Who was I before?
Who would I be today if I hadn’t met my ex?
How do I define myself?
How much of my ex’s influence on my life should I hold onto?
4. Relationships don’t fully end; they just change.
Your ex may be physically out of your life — perhaps partially, perhaps totally — but you will never be the same ‘you’ had s/he not been in your life.
You will be forever impacted by your relationship — just as you are by your family of origin — because you lived
However, you have the power to write your future from the lessons and wisdom gained during your time together.
5. Reflection and talking can strengthen your recovery.
Self-concept reorganization is the process of rebuilding and strengthening the sense of self, independent of a relationship.
Research into this healing process has shown that those who reflect more on the relationship and its breakup (9 weeks in the study) have a stronger recovery than those who take a more cursory, non-reflective approach.
The benefits of talking about the relationship and breakup, even repetitively, include gaining different perspectives and insight with distance.
Talking will also help you to construct a story of the relationship that will give meaning to the experience through all its stages. It’s like talking into your own truth.
No, it’s not about blaming. It’s about reframing.
And by sharing the talking process with a caring friend or family member, therapist or coach you are more likely to understand your story from a position of empowerment instead of weakness.
6. Understanding your relationship fears can help you heal.
Most relationship issues have some kind of fear buried in them. What comes across as being unreasonable, paranoid, aloof, etc. may really be rooted in fears of abandonment and/or rejection.
You may not be able to discern those possibilities for your ex, but you certainly can — and should — for yourself.
By courageously looking at your own behaviors and reflecting upon their emotional triggers, you can take steps toward allaying those demons before they do more damage in your life.
7. Forgiveness is huge.
The practice of forgiveness is ongoing. It’s not an over-and-out mic drop that erases the past in a dramatic moment of reconciliation.
It’s a method of meeting its antagonist in the moment and saying, “You no longer have power over me. I am releasing you so that I can move forward in my life.”
Yes, you can speak it to a person who has hurt you. But more often than not, when you’re healing after a divorce or breakup, forgiveness will be practiced within your heart. And it’s as important that you extend it to yourself as toward your ex.
You are the only one who directly knows if and when you choose to forgive. But consider the way energy shifts within a person who has made that choice. There’s a greater ease and peace that occur.
And the wonderful thing is that the shift is felt, even unconsciously, by everyone in that person’s life.
Going through a divorce or breakup can feel like a completely loveless time. You lose the love for/from/with your partner, you don’t feel much love for yourself, and you wonder if you will ever be loved again.
You may not even want to be around people because you feel so lost, discouraged, and devoid of anything to offer.
By acknowledging the uniqueness of yourself and your relationship, and by not being sworn to any “absolutes” for healing, you can turn this loveless, painful time into intentional growth and eventual peace.
Written by Dr Karen Finn
Originally appeared in drkarenfinn.com
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. If you would like additional help healing after a divorce or breakup, I can help. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.
Looking for more information about healing after a divorce or breakup? Check out the other articles in Healing After Divorce.
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