Why communication is important when handling a messy breakup

Why communication is important when handling a messy breakup
Find out why communication is still important at each stage of a breakup! Photo: Ulianna, Bigstock

Messy breakups are some of the most emotionally taxing tasks a person will have to deal with, and most people will have to experience at least one in their lives. Maybe you live together, maybe one of you was unfaithful, maybe you said some things in a fight you regret or forgot to plan something for Valentines day, but whatever the reason for the breakup is, it’s messy.

Even though a disastrous separation is a fact of life, the damage caused by such a split can be minimised when handled correctly, and the best way to handle messy breakups correctly is to promote open communication. To get into this topic properly, we have put together the following article, and we hope it helps you to make it out of your messy breakup relatively unscathed. 

Your feelings

Once the split has happened, you will be feeling a lot of things. These can be good, they will likely be bad, and the important thing when it comes to your feelings is knowing when they are truly what you feel, and when they are what you feel in the moment. If your ex-partner comes to your place to collect some of their things after the breakup, you might want to shout abuse at them or break down crying, but neither of these things will help you move forward, and neither will put you two back together.

Communicate with them that you’re feeling very vulnerable at the moment and that you’ll organise for a friend to let them in to get their things, then remove yourself from that situation entirely. Express your emotions in your own time, but know that they don’t need to bear witness for those feelings to be valid.

Their feelings

Acknowledging their feelings might be the last thing that you want to do, especially if they’re the ones that hurt you, but it’s far too easy to demonise your ex-partner into this evil person who is just trying to hurt you. Most people that do this end up hating their exes, and treating them with contempt and aggression for years to come.

Think of your ex as a person whose feelings changed. If they did something to hurt you, you can still cut them out, but carrying around that anger only wears you down, and doesn’t affect them at all.

Communicating with them that you’re doing this leaves no room for miscommunication, and no misunderstandings about getting back together or staying friends, which can become friction points in the coming weeks, months, or even years.

Boundaries

Establishing boundaries with your ex is key. This cannot be understated, if you don’t want them coming to mutual friend’s parties, if you don’t want to see them at the supermarket, and if you don’t want to run into them on a night out make sure to tell them this at the breaking point. It doesn’t have to get to the point where you need to contact a family lawyer in Melbourne, but it’s only avoidable when the situation is handled properly.

If you have places you both spend time at, divide them up then and there and know that they will stay divided until you’re both over the breakup. If you communicate this on even ground and without anger, you’ll both know not to make contact for any reason, even if you see them somewhere in public, or if they spot you in a crowd. This helps you to both avoid uncomfortable situations.

Conflict resolution

Finally, in the event that you want to stay friends and genuinely believe you can, you have to use communication to promote conflict resolution for the issues that will arise in this breakup. Sit down with them and establish a narrative in which you can speak your mind and say what you need to say without interruptions, and then you’ll afford them the same courtesy in their responses.

This kind of communication is essential in dealing with complex emotional issues, like you or your ex dating new people, or bringing dates to mutual events. This communication allows you to both be clear and understanding to the other, and lessens the chance that things will devolve into screaming matches.

With these communication tips, you’re much more likely to make it through a messy breakup only slightly battered instead of entirely broken. Keep your chin up, and keep promoting clear and reasonable communication.