Going through life it is not often that you think about couples splitting up until it happens to you. Only when you are the one experiencing it, it turns out that many around you are in the same boat and you had no idea! It is similar to when you buy a red car and start seeing an influx of red cars on the roads, or when you fall pregnant and all over sudden everywhere you go, there are pregnant women surrounding you.
Our generation is the generation of second chances. More and more, women and men in their 30s and 40s are finding themselves having to rebuild their lives all over again. It is like surviving a derailed train crash in the middle of nowhere and then, with all your bags in hands, trying to find a way back home, which, when you finally arrive, is no longer there. Lost, confused and angry, you try to find a new happy place somewhere else. You have the urge to justify your existence and to rebuild your life. However, moving on is a long and burdensome road. It entails a lot of heart ache, tears, negative thoughts and finding that coping mechanism in yourself, which dulls down the pain. Rob Estes said that “if you are going through hell, keep going”.
In your search for a better place, many questions race through your head, the main one being “what went wrong?” Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. There is no universal explanation for why people, who at some point in their lives wanted to spend every minute together, no longer wish to even look each other’s way. There is never one reason. If, in the past, the main and almost always only reason for a split was due to unfaithfulness of one party, these day it is much more cynical. More often than not couples just grow apart. It is like two cars racing side by side along the road until they get to a T-intersection, where one turns right and the other one turns left. People change and that is just a fact of life. Such change often shifts priorities, general outlook on life and what is important in the present, often meaning that what used to be acceptable becomes an issue. As they say, it takes two to tango and sometimes the music just stops.
How do you deal with such loss and confusion? How do you rebuild your life from the pieces of broken glass that your life has become? The most logical way is to take it one day at a time. Occupy your mind and become busy. Surround yourself with a good support network of family and friends. Work through the negative emotions towards your ex-partner, yourself and your life. Make arrangements so that you can move on both emotionally and financially. Then, commence the rehabilitation process of finding yourself again and giving yourself a second chance to be happy. Like a survivor walking away from a train rack, learn to feel and trust again. Learn how to allow someone else into your life and into your heart. Do not over-think, just let life take its course and make your best attempt at enjoying the journey. Break up of a long-term relationship or a marriage is one of the biggest shake ups in life you will get. However, everything happens for a reason. You were meant to do what you have done in the past and it will bring you to your future, your destiny.
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes the difference” – Virginia Satir. Thus, go and make another attempt at “happily ever after” as, due to the lessons you have learnt from your first attempt and the change that occurred within you, second time may actually be what you have been searching all your life. Allow yourself to take another chance!
“It’s possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems.” Nicholas Sparks.
Hi Jane! Nicely written on a difficult subject. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. I am sure those who have read past posts share the same anticipation!
Thank you Damien. Will try to live up to it and will keep writing.
Hi Jane, great article…I enjoyed reading it and I agree with you that everything happens for a reason and sometimes we need a big shake up to change our perspective and to allow us to start afresh and to change our life for the better…
Thanks Vlad 🙂
Thanks for a thoughtful article, Jane. A couple things occur to me in response to some things you wrote.
You observe that breakups are more cynical and gradual today, as opposed to being primarily due to infidelity of one partner in the past. If this is so, perhaps it is because relationships are seen less as a commitment or covenant, and more as an arrangement of mutual fulfillment or happiness, with no further horizon. After 15+ years of keeping my wedding vows, I’m mindful that it’s just as true that the vows have kept me.
Perhaps a more fitting analogy than the partners turning left and right at a T intersection is that they gradually move apart, like cars on roads that diverge gradually, or flotsam drifting apart on the ocean. If the relationship is seen as something bigger than the happiness of the people involved, it will take more than personal change to cause it to unravel. If it’s just about the happiness of the individuals, the inevitable drifting of personal viewpoints and desires will be determinative.
Thanks Mark for sharing your thoughts.
Unfortunately, break ups are more cynical these days as, apart from drifting apart, only one party continues to work on the relationship and it takes two to tango. Eventually the party that has been putting in 200% runs out of steam, energy or desire to hold everything on his or her shoulders and says “enough is enough”. Yes, relationship is about happiness of the people involved as you cannot have someone miserable stay in it. You also cannot have the other party only take and not give back or reciprocate. That’s the point I was truing to get across. 🙂
Everything happens for a reason in life and I am sure that ‘the one” is out there and you’ll meet her when the time is right