Healing After Your Breakup Or Divorce


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The debilitating effects of a breakup where once explained to me by a business client that I had several years ago who happened to be a social worker. As a social worker she had been extensively educated in psychology and had seen first hand some of the most horrendous effects of stress that society can dish out. She had seen people so stressed and their minds so twisted that they had done unspeakable things to their children and themselves. Her work days in a large city in Virginia were filled with reports of self mutilation, suicide attempts and child abuse so evil that I refuse to speak of them.

As she told me horrid tale after horrid tale of how people’s minds can just snap she explained to me that for every major catastrophic event in a persons life there is a number assigned to it. These numbers are helpful to a professional in gauging how much stress a person is going through in their life given their circumstances.

Likewise, a number is assigned to the resources that a person has at their disposal to deal with the stressful circumstances. The support of friends and family, a positive and optimistic outlook towards the future and a desire and plan to diffuse a stressful situation negated or lessened the number that signified how much stress a person was under.

So, say for instance, you lost your job. A number assigned to that would signify a certain amount of stress. If you also had a family member die recently another number would be assigned to that and both numbers would be added together to signify how much stress was in your life.

For every terrible thing that you could think of that could happen to a person a number is assigned. (Having a sick child, job loss, illness, victim of crime, etc) The number assigned to a breakup or divorce is just under but very close to the number for if your spouse had died. This number was actually right around or sometimes higher than the number that is assigned to people who have lost a limb but only slightly lower than if your partner had actually died.

So, you can see from this very real and professional perspective that the amount of stress that you are under right now is perhaps more than you might realize. It is not surprising if the stress from your breakup is manifesting itself in your life in many negative ways.

The Effects of Stress from Your Breakup

Perhaps you are having a difficult time sleeping or you want to sleep all the time. You might not feel hungry and might be losing weight. On the other hand, you might find yourself “binging” on food to comfort yourself during this time of stress. You might feel like talking about the breakup with everyone that you know, or you might not want to talk to anyone at all. You might just sort of go “into your shell” waiting for all of this to pass or waiting for your partner to come back to you. These are all signs of situational depression and, given the situation, it is very normal.

Other people become almost “manic” after a breakup and are bound and determined to get their partner back. A sort of “denial” sets in and they do all sorts of things that they might later regret. What they perceive at the time as logical is often a source of regret later once the shock of the breakup subsides and they get their bearings again.

Some people begin pursuing their partner wanting to talk to them or discuss the breakup. Phone call campaigns, text messaging, emailing and even just showing up on their ex’s doorstep don’t seem like an unwise thing to do at the time. Unfortunately, these actions usually wind up doing more harm than good.

Such behavior usually only winds up making matters worse and in many cases borders on stalking, which is a crime that can get a person a restraining order and definitely kill any chance that they have of ever getting back together with their ex. This happens more often than you might think and a search of your local police blotter will show you how often “love” turns into harassment and stalking and ends with having a permanent police record or restraining order.

With all this in mind, my advice to you will always be to abide by the “no contact” rule for a period of time until things cool off. How long do you have to abide by the “no contact” rule? That depends on many variables. What were the circumstances of the breakup? How much contact did you have with your partner after the breakup and how did you try to make contact with them? How often did you try to contact them? Was there any confrontation?

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