Your marriage and relationship addiction have a voice. It’s the one inside your head that says, “I can’t be alone at any cost. I am not enough. I can’t cope with life on life’s terms without a partner.”
But you can. Everything you need in your heart is already inside you. You know how to nurture yourself—you’ve been doing it for years. Everything you need in your life, you can get, but you don’t need to get it all from one person. You can get a little from a lot of people, and it will all add up to what you need.
Detox your brain from the compulsive need to have a partner at all cost
Yes, there are a lot of details about the single life that can be difficult to navigate. As your brain detoxes from that “I need a partner to complete me” obsession, it’s going to use those details to try to convince you that you can’t function as a single person. But you really can. Millions of people live happily single every day. Some are hoping that one day they’ll meet the perfect partner, some are taking a break from partnering, and some have consciously chosen to be single. So how do you silence that voice in your head, the one that keeps making excuses for why being single won’t work?
Make a list of all the excuses your relationship addiction voice tells you
One way is by being mindful. Notice when that voice starts coming up with excuses. Rather than getting caught up in what the voice is saying, just notice it. Say to yourself, “Oh, that’s the voice of my addiction trying to convince me I can’t do this. But I know I can.” Does that seem too simple? Well, it is simple, but it isn’t. Noticing what your inner voice is saying—in a cool and detached way—is not so easy. That voice has been controlling your emotions all your life. It’s hard not to listen to it. But when you practice mindfulness (which really just means noticing your thoughts as a neutral observer), you become aware that what the voice is saying is only a story you’re telling yourself. It doesn’t have to be true.
Another way to silence the voice of your addiction is to make a list of all the excuses it’s coming up with, and then write down the solutions. If you can’t think of a solution right away, do some research.
Maybe you feel uncomfortable going out alone. Try this -go to the movies by yourself (you wouldn’t talk to another person during the movie anyway) and enjoy the feeling of being alone in the dark, seeing exactly the movie you wanted to see.
Control the voice in your head, because you really can
Do you hate eating out alone? You can go out with friends sometimes, and sometimes get take-out, curl up on the couch, and watch a show your ex would have hated. Do you feel like you can’t tackle some home repairs? You can hire a handyman; your local hardware store or a home repair website can make recommendations. Love to go out dancing? Go with some girlfriends, and see who you meet at the dance club. Having car trouble? Ask a coworker, neighbor or friend to recommend a good mechanic. Feeling bored? Organize a girls’ night out and see where it takes you. Don’t like hiking alone? Join a local chapter of the Sierra Club or another hiking group.
For every problem, there’s a solution
That inner voice, the one that keeps telling you that you can’t survive as a single person, is the voice of your addiction. It will never run out of excuses. But in the end, that voice is a voice in your head, which means you can take control of it. For every problem, there’s a solution. There really is. Don’t let the voice of your addiction shut you down. Instead, tell it to shut up.