Please note: Entries within this blog may contain references to instances of domestic abuse, dating abuse, sexual assault, abuse or harassment. At all times, Break the Cycle encourages readers to take whatever precautions necessary to protect themselves emotionally and psychologically. If you would like to speak with an advocate, please contact a 24/7 peer advocate at 866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522.
Going through a breakup is always difficult, no matter the circumstances. But going through a breakup after being in an unhealthy relationship can feel even worse. It’s important to remember you’re not alone and have the support of family and friends to get you through this tough time. Plus, it’s necessary to remember that a breakup is temporary — the feeling will not last forever. Here are some ways to help recover after a breakup:
It’s okay to be sad. Allow yourself a good cry if you need it, or several. Eat that pint of ice cream and watch sad movies. Cry to your family and friends. You might think it’s better to hide your feelings and appear strong, but it’s healthy to release those feelings of pain so you can move on from the relationship.
Don’t doubt what you did. It’s easy to think, “I’ve made a terrible mistake!” about your breakup, but you did it for a reason. Confront the doubt and realize that the decision you made was the right one, because you wanted to be in a healthy relationship.
Stay out of contact. You might be tempted to call or text them, just to check in. Resist the temptation and try being alone for a while. It’s better to be single rather than being back in an unhealthy relationship!
Get creative. It might seem scary to try something new. This is especially true for people who were just in an unhealthy relationship, where their partner might have told them they’re not good at anything, or laughed at them about something they wanted. Now that your ex isn’t around to stop you, try joining a club, starting a project, cooking a great meal, learning a musical instrument or a second language, or whatever you think will help distract you from the breakup and get out enjoying life again.
Go back in time. Remember what you liked to do before the relationship? Were you athletic and loved to run, or did you enjoy painting and drawing? Get back to your roots and try your hand at some of the hobbies you had that may have stopped because of your ex.
Spend time with others. Sometimes, unhealthy relationships cause people to unintentionally sever ties with loved ones. If you haven’t spent as much time with your friends as you’d like, set up a date to hang out. The same goes for your family. Reconnecting with the people in your life that you love will remind you that you are not alone, and will establish new routines.
Focus on the present. It can be very easy to dwell on the past, rather than thinking about today and the future. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen, and concentrate on what’s happening now. Are you enjoying yourself? What makes you happy? Just because one relationship ends doesn’t mean you can never discover a new passion or reclaim your life.
Love yourself. What happened has happened. You can’t go back and stop yourself from dating them, nor can you go back and try to change them. You’ve broken up, and you can move on from this. You are worthy of real love and happiness! The more you focus on self-love, the easier it will be to find someone who you can love again — and who will love you in return, in a healthy relationship.
Want to talk to someone about your breakup? Call us at 1-866-331-9474 and speak with a peer advocate. We’re here for you!