period of adjustment. It is hard. I won’t lie about that. It is also rewarding and a growing experience. It’s worth every tear.

What would you tell others about parenting after a divorce?

This is also a transitional period. You have to learn to parent more sensitively. Keep the communication open and don’t shut down your child’s sadness. Let them cry. Let them show you how much it hurts that mom and dad are split apart and everything is changing. Honoring your child’s feelings is one of the most validating things you can do for them as a parent. It was one of the hardest things for me to learn because every time they showed me anger or tears my guilt shot up and all I wanted to do was fix it. We can’t fix it, we can only make it easier for them.

What is your message in your latest book to women who are considering leaving and filing a divorce?

My latest book’s message overall is to embrace your individual strength as a woman. You can get through it but be prepared for frustration and anger to rear up while at the same time, finding the most joy you’ve experienced in years. It’s a real mixed bag. My book certainly covers many topics from Narcissism, financial budgeting,  re-setting your career path to dealing with anger, and letting go. It’s designed to provide companionship and practical tips to those suffering right now.

What would you advise someone who is torn between staying and leaving?

This is always a tough one. It is the hardest part, the ‘thinking about it’ stage. I advise all women the same thing at this stage; do what is best for you and your family. It’s a personal decision. No one can tell another person when to end their marriage (barring obvious situations where a person is being abused physically, mentally or is in a life threatening relationship).

I advise to read, write and really be honest with yourself at this stage. Stop the denial. Make lists. Pros and cons, list unhappy events no matter how small. Life is made up of a million small things so if those are the unhappy events, well what does that say about your life? This is a decision that is not done over night and will take some introspection.

Where can people pick up your latest book?

It’s available now on Amazon. It’s designed to provide that companionship one needs during divorce and can only find through someone who’s been there. The variety and depth of topics act as a self help tool providing much needed tips and simple solutions to common divorce problems.

Lisa Thomson has gone through a unique divorce and faced unusual challenges. A mom, a writer and an interior decorator, Lisa also loves to draw and paint. “My passion is to encourage women going through divorce. It doesn’t have to be “the end” but rather, a new “beginning.” You can find her latest book on Amazon here and in Canada, here. She blogs at and active on Twitter and Facebook.

Should You Stay Or Should You Go? 5 Signs on When to Leave a Bad Marriage

stay or go

Not all of us get to choose when we leave a marriage.

Sometimes, our spouses make the decision for us with a gentle nudge or by packing up all their belongings and moving out. Or if you come home and find the locks changed and a stack of suitcases with your clothing sitting in front of the garage, you’re right to believe that a divorce is coming!

Yet, often in relationships, one spouse or the other has to make the first move to leave the marriage.

How do you know when you should stay and when you should leave?

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that you’ve spoken to your astrologer, checked in with your lucky tarot deck and are mentally at your wit’s end. You literally can’t take another day with this intolerable person but you’re still not sure if leaving makes sense or not.

On one hand, you know you’ll find peace, sanity and joy by leaving.

On the other hand, you think you’ll ruin your kids’ life, disappoint everyone who loves you and fear living alone the rest of your life.

So, what do you?

In my friend Lisa Thomson’s new book, A Divorce Companion, she asks and answers this question about when to leave a marriage.

It’s one of the most common questions she gets from the readers of her blog.  In general, she believes the answer is different for each person because everyone has a unique circumstance and relationship.

But if you’re thinking about leaving your marriage, Lisa suggests these 5 signs to watch out for:

1. Your spouse is emotionally, verbally or physically abusive.

Lisa says that it may be abusive in even the slightest of ways but if you’re in an abusive relationship, the abuse is likely overt, destructive and unbearable.

2. You’ve tried marriage counseling and it hasn’t change anything.

Personally, I don’t think too much of marital counseling, as it may be way too late when you get there. In my personal experience, I found that counseling just made things worse. Our faults and dysfunction were amplified and more public with our therapist.

3. You are last on his list.

Hmmmmm, I would say this is definitely a sign. You may not be last on his list but you’re definitely not his priority. When you’re in a dysfunctional relationship, you don’t value or appreciate each other.

4. Your sex life is non-existent.

I’ll let this one speak for itself.

5. He doesn’t consult with you before making important decisions

You’re left in the dark on important decisions about parenting or finances. He might make unilateral decisions for both of you and not consult you on major decisions that affect both of you.

Lisa thinks it’s our inability to accept the truth that ultimately keeps us from moving forward and leaving our marriages.

“The truth can be easily justified with excuses,” she writes. “The truth can be replaced with false hope – hope for an improved tomorrow that never comes.”

Instead of accepting the truth and doing what is necessary, you make up excuses and justifications to stay in a marriage that kills both of you. You hold onto false hope and promises of a better day simply to avoid the pain and suffering that divorce brings with it.

Will you continue to accept a troubled marriage without taking any action about it?

Will you live a life that’s filled with false hope for a person you should have left long ago? Realizing you’re in a bad place and accepting that there may be no chance for improvement is a good first step, Lisa reminds us.

Rooting in your truth and accepting the circumstances as they are will give you more clarity and courage to do what’s necessary.

You could lie to yourself and live small while suffering through an intolerable marriage.

Or you could check in with the many external and internal signs about what’s going on in your life and practice acceptance. Not acceptance so you can get a divorce but acceptance so you can live your truth.

Living truthfully will give you clarity.

Clarity will help you guide your future decisions and actions.

If you’re looking for clarity in all aspects of your divorce, from when to get a divorce to how to get over your divorce, then Lisa’s latest book is for you. It will give you much needed hand-holding and guidance to make good decisions during a difficult time.

Pick up A Divorce Companion today on Amazon here.

Lisa Thomson is a Canadian blogger, writer and author. You can find her blog on leaving a marriage, dating and parenting here:

* Photo credit Unsplash

How Do You Heal With Light Energy

Did you have a rough upbringing?

Were the people who were supposed to have loved you the very same people who hurt you and tried to tear down your self-worth?

Did you grow up in an abusive home with absent or abusive parents?

Grow up in a home with a physically abusive father?

An emotionally abusive mother?

Alcoholic parents?

Detached parents? Cruel or neglectful?

You may have thought the past is the past and you could move on and live your life. Yet, you’re likely finding that your past doesn’t just disappear. Instead, you find yourself alone to carry the pain of your past.

This could come in the form of low self-esteem. An eating disorder. A generally non-motivated and uninspired life. Combative and unhealthy relationships you find yourself in as an adult.

You didn’t have the tools to resist your parents, stand up for yourself as a child or find shelter against unhealthy parenting but you do have tools now to move past the pain.

The healing is in the light.


Candle light.

Your inner light.

Divine light.

You have the inner light to weather anything life has thrown at you. When you fully immerse yourself in your light, you can no longer suffer abuse. Others can no longer trample you. They can no longer tear you down.

Here are 8 steps towards embracing your light when you feel the darkness of hurt and pain. 

1. Sit in the light of pain and loss.

Before you can heal, you must claim and sit in the pain and the loss. It’s perfectly ok to acknowledge the hurt you’ve experienced, cry over the sadness of the past and sit in the sorrow you feel.

You will never know light exists if you first didn’t realize you were in the darkness. The idea is to be aware of this place, not to live there.

2.Remind yourself that darkness and light are part of the same universe.

You’re not in an entirely different universe. You are simply in the darker parts for now. The light is on the other side. You will find your way there. Being aware of the darkness is the first step to seeing the light.

Having known the darkness, you’ll more easily find the light. Having known the darkness, you’ll have a greater appreciation of the light.  

3.Allow your light to wash your wounds.

The light can fill whatever loss you’re carrying, whatever holes you have within you and whatever voids are in your life.

You can find the light within you. It’s the ounce of hope within. It’s the flicker of inner knowing. It’s the divine spirit you might have felt while observing the redwoods or watching the majestic skies at night. It’s the moment of inspiration, hope and aliveness you feel within yourself. It’s the belief in a new day and a new dawn.

If you’ve ever seen or felt this light within you, you know it’s there. You know you can cultivate it and allow it to shine into the spaces of hurt and loss.

4.Extend the light to those people who crushed your soul.

You may want to withhold your light from the very people who hurt you, robbed you of your childhood or crushed your soul. You may never want to give them your love, affection or attention.

The very people who are hurtful and abusive need the light the most. No, you don’t have to kiss and make up like nothing happened but you can set the intention within to forgive them for all the ways they hurt you. You can extend to them the light of understanding and empathy. You can acknowledge they, too, were hurting and didn’t know what they were doing.

5.Be in communion with the divine.

Your light may come from a divine experience or a spiritual place.

You walk into your house of worship and feel the light. You see the flickering flames of candles, oil lamps and sunlight coming in through the stained-glassed windows of the church.

Whatever your house of worship is, know you can cultivate the light from a divine and spiritual place. Go within, reflect, take inspiration and inspire.

Have a communication and relationship with the divine light you experience.

Walk out of the temple or church each time with the light burning a little stronger.

6.See the light in all.

The light fills the entire world. All you must do is sit and observe it. Even in the middle of the night or when all feels dark, light is there. It fills the earth.

If light is everywhere, the light must be in you. The light must be in the people who hurt you also. The light must be in places of darkness. Learn to see the light in the dark places. Look hard for the light when it’s especially dark. Look for the light in others.

Once you see the light in others, especially the people who hurt you, you can let go of the hurt and move on. The same fabric of light composes you and the people who hurt you. You will more easily forgive and realize your oneness with all.

7.Fill your soul with light.

Spend time each day filling your soul with light.

The light may come from work that brings you joy or work that serves other people.

The light may come from your spiritual practices, like contemplation or prayer.

You may feel the light while playing with your children, cooking a meal or taking a walk.

You may find the light when you choose kindness over hatred or empathy over anger.

When you see or feel the light within you, allow it to fill you. Sit with the light.

8.Extend compassion and empathy to all those around you.

Spread the light from within to all those around you.

Set an intention that the vibration of the light you’re feeling is spreading to those around you who are in pain and hurting.

Be an example in the light. Live your life in the light every day.

If you spiral into darkness one day, seek the light the next day.

Show others it’s acceptable to live in the light, even when you’re in pain.

You can fill the void and the loss with the light.

You can substitute the hardships and struggles with the light.

You can view the misdeeds of others in the light so your anger melts into compassion.

The light allows you to turn hostility to understanding. It helps you stop judging others and instead try to see their perspective.

The light releases grudges and fosters forgiveness.

The light can remove obstacles, cut through the pain, and heal you and those around you.

*Photo credit

Love After Heartbreak

If you’ve followed my journey for some time, you’ve known the story of heartbreak and loss.

You know the story of uncertainty and change.

You know the story of darkness and gloom.

Yet, divorces I’ve concluded are not the end of the world. Nor are heartbreaks or separations or breakups.

Endings don’t necessarily have to be the worst thing that has ever happened to you! And with every ending, there is a new beginning.

With every heartbreak, you sow the seeds for new love to flourish.

Yet this doesn’t happen automatically.  Moving on is easier said than done. How do you let go of the past? How do you move on? How do you open your heart again?

In my new book, Love After Heartbreak, I’ve written a book for all of us to move forward and love again after heartbreak.


Who is this book for?

It’s for you if you’ve experienced heartbreak, separation or divorce and have sworn off relationships for the rest of your life.

What will you learn in this book?

You will learn how to let go of the past and heal your heart. You will learn how to reclaim and boost your self-worth after that painful breakup. You’ll learn how to trust again and overcome your fear of commitment.

Will this book guide you to finding the right partner?

Yes! It will give you tips and strategies for landing the right partner. There’s a chapter on how to find the right partner and another chapter on what you can do to increase your chances of finding the right partner.

Does it address fear and rejection?

Fears keep us from moving forward, so, definitely; there are several chapters about overcoming fears. Overcome your fear of commitment, overcome your fear of being hurt again and overcome your fear of rejection.  Learn how to see rejection in a new and more empowering light. Yes, you might confront rejection after heartbreak but learn how to see rejection in a positive light.

How will this book change your life?

This book will only do one thing: change your perspective and way of thinking about love. It will address your fears and objections. It will help you shift your perspective and look at relationships from a new angle. It will encourage you to go beyond your comfort zone, find your courage and go after that relationship that’s waiting for you.

Why this book, and why did you write it?

Honestly? This book is as much for me as it is for you. This is what I’ve learned, this is what I’m learning and this is what I’m doing in my life. Everything I write to you is everything I’m telling myself. Everything I suggest you do, I’m trying to do.

I wrote it for all of us who are stuck in our pasts and desire to move on to new love. I wrote it for all of us who are afraid of loving and opening our hearts again.

Why love again?

You might think that your life was over after your broken heart, your breakup or your divorce. I remind you in this book that your relationship ending could be a true blessing. You have choices, you have opportunities and you have the freedom to create a new relationship from scratch. You can now do it with wisdom, experience and an open (and stronger) heart.

I want to remind you of what Hemingway said: “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

Where can you purchase this book?

You can pick it up on Kindle books at the Amazon store. If you’re open to love again, click here to pick up Love After Heartbreak today.