Breaking up is incredibly difficult, regardless of what role you play in the process.
Two people build an expectation of a life together and, when it comes crumbling down, it can be hard to stay strong and look for the positives. For married couples, all of a sudden lawyers are involved, and everything is uncertain and seemingly hostile. For unmarried couples, you lose a best friend.
To help in a difficult time, we’ve written up some tips on staying strong after a breakup alongside Melbourne based family lawyers, Marguerite Picard.
Don’t Contact Them
The golden rule of breakups is to not contact your (now) ex partner for anything other than exchanging belongings and sorting out any matters that need to be sorted out. Don’t text them in the middle of the night, don’t call them when you’re feeling lonely, and don’t immediately try to establish a close friendship. These things will only hurt both of you, and drive you further apart.
Deleting all the pictures you have of your ex partner is a good idea. It helps you to retake your devices; your phone and computer, mainly. Being reminded of them every time you look at something you carry with you everywhere can be bad for your mental state, so delete every single picture you have of them to stop that from happening.
Social Media Blackout
At their worst, breakups can make you feel unlovable and alone, and social media is the worst possible addition to this negativity cocktail. Seeing all your friends and family out and about, doing things with their partners and living their lives unfazed by the storm brewing in your world isn’t good for you, so unplug for a while and get away from it all.
It can feel safe and secure at home, and that’s why many people tend to shut themselves away after a breakup. Maybe they don’t want to run into their ex, maybe they don’t have the energy to socialise, or maybe they just think that some time alone will be good for them, but what’s important is to get out of the house and do things. Take your dog for a walk every day, go food shopping at a new supermarket, see a movie by yourself. These will help you to begin to move on.
Learn Something New
The passage of time may feel slowed to a crawl after losing someone you spend a lot of time with, and this can amplify any negative feelings you might be experiencing. Learning to do something you couldn’t do before is a good way to take your mind off of the loss you’ve experienced, and it also helps to demonstrate that there is a life that continues after a serious breakup.
Meeting new people and making new friends can help to fill the gap left by your partner, and can also widen your friend group. Human contact is good medicine for a breakup, and learning new things about new people can help to speed up the recovery process.
Finally, it is incredibly important that you let yourself feel the emotions that you’re feeling.
Don’t repress them or hold them in because it might be unseemly. Cry if you want to cry, scream and shout if you want to scream and shout. Let your emotions out in a healthy way, but never direct any anger or malice you might feel at your ex.
No matter what happened between you, confrontation is never healthy in the immediate aftermath of a breakup, so feel your feelings now and talk about them later, when they’ve passed and you understand them.
These tips will help you to safely and gently guide yourself through this trying and difficult time in your life and, hopefully, you come out the other side happier and healthier.