Compassion for your ex-partner  

The words in this blog will challenge you.

As family lawyers, we know this because we often get dirty and confused looks and even unpleasant words back if we were to say this to a client. But to be straight with you: if you can manage this difficult step, it will help you to resolve your legal issues and move on sooner.

Have compassion for your ex-partner. Separation is difficult, particularly if he or she has perpetrated repeated, hurtful wrongdoings.

The truth is, no matter what has brought the relationship to an end, your ex-partner is also feeling a lot of sadness and hurt. It can be hard to believe.

Some of the things they do or say arise from their own feelings of uncertainty, fear, blame, and self-loathing. You may be asking; how can this be true? Especially when they have, for example, had an affair and now appear to have happily moved on to another lover.

As divorce lawyers, over the years we have represented every type of client … the cheated, the cheater, the narcissistic, the kind, the guilty, the blamer, the mentally ill and the well balanced. We have observed that every single client, no matter what their gender or personal circumstances, has experienced a level of pain, hurt, anger, sadness, resentment and uncertainty.

Have compassion, because they, too, are going through a difficult time. This does not mean you have to do yourself a disservice, be weak or give in. Yet merely advising you to be understanding, and that might give them space to start understanding what’s happening for you, too. It might not! That might not be something they’re capable of. But either way, letting compassion instead of rage guide you will increase your wellbeing.

Compassion for yourself

It is important that you give yourself time and accept where you are right now. When you are going through a break-up from a long-term relationship, it can be difficult to accept the position you are in and easy to turn to the past and to blame.

It can feel as if all of your dreams and hopes for the future have been washed away by a cyclone and that you have lost everything, including yourself. You might be experiencing embarrassment, blame, self-loathing and disappointment. You are hurting, you have turmoil in your life, it is confusing and you don’t have clarity about your future.

Relationships come to an end; it is a part of life. It is really sad when they do, but sometimes they run their course, and often there are better things to come. The language we use is so important — a marriage that has ended doesn’t have to have ‘failed’! It succeeded, and then it ended. We often judge ourselves far more harshly than others do. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. You are worthy.