Monday, November 23, 2009

How To Be Strong After A Break Up


One of the few things with a high probability of occurring in contemporary life is that a marriage may not last “till death do us part”. As you will not depend on working with the same company till you retire, so too, regrettably, remaining married to the same person for the rest of your life is fast becoming a thing of the past.

Up to 60% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce within a year: not to mention the millions of break ups that occur among unmarried couples. For some the wounds of their broken hearts are still too fresh to forget, and for others the pain still lingers on years after the break up.
  • Should we go into marriage convinced that it will end, and therefore, be preparing for the inevitable, even as we say our wedding vows? No, that will take away the excitement, and change the nature of marriage. We should rely on our inner strength, personal character and the life we have lived to fortify us at the time of a break up to endure it, learn from it and triumph over it.
  • Should you feel rejected, hopeless, shut all the doors and windows and crawl into a dark corner after a break up? If you feel that way, not only has your marriage come to an end, but your life will soon too. Pick yourself off the ground, dust off your sleeves, and know that a break up is not an end, but an opportunity for a change in habit. Start doing things differently, from today forward.
  • Stop thinking about the great moments you had with your ex: they cannot help you now. Write down on paper the reasons for your break up. Make them as detailed as you can. When you write down your thoughts they stop floating around in your head, and cease to hurt and frighten you.
  • After your break up with the one person you sacrificed all others for, you will be lonely: if not physically, then emotionally. It is time to socialize and make new friends. Join a poetry club, an art club, or a sports club. Ask questions, make conversations, exchange phone numbers with people who share your interest and keep in touch.
  • If you are feeling empty and need emotionally support; offer to help a friend or neighbor with some project. Give your time and effort to help others solve their problems. In doing so, you will become involved in their lives, and in turn they will become involved in your life.    
  • Meantime, check your body mass index (BMI) to see if you are overweight or not. It is a fact of life that when we feel overweight, we feel less sure of ourselves, and often fail in our relationships when we should succeed. Talk with your doctor or dietitian to recommend a weight loss program for you, and once you get the weight off, make it your priority to keep it off.
  • When news about your break up reach your family and friends, you will get advice from all quarters. Be polite and listen to all the advice offered, sift them, keep those that are relevant and helpful to your present condition, and throw out the rest. Spend more time with people whose conversations motivate you to be strong and live your best life.
  • Sometimes the pain of a break up is so excruciating that we are absolutely convinced that our best life is behind us. We look at ourselves and see nothing but the empty shells of our former selves. Nothing could be more wrong. Our best life is always ahead of us. Think about all the things you are passionate about and wanted to do, but never got around to doing. Learn a new skill. Take cooking lessons, get involve in sports, try painting, find a hobby: the opportunities to have fun and be happy again are endless.
  • It is a human trait that when we are very happy with our lives, truly happy: we are unable to keep all that happiness to ourselves. Soon we begin to look for someone with whom to share our happiness. Even after an excruciating break up, after time has passed and the dust has settled down, you will begin to date again. Be prepared when the time is right.
  • Don’t get too emotionally involved in your new relationships. Keep the relationships light and simple. You will need up to 2 years to heal the emotional wounds caused by your break up. Rushing into a serious relationship too soon will be setting you up for another disappointment that will open old wounds, and make your condition worse than before.
Your children, if you have any, will also need time to understand why dad left home and didn’t come back, and to begin their own emotional healing process. You and your ex would have had time to reflect on your mutual faults and strengths, and on whether coming back together is what you need to do to heal the whole family.

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