We get trapped in bad relationships because we’re scared of the unknown. These are the best tips on starting over after a bad relationship because they’ll help you move forward, despite your fear and uncertainty.
OMG What A Mistake: Starting Over After A Bad Relationship is Mica Callaway’s account of how she started over after the biggest mistake in her life – which was marrying and abusive man and staying in a bad marriage. The red shoes have a very special significance to her, and to her relationship with God.
I don’t usually “preach” on my Quips and Tips for Love and Relationships blog – even on my articles about breaking up and starting over after a bad relationship. But today I want to focus on emotional and spiritual health – so, some of these tips on starting over after a relationship ends aren’t as practical as the ones I usually offer. I’m a very practical person, but I’m starting to realize how important God is in my life, and I want to share the peace, freedom, and grace I’m enjoying!
Starting Over After a Bad Relationship
Believe. Have faith. Trust. “For God knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.
Know that God loves you, and He is paving the way to a happy, peaceful, wonderful future for you.
1. Accept what cannot be changed
This isn’t even a spiritual tip for starting over after a bad relationship – it’s sort of a new age one! Everything you fight brings more pain, heartache, discomfort, bitterness and fear. Everything you accept brings a sense of peace, surrender, and resilience.
2. Act as if this breakup is the best thing in your life right now
Close your eyes and pretend that you WANTED this breakup, that you’re HAPPY to be starting over after a bad relationship. Rest in the knowledge that this is the best thing for you, that starting over is the best thing that could ever happen in your life. Feel how relaxed and even excited you are. Notice how calm and happy you feel. Acceptance is the key to starting over after a bad relationship.
3. Know that you CAN and WILL be happy again
Have no fear – you WILL find another person to love and cherish you. I stayed in bad relationships because I was scared I’d never find anyone else, that I was unlovable, that I was too old to start over, that I was too fat and dumb and family-less to be loved. This is not true for me – and it’s not true for you either. Get through the fear and insecurity of starting over after a bad relationship by reminding yourself that the breakup doesn’t represent your last chance of happiness.
4. Don’t believe the lies
What lies are you hearing about yourself, your body, your future, your personality? What lies do you believe? What lies are you telling yourself? Here are two lies I believed after my last bad relationship ended: “I’ll never find anyone else to love me, because all the good men are taken” and “I’ll never be able to stop obsessing about my ex or get on with my life.”
5. Believe your ex’s actions over his words
Your ex may say everything from “this is all your fault” to “I love you, I”ll never hit you again, I’m sorry. But, how does he show you his love? Does he put you first in his life, respect your wishes, and do things to make you happy? Believe what he does, not what he says. He can talk ‘til the cows come home, but if his actions don’t support his words, then he’s lying to you and himself. Starting over after a bad relationship is about believing people when they tell you who they are.
6. Own your role in the breakup
Usually, relationships don’t work out because of both partners’ actions, personalities, or beliefs. It’s not often one partner who creates a bad relationship. To start over after a bad relationship, figure out your role in the relationship. Don’t feel guilty or blame yourself for anything – just accept that your actions may have contributed to the breakup – or the growth of the unhealthy aspects of the relationship.
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7. Think about your relationship with God
I believe God’s word – and I believe that one of the best tips on starting over after a bad relationship is trusting that He has my best interests at heart. God loves me, protects me, and lives within me. He gives me power, strength, faith, and hope. I know that the bad things in my life happen for a reason, and that I can trust God to work all things together for my good. How are you and God doing these days? Are you on speaking terms?
8. Remember that everything happens for a reason
In How to Get Over a Bad Breakup, I stress that breakups happen for specific reasons. Maybe your ex wasn’t ready to be in a relationship, or you weren’t ready to be in a relationship, or you two are not good together. For some reason, it was an unhealthy relationship that had to end. Even if you don’t believe God, trust that synchronicity or the universe or karma is making things unfold exactly the way they should. Starting over after a bad relationship is about believing that the breakup was meant to be.
9. Get help if your ex is struggling with emotional issues
Your ability to heal and start over after your relationship ends can be hobbled by your ex’s psychological or emotional health issues. If your ex – or you – are dealing with depression, anxiety, or other issues, I urge you to talk to a counselor. You don’t necessarily need to get counseling for months or years; even just calling a local help line can help you gain clarity and insight. Don’t rely on the internet for help with something as serious as starting over after a bad relationship with someone who is severely depressed or abusive.
10. Allow yourself time to start over after a bad relationship
Sometimes it takes a long time to heal after a breakup. There is no “normal” amount of time for healing – it takes some people years, while others can bounce back more quickly. To help yourself heal, don’t focus on the pain and guilt. Instead, focus on what you love about yourself, your life, and your future. Where are you going, where do you want to be in one year? Set your intention, pray, and start heading in that direction!
If you’re still trapped in your relationship because of fear and insecurity, read How to Find Strength to Get Out of a Bad Relationship.
I welcome your thoughts on starting over after a bad relationship. I can’t give relationship or breakup advice, but you may feel better if you share your experiences.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.
For God knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11.