A Family Counselors’ Stories: How To Survive A Breakup

Breakup is a topic I never knew I’d relate and be good at, including surviving it. When I became a family therapist, I anticipated that my clients would mostly be couples, kids, or parents. Family counseling could deal with every possible life issue that may affect the relationship between spouses, children, parents, and friends and that includes breakups.

In hindsight, it was the fact that programmers wanted to book an appointment with me that shocked me the most.

I lived near the Silicon Valley; I happened to put several posters strategically in some tech companies. More importantly, my clinic sat along the main road, so it would have caught the attention of the people who walk and works in Silicon Valley every day.

A busy programmer in Silicon Valley

What’s most interesting about it was the number of individuals who contact me and willing to talk with a therapist to understand the best way to heal and move on from a heartbreak. Programmer or not, I would call that progress. It meant that people were getting wiser about surviving a breakup.

Let’s talk more about dealing with heartbreak and surviving it.

Breakup – How To Mend A Broken Heart

As you probably know or hear (or you may have experienced yourself), a heartbroken person tends to adopt the wrong coping mechanisms. They process heartbreaks differently. For instance, some may drown their sadness in alcohol or partying. Others may swim in tubs of ice cream and junk foods. There are people who just sleep and watch some series on Netflix thinking that everything will just pass by. Some even think of negative thoughts.

Research shows that keeping a journal is helpful in moving on than not to write at all, it helps you concentrate on the positives (which makes sense). People who suppress their emotions take a longer amount of time to heal. You need to understand that the support of your loved ones will help you deal with the heartbreak.

If you are sad and having a hard time today because your romantic partner just broke up with you, allow me to share some of my clients’ relationship journeys as well as their healing process.

you must show confidence in your relationship so that you won’t step over or be stepped on by your partner.
Source: pexels.com

Different Journeys And Stories

Programmer #1: the Martyr

Cristina had a playboy boyfriend who she believed was way out of her league. Because of that, whenever the guy would cheat on her with different women, she felt the need to forgive him.

How To Overcome A Heartache

Can you survive heartache on your own?

Cristina gave me a call to ask for advice when her boyfriend happen to get another girl pregnant, and she could not decide if she should take him back. My clear advice is that Cristina should get rid of him and walk as far away from that guy as possible, but she could not make up her mind due to her emotions and insecurities. Thus, I helped her build self-confidence so that she would stop being a martyr. Their separation was devastating for Cristina but she was bent on surviving the healing process no matter what. She succeeded after months of heartbreak counseling.

If your ex left you because of someone else, you may experience a wide range of feelings: anger, sadness, denial and anxiety. There are time that you just want to stay in your room and sleep or watch tv, you may avoid social media and phone calls to reassess your feelings but you should know that life goes on. Go out, have fun and explore the world with a friend, try out new things. Lean on your friends for support during and after a heartbreak.

Programmer #2: The Workaholic

Gerard was married when he launched a tech startup in Silicon Valley. He did not come from a wealthy family, so he worked day and night to ensure that his wife and future kids would never worry about bills ever in their life. However, in his business, Gerard forgot to spend quality time with his wife, which caused them to grow apart. Of course, we all know that spending time is really important in a relationship, and setting aside time for one another makes a big impact on relationships.

counseling on moving on from a breakup
Source: pexels.com

Gerard sought my advice the moment he received the divorce papers from his spouse. He found the separation tough to accept because all his hard work was dedicated to her.

Still, I reminded Gerard that in life, money never made the world go around and that overcoming the split and the pain should be his priority.

Programmer #3: The Overly Romantic

Evan was a computer whiz who always felt introverted. Hence, when Lena, a beautiful British girl, came into his life, he did everything to make her happy. Every night was their date night; they spend every weekend on a holiday trip. He also professed his love for her every minute of the day. Unfortunately, it’s all those stuff that scared Lena and pushed her to leave him.

When Evan came to my clinic talking about the story and his ex, he was struggling to understand and felt highly wronged about the split since his intention is to show his love for Lena. He agreed to go into the process of heartbreak counseling.

I reminded him, “You need to remember to chill on your future relationships and let the other person make an effort on their own, too,” I said.

Dealing with that heartbreak was truly an achievement for Evan.

Source: pexels.com

While my client’s relationship scenarios are different when it comes to overcoming their ex-relationships, I often need to remind them that those people they chose to shower with affection were lucky to have them. I also advice them to cherish the happy memories spent with their ex and make it a point to focus on making new memories with their next relationships.

The breakup actually was a blessing for them and their healing and coping were rewarding for me and for them as well. They may be experiencing pain now, but that sad feeling will be gone soon. Think of your ex as a drug that you have to detox. It might take many months or years of your life, but there’s always hope and you just have to wait for the pain to mend.

Contact your friends and hang out with them to get the support you need. Social support is crucial, reach out to a best friend, parent or therapist or anyone who will hear your woes.

However, as in the examples above, I also have to advise my clients to balance everything and be confident in themselves. You cannot be feeling confident at your workplace alone – you need to try new things and you must develop confidence in your relationship so that your feelings won’t be taken for granted or be stepped on by your partner.

There will be things that you will remember about your ex as the months pass by, this is perfectly normal. Major changes will happen and you just have to deal with it and let your feelings guide you.

Once the feelings are fully processed, then with a little time, patience, and a support system (your friends and family); the pain will heal, and soon you will forget the past and feel better again.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the 5 stages of a breakup?
  2. How long does it take to heal from a breakup?
  3. How long should it take to recover from a break up?
  4. How do you survive a breakup if you are still in love?
  5. How do you let go of someone you love?
  6. What should you not do after healing from a breakup?
  7. What is the hardest stage of a breakup?
  8. How do you know if the break-up is final?
  9. Who moves on faster after a breakup?
  10. What is the best way to get over a person?

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