Ending a significant romantic relationship is one of the most stressful life events, full of emotional challenges. Rebuilding afterward can be a difficult, complex, and lonely process that often involves conflicting feelings and a great deal of change and adjustment. The truth is that break-ups (or separations or divorces) often involve grieving, but instead of the death of a loved one, we’re facing the death of a relationship.
Just like other forms of grief, healing takes time. And really, we don’t “get over” the losses we experience in our lives. Rather, we work through and reconcile with them, integrating the loss and establishing a “new normal”. Generally speaking, this is accomplished through four tasks: (1) accepting the reality of the loss, (2) experiencing and processing the pain of grief, (3) adjusting to our new environment, and (4) moving forward. The amount of time this takes depends on the person, his or her supports and coping skills, and the relationship. Counseling or therapy can be a helpful source
of support during this difficult time.