How to Mend or End a Broken Relationship
by Lauren Clucas
“It feels so wrong, sifting through his belongings like this, finding out things I don’t want to know. Like, he must have loved me."
Betrayal. Hard questions. Empowerment.
Therapist and author Lauren S. Clucas provides a roadmap that will help you decide whether to stay in your current relationship, or to go.
Lauren Clucas, author and relationship counsellor
“What to do after his affair? Should I stay, or should I go?”
If you’re asking yourself these questions, it might be time to look at the truth of your relationship. Is it the relationship you want? Or would you be better off alone?
Whether you’re on the receiving end of betrayal, you’re the betrayer, or your relationship is in tatters without infidelity, Choices: How to Mend or End a Broken Relationship will help you decide if it’s time to dig deep or ditch.
Infidelity and affairs are by far the main reasons couples seek out couples therapy from author Lauren S. Clucas. Like an infidelity workbook for couples, you’ll find exercises and questionnaires in Choices that help you get at the truth. Choices is based on the real-life application of concepts straight from the therapist’s consult room, offering much more than couples counselling books or marriage counselling books.
You’ll read about real life examples from couples Clucas has worked with—couples who’ve worked honestly and courageously through infidelity and other relationship problems. Some have chosen to stay together and others to part ways after an affair. She outlines the steps to healing for both the betrayer and the betrayed. She also looks at trends in sexual utopias and how these couple-sanctioned activities can enhance or threaten a relationship.
Author Lauren S. Clucas introduces you to her personal backstory and relationship experience, which continues as a thread throughout the book. This is followed by a focus on wants and expectations, where you are guided to clarify what you want as your relationship matures.
You’ll learn about your own bonding patterns, to recognise the role your upbringing plays in today’s relationships, how to keep the relationship safe, and establish boundaries. You’ll also learn about types of affairs, how to recognise when you or your relationship is at risk from infidelity, and how to work through the aftermath of an affair.
The focus of Choices are the fourteen choices you can make to move your partnership forward, such as trust, tenderness, fighting fair, and listening. These choices are accompanied by exercises and questionnaires that get at the heart of the truth, whatever it is.
Whether you decide to mend or end a relationship, Choices will:
- provide a roadmap to being wanted, and wanting your partner
- reveal patterns in relationships that you may not recognize
- explain why partners stray into infidelity, and the steps for both sides to heal
- how to bring your best adult self into a relationship, using the thirteen choices outlined by Clucas
Choices emphasises that your behaviour, rather than your partner’s, is what’s really in your control and that bringing your best adult self to your relationship gives it the best chance of success.
And finally, you’ll learn how to find closure when a relationship has ended and that love is not the fire at the start of a relationship but rather the end game—like the final move on a chess board. Choices speaks to being in a good relationship with yourself and acknowledges that while we naturally gravitate towards companionship, going solo can be liberating and fulfilling too.
You might decide to stay; you might decide to go, but in any case, it won’t be a choice made lightly, and it will be what YOU want.
What to Expect
SECTION ONE: In the Beginning
Rose Tinted Glasses
What and Who Do You Want?
SECTION TWO: Infidelity & Affairs
Working Through an Affair
On the Flip Side: Sexual Utopias
SECTION THREE: Attachment Styles & Intruders
SECTION FOUR: Choices for a Healthy Relationship
Choose to Listen
Choose to Fight Fair
SECTION FIVE: The End Game
Love: Truly the Endgame
In Choices (excerpt)
If you have been cheated on—or you have been unfaithful and your partner found out—then it’s likely you understand the piercing betrayal of infidelity and know how horribly undone we can become by it. There are few relationships that have not experienced betrayal in some shape or form, with affairs being far too common.
Whether you’re on the receiving end of betrayal or the betrayer, or your relationship is simply in tatters but there hasn’t yet been any infidelity, Choices: How to Mend or End a Broken Relationship offers the keystones to help you decide whether it’s time to dig deep or whether it’s time to ditch. Either way, you’ll be choosing truth over deception.
Choices is the product of over fifteen years of study of countless couples who sought my counselling during my time living in Singapore, Australia, and South Africa.
I recognised that some couples, regardless of the drama, conflict, or disharmony between them, engaged certain qualities which enabled them to push through and thrive, while others, sometimes with relatively less adversity, chose to divorce or part ways. I became curious about couples that thrived in the wake of adversity. Not staying in the relationship for staying’s sake, but because they found ways to want the relationship and to make each other feel wanted in the relationship.
Essentially, Choices speaks to being in a good relationship with yourself and acknowledges that while we naturally gravitate towards companionship, going solo can be liberating and fulfilling too.
It has become clear to me that problems occur in relationships when partners read being needed, or needing someone, as a sure sign of love. The more the dependency increases, the more intense the illusion of love appears.
Then later, perhaps when one party finds their partner stonewalling their neediness, they might question whether they’d be with that person if they weren’t the plug to their gaping sockets. Ultimately, we have a yearning to be wanted for who we are, without having to masquerade. But to achieve this kind of relationship, we first have to realise what it takes to want ourselves.
“Beautifully written, honest, authentic.
Choices gave me hope, optimism, and the courage to believe that I (we) can fix this. It gave me the courage to believe again. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you value your relationship and want to either fix it or just make it stronger then read this book.”
Founder and chairman of naked Group
“Our life is filled with a multitude of choices, and each one has the power to propel you forward or hold you back. In Lauren S. Clucas’s book, Choices, readers get the opportunity to learn how powerful a single choice can be within a relationship, and how choices also become gifts when seeking to rekindle or break free from one. Whether you are seeking to reignite a broken relationship, gain the courage to move forward from a toxic one or identify the foundation of a new one, Lauren’s stories will inspire you to take action and do so by making meaningful choices.”
Author of Color Today Pretty: An Inspirational Guide to Living a Life in Perspective
"Poignant, powerful, practical! I was transported by Lauren’s authentic sharing of her journey and could use each chapter to reflect on my own. This has opened up so many new positive choices I can bring to my marriage and given me the courage to explore and let go of the choices that no longer serve me. Anyone who wants to experience meaningful and healthy love, should read this book and apply its techniques!"
Speaker, facilitator, and author of Present with Power
"The book that will be a different read each time I read it… and I will because it’s that kind of book. Its beginning takes one to the heart of the matter of choices—ultimately the loving relationships we want but are not sure we have, especially the one with ourself. The book concludes with powerful insights and exercises to inform the reader of their own ‘you are here’ on the map of choice, in the counties of relationships, in the town of honesty, in a world of love.
One of the most practical and touch-my-heart books I have ever read."
Author of Listen for Water