Three Steps for Dealing with The Initial Pain After a Breakup

Three Steps for Dealing with The Initial Pain After a Breakup

We may never know why our spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner turned on a dime. Sometimes it is difficult to see the signs of a crash coming. We want to remember back to when love was fresh and it seemed unbreakable. We were in love and nothing could distract, yet end something that feels so perfect. The chances are that it could have been going in a negative direction for quite some time.

Regardless of how it happened, I was able to come to the realization after the divorce of exactly what had taken place after a little distance to reflect. It is a little more difficult to see it when I stared it in the face each day. It is like having a child and everyone says, “Devon is getting so big.” But because we as parents have been around him daily, we don’t notice that he grew three inches in the last year. It is only after his physical with the doctor annually that we see the changes.

The signs are often there in a relationship that the direction is not productive but when two people are fighting to be right, we may never know why the other half shut off on a dime. The feeling of not being loved anymore is unbearable for many people.

First of all, a breakup consists of two minds and two people not being in alignment. Sometimes it goes way beyond the actions or behaviors of just one person. Just as recipes can often require certain ingredients in certain amounts, a relationship can require the same. What keeps one relationship on fire with passion can do the opposite with a different person, so don’t be too hard on yourself or change yourself for somebody else.

There are some steps that you can take after experiencing the pain of getting the news that it is over:

Step One: Stay calm

Your thinking and memory stay more optimal without stress and fear running through them. Stress releases Cortisol, which is your primary stress hormone, and this diminishes your ability to make logical choices in your mind. Step back and see the bigger picture. Know that freaking out right now will do little toward productive solutions.

Step Two: Remove the Impulse to Reach Out

When the person you love abandons you it is easy to feel like you need them badly. This is a huge mistake because it can lead to a more stressful confrontation. Just as they were not considering your emotions when they made they choice to break off the relationship,it is best to keep in mind that you approaching them with add to their feelings of it being over. It adds to their guilt for dumping you, and reminds them why they wanted away from you. Give yourself and the ex partner some breathing room. Stop emailing, calling, texting, driving by her/his house, using social media to contact them or post about them, and let life be right now.

Step Three: Shift Focus from We to I

When our focus is on how much you can’t live without your ex and how they were the best thing that ever happened to you, you are giving energy to them that you could be saving to invest in your own situation. Whether you like it or not, their wish was for the relationship to be over. Start looking at what is in front of you. You can never move forward if the car is in reverse. I am not at all saying this is easy. Your brain rarely has a focus on more than one thing at a time consciously. Keep it moving toward solutions versus problems that have already happened. Notice what questions you are asking yourself that make you feel lousy. If you are asking, “Why can’t I ever keep a girlfriend in my life?” your brain will give you answers to support that lousy question. Instead, ask, “What is great for me about no longer having to deal with this relationship?” Don’t you think you will feel much better with the answers your mind provides?

To get past a breakup we didn’t want, we have to learn to optimize our minds to magnetize toward a more fulfilling future. The future can be a masterpiece and one that far exceeds what we have experienced so far. Start to take action on things you can control. You will feel much better when you sense that you are gaining control over your life.






After the Breakup: Appreciation of the Little Things

After the Breakup: Appreciation of the Little Things

When I went through my divorce I was in a fog every day and felt like all I could do is think of my ex-wife and the good times. I was putting a bunch of energy to a woman who said she was done, and I can guarantee she wasn’t thinking about me in return. My loneliness transitioned into anger. “How could she leave a committed and loving husband and father?” “How can she just throw 26 years away?” These were the types of questions I asked myself over and over, and you can imagine the responses that came. Yes, they were terrible and self-victimizing. With poor questions come horrible answers.

I learned to disconnect from her shortly after that. I made the decision that I was going to start living MY life again. She had her life, and I needed mine back. I was reading Oprah’s book, What I Know for Sure, and a central theme was gratitude. I refined my list of everything I did not lose in my life and committed to read, and feel, my list each day in the morning and evening. I started smelling the coffee I was brewing and noticing how the warm cup in my hands. I did this for each experience. I used my senses to get myself engaged in the moment and it made a huge difference each day. The moments of hope and inspiration compounded and suddenly I wasn’t thinking about my divorce as much.

If you are overwhelmed, step back and take in the moment. Put a wall around yourself for a few minutes or an hour and just experience the moment you are in and have gratitude about all that is right in your world.





Remembering the Pain of a Divorce I Didn’t Want

Remembering the Pain of a Divorce I Didn’t Want

My divorce was official in April of 2014 but when my ex-wife asked for the divorce feels like it was just yesterday. I remember hearing her words pierce my heart the second they came out of her mouth. I thought it was surely something we could work out after almost 30 years together. Her mind was set and I could just try to suck it up and make it all OK for the kids and the household on pins and needles.

I remember the pure hell of emotions I went through. I felt like our 26 year relationship was a lie and experienced anger at the start. I felt the uncertainty of not knowing what would happen to the three kids emotionally. Where would I live? Could I afford child support and being able to have a shared custody of the kids? Would I be able to start over at almost 50 years old? I was lonely, felt rejected, had fears, wasn’t sure what the next day would look like. The negative emotions cycled in my head.

I knew there had to be a better way. Now I know there is. At that time it took everything to just wake up in the morning, go to work, be there for the kids, and still be OK knowing I had to move on. Now I know there is a way to put it all in perspective faster and move on…but it wasn’t a luxury to have that level of insight prior.

If I could do it over I would…

  • Relax and calm down. Nothing but stress comes from being overly-emotional during the process of a breakup
  • Start planning more quickly with a more level head after the breakup. Being calm multiplies creativity of possible solutions
  • Spend efforts on where I needed to go and not pursuing my ex
  • Avoid jumping into having alcohol or negative behavior that would hurt me emotionally or physically
  • Not allow negative people and opinionated family members to have exposure around me
  • Not allow isolation to take over. Would have enjoyed the small rewards in life and connect to those who had my best interest in mind

Focus on mindfulness in the moment and just feel great about what is around you. If it is as simple as a cup of coffee, smell the coffee, feel the warmth in your hands, notice the taste as you drink it. Slow down and realize that life can be inspiring. Bridging the small experiences in my life made a huge difference after the marriage. I had my moments of doubt and fear but also had some of the most profound and peaceful moments as I changed my focus.