It’s never going to be easy to just let go, to let someone who you have shared so many memories with just walk out of your life and even when you know it’s the right thing do, life after a break up and can be filled with mixed emotions and feelings. I ended my own marriage five months ago after 8 years together. I have learned how to stay strong after a breakup and I wanted to share my own experience in the hope of helping others going through this very same thing.
ACCEPT THAT THE BREAKUP IS GOING TO HURT
After spending so much of your life with someone else, sharing your fears and secrets, having children with them and simply loving them of course it’s going to hurt after a breakup with someone you once shares so much of your life with and it’s completely natural to feel upset about it. Even though ending my marriage was my choice, it didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. We had spent over 8 years together and shared three children; he had also raised my three children from a previous marriage with me. We had shared so many times both happy and sad, he was my best friend. I had to grieve when we separated, it was as if I was suffering a loss of a loved one and in a sense I was.
DON’T HIDE YOUR FEELINGS
My friends have been my lifeline; they have been there to listen to me cry and rant. They have held my hand throughout the breakdown of my marriage and reminded me I made the right decision when I questioned my feelings. Being strong after a breakup does not mean bottling up your emotions, it means letting them out and dealing with them. I was angry and frustrated, confused and deflated. Over time my emotions and feelings changed. It has been a roller-coaster ride but I have spoken out and asked for support and this has made all the difference. Crying can actually be therapeutic it can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and anger. Crying doesn’t mean you regret your decision if it was you who ended the relationship, it means your human.
KEEP A DIARY
It is not the end of the world, life after a breakup goes on. But it can be difficult to see a positive future when you’re so upset and filled with a mixture of feelings. I am very fortunate that I am a blogger. I can write about my feelings and experiences easily, that’s not to say you want to share your breakup with the world. But, you can keep a daily diary just for you to write down and release your pent-up feelings. I find writing therapeutic and if anything it’s something you will read back on in time. And you will wonder why you were ever that upset. It also allows you to keep your feelings in check, if your low days are becoming weeks then it is time to seek professional help.
Depression after a break up is very common. But, needs to be addressed and treated promptly before in manifests into a dark cloud that takes over your life.
ASK FOR SUPPORT
As already said I have an amazing circle of family and friends who have held my hand throughout the breakup of my marriage. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a support system in place. Talk honestly with your friends and share your feelings with them. Ask them about their own breakup experiences so you can see there is light at the end of the tunnel. They can offer you support and advice or just be there to listen. They will want to help you so do not be afraid to ask them for support. If you do feel you’re not able to cope after a breakup then please make an appointment with your GP, just to talk through your feelings.
CUT AS MANY TIES WITH YOUR EX AS YOU CAN
You have to accept that you’re no longer together; can both hope that in the future you can remain friends but after a breakup you both need to cut as many ties as you can so you can both adjust to life without each other. You cannot support each other. You may feel desperate to contact your ex, especially in the beginning, but remind yourself of the reasons you broke up. Put that phone down. Stop stalking them on social media you’re only going to hurt yourself if you see them smiling for a photo. You will automatically assume they are happy while you’re living in hell. Remove all their social media accounts from your own and delete their phone number. If you have children together you could have a separate phone number for that very one reason, contact for the children only.
OTHER TIPS TO STAY STRONG AFTER A BREAKUP
- Don’t keep looking over past photographs of you together
- Remove the memories of you together from sight, that special “girlfriend” teddy he bought you needs to go
- Don’t do things you did only as a couple – don’t visit old haunts
- Don’t sit and listen to “your song” it’s not your song any more it will only cause pain
- Never fall out or ignore his family or friends it isn’t their fault and they will feel as awkward as you do
- Don’t look for revenge, cutting up his clothes or slashing his tires isn’t going to stop you from hurting
- Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself, get up and go for a walk if you’re finding yourself sitting around crying into a pillow too often
- Take up some new hobbies, now is the time to make positive steps to a brighter and happier new you
- Don’t jump into bed with someone else; honestly you will only regret it
- Give yourself time to grieve for the relationship you have lost but don’t let it consume your entire life
- Exercise is a good way to vent your frustration and pain. It releases endorphins, those chemicals in your brain that make you happy.
- Laughter, it turns out, really is the best medicine. It releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural mood elevators.
- Treat yourself to something new to wear or a new hair style. We all want to change ourselves after a breakup so make sure you’re not making any rash decisions, something subtle will do the job.
Stalking and destructive behaviour are illegal and yes you will hurt them. But, you will also hurt yourself in the process, anger and jealousy eat you up on the inside. Stay strong after a breakup; don’t let it turn you into a psycho ex.
You will know when you’re ready to move on; you need to learn to love yourself before you rush into another relationship and this means forgiving your ex. And don’t have to forget, but you do need to learn to forgive him.
Remember: forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not the other person.
Can you share any of your own tips on how to stay strong after a breakup?