I couldn't accept that my relationship was ending.
I couldn't fathom divorce or living alone.
I thought my life was over about four years ago when my eight-year marriage came to a screeching halt.
It didn't feel like my relationship had ended, but my life had ended. What was the point of life if the person I loved the most rejected me?
For the next couple of years, I was simply in survival mode, trying to deny what was happening to me and that our relationship was over.
In retrospect, I could have handled things in a much healthier and more positive way.
If you're going through an unwanted breakup or divorce, I have some advice I'd like to share with you to help you manage this dark time in your life.
Your life's not over and this relationship may not necessarily be over, either.
I don't know if you can salvage the relationship, but here's what you can do during this tumultuous time in your life.
Here are 6 tips to help you stay positive and empowered when a relationship is on the rocks.
1. Focus on your healing and health.
You've likely put all your emotional, physical and mental energy into this relationship.
You might feel like you're gasping for air, like your life will be over if this relationship ends.
Let me remind you that your life doesn't have to be over.
To help you get through this difficult time, spend some on your self-care. Get better sleep and allow yourself to rest. Reduce the commitments in your life to the minimum.
Eat healthier, do yoga, exercise, meditate and pray for healing.
Stay around positive people and share your heartache with loved ones who will support you.
Do the minimum and take it one day at a time.
2. Think of it as a break.
If your relationship is on the rocks and in limbo, think of this time as a time-out instead of a game over.
You both have the space now to reflect, think and do some soul-searching.
Time apart allows you to reflect on how important this relationship is to you.
It also gives you time to get back to your truth and help you discover yourself again.
In the thick of a heated relationship gone wrong, you lose yourself to the point where you don't recognize yourself anymore.
Use this time as a break, a rest and a laboratory to see what went wrong. Can you work on the relationship? Can you make some changes? Are you willing to forgive trespasses?
3. Take in the lessons.
If you want to become enlightened, don't travel to the Himalayas. Instead, find yourself a partner and you will experience the most profound spiritual lessons.
You likely learned quite a bit about yourself emotionally and psychologically from this relationship. You learned about your character, your behavior and your tendencies from this past relationship.
You learned about how to treat others and how to love another person.
With all of this experience, you've likely gathered plenty of lessons and reflections.
It's time to take note of them, make sense of them and allow the lessons of this relationship to sink in.
4. Do the internal work.
Once you've reflected on the past and what has happened, you may have to do some work within yourself.
You may have to resolve things that happened in your past, work through issues that came up in your relationship or learn how to handle things differently than you did.
For some people, like me, internal work could mean therapy and counseling.
For you, it could mean figuring out what went wrong, becoming more aware of your tendencies and setting an intention to work on them.
It could mean writing and journaling on the challenges you faced in your relationship and coming up with strategies for dealing with them in the future.
5. Allow time to give you more clarity.
One way of looking at it is that the relationship is over.
An alternate, more empowering way to look at it is that you have a break during which you can figure out what's going on.
You know what they say – distance makes the heart grow fonder.
Instead of lulling in heartbreak and pain, think of this time after your relationship as a season of growth and reflection.
Spend more quiet time and introspective time.
Spend time in silence and by yourself to come to terms with the relationship and to reflect upon it. See what insights and understanding you come to have.
6. Check in with your intuition.
In matters of love, it's difficult to check in with your intuition because ego and attachment have clouded it.
When you're in the thick of the relationship, it's your desire to keep things the same and your fear of losing your lover that guide you to act the way you do.
It's hard to know what you feel because emotions, sentiments, longings and thoughts get in the way.
When you're out of the relationship and have time to reflect, you'll be able to hear that tiny voice of wisdom again.
Listen to it and allow it to guide you on how to proceed.
You may have to leave this relationship with spiritual knowledge and lessons for your next relationship, or you may receive guidance to give this relationship one more chance.
Distance and space will help you get a clearer picture of what is next.