Since I’ve started SADSA, it has been my mission to understand what makes a relationship breakup so difficult and painful.
Meeting the many people who seek support during this hard time, it is clear to me that one of the problem is the stigma which is attached to the breakup itself. When going through a relationship breakup, people seem to find no other option than label themselves as being a number in an ever growing statistic. There are much talks about being part of the so many percent of people who are divorcing this year and then further box themselves in a group who believe that their lives have failed and they are part of a societal problem. First of all, in my opinion, these statistics mean nothing because many relationships ending have not been married, so the stats, per se, do not reflect an accurate evaluation. Then, it really is all a matter of perspective, because I seldom hear people mention, we are part of so many percent who are staying together.
What is important to understand and acknowledge is that people get together. Some stay together and some don’t, and on average it amounts to about 50% of relationships. This does not indicate a problem. This only proves that +/- half of humans in relationships will stay together and others will separate.
What I want to support people with is the understanding that it is one’s approach to relationships and breakups that need to be redefined. Sure, a breakup is painful and can be even more traumatic when children are involved, but the reality lies in our understanding of why the relationship drifted apart and what drew us to the be in that relationship in the first place. This can only be achieved though self work and acknowledging that a breakup is a change of direction, not the end of your life. The challenges brought on by a relationship ending should then be addressed mindfully, with the consideration of what was invested in that relationship in the first place, especially for longer relationships and relationships which have given birth to children.
So how to tackle this seemingly unsurmountable life transition?
- Understand that it is first and foremost an emotional process with a financial and legal part.
- A marriage is about love, a separation is about money and children.
- Many loose their sense of identity in the relationship. Finding out who you truly are and feeling confident about being that person is very important to allow yourself to move forward.
- The ending of a relationship is a change of direction, not the end of your life.
- The breakup must be seen as part of the solution.
- Relationships are not there to make your dreams come true. You may dream of a relationship. If that relationship did not work, redefine your dream.
- You are not a statistic. You were in a relationship which needed to be allowed to end. This is part of your life’s experience. It does not define who you are.