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Relationships can be extremely hard, and ending them can sometimes be worse, particularly if the relationship was troubling or even abusive.  If you’re not careful you can sit back and think/obsess over all the time that you “wasted” on that individual.  Remembering times when you were being used, feelings of anger and mentally replaying over and over how that person screwed you over can sometimes lead you to the land of bitterness.

Now don’t get me wrong, you have every right to be mad. If you’ve invested a large amount of time in someone, the relationship went southward and it started to affect the way you see yourself, I’m not trying to rob you of your indignation. I’m trying to help you so that two years after said breakup, you’re not cussing strangers out in the street for wearing the same socks as your ex.

So go ahead, get angry, listen to those empowerment songs, and throw away his/her pictures.  But when you get done mourning and being angry, maybe these few things can help you to bypass the bitter feelings so you’re not trapped in a emotional remake of the movie Groundhog Day:

Get it all out – So many times when things go wrong, we end up rehashing them because we haven’t allowed ourselves to really express how we feel.  We feed ourselves a falsehood by saying:  “If I don’t think about it then it won’t be that bad.”  Actually, it makes it worse.  Those dormant feelings will continue to bubble under the surface, just waiting for any opportunity to pop back up.  Address how you feel, how things went wrong, why you hate that stupid shirt he/she wore.  Get it all out. Once it’s all out, you’ll feel a lot better.

Don’t think about what-ifs – The man who I married (and am now divorcing) was highly sought after at the job where we worked.  All most everyday was frustrating for me because I would constantly walk in on these women propositioning him as if I didn’t exist.  When we made the decision to end our marriage my mind kept on going back to:  “What if I would have just took a step back and let those women have him?  Maybe I wouldn’t be going through what I am right now?  They would be the ones angry and running after a toddler by themselves while I’d be living some preposterous hyperbolic lifestyle.”

The problem with all of this is, it wasn’t them.  It was me.  What’s the point of rehashing what could have been?  This is your life, this is what you decided and this what you have to deal with.  Now, it might not be pleasant, but thinking about the alternative routes that you should have gone down is only distracting you from making better decisions in the future.  Forget the what-ifs, just learn better for tomorrow.  Like I’ve read somewhere before:  “Life is like a camera, focus on what’s important, capture the good, and develop from the negatives.”

Realize that you’re better without him/her – If the person you were involved with was a class A douche, instead of being bitter about all of the crap he did, be happy that that loser is finally out of your life!  Celebrate it!  For me being in an emotionally abusive relationship where I wasn’t allowed to see my friends when I wanted to after we broke up I remember sitting back thinking:  “I can’t believe he used to isolate me like that.”  Now I can go, see and talk to whoever I want to!  My dorm room wasn’t a prison anymore and I finally had the freedom that I didn’t have.  Instead of thinking about how much of a jerk he was, see the great things that you now have access to because he’s gone!

Take Yourself Off the Pedestal – Okay, this is going to be a little touchy for some.  But, it’s important.  Sometimes when you’ve been hurt, you can sometimes go from feeling bad about the situation to feeling bad for ourselves.  That’s only a slippery slope to victimization and wallowing in your own self-pity.  Yes, what happened to you was horrible, but feeling sorry for yourself is just going to keep you in that terrible space and validate your feelings of bitterness. We’re working away from that.

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