When a relationship ends because your partner leaves or betrays you, it’s normal to experience feelings of rejection. When you are left, it can be a devastating experience and it can leave you feeling angry, sad, and self-critical. You’re probably second guessing yourself and asking “What could I have done differently?”
Further, you might be in shock and feel shaken to the core of our being. Self-defeating thoughts can grab hold because we are vulnerable and trying to make sense of things. However, it’s important to realize that this is a normal part of grieving and letting go after a marriage or intimate relationship ends. This is especially true if your partner left suddenly or because of infidelity or betrayal.
While it’s natural to go through a period of self-reflection when you are rejected by your partner, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Ask yourself if your fears of being alone are preventing you from looking at the breakup honestly. For instance, it’s likely that there have been problems in the relationship for some time and that one or both of you have been unhappy.
Part of the grieving process at the end of a relationship is accepting that what you wanted to happen no longer will happen. Thoughts might range from: We will never have children together. To the mundane: We won’t ever eat another meal together. For example, Kerry told me during a counseling session that the hardest part of being left by her husband Jake was facing watching TV alone after he moved out.
Feelings of rejection are closely tied to feelings of self-worth and self-love. Part of the healing process after divorce is recognizing and accepting that the way you feel about yourself inside affects the way you relate to people in the world. As you learn to accept what happens and begin to love yourself again, your feelings of rejection will diminish. When you’re connected to feelings of self-worth, you’ll have more energy to relate to others in meaningful ways.
Here are 5 ways to heal from feelings of rejection:
- Accept the fact that it’s normal or typical to have emotional reactions to the ending of a relationship. They’ve probably been there all along (in your marriage) and are simply intensified during and after the divorce process.
- Acknowledge that all relationships end due to breakup or death. Just because your marriage is over, it doesn’t mean you’re inadequate or inferior – or there’s something wrong with you. Give yourself a break.
- Work on self-love. You are a worthwhile person who doesn’t have to let the end of your love relationship define your self-worth. No person can complete you.
- Adopt a mindset of getting to know yourself better. Stay open to new experiences, hobbies, or interests that you couldn’t pursue with your partner.
- Cultivate supportive relationships. Being with people who accept and support you can help ease feelings of rejection. Get energized by the possibilities ahead for you.
Twitter, Facebook, and, movingpastdivorce.com. Terry’s award winning book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship is available on her website.
I’d love to hear from you and answer your questions about relationships, divorce, marriage, and remarriage. Please ask a question here. Thanks! Terry