It’s over: How to deal with a break up after years of togetherness
The year did not start on a very cheerful note for our celebrity couples.
While we were still reeling from the last year’s shock of the split between one of the most beautiful jodis – Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck – the news came that Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif had broken up. This was sad revelation for the fans, especially when all were expecting for the pretty couple to tie the knot soon. As if this was not enough, two popular couples of Bollywood -- Adhuna-Farhan Akhtar and Malaika-Arbaaz Khan -- too broke the news of ending their almost two decades of relationship.
If you have ever been in love you know the feeling of loss too. There are very few fortunate lovers who have never seen a partner leave. Break ups are not only painful, they tend to devastate both our mental and physical well-being.
One needs a lot of time alone and retrospection to deal with heartbreak. But being in a public glare makes the matter worse. The celebs not only have to fight their emotions of loss and betrayal but also pose a strong face in front of paparazzi and fans. But we all have to move on and facing the problem head on is the only way one can get on with their life – be it a normal man or a celebrity. We talked to experts on how to deal with a break up after a long term relationship, here’s what they had to say…
Mourn the loss
First thing first. Accept that it is over. Being in denial just creates false expectations and disappointment. Sexologist and relationship counsellor Dr Rajan Bhonsle says that it is always difficult to accept the loss. “Our brain may see the person leave, but mostly our mind continues to stay in denial. One should accept that the relationship is over. There may be a lot of anger for the leaving partner but one has to accept that not everyone can be compatible with them. This is also the time to look at life from another angle,” he says.
Talk to someone
Therapy can do wonders to break up. “Express your emotions to your therapist or talk to a close friend about your feelings and thoughts. Communication and venting out of emotions helps a lot. Everyone has mourned a loss of love at some point so do not feel you are alone. When you express your emotions, sometimes you come across feeling which even you didn’t know exist,” says clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany. However, she cautions of false justification. “Don't get into the habit of justifying to anyone why the break-up happened. You can't change what happened and accepting the best thing you can do,” she says.
Refrain from escapism
Dr Bhonsle says that while indulging in vices may be a short-term solution to the problem, it always have adverse effect in the long run. “I know it sounds cool to be ‘free’ of commitment and accountability but this does not give you an opportunity to indulge in promiscuous behaviour. Sleeping with multiple partners, having many one-night stands and going out with different people may satisfy your ego, but it never helps build your personality,” he says. Eventually, one starts feeling guilty and lonely too. “In my opinion, one shouldn't immediately get into a rebound after break up, as mind needs to process and heal with many past memories and events,” adds Hingorrany.
It’s but natural to feel hurt and emotionally upset. But while getting hurt is one thing, name-calling and mudslinging is absolutely not done. While you may be feeling a great deal of anger from loss of love, anger is a process that you should not dwell on for any length of time. “Don’t indulge in nasty arguments and never hit below the belt. Give yourself lot of mind space to heal naturally. One should avoid mud-slinging at any cost. Never indulge in self-blame or blaming your partner. Maybe they were serious compatibility issues and its over now,” advises Hingorrany.
You may have been married for ages, but post separation one needs to draw a line.
Do yourself a favour and stop following your ex on social media. This doesn’t necessarily mean un-friending, but remove him or her from your news feeds wherever possible. “Your object should be move one. By following every step of your ex you are doing more harm to yourself,” says Hingorrany. Even if you are completely over your ex, seeing someone you once did everything with doing things without you are going to be painful. Also, why should you give the other person the pleasure of ‘being followed’?
Don’t be boring
“Dealing with a break up can be difficult as too many emotions are involved in your relationship. It requires calmness and wisdom to go through a break up,” says Hingorrany. Spend more time with your friends and family by all means, but try not to keep going over the break-up with them again and again. Meditation helps a lot in these times. “Meditation not only clears our mind but also helps us look at the things from a new angle,” she adds. Weeping and mourning is normal after loss of love. What is not normal is to be so attached to the pain, anger, suffering and misery that you can’t let go of it. Many people love their suffering. Don’t be one of them.
Revel in yourself
See the loss of love as an opportunity for personal growth. Everything happens for a reason and loss of love has given you an opportunity to grow. Ask yourself what is the lesson here? Learn to forgive unconditionally. Do things which you like doing, even those which you used to do as a couple. Losing a partner doesn’t mean losing a life. Start a hobby and indulge in activities you always wanted to do but could never did because of lack of time or company. Think about your life from a new perspective.
Can we be friends?
Break up of marriage not necessarily means break up of relationship. Some exes can still be friends; some exes need to hold on to what they call friendship for a period of time after the break up, and some exes have way too much baggage to be in each other’s lives. It all depends on why you broke up and how you feel about the other person. Do not hold on to the false sense of security. Only be friends if you are okay with having only a friendship with your ex. “I have seen many couples who could not stayed together because of sexual incompatibility. However, the same people were very good to each other on mental level. They could not stay together but stayed friends. One should see if they can be such a couple,” advises Dr Bhonsle.