Breaking up the Healthy Way [From the Experts] Part 4: Self-Reflection

Breaking up the healthy way from the experts

Orlando Counseling Providing Relationship Therapy

Welcome to the 4th part of Breaking up the Healthy Way [From the Experts]. As an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, I wanted to include this final part where we are discussing the healing power of taking some time for self-reflection. Whether the ending of your relationships is from a divorce or a breakup, this blog series has healing tips for getting you through it the healthy way!If you missed the previous blog posts in this segment, you can find them here:

Part 1: Feel the Feelings

Part 2: Channeling the Energy

Part 3: The Grieving Process

So often, people believe that because the relationship ended, it was a “failed relationship.” I say, “No, no, no!” When a relationship ends, this is a time to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, how you want to be different moving forward, and how you want to “pick” differently for your future partner. (for more information on "picking differently," you can read this blog post).

And the experts agree.

“At some point in the break up process it's good to reflect on what worked about the relationship, so [you] can build upon that when ready to enter into the next relationship,” suggests Jenmarie Eadie, LCSW

Katie Leikam, LCSW says, “If you have been broken up with, take time to forgive yourself for your part and learn from it. Take time to practice forgiveness for the loss of the relationship.”

Monique Edwards, MA, LLPC suggests exploring what was learned from the relationship. Ask questions like, ‘How am I different now than I was before the relationship? What are fond memories of the relationship that I want to cherish?’ Monique adds, “Just because it led to a break up, doesn’t mean that the whole relationship has to be erased, moved on from, forgotten.”

Licensed Professional Counselor, Hollis Arnold, LCDC says, after a relationship ends, consider, "taking the time to get to know the new-you outside of a relationship, re-learn likes, dislikes, and hobbies...some of the things we lose sight of when in a relationship."

Tamara Suttle, LPC suggests taking a good hard look at how your part in the relationship, especially if you’re blaming your ex for the breakup. She says, “So often the tendency is to focus on the ex as "the bad guy" when that's rarely the case. We tend to partner with individuals that are as healthy as we are rather than one being "sick" and one being "healthy." It's much more likely that one may be engaging in more "socially acceptable" behaviors while the other may be engaging in less "socially acceptable behaviors; but, each are likely equally functional / dysfunctional.” Tamara adds, “By asking a client what s/he has learned about herself / himself, clients are often able to recognize more clearly their own roles in the demise of the relationship.”

Victoria Scott, LMFT reminds us the importance of looking at your relationship history for patterns. If you’re noticing some unhealthy patterns (staying when you knew you should go or seeming to be the sole provider in all of your relationships), then discovering these patterns will provide you some insight and a pathway of healing. If this is the case for you, I recommend reading a blog post I recently published on Relationship Patterns.

If you are especially stuck in the throes of this break up, start to investigate how you are making the break up about you personally. Beth Ryland, MA LMFT suggests looking at belief patterns such as ‘I am not good enough. I am bad at relationships.’ Shifting the story you tell yourself about the breakup from one of ‘Something is wrong with me,’ to ‘There are many reasons the relationship didn’t work,” help takes away some of the burn. I recently wrote a blog post on the impact your beliefs have on your relationship picker.

I hope you've enjoyed this series Breaking up the Healthy Way [From the Experts]. I've certainly enjoyed working with all the wonderful contributors to this series.

Please leave a comment with some of your tried and true tips for getting through a breakup feeling empowered (rather than hit by a mack truck).

Check out my other posts in this series here:

Part 1: Feel the Feelings

Part 2: Channeling the Energy

Part 3: The Grieving Process

Lauran is an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, FL. She also specializes in helping people heal old broken relationship patterns that keep them from finding, creating, and keeping healthy relationships with partners, friends, and family. Lauran uses a down to earth approach infused with cutting-edge therapies that go beyond traditional talking to help clients feel calm in their body and mind and find peace within themselves.