Carlos Phillips, author of Healed Without Scars and founder of the Healed Without Scars Ministries was married for seven years when his marriage ended. That was ten years ago. Carlos is now married again. His wife and life partner, Clarissa partners with Carlos in the ministries. Before we talk about how Carlos introduced Clarissa to his boys, I asked Carlos what he learned from his divorce about looking for a life partner and how that affected his dating. Here’s Carlos:
I would say the hardest and the most valuable lesson that I gained from the whole divorce situation is to discover who you are, discover what it is that you absolutely can and cannot live without and be true to yourself no matter what, and especially as you’re getting back on the dating scene, after your marriage has ended. Know when there’s no room for compromise when it comes down to certain situations.
If you know, for example, that you’re someone who wants to have children and you meet someone who absolutely does not want to have children, regardless of what the attraction is, there’s no point in you really moving forward in a serious romantic relationship because somewhere down the road, this is going to come to a head and it’s not going to be good how it turns out.
As I was on the dating scene and I would meet young ladies and really get to know them and know their background. I would explain who I was and where I was trying to go in life and that I was the primary parent of my two sons and that being with me would be having to accept them as well. When I saw red flags that said,
“I don’t know if this person would be accepting of the whole package that I am, that I bring to the table as far as where I’m going and the family life,”
and if I would see that it really wasn’t a good match for me, it would be easy to end that relationship and still be friends.
I had to learn how to have crystal clear clarity as to what I was seeing in the relationships that I was being in and then have the courage to walk away from those. That really did work for me, regardless of the attraction for the person or the chemistry. If it didn’t work with the total package of who I was, it just wasn’t going to work.
The Divorce Coach Says
This is related to allowing yourself to be vulnerable – it’s about spending the time to develop your own life plan (as Karen Salmansohn suggested in Prince Harming Syndrome) and then to have the courage to stick with, to believe in your self-worth and not to modify your plan just because the person you’re currently dating doesn’t fit with part of it. If you’re looking for a life partner, it’s got to be about finding someone who loves you the way you are. I believe if you are true to yourself, then the odds of creating a long-term committed partnership are greatly increased.
… I’m sure some of you might be thinking, “what does she know” and I do feel less than well-qualified on this topic since I’ve haven’t dated. But I’m gearing up … I can feel the stars aligning 🙂 When they do align, I’ll be following Carlos’s strategy and recruiting my personal coaches.
Did you develop a life plan before you started dating or as you where? Did you modify it as you met people? Did it help you stay true to yourself?