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How to Start a New Life After Separation


I like giving relationship advice to others, especially on how to recover after a break up.


Have you ever broken up with your long-term partner? If you have, you may have experienced a variety of highly intense and stressful feelings. Most of these emotions are normal and occur in many people living separately. Also, you have to deal with your thoughts and the failure of your relationship for hours, weeks, and months.

How to Deal With Your Emotions

A common dominant emotional state is deep depression, and depression over a range of a short period may extend to to one having suicidal tendencies. In particularly bad cases, you can visit a physician who may prescribe you antidepressants. Generally, you can expect an early improvement from this emotional state. Almost everybody suffers depression after a breakup, but it disappears after a period of mourning, and you move on.

If you see your separation as a sign of failure, inability, or worthlessness, be aware that this is usually not the reality. In most cases, both partners are to be blamed for the failure of a marriage. If you feel helpless and like a victim, it's because you are trapped in passivity, but you must be active, move on, and feel better. The lost spouse and love are not a necessary condition for survival, and you can have a happy and fulfilling life without them too! When looking for new sources of emotional support and positive self-experience, you can find situations in which you are likely to experience fun and joy. And you should reward yourself when you do things you do not like!

People often have feelings of anger or revenge after separations, especially if partners have suddenly pulled out or if they have been involved in extra-marital relationships. You feel abandoned, degraded, and humiliated, and your sense of masculinity or femininity may be hurt. These negative emotions are normal—you should worry only if you are unable to displace such hostile feelings. These feelings and anger can make you overreact and strike things or even scream.

Questioning yourself about your spouse's negative view of you leads to thinking that a person you once loved cannot be such a bad person after all! Anger releases large amounts of energy and this is the best way to face new challenges. You should never let yourself be carried away by revenge, as this will only lead to your humiliation. In addition, retaliation would only lead to reciprocal actions resulting in tension, perhaps additional legal fees, or even jail (following acts of violence or child abduction). Therefore, you only harm yourself and the situation does not change at all. The best revenge would be to start a happy life...

You will often experience a surge of remorse and guilt, especially if you are the one who has initiated the separation. Your extra-marital relationship may be broken or your children may suffer greatly from the dissolution of their family. Think how you would feel as a child if you if you were surrounded by constant marital conflict and unhappy parents. Incidentally, it would be very unusual for you to feel no guilt after the separation whatsoever!

It is normal to feel lonely after the separation, and less attractive, and that you are afraid of finding a new partner. First of all, try to accept the feeling of solitude; learn to see the positive side of being alone and then go out and enjoy your social circles. Eventually, you may feel free to escape in new relationships in order to avoid loneliness, but it is better if you first see yourself as single and adopt the appropriate lifestyle. Only then (and after your separation processes are over) does it generally make sense to begin the search for partners.

For dealing with emotions of various kinds, you can take the following principles into consideration:

  • Learn about the typical course of the divorce cycle. If you expect certain emotions or reactions, you will experience them, as they are rather normal and you should be prepared for them.
  • Read books on divorce, in which positive management options are presented and get separation divorce advice.
  • Be aware that you are going to experience strong negative feelings over a lengthy time, and also that it may take several years before the separation process is final.
  • Keep a diary as this will help you get your feelings out and you can become aware of all the changes going on around you.
  • Try to see the positive side of the separation or divorce, embrace the thrill of the unknown, and realize your ability to develop as an individual. You have a new life ahead of you!
  • Play the same roles as before. This way you feel that there is continuity and you feel more secure, despite the separation.
  • Be aware that you are responsible for your feelings and control them as much as you can. You also have your fate in your hands. The partner or the separation may not be responsible for your unsatisfactory situation...

If you cannot cope with your emotions, you should go to a counseling center or a private practice psychologist. You will find a lot of understanding there, empathy, care, comfort and emotional support. Men are also welcome there as long as they do not play the "strong man" and admit that they need help. Men also have feelings and these advisers can help them express them.

Realistic and Positive Thinking

You may tend to deny the reality of separation, especially if you were suddenly abandoned by your partner. You refuse to make the necessary changes in your life, and those of your children, and even hide at home sometimes. In this case, you have to face the reality! In most cases, the separation cannot be undone and you have no control over your estranged partner's behavior.

Analyze all aspects of the new situation and all the tasks and challenges. The problem is when you see only the negative side, or imagine that certain events (such as a smile from your ex-partner during a meeting) have more significance than they really have. This can result in regular negative behavior.

If you even experience irrational attitudes and thoughts (such as "Life should be fair", "I can only be happy with my partner" or "I'm not lovable"), unrealistic expectations ("My ex will come back on their knees") or divorce myths ("Every separation is a big disaster for all concerned"), you should check with reality and use your logic. You will usually not find any evidence for them and you have to gain a more realistic view of your situation.

It is also important that you work through the separation experience, perhaps with the help of a consultant. Try to identify what "marriage", "family", "home" and their loss mean for you. Look outside of your marriage and the ideals once associated with it and replace them with other hopes and feelings of security. You will often have intense positive and negative ties with your spouse or partner, which can only be resolved slowly.

You will succeed in doing this if you do not think of the spouse so much, if you spend less time thinking about the past, if you push the possibility of reconciliation or revenge aside and you do not fantasize about your current life (such as new partner relationships). Talk less about the separated spouse, do not call them under silly pretexts, stop your sexual relationships and don't threaten legal disputes. It is often useful to clear away items that constantly remind you of your partner, to learn techniques of stopping your thoughts or to reward yourself when you do not think about them for more than an hour.

Meet Practical Requirements

It is understandable that you feel completely overwhelmed and stressed by the new situation after the separation, ignoring the necessary changes or running away from them. You often feel without energy, you are passive or even see the smallest problems as insoluble. The best thing to do is think that you do not bear all the difficulties in the world and that you can solve any problems you may have, but that it can usually take a considerable amount of time.

Arrange the tasks in terms of priority or difficulty. Generally, it is advisable to start with small tasks and these can be divided up again. If you meet them, you have initial feelings of success, you gain self-confidence and you are motivated to face even tougher challenges. You discover your own strengths, skills and resources. Also, you should consider that you do not have any tougher challenges to face because you have already been faced with some very serious problems. Therefore, you can overcome anything if you have succeeded in overcoming these.

Of course, relatives and friends are of great importance in such a situation. You can find emotional support from them, practical help and childcare opportunities (short term ones). The development of your children is also improved if you integrate them in different social networks. Many relatives and friends take one party’s side, so that the network of friends as you know it may be divided into two camps. Then, it is important that you try to find new friends very quickly.

Very often, parents cannot resolve their practical tasks because they do not have all the necessary information, but this is a problem which can usually be solved right away. As a separated woman, you need a lot of information about your financial rights (right to maintenance, social assistance, housing allowance, educational support, etc.), especially if you are inactive. You should know that the Youth Office can make support payments under LAA and maintenance payments for younger children if the debtor does not pay. They may also represent the interests of the children with the other parent.

As a non-working woman, you may need information about any school or college degrees which you might want, and on funding opportunities (spousal support, through the Employment Office, after EED). A vocational training company can also provide professional training aid. The resumption of employment, training and retraining can be supported under the Employment Promotion Act (AFG) and other legal documents, but this is the kind of information you get from the employment office. If you do not know how to apply, you can visit a corresponding course at the adult school.

If you are working or you have to work again, but you have to leave your children alone, you need information about childcare. If there are not enough places in kindergartens or nurseries and daycare centers, you should not worry because you have an advantage as a single parent and you can be helped with the allocation of places. The Youth Office covers the costs of childcare, or at least part of them. Sometimes, there are all-day schools nearby. A permanent placement of children is possible in foster homes, boarding schools, students’ and apprentices’ residences, professionally supervised youth communities or homes.

Look for a council house and get further divorce help and recovery help from the housing office. You may have had nothing to do with financial management so far so you should definitely take steps to learn about it. You can go for Adult Education and Family Studies, or you can start attending cooking and baking classes or learn about nutrition and home economics at a counseling center. Do not neglect your health; pay attention to a healthy diet and get adequate sleep.

Finally, you should not hesitate to go to a support group. Here, you can meet people in the same situation as you and you can share your problems and get guidance. You will receive emotional support, useful information (on financial commitments, public services, low-cost shopping, friendly contacts in government agencies, useful books, etc.) and sometimes even practical help (such as reciprocal child care).

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Purity on April 05, 2020:

I separated with my long term partner about five years ago of which I become like a desperate person but now I need someone else to share or to talk to

Purity on April 04, 2020:

Feeling lonely need someone to talk to

Ray on December 08, 2019:

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Going thru separation what a good advoce not to think about her

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Heartbroken on October 28, 2018:

I am a man have been married for 10 years i work hard i feel i have disappointed my wife because i have not spent time with my child and wife because off my job i am self imployed , we drifted apart so now she wants seperation and all my money i have no one now .my mother got a stroke 4 years ago then after long time in a home she died ,then 2 years ago my father got cancer and died .now i have decided to move on with my life to another country i have never felt so alone and ashamed of my failed marriage.i am a good person i love my son but its heatbreaking to leave him ,but i must move away to turn the page he is the only reason i wake up for another day .so wish meluck and i hope this may help someone else to be strong remember tomorrow is another day the future is yours .

ramu on September 08, 2018:

my wife separated from me and now she have telation with others my son and daughter(age 20 and 22) also know about her relation to othrs,but still they want live with her pl give me sugations how should starat my new life

mrmoto66 on August 29, 2018:

for 18 years me and my partner fought over his "in the closet" status and how it was ruining our relationship, he refused to get help after numerous walk outs where he would leave for a day or two so he could reset himself. It was all a lot of co-dependence that I fell into and realize now that I never should have make commitments with a person who cannot commit to their own life. Its sad and stupid but I am now awaiting his arrival after another of his 'Mid life crisis" (hes had about half a dozen) always with the I have to find myself. never returning with anyone other than the same person that ran away. redundant, all resulting in nothing, no moving forward, no therapy, no solutions to the problems. People must be willing to talk out the problems and find solutions that benefit all otherwise its bullshit. If he does return, this time I think I will tell him its over. finally. wish me luck, I will need it.

Christine meffen on April 06, 2018:

I need to deal with my divorce and I would love to be able to talk about my feelings with others who have been there

Emme on August 22, 2017:

I'm on the bridge of separation right now me and my husband cannot get along he always jealous about anything , he said to much time in messenger and Facebook damage our marriage. One day he just told me get out the house together with my child she 10 , with no money in our hands we got out the house, he treat like a dog that night and the sadness part of it he's parents back him up telling bad words and my child heard everything. Is this marriage worth saving for what do you think?

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jennifer on March 25, 2014:

I am separated . Don't want to be. I mess up I lied to my husband about bills and I got all of the them behind and then the worth think is I stole a check from his mom. to pay my house payment. this all in June 15 ,2013 now still separated can't take me back because of his kids get hurt and his mom. we still talk everyday and still how sex every week . but I want him back NOW do I do it????????????????????

liz on April 28, 2012:

I understand where you are coming and my spouse separated then we got back together and now i left him again because things dont seem to get any better he hides little things from me thay make me insecure and he lnows thay but wont admit it.i think that you should go out meet new people at least that's what im going to do.

Cynimon on July 28, 2011:

I left my spouse and home with our 2 children 8 months ago due to many irreconcilable differences. After a space of 2 months, I began to miss him terribly and wanted to somehow work things out. He never contacted me which made me feel horrible, so I began to pursue him to let him know my thoughts. I rally wanted to give us a chance to work things out. In the 4th month of separation he finally agreed. We had a honeymoon period of a month and everything went downhill again. He is back at the ignoring / avoidance games. How can anything be worked out when he avoids conversations. I am of the mind that he doesn't want the marriage. I am hurt, but am resolved to let it go. I've given it my all. His are not the actions of someone who want's to fix his union.

I just dont understand why councilors say it's bad to get out there and make new friends and have new experiences. Seems to me that laying around thinking about my breakup makes me sadder. Why would I want to purposely be depressed. Distractions work for me, they keep me entertained and my mind off my situation. I'm not "dating" persay, there is no intimacy...only conversations. Sometimes my previous situation comes up in context, sometimes not. But my boundaries are what they are. They know that I'm only into friendships as I work out my situations. Friends say that I may scare off potential suitors...Ok? THat's not where I am now, so it is what it is. When I get to that place, I'll cross that bridge.

I don't think it's running away....I am processing things, going to counciling, keeping busy. Compared to the alternative which would keep me emotionally tied to him, I think I'm doing the right

Your thoughts?

Nathan N on May 27, 2011:

Namaste Renee,

You really cannot fully prepare at all. while you may say you are prepared for the emotional turmoil that is merely an abstract idea. no one is ever fully prepared for a separation/divorce. no one can be. it is at times stressful and at times joyful. it is at times full of sadness and all you want to do is just lie down and cry. it is at times moments when you feel you can move on and then the cycle begins again. you may feel happy then sad then angry then sad again and then happy. all in a span of a few minutes! separation/divorce is hard. there are so many memories one has on their marriage that is happy and makes them happy thinking about it. and then they remember why the divorce happened. i was once told that divorce is like a death. and that saying is so true. you grieve. you grieve for the loss of your best friend, the loss of your marriage, the loss of togetherness, to a small extent the loss of your innocence. and there is no time frame no time limit for grief. but you and he will both grieve. and then one day you will know that you have moved on and you will begin to socialize again. but please make no mistake, there is no way to prepare for the turmoil that is separation/divorce.



Renee c on March 22, 2011:

My husband and I have just relocated overseas for the next 3 years,yet cannot workout how we feel for each other and may not stay married when we return. We will only use this opportunity abroad to pay off debt and for a better life for our 9 and 10 year olds which also includes paid for private education. How can I prepare myself for the future,emotionally and independently in the next 3 years while we continue to live as a married couple?


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