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The 5 Traits Of People Who Navigate Their Separation Well

March 30, 2023 Blogs

‘Holding onto bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’  – Nelson Mandela

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to move through a separation with dignity while others seem to be stuck in a cycle of anger and bitterness? While no-one goes into a relationship wanting it to end, sometimes we have to accept the reality that is it over. Having worked with 1000’s of couples over the years, I have noticed that the following five traits are common to clients who navigate their separation well:

  1. They understand the stages of grief. Allowing themselves the time to grieve and seeking help if needed to move through the stages of grief ultimately results in a clearer understanding of what has happened and what they need to put in place to move on.
  2. A sense of self. Realising that they don’t need another person to make them feel whole.  They are enough in and of themselves.
  3. Understanding that just because one relationship has failed doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to love or be loved.
  4. Looking back on the relationship and taking the learnings into their future life, without judgment.
  5. Looking back at the relationship with gratitude; to find the positive in it even if it didn’t last forever.

The biggest obstacle to the above is when a person feels a deep sense of grievance and is seeking vindication or even worse vengeance in the settlement process. While this may be understandable, particularly in situations of betrayal and abuse, this is where the wisdom of Nelson Mandela, who was able to overcome a lifetime of injustice and abuse and to lead with purpose and love, is so relevant.

Bernie Bolger 28 March 2023

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