Grief After a Break-Up


Jennifer Robson
16 November 2017

You have broken up and you can’t quite believe it has actually happened.  Even in those moments when the relationship was awful, you clung on because the idea of living without him is just unbearable. 
But the reality is you have broken up.  It is actually over.
You have gone from “Don’t leave!” to “Ok I give up”. But you’re not ok.  You just feel devastated, alone and lost.  You may have known that the breakup was coming but you are still blindsided.  Your feeling overwhelmed, haunted by fear loss and despair. 
In this blog, we will walk you through the stages that you can expect to go through as you experience grief and begin to heal. 

Desperate for Answers 
Once the initial shock of the breakup has gone you may find yourself all consumed with the need to understand why “what happened”.  You may fixate on things your ex said.  Yet you may also have moments of clarity too. You're likely to be swinging back and forth between disbelief and discovery of the magnitude of your loss. All you can think about is your pain and confusion.  

It can’t be true.  This isn’t happening! It feels like you have put everything into your relationship, and you cannot accept that it is over. You funnel all your hopes into trying to save it.  In this stage, you need to remember to take care of yourself.  Don’t become unrealistic about the hope of salvaging the relationship.
You are not logical at this point. You are willing to do anything to avoid accepting that it’s over.  You’ll be a better more attentive version of yourself.  You are clinging to any hope you can. In this stage, you are placing all the blame on yourself so it’s important that you remember that both of you contributed to the breakup. You cannot take responsibility for everything. 

You may be able to convince your ex to give it another go. But this is likely to end in heartache as you discover that you cannot carry the relationship alone.  

When anger sets in you have let go of some of your fear, at least temporarily.  This stage can be empowering as you start to remember that you matter too.  Your anger is a sign that you are working through your grief. You are beginning to shift your perspective, it can help you to make proactive changes if you are ready to let it. 

Initial Acceptance 
You are beginning to recognise that there are boundaries that you must maintain in order for the breakup to stick. You are starting to understand that it is not good for your own well-being to keep trying anymore. 
As your acceptance deepens you begin to shift your "hope" away from rekindling the relationship with your ex towards been able to have a great life without him.  
The stages of grief that follow any trauma, breakups included, can happen over the course of minutes or even seconds, across days, months, or years, and then switch around without warning, leaving you feeling without foundation, especially in the beginning. 
You feel alien to yourself or cut off from the world. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through the process. As your grief progresses you will be able to see opportunities to help yourself. 
Members who’ve gone through a break-up and need some tender love and care as you navigate the grieving process can access the Healing After a Break-Up Mini eCourse the in the member's area now. And always remember to head over to the Community Boards so that we can sprinkle some love on you too.