What NOT to do after a Big Break-up
By Judith Wright EdD and Bob Wright EdD
Authors of The Heart of the Fight
Don’t blame. Take responsibility.
It’s easy to blame him for everything that went wrong, but it takes two to tango. You need to take responsibility for what you did that contributed to the failed relationship or to hang in there when your gut was telling you it wasn’t a fit. Even if his break up was messy, in some way you allowed yourself to be treated poorly and you need to take responsibility for that so it doesn’t happen again. And, that doesn’t mean that you get to blame yourself for everything that went wrong, or beat yourself up, or torture yourself thinking about every possible thing you should have done differently. Neither of you gets or/to takes more than 50% blame.
Don’t whine. Identify and learn your lessons.
You’re hurting and will want to be comforted, but don’t just whine and wail. It’s OK–and even necessary–to cry your tears, let out some anger, mourn the loss, and get comfort and support. But watch that you don’t [collapse into] become a victim, full of self-pity, ain’t if awful, poor me’s. Drop the drama. Don’t lose your self-respect. Take charge and use your energy to go forward. Look more deeply: What are the bigger relationship lessons you need to learn from this? Despite what most people think, the point of a relationship is not to make you happy. The point of a relationship is to learn, grow, and develop yourself. What do you need to learn from this last experience? Mine the lessons. What would you do differently next time?
Don’t Text, Call, Hook up, Initiate Contact. Mourn or process instead.
Picking up the phone can be tempting or seeing him out and having one last fling. But initiating contact on your part just means you didn’t learn your lesson. Get that it’s over; don’t try to hang on. Face the end/loss of the relationship. You need to let yourself be sad and mourn. You can process what happened with your girlfriends but reconnecting never pays off in the long run. If the relationship isn’t growing, there is no reason to have contact. It just prolongs the agony.
Don’t hang out with friends who are negative about relationships. Hang out with friends who have great relationships and tell the truth.
You may have friends who are delighted to help you pick up the pieces after bad stuff happens. But are they the right ones to hang out with at that moment? If they can help you work through it, great. But friends who just want to complain all of the time about men, are always negative, or who are only there for you when things are bad aren’t always the best people to help you learn how to have a great relationship. Instead hang out with friends who have great relationships or who are working on it. Be with people who are willing to comfort you AND tell you the truth while you are mining your lessons.
Don’t beat yourself up. Treat yourself really well.
Any kind of break up hurts, let alone a big one. Whether it was your fault or his doesn’t even matter. It’s easy to be harsh to yourself or not treat yourself well after a break up. But what you need is the absolute opposite. Honor the fact that you are in a very vulnerable state. Know that you are eminently lovable even if it doesn’t feel that way at this moment. Look for evidence that it is true even if it is through the caring look of a friend. Do whatever you need to do to be extra sweet with yourself in this challenging time. Give yourself the love you deserve.
© 2016 Judith Wright EdD and Bob Wright EdD, authors of The Heart of the Fight
Judith Wright, EdD, co-author of The Heart of the Fight, is a world-renowned couples and lifestyles coach, speaker, consultant, professor, and best-selling author. She has appeared on 20/20, Oprah, Good Morning America, and Today. Follow Judith on Facebook and Twitter.
Bob Wright, EdD, co-author of The Heart of the Fight, is an internationally recognized visionary, speaker, educator, consultant, professor, and best-selling author. He is recognized as a top coach by Crain’s Business. Follow Bob on Facebook and Twitter.
The Wrights founded the dynamic and innovative couples program at the Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential.
For more information, please visit The Heart of the Fight.
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