All through our lives, sometimes we have to face different types of losses; it can be a loved one or an object, a pet close to our heart, etc. Though, not all kinds of losses are similar. People are more sympathetic to the loss of a thing or person that is visible or can be felt. On the other hand, losses of intellectual concepts, like a relationship are generally not treated with the same compassion.
The end of a loving relationship can be extremely painful for any person. Unlike death, a breakup or separation and losing a partner comes with many challenges. It can, actually, be harder, because the person is still around in the social world itself around you, but no more a part of your life.
When marital or romantically involved with a person, we often are dependent on that person and start seeing every aspect of our lives connected to this person. We even make all our future plans to be focused on that person. We can also say that when two people are a part of a relationship, then the relationship too, becomes a part of them.
Therefore, breaking up of such a relationship may seem like losing a part of yourself and can leave a person feeling debilitated.
Things seem even harder when a relationship has ended on an uncertain note. For instance, a relationship in which a couple just gets separate over time and one partner ends the relationship without any clarification for the same. In such cases, the partner who has left behind may not have stopped caring about the other person and may still living in faith that the differences could be resolved, even though both the persons have improved over time.
When a relationship comes to an end on an ambiguous note, the partner left behind holds on to an idealized version of the other partner and their relationship that may make the course of moving on, even more complicated.
Grieving the breakup of a relationship
Research conducted on different kinds of losses ( e.g. through death and other causes) have shown that social understanding of loss is typically limited to death and that there are many rituals that help the person grieve the loss of a loved one and receive help from people around them.
But, the breakup of a relationship is neither acknowledged nor are there any rituals for the grieving person to reach out to help or seek support from their social circles. This also isolates a person going through the loss. In such situations, the pain of an individual is just as high as in the case of death, and the burden of going through this loss is left on the person themselves.
These are the ways in you can offer support to someone who is experiencing the loss of a relationship
Normalize the pain
It is essential that a person’s loss is recognized and they are allowed to grieve. Often such people are asked to forget their loss and upsetting emotions are dismissed. Grieving is considered as a sign of weakness. It is important to make them understand that grieving is absolutely normal and that there is no standard way to grieve.
Encourage a person to describe their experience of loss rather than comparing it to some external social yardstick for it. Listening actively and conveying concern through tone and body language helps in expression and identification of one’s emotions.
It is essential that the person is aware of the different phases of grief and how they affect so that they are fairly equipped and ready to deal with them when they experience it.
Encourage To Seek Support
Inspire them to trust on a network of family members and friends who will accept their pain. It may also prove useful to associate with persons to friends and known people who understand their pain and can be more concerned and perceptive during such situations.
Encourage your loved one to take care of themselves physically by taking enough rest, diet and exercise. This can help in avoiding the risk of the person’s grief as any fall in the health can further extend the grief period.
Watch Your Words
It is essential to be careful of the language used while interacting about the relationship loss. Using harsh words may rouse memoirs and lead to an increase in the pain experienced through such occasions.
Be Careful About Seeing Signs Of High-Risk Behaviours
In a few cases, persons going through a relationship breakup may have thoughts of self-harming or suicide. Thus it is very essential to observe how the person is doing in his daily life, is it normal or not.
Taking Help Of Professional Mental Health Counsellor
The process of coming out of a relationship break-up can be long and hard. And it can make the family and friends feel exhausted while dealing with that person. In such cases taking the help of professional mental health, the counsellor can be extremely useful.
Talking to a therapist who is aware of the grief phases and how to help them with counselling can do miracles, not at once but with the time they can improve. In case your loved one is not interested in going to a therapist then online counselling via chat or call will allow them to talk to a therapist without leaving their comfort zone.