How To Handle Your Breakup
There’s nothing fun about breaking up.
Even if you did the breaking up, and even if you know it was for the right reasons, it hurts.
However, if your breakup came as a shock… If you thought things were going great, if you thought the two of you were destined to be together forever, and out of nowhere, the man you loved dropped a bomb on you, then the pain you’re feeling will be some of the worst you’ve ever experienced.
In the midst of a breakup, it’s common to feel like your world is falling down around you, and you don’t know how you can possibly go on.
Believe it or not (though you may not see it right now), there are good things on their way to you. “The night is darkest just before the dawn” is a saying that relates perfectly to breakups. When your pain hits its deepest point, it means you’re on the cusp of opening a powerful new chapter.
Today, we help you navigate the darkness and handle the stress with 6 powerful mental tools.
1. Remember that it happened for a reason.
Your relationship was broken. It’s funny how easily this small, but important, fact gets forgotten.
The two of you simply didn’t work. You know this, because if it did, you wouldn’t have broken up in the first place.
You miss your partner as though you had a perfect relationship. But you didn’t.
If you did the breaking up, you know that it was broken. But even if you didn’t and your breakup came as a shock, it still means your partner saw the relationship as broken; therefore, it was broken.
You broke up for a reason, probably a very good one, even if you don’t fully understand it. Every time you find yourself missing your relationship, pass a thought back to just how broken it was. Mourning something you know was broken and wasn’t meant to be is much easier than missing something you mistakenly construe as perfect.
2. Let go of your anger.
So often, the first thing one person does after a breakup is brim with feelings of anger and resentment towards their partner.
Anger consumes them, and all they do is sit at home, stewing in it and plotting revenge.
“Your relationship was broken. It’s funny how easily this small, but important, fact gets forgotten.”
If they broke up with you, they’ve made a decision that they didn’t want to continue a relationship. While this hurts, it’s a decision they are always entitled to make. You can’t force someone to be in a relationship with you, and frankly, you’d never want to.
Focusing your energy on the other person is something you do while in the relationship. Don’t give them the credit of doing it afterwards. Holding onto anger is the equivalent of drinking poison and hoping they’ll die. It takes a physical and mental toll and (quite literally) means you aren’t moving on.
Don’t let go of anger for their sake. Let go of it for yours.
Letting go of your anger isn’t letting them win – as people often think. It’s taking back the power they still have in your life. As long as they can continue to affect you, they retain influence over you. The sooner you let go of your anger, the sooner you get true revenge… by simply leaving them behind you.
3. Accept your remaining negative emotions.
We’re so often taught, as part of our upbringing, that emotions are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and should be dealt with appropriatly.
That we should remove ‘bad’ emotions, such as fear, pain, and depression, as quickly as possible – and be ‘strong’ to only feel ‘good’ emotions.
This is terrible advice. When you resist these so-called “negative” emotions (which are totally normal), you start a battle you cannot win. You can never control what emotions you feel. Trying to do so will see you getting more and more angry and frustrated – feeling even worse about yourself each time you (inevitably) fail.
When you stop fighting your negative emotions and accept them, you’ll instantly have relief. The key is in consciously acknowledging the emotions.
Each time you feel a negative emotion, instead of letting it control you or fighting it, just watch it. Say to yourself, “Ok, I see I’m feeling sad again right now. Oh well, that’s to be expected. It’s fine and normal”.
Adopting this attitude takes all the pressure off you to be emotionally perfect, which is what generates much of our pain. We’re put under so much pressure to bounce back straight after a breakup that we are told to see any negative emotion as a failure. Stop believing this and start accepting your negative feelings as something that’s normal – because they are. You’ll be less frustrated over the whole situation and get over him much sooner.
4. Use it to catapult into the new you.
So often, in relationships, we forget who we are as individuals and take on an identity as a couple. When we break up, a big part of the pain is that loss of identity. We feel lost and unsure of who we are now.
But, this pain leads to an incredible opportunity to remember who you are as an individual and charge forward for yourself with nothing stopping you.
“When you stop fighting your negative emotions and accept them, you’ll instantly have relief.”
Did you give up your own interests in a relationship? Did you stop doing crazy things you loved, because you wanted to put time into the couple? It’s time to get back into everything that you loved doing, just for you.
Set some goals. Pursue new hobbies and get back into old ones. Talk to friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. Turn your life into an amazing creation of fun and growth that you love to live. Breakups are one of the best opportunities you’ll ever have to reset yourself, remember who you are, and take your life and happiness to a level you’ve never reached before.
5. Be a role model for your children (if you have them).
Too many couples with kids forget this all-important side note.
They badmouth each other around, or even to, the kids and give their children terrible behaviour models to follow for their own relationships.
If you have kids, you are a role model for them on how to handle life. Even when you’re hurting, even if he cheated and was horrible to you, remember that your kids are watching and learning from how you cope.
If you downgrade to insults and name calling, so will they.
If you carry yourself with pride and self-respect and handle things maturely, so will they.
Breakups are a wonderful opportunity to set amazing examples for your children, who will, one day, have their own breakups to deal with. Don’t miss the opportunity.
6. Change means the best for you is yet to come.
Breakups mean change. And change is just about the only thing we can be sure of in life.
Change is scary. It will push you into situations you aren’t comfortable with, aren’t sure about, and don’t feel entirely confident in.
But change brings with it an enormous gift. One way or another, it forces you to handle things. Somehow, you always get through it, and it grants you skills, confidence, and self-worth you wouldn’t have without it.
Change means new opportunities, new adventures, and eventually, new love. Change means you’ll look back and realise, even though it was tough at the time, you’re glad it happened. Every good thing that ever happened to you did so because something changed. So embrace change. It means the best is yet to come.
Ultimately, breakups are painful, but they tell you that you were probably (absolutely) going in the wrong direction.
Never forget how amazing you are and embrace the fact that you’re now free to find someone else who knows it too.