When Relationships End


Breaking Up is Hard to Do

People seek counseling, especially for the first time, for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps someone close to them suggested they get help; other people look to counseling to help them cope with an event or issue they are finding overwhelming or difficult to resolve. A very common reason people seek therapy is to help them process the emotional trauma resulting from the end of a relationship…a breakup.

 A breakup is the end of a romantic, committed relationship. Divorce, when two married people legally separate, is a type of breakup, although the term “breakup” is more commonly used to refer to the end of relationships between boyfriends/girlfriends/and other types of romantic relationships.

Couples involved in romantic relationships often make commitments to one another that might include living together, not seeing other people, or regularly spending time together. A breakup occurs when at least one member of the couple decides that they no longer wish to honor this commitment.

 A breakup can be extremely painful, and the degree of emotional trauma associated with a breakup is dependent on such things as the length of the relationship, the plans each member of the couple had for the future, the degree of commitment within the relationship, how happy the relationship was prior to the breakup, whether either member of the couple would prefer to stay in the relationship, and whether the relationship ended with infidelity, abuse, or other painful issues.

The process of grieving a relationship is very similar to grieving other losses. The amount of time it takes to get over a breakup can vary greatly; when a short-term relationship ends, a person might feel fine after only a few days, but the end of a long-term relationship can take months or years to grieve. Because more couples are cohabitating on a long-term basis, a breakup may be very similar to a divorce.

 Breakups are a common cause of situational depression, and some people are so distraught by their breakups that they become suicidal. Therapists and other mental health professionals frequently help people work through unresolved feelings they have after a breakup.

 Whether a breakup leaves a person overwhelmed with difficult feelings, interferes with a person’s ability to complete daily activities, or makes the person reevaluate their life path, the support of a therapist or counselor can be extremely helpful for coping after a breakup. A therapist or counselor can be especially useful for treating conditions that may arise after a breakup, such as depression, low self-esteem, grief, or posttraumatic stress. Hypnotherapy is also a highly effective and time efficient method of dealing with these issues. Whichever type of therapy you choose, the sooner you see a qualified therapist, the sooner you will be on the road toward healing and establishing a happy new life.

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