What am I feeling?
The end of a relationship can be stressful and a life-changing event. Whether you wanted it or not there is no escaping the emotional waves that can be unsettling and trigger painful feelings. Relationship loss can wreak havoc as you attempt to understand feelings of confusion, hurt, pain, anger, and sadness. It is important to allow yourself to feel these emotions and not attempt to suppress them. Holding space for your feelings will help you to recover and heal.
The longer the relationship or marriage the bigger the heartache. This is because lives become intertwined, so you not only lose your significant other but what you built together, along with your plans for the future. It means losing your routine as a couple and being hurled into a new way of life. This can be frightening and upsetting as you face unfamiliar territory.
Starting over was one of the hardest things when my marriage ended. I remember throwing out the trash, and thinking this was his job. I had to start paying more attention to when the trash needed to go out, so I didn’t miss trash day (sounds silly) but I didn’t have to worry about it when I was married. It became my responsibility after the marriage ended, and it felt like one more new thing I had to take on.
Many times the pain can be intense, so it understandable why you want to avoid them, but guard against a rebound in order to escape the pain. Rushing into a romantic relationship so soon after a break up is not the answer. Spend the time resolving the past and getting to know YOU again, otherwise, you will be destined to repeat the past.
Coping with a break-up or Divorce
Find support- Don’t isolate or go at this alone. One of the things that I found helpful was getting around others. Listening to people with similar experiences will help you to feel encouraged and optimistic about the future. Consider joining a separated/divorced support group or getting support from friends /family that have been through a break up. Surround yourself with people who care and will listen to you. Talking out your feelings will help you to feel better and process your thoughts within a supportive community.
Allow yourself to feel different emotions: It is perfectly normal to have conflicting feelings during this time. You may experience different levels of emotional intensity. Feelings of anger, pain, hurt, and sadness that will leave you exhausted. Be patient with yourself, as it will take time to heal.
Engage in Self-Love: Try engaging in a little self-care like taking a warm bath, a long walk, drinking a cup of hot tea, or watch a funny movie. These can be great ways to help feel a little better. Remember, that you won’t be functioning optimally, so give yourself a break.
Get Professional Help: A therapist/counselor can help you in managing your stress and expectations during this difficult time. Therapy can be a great way to re-discover yourself and heal from the loss of the relationship.
How to Move On
Get Connected: It can be easy to isolate at home and ruminate in negative thoughts and feelings that can eventually lead to bitterness. The best way to avoid getting “stuck” is by getting around others. Connecting with people can help you feel re-energized. Think about getting involved in community functions or volunteering for a local school, church, or charity. These are great ways for meeting people and cultivating new friendships.
Keep a Routine: This is especially necessary when there are kids involved. Relationship loss can cause stress, and feelings of chaos due to uncertainty. Keeping a regular routine will help everyone feel a sense of stability and normalcy.
Explore new Activities: Exploring new activities can increase your sense of wellbeing and embrace a new beginning. Maybe you would enjoy a jewelry making class, going fishing, refurbishing old furniture, painting,or hiking trails. Starting something new and fun will help you feel empowered and move on from the past.