Q: When my boyfriend broke up with me, he started dating my best friend, they are now making me jealous. I feel like I will never find someone who will love me for who I am, what should I do?

It is perfectly normal to be jealous and hurt when your ex-boyfriend starts dating your best friend. No matter who you are, when something like this happens, it is painful and if it goes unresolved it will eat you up from the inside out. Though a lot of issues stand out in this question, self-worth and healing from a break up are the two main issues central to this question.

Self-worth
When someone you love breaks up with you, it is normal to feel like you are going to be single for the rest of your life. It is so easy to feel like you may never find someone to love you as much as your ex did. While it is normal to feel this way, it is by no means correct or true in the slightest sense. When someone you love breaks up with you the knee jerk reaction is feeling inadequate. Turmoil of emotions force you into believing the lie that, you may never find someone as good as your ex. Feeling inadequate is a good indicator that your self-worth has been negatively affected by the break up. It is important for you to understand your self-worth and how valuable you really are. You are one of a kind, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, no one can define who you are. You may feel like you will never find anyone to love but honestly there are billions of other young men out there that are willing to fight for you and treat you like a princess. Young man that are more compatible with you than your ex. Young men who will love and respect you exactly the way you are. You were created in the image of God, because of this, your validation and sense of acceptance should only come from God and he has already accepted you, you are valuable and precious. Don’t let a failed relationship define who you are and what you are worth.

Quick pointers to boost your self-worth

• You are beautiful because you were fearfully and wonderfully made.

• Always be hopeful for a brighter future. Never let past relationships determine how you view your future, leave the past in the past.

• There are more people out there that are way more compatible with you than your ex, that’s why he is your ex.

• No matter what happens in life there will always be someone who loves you and will never leave you or break up with you, Jesus loves you no matter what.

Break ups are always tough to go through, especially because we are talking about issues of the heart, mind, body and soul. Below is a model which will walk you through the healing process that follows a break up. Each step in this model is very important and will take you closer to moving on and embracing your future.

Four stage model of healing after a breaking up.

Forgive
It is important that you forgive your boyfriend and your best friend because you can never truly move on without forgiving them. Lack of forgiveness will force you to hold on to pain from the past. If you do not forgive your ex- boyfriend and your best friend, you can cope with the pain but your heart will not heal. As such forgiveness is the first step of healing in any breakup. Forgiveness prepares you to let go of the hurtful past and embrace the hopeful future. Without forgiveness you neither move on nor are you able to let go of the past. Forgiveness is more than just saying with your mouth ‘I forgive him/ her’. The first step in forgiveness is being truthful about how you feel. The best way to do this is sharing how you feel with someone you trust as discussed below .

Most people these days are quick to say they forgive their ex hence ignoring their true feelings of bitterness, rage, anger or disappointment. It is important that you let out what you truly feel about the person who has broken your heart. If you feel like cursing, screaming or crying do it and get it out of your system. Sharing the way you truly feel with someone ensures that your feelings are not bottled up inside. Bottling feelings inside usually results in more heart aches, anxiety or depression. Forgiveness forces you to deal with all the anger, bitterness, rage and disappointment in your heart towards your ex.

Forgiveness in breakups has to be confronting in order to deal with the tough and painful issues that you would rather not deal with. Confronting questions force you to deal with the painful issues that are tucked away in your heart. An example of confronting issues is; dealing with jealousy, betrayal, self-worth and feelings of being used.

Finally the element that makes forgiveness easier is the element of HOPE. You have to hope in a better future overall and a better boyfriend in the future. Failure to hope results in hating your ex- boyfriend for wasting your time, hating your life because you feel there is nothing in the future for you. Hope is the balance to a broken heart, hope is the voice that tells you that the future is bright with or without your ex- boyfriend. So hold on to hope in the dead of night because joy comes in the morning. It is important to state that forgiveness is not a feeling nor is it a simple matter of saying it out loud. Forgiveness is a decision, a conscious state of mind which you choose.

Let go

Letting go simply means being at peace with what has happened and accepting the fact that you are now single regardless of how it makes you feel. It is important that you accept the fact that it is over with your ex-boyfriend, especially now that he is dating someone else. This should be a clear sign that he has moved on, hence, it’s time for you to as well. Granted moving on is easier said than done. The central element in this stage as well is hope for the future. While accepting the fact that you are now single, know that your future holds a better partner who is more compatible with you.

Part of letting go is taking steps to guard and protect your heart from further pain. It is important that you protect yourself from anything or any thoughts that might seek to uncover the past, thereby, sending you spiraling down into a pit of emotions. Avoid such things as looking at old pictures, reading old texts, maintaining contact or texting your ex-boyfriend. Cut any contact you have with him if any. It is important that you cut any contact you might have because further contact with your ex-boyfriend will not help you to heal. Cutting contact includes any social media contact, phone contact emails or catch ups. If both your best friend and your ex-boyfriend are on social media think about blocking them for a season until you fully heal.

You have to want to let go in order to let go, letting go is a state of mind first before physically taking the steps above. Failure to let go mentally will result in you making a decision to let go, only to contact your ex-boyfriend a few days after. Which will only leave you feeling guilty and sadder than you were before for going back on your word.

Heal

This is the process where you focus on you as an individual. This is the process where you ask yourself about the lessons that you learnt from the previous relationship and the things that you might want to do better next time. This process only comes about after you have forgiven and let go, without forgiving your ex-boyfriend and friend and letting go of the past you cannot heal. You want to have strong people around you, who will listen and support you through all the stages of the breakup. This is the stage where you now focus on making new friendships and/or maintaining the old ones. At this stage you want to do things that make you wholesome, do activities, go out, make new friends, try new things do and experience things you have never done before. Healing is a process that takes time, more time for other and less for some.

Move on

Moving on is not simply dating someone new, far from it. Moving on simply means the break up does not negatively affect you anymore. You don’t miss your ex-boyfriend anymore, while you might miss being in a relationship you are happy being single. Moving on is a combinations of forgiveness, letting go and healing. Only when you have done these three can you truly move on without holding on to anything from the past. Love the fact that you are single, this a big step in moving on, this does not mean you now hate being in a relationship. This simply means that you love living the new season of singleness. Some people move on without addressing the above issues forgiveness, letting go and healing. The end result is that they take baggage from their old relationships into future relationships. This makes it unfair for your future partner.

In summary focus on

• Self- esteem- be aware of how valuable and beautiful you are
• Forgive- forgiving your ex-boyfriend and your best friend
• Let go- involves letting go of the past and past hurts and being hopeful
• Heal- put yourself and your needs first
• Move on- embrace whatever season you are in; being single or a new relationship.

Important Contacts For Support In Australia:

Relationships Australia: 1300364277 Web:http://www.relationships.org.au/

Kids Help Line 1800 551800 Tollfree number Web: http://www.kidshelpline.com.au


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