“Dear Dr. Eve,
A month after we married my husband committed suicide. We knew each
other for 18 months before we married but did not live together. I never
knew that he was depressed. I was devastated. A few months later I met
another man. I was not interested in a relationship but due to lockdown,
he moved in with me.
It’s been nearly a year and have realized that under normal circumstances I would not date this man – who depends on me financially too.
I want him to leave my house – but I fear being lonely and fear getting
into another bad relationship again.
I really need your help.
In this time of covid-19, what you, like the rest of the globe, most need
right now is Self Compassion. And I’m going to lead you through the
process of gaining self-compassion.
I read how you are self-berating, blaming yourself for yet another difficult
painful relationship situation and how this leads you to feel lonely and
So the first thing I want you to do is to notice how this time around, you
are aware of the dis-ease this current man brings to your life. This is an
excellent first step.. even if you cannot take action, the fact is, you have
noticed that you are unhappy and feel trapped. This is called Mindfulness.
Mindful Self Compassion is a mental state, an attitude we take toward
ourselves when we are struggling or suffering. I invite you to be
concerned about the alleviation of your own suffering.
There are 3 components to Self Compassion:
- Mindfulness: be aware of your struggle/pain, to be supportive and
kind toward yourself. Notice your feelings of shame, sadness,
loneliness. Notice without judging your feelings.
- Kindness: begin to be kind to yourself. Do this by :
– Protecting yourself – what do I need to feel safer and more
secure right now?
– Asking yourself: what do I need to care for myself right now?
- Common Humanity: recognize everyone struggles, there is nothing
abnormal about your struggle right now .. it is part of what people
experience. If you can think about your situation in this way, you
may not feel so alone, so lonely, so isolated. This can make you feel
connected to others – and perhaps get you to reach out to others
knowing they too have suffered.
I urge you to practice compassion towards yourself. Hold the pain in
loving connected presence. The pain will feel less overwhelming.. feel the
pain, don’t suppress it as it will get worse.
Feel the loving connected presence as it will feel good and give you
strength and stability. Find the love that accompanies you through the
pain. Love can be a feeling of pride in yourself for how you have
survived in past pain in past relationships.
Here is a link to a SELF COMPASSION QUIZ. I invite you to test yourself
as it will give you a clear direction of where you need to focus more on self-compassion and kindness and reaching out to others.