GROWING STRONGER THROUGH A BREAK-UP

When you’ve been with someone, loved them, lived through experiences with them, weathered some storms together, it’s not easy to let go.  Even if the relationship wasn’t all that great, you were comfortable.  And now you’re facing the unknown, a scary place full of questions: will you find someone better?  Are you financially okay? Are your kids going to be all right?  Will you face life alone?  Who gets the house?

Breakups shake us to our core, but you know what?…that’s not always a bad thing.  In fact, the upheaval is a great opportunity to learn about yourself and grow.  If you make the introspective effort, you will gain insights and greater wisdom.  Consciously going through the process will move you to a better place.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Explore your part in creating what was. And please don’t say it was all his/her fault.  That is never the case.  You and your partner co-created your relationship.  So rather than simply blaming, explore your contribution to what was.  Then, take responsibility.  Admitting your part gives you a chance to learn about yourself and grow.  (see Want to be happy?  Stop Blaming!)
  • Talk to people who care about you. You need love, understanding and support at this rocky time.  People close to you can help you smile, even laugh when you’re sure that will never happen again.  Understand, though, that no matter what advice others might give, check in with your gut to see if it feels right for you.
  • Get professional help if you need it.  You may only need a session or two to get on track.  Or you might decide to explore yourself more deeply with a therapist.  A trained professional can be extremely helpful at this most vulnerable time.
  • Treat yourself well–exercise, eat healthy, do nice things for yourself.  Be sure to watch for critical thoughts. (see Are your thoughts ruining your life?)  A brutal mind shellacking is the last thing you need.  Instead of beating yourself up, do your best to treat yourself gently.  (see The one good friend you need…yourself!)
  • Allow times when you feel like hiding under the covers and doing all the wrong things. You might schedule 10-15 minutes/day where you let off steam, expressing your anger, blaming, wallowing in depression.  When your scheduled time is up…STOP.  You don’t want prolonged periods of this.  But allowing short periods of negativity will help you move forward.   Glossing over the not-so-nice stuff means it remains toxic in your body, poisoning you physically, spiritually and emotionally.
  • Find inspiration where you can: books, seminars, spiritual endeavors, walking in nature, petting your dog, watching uplifting movies, talking with someone who has successfully gone through the same situation.  Inspiration gives us the courage to get through the hard stuff and reach for greater heights.
  • Finally, remember that this too shall pass. Be assured that you will feel good again.  Take the adversity and use it, not to your detriment, but for your benefit.  If you do, you might just look back and see the upheaval as one of the best things that ever happened to you.  Good luck and happy landing!

Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more great tips and insights about break-ups and relationships.  You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com

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