Coping with a breakup can be one of the hardest things people go through in life. Whether we feel like we’re losing the love of our life or we’re the ones leaving, it’s never easy to part ways. We often feel sad, lonely, angry, hurt, and maybe even disappointed with our partner’s behavior. These feelings are so strong that it can be hard to not feel stuck or sedentary in our situation. It can be helpful in the early stage of a breakup to understand what contributed to the relationship failing, and to take steps to forming more positive relationships in the future.
As a useful activity, consider buying a journal or simple spiral bound notebook to help you through this next stage of your life. Think about all the things that made this breakup happen, and start by making a list of all of these factors. If the breakup was your choice, try listing all of the negative aspects of your ex that led you to the breakup. This can be disagreements about having kids, or just feeling a lack of commitment in general. Be specific, and it will help you visually see the reasons for your actions.
If the breakup was their choice, invite yourself to notice the negative things about that person that you may have overlooked previously in favor of making the relationship work. Most importantly, note that they left you. Rather than working things out and seeing the commitment through, they chose to leave. You can list this as point number one of negative qualities about the person. Focusing on the list of negative qualities will help make it easier to leave them behind. It isn’t about being mean or labeling them as a bad person, just focusing on the reasons why they aren’t a good fit for you. List all the times they let you down so those memories will be “front of mind”. If you can’t think of any, start by noting that they left you.
If the breakup was their choice but your fault, for instance if you were unfaithful, try and make a list of the things about yourself that you want to work on and change. You may want to make a commitment to yourself to go to therapy to start to explore the reasons behind your actions that may have led to the breakup.
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