Tag Archives: anger

Keys to a Pain Free Break-up


We’ve all been there.  Your once dynamic and fun relationship has faded to a dull, listless obligatory chore.  Whether you both are aware of the inevitable and impending split or if your partner is calmly rowing down a river in Egypt, it’s time to get this done.  But how do you sever ties without crushing your once-beloved?  There is no easy answer, but here we have collected a few of the more tried and true methods for separating with mutual respect and consideration.

Location & Date (…to no longer Date)

Choose the right locale and time.  This may seem fairly obvious, but some individuals may become angered and, in the heat of the moment, break up with someone during an important time/date in their partner’s life.  Clearly birthdays, major holidays and other key life events are taboo.  You don’t want your future ex dredging up the awful memory of your break-up every time they see a plump and delicious Thanksgiving turkey, do you?  While not wanting to pick the wrong time to break things off can be an invaluable tool for chronic break-up-procrastinators, there will always be appropriate windows to choose from.  Just pick the right time and strike with precision.

By the same token, you don’t want to do it in a place that they associate with something special or positive (their parent’s home, their place of worship, their favorite Chuck E. Cheese, etc.)  Just choose a nice, neutral, bland spot and get it over with.  Hopefully this will help make the event as non-memorable as humanly possible.


Some Privacy, Please

While it may be all too tempting to want to execute the break up in a public place, with the goal of mitigating the emotional outpouring of the break-up-ee, this is a bad idea.  Trying to control their emotional state by enforcing societal restrictions on them may only make matters worse; meaning, they could become even more upset and make a real scene (screaming, glass throwing, hair pulling/extraction).  Just find a simple, quiet, private place and deliver the bad news.  This way they can express their feelings honestly without having to worry about looking like a fool to others or having to try to suppress their sadness.


Face to face

Surely your once-adored sweetie deserves some face time (and no, not the “Face Time” app) for this occasion.  Be a grown-up, look them in the eyes and give it to ‘em straight.  This actually helps give both of you some closure.  If your relationship is still on the very green side, then a heartfelt phone call may suffice (but never, ever, ever a text – this is the message delivery equivalent of saying “You’re as valuable to me as a tweet about Trump.”)

The Truth Hurts…but is appreciated.

In trying to spare someone’s feelings, the go-to move is to concoct a host of reasons why the relationship failed that you personally deem ‘not that damaging.’  While certain hurtful things are unnecessary and can be omitted (“It’s true: you really did look fat in those pants”), the crux of your decision to break-up with them must be plainly shared.  If you come up with some elaborate lie about how you need to move to Iceland, the truth will inevitably come back to them, and subsequently you.  You’re not sparing them anything by fibbing; you’re only causing them to question things that are difficult or impossible to comprehend.  If you are honest, then they can assess the situation for what it really is, and this will help them (and you) move on in a mature and healthy way.

Poker Face (no, don’t ‘poke her/his face,’ just remain calm)

A common reaction people undergo when being broken up with is not only sadness but unbridled anger.  If this should be the scenario you find yourself in, just keep your own emotions in check.  Don’t fight back, just try to really listen to them.  Let them get whatever is driving them mad in the moment off their chest.  They will eventually lose steam and the storm will pass.  If you stay sympathetic during this period, the end result can be that you may actually part civilly.  However, don’t try to push for an immediate friendship (if that’s not coming organically).  Obviously many people need a healing/adjustment period if this is ever going to be the case.


-Joe Leone 

Ways to Heal After Divorce


Healing from the pain of divorce can—and should—be a very selfish process. You are the only person who can heal your wounds, but figuring out how to do that can be a challenge.

Make Peace with Anger

In an article that calls the necessity of forgiving an ex a “Big Lie,” counselor and “forgiveness expert” Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., says that it is important to recognize forgiveness is not always attainable, or sometimes even desirable. In the article, she describes her 2012 book about what it means to forgive, and the title itself presents an interesting concept: How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To. She says that forgiveness must be earned, not given freely away, while also pointing out that sometimes the party who needs forgiveness is not willing to do their part. When that is the case, she says, the angry party has to be able to ask themselves what they can do to feel better, even if they never reach a point from which they can genuinely forgive the other party.

In other words, she’s trying to say it’s okay to be angry and not want to forgive your former spouse. This isn’t to say that forgiveness won’t come with time, but it is important to recognize that anger will be a dominant emotion.

There is no right way to grieve the loss of a relationship, Woman’s Divorce.com reminds readers, but it helpful to remember that it is grief and the process will be filled with sorrow. While embracing each stage as it comes, it is also important to keep your eye on the prize—healing and moving on—not on your anger.


Be Kind to Yourself

A wellness coach and Huffington Post contributor compared her divorce to a tsunami, citing far-off tremors combined with willful ignorance as the cause of her husband’s sudden departure. One of the key parts of the aftermath she grapples with is the questions others ask her and the questions she asks herself. How did she not see it coming? How was it such a surprise? While these questions are painful, the writer does not claw for the answer. Instead, she is at peace with the idea that they are unanswerable and takes things as they come.

One way to be kind to yourself after a divorce is to do just that: take things as they come. HelpGuide.org advises new divorcees to actively remember that a happy future is the goal, which can be hard to do when engulfed in the emotions surrounding divorce. Included in this active remembrance is the acknowledgement that the experience was traumatic, which means allowing yourself to wallow in the pain if necessary, but it also means monitoring the way you feel and giving it the attention it’s due.

Be Kind to Your Self

No, that wasn’t a typo. It is another piece of sound advice from HelpGuide.org. This is such an important rule, it is worth repeating, and worth distinguishing between “yourself” and “your self.” In addition to letting your emotions do what they will, it is imperative that you take care of your body and mental acuity. Make time for calming activities, and don’t turn to alcohol and drugs to fix your problems. Actively pursue your personal interests and hobbies. Build a productive routine, and pay attention to what your heart tells you you need.


Reach Out to Others

Nip that depression in the bud by reaching out to other people, a blogger at PBS counsels. This could mean showing up to a support group you find on craigslist, calling up a grief counselor, or even making an appointment with a psychotherapist. In addition, openly asking your friends and family for support and help can liberate you, while taking the weight off of their shoulders. Let yourself tell them you need them, and tell them how to help you, even if that means they just need to be around until you figure it all out.

It’s key to remind yourself that it’s a process to heal after divorce, and one that takes time. There is no set time frame that you need to adhere to; just listen to your instincts and take things one step at a time.  You will obviously always have memories from your past, but soon enough you’ll be ready for all that the future has to offer.