Relationships

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Most people aim to be happy and being happy may involve settling down with the right person in a relationship to last. Sadly, romantic relationships do end up in dissolution.

Below are several reasons why relationships can fail-

  • Trust issues.
  • Different expectations.
  • Lack of long term commitment.
  • Differences in priorities.
  • Moving through life at different speeds.
  • Compatibility issues.
  • Communication issues.
  • Narcissism.
  • Betrayal.
  • Relational abuse- emotional, verbal, physical, sexual, pathological.
  • Life habit abuse- gambling, drugs, alcohol.
  • Growing apart, boredom and a lack of positive routines.
  • Financial issues.

If you have experienced a relationship or marriage break up you may recall how it felt. It is a painful event. The relationship that you believed you would be in for the rest of your life is over, and the feelings of being nurtured and loved may have vanished too along with your hopes and dreams.

You are plunged into uncharted territory, this can be disturbing and disruptive. It can affect you emotionally, psychologically, financially, and these changes can also create anxiety and depression.

The brain thrives on being in love, when you are in love your brain releases feel-good, happy hormones, (Dopamine and Oxytocin) and this makes you feel wonderful.

However, when the person you love leaves or your relationship comes to an end for one reason or another then the supply of your “feel good “hormones changes and these hormones are replaced by your brain releasing stress hormones, (Cortisol and Epinephrine). These hormones create strong emotions such as fear and anger, which result in an elevated heart rate, muscle tension and increased blood pressure.

In small doses , these stress hormones are useful because they are meant to be released when you feel under threat they help you respond swiftly and successfully to pending danger.

However when you are suffering from a broken heart, stress hormones can build up and create difficulties, these may include:

  • Tense muscles - a stiff neck and a tight chest (these are linked to the fight and flight response).
  • Being unable to sleep due to intrusive thoughts and sadness.
  • Activation of the area of the brain responsible for cravings and addiction.
  • Increased vulnerability to illness hence the term “the break- up cold”.
  • Fear of the future.
  • Social rejection.
  • Feeling very tearful or crying uncontrollably.
  • Anger, shock, denial and isolation.
  • Feelings of deep loss including grief.
  • Lack of confidence and self-esteem and indulge in self-pity.
  • A loss of your normal routine and sense of purpose. 

It is important to remember that recovering from a relationship or marriage break up is a physical process as well as an emotional one. When you were in a relationship, your mind and body were linked to the person you had feelings for. When you experience break up and separation your brain needs time to readjust. You may feel that the pain you are experiencing is continual, this is normal, however sooner or later your bodies chemistry will alter and the hurt and pain will begin to diminish. It is important that you give yourself time to grieve and recover.

How therapy helps

There are several components to recovering from a relationship break up and these are:

  • Denial.
  • Anger.
  • Bargaining.
  • Depression.
  • Acceptance.

Any of these stages maybe missed out, repeated or rearranged. How you transition through a break up depends on your personality and your life experience.

No matter which stage you are currently in, it is important that you allow yourself to grieve. This is part of the emotional healing process and by taking the time to work through your pain and grief you will make sense of what has happened and will be able to move forward.

You may like to consider getting support if you feel “stuck”, therapy will help to:

  • Untangle conflict.
  • Support you through a time of change.
  • Furnish you with the opportunity to express and explore your feelings.
  • Rebuild trust.
  • Resolve issues you might still have in a safe and confidential setting.
  • Support ways in which you can discover and implement solutions.
  • Highlight your strengths.

When relationships break down, or you lose someone dear to you, life becomes harder to handle and you may need help to move forward with positivity.

Whether you’re going through bereavement, divorce, separation, parenting and step-parenting challenges or any other relationship issue, I can help you to find practical solutions and guide you as you navigate life at this difficult time.

After a big relationship change, whatever the circumstances, your brain needs time to catch up with your new reality. My goal is to help you to think differently, enabling you to face today’s challenges head-on and handle future relationship difficulties.