It’s never easy when a relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split, letting go of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful emotions. The idea of moving on, and going out into the unknown, alone, without the one we used to love by our side may seem really overwhelming, but personally, I think that the difficult part about moving on after a break up is that it takes a conscious decision. In my case, moving forward meant not staying stuck in the same place that was getting me nowhere.
The period after a relationship ends is a very challenging and overwhelming time in a person’s life. It’s normal to think about everything that went wrong, and how you gradually let go of what might have been. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride. It is also hard to adjust to being single again, especially if you have been married for many, many years. Coming to the emotional pain of a break up, I know how excruciating it can be. But over time, you can change your outlook on the whole thing, and reclaim your own sense of worth. I’ve learned that grieving is what sets you free from the relationship that you’ve idealised in your head. Being proactive in general and working on yourself is really important when you decide to move on, because when you’re coping with a break up, you need to listen to your own needs.
Your friends and family can be there to support you and give you advice, so spend time with people who support, value, and energise you. As you consider who to reach out to, choose wisely, remember that any advice others give you must resonate as the right thing for you, in order for you to follow it. It’s wonderful when you feel free to be honest about what you’re going through, without worrying about being judged or criticised, so, if possible, surround yourself with people who are positive and who truly listen to you.
I’ve learned that you can use all the emotions you go through when you decide to move on with your life after a breakup, in order to rediscover who you are. I’ve made a decision to move on because I’ve been feeling like a single parent inside my marriage for a long time. I felt unhappy and worn out by my relationship, and because my partner was having a hard time copying with depression, I was miserable, but couldn’t seem to let go of my relationship. I felt that too much has been invested into my relationship to let it fail. In reality, I was just scared. I was afraid of the other life I never had. I was consumed by a fear of change, and the unknown and uncertainty that it brings. I feared being alone or not being able to cope on my own, of not being able to give my daughter what she needs. I also felt guilty for leaving someone who is completely lost, but refused to get help. Only when I realised that change doesn’t happen in my comfort zone I was able to walk away from a marriage that wasn’t fulfilling me anymore. It’s much easier to hold on to the known, the hope that things will change, rather than to find yourself cut off from your comfort zone.
When your heart is broken, it will take time to truly get over the relationship and be able to move forward. So to move your life forward, it has to start by focusing on yourself. Think of this time in your life as an adventure to explore the real you. It’s normal to feel exhausted and anxious about the future, but embrace your feelings and your individuality. Focus on the reasons why the relationship wasn’t working, take stock of what happened in the relationship that made you decide to let go of it. You may have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions; just, acknowledge these feelings and be kind to yourself. Trying to suppress or ignore your feelings will only prolong the grieving process. Try to be the best you can be for yourself and for your children (if you have any), it’s important to remember that you deserve happiness, so try to do something special for yourself every day, even if only for a few minutes. It can be as simple as taking a long bath or reading a book with your favourite cup of tea. Give yourself permission to enjoy your own company.
Finding lessons to learn from your relationship not only helps you to move forward, but makes you a stronger and wiser person. Make an effort to become the person that you want to become, and keep things in perspective. Ask yourself if your fears of being alone are preventing you from looking at your relationship honestly. Analyse if you are able to resolve all the problems in your relationship, and how long you have been unhappy.
Take your time when making the decision to move on, it is important that you are confident in your choice, and take one day at a time. There are no deadlines. Trust the process and understand that your adjustment can be as gradual as you need it to be. Confidence is the key to feeling good about yourself and to loving yourself more. Remind yourself that you’re an amazing person and that you deserve to be living according to your values. Ever since I realised that I should move on with my life, I have learnt to appreciate my own company more. I was able to find happiness within me. All the mixed emotions taught me a great deal about myself. I am learning a new kind of independence. As you begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward. Breaking up is a beginning as well as an end. You can emerge from this experience feeling more secure, experienced and resilient than ever before.