We want to believe that break-up and divorce may be tough in the short term, but that time will heal all. But is it a dangerous myth? Breaking Up Blues presents evidence of the risks of remaining caught in bitter battle; of failing to learn from past difficulties; in refusing to mind; or becoming caught in self-hatred and despair. What looks like self-protection can turn out to be self-destructive.
Self-help books tell you not to fight - but not why battles are so addictive. They tell you to bin your baggage and be positive - but if that is all you do, you can't have any memories of past good times, or of any joint achievements. They tell you to reach out and find someone new - but not until you've done the emotional work can you risk being open to a new partner. Nor do they remind you of the threat to self-esteem of brief flings.
Break-up and divorce can also offer an opportunity for growth - whether originally looked for, or not. You need to find your resources (including how to manage feelings of panic, loneliness, guilt and grief) and re-find your self-worth. Abraham Lincoln said that "sucess in life consists of moving from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm". This book shows you how.
Denise Cullington is a psychoanalyst living and working in Oxford. She trained at the Institute of Psychoanalysis; the Tavistock Clinic, London; and as a Clinical Psychologist.
Part I: Prelude to Break Up. Introduction. Should You Leave? Should You Stay? Being Left. Part II: The Trauma of Break-up. Loss. Rage. Legal Battles. Refusing to Mind. Depression. Part III: Toolkits. Emergency Toolkit. Part IV: Emotional Toolkit. Letting Go of Hatred. Facing Your Part. Acceptance - and Mourning. Part V: Children. Noticing Children's Distress. Evidence of Impact on Children. Parenting After Break-up. Part VI: A Wider Focus. Roadmap of the Unconscious. Problems of Intimacy. Different Developmental Tasks of Boys and Girls. Stress and Stages of Life. Part VII: The Future. A New Partner? Moving On. Appendix.