Wednesday, February 6, 2013

12 Steps To Getting Over A Destructive Relationship

12 Steps To Getting Over A Destructive Relationship - bad relationship - love ends - bored couple
Hurt people hurt people. Meaning, when you've been hurt, you're likely to hurt people back. Instead of focusing on your pain, think about how you've hurt the person who once meant the world to you.

"On the first page of our story, the future seemed so bright. Then this thing turned out so evil. I'm not sure why I'm still surprised."

-Rihanna, Love the Way You Lie Part 2 Ft. Eminem

When you're caught up in a serious breakup, it's easy to feel like you're drowning. You surface every once in a while, gasp for air and feel like you're going to make it; But, before you get a sense of direction, a rip tide pulls you back under and you're struggling for your life again. You probably know in your heart that you will make it through alive (I hope you know this!). The hardest part is not losing yourself to the destruction of anger. 

When you've been so deeply emotionally invested in someone for so long, breaking away can feel like ending an addiction. Like an addiction, you need to face your problems head on and with a plan of action. Otherwise, you may end up repeating the same pattern of behavior in future relationships.

Step 1. Admit That You Are Powerless Over The Past And That, By Focusing On Past Events, You Have Lost Yourself In Anger
Part of what pulls you back to your ex over and over again (aside from always loving them) is feeling like you need resolution. You're still hurt and upset by the cruel words and actions that you took against each other. You feel that maybe if they can understand your pain, suck it up and apologize, then  everything could go back to normal. However, after a certain amount of damage has been done (that only you can determine) it may be impossible to ever truly move past it. Instead, accept your pain as a learning experience and move yourself forward to a healthy place.

Step 2. Come To Believe That A Purpose Of Being Exists For You And That, By Seeking This Purpose Out, You Can Return Your Life To Sanity
In a long term relationship, you mold yourself to the person you love. When this connection is broken, it's easy to feel lost; You've forgotten how to be you without them. Remember that there was a you, before they came along. You were interesting and special enough to spark their interest; And, when you're ready, you will be interesting and special enough to spark a new interest. Granted, you will never be exactly the same person that you were before they came along, but you can be a better person because they touched your life.

Step 3. Make A Decision To Turn Your Life Over To Selflessness And Love
Right now, love may seem painful (and totally not worth it) but love is the only way to recover from your pain. Anger can defend your heart temporarily but, in the end, a heart filled with anger is a blackened one. Learn to love people other than your ex. Love your family, your friends, co-workers and neighbors. When you feel the warm touch of love in other aspects of your life, you don't feel as cold and empty because of the relationship that you lost.

Step 4. Make A Searching And Fearless Moral Inventory Of Yourself
In a relationship gone wrong, there is never one person at fault. It is important for you to understand the mistakes that you made so that you don't repeat them.

Step 5. Admit To God, Yourself And Another Human Being The Exact Nature Of Your Wrongs
This is the hard part. Simply acknowledging in your own mind that you are partly to blame is not enough. By discussing with a therapist, a very intelligent friend or a minister exactly what you did wrong, you help yourself to truly heal. It also allows you to analyze where you could have made a better decision (which, hopefully, you will keep in mind for the future).

Step 6. Be Entirely Ready To Start Anew And Become A Better Person Than You Have Been
It is very easy to fall back into old habits, which is why it's crucially important that you really want to start a new chapter in your life. Without the desire to change, you never will.

Step 7. Humble Yourself By Acknowledging Your Shortcomings And Resolving To Change
Acknowledging your faults can be quite sobering. However, when you resolve to change, you should feel excitement! Make way for the new you!

Step 8. Make A List Of All The Ways In Which You Wronged The Person That You Once Loved
Hurt people hurt people. Meaning, when you've been hurt, you're likely to hurt people back. Instead of focusing on your pain, think about how you've hurt the person who once meant the world to you.

Step 9. Make Amends, If Possible
Depending on your circumstances, it may be better to cease contact altogether. If you feel like you can, try to apologize for your mistakes (perhaps in a letter to avoid further conflict). Keep in mind that you are not doing this with hopes of mending the relationship. Instead, you are acknowledging that they may be walking away just as damaged as you are.

Step 10. Continue To Take A Personal Inventory And When You Are Wrong Promptly Admit It
Change does not happen overnight. It's important to keep tabs on how you're doing (and reel yourself back in, when necessary).

Step 11. Seek Through Meditation And Uplifting Activities To Reconnect With The Positive Parts Of Who You Used To Be While Simultaneously Building Upon Them To Create The New, Better Person That You Are Becoming
Remember that you will never be exactly the same person you used to be. With that in mind, reconnect with the person that you were! What did you enjoy doing that maybe you've let go of? Maybe there's something that you've always wanted to do that you never seemed to have time for during your relationship? Take a yoga class, go swing dancing, learn Spanish! You're re-inventing yourself...this should be fun!

Step 12. Having Survived The Atom Bomb That Was Your Past Relationship, Continuously Strive Toward Having Healthy Relationships In The Future
You've gone through SO much pain and misery. Do you really want to do it all over again? I hope not. Learn your lesson the first time! If you start a new relationship and notice similar patterns forming, stop them head on! You deserve a happy, healthy relationship and now you're armed with the tools you need to sustain one. 

"Why do we fall, sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves back up."

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