POSTS WITH TAG: breakups

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    Post-traumatic stress disorder -- characterized by anxiety, distrust, nightmares, even flashbacks -- is normally associated with military veterans. It's no surprise that vets could come back from a war zone and be out of whack emotionally. But people can suffer PTSD after a variety of traumatic situations, such as being the victim of violence, sexual assault, or a terrible childhood. So what about relationships? Believe it or not, a toxic relationship can also trigger PTSD symptoms.

    Licensed psychologist and author of Emotional Unavailability Bryn Collins says she sees plenty of clients who have suffered through extremely stressful relationships and now have this disorder. Although it's not an official medical diagnosis (and it's highly unlikely an insurance company would pay to treat it), she says it is very real, and very devastating.

    Here are 9 signs you might have Post-Traumatic Relationship Disorder -- and what to do about it.

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    The dreaded breakup is a tiny slice of hell for both the one doing the breaking up and the one being broken up with. Most times, that slice of hell is slightly larger for the one being dumped. The end of a relationship can be a very traumatic experience no matter what, even if the one initiating the split is being "nice."

    Nice? I really don't think there is a nice way to break up, is there? One study says there is. 

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    You've finally had enough. You've reached that point where you recognize you're being abused and you need to leave, SOON, before it's too late.

    Or maybe you're not so sure. You're feeling defensive, like Janay Rice, who was videotaped being brutally beaten by her husband, NFL player Ray Rice. You're still wondering if it's bad enough to leave. But you want to make some plans just in case.

    You definitely should make plans -- ASAP.

    But be cautious and get help. "The decision to leave an abusive relationship is always one to make carefully," says Dr. Christine Murray, domestic violence researcher and associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. "It may take time, or you may have to leave immediately in the aftermath of abuse."

    Here are 7 steps to take if you want to leave an abusive relationship.

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    Many times when you're trying to put a relationship in your rearview, you think you're moving forward when you suddenly find a memento from that time that can cause you to seriously backslide.

    Suddenly, you're feeling the all hurt, rage, sadness, (insert your own emotion here) that you thought you'd moved past. How can something as small as a ring, scarf, or handbag set off a tsunami of feeling? Most often, it's because they're tokens of happier times. 

    Rather than keep around these dangerous flashback-inducing souvenirs from a soured romance, what if you could unload them, make some cash, and share your story with others who've been there?

    Sounds perfect, right? But where can you find such a place? Enter Never Liked It Anyway, the online resale shop that helps you shed your relationship spoils while formulating a plan for better days ahead. 

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    The idea that a guy needs a "man cave" has become something of a joke. It's not that it's such a bad thing to yearn for a place where you can escape the pressures of life -- or just hide away from the wife and kids -- but can't this be done in the bedroom or office? Must a man's private lair contain a pool table and beer mini fridge or, in Chris Kooluris' case, a $26,000 old-school arcade?

    Kooluris, who is 37, got so fed up with not feeling like the New York City apartment he shared with his fiancée reflected his style sensibility that he threw away shelled out big bucks to transform his old bedroom into the '80s arcade of his childhood dreams, complete with Pac-Man and Donkey Kong machines and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedspread. Considering how no grown woman in the history of ever has dreamt of sharing a Ninja Turtle bed with her husband, it's no wonder this guy's renovation made his fiancée say "see ya" and break up with him.

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    I've just passed the two-year anniversary of separating from my husband. Two years ago I was in a very scary place. I knew I was making the right decision, but I didn't know what my future looked like or how long I'd feel so awful. What a relief to be on the other side! If my 2014 self could visit my 2012 self for a little pep talk and some advice, this is what I'd tell myself about surviving my first year as a single mom.

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    Unfortunately, failure and setback are part of every person's journey through this life. No way around it. Gotta go through it. 

    However, just because you're experiencing a personal setback of sorts -- whether it's a breakup, a divorce, job loss, financial pitfalls, or just hard times in general -- it doesn't mean you are forever doomed to live beneath the pile of tissues and twisted sheets and dirty laundry you've buried yourself under. The setback is just where you are right this minute. It's not where you will always be. 

    So c'mon. Try to straighten your body out of fetal position. Maybe even lift a few of those snotty, tear-soaked tissues and walk them to the wastebasket. There you go. That's it. Baby steps. Baby steps to your very own comeback. Girl, it's gonna get better! And here are 13 inspiring quotes to light your way.

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    When someone cheats in a relationship the consequences can be devastating. i speak from experience. Opening yourself up enough to trust someone with your innermost thoughts and feelings? That's taking a big risk.

    To find out that this risk hasn't paid off can be absolutely crushing (cut to memories of me, a liter bottle of Boone's Farm and Bridget Jones' Diary on repeat). Not only does it cause you to doubt your partner's past actions, it can make moving forward almost totally impossible.

    Many marriages don't survive one member straying. Others survive and, with hard work, go on to thrive. You can't change how you've behaved in the past, but you can change how you behave in the future. Just because someone violated your trust in a past relationship, this doesn't mean your new partner will do the same.

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    My divorce is nearing the completion stage (fingers crossed!), which means that I’ve had to deal with the ex more than usual recently. We have not had an amicable split, to say the least. Nope, this is something I pursued on my own, for reasons that don’t really matter for the purposes of this post, nor are anyone’s business anyway.

    This divorce has been an unwelcome challenge, just as my marriage was. I wasn't an idiot, I knew marriage wasn't going to be a cakewalk every day, but I didn't expect it to be so damn hard. Comfortable compromise and finding common ground weren't exactly things my ex and I excelled at together.

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    There aren't many life-changing upheavals as big as divorce. Even if yours is reasonably amicable and goes well, it can still leave you reeling, wondering who you are now, and grieving over your lost dream for a long, happy marriage. For a lot of us, the first impulse is to grab control of our lives. It feels good to pounce on that one thing we can get right -- and to do it over and over and over again. It keeps us from feeling grief and fear.

    It's called avoidant or compulsive behavior. And it's what a lot of us do when we've internalized the turmoil and chaos of our split and are trying to get back on our feet. Here are 6 common examples of post-divorce compulsive behavior, and what you can do about them. 

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