I’m contributing pieces on Family Today and Medium. Follow me below. #WomanResurrected On Medium @ColleenOrme Follow me on Instagram @colleenorme Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist #WomanResurrected E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
As the saying goes…breaking up is hard to do.
It’s difficult to describe the excruciating pain of separating one heart from another.
But is it possible we can actually make it harder on ourselves?
At the very least, it is possible we may extend the heartache longer than necessary.
By limping along and rejecting rather than accepting it and by failing to establish some necessary and healing boundaries.
3 Ways to Mend a Broken Heart
Be Honest With Yourself
A lot of tears are shed over people who no longer deserve them.
The type of Significant Other who has been showing us who they are for a long time only we didn’t want to believe them.
It could simply be someone who is apathetic about the relationship, a cheater, a liar, someone who suffers from an addiction, an overly controlling person, an extremely selfish individual, etc.
No matter what the relationship malady is, the problem has often existed for quite some time before we find the strength to leave.
The tears are over someone we created in our mind. A better version of our partner. One who either didn’t treat us as well as we deserve to be treated or who never had the ability to truly love us. Yet, we choose to see the best in them or we choose to believe we can fix them.
If someone has disappointed you, hurt you, ignored you, made your life unpredictable or chaotic repeatedly over and over again then you must face a hard truth. You stayed invested in a losing investment for too long.
Part of releasing the pain of a breakup is accepting and acknowledging the truth about that relationship.
In other words, we can cry far too long if we choose to believe the romanticized version we created of our significant other.
And likewise, the salty stream will disappear quickly once we recognize the person and situation we are really leaving.
Don’t Be Stuck Between Two Worlds
A breakup demands an emotional leave of absence.
There will be commitments we must keep and those we can politely get out of.
We must keep those which are important for our children and family and profession. The school events, sporting events, and work events which require our attendance.
However, some of the painful social events and happy hours which we associate with being a couple can be avoided.
This is a time to heal and what type of healing is something we must determine for ourselves. Grief and loss are intensely personal to each individual. One person may want to retreat from the world and another may want to rejoin the world.
Regardless, we must make it our new world and define what that means.
Don’t waffle between feeling lost at ‘couples’ cocktail parties and claiming what single life now means.
True friends never leave us.
We may need to tell them we are not up to attending certain functions or ask them to spend time with us alone. We may need to plan a spa treatment or watch movies all day. Or maybe a morning coffee or a girls lunch. A way to stay connected without the pain or the reminders of the breakup.
Whatever it takes to get over the emotional hump of once again being around couples in a world we are now uncoupled in.
Carve a new little pond rather than feeling like a fish out of water in one which dried up.
Know What and Who to Avoid
It’s very hard to let go of the past especially one we wanted to resuscitate.
This is a time for physical and emotional decluttering and self-preservation.
We should pack away painful mementos and reminders. We shouldn’t listen to ‘our’ songs or watch ‘our’ favorite movies. And we definitely should not visit those great shared vacation spots, restaurants, clubs, or other locales.
Unless it feels like an incredibly safe place to us even while solo.
If the relationship ended with being replaced don’t feel tempted to peek at their social media. Take that initial, gotta know who he/she left me for glance and then don’t look back. It just prolongs an already excruciating pain from people who don’t deserve us.
Social media, in general, is tricky.
It’s either going to make us feel connected to the world or remind us of what we lost so tread lightly.
We need to avoid anyone who will make us feel judged or bad about ourselves. We need to surround ourselves with people who see our light even at our darkest. We need to gravitate to those who create our emotional support system.
In general, we must avoid any and all emotional triggers.
Be it pictures as a couple, a special item purchased together, music, or a well-meaning but criticizing friend.
They are different for every individual but we can identify ourselves which they are.
It is possible that time will soften even the most painful love.
But we need to establish necessary and healing boundaries to process the hurt first.
The heartache doesn’t disappear because we get validated by the one who hurt us, that rarely happens.
It dissipates as we accept hard-earned lessons in love, acknowledge our circumstances, and grieve.
And finally, allow faith and good counseling to resolve any residual bitterness.
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