Love is God’s gift to humanity. It is the greatest feeling in this world and it’s the universal language of all living creatures. I believe that every person is capable of love – of loving and of being loved back in return.
Love can be simple and quiet; but it can also be complicated and painful. It can bring overwhelming joy in the same way that it can bring devastating heartaches. And it can either complete us or break us into pieces.
This is the concept behind sarreguemines-museum.com. My objective is to explore the different aspects of love, how dynamic it is, how it evolves and its impact to people’s lives.
Sarreguemines is a picturesque city in France located at the north east side. It became my sanctuary after a major setback and life-changing event in my life.
During my stay in this beautiful and calming city, I was able to rebuild myself and my life once again which I thought would never be possible after my failed marriage.
To me, Sarreguemines is the place where I unloaded all my heartaches, frustrations and pains. It is where I left my bitter past so I can start all over again.
Luckily, I met new friends along the way and they’ve taught me valuable lessons about love and life. It brought a ray of hope and sunshine in my path and gave me newfound strength to gather up my broken pieces and start all over again.
At this point, I’m sharing with you all my learning and realizations during my 10-month stay at Sarreguemines.
And, I’m opening up this museum of thoughts, insights and sentiments which I hope can help a lot of people who might be confused or are going through difficult times in their relationships right now.
How to Express Love to Your Partner
Is there such a thing as proper expression of love? How can I love my partner the right way?
These are just some of the questions I used to ask myself. Getting married at the age of 27, I thought I already knew my partner well and that we’re both mature enough to handle any relationship problem. But I was wrong.
Fate has its own way of testing our resilience and our marriage can only take so much. And now, my 5-year marriage with Lisa has come to an end and we’re back to being strangers again.
While in Sarreguemines, I had the chance to meditate, think and read in an attempt to find answers to all my questions as to why it all went wrong.
I looked back at how I did as a husband and came up with some realizations on how to express love the right way. Allow me to share some of my insights with you.
Spending quality time with our partners is the strongest expression of love. It strengthens the bond and encourages open communication. When was the last time you dropped everything on your schedule just to make time for your partner? I often wonder about this myself.
Giving our full and undivided attention to our partners is important. It makes them feel secure whenever we’re around and it accounts for strong emotional support.
If your partner is going through a difficult situation like losing a job or promotion, family problem, work issues or loss of an important person in their lives, offer your undivided attention.
Make them feel that they matter significantly and that you’re always there whether the situation is good or bad.
Make life easier and less stressful for your partner. Express this by offering a convenient solution to every problem to make things manageable.
I remember when our house was badly damaged by a hurricane. Lisa was in a lot of stress and couldn’t even talk to our insurance provider. We hired a public adjuster in miami and everything got settled fast.
You see, sparing our loved ones from stress and offering convenient solutions to every problem could mean a lot.
Openly expressing our appreciation towards our partner can boost their self esteem and make them feel loved and important.
When was the last time you complemented your partner? How often do you tell your partner that they look good? Do you show appreciation for what your partner does for you?
Take the time to think about your partner and if he/she is getting the right amount of appreciation and validation from you.
Arguments and misunderstandings happen in all relationships. They cannot be avoided. However, being patient with your partner can stop the problem from escalating further.
Moreover, dealing with mutual differences also requires a significant amount of patience.
You must accept the fact that being patient with your partner is more beneficial to your relationship than pointing out their mistakes (or weaknesses) and insisting that you’re right.
The Sad Truth behind Relationship Problems
No relationship or marriage is ever so perfect enough to be spared from problems. No matter how hard we try, we cannot stop misunderstandings and arguments from happening. In fact, every healthy relationship goes through difficult times.
Overcoming these trials with love and understanding is just half the battle. The other half is learning from the experience and working together towards making the relationship stronger and more solid than ever.
Lisa and I failed on that other half. Despite a series of marriage counselling and a strong support group, we found ourselves drifting farther and farther away from each other.
The emotional connection wasn’t there anymore. We were so unhappy. As a man, our separation deeply wounded my pride.
Soon enough after the separation, I found myself calling chat line phone numbers to see how I fare with other women. I was seeking for validation that I still have it or if I was still worth something as a man.
Whenever I felt alone, I would call the chat lines and chat with women on the phone. Flirting became my diversion. It somehow boosted my male ego knowing that a lot of women find pleasure in talking to me. But it didn’t last long.
That’s when I decided to make a fresh start and go to Sarreguemines to rediscover myself again.
How to Solve Problems in a Relationship
“Love means giving up your pride and making certain sacrifices.” This is what I have learned from a middle-aged couple whom I met in Sarreguemines during a guided tour. They once drifted apart but had somehow found their way back to each other.
If I knew then what I know now, things might have been different. But then again, life usually hits us hard when we least expect it. The best that we could do is to learn how to cope up and to just keep moving forward.
My conversation with them had been insightful and eye-opening. They were generous enough to share with me how they were able to solve the problems in their relationship. Let me share them with you as well;
Acknowledge your differences
You and your partner are two different people who can have opposing views and conflicting interests during the course of your relationship. Acknowledge this and don’t take it negatively.
If your relationship is far more important to both of you than your pride, learning how to compromise with each other’s differences makes more sense than trying to prove that you’re right.
See where your partner is coming from
Instead of focusing on your defense, try to see the situation from your partner’s point of view. This can help you become more sensitive as to where your partner is coming from.
If you’ll work towards tuning in and calming yourself down, you can offer a more compassionate and giving attitude.
Therefore, instead of defending and counterattacking, make an attempt to understand your partner’s position also.
Focus on the solutions and not on the problem
During an argument, it is apparent that a problem exists. Instead of feeding and nurturing it, try to put an end to it.
Focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Arguing and debating can only trigger the worst in each other. It can potentially hurt each other’s pride as well.
So whenever you’re having a misunderstanding, gear your attention towards a healthy resolution rather than provoking each other.
Avoid raising your voice
Raising your voice can easily transform a tiny problem into a bigger one in an instant. It is not only disrespectful and damaging towards your partner but also triggers a lot of negativity.
When you raise your voice, you’re actually creating a toxic environment for your relationship wherein love and respect can easily fade.
If it’s not a big deal, let it pass
Things that aren’t worthy of arguing about should just be dropped. Just let them pass.
People have different moods and sometimes, we just need to be a little bit more understanding, giving, patient and caring towards our partners.
Losing our patience all the time and paying too much attention to minor problems can only lead to a string of arguments and misunderstandings that can weaken an otherwise healthy relationship.
Take some time out
If you must, take some time out to cool down and to think clearly.
Emotions can get too high during arguments and misunderstandings. Sometimes, it’s best to step out for a while to realign your elements and to analyze the situation.
When you’re calm and in control of your emotions, you and your partner can deal with the situation more rationally.
The Process of Breaking Up
It’s not easy for me to admit that my marriage with Lisa has failed. In fact, I was in a state of denial for quite a long time. I was hoping that things would miraculously fall into place and that we could easily go back to how it used to be.
But fate has its own way of testing our heart’s strength and resilience. Lisa made it clear that ending the marriage is what’s best for us and that we both need to go our separate ways to find our own happiness.
And so, the divorce papers came. It took a while for reality to sink in.
At that moment, I knew it was impossible to mend a broken relationship especially when one has already given up. But I had to start from somewhere because no matter how it all crumbles and falls apart, life goes on.
I gave my full cooperation but fell into several coping mechanisms. There were nights when I would go out and get drunk with friends. I also met up with some women from an adult dating app in an attempt to score one-night stands.
To fill in the void in my life when nights get lonely, I always end up calling the phone sex numbers chatline so I can chat with random women. And soon, I also left my job because I wasn’t performing anymore.
My life became a complete mess over a period of one month since finalizing the divorce.
But realization soon hit me hard.
I got tired of having no direction and being helpless and practically useless. That’s when I made the commitment to start over and to start forgiving myself.
I went to Sarreguemines for a change of routine and scenery with the help of my sister.
That’s when I had the realization that I can still fix myself; and that there are still so much that I can look forward to in life. Of course, the support of my family meant a lot.
Still, it was a very humbling experience that caused me immense pain and frustration. But in the end, it cleared up my vision about a lot of things.
How to Move On After a Failed Relationship or Marriage
Allow me to walk you through towards moving on and seeing things in a different light and perspective once a relationship ends.
Allow yourself to heal
It takes time to get over a failed relationship. However, giving yourself enough time to heal is important in order to move on.
Don’t rush and take your time no matter how lonely it gets. Feeling the pain and frustration is all part of it.
Know when enough is enough
Even if you’ll work hard to save the relationship, there’s only so much that you can do on your own. Learn to let go when you’re the only one that’s left hanging on.
Accept what you cannot change
Accept that it’s over. During this time, unload all excess baggage. Think about what is lost and what still remains. Then try to determine ways to win yourself back.
Learn from your experience and don’t blame yourself. At some point, you have to remind yourself that you deserve to be loved by the right person at the right time.
Keep in mind that even though your relationship didn’t work out, you are still whole as a person and that should be enough to keep you going.
Love yourself, accept your flaws and imperfections, value what you’ve learned and strive to make it better the next time. Also, try to determine what you truly deserve and what you need to do to make things right.
Make a fresh start but take all the lessons with you. By this time, you should be stronger and wiser.
Recovery from heartbreak takes time. But you have to learn how to move on.
It’s almost similar to reading a book. To leave a chapter in your life, you must leave the past in the same way that you turn the pages. By doing so, you can look forward to what is yet to come.