You didn’t choose to start over at this point in your life, but you have no choice. These eight tips for starting over after a relationship ends are creative and encouraging. And, they’re inspired by a reader who is struggling to settle into life without her husband…
“My husband of 3 years has left me with no explanation,” says Sarah on What is Closure in a Relationship? “He is from America and I am from England. We were planning on me moving to America really soon. We saw each other every month. He is in a band and tours every now and then, but that has never been a problem till this tour… within a week of being on this tour he started distancing himself. No calls, hardly any replys to my messages on Facebook. I have a strong feeling he has met someone else. He won’t talk to me about anything. My whole life is my marriage and my child (who my husband is stepdad to). I just don’t know what to do.”
It’s shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching when your spouse ends your relationship and you have to start over. If you have children, it’s even worse. These tips for starting over after a relationship ends aren’t about divorce or separation, and they won’t directly help you help your children cope with the relationship ending.
These tips are about rediscovering your passion and identity, so you can start your life over. They’re not about the break up or divorce. If you feel like starting over is impossible because you’re stuck in the past, read This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down.
I love this book because it’s a collection of stories, wisdom, and practical advice from four ordinary women who have faced extraordinary life challenges. Together, they have a history of six marriages, ten children, four stepchildren, six dogs, two miscarriages, two cats, a failed adoption, widowhood, and foster parenthood. They have built companies, lost companies, and sold companies. They’ve experienced celebrity and success along with loneliness and self-doubt. This Is Not the Life I Ordered will help you start over when your relationship ends because it’s all about new beginnings and fresh starts.
And, here are my tips for rebuilding your life and starting over when your heart is broken…
Start Over – and Blossom! – After a Relationship Ends
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been,” said George Eliot.
Accept that you did the best you could in your relationship
Don’t waste your time or energy feeling guilty or bad about the choices you made in your relationship. You did the best you could, my friend. You couldn’t have made other choices in your life at that time…so forgive yourself and accept where you are right now.
If you’re beating yourself up because of the things you said and did in your relationship, read my article about overcoming self-hatred. I’m an expert at beating myself up for my past, and it does me no good at all. No matter what you did or didn’t do in your relationship, it ended — and it probably would have ended no matter what you did or didn’t do! If you want to start over after a relationship ends, you need to accept who you are and who you were.
Decide what needs to change in your life
You have to actively decide what type of new beginning you’re after. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to live, work, love, play, and laugh?
Instead of mourning the fact that you have to start over because your relationship ended, I want you to try celebrating it. Stop focusing on your ex and the pain he’s causing. Instead, focus on the excitement of a new beginning and fresh start. I know it’s easier said than done – especially if your husband left you for another woman – but it’s better for you in the long run.
Accept your lack of control
To start over after a relationship ends, you need to accept that you can’t control many things in your life. You can’t control who loves you, who leaves you, who helps you, who betrays you. You can’t control your neighborhood, the traffic, the weather, or the economy. Of all the things you want to change in your life, remember that you can’t change people.
You can sometimes change circumstances, and you can change your attitude and response to events and people…but you can’t change your husband, children, coworkers, neighbors, or family members. I’m reading a book about self-compassion, and the author says that we control far less than we realize. This is both good and bad!
Tap into your soul – start over spiritually
The happiest people are those who are in touch with their spirits. Adding spirituality to your life not only makes you feel better emotionally, it improves your physical health. Tap into your soul by meditating, praying, taking time to really listen to your heart, reading Scripture or other soulful books, and talking to people about spiritual matters.
The end of a relationship is a perfect time to start getting back into your spiritual life. If you need tips on new beginnings for your spiritual life, please let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to write an article about starting over with God or your Higher Power.
Focus on one step at a time – take action towards a new beginning
When a relationship ends and you have to start over, it feels like your whole life is a hot mess.
Don’t let those overwhelming, negative thoughts get you down! Instead, pick the biggest thing you want to change, and break it down into reasonable, manageable steps.
If you’re not ready to tackle the biggest problem – or you think that isn’t the way to start over – then pick the smallest problem. What matters most is that you’re taking action in one area of your life, that you’re taking a step into personal growth. Starting over after your relationship ends is about taking one small step at a time.
Get help: a life coach, counselor, financial advisor, professional organizer
Whether you should consider hiring a life coach or getting counseling depends on your situation. If you’re struggling with self-identity, major life changes, fear, anxiety, depression, or your marriage – then I encourage you to talk to a professional. Therapists can provide objective feedback and guidance that our friends and family can’t offer.
If you have money problems, financial advisors can help you become a financially independent woman after divorce. Professional organizers can help you declutter — which can improve your physical and mental health!
Keep reading books about new beginnings and starting over
Whenever I feel sad, lonely, or insecure I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy. I just flip through it when I need encouragement — it’s one of my all-time favorite books! If you haven’t read it yet, it could be just what you need to start over after ending a relationship.
To find happiness and change your life, you need to surround yourself with books, photos, inspirational quotations, etc – whatever reminds you of your goals, of the life you want to lead. Starting over a relationship ends is about putting your energy towards growth and healing.
“Courage is not the towering oak that sees the storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.” – Alice M. Swain.
Unfortunately, starting over after a relationship ends doesn’t mean you’ll be healed forever. In fact, you may always have the pain of the breakup in your soul. Read How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About.
Please feel free to share your plans for starting over after your relationship ends. I welcome all types of stories and comments!
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.