Are you going through a breakup? You are not alone. The highest rate of breakups occurs during the two weeks before Christmas, and January is known as “divorce month.” Of course, the holidays are hard on people who are heartbroken, even if their breakups happened months ago. No matter when you are reading this, there is no better time than right now to begin the journey to healing from a breakup.

Growing through a breakup.

As you move through the coming days, weeks, and months, it is important to heal the wounds from this relationship so you can create a life you can be excited about. Healing is possible. The saying goes, “time heals all wounds,” but we know that it really takes more than time. It takes attention, intention, and courage to move through the pain and come out stronger, wiser, and more loving than before.

That means that this is a great time to consider therapy, or consider taking my course on healing from a breakup.

What about breaking up and getting back together?

It seems romantic, and it may seem tempting. However, research shows that reuniting with your ex is probably not a good idea. We once believed it may lead to more commitment and dedication over the long run. Turns out, we were wrong.

That does not mean that breaking up and getting back together, or cycling, is not unusual, however. In fact, half of couples who break up end up getting back together. Cycling is common in couples who live together: 37% of unmarried cohabitating couples and 23% of married couples have cycled, and 40% of college-age young adults are in cyclical relationships.

Over the long run, cycling relationships do not tend to be healthy. One study showed that cyclical couples have poorer relationship quality, lower commitment and satisfaction, more uncertainty in the relationship, poorer communication, more conflict than stable couples have. Moreover, the damage increases with each successive cycle.

Being in unhappy relationships is not good for us.

Practice thinking of this as a net positive. If it was a happy relationship, it would likely not have ended. This is important to consider because poor relationships are stressful. Moreover, they take more than just an emotional toll. They leave us in an almost chronic state of fight-flight-freeze. The impact on our physical health of chronic stress is clear, and poor relationships in particular lead to higher rates of metabolic syndrome (this), heart disease, and diabetes.

If you break up and get back together, it is likely you will not be in a happy relationship. And being in an unhappy relationship is not just hard on us emotionally, it takes a toll on our health. So if you are broken up, it is probably best to focus on healing and moving on, rather than trying to get your ex back.

Healing from a breakup: Learn the lesson, heal the pain.

As you do your healing work, it is important to keep things in perspective. Maybe you were insecure or afraid of being alone, so you attached yourself to an unhealthy partner.

Perhaps you became blameful, contemptuous, or resentful of your partner; maybe they did these things to you.

Did you expect your partner to understand your wants and needs without having to actually express them (this is always a mistake)? Did they do this to you?

Is it possible that one of you withdrew or “stonewalled” during conflict?

Perhaps you two just had incompatible conflict styles; this is a known predictor of divorce and breakups.

In the quiet of your own mind, reflect on what happened in your relationship. As you do your post-mortem, you will find there are important lessons for you to take away. Learning these lessons will help you to create a healthier relationship in the future.

Moving ahead.

As hard as it is to go through a breakup, it is important to remember that breakups happen for reasons, and it is really helpful for you to remember  those reasons. Additionally, remember that you will not be in pain forever; you will get over it; you will love again.

If you proceed with care, your next relationship will be healthier than the one you just lost. Part of that “care” in healing from a breakup is in doing your own personal work to make sure you learn the important lesson and heal the underlying wounds so that you don’t create the same patterns again. This course can help. 🙂

Here’s to making 2020 the best year ever!