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Wishing For A Love Do-over?



Wishing For A Love Do-over?

I know now how I could have loved you then. Maia Sharp

Maybe you’re wishing you could undo destructive words and deeds in your current love relationship.

Maybe you’re pondering the question proposed by Michael Cunningham in By Nightfall:” How miserable would you have to get to be able to bear the actual separation, to go off and live your life so utterly unrecognized?”  Which, for many, leads to hoping for another chance at love in the form of a new, more suitable partner.

Or maybe you’re wishing for another chance with an old love, your regrets summed up in Maia Sharp’s lyrics: “I know now how I could have loved you then.”

Without a doubt, frequent errors of commission and omission undermine partners’ confidence in their relationship.  Eventually, accumulated transgressions weaken the bond of love.  Unless, we believe in do-overs!

Self-responsible love do-over

First and foremost, this is not about simply giving your partner another chance or about your partner giving you another chance.  That’s already been tried – repeatedly – without lasting satisfaction.  There is only one type of do-over that leads to relationship enhancement – the self-responsible love do-over.

This is about doing-over your responses to your loved one!  Claiming the freedom to transform your thoughts about your partner.  Re-shape your expectations.  Revamp your dark moods and insecurities.  Transform your behaviors, too.  Away from thoughtless reactions motivated by negative emotions to thoughtful gestures motivated by love.

Special circumstances

If your partner’s behavior is abusive, you must take responsibility to rescue yourself.

Self-responsible love do-overs are accomplished with deliberate practice.  Start by taking inventory of your own

With persistence, you modify your brain, increase your repertoire of constructive thoughts and behaviors.  If individuals claim the freedom to do-over their own thoughts and behaviors, love relationships benefit.

Ultimate love do-over

The ultimate love do-over is, of course, one in which both partners adopt the self-responsible approach.  This focuses each partner on commanding his or her own thoughts and behaviors – not his or her spouse’s – which produces that “I know now how I could have loved you then” perspective.  You not only see your past errors but also see how you can constructively modify your behavior in the future.  If both partners claim the freedom to do-over their own thoughts and behaviors, love relationships thrive.
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Christine Meinecke received a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1983. She interned at Colorado State University Counseling Center and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Meinecke is in her nineteenth year of full-time private practice in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to entering private practice, she worked in hospital mental health settings She has taught psychology and psychotherapy classes to undergraduates, graduate students, and medical residents. She is also a playwright. Her full-length, comedic play, Flutter the Dovecotes, was the 2009 winner of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop competition and was premiered by Tallgrass Theatre Company in January 2010. For more information about Flutter the Dovecotes click ”works” tab. For thirty-plus years, she has practiced yoga and taught yoga classes in various settings. She met her beloved wrong person while both were graduate students at University of Kansas. They have been married twenty-nine years.

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