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Let’s not sugar-coat it, working through a breakup is often a pretty crappy time. But it’s also an opportunity to learn, grow and set yourself up for a better future.

Top tips

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I picked up from my last breakup:

1. People don’t change.

If they showed you disrespect or unkindness during your relationship, that’s who they are. Don’t try and squeeze a square peg through a round hole or waste ongoing energy on the “what ifs” – just move forward, heal and (when you’re ready) find someone who’s worthy of your love.

2. Being single is better than living with someone who doesn’t meet your needs.

Yes, sometimes it’s lonely and tough, but it’s a better option than being with someone who doesn’t make you feel happy. After my last breakup I enjoyed 18 months of singledom – I had far more fun and connection than the sad last years of my marriage. I learnt it’s better to be single and happy than attached and miserable.

3. Just because someone says something bad about you, it doesn’t make it true.

If things didn’t end well, your ex may be criticising you to anyone who will listen, but they are probably trying to discredit you because they feel utterly dreadful about themselves. My ex created tales about my shortcomings and personality flaws. It made him feel better about his issues and provided a smoke screen for all the unpleasant things he did during our relationship. I’ve learnt to be selective about the things I take on, and nowadays I just laugh at his distorted opinion and brush it off.

4. Time is your friend.

If you’re new to the breakup game, the chances are your heart is feeling a bit battered and bruised. You may feel overwhelmed by the pain and can’t currently see beyond it. But it will pass – time genuinely heals everything. For most people it’s a gradual improvement and then one day you realise your pain is in the past. And once you’re firing on all cylinders again you’ll be able to grab the great opportunities life throws at you, make the most of each day and enjoy life again. In the meantime, sit tight, hang out with positive people and do the things that genuinely make you happy.

5. Breakups are an opportunity to discover your strengths and carve out a new life.

The split of a major relationship can floor the toughest cookies. It’s often a time of hurt, upheaval and conflict. But your breakup doesn’t define you and as the dust settles, you will start to realise your resilience and ability to restart and rebuild. It’s not an easy process, but it makes you stronger and more independent. Since my breakup I’ve done things I never thought possible. I’ve learnt new skills, experienced lots of cool stuff, enjoyed great times with my son, started a business and met lots of incredible people. As I look back over these experiences, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am a stronger and happier woman than I was in my marriage and this only happened as a result of my leaving the relationship.

In summary

If you are currently grappling with a separation, you’re probably caught in a sadness rut or overwhelmed with newfound independence and responsibility. But hang in there – things will improve. And you will emerge an even better version of yourself… it will probably happen sooner than you expect.

Are you ready for a new beginning?

Fresh Start For Me is a 10-week online program that’s specifically designed to support you to move onwards and upwards after divorce and separation, to rebuild and thrive. It’s simple, effective and affordable. To learn more or join the program, please click here.

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