You may feel like your marriage is in shambles. Let’s say you just booted out your husband. At first, it felt like the right thing to do. And it probably was.
Nevertheless, you now feel like your entire life has cratered. The landscape of your past relationship seems riddled with bad memories.
You wonder what comes next. Chances are, you are not quite ready for the flood of emotions that may rain down on you.
It may even at times feel like you have fallen down into a dark abyss.
And all those times before, when you were carefully thinking through whether you would do it (i.e. breaking up) and how you would do it, now seems like it happened far in the past.
Your probably even thought the worst was over after you and your husband or boyfriend decided to call it quits.
But for the typical person, the fluctuating mood states associated with breaking it off with their lover, has only just begun.
I know, it sucks.
The Agony of Parting Ways With An Ex
This whole breaking up situation can be expected to be hard and painful and is usually accompanied with conflicting thoughts, anxiety, and uncertainty.
Welcome to the breakup zone. All those who have had a falling out with their husband or wife are welcomed!
Maybe you are not married, but your boyfriend or girlfriend has left you. What on earth were they thinking. Don’t they realize you are an amazing person!
It’s fair to say that you are probably feeling like your life has been hijacked by your emotions. And if everything seems dull and uninspiring due to the mental fog of the breakup, trust me, the fog will eventually lift.
It also probably seems like time has stopped.
Just getting up to face another day is really hard to do. The thoughts of all the events leading up to the breaking up moment plague you. You wrestle with them. They just don’t seem to leave you.
A relationship that has ended, even if it has been spiraling out of control, takes time to unravel.
For days, following the split up, the dominant thoughts flashing through your mind will likely revolve around whether you did anything wrong or if you could have done something different to save the marriage or whatever kind of relationship the two of you had.
“Is it such a bad thing?“, you might think to yourself.
Maybe you were the catalyst of bringing the relationship to an end.
“So what“, you might rationalize, “if I am joining the legion of people who call themselves an Ex. It’s got to be better than the suffering I was going through before“, you conclude.
That’s not such a bad thought, if it is true. It is a step in the right direction. But as you probably have already discovered, failed marriages and relationships are usually very messy.
Or perhaps the breakup deed has already happened and it is your boyfriend or girlfriend that uttered those immortal words, “I don’t want to do this anymore“.
Maybe your husband or boyfriend instigated the whole business of each of our going your separate ways.
By the way, for the guys who are reading this, just keep on reading. Even though it may seem like most of my advice is pointed at women who are suffering through a failed relationship; just know the same principles and advice I offer also apply to you.
That’s right. The chaos around some relationships does not make exceptions based on gender.
It doesn’t care if you are a guy or a woman. When chaos, brought on by two people calling quits, decides to unleash all of its wickedly, unpredictable outcomes, then you best be prepared.
Know thy enemy, right.
Well, often, the enemy to your well being is not your husband or boyfriend or your wife or girlfriend.
More often than not, your enemy is ignorance. Not knowing what to expect and what you should do in the face of a relationship breakdown or meltdown.
I am not a big fan of relationship chaos. Nor should you be. Though there are some couples that seem to thrive in the thrashing of relationship chaos. But that is a different story….a different post.
But breakup turmoil is out there and if you understand what the underlying causes, you can better cope with it.
Yep, breaking up with an ex is not just terrifically hard to do in terms of just finding the right words, but it is “hard to do” emotionally after you and your ex have parted ways.
Within hours after the break up and for many days to come, you will likely experience one of the roughest patches in your life.
Despite how awful you may be feeling right now, just know this.
THINGS WILL GET BETTER.
Consider this post your survival guide for the post breakup period.
Why Is It So Hard After the Breakup?
Let me explain to you what is going on with you emotionally and physiologically.
It is important you understand that the “real you” has temporarily been hijacked. That sounds pretty ominous, doesn’t it. Don’t let it scare you. Just consider it part of the breakup situation everyone goes through.
Think of it this way. There are far worse things that could be happening in your life right now. Just because your husband or significant other is no longer part of your life does mean you should stop living and celebrating life.
That’s right. All of us need a pep talk now and again. We all need to remember our good fortune that we even have an opportunity to love and be loved. Not by just a few people, but by many people in our lives
That gives your life meaning.
Every moment we live is precious.
It is said, the present moment is truly a most wondrous and powerful goddess.
Living inside the moment is really critical.
Though I understand that right now, it will be somewhat difficult for you to grasp a hold of such lofty ideas and make it yours.
But you shouldn’t stop trying, because what I have said is a “truth”.
I realize you have this “thing” that is in the way. It’s called “heartbreak”.
And meanwhile, the world just keeps on turning despite all the fallout occurring around your failed marriage, relationship, or romance.
You probably just want to scream.
In fact, it is therapeutic to let it all out. If you try holding in the pain of having to part ways with your lover, then you simply will take longer to recover.
Let me tell you a story about one of my writers. You see, I also own and operate two other websites. They go by the name of exboyfriendrecovery.com and exgirlfriendrecovery.com.
One of my writers goes by the name of Ashley. And she has what I think is a really cool strategy on how to cope with some of the rough and tumble feelings you will invariably experience after a big falling out with your ex.
She talks about just allowing yourself to feel it all.
It does you no good to hide from your relationship hurts. You know when you feel bad. It is healthier to just let it all hang out.
She explains that if she needed a good cry, because of an overwhelming sense of breakup sadness, then she would go somewhere private and just let the tears flow.
She would allow herself to have the biggest breakup pity party anyone could imagine. But it would be just for that one day.
And if it is anger or resentment that is boiling up inside you because of something your husband or boyfriend did, then don’t push it down inside yourself. Nor should you indiscriminately let it come flying out, such that everyone around you treats you like a plague.
Again, go someplace where you have privacy and allow yourself to scream it out or in Ashley’s case, go to work on a punching bag.
Involving yourself in just about anything physical to rid yourself of the “breakup demons” is almost always a good idea, provided it is a healthy exertion of negative energy.
Think of these kinds of actions as an honest expression of how your are feeling. Don’t allow all these emotions to stay bottled up inside you. Otherwise, you are likely to later pay a price. Think of these actions as self help, getting over your ex type of therapy.
But there is a Big But.
Don’t incessantly cry and don’t allow yourself to always be the angry person. If you need to allot yourself 15 minutes a day to cry it out (for a few days), then that works. Just avoid making it a regularly scheduled part of your life.
Rather, just rid yourself of these negative feelings that are held over from the relationship ending. Then start focusing on the positive. Focus on your future.
It is largely true. You are, “how you act”. And you have a lot of control over the mood and attitude you wish to inhabit.
Why Doesn’t The World Notice?
If you have a particularly ugly and difficult parting of ways with your lover, do you ever look around and wonder, “Why doesn’t anyone realize that the very fabric of my existence has been torn apart!”
You may feel really small, with no one noticing your problems. You may feel like a spacecraft could come and lift you away and the world would not pay attention.
It just seems like time keeps marching on, hour by hour, day by day.
Of course, that is exactly what the world and time does. It just keeps moving forward, with or without you.
But don’t fret. Everything you are feeling is normal. It is not uncommon for you to feel like you have been sucker punched by your husband or boyfriend in the days and week following the separation.
On one hand you have to deal with the rush of feelings following your split with your boyfriend or husband.
That in itself is tough enough.
But life just doesn’t stop and start throwing your softballs.
Life just has this annoying way of going on.
And by the way, that is your first clue to getting to a better place.
This post is about helping you understand why you feel the way you do and ultimately how you should go about recovering. So remember, until you get through the breakup chaos period, it is usually best not to make any grand plans or important relationship decisions.
The good news is that you can rescue yourself.
Yep, believe me, It happens all the time. Right now, you might not feel that is even possible, but I assure you, the breakup process is simply a natural outcome of our selection process.
Not everyone is meant for you.
And likewise, you are not meant to be the right match for every single person you come upon. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking friends or lovers.
Human beings are not always good matches for certain other human beings.
That is just the way it is. No one person is perfectly compatible for another. No even close. Not even if you are deeply in love and happily married. Even those couples are far from achieving the state of “perfect compatibility”.
That outcome does not exist. We are far too complicated, us human beings.
It is likely that part of the reason why you and you husband or boyfriend broke it off is due to compatibility issues.
Of course, that is all well and good to know about, but you are probably thinking, “Hey Chris, I am hurting here. Help me get past it”
What you are experiencing now is much like an addict who is suffering from withdrawal. Indeed, there is considerable research that supports this view.
Your body, more specifically your brain, has temporarily conspired against you to make your breakup ordeal quite difficult in the early days.
Are You a Relationship Breakup Addict
There is something both natural and strange happening in your mind right now!
You are suffering from the “crazies”.
Indeed, you might even strap on a pair of goggles, just to fly over your Ex husband’s or ex boyfriend’s house to see what he is going.
Hey, don’t take it personally, as I believe we are all a little crazy. But if you have recently experienced a breakup, you are very likely to be feeling it a lot more than me.
I mean, really, who can blame you for being a little kooky!
Everything that you use to count on has changed. The very fabric of your life has been torn away.
What was once a shared life with someone you loved….is no more. All of the things you use to do together….those experiences are no more.
All of the songs you enjoyed together….those times are in the past.
Should I go on. I think not.
Consider yourself borderline possessed.
Perhaps we can agree you are suffering from “love sickness”.
Is there really such a thing?
You bet there is!
Now don’t freak out, because it is perfectly natural. Indeed, understanding what is happening to you and why it is happening, offers some therapeutic value.
You won’t believe how many of my clients become so dazed and confused, that they can’t quite process what is happening. It is not until we discuss their feelings, that they are able to make some sense of why they may be behaving in certain self destructive ways.
That is how overwhelming it can be and I am so sorry you are experiencing heartache.
Helen Fisher, an esteemed biological anthropologist, tells us that getting over a lost love is akin to recovering from a drug addiction.
The biological mechanism that triggers this reaction is in our brain. We are wired to mate with one person at a time. Remove that person from your life and the brain’s circuitry goes a little haywire.
The brains of those individuals suffering from a breakup respond to the loss of the lover by activating certain parts of the brain. These activated areas are in the same region of the brain as those individuals who are coming off an intense addiction to a drug (e.g. cocaine).
This is why we can become fixated on our Ex.
It those darn chemicals being released in our brains!
So actually, you are not heart broken. Nope!
If anything, we are closer to being “brain broken”.
Definitely, something is broken.
But we are going to turn this around. Our focus of most of our posts on this website is about about fixing things. Speaking of which, here is an outstanding post that is aimed at fixing a great many things in a relationship.
So read on, because I want you to understand what is going on inside your head!
Of those individuals who have experienced a breakup, the vast majority think about their Ex 85% of the time.
After a breakup, there are parts of the brain which are activated that affects pain and distress. So if you ever wondered why these intense waves of pain and despair come over you, now you know.
Will they go away, eventually, Yep, they certainly will. Stay busy and exercise, is my short little speech.
I guess we could blame it on early man and woman who walked the earth, millions of years ago. These intense feelings you are undergoing got their start long ago. We are wired to think and feel in certain ways when things happen.
The good news is you will mend. The bad news is that there is no surefire cure or remedy that can make everything right in short order.
Though, there are techniques and strategies you can turn to that will definitely help, even in the early days.
It is a bit of a process everyone goes through at different rates. On average, recovery from a split up usually takes two to four months.
Now you not going to necessarily be able to cast your ex boyfriend or ex husband right out of your mind after a few months. But you can turn the corner and there is a lot of fulfilling things you can do and achieve when your make that turn.
Now here is something else that is very interesting that came out of that same study Fischer and her colleagues conducted. It turns out that one of the things you can do to help speed up your recovery is to talk or read about it, preferably in a positive light.
Understanding and accepting the emotional phases you are experiencing is therapeutic. Just reading this website of mine and realizing what you are going through has a beginning, middle, and ending, will prove very helpful to you.
Your “brain” likes it when you actively try to figure things out and make plans for the future.
So kudos to you, because that is exactly what you are doing right now as you read this post.
If you have been hanging around my website and reading some of the articles I have written, you probably have already learned about the many ways in which implementing the “No Contact Rule” can be of benefit.
And you also probably have learned about several other things which can help you understand what you are going through and how you can recover from it.
For example, there is another interesting post breakup relationship insight I wish to discuss with you.
We can all use a little clarity, don’t you think?
Self Concept Clarity
People going through a breakup commonly go through a period where they ask, “who am I”.
After a breakup, we can feel lost and detached from the real world. As a result, people can experience damage to their own self concept. After a breakup, an individual has probably suffered some kind of psychological wound.
What use to be “we” and “us”, now has morphed into “me” and “I”.
But, let’s not get too carried away with all this bad news.
I firmly believe (and scientific research supports this) you can and will recover from this sense of loss.
In fact, there is a way to do it faster!
So why do people struggle with their identity?
When you think about it, it’s not too surprising. After all, when your soul feels like it has been ripped apart, it is hard to get one’s bearings.
I am here to tell you that if you feel this way now or if these feelings are coming at you in waves, do not panic or despair. As I have explained, the way you are feeling now, both emotionally and physically, is all part of a natural process.
Remember when I told you about the need to climb the switchbacks to scale the mountain top?
Well, maybe you have not read that post yet!
Anyway, that is what is going on with you now.
You need to keep moving forward, incorporating positive personal experiences in your life, however small they may be. Do it over and over again. They add up.
Keep pushing past your emotional hardships.
You will not only survive, but will be stronger on the other side.
Most people, as they struggle at ground zero of the breakup, cannot see a positive future.
It is the same way for a climber. You cannot see the mountaintop when you first start the climb.
After a breakup, a person’s concept of Who They Are, is fractured.
I am here to remind that your moods never move in the same direction all of the time.
And while you may feel helpless and convinced you have been dealt a “bad hand”, there is much more than light at the end of the tunnel. Walk in that direction.
What is waiting for you and within your grasp, is the restoration of your “Self Concept Clarity”.
This is where you want to focus your energies.
Now, if you are thinking, “what the heck is Self Concept Clarity”, let me explain.
It is actually quite simple. I want you to think of it this way. When you can tell yourself or another, what kind of person you are and what you wish to do with your life, then you have a clear vision of who you are.
Chances are that this will be difficult for you to do if you are still recovering from a break up.
You and your Ex were part of a union. That has now been dissolved.
Now it’s time for you to detach from your Ex. Only then will you find yourself.
Later you may choose to reunite with your Ex, if you genuinely feel that serves your interests.
All of this takes time.
This is where the No Contact Period comes into play. It is far easier to accomplish what I described if you are not dependent or emotionally attached to your Ex.
I am always looking for silver linings in life.
I want you to do the same.
Life is unpredictable. It will throw curves and sliders at you. If you strike out and walk back to the dugout full of despair, then you are not playing the game of “life” all that well.
We all strike out. It will happen throughout your life.
But there are many innings yet to play. There are many games for you to partake in. So there are lots of opportunities for you to turn things around.
No one Has A Perfect Marriage or Love Life
So learn from your negative experiences.
Let this website, be your “Play Book”.
Take the “learnings” presented to you and shape your life in the way you desire.
Let’s talk about acquiring a positive self image.
While we know that one can easily become lost to themselves following a break up and experience emotional pain; the reverse holds true once the person finds themselves again.
A very interesting study was performed on this topic. It showed that when an individual focuses on improving their self concept, they will recover faster from their break up.
And that is key from a personal development perspective and it also helps with optimizing one’s chances of rebuilding a former relationship, if you end up going down that path.
I kid you not!
So make that a focal point in your life.
The Recovery element of the No Contact Period is essential.
But to find yourself, you need first to understand that you are probably “lost”.
When you lose part of yourself, as a result of your husband or boyfriend calling it quits, your self image and and sense of future becomes clouded.
I believe there is therapeutic and practical value, when one seeks to understand the full picture of “Ground Zero” of the break up.
Think of it this way.
Once you understand the role biological and chemical processes play in your mood states and behavior, you can eventually wrestle back control of your “real self”.
It will take some time, but it will happen.
You will come to understand something very powerful.
You will see you are not alone in this place that is called Breakup Ground Zero.
Others have been there before.
They moved past their pain.
And so will you.