A 2021 study by Lancaster University shows that men are more likely to experience feelings of anxiety and sadness after a relationship break-up than women, many of them resorting to alcohol, drugs or other substances. Jason Clarke was no exception. After the breakdown of a 10- year relationship with the mother of his first child, he turned to excessive partying and one-night stands to relieve the pain. However, the deeper he delved into these habits, the worse he felt.
“Before the break-up, I hated being at home because we would argue for hours and our fights would often escalate and get physical. I’d run away to my mother’s house to clear my head and sneak in trips to the night club. This became my escape, I would leave my ex-fiancé with my toddler for days on end, sometimes even weeks while I’d be out drowning my sorrows getting drunk and having one-night stands.
“At first, I would feel incredibly guilty. I’d think about my daughter and couldn’t stand the thought of letting her down, but I kept doing the same thing.
“I loved the thrill of flirting with different women and forgetting about the problems even if it was for a while. At the club I was surrounded by friends, buzzing under the influence of alcohol. I would dance with many women, which boosted my confidence. But when I’d walk through the doors of my house late at night, I would be received with a grumpy face and an argument.
“One night, under the influence of various drugs and alcohol, I threatened to leave her for good. Her response was to take off her engagement ring and toss it at me. My blood began to boil and after hurling a couple more insults at her, I stormed off into the bedroom and started packing a small bag.
“For a split second my mind was torn between staying and fighting for my family or ending it for good. In the end, I decided to leave. This was when all hell broke loose.”
In the aftermath of the break up, Jason plummeted into a tumultuous abyss. He lost respect for women and went from one short-term relationship to another. Jason became more involved with drugs and partying. “I battled the distressing thoughts that I was making a huge mistake in leaving my family. Nevertheless, within a few weeks, I had a new lady by my side.
“It didn’t take long for this relationship to crumble . We fought a lot, just like in my previous relationship and when she fell pregnant, I freaked out. I didn’t want to bring another child into this environment.
“A friend of mine who saw that I was unhappy, invited me to attend a service at the Universal Church. He thought it might give me some sort of clarity or at least some direction. I had nothing to lose so I attended.
“What stayed in my mind from the service was that the happiness I was searching for could be achieved. ‘How?’ I wondered. I was carrying so much baggage from my past that it seemed too good to be true but something inside entertained the hope of starting over. This is what kept me going.
“I expected God to see my suffering and like magic, make it all go away. I had this notion that the mothers of my children had a huge part to blame in my misery. Since I was learning about letting go and forgiveness, I thought they were at fault since they drove me to do what I did… how wrong I was. The more I came to church, it was like a mirror was in front of me and I saw myself for who I really was. The one who needed to ask for forgiveness was me. I was the one who needed to rebuild myself.
“There was so much involved to get me to where I am today. I had one-to-ones with the pastors, I had to admit to myself that I needed help. I took part in the prayer meetings (I always felt better afterwards), actually putting into action the things I heard, which almost always meant doing the opposite of what I felt. That was hard. But from all the different meetings and support that was available to me at the Universal Church, I’d say what really helped me most was the Love Therapy meetings.
“One of the things that I learned there was that, all my partying and womanising was actually a sign of how weak and insecure I was. I had no self-control. The messages helped me rebuild my confidence and taught me how to value myself. By the time I met Sara, I was a completely different man. I was no longer that person you’d find stumbling out of clubs drunk with a different woman each night.”
Jason and Sara began their relationship with a friendship. Their common interest made it easy for things to flourish naturally. “I knew I would one day marry her. This time around, I did things completely differently. We’ve now been married for five years and live a peaceful life together. When disagreements arise, I’ve learnt how to resolve them calmly. The Love Therapy has played a huge part in restoring my love life. Looking back, I see how terrible a man I was but if I was able to rebuild my life, I believe that anyone who is really willing can too!”