Ending a relationship is a very difficult experience. While the person is still alive and well, we often tend to grieve the loss of the relationship as if it were a death. The feelings associated with experiencing a breakup can be overwhelming and confusing. Some of the common reactions to a breakup include:
Denial - We can’t believe that this is happening to us and that the relationship is really over.
Anger - We are angry and even enraged at our partner for putting us through this.
Fear - We are frightened by the intensity of our feelings. We are frightened that we may never love or be loved again. We are frightened that we may not survive our loss, but we will do so.
Self-blame - We blame ourselves for what went wrong. We replay our relationship over and over, saying to ourselves, "If only I had done this. If only I had done that", "I should have, I could have".
Sadness - We cry more than ever for we have suffered a great loss.
Guilt - We feel guilty, particularly if we choose to end a relationship. We don't want to hurt our partner, yet we don't want to stay in a lifeless or unhealthy relationship.
Disorientation and Confusion - We don't know who or where we are anymore. Our life is completely different. We've lost our bearings.
Hope - Initially we may fantasize that there will be a reconciliation, that the parting is only temporary, that our partner will come back to us. As we heal and accept the reality of the ending, we may dare to hope for a newer and better world for ourselves.
Bargaining - We plead with our partner to give us a chance. "Don't go", we say. "I'll change this and I'll change that if only you'll stay".
Relief - We can be relieved that there is an ending to the pain, the fighting, the torment, and the lifelessness of the relationship.
While some of these feelings may seem overwhelming, they are all "normal" reactions. They are necessary to the process of healing, so that we can eventually move on and engage in other relationships. Be patient with yourself.
Also Keep In Mind:
If you feel "stuck" in a pattern and unable to change it, talking to a therapist at CAPS can help. Feel free to make an appointment at any time: