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R E B U I L D I N G   O N L I N E   C O U R S E


Here you emphasize investment in your own personal growth rather than in relationships. A period of singleness enables you to build confidence in yourself so you can experience and enjoy being single as an acceptable alternative lifestyle and not as a time to be lonely.. It is easy to become stuck in this rebuilding block as a means of avoiding another intimate relationship.

I've become aware that living as a single person is an affirmation of strength and self - not embarrassing admission of failure.

I'm more relaxed in the company of others - I no longer am wasting emotional energy being a social chameleon.

Post-maritial guilt, self doubts, and questions like 'Will I ever love again' are greatly diminished.

I am happy as a single person- something I had not thought possible before.


Many people never learned to be single people before they married. They went from parental homes to marriage homes, never even considering that one could be happy living as a single person, and never questioned the myth that one married and lived a happy ever after life.

Con lived with her parents until she married Joe. She went from pleasing one man, her father, to pleasing another man, her husband. So, when Joe talked about leaving, she clung to him because the thought of living alone was terrifying. She had never learned to please herself. She had always been a dependent person; and now the thought of being independent,. although challenging, was frightening. She was embarrassed because it really sounded silly to her that a woman of 25 did not know her own mind, or know what to do with her life.

Gradually she adjusted to being alone. At first she searched for other relationships, something/someone to lean on. As she became more and more confident, she began doing more things for herself and enjoying it. She wallpapered a whole bedroom; sawed the boards and pounded the nails for a new patio fence; went to a film by herself one after while the children were with Joe; and even enjoyed stumbling alone in the dark trying to find a seat. She invited the whole neighbourhood in for a party. These activities left her feeling exhilarated, knowing that she did not need anyone. She was a good example of a woman being liberated.

Jim represents the male side of this same coin. He had been well cared for by his mother. The clothes were always washed and ironed, meals were on time, and even his room was kept clean. He could devote his time to study and then later his job. When he entered university he lived in student accommodation. Again his meals were provided and he a minimum of housekeeping chores. The he married and Janet did all the things that his mother had always done. He felt independent and did not realise how dependent he actually was. But he found out when he left Janet.

He was helpless in the kitchen, even in preparing the simplest meal. He had very little understanding of how to wash his clothes. And ended up with pink underwear when he put them in the wash, You can pay for car maintenance, but it is difficult - and very expensive - to hire a full-time cook and housekeeper.

Gradually Jim's self-prepared meals improved. Initially he got brave enough to invite a female friend to his home to eat,and she was delighted with the meal he prepared. His clothes began to look more cared for. He was very pleased and proud when he learned to iron his own shirts. He felt that learning to care for himself was like growing up - each accomplishment left a feeling of success and achievement.

But the singleness I am talking about is much more than learning to do the tasks that someone else has done for you. It is a whole way of life. Dating and relationships are a good example. A typical comment from a recently separated person might help, 'I'll never make it as a single person; I need another relationship.' During the singleness stage, the same person might say, 'Why get remarried? I can come and go as I please. I can eat whenever I feel like it. I don't have to adjust my daily living habits to another person. Being single sure feels good!'

Before the singleness stage, one may be looking for the 'lost half.' But during this stage one reached the point of comfort in going out alone. No longer is a 'date' necessary to avoid embarrassment or feeling a failure. The quality of relationships improves, since one now chooses who to go out with rather than spent sharing rather than needing. Other persons may be encountered and enjoyed for who they are, rather than as a potential lifetime companions.

One of the homework assignments in our seminars as to do with developing new interests in the singleness stage. Many have spent their free, recreational times in the past doing what the spouse wanted or what they had learned to do with their parents. The assignment is simply to take the time to develop a new interest, or to pursue something that one may have wanted to do for a long time.

In the last session write up I discussed adult responsibility and parent-child behaviour. Perhaps now you see how the singleness stage allows us to change these roles. Because the roles we act out in our relationships are so closely related to our internal attitude and feelings, we change inside as we change our external roles. It is easier to do this in the singleness stage than when we are in a permanent relationships. A neutral environment facilitates both internal and external changes. The singleness stage is a key period to make the internal changes in attitudes and feelings necessary for personal growth.

Parenting is difficult during the singleness stage. In earlier stages parents frequently bend themselves out of shape trying make sure they are lovable, datable, and okay in many other ways. The children suffer; their needs are put on the ';back-burner In the singleness stage, parents usually are more responsive to the needs of the children. Susan had been volunteering in the seminars because she 'needed' to feel worthwhile by helping others When she began to reach the singleness stage, she resigned as a volunteer because she wanted to spend more time with her children. Parents in the singleness stage have begun to raise about their own emotional needs.

It often takes a great deal of inner security to handle to the singleness stage successfully. Much of the discussion in this section concerns the internal feelings present in the singleness stage. As you have worked your way with me through the earlier rebuilding blocks, it is likely that you are able to experience the peacefulness and calmness that occurs in the singleness stage. You may become slightly upset about the attitudes of others, but you will feel strong enough to handle them.

We learn from the external prejudices and use them to become more secure in our own internal feelings and develop some assertive responses for the most common put-downs and discriminatory acts. You can also help to educate others, while maintaining your own integrity, by responding firmly and you will feel better inside, too, rather than going away fuming.

Singleness can be one of the most productive stages you go through the journey, in the sense that the old wounds can really be healed. Dealing with the external discrimination may help you to become stronger inside.

The singleness stage is an easy stage in which to become stuck. If you have not worked through all of the leftovers concerning marriage and intimacy, you may use the singleness stage as a place to hide. It may sound like the singleness when you hear someone say 'I'll never Mary again.' But in many ways that is the opposite of genuine singleness. Fear of intimacy, avoidance of feelings and opposition to marriage as though it were the worst institution in our society all indicate that the person is stuck. The goal is to be free to choose singleness or remarriage, not to stay single for ever.

Singleness has become acceptable alternative in our society. Earlier a single person was looked upon in communities as somewhat weird, one who just did not quite make it to the altar. Attitudes have changed after a talk I gave recently where a woman wanted to know why we had to keep talking about relationships. Was t not just as valid to talk about remaining single? Did we have to keep looking toward being a relationship as the ideal?

Here are some items to check through at this stage.

  1. I am comfortable being single.
  2. I can be happy as a single person.
  3. I am comfortable going to social events as a single person.
  4. I see being single as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.
  5. I am becoming a whole person rather than a half person looking for my other lost half.
  6. I am spending time investing in my own personal growth rather than looking for another relationship.
  7. I can look at my friends as people I want to be with rather than as a potential partner.
  8. If I have children and family, I can spend time enjoying being with them rather than begrudging the time they take from my personal life.
  9. I have found internal peace and contentment as a single person.

We are now at the top of the rebuilding journey and we have arrived at FREEDOM.

By working with me through the rebuilding blocks you can now build more meaningful relationships for the future. Why? Because you have the FREEDOM to choose to either free and happy as a single person or in another relationship. Freedom is being to be fully yourself.

But before we explore this in our next session think back over the process we have worked through. What was the most enjoyable and interesting part for you.

What was the most difficult and challenging?

Now, what was the most painful ?

As you take some time to write down your thoughts can you now identify the many changes that have taken place within you? Have you reached a place emotionally or are these experiences still in our logical conscious mind?

Think about what it now feels like to have reached the end of our work and journey together and all the hard work which has unfolded for you to journey through YOUR personal growth. Please, take as much time as you want before you go on reading.

On the singleness part of the journey I hope you found not only that it feels good to be single, but that it may be the most productive behaviour at this point in your life. New you need to think about what working your way through these rebuilding blocks has done to the way you interact with those around you. The way you react to loneliness, grief, rejection, guilt, anger and love significantly determines how you handle your daily life and your interactions with others.

Many divorced people have had considerable difficulty with one or more of the rebuilding blocks. If you really work at the rebuilding process, overcoming each stumbling blocks, then you will be able to enter into another relationship and make it more productive that the last one. You will be able to meet your own needs and the needs of your loved one(s) much better than in the past. Rebuilding not only helps you to survive the crisis, but it also enhances your future relationships.

Perhaps you were widowed and were satisfied with the happiness you felt in your last relationship. Research indicates that people who were widowed have remarriages which are more likely to last. Being widowed is a painful and very difficult adjustment process, and most of the rebuilding blocks are helpful to those who are going through the process. Many widowed people, however, do not have one of the toughest adjustments - that of dealing with the previous unhappy relationship.

For many people, the journey is so difficult that they feel like giving up before the reach this freedom stage. I have heard countless people say, 'I want to stop and rest. I'm tired of growing.' Many people do stop along the way because they are tired, frightened, or feel unable to handle the change. My response is the same I would to someone mountain climbing: sit and rest; get your energy back; then keep on climbing because the journey for you is worth it and not impossible - many, many people have successfully completed the process. Do you have the self discipline, desire, courage and stamina to make it?

I will be honest I cannot promise that you will be happier, or wealthier, or more fulfilled if you complete the journey. The hard fact is that you will not necessarily find another, 'just right' person with whom to create a lasting relationship. What you will find is that you like yourself better, you can enjoy being alone and single, and the people who you meet who have completed the journey are pretty special at many levels.

It is true that there are fewer people like yourself who have had the courage to complete this all important, challenging and liberating journey. Many are still playing social games, hiding behind emotional walls and finding excuses not to embark on the life journey. The lack of numbers here may make the process of finding new friends and potential lovers more difficult. But I have found that the relationships with others who have completed this journey have such a higher quality that quantity is not so important.

When you have completed the journey you give on great vibrations and there are many people who are attracted to you. So this is not a lonely place in comparison with those earlier rebuilding blocks you have explored and have or are working through. And if you still feel lonely, maybe you have not reached the end of this journey emotionally.

You may get discouraged at times when you realise that the old patterns have crept back and you really have not changed as much as you thought. Keep up the determination and you will make it so do not get discouraged as it may come slowly.

You may greatly fear the unknown future. You are not alone. It may be learning to be single; it may be not knowing what to expect or what is expected of you. How do you feel the first time you drive or ride in a new city that is unfamiliar to you? Confused, lost, uncertain? How about the way you feel the first time you go to a singles party? There is a certain amount of comfort in the known. You old relationship may look good even if it was like living in hell. I hope that if you go back to the old relationship. It will be for more positive reasons than fear of the unknown future!

I have talked at great length about the importance of being single. Let me talk about the importance of relationships. We can become whole by emotionally working hard at becoming whole. But I believe there is a part of each of us that needs another person to help us become completely fulfilled. A relationship is more than icing on the cake,but that analogy seems to fit: the cake is whole without icing, but ever so much sweeter with it! I think each of us needs another person to help us become completely fulfilled and to make life sweeter.

When you were in the pits of your crisis, you gave no thought to plans and goals for the future. Part of your grief was concerned with loss of future, since you had to give up the plans and goals you had in that relationship. But when you came out of the pits, you began looking to the future and making plans again.

Ernie, a member of one of my seminars who worked in a hospital, told the group one evening, 'It's like the process in the hospital psych wards. There's a crafts room where the patients spend time. When patients are first admitted, they have no energy to work on crafts, but when they begin to be really interested in crafts, this is a good indication that they're ready to be discharged. I felt ready to be discharged from the divorce pits when I started making plans for the future.'

My research has found that recently separated people, and especially dumpees, are very much 'living in the past,' thinking mostly about how it 'used to be.' Further along the process, people stop living in the past and start living in the present, enjoying their current view of life and living it.

Recently separated people, and again especially dumpees, are very dependent upon others. As people grow further in the process, they gain more independence, and find a good balance between independence and dependence. Have you found a good balance between dependence and independence?


  1. I am able to put into words what I am feeling
  2. I am able to communicate to another person what I am feeling
  3. I have at least one close friend of each sex that I can ask for help when I am in need of support
  4. I can express my anger in a positive manner that is not destructive to me or to those around me
  5. I am keeping a journal of my feelings and attitudes as I adjust to my transitionary journey
  6. I have made at least one new friend, or renewed an old friendship in the past month
  7. I have invested quality time with a least one friend this past week
  8. I have identified which of the rebuilding blocks I need to work on, and have made a plan to start my further work
  9. I have invested time into a growing experience such as reading a good book, taking an education class, attending an interesting lecture, or watching an educational programme on TV this past week
  10. I have seriously considered if I would benefit from a therapy relationship in order to enhance my personal growth to speed up my adjustment process
  11. I have received my quota of 'hugs' from my friends this week
  12. I have spent time by myself either in prayer, meditation, or solitary thought this past week
  13. I have nurtured myself with a kind deed this past week
  14. I listen to aches, tensions, and feelings in my body to learn more about myself
  15. I exercise regularly be this walking, running or doing some form of physical activity
  16. I have made at least one change in my daily living habits that I feel good about this week
  17. I nourish my body with adequate diet
  18. I have given emotionally to myself to at least one friend this past week
  19. I have invested in my spiritual growth this past week
  20. I like being the person I am
  21. I am making plans for my future
  22. I have let the 'natural child' within me have fun the past week
  23. I am not carrying around pent up feelings of anger, grief, loneliness, rejection, or guilt but have learned to express then in order to rid myself of them
  24. I am much more in control of my life than I was when my past relationship ended
  25. I am experiencing the feeling of freedom to be myself
  26. I am actively using the concepts learned from this course to help speed up my adjustment process

Well, how are you doing? Are you satisfied with your self evaluation? I am going to summarise some of the important concepts that we have explored.

What is the freedom we all seem to be striving for? Freedom is something you find inside of you. And you find it by becoming free from unmet needs which control you, such as the need to avoid being alone, the need to feel guilty, the need to find a critical parent to please, or the need to get free from your own 'parent within you.'

The final stage of freedom is about doing what you want for yourself, the life that you choose where you can be free of the bonds that have kept you from being the person you would like to be. The person that you were meant to be. The person you are capable of being. Our worst enemies are those within us, and it is those demons from which we need to free ourselves.

Reaching this stage not only gives us the freedom of choice to seek happiness either alone or in another relationship it also gives us the freedom to be ourselves.



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