Coping with a Break Up or Divorce
( The following is fiction and not based on actual people or events)
She was feeling deeply depressed over a recent separation. Her husband had left two months earlier and she felt so alone, scared and “empty.” It was hard to hold it together for her children and to function at work.
She married after finishing college 21 years ago. It was her first long term, serious relationship and she described it as blissful. She got pregnant right after graduation, and it made sense to them both to “tie the knot.”
At first, things were wonderful. But they struggled with what most relationships struggle with –communication problems, fights over money, sex, household chores and parenting. Her hsuband complained that she did not make the relationship a priority and that he was feeling neglected. She said they didn’t discuss their differences– they fought about them instead. Not capable of hearing, understanding or listening to one another, the relationship gradually deteriorated.
She begged her husband to go to marriage counseling with her. Over and over again, he refused. “The problem is you, not me,” he would say. She became very depressed and unhappy, and the result was that she began pulling away from her husband and becoming very cold and distant. She had so much resentment and anger that she began hating her husband. At that point she could not even remember ever feeling love for him. She felt trapped and was not sure how she could survive financially on her own with the kids if she were to leave the marriage.
She felt she had no choice but to separate when she realized how her toxic relationship was affecting their children. The children suffered witnessing their parents misery. They were not the role models she wanted for her children – there was no way she wanted them to end up in a loveless, unhamark relationship. They had to separate for the sake of everyone. The separation would be painful, but that it would allow everyone to have a chance at a fulfilled life. Next came figuring out how to cope with a break up…
Coping with a Break Up – Expect the Unexpected
She was so confused by the deep sadness she was feeling. It made no sense to her based on how miserable she was in the relationship. During the first few weeks after they separated, she felt relief. A break from fighting and being around someone she hated felt pretty good – at least initially. So why was it becoming so painful? Did she make a mistake?
Going through a divorve or break up can be extremely painful. Grieving the end of a relationship is bound to happen for people who were emotionally invested and really tried hard to make it work. As unpleasant (and incapacitating) as it is sometimes, don’t be surprised by the pain, self doubt, grief, and confusion you feel.
For some people reaching out to a support system of family and friends is a great way of getting through a difficult time. Others may need the help of a mental health professional to help them understand, recover and not fear finding a new path.