Valentine’s day after a divorce can bring painful memories of happier times. Even if you were never a “Valentine’s Day person” it’s normal to feel a sense of loneliness on this most coupley of days, which emphasises the fact that you are alone and missing out on what everyone else seems to have.
Today, I’m not going to talk about how to get through February 14th because it’s something I’ve already covered in another post. Instead, I’m going to invite you to go deep on self-love.
Every couple of months I treat myself to a self-love yoga workshop. Oh wow! I wish I could prescribe this remedy to anyone needing break-up support on Valentine’s day (or any other time). It is a gentle yet powerful two-hour reminder of where we can find the love we most need; by looking within and remembering to connect to ourselves.
It can be grating to read about self-love in a Valentine’s day post, when all you want is for somebody else to care for you. But I’m writing about it anyway because, even though it might not be the kind of love you want to receive today, it’s the most important of all, and learning to embrace it will bring you more happiness than any card, gift or romantic meal. (more…)
“If you don’t heal what hurt you,
you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you” – unknown
The wounds of our past impact on every relationship we ever have. Whether it’s insecurities with a lover, or an inability to create close friendships.
If we are lucky enough to recognise the events that caused pain in childhood we can work through the issues. This prevents that pattern from being played out in our adult relationships.
But often, the first indicator of this long-held wound, is when a relationship goes wrong and we either experience distress or cause it to the people we are supposed to care about.
Hurt People Hurt People
When my marriage ended 10 years ago, I spent so much time in suffering. I couldn’t understand how my ex-husband could have treated me with so little care and love; how had I come to be betrayed and abandoned. (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 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…)
At Christmas in 2009 I was blissfully unaware that my marriage was in trouble. My husband and I had two young sons and I’d recently given birth to a baby girl to complete our family. We had worked through some tough stuff and come out stronger. I believed we were happy. I felt blessed.
By February 2010 it was all over. It turned out that, for some time, I had not been living the life I believed to be true. Six weeks into the new year my husband left the marriage, suddenly and devastatingly, to be with someone else he had been seeing for months.
I have shared the story of my healing and moving on throughout the past 10 years. The recovery and rebuilding of my life became my work and now it’s my mission to inspire others to do the same. I show those who are going through a painful break-up that, they too, can use the devastation as a catalyst for their best lives. (more…)
Divorce brings a huge range of emotions and stresses to deal with; how are you helping yourself handle them?
You might think that the biggest challenge to moving on is missing (or resenting) your ex, conflict around the break-up or coping with difficult circumstances. But, actually, those are the surface problems. Amongst the hardest challenges you will face are:
Believing in yourself enough to know that you will get through this and be happy again.
Waking yourself up to see that you are amazing and deserve to have that happiness.
Allowing yourself to fully focus on you and your needs, instead of all the other stuff you can’t control.
When I work with clients following a break-up, one of the most emotional and difficult parts of the work is not when they talk about their grief emotions. It’s when I ask them to talk about how much they love themselves. (more…)
Can you get quiet and hear the voice inside you that knows what you need?
At one of my lowest points after my marriage broke up, I could not see a way forward. I was exhausted with emotion, drained from overthinking and part of me still hoped my husband would come to his senses and return to our family.
I spent a long time obsessing about the “what ifs” or whether there was a way we could get our life back on track.
Then came the day that I was utterly sick of how I was feeling. I realised logically that there was no going back, yet I STILL couldn’t let go of him emotionally. I was obsessed with what he was doing, why he treated me so badly, was there any possibility things could be different.
I knew that I needed to think another way but I didn’t know how. (more…)
I recently watched a TV phone-in, where there was a call from a woman who was still unable to move on 50 years after her relationship had ended. The couple had had a child together, so he remained in her life on and off. Yet she had never got over him, never created a new life for herself and, up to that day, still believed they were destined for each other.
This is probably an extreme case, and without knowing more, it’s impossible to know what else had been happening in this woman’s life for the past 50 years. But that call really stayed with me; I was curious about a life so consumed by another person that it left no room for oneself. How could this woman, have spent the majority of her life living for someone else who had no interest in her.
Ruminating over the loss of a relationship is a normal part of the healing process, but you get stuck when your focus can’t change from “we” to “me”. Learning to move on requires shifting that bias so that you can start to see your life as belonging to you. (more…)
When I was going through the early stages of my break-up and the pain was unbearable, my immediate divorce goals boiled down to one: “I don’t want to feel like this anymore”.
I wanted anything to take away the heartbreak I was feeling. A magic wand or a miracle solution was my biggest wish.
As the months dragged by (and it felt like this process was going to be endless), I eventually accepted that there was no magic rescue. I also realised that “not feeling like this” wasn’t a big enough goal to stretch me to move on. I had to have something more satisfying to work towards.
Initially I set my goal simply at “happiness” but didn’t know what that really looked like. It was a deeply uncomfortable time – reflecting, ruminating and constantly overthinking. (more…)
When someone treats us badly either during a relationship or through the process of a break-up, it is entirely natural to be left with a sense of bitterness and resentment.
Even if we decide to refrain from negative dialogue or behaviour towards our ex-partner, it’s comforting to hold onto the belief that “karma will get them”. This relieves us of the need to inflict harm while secretly hoping that our ex will suffer for the pain they have caused.
But as justified as it feels, waiting expectantly for karma to do its thing is simply vengeance in another form; this only keeps us stuck from moving on.
I totally understand how hard it is to give up hope for some righteous comeuppance.When my ex-husband left me and our 3 young children to be with someone else, it felt so utterly wrong and unfair that he got to move on and get what he wanted without consequence. (more…)
Divorce triggers many grief emotions, but when a couple breaks up because one person decides that it’s over, you feel a very distinct pain: the sting of rejection. It doesn’t matter whether things had been difficult for some time or if the split came out of the blue; either way, rejection feels cruel.
At the end of my marriage eight years ago, I had no idea that the breakup was coming. On top of the shock that the relationship was suddenly over, I carried the intense and overwhelming feeling of rejection; I was no longer valued, wanted, or needed.
Rejection can trigger feelings of shame, low self-esteem. and diminished confidence as well as helplessness and victimization. If you are left for another person (which was my experience) the intensity of rejection increases further. I experienced anger and resentment about betrayal; this makes healing feel much harder than in those cases where a decision to split is mutual. (more…)