You didn't see it coming and now you feel like the wind has been sucked out of your sail. You don't know what to do or how you should move forward. You tell yourself that you didn't see this coming and you pray that it's just a bad dream and that tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day, everything will go back to how it was and he'll come back and it will be as it once was. But the truth is that emotionally this is going to hurt for awhile. And more than likely you've been seeing signs and hurting in the relationship for quite some time.
Less than a year ago my husband of eleven years, the one who I made a verbal commitment with that "failure was not an option", chose to leave our home without a spoken word. Two months later he surfaced and after he became physically abusive I was forced to call the police to our home at 2:30 a.m. I was devastated that the man who I had hoped to grow old with would treat me this way. I lost my husband, and the person that I had opened my heart to in a way that I had never done with anyone in the past. I was so disappointed because after our last reconciliation I thought that we had finally figured our shit out and would move through life together. I was on an emotional roller coaster for months, but if you are facing a similar situation on the other side of rejection and abandonment, I promise you that it's not the end of the road... there IS the other side.
I hope that some of the things I have learned in dealing with my own heartache will help you PowHER up, let go of the disappointment, heal your heart, give you hope and help you to see the light that awaits you on the other side of this dark, hurt- filled tunnel. You can move through this, you can feel joy again and you can heal emotionally. You can walk in your PowHER!
1. Don't blame yourself.
Relationships were not designed to be perfect. They are instruments that facilitate lessons that are pivotal to you aligning with who you are. If you played a part in the demise of the relationship, own it so that you can disown it and face the lessons head on. If you did your part to save it don't dwell on what you could have, or should have, done differently. Be proud of your efforts. You honored your end of the bargain and you didn't give up even though you were free to do so. Remember this... if the other person isn't willing to do their part in compromising or working it out then the relationship really can't work. It takes the full participation of two for a relationship to be completely functional.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my life is that love is not a feeling, it's a choice. The real test of love is making the effort even when you don't 'feel like' loving the person. Love truly shows up when you set the intention to treasure, adore and honor your partner and your partner sets the same intention towards you. He could have made the same choice you did but you can't control someone else's investment or action... only your own. I know the temptation to wallow in self-pity is real for you right now, but don't live with regrets. Yes, it's sad especially when you think of all of the plans that you made together, but seek to learn the lesson in all of it for you and be open to finding that something better that the Universe has in store for you... and maybe always did. See this as a stepping stone to get you to where you desire and deserve to be.
2. Separate yourself from the hurt.
It might serve you best to cut all contact after the breakup. He is the source of the hurt and pain for you and it's in your best interest to stay as far away from that as possible. Resist the temptation to call, text or social media stalk. It's in your best interest to not know what he's doing because seeing it may spiral you into a deeper hurt that keeps the emotional wound exposed. I was so disappointed that my ex could just walk away and shut me out completely, like there was never any love there. But I realized that he had a right to choose his path and that I needed to protect my emotions by not making any contact with him because it would take longer for the wounds to heal. He became a stranger and on the other side of that I chose to get to know myself even better. On the other side of the betrayal of trust, he will never be able to comfort you the same way he did when you were still together and neither will the answers to your unending questions be satisfied. Let's be real... nobody can really give you a justified explanation for abandonment. If he wasn't willing to give it to you before he left chances are slim that he will be willing to give it to you now. Contacting him will further add to your hurt and disappointment because more than likely what you are looking for, he is not willing to give you.
Some people think you can stay friends after a breakup but if he didn't honor you as a friend before the breakup right now may not be a good time to seek for friendship. Being friends is not impossible but probably not in your best interest initially. Rejection and abandonment damages a relationship. The trust was broken the moment he chose to reject and abandon you and you need to heal before you consider giving friendship consideration.
3. Focus on the most important person - YOU.
In the relationship you were always selfless and conquering life as a team, but now it's time to be self-centered, a little selfish and independent. What matters now is you and giving to yourself what you deserve to have. A few months ago I wished that my husband would get the karma that he deserved but I realized that I was keeping myself in a holding pattern of negativity. I chose to stop thinking about what he deserves and focus on what I deserve. I knew that I would not move forward if I chose to look back. Stop thinking about getting back at him and focus on becoming the greatest version of yourself. I committed 100% this year to become the greatest version of me. That decision resulted in my releasing 50 pounds of body weight. I actually released a total of 325 lbs of body weight ;). I am in the best physical shaped I have ever been in. Get a new hair color (I did a temporary purple gel wax and loved it), find a hobby, set personal goals, take on a new venture - anything, as long as it's for your own well-being and happiness.
4. Don't give up on love just because he chose to walk away.
It can be a challenge on the other side of a broken heart to not become cynical to love and put up emotional walls to love entering in again. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure that I ever want to be married again but am definitely open to finding a new love that is everything I desire to experience. I have decided not to let this failed relationship define me or rob me of what I desire. Nothing worth something ever comes easy. I don't regret my past relationship because it taught me so much about myself and at one point I was very happy in it. I choose to allow it to forever hold a special place in my heart and not be in a place of regret with it. Every time you choose to be in love you take a risk. I took a risk by putting all of my heart into this relationship and unfortunately it ended up with my heart being broken. But if I had not taken that risk I would not have had the experience of loving completely and purely for the first time. We don't know all the cards that the deck of life holds for us. Life presents us with challenges and they often show up in our relationships. It's a real challenge, but I choose to believe that all these risks are going to be worth it when I find the right guy (or he finds me). I hope that you too can believe that and choose to fall in love whenever you can. After all I truly believe that it's better to love than to never have loved at all.
5. Love yourself and know that you deserve the best.
Don't settle. Let me say it even louder... DON'T SETTLE!
Settling for mediocrity is not what you deserve. Mediocre will show up when you are not patient enough to wait for the best. Don't worry, that guy who broke your heart isn't what's best for you. If he was he would still be around. The right guy will honor you, your relationship and will not hurt you by walking away. If you're going through the same hurt I've been through, know that you deserve to receive the same love that you give. Now here's the catch with that... if you don't know HOW to love yourself you will never be able to give or receive the love that you desire to have. So your first priority right now is to fall in love with yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to know what you like, what matters to you, what makes you smile, what brings you joy, what are your own personal boundaries, what you deserve.
The problem is that most women don't know what they want because they are so concerned about what everyone else wants from them. Use this time to connect to the most important person in your world... you. After all if you don't know what you desire you can't expect someone else to provide that for you. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. You deserve faithfulness and compassion. You deserve pure love. So give it to yourself first so you can receive it from others.
I am Denika Carothers, Life Coach, author, healer and Mental and Emotional Wellness specialist. I help my clients transcend the pain and trauma of rejection, grief, abandonment, loss and abuse.