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A split-up can come as a surprise - How survive a shock break-up

Both leaving and being left are major crises of life. Generally speaking, it takes at least a year to recover, but after that, life gradually begins to smile again.

What does human mind do when he is left behind?

The left one experiences a wide variety of painful feelings, such as anger, rage, fear, horror, shame, disappointment and sorrow. Also the left one is thinking about why he was left and what the other person was really disappointed about.

Life may suddenly feel very confusing, sleeping is hard and physically you feel weak. It may then be necessary to stay for a short time on sick leave.

Often, a person who is left is also experiencing a shock when he or she just is denying the whole situation. Then he can be over active and crave a lot of different things so that he does not have to face the situation.

The other extremity is that someone is completely paralyzed and is unable to perform daily tasks for some time.

How can the break-up process be facilitated?

The break-up can only be processed by honestly meeting all their own feelings. For example, crying or fury must be released out in order to move forward.

You can also share your own feelings with good friends or therapists.

In the break-up process it will help if you can associate your own feelings with your contacts. For example, you can distinguish which emotions are related to a broken relationship, which feelings are related to past relationships, and which feelings are related to childhood experiences.

Later, after some time has passed, one can go into the divorcegroup. In the very early stages, however, it is not advisable, as the recently divorced usually does not have the strength to listen to other stories.

Does the physical distance between the two make a difference to survival?

At a time of break up, it can help if you do not see the other constantly. Especially if a ex spouse has a new spouse, it may be more difficult for someone who has been left to have to see them daily. Then the distance can bring quick help.

The most important thing, however, is what happens inside the mind. The distance does not cure wounds if one don’t process them themselves.

If things are just put away and left untouched, they will more easily re-emerge in a resemblance or in a new relationship.

What kind of issues does the leaver have?

The leaving partner is often in a very different phase than the one who’s left. He may have been thinking about the break up for many years, and he has often experienced anger, bitterness and loneliness already in marriage or relationship. For him, the ultimate decision can also be relief.

Often, however, the leaver feels a lot of guilt because they know that they are producing a disappointment with their spouse. They may wonder if they have the right to think of themselves and their own good fortune.

In practice, drastic measures and decisions can not be produced in an instant. Usually the split up is thought for at least a couple of years, but sometimes even more than ten years.

Do you always need to find out the reasons?

Speaking helps both parties. Especially the one who’s left is in a moment of disparity in the uncertainty, why one does not want to continue the relationship. Then it will help if the leaver tells openly and honestly why he wants to divorce.

Often, the conversation also helps the leaver to make things clearer, making it easier to work out the break up.

Whether it was you who are leaving or were left, seeing one's own and the other will help you go forward. Talking about things helps keep the relationship as good as possible in the future as well.

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How can life experience help you with coping?

When you are a bit older at the time of a break up, you have already experienced a variety of crises in your life. Then there is already experience of coping with crises. It may give hope that you will be able to survive new crisis.

Usually a person with more life experience can also assess what he or she is able to cope with and when to seek external help.

On the other hand, loneliness can be scary. Especially for women, finding a new partner can be more challenging because men are dying younger, especially in older age groups there are more women in numbers.

How can one help others in the break up/divorce process?

Others can help by listening. It is not for the rescuer to offer instructions or advice, but usually just presence is enough. Usually a good way to face a just divorced person is to hug, hold hands or ask for a cup of coffee.

However, a friend does not have to listen unlimitedly if listening makes you feel anxious and exasperating. It is good for a friend to draw clear limits to his own well being. If you have no strength to listen to another, you can step away and try to help him/her to find help elsewhere, such as a crisis center or a therapist.

How long does recovery take?

Recovery from a long relationship takes an average of one to three years. Things may still come to mind later, but they will not be as strong as before.

The most difficult time is usually during the first year. During that time all the festivities like Christmas, Easter, birthdays and various anniversaries that were probably spent together with the spouse are taking place. In general, the celebration and anniversaries, without the spouse, seems to be difficult. Both good and bad memories return to mind, and recovery may slow down.

Generally, the next year is easier, and the next is again a bit easier.

How does the recovery from a break-up differ between women and men?

On average, after a break-up or divorce women are longer alone than men. Women often have a wider network of friends, and they deal with the break-up more with friends than men.

After divorce, men often seek a new partner more quickly than women, and they can avoid talking about feelings and break-ups.

No one is completely balanced after a divorce. Often, if a new partner has been caught in a hurry, a little while later, one can notice that he was not the one she imagined. Then you may have to experience a new break-up. Generally, both men and women are ready for a new relationship when after a divorce they feel that their life is happy and good in solitude alone.

What does a relationship really mean?

Relationship is usually a major emotional relationship where one can love and become loved as a self. The basic human being has a need to connect. Man wants to be meaningful to somebody and that someone is meaningful to himself.

At the heart of the relationship is sharing life and experiences with someone. Usually, in a relationship we also get support for life's disadvantages and disasters, which gives us security.

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