Becoming More, Part 1

Have you ever felt more like a used tissue than in dealing with these men, their treatment practitioners, support groups, religious community champions, and family defenders? I haven’t. How, then, is it possible to emerge from the nightmare of his abuse of you and your children as not just “less than” but also “more than” you were?

It’s not easy. But it can be done. I know some of the pieces of that made it possible for me and for many clients to effect this personal miracle of heart, mind, body and spirit. So maybe that’s the first piece—It’s a heart, mind, body and spirit operation. These are not only the casuality zones of his and his gang’s abuse, these are also the arenas where your character, values, skills, and commitment can do their best work.  

I know how it feels when the person you trusted most shatters you at the core of all that was holding you together. I know what it’s like to have to sweep up all the pieces of yourself every time you move from the bedroom to the bathroom. I know what it’s like after days of that existence to realize that no matter how well you sweep, you are losing some of those pieces with every move. It’s immobilizing. How much more can I lose before I disappear altogether?

So, here’s the first thing I want to share:

Reclaim Full Ownership of Your Life—Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit

In our primary relationship we generously share ourselves with our life partner. We let them into the sacred spaces of our hearts, our minds, our bodies, our bodies—and we give them their own key.

In the years before discovery we don’t know how they violate that sacred trust and sacred space with mental, emotional, physical and spiritual injury. When we do question his behavior we are abused further with rage, gaslighting, or silence.

Then, in the days after you discover something about his secret life that he was denying, these men use that key to get in there and mess with you even more. The goal is that you will respond the way they want and choose to devote your energies to them instead of yourself.

So, you need to take back your key until you have some basic assurance of your safety in heart, mind, body, spirit. This arena of your being is for you, not for him. You need to identify and address injuries, first. Then, it’s your arena to reconnect with the treasure of your resources that are still there for you to develop your resilience, change unsafe habits, honour your needs, and explore more ways of being you in this world.

But it all begins with you taking back the key.

You will need express that decision in some way such as, “Until I have established safety for myself in heart, mind, body and spirit” do not presume access or influence there. There are consequences of your choices to treat me with callous disregard for that safety, and sometimes with intentional harm. I will decide when that position changes for me. Meanwhile my priority are my needs. If your regret and statements of love are true, you will want me to establish that priority and will cooperate in providing the resources, information and support that I need.

In the next weeks here I will examine each of the four arenas of “you” and what it might mean for you to reclaim ownership there, and take back your key. For now I invite you to mull over this whole idea for the next week. Use the follow focus tools to help you do that:

On a scale of 0-5, where 0 means no exclusive access, 2 means minimal exclusive access, 3 means moderate exclusive access, 4 means generous exclusive access and 5 means complete exclusive access, rank your beliefs about how much exclusive access you have had to his

1.     heart,

2.     mind,

3.     body, and

4.     spirit.

You will have a number beside each one of the four categories.

Now, using the same scale, rank your beliefs about the exclusive access he has had to your

1.     heart,

2.     mind,

3.     body, and

4.     spirit

You will have a number beside each one of the four categories.

Next, work through the following questions:

  • In viewing the results, where do you see differences? Similarities?

  • What questions are raised about the differences?

  • What questions are raised about the similarities?

  • Are you comfortable with the results of your ranking?

  • Do you wish for more access? Less?

  • Do you wish he had more access? Less?

  • What are the results that would indicate you were in a relationship of positive mutuality, where there is a fair exchange of value?

  • What core values of yours would be reflected in such a relationship?

  • What core values are not affirmed or revealed in your actual rankings?

  • What core values of his may be indicated in the rankings?

  • What, to the best of your knowledge, are his top three or four core values?

When we give heart, mind, body, and spirit access to our primary life partner that is not reciprocated, the relationship system we create  is one in which we operate at a deficit.

  • They have less at stake in the relationship than we do because access is kept from us.

  • Also, because of their greater access to our four arenas of self and identify, we are more vulnerable by giving them intimate knowledge to use against us as our abusers.

  • We also are more drained because we engage them energetically in those arenas, spending our resources being a loving hostess to our most intimate places of self and identity.

  • When he is guarded in those four arenas, he is safe. When you are not guarded, you are not safe.

Taking back your key likely will not feel good. Having someone in your life with such intimacy and freedom is usually a good feeling and you will miss that. But please remember that he has abused that privilege. And that doesn’t feel good or safe. People earn the right to that access, and when they abuse the privilege, they must lose the privilege so that they understand the violation.

So, the first step is the shift within yourself to do what you can do to achieve increased safety where you are vulnerable to him. No one who harms their life partner in heart, mind, body, and spirit can presume there will not be consequences. The free access he had to those four arenas of your identity and being needs to change while you address this traumatic event in your life, and make your safety and the safety of your children the top priority. Remember, his secret life is not just an abuse of your trust and love, it’s an abuse of theirs.

Becoming more is possible, but it’s not the same as “not becoming less”. We do lose. And we grieve. But we can’t go on to become more if we don’t change the rules. A longtime client said this was the changing moment in her relationship with her then husband. He accused her of changing the rules. Before, he had free access to her all time while she had limited access to him. She was trained to live on the little she got. Her first step was to make the access match. And the only way she could do that was to take back her key and start from scratch. As it turned out, that was way too much work for him to consider. She wasn’t worth it. That’s exactly what he said. He divorced her. But she fought her way back from the losses. Her life now is not without struggle, but it is without users and abusers. And the time she got back from having to deal with that abuse has been put to use productively for her life benefit. She is on track with becoming more.

If this is an area where you need more support, your story is safe here. Book a trial session when you’re ready. 

With you





Diane Strickland