Sunday, May 6, 2012

Guarding Your Heart While Dating A Widower

Recently, a GOW on The Official WOW/GOW Message Board said that her intuition is telling her something bad is about to happen in her relationship. She can't explain it, but nevertheless, the fear seems very real despite any authenticity.

I have said before on the Board that I am not a believer in intuition. Intuition, to me, is currently defined - societally speaking - as some kind of magical force based on nothing more than a "feeling". Realistically and scientifically, I believe it makes more sense that intuition is based on past experience, coupled with the fallout insecurity that came with a particularly bad one; either a bad experience that was personally experienced, or one that was overheard, witnessed, read about, or happened to someone else.

Thus, I believe intuition is based on previously digested fear, and a new experience is tweaking and poking that stored former knowledge to the surface. Whenever someone tells me they have a "feeling" or bases a decision on "intuition", I want them to ask themselves one important question: Am I presently reacting this way based on something bad that happened to me/that I personally witnessed/that happened to someone else/that I read about? Therefore, in my opinion, intuition is nothing more than a bad experience of some sort that set roots in fear that this bad experience will either happen again (if you had the bad experience) or will happen to you (if the bad experience happened to someone else or was witnessed/read about/overheard).

That being said, I believe intuition is not always a bad thing! It is the brain's subconscious way of protecting you from a possible disaster. It is a recalling of information stored long ago that is resurfacing, giving you an "edge" over naivety. And that can really come in handy! However, more likely than not, when women speak of "intuition", it is their insecurity talking, and it is based on one or more of the following: a need that has gone unmet, a question still left unanswered, a lack of closure on a past bad experience, and/or an unresolved fear.

When a GOW believes her intuition is warning her that something bad is about to happen, I truly, without a shadow of a doubt, believe she is reacting to her fear that A.) W will hurt her like someone else did in the past (former boyfriend, perhaps), B.) that she has done or is doing something wrong; something to deserve an unforeseen bad experience (i.e, low self-esteem; feeling of unworthiness), and/or C.) her new vulnerability has given control of her emotions over to her W - and he is unpredictable at best - so she feels she is constantly standing on quicksand and never on solid ground.

So, you’re probably wondering what all this “shrink talk” has to do with you, right?

To combat the insecurity provoked by intuition, one must guard their heart. Though seemingly complicated, it’s really not. All it takes to guard your heart is to take W out of the equation and remember the woman you were before he came into your life. You were OK without him then. You were a worthwhile, responsible, level-headed, decisive, happy person. You based decisions on the knowledge and facts available to you, i.e, you didn’t rely on intuition but on solid research, trusted and tried-and-true advice, and proven information. You lived your life for YOU, not for anyone else. Even if you have children who were (and still are) your life’s priority(ies), you made time for yourself…time to enjoy life and celebrate your personhood. You had control of the reins of your life and your emotions. You didn’t allow others to treat you like dirt, and if for whatever reason you did, you didn’t keep them on your list of friends for long. You trusted yourself to make good decisions, and you executed those decisions with confidence. You believed in yourself and your abilities. And even if you allowed self-doubt to creep onto your heart once in awhile, you immediately went to work to regain lost ground, and you fought back hard to get your footing back.

When it comes to GOW/W relationships, guarding her heart is vital to a GOW’s survival, especially when a W isn’t very committed or communicative, or seems to be dragging his feet through grief recovery. In these relationships, the GOW has no other choice but to protect herself. This doesn’t mean she has to put up a wall around her heart. Doing this would keep her from experiencing a bad experience, but would also keep her from experiencing the JOYS of the relationship. Instead, guarding her heart means she must revert back to the woman she was before her W…the confident, dependable, strong, decisive woman who lived by her own set of rules, took control of her life, trusted in herself and her abilities, relied on her faith and tapped into the strength that came from solidly archived knowledge of life, knew her boundaries and executed them when needed, made herself a priority, faced her fears head-on then danced in their ashes when she burned through them, and enjoyed her life despite its occasional disappointments.