How to Take Back Your Power After a Tough Breakup — Explained by a Breakup Coach

If there’s one thing my clients come to me for, it’s wanting to take back their power after a tough breakup/relationship.

Many clients explain to me that they gave their partners everything, and now they feel robbed, or stunned by the way their ex-partners act, treat them, or talk to them. This is really emotionally stuff we are talking about here. Many people have left troubling relationships, and are still trying to make sense of what actually happened.

So, you’ve stumbled on this article because you’re resonating with my clients, and what you’ve been doing has likely resulted in small “wins,” followed by a day of sadness or grief. Trying to prove to our exes that we are better off sometimes has a troubling backlash effect.

So, why not try and look at this in a different way? Here is the true way to get your power back.

  1. Stop caring about what your partner is doing and thinking. It’s common to try and search for what your ex is doing, posting online, and saying to others. But guess what? All of that is completely out of your control. This is a good thing; everything your ex does, says, posts—is a reflection on them. It always will be, and others will understand that, too. The sooner you understand that their life is not in your control, you will experience the freedom that you have been searching for. Taking your power back means understanding how to get to a level of freedom you’ve yet to experience. Sometimes that comes from letting go of needing control over other peoples’ actions and behaviours.

  2. Notice what you’re thinking. Some people aren’t even aware that there is so much mental chatter happening up there, and in fact—it’s the reason you’re experiencing such mood swings and heavy thinking. But if you want to take back the power in your breakup, you’ve got to first understand that your thoughts aren’t really in your power in the first place. Because of this, you don’t need to take your thoughts so seriously. To give you an example, let’s say your thoughts tell you to call your ex, or reach out to the woman your ex was seeing while you two were in a relationship so that you can “warn” her. You could do both these things, but if you are just going to do them to get your thoughts to quiet down, it might be an indication that you’re giving your thoughts a lot of credit. Your best bet is to notice what you’re thinking, instead of doing what your thinking is saying to you. Can you understand the difference? It’s a very small shift that allows you to be observant of your thoughts, and not act on them right away. You’ll notice that you are inside of yourself, and your thoughts are just energy passing through. You’ll find the more you understand this, the less compelled you are to do things that you might regret in the future. I help my clients with this way of seeing things. Ask me how.

  3. Use your thoughts about your ex as a mirror. I love the “mirror” way of looking at things; I started doing this after my ex and I split, and I was carrying a lot of resentment even a year later. I realized that all my thoughts were just insights into my own thinking, and that it wasn’t all my ex’s fault. In fact, I played a huge part in the downfall, but couldn’t have known this unless I flipped what I thought using a mirror. Am I suggesting that your ex didn’t do things to cause you pain? No, not at all. What I am saying is that our egos get in the way of having a happy and healthy relationship, and there is room for growth once we understand this. If you take a simple sentence like, “he never took me out for dates” and flipped it like a mirror, you might see, “I never took him out for dates.” With a little investigation, you might discover that you actually were so focused on what you thought he didn’t do, that you didn’t realize it was you actually doing it. It’s an entire process I learned deeply with Byron Katie’s The Work where we take accountability for our side of the things we didn’t like in our relationship. It’s uncomfortable, troubling, and we often resist it. Taking back the power in a breakup means taking accountability for our side of things. People come to me when they feel ready to work through their side of the breakup. Are you ready?

  4. Stop with the mind games. I’ve been in that place where you want to post a photo of you and another person so your ex can think you’ve moved on. I get how tempting it is to want to showcase that you’re fine and “winning” the breakup. Unfortunately, this always comes to bite us in the butt because we’ve either reminded ourselves that we stooped to this level, or noticed that they don’t react to the behaviour we did. Instead of playing these mind games, remind yourself that your ex is a human being, and rummaging through ways to provoke confusion and sadness within them is not in your pay grade. Easier said than done, remind yourself that power isn’t something your ex has, but something that’s deep within yourself, buried underneath piles of thoughts about your own insecurities. You don’t need to prove to your ex that you have the power.

  5. You don’t need to prove anything. It’s tempting to want to talk to friends and “prove” where your ex did you wrong, and that you are worse now because you dated them. I know how that can feel, but I’m here to tell you that you are better because you met this person. Figure out what you learned from them, even if it wasn’t a pleasant lesson. More often than not, our best lessons come from taking a tough experience and seeing the light. Let go of needing to prove that they wronged you, and start showing yourself that it’s okay to have experienced a difficult relationship. We all have a chance to grow once we decide to stop seeking validation from people outside of ourselves.

These are just five unique ways to take back the power in your relationship. You’ve got to understand that you’re not in control of their life (you never were) but you are in control of yours. You can see the insights you have when you look at the thoughts you have about them—they tell you what you think about yourself, and your role in the breakup/relationship. This is great news. And, you don’t have to act on your thoughts as you can just observe them and know that we have a lot less control over our thoughts than we think. Fortunately, we get to see these thoughts and not feel like a prisoner of them. Also, there’s nothing to prove. Remember that.

If you’re curious about how these three tips can help you in your breakup journey, be sure to reach out to me to book your first appointment with me. Ask me about my 6-week coaching programs done completely online!

Nancy Deen