How to Handle a Break up

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Family and Personal

Anger, grief, bitterness, sadness, and relief are among the many feelings you may have when relationships Break Up.

When you’re faced with the break up of a romantic relationship, your emotions and thoughts may be so confused that it’s hard to keep track of whether you are relieved or heartbroken. In the wake of a break up or divorce, you can reasonably expect to feel grief, anger, bitterness, or even excitement about a new future.

After the Break up: Moving On

Whether you are the heart breaker or the heartbroken, once the break up is final and the divorce papers are signed, you have to move on. “The No. 1 thing is you have to face reality. Some people will try to delude themselves into thinking somehow that person is going to come to their senses. You have to grieve that loss,” says Parrot. This means:

  • Not blaming yourself
  • Ensuring you have the social support you need
  • Taking time to process the change in your life

Break up

Common Reaction & Feelings After a Break Up

Being aware of the different reactions people can have surrounding loss and grief can be helpful. The order and the intensities in which these reactions are experienced can vary. Reactions can include:

  • Denial. We can’t believe that this is happening to us. We can’t believe that the relationship is over.
  • Anger. We are angry and often enraged at our partner or lover for shaking our world to its core.
  • Fear. We are frightened by the intensity of our feelings. We are frightened that we may never love or be loved again. We are frightened that we may never survive our loss. But we will.
  • Self-blame. We blame ourselves for what went wrong and replay our relationship over and over, saying to ourselves, “If only I had done this. If only I had done that”.
  • Sadness. We cry, sometimes for what seems an eternity, for we have suffered a great loss.
  • Guilt. We feel guilty particularly if we choose to end a relationship. We don’t want to hurt our partner. Yet we don’t want to stay in a lifeless relationship.
  • Disorientation and confusion. We don’t know who or where we are anymore. Our familiar world has been shattered. We’ve lost our bearings.
  • Hope. Initially we may fantasize that there will be a reconciliation, that the parting is only temporary, that our partner will come back to us. As we heal and accept the reality of the ending, we may dare to hope for a newer and better world for ourselves.
  • Bargaining. We plead with our partner to give us a chance. “Don’t go”, we say. “I’ll change this and I’ll change that if only you’ll stay”.
  • Relief. We can be relieved that there is an ending to the pain, the fighting, the torment, the lifelessness of the relationship.

Will I Ever Feel Better?

  • Seek support from friends and family.  Social support is one of the most important factors in coping with a loss.  Reach out to people who care, and who will listen to your feelings and provide encouragement.  Spending time with others may be difficult at first, but will help you to realize that there are other people in your life who care about you and are there to support you.
  • Take steps toward closure in the relationship.  Ongoing contact with your partner may hinder your healing and diminish your sense of self-esteem.  Ask for help from others when contact with your partner leaves you feeling increasingly upset.  “Loss rituals” such as writing a farewell letter (which you may or may not choose to send), returning belongings, or boxing up photos, letters and other reminders of the relationship may help in the process of letting go.
  • Make a daily schedule.  Structuring your time and having a schedule for the day can be helpful in lessening distress and preoccupation with your ex-partner.  Try to redirect your mental energy to accomplishing projects and tasks, such as academic work, which can boost feelings of control and competence.
  • Make changes in your life and express yourself creatively.    Develop new interests, activities and relationships in your life separate from your ex-partner. Redecorate or paint your living space. Focus on doing things that reflect your unique nature, and that are not reminders of your ex-partner.  Plan new events with friends or family on holidays or anniversary dates of the relationship.   Engage in activities that help you recover a sense of meaning and  balance, such as religious/spiritual practice, art, poetry or music.
  • Meet with a counsellor.   Consider making an appointment with a counsellor to talk about your feelings about the break up.

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