Whether you or your partner initiated the separation, breaking up is never an easy thing to do, especially when there are children involved. Even if it was your decision, and you know it is the right thing to do, you will still feel a range of emotions that can be difficult to deal with.
Take a look at our checklist which outlines the most common emotional stages you will experience. Remember that you are not crazy or weak to be feeling this way. It is important to work through your emotions and come to terms with them so that you are able to move on.
The first stage of separation is denial. This can begin even before the break-up, when you are denying to yourself that the relationship is in trouble. You may try to convince yourself that everything will work out or that you will eventually get back together again with your ex. This is a way to protect yourself from hurt.
It is natural to feel angry – both at your ex-partner and yourself. It doesn’t seem fair that this is happening to you and you want to blame someone. Anger can be a very destructive emotion, though, so it is important that you channel it constructively and don’t let it tear you apart.
You feel guilty that you let your relationship fail and are breaking up the family – couldn’t you have done more? There is no point racking yourself with guilt. Things happen and it is important to learn from them and make the best of your new reality.
Once you have stopped denying the situation or blaming it on someone else, the truth begins to set in. You are on your own again. Out in the big wide world. Away from your child. This can be a scary prospect and you will probably be filled with fear. This is a healthy emotion that will help you decide how to move forward.
Even if you wanted the relationship to end, you will still feel a great sense of loss. You will be grieving for the future that you had hoped for and all those dreams that never quite came true. You need to acknowledge your grief and deal with it before you will be able to take the next step.
When you have been through a break-up many people will face a stage of re-invention. This is the point when you look at yourself and think ‘what can I do differently?’ or ‘how can I make sure this doesn’t happen again?’ Considering these things means that you are already on the road to recovery
Once you have dealt with your emotions – which can take some time – then you will move to a state of acceptance. No, it’s not the way you wanted it to turn out and yes, you probably could have done things differently, but this is where you are now, and you can start focusing on your future.
After a separation, you can find yourself on an emotional roller coaster, swinging between anger, guilt, denial and grief. This is natural but it is important to acknowledge and deal with your emotions so that you can reach a place of acceptance and be ready to put the past behind you and look towards the future.
By Emma Jones 1 June 2011
Original article here
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