Getting over a breakup is never easy. But I promise it won’t suck forever. It does suck for quite some time, however. That pain is usually covered up by this acute anger or fear or depression. It often feels as if you’ll never make it through this stage, doomed to deal with your breakup for the rest of your life. But despite the worry or tears, there are several signs that show up when you’re actually moving on from your divorce. These are the signals you want to know about. They’re proof your getting over your breakup and that a good life after divorce will happen.
How to get over a breakup when you still love each other.
This is that suck forever feeling. The obsession over whether or not you’ll ever move on. But in reality, you may always love each other. Even just a little bit. After all, there was something in them that made you want them in your life, to begin with. When they get into your heart, they often own a piece of it going forward.
So when you still love each other, it’s hard to know what to do after the breakup. You’ll search around for meaning and experiment with dating. You’ll do your best to forget about them and wrestle with tons of sadness and guilt. You’ve lost someone you’ve grown accustomed to even when or if the relationship wasn’t healthy or easy.
Life after divorce is filled with growth.
Growth isn’t always fun. It’ll often feel as if you’re never going to move on from your divorce in the midst of the emotional hit. Eventually, however, you’ll begin to calm down and embrace the changes going on.
Signs you’re actually moving on from your divorce:
Slow down and breathe. Way too often in the midst of the anxiety, we literally forget to breathe. Now, I’m not the best silent meditator in the world but I can walk. And, I do a lot of walking! Simply moving my body, lifting weights, walking, getting on a bicycle helps me move that anxious energy. Slow down and walk to calm your body and relax your thoughts.
Manage your thoughts. When you’re able to shift that anxious energy toward a calmer feeling, you may or may not actually like it despite what you’re declaring to anyone who’ll listen. Some people keep the anxiety going not because they like the anger or worry but because they don’t realize they can control their thoughts and feelings. You can and you must!
You will know that you’ve turned the corner of your breakup when you can slow down and breathe, and manage your thoughts. These are welcomed signs!
How to deal with a breakup.
Start with a good attitude. I often use the term perspective when discussing the experience of divorce. The stages you go through are rather universal. Sure, you have your own personality and story. But, for the most part, the perspective you need is not personal at all. Your attitude and how you handle what you know and what you’re doing is.
When you’re able to get some perspective on this modern-day rite of passage, you’ll be better able to stop the stress you’re experiencing. When you can hold the experience with optimism and courage, you’re on your way toward healing your life after divorce!
Perspective includes objectively recognizing the situation you’re in. Owning your part in the breakup. Doing your healing work not just saying you are as if intellectually understanding it means you’re body, heart and mind are healed from the trauma. You want to feel at peace with where you are in the process.
Perspective helps you avoid Post-Traumatic Divorce Disorder™… the sticky, horrible sense that your life will always be about your divorce. It’s important to grasp this not because I want to make your day worse but because without the awareness that divorce is something we do and therefore something we can do well, the longer you will remain stuck.
It won’t suck forever.
Most of the time, the tension of the negotiation or litigation is so difficult that people are willing to throw in the towel and stop the fight. It takes real time to wrap up a life that wasn’t working. Way too often people in negotiation feel as if they can’t handle the tension and fighting when they’ve no idea how much they’re capable of tolerating and getting through. They underestimate their own emotional resilience.
You see, very few people truly want to fight with a former lover. I notice that the negotiation and fight often come up when people aren’t emotionally ready to move on. No matter what they’re saying. Unaware of the hidden patterns, they’re afraid of who they’ll be after the marriage. They’re unsure about their future security, financial well-being or the relationship with their children. So they hang on using the other parent or the ex as a familiar connection.
No one can tell you how long to fight or what you should fight for. That includes your attorney, dad, children or your ex. This is a deeply personal decision. However, you also need to know when enough is enough. When the fight and the attorney fees have become a distraction from the very life you claim you want to create. Often times the fight is simply fear of letting go.
You will know that you’ve turned the corner of your breakup when you can trust that your life will become better and accept that you have to do it without the person you’ve been accustomed to. These are welcomed signs!
Life experience is not all about making mistakes.
It takes a while to create a better life after divorce. The gestation period to create the very life you claim you want takes longer than falling in love. It’s harder than giving birth. It costs more than starting your own company. Okay, I’ve taken a little creative liberty here but you get my point. It doesn’t happen all at once or right away. Nor will it show up the way you imagine.
The emotional growth you have to go through doesn’t look like the fantasies you held onto to get out of your marriage. The tricky thing is that emotional growth gets disguised by falling in love or moving or getting a new job. In fact, all of those things are helpful but none of them are what makes a better life. Many complicate your life instead, ratcheting up stress levels. Usually, those first few romances fall apart making things more confusing or upsetting.
Compassion helps because you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. Do your best to accept that fact. Learn to watch yourself go through the things you go through so you don’t beat yourself up. You will know that you’ve turned the corner of your breakup when you allow yourself to make the mistakes you’re inevitably going to make and accept all of them. These are welcomed signs!
Getting over a breakup will not take forever. Nor does it have to suck! You do, however, have to give yourself the care and attention required to do your divorce better. And when you do, your life will get better. I am not a big fan of watching people mess things up over and over again. I created my online group programs precisely because too many people make the separation process harder than it has to be. You don’t have to! Learn more here.
Laura Bonarrigo is a Certified Life Coach and a Certified Divorce Coach. Laura’s a writer, public speaker and the founder of doingDivorce™ School an online coaching program for those ready to shed the pain of divorce. For empowering and practical ways to lose the identity of your past, visit www.doingDivorceSchool.com.