I am often writing blogs about the complexities of divorce, the logistics of trying to make it work, and the fighting and bitterness that go hand in hand with most divorces. But, this blog is dedicated to breakup advice.
In other words, I want to address the emotional part of the breakup. The actual loss of the relationship. Simply put, what do you do when you just plain old miss HIM?
Financial and custodial worries, coupled with the anger and hurtful things that have been said and done often cause divorcing couples to forget to mourn the fact that their long long long term relationship just ended.
Allowing yourself to grieve that part of it is very important in moving on. In one of my favorite books, Crazy Time, the author states that sometimes it takes years for people to grieve the loss of their ex-spouse.
If you are experiencing sadness or depression regarding your ex, whether it’s a fresh split, or if after several months or even years, you really find yourself missing him, here are some things you can do to feel better.
These things are not meant to block out the pain or an attempt to forget about it. I think it is okay to sit there and cry for as long as you need to. But, these suggestions are to help you during those times where you feel insanely sad, like your heart might literally break in half, and you desperately want to get your mind off of him.
1. Get out some old CD’s and sing along to old tunes: Music is relaxing, and can be enjoyable or inspiring, and it can bring out strong emotions in all of us. Listening to old CD’s could bring you back to a happy time in your life, or take you to a challenging time that you overcame, or it can remind you of people you love. Warning though: DO NOT start playing you and your ex’s favorite CD, or the song you danced to at your wedding!
2. Have people over: Call your girlfriends, crack open a bottle of red, some hummus and veggies, and just talk. But NOT about him for more than 15 minutes.
3. Visit a historic landmark like the Sears Tower or the Baha’i temple: I can remember years ago, going to the top of the Sears Tower and just standing their for an hour looking at the city. For some reason, it just made all of my problems seem so little. Landmarks are inspiring!
4. Call an old boyfriend: What?! Are you crazy, Jackie?! No, I’m not. It’s funny, when you break up with someone, suddenly your previous boyfriends don’t seem so bad! Right? Why not become friends with one of them. Be careful in choosing, though. You don’t need any stalkers or past abusers, so if this isn’t right for you, call a platonic friend. But I have quite a few old boyfriends who I adore as platonic friends.
5. Look through your old photo albums: A long time ago, I had a date and got stood up. I called one of my best friends crying and she told me to go straight to my closet and get out all my photo albums. I spent the next 3 hours looking at pictures and smiling and laughing at my family members, and old friends I hadn’t thought of in year. I felt great! I felt happy! And suddenly the guy blowing me off didn’t seem like a big deal anymore. Warning though: don’t look at your wedding album or photos of you and the ex!
6. Work out: You knew I wasn’t going to leave this out! Do ANYTHING physical. Drag yourself to the gym, even if that means sitting in the hot tub and doing nothing else! I have never left the gym unhappy that I went there!
7. Watch a romatic comedy movie or Sex and the City: Trust me on this one. There is nothing better to get your mind of a guy than to watch a really, really cute, happy rom com. You must eat popcorn and you must cry, by the way, while you are watching! And as far as Sex and the City goes, those girls are four of my dearest friends!
8. Go out for gelato or frozen yogurt: It’s got probiotics, it’s yummy, and there is only 130 calories in a cup! I never had gelato or frozen yogurt and was sad afterward.
9. Go shoe shopping: This is the ultimate diversion from a guy, but can get pricey. But, new shoes make a woman feel confident and beautiful, and they never make you look fat!
I want to reiterate once again that I think it is healthy to remember good times and the good things about him that you loved. But, remember the bad things too. Remember why you got divorced and don’t be afraid to see the truth.
Regarding these 10 things, they are meant to be fun diversions, to help you get yourself to a happier place, if only temporarily. New shoes or Billy Joel’s The Stranger aren’t the panaceas to forgetting about him. In my opinion, there are two cures to a breakup: making good choices moving forward and time.