The breakdown of a relationship can be one of the most difficult experiences you will go through in your life. Whether the split was amicable or hostile, decided on by both parties or just by one, the emotional impact of a partnership splitting up should not be underestimated. Coping with a separation is rarely straightforward which is why we wanted to offer you our tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing.
Coping with a separation: it’s OK that you are not OK
First, it is important to recognise that it is perfectly normal to experience a profound feeling of disappointment and grief when a relationship breaks down.
The vast majority of people entering a marriage or a partnership do so because they want it to last. Admitting that a relationship is over means that all of those hopes and dreams for the future will no longer be as you initially envisaged them.
Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself time to grieve. Some people believe that a breakup involves similar stages of grief as when someone close to you passes away: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Be kind to yourself and take comfort in the fact that eventually – even if it takes some outside help and support – you will move on and begin to reshape your life without that person in it.
Reach out to friends – old and new
You are probably feeling stressed and anxious and generally fearful about your future. Socialising may feel like the last thing on your priority list.
It may be difficult at first but make time to see friends and family. Make new friends to socialise with too. If you have a hobby or something you have always meant to do, now is a good time to branch out and join a new club.
It will take time, but making sure you prioritise spending time with others is one of the best ways of coping with a separation.
Avoid conflict with your former partner or spouse
Being sucked into arguments or drama with your ex-partner will do nothing to help either of you move on. At a minimum it will add to your stress, and in the worst-case scenario, you could find yourselves unable to be in the same room, which is particularly problematic if children are involved.
If your ex attempts to draw you in to conflict, remember to take a deep breath and walk away. You may not be in control of what they say and do but you are in control of how you react.
Keep legal matters simple, if possible
We would always recommend that anyone considering a divorce seeks legal advice to ensure that they are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.
It is normally the separation of assets – rather than the divorce itself – that causes the most issues. If you can, with independent legal advice, attempt to reach an agreement with your spouse about how your finances will be divided upon divorce.
Court should normally be viewed as a last resort, as it can be time consuming, costly and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
If you are cohabiting with your partner and are not married, we would also highly recommend that you seek appropriate legal advice.
Get in touch today to book your free consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers.