Divorce or breakups of a long-term relationship can be really tough for all involved. The person you loved now is no longer with you. The ripples go out from the individuals involved and their immediate family out into their circle of friends and even work colleagues.
Whatever the reasons for the breakup are, emotions are likely to be strong and life won’t be the same again afterward. All those dreams for the future are smashed apart and have to be put to rest. A grieving process will often happen – grief for the life that could have been, for the loss of the person, and other things that have gone.
It takes time therefore to negotiate this lot and reach the other side and your new, hopefully much happier, life.
I’ve been through a couple of divorces myself, sadly. Very different situations (one found someone else, the other was an alcoholic) but I had some big wake-up calls each time. The way those around me acted was one of the biggest shocks both times.
Finding inner strength and self-esteem rather than relying on others was what got me back up and running again!
I have summarised the things that I found useful to help me cope and also what I would do differently now. I hope it is useful to you in some way.
How to get over a breakup
Here are some things I learned. Things will be different for you but I hope you can find some useful ideas here.
1. Give yourself time to feel
Honour how you feel and the emotions that come up. Focus on releasing them. Bottling them up in our bodies is very bad for us in the longer term.
The range of emotions brought up can be vast. Many are powerful and hard to handle – grief, anger, frustration, impatience, jealousy, blame…
Some emotions are directed at ourselves, some to the other person/people involved and/or about the many hoops that have to be jumped through.
Do this releasing in private so it is uninhibited, here are some quick ideas
- Write a lengthy rant about everything on a piece of paper and destroy it.
- Tapping is brilliant (EFT) – you can tap the various points while you rant – relief is perceptible.
- Flower essences – such as Bach Rescue Remedy or Alaskan Soul Support can ease some of the stress and anxieties.
2. Take care who you talk to (and what you share with whom)
Some people will add to your mental angst. They turn the conversation around to them and it will feel as though they are belittling your feelings. That lack of empathy can just add to your pain and is no help to you at all. You will be better putting on a brave face to those people rather than blurting out all your feelings.
What you need is someone who will listen and empathise with you without offering suggestions.
“Thoughts Become Things… Choose the Good Ones!®“– Mike Dooley
3. Watch your thoughts
I believe we can draw in a better future through controlling our thoughts and feelings. Spend some time each day focusing on dreaming the future you would love to have. Even if real life is bad.
I remember thinking to myself “I can’t take any more” one really bad evening. The following day the Universe proved I could – by flooding the ground floor of my house!
I have never allowed myself to think like that again!
These days I am a big fan of “dreaming my life into being” by focusing on how I want things to be rather than how they actually are.
My inspirations for this are Mike Dooley, Abraham-Hicks, Anita Moorjani, Joe Dispenza, Alberto Villoldo, Jane Robertson (Seth books) and other authors.
4. Get your mood up
Have fun! Spend time with people not involved with the situation who lift you up.
Trigger all the senses to feel good:
- Sounds – Listen to uplifting music, audiobooks etc.
- Sights – Watch Youtube videos, films, Netflix etc. that make you feel good. Put motivational affirmations, pictures and other visual reminders up to take you forward.
- Smells – Spray space clearing or just nice smelling sprays around.
- Tastes – eat foods that give you pleasure (and are also good for you)
- Touch – go for a massage, have a bubble bath, a sauna.
Be physically active – going for a walk, run, cycle, trip to the gym. Activity lifts our mood and fitness. Yoga is great for the mind as well. Golf occupies the mind as well as body so is a good escape.. there will be something you can do that you enjoy.
Get out in nature. Go and hug a tree! You might be surprised just how good that feels. I remember leaning with my back against a huge Oak tree one time and feeling it dragging all my worries to its roots. I welled up with tears.
Find three things you are grateful every night before you go to sleep. This will tell the Universe what you want more of in your life.
5. Stay as calm, be kind, and choose your words carefully
This is something one has to practice (and it is an aim rather than reality for most of us!)
Words said in anger cannot be taken back. You loved this person once, you may have children and the relationship will therefore remain at some level forever.
There is a good soul inside that person, speak to that rather than the person who is presenting him/herself to you at this time. It will make your life easier in the long term so you will benefit from this approach.
If you can get through it feeling that you did your best and did not compromise on your values, then you will have no regrets to deal with later.
“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind”– Dr Wayne Dyer
We all struggle with the insecurities of our egos, with the insecurity of being wrong.
It took me a long time to get over the lengthy criticisms I received from my first husband. I remember a gloriously sunny dog walk listening to him comparing me to his new love. Had he not done that, I might have been there for him when he wanted me back.
I did get incredible relief from smashing a glass on the hearth one day when my second husband was very drunk and had left sharp knives and a hot iron lying burning the carpet with the dogs there :-). However I wouldn’t recommend it (he was shocked at the time but didn’t even remember me doing it afterwards, of course, and I was ashamed of myself for doing it).
Keeping on an even keel and retaining a sense of perspective is the best aim in my experience. Gwyneth puts it this way:
“I wanted to turn my divorce into a positive. What if I didn’t blame the other person for anything, and held myself 100 percent accountable? What if I checked my owns— at the door and put my children first? And reminded myself about the things about my ex-husband that I love, and fostered the friendship?”– Gwyneth Paltrow
6. Find the way forward
I called the Samaritans once. That single call allowed me to clarify my thoughts and get out of the chatter produced by those with good intentions telling me what to do about my second marriage.
A number of people told me to “get out” without listening to my situation. That would have left him in a house and garden which would have been neglected I would have been unable to afford somewhere else. In the end we both had homes that suited us and set up for the future.
Take responsibility for your life. More than likely, your decisions got you into this mess (all be it a younger and less wise you) and you can get yourself out of it.
Feeling responsible for the situation might sound brutal but try taking that perspective, it actually frees you up to take action.
You have the strength to get through this (even if you don’t think you do).
Taking responsibility within ourselves (whatever has happened) is actually incredibly empowering. It gives us control of the situation from an emotional standpoint and allows us to start building a new life, letting go of the past.
Forgive everything – for the sake of your own health (even if the other person’s actions could be said not to deserve it).
No, that isn’t easy to do. We want to scream and shout and say it isn’t fair. We want to hang onto the fairytale relationship and future we thought we were getting. We want to blame someone else for the situation we are now in. We want someone else to sort it all out for us perhaps.
However, if we take that perspective we aren’t moving on. Perhaps we become like a broken record harping on about who did what to us all the time. We then get labelled as the person who had that happen to him/her rather than the glorious being we truly are. We give all the power to the other people involved and we are firmly stuck in the past.
Turn it around. Take control. Find the way forward.
Get yourself back to being in balance so you can move on!
You can do this!
How I can support you
Many of my clients have been, or are, going through massive life changes. I often support several members of the family at the same time.
Holistic therapies are a superb way to take things forwards. They gently bring you back to being your true self again.
With remote consultations I can be your ‘secret helper’, working in the background to support you.
I was a Samaritan volunteer for several years and am also a good listener, able to empathise without judgement. My shamanic training taught me to tune in and sense what is required as well, intuitively giving me information in addition to the words we exchange.