Why are separations so common these days

Processing a breakup takes time

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It is important to pay attention to your own feelings and to do something good for yourself. The separation can only be dealt with by those who look ahead.

While marriages lasted a lifetime in grandmother's time, at least outwardly, nowadays relationships often only last a few years before a separation occurs. The reasons? "Today's women are more independent, work in their professions and are less willing to compromise," explains Prof. Gina Kästele, psychologist and social worker in Munich. In addition: Over the years, the partners lose interest in each other, the initial crackling turns into boredom, when love expires, the differences become clear, and finally the partners lose respect for each other.

The crux of the fact that two grow apart is the lack of communication. "The partners don't talk to each other," says the psychologist, "no bridges are built to one another." In our fast-paced world, it is easy for people to lose patience, looking for a quick fix. But this often has its price: The breakup is a crisis and it often takes a long time to come to terms with a breakup.

The pain of separation sometimes lasts a very long time

The one who gets out of the relationship often experiences a soaring flight first, feels free of burdens. Later, however, feelings of guilt can also arise. The abandoned has to deal with the separation, loses the ground under his feet, fears of the future rise, anger and sadness.

Those affected are in an exceptional situation and do not know how they will feel or behave in the next few days or weeks. "One day the ex-partner is demoned, the next idealized," explains Prof. Kästele. "Moods can change from day to day." Self-esteem often drops considerably, and doubts about one's own importance arise. "Depending on how helpless you feel and how long the separation lasts, therapeutic help should be sought." Conversations with friends and counseling centers are also helpful in relieving internal pressure, getting a grip on the emotional chaos and dealing with the separation. The pain of separation can last a week to two years or even longer, it varies greatly from person to person.

The "inner child" can help process the breakup

But how do you get out of the depth of separation and develop new perspectives for yourself when you suddenly find yourself alone? First of all, it is important to say "yes" to the feelings that arise, to accept them, says Prof. Kästle. A breakup hurts. In order to deal with the pain, one should be caring and loving now, like a loved one or a child who has just been injured. Going in search of the "inner child", a term that symbolizes feelings, memories and experiences from one's own childhood in psychology, can provide support and consolation.

"The inner child is that part of a person who feels helpless, fearful, lonely like a three or four year old child", says Prof. Kästele. "When the inner child is active in us, we have little access to the qualities of an adult, for example to adequate problem-solving skills. It is therefore important for the person concerned to turn to the sad and lonely inner child and to be in contact with those who have not yet come to terms To come to feelings of the past. Turning to the inner child also means to comfort the inner child, to realize that the feelings experienced are like those of an abandoned child. " A childhood photo in your jacket pocket helps to process the separation, to perceive yourself and your feelings. Now my own needs are in the foreground, questions like: What or who is doing me good at this moment?

Asking friends for support

In order to process the separation, however, it is not advisable to constantly devalue yourself because the relationship has failed, but instead to become aware of its positive characteristics. "For example, ask your friends to write a letter about what they particularly value about you," recommends Prof. Kästele. "Write some of the positive things you like best on cards that you carry with you. This is how you build a cognitive counterworld to support you."

It is crucial for the step into your new life to let go of the old one. This includes, for example, not calling your partner afterwards, not lifting him up to heaven afterwards, falling into mourning on his birthday and putting on the music that you have always heard together and hiding in a quiet little room. Conscious letting go makes you free and gives you the chance to process the separation and start again. "At the bottom of the heart of every winter lies a premonition of spring, and behind the veil of every night hides a smiling morning," wrote the Lebanese-American philosopher and poet Khalil Gibran. Only changes in life lead to inner growth, painful as they are often. A breakup can be an opportunity.

If you can't deal with the separation, stressful feelings remain

Therefore: The view should be directed forward. You can seek support from friends and acquaintances, for example when it comes to overcoming inhibitions when you go to a party alone for the first time. Special leisure activities and trips for singles can be opportunities to meet like-minded people.

"It is important to give yourself time after the separation," emphasizes Prof. Kästele. "A separation has to be coped with first." If you cannot cope with the separation, feelings remain unresolved and they are taken with you into the next relationship. When is it time for a new relationship? "Everyone has their own individual time. A good sign is certainly if you only occasionally think of your old partner."

Exercise for inner strength

Smile at yourselfThis exercise by Prof. Gina Kästele activates your inner source of strength. with which one can process a separation. It makes you aware that intention alone is enough to remember your power and strength and to bring about a change outwardly. All you need is a mirror. Look in the mirror. Your look tells you what mood you are in right now.

Recall the worst days of your former relationship and look in the mirror with your face to match. Now think of a situation in which you felt that your strength was respected and valued by those around you. How has your face changed? What are your eyes expressing compared to before? Do you still see differences in the forehead or cheek area?

Now look in the mirror so that you can see in your face the courage, determination, and personal strength to come through the breakup. Keep experimenting until you are satisfied. End the exercise with a positive look in the mirror: smile at yourself.

If you have two or three minutes left: Look in the mirror until your face begins to blur in front of your eyes and you sink into a light trance. Then say a sentence that builds you up. Notice how the expressions of your eyes and face change.

Conversation with Prof. Gina Kästele, psychologist in Munich, July 2012

Last content check:18.07.2012
Last change: 24.08.2020