Personal Relationships

Letting Go Of A Past Relationship

Written by Allanah Hunt

How many times do you hear people say … “just move on” or “let it go”. It’s easy to say but can feel impossible to do.

One of the things I have learned very clearly over the years I have been working with people after their separation or divorce, is that suffering is often less about the loss of their partner than about a myriad of other adjustments which accompany the loss.

Often in fact the love has died or been destroyed but attachment remains.

What do I mean by attachment? Let me explain …

When you start out in a new relationship each of you is curious about the other. Over time as you discover more, you create a vision of the person based on what they say, how they act and more importantly how you feel when you are with them. When being together makes you feel great, you become ‘addicted’ to the ‘high’ and want to feel that way all the time. We call this being ‘in love’.

As the two of you spend more time together, you become a bigger part of each other’s lives, introducing friends and family and consolidating your relationship in many different ways. You start to consciously plan things together and over time parts of your individual life give way to ‘together life’. Time passes and you become more attached to each other. In many cases, this person becomes the centre of your world as you begin to make commitments for a future together. Your conversations create a set of expectations and a ‘shared dream’ of how your lives will look in years to come. This shared dream and the expectations which accompany it become the foundation for your life. You live each moment with the future you have planned firmly in view. You check back in with your dream on a regular basis to ensure you are still on track. Every decision is made together and compared with the plan for your life ahead.

As you are individuals, with your own way of understanding the world, each of you builds up a vision of what that life looks like and how you will contribute to creating it in reality. You set up roles within this life that each of you will fulfil. Perhaps you agree to work for a few years and then start a family at which point you will work part-time or become a stay at home parent whilst your partner will continue to work full time to provide the bulk of financial support. Or perhaps you save for a time with a view to owning your own home. These are the roles you assign to yourselves and to each other, almost like making a contract between the two of you.

Everything you know about your life is tied up with the person you have shared it with and you have lost the memory of who you are without it.

So, one day when your relationship ends, you feel your whole life has ended with it. Suddenly its just you and that doesn’t seem nearly enough. Without the two of you, everything you dreamed and planned for, seems to have walked out the door. And because your partner represents everything you understand about your life, your thoughts often focus on the pain of losing them. Or on thoughts of how cruel or unfair they were to you, how they betrayed you or let you down. The entire foundation of your life has been shaken and you feel as if you are falling without a net to catch you.

So when people talk about ‘letting go’ or ‘moving on’ it seems impossible.

However, there are steps you can take which will help you gain a new perspective. We all need a base to live from and gaining clarity about your present will give you the strength to build an unshakable foundation, that will give you the power to build a new you, a new life and a new future.

I am starting a brand new interactive Facebook Group on 30th January 2017 and would love for you to join me.

10 Steps To Reclaim Your Life After Separation & Divorce is a 10 week membership where you receive support from me, as well as from other members, as I take you through the steps to build a new you for a new year.

About the author

Allanah Hunt

Allanah Hunt is an author and founder of Power And Freedom where she works to encourage people to reclaim their personal power and create a life of freedom and joy. Your past does not dictate your future unless you allow it to!

“It is only as you take responsibility for your life that you discover just how powerful you truly are” - Allanah Hunt

8 Comments

  • What a great resource! I love that you point out that it’s not necessarily the attachment to the other person but the expectations that have been created with a commingled life that cause the pain. The heartache comes more from losing a part of yourself than losing the other person.

  • This sums it all up perfectly, Allanah: “So, one day when your relationship ends, you feel your whole life has ended with it.” I didn’t find it easy to let go at all. I’m encouraged that you understand this and can support women as they move through a process that takes time.

  • Moving on, letting go, getting healthy and happy again after divorce is so hard – even when I was the one who made the decision to leave. It would have been so helpful to have some guidance to navigate the unfamiliar terrain.

    A course like you are offering and a supportive Facebook group would have been very helpful.

  • I couldn’t agree more Allanah… I’ve long since though it’s often easier to stay than to leave…even when leaving is necessary for your heart and soul.

    Added to that is it seems we has human beings are so attached to what we know that it makes it a real challenge to let go and move on.

    I think your group is a wonderful idea to support those who are either taking that step or have taken it and find it all a big of a struggle. 🙂

  • Wonderful that you are starting a new Facebook group, Allanah. I know there are so many who have gone through the pain of separation and divorce. It is challenging to say the least. Our lives end up being rebuilt in a whole new way.

    I believe, because we never know what is ahead, it is helpful to keep a strong sense of self whether you are married or single. It has helped me weather the ups and downs of life. Thanks for a great post!

    • Thank you Cathy 🙂 You’re exactly right when you say ‘our lives end up being rebuilt in a whole new way’. I think the challenge is to maintain that sense of self no matter what the external circumstances of your life. It’s so easy to lose touch with who we are particularly in relationships.

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