Monday, January 28, 2008

Breaking Up: The Process of Healing

There was an interesting turnout on my previous post, entitled, “Self-Improvement”, not so much on my blog, but on the Myspace page I have. I periodically send out bulletins with the post inside it to many people on my list - if it’s a topic I feel strongly about in my heart. I received so many emails from people who were in pain over relationships. I have never sparked this type of response before. My blog didn’t get as many hits as the Myspace did - and the bulk of the response was waiting in my inbox. There were people who emailed me that poured out their souls. I can’t believe how many people are out there in such emotional distress. It amazes me…yet it doesn’t.

During this time in my self-reevaluation period, I’m doing a lot of bible study, prayer and meditation. I can’t tell you how this has helped me tremendously. I’m seeing things for the first time clearly. I want to talk about the people who responded. I’m going to bulk them up into one category: heartbroken. Even though each story they told was a bit different from the next, they still had a common denominator: extreme sadness. From the many stories told, the person felt heartbroken and wanted their ex back. (Of course you only get one side of the story, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt.) It’s really interesting hearing these stories, because every single person on earth can relate somehow. We’re all in it together…

I really want to write about what I’ve learned regarding relationships, whether it’s the end of a friendship or the end of an intimate relationship. There is an important question that has to be asked: did you have more sadness than happiness in the relationship? All relationships have their ups and downs of course, but was the relationship more stressful than it was comforting and loving? Was there more jealousy than acceptance? And everyone is going to say it was great in the beginning… We all have our idiosyncrasies and our “thing” if you will, but when you make a commitment to someone, are you willing to accept their “thing” or just simply pick it apart and dissect it until it drives them completely crazy, or are you willing to love and accept them and live with their “thing”? Why is the divorce rate up more than ever? Commitment is gone. It’s now based on what you see in the movies or TV: lust, passion and having that spark last forever.

Newsflash: it fades. When that exciting lustful phase fizzles out – you better make sure your partner can stand you. Someone told me this amazing quote: “Make sure the person you're with, loves you more than you love them.” This of course, isn’t meant to be taken literally, however it’s a saying to really make sure the person you are with respects and loves you as much as you respect and love them. A lot of people have false illusions that they should have butterflies throughout their entire relationship. What foundation was the relationship built on: friendship or lust? Usually, when a relationship is founded on “friendship”, you have that solid base to fall on. When it’s purely out of lust, you’ll find that the base you fall on isn’t so stable. You’ll sink to the bottom trying to fight your way back to the top again.

Another interesting point is, what position were you in when you first met this person? Were either of you in a relationship at the time? Was there any infidelity on their part while pursuing you or vise/versa? Chances are, if you met them that way, you’ll end up that way. As the old saying goes, "If they cheated on them they’ll do it to you". If you found that they were completely honest throughout the course of their past relationship, then the same concept applies. Look at the patterns. I’m not writing this as a “know it all”, I’m writing this out of experience and what I’ve learned through my own past.

The best advice I have ever heard was this: if you love them, set them free. Really do it. Don’t just say it. Send them off in “love”. Really wish them well. If you truly believe that you loved your ex, then make sure that the end of the relationship goes off in love as well – no matter how harsh the breakup was.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do and he will bless you for it. ~1 Peter 3:8-9

Even if you know that your ex is out there badmouthing you and saying things that make you look less than pleasant – keep quiet. Let them ramble on. Obviously, they’re still in pain and need to vent. Don’t retaliate and do something you’ll regret. Remain quiet and calm. Give yourself time to heal, which means limiting your contact with them – not to play games, but to get over your heartbreak. It’s important to make sure that “the no contact rule” applies to only healing yourself. It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s okay to think about your ex. They were apart of your life and will always be sketched in your heart. It’s okay to remember the good times and rehash the past – that’s the normal process. If you deny yourself of these thoughts, then it’ll resurface in another form. Let yourself go through the process.

In conclusion, here are some wonderful scriptures that have helped me. I hope they will do the same for you!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. ~Psalm 55:22

We can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for. ~1 john 5: 14-15

He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character is us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~Romans 5:3-5

If you can keep in mind that all of the trials you are experiencing right now are like weights for our muscles; they will strengthen you for the next time you get beaten down.

It does get better.


グラント said...

It will get better when I score a hot Japanese bunny. So far, my patented creepy vibe is keeping them all at bay. I'm wasting my time trying to make nice and getting involved in the community. Time to break out the nets and tranquilizer darts.

Art said...

Deb, this is excellent advice. Not always easy to follow, but right on target, nevertheless. I am sure that this will help anyone who reads it and happens to be in that situation.

~Deb said...
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~Deb said...

Grant: Nice guys finish last, right? You’ll find your beautiful Asian princess…I know it!

Art: You know, somebody gave me this advice years ago, I would have said, “NO!” And I always heard, “Time heals all” ---and I used to cringe and call is a bunch of b.s… It’s hard to see it this way only because of the “rawness” of the breakup, but for me, when I’m closer to God, with more prayer and mediation time as well as reading the bible on a daily basis, the more I get clearer answers. It helps me so much. I can’t speak for everyone – because not everyone’s a Christian or has faith in God, but this is what works for me! Thanks for your input, Art!

Matt-Man said...

I know far too may people who have let their heartbreak over a relationship ending turn into self-absorbed hate. You just gotta let it go, and rebuild folks.

I am concerned about the Psalm 55:22 verse. It says that the Lord will not let the godly slip and fall...What about us ungodly ones? ; ) Cheers!!

~Deb said...

Matt-Man: I guess there are phases of emotions that take over once a breakup happens: shock, fear, anger, resentment and then sadness. It's up to the person whether or not they want to approach this newfound departure as a healthy one or let it fester and build up into something ugly. I wouldn't sweat the "un-godliness part - you're a good egg in my book, Matt! :) Cheers to you!

Caroline said...

OH my gosh...I loved this post. I only wish you had written it 6 months ago. I had such a hard time letting go of Laura and I now know it was because I had allowed her to become so much of who I was. When she left I literally didn't know what to do or who I was anymore. It has taken some time to heal, but I can honestly say it does get better. It takes time, but it does get better.

I often look at how Laura and Sharon got together (both were in relationships) and I don't envy them anymore. Most likely the way their relationship started is how it will end.

Thanks for sharing exactly what I needed to hear today.

Jay Cam said...

i find that the "let the go" idea works nicely... expecially when they come back to you!

that's the best part.

~Deb said...
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~Deb said...

Caroline: It’s serial monogamy – or is it even considered “monogamy” if they intentionally met you with the agenda of intimacy? It gets complicated because they can always say, ”Well, we were having problems and yada yada yada…” But what gets me is the dishonesty that they disrespect their partner who has no clue on what’s going on. I have more respect for the person who is honest with their partner. It’s called respect. I’m sorry you had to go through that. And yes, time does heal, however, it’s a much speedy process when you’ve been through it a few times as well as seek help spiritually, emotionally and physically. I always crawl right into my spiritual shell – it’s the safest place!

Jay: It depends if you actually want them back though. Were you happier with them? Make the pros and cons list!

Nichole said...

Thank you for posting this. You seem to be touching on a lot of what I'm going through now. I feel a little better about the decision I made, cutting off all contact with her... I just wish it didn't hurt so much.

Thank you.

~Deb said...

It hurts more to be with somebody who treated you poorly or made you feel horrible about yourself. I'm not sure what your circumstances were, but if there was a reason for the breakup, there's a reason to stay apart. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Time time time! I hated hearing that too, but it really works. I hope you feel better!

Jeff B said...

Perhaps I'm one lucky ones, slthough saying that out loud, I don't think luck is the appropriate word, who has had but just one wife. Lisa and I have meen married for fifteen years now and dated for another five before that.

At this point in our life we have been together for half of our respective years on the planet. WOW!

I feel ill equipted to give advise on breakups for that reason, but I think the words you share are right on the mark.

We started off as friends working together in the same restaurant and have been very honest with each other throughout the years. That honesty pays big dividends when times get rough. Our arguments or down times don't last very long.

TK Kerouac said...

Hi Deb, I just did a relationship post similar, but different on my private blog and its amazing the response it got also
Relationships seem to be a hot topic, especially getting through breaks ups.
I'm at a crossroads myself, but I've always had a hard time leaving.
Did I give you my private invite,
I will send it again
would love your advice

TK Kerouac said...

wait Deb, wait
it was the post underneath the one you commented on!

~Deb said...

Jeff: You must be doing something right buddy!!! :) Honesty and friendship. HUGE. That speaks volumes about why you can't relate to breakups. And that my friend is a good thing! God bless!

Tk: Oh geez, leave it to me to frig things up! (ha) It was a good article though! I will trek back in the morning... Sorry about that! Still - that was a informative and entertaining piece you put out there! :)

Margie said...

Hi Deb
You have some wonderful advice have lots of wisdom and I know you have a big heart!

God bless you!

P.S Thanks so much for that link today....I loved it!

GW Mush said...

Hi Deb!

Your post was so timely for me. Your insightful words helped me when I told you about my broken heart, and its a blessing to have you to talk to about things like this.
Thank you again!
GW Mush

Queenie said...

Debs, at this moment in time I am supporting a very good friend of mine through such a heartbreaking time in her marriage, I will be posting about it. I so wish that I could help her find peace, but she is being attacked emotionally by the other woman (that she is a woman and can do this shocks me). I have found that when I can, to find humour in the events that have past helps her. We have a long way to go, but I will help support her and her wonderful family the best way I can. Thanks for sharing and I will try to remember some of your advise, but at this moment in time I really feel like giving someone a piece of my mind, for hurting my friend in such a despicable way.

~Deb said...

Margie: Maybe not so much wisdom – but a heart that was battered a few times… Your poetry always seems to help cheer me up! Thanks so much!

GW: I felt really bad when you told me about your broken heart. I thank you for trusting to come to me when you were down. I’m always here if you need an ear - you’re a sensitive soul, which is a terrific quality, but unfortunately vulnerable to those who abuse it instead. I hope you’re feeling better…xxoo

Queenie: Attacked emotionally by other women? I’m going to have to read about this. I’m sorry about your friend… She’s very lucky to have someone like you support her at a time like this. Humor goes a long way when someone is down. Even though you may be upset and angry at the person who hurt your friend – let God handle it. Anytime I ever got involved in another person’s business, it always backfired… So I stay out whether I know too many details or not. Just be there for your friend. I’ll be around later! Thanks for sharing that, Queenie!

Comrade Kevin said...

One of my favorite quotes is:

Wherever you go, there you are.

We can't avoid ourselves, our past, and our nature and who we choose to date is often (and understandably) a reflection of who we are.