Haunted by the Ex?

Haunted by the Ex? by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist
www.LDSdimension.com FREE Online Dating

After a challenging relationship breakup or divorce, it is common to feel “haunted” by the ensuing pain. Common post breakup symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, relationship triggers and reminders, displaced anger, as well as feelings of guilt, anxiety, and depression. You might try to avoid people, places, things, or situations that remind you of the ex. Alternatively, you might “stalk” the ex online or even in real life. You might also ask friends or family members about the ex, and of course, vent to them. Bargaining with God (“please take this pain away”) is common as well. All of these responses and more are normal and common.

A rough break up can often include many components and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, potentially over a long period of time. This is something you can learn more about at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder. In addition, people struggling with a breakup can also exhibit depression symptoms, which you can also learn about at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/depression. In short, break up feelings and experiences can be truly miserable.

How to Lessen Symptoms

I don’t really agree with the old saying, “time heals all wounds”. Not necessarily. In fact, with a bad breakup, feelings of pain can last many years, even decades. Too long to wait and hope to feel better. Far better is to take a proactive approach and do things to help speed up the healing. Here are some suggestions to help you “get over the ex”:

A) Go the therapy. Go see a qualified, experienced licensed clinical psychologist or marriage & family therapist—a fellow church member if possible. Let them know you want help grieving and moving on from the pain of the past relationship, as well as help to find and keep a new, healthy relationship.

B) Go to your bishop. Explain your situation, ask for spiritual guidance, support, and suggestions. Perhaps ask for a blessing of comfort and support as well. Remember that relationship grief and pain can be a valid reason to have a discussion with your bishop.

C) Go to a relationship support group. Either in real life or online, some support groups can be helpful to offer support, insight, recommendations, validation, empathy, and connection with others going through similar challenges. NOTE: Only be a part of a relationship support group if you feel the attitude and direction of the group seems basically healthy, as well as supportive of church standards.

D) Go to some quality self-help materials. There are many quality self-help materials to help you heal pain after a challenging relationship breakup, including videos, books, and audios. Here are a few possible resources that I recommend:
--How to Break Your Addiction to a Person by Howard Halpern
--The PTSD Workbook by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula
--The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns
--Mind Over Mood by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky
--Hypnosis Audio Sessions from www.hypnosisdownloads.com. Consider these hypnosis sessions in particular:
Many other sessions here would be helpful as well, so check out their website and choose accordingly.

Final Thoughts

These 4 suggestions and recommendations are all proactive resources you can go to in order to speed and accelerate your healing, recovery, health, and happiness. Of course, these recommendations will also hopefully help you find and keep a healthier and happier relationship in the future, which is what it is all about. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).

Dr. G
P.S. If you need to equip yourself with some conflict resolution and influencing skills, I recommend these books to read or listen to:
Tongue Fu by Sam Horn
Your Perfect Right by Robert Alberti and Michael Emmons
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

*To submit a question for a future Q & A column or to request a possible future article subject, contact me at drgilchrist@yahoo.com.

***Do you struggle with pornography or another addictive tendency? Do you struggle with eating issues or want to lose weight? Anxiety issues? Other issues, challenges, or problems? Consider my special custom hypnosis recording service for fellow LDS members only, available worldwide by online delivery. A powerful, effective, convenient tool for change. Learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds or email me questions at drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Completely private and confidential.

2019-01-07 Randy Gilchrist Healthy relationships, Psychological health

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com).