….and anyone else going through a break up.
OK, I have a confession to make, I am a little partial to the Katie/Peter TV series’ on ITV. Though I am almost never a fan of “reality TV”, and some people may see it as car crash television (sometimes even I do but it’s a guilty pleasure of mine), I can’t help but watch it.
So when I saw Peter Andre’s ‘Going it Alone’ was on ITV last night, I had to check it out (and hey, I’m clearly not the only one who watches – it was ITV’s highest rated show of the year – pulling in more than a million and a half viewers). I admit – as a (self proclaimed) break up guru – I am decidedly curious about these two.
What strikes me when watching them – both when they were together and since they’ve split – is that they’re both rather young, attractive, successful, creative, ambitious people – and yet so painstakingly insecure.
I mean of course we are ALL insecure in some way, but these two seem to have many reasons to feel so good about themselves, and yet don’t. This is something I noticed before their high-profile split and no doubt the root cause of the split!
Truth be told, I have complete empathy for both of them. A break up is a hard thing to go through at the best of times – let alone when you’re splattered all over the national press – with those who can be arsed – taking sides.
So anyway, for what it’s worth – I just thought I’d offer some of my experience from a decade of running the web’s greatest (she says modestly) breakup forum – soyouvebeendumped.com.
1) BE KIND TO YOURSELF, PETE
On the show, I was struck by how often the words “I’m an idiot” or just “idiot” were spouted so my first bit of advice to Peter is “stop calling yourself an ‘Idiot”. (ED NOTE: I know some readers of this blog will be thinking, “Thea, he is an idiot” but this isn’t about what anyone else thinks.)
I bet if I counted how many times it was said in this one episode – it would run to the dozens. I started to cringe each time it happened. Spoken like a true (former) sufferer of low self esteem here, who would constantly put herself down, so I know that which I speak of…
Remember that whenever ANYONE goes through a break up or divorce – the self-esteem takes a hit. A big one at that. Male, female, young, old, rich, poor – it happens to us all!
So focus your energy on your good points, and treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend.
In other words, stop berating and belittling yourself. You’d not call your best friend an “idiot” (or else you’re not a nice person) – so stop calling yourself one.
Find some healthy mantras and repeat them a hundred times a day.
Repeat after me: “I am a loving and worthwhile person” or “I love and approve of myself”.
Catch yourself when you start calling yourself things like – stupid, idiot, a fool/foolish, fat, a loser, or anything else derogatory.
Whenever anyone comes on to SYBD talking that way, I tend to say you’re “human” rather than any of those negative phrases, and ask them to watch what they think and say.
Take a breath and find something kind to say to yourself. . . The next time it happens – catch yourself and correctly re-frame and rephrase it!
Ask yourself – “What’s not to like?”
Putting yourself down is one of the most-unattractive habit – so don’t do it. Be kind to you.
2) KNOW THAT “THE BEST REVENGE IS LIVING WELL”
Writing songs is a great way to work out your angst. “Behind Closed Doors” appears to be a heart-felt cathartic release without being nasty. Keep it that way.
Remember what you put out comes back to you – so keep remembering the “Golden Rule” – regardless of how the other half plays.
You have no control over how anyone else thinks/feels/acts – you can only (somewhat) control yourself.
So as Churchill once famously said “if you’re going through hell, keep going” and continually find a way to turn that pain into gain.
‘Seems to me a hit single/album sounds like a fabulous antidote to your worst year ever.
3) TRY AND AVOID REBOUNDING
In the spotlight, surrounded by beautiful women, it must be tempting to want to jump back into the dating pool.
Speaking from experience (both mine and the collective experience of SYBD) “Dating too Soon” is just about the top error in judgment that people in recovery make. (Incidentally the # 1 error is “Being Friends Straight Away” – most people can’t make the immediate transition – it’s too hard!)
Though it’s tempting to want to distract yourself from the pain, and some of your ill advised advice from well-meaning friends might be “go on get out there, the best way to get over a woman is to get under another one” – but truly that tactic seldom works.
Rebounding when vulnerable could mean you get even more hurt (if it doesn’t work out) or you end up hurting someone else in the process. So until you can read my article – So You Think You’re Over It and safely answer all the points listed – don’t jump into something new – too fast.
In time, you’ll be ready to date and love again – but take some solid time out and avoid the temptation to compete.
Trust me – it’s not a race. Take your time, do your healing and trust that all is unfolding divinely – because it is.
Good things come to those who wait.
4) DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR
…even if it’s coming out of the ex’s mouth!
When I hear Katie saying “I’m in a good place, I’m really happy, I’m really strong” – my inner Bull Shit Siren starts wailing.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s exactly what I’d probably say some of that if I were on national TV 2 months after my split. But honestly what’s happening is what I coined Paltrowing.
It’s when you put on that brave face to the public – or mutual friends. It’s basically putting on an Academy Award Winning Performance and frankly when I was going through my biggie break up a decade ago (when I came up with the term) I deserved an Oscar.
So yeah it’s not uncommon for both parties to act like they’re doing great – when they’re crying inside. To some degree we all do it.
But to say “it’s been eight weeks, I’ve dealt with it and I’m over it” – if that’s the case she’d be the first one in THOUSANDS of stories I’ve witnessed over the past 10 years. In my humble opinion it can take closer to TWO YEARS to get over a break up – NOT two months. That’s not to say one is in PAIN for TWO YEARS but that you can have trials and setbacks all along the path.
Sorry Katie, no way hon. You might like to be over it in two months – but no chance honey. Keep healing.
If it’s real love it’s not there one minute and gone the next. So either you guys never were in love or you still are.
See the last blog EGO VS LOVE: “What Would Love Do?”
Love keeps on loving…Even if someone walks away from us, withholds from us, hurts us, cheats on us, and so forth.
It doesn’t just flick off like a light switch.
REALITY CHECK FOR US ALL
None of us knows what goes on in other couple’s break ups. There are always TWO SIDES to every split. There are always two people who need to take responsibility for the relationship and its breakdown too.
No matter who leaves who it’s painful to go through. The emotional upheaval is hard to grasp if you’ve never been through it and not just on the pair who are splitting but it has a ripple affect to all close family and friends too.
All the money in the world, all the fame you can have, all the success under your belt – doesn’t make you immune to it. Heartbreak knows no bounds.
A FEW OTHER TIPS:
- Don’t bottle it up, vent it out.
- Use a journal (or an online forum like mine) to get the pain out on the page.
- Keep your family and dear friends close, and lean on them when you need support.
- Continue to take the high road so to speak. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
- Read positive books to keep you right.
- Practice forgiveness – this is of yourself and your ex. You won’t ever truly move on until you can.
- Avoid the blame game – it takes two, baby. You’ve both been responsible for this outcome – it’s not your fault it’s not your ex’s.
- Finally find a way to make lemonade from life’s lemons. All break ups work out for the highest good of all concerned eventually. I firmly believe that.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of them, and their marriage, they did good to keep it togethether for five years. Hell, that’s longer than any of my relationships. Downright impressive given all the media attention that was placed on it.
It always makes me wonder what determines a successful marriage or a failure? I know plenty of people who stay together – who don’t get on – and yet becuase of that vow they took they soldier on in silent misery (or not so silent) and desperation.
Is that really a success?
Some people stay together “for the sake of the kids” – a pet peeve of mine because I always tend to think that two separate parents who love the kid whilst apart are better than two staying together but loathing each other in front of the child.
But then I would say that – my parents split when I was eleven and I was glad of it.
Anyway I wish them both well. Katie and Pete. Having been through a few dramatic and painful break ups (one a divorce) – I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy (if I had an enemy).
They both say they’ll never get back together but my final bit of advice is “never say never – as soon as you do – the universe ends up making a liar out of you.”
None of us ever knows what’s around the corner.