- Walter Riso: "A couple that doesn't share the same values is doomed to failure"
- Gaby Pérez Islas: "It's not true that the more you've loved someone, the more you have to suffer"
Love, or rather, lack of love, is one of the main causes of human suffering. But, while mourning the loss of a loved one is perfectly understood and accompanied, according to psychologist Elizabeth Clapés (Ibiza, 17 September 1997), "break-up is an undervalued subject".
For this reason, the teacher and writer, who disseminates on social networks through the account @esmipsicologa, publishes Perderte para encontrme. Get over a breakup and fall in love with you again (Ed. Montena), after the success of two other issues dedicated to the theme of emotional well-being. "A lot of times saying goodbye means breaking up with a part of you: a family, some mutual friends and, if there is not good support, it can be a very traumatic episode," she reflects.
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If there are children involved, it is even more complicated, she argues, because the zero contact she recommends would not be possible. "We must speak exclusively for them and never use them as bargaining chips, because we will not only be hurting the couple, but it will also have consequences for the children."
However, whatever the adverse circumstances, she remains positive. "All breakups always teach us something." Or what we don't want to be repeated, how we don't want to behave again or how to deal with loneliness so we don't jump from relationship to relationship for fear of being single, she explains.
Can a rupture be a microtrauma? In the past, only what we now understand as traumas with a capital 'T' were considered trauma: wars, terrorism, explosions, fires, traffic accidents... But today we can consider that a breakup ends up being a trauma in cases in which, for example, there are situations of abuse, third parties involved in situations of infidelity or, simply, when the person they leave does not expect it. Why do we often seem blind with love, when even the environment sees what is happening and maybe even ourselves but does not want to see it? We can't generalize, but when everyone around them sees it, it's usually situations in which there is some kind of abuse. And that in itself explains why the person doesn't see it. At the beginning of the relationship, especially, we tend to idealize the person because of the hormonal high, which makes us not see the flaws. And then, when that phase passes, is when the blindfold begins to fall off and it coincides with the moment in which we begin to bring out the defects. Do you also have to cut off from the environment so that you can go your own way? It all depends on the personal history, but as far as possible it is advisable to keep a prudent distance from those people in common, because in the end they will inform us about the other person. And disengaging from the other includes zero contact until the situation cools down. With family members, we must also understand and respect that they are on their side because it is the couple's family, not ours, and it is preferable that we rely on other people around us. It's the same with friends. If we share friendships, it is desirable to reduce contact and avoid meeting for a while. Social networks complicate breakups, because if you don't delete or block the person, it seems inevitable to be aware of the content they upload. And that doesn't seem very healthy to overcome, does it? Zero contact to get over a breakup includes not being aware of their social networks, because if I receive information, it will stir me up or even hurt me. Deleting or blocking is even convenient if we are not going to be able to stop looking at what our ex does. When one of the parties knows that they have done wrong, to what extent do they have to insist on recovering or continue to ask for forgiveness? This also depends on each specific case. If a person is remorseful and has repeatedly tried to ask for forgiveness or apologize finding refusals from the other person or their actions are indicating that they have made the decision to move on with their life and disengage, they must be respected. Does the usual advice of 'sign up for an activity' or 'go out and have fun' work? Yes, it usually works as part of the healing process and to reconnect with you, because you have to keep in mind that while you are in a relationship you lose a little of your essence to join another person and be with them, so you may feel a little lost when you recover your schedule and that you decide all your plans, But it's not a panacea either. In other words, it is not the total solution. What signs or indications should be taken into account after a breakup to understand that we need help from a therapist? The main indicator is time. If the months go by and I'm still isolated or I'm having a hard time getting back on track, maybe It's a good time to go to the psychologist. But is there a set time to know that we have recovered? Because there are relationships in which there is no mourning: they were already dead. If there is grief also in these cases, what happens is that it has already been elaborated during the relationship, in a monotony. The rupture is suffered more when it occurs abruptly or unexpectedly, but there are relationships where you see it coming and, simply, you continue in inertia. Many people live in liaison relationships, chaining one person after another so as not to be alone. Is it because they don't know how to be? Well, we also have to understand that this society focuses on living as a couple. And it orients our whole life to stay together with someone. You can't pay a mortgage or rent if it's not between several. It also depends on the moment in life in which each person is, if they feel that the moment of having a partner passes and they rush or on the emotional dependence that exists. So it's not just about not knowing how to be alone. And how do you work on emotional dependence? Finding the root of the problem, and seeing where it comes from, because there's a lot behind it. Return to the bonds of childhood, because it can be the result of an anxious attachment, and starting to do activities alone. How do you know what the ultimate breakup is in toxic relationships with constant comings and goings? In fact, sometimes there is no definitive break as such, but they are extended over time with greater disinterest and wear and tear. It is likely that one of the two will always hope to return because it has happened on other occasions. Yes, people come out asking for help, especially in abusive situations. Sometimes it's not just a matter of quitting, because there's a root of the problem that has to be worked on in consultation. Nowadays there are many types of relationships, often without formal ties, but with people involved who feel. How do you get over saying goodbye when there's ghosting and you don't close the door completely or you can't ask for explanations because you don't have a partner? Many times we have to say goodbye on our own, so that we are the ones who say "that's it". A relationship cannot depend on when the other decides to contact us or not. Starting from the premise that we should never wait for the other to show signs of life, we must know how to set limits to the lack of affective responsibility. It has to lead us to decide that final point. I admit that from the inside it is very complicated and, sometimes, it is inevitable to wonder if you have done something wrong or if something has happened to him. But a non-dismissal should not prevent us from setting limits. Meditating, taking a walk, doing sports... Are there techniques to avoid rumination? There are many activities that I recommend in the book, such as reading to learn something new, drawing or doing crafts, going out to have fun with friends, because we are social beings... But again it depends on the particular case, because if I think about things too much, maybe meditating is worse for me because those thoughts are going to assail me. It usually works to focus on what you like the most. For example, I'm also a writer, so it's useful for me to take refuge in work, because the more free time you have, the more you're going to think about the breakup. I always recommend zero contact. As we talked about before, don't check your social networks. And it's very important to learn to tolerate pain. Not everything can be solved with a pill, we have to endure the bad drink, get through it and learn to rediscover ourselves.