Learning how to get over a breakup is never fun but when you didn’t want it in the first place — or if it was a surprise — it can be brutal.
You can feel anger one moment, sadness and hopelessness the next, and in the following moment, remember all the good times when you felt close.
Learning how to let go of anger and resentment after a breakup is not easy, but it’s essential if you want to move on from the relationship.
You can mull over the “what if’s” like:
- What if I could have been a better partner and could have been who he (or she) wanted?
- What if we could have learned how to fight less?
- What if I could have had another chance?
- What if I could have been prettier or thinner (or the opposite of whatever fault you might find in yourself)?
While all these “what if’s” are normal after a breakup, all they do is create swirling thinking that will take you into a negative spiral and keep you stuck and unable to move on.
As you cycle through various emotions, you’ll start to resent your ex.
The bitterness builds and builds until, in the end, it hurts you.
But knowing something intellectually and actually doing something about it are two different things, right?
Here are 3 ways to let go of anger and resentment from eating you alive after a breakup so you can get on with your life.
1. Recognize that you don’t have to believe all your thoughts
Researchers say we all have 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day and when you’re going through a breakup, there can be a wide range of thoughts and emotions as we said.
What’s most important about this is to come into consciousness that our resentful thoughts don’t have to hold us hostage.
For instance, if you’re constantly painting your ex as a villain to others and inside you, this is the negativity that will surround you.
That’s not to exonerate your ex for what they did, but rather if you choose to keep the suffering alive, know that you are only keeping and holding onto the pain.
We’re not suggesting painting a happy face on, but rather to be conscious of which thoughts you’re giving life to (in other words, keeping alive) and which thoughts you’re letting go.
2. Do loving acts of kindness for yourself
When you’ve been through a breakup, there’s a tendency to pull inward and not want to be around other people.
It just seems normal to stay in and “lick your wounds” but you don’t have to do that. Instead, take care of yourself in a healthy way.
Don’t use the breakup as an excuse to wallow in grief by playing over and over “the song” you associated with your ex or the movie you watched together 100 times.
That will build resentment and keep the pain alive.
Don’t use the breakup as an excuse to drown in food, drink or drugs that might harm your physical body — even though that might look like a temporary fix.
It never is.
Instead, do things that are loving for you which might be what you used to love to do but haven’t for a while.
One woman we know started taking tango lessons after her breakup because she’d always loved to dance and hadn’t gotten around to it while she was with her guy.
Make a list of loving acts of kindness for yourself and then do them!
3. Be with people who uplift you and not keep you stuck
When you do choose to re-engage with people again, choose people who are supportive of you but will not be supportive of building your resentment.
Chances are you aren’t choosing to be with people right away because you feel like you’d only bring them down.
You might start out with small outings with specific friends or family — doing whatever might be fun or uplifting for you.
Keep in mind that your emotions will be up and down but know that you won’t get stuck in a downward spiral, never coming out of it.
If you don’t actively keep building resentment, reinforcing the idea that the relationship shouldn’t have ended that way and how unfair it all was, you will have moments of actually being okay with what was and even feeling happy.
Recognize those moments, however small in number they are.
Learning how to get over someone you love after a breakup is not easy.
As waves of sadness and resentment fall over you, know that you can let them flow on out and not be afraid of them because this won’t be forever.
Resentment doesn’t have to eat you alive after a breakup.
You can see light at the end of the tunnel because the light is always there.