After my last relationship ended, I was devastated and I thought I’d never recover. I had a great support system in my friends and family which helped a lot, but I still wasn’t able to move on. Turns out, I needed therapy to help me process my feelings and ultimately get on with my life.
It was an unbiased opinion. Let’s face it—my family, friends, and co-workers were great listeners when it came to my breakup, but they were obviously all going to be on my side because they know me. A therapist was an unbiased individual who knew nothing about me or my failed relationship. She actively listened, but what truly made the difference was that she interjected multiple times to ask questions so she could gain more insight into the situation in which I was explaining. It was great to see that she was truly grasping the situation, which made my session both conversational and personal.
It raised some important questions. I’m not talking about the generic “how did that make you feel?’ type of question that people assume therapists ask on a daily basis. I’m talking about questions that make you feel like you have a voice. In my relationship, I’d always try to please everyone but I was never happy myself and that definitely caused issues. She told me that if there’s something you aren’t comfortable with, you have to speak up. People who truly care for you won’t be offended or hurt, they’ll understand.
I wasn’t crazy like I thought I was. We’ve all done crazy things in a relationship, but after the breakup, I just kept focusing on those things, like calling my boyfriend a million times when we were in a fight, chasing him down the street, and begging for forgiveness. Why would I do that? I was so embarrassed, but when I told my therapist, she wasn’t even phased. She just focused on the fact that the relationship had issues in the first place, which is what led me to behave that way. I suddenly didn’t feel so insane.
I started to realize why I did the things I did. I thought I acted the way I did with him because I was just overdramatic, but it wasn’t that at all. My therapist brought to light certain instances where I was trying to hold on way too tight to a toxic relationship. I bottled everything up trying to avoid a fight and I could only do that for so for so long until it led to a serious explosion.
It cleared my head. The second I left therapy for the first time, I thought to myself, “Wow, I actually feel better.” I thought that since I was finally getting all of this out of me, I was starting to make progress so that I could begin to move on for good. Plus, it just feels great to vent.
My breakup wasn’t all my fault. After my boyfriend broke up with me, I thought it was all my fault. I felt like I was the one to blame and that he was innocent, being driven to the end of our relationship because of all the fighting. In reality, we were both at fault. That’s the first thing my therapist explained to me even before hearing about the situation. As we spoke more about what went down, I realized she was right.
I got feedback and suggestions rather than orders. Unlike my friends, family, and co-workers, my therapist never told me what to do or how to react at the end of my relationship. Everyone else told me not to text him and not to give his stuff back. Those comments actually created more stress.. It was actually refreshing to not hear a million different pieces of conflicting “advice.”
I gained new insight into other behaviors I had. In therapy, I talked about my boyfriend, his family, and his friends, as well as the interactions between all of us. My therapist explained that perhaps much of my boyfriend’s behavior was down to his own experiences with the people he was surrounded with. For example, if all he was used to seeing was dysfunctional relationships, he unknowingly slipped that into his own relationships. I guess that’s something I’d never thought about before. She really opened my eyes to new concepts I’d never even given a second thought before.
It provided me with the answers I needed to heal. When we first broke up I desperately wanted to hear that my ex would come back and realize what a big mistake he’d made. Instead, my therapist made me realize that I was not in a healthy relationship at all. I never felt heard or respected and I deserved better than that. The more I stepped back from the relationship, the more I realized it wasn’t built to last.
I felt comfortable and heard. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely felt comfortable telling my family, friends, and co-workers about the depressing details of my breakup. However, I was aware that there was a point at which they’d be pretty sick of hearing about it. I never felt like that with my therapist. Talking things out with her didn’t mean I needed to be fixed, just that I needed a bit of perspective to start fixing myself.
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