A breakup can either prepare you to receive the love your soul needs or it can throw you into the depths of despair and depression.
You have to make a conscious decision as to which direction you want to take. If you want to be sane, happy and position yourself for love again, you have to decide that you will do whatever it takes to be happy again. This isn’t an easy decision but a necessary one in order to prevent yourself from being stuck in the muck of divorce-land. A part of that decision is to give up torturing yourself with the “what-ifs” and focusing on the negativity of the divorce.
Fighting over things, and the principle of things will only prolongs your pain and frustration.
African Elephants fighting
The insanity that results from the fighting, bickering, name calling and mudslinging, only serves as a scheme to keep you in pain and stuck where you are. You cannot fix what is permanently broken, nor can you go back and reset the relationship like you would and electronic device. You must accept the reality of where you are and make a decision that will lead your toward your happiness and stability for your family.
So, instead of reminiscing and beating yourself up because the relationship failed, it is best to accept it and move forward.
Failed relationships happen to everyone, no matter who you are, no matter how pretty you are, how much you weigh, how smart you are or how much money you have.
Relationships fail! We have all seen men and women who are beautiful, thin, glamorous, talented, rich and smart and they still have failed relationships: Halle Berry, Jennifer Anniston, Dennis Quaid, Taylor Swift, Robert Pattinson, Usher, Rihanna, just to name a few. All of these people have had very public relationships woes, but they have found ways to reinvent themselves and get even better.
For you, right now is the time to end the “woe is me” pity party and begin the process of reinventing yourself.
Your breakthrough will come much faster if you face the fact that the relationship is over. It has run its course. The credits have rolled. It is over!
Acceptance of this fact will propel you toward a partner that will hold your heart as his/her greatest treasure rather than a recyclable. If you follow the five steps listed here, you will shorten your grief cycle and emerge from the brokenness in great spirits and in sound mind and body.
Step 1: Let the emotions OUT.
It is very important to give yourself the time and permission to grieve. But it is equally as important to not allow yourself to make grief your new normal. Grieving should not be a two or three year process. However, you can prolong it by not facing facts, holding on to what will never be and allowing yourself to be sucked in to the ugliness of a breakup.
Your way though is to grieve, learn and move on. Although it may feel like it, this breakup is not your end.
It is the beginning of whatever kind of life you want to make it. You are going to live so make a plan for your survival. It is up to you to develop a course of action that will move you through the loss to a healthy and happy state of being.
Step 2: Make YOUR wants and needs the priority.
Focusing on the trauma and drama of the relationship or blaming your partner for what happened will only prolong your pain. Focus on where you are, what you need, and what plan of action you will use to get from where you are to where you need to be. Putting your energy on “the now” will serve you better rather than living in the past. Answer these questions:
- What do I need to learn from this situation so I don’t make the same mistake again?
- What do I really need to be happy?
Allow yourself to learn the lessons and use the knowledge gleaned from this relationship to better your future relationships. Put your energy into working toward your happiness.
Step 3: Find the support that you need.
Develop your resource list. What will you need to be happy? Do your research to start setting your plans in place. Don’t wait until the right time. The time will never be right, so do it NOW.
After everything is final, you should have a plan ready for what you are going to need to put your life in order.Will you need child-care, a family counselor, job training, a personal trainer, etc.? Look for the programs, services and people who you will help you thrive. Don’t spend the time looking back or longing for a different reality.
Even while you are in the midst of your pain, plan for your future. This process will give you hope and purpose.
Instead of laying around weeping and telling anyone who will listen how you were wronged, be proactive about your future and what you need to be happy.
Step 4: Decide what you want in a partner and a relationship.
Don’t be in a rush to find a replacement lover. Most of us think we know what we want. But the decisions we make prove we don’t. More often than not, we look for short-term distractions instead of partners that will stand the test of time. Instead of the man/woman that will provide the long-term love, support, and nourishment we need, we choose the flavor of the week, the hot girl, the bad boy, the person that will satisfy our desires temporarily, but these choices won’t get you any closer to your long-term relationship goals.
Most of the time people focus on who will fill the empty space, rather than learning from the break-up and transforming their life because of it.
If you start a relationship from a place of neediness and despair rather than a space of health and sincerity, it will end with another break-up.
Your focus must be on healing yourself and learning the lessons associated with your breakup. Let the space in your heart be empty for a while until you know how to fill it with someone who will be just as good for you as they are to you. Your goal should be to find someone that will be supportive to your life plan. Create your profile and adjust it, tweak it, edit it until you are clear what you want.
Step 5: Analyze your previous relationship patterns.
Before you think about dating again, get to know your attraction patterns.
- What kind of partner do you normally chose?
- Why are they attractive to you?
- How have your previous relationships with this type of partner made you feel?
Take the time to make a list of your major relationships and find what’s common in them.
- How did each partner make you feel?
- What made this person acceptable to you?
Put forth the effort to discover the patterns and where it started. Ask yourself:
- Are you choosing partners who will help you play out your past family drama?
- Have your relationships helped you to nourish your abandonment issues?
It is time to move your relationship and attraction patterns from the subconscious to the conscious.
You need to get really clear about what you need versus what you think you want. It is like ice cream and spinach. You need spinach and other green leafy vegetables to be healthy, but ice cream taste better. But too much ice cream can be unhealthy, look at your relationships based on the categories of healthy or unhealthy.
If you follow these five simple steps in the midst of a divorce or bad break-up, they will lead you back to your best self. These steps will help you take your power back and keep you from focusing on the negative and the mundane. Your focus will be on finding your best self and being clear on what you need and want to be happy. You will accomplish what you put your mind and attention on, so focus on emerging from this breakup better, stronger, happier and wiser. For help with this process, research local support groups or meet ups or consider professional counseling.
This post is part of Common Grief, a Healthy Living editorial initiative. Grief is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t make navigating it any easier. The deep sorrow that accompanies the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage or even moving far away from home, is real. But while grief is universal, we all grieve differently. So we started Common Grief to help learn from each other. Let’s talk about living with loss. If you have a story you’d like to share, email us at [email protected]