Do You Need to Heal, Before Starting a New Relationship?
Avantika’s Story (Not real name)
Hardly a couple of years went into their marriage when Avantika and Rohan (not real names) were thinking about getting a divorce. Avantika was pondering where she went wrong. She analysed back the last couple of years of her marital life and the destruction of her first marriage and then how she met another man named Vishal (name changed) after some time post her divorce. Like Avantika, Vishal too was divorced and they found comfort and distraction both in each other’s company, which eventually turned into likeliness for each other.
Then, suddenly Avantika was feeling as if she had moved on too quickly, and more importantly, has she been able to completely heal from her last broken relationship prior to jumping into the next.
She posed a question to her and also to me when she came for the counseling, says Shivani Sadhoo. The question was “does she completely need to heal before initiating a new relationship”?
The process of grief and healing
Shivani says first, one needs to delve deeper into the question. What do you mean by healing? Does anyone ever “fully” heal? How can one know when they are ready to begin again?
Grief is a cluster of emotions one experiences when one loses someone with whom they had emotional attachments. The feelings one has when grieving is usual, but the majority of the time, they are unpleasant. People look to want them to go away. What requires to be understood though is that these feelings have a reason. Sadness assists you to step away from others and see inward. It presents you with time to analyze yourself and come to realities with your own responsibilities and mistakes. It lends you time to think about the future you wish for and to gradually take steps forward.
There are other feelings while you grieve. Anger is a potent emotion that helps one make changes, but it mostly becomes a source of bonding that could cause problems. Grieving people could join with one another in a relationship formed on their anger at their ex-partners and rapidly bond over that commonality. These relationships may grow fast and feel very powerful, but they require much more than simply shared anger as a basis.
William Worden in his book “Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy” talks of recovery as a four-step First, you should accept the reality of the loss and start to see the opportunities for a new future. Secondly, one needs to feel the feelings of loss. This is the step majorly avoided but it is necessary. Third, you should adjust to the facts of life without the other. The fourth process is letting go of the lost partner and searching for a new, meaningful relationship. These new relationships may be romantic or they could be something else.
How much time does it take? People attempt to put a time frame on this procedure, but it’s difficult to measure things in that manner. You might never feel “totally healed.” If you wait for that, you might never move ahead. How do you get to know you are healed enough? When are you actually ready? When the feelings of sadness and loss start to lift when one is alone with their thoughts, and their imagination begins accepting thoughts of a brighter future… one is starting to get there.
This blog is written by top relationship and marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo.
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