This is a tough one. Trust me I’m in the throws of a breakup, but it’s not the first (hopefully it will be the last!).
It was just two short weeks ago that we were planning a romantic Valentine getaway (proposal??) when it all just went to shit.
We have been together for two years. Yes we have had our issues, hit a few BIG bumps, but we were going strong and working on our relationship together. I really thought it was going somewhere. I could not be more wrong. It was a Tuesday night and a really good one! It was coming to an end when all of a sudden out of nowhere a little side comment gets made (on his part) and it starts a discussion which gets heated and before you know it we are in this alternate universe where we both perceive the other is talking in a foreign language. I have no idea how he could possibly be saying all this, it doesn’t make any sense to me (as I stare at him like a two headed chicken)!! And if I can’t understand it I know we are really in trouble. It then starts a cycle of more words of which I know are in English, but I have no idea how he’s getting to these points?! Which in turn leads to more things said that are hurtful and validate something I had suspected…he does not respect me or what I do or my responsibilities therefore drawing the conclusion that HE DOESN’T LOVE ME! Well that fight lasted a few more days until we both just said “FINE”. And took a break for a week. After that he got fed up that I hadn’t called, called me and started in on more jibberish and more hurtful words. I can accept apologies and move on, but you can’t unsay what you said and that doubt lingers…sure it will fade, but at some point another argument happens and then not only do I hear what he says in the moment, but I hear what he said the last 3 major arguments we had. At that point the self-respect queen in me comes out and I say, that’s it. I can’t do this ANYMORE! So we’re done. Now what?? Well I’m glad you asked!
- MAKE A DATE! (Okay, not really with another man, we are old enough to know that won’t be good for anyone in the long run). Make a date with yourself. This is important in healing. Baby yourself the way your mom would when you fell and hurt your knee or you were home sick with the crud. Grab a glass (okay maybe the whole bottle!!) of your favorite wine or beverage, pour a bubble bath and sit and relax. Soak up the sound of the bubbles popping. Reflect on how caring you are (or your best quality) and just breathe. The world is not going to end (well probably not, but you got wine). Just breathe. Then make your favorite meal, no matter what it is (mine is strognaoff, sorry for that thighs, we’ll get it off soon, just not tonight!!) Remember, treat yourself as if you would treat your child that is sick or injured.
- GET OFF THE GRID! Chances are (if your breakup is anything like mine) he will try to engage in a fight with you. He’s hurting and he wants you to hurt. So when that text comes in, don’t respond (only in your head or maybe to your best friend) but do not respond to him! Turn the phone to silent or OFF if you have no self-restraint. You have probably said enough hurtful things in that last phone call to last you quite a while. We have plenty of material to work with. And if he is on your social media, blo9ck him!! Get rid of him, get rid of those friends of his (the last thing you want to see is your ex out trying to get under someone else-’cause that’s how most of them cope..)
- NETFLIX AND CHILL! You are going to have plenty of time to unravel the mess that is whirling in your mind like a whirly bird, just try to shut it off right now and enjoy some mind numbing activity. I realize this is not every person’s cup of tea, but do what makes you relax, knitting, reading, listening to music (not YOUR songs though, try some Demi Lavato Confident!!) (and for cryin-out-loud DO NOT GO THROUGH YOUR OLD PIX!!). Now tears may come through all of this. As they do acknowledge them, feel that pain and choose to keep trying to soothe yourself instead of wallowing in a sea of self-pity (again, baby yourself).
Now that you’ve made it through the first 24 hours what’s next? Sometimes this is a really difficult question. If you have been living together someone has got to go. Make a plan either to find somewhere else to stay temporarily until you get on your feet (maybe you did that last night if it was his place you were leaving) or have him be out by the end of the day. If you know it’s really over (let’s face it we know when we’ve past the expiration date) there is no reason to drag this out. If you need to work on finding a roommate, apartment or gaining extra income start making a plan.
- GET WORKIN’ ON YOUR FITNESS! Start going for walks if you do not normally partake in endorphin elevation. If you work out regularly amp it up for a few days. Raising your heart rate will help get some anger out, it helps to deal with the frustration and hurt as well it makes you feel more fit and attracted to yourself! Maybe pick up a yoga class (most studios have a first-time-free program or pay per class). This is my favorite to just leave all my sweat and pain on the mat.
- DREAM ON! Maybe you would like to take a vacation with the girls in a few months. Maybe you have always thought about going back to school or checking into a new vocation. I realize we all have our normal obligations, work, kids, parents, friends, but if it is something you are really interested in just invest one hour a day into finding a way to make your dreams a reality. Set up a savings account and start stuffing it for a girls getaway. Check out online schools. Look into your credit if you are thinking of buying a house int he future. Just do something that is for YOUR (not your’s and his) future.
- UNPACK YOUR BAGS! I would be lying if I didn’t say you weren’t going to have to deal with the pain of this loss. You will. But what you need to remember is both of you own responsibility for the relationship failing. You need to be honest with yourself about what you could have done differently (mine was moving the boundaries -gotta work on that!). But let’s face it, he’s not going to own much. He will project his short-comings on you. A lot of the nasty things that were said are a projection and you don’t need to own all of the responsibility. If you do that would be extremely unhealthy. Maybe he broke your trust, what then? Well you accept that he has shown you who he is and you don’t need to be with someone that would put you second for anything! Trust is the biggest deal-breaker for me. It’s very easy for me to walk away if someone cheats or lies. No questions. No arguing. I’m done. But don’t put that on the next guy! Just because the one before did it doesn’t mean the next one will be the same way. And if you want love you have to find a way to let that go.
As you move through this you will have times that you are hurt, angry, sad, betrayed, infuriated, lonely, sad (I know I said that twice its true!!), etc. As those emotions come, feel them. Acknowledge them, let them move through you, but don’t let it consume you. In life we have choices. You have to choose to get through this without causing yourself more destruction. Get lots of rest, baby yourself, work on working out (get that blood pumping) and make good food choices (except that first night – go ahead eat your face off), plan for YOUR future, and unpack the baggage Remember, you have to fully love yourself before you can love anyone else. Hopefully if you focus your attention on these areas you can come out of this breakup healthier than you came in!