Recover After a Traumatic Breakup

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn

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Learning how to recover after a traumatic breakup does not have to be as horrific as you imagine. Yes, it can be difficult, but fortunately there are things you can do to prevent yourself from being stuck in a "rut" for an indefinite period. If anything, you will end up to be a stronger, braver, and more resilient human being.

Divorce, for one, is an extremely traumatic experience. This is especially true when you spend most of your time in court. Expect to go through a lot of ups and downs during the entire process, so it's best to look for a support group you can turn to for advice, share your experiences with each other, or be each other's sounding board.

Issues you need to face: Smart ways to deal with them

  1. 1
    Anger triggers abuse
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    It's normal to feel angry when you're going through the divorce process. There are times when angry outbursts from either party may occur, along with arguments, negative comments, belittling, and so on.
    1. However, abuse must never be tolerated. When you speak of domestic violence, this already pertains to patterns of behavior (the coercive type, of course), not just isolated incidents of anger because of the divorce.
    2. If this happens to you and you think you're a victim of abuse, tell your lawyer about it so he can guide you through seeking help from domestic violence programs in your area.
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  2. 2
    Avoid litigation at all cost
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    Every time either one of you refuses to let go or accept the idea and reality of divorce, it will become more difficult for the both of you to reach a fair settlement. Eventually, the initiator of the divorce may lose hold of the other's behavior and will tend to retaliate. The moment this happens, expect your divorce to be headed to lots of litigation.
    1. Remember that the angrier either of you become, the longer the process will take, and the longer it takes, the angrier you become. (It's obviously one vicious cycle.)
    2. This not only means emotional and mental torment for you both, but it can also burn a hole in your pocket. So if you can help it, avoid litigation at all cost.
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  3. 3
    Consider going through therapy if you think it will help you during these times
    Clearly, this is a very difficult time to handle things all by yourself. Even if you're surrounded with family and friends, sometimes it takes professional help to overcome the obstacles that come your way.  
    1. There are lots of options to choose from, from social worker's individual counselling, to a psychologist, or join a therapy group with people going through the same thing as you are.
    2. There are so many types of peer support groups and services that are widely available in your local community, churches, and other civic organizations.
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  4. 4
    Ask your doctor about prescription medication
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    It's best if you make this your last resort since dealing with mental and emotional turmoil using "natural" methods is still the best way to go. However, if you're going through severe anxiety, depression, or insomnia as an aftermath of divorce, you may need to see your doctor who can prescribe you the meds to alleviate such symptoms.
    1. Don't feel scared or humiliated to admit that you may be in trouble and need help coping.
    2. A lot of people experience the same thing, and are or have been in the same boat. This does not have to be a permanent thing, as everything will eventually pass, no matter how awful it may seem right now.
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  5. 5
    Try ending on a positive note with your ex
    If you and your spouse don't have kids and neither one of you is obliged to make payments to the other on a monthly basis, you're in a relatively good position to move forward. Whether you still want to mend loose ends and be friends in the end is completely up to you. If, on the other hand, you have kids between you two, you'll still be their parents for the next 100 years (at least it may feel that way) and you will generally have no choice but to deal with each other for a very long time.  
    1. If this is the case, then you have to try your very best to at least be civil with one another as their parents.
    2. Sometimes, it's the nitty-gritty of having to deal with each other on a regular basis that can get to you, so as much as possible, make it a pleasant experience for one another.
    3. Avoid doing things that may irritate, hurt, or aggravate negative emotions.
    4. If you know you've committed a mistake, don't wait; apologize as soon as possible, and don't let these wounds fester.
    5. Try your best to keep open communication and be sensitive to each other's feelings.
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  6. 6
    The impact of distance
    If you have kids, remember that distance will play a big role in your shared parenting responsibilities. This is not a part-time job that you can just drop when you feel like it. You need to find a way to work things out smoothly so neither of you will have to go through unnecessary stress because of your current setup.
    1. Even if you're looking forward to your new life as a single person once again, free to chase your dreams and goals in life, try not to go overboard.
    2. When you have kids, there's something that will always tie you to your previous life.
    3. If you choose to permanently cut these ties, you may regret it for the rest of your life.
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  7. 7
    Settling with someone new
    Take it easy, and be very careful, especially if your kids are still adjusting to the reality of their parent's divorce. They may resent the fact that you are with someone else, and that this someone else is trying to take the place of their other parent, which is normal.  
    1. Sit down with your kids and allow them to express their thoughts and emotions freely and without any reservations.
    2. Try to reach a compromise, and make them understand that they will always be your number one priority in life.
    3. If your new love truly and genuinely loves you, he or she will support your decision and give you enough time to be with your kids.
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Moving on successfully

  1. 1
    Don't be too hasty
    Pain is but a normal aftermath of divorce. This is the time where you're at your most vulnerable, and are sometimes too eager to find acceptance. You're susceptible to easily falling in love with the first person who's interested at you.
    1. Avoid diving into another relationship right away. Give yourself more time to heal. Do not jump into another emotional relationship at a time when you're still fragile and on the rebound.
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  2. 2
    Take your time
    Really sort your thoughts and emotions before choosing that one person whom you want to share your new life with.
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  3. 3
    Conduct a self-inventory regularly
    Time is supposed to heal all wounds, but if you find yourself becoming more sad or angry, or nursing your second or third bottle of beer while killing yourself over the possibility of your ex being with someone else right now, it's time to conduct a self-inventory. Accept the reality that you may still be stuck in the past and it's time to stop.  
    1. Where are you at these point?
    2. Are you exploring all available options?
    3. Are you making the right choices? For yourself? For your kids?
    4. Are you still in that hole you dug for yourself and can't seem to get out, no matter how hard you try?
    5. If you are suffering, get help - ASAP.
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  4. 4
    Stay active
    Quit moping! Get yourself off that couch and get involved in worthwhile activities that will do both your mind and body good.
    1. Help other people to make a difference in their lives. You will find that this is the most rewarding thing you can ever experience, and one of the most effective ways to get your thoughts off your ex.
    2. You will feel and look healthier, have a more positive Outlook in life, and people will gravitate towards you without you even trying. Who knows - that special someone may be one of them?
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If you want to recover after a traumatic breakup, don't be in denial. Accept that you are hurt and mourning, and need help. If you deny needing any help, how can you expect to get any? Life is full of choices, and it's up to you where you want to go. Good luck.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Heartbreak

Recent edits by: Eng, Nerissa Avisado

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