|How do you get over a heartbreak
Getting through Divorce, Separation or Unrequited Love
Part 1 of 2.
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Did you ever meet your Mr Big - The Love of your Life – your Soul Mate? Did
something within you rise up and insist, ‘This is the one, this is forever or this is
divine destiny.’ Poems and love songs express it all with, “You were meant for
me and I was born to love you.”
Love and death are the two life experiences which really compel us to look at life
and the nature of reality. The loss of love, such as a divorce, the end of a
relationship or even an unrequited love can be as devastating as losing someone
through death. We try to be rational and look for answers from an intellectual
viewpoint, but we rarely, if ever, find satisfaction or resolution. At best, we may
decide that, “It’s just the way things go, get over it and move on”. Through
some force of mental discipline, we suck it down and convince ourselves that
we have accepted and recovered from our loss.
There is nothing quite like a funeral to bring up the big questions. We find
ourselves processing our thoughts from a place outside the intellectual
framework. A subtle and intangible sensing seems to come into play. We feel that
our relationship continues outside of the physical realm. We may find ourselves
wondering, “Could it be some kind of primal instinct, a spiritual communication
or something along the lines of mystical or psychic phenomena?”
People say that when you’re dead, you’re dead; the afterlife theory is just wishful
thinking or the inability to accept what is. And yet, even if we say this, and even
if we truly believe this, there is still that X Factor. Pragmatic as we think we are,
we do find ourselves having telepathic conversations with the dead. We still
sense them around us, a kind of energetic awareness of their presence.
When we have been deeply connected to another person we feel intrinsically
woven into them. We try to express this sense with statements like, “He was a
part of me” or “He completed me”. In death or divorce, it is common to feel like
you have lost a part of yourself.
In death, we take time to grieve. In effect, this is a period of physically, mentally,
emotionally and spiritually detaching from our bond. In a way, it is very similar
to withdrawing from an addiction. In the initial stages of grief, we may feel like
we are going insane. It’s as if every nerve within us becomes raw and every
sense is searching the air for a word or touch or sight of our loved one. Every
thought translates to “Come Back!” Physically, our energy becomes totally
depleted, and we find ourselves in a foetal position, obsessed with conversations
in our head, with someone we don’t really believe is gone. Whether we admit it
to ourselves or not, we do in fact believe that we are capable of maintaining this
relationship in an indefinable realm.
Something within us is certain that the spirit or soul lives on; that we can
maintain our connection through some unexplainable force of mind.
With death we do come to terms with the fact that we need to move on as we
accept that in this life at least, the person will not inhabit a physical form again.
With a physical death, we are usually supported by friends and family and even
society in general will make allowances and lend support to a person if they
know that they are grieving.
Many people also go through a stage in which they feel a great deal of anger,
totally abandoned, and in a way they feel betrayed. With time, this sorts itself
out. We will accept that they did not die on purpose, they did not maliciously
betray us nor did they choose to abandon us. With death, we are able to continue
loving the person and also are able to accept that they have gone.
When a loving relationship ends in divorce or separation, it is experienced in the
same way, with the same degree of grief, as a death. In many ways it may be
more devastating, as there is no closure. No matter how final it may appear,
there is always that faint hope that they may come back. There is a possibility
that something may change; because where there is life, there is hope.
With death, it is healing to talk about what a great person they were and everyone
recounts stories of good times. We all refer to the fine characteristics of the
deceased and not a harsh word will be uttered. We try to keep the dead alive and
may place photos near our beds, wear sentimental jewellery, and perhaps, hold
on to pieces of clothing that he wore. We might even raise a glass to him on his
birthday and Christmas.
It’s quite different when a relationship dies. Family and friends will usually be
supportive and sympathetic, but there are no cards, no flowers, and no time-out
to recover. We are not encouraged to talk about him, and if anything, we are
shut down, and advised to dismiss or deny our memories or sentimentalities.
Well meaning friends will try to accelerate your disconnection by reminding you
about what a cad he was.
We are advised to wipe him out. “You were too good for him”, they like to say,
and There are plenty more fish in the sea. He was selfish, weak, inconsiderate
and controlling. He was a cheat and a liar, and you are well rid of him. And it’s
all true, and you know it. “But…”, you hear yourself say, and you reach for a
weak argument or defence. There is no justification and you know it, and you
can’t say what you really think, because even in the silence of your mind, you
know it sounds pathetic. It’s there though and it escapes without censor, and
then the words hang there, like slow motion alphabet spelling out, “But…I still
You see the disappointment in their eyes and feel the humiliation well up inside
you, and you remind yourself again how desperate and insignificant you really
are. You make a mental note to yourself, “Don’t say that out loud ever again,
don’t even allow yourself to think it again - keep telling yourself, it’s over, until
you believe it”.
So, plan B: “I hate him, I never want to see him again, I don’t know what I ever
saw in him, he is scum, and I will never, never take him back.”
Plan C: Enter the actress: New hairdo, new clothes, weight loss and party, party,
party. “Who? Oh yeah, I used to have a scene with him, big mistake, what a
At some point, we manage to split our life into two realities. Our external face
presents well, and for all appearances, we seem to have gotten over it. We rarely,
if ever, mention him, and when we do - it's in cool tones. We are back in the
game and might have begun dating again or become involved in some new hobby
or interest, and, all in all, we may appear to be doing well and moving on. Our
second life – our secret life - plays itself out within our imagination. At home,
alone and private, our love is as real and as powerful as ever. Perhaps it’s even
better than it ever was; alone in bed and silent - he comes…
Within the imagination, I can see you so clearly, hear you, with an honesty that
our egos would never have allowed us to speak, touch you without inhibition into
places deep within you. In my imagination, I know you at your core and I know
your history and your future. In my imagination, we communicate in a different
realm, our original source, a place where you and I are one and the same. Love is
love here, not an agenda and not an event. It is a language, and it is a state of
being, it is who we really are, and it is a Universe within itself. This is my soul
and your soul - merged, and it is more real to me than life.
In my physical reality, I struggle and judge you. Your behaviour confuses me
and my logical mind insists that you will destroy me. You threaten my sense of
safety by annihilating my self-esteem. You treat me as unworthy and unlovable,
and expose my weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
I wonder about your emotional baggage. I justify your aloofness, detachment and
cruelty. I convince myself that you are ‘The One’, but you are too afraid or
damaged to love me. On this level, I strive to leave you, and I am mentally,
emotionally and physically detaching from you. It is quite possible that sometime
not too far away, I will be over you. I may accept that you are not meant for me,
this time around.
Most of the time, I am on top of this. I have now mastered the art of crying
inside and smiling outside. I have a list of ‘our stuff,’ like our songs, our movies
and places. I see you in places where you used to be and I hear words you once
said. Songs on the radio bring you alive again and put us back in that moment. I
have heard myself say to myself, “I would crawl across cut glass to get to you,
lie naked in the snow for you, and I would sell my soul to the devil, if he would
just bring you back again, the way you were, when you loved me.”
Great minds have pondered the nature of love. Many were arrogant enough to
pose an answer. I too, have dissected and inspected the fragments and postulated
theories. I too, have concluded that it is a simple state of insanity, a chemical
anomaly or a primal instinct for procreation. I have wondered about magnetism
and sub-conscious parental associations. I have judged it as a form of narcissism
or an attraction to my own potential. I have played with the idea that love is
nothing more than a learning experience. People come into our lives to teach us
and then leave when the lesson is completed. I have also wondered about past-
life theories and accepted that intense love may relate to unresolved past life
issues. It may be any, all, or none of these, and knowing for sure would
probably make very little difference.
At its most difficult, love is an addiction, an obsession and a soul destroying
experience. When love dies or love is not requited, it is quite possibly more
painful and longer lasting than losing someone through death – in a way, it really
is a death.
Some people say that with physical death, the soul of the person leaves the body.
It is explained as an energy rising out and merging into the atmosphere. When
love dies, we experience a similar sensation, a great loss of energy. We
physically experience a loss of vitality and become exhausted and weak for some
time. Mentally, we become muddled and need to use a great amount of energy to
remain focused. This energetic concept is rarely, if ever, considered when we
are trying to get through heartbreak.
Loss of love feels like the loss of the soul.
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Copyright Sonya Green
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