Separation and Divorce – The Emotional Rollercoaster

The loss of a relationship is one of the most devastating things a person can face in life. When your relationship with a significant other ends, you may feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, fine one minute, and at the end of your rope the next. If you’re the one leaving, you may feel guilty and question your decision. If you’re the one who’s left behind, you may feel anger, disappointment, shock, or a variety of other negative emotions. Or, you may feel a sense of relief. Whatever your position, you’re likely to feel somewhat off-balance and uncertain about the future for a while. This is normal!

And while you’re engulfed in the emotional aftermath of a broken relationship, it is natural to want to know exactly what to expect and how long it will last. Grief is the natural reaction to the loss of your relationship. Scores of books and articles have been written on the stages one can expect to go through when experiencing separation or divorce. It can be helpful to know that most people will experience similar reactions to this type of loss. However, there are no set rules. The way we experience ours is as individual as our own situations, and not everyone goes through all the stages, or goes through them in any prescribed order. What is important to remember is that they are in fact ‘stages’, meaning you can and will move past them. Your situation may not be under your control, but how you choose to react most definitely is. Making proactive choices will help… a lot.

Eventually, the pain will lessen, and amazingly, you’ll be able to shift your focus from blame or guilt to what comes next. In the meantime, do whatever it takes to take care of you…

 Use your support system (friends, family, a therapist or coach). Life is never without struggles for any of us. Let friends and family be there for you now. Someday, you can pay them back in kind.
 Slow down. Your circumstances will dictate what needs immediate attention and what can wait. Don’t overwhelm yourself by getting caught up in the emotional crisis. Everything will get resolved in time.
 Avoid acting impulsively. Resist the temptation to give into your emotions by acting out aggressively or allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, which can most certainly have devastating consequences later on. When in doubt, think first…then think about it some more. Then act accordingly.
 Focus on the things you can influence right now, and let go of the rest. Stop the “shoulds” and “musts”. You can’t change someone else’s behavior…only yourself and your reactions to it.
 Stay healthy. Eat right, get some exercise and enough sleep. This may sound obvious, not to mention difficult; however, you’re not doing anyone any favors by remaining tired and sluggish. Not only will you feel better, but your children, family, friends and co-workers will appreciate it too.

You’ve been through a horrible experience! Take time to focus on yourself…your emotional, physical, social and spiritual well being. You’ll find your way with patience, time, and a commitment to move on with your life. Over time, you may even see some positive aspects of the break up! Your new life is out there…make it a great one!

1 Comment

  • PoedoBusSleds on January 24, 2011

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