He hurt you in the relationship… but you’re causing your own pain now.
You can’t stand being with him… but you also can’t stand being without him.
You broke things off with your boyfriend because he was neglectful, or he cheated on you, or he verbally or physically abused you. You’re trying to move on with your life without him, but you feel lonely, fearful, and heartbroken.
Your emotions and your brain play a mean game of tug-of-war: You heart believes that things were actually great between the two of you, but your brain knows he was a deceitful, immoral monster.
Nevertheless, you ache to see him and so you call him and you submit yourself to further heartache. Or maybe it’s the opposite — maybe you’re consumed with thoughts of revenge for the dastardly way he treated you.
Love him or hate him, when you cling to hurtful memories about your ex, you impede your emotional recovery.
Here are the five WORST breakup mistakes you keep making that are seriously hindering your healing process:
1. You keep talking to your ex
Ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands and ex-lovers know your weak spots and, if you let them, they’ll play you like a guitar.
It’s been weeks, even months since you communicated with your partner — and then suddenly he calls or emails you. At first it’s small talk, he asks in his buttered-up voice, “How’ve you been?” or “How’s work?”
You agree to have coffee with him — you know, just “to talk.” Then you have drinks and dinner with him. You tell yourself you can handle it, but before you know it, you sleep with him (Yes! The sex is incredible and addictive) and now you’re back in the worst relationship of your life.
Girlfriend, where’s your sense of survival and good judgment? You know he’s bad for you. You know he erodes your confidence, shreds your self-esteem, and throws you into dark depression. And regardless of what he promises, you know he’ll betray you again and again with his lying words and abusive behavior.
If you truly want to move on with your life without him in it — don’t answer his phone calls, don’t return his texts or emails, and don’t open your door to his surprise visits, giving him the opportunity to slither back into your life.
2. You think you failed
Being alone and heartbroken can miraculously open your eyes to your bad behavior that contributed to your failed relationship. While self-reflection is good, thinking you’re entirely responsible for your boyfriend’s or husband’s withdrawn and condescending demeanor, his betrayal and infidelity, his angry outbursts and abusive behavior is punishing yourself double-time.
Trying to make yourself a “better” person in an inherently abusive relationship (e.g.: trying to stay calm when your partner verbally batters you, or denying and stuffing your hurt feelings), uses your inner strength against YOU and changes nothing with a controlling, abusive personality.
3. You tell yourself you’re unlovable
Realizing that you’re in toxic relationship is the first step to restoring your self-worth.
Thinking that you’re innately unlovable or undesirable (versus recognizing the truth — you were in a toxic relationship) undermines your confidence and self-worth. An abusive man tears you down to make you feel weak, insecure and co-dependent. He tells you evasive, contradicting half-truths to confuse and frustrate you. He isolates you from your family and friends so he can dominate and control you. He belittles your abilities and makes snide remarks about your body. He wants you to think you are unattractive and that no man will ever want you.
Knowledge is key to your emotional recovery. If your ex is verbally or physically abusive, read everything you can about narcissistic, anti-social, abusive personalities.
4. You won’t let go of anger or grief
Are you reliving the sick memories of a past relationship? If so, you remain the loser.
Your partner dumped you or he was abusive. The problem is: You still love him A LOT! You’re paralyzed by a rollercoaster of emotions; denial, fear, anger, guilt and sorrow. You know in your core he is oh-so wrong for you, but you grieve for him anyway.
Your misplaced feelings of love, loyalty and commitment prevent you from gaining closure. Or maybe you despise him and you wish a fiery meteor would annihilate him.
Entertaining angry, resentful, vindictive thoughts about your ex only poisons your happiness, femininity and energy, and short-circuits your recovery process.
5. You’re trying to rush your recovery
Take time to heal from your emotional wounds and correct your harmful relationship behavior; otherwise, you’ll recycle it into your next relationship.
Trying to mask the pain of a breakup by immediately looking for the next relationship, throwing yourself into work, or avoiding dating altogether, only delays your healing.
Jumping on a dating site too soon is counterproductive. Every time a man rejects you (or doesn’t notice you), it just contributes to your feelings of low self-worth, loneliness and anxiety.
After a bad breakup or divorce, you may lose your sense of purpose and direction.
Force yourself to do things that promote personal growth. Exercise. Read self-improvement books. Go to church and get counseling. Eat healthy foods and take vitamins. Get a makeover and update your wardrobe. Attend social events and make new friends.
Gradually your woebegone feelings will diminish, ultimately replaced with hope, faith and contentment.
Tattoo this on your forehead: If you choose to stay in a relationship with a man who doesn’t communicate or is unfaithful or abusive — you’re also choosing to experience emotional pain and heartbreak.