The termination phase of love is a magnificent hurtle or sticking point for many of the lovers out there. Even if all seems hopeless right now, I want anyone wounded in love to recognize that there is abundant likelihood that your heart, mind, and spirit will make a full recovery. This does however require one to make use of some specific skill sets, your coping mechanisms. It is in fact coping skills coupled with awareness and integration of new learning which make that full recovery more expedient and probable.
We know some of the story, loss of the hopes, dreams, and connection that was once shared are indeed hard let go, fearing or believing that one will never love again. False thoughts and stumbling points can turn our mind against itself for a short period of time. Breakups, for the mutually agreed upon, or even for both the initiator and receiver of the news that the relationship has become terminal, all should know that there will be challenges in these changes. Chin up wounded warrior- adversity is the starting point for opportunity!
As a Psychotherapist and Marriage Counselor I have helped clients with accepting, managing, and resolving the grief of lost love. It is important to note there are two phases to the loss, Termination and Resolution. Termination is when there has been a verbal agreement to call it quits, the cognizant thought that “it’s over” and the sting after pulling off the band aid! Responses vary from emotional outpourings, edginess, anxiety, fear. Long nights vegetating with ice cream and sad movies become the cliché. Moving beyond this juncture requires acceptance of the loss and consolidation of the feelings associated with it. Resolution implies successful termination and the process of grieving reaching its timely closure. Sounds easy but why is this process the focus of so many movies and songs? Ummm…because broken hearts hurt! Breaking up brings up many reactions and is often hardest when they touch upon some of the unresolved emotional issues such as abandonment and fear of being alone, and or self-esteem in need of some strengthening.
Here are some of the typical stumbling blocks during the early phases of a breakup;
Obsessing- The stern face of determination and a destiny manifesto mapping the route back to the lost lover! Convinced to find a way of bringing Timmy or Tara back into your longing arms and with enough self-work, stalking, and or compromising you will again reach land of happy, happy, the end! NOT! This shows little regard or respect for yourself or your departed lover, if the relationship is over you must embrace some dignity for yourself and walk away with head held high. Repeated phone calls, Cyber stalking, or showing up at places where you know they will be is going to diminish your image in their eyes and most importantly in your own! What is it that you are seeking to avoid by continually calling, is it loneliness or fear that is beckoning you to desperate measures to seek reunion?
A Few Tears for a farewell- Many people become confused by feelings. False thoughts leading the presumption that if you miss someone or feel sad about a breakup that you should call him or her and make a teary eyed plea for the love. This is not true, if there were solid reasons and feelings on one or both ends to terminate then give it up already. Feeling sad and or slightly displaced by the big change of not spending time with your former mate is sure to create some inner angst. Recognize it and know that this is because you are a fabulous person capable of great love but do not make it a reason to pick up the phone. It is a good time to expand your social horizon and reach out to your friends, family, and social supports. Rely upon them while strengthening your inner resources during your grieving process.
Drinking- So you are feeling pretty awful or even maybe excited to expand your horizons and you find that you are spending more time with a cocktail glass in your hand. Drinking to excess, too much and too often is a sure way to zap energy and decrease positive emotions. This is a cautionary tale and I assure you that during a break up it is a crucial time to embrace structure and healthy coping mechanisms to deal with your grief.
Insert BABE here- The lonely feelings are pulling you down? House is eerily quiet, weekends unfilled with company? Quick solution, fill that void with something or no– fill it with someone, fill it with anyone so you don’t need to feel alone!!!!! Hold that thought—STOP! Relationship junkies take a breather and consider just what you are avoiding by wanting to attach to anyone who passes your gaze. Relationships and even flings that are borne from fear of loneliness or the want to make another jealous are ultimately dehumanizing for both parties and do more to erode the self than promote happiness. Hold out for true healing before putting any of your energy back into a love mate, remember two broken wings don’t fly but two strong and pluming wings shall soar! Instead enjoy the opportunity to come into your self and rediscover who you are as one no longer a part of a marriage or relationship.
Hear no evil speak no evil-Speaking poorly about your ex-lover is going to make you look like the monster not the ex. No matter what the conditions of the divorce or breakup one must practice respect for the memory of the relationship and dignity of the self. If there is something that you must vent about do so with a close friend or family member or therapist. If you tell everyone you meet about what a jerk and loser Sammy or Sally is, those around you are sure to wonder why you would waste your time and love on someone whom you regard so negatively. It is always best to simply say that you are both moving on respectfully to those who may inquire.
Look forward to next week—Beyond grief into bloom.
If you have any of other thoughts, questions, or words of wisdom please be welcome to share!
In abundant love, warmth, and wisdom,
Stephanie McCracken MSPC
Reviving Minds Therapy
Offering Psychotherapy and Marriage Counseling
1010 Western Ave Pittsburgh Pa 15233