How to Handle the End of a Relationship: 3 Spiritual Lessons to Help You Recover from a Breakup

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Updated in May 2018 for clarity and resources.

After publishing my book Spirit Junkie, I received countless emails and messages from readers saying the book helped them through a difficult breakup.

In this video and blog I teach the three most important relationship lessons I share in Spirit Junkie. If you’re recovering from a breakup, these tips will help you have gratitude for what you’ve learned from the relationship rather than anger for what you’ve lost.

Watch now or keep reading:

Tip #1: Clean up your side of the street

We have to start to look at our side of the street. When we end a relationship, we want to point the finger and say, “Look what you’ve done. Look how you’ve hurt me. Look at how I am the victim.” A Course in Miracles teaches us that we must be in an energy of “I am not the victim of the world I see,” and make a commitment to not living in that role of the victim.

One of the best ways to get out of that energy is to take ownership for your part. What is your part? I’ve said this in many romance lectures: Sometimes your part is that you stuck around a little too long. Sometimes your part is that you were unwilling to forgive. Sometimes your part is that you were unwilling to let go.

So I gently challenge you right now to make a list of all the ways that you played a role in the chaos of this relationship, and the end of it. How did you participate?

Tip #2: Be willing to forgive

We must bring in the practice of forgiveness. We must start to open our hearts and our minds to release our attachment to that past relationship, if we want to clear the space to receive more romantic love in the future.

If we carry resentment, then we’re going to create it in our future relationships. If we release that resentment, then we will set ourselves free and create a new pattern.

Tweet: Recover from a breakup with grace with these 3 tips. @gabbybernstein #spiritjunkie

Forgiveness is not necessarily easy, but it is a blessing that is bestowed upon you when you open up to receive it. I welcome you to start to say to yourself, “I’m willing to forgive, I’m willing to let this go.” Forgiveness sets you free.

Tip #3: Find gratitude for what you learned

Pay attention to the language that you’re using around your past relationship. Your words are powerful. They inform your thoughts and your energy. If you walk around putting down your ex-partner and talk negatively about your past relationship, then you will bring negative energy to all things romance and relationships.

I challenge you to start to hold that relationship with a lot of high regard, even if it was really dramatic or scary in any way. You can just start to say, “I’m grateful for that experience because it taught me what I don’t want. I’m grateful for that experience because it’s guiding me to go bigger in my life. I’m grateful for the experience because it taught me to have a higher expectation for what I deserve and what I desire.”

Start to move into an energy of gratitude for what you have learned rather than anger and resentment for what you have lost. That will really reorganize your energy and help you find closure and move forward.

Want to be fearless in relationships and dating? Check out my guided meditation album for fearless romance, MediDating.

In this 11-track guided meditation album, I’ll help you:

  • Release romantic illusions
  • Overcome fears and insecurities
  • Activate your attracting power
  • Manifest love into your life

Through simple breathing exercises, visualizations and mental reconditioning, you’ll simplify and enhance your dating experiences, all the while using your inner guidance to find the perfect partner. Release your romantic delusions and start MediDating today!

 

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61 COMMENTS

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  1. Hi Gabby
    I’va discovered you about a month ago. And what a blessing in my life!!!! I was wondering if there was another way to get the mediDating audio apart from Amazon? The product can not be shipped to my country 🙁
    Is there a possibility to hav it as a download?
    Thanx for taking the time to answer that question.
    Kind regards

  2. I liked that you said that meditation is a great spiritual activity to participate in to help you recover from a breakup. I would imagine that meditation would help you to feel at peace with the situation and would help you to get over any bad feelings. I w0uld be sure to try meditation as a great spiritual avenue for recovering from hardships in my life.

  3. Hey Gabby,
    This is a really very effective guide to navigating painful breakup. Thanks for sharing this stuff & it will be very much helpful for many individuals like me.

  4. Someone don’t really know and understand their relationship worth enough. They stay around together with not enough serious and knowledge about other. That is why they easy to breakup even at first time they love too much. Keep love increase need efforts from each persons. Like other things if you don’t try and efforts then you can’t done it or achieve like you want. Be careful and trust yourself do you need this relationship.

  5. First of all Gabby, I had the most amazing time and transformative experience at the Masterclass this weekend. Absolutely incredible and so many thanks to you and your wonderful team. As for this topic of breakups, you made a key point that really resonated with me. About two years ago I went through a really devastating breakup but I blamed myself for EVERYTHING that went wrong, and both my partner and I put the blame on me. Since then, I have genuinely forgiven him and carry absolutely no resentment. However, there’s a tiny part of me that still won’t forgive myself. What clicked for me over the weekend was that Spirit released what I couldn’t do for myself (he broke up with me even though I secretly wanted the relationship to end too) and that a big part of my issue was staying too long (this was not our first breakup so I also went back and that is something I take responsibility for). Thank you!

  6. Gabby – i was with a guy i’ve known since I was a kid and he was the most wonderful person I had ever met, we started dating in college and it was great and then something snapped and he just started dissolving into this horrible person. Now, six years later, we are still playing this on and off game and it hurts more than I can express. But the worst part is that on top of all the pain from the relationship, I am getting trashed among his friends and family because they think I am just picking fights with him for no reason when in reality he has cheated several times and drinks with his buddies to the point where he just spits out these awful insults at me. Even this weekend, he said he wanted to work things out and then while sitting next to me he starts texting another girl! I haven’t always behaved perfectly in our relationship, but how do i get past this anger at him. and his friends and family who are tarnishing my reputation as a person, just because my ex isn’t honest with them about what happened between us? I know it shouldn’t matter what other people think, but it’s following me everywhere and it makes the whole situation that much worse.

    1. Brittany , I hope something in what I say helps, although being in a similar situation, I know that you are going through a lot of turmoil. Your boyfriend is manipulating the situation on purpose because he can’t afford to be found out. He is struggling with the knowledge that he can’t control you , or anything for that matter. He will do whatever he can to gain any sense of having the upper hand, proving he still can effect you and can alter the real truth to fit how he wants people to see him. And what he has to believe about himself in order to get through the day. The back and forth changing his mind , dual intentions is purposeful to keep you off balance. Don’t be discouraged, there is a lot of learning available to you that will build you up every day and she’d new light and new perspectives about you and your boyfriend. You are doing good. You are capable of rising above all that seems to be weighing you down. If you haven’t already, read the previous comments and possibly meditation could help with releasing the anger, or a technique called EFT, that works on actually physically tapping on meridians on your body that some people find actual physical release . Sending you light and love!!!

  7. Thank you Gabby, I’ve used this in a different kind of relationship…….my ex relationship with alcohol. It really helped me break ties completely and see what i deserve. This will be shared with others in the same situation. God bless

  8. Hi Gabby!
    What perfect timing. You posted this clog just two days after my boyfriend of fours years and I split. I just finished reading Spirit Junkie, purchased the Fearless Relationships course, as well as May Cause Miracles. My question is should I read May Cause Miracles first or do the Fearless Relationships course first? Or can I do them both at the same time?
    Thank you, you have no idea how much you have helped me!

  9. On MOnday when you posted this I gave light and love to those going through a break up and was thankful for the relationship i had. This morning some truth came to light and I have decided to move on. Staying strong in the moment. Thank you for the post. I bashed him today but tomorrow I will ask to be respectful of the time we spent together. Thanks Gabby

    1. And that light and love comes right back to you! Thank you for the reminder about negative thoughts/words. I’ve had to work a little harder on that today as well. Hugs to you!

  10. Great reminder Gabby for us all to think about our roles in any relationship. Such an important reflection regardless of if you are healing from a romantic relationship or a different type of relationship. Much love

  11. I find that focusing on what makes you happy and getting back in touch with yourself helps. So often at the end of relationships you are consumed with negative energy so taking a few weeks to recover is necessary.

  12. Hi Gabby!
    What perfect timing. You posted this clog just two days after my boyfriend of fours years and I split. I just finished reading Spirit Junkie, purchased the Fearless Relationships course, as well as May Cause Miracles. My question is should I read May Cause Miracles first or do the Fearless Relationships course first? Or can I do them both at the same time?
    Thank you, you have no idea how much you have helped me.

  13. I have a wonderful loving husband and 3 absolutely kick-butt kids and I cherish our family so much, but I feel I have been guided here because I have been feeling lately the urge to release all the toxic energy and resentment from past relationships decades ago. Thank you so much for lighting the path. You’re sensational.

    Much love,

    Phoebe xx

  14. Thank you so much for this video. I am going through a very hard brake up and my grandmother sent me this link and it has helped so much!

  15. Thank you Gabby…perfect timing for this…I am currently involved in a horrible breakup with a person who has addiction and anger issues…I know it’s toxic for me but he is trying to get help….the trust and deceit has broken me down. I am meditating…and forgiving on a daily basis..my heart hurts for him. Knowing your past and struggle with addiction what do you recommend…do I try to be there as a friend…I’m just afraid of losing myself into his issues again…I really don’t know what to do…

  16. Hi,
    First of all congratulations for your vlog, very interesting!!!
    Let me ask you a question…if I wouldn´t have kids, I´d be separated long time ago already….the most important reason why we are together are them!!
    I know they need both of us, but sometimes I´m so fed up with her that I´d prefer to be on my own as it affects my nerves.
    Any thoughts on when is the time to go, when not, what actions to take…???
    Thanks a lot!

  17. Thank you Gabby!
    Fifteen months ago my husband and I stopped the divorce process and decided to reconcile our marriage. In that time, I have read many of your books, beginning with Spirit Junkie. I am now a daily meditator, a Hay House Radio addict and a student of kundalini yoga. I am in a great place and have experienced so much healing! This process has turned my life around. Unfortunately, my husband shared with me recently that he is no longer in love with me. Ugh. My reaction surprised me. Instead of the giant ego attack, I just looked at him and said, “I forgive you. And I forgive me.” Thank you for providing me with the tools I needed! It is so freeing to honestly and genuinely forgive. I will be fine. And I can let him go peacefully.

  18. Rock on, girl! I LOVE this! Especially the concept of being grateful for our ex because they showed us what we don’t want our long-term relationship to be like! That’s definitely something I’ve used through the years to continue growing and evolving in my new romantic relationships.

    Oh… and I LOVE your MediDating album by the way — I do your “Visualization” and “Manifesting Love” meditations quite a bit! 🙂

  19. Phew. My husband and I just signed the divorce papers today and then you post this! I was devastated to learn that he cheated on me, my whole world and familiy has just fallen apart. I am not okay right now, not even close. I feel I have lost the love of my life. Thank you for posting this right now.

    1. Ouch! Perhaps you have not lost the love of your life- look in the mirror. If you can shift your thinking just a tiny bit, it may help. You’re not alone. I’m heading down that road too. *HUGS*

  20. Loved your post. I have a question. I had a relationship with someone, and it is now gone, we moved on, he has a new relationship and I do too. I learned a lot from that relationship and it made me better. I didn’t do the same on my current relationship and I am very happy now and in love. The only issue for me is that this person (my ex) is my circle of very close friends and I do not want it!, it is unfortunately not a choice because we both belong to Al Anon and we have the same home group, his new girlfriend too (my boyfriend no). But for me it is just uncomfortable to have to see him and them in every gathering and every meeting. I just don’t want to know anything about them or him. I want that in the past. Since it is not an option I have been working on accepting this reality. I am doing forgiveness meditations, kundalini and tapping, but it keeps popping on my mind that I just don’t want them on my circle of friends. Do you have any suggestions? is this not “normal”? to not wanting him on my circle of friends and to feel uncomfortable? thanks, and hugs. Carolina

    1. I know the feeling! I hope that you can handle it better than I did though. I actually stopped hanging out with my entire group of friends because my ex was a part of it. Ok, that was too dramatic. That was one of the reasons I stopped hanging out with my entire group of friends. I really have no desire to see him, talk to him or know anything about his life. I got in a big fight with one of my girl friends who is really close to him because she kept talking about him and telling me things about his life when he wasn’t around. I just didn’t want to hear it and she didn’t respect my boundaries. So, maybe it was ok to let that group go, but I definitely still miss them sometimes. Clearly, I must not have forgiven him yet or forgiven myself, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have felt so uncomfortable about it all. Not sure if this helps, but just wanted you to know that you’re not alone!
      Delight

  21. I love you Gabby. Thank you for this. Your wisdom has helped me look into my past relationships and take responsibility for my part in why they ended.

    I have come to know that even though when each relationship ended I was afraid, hurt and felt dishonored…that ultimately it was best. As an artist, it’s been fantastic! As a JourneyDance facilitator, it’s raised my level of compassion and am attracting and holding safe space for people who are faced with relationships ending, divorce, to grieve loss.

    I know what it’s like to be alone and love myself unconditionally as a single woman who is over 40 and single, and never been married or asked to have been married.

    Wow! I said that out loud!!

    I love, love and respect marrige and family. I also love the community of single people out there. I often think that in our culture for many reasons, people are focusing on relationships to solve what’s missing in their lives instead of loving themselves unconditionally.

    Our culture is obsessed with the new, the beginnings of things, and ignores the endings of things.

    Gabby’s Medidating cd is beautiful because it’s not about changing the self to attract some “other” person…it’s about true unconditional love for ourselves. Because let’s face it…the only life long relationship a human being really has is with ourselves…from cradle to grave.

    I’m actually really happy that the relationships I was in did not end in marriage. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with rasing children in these relationships and being forever connected to those guys. I realize that I loved myself enough, and the guys I dated loved themselves enough, to let go for the greater good. Those relationships were just not right.

    Even though the processes were all painful, in the end, the outcome was healing. It’s like having surgery… during the surgical procedure, you are numb, then it can take weeks or months or even years of dealing with painful recovery as the healing takes place but with determination, self love, and a loving community… you get through.

    And once you are through…you feel so much better.

    Loving ourselves first…that’s what your work helps everyone to do…and for that, from the bottom of my heart…I thank you my sister.

  22. Thank you for this, Gabby! I subscribe to your newsletter and was surprised to see your blog on this topic since I had just broken up with my boyfriend yesterday. I was feeling lost. I’m sure your post will help many others as it has helped me maintain a positive perspective. My ex and I have are over our hard feelings – it was pleasantly quick – and we are friends. Thanks again for posting this!

  23. Gab,
    I’m amazed at the support the universe is sending me. I am one week into a break-up of my 4 year relationship. Although we are being incredibly loving towards each other during the transition, it sure is difficult. Thank you for the reminders about how to see these changes. I will align myself with an energy of magnificence.

    Love,
    Caitlin

  24. Dear Gabby,
    I’m after a break up, I can’t let go.Accidentally I’ve found one of your video, then I’ve seen that your book May Cause Miracles would be publisehed in Hungary soon. I preordered!
    Today is my first day!I hope it will work:)
    Thank you!

  25. Gabby,
    I just want to add my thanks and honor to your spirit and work! After telling my wife I wanted a divorce this past Thursday and a very rough weekend dealing with emotional pain from all side, I received an email from her this morning telling me how much I owe for my cell phone from last month. And have been dreading checking my email since she is one of the most recent emails. And I felt guilty asking for the divorce after seeing your post where you officiated a wedding.

    Then, boom, I get your email with this video in it. Much gratitude for all you do and spread. And I will be purchasing your book as soon as I have the funds!

    Namaste,
    Sarah

  26. Thank you Gabby. I’ve already read this in Spirit Junkie, but I really needed to hear it from you today. I have been struggling, but I want to go forward and expect miracles and have the relationship I have always dreamed of. God bless you 🙂

  27. Hi!
    I wrote a question under your last video about relationships, asking you how to let go and forgive as I’m just not able to.
    You answered with a question, how long it’s been sence my breakup, and it’s been 2,5 almost 3 years.
    I’ve read spirit junkie, actually i’ve read all of your books, I’m listening to the medidating album on repeat, I’ve pictures myself and my ex in the holy instant more times then I can count.
    I can’t get past it!
    I can see my part clearly but no matter how I turn, I’m still so angry, bitter, hurt, in a way I cant describe. I try to tell myself diffrently but honestly, I think I might be to blocked to ever get in to a new relationship.
    I’m 32, I want a family, kids…
    I want to forgive, let go, vibrate, embrace the new, trust, LOVE…
    I’m praying every day.
    Do you believe that some people are here to learn from solitude? Might all this be my life lesson, maybe I’m ment to be alone?
    xo

    1. Aloha Christine, I can totally relate to your experience and how difficult it is to get past the hurt of a bad break up. I gained a bunch of weight when I decided to buck up and stop crying. It wasn’t the food, but rather a symbol of ‘holding on’…and my body showed me this. So, when I decided I really need to let go, it came back to self love. It wasn’t about him, it was about my own sense of self-worth and learning to love myself again. At the same time I started reading ‘The Disappearance of the Universe’. It made a huge difference at the time because it assisted me with the letting go process, and to take ownership of my part in the experience. That’s where the real work is. In order to forgive wholly, I had to look at the real role I played rather than focus on a victim mentality (which won’t get you anywhere). The pounds started melting away, as did the mental blocks. Take your time, and be mindful from moment to moment, especially when the anger presents itself. Come up with a mantra you can recite when it does. I used to fake it at first, because it was hard to really love myself when I hated what I saw in the mirror…but over time your mind shift, and the anger will dissipate. Be diligent in your work and make a commitment to your ‘self’. Thank you for allowing me to share, and may the force be with you 😉

      1. Thank you <3
        I try so hard to forgive and release, him as well as my self, but I must be doing something wrong as I feel like I'm sinking into a ocean of bitterness.
        Thanks so much for sharing.

        1. I believe the Spirit led me to Gabby, and back to A Course in Miracles when I started realizing I was in a toxic relationship. Only recently have I realized that I am dealing with the effects of narcissistic abuse. The reason I mention it is the after effects of a relationship with this particular kind of person can leave you feeling like you’re lost in an ocean. The Spirit knows the path to healing though , regardless of the specifics of any of our situations. When you say ” Does this mean I am meant to be alone?” You are trying to look at the outcome, instead, trust that you are on the right path and ask for only the next step. ” What is my next right step?”

          1. Camila, I have today ended the relationship that I have had with a narcissistic husband. I feel lost and torn, but I know that narcissism is an illness. But I feel it is an illness that really can’t be fixed, unless he realizes his illness, and I need to let go completely. How are you accomplishing this? I miss him, and the daily good stuff.

          2. Gigi, my heart goes out to you…I have only recently realized that I am dealing with this issue, and I can’t find it in myself to leave him, but I am educating myself , videos on you tube have described there may be effects on brain chemicals, a physical response that keeps you addicted no matter how long you are away from him until you do the work to free yourself. Look for videos on healing from narcissistic abuse and learning about Stockholm syndrome may be helpful. I am going to a support group for survivors of domestic abuse. Gabby’s books have helped me get a better grasp on spirituality and as I said, I believe the spirit has an individualized path laid out for each of us, meant to restore us one step at a time, even just the slightest willingness will open the door for love to begin healing you, ask for guidance if you believe in a higher power. Ask for your next right step and let go of the outcome, trust that you are being guided, tell yourself “You’re doing good Gigi.” Love to you and all in this chain of messages.

    2. I feel the exact same way, and have tried everything to free myself, everything. I am a completely different person since the breakup (3 years ago) and I don’t like it. I’m so angry, bitter, sad and insecure now. I want to forgive so badly and let it go, and wonder what the point of all of this was.. and if maybe I was just meant to be alone.

      1. I believe the Spirit led me to Gabby, and back to A Course in Miracles when I started realizing I was in a toxic relationship. Only recently have I realized that I am dealing with the effects of narcissistic abuse. The reason I mention it is the after effects of a relationship with this particular kind of person can leave you feeling like you’re lost in an ocean. The Spirit knows the path to healing though , regardless of the specifics of any of our situations. When you say ” Does this mean I am meant to be alone?” You are trying to look at the outcome, instead, trust that you are on the right path and ask for only the next step. ” What is my next right step?”

  28. This is perfect. I love the idea of being grateful for the relationship for showing you what it is that you DON’T want in a romantic partner. Earlier this year I went through a horrible break up and I wish I had this tool. I am not co-dependent by any means, but the universe literally brought me to the guy I am dating now and it is a beautiful and blessed relation. Sneaky, sneaky universe 🙂

  29. I have been stuck on a break up for months and always ask why did he come into my life I want looking but it turned out to be the worst most hurtful experience of my life. I still think of him every day and the betrayal. I also read spirt junkie and it helped but I keep thinking of him. its been months I stopped taking about him and as soon as I feel a little better someone or something will bring him up to me ugh. Just hate being stuck
    Thanks for all your beautiful videos

      1. Thanks I guess when you hurt so much you forget what does bring you joy because once stuck in the drama its hard to refocus and be pulled away.

  30. Gabs, How do you know when it’s time to let go? Im in a relationship that has served me in so many ways. She is a beautiful and amazing person who has everything that I have ever wanted and more. I enjoy the time we spend together but something has really been poking at me the last few months. We have been together for 21 months and I havn’t fallen IN love with her. I love her and so many things about her. Should there be more or do you choose who you love? When do you know it’s time to let go? How do you go about ending a relationship when nothing is wrong? I’ve been struggling and when you said maybe you part is staying.. it hit my heart. I don’t want to make it worse if thats what I need to do. I want to make a decison that both of us benefit from.

      1. I somehow knew that would be your response. My connection to spirit grows every day but im not sure how to evaluate that kind of response. I feel spirit thru internal cold chills through my body. I may not recognize or realize my other signs yet.

        1. Hey Cassie ~ One way that really helps me to tap into spirit is by doing what I call ‘follow the feelgood’. Anytime my mind starts spinning and I get lost trying so hard to figure out what to do, I know I’ve gone off track. So I stop, relax, and listen to what my heart is saying. Sometimes it’s hard to really allow, because I’m afraid of what the truth is, but it always has the ‘right’ answer…especially in intimate relationships. You may love her in many ways, but if you’re not feeling the way you really want to feel or imagine is possible in a relationship, this could be a ‘signal’ to listen to you. So back to what Gabby is saying, perhaps it could be helpful (if I may make a loving and humble suggestion), to ask spirit to expand on your concern of not being ‘in love’. Ask for a specific sign so that you may know which direction to take, (I used to sometimes ask for a feather to be presented to me), and continue to ask. This is an opportunity for your relationship to spirit be strengthened. And once you are clear on the direction, spirit will continue to gently guide you through the process, and align things for the both of you. You’ve got this! xoxoTiff

  31. Thank you, Gabby, for sharing. Many times you forget those bits of information when you’re in the midst of or recovering from a breakup. Those were helpful reminders for me.

  32. How timely ! One of my good friend is going through a break up and I was thinking about giving her « Spirit Junkie » but I wasn’t sure… I think I have my answer ! I’m in a great long-term relationship and I love listening to your MediDating album. I find it very insightful. Thanks Gabby.

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