Acceptance, flexibility and resilience are the keys to assuming changes that come with separation or widowhood.
Breaking up is never easy. It is complex. There are as many circumstances as there are colors. They could be, for example, two people who got together very young, had children and focused on educating them, on training them. But now they are gone, the nest is empty, and suddenly one – or both – no longer sees the meaning of the built life project. Or someone decides that it is definitely time to live new things and that the couple should no longer be on that path. In any case, it is a radical turn, a change that, nevertheless, must be faced.
First comes, according to psychologist Maria Elena Lopez, the stage of acceptance. At the beginning there is a mourning: the person wonders why it happened, what he did wrong, and they experience different feelings: anger, sadness, nostalgia, guilt. Each one lives it in his own way. “But in the end it is necessary to accept it. Going from ‘why did it happen to me? to ‘why did it happen to me?” explains Lopez, who adds: “you have to go through the pain to be able to heal.
According to psychologist Tatiana Barreto, one recommendation is to avoid burdens of excessive guilt and victimization. Ending a relationship does not mean that the person is not valuable. It’s something that simply fits into the possibilities.
One of the keys, according to Lopez, is to identify what kind of support is required at that moment and, from there, to look for specific help. There are those who want to strengthen their spiritual side and access prayer groups. Some opt for the accompaniment of a psychologist. Others opt for practices such as yoga. It is to face the situation, but without becoming saturated or overwhelmed.
However, “duels can’t last a lifetime,” says Lopez. There comes flexibility, the ability to understand changes, that things should not remain the same and that the moment of transformation, of reconstruction arrives. “It is the opportunity to rethink my individuality, to continue with my vital projects, feeling capable of achieving it, without emotional dependencies, leveraging me in other types of social relationships: friends, co-workers and family,” Barreto says.
So, little by little, resilience is reinforced, the ability to get up and build in adversity. There, then, a range of innumerable possibilities opens up. The person can, for example, approach old friends. Or he can devote himself to hobbies he did not enjoy before: travelling around the country or the world, learning to play an instrument, painting, going to cineclubs, reading clubs, practising a sport or going to the gym.
It is not bad, after a while, to look for a new relationship like the one we had before or other alternatives. Friends with whom certain spaces are shared: going out for lunch, having a coffee, a beer or travelling.
The death of the couple is, in short, an opposite circumstance. In the end, it is something that gets out of control. Naturally, after this event comes a duel, but no matter how difficult it may be, life goes on. “In that case you have to rebuild from love, not from pain. Many times a person comes to us, but cannot become our whole life. We are responsible for continuing to write our history,” Barreto concludes.