Divorce or separation is ranked as one of the top 5 major stressors in life. I would also suggest that any serious relationship ending or conflict should be included — not just an ending with an intimate partner. Whether it’s being fired, a fight with a long-term friend or family crazy drama, the emotional turmoil takes a real toll on your mental and physical well-being.
I have gone through significant endings (the loss of a parent, estrangement with a family member, a gaslighting dynamic with a friend and breakups with two different long-term partners). Each one had their own unique journey of recovery. However, there are some common things with each of them that are necessary to come back to yourself and move forward.
Here are some of my pieces of advice from my own experiences but also from coaching others for over 10 years.
Define who is responsible for this dynamic. This is different than blaming. Often when there is a conflict, we will turn inward and blame ourselves. Or we want to be the victim and just point blame at the other person (which sometimes is entirely valid). Each person has their own responsibility in the dynamic and it’s the communication that has broken down. Having a fair and balanced perspective of who is responsible for what, allows for less blame game and inner pain, and more possibility for moving on with the lesson learned.
Set boundaries. If you are able to still talk to the other party, setting clear boundaries of how to interact without drama can make the dynamic at least workable. E.g. agree to not mention anything on social media. If you can’t communicate, then set a clear boundary that you will not text, respond or interact with the person at all. Block them if you need to do so.
Do something relaxing and enjoyable. Often we get caught in the emotional upset and can start obsessing over it. The best thing to do is to get away from reminders of the person or situation. Go take a day-trip somewhere out of town. Go for a hike, even. Something that energizes you and reminds you that there is much to enjoy about life.
Own your feelings. It is awful to admit that we are affected by how another treats us, but it’s there. It’s okay to say you feel hurt, rejected, betrayed, confused or disposable. Even if the other person didn’t intend to make you feel this way, you just need to own your own emotions. Feel them, grieve them and grow from them. Otherwise these feelings can turn into resentment and cause you to withdraw from others in your life.
Express what happened. The heart and mind can get overwhelmed if we can’t make sense of what happened. It is important that you share your side of things with someone who supports you or is neutral to the circumstances. You don’t need someone to hate the other party (in fact, that could make things worse). You just need someone to hear you, believe you and offer you their loving perspective. The more you share your story without building resentments, the clearer you will be so you can move forward in life with less triggers.
These are just a few tips, of course. Heartbreak can be devastating and taking care of yourself is very important as you re-gain your sense of stability and love-ability. There can be a lot to un-pack, depending on the dynamic.
If you need more support, please reach out for a Free “Get Your Mojo Back” Discovery call. I am here to help you recover and self-discover after relationship stress or a breakup.
Love you, first and foremost.
Transformational Life Coaching