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How to Deal When Your Ex Moves On…

How to Deal When Your Ex Moves On…

Markie’s mission is to help you create authentic happiness and satisfaction in your life. She supports you to create deeper connection with others, as well as actualize your life purpose. Click here to learn more about Markie.

Has Your Ex Started a New Relationship?

We have all been there… witnessing our Ex moving on without us. As both a therapist and life coach who has walked with many people through the breakup recovery process, as well as a fellow human, I know that if you’re in the early stages of getting over a breakup or recovering after divorce, can feel like a flaming knife is stabbing you in the gut to see your Ex with someone else. One sure-fire way to suppress your appetite would be to take a look at your Ex’s Instagram a few weeks after breaking up. So how are you supposed to deal, when your Ex moves on?

Breakup Recovery: Understanding The Power of Attachment

First, start by understanding what’s really going on. When you’re in terrible pain after a breakup, it’s because you are grieving the loss of an attachment. A romantic attachment is when you feel a sense of safety, security, and closeness to another person. It’s “the feeling” that most people are looking for in a loving relationship. When you break an attachment, it’s common to lose your sense of security, and feelings of loneliness and longing can set in. Breakup expert Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby does a great job of explaining how working through a break-up is like letting go of an addiction – that’s how powerful our desires to feel love can be.

So considering what’s psychologically going on – take your experiences of sadness and longing seriously. Ask yourself: “What am I doing to stop this feeling from continuing to happen?” And, “What am I doing to make sure this feeling doesn’t return again?” Healing after a breakup is an active process. Time alone does not heal.

Here are some strategies to help you move forward after a breakup:

Stop Stalking Your Ex On Social Media

One simple solution to move away from the feelings of insecurity that inevitably arise when you know that your Ex has moved on is to stop having contact with this person. Chances are you do not HAVE to follow this person on social media. And if you don’t, you should halt any communication (and or “social media monitoring”) with your Ex as soon as possible. If that seems hard – take an approached borrowed from the recovery world: Take it day by day. Don’t make any long-standing commitments to NEVER talk to this person again, but rather make the choice to not talk to them today. Tomorrow you will have the same choice and it’s okay to wait until then to make a decision.

It’s important to remember that your choices impact your feelings and your healing process. Take time to consider what behaviors would be the most effective for getting you to commit to ending the attachment (aka, “quitting your addiction.”) For example, clicking on your Ex’s Instagram page and reading all the comments is a cognitive choice you make. You have options. You can either choose to look at the photo with the awareness that you will continually feel bad. Or, you can choose to put your phone down and do something more positive.

Asking yourself to stop what you’re doing and put the phone down can be hard, even when it makes you feel awful. Romantic attachments are meant to pull us back. It’s often more compelling to indulge in our desire “to know” even if it leads to pain. But you have the strength to make singular choices. Every time you have the opportunity to connect with that person – treat it as though that is the only choice you have to make. You don’t have to decide if you are going to talk to this person 5 years from now. All you have to do is decide what you want to do in this moment. I hope that you choose to prioritize your happiness and emotional well-being.

What to Do When You Have to See Your Ex

Here’s a tricky situation: let’s say you already stopped contacting this person and unfollowed them on social media but you work together or maybe you live in the same building as your Ex. That makes things a little bit more complicated. Sometimes you’re going to have to live with this other person in your life and see them when they fall in love again. So I’ll give you some steps to follow to help you cope with this especially triggering situation:

Do a Personal Inventory

On a scale of 0 to 10 of how affected are you when you see this person, “0” meaning that you don’t think twice about your past relationship when you see this person to “10” meaning that you’re about to burst into tears every time you’re reminded of this person. If your number is higher than you’d like it to be, we must first work on mindfulness.

Mindfulness: A Core Skill For Breakup Recovery

I describe mindfulness as the practice of observing without judgment. Mindfulness is crucial to your breakup healing process because you can feel so disjointed, confused and boxed in during a break up that you feel like you’ll never escape the grief. Mindfulness helps to regulate your emotions when you get triggered so you can listen to your rational thoughts. (And listening to your rational thoughts is key to your well-being, when you’re recovering after a breakup).

If you’d like practice in mindfulness – try this grounding exercise below…

  • Take a deep breath and then breathe it all out.
  • The next breath you take, breathe in for four seconds and then breathe out for eight seconds.
  • Do this 10 times.
  • As you breathe, allow thoughts to come in and out of your mind and practice observing them without giving them meaning or power. Sometimes people can see their thoughts floating past them like leaves in a river. Practice externalizing your thoughts so that you can find a sense of peace with them.

If you already have a mindfulness practice, I encourage you to continue working towards acceptance of the present moment in your work. [Check out: Mindfulness For People Who Hate to Meditate]

Using Empowering Mantras to Heal After a Breakup

Once you feel a stronger sense of stability by grounding yourself in mindfulness, the next step is to create a helpful mantra (or three). A “mantra” is a saying that you repeat to help you with concentration on intentions. Mantras are different than grounding exercises in mindfulness. Mantras allow you to quickly focus your concentration on something else when you are triggered. You can use mantras to redirect yourself when you find yourself thinking about your Ex and their new relationship or if (God forbid) you actually see your Ex with someone new.

For example, say I’m in the grocery store and I see my Ex with a new partner. My mind may want to go directly into a panic, but as soon as I am aware this is where my brain is going (because of my mindfulness skills!) – I can then pause and say my mantra, “I made the right decision,” or “This is for the best.” Saying this to myself as much as I need to can change my perspective on the situation. My mind and emotions are no longer completely out of control. Instead, I have a plan, and a saying that helps me remind myself that I have control of myself and my thoughts right now.

Some Examples of Mantras For Break-Up Recovery:

  • I’m allowed to be happy
  • I live for the present, not in the past
  • I can and will move on

You Have The Power to Control Your Thoughts, Your Feelings, and Your Behaviors

Here’s an empowering new idea: You can choose to allow yourself the freedom of only focusing on what you want for your life right in this moment. If you have intrusive, painful thoughts about your Ex, you can mindfully let them go, without judgment. You can remind yourself of what you want, instead of what you don’t want through your mantras. And you can choose behaviors that support your happiness and your healing. When you are focusing on what you need, whatever your Ex is doing or not doing is irrelevant.

When you prioritize yourself, take charge of your inner experience, and intentionally create positive new experiences for yourself you can create a collection of healthy, affirming moments that you can be proud of. Lives are built of moments. When you choose your moments, you are once again back in control of your life.

I hope these ideas help you move forward, after a breakup.

Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC-C, CSPC

Dealing With Heartbreak? Get Your Breakup Questions Answered.

Dealing With Heartbreak? Get Your Breakup Questions Answered.

Getting Over Heartbreak

For years now, it’s been a personal passion of mine to help people recover from heartbreak. I know that when you’re going through a bad breakup or divorce, it can be absolutely overwhelming emotionally. Most people describe feeling “obsessed” with matters related to their breakup: Thinking about their Ex, or plagued with incessant thoughts about what went wrong in their relationship, why the breakup happened, what it means about them, and — most importantly — when they’ll ever feel better.

A bad breakup or divorce can turn your world upside down. The life you’ve known feels shattered. The pain seems bottomless. It can feel hard to function, or “be normal” when you’re so sad. And the swirling questions often have no answers, but gnaw at you constantly nonetheless.

I’ve found for many people dealing with heartbreak, the unanswered questions, or confusion about what to do in different situations, are on their minds constantly. I get many questions from people in the process of trying to get over heartbreak, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer some of them today on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

We’ll be talking through the following breakup questions:

  1. “I was blindsided by my breakup, and feel totally confused about what happened. Should I try to have a ‘closure talk’ with my Ex?”
  2. “I was getting past my breakup, but then learned my Ex started dating someone else. Now I feel devastated all over again. Why do I feel so upset by my Ex’s new relationship, and how do I move on?”
  3. “My Ex moved on quickly. Now I’m struggling with low self esteem after my breakup, and I can’t stop thinking about my Ex. How do I move past this?”
  4. “I have to work with my Ex, and see him flirting with his new love interest who is also a co-worker. I have been feeling anxious and depressed as a result. How do I cope with this terrible breakup situation?”

Listen now to get some advice for how to cope with a breakup, get your confidence and self esteem back, start feeling like yourself again. If YOU have a question for an upcoming episode of the podcast, you can leave it in the comments section of this post, or call 720-433-1110 to leave me a voicemail that I may use on an upcoming episode.

In the meantime, take care…

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

P.S. Did you know that I host a free, online breakup support group on Facebook? This is not a therapy group, but simply a space for you to connect with other people going through a painful breakup. Breakups can be so isolating, but you don’t have to go through this alone. This group is a secret, private group, so no one can see that you’re a member except other members, and your posts will only be viewable to the group. If you’d like to join, please message me via Facebook, and we’ll add you to the group.

Dealing With Heartbreak? Your Breakup Questions, Answered.

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Tristen, “Into The Sun”

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How To Get Over a Breakup

How To Get Over a Breakup

Breakup Advice: Your Questions, Answered

I’ve been a marriage counselor for a long time. My experience has taught me that when both people in a relationship are committed to doing what it takes to improve it, relationships can nearly always be made whole. Even better, most couples can use their troubles as a launching pad for amazing new growth. At the end of the process, believe it or not, they often describe feeling grateful for the problems that brought them into marriage counseling because their transformation would not have been possible without them. That’s the happy ending.

And. Not all relationships can be saved. Not all relationships should be saved. When one or both partners have simply stopped believing that the other person can be who they want or need them to be, and the costs of staying outweigh the benefits, relationships end. Often, in the aftermath, one partner will be left alone on my therapy-couch. Then we do the work of recovery together.

That’s how I accidentally became a break up expert. (And a dating coach, incidentally).

What I learned through this work is that people can suffer for a very long time; stuck on an Ex who will never love them the way they need to be loved. I also learned that attachments don’t just turn off like a switch. Breaking your bond to another person is very hard work, and it must be intentional. Time does not heal. Time + intentional effort + self awareness sure can though.

When I realized how many people are suffering, and feeling so helpless to extract themselves from unhealthy emotional attachments, I became a passionate advocate for people on the path of recovery from failed relationships. So much so that I wrote a book on the subject, “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to An Ex Love.” Since then I’ve been getting lots of questions from readers and listeners. Today, I decided to devote a podcast to answering them.

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, we’re talking all about breakups — particularly how to deal with the hardest parts, and serious dilemmas like:

  • How do you know when a relationship is really over, or whether it’s worth trying again?
  • How to handle  friends and family who may be getting frustrated with you in an on-again, off-again type situation? Or how to set boundaries with well-meaning people who have very definite ideas about how you should handle things, when you feel differently?
  • How to deal with the enormous emotional pain of a breakup?
  • How to cope with regret over the mistakes you made that may have led to the ending of your relationship?

So if you’ve been stuck on your Ex for too long, and wondering how to let go, listen to this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast to get some new ideas and guidance for how to let go and move on — for good.

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

How To Get Over a Break Up: Your Questions, Answered.

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Subscribe to the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher. Please, rate and review if you enjoy the Podcast!

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast is Now on Stitcher!

Are You Obsessing About Your Ex?

Are you craving contact with your Ex, even though you know it's bad for you? Are you "stalking" your Ex through social media? Are you awake at night rehashing old memories? Are you feeling stuck in sadness, anger, or guilt, and wishing you could just let go, and move on?

Help is here.

Heal Your Broken Heart: The Online Breakup Recovery Class

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is a breakup recovery expert, and she has helped countless people all over the world heal their broken hearts. Now her guidance is available to you through an affordable, online class. 

Heal Your Broken Heart teaches you how to:

Decide If You Should Try Again • Release Your Emotional Attachment • Find Forgiveness • Repair Your Self Esteem • Stop Obsessing • Restore Your Inner Peace • Trust Again •  Love After Loss

Growing Self Counseling & Coaching
Growing Self
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