When an intimate relationship comes to an end, and one or both people decide that it’s time to stop being a couple, there is suffering and confusion. The amount of suffering and the style of suffering will differ for each individual. The amount and style of confusion will also differ from person to person. Sometimes the confusion causes more suffering, sometimes the confusion masks the suffering. Confusion is confusing that way. Suffering is just suffering. To break up the confusion from the suffering that comes from a break up, you need to look at yourself, and look at your thoughts.
Confusion lives nowhere but in your thoughts. Confusing thoughts about yourself tend to cause suffering. When a couple breaks up, what was one becomes two, and each person has to redefine that part of themselves that was attached to being a couple. It is especially hard to figure out what you are, when there is so much suffering going on. It is hard to deal with the suffering when you are so confused about what you are. To get out of the cycle of thinking and suffering you need a handle to hold onto to get your bearings. That handle is your breath and the present moment.
When you suffer, thinking that you will always suffer, that you will never love, that nobody will ever love you, or anything like that is normal, but it is also pure confusion that comes with suffering. If you notice any of those thoughts, take a breath, and notice your confusion. Noticing confusion is wisdom, which breaks up confusion. Compassion, noticing suffering, looking into the cause of suffering, and doing something to ease suffering, will break up suffering.
When you are the more suffering person in a broken up couple, it may be difficult to find compassion for the less suffering person, so begin by practicing compassion for yourself. To depersonalize the pain of a lost relationship, it helps to look at the cause as confusion, a changing definition of yourself, rather than imagining fixed character flaws and personal deficits. To add compassion, remember that you are a good person, going through a difficult time, that you want to feel better and deserve to feel better.
When you learn to meet your suffering with compassion and meet your confusion with wisdom, you will soon come to terms with the break up of the relationship and the break up of your idea of yourself. If you use the suffering and confusion of a break up to learn to know yourself, and practice compassion, you will become the less suffering person of the former couple. When you, in your wisdom, can see the suffering and confusion of the other person, you may notice yourself feeling compassion for them. Compassion is powerful like that, it can beak up all kinds of thinking. The practice of breaking up confusion and suffering begins each time with a conscious breath, over and over again, for as long as it takes.