Christian Singles & Dating

Baggage From The Past - Part 4

  • Dr. Neil Clark Warren for the eHarmony Research Library
  • 2003 27 May
Baggage From The Past - Part 4

Learning from a failed relationship can be extremely difficult. The combination of loneliness, anger, and guilt make it hard to distill the lessons that can help you choose a better partner in the future and build a successful marriage.

I have found that oftentimes people jump back into a marital relationship because they are so devastated by the breakup of that first relationship; they got into that marriage knowing that they would never leave it. It turned bad on them. It just broke their heart. But then it shocked them that the marriage came to an end. Their self-esteem plummeted. They felt so beaten up by the rejection that occurred for them that they're dying to get back into another relationship.

In this series on Baggage from the Past, I'm offering you 10 healing steps that I believe each person must complete before committing to a new person and a new marriage. So far I've discussed:

o Resolving Your Grief
o Gauging Your Anger Towards Your Ex
o Restabilizing Your Self Esteem
o Accepting Responsibility for Your Part of the Failed Relationship
o Confronting Your Own Shame and Guilt
o Rebuilding Your Support Community

Today we look at two more steps:

Consider Your Financial Status

Point number seven: Are you still in a financial hole because of the divorce and its consequences? If so, see if you can get your head above water before you marry again. I know people who get into a second or third marriage with all kinds of debt that they are carrying beside them, or behind them, or around them, and they encumber the new marital relationship with all this debt.

If you're still in financial debt because of the fact that you and your spouse overspent or one of you did it and you carried half of that away with you, get yourself out of that financial debt. I don't want you taking that into the new relationship as an encumbrance, as excess baggage, so that you and the new person have to deal with debt that she or he didn't have anything to do with. Financially, are you still in the hole because of divorce and its consequences?

Make Sure You Aren't Pursuing the Same Mate

Point number eight: Have you intervened in your own internal process so that you're not pursuing the same type of mate again? As I've mentioned before, it becomes ludicrous. I've had several people who have literally married a second or third person with the same first name as the person they were married to before and it seemed to them quite by chance. I wonder.

Given the fact that you have a brain with two billion megabytes of capacity, is it possible that your brain searches after persons who are very similar to the image you carry in your brain of the person you would most like to marry? If that's the case, could it be that that is how you got drawn to the first person that didn't work? You haven't done anything about your image in the meantime, and you're drawn to a second person who's very much like the first person. Have you intervened in your own internal process, this image you carry in your head, so you're not pursuing the same type of mate again? If you haven't intervened in that you must do sot, otherwise the likelihood is that you will be drawn to another person with a lot of the same qualities as the person with whom you weren't able to make a successful marriage in the first place.

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