6 Hugs After a Break-Up
Shared by Kimberleeadonna.
I’m not necessarily a serial monogamist, but as a 43-year-old lady, I have an interesting assortment of relationships under my belt: a same-sex marriage, a long-term boyfriend, and several short-term but still powerful connections.
A few weeks ago, I ended a relationship with a man after 7 months when I realized I just didn’t have the strength to deal with our differences. (Specifically, I couldn’t rise above his attachment to his ex wife. Another woman may be able to ignore their close friendship, but I couldn’t.) Perhaps we weren’t right for one another in other ways, but don’t think I didn’t blame myself for needing to flee. I did. Hugely. A bad habit of yore. No matter if I end things or he/she does, I turn each break-up into a multiple choice game of self-deprication: I was a.) too ____, b.) not _____ enough, c.) not worthy of the kind of patient but passionate relationship I’ve always wanted.
This is all, of course, hogwash. If you do this to yourself, too, please STOP. Gentle self-reflections are one thing but really, you can’t become a stronger, more confident person and partner if you’re dismantling your sense of self.
The emotional pain during/following a divorce or break-up doesn’t get easier as you age because each person is unique and who you are with him/her may amplify different aspects of yourself. But your heart does gain a bit of wisdom in terms of coming up with and using healing strategies. Here are a few things that have helped me recently. Overall though, please be kind to yourself if your heart is hurting. You WILL feel better given time.
1. It helps a little to sit down and write yourself a letter as though it’s from a friend who wants to comfort and encourage you.
2. Counter negative, self-defeating thoughts with other perspectives. This may take the work of 1,000 mental mules, but it is worth it.
For instance, if a partner labels you or something you did as “crazy,” your initial thought may be to doubt yourself, to call yourself irrational, reactive, over-thinking, and yes, crazy. But, remember that your partner/ex-partner is also feeling hurt and perhaps angry. He/she is trying to find reasons behind your choices to do/say anything. We are human; we want reasons.
So, another way of thinking about it would be to consider that your intentions were authentic and good, even if your words sounded silly or your behavior was off. You communicated honestly. You made “mistakes” but you said or did what you thought you needed to do at the time. So did your partner.
(The elephant in the room, here, is the truly crazy person who is intentionally emotionally/physically abusive. My blog isn’t for you anyway and if you’re in a relationship with someone such as that, please seek help for yourself and him/her.)
3. Speaking of “crazy,” if you are a woman, do not buy into the nature of name-calling (e.g., “You’re so emotional!”) in relationships with males in this culture of ours. No matter what our gender, we are all striving to strike a balance between logical thought and soulful expression of feelings. It is no more important to tap into logic than it is to conjure up your understanding of your emotions and how best to share them.
4. Know that you may never know. Accept that all the writing and pondering in the world may not give you the answers you’re seeking as to why the relationship didn’t work. Yes, pondering and journaling can be powerful, but no one knows why love goes awry. We have a million ideas but truly, we do not understand. Love is crazy (there’s that word, again) that way.
5. It is never too late to learn things about yourself. There is something remarkable about sexual relationships in that they give us an opportunity to discover (or rediscover) our character flaws and to continue to heal from past wounds. A partner who is right for you is one who is willing to be as patient and as understanding as possible. Many of us grew up with some form of abuse or neglect. The memories are etched in our bones and as we know very well, it takes time and hard work to process them and to heal. A compatible partner will work with you, and you will work with her/him, of course.
6. You’ll be o.k. Time is the cure. But here you are, now, in this life, which is handed to you every day. A gift. Accept it. When you’re ready, take the pain and transform it into something beautiful.
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