On emotions, breakup boundaries and shame
Welcome to another weekly newsletter, lovingly named the “Beyond The Breakup Newsletter.”
It’s the newsletter that provides you with big ideas on how to grow and improve as a person and build better relationships so you can avoid a future breakup.
sign up and join the adventure!
Along with the fancy weekly newsletter, I’m also going to give you access to 4 exercises that will help you stop obsessing over your ex as soon as you sign up.
Today we’re talking about the following topics:
- On how your breakup recovery is never linear
- On post-breakup boundaries
- On shame in regards to seeking support and feeling like shit
So here’s the scoop, guys, and gals.
Breakup recovery is never linear
Your recovery will never be a linear process.
Throughout the days, weeks, and months of your recovery, you will feel a wide range of emotions, all at varying intensities.
One day your face will resemble someone who just squeezed lemon juice up his eyes and forcefully bitch-slapped his cheeks multiple times until bright red. And then the next day, things will normalize, and you’ll be feeling at peace again.
These shifts in-between emotions can even happen every few hours or so!
Now, the reason why you’re in this unending flux of emotion is because you’re processing your breakup grief.
“Wait, wait, wait, Max. Doesn’t grief happen and heal in stages?” You know, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance? Those stages!
Good observation, my dear reader, but contrary to popular belief, grief actually doesn’t work that way.
Grief is not a straight line. You don’t go from, let’s say, the anger to the bargaining stage and never revert to any of the previous ones. In reality, you would shift between the two for days or weeks before you would settle in one.
Think of the stages of grief as fluid. You shift between each one multiple times throughout your recovery journey. Typically, you will cycle back-and-forth through the stages several times until you finally release the attachment you formed towards your ex and move on gracefully.
So don’t take your emotional fluctuations at this troubling time so seriously. It’s all part of the healing process.
Just whatever you do, be sure not to initiate any contact with your ex. This will result in minimal suffering and will help you process your grief in the fastest way possible.
However, if you slip on this rule, you may open up your heartbreak wounds once again and relapse your healing process.
Vital post-breakup boundaries that you need to set
While I’ve already written a beast of an article on boundaries, here’s a quick recap.
Think of boundaries like a fence around your psyche. They dictate what behaviors you will accept, which ones you won’t, and the consequences people experience when they misbehave towards you.
But surprise, surprise, you can also set boundaries for yourself.
By setting self-boundaries, you’re limiting yourself from participating in specific behaviors that you deem dissatisfactory and unwelcome beforehand. This is also an excellent strategy to implement as soon as you break up with someone.
So here are the top 5 boundaries you should set after your breakup, especially if you feel your heart is tearing itself in two.
- I will cut all contact with my ex and give myself time and space to grieve the loss of my relationship.
- I will not perform any action or engage in any behavior that will cause me to lose my dignity and clarity. Those are, trying to change your ex-partners’ mind, professing your love to them, or trying to sleep with them again.
- I will not try or keep trying to get back together with someone who has rejected and betrayed me or simply wasn’t a good fit.
- I will not beat myself up mentally or chastise myself for the breakup by neglecting my self-care routines and acting without trust and respect for myself.
- I will recognize half-assed calls and texts from my ex and not stretch their meaning into something like, “Oh shit, they said, “Hi,” they must still love me! Wuhuu! Let’s get back together.”
The shame in seeking help
I’ve catered this last point slightly more to my male readers since they struggle with this issue the most.
(Don’t worry, ladies. The next email will have an entire section just for you.)
So, dudes, I know some people might shun you or call you names like a beta male, beta cuck, pussy, or simp if you’re having difficulties coping with a breakup.
Nevertheless, know this, there’s no shame if feeling what you’re feeling.
There’s no shame in crying your heart out, seeking support, and contemplating your own existence, maybe even your own death. You’re not weak for feeling and experiencing these things. Surprisingly and counterintuitively, you’re emotionally strong – and keep getting stronger due to it.
The process of overcoming and accepting your shame is called becoming vulnerable. And it’s a skill, or a way of living, that I fully support and encourage. Especially in men! In fact, I’ve written a full article on it, which you can go ahead and read here.