Losing a partner at any point in the relationship can be a traumatizing experience. This is because we begin our lives being attached to our parents, who hopefully provide a semblance of love and security that make us feel like the world is a caring and safe place. Some children don’t receive this kind of nurturing, but they might believe they can find it in their significant other. This is not pie-in-the-sky thinking; our romantic partnerships are actually continuations of the attachment we felt as children to our parents. Even near the beginning of the relationship we look to our partners to fulfil many of the roles a parent might fulfil, and this is appropriate. Ideally, our partners show us love in a way we feel cared for, they support us when the chips are down, and they are a space of safety we can call home.
From the beginning of the relationship we all have a small sliver of hope that we might find a safe space in our partner. This is why even early relationship loss feels so devastating and sometimes like the end of the world. This is an experience no one should weather alone, and being in therapy gives you a space to visit and re-visit elements of the relationship you might not have understood, cry as much as you need to cry, and feel seen and heard in a way you need to heal. Don’t do this alone.