Serving Western MA, Springfield, Northampton and Amherst, MA, Brattleboro, VT, and the Pioneer Valley, with telephone counseling, nation-wide, LifeCourse Counseling Center, and all its therapists, affirm all sexual orientations and gender identities, and celebrate the rich diversity that exists among people of all ethnic, racial and class backgrounds.

One of the most stressful things a person experiences is the end of an important relationship. What was once exciting and rich is no longer. Often the end of a relationship is does not stop there. There are losses in lifestyle, financial means, home, friends, extended family and more. For many, partnership and marriage becomes part of ones identity. It is not uncommon for people to feel that they have lost this too. One can feel alone, lost and that a part of them is gone forever.

In moments of great stress other symptoms can evolve. They may be new or those in which someone may have previously struggled. These may include, but are not limited to depression, anxiety/panic, drug and alcohol problems, addictions, eating issues, sleep disturbances and more. While it is not fact, sometimes people may feel that they can not go on, that their life is over or that they will die.

Loss of relationship will also make people think about and feel previous losses of loved ones. If not the grief of the current relationship were not enough, a person suffering this loss will also emotionally revisit old losses as well.

Lesbian, gay, queer and transgender people who experience the end of a relationship may be more vulnerable at this time. Depending on ones support system and feeling of acceptance of who they are, will depend on whether there is an increased vulnerability.

Whether someone is GLBTQ or not, this is a time in life where support and love are essential. A person facing separation and divorce should not isolate themselves and be alone. Telling others and reaching out for support is critical. Engaging in things that make that person feel good, whether that’s getting into the outdoors, spending time with good friends, taking hot bathes or doing anything that feels good is important. This is a time to take one day at a time. It is a time to only focusing on the present day and what is needed for that day or even in that moment. It is important not to look into the future. From the current perspective the rest of life will look bleak. Since all things in life change, this too shall pass. Things do get better.

All loss requires time to heal. If the loss is too difficult to manage or if several months go by and there is little or no improvement, a person may consider speaking with a therapist. If the loss of a partner creates significant depression or anxiety after this time, or if substances or any other behavior that does not bring health and fulfillment becomes what is sought, it may be a good time to seek the assistance of a psychotherapist. There may be many reasons a loss can result in a person getting stuck. This does not mean it will be forever or that there is something seriously wrong with that person. Loss is a large storm and after it has struck rebuilding can take time, attention and assistance.

Everyone suffers loss. In this regard, no one is alone. People can recover and go on to lead rich and fulfilling lives again.