Help to Get Over the Breakup of a Relationship
Like bereavement, the breakup of a relationship is something most people experience at some point in their life. But, as with bereavement, few of us are prepared for the dreadful pain we can undergo.
Rather than becoming easier with age, heartbreak is often harder to bear in your thirties, forties and fifties than it is in your teens or your twenties. The pain we feel is only partly due to our separation from our lover. We also have to cope with a sense of fear. To be precise, we have to cope with the fear that we will always be alone. When a relationship breaks down, whether it was our fault or not, we tend to fear that there is something within us, some flaw in our personality, that means all future relationships are doomed and we will be lonely forever. When we are twenty two and all our friends are single and childless this fear is less intense. Once we reach our thirties+, as we see our friends couple-up or marry and start families, we often fear that our options are decreasing and a sense almost of panic can set in. Someone in their thirties may think there are fewer potential partners, that most of them will be loaded down with emotional baggage or that their looks are fading. But people must adjust to the reality of twenty first century dating. In the UK for example, there are more people living alone or in one parent households than living as part of a traditional nuclear family. People are less willing to compromise than they once were, which means more opportunities for those yet to find 'the one'.
A broken heart, like sexual jealousy, can best be healed by a healthy self-love. You don't need to repeat to yourself 'I was too good for him' again and again, or to adopt an arrogant, contemptuous attitude. You simply need to learn to like yourself and to enjoy your own company. People who dislike themselves seek to correct this by obtaining love and affection from others. When that love is withdrawn, they see it as a pattern or as confirmation of their own worthlessness, thus intensifying their pain. People with a healthy, realistic sense of self-worth find it easier to rationalize the breakup and to accept that some people are simply unsuited or grow apart.
It is also very helpful to make a list of all the flaws and faults your ex-lover possessed. Try and recall everything, from his/her moments of selfishness to their awful taste in music. It is also helpful to list the really bad moments in your relationship, and to focus upon the way he or she made you feel. Remember, for example, a dreadful trip to the zoo or the cinema and how difficult, bored and irritable he or she seemed. Focus upon the way your ex made you feel. Try and recall in detail any pain or depression you went through in the relationship, or the anger and loneliness you sometimes felt.
Finally, it is important to be realistic, and to keep things in proportion. Do you really believe he or she was totally unique, and the only one in the world who could ever make you happy? Do you really believe some sort of cosmic destiny brought you together? The fact is that there are many people in life who could make you just as happy, if not happier, if you gave them the chance. Within any bad sexual relationship or breakup there is always an internal battle between our reason and our emotions. Sexual love can be an overwhelming experience, so it is vital to maintain a rational view of things. It can even be useful, when you are alone, to say out loud all the faults and flaws your ex had. In this way you will drive down a new way of thinking about them into your subconscious, and that will in turn lead to a new way of feeling about them.