When Love Devastates

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Her eyes were empty, sunken, with a faraway look.

I observed her as she walked towards me in a somewhat unsteady manner. I was about to run to her. Surely, she must have seen me. She didn’t, because she walked straight past me, without so much as a glance in my direction.

I was confused. I hadn’t seen her in about two years. We didn’t part enemies as far as I could recall. Life simply took us to different directions.

I was about to ignore her, but something stopped me. Here was a friend, who obviously looked as though something was wrong with her, and I was about to walk away.

I shouted her name. She stopped sharply.

She turned and searched the faces among the throng of people. I raised my right hand as I walked towards her. She saw me and broke into a weak smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

At close quarters, she looked ill. I was worried.

What’s the matter? I blurted out before I could stop myself. Then, she surprised me. She threw herself at me in a fierce embrace and started wailing. Her shoulders shook, her voice was cracked and croaky, with her arms tight around me.

I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say. People were beginning to stare at us. I didn’t know how long we stood in that position.

Finally, I prised myself out of the embrace. I steered her gently towards the café I was headed to when I saw her. It was my lunch break.

I sat her down at a corner table and went to order coffee. When I came back with the mugs of coffee, I asked again, what the matter was.

She told me. Between sobs.

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Her husband had filed for divorce. In fact, the divorce became final that morning.

That explained everything.

Marriage can be difficult. One moment you think you have a handle on things, the next, things are falling apart.

The effect of relationship breakdown can be very devastating. It can be difficult to overcome. My friend was lost, devastated, overwhelmed and lacked a way forward.

What do you do when it all goes wrong?

Here are 4 tips to help you bounce back.

1. Don’t shut yourself away from friends and family.
My friend was alone because she was afraid of reaching out to people who could have supported her through the divorce. She was afraid of being judged. She bottled her feelings inside.

A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Let it out to friends, family or even to a professional. You will begin to see things differently.

2. Don’t dwell on it. It is easy to think of what might have been. Sometimes, when it’s broken, it usually remains broken. Let it go. Yes, with benefit of hindsight, we could all have done a lot of things differently.

3. Keep yourself busy. I am an advocate of learning new skills. What better time to start than now. Some women are known to put their passions on hold when they get married. If you’re one of them, now is the time to reignite that passion. It could be traveling, working in a different job, writing a book, starting a blog or going back to school. And why not?

4. Reach out to people in a similar situation. It will help you to see how other people are coping, as well as help you see that you are not alone. You could provide counselling or even write an ebook detailing your experience. People will benefit from the valuable advice.

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You can only do this by reaching out.

Relationship breakdown can be life-changing. You will question yourself, feel betrayed, apportion blames, even become depressed.

The key to bouncing back is to reach out.

Get out there and do stuff. You will be happier and your children, if you have any, will follow you and thank you for it.

Thanks for stopping by.

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