Thursday, July 9, 2020

Guest Post & Giveaway: Second Chance Romance: Finding Love After an Unhealthy Relationship By Carla Laureano (Under Scottish Stars)

Second Chance Romance: Finding Love After an Unhealthy Relationship

By Carla Laureano


My newest book, Under Scottish Stars, follows single mom Serena MacDonald Stewart as she navigates the challenges of dating and relationships after being married and then widowed. But as we soon come to find out, all had not been perfect in her marriage, leaving her with some big obstacles to overcome when entering a new relationship.

I’ve had some experience in this realm. Before I met my husband, I was engaged to another man, someone I had met when I was in college. While I in no way think he was a bad person, I do believe we were poorly suited for each other, leading to an unhealthy dynamic that took years to fully understand after things fell apart.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, I’d like to give you four helpful points of advice before you enter your next relationship:

  1. Remember, just because one relationship falls apart doesn’t mean you’re not capable of having a lasting relationship.

Women tend to take a disproportionate amount of responsibility for what happens in a relationship, and when it doesn’t work out, we can internalize that as a reflection on our own worth or abilities. But relationships—whether friendships or romantic bonds—are a two-way street and take effort from both parties. And sometimes, even when both people are doing their best, things don’t work out. Resist the temptation to project one breakup onto all future connections. Just like every person is different, so is every relationship.


  1. Take time to analyze what went wrong.

I don’t mean that you need to do a postmortem on every argument, assumption, or bad choice. Likely, you’re already well aware of those. But it can be helpful to take a look at yourself and how the relationship impacted you. For example, I realized after the fact that I had allowed time spent with my fiancĂ© to replace the things that really filled my soul as an individual—and that had a detrimental effect on my mood and self-worth. I also realized that I wasn’t getting support for pursuing my own dreams and desires . . . and I knew that was something I would specifically look for in my next relationship. If you find it hard to analyze yourself—or you can’t understand how things went wrong—it could be helpful to speak to a trusted counselor or other mental health professional. There’s no shame in getting a trained outside opinion, especially when we’re dealing with things that affect us on a deep level like romantic relationships.


  1. Approach new relationships slowly.

It can be tempting to rush into a new relationship and accelerate its progression to where you left off with the previous one. A failed engagement, for example, can make you feel the need to quickly get engaged again—and rush to the altar—to prove that you can follow through. But if you’re layering the old relationship’s expectations onto a new one, it’s sure to buckle under weight it wasn’t meant to bear. Likewise, if we rush toward intimacy with a new partner, we’re in danger of bringing our assumptions and ingrained reactions to the new relationship before we really understand the other person’s motivations. Whereas the last partner might have used “that’s fine” as a passive-aggressive method of getting their own way without taking responsibility for conflict, the new partner may really mean it’s fine! Only when we get to know someone slowly with a clear, unbiased outlook can we be sure that we’re reacting to what’s happening in the moment and not what we expect to happen based on past experience.


  1. Don’t allow the new romance to eclipse your relationship with God.

This is good advice whether or not you’ve just come from an unhealthy relationship, but especially important if the partner you just left exerted a measure of control over you, even unconsciously. It can be hard to maintain your intimacy with God when your daily life is determined by the whims of another person. Before you enter a new romantic relationship, make sure your faith is on solid ground and that your relationship with God is the primary one in your life. It is so much easier to recognize lies and manipulations when you are immersed in God’s truth on a regular basis and allowing Him to lead you.

After Serena’s experiences, it was important for me to model a healthy relationship that wasn’t burdened by misunderstandings or assumptions left over from her marriage. And both she and I are living proof that life-giving relationships can happen after unhealthy ones, if we put God first and spend time understanding what is truly important to us.

**This post is meant for general information and not intended to give advice about toxic or abusive relationships, in which one party feels unsafe, intimidated, controlled, or manipulated. If you think you may be in a toxic or abusive relationship, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or live chat at thehotline.org.**

Links to find the book: Tyndale | Amazon | Goodreads 

Author Bio:

Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in SkyeLondon Tides, and the Saturday Night Supper Club series. She is also the author of the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (as C. E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons.




Enter for a chance to win a copy of Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureano! Giveaway is open to the US. Ends 7/23

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!



Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

4 comments:

Kay Garrett said...

"Under Scottish Stars" sounds like a wonderful book. Definitely one that I would greatly enjoy having the opportunity to read and now on my TBR list.
Can't wait for the opportunity to read about Serena MacDonald Stewart.

Great advice!
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy Carla Laureano’s books but have only read the “foodie” ones, so this one sounds different and interesting. I also appreciate the relationship talking points, I wish I had those as a teen.
perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com
Perrianne Askew

MJSH said...

Can’t wait to read this one! Loved Five Days in Skye.
mindyhoung at msn dot com

Pam said...

I enjoyed the first two books in this series so have been looking forward for awhile for Under Scottish Stars. Thanks for the giveaway.

pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
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