If you expected your troubles to end after your relationship did but you are still having a hard time moving on, you may have been with a destructive or abusive partner.
When you breakup from a destructive man, the past continually resurfaces, your breakup seems to go on forever, and anticipating a better future feels impossible despite how much time goes by. You feel uninspired about starting over but you still think about men and dating, and jump right back in, planning to just choose better this time around.
By contrast, when you breakup with a non-destructive partner, the past ends in a reasonable timeframe. You begin thinking about upping your education, traveling, relocating, finding a new career, starting or renewing a hobby~and you do so without panic or fear driving your thought process and actions. You most likely think about men and talk about dating again, but you don’t necessarily jump right back in, preferring, instead, to take some time for yourself.
As you transition through a breakup from a non-destructive man, you feel renewed even though you may have some anger, frustration, resentment or even fantasies of retaliation. As you begin to come to terms with everything, you feel sad but the pain that consumed you and caused you to shut down or indulge, was temporary. You eventually realize that you have to heal yourself and once you make the decision to move on, you feel empowered, hopeful about the future, and excited about starting over.
Your breakup recovery is quick and the conclusion that it was best you parted ways is comforting. You still have respect for your ex and can speak highly of him while feeling compassion and respect for yourself as you work on healing from the inside out. You know your next relationship will be better, and that dating will be fun when you decide it's time for that again.
After a breakup with a destructive or abusive partner, things are very different.
Moving on feels like an impossible task; you rehash the past and the problems, and good memories flow on autopilot and intrude on your life, potentially causing you to re-connect, only to promise yourself you’ll never do that again. You regret the lost time, the wasted effort and the endless breakups, and you focus on his good side because it makes you understand why you stayed for too long.
You have little or no anger and tons of compassion and empathy~for him. You feel sorry for him because he just never "got it." You want him to feel better and you try to get him to understand why you couldn’t stay, prompting him to be compassionate in the hopes that he will get it, or so you can get back together. You have always accepted more responsibility and blame in relationships than you should and that's tiring but you don’t know how to have it any other way.
You feel exhausted, powerless, and hopeless when you think about starting over or loving again. You are trapped by the breakup~and trapped in the past. You loved him but lost respect for him. Somewhere along the way, although no one knows it, you also lost respect for yourself by being with him, and you don’t know how to get it back. You can’t heal and you seek validation from the outside in.
Don't assume that all breakups take forever, they don't. Breaking up from a toxic, destructive, or abusive lover does not always stop the drama and chaos, some breakups simply require more effort and a self-centered approach.
Here are 3 tips to help you get in control of your breakup so you can put an end to the past for good:
1) REALIZE THAT GOOD THOUGHTS of HIM ARE a TOXIC DISTRACTION
Reminiscing about happy times with him is a toxic distraction because good thoughts about bad men are problematic where there has been destructive love. They cause you to become sentimental about him and about the two of you together, and they make you fantasize and wish he was nicer, or like he used to be. This triggers hopefulness~potentially causing you to let your guard down and release the No-Contact Rule and accept his contact again. It can make you be nice to him at your own expense, and you may even contact him yourself, reinforcing the attachment to the him and to the past. This is where slipping back to the past/back to him begins.
2) IDENTIFY and ELIMINATE EMOTIONAL DISTRACTIONS
Remove all emotional clutter from your life, that means, get rid of those physical things that trigger good memories about your past relationship. This could be photos, photo albums, postcards, letters, notes, solveniers~whatever it is, get all of it out of your home, out of your family’s homes, out of your car, off your computer, and away from your office.
When your mind drifts back to him, it may be that at a certain time of the day you had a habit of calling him, or there is a specific time that you did a certain activity together, or you see a photo of him that you love and it causes you to feel sentimental about him. Regardless of what the trigger is, it all prevents you from moving on. Notice what triggers you have around you and get rid of anything that causes you to stay connected to the past in any way.
3) SET SOLID DATING GOALS and A SLOW PACE
Get specific about what a good love-life really is and set the bar high. Do NOT rush to date again, there are many self discoveries that need time to surface and heal after a bad guy, so give yourself extra time so you can attract better, safer lovers. When you do start dating again, start off by intentionally dating for fun and avoid looking for "forever" right away.
When you intentionally use dating as your practice ground for spotting the bad guys and exercising boundaries, you shift your dating outcome. When a date falls short of your new love-life goal, or you feel unheard or unappreciated in any way, move on quickly instead of negotiating with yourself or with him. If you don't want to see someone again, say so. You don't have to be mean or brutal about it, you just have to know that you are taking care of yourself in a new way and saying "no thanks" is part of selection, not rejection. Get comfortable with knowing what you want, and be obvious about it.
Remember why you want to achieve a new kind of love and consider what a solid love-life looks like and feels like. What kind of man would you like to be with? How would he look at you when you talk to him? How will he talk to you in general? Will he smile and laugh often? In what ways would you be different with a guy who can really love you?
If you haven’t had good love, mutual respect, and boundaries modeled for you, use television to identify a personality or character that has the kind of relationship you would like to have. Notice how the couple interacts. What strengths do the women have? If you had those strengths, what kind of man would you attract compared to what you had before?
For more Starting Over tips and breakup help, visit my website at www.TheStartOverExpert.com