Why Do Guys Pull Away: 5 Real Reasons Your Man Is Withdrawing

Why Do Guys Pull Away: 5 Real Reasons Your Man Is Withdrawing

Why your man is withdrawing and pulling away from the relationship?

“Distance simply means separation in place but never in connections. Heart remains inseparable.” – DhelChen

Just when you thought your relationship was moving to the next stage, your boyfriend starts pulling away from you. You keep scratching your head but you can’t understand why. Did you do something wrong? Has he stopped loving you? Why is he withdrawing into himself when he seemed so interested? You were pretty sure you two had a real connection. Then why is he backing off suddenly?

So why does a man pull away even if things are going great in a relationship?

There are a number of reasons why your man may be withdrawing to himself. And no, it’s not necessarily because he is losing interest in you. So if you want to know why a man would pull away just when things are getting serious, then keep reading as we try to dig deep into this problem and understand what exactly is going on.

 

Is your man withdrawing? Here’s how to explain his behavior.

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler

Any woman who’s actively following dating advice and is putting themselves out there will at some point deal with a man who is growing distant. It may be confusing trying to determine while men pull away, but it usually doesn’t have anything to do with you.

If you notice that a previously attentive man is showing signs of fleeing, one of these things is likely going on. And before you move your relationship forward, it’s important to consider if these are roadblocks you can overcome.

5 Real Reasons Your Man Is Withdrawing

1. He’s just not ready.

You may have been communicating effectively that you’re playing for keeps (and if so, great job!), but this has him exiting stage left because he’s not ready for the commitment.

 

2. He’s scared to take the next step.

“Sometimes you have to be apart from the people you love, but that doesn’t make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more.” – Nicholas Sparks

One of the men’s primary fears is the loss of freedom. He may be evaluating whether or not what he will gain by having you in his life is worth the inevitable loss of his sexual freedom, financial freedom or time.

 

3. You’re experiencing “man time.”

When a man gets involved in anything that consumes his attention (work, sports, hobbies, to name a few), he loses track of time. When he finally realizes how much time has passed, he may be too afraid to call you and risk having to face how angry you may be.

 

4. He thinks you’ve changed.

You’re not being the same gal he started with. Instead of being easy-going, fun and clearly appreciating who he is, maybe he’s getting a taste of another side of you — someone who is hard to please, insecure, needy or just not fun anymore.

 

5. You’re not the one for him (or he’s not the one for you).

You may feel disappointed by this realization at first, but in the end, it’s for your benefit. If this is the case, sooner or later that the relationship is going to end.

So, how can you tell which one of these is the cause of him being distant?

 

Follow your instincts

“If a relationship is to evolve, it must go through a series of endings.” – Lisa Moriyama

Listen to your gut. If you’re dealing with a man who needs some space, you’ve got to give it to him or risk losing him for good.

Too many women rob themselves from knowing their man wanted to be there by allowing personal fears to control what he did. How many women do you know who orchestrated their whole engagement? Plenty!

On the other hand, if you have a man who won’t give you what you need, the best thing you can do is let him go. Don’t be a woman who regrets how much time she spent in a relationship that didn’t go where you wanted it to.

Of course, if you are the reason he’s hitting the road, get whatever help you need to get yourself together. It’s okay to be scared and insecure because we all get that way sometimes, but make sure you are not letting yourself act out from that place.

5 Things To Know About Surviving a Break Up

5 Things To Know About Surviving a Break Up

Are you looking for things to know about surviving a break up? Have you and your person suddenly ended your relationship? Are you devastated?

Surviving a break up is possible. It will be painful and your recovery might not be as quick as you would like it to be but you will recover and life will go on, as good, if not better, than before.

 

I have written many blogs about things you can do that are key to surviving a breakup. Now here are some things that are good to know about surviving a breakup – things that might make your recovery just a little bit easier.

1– It’s ok to be sad.

So many of my clients are so very angry at themselves for being sad about a breakup.

In our modern times, it’s a weakness to be sad, to cry, to be anything less than strong and self-assured. Unfortunately, there is nothing worse than a broken heart and I don’t know one person in the history of the world who hasn’t felt pain after a breakup.

Furthermore, it’s okay to be sad for more than a few days. Have any of your friends told you to suck it up and get over it? Are you beating yourself for still letting this breakup make you so sad? Well, don’t.

Like any traumatic event or illness, getting over a broken heart takes time. Americans absolutely suck at taking their time getting over something. As soon as things are even just a little bit better, we believe that we need to jump up and get back to our lives, fully intact. But it just doesn’t work that way.

Let yourself be sad and let yourself be sad for a while. Don’t wallow but recognize your feelings and let them happen. If you stuff them down it will be even harder to get past them.

 

2– Your thoughts can derail you.

Our very worst enemy, even in the best of times, are our brains. Our brains produce pesky thoughts that can drive us down to the darkest place. And, unless we are aware of them, our thoughts can make surviving a break up even more difficult.

One of the most common worries that I hear from my clients is that their person, their broken person who was making their lives miserable, will find someone else and suddenly become perfect. That all of the issues that they struggled with will be magically cured with their new lover.

This just doesn’t happen. People aren’t magically cured when they find love. They might feel like they are cured in the short term but the reality is is that people don’t change unless they do their work.

So, don’t let the thought of your ex now being perfect derail your recovery. Even if you see them looking picture perfect on Instagram, know that they will always be who they are, unless they try to change.

Another thing that derails us is that the pain of a break up is so bad that the only thing that can fix it is getting back together. And, of course, getting back together will ease your pain for a day or two but, sooner than later, the pain of the relationship will return and you will be right back where you started.

A third thing that can really mess with your head is believing that you are less of a person because of this breakup. That you are a failure and completely unloveable and that you just gave up and should have been stronger.

But, really, there were two people in that relationship and if you both weren’t willing to do the work, to give each other what you needed, then it just wasn’t fixable. You couldn’t singlehandedly keep the relationship going.

Pay attention to your thoughts. If nasty ones pop up, push back against them. Question their reality.  Don’t let those pesky thoughts derail all of your hard recovery work.

 

3– Stalking won’t be helpful.

One of the things that can completely derail surviving a break up is stalking your ex.

When I was younger the only thing that we could do if a guy broke up with us was to drive around to bars and hangouts and hope that we would see him. Chances were usually slim.

These days, it’s incredibly easy to keep tabs on your ex. Social media is at our fingertips always and the inclination to get a little fix of what we lost can be irresistible.

BUT, let me ask you – how do you feel after you stalk your ex? Do you ever feel better? No? Shocking.

Stalking is the worst thing that you can do if you are trying to get over your ex. Recovery gets easier the longer you have no contact with your person and that includes seeing them on social media.

So, resist the urge to snoop. If you have to, unfriend or unfollow your ex. And remember, the person who is posting on Instagram isn’t necessarily sharing a true vision of themselves. How many times have you posted an inspirational quote when you were feeling really shitty?

Yeah, me too.

 

    The Death of Love: The 7 Stages of Couple Separation

    The 7 Stages of Couple Separation

    The Death of Love Isn’t Natural: The 7 Stages of Couple Separation

    No one wants their relationships to end. It’s a terrifying feeling that we all want to avoid. But life seldom gives us what we want. Separation from your spouse or partner can most certainly be difficult and can severely affect your emotional, mental and physical health. Although a temporary separation between couples can often help to rekindle the relationship, most of the times a separation leads to a divorce and the death of the relationship.

    “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source, it dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds, it dies of weariness, of witherings, or tarnishings, but never a natural death.”
    – Anais Nin

    Marriages rarely end overnight. They tend to unravel over time, in ways that are now fairly predictable

    Thanks to research by Dr. John Gottman. In 1986 Dr. Gottman and his colleagues built a Love Lab to learn the secrets of lasting love and understand why love dies.

    By studying couples for over 40 years, Dr. Gottman could predict with a 90% accuracy which marriage would fail, and which would succeed.

    These are the factors he found most often contribute to the dissolution of a marriage:

    The 7 Stages of Couple Separation

    Stage 1: A Lack of Emotional Support

    “To fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” – Bess Myerson

    A deep friendship is the best buffer against nasty conflict. Dr. Gottman’s research concluded that couples who last turn toward each other 86% of the time, while those separated turned towards 33% of the time.

    A lack of responsiveness and affection creates ambivalence about the relationship.

    • “Does my partner love me?”
    • “Do I matter to my spouse?”

    A research study that followed 168 couples for 13 years discovered that the number one predictor of why couples split was not how often the couple fought, but how little affection and emotional responsiveness they offered one another.¹

    Additional research validates that relationship distress was predicted by a partner who was unsupportive in their response – by minimizing a problem, not wanting feelings to be expressed, offering unhelpful advice, and insisting on their partner using that advice.²

    When we become deprived of the emotional connection in our relationship, we become insecure. We feel uncertain about the strength of our relationship.

    • “Can I trust my partner to be there for me when I need them?”
    • “Is my partner hiding something?”

     

    Stage 2: Escalating Conflict

    “Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.” – Roger de Bussy-Rabutin

    Dr. Gottman says that the most obvious indicator that a conversation is not going to go well is the way it begins.

    Within the first three minutes, Dr. Gottman could predict how a 15-minute conflict conversation would end. His research concluded that 96% of the time a conversation ends negatively because it starts negatively.

    When a conversation begins harshly, it invites a harsh reply:

    • “You never make time for me. All you ever do is work. No wonder we have problems in our marriage!”
    • “Solving how we parent our kids would help our marriage, but when I try to tell you about our kids’ routines and what’s important, you don’t do it. I even write out step-by-step instructions, but that doesn’t even work. I have no idea how to get through to you.”

    While your frustration about a lack of responsiveness and teamwork is valid, beginning a conversation with blame, criticism, and sarcasm is a sure way to derail a productive conversation into a fight. When this happens, it can lead couples into nasty cycles of conflict if there is no repair.

     

    Stage 3: Stuck in the Cycles of Conflict

    “In a separation it is the one who is not really in love who says the more tender things.” – Marcel Proust

    Dr. Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, proposes that conflict is a result of disconnection and an attempt to reconnect partners.

    For some of us, conflict reconnects. For others, it disconnects us even more. The difference is not what you say, but how you say it.

    Why Letting Go of a Past Love Is Important for Future Happiness

    Why Letting Go of a Past Love Is Important for Future Happiness

    Are you really struggling with letting go of a past love? Are you sure that your ex was the only person for you and that you could never possibly be happy again?

    I get it! The pain that you are in now is pain that is intense and feels like it will never end.

    But it can! If you want it to.

    If you are determined and ready to take the next steps and work on letting go of a past love, you will give yourself a chance at true love and happiness.

     

    Is that hard to imagine that it’s possible? Let me tell you why.

    1 – You will know what you want.

    For many of us, the time after we have broken up with someone we loved is a time of real reflection.

    Whether we did the breaking up or were broken up with, one way to manage pain is to take a good hard look at what happened and what we really want.

    What have you learned from your past love?

    Over the course of my post-divorce dating years, I fell in love many times. None of them lasted, for a variety of reasons. And while I was at times broken-hearted, with every break up I learned more and more about what I wanted.

    I wanted someone who could make me feel special, who was smart and funny and honest, who had a great relationship with this family and who knew who he was. As I let go of each of these men, I was able to take another step towards knowing myself and what I wanted in the world – and thereby find true happiness.

     

    2 – You can focus on what’s in front of you.

    Have you tried dating since your break up? Has it been an unmitigated disaster because you can’t help but think about your ex and everything that you have lost?

    Are you given great new career opportunities or the chance to travel and you don’t take them because you are too focused on your broken heart and maybe getting your lover back?

    Are your friends there to go dancing but you can’t join them because you are wallowing?

    Letting go of a past love, in spite of the pain and the lost hopes will allow you to lift your head and focus on the opportunities for happiness that are put in front of you.

    If you don’t, you will be destined to be miserable. And life is too short to be miserable.

     

    3 – You will stop comparing.

    When we are in a new relationship and we have not yet been able to let go of an old one, it is very difficult to stop yourself from comparing the two.

    If your new guy isn’t as funny as your old, you will hold that against him, even if he is funny in his own way. If the sex isn’t as good, you could shut down instead of giving it a chance to improve, as sex lives often do. If he doesn’t make as much money as your old guy you might think he isn’t good enough for you, completely ignoring that he knows who he is because he does work that feels good.

    Another thing that happens with people who struggle with letting go of a past love is that we hold on to our ‘issues.’ Our ‘baggage.’

    If we were lied to by our ex, we are always worried that our new person will lie to us. If your old guy ignored you when you were at parties, you will stress out if your new person leaves your side even for a minute.

    Letting go of a past love allows us to also let go of the damage that they did to us. And if we can do so, we will have a much better chance of future happiness, both in love and life!

     

    4 – You will no longer suffer.

    Imagine if you no longer suffered from the pain that you are suffering from right now.

    Imagine how good it would feel to get up in the morning and not get that stab of pain when you remember that you are alone.

      Closure in Relationships: 10 Ways To Stay Strong When There is None

      Closure in Relationships: 10 Ways To Stay Strong When There is None

      Closure in relationships: Ah yes, that mythical concept.

      When a romantic relationship ends without any closure it can be really hard to move on as you are still looking for answers. You feel constantly stressed and anxious as you try to put the pieces together even when some of the most important pieces are missing. You feel restless and your mind is in a constant chaotic mode. You feel abandoned and left behind without understanding why. You didn’t even get a chance to say one last goodbye. You feel angry, bitter, frustrated, self-pity and even self-doubt. You keep wondering what exactly you did wrong to end up here and what could you have done to make it better. But despite all your best efforts, the fact remains that it’s over. They are gone. And you’re left alone with a sinking feeling in your heart. However, you should not let this destroy you. It is possible to move one even when there is no closure.

      ———-

      When the end of a relationship is less Bridget Jones in tears belting out All By Myself over a bottle of wine …

      … and more Gwyneth Paltrow-style conscious uncoupling – whatever that stupid phrase means.

      As if we can all end and have closure in relationships wrapped up with a tidy bow.

      Life’s not like that.

      Closure to me sums up images of exes sitting politely facing each other (on the neutral territory of course), going over what went wrong.

      Neither blaming the other; each taking responsibility for their side of the relationship breakdown, before a kiss on the cheek goodbye and well wishes for the future.

      Wouldn’t that be nice?

      I’m sure it happens to some lucky couples, but chances are if your relationship is on the rocks or in Splitsville already, you’re not going to get this Hollywood ending.

       

      Relationship Closure is a concept in which you both accept the relationship is over and have a sense of resolution, even peace about it.

      You can move on.

      Without closure, it can be difficult to do this and the healing becomes that much harder.

      Without reason, you are left with questions:

      What did I do wrong?

      How can I trust you again?

      A lack of closure is the reason many of you have been telling me you feel the pullback to a relationship after it’s ended, even a dysfunctional or abusive one.

      I get this as it was the same for me.

      Even though I ended our relationship for my own safety, I found it hard to let go when so many questions remained unresolved.

      I’d spent years trying to prove my love for my violent ex, hoping it would give him the security he needed to stop sabotaging our relationship

      I so desperately wanted him to acknowledge his abuse and that he recognized how much I loved him despite it all.

      How hard I’d tried to help him.

      I was left wondering instead where I’d gone so terribly wrong.

      I was convinced too that without me he was now living a grander life as if nothing had ever happened.

      Perhaps it was me all along?

      I blamed myself.

      I was never going to heal this way.

      I had no choice but to find emotional closure myself.

      First I had to come out of denial and ask myself:

      What is it I’m waiting and hoping for?

      Be honest with yourself.

      They may not have been abusive in your relationship. Perhaps they’ve simply dumped you without much reason.

      Or you’ve decided to leave them and still crave that tidy ending.

      Either way, consider this.

      This person who treated you this way – the same one you want closure from – do they really offer the best future for you?

      This person you decided to leave, those reasons still stand. What is it you’re hoping for?

      Is what you’re imagining a fantasy in your head?

      Let go.

      This pain you are feeling now, it hurts I know.

      Could it be your hope of closure from them is more about you clinging to hope they’ll come to their senses, run back to you and tell you everything’s going to be okay?

      Friends with an Ex: 3 Ways To Turn Your Former Flame Into A Friend

      3 Ways To Turn Your Former Flame Into A Friend as smoothly as possible

      Just because the romance faded doesn’t mean the friendship will, too.

      It’s often tempting being friends with an ex, especially right after a breakup when you are still used to relying on their emotional support.

      But is it wise? The answer, as with most things, is: it depends.

      If you’ve shared an intimate and supportive connection with someone over time, it’s a shame not to stay on at least friendly terms. After all, you offered each other some important gifts along the way.

      And there are lots of success stories of people remaining great friends after they ended their romantic connection, so obviously it is possible.

      But many people struggle to stay connected on a friendly level because they still desire something more from their ex. That’s when you can get into trouble. Bottom line: friendships are mutual. So if you are going to stay friends, you and your ex must be in agreement about the vision for your friendship.

       

      If you both agree that you’d like to remain, friends, here’s how to make the transition from relationship to friendship as smoothly as possible.

      1. Agree to a “no contact” period.

      If you’re just breaking up, it’s best to agree to a period of no contact — maybe 2 weeks, maybe 3 months. During this time, you begin to separate your lives and wean yourself from each other’s emotional support. Without this breathing space that creates final closure, you can wind up using your previous partner as a crutch and not really be moving on at all, which is something that will hold you both back.

      Agree to check-in at the end of your decided upon time frame. At that time, see if you are both past the “reactive stage.” Can you talk to and think about each other without getting emotional, either teary or angry? If so, it might be time to resume a friendship. If not, more time may be needed.

       

      2. Create a mutual definition of friendship.

      A friendship needs to start from a clean and clear space that is defined in a fresh way. So once you’ve created that space, confirm that you both still want to be friends. If the answer remains yes for you both — and it might not be after your grace period — then it’s time to decide what you want your friends to look like.

      Without this step, people tend to hurt each other because they have differing ideas of what it means to be “friends” with an ex. So be honest with each other. What is your ideal? Coffee once a year to catch up? Friendly email updates once a quarter? Grabbing lunch once a month?

      The goal here is to find something that feels good to both of you. If you can’t, chances are it’s not the right time to maintain a friendly connection because someone is still emotionally attached and is going to get hurt.

       

      3. Set boundaries.

      You also need to talk about what kinds of things you still want to share. As partners, you likely turned to each other for support on everything, but that’s probably no longer appropriate.

      So, maybe you want to hear updates about work and fun, but you aren’t ready to hear about how excited your ex is about dating someone new. Maybe it’s still cool to ask him to pick you up at the airport or fix your sink, but maybe not.

      Boundaries are especially important once a new romance is in your life. Your current partners may not be so thrilled that you remain connected to your old flame. So talk to your new partner and renegotiate your friendship levels dependent on what feels good to everyone involved.

      When both partners are over the romance, have moved on emotionally, and want the same things from each other, friendships with an ex can be a rewarding part of your life. After all, your exes were likely your best friends during periods of your life and staying connected can offer a unique, supportive connection that you value for a long time to come.


      Written By GalTime .com
      Originally Appeared On Your Tango

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      Why You Must Stop Loving The Wrong People

      Why You Must Stop Loving The Wrong People

      Loving the wrong people: Not everyone deserves your love, respect, and adoration. Stop. Reflect. And realize that you need to protect yourself and your heart from getting hurt.

       

      Listen up, not every person deserves the love you have to give.

      Take a moment to reflect on the society that we are living in. A society of participation trophies—awards for just showing up. A society of some high school football teams who have stopped keeping scores at games so nobody’s feelings get hurt.

      A society of endless internet memes that proclaim that everyone deserves love and is perfect just the way they are. But whose love is it that they are deserving of? It has to come from somewhere – and that somewhere is you and me.

       

      Do you feel that everyone is deserving of the love you can give?

      Now, this may not be the warm and fuzzy feeling of an article you are used to from me, but sometimes warm, fuzzy, unconditional reinforcement isn’t good if you’re reinforcing the wrong thing.

      The issue with a society that teaches everyone is perfect the way they are, is that it encourages no improvement or change. No standards. No willingness to move forward because the current scenario is just fine, right?

      Wrong.

      Some people lie. Some people cheat. Some people abuse. Some people mistreat you or others around you. And if we don’t stand up and tell them what they’re doing is wrong, they will never change. It is like a dog who misbehaves and we continue to reward him/her with treats, expecting that someday they will understand their actions are unacceptable. It doesn’t work that way.

      The ones who work to become better are deserving of your love. The ones who will do everything for you that you will do for them and expect nothing in return. The ones who will care for you as if you were an extension of themselves. The ones who compromise, sacrifice, and fight for you.

      Those are the people who deserve your love.

      I know there will inevitably be people who talk about psychological issues and things people can’t control. I know some out there had bad childhoods or traumatic experiences that affected the person they are, and that does not mean they are undeserving of love – but the expectations should be set that in order to actually receive this love they deserve (from you), they need to work to change and improve.

       

      Stop giving your time, your body, and most of all – your heart, to people who haven’t earned it.

      Raise the standards you have for yourself and those around you. Raise your standards for what you expect out of people in order to allow them into your life.

      Give everyone a chance to earn what you have to give, but don’t give it away freely, or eventually, you will have nothing left.


      Written by James Michael Sama
      Originally appeared in The Goodmen Project

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      How to End a Relationship When Your Partner Still Loves You

      How to End a Relationship When Your Partner Still Loves You

      How to End a Relationship When Your Partner Still Loves You without hurting the other

      Most people who commit to a long-term relationship feel positive about their chances of staying with their partner. They realize that all relationships wax and wane, and do their best to look at the good while ignoring the bad.

      Unfortunately, those feelings can change over time, and many intimate partners will at some point know that, for them, the relationship is over.

      The majority of people in committed relationships don’t make these choices rashly. Most often, they’ve done everything they can to stay in love with their partners, but have not been able to regain the positive feelings they once knew. If both partners have come to that conclusion together, the parting can be amicable and they may even stay friends. But if one partner wants out and the other is still fully committed to the relationship, the exiting partner must now face the sorrow they are likely to cause and deal with his or her own distress at creating it.

      Over decades of working with couples, I have seen many people suffer the wounds of these types of conflicts.

      They ask me for guidance on how to leave without causing any more distress than necessary.

      They must deal with their own guilt as well as with the heartache of a person they once loved. Those feelings are compounded if they have known themselves what it’s like to have been left behind.

      They want to know if it is ever possible to end a relationship with dignity and mutual respect.

      Most everyone who has loved another deeply does not want to leave hurtful memories behind or deal with someone who harbors anger and resentment toward them.

      They didn’t start their relationship with the intent of abandoning the ship. Nor did they expect that they would someday no longer care for the person. Now they are faced with going back on promises and leaving partners wounded.

      The truth is that the expectations of the partners in a new intimate relationship often change over time and promises made in earnest fade.

      Most relationships face challenges that catch the couple unaware. They may unconsciously repeat destructive patterns from prior relationships, or choose partners for the wrong reasons, blinded by attractions that fade over time.

      It is common for new lovers to put their best foot forward by hiding things about themselves that they fear might turn a new lover away. If the relationship gets a sound foundation, perhaps those imagined or real flaws would be more easily overlooked. Once those behaviors emerge, however, the new partner is likely to feel betrayed, legitimately wondering what else might be hidden. Sometimes the damage comes from outside pressures that neither partner could have predicted.

      Even relationships that start out with authenticity can develop difficulties over time. Communication problems, disparities in desires, or changing needs can all create problems that neither partner expected or had the capacity to solve.

      For whatever reason, the partner who has lost faith in the relationship begins to pull away, sometimes silently, but sometimes with a barrage of criticisms leveled at the other partner.

      The partner still fully into the relationship often doesn’t see or ignores the dwindling intimacy until it is obvious that the relationship is in trouble. At that point, he or she will begin to inquire and challenge, seeking some clarification. If the needing-to-go partner is uncomfortable or not quite ready for the conflict, he or she might deny that anything is wrong, encouraging false hope.

      How To Stop Hurting after a Breakup

      How to Stop Hurting after a Breakup

      Are you wondering how to stop hurting after a breakup?

      Have you worked hard to get out of a relationship that wasn’t serving you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by emotion and the empty space that is the result of letting go of your love?

      Or were you walked out on and struggling to understand why and get past it?

      You are not alone. Getting past a break up is hard but not impossible.

      Here are some things that you can do that can really help.

      How to Stop Hurting after a Breakup:

      #1 – Take stock.

      One of the first things I tell all of my clients when they have to walk away from someone they love is to take stock of the reasons that their relationship wasn’t working. Make a list – a list of all of the reasons why they needed to walk away from that person or the things that they knew weren’t working, the reasons why they might have been broken up with.

      When we spend time with someone, we are regularly exposed to those things that remind us that we need to walk away. When we finally get away from that person, those things tend to recede into our memory. They get replaced at the forefront of our minds with the good things, the good times, all the things that we loved about that person.

      And, with the good things at the front of our minds, we are vulnerable to returning to the relationship that is causing us pain.

      So, make a list. Make a list of everything that you can think of that has caused the breakup. Keep that list close and refer to it when you are missing him. And keep the list in case he comes back, begging for forgiveness.

      You left this relationship for a reason. Keep that reason in mind daily going forward. He left this relationship for a reason – make him work to get your back. A list will help you with both.

       

      #2 – Go cold turkey.

      There is nothing more tempting when you are missing your lost love, then to stalk him or her.

      Unfortunately, these days there are so many ways to keep tabs on lost love – social media has made it all so easy. And keeping tabs on a lost love makes it really hard to let go and move on.

      I know that it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, to take a quick peek at your lost love’s feed, but you know, as well as I do, that there is a chance you could see something on there that you just don’t want to see. Perhaps him out there, having fun without you, doing something that you used to do together, or even doing it with someone else. And seeing any or all of those things could send you into a tailspin.

      So, eliminate all ties to your loved one on social media. Block him on your phone. Don’t ask your mutual friends about what he is doing. Tell yourself that he has moved to Mars and that you will never see him again.

      You will be glad you did.

       

      #3 – Make yourself a priority.

      Ok, so you are single again and you suddenly find yourself with lots of free time. And you might also find yourself craving a lot of ice cream.

      Now is not the time to sit around, watching Netflix and eating ice cream. While those things might be fun in the moment, in the long run they will only make you feel worse.

      The best thing that you can do for yourself right now is to exercise and take care of yourself. When you are going through a hard time, the number one thing that can make you feel better is the endorphins that are created through exercise. Those chemicals will actually make you feel very different from the sad and lonely person you might feel like right now.

      Furthermore, if you get enough sleep and eat well, your body will feel strong and it will help with your healing.

      And, best of all, taking care of yourself will make you look hot, way hotter than you might look if you only indulged in Netflix and ice cream. And looking good is an excellent way to win your break up. Imagine the look on his face when he sees you next!

        Finding Strength In Heartbreak: How A Strong Woman Heals Herself

        How A Strong Woman Heals Herself

        I guess we all agree upon the facts that a strong woman barely wins in a relationship and she is perpetually getting broken-hearted. For a strong woman, love is something sacred when she has to give her all or nothing and no in between.

        She will meet you halfway as she will love you with all of her heart. She loved and loved until she forgot that she has been taken for granted by someone who didn’t understand how to love her right.

        Then her heart ends up being broken over and over again.

        When the heart of a strong woman gets broken, the first thing that she will do is blame no one but herself.

        She won’t even blame the person who broke it. She will ask herself why she trusted that person in the first place and why she didn’t believe in her own intuition instead. She will analyze why she fell for this person and how she could ignore the very first sign of heartbreak.

        She will cry her heart out at night in an effort to keep anyone from hearing her sobbing and when the morning comes, she will be the woman she used to be. She will finish all of her tasks and responsibilities like nothing happened and, “I’m okay” will be her automatic reply for everyone who asks her.

        When she’s ready, she will begin to talk about her pain to one or two of her loved ones. She won’t share her pain with everyone because she’s not an attention seeker and she knows that she will be alright sooner or later.

        When her heart gets broken, don’t ever think that she will ask someone else to fix it; she knows it could only be fixed by no one but her.

        As she starts to heal and get up once again, she will try to see the bright side one step at a time. Although it’s difficult, she will turn her pain into something more meaningful to her life as she starts to write, paint, read, exercise, or help others instead of mourning her loss.

        She totally understands that she shouldn’t enjoy her pain and she needs to move on.

        She will make her pain as her main fuel to achieving her goals and pursuing her deepest passion. She won’t have any intention to seek revenge as she believes that karma exists.

        When a strong woman gets broken-hearted, she will look for life lessons instead of drama.

        She will try her best to forgive the person who broke her heart, but she won’t ever forget what they’ve done to her. Her heartbreak will make her understand more about her own needs and expectations when it comes to loving someone.

         

        One thing is for sure: a strong woman won’t go back to the person who broke her heart because she understands that she can’t get happiness from the same place she lost it.

        But, when a strong woman gets broken-hearted, it will be so difficult for her to forgive herself as she never stops blaming herself for her own mistakes. Forgiving her heart to the wrong person and for believing in an illusion of someone instead of reality. It will take a long time for her to accept the fact that she has made a huge mistake in her life.

        She will be scared to fall in love and trust again. She will build her walls up again and it will be a long time before she will open up and be vulnerable and open to the idea of falling in love.

        But, a strong woman completely understands that she can’t be scared forever and she knows that love will always be accompanied by the risk of being broken.

        Thus, she will forgive herself little by little and eventually opens up her heart for the next person who’ll come along.

        When a strong woman gets broken-hearted, instead of it making her any weaker, it makes her stronger than she could ever imagine.


        Written by Rayi Noormega
        Originally appeared on Thought Catalog
        Follow more of her work at Rayinoormega.com or follow Rayi on Instagram

        You May Also Like:

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        Reclaim Your Power After A Terrible Breakup: 10 Breakup Survival Tips

        How To Reclaim Your Power After A Terrible Breakup: 10 Practical Breakup Survival Tips

        “Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.” ~ Guy Finley

        Deidre called me, bawling. Three months had passed since her former fiancé, Mac, had sent her a text message ending their engagement. She still hadn’t heard from him. In our previous session together, I counseled Deidre to stop all contact with her ex. Deidre was in detox and starting to regain her power. But she still struggled.

        “He popped up in my Facebook feed this morning. There’s a picture of him, raising a mug of beer and laughing with his friends,” Deidre wailed. “He is having the time of his life; meanwhile I’m picking up the pieces after he blew up my life and walked away.”

        Who hasn’t experienced Deidre’s anger and despair after an inexplicable and heart-wrenching breakup? Social media (especially Facebook and Instagram) can pour salt on fresh wounds—intensifying the pain.

        In my upcoming book, Take Back the Power: Breakups Done Right, I teach the importance of strong and non-negotiable boundaries. “Commando-style” no-contact rules are the foundation of regaining your equilibrium:

        How To Reclaim Your Power After A Terrible Breakup: 10 Practical Breakup Survival Tips

        How To Reclaim Your Power After A Terrible Breakup: 10 Practical Breakup Survival Tips
        10 Practical Breakup Survival Tips

         

        1. Stop trying to maintain a friendship.

        You were lovers. Now, you’re not. Stop pretending to be friends, especially if you’re secretly hoping to re-establish a romantic relationship. Not only does this rarely work, it’s also completely disingenuous.

        If you share children in common, be polite but short and to-the-point in your communication.

         

        2. Drop him—and all his friends—on social media.

        I know, I know. This feels harsh. You like his friends (and hate to hurt their feelings).

        But, it’s time for you to prioritize your own feelings. Your mental and emotional sanity comes first. Reinjuring yourself—with a stream of pictures of your ex and his friends—will ruin your day unnecessarily. Although social media rarely paints an accurate picture of another person’s inner reality, grief makes it hard to stay rational.

        For now, you don’t need to know anything about him. And he doesn’t need to know anything about you.

         

        3. Don’t do anything!

        Do not call. Do not text. Do not drive by. Do not invent emergencies (e.g., “my dog is sick”) or fake holidays (“e.g., our 3½-month anniversary”). Do not do anything. DO NOT—and I mean DO NOT—initiate contact.

         

        4. Do not do anything.

        Go reread No. 3. Reread it 10 times. Then, read it some more.

        Yes, asking friends, “How’s he doing?” is contact. If you’re wondering whether you’re breaking the rules, you probably are. In the early stages of detox, call a good friend and ask her advice. She’ll tell you, “Don’t do it!”

         

        5. Circle the wagons.

        Speaking of good friends, you’d be wise to tell your inner circle. Let them know that you’re hurting. You may need to spend the night. Ask for a shoulder to cry on. They will fill you up with love. And laughter. Your heart will ache a lot less. In the place of the hurt, you’ll feel grateful that God loves you so much as to bless you with a tribe of friends as good as these people.

         

        6. Exclude the frenemy.

        Frenemies will act sad when they hear your bad news. But as soon as you turn away, their fingers will shake—from a desire to text the world. Spare yourself this pain. Keep these frenemies so far away from you that they are literally sitting in Antarctica. (Sorry, Antarctica, but they had to sit somewhere.)

         

        7. Do not ask to meet.

        Let him reach out to you. In advance. Like a week in advance. Two weeks if you’re still mad. Because you’ve got a life! Busy people never accept last-minute invites.

         

        8. Do not compete with him.

        At some point, you will hear that he’s been seeing someone new. Be cool. Relax. By that time, you’ll be seeing other people too. Hotter. Cooler. More spiritually evolved people. (Win!) Or, by that time, you will have knocked nine things off your bucket list, including learning to surf in Hawaii. (Win!) Or you’ll have done one thing that was off-the-charts cool, like penning an album about heartbreak. (Win!)

        7 Valuable Lessons To Learn From Bad Relationships

        lessons failed relatinships

        Bad relationships from the past can leave a bitter aftertaste.

        We often carry unnecessary emotional baggage that may cripple our future relationships as well. But if we shift our perspective and take our experiences from bad relationships as a positive thing, there are a lot of valuable life lessons to be learned from them.

        Are you struggling over and over with bad relationships? Are you unhappy because you are wasting time on all these losers and wonder if you will ever find the right one?

        Don’t give up!

        There are a lot of lessons to be learned from bad relationships, lessons that will set you up for success when you find the right person.

        What kind of lessons? Let me tell you…

        7 Valuable Lessons To Learn From bad Relationships

        1) What red flags look like.

        If you are not familiar with the term ‘red flags’ let me explain.

        Red flags are signals that there is something bad ahead. Sometimes they are clear and sometimes they are not. Often times we ignore them. And when we do, disasters happen.

        What might a red flag look like?

        Some are subtle. Perhaps he talks about his ex a lot, or he has a bad relationship with his mother. Perhaps he hasn’t been able to hold down a job. Perhaps he refuses to talk about anything difficult.

        Some are more obvious. Perhaps he states that he doesn’t want a serious relationship or that kids are out of the questions. Perhaps he tells you that that male friend of yours has to go.

        The thing about red flags is that often we see them and we ignore them or justify them away. Hopefully, bad and failed relationships will help you to recognize that those red flags can be accurate and that, if you had only paid attention to them in the beginning, you could have spared yourself a whole lot of pain.

         

        2) What not to do.

        One lesson that can be

        s is what NOT to do next time.

        Many of us have behaviors that we repeat in every relationship and many of us are in serial bad or failed relationships because of it.

        For many people, we tend to personalize things that happen in a relationship. If our guy comes home late, it’s because they don’t love us. If they don’t put away their dirty laundry, they don’t respect us. If they forget our birthday, we just aren’t important to them.

        And while in some cases these things might be true, more often than not things that people do have nothing to do with the other person – they have to do with misjudgment and neglect.

        So, don’t take things personally – it’s not all about you.

        Another thing that people tend to do in bad relationships is to be passive-aggressive and to antagonize.

        Instead of confronting an issue head-on, many of us make snide comments on the side, hoping our person will hear our dissatisfaction and act on it. Furthermore, we continue to harp on an issue, cutting a thousand little cuts, to the point that our partner no longer cares about what our concerns are.

        These are just two behaviors that derail many relationships. There are others.

        Take a good hard look at what your role is in this relationship – bad relationships rarely happen because of one person’s behavior. Figure out what yours are and make a note.

         

        3) That enabling is not supporting.

        Have you ever been in a relationship that was struggling and you tried to save it by being supportive?

        Many of us, women, in particular, believe that if we can just support our person that the relationship will hold. If we are patient while our partners work late hours or hold their hands when they feel insecure AGAIN about something that happened at the gym or looks the other way when they have that third vodka after dinner we believe that they will notice us and stay in love with us. And that, maybe, their troubling behaviors will change.

        Unfortunately, this ‘supporting’ is really more ‘enabling’ and enabling is not good in any relationship.

        If you continue to look the other way when your partner gets drunk or ignores you because of work or yells at you because of their own insecurities, you are telling your partner that their behaviors are ok. And if your partners think their behaviors are ok, they will never change.

        If your partner has behaviors that make you unhappy, stop supporting them. Either speak up about them or walk.

         

        4) What traits you do want in a partner.

        One of the clearest lessons to learn in bad relationships is what it really is that you want in a partner.

        Even as we hold on to bad partners, we do start to see very clearly their shortcomings and we can, therefore, get a sense of what we ideally would want if we were in charge of the world.

        I had a guy who I loved but who was desperately insecure, who wanted to please everyone, who had a quick temper, who lived with a ton of fear and who was in and out of jobs. I loved him but I was suffering.

        When I finally broke free of that relationship I set out looking for a guy who knew who he was, who was patient and kind and steady. I was very clear about that and did ultimately find what I was seeking.

        So, what do you want in a partner? Make a list. Write it down. Refer to it often.

        11 Not-So-Obvious Signs He’s Still In Love With You Post Breakup

        11 Not-So-Obvious Signs He's Still In Love With You Post Breakup

        What do you find when you look into his eyes? Pain? It might be a sign that he still loves you.  

        Does everything end with the end of a relationship? Can a mere breakup erase all memories and feelings?

        When two people engage with each other in an extremely intimate manner, they literally share their mind, body, and soul with each other. A breakup, or any other terrestrial force, does not have the capacity to completely erase two people from each other’s memories. 

        A breakup, either mutual or one-sided, will leave behind some reminiscence of love and affection. No matter how much the physical distance is, how much you pretend to hate each other, a heart once stolen is rarely returned safely! You might have blocked each other on social media, have stopped passing by places you both used to visit, have deleted each other’s photos and tried every possible thing to entirely remove the other person of your memories. 

        Ask me, is moving on from a person, a relationship possible? Yes.
        Is completely eliminating years of created memories possible? Unfortunately, No.

        And here’s the truth, those memories will forever be a part of your life, whether or not your partner is currently in your life. 

        It’s already an established fact that men find it more difficult to move over a breakup than a woman.

        Followed by a breakup, it is not unnatural to be curious “Does he love me?” So, what are the few ‘not-so-in-the-face’ signs that your ex-partner is still head over heels in love with you? 

        Here are 11 subtle signs that your ex is still in love with you:

        1. Mutual friends keep telling that he won’t shut up about how much he hates you.

        Ah, defense! 

        If he has the time to talk about you – even if it’s something demeaning, you must know that he still nurtures feelings for you. 

        By talking about how much he hates you, he is actually trying to cover up his residual feelings for you. He knows it’s unacceptable to still love you, so he ends up telling others how mean and vindictive you are (as this behavior is expected!). And that he hates you! 

        When we have entirely moved on from someone, we leave them in the past and never bring her up in the present.

         

        2. Frequent drunk dials from him.

        If he has a drinking habit, this one is a must! Even if you do not get drunk calls from him, you sure would get text messages from him.

        No matter how cringey it might sound, but drunk dials mean you are still on his mind.

         

        3. He secretly keeps contact with your family members.

        Does he have your siblings’ or your parent’s contact numbers? If so, for sure he will contact them once in a while to know what’s currently happening in your life.

        He still cannot accept that his significance in your life has diminished.

         

        4. Frequent ghost calls?

        Nah! Ghosts ain’t calling you!
        Do you get frequent calls from different unidentifiable numbers?

        If yes, it might be your ex-boyfriend. Most often than not, when you pick up these calls, the person on the other end will never speak a word but you can guess that the silence is not because of any technical fault. There’s someone on the other end, not quite sure what to speak.

        These calls typically get disconnected from the other end, followed by your inquiry of who the caller was.

         

        5. His social media posts are all about lost love.

        You open up your social media handles and find out (if you haven’t blocked him yet!) tons and tons of sad songs, sad love quotes, links about lost love, posted by him. 

        If all of his posts are about lost love, heartbreak, pain and betrayal, it’s a high chance that those posts are for you!

         

        6. He is randomly rebounding.

        If he is going on a dating spree, opening up accounts on random online dating apps, within weeks of a break-up, he is still not over you for sure.

        People often go for rebounds when they want to move on from one’s previous relationships. And he is exactly doing the same. 

        10 Best Movies To Watch After a Breakup

        Best Movies To Watch

        Breakups suck. Period. You know it as well as I do. Whether you were in a long term committed relationship or even if it wasn’t that great to begin with, ending a relationship is never easy. In fact it can suck even more if you are being ghosted. It doesn’t matter if you are the dumper or the dumpee, saying goodbye to someone you shared your life with comes with a certain amount of pain, regret, anger and frustration.

        Get. Set. Mourn.

        The connection you developed with your partner is now broken. Life as you know it is now over. But that doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing. As life takes you to an all new avenue full of opportunities, excitement and endless love, it is this transition which you need to face and overcome. There is no shortcut through it.

        You need to mourn the end of your relationship. You need to accept that the person you thought was ‘The One’ is now gone, perhaps forever.

        You need to feel angry. You need to feel sad. You need to eat all the ice-cream you can. You need to block their ass on social media. You need to rebound. You need to go as crazy as you feel like. But you need to get over it and start your life over.

        Although I am no expert expert on moving on, but the easiest way to start the mourning process is by starting to watch breakup movies. What? Yup. That’s right.

        If you want to start moving on, then start by watching the best movies on breakup Hollywood has to offer.

        It is one of the tried and tested ways to distract yourself and go through this process of self healing. Whether you watch it with friends or alone, curling up on your couch with a lot of snacks and the best breakup movies can do wonders for you.

        Best Movies Watch

        Time for movie therapy

        Watching the right movies can help us go through various challenges in our lives, including breakups. If you are stuck crying on your bed, then it’s time to move your bum and start watching some of the greatest breakup movies. Watching fictional characters going through real challenges of breakup can be the best way for you to start moving on. Irrespective of which stage of grief you are in right now, there are various movies for you out there that can lift your mood up.

        But that’s not all. Movies can even help you heal and open your heart to new love. Psychotherapists are now using movies to help people cope with difficult emotions under the guidance of life coaches and movie experts. Known as film therapy, it uses positive psychology and allows you to start the healing process by watching the right movies, looking at posters, reading quotes and other forms of visual analysis.

        Movie therapy is being considered as an effective psychological tool due to the following reasons:

        • Identification: As most of us relate with characters in a movie. It allows us to find hope through their fictional happy endings.
        • Learning: Watching movies have various beneficial cognitive effects that help us learn and be more creative.
        • Duration: Usually the length of a typical Hollywood film is almost the same as a therapy session.
        • Attention: By focusing on the visuals and sounds we tend to become more mindful and get distracted from our debilitating thoughts.
        • Relaxation: Movies redirect our attention and reduces anxiety. It enables us to disconnect, revitalize and relax.
        • Enjoyment: Movies make us laugh and affects our mood. Through various fictional yet relatable scenarios movies influence our mental health.
        • Reflection: Films can make us self reflect and introspect on a spiritual and existential level.
        • Dealing with loss: Movies offer us new perspectives about life and help us in dealing with heartbreak by changing our attitude.
        • Cathartic release: Movies on breakups can help you face your deepest emotions. It allows you to express your true feelings by shedding your tears and experiencing relief.

        Movies can inspire us, encourage us, boost our mood and even help us find the most fantastic solutions to life problems. Watching the right breakup movies will undoubtedly help you get over your breakup and make you feel happier in time.

        Perfect breakup movies to help you move on

        Here is my list of the absolute must-watch breakup movies that will make you laugh, cry, feel inspired, feel relieved and restart your life. Here we go.

        #1 The Break-Up (2006)

        “It’s not about doing the things you love, it’s about doing things with the one you love!”

        Yes, this seems like the most obvious choice, but it’s definitely a good one. After Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) and Gary (Vince Vaughn) breakup, they continue to live in their shared apartment. As you can guess, things get crazy as both exes try to get the other to cave in. From lovers to exes to hostile roommates. Yikes!

        How To Manage Feeling Depressed After A Breakup

        Are you feeling depressed after a breakup?

        Were you in a relationship that ended recently and, whether you wanted it or not, do you find yourself alone now and feeling depressed, hopeless that you will never be happy again?

        Let me tell you that you aren’t alone – that there are many women out there RIGHT NOW feeling the way you do. And the good news – you will all feel better soon. I promise!

        How? Let me share what I know….

        #1 – Know that your feelings are normal.

        You have just broken up with someone you once were deeply connected to. The hopes and dreams that you had for the future have been completely dashed.  You are spending time alone that you used to spend with him. Your life is totally different and, honestly, not so great.

        You are going to be sad. You are going to be devastated. And it’s okay.

        I remember, less than 12 hours after my mother died, my step-father was telling himself to snap out of it, to not be sad. He couldn’t handle the pain that he was feeling. So, he stuffed it down. And, 4 years later, he is still overwhelmed by his loss.

        It is important to be okay with the emotions that you are feeling. It isn’t a reflection of any weakness on your part. It’s a reflection of the pain that you are feeling. And it is important that you feel those feelings. That you feel the pain and the sadness and the regret and whatever emotions arise as a result of the break-up.

        Only by truly feeling and processing emotions are you able to work through them and let them go.

        So, embrace your emotions. Own them as your own. Process them and let them go. If you do so, you will be able to let go of feeling depressed after letting go of love.

        #2 – Put yourself first.

        One of the reasons that it’s so hard to get over feeling depressed after a breakup is because when we are feeling depressed we stop taking care of ourselves.

        Are you spending large amounts of time in your pjs, eating ice cream? When you do go out are you drinking more than usual? Are you not sleeping? Have you gotten any kind of exercise in recent memory?

        If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you are not alone. I don’t know many women who don’t treat emotional issues with ice cream instead of marathons. So, don’t feel bad but do try to make some change.

        If you can’t sleep, take some melatonin to help you get some. If you are eating ice cream, try to eat just a little bit less.  Try to get off the couch and take a walk.

        Taking care of yourself in this rough time is an essential piece of getting over feeling depressed after letting go of love.

        #3- Embrace things that bring you joy.

        I am someone who struggles with depression every day and one of the key things that I do when I am depressed is made sure that I do things that I know make me happy on good days.

        What kind of things? I watch movies. I eat Pad Thai. I have sex. I spend time with my kids.

        There is factual evidence that doing things that make you happy, that makes you smile, actually helps to alleviate depression. The actual act of smiling has been proven to change the chemicals firing in your brain, the ones that are causing the depression.

        So, what makes you happy? I know that you are feeling depressed and the idea of doing ANYTHING is too much to bear but get up off the couch and do JUST ONE THING that you enjoy doing. See what happens.

          Can You Let Go Of Love And Still Find Happiness?

          Can You Let Go Of Love And Still Find Happiness?

          Are you thinking about getting out of a relationship that isn’t serving you and are you wondering if you can let go of love and still find happiness?

          It’s a scary thing – letting go of someone. You have invested so much time and energy into the relationship and letting go feels like quitting. There is the intense fear that you will never find love again and the prospect of being alone is petrifying.

          But I am here to tell you that you can let go of love and still find happiness.

          I did.

          8 years ago, I got divorced. I was 46 years old and I had been married for 18 years. I was so scared of my unknown future and wondered if I could find happiness.

          Here is my story.

          #1 – No more thousand little cuts.

          One of the first things that I discovered after my husband moved out what how much happier I was on a daily basis.

          Every day of my marriage involved some kind of misery. Whether it be him having his 3rddrink after dinner and becoming crabby or me jumping on him for leaving his clothes on the floor AGAIN, we were making each other miserable every single day.

          Once I was living alone that stopped happening. I would wake up in the morning and go through a day that wasn’t mired with a thousand little cuts. When I crawled into bed I wasn’t angry and bitter but content with how my day had gone.

          And, I would get a good night sleep because no one was next to me snoring.

          So, at the very least, know that your daily life will improve if you are no longer in a relationship that is making you unhappy.

           

          #2 – No more being a pretzel.

          When I was in my miserable relationship I found myself twisting myself into someone who I wasn’t, hoping to make us happier and keep us married. These contortions made me feel inauthentic and damaged my self-esteem.

          Have you ever found yourself putting up with behavior that is not okay just to keep the peace?  Do you bend over backwards to do things that will make him happy? Have you given up friends in an attempt to save your relationship?

          Twisting ourselves into a pretzel for someone else is not a healthy thing. In order to maintain our sense of self-worth it is important that we do things that make us feel good about ourselves and our place in the world.

          When my husband was gone, I was free to truly be myself and, man oh man, did that make me happy.

           

          #3 – Living your own authentic life.

          When I was married, I was a wife and a mother. My every day was filled with mundane tasks like keeping the house clean and making dinner. I defined myself as such and it kept me from living my own life.

          After my divorce all of that changed. I finally had the freedom to do everything that I had always wanted to do.

          I went back to school and got certified as a life coach and I started my own life coaching business, making a difference in the world. I volunteered at the National Alliance of Mental Illness, helping people living with mental illness. I worked at a food bank and volunteered at a hospital.

          Every day I woke up and my day was what I wanted it be. And as a result, I started feeling really good about myself. No longer was I being the subject of daily pain or struggling with not being myself. My self-esteem went through the roof and I started to realize that I could do whatever I set my mind to.

          How good would it feel to have your life be what you want it to be every day?

            5 Mistakes that People Make After A Breakup

            Mistakes After A Breakup

            There are so many mistakes that people make after a breakup.

            The pain and change that happens quickly after a breakup often throws people off balance so that they do things that they might not otherwise do.

            And those mistakes can cause huge problems both with your ex and your self-esteem.

            Trying not to make them will allow the healing to start sooner so that you can get on with your life and be happy.

            What kind of mistakes?

            #1 – Seeking closure

            One of the biggest mistakes that people make after a breakup is that they seek ‘closure.’

            While ‘closure’ can be explained away as a final chance to talk about what happened and leave on good terms, really, closure is really just one more chance to spend time with your soon-to-be-ex and perhaps talk them back into being with you again.

            I can promise you that spending even one more moment dwelling on what happened and begging your person to take you back will backfire. If your person has broken up with you and you convince him to take you back, chances are it will all happen all over again, sooner or later. Furthermore, prostrating yourself at the feet of your ex, begging him to give you one more chance, will only damage your self-esteem.

            I believe that, if someone breaks up with you, seeking closure is only going to drag out the inevitable. So, rant and cry for a bit but then hold your head high and don’t let him know that you are hurting.

             

            #2 – Extensive snooping

            One of the biggest issues with social media is the havoc that it wreaks after break-ups.

            In the old days, when a couple parted ways unless the circumstances were unusual, they rarely or never saw each other again. They didn’t know the intimate details of each other’s life as they went on with their own.

            Now, unfortunately, everything is different.

            When couples break up these days, part of the break-up means blocking or unfollowing each other on social media. And, unfortunately, this often doesn’t happen fast enough.

            I have a client who left her boyfriend because he was a mess. They agreed to ‘remain friends’ and kept up their social media accounts. My client still loved her boyfriend, even though she left him, and she found herself drawn to his social media accounts regularly. This wasn’t an issue in the beginning but once he found another girlfriend it became a real problem.

            She would waste hours stalking her ex and his new girlfriend on social media – extremely jealous that he seemed to be doing so much better with someone else. Thinking that some other girl had a better version of him made her crazy. Her self-esteem was in the gutter.

            And then I reminded her that people only post their best things on social media. They don’t post the fights or the posturing or the doubts. What she was seeing was a curated version of her ex’s relationship. Understanding this allowed her to end her social media connection with him and begin to truly move on.

             

            #3 – Moving on too quickly

            Another huge mistake that people make after a breakup is that they move on too fast.

            I know that your heart is broken and that you desperately want to pull the pieces back together again and the best way to do that, you think, is to find someone else.

            Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe that people should get back on the horse quickly after a relationship fail but I think that it’s very important to take some time and reflect on what happened. Jumping back into a new relationship before you have done so will mean that you might repeat the same mistakes again.

            So, take some time and be alone. It’s important to cry and feel your feelings and process with your girlfriends. Gain some understanding of what happened and make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

              8 Reasons Why People Ghost Out Of A Relationship

              8 Reasons Why People Ghost Out Of A Relationship

              Rejection and breakups are hard enough, but being ghosted can be traumatic. 

              It can leave you with unanswered questions that make it hard to move on. Although ghosting also occurs in friendships, it’s usually associated with dating. More devastating, but less common, is when a spouse disappears after years of marriage.

              It’s like a sudden death of the person and the marriage. But even the unexplained, unexpected end to a brief romantic relationship can feel like a betrayal and shatter your trust in yourself, in love, and in other people.

              It’s a shock to the heart whenever you care about someone who suddenly cuts you off without any explanation. If you insist on one and get a response like, “I just don’t feel it anymore,” it isn’t satisfying. You still want to know “WHY?” We are information-seeking animals. Our brain is wired to wonder and search for solutions.

              Once we pose a question, it looks for answers. This is compounded by the fact that we’re also wired to attach and to experience rejection as painful. We try to reconnect―why babies cry fiercely when they need their mother.

              Rejection can cause obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior, like stalking your ex’s social media, which fuels more pain and more questions.

               

              Ghosting a Romance

              In a romantic relationship, breakups are always harder during the early stage when ghosting usually occurs. You don’t know your partner that well and are still in a blissful haze of idealization. Your hopes for the future may be abruptly and inexplicably dashed. Normally, after a relationship progresses from the romantic “ideal” stage into the “ordeal” phase, couples struggle with ambivalence and conflicts. If that ends the relationship, at least you have an understanding of why it didn’t work and perhaps agree.

              If couples can communicate and accommodate each others’ needs and personalities, they get to the “real deal”―a real relationship based on mutual understanding and acceptance. This takes two people compatible and committed to making the relationship work. They must also have enough self-esteem and autonomy to give without feeling unappreciated or robbed and receive without feeling unworthy or smothered.

               

              Date Ghosting

              In dating, often there is less accountability, depending upon various factors: The way you met (a chat room or hook-up app), the individual’s maturity and values, length of the relationship, and frequency of face-to-face contact. Technology promotes less emotional involvement. If instead, you met through mutual friends, there’s more incentive to be on good behavior or other friends will hear about.

              Ghosting might start with an unanswered text or call, or long silences between replies until there are none. Here are eight reasons why a person might ghost instead of communicating:

              8 Reasons for Ghosting in a relationship

              8 Reasons Why People Ghost Out Of A Relationship
              Reasons for Ghosting

              1. They’re chicken:

              People who don’t handle conflict well fear confrontation. They expect drama and criticism and want to avoid a breakup conversation. They may rationalize to themselves that they’re sparing your feelings by not admitting that they no longer want to in continuing the relationship. However, leaving without a word, let alone closure, is more cruel and painful.

               

              2. They’re avoidant:

              Ghosts are more likely to have intimacy problems, which explain why they leave a relationship that’s getting close. They’re emotionally unavailable and may have an avoidant attachment style.

               

              3. They’re ashamed:

              People with low self-esteem want to avoid criticism and the shame they’ll experience if you get to know them better―one reason for avoiding intimacy. They also expect to feel shame for hurting you. Their lack of boundaries makes them feel responsible for your feelings, though the reverse is true. They’re responsible for how they communicate, but not for your reaction. If they want to end a relationship, you’re entitled to an honest explanation. Thus, in trying to avoid false responsibility, they err by not taking responsibility for their own behavior, causing you the unnecessary pain they were trying to avoid.

               

              4. They’re busy:

              When you’re not exclusive and acknowledge that dating someone else is okay, your partner may assume the relationship is casual. While dating other people, you and/or your messages might have been overlooked or forgotten. Your date may have already moved on or just not made time to respond. When later realizing this, he or she is too embarrassed to reply and rationalizes that your “thing” wasn’t serious in the first place.

               

              5. They’re game-players:

              To some daters, particularly narcissists, relationships are solely a means to satisfy their egos and sexual needs. They’re not interested in a commitment or concerned with your feelings, though they may feign that when they’re seducing you. They’re players, and to them, relationships are a game. They’re not emotionally involved and can act callously once they’re no longer interested, especially if you express needs or expectations.

               

              6. They’re depressed or overwhelmed:

              Some people can hide depression for a while. The ghost might be too depressed to continue and not want to reveal what’s really going on in his or her life. There may be other life events you don’t know about that take precedence, like a job loss or personal or family illness or emergency.

              How To Get Your Ex Back Using The No Contact Rule

              How To Get Your Ex Back Using The No Contact Rule

              If you want your ex to come back to you and whisper sweet nothings into ears, going no contact is your best bet. By cutting off all communication with your ex, you will find some time to manage your thoughts and emotions and give your partner some much-needed space. But will no contact make them forget you? Will it make them move on?

               

              Will no contact make a guy move on?

              If you don’t know what the no contact rule is, we’re about to talk about it and I’m going to tell you whether or not he’s going to forget about you if you use it.

              The question is, will no contact make him move on?

              The no contact rule is the concept that I published about many years ago and it’s actually widely misunderstood.

              Right upfront, I’m going to tell you that guys don’t just forget about you. I’ll just tell you that right now. Men are very heartfelt— just as much as women are. But you’re right if you’re wondering if the no contact rule might mess things up.

              So what is the no contact rule?

              Will no contact make him move on or lose interest in you?

              Simply stated, the no contact rule is used during a breakup or if you’re having a time out with your boyfriend in a relationship.

              This is where you and he have decided to take a little break from the relationship or after the things have ended. We use this no contact rule so that you don’t scare him back off again if you showed up at his house three days after you decided to take your break.

              So, why use the no contact rule in the first place?

              We use the no contact rule so that you don’t scare him back off again.

              If you show up at a guy’s house three days after you decided to take your break, he’s going to feel that you’re being a little pushy and insecure.

              You know what? He’d probably be right.

              The key to getting your ex back is that you have to give him more space than he actually wants right in this moment.

              What you’re doing with no contact is setting things up to return to the relationship later.

              The only way this guy is going to want to come back into your loving arms is if he sees that you’ve actually changed a little bit and you’re different after this no contact break than you were before.

               

              He has to see this change in you. The reasons are:

              1. You’re letting him cool off a little bit during this whole no contact session.

              If he broke up with you or if he’s the one who asked for a break, he’s feeling very activated and you need to give him a chance to chill out.

               

              2. You’re raising his response potential.

              By building up some anticipation in him, he’s going to be much more responsive to you when the time comes around.

               

              3. He has to feel your absence.

              Directly related to number two is the fact that every day that you’re not around him, his emotions and memories are going to keep nagging at him that something is missing and not quite right.

              That something, of course, is you.

              Frankly, most people don’t really understand how to use the no contact rule in the right way.

              It’s not that you are just going to cut him off and hope that he comes running or crawling back to you. You have to know how to do no contact in the right way.

              But first, let’s dive into this fear no contact will make him move on and destroy it once and for all.

              The biggest insight you’re going to gather is this one bit right here.

              Why do you think he’s going to forget about you or move on without you?

              Just ask yourself this one question.

              Why do you think he’s going to forget about you or move on without you?

              This feeling comes from a very normal place in all of us that we don’t like to admit exists. It’s a scared little kid part of us that fears being abandoned and lost.

              I also call this the “What about me?” part of our thinking and feelings.

              It’s that little kid’s voice inside of us trying to get out.

              No one likes the idea of being forgotten or ignored. It just plain sucks to think about that.

              The reality is that our fear will always make us think that we’re somehow inadequate if we listen to what it’s saying.

              Be real. Fear never tells you that you’re awesome, right?

              Can Divorce Make You Happier?

              Can Divorce Make You Happier?

              Do people become happier after they leave an unhappy marriage? There may not be an easy black or white answer here. Most people presume that they will be happier after a divorce as it will solve the core problem. However, studies show that divorced individuals experience higher psychological distress and less happiness than married people. 

              Most assume there are only two choices when faced with an unhappy marriage: stay and be miserable or divorce and be happy.

              But you have more choices than just staying or going. Staying doesn’t have to equal misery. Leaving an unhappy marriage doesn’t always lead to happiness.

              Marriages are very complicated and unique to each couple. What is the worst possible situation imaginable to one couple is merely a bump in the road to another?

              Each spouse in a marriage is unique too. You and your spouse each had different experiences before you ever met that molded each of you. Some of this shaping was helpful and some you may still be working through because it trips you up at times.

              Then there are the experiences that you’ve had together. Some have probably been good. While others haven’t. You and your spouse may even disagree on which experiences have been good and which weren’t.

              However you’ve made it to the point where you’re searching for information about leaving an unhappy marriage, you need to understand what doing so does and doesn’t mean.

              Divorce is one of the most distressing life events you can ever experience. It hurts in ways you might not be able to imagine if you’ve never been through it. And if you have previous experience leaving an unhappy marriage, each divorce hurts in a different way because no two marriages are the same.

              Divorce allows you the opportunity to live alone or with someone new. If you have kids, chances are it will give them 2 homes – one with you and one with their other parent. And if you have kids, it means that you’ll likely have a relationship with their other parent for the rest of your life.

              Divorce might give you the freedom to do the things you stopped doing when you got married. However, you have to choose to do them and for some, this is a difficult choice to make.

              Unfortunately, leaving an unhappy marriage isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be happy or even happier. That’s because it may not be just your marriage that is making you unhappy.

              Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between unhappiness about your life or a portion of it with being unhappy in your marriage. It can be so much easier to see your marriage as the problem instead of looking for other possible sources of unhappiness.

              Other possible sources of unhappiness can include work, other relationships with family or friends, parenting, an empty nest, a challenge with physical or psychological health, lack of a sense of purpose, what’s happening in the world, comparing your life to someone else’s, and so many more.

              On the other hand, it really could be your marriage that’s making you miserable. Maybe you and your spouse have become fundamentally incompatible. Maybe something unforgivable has happened. Maybe you’ve forgotten how to communicate in a kind way or at all.

              Even if it is your marriage that’s at the root of your unhappiness. Leaving now may not be the right answer. Maybe marriage therapy will help make things better. Maybe you know things will never get better and you need to begin working toward an exit plan.

              It’s only when you’ve asked yourself the hard questions about what’s causing your unhappiness that you’ll be able to make the best choice regarding your marriage. It’s with the answers you discover that you’ll be able to know if leaving an unhappy marriage or making an unhappy marriage work will ultimately bring you happiness.


              Written by Dr. Karen Finn
              Originally appeared in Dr. Karen Finn

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              Can Divorce Make You Happier?