Breaking up Is Hard to Do
"Success lies in being able to retreat at the right moment and in the right manner. The success is made possible by the fact that the retreat is not the forced flight of a weak person but the voluntary withdrawal of a strong one.” The I Ching or Book of Changes
Now and then, no matter how hard you try to make a relaltionship work,, you have to admit defeat and call it quits. The following suggestions may prove helpful if this is the case.
FACE YOUR FEARS . . .
Fear of loneliness:
I'll never find anyone else
I can't make it alone
I'll be alone forever
Being alone is terrifying
I can't take care of the kids alone
I won't find a job
Fear of being a failure:
Leaving is failing
I can't mess up another relationship
Fear of cultural pressures:
I'm a Christian. I can't get divorced.
Fear of Feeling Guilty:
I am abandoning him
She can't make it without me
I put up with him this long, why stop now
I can't bear to hurt her
I owe her for taking care of me
Fear of reprisal:
She won't let me go without a fight
He will hurt me
He will hurt the kids
She will tell our friends lies
He won't give me financial support
Fear of Withdrawal:
Withdrawal from love is one of the most painful withdrawals because there is a unique connection between the person affected and his or her need for love as a child. During withdrawal people psychologically go back in time and feel all the losses they felt as a child. I call this age regression. The more neglected they were as children, the more they suffer in the process of withdrawal.
Like drugs, the symptoms of withdrawal are physical. Lovers experience depression, headaches, anxiety and even flu like symptoms.
There are many theories about how to treat withdrawal. There is the moderation theory, like they practice for food addiction, but in most cases complete abstinence works better. In Love Addicts Anonymous, for instance, lovers engage in what they call "no contact."
LETTING GO . . .
To face your fears you must "feel the fear and do it anyway." No matter how hard it is you make a decision and you follow through no matter what.
1. Admit you have a problem. Admit this to yourself and to someone else.
2 Reach out for help from friends, family, a support group, or therapist.
3. Distract yourself with activities. Do something fun and hang out with friends who understand. Start a new hobby or go on a vacation.
4. Treat your anxiety and depression in a way suited to you. This means consulting a professional and considering medication on a short term basis. If this is not right for you practice positive thinking and be optimistic about the future.
5. Give yourself time to heal. Whether your withdrawal is short or long, things will get better in time.
6. This would also be a good time to build up your confidence and self-esteem.
7. Be patient with yourself.
8. Avoid fantasizing about reconciliation. You have probably tried this before and it did not work.
9. Avoid blaming yourself as an excuse to try again.
10. Do not believe him when he says he will do better this time. This won't last.
11. Give up the notion that he is the only one that can make you happy. This is just not true. If you cannot give up this fantasy you are addicted to this person.
12. Beware of false promises to give you something that had previously withheld.
13. Most of all, be optimistic and know that there will be a brighter tomorrow. You harned a lot. You have a new understanding of what to do next time. You have done the right thing. You are free to move on.
Excerpt from Addiction to Love