Four years is a significant investment of yourself into a relationship and a partner. Leaving this relationship must have been a big step to take. Whether you mourned the relationship or not depends on a few factors such as:
- The relationship was toxic
- Events that led to the decision to leave
- You both wanted it
- Excited to start afresh
- Your ability to process emotions.
Truth be told, We all process events in our lives differently, while some struggle following the demise of a relationship others seem to breeze through break ups. Breakups are never easy regardless of who broke up with whom.
Most people tend to deal with loss in ways that can be considered unhealthy- be it loss of a relationship, a person, a job, a lifestyles etc.
Loss is a terrible human experience that many find themselves inexperienced to cope with, it can even lead to psychological distress and lower sense of life satisfaction.
The loss of a relationship- any relationship- regardless of who cut off ties impacts an individual in many ways. Some may choose to rely on months of grieving- emotional outbursts, isolation, binge eating, over-sleeping. It can even have psychological affects such as anxiety, lower self esteem, grief, and depression.
Others deal with the breakup by emotionally shutting themselves down, they may be in denial of how they feel as a way to protect themselves from the tidal wave of emotions and heartache should these emotions be acknowledged.
To help you understand why is it that you are not reacting to the breakup as most people do- tears, snot, and all- let us take a look at what are the factors that have caused the breakup and how you can move forward from this particular challenge.
Consider the causes of your breakup
The relationship was toxic
Many people who leave a toxic and unhealthy relationship often find themselves relieved after having left that environment of abuse.
It is often with a lot of courage they take the step to move forward and away from a relationship that has repeated cycles of hurt and abuse and it is often the case that these people find themselves emotionally numb after the break up.
This numbness can be attested to the fact that they have spent years in the hand of an abuser who have disregarded their emotions and their pain.
As a defense mechanism, the survivors have chosen to defend themselves by dissociating themselves emotionally to separate themselves from unpleasant events, actions, or thoughts in the relationship.
This emotional seperation is a defense that the survivor carries with them even after the fact. It would take them some form of intervention for them to fully get in touch with their feelings and emotions related to the years of abuse and heal from it.
Events that lead to the decision to leave
Another reason that you are not mourning the break up inspite of your four year investment could be that you have already mourned the relationship the moment you realised that the relationship was dead.
Think back to when you first thought of breaking up, recollect the way you felt and the reason why. It could be because you found out that your partner was unfaithful or that you realized that your goals in life were different from theirs. Or it could be that your ex- partner did not meet your needs and wants inspite of communicating it to them.
Perhaps at that moment you had a sinking feeling in your gut, perhaps even shed a few tears- and perhaps this was you grieving over the loss of a future you thought you could have had with this person.
Grief is subjective. Just because you did not spend hours fretting over your decision to leave doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. Taking the step to put yourself first- sticking to your needs and wants- even when you find yourself in a relationship takes tremendous courage.
You both wanted it
Another reason that you do not find yourself crying could be that it was a decision that both of you wanted but it was only you who took the courage to say it out loud.
Some relationships, though both parties are aware that it is dead- that the love is gone- they choose to continue because it is convenient. It allows them to remain in the comfort zone they have known for years and takes away the challenge of having to be alone or put ones self out there again.
While both know that things are going south for them, human beings have a stubbornness to choose comfort over growth. It take courage to gracefully acknowledged an end and it takes courage to call it quits and often times, when one does throw off the shackles of relationship that is stuck- they may find themselves relieved or even happier.
Excitement to start afresh
Four years is along time, and in those four years one can lose parts of yourself- your goals, your drives, your interest, hobbies, and even likes and dislikes. This often leaves one unable to recognize ourselves.
This is a very common thing that happens in most long term relationships if efforts are not made to maintain healthy boundaries that have been communicated and agreed upon.
If you have been in such a relationship, leaving it can be exhilarating. Now you have limitless opportunities to explore parts of yourself you may have rejected, a new start to learn who you are again.
This excitement can take away feelings of sadness and over come grief leading to less tears and more hope.
One’s ability to process emotions
If you have gone through this list and is still unable to relate to any of these possible causes of why you are unable to cry. It could simply be that you are in shock and lack the necessary skill and knowledge to process your emotions.
No, nothing is wrong with you. It is okay if you are unable to process emotions- most people are not equipped to do so.
Regulating emotions is a skill that has to be taught to a child by a caregiver however most of us are unfortunate in the sense that we are not taught how to engage with our emotions and allow them space and time to be felt and acknowledged.
Having let go of a long term relationship, where you have invested time and effort, can be daunting. It is not just the mere act of breaking up but also letting go of dreams and hopes you might have had with this person.
That loss is great much like the loss of the person itself. So it can be a shock to your system, the fact that this person who has been there with you for the past years is no longer there.
This shock can cause a momentary inability to feel much of anything. Much like physical trauma, break ups can be traumatic too.
Having gone through the possible causes of your lack of emotional reaction towards the loss of the relationship. Let us focus on how you can move forward from this life experience.
It is important to remember that life experiences such as this can build you up to be more resilient and can lead to personal growth if you choose it.
Moving forward involves
- Acknowledging the relationship
It is crucial for you to acknowledge the relationship for what it was and how it has impacted you- the good and the bad. You might have to talk to a trusted friend or a therapist who can help you assess the relationship objectively.
Acknowledging what went wrong and what went right can be a learning step for you in the way you treat yourself and allow others to treat you.
- Acknowledging the emotions
This may require some help, to learn the skills of regulating emotions. You might have to engage in therapy where the therapist will teach you skills, or perhaps read books on emotions, and work on some work books.
The goal is to identify the way you feel and allow yourself to feel them.
- Taking care of yourself
Take a vacation, watch your favorite movies, move to a different city, or just spend time alone. Do whatever it is that you need right now.
The focus of this exercise is for you to tend to the needs that you or your partner may have neglected for a long time.
- Seeking out supportive systems
It maybe time for you to connect with friends that you have let go, or family you have pushed aside and let them know that you are in need of help.
Taking to friends you trust and love you unconditionally can help you make sense of yourself and allow you that care and love you need right now.
- Building healthy boundaries
Often times relationships fail because boundaries are not maintained and communicated. It will be helpful for you to understand your own boundaries and communicate them to yourself first, then proceed to communicate it to teh people around you.
Getting to know yourself is crucial to set up healthy boundaries and you can do this by seeking professional help if needed.
Frequently asked questions related to “You didn’t cry after leaving your relationship of 4 years- Here is why.”
Why didn’t I cry after a breakup?
You probably do not feel the need to cry at the moment because of two possible reasons; you haven’t fully processed the situation yet or you have already been mentally prepared for the break- up.
It will take some time as you process the situation for the tears to come or over time you may find youself missing them and their presence which may lead you to mourn and cry.
When you don’t feel anything after a break up?
If you feel nothing after a breakup, it doesn’t mean you’re abnormal or that you were not loyal to your partner. Feeling nothing or numb is your mind’s way of dealing with this enormous change in life situation.
How does the person breaking up feel?
After a break-up many people experience a range of difficult feelings, like sadness, anger or guilt. Guilt is often a natural response if you are the one who has broken up with the person. You might even feel relief which can be just as confusing.
When you feel good after a breakup?
When we let go of an unsatisfactory relationship, we also let go of the stress involved. Letting go of all that sadness, dissatisfaction, anxiety may leave you to feel freedom, hopefully, even happy.
How long did you cry after a breakup?
There is no estimate on how long does one cry after a break up. Each individual has their own capacity in dealing with their emotions. Some take weeks, days, even years.
What is important is that you feel them and move forward.