Are you going through a painful break up right now?
Have you had your heart broken in the past?
Do you still remember the pain, sadness, feelings of loss and disappointment and all the RAGE?
Yes, yes, oh yes. I fall in love really quickly, really deeply and when it ends, I drown in a sea of all the above emotions!
You meet someone. You fall in love. You believe it’s forever. You break up. You believe that you will feel all of the above forever.
And it can be that way. There are so many sad, lonely, dishearted people who don’t recover well from a breakup.
A break up is so much more than two people going their separate ways. It is the end of an intimate relationship which took time, trust and energy to build.
It brings up a lot of emotions and can feel extremely traumatic.
Divorce, division of assets, shared custody of children, betrayal. These are all so common after a breakup.
After a break up we go through a type of evolutionary survival response. We are emotionally threatened and the body interprets this as a danger.
We can have 3 reactions, freeze, fight or flight. Often we experience all 3 from the other person and from our own behaviour.
We stop communicating honestly or we argue and lash out, or we run away and don’t face the person.
These are all damaging behaviours and can spiral out of control as a former couple dance together in an escalating tornado of emotion.
There is another way. We can choose as a couple to consciously make a decision. We can end the relationship in a calm, respectful way with the aim of avoiding the above behaviour.
Kindness. We can choose kindness. Kindness towards your former love. Kindness towards yourself.
Why Is It Important?
Many couples would choose the above any day of the week. They know that a break up in heavily loaded with emotion and these emotions can affect our behaviour. The person we used to love, hates us now. The person we used to love, well we hate him now too!
If there are children involved it is so important to model this kind of behaviour.
They can learn that yes, relationships can end, love sometimes dies, but it doesn’t have to be a big drama with lots of pain and suffering.
We can attempt to limit the impact of our break upon our children not just right now, but avoid affecting their future expectations of love and relationships.
Most importantly we owe it to ourselves to address our emotions in the present so that they don’t affect our future self and future relationships.
If we can hold space for our emotions, feel grateful for the memories and lessons learned in the relationships. Ending the relationship with gratitude, grace and honour we can have a better chance of moving on in a healthy way.
We can embrace, accept and let go of those emotions with love and awareness. With kindness.
This is not easy. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.
Let’s face it, sometimes we really enjoy all the drama!
We have to eventually let go of the following:
- The shame of relationship failure
- Disappointment in the other partner or ourself
- Anger over mistreatment
- Betrayal over lies and deceit
- Sadness that something we treasured has ended
- The despair that we will never find love again
- Lack of self-worth that we deserve all the bad things that happened
- Mistrust in the world or love, that we are being punished, we’re the victim
- The frustration that we couldn’t make it work or communicate better
- Nostalgia over the good times especially romantic memories
- Regret when it feels like the other person ended the relationship before we were ready
- Stress and anxiety over how we can go on alone
- Physical and sexual longing for the person even if we know the relationship is over
Do any of those apply to you?
How would you feel if you stopped holding on and let them go?
Relationships are so important to us. We invest a lot. This is why we are so cautious with our hearts. Intimacy feels dangerous.
Humans crave connection. We have an evolutionary survival mechanism to want and a strong need to belong.
In our relationship, we feel safe. We feel like this is where our home is. When that ends a lot of uncertainty follows. It is traumatic. We have lost our home. Our anchor.
This is often on top of all the other changes that can come with a break up:
- Moving house
- New partners
- New bonus children
- Losing friends
- Change of routine
- Relationships with your children
- Coparenting in a new and separate way
- Financial changes
- Loss of romantic, sexual intimacy
It is so sad and sometimes amusing how we can go from loving someone with so much passion, to hating that same person with so much passion! Soulmate to soul hate!
We have strong cultural beliefs that marriage is for a lifetime.
True love should last forever.
A strong relationship can survive anything.
I’m a romantic at heart and I also don’t like the thought of being alone in my old age. Those are my honest hopes and fears around love and relationships.
I know a lot of those beliefs come from a traditional upbringing by parents.
I also really love my husband and love our life together. I feel excited imagining us all old and grey watching our wild grandchildren playing and laughing at our grown-up children dealing with parenthood!
It’s important to know that you’re not a failure if your relationship ended. Even if other people hold those beliefs. It is important that you can consciously look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of that.
The Last Thing You Need To Know
Loss of a love. The end of a relationship. The physical, mental and emotional pain experienced is very much like grief.
You will need some time to detach. Time can heal all wounds, but a more active and empowered approach is to consciously decide to end the relationship with kindness.
I believe even though there are 2 people in a relationship, if 1 person decides to approach the break up (and life) in this way, it can be so effective.
Often we don’t know where to direct our love anymore, much in the same way as when someone we love dies. It is a similar kind of grief.
I know from my own breakups that the greatest pain and suffering was prolonged because I kept allowing my mind to drift back to the past, and wallow in the longing of that experience.
I basked in the good old memories and filled my mind, body and soul with waves of regret.
I swung daily between opposing thoughts of ‘I’m so lucky I’m not in that space anymore’ to ‘ Oh I miss how he made me feel’.
Others will worry and cause themselves stress and anxiety over thoughts about the future. ‘How will I manage on my own. What will people think? Will I ever love again?’
Mindfulness and meditation can help anchor us in the present moment and calm our thoughts, emotions and actions, and help manage the grief.
Your heart wants to feel freedom and joy. You have to make a conscious decision to do this when you end a relationship.
Break up in a conscious and kind way.
Leave all that baggage behind you.
Enjoy who you are now that you are free again.
Then when it’s time to love again……start a new relationship with a clean slate.
You deserve it!
Thank you for reading! Please share on Facebook if you know anyone who might benefit.