Recovering from a Breakup: Proven Ways to Heal (From Science)

Even if your heart tries to pull its broken self together to tell you it’s for the best, and your head – foggy and sad – tells you the pain will pass, the agony of a breakup can be relentless. When you’re recovering from a breakup, it’s important not to hurry things along – it’s your time to reset, recharge and draw wisdom from the experience – but what if your healing could be strong and complete … and quicker?  Science may have just found the way. 

New research has found that broken-hearted ones who reflected more on their relationships over a nine week period had a stronger overall recovery from their breakup. 

An important part of the healing is a process called ‘self-concept reorganisation’, which involves rebuilding and strengthening the sense of who you are, independent of the relationship.

[bctt tweet=”What if your healing from a breakup could be stronger and quicker? Science may have found the secret … http://wp.me/p5hkQx-lk”]

Relationships have a profound impact on the beliefs we have about ourselves, whether we realise it or not. During the course of a relationship, it’s very normal to ‘intertwine’ with a partner. Goals and directions change, as well as wants and needs for now and the future.

This isn’t because you lose yourself, though certainly that can happen, but because intimacy involves opening up to another person – opening up to their love, wants, needs, feelings, opinions, love, goals, dreams. When that happens, you can’t help but be influenced and eventually move in the same direction. Sometimes that involves adjusting your own sails. It’s all a healthy part of being with someone fully, and part of the unpredictable magic of relationships.

A breakup means the undoing of this merging, which is painful to go through. However strong and independent a person may be, the fracturing of a relationship can also mean the fracturing of the self-concept. One of the most painful parts of a breakup is that it up-ends things as you’ve come to know them. The familiar is gone, plans are changed and the future all of a sudden has too many blank spaces where happy things used to be.

[irp posts=”1144″ name=”Dear Broken Hearted One … When You’re In The Thick of a Break-Up.”]

 

Part of the healing is re-establishing who you are without your partner. Anything that can repair and re-strengthen the self-concept, will accelerate healing.

So, to get you back to strong, based on science …

  1. Talk. Go on. Go for it.

    There are a couple of ways that talking about a breakup might help to facilitate healing. The first is that talking about the relationship will help to bring a different perspective to things. It’s not called a ‘breakup’ because it’s working well. Being in love or being in like-a-lot can blur things, hide things and dress things up, sometimes at the cost of clarity. There will be a level of insight that will throw itself at your feet when you talk about the relationship from a more distant perspective.

  2. Find your story.

    Talking helps to construct a story of the relationship that gives meaning to the experience – including the experience of the relationship, the breakup, and perhaps most importantly for healing, the recovery. Let me explain …

    If you tell the story of your breakup as one of rejection and a lost happy ever after, recovery will be slow, kind of like ‘walking through quicksand’ type of slow. It’s really easy to get stuck in this narrative when the thoughts are locked in your head and want to be with you at 2am. On the other hand, talking to people in your tribe will help you find a way to understand your story from a position of strength. This might involve finding the lessons, the learning and reframing the experience as, say, an ending, rather than a rejection.

  3. An emotional release – journalling.

    Having an emotional release is an important part of healing. Journalling is one way to do this as it allows you to capture and give definition to the thoughts and feelings that are swirling around inside. Journalling doesn’t have to be done every day to have an effect. Even a few times a week will help the healing. 

  4. Write – as though you’re talking to a stranger.

    Writing repeatedly about the process of the breakup as though speaking with a stranger about it, is another way to move towards healing. As well as being an emotional release, it also encourages a fresh perspective and new insights.

    [irp posts=”150″ name=”Your Body During a Breakup: The Science of a Broken Heart”]

  5. Reclaim yourself – what’s been neglected?

    Reclaiming a strong self-concept – establishing who you are outside of the relationship – is critical and will be enormously supportive of a recovery. Think about the parts of yourself that might have been pushed aside during the relationship. When you’ve found these, find ways to build them and nurture them. 

  6. And expand them.

    Find new ways to expand your self concept. When you feel ready, (or maybe a little before then) take up new interests, establish new goals or re-establish your direction. Given that your need to connect has been messed with, anything that will give you the opportunity to connect with others who will also see you as your own, unique person will really help the healing process.

A breakup is an ending, not a rejection. It might not feel like that initially, but it’s an important thing to remember. When your heart has been broken, it can take a while to find your way back to whole but you will get there. Healing from a broken heart is as much a physical process as it is an emotional one. It’s very similar to recovering from an addiction, which is why it feels so hard and so damn painful.

Above all else, remember that there were things about you that were beautiful, strong, vibrant and extraordinary before the relationship. Nothing has changed.

364 Comments

Alexandra

My boyfriend and I have been wanting to end things for a while but we always seemed to hold on to each other and one of us always kept running back. He said we needed a break yesterday, because I was acting distant ( I was unsure I wanted to be in the relationship and felt I deserved better) and later on told me we’re done. For some reason tho I’m so upset and can’t imagine my life with out him now, so I messaged him that night and he just started his career and is booking a vacation and is telling me not to worry I’ll be fine and find someone I deserve. The only thing is I can’t be alone, and it’s not the same hanging around my best friends (who I ran to for support) I feel like he was my best friend and I’ll never have that connection with anyone else and I’m so sickened by it I feel like I’ll never get over it. I’m a very beautiful, smart young girl but I just feel like I lost my best friend and my soul mate even tho I know I deserve better. I’m conflicted, please please help me.

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

Alexandra, you will move through this but you have to give yourself the opportunity. The pain of a breakup always ends eventually. It can feel awful until it does, but there is the strength and courage in you to deal with this. Trust yourself – you have everything inside you that you need to move through this. It’s understandable that you want to keep going back to what feels familiar, but you know how that ends up. It ends with you both staying stuck and being in something that doesn’t feel right. Just get through today. Don’t think too far ahead or it will overwhelm you and keep you coming back to the familiar for comfort. You will get through this, but first it’s up to you to decide that it’s the right thing for you to do.

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Scott

I’m Scott same shit happened to me put everything I had on. The table bent over backwards for her I feel very used & abused all I ever wanted is to be loved I’d love to fulfill your broken heart maybe u can do the same for me I’m also cute smart I need a good woman in my life part of me died plz feel free to text or call 6162399758 hope to hear from someone as caring as my self I’m confident my ex found another man to walk on

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Rae

Just got out of a three year relationship. My boyfriend ended it and said that it was because of my attitude and how he does not like my personality anymore. This was said after I was explaining my feelings to him of why I was upset over a not breakup worthy issue. He said my emotions were making his life miserable and blamed me for his unhappiness. I offered suggestions such as going to see a therapist together, and trying a different form of communication between us. He never communicated with me until the breakup about his feelings. He said it was too late to fix things when I wasn’t even aware of the problem. It has been one day and have just decided to work on me and improve myself. The best satisfaction is becoming stronger and more well-rounded than before. I am hoping he will come around. I do not think he truly meant to end things. I am hoping he will be back, and is just stressed about having a new job and the workload that comes with it. I wish everyone else well. Stay strong.

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AmyLee

Hello. I know it’s been such a long time and I wonder whether you will see this reply anyway, however, I am willing to give it a shot. I seem to be in a very similar situation, and one sentence that stuck out to me was ‘He said it was too late to fix things when I wasn’t even aware of the problem.’. Not to mention the other similarities – we’ve been together for 3 years, I suggested talking to a professional and said I would work on dealing with my emotions because my now ex also said that ‘me being too emotional is making him tired’. For me, that is not a break up-worthy issue, since I see it as something that is definitely fixable, and I would have fixed it if he told me about the problem before actually deciding to break up. For 3 years we’ve had only 1 big fight prior to this, so I felt it was a really good relationship, and one that could end in a very happy marriage, with work, that’s necessary for any relationship.
Anyway, I was wondering if you ever see this if you would be so kind as to share your experience with me. Thank you.

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sara

I have been talking to a very charming, kind-hearted and loving man for the past 4 years. He has been my bestfriend and has been the best advisor and supporter, I have never witnessed someone so beautiful inside and out all my life. No one treated me so right from the start and I honestly, cannot find a single flaw about him – and I understand no one is perfect – but he is my perfect. I accept anything and feel immense trust and care between us, we talk about absolutely anything, have so much in common. He’s my best friend, and my dream man at the same time.

I never believed in “feelings” and the idea of relationships. I always got rejected whenever I opened up to any guy I liked. Throughout the years, I fell for the wrong guys and was treated like a second-option, or not one at all. I decided to move on and focus on myself until he came along.

He’s very serious when it comes to relationships, as he never had one. He always told me he’s waiting for the right girl and will not date like that unnecessarily. One day I somehow convinced him to open up to me. After 4 years, talking for hours along with sleepless nights, he told me he loved me since he had his eyes on me. We went to the same school, saw each other everyday, had classes together and apparently – everyone saw it and I couldn’t believe that he will like me one day, let alone love me. But the thing is, we started to be together properly when we both graduated from highschool – where he made his plans to move to America, whereas my plans failed to the UK and currently stuck in a gap-year in Dubai.

I can go on and explain how lucky I’ve been but that might take a lot of time. That’s what I’m stressing about. After 3 months of being together, 7 months of long distance relationship – I am falling apart more and more. I didn’t want to be in a LDR because of how much pain one can through. I distracted myself and worked, because staying home gave me so much time to overthink and miss him, and ache for his presence next to me. We skyped almost everyday and talked whenever one of us had the chance. Our timings our opposite (AM vs. PM) but somehow worked. I broke down in October telling him I wont be able to continue cause it’s hard to be behind the screen and we have no plans for the future, as he’s planning to stay in US for the next 5 years and 4 years for me once I move to UK in few months. He convinced me with his positive thoughts, told me he will try harder and I did too. Infact, when he came back in December, since that day I told him I wont be able to continue – he asked for my thoughts every single day, made me wonder what he’s planning to do until he came back in winter break – where he wrote, and shared both of our thoughts within the two months apart – his point that he’s with me. I had an amazing time but when he had to go back it was my hardest time. I would wake up crying, and anywhere I went reminded me of him cause we did a lot together. He got a ticket to come back for me for spring break, and we have been both looking forward to it. But that aftermath of breaking apart and feeling so alone, hard to cope with almost anything around me – I told him we need to talk when we’re back. I could tell he has been so scared to, and it breaks me apart whenever I see him hurting. He came back 4 days ago. We went out every day, took me out for dinner, movies, talked, but I would get lost in my thoughts from now and then because we had to talk at some point. He would ask me what’s wrong and I would respond nothing, because I didn’t want to talk about it – but I’m not good with hiding how I feel and he knows me so well. I know him well too. I knew he knew what I was thinking but he was scared to open up as well about it. I would push to go home earlier because of my new curfew – 10pm at the age of 20…and we both respected my parents decision on that, even though I would crave more time with him, and he would too. He would stay home right after he would drop me. Last night he told me he feels alone, that he knows something is wrong and he feels bad that he’s the only one feeling so good and happy to see me. I felt the same, but being happy and scared didn’t help. He opened up about how much its hurting and how hard it is to notice that Im hurting. That was through text so we agreed to talk in person.

This morning, I went over to his place. When we spoke all he could say is that he wants me to be happy and he would do anything to make that happen. He was crying while saying that and I could tell he was trying to hold it back. He kept repeating he would’ve joined me to the UK if he knew we would start. He kept mentioning how nothing is more important than me and that he hates it there. He told me he would rather have a fight than to calmly stop everything, to have a proper reason. We never fought or argued, everything was perfect between him and I. He valued me, respected and always understood me. He would spoil me with love and many other things, and tried to remind me how much he feels for me as much as he could. I would fall more and more, but that made me so scared on how it could be harder if we’re in it longer. We both made a promise that we’ll try to stay in each others lives and remain best friends, somehow. How do you move on from someone who made you believe in love? I never thought I would say that, but he did. All I could think about was how lucky I am and he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I trust him so much that I know we’re mutual on that thought.

I don’t know if I did the right thing to stop it. It’s been a few hours and I can’t breathe. He knows how I’m thinking and what’s on my mind. I can feel and notice his mental breakdowns already. We’ve said I love you more than ever in just few hours and talk about how we’re feeling to work on this together, but I am still unsure. I feel like I did a mistake but, at the same time i don’t want to have doubts while he’s growing so much more in this. I thought it’s not meant to be if we’re so far apart, and I don’t know if i should go with “if its meant to be, it will be” – or “if you want it, go get it”.Leads me to question whether I should have faith, or be logical.

I’m stuck and I don’t know what to do.

Reply
mosquito

You’re incredible & one of a kind, I was and am still so lucky.
I really hope life brings us on the same path again one day

Happy New Year SG x

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mostafa

You’re incredible & one of a kind, I was and still am so lucky.
I hope life brings us back on the same path one day

Happy New Year SG x

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nicky

hi I just broke up with my bf last week, but it feels like yesterday day.I’m trying to read books to be with people who loves me but its not working I don’t knw what else to do.I HV tried everything I can to forget about him I can’t. pls help.I break up with him because he called me the other nite while he was making love o another lady I head everything. I don’t knw if he did it intentionally or by mistake. so I don’t knw if I did the rite thing by breaking up wth him?

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Mhel

I believe you did the right thing… as for me… i am trying to get over my exgf. She cheated on me… but still, instead of hatred and anger… love always prevail and i find it hard for me to move forward 🙁

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Mandy

My ex and I broke up six months ago, I still find it hard to move on, I think about him all the time and it’s driving me crazy.
I’m doing all the right stuff, spending time with the people that care and love me, I excersise I even plan holidays with friends but I still can’t shift forward!
My break up came as a total surprise to me one Friday eve in August, we were meant to start ivf that day, second round of injections, we’d tried our first time in june(he had a blip then after injecting me for the very first time)turned round and said he didn’t know what he wanted anymore.
The following day he apologised and said he just got scared because it was now all so real, after a long chat he assured me it was what he really wanted.
That month was not successful so we were to try again, it was a very stressful time, juggling work and renovating a house.
I’d turned 42 last summer, he was 30, I think that I panicked with being older and time was ticking away, which I put added pressure on our relationship, we were so happy together before the ivf started, it was what we both wanted, but he said that he couldn’t see me hurting no more, month after month of being disappointed.
Eight weeks later he’s in another relationship, it’s like someone stuck a knife in me and kept on twisting it, he still very much with this girl, it’s like I meant nothing, and he’s gone from wanting children to having no care in the world for how I feel, at my age now I think that that was my one and only chance. Totally heart broken.

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Cece

I know how you feel, my boyfriend broke up with me twice the first time I didn’t know he was going to break up with me. The day he came to my house I was waiting so I can tell him I was pregnant, he always want kids. When he say he need to talk to me I told him I need to talk to him too I told go First so he started talking about how feeling change he feel like his making a big mistake by breaking up with me but that’s how his feelings right now… I was so heart broken I couldn’t even tell him I was pregnant. I told him to go leave me alone after I was starting to heal 2month’s I was so stressed out I lost the baby. He text me cause he never heard from for 2months told. Him I was pregnant lost the baby he was mad. So upset I didn’t tell him he start crying saying sorry. Couple months later we start seeing each other again he ask for to move in getting married, talking having a baby…. 2month later my good friend his sister in-laws pass in car crash.I’m very close to his family I went to the sister house for 3day to support cause the in-laws and me was very close . I was with his family but I never saw him. He never called to check on me when I was over the family house.after the funeral he still didn’t call . I leave 1 hours away he didn’t if I made it safe or not his family call me every day to check on me. I had wrote him on facebook 1months Later to give him a piece of my mind I did nothing but love you and have your back lost a baby . And that’s how you do me I told him I’m the wrong person to do that to I take care of this men like we was married this men cry asking me to have a baby.I was scared cause had a miscarriage cause of stress. It hard so bad I just want to for get about him. His enjoy his life. I just want my life back. To put all the love into myself.

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Ddays

My Long Distance Relationship came to visit me which was planned for 3 months. He later told me on the first day in the car that he has to cut his trip to 1 month as his Dad is ill and wanted to be closer to him. In the month I tried my best to spend as much time as possible with him. The plan for his birthday I had to cancel the trip and waste the money as he did not told me earlier. I realise things has change where he was on his phone and kept his phone close. I ask and he said there was nothing and he would not even show me his phone as he said it is private and he respects my phone & I should do the same. Well my red flags were up and roaring and I saw things which I was not suppose to. He denied there is anything (which I did not tell him I saw the messages). Before the day he is flying off that is Valentines day he said can I ask a favour, can you please not send me to the departure gate as I dont want to drag the sadness. I was sad and shocked. I agreed and I drop him off at the airport. Before that I did ask him to share with me his flight itinerary and he said he will. Till today I did not get it. I found out the was in a major city to catch his flight and he message he in on his way to the airport. I message him he did not reply. I called him he did not reply. I tried to call again he shut off his phone. I found where he was and called the hotel. I said Hi and said I though you were on your way home. Please be honest with me and tell me. He said he decided to stay a couple of nights as he did not get enough sleep and was tired (as i was coughing and he did not get enough sleep). I said I was worried and he said he is a big boy and I should not worried. I said good night and hung up the phone. The next day he did not message nor call me. It felt so painful……so so painful that I cant breath what he did to me. I dont know how to let go as now he is in India for over a week instead of him spending the time with me. How Do I Let Go How!!! It is so haunting.

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nathasha

in my relationship he was unbroken up with me and he avoid me.he stopped all calls and massages from me by threatening me that he will find new one if i call him or text him hereinafter. before that i constantly call him and text him and beg him to comeback.but its made him more anger and rejected me so tiddly. now i have no any connection with him and i.m afraid to see him with another one. but i know that, the reason of this breakup is not us but our families. will he come back?

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Rares

Hi,my ex broke up with me one month ago,because she told me that she is feeling sad and bored;firstly we thought that a break for two weeks would be ok,but we kept talking to each other;she doesn’t care about me anymore,but i still love her. Last night we had sort of an argue but i don’t know. I tried everything to bring her back,but I failed,she doesn’t even reply my text messages… how should i proceed?

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Rae

Focus on improving yourself and start doing things that you may have not been able to do before! Try and find a new hobby or interest to be passionate about and that will help you heal in time. By healing yourself and finding something to motivate you everyday, you will have a new, refreshing energy to you.

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Fallon

I was in a long distance relationship with a guy that I met online for about 3 years. Despite being early 20s adults he was a mommas boy and wanted to do nothing but stay at home and play video games. I work for a living and I go out and do things even if at heart I am a loner. I always get in bad relationships so I tend to avoid ones in-person and prefer to develop a long-distance trust. After our 2 year mark and every few months thereafter I would ask him to come live with me/be my roommate and I would help him get his life together. I am very blessed and had the means to do so. But he kept lying and putting it off continuously–and I stupidly believed– until he flat out told me that he had no intentions of doing so he was “scared” and felt better mooching off his mother. Though when he got worked up in the past.. he would talk about visiting me for sex or other temporary fancies. So it was okay for sexual things, but not to meet me and be with me and better himself? We both have a lot of depression and self-worth issues..I guess me in particular am hard to deal with sometimes but I am trying to heal and was doing alright before this. He broke up with me on the 31rst of January and I have never felt so hurt in my entire life. As I said before, I’m a loner/isolated so I do not have anybody else. In most of our chats people knew we were together, so I abandoned them as to not be awkward. I’m so embarrassed and angry at myself. So now I do not know how to pick myself up and do what I need to do. I’ve been neglecting my mental health sessions and just having breakdowns and endless burnouts. How much longer did he expect me to wait? He needed to grow up.. and I was not willing to be ok as his long-distance babysitter for the rest of my life..but I want him back and its killing me inside. I loved him enough to trust him to come into my life, and for us to do it together. I was not worth trying for a better life or anything.

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T

I went through a similar thing (2 year ordeal) of him saying he’d come up to Canada and to “just be patient” in the end he would admit that he had no intentions of coming up during brutal fights. I would say okay, that’s fine we can chat here and there but I need to move on. Every time, a couple day later, he would profess his love and I’d take him back. I’m not doing that anymore, I suggest you just keep your eyes forward.

Be kind and respectful but DO NOT GO BACK. You can shoot me an email if you need someone to talk to. And best of luck!

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Fallon

T, thank you very much for validating my feelings with your own experience. I can only imagine how heart-breaking that must of been for you and I understand completely. It feels really manipulative and terrible for someone to be able to hurt another person like that and then beg for forgiveness and expect everything return to how it was before.

So far, besides him begging for me to rekindle friendship, he has not tried to initiate anything romantic. Which in an awkward way I am thankful for, because I do not think I would be able to keep forward without bad emotional feelings or just flat out being abusive towards him..I don’t want to be like that. If we did talk again, which I am avoiding entirely– I would push myself into a cycle of eventual forgiveness and waiting on someone who has very little value in what I do and how much I try to contribute. I blamed myself a lot and thought that I pushed too hard for change in him.

I would like to email you as well sometimes, but I am not very sure how to through this system. Either way I just want you to know that I will try to stick hard to my guns of not going back to that guy. He would have to do some sort of magic act turnaround for me to seriously consider it at this point.

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

If you are both wanting to email each other, I’m happy to help with this. If it’s something you both want to do, if you can eachdrop me an email letting me know you consent to me giving your email to the other – .

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John

I understand how you feel Fallon. My girlfriend didn’t break up with me, I had to break up with her. She lived two hours away from me and it was not easy. I knew she had gotten hurt badly before and I did nothing but love her. We dated for almost a year, but I feel like I could fill an entire book with things about us. The first few months were great, but after a while the phone calls stopped, intimacy when we were together ceased to exist, she’d never tell me or ask me about my day. I thought it was just work that had her exhausted and stressed out, but I was wrong. On our last date, she told me to explore sexuality with other girls and I said no. I also said I couldn’t be okay with her doing that with other men, and she asked me why. I felt my entire spirit, heart, and mind shatter. She said that she was joking, but not much after that I figured it out and discovered that she had been cheating on me for a while. All the late work nights, the lack of interest towards me, the days where she didn’t say a word to me, etc. I justified all these things for a while, and I was too blind to see it. She denied everything I had figured out about her and tried to make me feel guilty to avoid being honest with me. I broke up with her because she shattered me, and I know that she will go back to her friends with benefits, friends she claimed were only friends. I thought she was the one, the one I’d be with forever, and all of this hit me all at once. She will recover before I will, because I don’t go out and hook up to heal, I always sort of just…Shut down. All the love and trust I had in her, and this is what I got for it. I had had a terrible feeling in my gut about this for a while and I ignored it. I had my family and my best friends warning me and telling me to move on, but I didn’t listen. Now im left alone, thinking how and why did I let this happen to me. It is because I loved the girl more than she loved me. Ever since we broke up, I feel like I’m dying on the inside a little bit more each day that passes. I have never had something like this happen to me, and it hit me hard. She wasn’t planning on breaking up with me because she thought she’d have the boyfriend to give her things, and the friend on the side to satisfy her physical needs. I didn’t think I’d end up with a person like that, but that’s why they say there’s a first time for a lot of things. Stay positive guys, things will get better.

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Marcos

I read this and I am currently going through the exact same situation you’re going through, the only different thing is that she cheated the first time we were together. We were together a next time but even stronger than before. We argued the 2nd time together and she was hurt by it all, so she broke up with me.. She didn’t use me for things, she stayed with me because i gave her emotional comfort, and i loved her more than she loved me. She moves on and hooks up to heal, and me right now I am suffering/healing.. Sorry for grammar, typed this on my phone with no auto correct.

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Shane

Wer on the same emotions right now. All the pain and suffering when ur love one easily replaced u. I wish i can fin my man soon.

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Cony

My boyfriend broke up with me after 3 years just before my birthday. In the past year, he has been distant, more focused on his job and not on the relationship. I have been feeling quite alone and unloved because he just didn’t make time for me anymore. Not even willing to travel together somewhere. We were fighting all the time because of the lack of presence in this relationship, lack of intimacy and simply being able to relax when with me. All he could think about was his job, his travels for work, his accomplishments. It was always about him, every night. When I was trying to say something about me, we would get into a fight. I cannot stand it anymore, all this pain accumulated is just too much. Why does it hurt so much? I feel like my heart is broken into a million pieces.What can I do to accept and move on?

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

It’s so understandable that your heart would be feeling so broken. You’re adjusting to a new normal, and that can take time. Here is an article that will explain the reason we hurt so much when relationships break. I hope it helps to give you some clarity and also that it helps you to realise how normal you are feeling so hurt. I know it feels as though the pain won’t end, but it will. Hang in there, be kind to yourself and try to spend as much time as you can with the people who love you.

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SIDDHARTH

hi….have u came over d pain of breakup?
Im just feeling d same n dnt knw wt to do..:-(

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helen lee

My boyfriend and just broken up after living together for 6 years.
We got into an argument because he call his male choir member to let him know that he wont be at choir practice. He usually leave work to go straight there. He got home at 8:50Pm and told me he worked over. He gets off his job at 5:00. We agreed because I told him he should have call too. The next day he went to so did I. When I returned home he had pack all his stuff and left. I’m so hurt.

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randy

me too..my girlfriend broke up with me and after a few days she already have a new bf.. ???it broke my heart and hated her so.much!???

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Shelly

I’m going through the same thing my boyfriend of 4 months left me and I did a lot for him I even helped him get out of debt it hurts so bad I told him when we first started dating that I have abandonment issues he told me he would never leave me but here we are 4 months later he broke up with me 2 days ago and I’m not stupid I no there is someone els because I asked him if there is someone els just tell me straight up I’ll understand he replied no you won’t and soon after that I was blocked on FB I feel so hurt can’t sleep eat I can’t get him out of my head if you ever care to talk my snap is txtgirl22 and my email is

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Sun

I have exactly same story …,we were together for 8 years and even being in a relationship I start feeling left up….and relation was getting quite abusive verbally,emotionally & physically….but still I thought we are going to be ok for years & years “Finally just now I gave up after getting abused verbally….He was not happy I’m standing for myself and my dignity.It is hard very hard “last night cried all night since Morning remembering all happy & sad moments “Now I’m relaxed.., All of sudden I feel peace within myself…..there are people who really cared like mom dad ,sister ,brother,son daughter and good friends so why not do all the love for them??why not enjoy ,laugh with them?they worth it cause you may not find them when you are happy but they will be there before you realised”when you actually need them.
Let’s start to live for ourself and life is short we never know ….so you have 2 option’to be happy or sad …and choice is urs.

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Marie Ima

I was with a man for more than three years. When I met him he was homeless living in a car. He had a part time job and we loved purely but from six month ago he has changed he got full time job and shared flat to live with. He still doesn’t earn enough and have 4000 pounds debit used credit card before I met him. From six months ago, he purposely stopped saying he loves me and care for me. He still showed his love because sometimes he couldn’t hide it. He always wanted to go and live in this particular country and from half of time because of that he wanted to get rid of me. He lost a job now then he broke up with me then he will use credit card he just made and he will buy a ticket which he can’t pay back anc go. He sent me text for good bye and wrote me nasty things so he made sure I will hate him. Everyday I am wasting time with spell caster, checking his Facebook, checking messages . Our relationship was up and down so as his job. Everytime when he had problem with job, he wanted to break up with me. Nobody treated like this in my life and hurting like crazy. Can someone help me?

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Neru

My ex and I were in a six year relationship. It was long distance always. We were very different from each other but our basic values were the same and we hit it off and got serious about each other very quickly. He moved out of country two years back and I struggled with the idea of long distance. Last year around august, I goofed around with another guy, but while doing it, itself I felt so horrible that I stopped and it broke me. I confessed about it to my partner the very next day, for a while things were bad but then it went back to normal. He met me last december and things were great. He wanted to marry me and he even spoke to my parents about it. We are family friends and everyone was so happy. He went back to Canada and this april he met someone. He has never cheated on me before but after he met her, things just drastically changed. He said he would never be the same, he tried working things with me but this january after series of on and offs, he told me he is just not in love with me though he cares a lot about me. He told me every time he takes a step closer to me he feels like he is cheating on her and I requested him to end things and he did. We have been in no contact for last 23 days and I still don’t understand what happened, how it happened. Any comments, any thing at all would be super helpful.

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Evans

Hi,
My wife and I separated for a month now. We have been together for 5 years. I thought I would have a soft landing because she moved to a new place which is near my place and I could have our son over the weekends or when am free. Worked fine for week 1 but then she took our boy to her parents which is a day’s journey making it hard to have him with my current employment.
I have been seeing a therapist once a week since the separation. Week days are bearable at work with colleagues but after work and weekends are sad. Family is far away and majority of my friends work in other towns.
I know she says it’s temporary that we have time to reflect but this is taking a heavy toll on me. She won’t agree to discuss the length of the separation period and was once contacted by the therapist for a session but declined.
Am no longer sure if I should be reading materials on how to heal, how to move on or how to make up. Worse still am not sure if I should probably contact the children’s office now that the child is staying with her parents and not her!

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s. kundu

hey my parents dont like my gf and they took all of my phones my age is 18 years and i have been in the relation ship for more than a year but suddenly it all got blank…i just dont know how to live…please help me to get recover…reply as soon as possible please.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

At 18 you are and adult, with your own mind, your own heart and your own right to make the choices that feel important to you. Listen to your parents and the people who care about you, but listen to yourself louder. Not everything your parents say will feel right for you. Their decisions are based on their history, their beliefs, their values and their experience. As an adult, part of your responsibility is to create your own history, decide what you stand for, decide on your values and create your own experiences. Part of being an adult means sometimes reminding the people you love that it is your life to live, your mistakes to make, and for you to decide who is right for you and who isn’t. Respecting and loving your parents doesn’t mean taking on their opinions and beliefs as your own. There may be consequences for you in making decisions that your parents aren’t happy with, and it is for you to decide how much you are prepared to weather those consequences for what you believe in.

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Moon

My boyfriend broke up with me 2 weeks ago. We dated for 4 years, our relationship was not healthy towards the end. We were fighting a lot. And finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. During the first week, I was still in denial. I thought everything would be okay again and he would come back to me. A week had gone by, he did not call or text. I tried contacting him for numerous times. He called me last Saturday and we had 2.5 hours of discussion (I was crying, yelling and accepted). During the call, I requested to have a face to face discussion, he was not up for it. He broke up with me because we were not happy and he does not have time for a relationship. He wanted to focus on career and himself. I realized it was done. However, I was not ready to let go.
I tried texting him next day and I went to his house at night. During this time, I tried bargaining and begging him to get back together. We both knew this was coming, we were simply not happy anymore. Towards the end, he told me that he went out to a getaway party for his co-worker (whom he found attractive). At the bar, they had alone time and the girl got his number from another person. They texted a couple times and he showed it to me. He told me that when I want to text/call him, just think of he is talking to that girl. We said goodbye to each other and hugged. We hugged for a long time and we both knew this is better for us. We both deserve someone better. Today is the 11th day of the breakup, I’m getting better. I miss him a lot.

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Lauren

Hey. Having a really hard time. Dated for 4 years. We were engaged for one. Lately we have been off and on. He hurt me by taking my ring back and a week later tried to get back in my life. I allowed it. He expected me in a month to move back in with him, call him my “boyfriend”. I was still hanging out, going out, and spending lots of time but was afraid of getting hurt by moving back in. After a month he completely cut me off and told me I ruined it that he was being the man he should be (one month in a 4 year relationship) and blamed me. Now 3 weeks since all this, after being engaged, after giving him yet another chance and a girl posted a picture of them together. I am so hurt. I don’t know how to deal with it. How could he move on so quickly? How could he not care?

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Daisy

He says I am the only girl he has ever loved and that it is possible to love someone but not be with them. I, In my mind cannot align hurting someone and then claim you love them. Saying you love them but cannot be with them.

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Daisy

He was my best friend and always made me feel loved and protected, i have never felt so safe. We decided to date and in the 4th month, I found out he was still seeing a girl I had been told was his ex. They broke things off, we tried to fix things but the fighting grew immensely, mostly because I felt he didn’t do much to fix our relationship. We broke up and it has been a year now….We work together which makes it even more complex. We tried being friends but as time went on, realised the pain was still there which led to more fighting. Recently we had an honest conversation about how he doesnt see a future with me, it cut deep but I am finding knowing this truth will allow me to start healing again. It hurts but I now know not to wait or fight with someone who does not see a future with me. A part of me feels I still want to be friends but I do believe distance would do me great and maybe in that time, I will realise we don’t need to be friends. Any advise.

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

Take some time and put some distance between the both of you. If you loved him, it will be so difficult to move forward as a ‘friend’, without giving yourself the time and the space to adjust to the new reality of your relationship. It doesn’t mean you can’t be friends one day, but as long as you keep having contact, it will be more difficult to make the shift from intimate partners to friends. I wish there was an easier way for you, but there isn’t. Be kind to yourself and give yourself the distance you need from him. Eventually you will have less bad days and more good days, and then there will be a morning that you will wake up and realise that you’re really okay without loving him the way you used to. This is when you will know that you are strong enough and healed enough to have a friendship with him if you want to.

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JesSawrus

My boyfriend and I broke up yesterday and he claims he did it for the best of us. However, I don’t feel that way because there have been too many instances that hinted we are soulmates to become a coincidence. I am more realistic than romantic, but eventually the signs became too frequent to ignore. He says it’s not a ‘goodbye’ but a ‘see you later’. He wants to continue to talk and see me sometimes, but he wants to take 2-3 years for each of us to grow into the people we ultimately should be and he believes that it cannot be done when we’re together as we’re still too young and immature. He says he will always be thinking of us and that when we get back together, things will be better and stronger. I’m scared that during these years our feelings will change for each other, and that he will move on. I want to hold hope but there’s a possibility that we might never get back together. I understand his reasons but I don’t understand why we have to be apart. It kills me knowing that that was the last time I could be with him, because I know deep inside me that we are in fact soulmates – no matter what others may say. There is no one else that understands and connects better with me than him, and I’m scared that he’s gone for good.

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Ponting

Hi, someone please help me 🙁 .. 3 weeks ago , my girlfriend broke up with me, I am devastated, down and I lost myself and I am depressed… it all started with she was spending too much time on phone and was all time on Whatsapp… when I asked her, she said something personal… then I got access to her call history and found one frequently called number and I saw this guy only being online all the time whenever she was … she was not even talking half the time with me , so, I asked her who is this Mr.XXX.. then she was more pissed and explained it’s her ex and started getting angry saying why did I check her celular, then she said to me, she loves me and needs me .. after couple of weeks she broke up with me because, i drove the car in aggressive manner (she had a car accident in past) , but i lost my cool for first time in life of 30 years as I was in love for first time with her , as she changed her mood and stopped talking to me without any of my fault … I really love her, so I was waiting that she would talk to me again , after three weeks when I asked her, she said , she is going on vacations for three weeks and let’s start from ground zero , something new between us and like we never met before, but she is talking more to that XXX , more than ever, call history Whatsapp for hours …. I really don’t understand how to proceed and what to do … I really love her, I don’t want to lose her, I am more worried that , as she said something new and like never met before, that means, she is going to treat me like a stranger ??? And she will never comeback ? Please help me

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

If your girlfriend has broken up with you, and has spent a lot of time speaking with another man, and being secretive about this, this isn’t a relationship you want to be in. You deserve to feel loved, nurtured, and to be in a relationship that brings out the best in you. Be honest with yourself about what you deserve. Letting go of any relationship is difficult, but don’t let this keep you fighting for something that isn’t good for you.

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Ponting

Thanks for the reply, believe me , I would have done it, she started messaging me after 3 weeks.. and that to just hi, hello and how are you ? And I really want to let go all this … but, I feel like she is just playing around my feelings or just want to keep as an option , if something goes wrong … I really want to move on and forget everything and I understand everything what’s happening around… but my stupid heart is not allowing to do so, thinking maybe there is slight hope … I am really doomed, in every manner, food, smoking, drinking, my career … I know it’s only me who can help myself, but , in some situations, I melt down completely and start thinking about her!!!

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Nicole

My boyfriend of over two years had broken up with me because he wanted to figure himself out. He felt that he was missing out on things that 22-year-old men should be doing and wanted the freedom without feeling the burden of a relationship. He talks to me every day casually, and I know he still loves me and cares for me ( because he still says it) and talks to me because he wants to, not because he feels like he’s obligated to. I’ve just never felt so much pain, and I can’t eat or move or do anything. A huge part of me feels like it”s only a break, but I can’t move on all I want to do is wait for him. I just want him to come back to me, and every time I bring it up he always tells me “not right now, ” so I hope with time he’ll come back. I know I’m young and just need an opinion

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

Nicole I completely understand how painful it is when the person you love doesn’t love you the way you want (and deserve) to be loved. There is no middle ground with relationships. Your relationship is either off or it’s on. If he is taking a break, it is off for now. That’s okay, and maybe one day in the future you will come back together, but in the meantime if he has chosen to take a break from your relationship, he needs to do this in a way that also lets you get on with your life. The problem with keeping such constant contact is that the only thing that has changed is his commitment to you – he is able to do what he wants but you are not able to move forward, sideways or anywhere. You’re stuck. You will live in hope as long as the relationship continues like this, possibly becoming more hurt, more angry, more confused. That won’t be any good for either of you.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, but it needs to be a break, not a shuffle where one of you is in deep pain and the other is getting all needs met. Consider taking some time properly apart where you don’t have contact for a little while. This doesn’t have to be for a long time, just enough time for you both to adjust to a new normal so you can reset your relationship. It’s impossible to move from a relationship to friendship without a proper break in between. If he reaches a point where he wants to commit to you and try again for the relationship, then you can be open to that, but you need to look after your heart and not let it stay hungry for something that is pulling away. You will be okay. Everything you need to get through this is already inside you. You are strong, open-hearted, generous and wise. Trust that you will cope with this, because you will.

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monika

I broke up fm my boyfriend. v still love each otr. d prblm ws he used to get angry on menial things like one fine night, he wanted to talk to me at 12 AM. But I couldn’t coz it ws vry late n my mom ws sleeping besides me. from then he stopped receiving my cals n dint rplied to any of my msgs. his ego z dominating our love. he z so unpredictable over d reasons why he gets angry. I m unable to understand dt hw can one get angry fr nt talking on phone fr dt moment. I want to ask z dis common? z dis love? coz of his anger I m nt able to concentrate on my studies. wt should I do? puzzled I m

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

Monika if it’s love, it feels like love. All relationships struggle a little from time to time, and it’s common in relationships for people to argue sometimes, but when anger or fighting or hurtful behaviour becomes the norm, this is the time to wonder if this is how you want to be loved.

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Serena

I fell hard for a gentle and sweet guy. He really was an awesome boyfriend- the best I’ve had. He was so in love with me. He worshipped the ground I walked on. It took me a while, but I let him in- I thought we were on the same page. I imagined our future together, one that he said he imagined too. I was insecure, so tested him and go angry about things I shouldn’t have. But he fought for me. Until one day I must’ve pushed him too far because he turned around and said he felt differently. He said he couldn’t see a future with me afterall and didn’t want to be in a relationship. I’m gutted. It’s hard to not blame yourself, or stop your mind going to dark, unhelpful places. I try to rationalize the situation, and make peace with the fact that he is gone, but I really do wish he’d come back and say he made a terrible mistake. Heartbreak is so tough.

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Brooklyn

How are you doing? Exact same situation for me , almost 2 weeks now. I am not handling it well at all. Physical reactions too. Most painful thing I have ever been through.

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Danielle

I’m a week in and the pain is still unbearable. We both loved each other very much, and early on he moved about 5 hours away. We did LDR with plans for me to relocate to his city, but deep down I never wanted to move, and he was very antisocial and I was becoming that way. Trying to see the breakup positively, but it hurts so much. Today, I couldn’t even leave my bed. It doesn’t help that the brain seems to want to play the good memories on loop. Hang in there…

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Nancy

I am really sorry to hear that. After three years how anyone can broke up by text. I was with him when he was a homeless in the car. He blocked me from everything but I can see instagram. He put purposely naked women site and few women after we broke up. We had magical connection but he was sick if he has problem with job then he started mixing up with our relationship and wanted to break it. Not seeing him and hearing his voice for two weeks now.

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Brooklyn

I am now about 2 months in and the pain is still unbearable. Worst thing I have ever been through. I just don’t know how to move on.

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Sharon

So me and my ex broke up 3 months ago. We dated got one year, off & on. Started it off fun but we were both too jealous & didn’t agree with each other’s lifestyles. The night we officially broke up he was drunk & found a condom in my bathroom that was his but he didn’t believe me & he pretty me much beat me up. Got on top of me on my bed and slapped me a couple of times. I kicked him out decided not to call the police because I didn’t want my family to find out or deal with messy situation. I had a lot of support from friends & I was really busy with work so I started to get over it. Then one night I saw him out with one of “my friends” that I introduced him too. I went up to them & told her she’s lame. She pulled me up the side & said he was jut getting her in the club she’s not interested in him. I told her he beat me up. He emails me the next day she told him what I said. After a few back & forth emails he apologized for what he did & we agreed that we wouldn’t take to each other’s friends. Two weeks later my friends see them out together. My heart felt like it was shattered. I was so sad & hurt & betreayed. It’s been two months & I have other friends telling me they see them out. I’m so upset. I know I don’t want him but this still hurts. It might not hurt if it wasn’t someone I’ve known since middle school. They deserve each other. Now I feel like I have to get him back by finding some fast or someone he knows.

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

Sharon I understand how hurt you are feeling, but don’t waste your energy looking for revenge. I know you want to, and I understand why, but there is nothing good there for you. It will occupy your mental and emotional energy and for what. Let your actions be driven by what is good for you, rather than by what might hurt him. What we focus on becomes powerful – let your focus be in moving forward, with strength and wisdom, rather than on what he is doing. He doesn’t deserve your love or your energy. And you deserve better than to be standing still for a man who doesn’t respect you.

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Nathalan

Hey, so I found out my boyfriend was cheating on me online with girls . But all of it was sexually related. When I asked, he denied. And blamed me for invading his privacy .After giving enough evidence. He accepted it. But I still don’t know if he still talks to all those girls. I still have my suspicion that he is still chatting with them or sending them pictures. He tells me he loves me and I mean the world to him, that I’m plenty enough for him and doesn’t need anyone else..and it’s not like we don’t do enough sexual things for him to go behind girls online. I’m confused about the whole thing. And I do feel like maybe I should break up. But at the same time , I love him. And don’t think I can deal with the break up at the moment . As he was there when I had no one. I feel emotionally trapped. I did forgive him. Thinking its just online and he hasn’t physically done anything with them.But I feel like he isn’t going to change his habits. I feel clueless and don’t know what to do .and feel emotionally torn apart.

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

It’s understandable that you still feel insecure and suspicious. After any betrayal it takes a while to feel safe again. He may have accepted the betrayal, but is he sorry for it? Or is he just sorry for being found out. His ‘privacy’ has damaged the relationship. Although we all have a right to our privacy, this has to be used in such a way that doesn’t hurt the other person or break the relationship. For a while, he has to be fully transparent – that means no privacy and no secrets. If he has nothing to hide, this shouldn’t bother him. It’s all part of regaining your trust. If, after a while of him being fully transparent and fully accountable, you still don’t feel safe, perhaps too much damage has been done. Look after you and your needs – you deserve it.

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Thomas

I had been in love with a girl for two years.
Her parents knew about this so she left me cause for her , her parents are first. But she is telling her friend that after I get a job and go ask her , she will fight with her mom dad for me… but the thing is I spoke about her dad badly like only in sentence….I m regretting it daily for the words I spoke I don’t know whether she will come back to me after this….but she still loves me I can feel that I don’t know if she will ever forgive me . What do you think will she come back to me I miss her so much????

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

Thomas only she can know if she is coming back. It’s important though that you stop feeling bad for whatever you said about her dad. We all make mistakes and say the wrong thing sometimes – none of us are perfect.

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Anonymous

Hey ,

So I’ve recently gone through a tough breakup me & my ex been together for quite sometime & we have a baby yet after the baby was born he constantly kept breaking up with me than leaving to talk to other people again . This last time I was going my seperate way and I even found someone else till my ex came begging to be with me again an that he would change so I went for it till I found out the whole time he was already talking to someone else again. It seems so repetitive an everytime he leaves he tells me to move on so when I start trying to move on he always tries coming back I don’t know what to do

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Mira

My boyfriend and i broke up yesterday and i feel so alone and like i will never find someone like him in all forms (body proportions, love etc) and it scares me so much.

He is everywhere I cant stop thinking about him and i am so scared of him being with somebody else…

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Alan

My girlfriend of 3 years recently broke up with me and I’m in a lot of pain. We moved into her parents house in August while I started my nursing program, but soon after she broke up with me. We were still living at her parents place and we didn’t tell them for 2 months because the transition to nursing school was very strenuous and I didn’t really have any time to look for another place.
I went snooping around and discovered that she has been talking to another guy and even found out that she has been taking weekend trips with him, I am completely devastated because she din’t have the decency to at least wait until I moved out to start talking to someone else. Not only that, but she totally blew up on me for snooping even after I confronted her previously about it and denied it. She wants to still be friends because I’m her “best friend” and I’m very thankful for her because her mom helped me get into nursing school, but I’m so mad about the whole situation she put me through. I’ve been depressed and mad about the whole situation because I’ve basically been accepted to her family and they think of me like a son. Her mom even told me that she was very sad and felt like she was in the middle of a divorce. I don’t really know what to do I’m completely and whole heartedly in love with her, but am still very bitter about the breakup.
I’ve recently moved in with family nearby and I’ve tried to stop contact with her, but she texts me send me pictures of her dog, that I miss as well. I try to stop contact but I constantly find myself trying to stalk her on social media.

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Karen - Hey Sigmund

It sounds as though both you and your fiance are really going through a difficult time at the moment. Your fiance has been through a very traumatic experience and it may take him time to heal fully from this. That is so understandable. It sounds as though things could have easily ended differently for him. It is also understandable that he would be anxious about something similar happening again. It may help him to get a second opinion to confirm that his symptoms are not from something other than anxiety. Two opinions are much more convincing than one. There is a very real reason for his concerns, so this might be a helpful thing for him to do.

If it has been confirmed that there are no other medical reasons for his symptoms and they are definitely from anxiety, getting into a regular mindfulness practice will help his healing. Mindfulness will help him to ‘watch’ his thoughts and physical feelings without hanging on to them or turning them into something more frightening. Plenty of studies have found that it can change the structure and function of the brain in ways that can protect and strengthen it against anxiety. Start with 10 minutes a day and work up from there. There is information on this link https://www.heysigmund.com/category/being-human/mindfulness/. The Smiling Mind app is also a great resource for guided mindfulness https://smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app/.

The most important thing is to give your partner time to recover, but also to make sure that you are getting support from people who care about you, and also that you are doing things that you enjoy and that you feel nurtured by.

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Grace Trump

My boyfriend and I have been going out for 3 years. Everything was amazing. Over the summer, things started to get a bit patchy. In the Summer, my mum was very ill so I couldnt leave the house. I used to text my boyfriend everyday and everyday he would ask to meet me and say that he feels isolated. I couldnt leave the house and so reading this texts just got depressing. I admit I replied back cliche things and told him we would see each other again soon. He started attending a course. There he met a girl. He caught feelings for her. She claims he started flirting with her first but from what Ive seen on social media, Ive seen her trying to flirt with him openly. It is all over his social media that he is dating me. To her flirts on social media he replied unromantically and even on her account and I wasnt friends with her then. I told him to block her. He didnt until 2 weeks later. He was open with me and told me he had feelings for both of us. i told him to pick one and if he didnt i would leave and if he picked her i would leave. She got tired of waiting for him and he apparently texted her back. Then she started calling me, everyday. She said a lot of things like he still calls her and communicates with her on social media. i believed at the start but later I ignored because by then i had met him and I saw how much he wanted me. Everything is back to normal now and she has stopped calling.

But she isnt even the problem anymore. He is. He never has time for me. He never texts me first. He says things like Im going to marry you but he said all that before summer. My friends dont like him. But I dont know why, even after all this, I still love him. I just dont know if I should trust him again. He caught feelings for this other girl, does that mean that Im not special and that Im not the one?

I feel like right now, Im trying too hard for him. I havent seen much input from him since then except yesterday when he kept calling me and today. To be honest, he still kisses me and isnt shy about showing me his love but I dont know if I should trust him. Maybe im not for him? I am so shy and he could do better.

Reply

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The need to feel connected to, and seen by our people is instinctive. 

THE FIX: Add in micro-connections to let them feel you seeing them, loving them, connecting with them, enjoying them:

‘I love being your mum.’
‘I love being your dad.’
‘I missed you today.’
‘I can’t wait to hang out with you at bedtime 
and read a story together.’

Or smiling at them, playing with them, 
sharing something funny, noticing something about them, ‘remembering when...’ with them.

And our adult loves need the same, as we need the same from them.♥️
Our kids need the same thing we do: to feel safe and loved through all feelings not just the convenient ones.

Gosh it’s hard though. I’ve never lost my (thinking) mind as much at anyone as I have with the people I love most in this world.

We’re human, not bricks, and even though we’re parents we still feel it big sometimes. Sometimes these feelings make it hard for us to be the people we want to be for our loves.

That’s the truth of it, and that’s the duality of being a parent. We love and we fury. We want to connect and we want to pull away. We hold it all together and sometimes we can’t.

None of this is about perfection. It’s about being human, and the best humans feel, argue, fight, reconnect, own our ‘stuff’. We keep working on growing and being more of our everythingness, just in kinder ways.

If we get it wrong, which we will, that’s okay. What’s important is the repair - as soon as we can and not selling it as their fault. Our reaction is our responsibility, not theirs. This might sound like, ‘I’m really sorry I yelled. You didn’t deserve that. I really want to hear what you have to say. Can we try again?’

Of course, none of this means ‘no boundaries’. What it means is adding warmth to the boundary. One without the other will feel unsafe - for them, us, and others.

This means making sure that we’ve claimed responsibility- the ability to respond to what’s happening. It doesn’t mean blame. It means recognising that when a young person is feeling big, they don’t have the resources to lead out of the turmoil, so we have to lead them out - not push them out.

Rather than focusing on what we want them to do, shift the focus to what we can do to bring felt safety and calm back into the space.

THEN when they’re calm talk about what’s happened, the repair, and what to do next time.

Discipline means ‘to teach’, not to punish. They will learn best when they are connected to you. Maybe there is a need for consequences, but these must be about repair and restoration. Punishment is pointless, harmful, and outdated.

Hold the boundary, add warmth. Don’t ask them to do WHEN they can’t do. Wait until they can hear you and work on what’s needed. There’s no hurry.♥️
Recently I chatted with @rebeccasparrow72 , host of ABC Listen’s brilliant podcast, ‘Parental as Anything: Teens’. I loved this chat. Bec asked all the questions that let us crack the topic right open. Our conversation was in response to a listener’s question, that I expect will be familiar to many parents in many homes. Have a listen here:
https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/parental-as-anything-with-maggie-dent/how-can-i-help-my-anxious-teen/104035562
School refusal is escalating. Something that’s troubling me is the use of the word ‘school can’t’ when talking about kids.

Stay with me.

First, let’s be clear: school refusal isn’t about won’t. It’s about can’t. Not truly can’t but felt can’t. It’s about anxiety making school feel so unsafe for a child, avoidance feels like the only option.

Here’s the problem. Language is powerful, and when we put ‘can’t’ onto a child, it tells a deficiency story about the child.

But school refusal isn’t about the child.
It’s about the environment not feeling safe enough right now, or separation from a parent not feeling safe enough right now. The ‘can’t’ isn’t about the child. It’s about an environment that can’t support the need for felt safety - yet.

This can happen in even the most loving, supportive schools. All schools are full of anxiety triggers. They need to be because anything new, hard, brave, growthful will always come with potential threats - maybe failure, judgement, shame. Even if these are so unlikely, the brain won’t care. All it will read is ‘danger’.

Of course sometimes school actually isn’t safe. Maybe peer relationships are tricky. Maybe teachers are shouty and still using outdated ways to manage behaviour. Maybe sensory needs aren’t met.

Most of the time though it’s not actual threat but ’felt threat’.

The deficiency isn’t with the child. It’s with the environment. The question isn’t how do we get rid of their anxiety. It’s how do we make the environment feel safe enough so they can feel supported enough to handle the discomfort of their anxiety.

We can throw all the resources we want at the child, but:

- if the parent doesn’t believe the child is safe enough, cared for enough, capable enough; or

- if school can’t provide enough felt safety for the child (sensory accommodations, safe peer relationships, at least one predictable adult the child feels safe with and cared for by),

that child will not feel safe enough.

To help kids feel safe and happy at school, we have to recognise that it’s the environment that needs changing, not the child. This doesn’t mean the environment is wrong. It’s about making it feel more right for this child.♥️
Such a beautiful 60 second wrap of my night with parents and carers in Hastings, New Zealand talking about building courage and resilience in young people. Because that’s how courage happens - it builds, little bit by little bit, and never feeling like ‘brave’ but as anxiety. Thank you @healhealthandwellbeing for bringing us together happen.♥️

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Original post by @healhealthandwellbeing:
🌟 Thank You for Your Support! 🌟

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for the "Building Courage and Resilience" talk with the amazing  Karen Young - Hey Sigmund. Your support for Heal, our new charity focused on community health and wellbeing, means the world to us!

It was incredible to see so many of you come together while at the same time being able to support this cause and help us build a stronger, more resilient community.

A special shoutout to Anna Catley from Anna Cudby Videography for creating some fantastic footage Your work has captured the essence of this event perfectly ! To the team Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre thank you for always making things so easy ❤️ 

Follow @healhealthandwellbeing for updates and news of events. Much more to come!
 

#Heal #CommunityHealth #CourageAndResilience #KarenYoung #ThankYou

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