Dealing with the emotional aftermath of splitting up with a life partner is a difficult experience for most people, even when it is not acrimonious. However, with ‘Unreasonable behaviour’ being the top cited reason for divorce in the UK, it is often a troubled period for many. There are a multitude of issues to address that can make it even more tricky, so we take a look at some helpful ways you can reduce the personal impact and give yourself a chance to rebuild.
Take care of yourself
Ensuring that you are looking after your basic physical needs may sound rather cliche, but it is not unusual for people to pay less attention to this when their mind is otherwise occupied with the fallout from a relationship breakdown. Make sure you are eating regularly and healthily, try to fit in exercise and fresh air and maintain your personal care routine. All these things help remind you that you are important. It’s also best to avoid using alcohol or other substances to numb emotions, as this may lead to added difficulties.
Keep yourself occupied
Splitting up with a partner can leave a void in your usual timetable. This means that there is more opportunity to spend time dwelling on the situation, which is not always helpful. It’s healthy to acknowledge when you are feeling upset, angry, scared, or any other very normal emotions, however, prolonged rumination should be avoided, so plan things to fill the gaps. Choose a favourite activity and do more of it, try something new that you’ve never done or catch up with those people you’ve been meaning to see. It will all help.
Create healthy boundaries
This is where you need to consider what is best for you in the present situation. Even if there are reasons why you still need to be involved in some way with your ex-partner, for example, in a business or family setting, it’s valuable to think about the measures you can put into place to make sure this doesn’t cause more distress than necessary. Decide what is going to work for you in terms of your emotions. It may be that even if you can’t avoid your ex-partner altogether, you can limit the number of interactions you have in order to give yourself time to adjust to the new state of affairs.
Seek advice and support
Gaining support and advice is always advisable whether it is legal, financial or emotional issues that are causing you the most concern. Depending on the length and nature of your relationship, there may be things that need to be worked out in order to achieve a clean break and reduce stress. For example, you may co-own property, share children, run a business together, or maybe only one party wanted the relationship to end. Whatever the issue, there are people who can help and offer sound professional advice, so do seek it out.
Finally, get it off your chest
Remember, it’s good to talk. If you have people around you who might be able to offer a listening ear, such as a friend or family member, then it’s important to utilise this resource. Research has shown that people can demonstrate depression-like symptoms following a breakup, so it’s vitally important to find someone who you can offload to about your thoughts and feelings and who might be able to present a more positive outlook or even suggest ideas. Obviously, there are some limits to the time and level of expertise that lay people can offer, so do seek out appropriate counselling or therapy if you don’t feel as though you are coping very well.