I had for a long time, looked to my ex as the source of my livelihood. It did not help that he was also very willing to string me along and make me think that we still had a chance. It took one nice long lecture from my friend called Brenda, which at the time i felt was heartless, and a week of crying to get over that nonsense. Many a times, we create problems for ourselves because we hold on to pain that is far beyond its ability to serve us. We replay our mistakes and perceived mistakes, over and over in our heads and try and figure out where we went wrong. More often than not it is never about you, you were probably not to blame at all, but because someone said ‘it was your fault, we are only too willing to look ourselves over and try and wonder why what happened. I wish someone had told me this before. And now that i know this, these are steps that I believe we can all use to get over a relationship. What is important is letting go and realising that there surely is life after a failed relationship. Do not beat yourself up for something that is not worthy of your effort and time is bound not to last. We should be empowered in the long run to end unhealthy, abusive relationships.
Firstly, you need to define your own personal goals. Forget the wedding plans, were you were going to live with him, or even that his family had accepted you into fold. Its now time to look at what you want to achieve in your life. Decide what is important to you in the long term and as long as it does not tally with what that relationship stands for, let it go. Never drop your standards too low for someone who is already giving your grief and drama. Cut your losses, set new goals and start putting your life together.
Value yourself. Believe in yourself and in your ability to look after and come through for yourself. Sometimes we rely too much on our partner that we begin to forget what we are really capable of. In my case i would even act blonde, just so i would not make him uncomfortable with my intelligence. He wanted a stay at home wife, so when i was still dating him, i was not effectively looking for a decent paying job. When you value yourself, it will help you move forward with your life than putting it on hold for someone, and waiting for a change that is effectively not coming.
Do not wait around thinking things will change. There is a Shona proverb that even supports this notion, “shiri ine muririro wayo haiuregi”. Generally a person’s past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, so don’t hold your breath thinking the frog will turn into prince charming.
We usually have a strong urge to forge ahead, and keep working hard at it, even though there are clear indications that you have reached the end of the road, there is no light at the end of that tunnel. It is important to give up the desire to win every issue. Ask yourself how big winning is at this point? Is it worth it to sacrifice yourself and your happiness over this? If not, let it go. You do not always need to be right and if your feel you do, that in itself is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Let go of grudges. What most of us do not realise is that letting go is not surrendering, in fact, holding on to them allows them to shape your future. Holding on to your past stunts your emotional growth, you basically do not learn to handle disappointments and move on. Rather you flourish in the world of what could have been, and dream big in your own world. When reality strikes second time around, we are usually unable to pull ourselves out of this. Then we wonder were depression and stress come from?
The most important thing everyone needs is to be realistic. An attitude adjustment may be needed. Accepting that a relationship is over, even if your are still in it is a good start, It is not realistic to keep hoping for a miracle, but rather take the right steps to reach an equally good solution. Sometimes growth and improvement cannot occur in your life until you are willing to let go of dreams and start exploring very new possibilities. This helps open up your mind and who knows, you might be too busy to even remember you had drama in the recent past, a distraction that you really need.
Lastly surround yourself with positive people. Hang around people you trust, people who believe in you, who encourage you and who will help you to build your self esteem. The closest to you can help you see that you still a worthy person. Do not hang around people who will make you feel like killing yourself, or your ex’s friends. The y will tell you how you were good together and all the other rosy things that keep you on cloud nine. If your friends have taken to associating with him, ditch them, they are not worth your time either. Be around people who will make you feel and know that you don’t have to be alone or go it alone. In as much as you are responsible for your own life and your own decisions, seeking guidance from friends and at times professionals can make a world of difference. Just don’t go confiding in everyone , and be surprised when you are the talk of town. Do not trust his friends either, some might have hidden agendas against you, the end result is more drama.