Over the years many people have contacted us after a relationship ended – sometimes it’s after a long-term marriage with children, other times it’s after an intense one or two year relationship. Endings are always hard. Often we feel betrayal, hurt, anger and grief. These feelings need to be felt and not just talked about. Endings of relationship often mean that our primary love object is gone. This loss often triggers earlier losses in our lives. There is a “line of pain” from our present life that leads to earlier points in our lives, as relationship endings reawaken memories of other relationships that ended. These could have been other serious relationships or the loss of close friendships or important family members. The line of pain goes right back to loss and abandonment that occurred in our childhoods.
The work of IFT is multi-faceted. We need to explore not only our early pain, but also our present day behavior to see if and how we contributed to the breakup. This self-examination is essential, but it can be hard, because it means we need to take responsibility for our own behavior. The truth is that we all take our unworked out issues into future relationships. So breakup is a good time to take stock – to see our part in the problems of the relationship. It is also a good time to explore choice of partners – to ask ourselves: 1. Was this a good choice for me? 2. What is it I need to look for in future relationships? 3. What did I learn about myself in the relationship?
I believe IFT offers a meaningful pathway for healing after a breakup, and gives us the self-awareness to make a healthier choice in a future relationship.