Taking time to recover your self-esteem after a breakup is absolutely essential.
Breaking up is hard to do, as the song has it, and it leaves you with emotional wounds. In particular, it’s likely to leave you feeling worth-less or even worthless. Sad but true: we all tend to measure our self-worth by how desirable we are to a relationship partner. Being dumped plays right into the heart of our self-doubt.
So how are you going to feel better about yourself before you even start trying to discover how to have your ex back?
The first step is probably about finding a way to love yourself more. Loving yourself makes you feel better about yourself, and it also makes you more attractive to your ex-partner.
Sidebar: Feeling better about yourself doesn’t involve acting out your anger and aggression by overeating, drinking, taking drugs, slashing photos, burning clothes, spending too much, or stalking your ex.
This is the time when you have to parent your inner child, who is suffering the pain of the breakup – if you don’t know about the inner child, read about him or her here. The inner child is really the vulnerable part of us that never recovered from the wounds inflicted (deliberately or accidentally) by our parents in childhood, or inflicted just through being alive in a world that is not always benevolent and caring.
You can metaphorically hold your own heart in your hands and send it love. That’s a good exercise for soothing the inner child, which lives, if it lives anywhere in the body, in the area of the heart.
An even better approach is to talk to your inner child, and tell her or him all the things she or he needs to hear – which you know better than anybody else, since that inner child was indeed you just a few short years ago.
You can talk (just as a reassuring parent would to a real child) to your inner child when he or she comes up with thoughts like “My life is over.” “I’ll never feel better again”. “Nobody else will ever want me.”
You can also make yourself feel better by taking good healthy exercise. And, for that matter, by seeing friends and by talking to people who you know will support you, or by seeing a counselor.
You might choose to look after yourself by sleeping the right number of hours, treating yourself to the things that make you feel better (such as a massage, say, or perhaps a sauna), eating good food, and respecting your body and your mind and the pain they’re going through.
There are plenty of other therapies available including yoga and meditation, perhaps even prayer if you’re of a religious disposition, as well as positive relaxation, visualization, deep breathing….. in fact, the list of possible therapies is literally endless, and you may well have tried some therapies before which you know will help you now. Go out and experiment!
Even having a makeover or a pedicure can help – and more radical processes such as colonic irrigation or Rolfing can help you feel better about yourself, simply because they’re removing the tension from your body and allowing you to experience something sensuous and relaxing.
Best of all, perhaps, is to spend time with loving friends and family. Overall of course you need to be in a positive environment – especially if you’re no longer living in the comfortable home you once had. If that’s true you may have lost your womb (metaphorically speaking of course).
Sidebar: If you’re feeling strong enough, you can use dating as a way of reminding yourself that you’re actually a desirable and interesting person. (Although if you go on a date it’s best not talk about your ex, your desire to get back with your ex, or your strategies about how you’re going to get back with your ex!)
You don’t have to seriously view this dating as a way into a new relationship – you can just see it as something to help you feel better in the moment. And it certainly isn’t a game you should play to make your ex want to win you back fast!
Of course the truth of the matter is that once you begin to find out you are indeed desirable to other single people, you become more desirable not only to them but to yourself (and to your ex…. don’t ask how that works, it just happens….)
And if you can be positive in your outlook, and send out positive energy into the universe, then so much the better for you, the universe and your ex.
These strategies all serve to make you feel better about yourself.
And although you might not be feeling like going out into the world, there’s no doubt that finding something to do will also help yourself feel better and raise your self-esteem. That might be a slow process, but if you really want to get back with your ex, you are going to have to do something to make yourself more desirable and better equipped to be in relationship – and raising your self-esteem is the first thing.
The Next Step To Getting Together
So, after a while, you’re beginning to feel a little bit better, and the breakup advice you’ve been reading has begun to influence how you feel about yourself. You’ve been reading, no doubt, so much advice on how to get your ex back that you’re beginning to feel the time is right….
But hold on!
First of all there are several negative reasons – psychological games – which might be affecting your decision to get back together. To start with, what’s your motivation in getting back with an ex? This isn’t, by any chance, about dumping them in return?
If you’re at all angry, then you need to get rid of those feelings of anger before you can possibly begin to make a rational choice about getting back together. Anger clouds everybody’s judgement, particularly people who’ve separated, so it’s vital you know why you’re doing this (attempting to win your ex partner back).
Could it be, perhaps that you don’t want to be alone or you don’t want to feel like a failure? I need hardly say, I’m sure, that these just aren’t good enough reasons to get back together… Particularly if your ex was abusive in any way, or had an addictive personality, was unfaithful, or behaved like a miscreant and ne’er-do-well.
Assuming that none of those are true – and no other dark motives are relevant here – then WHY do you want to get back together?
Because I Loved My Ex
A lot of people use a crisis as an opportunity for personal growth. That might be one reason for making up, not breaking up.
The fact is, most people take the same sh*t into the next relationship unless they do work on themselves. And of course if they don’t do the personal work, the outcome is pretty much the same because they’ve learned nothing about who they are and how they behave in a relationship.
In short, neither relationship advice nor breakup advice has any impact on the likelihood of them establishing a more successful relationship, because they haven’t done the work on themselves which would make it possible for them to be in a long-term relationship.
Sidebar: There are various tests online you can take to check out your personality profile, your emotional intelligence, and your likelihood of being in a relationship successfully.
A hard truth: if you really feel you can’t live without your ex, then you MUST have work to do on yourself.
Equally, if both you and your ex try and have a relationship again without doing the personal work which will solve past wounds and relationship issues, you’re no more likely to be successful next time around than you were this time.
So you might also want to do a test for whether or not you’re compatible with your ex, which you can also find online.
The Process Of Reconciliation
Any anger you feel or angry behaviour you display is just going to lead to further disaster, so you need to make sure that you’ve discharged all your anger towards your partner. That way, you can enter into a conversation with them about the possibility of getting back together after your breakup in a calm and rational way.
Letting Go of Your Anger Towards Your Ex
Especially if they cheated on you. Ouch! One of the most difficult things in life is being cheated on. It raises feelings perhaps more profound than almost anything else except the death of a loved one – maybe that’s because of the loss of trust, the loss of relationship, the loss of the image of who you were as reflected in your partner’s eyes…. But whatever the cause of this pain, it’s difficult to get over.
Yet whatever the circumstances, there’s no doubt anger is a major factor in most people’s response to breaking up or being dumped. (And indeed, when you’re doing the dumping you probably feel some anger too.)
This anger is truly unhelpful if you want to get back together and it needs to be dealt with.
So at this point, dumper or dumped, can you honestly assess what role you played in the breakup – what did you do that let your ex partner down, betrayed them, disappointed them, or made them angry?
You’ve already read about the needs of men and women in relationship, so whichever gender you happen to be, why don’t you spend a few minutes considering whether or not you actually met your partner’s needs – the basic human needs which people come together to have satisfied. Without those needs being met, there’s no point being in relationship anyway.
By the way, accepting your responsibility in the breakup is an empowering thing to do, and it stops you being a victim of circumstance.
The best way that I know of to get rid of your anger towards your partner is to find a safe setting with a trusted person (possibly a therapist) who is willing to play your partner, while you tell them (acting as your partner) all the things that they (i.e. your partner) did and said that caused you pain and how you felt about them.
And as you do this, you can express your anger verbally, physically by beating questions with the bat, or by kicking and beating with your arms and legs.
The same is true if you are the person who did the cheating. That’s an angry thing to do, so you must have anger that you need to discharge. The same techniques can apply.
And after you’ve drained the anger out of your body, you might be ready to start thinking about your more positive feelings: love and joy.
At the moment you might be finding it hard to remember positive times and experiences with your ex-partner, be they ex boyfriend, ex girlfriend, ex husband, ex partner, fiancée or fiancé – but believe me, there’s positive stuff there if you dig deep enough.
So now you can tell your stand-in, role playing friend all the good things that the relationship brought you, and why you loved your ex. (Assuming you did…..)
If you don’t have a friend who’s safe and secure enough for you to trust with this work, then write it down in a journal and imagine your ex partner standing in front of you.
Do this as often as you need to do until you feel that the pain and anger has dissipated. Only then will you be ready to move on to making up rather than breaking up. Read about that here.