When your partner calls time on your relationship it can be devastating, particularly if you didn’t see it coming. A situation has been forced on you, and understandably your emotions are in turmoil.
People describe feeling grief, anger, heartbreak, and sorrow for what they have lost and a future that suddenly looks bleak. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and it’s hard to get off.
The pathway to closure when a relationship has unexpectedly ended can be a difficult one to tread. The end of a relationship, for many people, still means that contact needs to be maintained with their ex as financial settlements are negotiated and finalised.
But in the case of kids, there is a lifetime of co-parenting – which incidentally doesn’t just stop when they reach their 18th birthday. It can be really tough when you didn’t want to break-up in the first place.
So, what do you do when you’re faced with a separation that you didn’t want? Here are our 4 top tips.
Face up to facts – This probably isn’t what you want to hear but there really is no point in burying your head in the sand. You often hear of people who simply refuse to believe that their partner has ended their relationship. They cling to the hope that their partner will come back once they’ve had time to think things through.
The truth is your partner has probably been ‘thinking things through’ for several weeks/months and only now has had the courage to end your relationship. Your attitude is only going to make them think that you’re not taking them seriously. Instead, you need to acknowledge their decision and show them that you’re ready to listen to their concerns.
Can the relationship be repaired? – If you want to try and save your relationship then start making enquiries about professional help that could be of benefit to you and your family.
Do some research, and when you have looked into your options, ask your partner if they’re willing to give it a go. There’s going to be more than one option, so find time to talk with each other about different approaches and what to try. Now is the time for you to put in some effort and show your partner just how much you want to repair the relationship.
What happens if things don’t work out?- It’s essential that you are prepared for this eventuality. If your relationship is beyond repair you need to reach out for advice on where you stand. Taking advice and guidance doesn’t mean that you’re being underhand, nor does it mean that you’re pushing for separation. It simply prepares you for any eventuality. Find yourself a family law specialist who can give you sound advice to help you consider your options. This way, you’re in a much better position to make informed decisions.
Seek professional support – This is a time when you’re going to feel at odds with yourself. It may be difficult to get to grips with what’s happening, you feel you’re an emotional wreck, your ex is sending out confusing signals, and your children are likely picking up on a different atmosphere in the home. Worse still you may find yourself turning to unhealthy ways of soothing your pain such as alcohol or drugs.
You may have a friend that has been through a separation and can offer you their support. However, don’t underestimate the benefit of professional counselling in this situation. Talking things through with an impartial party can help clear your mind and enable you to make better decisions. Your GP can refer you for counselling.
To sum up …..
Some couples will get back together, and their relationship will be better than before.
Other couples will make their separation formal and go it alone. If this happens to you, then give yourself space to rebuild yourself – learn from the relationship that has ended so that you don’t enter another relationship with the same baggage.
Regardless of the outcome, challenges in a relationship help you discover that you can grow and adapt, whatever the circumstances. You have all that you need within yourself and professional support will give you the strength to enter the next chapter of your life.
Even though you may be in a dark place right now there is light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t bury your head in the sand, things will only stay the same.
We all change, it’s how you adapt that makes the difference. Adapt in a positive way and have the courage to move towards the light at the end of the tunnel and a new beginning.