A breakup or divorce is painful, no matter how you slice it. It may feel as if the pain will never go away, and the fear of what is on the other side may be discomforting, maybe even overwhelming. If you believe, as I do, that there is almost always a silver lining in every black cloud, then you may like to consider why breaking up can be a good thing, despite how much it hurts.
You may have been in this relationship for an hour or a day, figuratively speaking. Or, perhaps, for many years. And, the depth of the relationship you created with your partner will dictate the level of pain you are feeling right now. Consequently, the length of time to recover may be longer or shorter. However, don’t expect to jump up one day and find yourself healed. The healing is likely to be a slow and deliberate journey before you are on the other side.
During this healing process, you may recognize enlightening insights. These appear as brightness within the dark cloud, that can help you understand why breaking up can be a good thing. If you allow yourself to notice and ponder what comes up for you, it could be the best thing that ever happened.
Here are nine things you may observe and can take action to change, so you will not become mired in the same things when your next relationship comes along.
1. Let Go of Codependency
Codependency comes in many different forms. If you were the one spending all your time trying to fix your partner or the relationship, you might feel trapped and unable to do anything right. Breaking up can be good to release you from that burden, allowing you to fix yourself instead.
2. Allow Yourself to Heal
While you tended to the relationship, giving it your all, you may have opened several wounds that need to heal. These wounds may be deep, affecting your self-esteem, worthiness, and confidence. Breaking up may be the best way to give yourself time to tend to those instead.
3. See Beyond the Trees for the First Time in a Long Time
Stepping back from the day-to-day relationship can allow you to re-evaluate who you are and what you want for your life going forward. Seeing beyond the trees means you get big-picture clear and grounded in your values so that you can focus on you and your next steps.
4. Get What You Deserve
Often, when you spend time in a relationship that isn’t the best fit for you, it might feel as if that’s all you deserve. It may be the same kind of relationship you’ve had in the past, so it’s comfortable. Or, it may be the type of marriage you saw growing up, and you thought that it was right for you, too. But, if it doesn’t feel good or right, it probably isn’t meant to be, and breaking up can be a good thing, no matter how much it hurts. Breakups are hard, but you will want to believe that you deserve the best so that you can get what you deserve—and nothing less.
5. Make Time To Work on You
With the growing knowledge you get from paying attention to what worked, what did not, and what you want, you can get stronger than you ever imagined you could be. Own your mistakes. Learn from them. Create a vision for your future and start to build it. These understandings will allow you to evolve into the next version of yourself—better than before, never to return.
6. Learn What To Do Next Time
As you become more conscious of who you are now, where you want to go, and who you want to join the new journey, you will get clues that help you decide if someone is a good fit. Based on what you’ve learned from all the previous relationships and breakups, you will set different expectations—of yourself and that new special someone. As you move on from your ex and begin to meet other people, red flags may appear, and your intuition will scream at you. On the other hand, there may be unicorns and rainbows, and you’re certain you’ve learned a good lesson about who is right for you now.
7. Develop Building Blocks
Breaking up can be good for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is it can create a firm foundation of good characteristics when you let it. Your perspective will shift—it’s always a good thing to see things from a different point of view. Secondly, you become more independent—ready, willing and able to step out on your own in confidence. And, as you grow, your courage and resilience grow with you. All are building blocks within that silver lining, which will serve you well.
8. Make Bigger Dreams
So often, when we are in relationships that don’t suit us, we leave our dreams behind. We compromise our values to keep the peace and go along with everyone else, so we don’t rock the boat. Breaking up can be good to reignite some of those old dreams. It allows you to dream again, and this time, you are in the leading role. Make those dreams bigger than you imagine possible. That’s the best silver lining of them all.
9. Be Grateful for the Experience
If you allow yourself to heal from the hate and the hurt, get beyond the resentment and lack of respect, and find compassion and empathy in your heart, you will find a place for gratitude. Be thankful you learned a big lesson—perhaps several. Be grateful for all the self-awareness, insights, and dreams. Immerse yourself in this gratitude as soon as you are able after a breakup or divorce. It takes time, but you’ll get there if you want to. When you move on with gratitude, it allows you to do it with more compassion, confidence, and consideration for yourself.
When life-changing moments, like a divorce or breakup, suddenly flip your world upside down, you may not know who you are anymore or what comes next. I create a bridge for women to walk from that chaos to a place where they can find calmness and clarity. They build resilience along the way and learn to live a life guided by personal values and vision. To learn more about the impact change can have on your life and how to move through it with more dignity and grace, request my free ebook From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.