Whenever I write about break-up and divorce as an opportunity for growth, I am very mindful of the fact that we need to allow grief first. When we heap positive expectations or goals on top of unexpressed sorrow it doesn’t serve us in the long run. You have to let yourself feel and express your emotions.
However, at some point we have to draw a line; we need to recognise the difference between healthy expression of grief and simply being stuck in our pain. Moving on is such an appealing goal, but it is very difficult because it requires willingness to look within and make changes. To avoid this we might (unconsciously) begin to retreat more deeply into heartbreak, as uncomfortable as it is, because it provides an excuse not to do the hard work of moving into an unknown and potentially scary new future without our partner. (more…)
One of the biggest things that kept me stuck emotionally in the early months of my divorce, was waiting for an apology which was never going to come.
When relationships break down there is often a sense of injustice and a need to make the other person understand how we feel.
Perhaps you’ve suffered betrayal, abuse or other unacceptable behaviour which feels impossible to let go of. Maybe you feel like only you know the real truth, and you can’t be happy while your ex is telling a different version of events. (more…)
When I encounter people in the early stages of a break-up, one of the most common beliefs I come across is their assertion that they will never feel truly happy again.
A broken heart can leave feelings of grief so deep that we literally cannot comprehend the possibility of future happiness. Positive thinking, changing your perspective and “seeing the bigger picture” are simply not an option in those early days. Telling someone whose partner left last week that “everything happens for a reason”, will not be received well.
In time you will feel better, but who wants to wait? We want a guarantee that things will get better fast because this pain is unbearable. So, how do you get from here to there? (more…)
Someone recently commented to me that, for women over 50, divorce is a “death sentence” and circumstances mean that there is no hope of a happier future.
The words reminded me of the deep pain and despair that divorce can bring; when so much of your life was invested in your marriage, how does starting again feel possible? (more…)
New Year’s Eve, with it’s positive celebrations, can feel bitter and painful when you are without the person you thought you would be spending the rest of your life with.
The period leading up to a New Year is commonly a time for reflection and looking ahead, and this is never more poignant than when you’ve had an emotionally difficult year.
Here are 5 reminders of how to use this special time to your advantage and take the first steps to make the end of your relationship feel less like the end of your life. (more…)
My first Christmas post-break-up was emotionally tough; it was 10 months after my marriage had ended and the resurgence of grief took me by surprise. Special occasions can knock you off guard just when you think you are coping, and can be particularly cruel if they happen very close to the end of your relationship. The Christmas season, weddings, summer holidays – in fact any celebration which drives home expectations of “togetherness”can make you feel like an outsider, a failure or just really sad and low.
It can feel hard to turn to other people at this time of year; who wants to feel like the killjoy bringing down everyone’s happiness? From the other side it looks like everyone else’s life is perfect; meanwhile, you are desperately trying to avoid the “what are you doing for Christmas?” conversations or trying not to cry at the thought that you may not be with your children this year. (more…)
In a crisis I become a sponge for knowledge. I love to find solutions for problems; to discover what has worked for others and see if it will work for me too. These days when I connect with recently separated people, what they most want to know is that this pain won’t last for ever and how to make it better. I was the same when my marriage ended; I was emotionally distraught and wanted so desperately to know that it was all going to be ok. My mission became to absorb as much learning as I could about how to heal from emotional pain and how to use the past to become happier and stronger in the future.
I then went on to write this blog and eventually my own “how to” book, to share the processes and methods which led to turning my divorce into the best thing that could have happened for me. In Break Up and Shine, I draw on what I learned in those early days and, if you have read it, you may remember I refer to several key books which helped me. These are what I want to share with you today! (more…)
Moving on after a relationship ends can be one of the biggest emotional struggles you’ll ever face. Grief for your loss and fear of change prevent you from seeing that this break-up could possibly be a blessing in the long run.
When I began to fully accept that my marriage was over, the real work of healing began. Anger or depression can consume us in the beginning when emotions are raw and events are fresh, but further down the line there is an expectation to move on with life. This is when the hard emotional work can set in because accepting that the marriage is over doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly, magically, OK. (more…)
I’m so excited to announce that Break Up and Shine is published and available to buy! I started writing this blog 5 years ago because I knew I wasn’t the only person to feel the way I did after a divorce. There are so many people trying to make sense of the fact that what they truly believed was a life-long relationship is now over, and that things will never be the same again.
During my most painful moments, I looked for support in books and online. I found that the more I managed to shift my perspective, the better I felt. I wrote here because I wanted to share these “aha” moments with others struggling with the same emotions.
As people shared with me that they found the blog inspiring and helpful, a book emerged so that I could let others know, in a very straightforward and accessible way, how things turned round for me . In Break Up and Shine I share what I learned about grieving, perspective, forgiveness and self-love. As well as personal insights and practical advice, there are supportive exercises in each chapter to help you reflect on where you are and challenge you to move forwards.
Make this your time to Shine!
Break Up and Shine is available on Amazon
When I started writing ‘Break Up and Shine’, I wanted to show others that a painful divorce need not be the end of everything good in your life, however horrendous it feels in the beginning. You can heal and move on, and it can also be the catalyst to make your life way better than it would ever have been, had you stayed in the relationship.
This week has resulted in one of the biggest testimonies to the changes my life took after my ex-husband left. My grief led to soul searching, which led to a lot of personal development work, which led to embarking on counselling training which ultimately, (after almost 4 years) has led to me finally becoming a qualified counsellor! (more…)