There are so many ways to cope with the loss of a relationship, but some of them will just leave you feeling worse.
In this interview with Transformation Coach and author of “The Single Mum’s Survival Guide“, Vivienne Smith shares a few examples or how we deal with relationship breakdown, and what better choices we can make. All of these choices will lead to more success in mediation.
You assure everyone you are fine but you realise that you are drinking too much, eating too much or laughing just a little too loudly. You may even be dating again with a vengeance and using – often unsuitable – other people to make you feel better (this is not fair on the person you have picked for this job, and it’s not worthy of you).
Work out what went wrong last time, check for any recurring patterns in the partners you are attracting or attracted to. Are there some red flags here to warn you that this potential relationship could be a disaster? Whilst I understand that you may want to find someone to “kiss it better”, a failed relationship now – even a casual one- could leave you feeling raw and vulnerable and perhaps set you back into a bad place again. Or you may be pretending everything’s fine but inside you feel like a jelly that’s slowly dissolving into a puddle.
Quit pretending and ask for some help. You don’t have to share this with everyone, but it’s important that you tell someone the truth (even if the first person you admit this to is: yourself!) Once you’ve done this, get some help. You might pick a couple of close confidantes that you can talk to when things get really bad, or you can write it down and use a diary or journal to help get some of the angst out of your system. If you are unwilling to unburden yourself to a loved one, come and see a professional – we are paid to listen and we actively enjoy the process of assisting you in processing what you are going through.
You are stalking your ex online, or pumping his friends or family for information about him, even if that information serves only to make you feel more miserable and depressed about your split. No contact is the best way to go here and if you have to communicate over the kids: do that but only that.
Don’t use your children as a way to initiate unnecessary contact or prolong a bitter or emotional dialogue about what went wrong and who did what to whom. That way madness lies! Work out a strategy to communicate with your ex so that you don’t feel bruised or battered after every exchange. Again, it’s something that a professional often help clients with, so that they can step aside from the drama.
The rule here is: if it feels hurtful or upsetting, don’t put yourself through it. It can be like having a sore tooth otherwise – your tongue keeps returning to the source of the pain! Satisfying though it could be, if you fondly imagine that having the final word on your broken relationship will bring him to his senses or make him realise the error of his ways, then you may be waiting a very long time for this to happen! There is certainly some merit to writing him a letter and telling him exactly how you feel – just remember that it’s not necessary to send it – just the process of getting your feelings on paper will be cathartic and healing.
You have become a recluse. You’ve stopped going out or seeing anyone and you have started to withdraw from even the most innocuous of interactions. You need to heal and some alone time is a must but beware of becoming too lonely when actually a visit with a friend or family member might be just the tonic you need.
If you are afraid of breaking down and weeping all over anyone you speak to, practise a phrase that you can use when your lower lip starts to tremble – something along the lines of “Anyway, let’s change the subject- tell me about you!” And then do just that. Don’t keep returning to the subject, give yourself a break. Once you have mastered the skill of going out and having a great time without having to relive the pain you can start to enjoy life again, look around and see what the world has to offer the new you.
Are you Wallowing or Wading?
So are you wallowing in it, or are you wading through it? It will take time, but make sure that you are taking a small step every day in the right direction. You may not be running yet, but you can find help to get you to the other side!