Most couples who end their long term relations are forced to come to terms with a number of fears. “What will people say? Who can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How can I deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? Will I be able to keep my children? What about money? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change?”
When we hold on to our fears and refuse to do anything about them we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble.
The loneliness after a breakup can feel intolerable. The finality of the relationship, the uncertainty about the future and the knowledge that your partner will no longer be there to comfort you or to spend time with you, can all contribute to an empty feeling that won’t easily go away. An effective way to cope with a breakup is to redefine what’s happened. For example, redefine ‘loneliness’ as ‘aloneness’ and realize that being alone gives you freedom to create a new future.
In the same way, you can redefine ‘emptiness’ as a feeling of peace, contentment and fulfillment. Looking into oneself and liking what one sees is a key to making the shift to aloneness. Get into being alone. It is a precious but tenuous gift that can disappear to quickly from one’s life.
The end of your relationship is a true test of just who your friends really are. It is important to draw on the emotional support of friends during and after a breakup. Unfortunately many of your friends were those who knew you as a couple – and now they often must choose between you. Even those who try to stay neutral may find this to be difficult.
Many of them may feel that your breakup will somehow threaten their own relationship and some friends may now find it hard to deal with you as a single person. Not only that, you may find it difficult to trust others as well.
Grieving is both normal and necessary when a love relationship ends. You may feel depressed for some time and experience changes in your sleep, appetite, energy, and concentration and your ability to make a decision. As unpleasant as it may feel, comfort yourself with the knowledge that this is how you are saying goodbye so that you can move on to a healthier and happier future. Meeting with a professional individual counselor can help you process your thoughts and feelings. If the sense of loss doesn’t diminish or it keeps returning, consult with a professional grief counselor.
You may say that you never thought you could be so angry. The rage can seem overwhelming at times. But no, you’re not going crazy. Think about it. You’ve just lost one of the most important people in your life and in some ways your partner can be your enemy. And you have a lot to be angry about. Use this opportunity to explore your anger and to find out how it helps and hurts you. Anger is helpful in the sense that it helps us end the loyalty and trust that we used to have in our partner and this allows us to move on. Do not engage in any behavior that you will regret later on. For example, don’t turn to social media to degrade your ex-partner.
Getting through this difficult period requires one step at a time mindset. Some steps may be harder than others. Not only do you have to confront loneliness, anger and grieving but you must deal with the finality of the emotional break from your partner; understand what really went wrong; learn to like yourself again; see yourself as a single person; make new friends; forge new goals and purpose for yourself and learn again about trust and love. As painful as the journey is, it can lead to a life which is much better.
If you’re in recovery after a breakup or are wondering how you’ll survive a breakup, consult with a professional marriage therapist. If unresolved feelings from your past begin to surface, consider individual therapy for yourself since these feelings are unlikely to go away by themselves. Seeking help can help you get through a breakup in an emotionally healthy manner.
Please call me at 949-760-7171 or text 949-244-8572 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to schedule an appointment. Click here for an overview of my book “Building Better Relationships – A Guidebook for Men.”