Broken heart tips when memories bring you down...
Even if the breakup was your idea and it seemed to be for the “best,” you could still be left feeling empty or grieving. At a time like this, you cope as best you can with your intense emotions and-- hopefully-- allow yourself to heal and move on with your life.
But what an unpleasant surprise when you think that you're “over” the breakup only to be triggered and then realize that you're actually not!
How can you handle this new wave of pain and upset related to a relationship or marriage that has long been over?
Does it mean that you will never fully heal?
Will you ever be able to truly be happy in a love relationship again?
These are very real questions and concerns that you might be having if you've been through a breakup recently or in the distant past. It could be that you've given yourself time and nurturing. You've done all you know how to do to soothe yourself and encourage healing. You might even feel more hopeful about life and the possibilities ahead.
Perhaps you don't even think much about the relationship or marriage that ended.... Until a particular song comes on the radio. Or you actually see your former partner. Or an acquaintance mentions his or her name.
Any of these triggers-- or others-- could make it seem like the breakup just happened. And any of these reminders could take you back to the past and to a whole host of questions, regrets, or unresolved feelings.
“I thought I was over him!” Juli lamented to her friend Kim.
Juli and David's 5 year relationship ended over a year ago. Juli was absolutely crushed when David admitted he was having an affair and then immediately packed up and moved out of their apartment. It took her several months to feel anything close to “normal” about life. She even had to take a leave of absence from work those first few weeks because she was so upset.
But now Juli feels more settled into her new single life. She is enjoying being with friends and even likes certain aspects about living alone. There is a guy she met at a party last week who asked her to go to dinner. Juli is interested in getting to know this guy and agreed.
However, when looking for a jacket in the back of a spare closet, she found an old Valentine's Day card from David on the floor. As soon as Juli opened the card, she felt flooded with warm memories of the good times she and David shared. Quite quickly these pleasant feelings turned to upset and nausea as an image of him admitting his affair and then moving out bombarded her.
Amidst a flood of tears, Juli decides that she won't allow herself to be hurt like that again. She tells Kim that she'll probably call this new guy and cancel their date.
Honor what you're feeling.
No matter how long you've been broken up and regardless of the circumstances of the breakup, allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you're feeling. Of course, if it seems like you've cried all that you can cry about the end of your relationship or marriage, you probably don't want to shed another tear.
At the same time, it's important that you honor where you are. If you resist what you're feeling and deny or stuff down unpleasant emotions, they will undoubtedly grow.
Healing processes are often layered. You might uncover a deeper aspect to your feelings months, even years after the intensity subsides.
Does this mean that you'll never truly be “over” the breakup?
Just because something triggers a memory or feeling within you, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're moving backwards.
The tears and upset that Juli feels when she finds the card certainly doesn't mean that she'll have to take time off work again just to manage her feelings about the break up with David. What it does mean is that she can sit with that momentary grief and sadness and soothe herself.
It will most likely pass quicker than before and she can re-consider her doubts about going on the date.
Return to the present and what you want.
When something triggers you and it seems that you are once again back in the intense broken heart emotions, be especially gentle with yourself. Don't despair that you're going backwards in your healing or that you'll never be happy again. Instead, allow yourself that cry or yelling in private-- whatever it is you need to release.
Your next step is to remind yourself that the breakup and your broken heart are in the past. You've acknowledged what came up and now you can return to this present moment. If you literally need to tune in to how your feet feel against the floor of your home, do that. Perhaps drinking a glass of cold water and really becoming aware of the water as it goes down your throat will help.
Come back to the present moment and then re-affirm to yourself what it is that you want. You might write down what you want on a piece of paper that is visible. Re-read this list or statement of what you want.
Kim meets Juli for coffee and the two of them talk about what Juli is experiencing. Kim asks Juli what it is she wants right now. Juli replies that she really wants to be happy again and to feel loved. A part of her misses the good times she shared with David but she also knows that she doesn't want him back-- even if that were an option right now.
Juli decides that she does want to keep her date with the guy from the party. She doesn't know what will happen, but she is curious to find out.
When old wounds are triggered and your heart feels like it is breaking all over again, know that you are being given an opportunity to heal even more thoroughly from the past.
Allow yourself to move through these emotions and then come back to the present. Remind yourself of what you want and point yourself towards that goal.
Find out how to heal and move on with your life after a breakup or divorce in Susie and Otto's heal your broken heart free report.