Moving Forward from a Hurtful Breakup: Four Tips for Finding Healing

Break ups are not an uncommon thing. Sometimes it feels like there are seasons where many people are breaking up in our community. My husband and I have seen this happen, and walked with some of these people on their journeys through healing. Not only this, but we’ve had some hurtful break ups ourselves. We’re no experts, but we can offer some things we’ve learnt over the years from various circumstances that might help you moving forward too.

 

Let’s be real. These feelings suck (for lack of a better phrase). Whatever your situation or circumstances may be, whichever end of the break up you are on. It causes pain, confusion and lack of clarity on what the future holds for you as a person.

 

Unfortunately there is no one way fix, or easy answer. But here are some things that we suggest if you, or someone else are in a position of heartache from a relationship break up.

For more posts specifically on relationships, check out the blog on this website 

 

  1. Allow yourself to feel

Like I already mentioned, breaking up is painful. There is no denying this. However some people can be quick to bury these feelings, or hide them behind anger, bitterness, resentment or numbness. While these other alternatives may seem like a survival measure at the time, I can assure you that allowing yourself to feel, hurt and grieve is the only way to truly move forward. Hiding from the hurt may seem to relieve the pain temporarily, but it will only hold you back from experiencing the true healing you need in order to live freely.

 

  1. Speak to someone you trust

Allowing ourselves to feel can release a lot of the emotional burden, but in order to make sense of the many feelings going on as a result of a break up, it is so important to speak to someone. Process your feelings with someone who you know is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart; preferably someone who you can continue to journey with in the long run. Talking to others may not necessarily heal us right away, but it sure does make the process a lot easier than keeping everything locked up inside our tender hearts

 

  1. Reflect on the things in life you are passionate about

Often when we experience a break up, our world feels like it has been turned upside down. It is so common for people to give so much of themselves to another person in an intimate relationship (emotionally and physically) that when they are no longer connected to the other person, they feel like they have lost so much of themselves too. If this is you, I deeply acknowledge and recognise this pain. But I also know there is hope for your future.

 

While you may still be grieving, start spending time getting to know yourself, your passions and desires, and as you find these things chase after them with all of your heart. Growing as a person in your passions, skills and interests brings great fulfillment and prepares you for a time where you may be ready to give yourself (your full self) to another person again.

  1. Tell yourself the truth

Part of processing with someone else is having someone acknowledge great things about you that you may not see, and helping you to uplift yourself when you don’t feel able to do so. Some people make promises to themselves as a result of their hurtful break up that only end up hurting them more in the future. An example is “my trust has been abused so I will never trust again”, or “he couldn’t love me for the way I was, how could anyone else?”.

 

If there are some of these thoughts floating around in your mind (we all have them from time to time), I urge you to process them with your trustworthy person and get them to help you speak truth into those worries. While the hurt may feel strong now, no person can decide your future for you. And just because it hasn’t worked out well this time, does not mean you are incapable of healing, finding yourself and learning to love again.

 

Learning to uplift yourself will do great things for your emotional, mental and physical health. Choose to accept what has happened, feel the pain, acknowledge your feelings and then actively move forward.

For more on Telling yourself the Truth, check out a bigger explanation here

You are a valued individual, regardless of your circumstance and you have a wonderful future ahead, if you will allow yourself to be compassionate and find the positivity to heal and move forward.

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Three Questions to ask yourself BEFORE you get Engaged

As an engaged woman, marriage excites me. I look forward to the many incredible years of journeying with my future husband. But the idea of getting married has sparked many thoughts and brought consequent challenges. Some might question one’s readiness to marry being as young as 21 (more discussion on that later). My response to such a challenge has been to look inside and seek for myself the areas that may need ‘preparation’ before I am to commit my heart to someone forever- yes, the commitment is forever!

One thing I certainly have learnt is that there is no such thing as being completely “ready” for marriage. Marriage will throw a whole lot of things at you that you couldn’t possibly prepare yourself for. But what you CAN prepare is your heart and mind to be the best possible you in your season of singleness. After all, what you are bringing to the marriage is YOU– All of you.

Here are some questions that have been extremely helpful on my journey as a woman, and leading up to marriage…

 

1. Do you Love yourself?

I am not talking about an obnoxious or boastful love of self. I am talking about what you see when you look at yourself. How you describe yourself to others. When you look inside, do you see a beautiful being created in the image of God? Yes, we all have our flaws- none of us are perfect! But, we must learn to love ourselves before we are able to love our spouse.

The standard with which you love yourself will become the measure with which you love your husband or wife.

 

2. How do you respond to situations of stress or hurt?

Have you ever known someone who you thought was absolutely wonderful, and then been shocked when they responded completely out of character when something in their life went wrong?

The good things we see in others lure us. But it also so significant to assess the downfalls we may have. These make up our character too. Some ways of truthfully discovering where some of these weaknesses are is by stopping to observe our behaviour when we have a season of stress or hardship. Sometimes asking someone we trust to tell us when we act in ways that are not respectful towards others, and ourselves is really important. I have given certain people in my life permission to challenge me on my behaviour and attitudes throughout my life. While it may have been hard to hear at the time, I am so thankful today for the people who have challenged my ‘warts’ because it has enabled me to grow in positive ways and let go of the harmful attitudes that could have been damaging to my future marriage.

As long as this criticism is done out of love, and the person on the receiving end has given that person permission to speak criticism into their lives, this is completely HEALTHY and I believe will absolutely encourage positive growth!

When the honeymoon phase of your relationship is over, your filters for unhelpful attitudes and behaviours are lessened and we begin to unleash the reactions we may have been holding back. It is so important to challenge our response to stress and hurt, so that our future spouse does not become the target of our hurtful reactions.

 

3. Who are you when nobody is watching?

Going into marriage, your partner needs to be affirmed that they are marrying someone with INTEGRITY. In the same way, you would hope that the person you are marrying is who you think they are!

How do we know if we have integrity? A key question I have asked myself, (in my head of course) is, “would I speak in this way if my partner was present?” or, “would I be behaving this way if my partner was a fly on the wall?” Now, I know we all have our little inside jokes and outrageous craziness when we are surrounded by close friends in safe environments. This is not what I am referring to here. What I mean is that we need to be sure that we are not acting in ways that we would want to HIDE from our significant other. We do not want to depict a certain character, but then be something else when they are not around. Once we enter marriage, we are bound to one another. This covenant means bringing all of ourselves- that means the warts too!

For a woman, knowing the man you are with is truthful and integral in all things brings a deep sense of security. However, in order to enable ourselves to have this trust, we must first ensure that our own characters display integrity.

When a woman knows who she is, she gives her husband permission to be himself in his fullness too. When both a husband and wife are sure of each other’s integrity, the foundation is built on trust and will grow in strength without battling through the unnecessary doubts about the other.

If we want this for our marriages, we must begin pursuing characters of integrity in our own lives, before we make the commitment to get married.

 

Granted, growing our characters is a journey that does not end when we get married. In fact, it is accelerated because we are hopefully marrying someone who will continue to challenge us to grow and flourish. Asking these questions before we get there (and addressing the things we find out about ourselves) will only make for MORE growth when we reach marriage.

 

Lets Talk about Love Languages

Recently I have been learning about Love Languages.

Have you ever wondered why the things you do for your partner are not always received with as much excitement as you might anticipate? Or why your partner doesn’t show love to you in the same way that you may show it to them?

Each of us have our own preferred way of giving and receiving Love. And not surprisingly, we do not often share the same preferred Love Language as our partner!

The book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman gives great insight into this topic. It certainly gave me some great understanding as to how to Love my fiance in the way he will feel most loved. And how to communicate to him, how he might do the same for me!

Check out this resource here

If you want to look a little further, this is a great tool for you to do that too…

The Five Love Languages Book Study {Link-up}

via Life With Amberly & Joe: Your Love Languages Can Shift.

I am very interested to know how many of you are aware of this topic and how important it is to you. I would love to share more insights into this area as I believe that having an awareness of Love Languages in your relationships will dramatically change the way you interact, communicate and LOVE! Who doesn’t want to know how to give and receive love in the best way possible?!

A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilled Sailor. 3 Truths to remember in our relationships

When we think about being in a relationship, many wonderful things come to mind… How special that person will make us feel, how happy we will be, how we will always be smiling because what’s not to smile about when you have found someone so amazing?

I know I thought that way…

Unfortunately, the reality of being in a relationship is that it takes work. What? Yes, that’s right! It is not all smooth sailing, but that is the beauty of it.

Here are some truths to remember about being in a relationship…

1. A Relationship is a Commitment

Changing your relationship status from ‘single’ to ‘dating’ or ‘in a relationship’, is not just a label you adopt. Stepping into a relationship is a commitment made to another. A commitment to no longer walk as an individual but to journey with another. No matter how casual or easy-going you feel your relationship might be, it is inevitable that you will hit snags that cause you to choose whether you ‘walk’ or whether you ‘work’.

A relationship that is committed will choose to work through the obstacles in order to grow as a couple. Please note that this advice is not applicable to those in abusive relationships, or those of the likes.

2. Love is not a Feeling

We see it every day in movies, on television and in the media. The “in love” buzz is something that seems so real and something we can all have just the way they have it. I am absolutely not suggesting that being “in love” is a bad thing, what I am saying is that the messages we receive in the media are not often realistic or applicable to our own lives.

The feelings that come with being in a relationship can influence our perception on everything around us. And we often jump into things based on this. We give of our trust, we give our money and our time, and often too, we give of our bodies (more on this in an upcoming post). What it is important to note though, is that these feelings are not what will sustain us through the tests and trials of our relationships. When your significant other is in the worst mood and seems completely unlovable, it is then you must CHOOSE to love them, despite the way they just spoke to you.

Being in a relationship, especially a marriage, means making a daily choice to love, despite how you may feel

3. Turning a Blind Eye Does not Make your Problems Disappear

When little things happen that upset us, it can be so easy to just brush them under the mat and not deal with them. Maybe we are too busy, maybe too afraid or maybe vulnerable discussions are an event of the past in your relationship. What ever the reason, I would like to challenge you to find out.

WHY? When talking about how things make us feel in our relationships becomes a normality, you are committing to grow together (guys, this is for you too!). Ignoring discussions about feelings only allows space for unnecessary hurt and resentment to have a place in your relationship, leading down a path of harmful (or complete lack of) communication.

Open those channels with your partner today and create a safe environment to have calm discussions about how certain actions or words make you feel. Making sure you stay away from ways of talking that “shame” and “blame” will make this communication all the more effective!

Well, if you are reading this and haven’t yet committed to a relationship- this was not meant to scare you! This is only to encourage you that going into a relationship with the knowledge AND the willingness to work at it, will only prepare you well for the journey ahead!

For those of you in relationships, like myself, I’m sure you will agree that working through things together (if done so in the right way) brings you out stronger and more effective as a “team”.

Can you relate? Let us know your thoughts on the journey of becoming a “skilled sailor” in your relationships!

For more tips and ideas on dating, please click here!

Anna Megan
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The team at www.in-arelationship.com