How can I cope with a break up?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,507
    Adrian Ashman talks about how we cope with a relationship that has finally come to the bitter end.

    Adrian Ashman

    Adrian Ashman is currently Professor of Education and a former Head of School at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He was trained in the 1970s as a psychologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada and was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1991. He has operated private psychology practices in Canada and in Australia dealing primarily with adult clients with personal relationship and sexual performance difficulties.

    Adrian has also worked as an educational psychologist and university researcher in the fields of special education and disability since the late-1970s and has consulted with a number of government departments including Education, Community Services and Health, and Employment, Vocational Education, Training and Industrial Relations. Professor Ashman is a trained mediator and has many years experience in conflict resolution.

    Adrian is a keen recreational cyclist and walker, misses flying and sailing, and is very attached to his olive farm to which he and his partner retreat at every possible opportunity.

    Host: How can I cope with a breakup? Adrian Ashman: So, how do we cope with a relationship that has finally come to the bitter end? One person is what there maybe there was a good deal of aggression on both sides. It's tough because it hasn t affected one person, it has affected both. So, the pain is not just on one side. The pain is always shared between the parties. It's complicated to a great extent if there are kids involved. So, if the marriage has children from it then, that s another dimension that can cause continuing friction beyond the breakup. I suppose, the best way to go about it is to seek support from a professional person, a helping professional, Counselor, Psychologists, Psychiatrist. Often, these are the people who can sit back and look at the situation rather dispassionately. Beyond that, one of the points that I try to make with clients that I have is to listen to your friends, but be very wary about the advice that they give. Quite often, although they may not deliberately go about it in this way, they take sides. So, particularly, if it's one party that s been hurt desperately by the other, friends will often gravitate moral support and try and shuffle that person. In some ways, that s really valuable and these people can give you a lot of nurturing in a time when things are really tough, when the world has essentially fallen apart. What I tell people to think about is to start taking risk. If they will comfortable, settled to some extent, aware that the marriage is not going to get back together again, it's finished, it's the end. So, where do we go from here? I try to say let us think about sort of, making this line in the sand. That s what happened before. Now, where are we going? Where are we leading on from there? So, that s gone, who am I? What do I want out of my life now? Very often, what people say is they want another relationship, they want, well, it's actually, two-way. If you say, I want another relationship or I never want to see another man as long as I live, well, that s okay, I suppose. You have got to get through those sorts of issues.