The Waiting is the Hardest Part

When your relationship ends, where there once was a known, there is now an unknown. The void that loss creates can drive you to fill that space with reasons why it had to end – you’re trying to make the unknown, known. Having your relationship ripped away with nothing comparable to put in its place can leave you in such an uncomfortable space, a space that feels so intolerable, so distorted, so empty, so daunting, so disorganizing, so desperate, that it feels like you have no choice but to try to make sense of what’s happening. However, the void is so vast that there are no answers that will ever be enough to fill it. No matter how many distractions you throw yourself into, it still feels like you’re dragging around dead weight. When the outcome is not in your control, waiting for answers, waiting to feel better, or waiting to get back together can feel like life or death. You are waiting for resolution – a way of understanding or defining what is happening or has happened between you so you can feel relief.

In this void, time passes so slowly that you can become preoccupied and even inundate yourself with questions about how you’re going to get through this, and what’s going to happen to you now. You feel an urgency to know if there’s a way to reconnect with your ex. If not, how can you guarantee that you will feel better and love again? Unfortunately, like many aspects of life, there is no way to predict what will happen in the future. It is profoundly painful to accept that there are no answers in your immediate external world – nothing that can soothe you or fill that terribly anxious space within you about what’s going to happen.

The waiting is the hardest part. You’re waiting to feel better from what feels like unbearable angst.

First thing’s first. In reality is there are no answers that will assuage the incredible discomfort you are feeling. The only way to get through is to recognize that you can’t rely on answers from outside yourself – you can’t rely on external sources to make the pain better inside of you. Rather, knowing that you are in a period of incredible discomfort is inevitable when experiencing a loss. Instead of looking for ways out which don’t exist, work on trusting your pain and sadness are supposed to be there. Your feelings are your natural response to loss, therefore, they are part of your grieving process, which is only way to get through the pain.

There is no way around waiting, no way to get answers from any source that will fill the empty space of the unknown. But take comfort in knowing that having no way to fill the void of the unknown during this time is a part of the human condition. Working with the reality that you are in pain, whether or not you believe the breakup deserves the overwhelming angst that accompanies it – that’s reality. Accepting reality that you are in pain and that you must tolerate the unknown in order to feel better is what helps you get through.

I can hear the questions now: “How long will I be waiting? How long will it take to get over this?” The answer: “It as long as it takes.” No matter what you wish were true, you can only go one step at a time. The way that you can ease your anxiety of the unknown is by looking inside yourself and determining whether you feel better today than you did yesterday, or than you did 5 minutes ago. You can only know how you personally feel by comparing it to your personal feelings at other times. You can only be in your own skin having your own experiences, your own pain and your own understanding of your relationship. If not work on trusting that you will. Because trusting that the unknown remains unknown for a reason can help you let go of the expectation that you’re not supposed to feel like this.

Nobody said it better than Tom Petty: “The waiting is the hardest part.” But the answers you are waiting for do not exist outside yourself. Feeling better in the face of the unknown lies within you.

The Gut-Wrenching Aftermath of Breakup

When an epic relationship ends, one of the most tormenting aspects of the loss is that you can think you’re ok, that you’ve weathered the storm. Then, seemingly out of the blue, you plunge right back into confusion, disgust, and fear, all over again. Chances are, the more tumultuous the relationship was while you were in it, the more tumultuous your response in the aftermath of breakup will be.

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After Breakup, Understanding Your Identity as an Un-Partnered Person

Up till now being in a relationship may have been a determining factor in how you view yourself and how comfortable you feel in the world. It may be hard to know or trust who you are without a relationship. Therefore, even when you have said your goodbyes, it can feel like the only way you will get through to the next minute is to hear your ex’s voice: Like they are anchor that brings you back to who you are, or who you understand yourself to be. But, at the same time, you know that indulging that connection feels awful because you don’t want to keep depending on it.

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A Letter to Your People: 5 Ways to Help Me Through Breakup

Breakups can be challenging not only for you, but for the people who care about and support you.  You are in too much pain to explain what you need, so they have no way of knowing the best ways to help you.  To help them help you, I have created a guide to prepare and instruct them on some things they can expect to encounter as you go through your agonizing grieving process. It describes some of your feelings, reactions, and tendencies as a result of the breakup so that they can better prepare for and manage some of the frustrating, challenging, even overwhelming situations that lie ahead.

Here are five key guidelines written from you to the person, people or group you may turn to in your life for how to best prepare themselves and support you as you go through withdrawal from your ex.

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Why Trauma Resurfaces Just as You’re Feeling Better

After a period of devastation, loss, despair–a traumatic experience–as time passes, you may begin to feel better, safer in your own skin. You may even sense that you have grown stronger as the distance between where you are now and the painful experiences you have lived through continues to widen. During times when you feel okay, you may actually be able to allow yourself to relax into certain situations. You might even start to feel that your self-confidence is growing.

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, your brain carries you back to a time in your history that evokes great shame and feels painfully unresolved. The images that flash through your mind cause a visceral reaction. Inside, you now feel destabilized, which pollutes the positive experience you were just having.

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Blame Slows but Anger Can Speed Recovery From Breakup

Like violent waves crashing against your very being, overwhelming, disorienting emotions overtake you during the breakup process. As time passes (often lots of time) the reality of the breakup begins to set in. For many, it is later in the breakup process that you begin to experience feelings of anger toward self, and other(s), including your ex. Anger is a healthy stage in the grieving process and should not be confused with blame, even though they appear very similar. Blame toward self or other indicates that you are stuck in a cycle. Blame at self or other for why the relationship went awry keeps you focused on outcomes that have already occurred.

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After Breakup, Who Says Your Feelings Have to Make Sense?

When your relationship first ended, you may have been far clearer about why the relationship didn’t work, and why your ex was wrong for you. However, you now find yourself having uncomfortable thoughts about the ex—longing, melancholy, and memories of the good times are seeping back into your psyche. Your once-clear perspective becomes more cloudy: what you are feeling right now doesn’t line up with what actually happened between you and your ex. Yet you miss the relationship; you miss that partner who was so wrong for you. It just doesn’t make sense:

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Blake And Gwen: Why An Intense Situation Can Make Opposites Attract

The burgeoning love affair between Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, two of the coaches on the NBC show “The Voice,” has a lot of people talking. Both are creative, talented musicians, whose life histories, home lives, previous relationships, musical backgrounds, career directions, and forms of artistic expression are vastly different. He’s a country music star who, through the years, has taken a more conservative approach to recording, performing, and now “coaching,” by staying close to his country roots. Conversely, she is the trailblazing lead singer of a funky, edgy, progressive pop band who has pushed limits, broken down barriers, and shattered the glass ceiling for current and future female pop singers everywhere. For these reasons and many more, they are a surprisingly unlikely romantic pair.

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4 Ways to Support Your Friend Through Breakup

What can you say? What should you do? You care about your friend, but you know trying to be there for your friend is fraught with no-win situations and conflicts. You can see much more clearly than they can what should or shouldn’t be done, but everything you say seems to fall on deaf ears as your friend just continues to become more distant and depressed. Here are four suggestions to help guide you toward being there for your friend in a way that is as effective as possible for them, while allowing you to maintain your boundaries, manage your frustration, and maintain your patience.

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Breakup in the Age of the Internet

When the pain is at its worst, can you imagine being able to make a clean break from everything and everyone that reminds you of your ex? With modern technology, the incredible amount of access you have to your ex makes a clean break nearly impossible. Figuring out how to sever the ties with your ex, and just how many obscure connections there are is utterly mind-blowing.

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