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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Heartbreak Essential to Find “The One”

Posted by spritzophrenia on January 28, 2011

Continuing our lively discussion on divorce and marriage, maybe having a “failed” marriage or relationship can actually help us in our romantic life?

Previous heartbreak is an essential factor in finding “the one”, a US psychologist says.

Despite the pain of heartbreak, those who have had a previous long-term relationship were at an advantage in the dating world, Dr Gian Gonzaga says.

“Think about all of the things that you do in life where you get better with practice, and a lot of times people don’t believe that about relationships,” Dr Gonzaga told AAP on Thursday.

“They feel like once they’ve been in a relationship that’s unsuccessful, they have failed.

“They feel like they’re not worthy of love, so they may treat people in a different way that makes it harder to have a better long term-relationship the second time around.”

But instead of acting out, the broken-hearted should take a big-picture view of their former long term relationship and learn from it, said Dr Gonzaga, who has [edited] a book on the subject of second-time love.


People should think about what factors contributed to the earlier relationship, both positive and negative, and what they should change for next time.

“Also take a look at your former partner and think about what was it that they were missing, or you needed to have in a partner that you didn’t know.”

Dr Gonzaga also advised looking at the relationship in context and considering all the external factors that contributed to the breakdown.

It really is about using the knowledge that you have be better, smarter at picking out the right partner and doing the right things in relationships,” he said.

“It’s not that people don’t realise this – a lot of people take a lot of individual lessons, but very few people put all of them together.”

He said while many people find looking for new love a daunting task, they shouldn’t lose heart.

~ from here. His book is, Dating the Second Time Around: Finding Love That Lasts.

I certainly feel I’ve become a better person, and a better love-mate after many years of “failure”. Then again, as we were saying in my last post, is the whole concept of “the one” flawed?

Note: I believe everyone should be able to love and marry who they wish, so contributions from my queer friends are welcome. Also, feel free to substitute “long term relationship”, or something else if the marriage concept bugs you.


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Moby | Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? (live)

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Why Divorce? Why Marriage?

Posted by spritzophrenia on January 19, 2011

How do you write when you don’t know what to say? I’ve been chatting to another friend whose marriage is breaking down. I have feelings, emotions, thoughts, theories, hopes, despair. I certainly don’t have answers.

I’ve met a lot of people who are in marriages that are ending, or who are seriously contemplating ending their marriage. Or who ended it… returned… struggled with it… are considering ending it again. It gets complicated as kids are usually involved. The stories of our lives are often stranger than soap operas. I’m divorced, and have had several significant relationships that ended. I offer no judgement. I know how difficult it is to find someone you can truly live with and be satisfied with. In my case, it’s taken years for me to become the sort of person I’d want to live with.

A large number of marriages end in divorce. I wonder why we continue to seek such relationships? I wonder why gay people are seeking an institution that straights are busy messing up? (It’s about equality to mess up too.)


Whether we choose to get married or not, most of us seek long term partnerships. What is it we’re seeking? What can a partner give us that a full life of satisfying work and deep friendships cannot give us? I guess it’s intimacy. Sure, that includes sexual intimacy, but goes far beyond it. I guess we’re seeking a person with whom we can be completely ourselves, who we trust implicitly and know will always be there for us. (That perfect person sounds like God, actually. But I’m not going to advocate God as a solution because few people I know have ever managed to achieve the level of intimacy with g0d that can replace human love. I’m certainly not going to advocate the kind of conservative marriage that assigns roles to each spouse.)

I think our situating happiness in a person is partly because we buy into the romance or “soul-mate” myth. All you have to do is watch a Julia Roberts movie to have the impression that we will meet one person who will be the perfect lover, provider, friend, co-worker, co-parent… the perfect everything. No human can do that. Yet we keep a huge industry going, encouraging us to seek this impossible kind of lurve.

When we don’t find satisfaction in our current lover, we begin to look elsewhere. Perhaps we are lured away from our marriage/relationship by the promise of someone better? Perhaps the sex is better, perhaps they understand us more deeply. Yet in time, the cracks begin to show and we realise we’re hooked up with someone who is not completely perfect after all.

Happygirl and I read Sex at Dawn a while back. I’m now quite sceptical of some of the research behind it. Also, it tends to reduce relationship difficulties merely to sex: “If we could be emotionally committed to each other, but let our partners have sex outside the marriage, everything will be all right”. The book doesn’t actually say that, but it’s easy to draw that conclusion. Nevertheless I do think the questions it raises are worth considering.

So I’m left with the mystery of why us humans keep on doing something which often doesn’t work. Why we keep seeking an intimate life partner. Or even one who will last a few years.

What can I do?

Keep talking about it

I don’t think any of us have the full answers. We all need help in finding, and growing with that someone special. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Support friends who are going through divorce

Divorce is never fun or easy, even in the most amicable of cases. Most of us have been there or know someone who has. Let’s get rid of the judgement and simply offer support.

Helpful Stuff on Divorce for Christians

When I was a christian, reading Walter Callison eased a lot of guilt for me. He takes a good look at Jesus’ words on divorce and concludes that divorce is not only acceptable, but sometimes the loving thing to do. Article here, book Divorce: A Gift of God’s Love.

Other ideas?


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Joy Division | Love Will Tear Us Apart

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