The 3-Step Process to Fast, Full Recovery from a Breakup or Divorce

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on March 24, 2013

in Articles, Break-ups and Divorce, Heartbreak, Relationships

Are you still struggling to recover from a breakup or divorce? Does the past still haunt your current – or future – relationship?

You can get over the major pain of your breakup fairly quickly, by following the steps I outline below.

Did you know that most people never fully recover from their breakup or divorce? They try to forget, they may move on, but they never completely let go of the emotional pain, which becomes easily triggered in their next relationship.

If you follow the steps outlined in this article, not only will you get over your breakup or divorce faster, you will ACTUALLY get over it, so that it does not come back to haunt you when you experience stress in a current relationship.

Important: Follow the steps outlined below! Don’t cut corners, or wing it, thinking you know better. The process I outline for you is based on a 30+ year, scientifically validated, grief recovery model from the Grief Recovery Institute. I have worked with their material extensively and have helped hundreds of clients recover from a breakup much faster and more completely than they would have been able to on their own. If you want to understand why the letter writing process I describe here works, get the Grief Recovery Handbook.

Here’s what you will be doing to recover from your divorce or breakup:

  • You will write one or more letters to your ex daily, for 21-30 days. If, at the end of the 30 days you are still hurting from the breakup, you will continue the letter writing process, or seek a professional, such as myself, for help in your recovery.
  • The letters will be multiple pages long. Some may be as long as 20 pages. It’s up to you how long they are. The more you write, the better you will feel. Guidance of letter length is below.
  • You will need to set aside at least an hour — longer if possible — each day, to write the letters. Do not schedule anything after letter writing, as you will not feel social or be productive. End of the day works best for most people.
  • You will not send any of these letters under any circumstances. If you want to get your ex back, you can work on that after your breakup recovery process is over and you are no longer in pain.
  • If writing the letters makes you want to contact your ex and communicate to him or her what you have written, write more letters, still not sending them.
  • What will begin the recovery from the breakup for you is the process of writing letters to your ex on the topics below. But, that is not enough. You must imagine that the letters you are writing are being received by him or her. The key is that you do not physically deliver the letters, but that you believe you are speaking to your ex as you write, and that he or she is somehow receiving your communication.This is not such a far-fetched idea.Have you ever thought of your ex, and then he or she called, texted, emailed or showed up at your door? Has your ex contacted you at your most vulnerable times? Have you felt that you know for certain what is going on with your ex at a certain time, and have been proven right?

    The two of you are connected, and being connected, as you go through this letting go process, one way or another, your ex will get the letters you are writing, without you having to share the letters with him or her in real-time.

  • Lastly, this is not going to be a pleasant process. You won’t like it, as you will be diving right into the pain of the breakup. There’s no way around that. If you don’t dive into the depth of the pain, you will never completely recover. You will be like those people who try to move on, but are always getting triggered. I promise you that no matter how bad you feel, you are going to be OK. If you need help, contact me for a Coaching Session, so that I can help you reduce the amount of pain you feel, as I have specific techniques for emotional pain reduction.

If you would like help letting go of a past relationship, get started in a 30-minute Get Clarity Coaching Session.

Step 1: Write the first set of letters about anger

The first set of letters will be about how hurt and/or angry you are. It does not matter if you left them or the other way around. You will have these feelings regardless, so either put them on paper or type them out.

Imagine your ex will read the letters. Express everything you want to say. Curse if you need to, in the worst possible way, if that helps you express the intensity of your emotions.

Go into every little detail of how and why you are hurt, offended, or angry. Really let it go into the letter. It may take you those 20 pages!

If you have trouble getting into the intensity of your feelings, imagine your ex sitting in a chair across from you and write out everything you would say to him or her, if he or she were unable to talk back and was forced to listen.

Once you start the letter writing, you will feel intense emotions and will want to stop. Have courage. The emotions will be uncomfortable, but they will not damage you. You don’t need to do anything to lessen the pain. The pain will lessen as you write.

Write until you have nothing else to say. Then start again on the same topics the next day.

It’s OK if you keep writing about the same events or struggles, or even if you keep saying the same things over and over. It’s the process of expressing your hurt and anger that will heal you, so the more you express, the better it will be for you.

Important: This does not mean that you should go to your ex and express everything you feel! That will not be healing. Nor should you express everything about your ex to your friends — they simply cannot listen long enough to let you vent completely. Write the letters.

Keep doing this daily until you reach a day when you sit down to write – or type – about your pain or anger and you have none left. This might take a few days or many days of letter writing, but it will be no less than three. If you write less than three letters of hurt and anger and feel done, you are holding back, and if you hold back, you will not get over your breakup.

Once you have no hurt or anger left, you will most likely feel sad. Move on to Step two.

If you would like help letting go of a past relationship, get started in a 30-minute Get Clarity Coaching Session.

Step 2: Write the second set of letters about sadness

When in a relationship, we tend to create hopes and dreams for a future together. When a relationship ends, these plans have to be scrapped. This means that in a breakup or divorce, not only do you lose a partner, but you also lose a future you thought you were moving into. With the loss of future comes tremendous sadness and disorientation. It often feels hard to rejoin life, to invest yourself in activities and people again.

The cure for your sadness and disorientation is to go into the experience and face it. Follow the same letter writing process as before, except for the change in topic. You will write first about the future you had created with your partner, and then about the sadness you feel at its loss.

You may address these letters to your partner, or to your future self as you imagined you would have been with your partner, or even to G-d or your version of a Higher Power.

If anger comes up again write about it as well. And then go back to focusing on the sadness.

Continue writing these letters of dreams lost and sadness at the loss, until you feel you have nothing left to say about the topic. This may take you just a few days and a few letters, or many days.

Do not rush the process or get impatient or frustrated with yourself. This is a process of saying goodbye and it will take as long as it needs.

Also, understand that you are not saying goodbye to your future or to the things you wanted in it. It is very likely that the life you thought you would create with your ex is still yours to create, with someone else. But the exact future you thought you were going to have still needs to be grieved in order for you to be able to create the relationship you want.

If you would like help letting go of a past relationship, get started in a 30-minute Get Clarity Coaching Session.

Step 3: Write a third set of letters about other thoughts and feelings you need to express

If you could say anything to your ex partner and he or she would fully listen and understand, what would you say?

Would you thank him or her for the experiences and lessons learned, for the realizations about yourself you discovered by being with him or her?

Would you talk about how sad you are to lose the relationship? Or perhaps about the confusion you feel at its end?

Would you say how sorry you are for the things you had done or the choices you had made?

The third set of letters is for you to express anything else that you need to say to your partner. You want to get it all out, so that if you happened to run across your ex again, you would have nothing left to say.

Just as in the other letter writing steps, write – or type – these letters daily, either repeating the same things, or finding new things to say. Write until you have nothing left to write. And then look for more to write.

If anger or sadness comes up in this process, feel them, write about them, and then go back to looking for anything else that you need to communicate to your ex in order for you to be complete with the relationship.

At the end of this process, if you have fully gone through it, you will start to feel a sense of freedom from your ex and your past relationship. You may find the frequency of thoughts about him or her diminishing. Yet, some feelings and thoughts may come back after a day, a week, or months. If that happens, go back to letter writing, until you pour out everything you need to communicate once again.

Much of the pain of a breakup is the grief of losing a future and the inability to communicate what feels like urgent anger, hurt and sadness to the ex-partner. For most men and women this letter writing process brings tremendous relief, as it gives them an opportunity to communicate the feelings and thoughts they have been carrying around with no outlet. This is why at the start of this process I promised that if you follow it, you can expect to recover much faster from your breakup.

However, although this process brings tremendous healing, it is not enough to eradicate the pain of a breakup completely. This is because for many people part of the pain of breaking up is the fear that they will never find the right partner for them or have a truly successful relationship. This part of your pain cannot be cured by letter writing. It can however be addressed in coaching.

Afraid that you may never meet the right partner or always have hard relationships?

Get coached in a Get Clarity Coaching Session and see
what’s possible for you in relationships with the right help!


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