One of the most important relationship skills everyone needs to know is how to move on from a bad relationship. Staying in a bad relationship prevents you from finding someone better, and worse, can be damaging to your well-being. A key first step to moving on, according to our relationship expert, is a change of perspective on how you view leaving your partner.
About Dr. Debra Mandel
Dr. Debra Mandel is a widely recognized relationship expert and frequently appears in the media. Some of the television shows she has appeared on include FOX News Live, The O'Reilly Factor and CNN Headline News. Her primary career focus has been on helping individuals and couples whom struggle with relationship and associated problems. Dr. Debra can be found on the Web at drdebraonline.com. Her newest book is Dump That Chump! From Doormat to Diva in Only Nine Steps-a Guide to Getting Over Mr. Wrong. This book will show you how to move on from a bad relationship.
Interview with Debra Mandel, PhD.
Why did you decide to write Dump That Chump?
Not only do I have 20-plus years of professional experience helping women move on from dead-end relationships, I've also had more than my share of experiences dating chumps. Some dumped me and others I dumped-but each time the process was very painful. I spent years on and off in therapy analyzing my childhood and staying stuck in a victim-mode.
Thankfully, I eventually came to recognize that, while breaking-up is hard to do, it's doable and it doesn't have to be as painful as one might imagine. In fact, if we change our perspective on what we're actually losing when we get out of a relationship with Mr. Wrong, we don't have to spend much time at all feeling mad, sad or afraid. And we can quickly pave the way to healthier romantic relationships and ultimately end up with Mr. Right.
I wanted to share my experiences of the women I've helped with all the other woman out there who may not realize how much simpler it can be to get out of a bad relationship if they practice the nine steps offered in the book.
What about men, do they sometimes stay in destructive relationships also? Can they learn anything from your book as well?
Absolutely, men can benefit from the information and tools offered in the book. Sadly, though, men tend not to buy self-help books which are why most books of these types are primarily targeted toward women. But if a guy finds himself with a chumpette, the book will help guide him through the debris and guide him toward seeking the right kind of gal!
What are some of the warning signs that you are in a bad relationship?
Though women (and men) often deny the many red-flags they see, or they rationalize the bad behavior of their mate, I think most people know deep in their gut when they are with a chump. While chumps come in many shapes and sizes (I describe the weasel, sloth, pig, grizzly bear and snake varietals), they tend to all share similar features:
- They disregard your needs and feelings.
- They repeatedly commit the same bad offenses, even knowing that they're hurting you.
- They don't take responsibility for their behavior, blaming you for everything that goes wrong in the relationship.
I also describe varying degrees of chumpiness. Sometimes a relationship is worth salvaging if the chump wants to change their behavior and he or she actually does!
What are common reasons why people stay in bad relationships?
People often stay in bad relationships because they fear they'll never find anyone better, they don't trust that they deserve someone better, they're afraid to be alone and single, and/or they worry about hurting their partner's feelings (despite the fact that their partner routinely hurts theirs). Most of the negative beliefs people have about themselves are false and irrational, but they are powerful and need to be changed in order to make room for a healthy relationship with a good partner.
How can you tell the difference between a relationship worth working on and one that should be ended?
If a partner fails to see his role in why the relationship isn't working and he blames his mate, he most likely isn't going to change and the relationship won't be able to improve. But if he really owns his bad behavior and starts behaving differently, then there might be some hope. Clearly if a couple has been together for many years, has children and is deeply financially intertwined, it's not easy to walk away from the relationship. But I think being loved is such an important part of the human spirit, and even if we have to make changes that scare us, we shouldn't keep settling if someone treats us badly. And while it might be hard to leave, in the long run it's worth it. But everyone has to make this personal choice for themselves, depending on their life situation and the priority she/he places on intimacy.
Once you breakup, what are some things you can do to avoid repeating the same bad relationship with another person?
The book nicely outlines nine steps to creating a path to a better, healthier relationship including things like learning how to stop pining and fantasizing about the chump you dumped, how to transform self-downers into self-uppers and improve self-esteem, how to clear out negative relationship images and transform into positive ones, how to enjoy being single and how to create a relationship vision that will invite in the good guys.
How to Move On from a Bad Relationship
If you are currently in a bad relationship, don't be afraid to break-up and move on with your life. A better person is out there waiting to meet you. Following the advice of Dr. Debra will help you to take the steps necessary to break the cycle of bad relationships.
LoveToKnow Dating would like to thank Dr. Debra for taking the time to do this interview. To purchase Dump That Chump! from Amazon, click this link. For more information about Dr. Debra, visit her Web site at drdebraonline.com.