When a relationship comes to an end it’s often a very traumatic experience, no matter how sensitive or dignified everyone tries to be. Any relationship breakup can be a testing time for all concerned. It’s not uncommon for one person to be more committed to the split than the other. That person can seem to be taking everything in their stride whilst their estranged partner may well find the process debilitating and exhausting. All involved can feel at their lowest ebb and an ending to the proceedings may seem like a distant goal on the horizon.
Respect can be a big part of handling the process well.
Respect for yourself, who you are and your own dignity and sense of worth. Anger and revenge may be at the forefront of your mind but, as with any ending, it’s important to try to be gentle with yourself. Look after yourself and commit to eating and resting properly.
Respect your choices.
Don’t allow yourself to be bullied or badgered into decisions that you don’t feel are right for you. Use your divorced friends as a sounding board. They’re the most likely to understand how you’re feeling and what you’re going through, but remember, however good their advice, it’s you who has to make the final decision.
Have respect for the relationship.
It’s played a big part in your life and no matter how wretched you may be feeling today, look at the person you’ve become as a consequence of your marriage. You may have become a parent, see yourself as more worldly-wise, have a clearer sense of what’s right and wrong for you. You’ve no doubt had several life-experiences since you first met each other; think of how much you’ve learned, the different things you’ve done, where and how you’ve lived, the values and lessons along the way, both good and bad. Respect and value that.
Have respect for what you’ve had.
The times with other people, family members you’ve been close to, the home you’ve built and children who’ve added so much to your life. Regarding children, talk to them and let them know that you both love them, but are choosing to live apart. Explain how that will be better for all concerned. Children often need reassurance at a time like this, especially as it’s not unusual for children to wonder if they were in some way to blame for the breakup. They may also need reassuring that they can still see or speak to either parent whenever they wish. If it’s viable, let both parents sit down with the children and discuss how the split will affect them.
Respect how you want to be in the future.
Your experiences during the relationship will have taught you a great deal. Where do you want to go from here, what’s your idea of a fresh start? There must be lessons that you’ve learned from this time that you’ll aim not to repeat, things that you’ll want to do very differently from now on. Enjoy the opportunities for growth and progression.
Respect the healing process.
Take time to reflect on what went wrong and the way in which you’ve been affected by different aspects of the breakup. Some people find that counselling can be a helpful part of the healing and recovery process as the sessions provide dedicated regular time to focus on your issues and navigate a healthy way forward. This can provide a valuable opportunity to heal, understand yourself better and discover what you really want out of life.
Learn to respect yourself.
You’re important. Consider your divorce as perhaps being an enforced new beginning, but nonetheless as an opportunity for a fresh start. Respect yourself so that things move in a way that’s right for you. It may be that certain matters need to be dealt with as a matter of some urgency, like earning money, finding somewhere to live, changing the children’s schools. Whilst these matters may need to be decided fairly quickly, temporary solutions may suffice until more appropriate choices are able to be made.
This time is fundamentally about you. Is it a good time to start afresh with a new look, a change of style, a new income stream or career, maybe even a time to consider new and different interests and gain a batch of new friends? Allow yourself to move at your own pace. Some people heal quicker than others. Let yourself take the time you need to recover, understand your feelings and then start anew. This is all about respecting yourself and your new situation. When you feel better about yourself everyone in your life starts to benefit.
Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net
If you have enjoyed this blog, you may enjoy another of Susan’s blogs “Does divorce mean im a failure?”.