Whether you decided to break it off or your partner broke up with you, right after a breakup is a dangerous time for marriage and relationship junkies. The temptation is to focus all your energy on getting that partner back, on beating yourself up, or on finding someone else as quickly as you can. But this time, you need to do it differently.
It takes time to work all the way through the grieving process and come out on the other side stronger and smarter. Codependents never give themselves that time, and that’s one big reason why they keep making the same relationship mistakes again and again.
Cut communication with your ex
Right after a breakup, it is crucial that you make no contact with your ex. That means stopping all forms of communication: Not a text or a phone call or a drive by their house. No leaving voice messages, or responding if your ex-calls. Not even reading old texts (delete them), checking their Facebook page (unfriend them), or even asking a mutual acquaintance how they are doing.
This is probably the exact opposite of what you want to do—and what you have likely done in the past. But, as I said, this time you’re going to be smarter. A period of no contact allows both people in a relationship to break the bond that has been holding them together and detach as a couple. This is the time for each of you to establish your autonomy.
Experiencing the grief will help you become stronger
Making contact is just a way to avoid the inevitable pain of real ending and grief. Experiencing that real grief, and realizing you will survive, is what makes you smarter and stronger. Your brain needs time to adjust. Your body needs time to recover. Your spirit needs time to heal. You need to learn new habits, new ways of thinking about yourself and about relationships.
So what do you do when you’re so hurt, so angry, so desperate that you can’t stay away any longer? Write your ex a letter.
Let your feelings out by writing a letter
Writing a letter to someone is a great way to sort through your thoughts and feelings, and putting them on paper is very cathartic. In your letter, you have an opportunity to say everything you have always wanted to say. You can tell your ex how much you long for him/her, miss him/her, and how much he/she hurt you, betrayed you, how bad in bed he/she was, or even how ungrateful he/she is.
Get it all out. Be honest in a way that you probably were not honest in the relationship. Say what you really think and feel, instead of what you think your partner would want to hear.
Don’t send the letter
You are not going to send the letter. This letter is for you only, an opportunity to lay everything out there emotionally so you no longer hold it in your body, your mind, or your heart. Because you’re not going to send it, you don’t have to watch what you say or how you say it.
After you write it, you can burn the letter in a goodbye ceremony, tear it up, or flush it down the toilet. Or put it away and reread it whenever you’re tempted to try to get back together—to remind yourself of why that relationship will never work.