How to get over a breakup
We experience the end of a relationship differently – some need more time to heal the wounds of the soul, some less. But no matter how much pain we experience, a breakup is always an opportunity to grow, get to know ourselves better, and become stronger.
Throw out or put out of sight all the things that remind you of him or her. Burn pictures. Gladly do things 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 didn’t do in the relationship and to forgive your partner. Take with you into the future what you have invested in the relationship and what you have learned from 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.
To make the union 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’s inevitable.”
How to get over a breakup and why it is difficult to leave a neurotic relationship
Breaking up a relationship is always stressful and quite difficult to cope with. And the breakup can happen in both healthy relationships and neurotic ones. The breakup of a healthy relationship is easier to handle. In such cases, the couple is usually in a dialogue, this decision does not come out of the blue. Most often the decision to break up is made together, the partners are prepared for a change in life, each confident in their abilities, expecting the best of the future and adapted to the new life. Of course, even if the decision was weighted, it takes time to emotionally, physically and from a domestic point of view to separate from the partner, to readjust to a new rhythm. And yet, in this case, it is all experienced as something that can be overcome and move on.
Breaking up a neurotic relationship is more difficult. In this case, within the union, there is no practice of trustful communication, open dialogue, where partners openly express their will and desires. Often partners do not even really know each other and do not strive to understand their partner’s motives and feelings. If the breakup and separation come as a surprise, it is very likely that it was a neurotic relationship.
In this situation, the person who did not make the decision to break up is having a difficult and traumatic experience. This can exacerbate chronic psychological trauma, which will “finish off” an already exhausted breakup. Fortunately, the experience can be a turning point in realizing oneself and one’s needs, pathological attitudes and dysfunctional schemes in the field of love (and not only) relationships.
Causes of neurotic relationships
Neurotic love, just like toxic relationships, has its origins in childhood and reflects the relationship with the parents. For example, if a child has suffered from parental coldness, chances are that in adulthood he will look for the same kind of partner. His ideas about love and relationships are associated with detachment, so the colder the better.
Another example: quite often depressed parents (or one of them) instill in the child a sense of guilt. This happens automatically and sometimes without the parents realizing that the child constantly suffers from not being able to make mom or dad happy. Such a child will look for a partner who is difficult to please.
A neurotic relationship differs from a healthy one in that, first, the partner “loves” through suffering, because, unfortunately, he has no experience of a relationship in which everyone is happy and satisfied. He loves those who do not cherish him, push him away and bring him pain. Such relationships hold on to the fact that the person revisits the movies of the past over and over again: even though his partner is cold, nevertheless they are together, which means that it is similar to what happened to him as a child – in his mind that is what love is, which he associates with any suffering, as long as it is not to be abandoned.
So when such a person is abandoned in adulthood by a partner, the picture of his childhood, in which he was not noticed, not shared with him warmth and not given proper attention, comes to life. His greatest fear of his childhood came to life – he was abandoned after all. The suffering that arises in response is chronic trauma. They are so painful that they make it impossible to look at the situation differently and benefit from it, such as recognizing previous relationships as destructive, drawing conclusions and still finding that person who will honestly love in return.
Protective reactions of the psyche
If the separation has entailed a revival of old aches and pains, the first thing that will stabilize your mental state will be the mechanisms of psychological defense.
- Denial “No, this will pass and we will be together again!” The person who enjoys denial will self-consciously look for signs that he or she is right. For example, a woman may convince herself that although her partner has left her, he has not left her for someone else, which means he does not love anyone and will be back soon.
- Displacement The abandoned partner may say to himself, “Nothing terrible has happened, it hurts and will be forgotten. In this case, this pain can last for several years and become chronic. Those who are able to suppress unpleasant experiences can ignore the internal discomfort and the sensation of unhappiness, as they are used to it as their usual state.
- Regression This psychological defense mechanism can induce a person to throw tantrums – a primitive form of withdrawal of responsibility for what is happening. Or, on the contrary, regressing, the person may literally freeze: emotions, as well as will, appetite, desire to live, disappear. A depressive period may begin.
- Sublimation is well known to those who tend to overlook unpleasant experiences. By sublimating, the person may withdraw completely into work or any other activity that helps them forget and not think about the traumatic event.
- Sharp reactions, aggression to others and autoaggression If the tension in the psyche is high, it will seek an outlet, such as sharp reactions: aggressive outbursts, harsh communication style (for example, at work or while driving), angry posts on social networks, frequent sexual contacts bringing about feelings of frustration, withdrawal into alcohol and drugs.
All of these mechanisms work unconsciously, that is, they do not manifest themselves by the will and desire of the person, but automatically. The mind may say that drinking is bad, but the suffering may be so intolerable that any method that allows at least a little increase in the threshold of pain becomes suitable.
There is another defense that lies at the level of consciousness, which can be controlled and used at the right moment. This is the so-called psychological compensation, which is expressed in adaptive behavior. For example, in order not to meet your ex-boyfriend, you block him in the phone book, in social networks, avoid meeting him. The opposite situation can also occur: in order to better navigate in what is happening and get the most complete picture, the recent partner is placed in the field of vision. Behind this may be a desire to clarify everything down to the smallest detail and once again make sure that “this is really happening.”
Whichever type of defense is triggered, it must be remembered that it is a natural reaction to severe stress, and any psychological defense has an important function – to keep the psyche from being destroyed. It is important that after the defense phase, there is a grieving phase, when it is recognized that everything is over and it is possible to mourn the pain – this is a natural process while working through the loss of a relationship with a loved one.
How to help yourself
Breaking up a relationship is a big strain on the psyche. We don’t just say “heartbreak” or “soul aches” – the body is actually experiencing serious psychophysiological stress. The cardiovascular system, digestion, hormonal background, sleep and the ability to rest, the natural course of the rhythm of day and night – all this comes under attack.
During difficult changes in life it is very important to remember that you are in an unusual for you condition, and if possible help yourself: eat well, sleep, do exercise to relieve stress, eat those foods that give strength and do not strain the body.
It is fair to say that not at all stages of stress it is possible to do anything. Sometimes lying flat and looking at the wall is the best way you can help yourself. If possible, take care of yourself – take time off work and order takeout instead of cooking. Try to prepare for yourself the space and time where you can fully surrender to his feelings.
In order for the process of loss to proceed without complications and to end, it is important to honestly go through all of its stages. After the first wave of shock has passed, the aggression stage begins, interspersed with rationalization-the desire to talk to your partner over and over again and thereby improve things (the so-called bargaining stage). These stages can take different amounts of time, and unfortunately, it is impossible to predict their duration.
One of the last stages becomes depression, a less acute but stable condition. It is easily recognized by the loss of energy, dulled feelings and reactions, inability to enjoy oneself, sleep and appetite disorders. Despite its severe course, it is a very important period that prepares us for the final resolution of the situation-the stage of acceptance and the end of grieving.
Unfortunately, there are no prescriptions for how to shorten the most painful stage, but to alleviate your condition, let yourself do whatever you feel like doing. If you want to go away, try to do it, if you want to lock yourself in your apartment, try to take a sick leave. Do not neglect the help of others, but set limits: tell your family and friends, what they can be useful to you and how closely you are ready to communicate now. Ask them not to discuss certain topics with you, not to give you surprises to “wake you up,” and so on. Openly let them know what you need, from household needs to emotional needs. Your sincerity will help set the mood for communication with friends and family, who, unfortunately, do not always know how to behave correctly in such situations.
How to get over a breakup with a loved one
Broken communication is one of the main reasons why partners become estranged from each other and cease to adequately assess the situation. To prevent this, pay attention to whether there is an understatement between you and your partner, reticence of any feelings or facts, or maybe someone in your couple expects their thoughts to be read, and thus evades responsibility? Silence, ignoring, and references to social standards and generalizations (“You’re the man!” or “The wife should. “) destroy trust and intimacy. The specifics of your unique relationship can be replaced by “life’s rules” and public opinion of how things “should be,” which prevents you from following the specific scenario that’s right for your couple.
Not only the degree of closeness and honesty to each other (and to yourself), but also the style of conflict resolution depends on proper communication. Family therapy is built on this idea: starting it, partners learn safe ways to express their desires, sufferings, fears, learn to enter into conflict and resolve it. The therapist, as a referee, observes the dialogue, leads both partners to the fact that they get the result and satisfaction from the interaction.
If you feel that there is no energy left to explain what is going on between you, take several sessions of couples therapy. Pretty quickly it will become clear whether it is necessary to continue working on the relationship or if it is worth ending it. It is important to remember that the therapist is not choosing sides and will not support one partner playing to the detriment of the other. The therapist acts as a translator between two people who, for whatever reason, have begun to speak different languages.
How to avoid a destructive scenario in the future – tips from a psychologist
A favorable psychological climate in a relationship depends, among other things, on how clearly each partner understands his role, namely: for what reason he is in the relationship and why he needs it.
Neurotic or toxic relationships are distinguished by the fact that they are used to reduce the degree of personal neurosis and to work out personal problems. If both partners are aligned in their neuroses, the union can be stable and strong. For example, someone who cares to show control over the most intimate person meets someone who, because of his own childhood traumas, gladly accepts that control.
Another case is when one of the partners does not need to work off the pathological scenario and still meets a less stable person and serves as a constant source of discharge and recharging for him. Then the person who becomes the testing ground for the neurosis is more likely to want to give up the relationship that is draining him or her.
Other roles we play in relationships can be learned through transactional analysis. The basic idea of this method is that each of us takes the position of a child, a parent or an adult in different life situations. Once you know your behavioral patterns, you can correct attitudes and inadequate expectations of the relationship. This is important because a full-fledged and multifaceted strong union is possible when two “adults” meet who know their needs, their boundaries and their weaknesses. Knowing these weaknesses ensures that they do not provoke situations where they can manifest themselves to the detriment of the couple.
All this may seem quite complicated, but in reality in order to have a healthy and strong relationship, you do not need to stock up on theoretical psychology. To choose the right partner, it is important first of all to solve your personal problems, to get to know yourself, to learn your preferences, to understand what attracts and what repels people. Mark for yourself, with whom you can build a strong relationship, and who do not want to see even friends. Do not forget about what is valuable in a relationship, what kind of union you would like to build with another person and how you see your happiness as a couple.
What to do after a breakup:
– Three Lessons Against Depression. How to teach your brain to be happy and healthy.