You meet a guy. There is an attraction. You start dating and get to know each other. He is such a great guy and he knows how to make you laugh. You have so much in common and start planning a future together. You get married or you just move in together. This is going to be forever.
Fast forward, five, ten, fifteen years or even two or three decades. So much has changed. You separate and get divorced. In the case of a de facto relationship you just separate but the stress is no easier to handle.
There are many reasons for a relationship to end. In some circumstances there is abuse and the relationship may need to end completely for safety reasons. The person who has been abused may need to be isolated from the other person in order to slowly rebuild their self esteem.
In other situations maybe something can be salvaged from the relationship. To me it seems a shame when two people have been in love and experienced so much together but end up hating each other. Some couples no longer refer to the other party by their real name but use some derogatory term instead. They cannot be in the same room and can’t be civil to each other. This situation is particularly awkward when there are young children involved and access visits to be organised.
Breaking up hurts and it is likely events over months or years before the final split have caused pain and disillusionment. Perhaps the split came as a shock with one party having been unaware of how the other was feeling. Whatever the circumstances, separation is not easy.
There is likely to be a time of emotional upheaval with feelings of hurt, disappointment, anger, confusion and perhaps guilt. There may be a feeling of relief.
However, you are so used to being part of a couple and now you are without a partner. What do you do now?
Adjustments need to be made. Living arrangements, care for any children and finances have to be sorted out. Perhaps there is a house to be sold and the proceeds divided. Furniture and other property have to be divided. Who gets the car? Who gets the dog? How do you deal with mutual friends?
Hopefully, as time passes things will get a little easier. Perhaps a time will come when you can salvage something from the relationship that has ended.
Each couple has their own way of coping with the end of a relationship. It is tricky to decide what will work and there may be lots of trial and error. If the two parties remain friends but are still in frequent contact this can jeopardise the success of new relationships.
One party may hope reconciliation is possible when the reality is that it isn’t. The children may be confused.
Some sort of boundaries and rules may need to be worked out, especially if your homes are in close proximity. How often will you be in contact? When is it okay to phone? There are no hard and fast rules about what is appropriate and what will work.
Looking back on my two marriages, both having ended in divorce I can appreciate the positive things that came out of both. I certainly do not wish to return to either relationship but with the passing of the years have accepted what has happened. I appreciate the fact both guys are polite if we need to discuss anything. I have attended a funeral for a parent of both of my exes and am grateful their family members did not make me feel uncomfortable when I attended to pay my respect. I am glad what started out as love has not ended in hate.