It has been a month since my four year relationship ended. The grief process has been hard but with my knowledge and growth I feel pretty proud of myself for how well I have handled everything. The level of emotional intelligence I have gained through my own experiences & relationships, as well as my studies in the field of psychology, have been a great asset in the process of moving forward. Sometimes, even as a therapist, it is hard to apply what we know to our own situation when we are hurting.
In the moment that I decide to commit to the conversation I knew it was going to end our relationship. His immediate response with both his words and body language made it obvious. In review of my relationship, replaying and analyzing things that were said and done and talking with my friends about it all, I finally came to the conclusion that he would never really tell me how he feels. The hardest part is, there was never a real ending, no words shared that stated specifically this is over and this is why, it just kind of faded out. The words of I love you and I need space just left hanging in the air for weeks upon weeks without any attempt to reach out. At some point we just have to let go and make peace with the fact that the other person may never contact us again. So many mixed signals, doubts and misunderstandings can make a person start to question the whole relationship and I just could not go there anymore. That is when it was decided that I would not continue to let my hopes hang in the balance. Instead, I would just let that dream go and ask myself who do I want to be and what do I really want in my life?
We all know one of the best things a person can do after a relationship ends is to re-evaluate ourselves and where we are in life. What could I have done differently in the relationship? What was I giving up to keep the relationship alive? What did I learn from this relationship? Once you are no longer making time for another individual you start to ask yourself, what do I really want to do now? One of the things I am most proud of in this whole process is I never allowed myself to really wallow. I had moments of sadness, but I didn’t allow myself to stay in those moments. I have been active, doing things with friends, and always focusing on the positive. Even though there are moments when I become frustrated, hurt and even angry at him and the situation I have quickly pulled myself out of that negativity and listed the many positives he brought into my life.
Not having much contact with each other has also been beneficial in the healing process. I think it is important for everyone to research the benefits of the “no-contact rule” when you are trying to navigate the first few months after a break-up. Even though my ex and I did have some contact points they were brief and mostly through text. Trying to revert into a friendship immediately after a break-up or continuing to see each other on a regular basis just opens wounds over and over making it almost impossible to heal. It takes time and space to gain clarity on what really happened and how you plan to move forward. It also leaves less opportunity for things to be said or done that one may regret later.
Often we stay in relationships longer than we should because its familiar and comfortable and change can be scary. I knew I wanted more out of the relationship I was in and I had hoped the initiation of a conversation might lead to both of us agreeing to put in the work necessary to make the relationship better. However, it was quickly apparent that he had no desire to put in any effort and that hurt tremendously. I am a hard worker in every aspect of my life and walking away from anything without putting in some effort, especially after four years, was like a gut punch for me in so many aspects. Once I realized there would be no talking, no working on things, I began to ask myself…What do I really want?
As I start this new chapter in my life I realize that there is most definitely a bigger plan and I also know that I have attracted all people and situations to myself. The people I have attracted into my life in the last month have been some of the most supportive and positive individuals I have ever known, so I know I am on the right path. My relationship was a growth opportunity for me in so many ways. I felt my patience and love tested and I feel I passed the test with flying colors. I handled myself as a strong and loving individual even on the days that I wanted to cry myself to sleep. I know moving forward I will never be the same and I will always love him, but now, I must ask myself….What do you want Stacy? I look forward to sharing my journey through this semester of my masters program, the next two years are going to be a journey of self discovery for sure. My professors assure me I will not be the same person once I complete this program….I have no doubt I will only get better!
With love, happiness, and health (emotionally, mentally, physically & spiritually)