The end of a relationship is never easy – even when you expected to break up. It hurts to say goodbye; it takes time to recreate yourself and move forward. But, all endings bring new beginnings. If you choose, a breakup can help you blossom into who God created you to be.
Recreating yourself after a relationship ends might be easier and more enjoyable than you think. It depends on one very important person in your life: you.
“My boyfriend of six years is going to marry another woman,” says Gail on How to Cope When the Man You Love is Marrying Someone Else. “It’s arranged, with a wedding date and everything. I’m heartbroken and have so many questions. How could he let go of me so easily? Did he ever love me? I just need answers. I feel broken. I went for counseling but it didn’t help because I just can’t let go of him. He broke his promises and yet I still want him back. How do I let him go?”
It hurts to see the man you love marry someone else. It’s heartbreaking to think of him moving on, falling in love with another woman, starting a new relationship, planning a new life. It’s painful to think of your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband recreating his life when you can barely get out of bed and go to work.
Here, you’ll learn a few ideas for recreating yourself after the end of a relationship. You won’t find easy answers or quick tips because there simply aren’t any. There’s only the process of grieving, letting go, and learning how to create a life that inspires you.
Recreating Yourself After the End of a Relationship
One of my favorite stories:
The lumberjack, walking through the forest, saw Mama Bird building her nest at the top of a tall tree. He knew the tree would be felled soon, and she would lose her home and babies. So he pounded the trunk with the back of his ax. Mama Bird was disrupted, and she had to find a new place to build her nest. She chose another tree and started to rebuild. But it, too, was slated for a fall. Again, the lumberjack shook the tree so hard that she was forced to fly away.
Mama Bird landed on a third tree — and it happened again! Cross with the lumberjack, Mama Bird decided to outwit him. So she built her nest on top of a high rock, sheltered from the sun and wind, which could never be shaken.
Allow your tree to crash to the ground
The relationship you lost was your tree. It couldn’t withstand the shaking, the lumberjack’s cutting it down, the end of its life. Your tree has fallen. Your relationship has ended, and it’s time to let go and recreate your life.
If you can’t let go of a man, it’s because your identity was built on that relationship. He was your tree; you nested your identity and self-image in him. You thought he’d hold you forever, but something brought that tree down. Maybe you tried to hold the tree up in your own strength, but you couldn’t. Your relationship ended, and you’re buried under the branches and leaves.
And you have to let go.
Relationships, family, children, homes, and even our appearance can all be trees in which we stake our identities. We see ourselves as wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, sisters. And when the tree falls, we lose our identity. If you built everything around your love for a man – and if your identity was planted in that relationship – then you will lose everything when it ends.
Grieve the loss of your identity
You lost a huge part of yourself. A breakup isn’t just a detaching of two people whose lives were intertwined. A breakup is a ripping apart of love, life, and connection. A genuine connection with a man is a terrible thing to lose – especially if you lost yourself in the relationship. You need to give yourself time to let your loss sink in.
If you think of your breakup as losing your identity, then you’re a step closer to healing and recreating yourself when a relationship ends. When you realize how much of yourself you gave to being a girlfriend or mother, you start reclaiming your self. This is healthy and good!
So, before you can think seriously about recreating yourself after a relationship ends, you have to say goodbye to what and who you lost. You lost yourself, you lost the man you loved, and you lost an important relationship in your life! My ebook — How to Let Go of Someone You Love — will help you move forward. Remember that you need to give yourself time and actively grieve your loss. You need to be honest about who you were in your relationship, and what you were getting out of it. And, you need to learn how to let go of the woman you were. Only then can you become who God created you to be.
Focus on Blossoming into who God created you to be
The healthiest way to recreate yourself after the end of a relationship — and be happy again! — is to focus on your future. Who do you want to become? What is God planning for you? You may not have the answers right here right now, but they will come.
Deep down you believe God has a plan for your life, and you hope a new season awaits…but how do you actually move forward? By holding on to His promises for you. If you believe in Jesus, you are assured joy, peace, freedom, and grace. If you root yourself in God, He will help you become the woman He created you to be. You’ll no longer be mired in the pain of having to let fo after a relationship ends…instead, you’ll be looking upward and forward in with hope and joy.
Let go of a relationship that has ended
I wrote How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets and Practical for Healing Your Heart to help women cope when a relationship ends.
Here’s what a reader recently emailed me about Letting Go of Someone You Love: “I gobbled the book down. Great help in putting things in perspective and in taking positive thoughtful action. Many thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences.”
I interviewed life coaches, counselors, and grief coaches for tips on letting go and recreating yourself after the end of a relationship. I know how shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching it is to go through a breakup!
The end of a relationship is devastating – and it changes how you see yourself. Learning how to heal is about rediscovering and recreating who you are.
No matter how many losses I experience — from bad breakups to sad divorces to tragic family deaths — it always hurts. It’s hard to say goodbye, even if the relationship needed to end. Have you been struggling to get out of bed, to get on with your life, to let go of the past and move forward? If so, you’re normal. Letting go isn’t easy.
Take heart, my friend! You will get through this. Your sadness will fade and you will feel happy and healthy again. God created you for a reason. You are valuable and lovable. You are enough, just the way you are.