Breaking up is hard to do…we know that. It’s the relationship that is coming apart but you likely feel that you are coming apart. When you learn that the relationship is no longer viable and about to end, there is disbelief or outright denial. For the “leaver” it is likely a developing realization and therefore somewhat less intense, over a period of time. For the “left” partner, it can feel like a bolt of lightning. “You don’t mean it”! “How can this be happening to us”? The emotional storm knocks the wind out of you.
You may be experiencing despair, disappointment, a wish for retaliation or even revenge and feel hopeless and helpless. Once there’s no more denying, you need to believe that there is the possibility for something positive once you can develop a new orientation to life.. There is life after a separation to divorce but it does take dedication to create a newer you. There is the possibility for something positive once you develop a new orientation to life. Pay close attention to your feelings and attitudes.
The emotional levels of separation and divorce mirror those of the death of a partner. The stages are denial, depression, anger, bargaining and acceptance. No stage should be skipped as each has its purpose for rebuilding you.
It’s okay to cry and be sad, even useful. You need to wade through your pain to be able to get to the next phase. Friends and family are invaluable now. Seeking a new love relationship would a big mistake at this juncture. The reality needs to sink in.
Be gentle but firm, about “the end” with your children and understand that they, too, will be in denial, In fact, they will hold on to the fantasy of you reuniting for a long time, even if/when you both recouple with others. They may also blame themselves for the breakup (as they are self-focused) and you should assure them that is not the case.
- I can accept the end.
- I will be able to tell friends and family.
- I’m starting to realize some of the reasons that it is ending.
- I know it will be hard but believe it can be a positive experience.
- I will pursue my own personal growth.
- I will learn to be happy alone before committing to another relationship.
- Even if we were to reunite, I would still work on my own growth.
There’s a lot to reflect on in this first phase, so I invite you to do that and check back here as we proceed further in the coming days.