Most people who see me are seeing me because they are struggling with the death of a loved one.
But there are also people who see me about the end of their marriage/relationship.
Ending a marriage is a really big thing.
Josie came to see me after she and her husband of 40 years decided to separate.
They were married a long time and had spent their adult years together.
Now they were having to work through the pain.
For Josie that was multi-layered.
She couldn’t blame anyone for the end of the marriage. They had both drifted apart. They had both agreed they were not happy anymore and wanted out.
Despite this amicable end to the marriage, they both experienced a time of anger and blame at each other.
She spent too much time running around after their now adult children.
He spent too much time looking after his mother.
That was just the tip of the iceberg!
Josie was acutely ashamed of her marriage ending and of the need to seek counselling. She would come to see me wearing a scarf, big coat and dark glasses to disguise herself. She was terrified someone would recognise her and judge her for needing help.
She had moved away from her home town because of her shame.
She believed marriages shouldn’t end.
She was worried she looked terrible and her friends would pity her and talk about how bad a state she was in.
She was worried about her future. The future she had planned was gone and she had visions of being some lonely old lady no one ever visited. She was terrified she would die and no one would notice.
She was frightened of going out and having men want to talk to her.
She was anxious that her children would get married and want her to sit on the same table at the reception as her father. By this time she was so angry with him she hated him. She blamed him for everything that had happened. And he blamed her back.
She didn’t recognise the fact that she was grieving and needed time and space to allow that to unfold. She needed to let go of her belief that ending a marriage was wrong. She needed to be able to grieve for the lost future and learn to have a new one.
She needed to stop running.
Brad had been with his partner ten years. He was happy and settled and envisaged a future where he and his partner planned to have children and grow old together. He was blindsided by his partner’s announcement she was leaving him. He had seen no evidence of trouble in the relationship.
He was unable to understand what had happened.
Life was so difficult to manage. He was lonely and lost. He cried a lot or went out with some mates and drank too much.
He could not cope with the loneliness.
He felt totally useless and unloveable.
He contemplated ending it all.
Like Josie he needed time to grieve and the space to allow that to unfold.
He needed to learn how to sit with the not knowing around the end of the relationship.
He needed to know it was okay to hurt and that it would get better.
He also needed to come to the realisation that his relationship ending did not make him less of a person.
So often when relationships end, people are encouraged to just get on with life. There is little recognition of the devastating losses associated with the end of a relationship.
These losses are real. They need to be acknowledged and honoured. The person in this situation must be allowed to feel their grief and work with it.
If you are struggling with the end of your relationship and would like to seek my help, please contact me on 0409396608 or email@example.com
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz