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 Coping With the End of a Long-Term Relationship

 

by Louann Hillesland, MA, LPC

 

Recently, a beautiful woman, begged me to save her marriage. She is not alone in seeking help for this situation. Half of all marriages end in divorce. The following coping strategies may be helpful to you or an acquaintance experiencing similar circumstances.

 

Unfortunately, no one can save a marriage unless BOTH partners are committed to staying and working on the marriage together.Therefore, the only chance you have is to get yourself together. This strategy will be good for you, (you need to take care of yourself right now), and it will boost your self-esteem.

 

The control you have in this situation is over yourself and your own behavior. Stop focusing on controlling your partner's behavior. You can't anyway, and it will be hugely frustrating to try.

 

It's normal, when a long-term relationship ends, to feel hurt and angry. However, blaming yourself entirely, or deciding that you must be a failure or unlovable is stinkin' thinkin' . Instead, de-personalize your partner's actions.

His actions are a reflection of himself, not you.

  

Other things you can do:

Allow yourself time to grieve, but, do not obsess. Obsessing over your situation will not change it.

 

Change your thinking. Try saying an affirmation such as 'I am a lovable and capable human being,' or 'I am an amazing person, worthy of love,' whenever your stinkin' thinkin' crops up.

 

Keep busy. Keep the rest of your life as normal as possible. You need to do things to feel good about yourself. Figure out something you can accomplish each day, and do it! Keeping up your connections to the world outside of your old relationship is very important.

 

Exercise may be the hardest thing to start doing right now, but taking walks outside can help you build strength, feel better about yourself, feel sexier, ease depression and help you sleep.

 

Stay involved with your friends and family. They are an important support network for you, but remember; even your best friends and your family will get burned out if you obsess about your situation.

T

he ball is in your court. There is no easy, pain-free solution but you can change your thinking and your actions and begin feeling better, one small step at a time.

If you are having difficulty making progress, join a support group or see a therapist. For individual counseling call Louann Hillesland at 303-721-0005. See Home Page for 50% off your initial consultation.