DEALING WITH GRIEF 22


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Coping with a Breakup or Divorce – Moving on After a Relationship Ends

It’s never easy when a marriage or significant relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split — and whether you wanted it or not — the breakup of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings. But there are plenty of things you can do to get through this difficult time and move on. You can even learn from the experience and grow into a stronger, wiser person.

Healing after a divorce or breakup

Why do breakups hurt so much, even when the relationship is no longer good?

A divorce or breakup is painful because it represents the loss, not just of the relationship, but also of shared dreams and commitments.

Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hope for the future. When these relationships fail, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief.

😪A breakup or divorce launches us into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity.

😪A breakup brings uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship.

😪Recovering from a breakup or divorce is difficult. However, it’s important to know (and to keep reminding yourself) that you can and will move on. But healing takes time, so be patient with yourself.

Coping with separation and divorce:

🤗Recognize that it’s OK to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused — and these feelings can be intense. You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the marriage was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.

🤗Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup, and re-energize.

🤗Don’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.

🤗Allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship.

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and the breakup or divorce of a love relationship involves multiple losses:
☹️Loss of companionship and shared experiences (which may or may not have been consistently pleasurable).
☹️Loss of support, be it financial, intellectual, social, or emotional.
☹️Loss of hopes, plans, and dreams (can be even more painful than practical losses).

Allowing yourself to feel the pain of these losses may be scary. You may fear that your emotions will be too intense to bear, or that you’ll be stuck in a dark place forever. Just remember that grieving is essential to the healing process. The pain of grief is precisely what helps you let go of the old relationship and move on. And no matter how strong your grief, it won’t last forever.

Credits – Amanda Buys

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