masquerade wrote:Typically, the seven (7) stages of grief are described as:
- Shock or Disbelief
- Acceptance and Hope
The end of a relationship is like a bereavement. In addition to the loss of the partner, a person may have to contend with changes in his/her social life, find a new place to live, adjust to living alone, take care of practical arrangements and finances, contend with custody issues if there are children involved, deal with feelings of rejection and abandonment, deal with feelings of inadequacy, betrayal and jealousy if there was another person involved, and somehow find a way to cope with day to day living. If the relationship was abusive or toxic in any way there will be many more feelings to contend with.
In any loss or bereavement, a person typically goes through seven stages of grief. They may not occur in the above order, and some of the stages may coincide with each other. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, no two relationships are the same and every person is different. Even if a person initiated the break up, he/she will still feel a sense of grief and loss.
The issues that occurred in previous relationships may be revisited, and the feelings relived once more. This is more likely to happen if these issues were unresolved and the person has repeated these patterns in subsequent relationships. Therapy can be a great source of help in these cases.
The Stages of Grief:
Shock and Disbelief - The person may not be able to comprehend that the relationship has really ended, and these feelings may be all consuming. This stage may overlap with the next stage which is:
Denial - The person may not accept that the relationship is over and may continue to pursue their ex partner.
Anger - The person may seek to blame their ex partner for the break up, ruminating on their faults and feeling and expressing a great deal of annoyance and hostility towards them.
Bargaining - The person may seek to win their partner back, promising to change or make compromises.
Guilt - The person may blame themselves for the break up, and may at this time have a very low sense of self esteem. They may wish they had done things differently, or said things differently and take on board all of the blame.
Depression - The person may have feelings of sadness or hopelessness, withdraw from social relationships and spend a lot of time brooding and ruminating. They may cling on to memories of their partner, play the same songs repeatedly and day dream about what might have been.
Acceptance - The person now begins to feel a fresh sense of hope, and they think of their partner less often. They will not feel the same sense of raw pain, and will resume social relationships. They may even begin to seek out a new partner. From time to time they may feel nostalgic, but they will accept that the relationship is now over.
If you are getting over a break up, it is best to take things slowly, a step at a time. Accept that you will go through these stages, and that they won't be easy. Talking things through with a friend or a therapist can help enormously and help you to make sense of the emotions that you're going through. This is especially important if the relationship was toxic in any way. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you, and that what you're going through is normal. You have every right to be happy again, and if you remember that true happiness comes from within and is not dependent upon any one person, you have every chance of finding it. Treat yourself with love and kindness, be gentle with yourself and try to find one thing in every day that pleases you.
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