Coping with Seperation: The Basics

If you have recently gone through a rough break up or divorce, you can understand the pain that millions of people feel every year. A separation will often cause a huge mix of emotions in those involved and can seriously affect your mental and even physical well-being. The emotions from the separation itself can overwhelm you, making it difficult to focus on even the simplest of tasks. Topics:
1. Face Your Emotions
2. Communicate
3. Create New Routines
4. Create Distance From Your Ex
5. Explore Your Interests
6. Think About the Future
7. Moving Forward

If you have recently gone through a rough break up or divorce, you can understand the pain that millions of people feel every year. A separation will often cause a huge mix of emotions in those involved and can seriously affect your mental and even physical well-being. The emotions from the separation itself can overwhelm you, making it difficult to focus on even the simplest of tasks.

There are right ways and wrong ways to deal with separation. Some people fall into the trap of using drugs and alcohol to deal with the pain, but it only prolongs the emotional healing process by helping them to ignore that pain. Some people jump right into new relationships and suddenly find themselves emotionally confused when thinking back on their last relationship. Some guys even try to get revenge on their ex wives and girlfriends, but soon realize there is really no pay off. These pitfalls will only move you further away from finding peace and normalcy in your life again, so try to avoid them.

Consider the following suggestions on how to cope with your break up or divorce. Although these tips may seem simplistic, they are proven and will guide you back to clarity in your every day life. It will require some discipline and self-exploration, but you will eventually realize the life you had planned with your ex is not the only life you can live.

Face Your Emotions
Men are men; a lot of men seem to think emotions are reserved only for use when interacting with women and attending funerals. But when you hit a divorce or major break up, you will have two choices: deal with your actual emotions head-on and work through them, or repress them until they are released in unhealthy ways such as substance abuse or anger problems.

You might be feeling anger one moment, then depression the next. Then you feel anxious, then you just feel helpless. This is normal! A common result of a separation is constantly changing emotions. Your thoughts probably feel very scattered, focusing on the relationship one minute, then the divorce proceedings the next. Let your mind wander! The key to dealing with your wandering emotions after a separation is to simply embrace them. Let yourself wonder about what went wrong and how the loss of this person will affect your current life.

Losing a relationship is losing a person; you will go through a process of grief, not only for the person you have lost, but the life you thought you were going to live. This is natural, and it's important that you do not ignore these feelings. Let the feelings come naturally, experience them, and take some time to really think about them. Once you have a good grasp on which ones are the hardest to deal with, it's time to start communicating them.
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Nobody can go through a divorce alone. Actually, let's rephrase that: nobody should go through a divorce alone. When people isolate themselves after a serious loss such as a divorce, their emotions are magnified as they focus only on the problems that have occurred and the ones that are coming up.

By talking with a compassionate friend or family member, you will be helping yourself more than you realize. People often find it hard to open up about things like break ups, but once they do, they realize how much it helps. It allows you to explore the feelings you have stirring around in your mind and gives someone else the chance to help you realize that those feelings are common for everyone. If anything, the sound of a familiar voice can help bring back a sense of normal life.

Communicating your thoughts and emotions will give you a chance to see that other people go through the same situations and emotions that you do. Even if you are talking with someone who hasn't gone through a rough separation, they can help you work through your thoughts and emotions in a safe, comfortable environment. Sometimes, just hearing a friendly voice can make you feel better.
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Create New Routines
After a divorce, men tend to overlook the little things. Two weeks might pass by until you realize you haven't shaved. You might get home from work one day and realize you haven't eaten one thing yet. You might forget to fill up your gas tank and stall on the side of the freeway. The emotions stemming from a separation, not to mention from the divorce process, can distract even the most focused of us.

Creating a new routine after a major break up or divorce can be the difference between falling into a pit of despair and finding happiness in your new single lifestyle. It's important to face the facts; the relationship is over, the partnership is over, and it is time to take full responsibility for your life. All of the chores and tasks that used to be divided between the two of you are now your responsibilities. It's a different reality than before, so making a routine to ease yourself into it will help.

First make a list of the things you need to accomplish on a daily basis. This list could include anything from taking a shower to cooking dinner. Add in the small things that are easy to overlook, like filling up your car's gas tank or cleaning up the kitchen. Even something as simple as taking a shower can be overlooked. You might not realize the things you are overlooking until you actually list them out on paper. In this list, be sure to put time aside for fun, relaxation, and exercise. Next, make a list of the most important things you need to accomplish for the coming week. This would include important business meetings, doctor appointments, bills, etc. Try to expand this list to include your tasks for a few months into the future. If you are still working through your divorce, be sure to include important dates and tasks regarding those proceedings.
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Create Distance From Your Ex
You will gain nothing from pursuing your ex after a separation. Whether you are thinking about salvaging the relationship or getting revenge, neither one will help you to move on from the separation. Many guys have trouble letting go because they have been together for so long, it is hard to face a reality without their partner. The future is suddenly unclear and the easiest way to get that clarity back is to try and get the relationship back. A lot of times, couples that have broken up tend to get together for purely sexual fun, thinking no harm can be done.

All of these scenarios will just prolong the amount of time it will take for you to move on from the relationship. At this point, you have both acknowledged the relationship is over. There is nothing you can gain from trying to pursue her except more grief and frustration. The more distance you create between you and your ex, the more quickly you will accept your new life without her.

You guys can still be friends, but give it some time. Don't try and rush into a platonic friendship when the tough feelings and lingering frustrations still exist. The greatest healer and teacher is time, so separate yourself from the relationship long enough to give yourself a fresh chance of creating a friendship.
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Explore Your Interests
Now that you have a newfound sense of freedom as a single guy, take the time to explore your interests. Obviously, you will have fun. But beyond that, you will be providing yourself with a form of therapy that will help you get over your separation.

Aside from getting some mental and/or physical exercise, exploring your interests will distract you from the problems plaguing your psyche. Go fishing, write music, ride your bike or take a swim. A lot of men feel they shouldn't be wasting their time with activities like these in such a stressful period of their lives, but it will help to keep you mentally grounded. It can also go a long way in working through emotional issues, figuring out why certain things played out the way they did, and melting off stress. If anything, enjoying your favorite activity will give you a warm feeling of familiarity.
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Think About The Future
At first, it's hard for men to think about their future after a separation. All of the plans that once existed are gone, leaving you on your own to deal with an unclear future. It can be intimidating and sometimes scary, but considering your future as a single guy will help to pull you out of that feeling of despair.

Your life did not end with the relationship. Even though you will not be accompanied by your previous partner, you can still live your life to the fullest and enjoy the things you have always wanted to. Honestly, planning the future after a separation can be exhilarating simply because you can do whatever you want! You no longer need to make your decisions as a team, so really explore the possibilities! Maybe you have always wanted to go back to school to start a new career or buy a motorcycle and ride across the country. No matter what your future holds, it doesn't hurt to think about it.

Thinking about the future will force you to work through the past. When you can see future plans in front of you, the despair caused by your separation will feel much less intense. You will understand that the world hasn't ended, your life is not over, and that you have the chance to be even happier than you were before.
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Moving Forward
Getting through a separation is not rocket science, but requires self-discipline and a willingness to explore your own emotions.

Don't fool yourself by thinking alcohol, drugs, or miscellaneous sex will get you through a divorce. The buzz might help for a while, but you will always come back down and remember why you did it in the first place.

Be a man and face the reality. You will be upset, angry, frustrated and depressed, and that just means you are a normal human being. Those feelings won't last forever, but how you deal with them will determine how long they last. It's a lot like pulling off a band-aid. If you just face the facts, rip it off and deal with it, the pain doesn't last nearly as long.
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