Have you and your person suddenly ended your relationship? Are you devastated? Are you looking for things to know about surviving a breakup?
Surviving a breakup is possible. It will be painful and your recovery might not be as quick as you would like it to be, but you will recover and life will go on as good, if not better, than before.
Here are some things that are good to know about surviving a breakup — things that might make your recovery just a little bit easier.
1. It’s okay to be sad.
So many of my clients are so very angry at themselves for being sad about a breakup.
In our modern times, it’s a weakness to be sad, to cry, to be anything less than strong and self-assured. Unfortunately, there is nothing worse than a broken heart, and I don’t know one person in the history of the world who hasn’t felt pain after a breakup.
Furthermore, it’s okay to be sad for more than a few days. Have any of your friends told you to suck it up and get over it? Are you beating yourself up for still letting this breakup make you so sad? Well, don’t.
Like any traumatic event or illness, getting over a broken heart takes time. Americans absolutely suck at taking their time getting over something. As soon as things are even just a little bit better, we believe that we need to jump up and get back to our lives fully intact. But it just doesn’t work that way.
Let yourself be sad and let yourself be sad for a while. Don’t wallow but recognize your feelings and let them happen. If you stuff them down, it will be even harder to get past them.
2. Your thoughts can derail you.
Our very worst enemy, even in the best of times, is our brain. Our brains produce pesky thoughts that can drive us down to the darkest place. And unless we are aware of them, our thoughts can make surviving a breakup even more difficult.
One of the most common worries that I hear from my clients is that their broken person who was making their lives miserable will find someone else and suddenly become perfect. That all of the issues that they struggled with will be magically cured with their new lover.
This just doesn’t happen. People aren’t magically cured when they find love. They might feel like they are cured in the short term, but the reality is is that people don’t change unless they do their work. So don’t let the thought of your ex now being perfect derail your recovery. Even if you see them looking picture-perfect on Instagram, know that they will always be who they are unless they try to change.
Another thing that derails us is that the pain of a break up is so bad that the only thing that can fix it is getting back together. And, of course, getting back together will ease your pain for a day or two, but sooner than later, the pain of the relationship will return and you will be right back where you started.
A third thing that can really mess with your head is believing that you are less of a person because of this break up. That you are a failure and completely unlovable and that you just gave up and should have been stronger. But, really, there were two people in that relationship and if you both weren’t willing to do the work to give each other what you needed, then it just wasn’t fixable. You couldn’t singlehandedly keep the relationship going.
Pay attention to your thoughts. If nasty ones pop up, push back against them. Question their reality. Don’t let those pesky thoughts derail all of your hard recovery work.
3. Stalking won’t be helpful.
One of the things that can completely derail surviving a breakup is stalking your ex.
When I was younger, the only thing that we could do if a guy broke up with us was to drive around to bars and hang outs and hope that we would see him. Chances were usually slim.
These days, it’s incredibly easy to keep tabs on your ex. Social media is always at our fingertips, and the inclination to get a little fix of what we lost can be irresistible.
But let me ask you: How do you feel after you stalk your ex? Do you ever feel better? No? Shocking.
Stalking is the worst thing that you can do if you are trying to get over your ex. Recovery gets easier the longer you have no contact with your person, and that includes seeing them on social media.
So resist the urge to snoop. If you have to, unfriend or unfollow your ex. And remember, the person who is posting on Instagram isn’t necessarily sharing a true vision of themselves. How many times have you posted an inspirational quote when you were feeling really shitty?
Yeah, me too.
4. Don’t play the victim.
When we are brokenhearted, it’s very easy to take on the role of victim.
We feel like our person did us wrong and that they are horrible people and that we didn’t deserve what we got from them. Perhaps we believe that we weren’t at fault and that the breakup was unwarranted. And perhaps all of those things are true. You still don’t want to play the victim.
Being a victim means giving up your power. Being a victim allows you to wallow in self-pity and not take responsibility for your actions.
A client of mine asked his wife for a divorce. She didn’t want one and refused to participate in any of the divorce proceedings. She didn’t hire a lawyer, didn’t show up in court, and refused to negotiate, and the judge ultimately declared a default divorce decree.
Where did that leave my client’s wife? Sitting in her house, wallowing in her victimhood having taken no active role in deciding her future. When my husband left me, I stood up for myself, declared myself better off without him, and then took him to the cleaners.
I encourage you to take a good look at yourself and assess your self-pity. Are you feeling like a victim? If you are, get up from this article, look in the mirror, and decide that no one is going to make you feel like less than you are. No one is going to take away your power.
5. Know that you will find love someday.
The number one thing I hear from my clients is that they believe that they will never love or be loved again.
They believe that their person was the only one for them, that they could never find someone they could love as much as their ex. Or they believe that they aren’t worth being loved and wonder how they could ever find someone who could love them.
Even more, the thought of dating again fills them with anxiety and fear. How on earth are they going to do that, especially feeling the way they do right now?
Let me PROMISE you that you will find love again. Do you know anyone who has been alone forever? Even if you know someone who has been alone for a while, they haven’t been alone forever. There is someone else out there for them and for you!
So, believe that you will love again. There is someone out there waiting for you to recover from this breakup, and when you find each other, all of the suffering will have been worth it.
I know that right now, you believe that surviving a breakup is close to impossible, but I promise you it’s not.
Don’t let your ex take your power away. Stand up for yourself and remember who you are! Because you are amazing!