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November 19, 2013
by Casey Truffo, LMFT

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Tips on Getting Through

November 19, 2013 02:55 by Casey Truffo, LMFT

Most of us have been through at least one breakup in our lives that was absolutely devastating.  Whether you see it coming or you have no idea things were that bad, a breakup can wreak havoc on our emotions.  Many people compare experiencing a breakup to feeling majorly depressed, like someone died, like sadness will never leave, or like you lost an arm or a leg.  All of these emotions are perfectly natural; however, you need to learn how to deal with the hand that was dealt to you and move on.

After the initial shock, which can encompass uncontrollable crying, dreams and nightmares about your ex, wondering if you should call them, trying to call their friends to ask who they’re seeing now, etc., things will start to get back to normal. As time goes by and your heart begins to mend, you need to figure out how to process the loss, figure out what went wrong, and how to move forward with your life. 

When going through a breakup with someone whom you have spent many years in a relationship, it can feel like you have no friends and nowhere to go.  Many times this is because of the fact you probably spent all of your free time with this person who has chosen to no longer be in your life.  If you are going through a divorce, it can be even worse because in addition to building your life around the person who just broke your heart, you may feel like a failure to the people you need most right now.  You may feel awkward around your parents, especially if they spent thousands of dollars on your wedding, or your friends, because likely your friends are his friends, or even your children (if you have them) because you have always taught them that marriage is sacred and is forever. 

You will likely still feel sad at times, especially if you hear a song that was "your song", or reminds you of somewhere the two of you were at a happier time in your relationship.  You will still sometimes miss the comfort you felt from your partner or spouse, their touch, their support in hard times, and just the safeness you felt in their presence.  You will suddenly see a lot of people who look like your ex, a lot of cars that look like his or hers, and will notice that almost everybody wears the same cologne or perfume as his or hers. 

One thing you can count on is that time will heal your heart, even if it doesn't feel like that for a while.  What's important is that you can learn what happened in your relationship or marriage, and learn what to avoid next time.  It's crucial to learn from the past so you can ensure you know what you need in a relationship and don’t make the same mistakes.  It takes two to contribute to a relationship that goes sour.  As much as many people want to blame the other, a failing relationship is rarely one sided.  Be sure to look at what you did to contribute to the failure, and pledge to learn from your mistakes as you move on to other relationships.

Many times, women tend to believe that there is a true fairytale in store for them but it is impossible to have a fairytale relationship or marriage.  That's why they're called "tales".  Everybody knows that certain chemicals come to life during the initial state of falling in love.  The key word is "initial".  In the real world, being close to your partner or spouse is a wonderful thing, but it takes work.  In the real world, there are jobs to go to, a house to tend to, bills to pay, children to raise, groceries to get, grass to mow, and all the other things that make up the "real world".  If you are looking for a fairytale relationship or marriage, you are only fooling yourself.

Here are a few things to consider when going through a breakup: 

  1. Focus on the positive things in your life.  Maybe you have great kids, a great relationship with your parents and/or siblings, a good bill of health, or a good job.  Be thankful for the good things in your life, and think of those things every time you start feeling down and out about your failed relationship.
  2. Keep yourself busy.  If you have to go grocery shopping every night for whatever you are making for dinner, do it.  Be sure to fill your days and nights with activities, so when you go to bed, you are tired enough to sleep.  This will take care of the tossing and turning that normally comes along with broken hearts. 
  3. Maybe most importantly, live in the present.  In other words, after you figure out what went wrong and how you contributed to what went wrong, don't dwell on it.  Live in the present.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people and people who are important to you.  Try to see yourself as those people see you.  Remember to  thank the people who are always there for you, whether you rely on them for a shoulder to lean on or they are the "constants" in your life, no matter what path you are on at any given moment.

Lastly, if getting through a breakup is really dragging you down and you can't seem to find a way to cope, the counselors at OC Relationship Center can help you.  Call us today to schedule your appointment, or schedule your appointment online.

About the Author

OC Relationship Center OC Relationship Center, LMFT

You deserve to feel better - in your life and relationships. At OC Relationship Center we want to help you find more love, more joy, more peace...and less conflict and less stress. Our licensed and caring counselors can help if you are single, dating, married, divorced.

OC Relationship Center can be found at
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