Coming out of emotionally turbulent relationship is both easy and hard. It’s easy because once you realize you deserve more, a lot of the responsibility and weight that has kept you in the relationship fades away. It is hard because this is someone that you care about, invested energy in and meant a lot to you – walking away from something like this is never easy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that might make the recovery process easier on you:
Find your support: Surround yourself with a good support system. These are people who know and love you, can point out the best things about you and make you feel good about yourself. It is important that you do not rely on other people for validation about your decision to end the relationship as this may happen. It's okay to occasionally look back at the relationship, but always remind yourself of why you walked away in the first place.
Rediscover yourself: You may not the same person that you were before the relationship. Take some time to evaluate what has changed – how are you different from before? You can do this are by paying close attention to your emotions and thoughts in different situations – often you will find reminders of the relationship in different situations that will influence how you react.
Find your path: During the relationship, you may have been so consumed by the problems, fights, ‘low’ days that you may not have paid much attention to what you really wanted out of life or for yourself. Your future plans may have been dependant on your partner. Think about what is important to you now.
Think of what inspires you, what you are good at, what makes you happy. If you find yourself unsure about this, reach out to people and discuss things with them, read up on things that interest you, and be open to trying out new things.
Rediscover other people: One of the hallmarks of emotionally abusive relationships is that the abuser cuts off their partner’s connections to other people. You would have lost touch with many old friends and acquaintances that you previously spent time with. Reconnect with them. You may be surprised to find out how much you have missed, and how good it feels to be out and about meeting people again.
Be prepared for bad days: After a while, you may find yourself missing your partner or missing the feeling of being with someone from time to time. News of your partner, what they are doing, if they have moved on, may cause you to feel upset or throw you off guard. It is natural. The important thing is not to let these moments sway your decision, or make you question yourself. Keep both the good and bad in perspective.
Be cautious about jumping into new relationships: While there is nothing wrong with wanting another relationship, it is important that you give yourself some time to recover, regain your footing and emotionally process the relationship you have just been through.
Moving on from such an intense relationship can involve ups and downs, and can be difficult at times. If you have recently ended such a relationship, there can be a lot left for you to explore, understand and gain insight on – working with a counsellor to navigate this would be helpful as well. If you would like to discuss this further or need some help or support in this or any other area, our counsellors would be happy to help.