Like a bomb went off in your heart.
It’s like the unexpected slap in the face. Only this time, it feels like you have been hit with a chair instead.
The moment when your perfectly normal life is suddenly turned upside down. You are left feeling speechless, shattered and completely in heartbroken shock.
We all seem way too familiar with the terms ‘ghosting’, ‘benching’ and even being ‘catfished’, but what happens when you managed to skip all those common obstacles only to be completely blindsided by the person you are in a committed relationship with?
Call it a mid-life crisis or whatever label makes them feel better for justifying their behavior — it still does not lessen the impact of being completely betrayed by someone you have trusted and loved for years.
Betrayal seems to be something more common than not these days.
The worst part is that most of the time you don’t even get any warning signs.
They say that it takes two to tango, and sure, that's true.
But not in cases of what is called ‘blindsiding’.
This is an act which takes everyone by surprise, sometimes even the man who is causing it.
In short, it’s like being hit by an unexpected freight train, except you still must carry on living.
To be forced into a break up with absolutely no time to prepare, and probably no closure on the near horizon, can leave us shaken to the core and feeling completely lost.
It’s hard to know what exactly to do in a situation you never saw coming, but here are a few little tips of wisdom, to help guide you through this season of heartbreak and turmoil:
After the initial shock has worn off, you will probably experience every emotion under the sun from anger through to devastation and desperation.
You will be searching for reasons, answers and dissecting every possible memory and conversation you both ever had.
The trick is to try and stay focused and calm in the storm.
You don’t have to have all the answers, and you may never have them, but that’s OK. Our heart may be falling apart, but it doesn’t mean our mind and life have to as well.
Try to control your thoughts and emotions by not getting caught up in over-thinking or assuming that you have failed.
2. Remember your worth.
While circumstances may change, it does not mean that who you are is not enough. Do not forget that someone’s inability to love you the way they are meant to, has anything to do with your worth.
You are worthy regardless of whether or not your relationships last or fall apart.
Write a list of all your wonderful qualities and put it somewhere where you can see it every day to remind yourself of what you have to offer this world.
Someone’s treatment of you does not, and never will reflect your true value.
3. Don’t get stuck in this moment.
It’s so easy to become completely consumed by the whole breakup saga.
While you need to acknowledge what is happening and get practical about what needs to be done, you mustn’t let it take over your hope because the only thing bigger than our fears is hope.
Try to remember, there is a bigger picture and that this is just a small season in the grand scheme of life.
4. Stop over-thinking and blaming yourself.
For sure there are probably things you could have done better, I mean we are human and we make mistakes.
But don’t start the negative self-talk and assume that the reason this breakup has happened is because you have failed in so many ways.
The truth is that most the time, the reason why you are blindsided is because you have been consistent in your behavior, and your partner has been going through their inner turmoil that you weren’t even aware of.
People change, and that is something we cannot control or fix.
Their behavior does not reflect on who you are as a woman, it does not highlight your faults, it emphasizes theirs.
5. Focus on yourself.
Now is a time to heal and take care of you.
You have every right to be angry that the person you loved and trusted has betrayed you, but do not let it consume you. Don’t make this moment completely about them.
Instead, choose to refocus your thoughts on building your heart and life again without them.
Put your energy into activities and people who are positive and will support and keep your strong.
Get pampered, set some new goals, do that thing you always wanted to do, indulge yourself and do what makes you happy.
6. Choose to forgive, even if it doesn’t make sense.
The hardest part will be choosing to forgive them, even when you don’t want to, even when they don’t deserve it.
But forgiveness is about your healing, not theirs.
It’s part of the process to becoming whole again and letting go. It doesn’t mean you can forget what they did or that you should let them back in your life (if they come back with their tails between their legs!).
It, however, is the first step to being able to move forward.
7. Step forward with a plan.
Once the dust has settled a little and you can function a bit better daily, it will be time to make a practical plan. Because whilst you may feel like you are just existing right now, there will be a time when you thrive again.
You want to make sure there is as little stress in your life as possible when it comes to your living situation, finances, and children.
Talking to divorce lawyers or getting professional help will give you the strength and direction you will need.
When we have a plan, we feel a little more in control.
8. Don’t lose hope.
We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how to react.
Renee Slansky is a relationship and dating coach, as well as the Founder of The Dating Directory — an online community for women doing love, life, and relationships.