Hi Foreverunhappy,

Glad you checked in here. I so often talk to clients about a relationship that has come to an end. It's just such a hard thing to go through. And if you constantly run into that person, it can be even harder.

One of the ways we react to the loss of a relationship is think about what happened, what could have gone differently, and what that person is doing now, over and over and over in our minds. That's called rumination. It's a normal reaction to a disappointment. And it makes us feel worse and worse.

One of the ways to deal with rumination is to try to limit how much you indulge it. You might allow yourself ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon to think about how bad you feel about losing the relationship. Time yourself. At the end of the ten minutes, move on to something else.

Distraction can help. Staying really involved in your life. Your job. Physical actrivity (helps to release stress and anger.) Getting together with friends. Give yourself a push to get up and out in the morning, and schedule healthy things to occupy your time.

Support can help. Talking to friends and family about how you feel. Tell the story over and over. That's part of the process of getting over a loss.

Here's something I constantly tell myself and I tell my clients. We have no control over how other people think, feel, or behave. To assume otherwise is the road to frustration and disappointment. Your ex-girlfriend is going to do what she is going to do. There is nothing you can do to change that. So what I would tell someone in your position is to remind yourself of this. But also to give yourself permission to move on with your own life as well.

Dealing with the loss of a relationship is a process. It takes whatever time it is going to take. But staying involved in your life, staying active, even when you don't feel like it, is important.

And if you are finding that the rumination, and the difficulty getting out of bed, are not getting better, and/or are interfering with doing the things you need to do in your life, then it's time to reach out to a mental health professional.

Get support. Take good care of yourself. And stay in touch with us.


Answered By Answered by Dr GaryCA
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Comments (4 comments)

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Dr GaryTherapist
Dr GaryCA March 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm   

Hey glorythekid, nice to see you. Thanks for checking in and for your kind words. And thanks for sharing your inspring story. I always remind clients that things can look really bleak today, but it doesn't mean they won't be a whole lot better in the future. Sometimes we are forced to make a change when we don't want to, but once we take that step, a new, incredible world can open up for us. Congratulations on building a really nice life for yourself.

Dr GaryTherapist
Dr GaryCA March 4, 2016 at 8:31 pm   

Hey Foreverunhappy, trying is a good start! Do positive things for yourself. And please keep me posted on how you are doing.

glorythekid February 24, 2016 at 10:14 pm   

Dr Gary provided some great advice on a physiological aspect. I am also the type to ruminate about things in my life. The absolute truth is that this is something you will have to journey through. Maybe not by yourself, and you may have great advice from others, but you will have to trek through this phase in your life.

I had a girlfriend a long time ago who meant everything to me. She broke up with me and i would see her with her other boyfriend. It tore me apart, but it took me two years to get over her. In the course of that time, I joined the military and saw just how big my world can open up. I traveled to Japan and meet a lot of great people. Somehow, I realized that my ex girlfriend was not good for me. I felt liberated once the sound of her voice was unable to sway my emotions.

It may feel impossible, but I'll tell you, once you get past this, you'll feel free. That was a long time ago for me. I'm now married with an amazing woman, have two kids and no regrets. Realize that you can overcome adversity in your life.

Foreverunhappy March 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm   

Thank you Dr Gary. It's just really hard to forget the person when they are right in front of you. I'll try to stay active.

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