Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

Who recovers from heartbreak quicker: men or women?

Your Modern Living has a very interesting blog on five tips for healing broken hearts. Their first tip, accepting that the relationship is really over, is key. Many stalker situations arise out of one partner not accepting the right of the other to end the romance or marriage. Their second tip, remembering why it ended, is important because the jilted partner must realize they were oblivious to the decline and fall of the union. That should prompt one to seek professional help and support groups to deal with the issues that are keeping the person from seeing reality. The third suggestion, allowing time to go through the stages of death for the relationship, will keep the grieving partner from medicating their feelings through artificial means or on a new relationship based on the old faulty premises. The fourth tip, reflecting on the past, will in time give one wisdom to be a better partner the next time. And the fifth suggestion,  learning to accept one's limited self, will keep the person from lapsing into co-dependent relationships. http://www.yourmodernliving.com/how-to-heal-a-broken-heart-5-tips-for-healing-a-broken-heart/

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We commend Your Modern Living and we would suggest another tip: don't isolate when you have a broken heart. Women in general have the edge in recovering from a disappointing romance due to their network of "eye-to-eye" friends with which they can meet and share their emotions openly as they go through the stages of the death of the romance.

Unfortunately, men tend to be "Lone Rangers."  Therapist and author Marvin Allen observed that, "Few men have lasting friendships with other men. It is common for a man to have only one intimate relationship, the one with his female partner, and to keep other people at arm's length. He has business contacts and acquaintances, but few close, continuing friendships."  When these men do spend time with other men, the time is spent with "side-to-side" friends in activities like watching a football or baseball game in a loud stadium or at a crowded sports bar, which keeps things detached and safe.

If a long term romance or marriage ends, many men have no one to turn to. While women tend to bond and have support systems, many men end up alone and isolated after a breakup and have a much harder time recovering. We suggest that men seek out a trained professional to help them work their way through the pain and anguish and also to attend a recovery group that can address the feelings of bereavement in a safe atmosphere.

 

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.

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