It’s one of the hardest things to overcome – you thought you’d be together for the long-term, possibly forever, and then you find that your partner doesn’t want to be with you any longer. There may not even be another person involved but he/she wants out and there’s no persuading them otherwise.
This is often a particularly difficult time of year to experience a break-up, although sadly, it’s also a time when many relationships falter. After an extended holiday period such as Christmas, many couples realise that their relationship just isn’t working.
Here are a few things that may help on a day-to-day basis – they won’t solve the awful feelings of loss that you’re experiencing but they will hopefully get you from day to day until eventually you feel slightly better.
- Accept that your feelings of anger, uncertainty, agitation, fear and shock are normal. There’s no right or wrong about feelings and you’ll be on a roller-coaster of emotions for a long time.
- Tears are healthy – you may feel numb for some time but it’s important to allow yourself to cry too.
- Write a journal. Write down your thoughts and feelings your partner’s behaviour and why it feels so painful.
- It’s still alright to laugh. Try watching a funny film or TV show and, if you can bear it, spend some time with people who make you smile.
- Ask all the questions you want to – however, be aware that you may not get the answers you want or even any answers at all. You can’t make someone give you reasons, frustrating though that is.
- Do not make any major decisions about how you want things to be – this is the time for reflection and recognising that even though you thought things were okay, maybe there were some things that needed to be dealt with.
- If you have children, they need to know that you are going to be okay. You can’t hide the fact that you are going through serious stress or trauma and your ex-partner may well be their other parent. If not, your ex might well have been someone important in their lives. Being honest with your children is usually the best approach depending upon their age, but don’t weigh them down with details.
- Take it one day at a time and try not to look too far into the future.
- It takes time to get beyond the pain of having break-up. Don’t expect the mixture of feelings, the sense of confusion and limbo, and the mistrust to go away immediately. There are stages to loss (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and hopefully acceptance at some point) – you can’t fast-forward through these, much as you’d like to.
- Think about practical things – look at your finances, housing situation, transport etc. Make sure you have thought out where you will live, if you have enough money to pay for your essentials and how you’ll work out the new practicalities.
- Only confide in people that you can trust – it’s good to talk but be careful that you only open your heart to people who can keep things confidentially.
- Seek counselling if you’re struggling too much to cope – it can really help to talk to a professional who can listen and give strategies for the future.
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