One of the first steps of recovery is to develop a full life for yourself. Nothing happens until that occurs. Have a plan what to do if you get lonely so you don’t do the disasterous ‘Drink and Dial!’ Or you don’t do the ‘Daydream and Dial.’ HE’S NOT DIFFERENT! Nothing has changed! Learn to build a great life and avoid the risk factor of loneliness.” ~ Sandra Brown

As many of you know, I am the owner and moderator of a Yahoo Women Who Love Too Much list and Facebook group I post there and here and have some members from there over here but that group is not open to men and GPYB has a larger-than-usual number of men who have read the book, post here and attend the seminars. And the men I’ve met at the seminars and through the blog and email group are some of the nicest men I’ve ever known. And they are thankful for a gender-neutral place to share and be a part of because I think that most breakup books and sites are geared specifically to women. So most of the GPYB material is gender neutral (as well as age neutral/sexual orientation neutral etc).

Loneliness is a fact of life. It’s not JUST a struggle in sick relationships, but any relationship. But sick relationships have such an attraction because in order to move along from them, it’s HARD HARD work.

One of the post-sick relationships issues is returning to that sick relationship. Or going onto another sick relationship. The loneliness gets to people who have been addicted to the chaos and drama of the sick relationship or to the addictive . The holes in your soul are large and gaping and by keeping everything stirred up on the outside, you avoid the horrible mess on the inside.

Loneliness is something you will feel many times. But when you get out of a chaotic relationship, it seems very empty and lonely because it’s QUIET. It can be very unsettling and give you too much time to think. It can make you feel anxious and upset and you long for something familiar. Even if that something familiar is horrible, you know it and you don’t know this big void you’re feeling.

One of the post-sick relationships issues is returning to that sick relationship. Or going onto another sick relationship. The loneliness gets to people who have been addicted to the chaos and drama of the sick relationship. The holes in your soul are large and gaping and by keeping everything stirred up on the outside, you avoid the horrible mess on the inside.

It becomes a vulnerability when you can’t possibly work through all the “stuff” quickly enough to outrun your loneliness and emptiness. Sandra Brown also writes: “Of the hundreds of women we have helped, almost all of them have cited loneliness, boredom, or not having a life as a reason they went back OR started yet another unhealthy relationship. One of the first steps of recovery is to develop a full life for yourself. Nothing happens until that occurs.”

Another issue that I think affects men more than women is the idea of “good sex in a bad relationship.” Robin Norwood writes about this in Women Who Love Too Much and Letters From Women Who Love Too Much (the second book is the one I recommend to men). When a relationship is chaotic and tenuous (breakup to makeup) the tension can translate into a sexual outlet and the “good sex” is mistaken for something that denotes intimacy and caring. It’s not. It’s a circus act designed to keep you in the game. It’s an unconscious thing that both parties partake in. If most people were to be honest they would have to admit they were putting on a show on some level…trying to keep their partner there with this “electrifying” performance. It takes more than good sex to keep a relationship alive. If it doesn’t happen elsewhere, what happens in the bedroom isn’t worth much.

Love making happens in every room of the house and happens with your clothes on and off. The intimacy and sharing of love making MUST MUST MUST extend to the respect and caring that goes on day-to-day and if it doesn’t then it’s just sex. And it’s meaningless. It means NOTHING if the intimacy cannot be extended beyond the bedroom. And people, especially men, need to get these images of good sex in a bad relationship out of their heads. It’s worthless.

As I’ve written on here, you have to make peace with the peace in order to move forward. You have to make peace with the ABSENCE of a lot of crazy stuff in your life. You have to embrace the “nothingness” as a good thing and not a boring thing.

But you have to build something. Because nature does abhor a vacuum and the more you take out, the more you have to put in. If you take away an energy-suck-horrible relationship from your life, you are taking a lot of stuff out. Something that has taken up a lot of physical, emotional and mental energy.

It is SO important. So very important. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE.

Please please please build your life. Even if you’re still in an awful relationship, start the process. Other suggestions are welcome.

Be good to you!!!