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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    The Dark Emotional Space of Being Left for Children

    For those who find themselves in the situation where their partner leaves them for his/her children, a seemingly endless hollow is created that comes crashing in like a once-aveaging wave and can feel downright devastating. It is understandable for anyone in this situation to feel a sense of brokenness, pain, confusion and even anger. This article is meant to provide solace and perhaps healing.

    As already mentioned, there are intense and quite complicated emotions when a partner leaves one to be with their children. Initially, it could come as shock, followed by several stages of denial, anger, longing and regret. It can truly feel like the heart has been ripped from the chest and one has been thrust aside and forgotten. There is no sugar-coating it; it is an enormous loss.

    Perhaps the most difficult stage for those who were left for children is to work through the feelings of sadness and hurt. It is easy to allow ourselves to be lost in a stormy sea of these feelings. We become isolated and isolated emotions can cause us to feel both overwhelmed and numb; living not quite alive and yet still broken. Even though we think we want to sink into the darkness, it’s important to give ourselves permission to feel our emotions and safely release them. Releasing reactions such as fear and hurt–whether through writing, journaling, or talking with a trusted friend— may help in working through emotions in a healthy manner.

    It can be all too easy to stay stuck in the “blame bubble.” Shifting our focus to trusting in the power of love can sometimes redirect us away from negative thought patterns. Taking care of oneself and engaging in activities that give meaning to our days can also be comforting. Even if watching a film, playing an instrument, or cooking dinner feels completely mundane, it can provide moments of solace, a distraction from painful feelings, and demonstrate how life simply carries on in whatever form it takes.

    Moving forward sometimes requires a moment to both forgive and seek forgiveness. It is natural to experience resentful, angry thoughts and its sometimes helpful to attempt to make peace with the situation. Peace-making is a multi-faceted process, but crucial for it can facilitate a path to compassionate understanding. Additionally, absolving current and former relationships can pave a road to a brighter future and be healing.

    The journey of being left for one's children might be wrought with surprises and at times, hurdles and roadblocks. Yet, allowing time to grieve and supporting one another during these dark days helps bring moments of clarity, understanding, and self-love back into focus. It might even lead one out of the bleak depths they find themselves in and on to a journey of light and warmth.

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