How do you get over a breakup with a loved one?
Breaking up with someone is a loss. As with any loss, it has certain stages. They rarely follow strictly one after the other, rather they alternate dynamically or may run in parallel.
Stage One. Shock.
The shock stage is more characteristic of a sudden breakup of a relationship and is usually accompanied by a loss of sensitivity, anesthesia for a while, it is a natural reaction of the body. Even if the breakup has been thought through and planned, the person may still find themselves in a state of shock, especially if the relationship was a significant part of life.
Stage two. Denial.
At this stage, the person may deny both the fact of the relationship breakup and the significance of the breakup. Logically, the person may understand that the relationship is over, but deep down inside they still believe that it continues. The deeper parts of our psyche are usually much slower to accept the fact of loss. The person may pretend that nothing much has happened, that the relationship wasn’t that important anymore.
Stage three. Anger.
When the deepest part of the psyche begins to realize that the relationship is really over, anger may appear. This is the energy of aggression that the body releases to make things go back to the way they were, to make things go back to the way they were. Anger may not always be expressed openly. In the case of a depressive reaction, it may turn against the person himself, and then he will become angry at himself and blame himself for what happened.
Stage four. Bargaining.
When it turns out that the anger does not help, it subsides and there are attempts to bargain with a partner, with the world, with oneself. The person says that he is ready to change, if only to get it all back. Or he starts to think that things would be different, if he had behaved differently.
Stage Five. Grief.
Here it is important to distinguish between two concepts: grief and depression. Usually in this stage, depression occurs when a person avoids experiencing the reaction of grief, even though it is unavoidable. Grief is indeed a very difficult experience, one of the most unpleasant in life. But it ends sooner or later. If it turns into depression, it can drag on for a long time.
Stage six. Acceptance.
When the grief reaction ends, a new stage emerges: the acceptance stage. When this happens, the person feels that the light is not on the ended relationship, and besides them there is something else that can bring joy and happiness. A slight sadness remains, but it does not interfere with life, but rather fills life with new desires, meanings, and strength.
Bereavement reactions are successful if you create a good supportive environment and self-support, so that you do not have to put the brakes on your feelings. A welcoming environment that is empathic enough will allow all the feelings that you have as you go through the stages of bereavement to unfold. These feelings can range from hatred and a desire to destroy your ex-partner for leaving, to love and gratitude for being with you during this time. The most common feelings are guilt and resentment toward your partner. You can direct these feelings directly to their addressee, if there is such a possibility, for example, by writing him a letter. It is useful to sum up the results of the relationship: what was in it, what was missing, what could have been and what was not, what was a product of the relationship. Keeping a diary in which you reflect on the breakup and the stages you are in now helps.
Usually, if the relationship was harmonious enough, the breakup goes smoothly and calmly. Yes, there are times when people just realize that they are not on their way, and peacefully part ways. And they may even remain good friends. On the contrary, if the relationship was traumatic, addictive or co-dependent, the breakup is extremely painful. In such relationships, there is usually a lot of fusion, in which the person is forced to repress some parts of themselves. As a result, he or she may be left with a huge amount of unexpressed aggression, fear, and a feeling of emptiness when he or she leaves the relationship. It is very difficult for a person who is prone to addictive relationships to get out of them at all, because he feels such pain, as if a huge piece of himself is being ripped out of him.
To successfully come out of a relationship that has had a lot of fusion, it’s important to learn to find yourself separate from your partner again. Try to do this literally: avoid places and situations that remind you of your partner and look for new or well-forgotten old places where you can feel separate from your partner. Finding yourself separate can be a challenge, because identity and self-esteem in a merger relationship are usually heavily dependent on your partner, and so a severe drop in self-esteem and feelings of inferiority can hamper the process when you break up.
No matter how awful your post-breakup condition may be, it is important to remember that it is temporary. If you are suffering greatly from a broken relationship, think back to what you were like before the breakup, what you dreamed about, what you did. Either way, there was some life outside the relationship, which means you have something to fall back on to start a new chapter. The longer the relationship lasted, the more of your energy you put into it. It is important to take that energy back and put it into other things, other activities, other people.
How to cope with the break up
We experience the end of a relationship in different ways. Some of us need more time to heal and some need less time to heal. But no matter how much pain we experience, breakups are always an opportunity to grow, get to know ourselves better, and become stronger.
Throw out or remove from sight all things that remind you of him or her. Burn pictures. Do with pleasure what your partner couldn’t stand. Buy new bedding. Take up boxing. Go on a trip to another country. Get a haircut. Make a promise to smile at least once a day, no matter what it takes. Fall into Buddhism: everything in life is transitory, the source of our suffering is attachment to people and things, you have to learn to let them go.
There is no universal recipe for how to survive a breakup and get out of love addiction, but there is the experience of those who have passed the test and came out unscathed on the other side. Here are the top tips.
1.Push back from the bottom.
“I was lying on the bedroom floor, alone, and sobbing so desperately that I thought my heart would burst,” says 37-year-old Arina, whose marriage collapsed after seven years of marriage. – And then I suddenly felt: here it is, I’m at the bottom, and there is no further to fall.
By letting this “at the bottom” moment sink in, we help ourselves understand that it does not define all of our lives-it is time to rise from the bottom. We are much bigger and stronger than the emotions we experience.
2.Find support in ourselves.
The end of a relationship brings intense pain – like a physical injury. That’s why in the first few days after a breakup, common painkillers can provide relief.
“Imagine: you were running fast, fast toward something desired and joyful, but you stumble and fall,” psychologist Lucy Mikaelyan cites a comparison. – At this minute it seems that everything is over, life is over and nothing will ever happen.
To survive the breakup, it is important to find support in yourself. Treat yourself as gently as possible, make yourself happy every chance you get. Do things that work out well, give you faith in yourself, lift your spirits, and help you feel strong.
“Think of yourself as a child and someone in your family, someone who now brings a smile and a warm feeling,” advises Lucy Mikaelyan. – What would a grandmother or other loved one you thought of do when you saw you so upset? Probably help you up, put you on their lap, blow on the place where it hurts, tell you something interesting and cheer you up?
The love that we received as children from reliable and caring adults, we can give ourselves as we get older.
“I realized I had to become a better friend to myself,” says Sergei, who went through a painful divorce after ten years of marriage. – Then you will always have someone to rely on and not feel lonely.”
3.Do not beat yourself up.
If you were abandoned, it falls down self-esteem. If, on the contrary, you have initiated a breakup, is often tormented guilt. We experience what is happening as a defeat, angry, ashamed – our dreams and hopes have crumbled.
It is important to forgive yourself for everything you did or, conversely, did not do in the relationship, and to forgive your partner. Take with you into the future what you invested in the relationship and what you learned in it. Anger and resentment are unfruitful emotions, they prevent you from moving forward. The sooner you get rid of them, the easier it will be to get out of the love addiction and the better you will feel.
It’s nobody’s fault if a relationship doesn’t work out. As studies show, we tend to get along with people whose outlook on life is radically different from our own. For example, one of the two wants children and the other doesn’t, one is deeply religious and the other is not. Why?
“Everyone knows what qualities he would like to see in a potential partner, but when it comes to real life, we often make the wrong choice, turn a blind eye to what repels us,” says psychologist Samantha Joel. – The reason is that we don’t like rejection and hurting, and over time, as relationships develop, it becomes harder to break them off. As a result, we end up bonding with someone who is foreign to us.
In order for the union to be happy, it’s important not to be afraid to be vulnerable and at the same time forgive ourselves for the pain we may cause the other by rejection-it is inevitable.”