How to deal with grief after relationship break-up

When someone we love dies, we have social rituals to help with the pain of loss. What do we have though, when a relationship breaks down? Where are the social rituals such as a funeral followed by a wake?

This may sound a bit morbid when thinking of a love relationship. However, morbid is exactly how a lot of people feel when they lose a lover or partner through relationship break-down.

Often a big dark hole is the feeling in the pit of the stomach where joy once resided. So how to cope?

Following is an article about some ways people deal with relationship break-up, found on the Grief Recovery website by Allison James. John W. James and Russell Friedman are the founders of The Grief Recovery Institute® and authors of The Grief Recovery Handbook. Their book is available for FREE DOWNLOAD on the website.

Common Responses to Break-Ups and How They Hurt you

“With every romantic relationship there are:

  • Hopes
  • Dreams
  • Expectations

– A new couple might hope to become more serious or look forward to waking up each morning to a text message from each other.

– A couple who have been together longer might expect to have children, dream of vacations together, or begin to plan for retirement.

– Many women start to plan their dream wedding no matter how long they’ve been dating –whether or not their boyfriends know about it is inconsequential!

Couples also create habits and rituals.  Habits as simple as doing the dishes together at night, speaking on the phone each night at 5:00 pm or golfing on Sundays.

A common dream for an evolving relationship is that it will last forever.

Then one day, for whatever reason, the relationship changes or ends.

Their hopes, dreams, and expectations are crushed.

No one likes to feel bad so they do what most people are taught… pretend they are okay!  In an attempt to protect themselves from future heartbreak many people say things like,

  • “I’m never dating again.” 
  • “I don’t give a darn.”

The problem is, that saying, “I don’t give a darn,” and actually not giving a darn, are two different things!

Have you said similar things?

Another thing people do after a break-up is anything and everything to avoid feeling heartbreak. Have you tried some of these things?

  • Dating someone else.
  • Drinking.
  • Having a girls or boys night out.
  • Eating, especially ice cream.
  • Not eating at all.
  • Watching sad movies or listening to sad songs.
  • Working long hours.
  • Shopping.
  • Working out, excessively.
  • Having a make-over.
  • Sleeping.

Although these activities might make you feel better short term, they don’t allow you to get complete with the relationship that changed or ended.”

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Relationship counselling by Christine Bennett caring4couples.com.au


 

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Yet another story of sexual betrayal and public shame

Another story of sexual betrayal and public shame as Andrew Ettingshausen’s marriage misery provides more material for the press.

There is no doubt that sex sells! Stories of sexual betrayal and the intrigue that accompanies the discovery of yet another public figure caught out, sells newspapers and magazines like nothing else! The latest marital mayhem to hit the headlines involves a dude called Andrew Ettingshausen.  Apparently he is a “former Rugby League star” according to The Sydney Morning Herald. I wouldn’t know as I’m an-other-than sports fan and would have no idea who was famous or not. I know, you’re probably thinking I should get a life…..

But!…. I would still like to know, is it that these public figures are delivered and exposed to serve as a reminder to other mere male mortals of the perils of philandering? Or, is it simply that women don’t get caught?

It is interesting that the stories sensationalize mainly men in the public eye who are caught spreading their joy with women other than their wives. Is it because famous women don’t do it or is it that they simply aren’t found out?…..Or aren’t we interested anyway?

I do know that the damage to a relationship is just as great irrespective of who ventures outside the marriage or committed relationship for sex. And there sits a big assumption anyway. Is it REALLY about the sex? I hear often enough from clients that an emotional void in their primary relationship has led them to seek solace elsewhere. Sometimes the criticism and put-downs delivered by a spouse on a regular basis are enough to drive the recipient  out of their bedroom somewhere more accepting and nurturing.

Bettina Arndt in smh.com.au. June 3 2012 has her views on the subject. “With every fresh sex scandal, the experts line up to pontificate on why these successful men, men who have everything, take such risks for the sake of sex. In Ettingshausen’s case, his lapse has been blamed on depression triggered by concern about his financial affairs. It is often suggested well-known men are risk-takers, narcissists who assume they don’t have to play by ordinary rules.

Successful men are used to winning, used to getting away with it. Many of the theories make sense, but the real truth is that many of these are pretty normal men with luscious options jumping into their laps.”

Read full article by Bettina Arndt smh.com.au

Do you have a view on this topic? Please contribute to this post by offering your opinion!

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett caring4couples.com.au

 

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Would an affair mean the end of your marriage or relationship?

“Do affairs cause bad marriages … or do bad marriages cause affairs?

All affairs can cause bad marriages but not all bad marriages cause affairs. Having an affair, cheating on a spouse, is no way to solve problems in a marriage.

While it certainly can be true that problems in a marriage can lead to loneliness, unhappiness and sadness, making a decision to have an affair is the responsibility of the person who makes the choice to cheat.”

Sally Connolly discusses the different reasons for affairs in her blog article Bad  Marriages and Affairs (April 3 2012). It makes interesting reading and invites the question of what comes first? Does a bad marriage lead to an affair or does an affair bring on the demise of a marriage?

What are your views and /or experience? If your partner had an affair would it mean the end of your relationship for you? Feel free to start a discussion!

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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