When we are moving on from a relationship, sometimes there are feelings and thoughts which haunt us. Questions like “What went wrong?”, “Why did this happen again?”, “Is it me?”.
We all go through these experiences in our lives. Often we feel stuck in a loop, making the same mistakes repeatedly. Solution focused hypnotherapy can help break those cycles, change the way you feel from hopeless to confident.
Here are just a few of my case studies of moving on from a relationship which highlight the themes presented.
Kirsty and the younger men
Kirsty is 33 and feels she’s at the end of her most recent relationship and feels it’s time to move on. There is one thing is holding her back from moving on from the relationship – she doesn’t want to feel lonely. Her current boyfriend is 25, and he’s the fourth she’s had over the past 10 years to be younger than herself. Now the age gap is widening, and she wants to understand why she keeps going for the same immature type of man.
I asked her what it was about these guys, which first attracts her. Kirsty said it was fun. She enjoyed being the older woman and enjoying the “Chase”. It made her feel perpetually young. Why do these relationships fail? What are the first things you notice?
“They ask me to go out for an evening drinking with their friends. I work as an account manager for a large company of accountants and need to be clear-headed and professional for the next day. When I can’t make it, they go out more on their own to the point I’m not included in anything and they often sleep around with girls they’ve met at nightclubs.”
“What do they do as a living?”
“A variety of jobs – one was a driver, one a builder, another was a sales rep and this current one is a motorcycle mechanic.”
Shared or different values
We talked about values and how her value system and theirs were so radically different. Being much younger, they had different priorities, different income, different responsibilities. Kirsty put all the pieces together and realised how radically different they were and what needs were being met, and those needs not being met. For her, she felt she needed someone more responsible, perhaps even older. It was a revelation.
After 6 sessions of hypnotherapy, she was feeling great. Her confidence had bounced back, and she knew what she had to do. She’d given the current boyfriend marching orders, though he’d already been sleeping over at a new girlfriend’s flat. Kirsty also noted that her relationships at work had improved too, as she had thought about why she didn’t get on with a few female colleagues and realised that they were too much like herself, and so she changed her behaviour towards them.
Three months later, Kirsty wrote to me and told me she was in a new relationship – with an older man. He ran his own business and had the same values and priorities as herself. Six months later, they were planning to marry.
The way couples communicate can help stop moving on from a relationship
Understanding how relationships work and change is not something we’re always aware of. During my Human Givens training on relationships, we learnt that there are 3 different types of communicators. Fighters, negotiators and sulkers. Fighter plus fighter may argue and throw things at each other, but that’s how they communicate. A fighter hates a sulker because they avoid conflict, they can’t get their voice across. Negotiators prefer other negotiators, but can often put up with fighters and sulkers because they realise that’s how they operate and wait until it’s all blown over before negotiating with them. Sulkers and sulkers can wait until the problem has blown over, but sometimes stew over detail and will bring it up at inappropriate times.
Sometimes when two people split up, especially if there are children involved, will continue to have contact regularly. This can cause problems, especially when there is still a closeness between the pair. They are behaving well in front of the children, but sending mixed messages to each other. This is exactly what happened to Sarah. She came to me on a recommendation because she was struggling to maintain personal boundaries. Her ex, Dave, would come over and spend time at the weekend with her and the children because he didn’t have the room in his bedsit in the center of town. He’d cook Sunday lunch for them all. He was a perfect father, but all the time he was spending with them confused Sarah and the children – would he move back in? Was there another chance?
I explained to her they needed to understand boundaries and that they needed to state those boundaries carefully so neither of them didn’t mis-interpret behaviours.
Over the period of 6 weeks, Sarah could be more assertive around Dave and when he spontaneously turned up. She could just gently make Dave aware of his actions and how it affected her and the children. They agreed on suggestions for finding places where he could take the children. He could take them out more on visits to places, shopping and to eat out.
Issues with bossy colleagues
Sarah also spoke about some issues she was having with a colleague at work. They always seemed to undermine her and always be right, even when it was very obvious that they weren’t.
From what she said, I deduced that this person may have a lot of anxiety herself. The bossiness being a need to be in control of everything. When she thought about it, she realised that was probably the case and we spoke about all the ways she could approach this colleague to support her instead of feeling overwhelmed. It worked. She reported back that when this colleague tried to tell one of their customers Sarah was wrong about something; she could clarify her point of view with the colleague feeling undermined herself. Their relationship improved and their customer’s experience improved.
Once she felt she had a hold of the situation and Dave had fallen into a more appropriate routine with the children, we had a few sessions much further apart for a few months. Here’s the testimonial she wrote.
Sarah on April 23, 2021 at 20:56:28
I started seeing Penny after to struggling to get over a past relationship. After a long period of feeling caught in a cycle of negative thoughts, my self-confidence and enjoyment of life were pretty low. I am so grateful for the help Penny has given me. She has enabled me to learn new techniques to deal with anxiety and helped me move on. The deep relaxation I feel during the hypnotherapy is wonderful and afterwards I always feel more positive, confident, and relaxed. I value her sessions so much and would recommend them to anyone.
Also see: Confidence building