Getting Over Your Ex

In response to:  5 Secret Steps to Getting Over Your Ex

Some of these [1]statistics are pretty close to the mark, but let’s look at recent statistics.  Online research revealed statistics dating from February 2013, so they are a couple of years out of date:

It is suggested that 42{5aab48c0ceab8741cc5e1b3637a0d930ede57d31081a536cd0d11b2818162fd7} of marriages end in divorce; that’s more than a third but less than half.  Which means, predominantly, more marriages succeed than fail.  It seems to be part of the human condition to focus on the negative aspects rather than the many positive features of relationships that may be either “cemented” in marriage or just simply be two people who have chosen to be together.  Additionally, we are not really sure how many relationships, overall, succeed for far longer without marriage.  So my point here is to bring out the negative, examine it with a different lens and see where it takes us.

34{5aab48c0ceab8741cc5e1b3637a0d930ede57d31081a536cd0d11b2818162fd7} of marriages tend to end in divorce by their 20th anniversary.  Therefore, again, more marriages last beyond 20 years.

Some 6{5aab48c0ceab8741cc5e1b3637a0d930ede57d31081a536cd0d11b2818162fd7} of marriages may end due to the death of a spouse.  Of course, this is less interesting to couple therapists but more interesting for therapists who manage bereavement.  The loss may be felt differently depending on the length and quality of the relationship.

60{5aab48c0ceab8741cc5e1b3637a0d930ede57d31081a536cd0d11b2818162fd7} of marriages are predicted to last longer than their 20th anniversary.  16{5aab48c0ceab8741cc5e1b3637a0d930ede57d31081a536cd0d11b2818162fd7} reach their 60th wedding anniversary.

More marriages end in the first ten years than the following decade.  Circumstances surrounding divorce may involve the length of the marriage, the year of marriage, the age of marriage and whether or not people have been married before.  Divorce is at its highest between the 4th and 8th year of marriage.  Divorce has decreased over the years, peaking in 1980.  Divorce was high for marriages that took place between the early 1970s and the early 1990s.  22{5aab48c0ceab8741cc5e1b3637a0d930ede57d31081a536cd0d11b2818162fd7} of marriages in 1970 had ended by the 15th wedding anniversary, whereas 33{5aab48c0ceab8741cc5e1b3637a0d930ede57d31081a536cd0d11b2818162fd7} of marriages in 1995 had ended after the same period of time.  Personally I was married in 1990 and divorced by 2005, arguably a popular event during a popular time.  The effects are that there are also many more children living in broken homes or in families where only one of their biological parents is present albeit with a different partner.

The average marriage is said to last 32 years, taking all these statistics into consideration.  As things stand, that sounds quite positive, don’t you think?

You can find the statistics here:

Perhaps one focuses on the negative because we want to help those who don’t reach these dizzying heights of success but perhaps take a leaf out of the books of those who do stay together, for whatever reasons.  Even my late mother confessed that she enjoyed lying next to the “old man” (after 65 years married, so some might say a successful marriage?) yet only a couple of weeks later thinks she should never have married him.  We may all arguably be damaged, but these lessons teach us much about ourselves and how we impact others. Perhaps this is what life is all about.  A combination of joys, interspersed with “I should never have done it” alongside “well, s/he’s all right really”.  Do we need a reality check? Or simple compassion for ourselves and others around us? Send love out into the world. Of course.

5 secret ways to get over your ex.  Secret because we don’t want to admit we would do such a thing?  Secret because it’s errr actually not secret at all because it’s in the public domain? Secret because.. oh well.  Perhaps you can see where I’m heading with this.

Secret number 1:  Write out all your ex partner’s flaws.

In doing this we are giving power to our ex, taking no responsibility for ourselves, our inner motives for the split (even if it was not our choice, we will have played a part).  Here rather than writing out all his or her flaws, write them a letter, a letter you never send.  Many respectable therapists and others believe this is a great way to vent frustrations and see what part we played in the dissolution of the relationship.  If you were emotionally abused in any way, this is much harder because we need to feel “whole” and “healed” again if we consider starting out in a new relationship.  By all means acknowledge their flaws, but look at your background.  What drew you to this person, was there something in your past that caused the relationship to occur in the first place, what was it about YOU?

Secret number 2: Cyberstalk all you want [no, please don’t!]

This is about giving into your desire to know all about what your ex might be up to, following their progress (unless they’ve blocked you on social media, so many people set up a new profile that they cannot be blocked from) in any future relationship, where they might go on holiday, looking at their photos if they’ve been careless enough to set everything to public viewing.

The more you engage in cyberstalking, the less you are able to put the relationship behind you and move the f*** on.  Keeping yourself in the past is omitting to see what is in front of you and Keeps You Stuck.  Cyberstalk by all means, but it’s not going to help your recovery or help you see what you need to change about yourself so you can have a future healthy relationship.  Find someone to talk to, a best friend who won’t judge, a therapist, anyone so that you can vent all you like so you can seriously move on.  Cyberstalking can be an emotional addiction, and addicts need friends and support so they can quit the addiction and live a healthier life away from their ex. I believe this is extremely unhealthy!

Secret number 3: Do whatever it takes to feel sexy again

Here we are basing all of our value on our external appearance.  Whilst in part this may be the case that if we are not taking care of ourselves we will look and feel like crap, unless we go inside and help our wounded self, simply putting a sticking plaster on and having a beauty treatment, getting into debt through retail therapy (and then making ourselves feel ten times worse), any “making ourselves feel sexy” is going to be superficial and short lived.  Go inside, do the inner work and boy, you will feel sexy again.  And probably still with a positive bank balance.  Confidence is gained from within.  THERAPY really helps here, hypnotherapy, any kind of therapy.  Make sure you talk to someone – your money will be better spent, trust me!  (Yes, OK, I’m a therapist, but you don’t have to come and see me, just someone who won’t judge you and help you pinpoint your patterns of relating so you choose someone better suited next time around, if that is what you desire.) Love yourself so you know what works well for you, but equally what would make you the “ideal” partner for another?

Secret number 4: Find someone new [quite possibly, a very unhealthy thing]

This is nuts.  Firstly if you’ve not managed your last break-up, you simply take your baggage straight into the next one.  And when something goes wrong in this new relationship, it’s pattern matched back to the last relationship where you had issues (or vice versa).  Do this and there will be a string of failed relationships that you’ll look back on and wonder why you are still dating the same girl / guy but with a different face.  Trust me, I know this one and so do many of my clients.  I know, it’s tempting to just go out and seek “another” to fill that void, but until you’ve healed that void, you’re just putting more rubbish into it unless you are VERY lucky.

It’s true that “no good marriage ends in divorce” but it’s daft too; some bad marriages last until one spouse dies, after years of being downtrodden and unhappy.  Some marriages last because they feel an obligation, other marriages continue because of the children (and then pass that idea of marriage down to their children).  Some marriages even survive, very happily!  What is their secret?  Often it is a deep abiding love, lots of tolerance and endless forgiveness.  Honesty, security and connection are three important ingredients.

Secret number 5. If all else fails, go “antiquing”

Well I’m afraid this is probably the worst “secret tip” of them all.  By all means, go through your address book because you’ve been unable to delete your ex’s from your phonebook or facebook profiles and see who’s available to “hook up”, because you remember the past through rose tinted spectacles and all the “good stuff” about that ex.  You may find (for example in Nick Hornby’s book “Hi Fidelity”) that the vast majority have either moved on, forgotten all about you, are angry to hear from you or may agree to sleep with you just because you’re available and cheap (i.e. why lower yourself to the past because your self-value is so low you’ll return to someone just for comfort but don’t wish for anything more)… and you’re also devaluing the person you’re contacting, making the assumption they will somehow be grateful or conversely can’t for the life understand why you’d devalue them as well as yourself.  Guess what, they may say yes and then you’ll be back at square one wondering how to disentangle yourself again, or you both realise what you had was something that was worth breaking up over.  Either way, it keeps you stuck in the past, re-opens energies between the two of you that you’d closed some time ago. Unless, of course, you’ve both realised what a stupid mistake you both made, you’ve addressed everything that you humanly could and learned from all of you collective mistakes. Yes, there are *some* success stories but there are an awful lot of re-hashing of problems. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were one such couple.

The message is very simple. Get some support. We are all wonderful beings and we deserve the best love we can give and receive. There are other far more healthy steps to getting over your ex and moving on and you can find a downloadable document here. Love Yourself again!

Mourn the loss.  Mourn the loss of something that you thought was going to be wonderful but there were mitigating circumstances surrounding its ending.  If you meet again soon after, it will be like you’ve never left and you’ll probably feel a pang of regret.  Don’t mistake this pang for resuming the relationship, keep in mind the reasons for its demise.

Mourn a bit more, talk to friends, talk to a good therapist, be mindful in the quiet moments and accept invitations and support outside of yourself.  Engaging in any of the above behaviours will probably keep you stuck and focussed on the external to make you happier, feel more confident over and over.  Build your inner strength and realise your own personal greatness.  You are the ideal person for you and perhaps are the ideal mate for another.

Write out your “never to be sent” letter.  Write a list of desirable qualities in a mate.

Download my document 10 tips to moving on.

[1] Statistics taken from www.ons.gov.uk

If you would like to work with me to help you move on from a relationship, however unhealthy it was, contact me today.

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