How to get over a breakup and why it is difficult to leave a neurotic relationship
The rupture of a relationship is always stressful and very difficult to cope with. And the breakup can occur and in a healthy relationship, and in neurotic. 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 guilt in their child. This happens automatically and sometimes without the parents realizing that the child is constantly suffering 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, pushing him away and bringing 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, they are nevertheless together, which means that it is similar to what happened to him as a child – in his mind this is what love is, which he associates with any suffering, as long as he does not have 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 the 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!” A 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 set in.
- 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, for example, in the form of 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 disappointment, 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 raises the threshold of pain even a little bit becomes suitable.
There is another defense, located 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 the adaptive behavior. For example, in order not to meet your ex-boyfriend, they block him in the phone book, social networks, avoid meetings. 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.
Whatever type of protection works, it is necessary to remember that it is a natural reaction to strong stress, and any psychological defense has an important function – to protect the psyche from destruction. It is important that after the defense phase comes the grieving phase, when the fact that everything is over and it is possible to mourn one’s pain – this is a natural process during processing of 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 unfamiliar state, and if possible help yourself: eat well, sleep well, do exercise to relieve stress, eat those foods that give strength and do not burden 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 make it easier, let yourself do whatever you feel like doing. If you want to leave – try to do it, if you want to lock yourself in the 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
Disrupted communication is one of the main reasons why partners become distant from each other and cease to adequately assess the situation. To prevent this, pay attention to whether there is reticence between you and your partner, reticence about 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 properly structured 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, the one who needs to show control over the closest person meets the one who, due to his or her own childhood traumas, gladly accepts this control.
Another case is when one of the partners does not need to work out a pathological scenario and still meets a less stable person and serves as a constant source of discharge and recharging for him/her. 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 behavior 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 allows you to avoid provoking situations where they can manifest themselves to the detriment of the couple.
All of this may seem quite complicated, but in reality it is not necessary to stockpile knowledge of theoretical psychology in order to have a healthy and strong relationship. To choose the right partner, it is important first of all to solve your personal problems, get to know yourself, learn your preferences, understand what attracts you in people and what repels you. To note for yourself, with whom you can build a strong contact, and who you do not want to see even as buddies. 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.
Breaking up with a loved one.
Breaking up a loving relationship is always hard, and for both parties. Often, the separation brings pain, devastation, despair and jealousy … To cope with a turning point in life will help time-tested recommendations psychologist
How to survive: useful tips
Honestly answer yourself: how many percent of a hundred you still hope to get back the lost relationship? Take a piece of paper and write in two columns: what you loved in your partner and what you suffered from it. Compare where the more items are.
Analyze the quality of your relationship. If you were abused (psychologically, physically, financially), but still want to return to your lover, you most likely have a psychological dependency on your former partner. Until you solve this problem, you will continue to let destructive partners into your life, which will only bring you misery.
“Think about what was holding you back in the relationship. If it’s children, fear of financial insolvency or loneliness, then you first need to work on issues of personal maturity, not the return of your partner,” comments Natalia Legovtseva, a psychologist from the Moscow Psychological Service for the Population.
If you still long for sincere love, respect and the very person (!) of your loved one, tell him openly, without threats or manipulation. Offer to work together on the problems and resentments that have accumulated during your relationship. Ask for a consultation with a family psychologist. So you can at least be able to say to yourself that you did everything you could. If your partner is adamant in his decision to part ways, then you have only to accept his choice and start living your new, separate life.
Accept and realize the fact of the breakup. Leave no room for hopes of renewing the relationship. By clinging to a partner who doesn’t love you, you are wasting personal energy and wasting time.
“Break the emotional connection. For example, do your own forgiveness practices, which are publicly available on the Internet, or seek help from a psychologist. The main task is to accept the fact of the breakup, to forgive, to let the person and the situation go. It is very important to work through the resentment, otherwise it will take a lot of strength, health and energy. Ideally, you should feel that you treat your former partner neutrally. This is important in order to be able to build a harmonious relationship in the future. Otherwise, there is a risk of transferring the old load of negative experiences in the new relationship. For example, a former lover has cheated on you. If you do not work through this trauma, it is likely that in a new relationship, you will broadcast groundless jealousy,” explains the psychologist.
Stabilize your emotional state. Daily meditation practices, exercise, and good nutrition can help. A body you care about will repay you with hormones of happiness. You can also learn relaxation skills in psychological rehabilitation sessions.
“Develop psychological literacy. Read literature, attend seminars, webinars and trainings on how to come to emotional maturity and create harmonious relationships,” the psychologist recommends.
Find your inner resource. Get away from the sacrificial mindset and expectation that someone has to make you happy. Stop looking outside for love. Become a generator of warmth and light for yourself. Treat the main person in your life (that’s you) with dignity. Find something you enjoy doing and something that will develop you, make you more confident and happier.
“For example, find a new job that ignites you, despite all your fears and limitations. Or finally take up a hobby you’ve been thinking about for a long time. Stop looking for excuses why you can’t do it. So you’ll not only dispel sadness, but also get a chance to meet a man who really suits you, “- a psychologist recommends.
Realize and accept the fact that only you are guaranteed to have yourself for the rest of your days. But here’s the paradox: when we know how to take care of ourselves, to take care of themselves, to realize their value and importance, then surrounding people amazingly start to respect us, reaching out to communicate and do not want to lose. It is from such a state – self-love, fullness and happiness – that one can build strong and harmonious relationships. Only by loving oneself can one sincerely and deeply love another.
What not to do
Do not look for guilt.
Express your negative feelings, share the pain with your loved ones, but it should not take up all the space. Your energy and attention deserve to be put to better use.
Don’t try to hold on to your loved one with threats and manipulation
You don’t want the person to stay with you out of fear or pity.
Do not fill the inner emptiness of one-day romances.
You need to give yourself time to heal the breakup with a loved one and face your inner emptiness. Many people skip this important stage, not living through the pain, but running away from it. Unfortunately, going into the arms of someone you don’t love has the opposite effect and the emptiness only gets worse. Give yourself a period (for example, six months), when you will be consciously alone. During this time, engage in the restoration of vital forces, self-development.
Do not try to drown out melancholy with food, stimulants and alcohol.
This dubious method will not bring the desired relief. After the effect of the stimulants passes, you will need new and new doses. The body will eventually retaliate by releasing stress hormones, physiological dependence and excess weight. It is better to tune in to the conscious inner work of emotionally ending a relationship and accepting your current state.
Specialists at the Moscow Psychological Assistance Service provide free individual consultations, as well as trainings and seminars on family relationships.
A single telephone information number: 8 (499) 173-09-09.
Around the clock operates a telephone number of emergency psychological help “051.