11 Breakup Survival Tips (That Don’t Involve Positive Thinking)

Breakups are as much a part of the human experience as a breathing oxygen and not licking cactuses. It’s actual science that going through a breakup does the same thing to your body as withdrawal from an addiction, activating the part of the brain associated with motivation, reward and addiction cravings.

As well as this, emotional pain triggers the same pathways in the brain as physical pain. 

That’s the bad news. The good news is that it will get better. 

If you’re going through a breakup now you’ll probably want to file that under ‘B‘ for ‘But you don’t get it – no-body has ever lost like I’ve lost.’  Yes. It’s highly possible that humankind is unfamiliar with the level of wretched misery you’ve fallen to now, but read on anyway, because the ugly truth is that the only way through a breakup is straight through the middle. Here’s how to start with that:

  1. Don’t make any big decisions.   

    Tattoos, relationships, work and cutting off your locks. It might seem seem like a good idea to get ‘Just Breathe,’ or ‘Live Life‘ tattooed in times roman 120pt on your forearm but seriously, if you need these sort of reminders so badly as to have them embedded into your skin, then you’re in no position to be making life-lasting decisions. They might all turn out to be great decisions one day, but make them when Rhianna stops singing ‘Love the way you lie’ in your head. ‘Just gonna stand there and watch me bu…’ Don’t. Just don’t.

  2. Unfriend him (or her) on Facebook.   Do it right now. We’ll wait.

    He’s not going to be posting sad faced ‘missing you’ selfies from the places you used to go – and anything else, you don’t need to know about. Keeping up the follow will swallow you whole. The only reason to have him there is to check he’s not getting on with his life too happily without you. He will be. So will you, without him, just as soon as you stop the Facebook stalk. If you’re going to keep him friended, just rip your heart from your chest, hand it over and tell him to squeeze. It will hurt a lot less.  

  3. Exercise. Just not at the gym he goes to. At the same time he goes there.

    Possibly the only exercise you’ll feel like doing is hurling ‘that’ photo of both of you across the room but if you can manage something more active (though perhaps less cathartic) you will feel better afterwards. Cortisol, the stress hormone, will be making itself at home inside you. One way to take the fire out of cortisol is to exercise. Exercise will also stimulate the brain to release endorphins (the feel good chemicals) and you’ll already be short on them so you’ve got nothing to lose. You don’t have to work up a sweat – going for a walk will do. A caveat though: If the activity involves walking slowly past his house or climbing up the stormwater pipe to get a look into his window, it doesn’t count as exercise. It counts as stalking. 

  4. Get rid of texting capacity if you’re going to have a drink. A couple of drinks won’t make you Shakespeare. They just won’t.

    Alcohol is a depressant, so if you’re on a downhill slide it’s best to stay away from it. If you are going to have a drink though, protect yourself at all costs from the temptation to drunk text. You’re human. You’ll want to. But don’t fall for the courage that comes in a bottle of decent pinot. It’s been fed by slightly hammered wisdom and it won’t end well. Never. Ever. Just give your phone to a friend you trust and tell her to feed it to a pack of wolves before even thinking of giving it back to you. Unless you’re totally – totally – sober. You won’t need to explain why. She’ll get it. 

  5. Connect with friends and family. 

    The real ones. Not the ones who you haven’t heard from since the last crisis. The real ones who will sit through ‘Love Actually’ with you for the 37th time and eat microwaved Indian from the dodgy plastic container it came in last night because you used the last clean plate three days ago. One of the reasons a breakup hurts so much is because it messes around with the primal need to be connected to other people. You might not be able to be with the one person you want to be with, but spending time with your tribe will feed the human need for connection and will bring a much needed boost of oxytocin (the happy hormone) you’ve been missing. And those real friends? On the way out the door they’ll pop the dishwasher on before telling you they’ve organised for both of you to do salsa dancing classes to get you out of the house. Don’t argue. Just go. There’s a good chance you’re starting to smell like a week-long temper and it will only get worse.

  6. Give your bedroom a bit of a reno. And get some sleep.

    Buy new sheets, new pjs and new scented candles for your bedroom – nothing that reminds you of him. Get rid of anything that makes you think of what you’ve lost. And then remind yourself that you haven’t lost it because it wasn’t there. Otherwise he would be too. Shake away those sepia dusted images of the two of you at your almost-but-not-quite spring wedding staring longingly at each other or the buffet. Keep your ‘OMG My Wedding Yay’ Pinterest board though. It will still come in handy one day. If you want it to. It just won’t be with him – and that will be okay, you’ll see. And stop falling asleep on the couch in your day clothes. 

  7. Eat Healthy. Or don’t. Whatever. Just don’t keep it going for too long.

    You’re doing it tough.  You’ve got enough to worry about – you don’t need to get sick on top of everything else. Give your body what it needs to function. Eat healthy and eat regularly. Of course, the occasional crowd-pleaser bucket of fried chicken won’t hurt. Everything in moderation. Or in a delicious crunchy coating.

  8.  He’s gone. He’s not coming back. But you are.

    Every breakup survival needs a breakup comeback. When the time is right, plan for yours. Do something you wouldn’t have done while you were with him – and no – that doesn’t mean hooking up with Russell, the 40-something from accounts with the earring and gold bracelet who threw you a cheesey line at office drinks. He’s not the only man to own a guitar and being able to play the first four bars of The Simpsons doesn’t make him a musician. Leave Russell where you found him – possibly texting Shona, Shaniqua and Shaniya – and instead learn Italian, cook French, buy new lingerie (with you in mind, because you deserve it), plan a girls trip to Morocco – or if you’re budget’s gasping for breath, a girls’ trip to Target for your new lacy knickers will do fine.

  9.  Don’t meet up for coffee as friends. Actually, don’t do anything as friends.

    There is nothing in this ‘let’s be friends’ thing for you. No doubt you’re a mature, emotionally together lady-human who can deal with this just fine, and deal with it you will … until he wants to introduce you to his new friend Sally – ‘Sal’ – the pilates instructor who snacks on kale and beetroot juice and drops a quick line about the movie they saw last night together. Together. As in, to-geth-er. Rational heads don’t necessarily follow broken hearts. There. I said it. So when they go to the movies, you (quietly) go to ‘What. A. Jackass. Did I ever really know him no I don’t think I did because we’ve been untogether for three months now which is practically five minutes in breakup years and now he’s watching movies with some girl and that can only mean that they’re shagging and she says his name like they’re practically engaged and I can’t believe this did he ever really care about me at awwwwwwlllll?’ Sound familiar? Nope? Well maybe just me then. At any rate, you loved him once remember. And he loved you. It’s hard to go backwards from that.

    If you can take the dignified high road and forgive and forget and be friends, good for you, but you might be heading for trouble. You’ve been there. Done that. Nothing to gain from doing it again. In this sort of relationship, someone will always want more. And it probably won’t be him – especially if it’s only been weeks since he was outta there. If he is the one that wants more, then still ‘no’. A few weeks is never enough for him to ”find himself’.  He’s not a remote that slipped behind the couch. It’s never that simple. Never.

    Of course, if you have kids together you will have to stay on friendly terms (at least in front of the kids). It might not be easy but you’re a woman who will always love your kids more than you’ll want to hate any man so you’ll be fine. You’re phenomenal. And that’s why you’re his loss. Remember that.

  10.  Look for what it can give you.

    Sometimes when you’re down it’s because there’s something down there you’re meant to find. As part of your breakup survival, look for the gems. What can you learn? Why did you choose the relationship? What’s the wisdom that’s left for you when everything is said and done? Everyone comes into our lives to learn from us or to teach us. What have you learnt? The fact that it’s over doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. It just means it’s run its course and it’s no longer the right one. Use it as a step up to the one that is.

  11.  You only have to get through today.

    Don’t think too far ahead. It still has the imprints of you and him with your perfectly behaved children, that spring wedding and you running that marathon (actually, keep that one – just don’t have him at the finish line ready to receive you and your gazelle-esque stride). Just don’t go there. Unless it’s to make real plans for something fun. You only have to get through today. You can deal with tomorrow when it gets to you. Just put one foot in front of the other and it will get easier. Promise.

Above all else remember that the path to wisdom and a happy life is often littered with shards of broken hearts, including our own. And keep going. You’ll get there. 

What are your breakup survival remedies? Let us know in the comments below …



i soo needed this real no bull read
one year out of a blindsided separation been together 27 years.boy its hard even now but articles like these give me stamina.thankyou


I left my partner of 14 years in August 2020 because he was secretly meeting up with his ex-wife from 30 years ago that recently moved back to this State. She also happens to be my cousin… I was devastated. She left him 30+ years ago for another man, left her son behind and a lot of heartache. She returned and started giving him ‘extra attention’ that I sensed at family events. He denied it but I felt him pushing me away. I ended up moving out, hoping it would wake him up to see what he was loosing. After several weeks he started to make contact again – and our relationship rekindled but not living together. He asked me to go on a holiday he had planned for himself, I agreed to go but asked if he had invited his ex – he said no. On our last night away of a lovely holiday, I happened to look at his phone and found evidence of lots of contact by phone and an email from him inviting her on this holiday. I confronted him and he had no option to eventually admit this. I felt humiliated and 2nd best. Despite all this our relationship continued on a part-time basis but once you lose the trust it’s hard to get that back. We continued on this part-time relationship. It turns out that is how he wanted to continue and not live together. I couldn’t handle the yoyoing of it all and called it quits just before NYE. I’m still heartbroken that it didn’t work, makes it particularly hard because a cousin involved… They haven’t taken the relationship any further but I can’t seem to let go but I am trying very hard this time to cut the cord and not contact. It is so hard but helped to offload. Thanks for listening. Nothing is ever straight forward and he has had a lot going on this year and he has finally taken the step to get help for depression. Am I wrong to feel hopeful that once he gets in a better headspace that there might be a chance for us???


I can answer your question: yes, you are wrong to think that his self help will result in a different person than the one who left you for your cousin. I’m so sorry. I can tell you that he has given you the greatest gift. He has given you the gift of you. Look in the mirror and see the lovely woman you are. You deserve the love you want. You deserve to be treated with complete dignity and respect. Don’t settle for less. Choose you, Christine and love and happiness will come. You have to be in allowance of it. To be in allowance you must believe you deserve it. To believe you deserve it, you must love yourself.


My ex and I had been together for about 8 months and i was happy because i had thought i had finally found the one. I genuinely loved them. He showed me what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like and i couldnt be more grateful. Recently on New Years Eve he asked for a break because he was unhappy in our relationship. I feel sorry for not being able to give everything he needed emotionally especially since I started a new job. My schedule there is completely new to my old job so I was just starting to adjust my time for everything. During that time he felt lonely even though i would try to hangout with him as much as I could and I would text him and message him everyday. But i guess things felt different so then while I was crying by myself on New Years Eve by myself at 11pm I realized that it was time to break things off and now I feel lonely myself. He hasnt answered my break up text yet and I dont think he will until after the break he wanted to take so wish me luck. Also, I know its says not be befriend your ex but he means so much to me. Hes my best friend and has always been there for me. Is that a good ideas though? How is it like to have an ex as a friend? This is also the 2nd break weve been on since the last break he took he was deciding whether he was gonna breakup with me or not before he left in august 2021 but he decided to try long distance with me.


Just don’t. It’s not worth it. Your heart will heal no matter how close the relationship was. Don’t try to be friends. If he was so uncertain about you that he needed to take two breaks from you then you should be certain about him- he’s not the one for you and you can do better than him. You deserve more. You deserve someone who doesn’t make you feel doubtful, who makes you feel secure, and someone who you know will be there for you. As the article says, being friends works fine and dandy until they do or say something that will utterly crush you again. Don’t make yourself go through a break up twice. I know it’s hard, but ripping off the band aid once is far easier than reapplying it and ripping it over again and again. You will be fine. I can guarantee you that. It’s ok to feel hurt, lonely, sad, angered, confused. Just take it one day at a time and do what makes you feel better- while trying your best to be healthy. Find the balance in your life that works, remember what makes you happy, and live each day anew and you will be happy again. Not all relationships last the test of time, and if he broke up with you on New Year’s Eve, take this as a new opportunity to breathe again and rediscover yourself. This will be a stepping stone for your own self improvement- and it’s perfect timing for a new year and a new you.


My ex and I broke up after 2 months of dating.. I know that’s a short time but I was crushing on him BAD for 6months before dating. as a person he was everything i wanted looks and personality wise. I ended up feeling unhappy in the relationship because I would overthink a lot, felt he started to lack on effort and saying romantic stuff to me, and over a relationship with a friend of his i was uncomfortable with. I know we broke up for a reason, but it just hurts when I still want him and just wish that he was capable of loving me like I wanted to be. I work with him, and we both said “we should be friends” im just currently suffering now and going through so many mood swings. I have no one close to me who can support me through this, I don’t know what to do. my heart hurts, badly.


Week before Christmas. LTR live-in (11 years). Abruptly broke up tonight, even though I have been wanting to end things for quite some time. Had intention of breakup after holidays, but HE asked me if I wanted him to leave (living in MY house) and I shocked him by saying YES. He has an adult daughter whom he dotes on. She blew all her money on booze and now her Daddy supports her, even though she works. She manipulates him constantly, but he just can’t see it. The final straw was me refusing to allow her to come here for Christmas because of the COVID19 pandemic. Her job exposes her to many people, many positives. I didn’t feel safe allowing her to come for Christmas and my fiancé did not want to see reason. There are so many issues, yet he is unwilling to talk about them. Constantly wants me to do things for him— phone calls, internet research, insurance quotes, etc. Feel like his employee. All in all, breakup had been coming for a long time. But was trying to get through the holidays, before our breakup would render him homeless. Our situation is hopeless because we cannot communicate, on ANY level. I’m sad, but also relieved it’s finally over.


he broke up with me because he thought his best friend, i didnt so he broke up with me for no reason and i loved him. he asked to be friends what do i do?


Personally I wouldn’t be friends with him. It extends the pain you’re already feeling from losing that relationship. It’ll make you hold onto hope when there maybe isn’t anything to hold on to.


I am reading reading, reading, everything right now. for me it was not a romantic relationship though … kind of was and he gave me mixed signals. but he was my best friend and comrade. we went through a tough time together and were there for each other. but now that everything is fine he said I am allowed to die since he doesnt need me any more. I am confused as to… what should I have done? he has a girlfriend now and said this is it. was he expecting something more? but losing my best friend is so much tougher…. it just feels like the whole world abandoned me. how am I going to get old with not one soul to trust? I feel like a dog who was thrown out of a moving car to th side of the road. I have no strength. but Im reading, reading, trying to understand, trying to find the power to keep going.


I have just been broken up with for the third time by the same man whom I have been with for a year and a half. I also work with him and have to see him everyday. He is an alcoholic and broke up for good reason because of it. I knew it was probably coming, but I am still hurting greatly and feel so utterly lonely. I suddenly have way too much time and no energy. I feel like my head is detached and wont work right. I have so much emotion. Yet he seems okay. I struggle to keep my mind busy because not doing so hurts too much. What is this life we live? What is the purpose for all the pain? I started dating him as I was getting divorced 2 years ago. I’m about to graduate with my Associates degree. I’ve moved back with my parents. I’m 34 years old. So many changes. So many struggles. My heart is so heavy.


My biggest question, my most troubling why, is if I loved this person so deeply, truly fought to have and fought to keep this person, what does that say about me? My choices reflect my needs and my needs reflect my worth, so why did I choose someone who is incredibly unstable, to the extent of being unwell? Why did I try to integrate this person into my family with two little kids? How did I let myself depend on someone financially and emotionally who from the start was intensely undependable? The bond between us was so intense. I welded myself to a person who, when he brought me joy, did it magnificently; he made me Helen of Troy, but when he disappointed it’s the stuff of comedy routines. It’s so unkind to be absurd. Am I inherently unstable? Why did I tolerate this? These wild swings? Why do I still crave him? Despite the wreckage? It makes me fear my judgment, what I might love next, and what makes me capable of being treated like this. I grieve most this rising knowledge that I will never be happy. There are plenty of other guys out there who will mistreat me if that’s what I’m into. They need only be sexy, creative, witty, and intensely bright, and eager to oscillate between treating me like fetid garbage and Lady Gaga. I woke up, and realized I am Courtney Love. Except he’s still out there.


I know it’s been over a year and for your sake I hope you have answered your own questions. However, if you have not than I can guide you a bit… you are dealing with childhood trauma as well as an anxious attachment style. I know this because I have been healing both and have spent hours and hours reading, writing, and talking about it. I cannot get into all the details but if you search the terms you will get all the info you need. The short answer to your questions is that you will find partners who share your trauma and either a. Try to fix them or b. Have them fix you. The problem is they have the same trauma so have none of the tools to do that. Neither of you get fixed and the relationship collapses. You will inexplicably want that person even though the relationship was terrible. That is how you know that it was a healing cycle and not a relationship built on healthy love. Your relationships are mirrors and what you get from that person is all you can give. They reflect your own unresolved issues. Learn the lessons and heal before repeating the cycle with someone else. Lastly, the anxious attachment style causes you to hang on tightly as they reject you, so it will take you much longer to let go. You may have noticed that your exes all have moved on before you could. Anxious attachment will seek out dismissive-avoidant. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Truly. But I promise that if you address these issues in yourself and find the love that you already have inside that you WILL find that unconditional love in another. Be strong, Brooke, and know that you are loved.


I don’t even know where to begin. I have been in what I suspect is a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship for a little over a year which has finally come to a very painful end. The entire relationship I spent trying to prove my worth and value to this person with them constantly criticizing me. They would tell me that I am boring, I have no goals, I am not passionate etc. in addition to them constantly insinuating that I am dumb and all that. It wasn’t all bad. It did come across like they were truly trying to help me be a better person. Anyway due to unforeseen circumstances I fell into depression. At that point I just knew it over for me as I had been hanging by a loose thread anyway. I had to tell him I was unable to give him what he wants from me right now and I did hope he would stay and give me more time to get back on my feet. He chose to leave and expose the private reason I was depressed to his entire family. Devastated is an understatement for how I feel. I would have never predicted that my life could unravel with such a series of unfortunate events. I don’t know how I could ever be happy again. I am so traumatized by life. So much loss all at the same time. Every step I take I hear his voice “be more fun! Show me you’re passionate! Impress me!”. The feeling of worthlessness is something that nobody will ever fully understand. I’m not sleeping. In addition I need to spend lots of money and time to fix the issue that resulted in me being depressed. I have so much guilt and regret and I am just a shell of my former self. I will never forget how low I feel right now. I pray I make it to the other side.

Mercedes N

I’m going through a break up right now and reading your post actually gives me strength for me and you. Only because I know you will get past this, pain doesn’t last forever and everything on this planet is temporary especially emotions. You don’t think your strong enough to pass this phase but you are and eventually you will have no choice but to let go of the pain in the same sense you had to let go of your relationship. Nothing happens on OUR Time just because we want it to. There is a very valuable lesson for you in this which is why you are STUCK, A lesson that’s bigger than the relationship it’s self. After reading this you made me realize how I MUST SOUND LOL, Just like you. But without even knowing you I see the light at the end of the tunnel, which means that my light will come soon too. Stay strong, we have our whole lives ahead of us don’t stay stuck in the moment…especially a bad one lol.


He is a narcissist. Read everything you can on narcissistic personality disorder. Put your running shoes on and don’t look back. You are lucky to have escaped him.

Imelda k

I know how low you feel because i’m going through the same thing and all i wanna do is dissapear to another continet if possible…but one day at a time we will get to the other side happy and peaceful.hang on


We we’re just together for 3 months compared to others that was been on a long term relationships that was ended but heck, why am I feeling this way. When throughout that relationship I was the only one suffering. He was my crush and everything just happen so fast that I didn’t even notice. I got pregnant but the only thing that I hear from him is he will think first leaving me behind. At first I understand him or I did try to understand him. I don’t even know why I love him when all he did was break my heart. I’m 5 months pregnant know and I’m just taking care of it myself without his help and even support which I told him so. He is the most ungrateful man I ever know but why do I still love him despite of that. It is so frustrating because I ended up stalking his facebook and stuff like that and when he texted me I just got excited and have my hopes up again even though I know it will just end up me hurting myself. I’m so stressed and depressed by this already and the only thing that keeps me going is the child that I’m bearing . I don’t really know what to do know or I’ll say I know what to do but it is so hard for me to do it. 🙁


I was in a 4 years relationship with my baby daddy. Our relationship is explosive. We never calmed down each other. We always hurt each other through our words and sometimes actions. Note that we are in ldr most of the time. But when we were together it’s like the time stopped and everything was fun and dandy.
It’s been 2 months since he left me and I’m not gonna lie.. the first month was an eye opener to me. I felt as if I’ve been living in a cage this whole time. But the second month comes and i saw his post with another girl. My whole world shattered. I was suck back in tim when we were happy, what he could’ve become, what we could’ve become.

I called him, he texted me. He told me he still in love with me despite the other woman. He makes excuses that he was using that girl to try and forget me but he failed from time to time.

I won’t go back to him and he knows he won’t come back to me. At this point we both know it’s impossible. But he still yearn for me as i do him..

But i just can’t and I’m currently stuck in a loop where my body is out of the door but one foot is glued to him.. it’s hard to see him treat her like i always wanna be treated. Making plans with her like how we wanted. But hell i know he’s not the one for me and I him.

Wish me luck and the best for not putting myself in that loop again that could hurt another person.


I just want to say, as a Life Coach, that just posting on this site is a step forward. You are sharing your feelings and in doing so developing trust and getting support. Your mind, on a subconscious level takes in the very fact that you are reaching out, taking small steps and actually moving forward. You don’t necessarily begin to feel better as soon as you start moving forward. The feelings of contentment with your life, can be delayed, it is a process. It is very difficult to understand when someone has a different moral compass than you do. To understand how they can hurt you like this. Accepting that they do, may make it easier to move though each day. Step back and look at your relationship with a sense of curiosity. Think about your behavior and your partner’s behavior. You cannot be curious and heart broken at the same time. Are there lessons to be learned. I am so sorry to hear such pain in these posts but you will move on and you will look back at this as a life experience. Wishing you all freedom for that which is currently bringing you down.


Reading these posts has shown me that I am not alone in this struggle. When you are going through heartbreak you feel like no one could ever understand the pain, but in reality, we all feel the same painduring heartbreak, but only in different degrees. I am still trying to get over a very short lived relationship that I had 9months ago. I too fell for the ‘ I will be divorcing her’. I broke up the relationship after realizing he was just stringing me along and possibly using me to musk the pain he was feeling from his lovelless marriage. Countless times he called ‘his angel. Please! After the breakup we tried to remain friends but things changed slowly until I found out he had become closer to another lady I knew. I was devasted and I think I still am. We then had a small argument after which he blocked everywhere he possibly could, including LinkedIn!. That made me feel even worse. I did not want the relationship but i still wanted us to remain friends becuse he was in my professional circle. I apologized, sent text messages, sent email, he ignored all my attempts to try and get us to atleast talk. Its only now that I am making peace with the fact that he replaced our friendship with the other lady, and maybe other ladies too, and since I had brocken up with him, he had no need for me in his life. That reality hurts. It hurts bad. I am trying to get past it, some days are good, some days are terrible. But I know I will forget, I will find true love, I will be glad things turned out the way the did. For now, I will take things one day at a time. I have panick attacks every now and then when I think about the whole situation.But I have survived depression before and I know I can survive this too. Thank you again for sharing your stories. We are all in this together. We will get through.


Please tell me you got better after writing that message..
I need hope , i understand what you went through. Im at the “I broke up with him ” state but I want to stay friends while I know he has many women who want him in his new workplace


I am happy I could keep my marriage together no matter what means I use, I cannot let my home tear apart because of my husband’s indiscipline. I will do anything to keep my family together and happily in love forever.


I’m stuck. 20+ years of happy marriage. Surprise! Hes a cheater and always has been. 5 years later. I still fight to get through every day. Things can only get better but I’m trying not to give up faith. Im.giving this life everything I have. Im ready to get something back. The struggle is real. Love you all!


Hi. I am struggling with self-love. I fell hard… and I mean hard for my first boyfriend. He was everything that I ever wanted. I loved and still, love him so much. We broke up a couple of times in one month. He broke up with me and then begged to get back together with me. this was a cycle that kept on happening. We dated for 9 months, he was my first kiss and first boyfriend. Then recently he just told me that he was losing feelings for me. I am upset and confused because I have always loved him more than anything, and it hurts when you feel like the person you trust most in the world has just moved on so fast after everything you both had. Now, of course, my friends and family are telling me, “move on… you’re so much better than that… you deserve so much better… you are going to get through this,” however, it just doesn’t feel that way at all. It’s like one second he was telling me how much he loved me and then the next he told me he lost feeling for me and it would be better if we were just friends. Ouch… I know I’m young and I have so much to look forward to in life but I would just like advice on how to react when I see him in the halls, or talking to other girls, and basically not getting so fed up in his crap and everything that he has put me through.
Thank you


Reading these your stories makes me sad. My boyfriend of 7years dumped me cause I’m fat and ugly. It was a long distant relationship but we never missed skyping. Everyday we skype and even sleep together on skype but he still dumped me and said I need to lose weight and that I need to put more makeup on my face. Basically saying that I’m fat and ugly ?. I can’t change my face even if I wanted to and I try to stay fit and healthy but it’s still not good enough. Still heartbroken from his comments and has lowered my self-esteem. Hoping for some miracle I win the lotto and get a complete makeover so I don’t feel self-conscious about myself.


Agnes, I’m so sorry to read your post. Please don’t believe his words, they are not a reflection of you, they are a reflection of his poor character.

It’s so important to do things that make you feel great about yourself – like seeing good friends, sleeping well, getting some exercise – but that’s what is important I think: how you feel about yourself. Please please try to not let those cruel comments alter how you view yourself (I know it’s a lot easier said than done).

It may not seem like it right now but you have the power to make yourself happier gradually, one day at a time, and there is someone out there for you who could never be cruel like that to you.

Ana V

Definitely want to reinforce the suggestion on not being friends and not meeting up or maintaining contact. Going through a breakup today. 3rd time is the charm I guess. The reasons we got back together always had to do with seeing each other again to soon after the break-up to “talk”. We’d only been together about 8 months, and reading these comments make me realize that the pain could be so much worse–it could’ve been years before we realized all the reasons it wouldn’t work.

It’s been falling apart for a while now. I don’t know why we kept holding on to it. Maybe we were both just lonely. It felt like we could keep the fantasy going for longer, but I guess everything has to end. I just hate how ugly it was. Said and did things fully out of anger that I wouldn’t have done otherwise….maybe that’s another sign. If someone’s bringing out the worst in you, it’s not worth salvaging because you’ll never let yourself grow. You’re just regressing.


I too had a completely unexpected breakup 3 weeks ago. The level of certainty he shared with me about how I was the woman of his dreams, the right person for him, the way our lives were so aligned. I have a secure attachment style, and yet I had never trusted anyone as much has I trusted the things he said, the way he shared his love and desire for me. We were getting ready for date night, and he first started by apologizing how he hadn’t been spending the quality time with me that he wanted and “should have.” It then led to a conversation of how he didn’t understand how he could be so head over heals for me, but keep having thoughts of wanting to do other things without me rather than do the things we both loved together. He kept going back and forth in his mind saying, “I get so excited thinking about cooking you dinner each night, and then would say, “I just can’t keep going back and forth like this.” He asked me if I could “fix this” “help him flip the switch” and figure out why he was having these contradictory thoughts. I told him a big piece of our understanding is doing our own soul searching. He ended the relationship that night and said we would talk. I was completely shocked that our date night turned into a breakup. we had trips and vacations planned as recent as this week. I called him two days after the breakup and asked in a voicemail if we could talk and that I had more questions come up. I also shared my feelings of being sad, confused at how we both shared we had never felt the way we felt about another the way we did about each other, and that if I could hear more of what was going on for him might give me more clarity. A week passed and no response. I called and left another voicemail stating I know he might not have all the answers and thats ok, but even a one word response of “No” in a text to tell me he’s not willing to have a conversation with me would help. It has now been nearly 3 weeks and not a word or response at all from him. The thing that hurts me most is that I can’t understand how someone who tells you how he’d never do anything to hurt you, and how much he cares about you, could be the same person who could not even have the respect to respond in any way. I truly believe that humans are good, it is just so difficult when you believe in people so much and believe they will at least make the choice to be human to another human that they pushed for a relationship with, shared that space, and energy and connection with. I’m working on doing the things that make me happy, and working on trying to let go of the desire to know the answers, as I am only in control of myself and can’t make anyone else communicate. Just feeling sad, discouraged, and so confused.


Hi Dana,

Same thing happened to me too. When we met it was she who was so eager for a relationship. She told me she loved me first. She made plans for us to be together even as far as telling me that she wants to marry me one day. We really connected in so many levels. After so many weeks, I started feeling she didn’t want to be as invested into the relationship. I found out that her finances were a mess. When we met she made the impression that she had a lot of money and wanted to buy everything for me. I told her that I’m not interested in material things. I only want her loyalty and love. Found out that she owes over half a million in back taxes and that her company has been liquidated. She literally had no money or savings to speak of. When we were together I would offer to pay for things and she started to feel comfortable of borrowing money from me. She finally told me that in spite of telling me that she wanted to marry me and build a life together she wasn’t entirely sure if I wasn’t the right person for her. I was devastated. How could someone promise things and tell you they loved you and want to marry you and then say that you’re not the right person for them? It’s totally messed up. I am sad and heartbroken because I completely trusted her and believed everything that she said but she turned out to be a liar. I hope that I will eventually get over her. For not it hurts.


Hello Dana,

How have you been?
I am going through the exact situation and was wondering how you survived it? Did he eventually communicate with you?


Ok so mine is quite a bit different, and I believe it stems from trauma I experienced in the past. I need help you guys! Tell me to stay strong and tell me to move on!
Quick history. My husband of nearly 12 years was killed in an accident 6 years ago, leaving me with 3 kids to raise. We have had tremendous support and life has very much gotten on track. I’m quite delayed in my grief because I put mine aside to make sure my kids were and are ok, so I don’t think I’ve really processed the horrendous sadness associate with losing my love so unexpectedly.
Fast forward, about 3 years ago I met a man who lives in Chicago (I’m in Denver) who was out here for work. I’d tried dating a few other people and my hear just wasn’t in it, but when I ran into Mark at a bar, it was instant chemistry. After he left we talked on the phone for hours at a time, every day, and got to know one another deeply but without physical connection. Throughout the next year he traveled here about twice a month and our relationship grew. Having kids of is own in Chicago, he couldn’t move here and having my tight family ties I wasn’t willing to move there. He promised me he could continue this and wanted to make a big life that involved a mixture of living here and there. I was all in.
For the past year he’s decided to focus on his career, and has been coming here less and less. Giving more indication that he’s not as interested as he once was. Although verbally he tells me all of these big and wonderful things, his actions tell me something different, that he’s not invested. To run a big and long distance relationship like this takes diligent care, and he’s just stopped caring. He tells me once his life is secure again with his career he’ll come here and follow through with all of the plans we had. I told him that in the mean time I needed something to hang on to, the little things. Phone calls in the mornings, sweet notes at times. Maybe a letter here and there. He’ll attempt it but the effort is clearly not there.
So what do I do? Let him go? Wait? Is it too difficult to maintain a relationship like this and I’m just afraid of loss due to my history? I’m stuck and I’m lonely. Any support or guidance would be so helpful. Thank you.

christine G

I am going through this too. I was with my husband for 18 years. He had an emotional affair 3 years ago. I tried my hardest to forgive him, but the trust was gone, but I still loved him and wanted to keep our family together.
December 2017, he told me he didn’t love me and wanted to separate, he was messaging another girl. On the 1st Jan 2018 I moved out of our house with our 13 year old daughter. A week later, he said he was sorry and he loved me and wanted to try and make it work, he never tried, I feel I was just a stop gap till something else came along, and I was right. He is now seeing ‘Stacey’ who he has described to our 14 year old as ‘Fit’ ….Really, who does that.
I am utterly devastated, not sleeping, crying and just feeling low. I am pushing myself to work everyday, but its getting so hard. I do not feel I can cope with this hurt, I feel worthless…


I feel like my life is over. I fell in love with a man I thought was my answered prayer. We moved quickly. Saying “I love you,” after two months of dating and me up and moving away with him to a new state eight hours away after he received a promotion at work. I thought he was the real deal.
I got depressed after the move and he spent months trying to make me happy. But the gifts, time, or actions never made me feel better. He eventually asked to be moved back to my homestate after I found out I was pregnant hoping that I would go back to normal.
But I didn’t. I was depressed. I am depressed. He bought me things and tried his best to make me feel better. But I found out that he was texting other girls and had downloaded tinder to see “if he still had it.” He felt like I didn’t care about him. I definitely drifted away from him because of the depression but I was always faithful. After he promised he would stop, I told him that I wouldn’t give up on him. I didn’t leave.
Three months later while on a family vacation with our son and his daughter from a previous marriage, I found pictures of his friends that he’d secretly screenshotted using a creepy app on his phone. He was using the pictures to masturbate since I wasn’t as sexually motivated as he was.
But I forgave him. We worked it out or so I thought.
We decided that I should go back to school and in doing so, my time and patience grew thin. I was tired all day and did homework all night. He felt neglected and unwanted despite him knowing that I was doing all of this so that we could have a better life.
One day when I was sick he slept in his daughters room because he didn’t want to get sick. In reality, he needed space. He told me that the last time we had sex, he couldn’t finish and it concerned him. He wanted to break up because he was tired of me not being happy. He was tired of feeling unloved.
I left but made every effort to get him back. I went to therapy, did my hair and makeup, tried to see the bright side. But he secretly had another girlfriend and I found out. He didn’t deny it but justified it. He claimed to have deleted her number but I fouund her number saved under his best friends name. He called me ugly, said she was prettier. I was fat, she had a better body. I was boring, and they had great conversations. I left for good.
I’m trying to remove him from my life but because we have a son, it’s difficult. I still have to talk to him.
There is so much more to this story but I’m just heartbroken and need help. I’m still keeping up with the therapy but I need something more. I’m devastated.


My heart goes out to all of you. I’m in your boat.
After a horrible 27 year marriage to a habitual cheater, I divorced him. The process was long and arduous.
During the process I met the love of my life, who was also going through a divorce after 27 years.
No matter the outcome… I will always classify him as the LOML.
For the first 3 years it was a long distance romance, but so sweet. Then he moved closer and I split time between my home and his apartment.
Yes we had normal lover’s quarrels, but our love remained iron-clad.
Three months ago he moved in. We’ve been readying my house for sale, but he grew moody and sometimes cruel.
He had given me a “promise ring” 5 years ago, and it was accidentally damaged. That was 6 months ago, and he’s never had it repaired. Symbolism.
I don’t pester him about reasons we haven’t gotten married. But on occasion when I do, he always has an excuse.
Yesterday, I told him to move out. And he did. I’m in terrible pain. I’m scared. I’m petrified. I’m panicking. But I KNOW I have to melt down this relationship to get to the bottom.
If he never comes back, or never reaches out, then I saved myself more heartache.
Sometimes we have to endure the most painful scenarios to determine where we stand.
Six and a half years is more than enough time to decide whether you want to get married.
It’s the oldest story in the book. Failure to launch. And it’s a cruel game which hurts and batters one’s self-esteem.
I just don’t get it because he’s always near, declares his love, etc.
But he just wouldn’t take that final step.


My Story Not like you I loved girl past 6 months this is my first love she came and proposed to first and now she left me no reason and i tried to compromise her but she blocked my mob number and i tried call she won’t give answer my call and then i tried commit suicide like accident even I called when i’m in hospital with strichses on head but she did’t answer .now what i want to for comeback to my life and i don’t know what will happen to me I’m just lauging infront of my friends but i really prayed to god but i didt know .please give some suggestion


I am so sad for the abyss of the pain I read in all of your stories. Loss of a love is just devastating- it is also all tied in with our hormone and nervous system which is suddenly starved as well. So it’s normal to feel.. AWFUL. I just lost someone I was deeply in love with, a friend of 35 years where we finally felt like we were getting OUR chance. Turned out his external AND internal world really were very unstable and chaotic not ready for a partnership. As a single professional mom in my 50s, I began to see that the extreme stress in his life and how he DIDN’T handle it was having a severe toll on me too. We both had trauma in our teen hoods and that all got kicked up I believe because we loved each other way bac kthen. I however had done a lo tof “relationship work” and he had not… so he had so many detrimental patterns and also was still living back with his parents (!) in a family system without emotional honesty, planning, boundaries or limit with his kids or finances. started to have panic attacks feeling I am going to go DOWN with this ship… It was the hardest thing I’ve done to end it- as I really love him deeply, and was IN love. But when he refused angrily to do some couple’s work to try to right the ship so maybe we could try with more consciousness, I knew he was not ready to do the work to be with me right now. He’s in his own therapy.. but just at the beginning. I have been having super high anxiety and panic and started w a new trauma thearpist and two nights ago, some medicine. I thought I would marry this old friend now lover who would become my life partner. That was what he said and still wants. It’s terribly painful when the heart doesn’t line up with the reality of someone’s life. And i had to save mine. It broke my heart to lose him, for me. and once again to leave him…but I waS getting so hurt by his immaturity and dangerous life patterns and his telling me he was all “there” for me but constantly letting me down and NOT being there for me. Please seek out help, medicine etc if you are panicky or depressed in a way that lingers and makes every day so hard. You all deserve it and you all deserve someone who leads with their heart, and has devotion and integrity in word and actions.


This info didn’t really make me feel better until I read the part about just getting through today. Then the tears came.
July 2015, I fell for possibly the oldest line in the book: “my wife and and I are only living together for the kids, we are leading separate lives”
I was treated like a princess, romantic lunches, showered with affection and jewellery, he met my family and friends, he promised marriage, wanted me to move house to be closer to him.
Suddenly, he has to take 2 weeks off work to be with the kids. And then I get dumped, being told the age difference is too big.
Turns out the actual fact is that his wife is very much with him and we were both lied to, and his 2 weeks off was to take them all off on holiday. This guy must have been living like James Bond.

My heart is not only broken because I’m mourning for the future I was planning, but also because of the lies he has been telling me from the very start. Now I realise I never knew him at all and that frightens me because I trusted him with my life, heart and soul. How could I have been so blind???
All I can think of are the coming weeks and months, but that one piece of advice to just get through each day may just be what will save my life.

I wish there was some way of avoiding this horrendous pain, and I know I should be thanking my lucky stars I didn’t get stuck with a cheat. But in the immediate aftermath, I just can’t bring myself to think of him in those terms. Nor as myself as the “other woman”.
I hope we can all get through our pain and come through the other side better.


My fiance dumped me overnight after a petty argument a month ago. I was in shock. Then I realized that he was just waiting for a chance to do it and found the opportunity. We were together for 1.5yrs and I was single for 4yrs before him. It’s been devastating. I feel alone and unwanted. It’s been a month and I haven’t started feeling better. I barely sleep, I barely eat, and getting through each day is a constant struggle.

I really loved him and supported him in anything he did. He threw me away like trash. And now I’m stuck in a new neighborhood, having panic attacks so I can’t drive more than 3 miles, and no friends nearby. I don’t even have a family to turn to. I just want to curl up in a ball and die so I don’t have to feel this heartbreak and loneliness anymore.

I’ve tried new hobbies and none of them are appealing. I used to love cooking, but now knowing that I’m cooking for one it makes me cry so I don’t cook anymore. I tried going to a bar just to find some karaoke entertainment and that didn’t work. I felt more alone being surrounded by drunk strangers. I tried exercising, but not eating and sleeping made it too exhausting to keep it up. I just want this pain to end and nothing is working.


Sammy I am going through this now, I’d love to know how you’re doing now a few months later


I am getting a little more sleep, but that’s the only improvement. I’ve watched all the YouTube videos on break ups and did all the crap people tell you to do to move on. None of it worked. In fact, something in me changed for the worse last month. Despite making new and supportive friends, nothing gives me enjoyment anymore. Life is just empty and pointless these days. I go to therapy weekly in the hopes that something will fix my brain.


This is the same thing im experiencing. But i have no friends nor family to speak to. Just me alone and my four walls. Everyday just wishing to die. Not only from heartbreak but also the humiliation and shame.


I get that. 17 yrs, 2 months and he totally isolated me while keeping lots of friends (male and female). And I’m left with nothing but a huge mess he left and a lot of animals he never helped care for but wanted.


Shanzz, I hear you. Standard addvice for depression or breakup devastation is call on the support of your friends and family members you trust — easy platitudes that are like salt rubbed in a wound when there isn’t anyone like that in your life. I’m desperately lonely and unhappy after being dumped by 3 men I dated and 2 formerly close friends in the space of 4 years. The humiliation I’m feeling at these rejections and my lack of any other close friends to help me through it is staggering. I take comfort in my cats, my two sweet companions, in music (playing it, dancing to it) and spending time in the wilderness, just paying rapt attention to everything I see, hear, and smell. Sometimes immersing my attention in these sorts of realms that have nothing to do with social interaction can give my mind a much needed break from rumination about rejection and how shattered I’m feeling.


Hi Sammy, I can totally relate- going through something so similar rn..
I was wondering how you have been doing since your post?
And if you like, we can talk about it more in person, too!
Please feel free to mail me if you feel like it.
Hugs and a lot of strength from Germany,


I have been dating my best friend for 4 years . He took in my oldest daughter as his own. We got married almost 2 years ago. Well 3 weeks ago he leaves and says he wants a divorce. I have 3 kids with him. I was a stay at home mom. I was madly in love with him, it kills me that we are getting divorced this fast. I don’t understand how ppl can just wake up and be done? I’m ready to be okay. I’ll always hope he wants to come back but at the end of the day I know he won’t. 5 years and 3 kids. Now it’s just me….


Kim, I’m wondering how you’re doing now that some time has passed. I’m going thru a divorce at the moment, 24 yrs in, we had major troubles, he left with a friend of mine. He had no love for me whatsoever he said, up and gone. We have a child and things have hurt bad.
I’m looking for how you’re doing and hoping time will help.


Thank you so much for sharing your words of wisdom. It’s just what I need to hear right now. My partner of six years has just left me and our one year old son. Late last year he told me he wasn’t happy and felt we had “lost our connection”. I asked him if another woman was involved to which he adamantly said no. Things deteriorated over the following weeks and he moved out. I was beyond devastated. I felt like I had so many unanswered questions. How could he just end things so abruptly without debate, discussion or explanation?! I didn’t accept it and managed to get him to come to counselling with me. I really felt like the counselling was working, he appeared to be opening up and said he wanted to get things back on track. We had been doing counselling for over four months and during that time he gradually moved back in. I told him I didn’t want him to move back in permanently unless he was 100% committed. He was back in permanently for three weeks when he sat me down and told me he had been seeing someone else and had feelings for her. It’s over. I feel so incredibly betrayed, hurt, rejected and alone. The whole time he was supposedly working on rebuilding our relationship he was seeing someone else. I don’t know how I’m going to get over this.


Ok to start with all tell you all that I’m a man. Finding articles for guys is so it seems a lot harder. But if I may tell you my story.

I met her in Nov 2012. By Nov 2013 she asked me to move in with her. By August 2016 we were married. Eight and a bit months later here I am posting on here.

We split up because she loved me but is not in love with me. I’m completely and utterly heart broken. In the few years together I developed a family. Her family but all the same they all became mine. My stepson had two beautiful children. They call me grandad and I love them like my own. I’ve lost them also. All I want to do is love my wife and for her to love me back. I accept that she no longer does but I’m falling apart and as hard as I try I can’t see a light ahead. She’s already erased me from her life. I know she’s very upset and sad for the pain she’s caused me as she has told me but her life is moving forward and mine has died. I now live in a caravan miles away from all those I love. I’ve lost everything. I genuinely don’t know what to do.


Hi Paul, I am really sorry. I know you are devastated and right now your world is upside down, not just because of losing your wife but also her family. I have been there. Please try to get some therapy if you can, you need to get all of your feelings out to someone who can help to guide you to a better path. I too thought that I would never be able to get over the heartache and pain but by taking baby steps and going day to day, I have gotten much better. Still not totally over it but much better. Therapy, friends, meditation (try a great meditation app called “Insight Timer”) and keeping busy have all helped. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Better to keep some distance from your ex, she is not going to give you the answers you want. In time you may see that this was for the best. You deserve to be loved the way that you love. You are not alone, try to remember that.


Reading this article and the follow up replies has been helpful but I am still so devastated. I had been married 28 years to a narcissist and ended my marriage by my choice. I spent over a year in therapy and did not even attempt to date until I felt I was in a good place. Met a guy on a dating website and from the get go we seemed to hit it off. He had three kids from his prior marriage. He and his ex do not get along but he is a great dad and does not speak poorly of the mom to the kids. He told me after we were together for a little while that I was the kind of person he could see spending the rest of his life with. Fast forward 9 months and he unexpectedly ends things with me. Says that we are very different from each other. I know we have our differences as far as him being more conservative than me and some world views, but I thought we a lot alike as far as our core values, family, etc. He also said his kids have been having a hard time with his ex and he feels guilty being happy when they are so unhappy. He says his kids are all he knows. I have never been anything but supportive of him and he would agree with that. His ex and mine do come up with us during conversations sometimes but mostly when they interfere in our lives. He said he does love me and he has not been thinking about ending this relationship until last week. I am blindsided by this. We don’t argue and these issues of us being different have never come up before. I did not rush into this relationship and waited over 6 months before telling him I loved him because I wanted to make sure. Well, I am sure and now I am heartbroken. I did not feel like this when my marriage ended. I have not contacted him and fortunately he is not on social media. I know right now I would go back with him in a heartbeat if he wanted to but I also know something would have to change. I am trying to keep busy but all I want to do is lay on the couch and watch tv. I am only eating because I know I have to. The sadness is overwhelming me and I pray that time will heal this.


I’ll pray for you all. I’m glad you’re eating at least. Do it for yourself. Call friend and talk their ear off if you have to. I find that really helps


Thank you for your kind words. I am doing much better now. Time, friends, meditation and therapy have helped.


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“Karen Young - Hey Sigmund has such a wonderful way with words especially around anxiety. This is her latest beautiful picture book that explains anxiety through the lens of the Polyvagal theory using the metaphor of a house. This shows how sometimes anxiety can be hard to notice. I think this book can help kids and teens better understand stress and anxiety. I loved it! This would be great for homes, schools and in libraries.
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Of course we love them, no matter what - but they need to feel us loving them, no matter what. Especially when they are acting in unlovable ways, or saying unlovable things. Especially then.

This is not ‘rewarding bad behaviour’. To think this assumes that they want to behave badly. They don’t. What they want is to feel calm and safe again, but in that moment they don’t have the skills to do that themselves, so they need us to help them. 

It’s leading with love. It’s showing up, even when it’s hard. The more connected they feel to us, the more capacity we will have to lead them - back to calm, into better choices, towards claiming their space in the world kindly, respectfully, and with strength. 

This is not about dropping the boundary, but about holding it lovingly, ‘I can see you’re doing it tough right now. I’m right here. No, I won’t let you [name the boundary]. I’m right here. You’re not in trouble. We’ll get through this together.’

If you’re not sure what they need, ask them (when they are calm), ‘When you get upset/ angry/ anxious, what could I do that would help you feel loved and cared for in that moment? And this doesn’t mean saying ‘yes’ to a ‘no’ situation. What can I do to make the no easier to handle? What do I do that makes it harder?’♥️
Believe them AND believe in them. 

‘Yes this is hard. I know how much you don’t want to do this. It feels big doesn’t it. And I know you can do big things, even when it feels like you can’t. How can I help?’

They won’t believe in themselves until we show them what they are capable of. For this, we’ll have to believe in their ‘can’ more than they believe in their ‘can’t’.♥️
Sometimes it feels as though how we feel directs what we do, but it also works the other way: What we do will direct how we feel. 

When we avoid, we feel more anxious, and a bigger need to avoid. But when we do brave - and it only needs to be a teeny brave step - we feel brave. The braver we do, the braver we feel, and the braver we do… This is how we build brave - with tiny, tiny uncertain steps. 

So, tell me how you feel. All feelings are okay to be there. Now tell me what you like to do if your brave felt a little bigger. What tiny step can we take towards that. Because that brave is always in you. Always. And when you take the first step, your brave will rise bigger to meet you.♥️
#anxietyinkids #consciousparenting #parentingtips #gentleparent #parentinglife #mindfulparenting #childanxiety #heywarrior
If anxiety has had extra big teeth lately, I know how brutal this feels. I really do. Think of it as the invitation to strengthen your young ones against anxiety. It’s not the disappearance of brave, or the retreat of brave. It’s the invitation to build their brave.

This is because the strengthening against anxiety happens only with experience. When the experience is in front of you, it can feel like bloodshed. I know that. I really do. But this is when we fight for them and with them - to show them they can do this.

The need to support their avoidance can feel relentless. But as long as they are safe, we don’t need to hold them back. We’ll want to, and they’ll want us to, but we don’t need to. 

Handling the distress of anxiety IS the work. Anxiety isn’t the disruption to building brave, it’s the invitation to build brave. As their important adult who knows they are capable, strong, and brave, you are the one to help them do that.

The amygdala only learns from experience - for better or worse. So the more they avoid, the more the amygdala learns that the thing they are avoiding is ‘unsafe’, and it will continue to drive a big fight (anger, distress) or flight (avoidance) response. 

On the other hand, when they stay with the discomfort of anxiety - and they only need to stay with it for a little longer each time (tiny steps count as big steps with anxiety) - the amygdala learns that it’s okay to move forward. It’s safe enough.

This learning won’t happen quickly or easily though. In fact, it will probably get worse before it gets better. This is part of the process of strengthening them against anxiety, not a disruption to it. 

As long as they are safe, their anxiety and the discomfort of that anxiety won’t hurt them. 
What’s important making sure they don’t feel alone in their distress. We can do this with validation, which shows our emotional availability. 

They also need to feel us holding the boundary, by not supporting their avoidance. This sends the message that we trust their capacity to handle this.

‘I know this feels big, and I know you can do this. What would feel brave right now?’♥️

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