Why Does It Hurt So Much?
Updated: Oct 11, 2022
*Do you ever dream that you & your ex-partner are still together, & the dream is so vivid & wonderful that when you wake up, you find yourself in agony over the reality that it was just a dream?
*Do you miss the way he smells or the way his voice sounded when he called out your name?
*Do you miss the way he held your hand, or the way he kissed your forehead?
*Does his name being mentioned send you into a massive anxiety episode?
It can feel like torture to lose someone that has been in your life for so long, especially if it wasn't your decision to leave. And it's crazy the things that you remember & miss the most about your former spouse. Many times it's the little things that hit you. And these things make it impossible to believe that you will actually get over him. But trust me, you will. And you are not going crazy. It's perfectly normal to yearn for the littlest things when you have shared a life together & suddenly they are gone.
*When my ex-husband & I split up, friends were not allowed to say his name. Hearing his name would instantly make my heart race & my stomach sink.
I could not stop thinking about the how & the why. And I relived the things we said to one another over & over again. I couldn't see how it would be possible for me to recover from this heart ache at the time. I was grieving and the pain was so intense, almost too much to bear. I now understood the true meaning of the metaphor "broken heart."'
So if you find yourself revisiting old memories of the two of you, wondering how you got there, or obsessing over what you could have done differently, just know that this is normal, and with a little time, patience and some guidance, these feelings will fade and you will be a much stronger and wiser person for the experience.
But why is it so painful? Because breaking up with your partner actually has your brain & body go through a chemical process much like drug withdrawal.
According to research from Stony Brook University, love is comparable to drug addiction. It activates parts of the brain associated with motivation & reward. This explains why, when we no longer have access to our partner, we feel the excruciating pain of abandonment and an intense craving for our partner (our drug).
There are also many factors that affect how fast you get over a relationship.
How long your relationship lasted.
Whether they left you.
Whether this was your first relationship.
Whether or not you have children.
Whether it ended as a result of an affair.
Whether you still communicate.
Whether you have possessions to divide.
Whether you have a good support system such as friends & family.
Where or not you still have to see each other.
The good news is that there are things that we can do now to help with your grieving and get you to happier times.
Here are a few tips to help you move on:
~Remind yourself of the awful things that you did not like about your partner.
When a relationship unwillingly ends, we tend to put our partner on a pedestal. We keep remembering the amazing times we had. We idealize our relationship as this masterpiece, as this ever joyous fulfilling partnership. We hardly think about the downside of things or the fact that you were frequently fighting, or that you were probably not really compatible.
~Put these thoughts down on a journal.
Make sure to write down everything. Include both good & bad so that you can get a better perspective on the reality of your relationship.
~Allow yourself time to grieve & process.
Spend some time alone with your feelings, let yourself cry & get angry, but don't spend all day obsessing. Limit the time to think about him or her.
~ Spend time with family & friends.
Shifting your focus on something else, specially as comforting as your family & friends will help you deal with the loss much better.
~Have a friend come over & help you do a clean-up.
It helps to have a friend help clear out items that remind you of him/her because it limits the time that you might spend staring at picture, or save you some of the pain of deleting picture after picture from your Facebook.
~You might have had goals that you put aside when you met him, make a list of these now.
Making a list of goals or a bucket list at this time will really give you something positive to focus on & really help you move forward in life.
~Read a self- development book.
These books can really help you gain some perspective and change your thinking of yourself & life in a very positive way. It might also open doors to a whole discovery of you.
~Remember how the heartbreak from divorce is comparable to a drug withdrawal?
Use that adrenaline of the breakup to begin working out and getting healthy. (I got into the best shape of my life after my divorce.)
~If you are doing these steps but still feel like you can't deal, hire a therapist or better yet, get yourself a great Life Coach!
A Life Coach will guide you and empower you through the healing process. She will also help guide you to where you want to be in the next stage of your life and/or what goals you want to achieve.