WE all have ghosts of our past that rear their heads at some of the most inopportune times.
Often these ghosts have a lot to do with failed relationships and our inability to let go of hurt and close old wounds.
But according to relationship counsellor Wayne Powell, relationship ghosts can cripple your personal growth and prevent you from living in peace and giving a new relationship your best shot.
Below he shares five relationship ghosts that you need to get rid of.
1. The tendency to believe you can’t move on without a particular person
Powell said constant lowering of your self-esteem or feeling you’re not worth it because a man left you is counterproductive. He said you should use the break-up as a learning tool for what you will not stand for in the future and what you should not attract.
2. Blaming yourself for the physical abuse you suffered
“Self-blame is one of the most dangerous forms of emotional abuse. It can stunt your growth and your ability to move forward before you even try to,” Powell said. He added that you should stop taking the responsibility for someone else’s deeds, seek counselling, and find other things to distract you from the hurt. “Eventually you’ll forget it and continue your journey of healing,” the relationship counsellor said.
3. Holding on to past hurts and refusing to let go
“Hoarding things you have no ability to change will only make you bitter. Mentally, find the courage to break free and get what’s yours. If you harbour these memories and do not seek professional help to rid yourself of them, you may miss out on great relationships and friendships that do exist,” he said.
4. Re-engaging your ex sexually, even though he/she has moved on
The relationship counsellor said many couples who split try the “friends with benefits” arrangement, but usually one party ends up suffering even more hurt. “People say it’s possible, but I believe that once you have sexual relations over time with an individual, you will rekindle old feelings. Now, this is someone you once had a steady relationship with, you suffered the trauma of the break-up, and you say you’re no longer together, but you’re still having sex. That’s the definition of being in the lion’s mouth, playing with fire and playing with each other’s heart. Cut your past ties loose and move on. It will save you your dignity,” Powell said.
5. Holding on to reminders like pictures and jewellery
Powell said keeping these won’t make the memories leave; they will only emphasise and magnify them. “If you really want to forget him, hand back the ring, and either discard the material things you have, give them to someone else to hold, or sell them and do something great with the money,” he advised.