How To Thrive After An Ugly Breakup

spikespencerNeil30 Comments

We’ve all been there – Heartbreak City. There are a thousand ways we visit, and to varying degrees of heartache. Sometimes it’s a slight funk that takes a few weeks to get over. Sometimes it is a life destroying, soul sucking, flaming roller-coaster ride through Hell. I have the dubious and unfortunate honor to have lived through the latter, which as fate would have it, makes me a bit of an expert on the subject. Due to the betrayal of those I loved most, I went through a bankruptcy/divorce and lost literally everything I knew and those I loved – family, friends, home, businesses, properties, money, reputation, dogs (that was the hardest, btw), and relocated to a town where I knew 4 people. On the plus side, I did lose 30 pounds and looked pretty damn good. I call it the “Despair-a-trim” diet. Though I do not recommend it, it certainly is effective.

Rather than let my visit to “The City” drop me into a pit of despair and ruin my life, I focused on the situation, gleaned everything I could, so that I would not only survive my worst fear, but thrive in the aftermath. Instead of wallowing, I have been traveling the world signing autographs, speaking in front of thousands, and now have an amazing new fiancé (who is a Pilates instructor, fitness product company President, and ex Miss California contestant, btw). I lost a cheating wife, and gained a massive upgrade. You too can upgrade your life in the midst of personal tragedy and come out the other side much better off.

At this point, you have to, as Neil says, “Become a scientist of your own lows.” This is precisely what did. You have to face the choices you made. Why did you choose her? What did you do to cause or contribute to the break up? This is no time for repression, rationalization, or denial. This is where you will become stronger than you ever believed you could be. You are going to assess where your issues truly stem from, by facing them head on. Your journey is just beginning, and by being open to the true reasons for what happened, your fault, or hers, you can and will heal yourself and come out the other side far stronger than you ever imagined you could be. And here are some tips from the battlefield to help you.

***For all of this, I am assuming that you are the one who has been dumped, assumably in an unceremonious fashion and need to survive.

Acknowledge the Pain.

Heartbreak hurts! No doubt about it. And for men it is physically worse. There are many reasons for this. We don’t talk to others about our pain, we withdraw to lick our wounds. We are protectors, it’s in our DNA, if we fail the relationship, we fail our prime duty. We also take longer to commit, but when we do, it is wholeheartedly and sincere. Women fall in (and out of) love quicker than men. We ramp up slowly like a freight train. If that train is derailed, it takes a long time to slow down, re-track, and correct course. All this, of course, after a fairly ugly explosion – screaming, fire, pandemonium; the usual.

This pain is very real and has immense physical consequences to your health. You want to minimize the amount of time you are hurting, as it can truly injure you, physically and mentally. Realize that you are in mourning. A life has been lost – yours. A love that you relied on has been taken away from you. It is just like a death, only worse, they chose to leave you alone and stranded after they promised they would not. In these cases there is no funeral to act as a transition. You don’t get to say goodbye. So take some time to allow yourself to feel the grief. Beat a punching bag, scream at God, cry like a little bitch (only when alone); whatever works for you. But let it out. If you keep it in, it will screw you up, and women will feel it. So, mourn, until you can move on, and only then attempt to date again. Otherwise, you may only succeed in driving yourself further into despair.

Knowing the pain exists and facing it is one thing. Prolonging it is another. You MUST NOT have anything to do with your ex if you can help it. NOTHING. Do not search her Facebook or any social media whatsoever. No emails, calls, or skywriting. You must move past. If you keep tabs on her, it will only hurt you more and prolong your recovery. As far as you are concerned, she is dead. Period.

Talk It Out.

This is no time to let your ego get in your way. As men, we always want to fix things. Well, here is a prime chance to do just that! And the project that needs fixing is you. It’s a great place to take a cue from our female counterparts. Talking will help you figure out what went wrong and help you heal. You are hurting, whether you want to admit it or not. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. You can join a mens group for self-improvement, get some therapy, or talk to a friend who understands. Friends are the best. They are cheaper and they bring wine.

Once you have that friend who will support you and listen, only talk to them about your problems. Sharing openly with any and everyone can backfire. You don’t want to be the downer at every party, so just stick to talking to that one friend who agrees to act as your sounding board. I recommend a woman friend for this, but no one you would date. Any time you feel drawn to contact your ex, DON’T. Call your friend instead and talk to them.

My sounding board told me that I would have to talk about it until I was done. And true to her word, she always listened. Eventually, the purging sessions became fewer and fewer, until they basically went away. Had I not talked it out, who knows how long it would have taken me to move on. I wanted to get over it, and FAST! So, get over yourself, so you can get over your break up.

Do Things You Enjoy.

Get out there and spend time doing things you really enjoy doing, especially if it is something she was not interested in. You will open up a whole new side to your life that has absolutely nothing to do with your old one. I discovered sailing, something I never thought of before. And I love it. Enjoying the sun, sea, and chatting with a dolphin or two, is not only relaxing and invigorating, but it’s sexy as hell. I have wooed many a lovely on the deck of a boat.

Find something you enjoy ASAP. Get your mind off the past and onto your future. This will not only make you happy, but you just might find a lady with similar interests to help you along in the next step.


Meet Other Women

After your mourning period, it’s time to get back into the mix, my friend. This point is tricky though. You must be careful. You can hurt someone else here, by not being aware. You are in a state that is volatile and you could transfer your anger/frustration/despair onto other women over the slightest disappointment. So your best bet at this point is to NOT be interested in dating. I’m not saying that you won’t date, but that should be your mindset. This takes away the expectation that can lead to disappointment. Just enjoy the company of women. They are awesome.

All you want to do is get out there and meet people. Maybe a little bit at a time, but get out there. Take lots of pics with hot ladies and make sure you post ‘em online everywhere! Let people see that you are out there and awesome. When you find a lady that is interested in you, be honest with her. You don’t have to tell her everything, just that you are not ready for a relationship/commitment. Some women are totally cool with that and more than happy to enjoy a nice no strings attached sexcapade or two. But you must be honest, to her and yourself.


Now is the time to learn from the mistakes of the past and to prepare for your new brighter future. Own up to what you may or may not have contributed to the situation, then promise to never do it again. For example, I realize that I gave away a lot of my power as a man and therefore was not perceived to be strong to my wife. That led to her not respecting me and losing attraction. Which opened the door for her to stray. The fact that she and my closest pal were bereft of any hint of moral fiber didn’t help. You may have already discovered this, but some people just suck, and you never know until they are tested. Watch your back, always. The more you know about women, and yourself, the easier it will be to know when things are going awry.

Now is when you need to start studying the masters, like Neil, and how they changed their dating lives. The more you learn, the more you see the mistakes of the past; things you had no idea you were doing to sabotage your own life. Your life was shattered into a million pieces. The good news is that you have the power to rearrange the pieces to form a brand new life of your choosing.

Terrible things may have happened to you. And those who tell you to just “get over it,” have more than likely never gone through it. I have been there and I would never tell anyone to just get over it. I sincerely want to do my best to help you move forward confidently toward true success, so that your path to recovery and happiness is a short one. And if you have not gone through this, maybe I can help you avoid it altogether. Either way, we win. It is not easy, but in the end, you can have a much brighter future, with women of a much higher caliber, truer friends, and an amazing life full of real enduring love. Oh, and lots of hot steamy crazy monkey sex.

On the flip side, if you need to learn how to breakup, go here.

30 Comments on “How To Thrive After An Ugly Breakup”

  1. Bitches spend so much fuckin time on facebook and twitter taking pictures in the fuckon bathroom they never have time for real people… yet they always have time for the fake people…

  2. Great post!!! Thank you for sharing

    “This is no time to let your ego get in your way. As men, we always want to fix things. Well, here is a prime chance to do just that! And the project that needs fixing is you.”

  3. When I started studying Stylelife academy i had recently broken up. It was about 7 months ago.
    It was a girl I met at a wedding and from the first moments we had a connection. As Spike was saying in the article, at first I wasn’t so committed (on her birthday I even went for a little while and left her to play football, 4 days later she became my girlfriend and all her friends would tell me she was crazy for me) but then I began to give EVERYTHING! not material stuff, but all the time I would be very worried about her and what was going on with her life, after a while I realized this and that she wouldn’t give attention to the relationship or want to spend time with me, I was the one always looking for her and paying attention to her needs (she is an actress by the way). After a while I got tired of always being me the one that would be always looking for the best and would fight for the relationship to grow, while she would only see me when she felt like, only made plans for us to see her friends or she stay alone, (also her mother would interfere a lot) , I couldn’t go to her house because of her mother, her mother cancelled a trip to the beach I had already planned and bought everything (she was 24 by the way), and a whole lot of other things that made me fill up the glass with more and more water until one day I got crazy and I started saying to her: you know, I don’t understand we are in a really complicated relationship where I cant sleep with you no more, I cant go to your house, we cant travel together, I cant talk to you anymore about anything cause all you say is you don’t like conflict , bla bla bla…. so i confronted my situation (one thing I learned from my older ex and living with her for 2 years), and she told me she loved me and wanted to be with me; I told her that there most be a reason for her being so appart and she told me there was. At night she called me and she was so cold and distant and she said that the next day we would have to talk and that she was going to think that night if she wanted to be with me or not and for me to think the same; I told her I was not waiting for the night (this was the second time she told me this), so i drove to her place and we talked; the funny thing here is that I was the one tired of this…. but she broke up with me (lol … now, very sad at the moment) and I was all confused, I had just moved to an apartment I bought and she helped me with stuff to buy even her sister sold me some furniture.
    After this I remembered the pain I went through when I broke up with my older ex so when I arrived home I deleted her phone, put all her stuff in a box and began healing. It was really hard cause by the time we broke up even though I was not receiving what I deserved I was truly committed and in love , but I practically did a lot of what Spike says: always wanted to do rock climbing and started doing it, muay thai classes, every time I felt like calling her I would call this good girl friend of mine and told her everything (she actually helped me a lot!!!! great advices from woman), and after a while started studying a lot Stylelife and then dated some women. Now this Sunday a Russian girl I met in Cancun a while ago is arriving and we are making the same trip that I was gonna do my ex last year and that her mother canceled us! life is funny my friends or karma is too good to whoever aims to achieve his goals! don’t know but I found this guide to be extremely useful since I used a lot of this to help me recover of my breakup. Now I learnt and I even believe I’m learning more and more! have nothing else to say now but thanks to life and hope like Spike says: That ill find a better woman now with all this that Ive been achieving.

    1. Good on ya, my man! Always look inward and become the MAN you want to be! You will attract exactly what you want when you are exactly what she wants. It will be strong and mutual, no games. Enjoy.

    2. Similar situation with my ex, she used her MOTHER as an excuse to not be able to see me/stay at mine/do things with her!

      At the beginning I wasn’t that committed with her either and she was crazy for me, then when she started to show less for me I became more and more desperate for her and started to give her EVERYTHING!

      She got really cold and distant at times toward the end and it just was not the same person that I knew at the beginning, it seemed as soon as I really wanted her, she retreated and I never got a chance to really be in love with her.

      She broke up with me and 3 months later now she posted a new fb profile picture with what looks like a new boyfriend.

      The annoying thing is this:
      When we were going out and things were going at their best, we argued a lot, she was very moody, arrogant and argued a lot. I wouldnt exactly be one to back down so i didnt let her walk all over me and stood my ground a lot too.

      Basically, in my head I know that it was a bad relationship and how unsatisfying it was. But I idealize everything and only look at the good times, rather than acknowledging the reality!

      But seeing this new guy just makes me feel awful and I never stop thinking of her and just cannot move on! This is a big problem I have. I almost feel like I have no confidence and I will never get another girl that is attractive and smart and sexy and loves me.

      I have been trying to read all these books and self help but its literally been leading to paralysis by analysis!

      Need to sort myself out. Anyone have any advice?

  4. I feel like I could have written some of this myself, particularly the part about it being like death but worse (I’ve been saying this to friends for years).

    A brilliant article, that I’ve added to my favourites and WILL learn from and revisit again and again (although hopefully to draw on, rather than because I keep getting dumped…;) )

    Thank you.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Russ. We have obviously been through a thing or two and come out on top! Life is beautiful, go live it.

  5. Thanks Spike. Great article.

    I’m going through a tough breakup right now. It’s been about three weeks.

    Short history: Things were fine until I decided to quit a job I didn’t like and take some time out to travel and relax. I moved to my folks’ place about 30 minutes from London where she is. She said if I was traveling for more than a few months she wouldn’t stay with me. Trust me, I read the signs then, but she’s special so decided to do shorter trips, and after the summer, get back to work and make it happen with her. When it got to the crunch I had no motivation to do it, and have been chilling out at my parents’ ever since. Inactivity is hard on alpha males, which I’d say I was, and definitely what she fell in love with, but in trusting her, I went beta and let it be known.

    We broke up when I got frustrated by a lack of intimacy, confronted her to try to figure out what was going on, and ended up breaking it off. Now I’m bitter that she allowed this to happen so easily and left me when I’ve been at my weakest. We’ve had little contact, and she never replied to my last questions about why she left me so easily.

    I’m following good advice like that in your post, weight training, reading, writing and learning some financial trading, while also cheating myself by looking at her social media every day. It still hurts, but posts like these remind me I’ve been through this before and I’ll be stronger for it. This has given me good inspiration and I hope it helps others in confusing situations.

    I’m headed to Southeast Asia in January for a few months, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do.

    All the best,

    1. So similar to my case. Yeah I had to confront her as well cause of the lack of intimacy, this a friend of mine told me happens when no more attraction or real love is going on!
      Hang in there! I had to delete her from FB and social media and we talked for a bit by text messages, after a while like 2 months where I saw that talking to her and checking her social media wouldn’t take me anywhere I called her and told her if we could meet and have a coffee so I could give her her stuff back and she could give her mine. Well she didn’t want to see me and i ended up sending her stuff with a friend. Anyways, we had a phone closure, I told her thank you and good luck.
      Then we never talked again. Now I heard she has a boyfriend and I never got my stuff back, but after 3 months of suffering the next ones were amazing and have been!
      Keep building your up with the things that matter and also the travelling will help you a lot!
      Enjoy mate! all the best.

    2. Just keep thinking about the things you want instead of the things you don’t want. I know it’s pretty difficult, but it’ll get easier with time & practice. I wish you good fortune on your recovery.

    3. Hey DK,

      I truly understand the Alpha/Beta conundrum. I am inspired to do an article on that specifically, as it happens so often to good men. Hope your Asia travel was great for you. I have been all over Japan and a little time in Seoul myself.

      You may never ever find out exactly why she left, and it should not matter. It happened. Women do that from time to time. It is up to you to make it be a great thing in your life that you dodged the bullet of a woman who wasn’t there for the full fight. Relationships are work. Period. The more you keep up the self improvement, the better you will be. Keep being a Maverick Adventurer and you will become simply awesome, brotha!

      And stop checking out her shit!

  6. I’m going through an uneasy break up right now. I love her but I absolutely wrecked her life and was unfaithful. Here’s the tricky part…we have a 6 month old son together so I can’t sever ties with her. Interested in an article or advice in that situation. She also has a 4 year old son that I adore….what do I do?

    1. I’m sorry to hear this. You may have had an indiscretion but that does not mean you’re a bad person- you’re human. Yes, it’s healthy to feel guilt but don’t let it drag you down forever. Be the best father for your child- this is what to focus on and remember LOVE is the answer always. Love yourself, your ex and always your child.

    2. Hey fpiepho,

      Man, sorry to hear that you had a character lapse. The real question now is what do you want to do? Do you want to save the relationship or is it too late? Only you can decide, but if you do decide to try to stay together, you are going to have to be beyond exemplary in your actions words and deeds. You have to be there for your son. Period. If it’s too late, you have to do your best to maintain civility for the children’s sake. My fallback is always to work on yourself on the inside, improve constantly and become a better stronger MAN. To that, there is no downside. Responsibility can be tough, but that is what a MAN must do. I wish you all the best in your journey.

  7. thanx alot for the tips. I’m experiencing now am ugly break up, so this has been very useful to me!

  8. I’m enduring the after effects of my own pre-Christmas breakup right now. I feel like I’ve had my heart broken so many times, each recovery gets a little easier, as is the case with this one. I guess I needed that breakup to really light a fire under my ass. I’ve been on a self-improvement binge, I’ve spoken & I’ve connected with people I never thought I would, I’m in the planning stages of starting my own business, and life just seems a little more positive. I’m definitely focused & driven, working on that “conscious competence”. Thank you for writing this brilliant article; it really hit the spot.

  9. I’ve only been in love twice and thus two breakups. My first was when I was married. My father died and two weeks later he packed his clothes while our children were napping, gave me a look of hatred and left. I was willing to work it out since he had an affair but he chose her. The death of my father was a million times worse than the divorce. We were married, had plans for our future and the love…that’s the rub. Love and the aftershocks from a breakup or divorce. The million things that go through my mind, what did I do? was I not good enough? etc.. With this recent breakup, it’s different in many ways but it boils down to the same pain.

  10. Nice article, I’ve recently ended a 5 year relationship and it’s reassuring to know I’m on the right path. It’s been a very challenging but insightful experience. We all have ups & downs during a breakup. Along the way I’ve had steps forward, followed by (what feels like) a relapse back old habits & old negative thinking. This has mainly happenned during the grieving period, but as mentioned above you must be willing to take responsibility for it. The biggest changes for me happenned when I was willing to look at where I went wrong and it’s a lot clearer when your no longer in the relationship. I’ve approached this as a way to learn some important lessons about myself, women & relationships. Just remember, there are many benefits to being single!

  11. Oh…and remember not to be TOO hard on yourself! It’s good to see where you may have gone wrong but never look back in regret or pile on the guilt. Instead, look towards the future as chance to do things differently. In my last post I mentioned there are many benefits to being single, for me it means a chance to become a better man (before considering another relationship).

    G’day from Western Australia. 🙂

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