How To Get Over An Addictive Relationship

All relationships are, to some extent, addictive. Almost every (it isn’t always the case) dumpee I have spoken too has admitted that despite the trauma and pain caused by the relationship breakup, they know their relationship had dwindled into something unhealthy and patently unhappy for all involved.

Despite this, and despite the fact that they may wish to move on entirely, they feel caught in a web of emotions that are dependent on the actions and thoughts of others. Even when they caress the thought of once more being in control, all it takes is a smile, a rumor, or fleeting (crumbs) contact to send a dumpee into a renewed spiral of pain and mental anguish.

Beginning to find peace is not a question of closure and it most certainly does not require reconciliationRelease requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline. Instead of scouring the web for articles that may offer you an umbrella while a category five storm threatens to drown you, let’s draw an objective line and do what needs to be done to salvage your strength, dignity and health.

Embrace it. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t. Surrounding yourself with loved-ones and friends is a great way to distract yourself and begin to fill the vacuum of self-esteem, but is often a counter-productive force-feed in terms of artificial comfort. Once you have fully realized and accepted what it means to let go, you can start the fake it till you make it routine (yes, it actually works!), but not before-hand. Or a cordial email a couple of months from now from your ex will drag you screaming back to square one.

Bear also in mind that while you have every right to be upset and to take as much time as you need. It will wear thin after a while. By all means talk yourself out, but don’t forget that your problem is relative — as traumatic as it seems/is.

Stop over-analyzing.

Empowering yourself is an immensely relieving post breakup stage. Realizing that you can make decisions too! That your happiness depends on you, and you alone. Over-analyzing every text-message, email or phone conversation to find a scrap of hope always leads to anguish down the road. Humans are pattern seekers, we will make sense out of chaos, and find hope where nothing but ashes remain. Take an objective look at your situation, reconciliation may happen at some stage, but for now, it is important to love yourself.

I’m a fan of imposing some form of the no contact rule (NC) or limited contact rule (LC) in a relationship aftermath. Not as a strategy to get your ex back, but simply because you are making a decision for yourself, you are demonstrating the fact that you have power over yourself, to yourself! It will help.

No contact is not a game, those that employ it as a form of emotional blackmail will lose. As Jeru Tha Damager would say, “you’re a player only because you be playin’ yoself”. Can NC lead to contact from you ex? It can, precisely because it is a form of blackmail. To some degree they will miss you, but there is a reason you broke up. Once you’re happy once more, and you’ve had time to bury the hatchet, reconciliation can theoretically find fertile ground. But by then you may have realized that the dumper was ultimately right (or, they were selfish, cruel and undesirable).

Don’t take it personally. 

Finding a compatible partner is no easy task, in fact, I’d venture it is far easier finding love. Because of this realize that just because you were unceremoniously dumped, it does not imply that you are somehow unworthy of love. Love usually has nothing to do with it. I recall one of my earliest experiences of undying love, where I was demolished by the thought of “how could someone who claimed to love me so much just walk away?”. I found out years later it had nothing to do with love, in fact, they still loved me immensely. It was a question of happiness. Sometimes dumpers make very difficult decisions, knowing that they risk losing the love and admiration of someone they DO love, in order to improve both the dumper and dumpees lives. That is a form of love, with large brass cojones. Think of it this way; they love you enough to not use you.

This does not imply that dumpers are always right, or are worthy of your love, but it does mean that when it’s over, you can forgo closure and look at yourself in the mirror and the outside world without wincing. Do take the time to weed out your mistakes, do live and learn, but do not forget that they fell in love with you. And that others will too.

Rebuild your self-esteem.

The process of rebuilding your self-esteem, particularly if you are of the opinion that you shredded your dignity immediately after the break up, can be a delicate process. Rushing out into the world dogged by thoughts such as there are many fish in the sea, can hurt both yourself and others. If you were treated with love and respect then your ex was special. Don’t try to pretend otherwise. But realize that because I can truthfully get away with making such a broad generalization, that it isn’t that special. I discuss dealing with rejection in depth in another article (follow the link if interested).

We all meet special people, all the time! Everyday people read this article and navigate the self-same problem. The world is driven and brimming full of dumpees trying to make sense of life without their other half. We’re virtually all on the relentless hunt for fulfillment, but convincing yourself that he/she was the one is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unless you truly begin to realize that there are many people capable of loving you (in their way) with the same intensity as you ex, you will not be able to see it.

The larger problem is that even if you do realize this, it takes time to actually see it. Give yourself that time. I’ll venture that it is inevitable that someone will come along and sweep you away, whether you want them to or not. Keep an open mind, but don’t expect love to fall from the sky.

Being strong and at peace is the key to a strong relationship as well as being an incredibly attractive feature. If you are hurting and are looking to fill the void, you offer your rebound “next ex” nothing but pain. You are looking to leach comfort at the expense of their security and strength. When you find that you have somehow become attractive again to the opposite sex (or not, depending) take it as a sign that you are beginning to find peace. Want to know why? Try this little experiment in neurolinguistics:

Walk down a busy road, while doing so convince yourself that you are unattractive, ugly and worthless. Walk defensively with your head down and a closed posture. Notice if people look at you while you do this and notice their reactions and interaction. Now walk back down the road the other way and do the reserve. Head up, smiling with an open and inviting walk. Look like you could start-up a conversation with anyone, right there, in passing.

See what I mean? Did you notice the difference? You went from bum to celebrity in thirty seconds, congratulations! All joking aside, this is an artificial way or personifying the interior change that most slowly occur within you during the breakup process. But if you play your cards right, you’ll be paving a road to a place which is 10 times better than you’ve ever been in your life.

Every curse is a blessing in disguise!

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5 thoughts on “How To Get Over An Addictive Relationship”

  1. “If you were treated with love and respect then your ex was special. Don’t try to pretend otherwise. But realize that because I can truthfully get away with making such as a broad generalization, that it isn’t that special.”

    This helped me immensly for some reason. Thank you. I’m still working on getting rid of the notion that she was the right woman.

    And the hardest part ist that I destroyed the relationship because an undiagnosed depression made me emotionally unavailable, passive and indecisive.

    Now, 2 months after she broke up with me, I’m not quite out of the depression, but it gets better and better. And I see that I could be really there for her now, but it’s too late. That kills me inside.

  2. Oliver, I have exactly the same feelings. A sudden end to a 20 year relationship left me devastated. Although it’s been 4 years, I still think of him as the love of my life. I, too, feel as if my undiagnosed depression played a role, and I now know that I am a different person (4 years of weekly therapy will do that) who could be a much better partner, but he is completely done with the commitment. All of that kills me inside. My ex and I have a son, so we still talk, yet each time, I am a little less affected and do a little better job at living MY life. “Our” life is there, but forever changed — and that’s okay.

  3. Why is my ex so mean to me… Just in everyday texts or interactions? He just seems so angry. He dumped me, what’s the problem?

  4. Hey again Lynn. I have an article that deals with that. It’s literally called “Why is my ex so mean to me”. It might give you some food for thought.

    At the end of the day though analysing his attitude might never lead to answers. We can’t read minds (unfortunately). Don’t let him vent his frustration on you. You deserve clarity and healing, not a bucketful of uncertainty on top of grief.

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