The Stress of a break-up

by | Relationships

A break-up or divorce can be highly stressful, add in a move of home and the stress increases.

Although I expected this, the experience was more difficult than I expected.

I’ve reflected on the breakup of my first marriage. That was stressful, and I was over 20 years younger and there were issues regarding the children that I hadn’t anticipated.

With this being a mutual decision with a plan to have it as an amicable split I expected to almost sail through it. But …

I’ve a range of feelings running around my head; the grief of the loss of a relationship, uncertainty of how my life will pan out, guilt because it was my decision, but it takes the behaviour of 2 people to end a long-term relationship.

I’ve read that loss is not just for the relationship but also for the loss of the dreams and commitments we shared.
I’ve moved from a big house in the country to a flat in town. I wanted to live here but I’d never lived in a flat before and I have to rethink how I play music; I can only play it louder during the day when neighbours are at work and I’ve got it as low as I can bear it in an evening as I’ve already been told by my upstairs neighbour that he could hear my TV well I can hear his footsteps too.

The uncertainty is high. How will my life work out?
I was in my late 30s last time, now I’m 60 a different stage of life, and I’m a more assertive person with clearer views. But now is not the time for a new relationship I need to get to know myself first.

Since moving I’ve been involved in activity group classes at the gym, a new dance class, some meetups but I’m now going to pause this and not try to do as much. I can ramp it up later, but for now to cut back, and to allow myself more time just to be.

I’ve been trying to lose the weight I gained by cutting back on calories, but that’s not worked as I’m having very low cal meals and then eating chocolate at night. I’ve decided now that 1500 calories are a better level to aim at and to eat good food, not sweet stuff.

I do tend to work hard as a way of avoiding difficulties. One reason I started an MBA was to cope with the breakdown of my first marriage once the children went to bed, I could study in the dining room yes, I got my MBA but think it could have been better to talk earlier.

I had counselling sessions at the start of the break-up. One reason for these personal blog posts is a way of journaling and externalising how I feel.

I hope this personal sharing can benefit you too. Particularly if, like me, you are over 50.

After a couple of weeks of filling my days with doing I’ve had a rethink

  • NURTURE (and NATURE) I had a massage yesterday and intend to spend time each day either walking in the park or swimming outdoors. I’ll make sure I read a chapter or two of a novel each day.
  • I’LL SAY NO MORE. I had planned to go to a dance last night, but I know the venue is small and hot and I was feeling overwhelmed with the thought of all the people so decided to stay in, watch the football and do some tidying up.
  • ONE DRINK A DAY IS FINE I don’t drink much but as I headed to the fridge for a second glass of wine, I told myself that one is enough. Alongside cutting back on the sugar I want to cut back on alcohol too and this should help my weight loss too.
  • CHOOSE SOME, BUT NOT TOO MANY NEW INTERESTS I’m volunteering at the local theatre, have joined a group of people who like watching bands, and a film group plus dance and exercise classes. There’s also a women breakfast group. More than enough. I was about to start more volunteering but recognise I need to stop filling my diary.
  • EAT HEALTHY this shouldn’t be difficult for me, but I must make the time to cook or I’ll end up snacking. Cooking a meal for 4, eating it for 2 consecutive days and freezing 2 meals is the way to go.

I’m also going to think, privately, on what lead to the divorce. Pinch points that we could have paid attention to. How we related to each other. Whilst both my long-term relationships were very different people there were some areas of similarity and I need to make sure, if I start another relationship, that I’m aware of this. This reflection will help me to understand more about who I am.

I’d love to know if any of this resonates with you, any comments are welcome, either on my blog, or, if more personal feel free to email me.

P.s. I wrote this 4 months ago. Now is the time to share as my life has moved on. I’ll write more on that shortly.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Denise Taylor

Chief Inspiration Officer, The 50 Plus Coach.