7 Tips to Get Through the Grief of a Broken Relationship

Broken Relationship

What to do when you just want to “get over it.”

You thought your relationship would last forever.

It didn’t.

You thought you could let it go.

You haven’t.

You’re ready to put it behind you.

What now?

  1. Let your heart break. Don’t deny yourself the full measure of your grief. The truth is, you are faced with an unexpected future. Your partner’s exit created an upsetting hole in your life and plans. Grief is a healthy process, meant to move you through the shock and pain of your lost relationship. Acceptance, appreciation, and a new kind of relationship wisdom are important gifts of the breakup. Life must go on; productive grief shows you how.
  2. Take Phenomenal Care of Yourself. You won’t feel like it at first. It may be a struggle to stop nursing your broken heart. You might be reminded that your ex’s toothbrush is no longer there. You may miss his or her towel on the floor. You should brush your teeth anyway. You should still eat every meal, get on the treadmill, shower everyday, wear clean clothes, and drink 8 glasses of water. Trash the cigarettes. Ignore the alcohol. You still deserve to be taken care of. Do a good job.
  3. Re-establish Your Fan Club. Chances are you’ve been so deeply buried in your relationship that you neglected that last girls’ or guys’ night out, skipped a few meet-ups at the gym, or failed to return a few calls. It’s time to push thoughts of that broken relationship to the back of your mind for a while. Bring old friends and new acquaintances back into your life. They like you. They want to be with you. You’re better off with them.
  4. Get Real. Tell yourself the truth about your former relationship. Avoid sugar-coating the past. Share the challenges and lessons learned with a trusted friend or professional counselor. Embrace the reality. Accept that there will be challenges as you navigate your feelings, interactions with your former relationship partner, and other practical concerns that may accompany the breakdown of your relationship. It’s natural to long for lost connections, but be realistic about how and why the relationship ended. Remind yourself that there are solid reasons for your break up.
  5. Close the Door. Resist the urge to scope out your ex’s social media pages. Avoid spending too many nights rehashing the particulars of your loss. Don’t call, text, or pursue a premature friendship. Give yourself the necessary time and space to heal. You will have regrets. You may long for the best days of your past relationship. It’s only natural, but don’t turn back. Life and new connections are calling you. Move on.
  6. Get Out There. Take a good look around. Listen. No one is telling you “no.” Now is your time. Your broken relationship can help you break free of limits and restrictions you’ve placed on yourself. Be adventurous. See what life has to offer. You are free and unencumbered. Investigate new hobbies. Plan a trip. Fill your social calendar.
  7. Define yourself and name your terms. You probably learned a few things in all this. Choose your future. Use your past relationship as a training ground for understanding your wants and needs. You don’t have to settle for unhappiness, loneliness, or insecurity. You don’t have to be defined by rejection, loss, or your broken heart. Who do you want to be now?

It’s time to smile again.

You can grieve, survive, and repair your broken heart.

You can be better, stronger, wiser.

Right now is the perfect time to take the first step.

After the Divorce – Coping With The Changes

divorcenew-300x200By Cathy Neville, LPC

Change comes fast and frequent after divorce, but you can survive it.
You can come out stronger with a solid future and valuable lessons learned.
Your Pain is Real
Your relationship is over. The life you expected to have is gone, and it hurts. The life that lies ahead doesn’t make sense — yet.
Grief after a divorce is normal and appropriate. Developing a new, secure outlook will come through healthy, productive grieving and emotional awareness.

· Feel your feelings! Hiding from them will only prolong your suffering. Stuffing your pain will only thwart your efforts to “get over it” or “move on”.

· Avoid “numbing out” with drugs, alcohol, sex, or food. Unhealthy choices do not assist healthy recovery. The grief will only persist, compounded by self-destruction.

· Don’t cheat yourself out of the growth that comes with the grieving process. Do more than mask the pain, regret, and sadness accompanying divorce; express your feelings and actually recover.

· Allow acceptance and adjustment to take place so that you can let go and begin again.

You Need Your People!
You need a compassionate circle of listeners. You need a like-minded group who gets your pain, or a trustworthy counselor who can encourage you to take the next steps. You need support.
Support is crucial. To get through this, seek positive, constructive help.

· Unfortunately, the break-up of your relationship may have left some holes in your support network. Seek out new friendships and community connections sooner rather than later.

· Engage people, share your situation, and openly receive the help of those who offer their support without criticism or judgment.

· When you are supported, you can better support your children and engage your former spouse respectfully and productively when the need arises.

Your Life is Your Own
You are more than someone’s ex. You are more than a single parent. You are more than divorced. You are on the edge of something fresh and new. It can be frightening. And it can be good.
Self-care is necessary and stabilizing. Use the fear and uncertainty you may feel as motivation. Take time to look closely at your life, goals, and hopes for the future.

· Examine your life’s routines. It may be helpful to maintain your personal care regimen, household schedules, exercise programs, or religious practices. They may provide structure and normalcy amid the changes you must make. Keep what works for you and throw out the rest.

· Meet your needs practically and emotionally. Set goals for your career. Investigate ways to improve your health. Set aside time regularly to touch base with your kids. Make major decisions only as you feel emotionally well and ready to do so.

· Expand your horizons with new hobbies, activities, or social situations. You now have the opportunity to pursue gardening, golf, travel, or rock-climbing if you want to. You are no longer limited by your former relationship. Diving into something new can be energizing. Get out there. Spend less time dwelling on the past.

You Can Learn From This
You can emerge stronger and better. You don’t have to suffer. If sadness slips into depression or refuses to subside, it may be time to call a counselor or therapist.
Be honest with yourself, if you need more help, it’s okay.
A therapist can help you search through your feelings, explore any obstacles, and help you learn from your past to prepare for future relationships.
If you are well supported, you can eventually get above the empty feelings.
You can climb atop the current pile of highs and lows.
From there, you will see the bigger picture and take off through clearer air.