Patricia J Frank Psy.D. L.M.H.C, F.A.P.A.

Breaking Up Breaking Down

Some things just seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly or coffee and cream and breaking up and breaking down. If there was a list of emotionally painful events, breaking up would surely be on it.

Breaking up can cause you to break down initially. Even if you are the one who instigated or initiated the break up, you can still break down yourself. You will feel a decrease in your self-esteem and a sense of failure and regret. You may also experience some self-doubt and question your ability to make good judgments.

It is possible that breaking up may bring you a sense of relief. You may feel lucky to have escaped a toxic, dysfunctional relationship. Even so, you will still have to go through a period of grief, mourning and healing.

The first step is to heal. That means a period of mental and emotional rest. Don’t allow yourself to think at all. Stop the thought immediately by saying something like, “Not now.” There will be time to analyze the relationship later when it is not so fresh and painful. The only reason to analyze it is to prevent the same thing from happening again. You need to understand your vulnerabilities so that you choose wisely and differently next time.

A break up creates introspection and sometimes guilt. People sometimes torture themselves trying to figure out what went wrong. This is a natural process. Ask yourself what your expectations were and what you hoped to experience in the relationship. Were your needs being met? Were you clear about what you wanted from the other person? Was the other person capable of meeting your needs?

These questions will help you cope with your feelings of anger, shock, hurt, loss and disillusionment. They will help you sort out and share the responsibility for what went wrong. Once you understand, you can begin to move forward in a new direction. Knowledge is power and selfknowledge is very powerful.

Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864,

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