How to get over a relationship after a painful separation

Category: Better Endings | Author and Publisher: Elly Prior | First published: 23-09-2010 | Modified: 06-05-2019

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Ways of getting over a relationship fast

I really feel for you right now if you’ve just broken up with someone. You’re probably feeling like the pain is too much. You just want to recover, and to know how to get over the relationship as quickly as possible.

Maybe you saw it coming, or perhaps the dreadful news came completely out of the blue. No matter how it happened, you’re probably feeling hurt, angry and in despair. It many ways, it’s just like suffering from a physical illness because you can feel out of control and simply horrible.  

The good news is: you will recover. I believe in you and know that you have the strength to do it.

The bad news is: it may not happen as fast as you want it to.  And it may not happen as fast as the people around you want it to either!

If you need help getting over an affair, I’ve written some special advice on this, so do have a look at Surviving Infidelity and Dealing with Infidelity.

If you’re having trouble getting over someone you broke up with some time ago, I’ll be able to help you more if you have a look at my page How to Get Over Someone.

Photo: dandelion seed. Text: How to get over a relationship fast.

Is it really too late?

If there’s any chance at all that you may be able to rescue the relationship and you still want to fight for it, then read my articles: How to make your spouse or partner love you again, How to get your ex back or, if you are still living together: How to fix your broken relationship.

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Your spouse or partner may appear to have no problem, but what about you?

Your reaction and your ability to get over a relationship after a break up, separation or divorce depend to a large extent upon your individual circumstances.

The following factors can all have an impact…

10 Factors that have an impact on the ending

  1. The length of the relationship or marriage
  2. How recently you split up
  3. How 'intense' or even 'obsessive' the relationship was
  4. How important it was to you (clearly, for you: very important, otherwise you wouldn’t have visited this page)
  5. How it ended (see also: Getting through a bad breakup)
  6. Whether you were in an abusive relationship
  7. Whether or not the relationship was an affair
  8. Whether or not it was an 'on/off' relationship
  9. To what extend you both show generosity of spirit
  10. Whether or not you have chosen for a collaborative separation or divorce

However it ended, you’ll feel the loss acutely.

You are in fact grieving. It can feel as if someone close to you has died. The psychological reaction to this type of loss is much like a bereavement.

One way to speed up your recovery is to get some help dealing with those waves of emotions. I’d recommend hypnosis for this, and the downloads Mend Your Broken Heart and Getting Over a Relationship would be the ones to go for.

 See my article on Self-Hypnosis FAQ and Downloads, or get expert help now...

Has your relationship recently ended?

If you’ve only recently broken up, you’ll feel at your worst right now. It’s perfectly understandable if you’re even feeling completely 'off your rocker' with your emotions all over the place.

Nothing anybody can say is likely to make you feel better… other than your ex saying he or she wants you back and to be with you forever.

In the early stages you might go through almost hourly ups and downs, and it’d be a good idea to prepare yourself to expect any of the following:

  • feeling like you’re suffering a nervous breakdown
  • having trouble sleeping
  • feeling tired a lot of the time
  • waking up feeling exhausted
  • feeling confused and being unable to concentrate
  • feeling irritable and snapping at the slightest thing
  • experiencing a change in appetite: comfort eating or eating very little
  • having digestive problems: feeling nauseous or having stomach pains
  • having a poor memory
  • losing interest in the things you used to enjoy
  • having the same thoughts going round and round in your mind
  • feeling unable to organise your thinking
  • revisiting old memories, wondering if you got it wrong

However painful, under the circumstances - all of this is normal.

But that intense 'rawness' will begin to settle within a couple of weeks – I promise! The periods of time when you’re feeling relatively OK will increase in frequency and length, over time.

Of course, your progress depends on what your ex does too. If you or your ex-partner deliberately try and complicate matters, you’re going to be more stressed and feel worse. Recovery will be delayed if one or both of you make it as difficult and stressful for the other as possible!

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master call a butterfly. -Lao Tzu

How devastating can it be?

Breaking up with someone when you haven’t been living together can be utterly devastating.

However, when there are possessions and/or children involved, the whole business of a break up becomes so much more complicated and traumatic.

10 Factors affecting how quickly you get over a relationship

  1. Whether or not this is the first break up you’ve experienced
  2. Whether or not you’re waiting for divorce proceedings
  3. Whether or not you have children
  4. How well you behave towards each other
  5. Whether there are other stresses in your life
  6. How supportive people at work are
  7. How supportive your family and friends are
  8. Whether or not you have property or possessions to divide
  9. How well you still communicate with each other
  10. Whether you tend to suffer from anxiety and/or depression (not just feeling down following a disappointment)

You can address many of these factors now which will help you to make the ending as manageable as possible.

At the very least, being polite and civil can go a long way. However much you don't like each other right now, it’s too late for arguing. Arguments will only lead to further hurt and more expensive legal bills if you are married.

Photo: woman looking sad. Text: Distraught after a breakup? 5 first-aid tips to help you recover faster.

How to get over a relationship - letting go and moving on

5 First aid tips to help you cope with a break-up and get over it faster

Here is what you need to do to get over a relationship as soon as possible after the breakup:

1. Get your finances sorted
as soon as possible. You may need to close and open new bank or credit card accounts

2. Make a list of tasks/chores
you completely relied on your partner to do (see video below)

3. Tell the people who really matter
- some will be great, but be prepared for the fact that some will be no help whatsoever

4. Sign off sick (maybe)
for a few days (if at all possible) when you're unlikely to get any support from your colleagues. This is just so you can at least get over the initial shock (consider also self-hypnosis)

5. Get someone else to fill your fridge
so that you do eat something and not just rubbish

Watch the video below to learn how Cari Weinburg dealt with the breakup of a longterm relationship...

8 Pieces of advice to help you get over a relationship

1. Connect with an online professional therapist

for breakup counselling now if you want to know how to get over a relationship quickly.

Or scroll down to the blue box at the end of this article for further information.

2. Don't wait for every step in the separation
- live your life.

Focus on your new life, accepting that you're also grieving for the loss of the life you had prior to the breakup. I promise you it'll get better.

3. Ditch hanging on to the past
Accept that this moment is as it is - it's time to move on. I know that is far more difficult to do than it is to say/write.

I have experienced that for myself!

4. Reach out to supportive people at work
- you’re going to need them when you need a 'duvet day'. You’ll also want to see a kind face when you have a breakdown at the water cooler!

5. Accept that family and friends may find it difficult too.
They may have loved your partner and, depending on circumstances, may want or need to carry on seeing him or her.

6. Find a good lawyer
if you have property, and a good friend to help you divide possessions if necessary.

See my article: How to Find a Divorce Lawyer.

7. Be at the very least polite towards each other
- arguing is a waste of your precious energy (particularly important if you have children)

8. Stay away from the antidepressants!
It's normal to feel depressed when a relationship has ended, particularly when it wasn't your choice.

See my article: Natural ways to deal with depression.

Photo: Butterfly. Text: All endings are also beginnings. -Mitch AlbomThe quote ends with: 'We just don't know it at the time.'

You don't want to 'just' get over this relationship - you want to be able to move on to happier times...

I wish I could be there with you now to tell you that things will be OK again. But as I can’t, instead here are some further ideas that I can offer you to help you recover:

10 Tips to get you to move on to happier times

  1. You might have had goals for yourselves as a couple; so instead you can set your own goals for yourself. Maybe these might be in terms of your education, your job, your social or family life, your hobbies… You can make a list and that’ll really give you something to focus on, and help you to move forwards with your life
  2. You’ll need time to 'process' what's happened, but please don't spend your whole day ruminating about your ex – it will only make you feel worse!
  3. Instead, give yourself a limited amount of time to think about her or him each day
  4. Writing is very therapeutic, so you could try keeping a journal. 
  5. Spend time with family and friends, however difficult this might be. If you focus on them, that can help to shift your attention from your ex and your sadness
  6. Remind yourself of all the bad times with your ex
  7. Remind yourself of all his or her bad habits… although try to just acknowledge them, rather than judging them if you can!
  8. Clear out one or two items a day that remind you of him or her, but do be mindful of the children
  9. Plan for tomorrow - write a list - before you go to sleep
  10. Create an absorbing and enjoyable focus away from the trouble and use your existing skills and knowledge to start a brand new project

Need more help than that? Consider getting the help of a professional, licensed therapist. It's so easy to set up online counselling sessions nowadays.

For further information see my page on online breakup counselling.

Can you really ever get over a breakup?

It’s normal to feel devastated and think you’re never going to get over a relationship. But I promise you – you will feel better over time. I'm rooting for you!

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