Going Through a Breakup or Divorce Over the Holidays Is Tough. Here’s What to Do.

 

Most people wouldn’t wish the pain of divorce or breakup on their worst enemy.

 

Even if you are the one who decided that a breakup was necessary, you probably feel like wallowing in a pint of ice cream or crying on a friend’s shoulder for hours over your split.

 

In fact, it’s probably the same shoulder that is still wet from the last time you cried on their shoulder about it … yesterday.

 

Breakups are tough ruts to get out of.

 

Then you factor in the holidays.

 

No matter what religion you are, all holidays are a time for family, love and togetherness. And when your family just got a big tear down the center, you wonder … how is celebrating possible?

 

We know you’re feeling low right now. Maybe even lower than low. Fortunately, we’ve got the best news you’ve probably heard in a while:

 

The holidays are the perfect time to improve your mood about this breakup.

 

Think about it. You’re looking at the holidays as a looming period of doom. You’re looking at all the holes that will be there:

 

  • “We usually go to my in-laws for dinner. Where will I go this year?”

 

  • “All my friends are bringing their boyfriends and spouses to the party. I’ll be the only single one.”

 

  • “We used to wrap presents / decorate / watch movies / bake cookies Now what?”

 

  • “I had his present all wrapped …”

 

Similar thoughts been in your head lately? It’s just sad thing after worry after depressing realization after bummer.

 

Ok now stop that snowballing!

 

Reverse it. Flip it on end. When you think like that, you’re making a choice to think like that. Instead, choose to think another way.

 

Focus on the possibilities. Believe in the miracle of this annual holiday that has endured for thousands of generations.

 

And follow this advice for extra support.

 

  1. Be Ready for Change (And Excited About It)

 

Things are going to change. That’s scary to you, especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a while. But you can take control of the situation by making friends with change.

 

For some, this might mean getting back into dating. For others, it might mean finally getting out of the apartment you used to share or selling/dumping the things that remind you of him.

 

Change your hair, schedule a mini vacation, watch the movies he always said he hated—who cares! Get excited for this new chapter of your new life, and try to make the holidays part of it. You can do this by creating brand new traditions that can just belong to you and your family and friends.

 

  1. Pinpoint What You’re Not Looking Forward To

 

It’s easy to say, “I hate the holidays this year.” But what do you hate? Really try to figure out what exactly you’re disliking about being broken up right now. Then take action.

 

For example, a lot of newly divorced people worry about attending parties or dinners solo. Well, if this is you, do something about it. For example, don’t go.

 

Weigh the pros and cons. If going to this dinner alone really upsets you, bow out, and replace the evening with something you love. Get a pedicure. Go see a movie. Hang out with another single friend.

 

Figuring out what bothers you and taking action can break up a lot of the frustration and uncomfortable feelings you’re having.

 

  1. Have a Ready Response

 

Scared of the idea of explaining your breakup or divorce to friends and family and random strangers at parties? Create a canned response, and don’t let people try to start up discussions about it.

 

Listen, you don’t have to listen to people comparing their own lives to yours or telling you that “it will get better soon” or trying to set you up.

 

In fact, if you want, part of your ready response can be: “I appreciate people’s concern, but I prefer not to talk about.”

 

  1. Don’t Stop Taking Care of Yourself

 

It’s easy not to shave your legs for oh … 5 or 6 weeks after a breakup. Or to stop highlighting or touching up your roots for, oh … 7 or 8 weeks. And yeah you can do that.

 

But don’t.

 

Taking care of yourself physically helps you feel in charge of your life and your destiny, and it helps you remember your confidence—an easy thing to lose when you break up with someone or get a divorce.

 

A few days of not washing your hair and wallowing in it is ok, but any more is disrespectful to yourself.

 

  1. Laugh about it

 

We as humans have the beautiful, unique ability to have a sense of humor about depressing situations. When we look at the funny side of sad things, we can at least chuckle a little, and that dopamine can start reacquainting itself with our regular brain chemistry. It’s all a slow process that you should start as soon as possible.

 

So, if you can, laugh about your situation.

 

  • If you had already bought your boyfriend a sweater as a present, don’t throw it out or cry your eyes out into it! Wear it to your family’s holiday party!

 

  • If your ex just put up a holiday photo of himself and his new girl on Facebook, put a photo up of you and your dog next to the fireplace (oh and also, quit checking his Facebook).

 

  • And if you find yourself sitting in bed on a Saturday night at 9pm in your way-past-needs-washing-phase leggings, eating chicken and watching heart-warming / terribly-depressing-in-your-case romantic comedies … have a big, hearty laugh. Because that’s just silly and cute. And very human of you.

 

Then doll yourself up and go out with friends or take some amazing selfies and put them online.

 

Just keep in mind that life is for the living, so live. And remember that in the face of any and all trials and tribulations in life: this too shall pass.

 

Have a Happy Holiday.

Was The Whole Relationship a Fraud? Tips for Getting Over a Breakup

Tips for getting over a breakup

 

Tender feelings, anger, resentment, and defeat are normal after a breakup.

 

You’ve heard before that “Your ego is just hurt” or “You’re angry now, but that will go away.”

 

At the time, though, you never think that the painful memories of the good times, the remembrance of promises you told each other, or the feelings you so truly felt for that person will ever go away.

 

And when things ended badly between the two of you, it’s even worse.

 

“What relationships actually end well” you ask?

 

Good point.

 

But in some cases, breakups are more hideous than others. For example, if you find out your partner:

 

  • Was never actually in it for the long term
  • If they weren’t forthcoming with this fact and flat out lied to you
  • If they were using you in some way

 

Then it is worse, and you’re forced to deal with it on top of everything else you have going on in your life: On top of bills and obligations, stress at work, getting back into dating, family issues, friends you’ve been ignoring … It’s a terrible feeling.

 

But something that can help you during this time lies in realizing that your thoughts right now are not all true.

 

And in many cases, the pain and hurt you’re feeling is just skewing your vision on what happened.

 

First, you must remember that … people change.

 

You’re thinking right now that everything was a lie, from the moment they saw you, right up until the moment before they broke it off.

 

More likely, your partner really thought things were going somewhere with you, and then … they didn’t think that anymore. They changed. They were not trying to dupe you or trick you or lie to you. When they said meaningful things to you, they meant them, but somewhere along the line, their life took a diverging path.

 

Or it even could have been a change in you that triggered a change of path in them.

 

And then when you started to notice they were feeling distant or when the things they said started sounding weird (maybe only in retrospect can you see it now), that’s when they could have been doing some lying.

 

This happens in a lot of relationships, and yeah, it’s maddening as hell, but if you can see through the terribleness that you feel … you’ll see that your partner was trying to salvage something that they felt for you at some time. For a while, they were trying to spare your feelings. They didn’t completely lie to you all the time. It was real while it was real, and when it wasn’t real … it was over anyway because one of you had gone a different way.

 

The reasons for this, you ask? They’re many. Perhaps a spiritual awakening, a new set of goals for life, a new job, a death in the family.

 

Or purely internal changes—ones you cannot see. They take a diverging path inside themselves, and you can’t go with them. Nor should you want to. Not if you’re not wanted in their life. You need to find your own path and someone who can be on it for life with you.

 

Another thing that happens is that often, we’re in so much pain after a breakup that we blame the breakup on the other person 100 percent, saying that their feelings weren’t real ever.

 

Makes you want to pen a Facebook essay-style post, entitled I’ve Been Had: How My Entire Relationship Was a Fraud from Beginning to End, doesn’t it?

 

But if your relationship lasted for more than just a few months, you know this isn’t true. Psychopaths get into relationships with only the pure intention of lying and gaining things for themselves. But these are psychopaths, and there are only a few of those around.

 

It is highly unlikely you were dating a psychopath.

 

When you think and speak like this—saying that you were lied to from beginning to end in some elaborate plot to screw with your mind—you’re just speaking from a point of pain. And we understand, it hurts.

 

But contrary to what you might think, realizing that you actually did have some amazing moments together and that those moments were definitely real and true and pure … that’s what can set you free from the terrible pain.

 

As Dr. Seuss so wisely put it:

 

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

 

And good things did happen.

 

Little Tips to Get You Through a Breakup

 

  1. Force yourself to be more realistic when thinking of your ex and your past together. See above.

 

  1. Avoid lashing out and calling them names at all costs (even when they might deserve it). You’ll regret it later, and people who observe it will think you’re crazy. We know who you are, ranting Facebook posters.

 

  1. Cut off contact. Nothing makes the pain of a breakup go away faster than setting up an out-of-site, out-of-mind situation for yourself.

 

  1. Turn to friends and family for support and to get your mind off things.

 

  1. Experience the pain. Know it’s going to be hard, and lean into it. Once you embrace something you want to avoid, it gets a lot less scary … You’ll see.

 

Time heals all wounds. It will heal this one too. We promise.

 

 

Finding Happiness Without Your Ex

 From Love of Your Life to Somebody You Used to Know: Finding Happiness Without Your Ex

By: Faye Roberts

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Right now … you hurt.

 

And this may sound all too familiar:

 

Your mind is like a filtration system. Everything you encounter that has the least bit to do with your ex is examined and turned over and over and analyzed. The rest … who cares.

 

You probably look for excuses to go where your ex might be. Even if it’s out of your way, even if it means ditching on other plans you made, and even if it means the possible encounter won’t be a good one.

 

And it’s hard to go to sleep too, right? You putter around past midnight trying to do a few extra things so you don’t have to lie there in the dark with your own thoughts.

 

Finally, you beat yourself up. Oh, you probably don’t realize this one. Your mind is very subtle and sneaky at silently attacking you for losing him or her.

 

So in general, you feel like crap.

 

And what’s happening in reality is that you’re handcuffed to a dead relationship, and you just keep dragging it around.

 

Well hey!

 

You can let go.

 

When? Why not now? Right now. Right this very minute. Right this very second. And here’s how.

 

Steps to Freedom: Getting Happy and Back to Yourself Without Your Ex

You read that right.

Sucks, doesn’t it?

You’ve gotta do it.

 

Get Rid of Their Stuff (and Reappropriate the Stuff That Reminds You of Them)

 

If you have things your ex will want back, do the right thing and give them back.

 

Ok now look at the stuff you have that reminds you of your ex. If it’s some sort of tissue shrine you’ve kept from when they blew their nose or a hair or something, throw that stuff away!

 

But the other stuff? Take it back!

 

In other words, sit yourself down, go through your stuff and reappropriate it.

 

This is a word that comes from sociology, and it refers to certain groups who have “taken back” names that were once derogatory. For example, “Yankee” was once a mean name for colonists. Today, it refers to a proud American when you’re out of the country or a proud northerner when you’re here.

 

So no: seeing the mirror you had bought at the flea market with your ex should not make you sad anymore. That’s your mirror. Similarly, ordering pizza from your favorite pizzeria is not “theirs.” And they do not get to “have” Downton Abbey either just because you watched it together. Turn those things on end, and reappropriate your entire home or apartment for yourself. This is your turf.

 

Subtract Social Media

 

Now. We’re going to be looking at you holding on to your ex like an addiction. Hey, don’t jump to conclusions just yet. Addictions have an awful stigma, but they’re a wholly human thing. It’s normal to feel “addicted” to someone you care about and love. But it can be hard to stop “using.”

 

Subtracting all or some of your social media will help a great deal. And don’t worry, you’ll get it back later. Sadly, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the innocent bystanders who have got to go away for a while. When you use them, you get a little bonkers stalking your ex, right? And it’s not just their page. It’s your mutual friends’ pages and friends of friends … of friends, etc. And that is why you just have to delete them. If you don’t, it’s like an alcoholic taking little shots of tequila every day while he’s also actively trying to quite drinking. It won’t work.

 

As a caveat, notice it says you might only have to delete only “some of your social media.” This is because some individuals rely on these platforms for their work and livelihood, and if that’s the case, you’ve just got to do your best to hide them or any site of them in your feeds.

 

Write Down Your Feelings

 

If you just rolled your eyes at this one, think again. Journaling is not something that only 13 year-old girls and whalers from the 1800s do. You can journal too, and it can help you a great deal.

 

When you write, don’t hide things, even if you feel ashamed or embarrassed. No one will see this. Just write down exactly what you feel at that moment. Figure out a way to put it into words even if it comes out clumsily. Maybe you want to say you’re mad or angry or that you feel stupid and lonely. All of that’s okay.

 

Mix With New People and Get New Hobbies

 

You knew this was coming. You have to keep yourself busy! But this won’t be too hard if you’re creative. Look for hobbies you’ve always wanted to try first. If you’re short on cash, just grab some charcoal pencils and paper at an art store and try drawing, or start taking a free online class.

 

To meet new people, try new hobbies that are social. You can play an intramural sport, take a dance or art class, go back to school, or just try mingling more with your co-workers. Those happy hour Thursdays always sounded fun, right? The goal is to create a new friend circle that doesn’t include your ex. You have to start fresh sometimes, but that’s okay!

 

Find Someone New

 

This is the real kicker, and it won’t be easy. But the absolute best remedy for getting over an ex is finding someone new.

 

Now, let’s make something perfectly clear first. You do not need a partner to be whole. In fact, you should make sure that you are whole yourself before you go looking for a partner. So if you’ve been in long-term relationships since your teens or just got out of a marriage, maybe it’s time to take a break and not go looking this instant.

 

But if you’re still dwelling over your ex and it’s been months or even years, it’s time to move on. You have to believe there are other fish in the sea and go fishing. Do it through blind dates, or do it by asking for a number at the bar, or do it through online dating. Just do it.

 

Let Go

 

Finally, this step: You have to let go of your ex. And for most people, this means forgiveness and acceptance. You’ll have a lot of feelings right now—that you wasted time with them, that you made a grand mistake of some sort, that you have got to find some way to get them back, that you hate them so much and will never love again.

 

All of these feelings are valid, but they’re holding you back from moving on. You have to drop them. Nope—you can’t drop all of them “except that one.” You have to drop every one. Forget it. No regrets.

 

This is your life, and you have to harness it and take advantage of how wonderful it can be. Holding onto an ex or being bitter about an ex is only keeping you from having an amazing life.

 

You can’t see where you’re headed if you keep looking behind you.

 

So look ahead and move forward. It will get easier every day.