10 Steps to Recover from a Divorce or Breakup

Divorce, or the breakup of a serious relationship, can be a devastating ordeal, and recovering from them can be a difficult, treacherous road. Sometimes people don't recover at all. Others, although appearing to be past their divorce or breakup, still carry the pain with them, as well as the fear of getting close to a partner again.

Below are ten ways to help you recover, get your life back on track, and guarantee a bright relationship future.

1. Grieve deeply and completely. Many times people are terrified of dark feelings such as sadness, depression, and anger. The intensity can make you feel like they'll take hold of your soul forever. The key point to remember and trust is that although these feelings are indeed strong, they won't last forever. Nor will they destroy or damage you. As a matter of fact, you'll likely be in a better place emotionally once you've let yourself work through them.

2. Grieve for the future you thought your marriage or relationship once had, which now will never be. When people come together in a commitment, many dreams and hopes are created. These are not simple to let go of, because we use dreams and hopes to guide us to our future. Consider what dreams and hopes you had in your relationship. Then separately grieve each one. Know that your dreams and hopes are not dead. You'll recreate them again with someone else, or even alone.

3. Identify and spend time with the people in your life who know how to listen to your feelings with complete love and acceptance. When recovering from a breakup -- or any devastating loss -- it's critical for you to be allowed to speak your mind as often as you need to. Many people aren't comfortable listening to others' dark emotions because they may be afraid of being overtaken by those emotions. This is why seemingly loving, caring people often try to "fix" us when we share our painful feelings. It's important that you're not interrupted or given advice -- speaking is how you'll heal.

4. Understand what happened in the relationship. In order for you to be able to come to terms with the breakup and to move on to creating a wonderful life, you need to understand what happened to cause it. This is the part of your journey where you'll have to be extremely honest with yourself. It'll do you no good to blame your ex or yourself. You need to clearly understand the dynamic you and your partner created together and clearly trace the threads of the events that led to the animosity or the cooling off in the relationship.

5. Understand why you chose your former partner. People choose relationships for many different reasons, the most popular being "love." But what many consider to be "in love" is not really love at all. Here are some of the reasons why people choose each other:

A deep need to be wantedA lifelong struggle to meet someone and "save" them or "change" themA fear of being aloneInfatuationMaterial securityFor the good of the childrenIf you can honestly examine and understand why you chose your partner, you'll be able to see the beginnings of the breakup at the inception of the relationship. You'll also start to build understanding to be able to choose differently the next time around. 6. Forgive your partner, forgive yourself. Now it's time to forgive. Understand that you and your partner did the best you could. Understand that even when you were doing things to hurt each other, it was still the best you could do at the time. Perhaps the painful actions came out of self-defense or self-preservation. Perhaps they came out of revenge for the pain you felt the other was inflicting. Forgiveness is a sure way to free yourself up to have a wonderful life in the future. 7. Create distance between you and your ex-partner. One thing that is so difficult about a breakup is no longer having another person around, no longer having your best friend and confidant. It is difficult to let go of the everyday interactions and the friendship. And yet, if you are to heal well, you must create three to six months of no contact with your former partner (or as little contact as possible in case you have children together). This will give you the opportunity to grieve and work through your anger. It will also allow the relationship between you and your ex-partner to begin again (if at all) on a different footing. 8. Create a supportive community. Going through a breakup means you have just lost your best friend and partner. You need to be listened to. You need to know that you are wanted and loved. For these reasons, having a supportive community is critical to your recovery. A community can be a religious/spiritual group , an online community or a group of friends whom you ask to support you. Make sure your community clearly knows you need their support and how you need to be supported. 9. Resolve to learn everything about yourself and relationships. If you are to create a better relationship in the future, without repeating the same mistakes, you need to understand and examine every aspect of relationships in regard to yourself. You need to know what you want in a relationship, what kind of partner would be best suited for you, what you absolutely need in order to feel satisfied, and what you absolutely will not accept. 10. Take great care of yourself in the process. Divorce or breakup recovery is a stressful, painful and life-changing process. When people are going through fundamental life changes, they must take care of themselves. A good rule of thumb is to treat yourself as if you have a slight cold -- delegate or reduce your workload, eat well, exercise and get lots of rest. Add in extras like a massage, taking a creative class, and doing activities that you consider fun. Although recovering from divorce or a breakup is not easy, you will succeed and come out of the process much better for it if you follow the above systematic approach. Much success to you! Master Certified Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries coaches singles to attract and build loving, fulfilling, long-term relationships.
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Source: Relationships & Love

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