See the other side
One way to dig deeper into your feelings is to work on making peace with your former partner (at least in your mind.) This can be helpful, because one of the things you have to do after a breakup is rebuild your identity without that person. Working through your feelings towards him or her can help you do that, says Rinzler.
He suggests an exercise he calls Just Like Me. You can do this as a simple thought exercise or you can write it down. “You begin by bringing an image of this person and sitting without judgment for 30 seconds, if possible,” he says. “Then, list positive things that this person desires and add these words at the end: ‘Just like me.’” For example, James wants to feel desired…just like me. James longs for security…just like me.
Once you get to the end of the “positives,” you can feel free to move into the messier areas: James was arrogant…just like me. James slept with someone he shouldn’t have…just like me.
Throughout the exercise, these statements will probably bring up a lot of emotions, but instead of pushing them aside or arguing with yourself about who’s to blame, sit with them.
In most relationships, both parties have made a fair share of mistakes. This is a way to help you come to terms with that, Rinzler says. “Then [you] can drop the contemplation and rest with whatever feelings have emerged from the exercise. It doesn’t negate that this person betrayed you, but ideally you move toward some form of understanding.”