• Walk out of your relationship, knowing that you have done all that you can do, said all that you can say, and given as much as you can give. When you feel that you did your part as best you could, but he or she didn’t meet you halfway, then you will not need to torture yourself with “what-ifs”.
  • Remember that your ex may be trying to get over you, as well. Be sensitive to that, and keep your distance. If you’ve decided to stop seeing one another, do just that: stop.
  • Sometimes it helps to listen to music that matches your feelings because you have stored up grief that needs a trigger to help you release it. But beware of wallowing. After a certain point, you’re not helping yourself by going through it all again and again with the sad songs. Stephen Sondheim reminds us in his song “Into the Woods”: “Into the woods and out of the woods and home before dark!” You can think of the grieving part of your process as “the woods”: you may have to “go there”, but you definitely shouldn’t live there.
  • Remember those old catch phrases: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, “Everything happens for a reason”, “There are other fish in the sea” and most of all, “This too shall pass”. When you go through a breakup or some other emotionally challenging time in your life, you’re actually getting closer to finding real happiness because you are getting to know your true inner self. This may or may not include other romantic relationships or an eventual long-term union. Whatever happens is okay, no matter what you choose to do in life.
  • As simple as this sounds, be clear to yourself that you are actually breaking up. Too often the thoughts of possibly being back together will creep in, distracting you from the work of healing. Such fantasizing gradually eats at you and destroys your emotional well being. Accept the truth of your situation, and commit to it.
  • If your ex has left you for another person then ask yourself: if s/he said s/he wanted you back, would you really want him or her? Would you ever trust him not to break your heart again? Would you be hurt, angry, distrustful when he is 10 minutes late calling you, wondering where she is, who he is with? Though you may believe that the answer to all your prayers would be a reconciliation with your ex, if it did happen, you might find that Mr. Spock from Star Trek was right when he said “You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”
  • Freedom from fear is what you get when you end a relationship with a cheater. Sometimes the most liberating phase of a post-betrayal breakup is the sudden realization that you are no longer sitting at home waiting for a phone call, spending the evening obsessively searching for evidence of an affair, or just imagining what might be going on behind your back – you’re done with all that! The one deserving person you need to take care of now is yourself, and it is so much easier to relaxand just love yourself when you’re not in constant fear. Count this as a gigantic blessing!
  • Keep your dignity. Many times, it’s our own ego that causes the pain; we feel rejected and deceived, embarrassed. We doubt our self worth and adequacy. A breakup, especially one in which your partner has cheated on you, can really undermine your self-confidence and shake your self-esteem to the core. Help rebuild your inner stability by impressing yourself with accomplishment – volenteer, take a class, do things that remind you of your value as a person.
  • Remember that this pain just has to be survived. It takes a season of time to heal, like a broken arm – there is no magical, instant cure or relief. You won’t die from it, though you may feel like you will for a time. Endure. Eventually you will feel better, the pain will lessen, and you will be able to love again.
  • This one can’t be repeated enough: It’s a good time to try something new. Try a new hobby, a style, a sport. It’ll keep you going and moving on and if your brain is circling endlessly, obsessing on the details of your pain, learning something new will interrupt the repetitive cycle. Those dusty,rusty old gears need some fresh air and polish!
  • If you find yourself compulsively checking your ex’s myspace, Facebook, or any other social networking profile, help yourself out and use the Firefox extension, block site, which allows you to block the URL to that profile. Sometimes it also helps to take them off your ‘Friends’ list, or ‘de-friend’ them, at least for a while. Even if things ended on a clean slate, it can be too painful to see what the other person is up to.
  • Your partner has a right to choose to be or not to be with you. Respect the decision. If your partner digs at you again, do behave with dignity. Taking the high road may be hard now, but you’ll be glad later that you didn’t stoop to the gutter, even though you could have.
  • Every day, find something that will make you smile. Smiling really helps, even at the worst time of your life. You are free to be whoever you want to be now, without thinking “will he/she mind if I do that?”. Nothing is more important than you. Love yourself, love life, and when you wake up, SMILE! (Carole King’s wonderful anthem “Beautiful” has the lines, “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart. Then people gonna treat you better, you’re gonna find — yes you will — that you’re beautiful… as you feel.” Sometimes it helps to play that song for yourself first thing every morning!)