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For some it may not be a happy Valentines Day

For some it may not be a happy Valentines Day

According to statistics, in the first few months of the year many couples separate or divorce. There are of course many reasons for this. Often underlying relationship issues, which have been building up over a long time, crack under the extra strain of Christmas.

The closing months of the year tend to intensify everything in a relationships both the good and the bad. I guess many couples out there are wondering what 2014 is going to bring,

Even at the eleventh hour, talking things through with a professional can be productive. However, if one of you has definitely decided to end the relationship, then acceptance and finding an amicable way forward is really the best solution.

Of course, I know that this is often easier said than done because: Relationship endings are one of the most painful and difficult things to come to terms with.

If your relationship has ended or is ending now, you are probably dealing with an array of conflicting and difficult-to-understand emotions, even if you were the one who ended the relationship.

Using friends and family to support you through the process can be helpful, however, inevitably some may be shared friends so you will want to avoid friends where you would feel uncomfortable talking about your ex. It may be that a counsellor could offer a better solution for you. Whatever route you choose, it is important that you get support at this difficult time.

Even if you feel you are generally coping well, there will often be scary and confusing times wondering what direction your new life will take.

It is important to recognise that you are losing (or have lost) more than just your partner: you have lost your hopes, dreams, and plans of a shared future.

You may have suffered other losses too: Friends you knew as a couple can often stop inviting you to go out when you are on your own. The in-laws you thought you were close to may no longer want to see you.  As well as coping with your own feelings you may be struggling with your childrens’ reactions to the changes in your life.  You may even worry that you will lose contact with your children. Your family may be being supportive, but you might be worried about “putting on them” or revealing too much.

Divorce or separation is an ending, it is also an opportunity for learning and growth. It might be an idea to explore with a counsellor what went wrong. As difficult as it may be, un-earthing your own contributions to the break-up can often provide closure, and is often empowering. When we are prepared to see our own role, reflect on our own choices, thoughts and behaviour, we can make more informed, positive choices in our new life.