Top 6 Things NOT to do During a Separation or Breakup. 

I’m no relationship expert. Hell, I’m divorced even! But I will say that I have learned from my past experiences things which ring so true that I absolutely must share them with my broken hearted sisters.

If you have any hope in reconciling your love relationship, or you just want to heal as quickly as possible, then I hope you will consider taking my advice.

1. STALKING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

For the love of all things holy, DO NOT stalk your ex on social media. Trying to figuare what he is doing or who he is doing it with will only cause you greater pain. Trust me I know. I’ve been there and I could tell you some horror stories. Fortunately, I learned before my final marriage separation to never put myself through that again.

If you have any social media “friends” that you know are really “his” friends, separate yourself from them. You don’t owe anyone an explaination, but if you are a “people pleaser”, you can be very gentle and diplomatic by messaging that person before you unfriend them. Keep it short and sweet. Let them know it’s nothing personal against them – you just feel it’s for the best as you both go through the grieving process.  In most cases, people will understand, and some may even appreciate you making it  less awkward for them.

Ultimately it’s about you though. The more doors you keep open, the more avenues you have in getting hurt. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that his friends are your  friends. And if you are the one who ends up getting blocked, just take a deep breath and don’t take it personal.

2. SENDING ANGRY TEXT MESSAGES

One of the most effective and therapeutic ways in which I was able to move through my separation and later my divorce was typing out long text messages, then deleting them or saving them to my phone. When you know in your gut that there are things better left unsaid, yet you feel so compelled and justified to say something, use this technique to release that momentary pent up energy.

Think about it. What good will come from saying what you want to say? Will saying something resolve the situation or will it only escalate it? I can tell you that every time I allowed my emotions to take over and I expressed them to the person I was angry with, it always backfired. So how do you prevent this reptilian reaction? I don’t think you can unless you are big on meditation and able to calm yourself down quickly.  If you are however a passionate firecracker quick to temper, the best thing to do is to spew on paper or in an unsent text message.

3. DROWNING YOUR FRIENDS IN SORROW

Drowning your sorrows is never a good thing. You would not be the first to get a little wasted and poopoo on your ex, but be very careful not to make this a regular occurrence unless you want to quickly wear out your friendships. This was a hard lesson for me at first, but after a while I realized that my grieving process was going to take a lot longer than what my friends had the stamina for.

You have to understand and accept that your friends and even your family can only take so much. Negativity drains a lot of energy, not just from you but from others as well. I will never say to someone that they should just get over it. What I will say is that sometimes your friends and family aren’t the best people to vent to because there is a shelf life, so it’s important to put other supports in place like joining a private social media group or seeing a therapist.

4. STAYING FROZEN IN YOUR MIND

Your gears are constantly turning. You’re exhausted from crying non-stop. You’re having bad dreams or not sleeping at all.  You’re obsessing about the past and can’t shut it off. Your chest is so tight it feels like your heart is going to implode. And some days you pray you could just close your eyes and peacefully drift far…far…away only to never wake up again.

Yup! Been there too and stayed there for a long time. It’s called depression and heartache. You have two choices. Either sit and marinate in your sorrow while entertaining suicidal thoughts, OR get up and start moving! I know it’s not easy. I cried so much during my separation and divorce that my own child started to roll his eyes at me. I had no control over my thoughts or my emotions. I had to do something about it. So I started going for a walk and tuning out with music, and I’ve been exercising ever since.

There is nothing wrong with letting out your emotions. You have to feel them in order to heal, but eventually you have to  start focusing on your mental wellbeing and the best way to start that process, I am convinced is through physical movement.

5. KEEPING PERSONAL CONTACT

I prolonged my healing process by staying in contact with my ex. We share a child so ofcourse we had no choice, especially if we were going to co-parent. But there is a fat line between necessary contact and excessive contact. I fooled myself into thinking we could still be “friends”. I had envisioned a perfect scenario in which he and I would be the greatest co-parents in the world, we would share holidays together with the grandparents, and even befriend eachother’s new love interests.

This magical thinking will only lead you down an even more painful path that could have been prevented. Don’t be surprised if you end up sleeping with eachother. Don’t be surprised to find that you end up creating more points of arguement and rehashing old ones despite how many times you end up having sex. And if you have children, they will end up more confused once you  decide to put a solid halt on things after deciding its best to stay away from eachother for a while.

Every relationship is different. The dynamics that existed in my relationship might be very different from yours, but the end result is still the same. You can not hope for reconciliation until you give yourself the time and space to be away from eachother. It is only then that you can start to see things more clearly and make your own assessments without the influence of triggered emotions.

6. OPENING UP YOUR MOUTH

This last one I know is difficult. It’s still difficult for me at times, but I can not stress enough how important this last one is. So many times I wanted to tell my version of what happened, but on the very few occasions I did, I almost always regretted it.  Say what you got to say to the right people; a trusted few who know your story because they lived through it with you, a therapist, or vent to a group of strangers in an online support group.

I’m very close to my mother in-law, and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for my father in-law. Divorce doesn’t simply dissolve that for me. But as much as I wanted to tell my in-laws how I felt about things, I had to swallow my pride if I was going to keep a relationship with them. When I found out about my ex husband’s new fiancé, my emotions were still very  raw and believe me, I had plenty to say. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes for a moment will hopefully give you the perspective you need to keep your mouth shut and not make a complete ass out of yourself. There will always be your version, his version, and the truth which sits somewhere in the middle. It’s only natural for his support system to side with his truth, just as it is only natural for your support system to side with your truth.

I want to come back around to social media. I am very active on social media because it plays a huge part in what I want to do with my professional life. Being open and sharing my personal story is part of that. There is however a right way and a wrong way when it comes to sharing about a failed relationship. The general rule of thumb I would say, is to ask yourself why you are sharing. Is what you are about to share going to provide value to your audience?  If not, then don’t share it! The very last thing you want is to come off as bitter, negative, or without class. Be very careful in how you air out your dirty laundry as they say, because it can backfire in a mean way causing you more grief than is necessary.

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