Being dumped is such a difficult and painful situation for anyone to go through. It is very similar to experiencing a death of someone you care about or love. The major difference is that with a death, there is no choice. In other words, the person who died did not choose to leave you. However, when someone breaks up with you, he or she are literally saying, "I want to live without you!"
In addition, with a death, you are often allowed and encouraged to “grieve and take all the time you need.” After being dumped and losing your relationship or marriage, most often you are encouraged to “let it go, forget about it, and move on with your life” with little to no actual grief time given.
The first step entails putting away the fantasy thinking of what could have been, might have been, or should have been, and really coming to peace with what is. When you are not the one wanting things to end, this step can be very difficult. This is so because the natural inclination is to “hold onto” or more often than not “cling onto” the relationship and the other person. Generally, this occurs because we are turning away from the current reality and refusing to accept it for a variety of reasons. These reasons could include; a desire to not fail, abandonment issues, unresolved issues from your childhood, a feeling of non-completion within the relationship, unrequited love, or just not wanting to have the person out of your life. Whatever the reason, the work entails facing and accepting what is now.
Once you can accept that the relationship is over, the second step is allowing yourself time to grieve. Whether your relationship was three months or twenty-three years long, if your heart was in it, a grieving period is in order. I do not agree or support any set formulas that exist that say there is a preset amount of time to grieve. The process of grief is unique to each individual. Therefore, there is no right or wrong way to do this. It truly entails allowing yourself to feel the feelings. These feelings may include feelings of loss, sadness, anger, relief, frustration, and/or hopelessness. All of these are normal, just as long as they do not excessively persist and then cause a real clinical depression. There is a natural flow to the process. Once you allow yourself to feel these feelings and the actions, which normally accompany them— such as crying, moping, lying around, and acting unmotivated, you will begin to let go and heal.
The third step in this process is forgiving yourself and your partner. This step provides a great opportunity to do some self-exploration, allowing yourself to gain a deeper understanding of who you are. You could ask yourself questions like:
- What did I learn from this relationship?
- How could I have done things differently?
- What would I like to improve upon within myself?
- What kind of partner will I pick next time
- Do I feel angry with my former partner or myself?
From here, you do your necessary inner work and forgive. Forgive yourself, forgive your former partner, forgive the situation, and then move into the final step.
The final step is gratitude for the relationship. This may sound absolutely ridiculous when you are fresh in the painful feeling from being dumped. However, in time, being able to feel the gratitude for the time you shared, the memories you built, the lessons learned, and for coming out of it a much deeper, richer, and stronger person is vital for fully moving on. When this step is not taken, people end up carrying their unresolved feelings and issues into their next relationship and life.
All of these steps are important in healing after being dumped but it can be very challenging to do on your own. If you need support, guidance, and help to get through this time I am here to help you! You may reach me here.