When it comes to breaking up, is there a right way to do it? How long should it take for you to get over your ex? How do you know when it’s time to see someone new? How do you deal with the way that your ex is handling the breakup? In this week’s episode, we’re going to cover what’s “normal” in the breakup experience, and how to make sure that you focus on your grieving in a way that’s most likely to lead to growth – so you can avoid making the same mistakes in your next relationship.

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Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. Today, we’re going to talk about the ending of relationships. Is there some magical mystical, right way to do that, and how long should it take to deal with the aftermath of a break-up, how long is the grieving process, and how do you deal with the impact that your ex is still having on you after your relationship is ended? And how do you go through all that processing? I mean, of course, you could write books, right, on the topic of ending a relationship, but this episode has been something that’s been on my mind partly because of my own process that I’ve been going through, and also because I’ve seen this… These kinds of questions either I get emailed to me or come up in the Relationship Alive community on Facebook all the time, which is kind of like, how long should this take and why is this agonizing and what’s up with my loser ex, who’s doing X, Y, Z. So I just figured, let’s take an episode here and tackle some of these larger questions and see if we can get into the heart of the matter a little bit more.

Alright, let’s dive into today’s topic of breakups and grieving, and how long should this whole process take anyway. There’s a lot to unpack here because breakups are complex situations, they can be super painful, and whenever anything is super painful, it is… You are not going to be operating at your best and your partner, or you soon to be a former partner will also not be operating at their best, and yet, I still think that for the most part, even in these situations, people are trying their best. Now, trying your best in a painful situation may still not be very pretty. In fact, it may include some things that are really challenging, and so hopefully, after today’s show you’ll have a little bit more sense of perspective and what to expect and what’s normal, and that will if nothing else, give you some peace of mind. If not, some direction in terms of how to handle this process, whether you’re in it or maybe you know someone who’s in it, and you can forward this episode to them or give them some pointers, or just be a strong support for them.

Neil Sattin: Or maybe there’s something in… From your past that’s still haunting you and you’re just wondering, how long is this going to be in my sphere, how long is this going to be impacting me? So it’s important because unless you are one of the lucky ones, and I’m saying lucky with a hint of biting my tongue there, but there are definitely people… I have friends who they are still with their high school sweetheart who they married not long after high school. And they still, they went to college, and they maybe even went to separate colleges and then got together and they have children together, and I still… I see their pictures on Facebook and I think. “You guys should be the ones with the Relationship podcast.”

Neil Sattin: Sometimes I actually do think that. And yet, those people, it can be tempting to think, alright, they have the special sauce and we can all borrow from their recipe, and sometimes that is true, sometimes they are doing things that, as John and Julie Gottman liked to say that they’re the things that the masters of relationship do. And then there are things that the disasters of relationship do, so it can be great to learn from them. And unless you’re one of them, then you are bound to be going through at least one, if not multiple break-ups in your life. And those things stick with you. Those are experiences that affect how we enter and are in our subsequent relationships, so it’s important, it’s important to really give this some attention.

Neil Sattin: Let’s start with that question of how long should the process take, how long does the process of breaking up take?

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