When your ex rebuilds their life it may hurt you, knowing that they’ve been able to finish the chapter, turn the page and start a new life. This is due to one simple reason. It’s the fact that you’re still stuck in the same chapter. In fact, you haven’t yet really accepted the situation, which places you in the complex territory of suffering. You need to be aware of this fact and learn how to let go in a mature and conscious way.
These types of dynamics and personal realities are really common. Therefore, seeing that your partner has begun a new stage with someone else can be really painful for you. However, that pain should be momentary. You must accept that life goes on and your only responsibility is in rebuilding your own day-to-day happiness.
However, if you’re not able to do so, you experience helplessness, stagnation, and the reopening of old emotions and wounds that should’ve healed a long time ago. Let’s take a look at what you can do in these situations.
“Who doesn’t love you doesn’t deserve you.”
The pain when an ex rebuilds their life
Why does it hurt so much when your ex rebuilds their life? As a matter of fact, it’s normal to feel hurt. However, it’s not normal to experience prolonged suffering. Nor is it healthy or acceptable to accumulate feelings of rage and spite. That’s because these kinds of emotions mean you get stuck in negative states. This can often lead to depression.
A romantic relationship is built through an extremely deep emotional connection. The brain isn’t good at accepting changes to these links. In fact, the Medical University of South Carolina, (USA) conducted a study that stated the brain treats break-ups as a real wound or a burn.
Therefore your pain is real, and as such, it must heal. Only in this way will you allow yourself to start again with more integrity, less suffering, and greater personal growth.
Going through the mourning stage is essential
It may take you weeks, months, or even years, but the truth is that you need to go through the mourning stage. It’s called mourning because, just as when someone dies, you have to accept that your partner will no longer be with you. Furthermore, it doesn’t even matter if it was you who decided the relationship should end, you still have to go through the mourning stage.
This period allows you to adapt to your new reality. You must understand that life is different now and that everything that’s happened did so for a reason. You need to accept that no pain lasts forever and that you can move on. In fact, your ex-partner and your relationship are just another part of your past.
After the pain, you can go back to doing what you like, focusing on your feelings, and learning from the mistakes you made. However, there’s no guarantee that even when you think you’re completely healed, you won’t experience moments of sadness linked to your loss. Indeed, wounds take time to completely
The detrimental effect of social media
Social media can often hinder the mourning process. That’s because they feed your temptation of wanting to know everything about your ex’s life. In fact, with all the different online platforms now available for social interaction, it’s almost impossible to completely separate yourself from someone. You might even become obsessed with wanting to know everything about them.
This dynamic can consume you to the point of developing masochistic behavior, when you visit all your ex’s profiles just to see how happy they are, while you continue alone, angry, and sad. Believe it or not, this can end up becoming a habit that’s extremely difficult to quit.
In order to get through and overcome your pain properly, you must avoid any contact with your ex’s social media. It doesn’t have to be forever, but until you feel like you’re over the breakup.
Psychiatrist, Graciela Moreschi, confirms that social networks can cause endless mourning.
“It is a temptation to spy on someone else’s life, but it is not advisable to extend the link. When someone keeps looking at what their ex is doing online, they’re still hooked.”
If you’re no longer mourning, why are your feelings still so intense?
When your ex rebuilds their life it’s normal to experience some kind of emotion. Therefore, realities such as sadness or acceptance are common and even permissible. Moreover, sometimes a word, a memory, a photograph, a meeting is enough to rekindle memories. Digging so deep into your emotions and pulling out memories can make even the strongest falter.
- When you find out that your ex-partner is rebuilding their life and has started a new relationship, you really don’t understand why you feel so bad. “I thought I’d forgotten them… why am I still so bothered about them?”, “Have they forgotten me so quickly?”, “How can it be that he’s rebuilt his life before me?”, “Now he’s no longer available, I want him back.” These are just some of the most common questions you might find yourself asking in this kind of situation.
- It’s often thought that, when you have a new partner, everything else is in the past. However, this isn’t the case. Some might try to forget about their ex by starting another relationship as they might consider that they simply can’t live alone or that they need someone else to be happy.
All of these are highly complex and unhealthy situations.
After the pain, you must ‘train’ your thoughts
Grief relieves the emotional part and promotes acceptance of what happened. However, as we mentioned earlier, it’s common to experience feelings of disappointment and sadness when your ex rebuilds their life. The University of Missouri, St. Louis (USA) conducted a study that was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. In this study, they suggested that it’s a good idea to perform certain cognitive strategies:
- Tell yourself that it’s okay to continue to have feelings for your ex. This is a way of feeding your positive vision without falling into feelings of hatred or contempt.
- Keep repeating the fact that your ex is your past. Living in the past means suffering and you don’t deserve a life of suffering. You must look to the future, for the sake of your dignity, health, and well-being.
- Stop obsessive thoughts in order to stop the flow of pain. This is an essential mental strategy. Because constantly thinking about your ex is pointless. You must focus on the present, distract your mind, and look in a new direction.
Seeing your ex in a relationship is good news
As a matter of fact, your ex rebuilding their life is a positive thing. Indeed, as difficult as it may be for you to recognize or accept, the fact that your ex has a new partner is excellent news. However, maybe you don’t see it that way and you keep criticizing yourself for everything you’ve done wrong. Perhaps you don’t understand how they managed to ‘replace’ you so quickly. Or, you’re disturbed that this news of someone you thought you’d forgotten has affected you so much.
If you haven’t yet been able to find a new partner don’t upset yourself. Don’t think that you’ll never find someone and don’t compare yourself to your ex. Take advantage of this time alone to get to know yourself better, to heal the wounds of the past, to understand what’s happening inside you, and to focus on the future.
If, on the other hand, you’re already in a new relationship, but it’s still bothered you to know that your ex also has a new partner, it may not be because you’re still in love with them, but rather because of what’s known as a ‘narcissistic wound’.
A narcissistic wound is a blow to your self-esteem that forces you to accept that someone else is occupying a space that was yours before. You might feel jealousy, envy, or a little bit of both. However, try to think unemotionally and not put your feelings before your thoughts. Remember that you also have the right to be happy and to share your life with someone special.
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