Are you finding it difficult to recover from a breakup or divorce? Does it feel like nothing you do will ever be the same? Do you even feel physically sick? Breakups are never easy, no matter how long or short you have been with someone, it's difficult. After a breakup, some of the feelings you will experience are denial, anger, pain, and loneliness. Healing is a slow process that involves understanding the loss and finding ways to deal with the emotions and shifting focus while building on new dreams and anticipations.
Below, I will share with you some of the stages you will experience and tips on overcoming a breakup/divorce:
Losing someone you hoped would be in your life until death is painful and frustrating, and mourning the end of the relationship is the first step to processing emotions. The end of the relationship signals the death of all the plans with your ex-partner and the end of all fantasies. Therefore, it is essential to grieve by reminiscing on the pictures, crying, or getting angry for many reasons, such as: It not working out, feeling like it was a lie, or a possible waste of time. Give yourself time to mourn, just do not stay living in this stage.
- End contact
Understanding the ‘No Contact Rule’ concept is crucial in dealing with the anger associated with a breakup or divorce as it puts an end to the fighting. Keeping contact with the hope of letting your ex-partner hear about their mistakes increases the opportunities for arguing. Years or months of struggle, divorcing or separating with someone means letting go of the interaction and relationship as an official sign that the partnership is over. Many couples make the mistake of “staying friends” after the break up. This only works once you have completely recovered from the breakup, so this becomes a problem if you are still in the healing process. I’m not saying you can’t ever be friends with your ex, but if the breakup is recent, give yourself the gift of staying away from your ex until you have healed.
If you have kids, then you will have to still talk to your ex. The difference will be in working on the contact just being about the kids, and not about yourself and the relationship.
- Talk it out
Talking about the frustrations from the previous relationship and the challenges of dealing with grief is an essential step in processing the pain and anger. Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or a therapist helps you to handle the emotions faster and get a different perspective of the emotional turmoil.
- Understand your anger, embrace it and let it go
Focusing on what the other person did to you increases the anger and pain, but finding a way to deal with your frustration makes the healing process faster. Waiting for the person who hurt you to fix your anger is a poisonous approach, and only increases your misery and disappointment if they do not act accordingly. Understand the anger, embrace it and let it go.
- Take a Break and be patient with yourself
Allow yourself to break down, become emotional, and perform below the average level until you are strong enough to resume regular duties. A breakup or divorce is a stressful experience and interferes with optimal performance; therefore, allow yourself to heal, fall back, and finally re-energize.
- Keep the end goal in mind.
Do not allow your feelings and emotions to pull you back from moving on, but focus on the end goal of healing and learning how to operate without the other person. Being with another person and planning your future with them leads to grieving, but focus on building your future without the other person. Learn to create and envision a new future on your own and find new visions and dreams to substitute the old ones you created with someone else.
- Find a middle-ground if children are involved.
Do not get the young ones involved in the fighting and disagreements, but remain indifferent and do not allow your ex-partner to get into your head. Being detached means not meddling in your partner’s choices and making decisions based on what is best for the children.
- Focus on yourself
How would you say you are doing in the self-love and self-worth department? Self-love is about taking care of yourself and maintaining your own boundaries, and self-worth is about knowing that you deserve healthy love--even if you didn’t in the past. Also, build on new friendships and networks, focus on your hobbies, developing your career, or participating in activities that you did not get a chance to indulge while in the relationship. Find people who understand and support your future to help you grow and build new experiences that do not remind you of the past.
Your therapy friend,
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SOFIA M. ROBIROSA
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining.