To the woman whose man broke her heart.
You know that relationships take two people to work, to be there for, to commit to, and to love one another. In the beginning, your relationship felt like this, you gained each other’s trust, opened up and began to love with all your heart, and at some point you fell deeply in love, with a person you’d have done anything for.
For some people this lasts and they have a long, healthy and happy relationship. For others, at some point things start to change. You notice that he is becoming less interested, he’s calling you less, there’s little acknowledgement and he shows less concern when you’re together, maybe he’s stopped asking if you are ok or how your day has been anymore, and when you’re with him you notice you feel lonely, you feel unimportant and unseen.
When these changes start to happen, so many women become confused, unsure of what is going on. They don’t think they’ve changed and so wonder why he has, often spending hours, if not days and weeks obsessing over what has actually happened to make him change so greatly towards her.
Many women try like mad to save their relationship, to try and turn back time back to how it was, and sadly they often blame themselves, wondering what they’ve done wrong? What they may have said? What they’ve done to make him change? And sometimes it’s hard to accept there isn’t a reason, it just is what it is…
Usually when this happens you’re many months or years into the relationship, you’re committed to him, you’ve given him so much, and so you struggle to believe that this may be the beginning of the end.
You feel like this because you invested in something you thought was worthwhile and you’ve invested your most important assets… your time, your emotions, your hopes and dreams, your future, your love.
It’s painful to think you may have wasted your time and your love, on someone who couldn’t return it or didn’t deserve it. It’s painful to accept that you won’t receive back the level of love you so freely gave. It’s painful to think that someone may not have loved you as much as you loved them, and its agony to think that they may not love you at all anymore.
Thinking about letting go can cause excruciating pain, and the impending sense of inevitable heartbreak can leave you hanging on, desperate to try and turn back time, to feel once again how he made you feel, only a few months earlier.
It’s truly heartbreaking to realise that someone doesn’t really want you anymore, to feel that level of rejection. You may even feel like it will break you.
The truth is that people hang onto people who don’t really want to be with them all of the time, and you’ll know if he doesn’t really want to be with you because his actions will tell you, despite what you otherwise tell yourself.
And it’s not surprising that people hang on because in letting go you learn some of the most painful things you’ll ever learn, and you’ll feel some of the most painful feelings you’ll ever feel, and because it’s a lived experience, its more than just a knowing, you have to feel your way through this shit to come out of the other side, and it hurts, it really fucking hurts.
You learn that;
- People may not always care about you the way you care about them.
- You can feel more lonely when you’re with someone who doesn’t ‘see you’ then you feel when you’re on your own.
- If someone really wanted to be with you then they would find a way.
- Despite you choosing them, they didn’t choose you.
- Love can hurt.
- and finally, no response is a response. If you reach out to him and he doesn’t respond, if he stops answering your questions, he is still telling you something. You’ll probably tell yourself all kinds of things, you’ll make up excuses on his behalf…. ‘they’re busy at work,’ ‘they have a lot on,’ ‘they’re not very well,’ ‘he doesn’t really understand how I feel because I’ve not explained myself properly so I should try another way to say what I’m feeling,’ etc.
But none of this is true. If someone wanted to respond to you then they would. By not responding they’re telling you that they don’t want to communicate with you. That for whatever reason, and it could be many, they haven’t got the time or the inclination to do so. They’re showing you that they don’t care enough to put the time or effort into your relationship.
It may be an old saying but I think it stands true today, and it is this……. don’t make someone your priority who isn’t willing to make you theirs. If someone shows you that they don’t care, believe them!
The only way to move on and to be with someone in the future who can and does love you is to let this person go.
And I know how hard this can be. I know heartbreak, I know it resonates physically, a deep pain in your chest that feels as if someone is sticking a knife into you. A pain that takes your breath away and leaves you bent over the kitchen sink in floods of tears. A sinking in your stomach, heavy legs that drag you along as you attempt to walk, realising your bounce has gone, the bounce you allowed them to put there. A pain that can literally bring you to your knees.
Your heart is breaking and you’re not sure if you’ll ever be ok again, let alone trust anyone or allow yourself to feel love again.
It’s fucking awful.
So a good place to start is to just start where you are.
It takes time to fall out of love with someone, and the time needed varies from person to person.
When we fall in love we often lose parts of ourselves in the process, giving so much to the other, that we forget about us. Falling out of love, I’ve learned, is a new opportunity to start to find those parts again, to untangle those parts of us that become tangled with the other, and most importantly, to begin to love ourselves again, all parts of us.
If you can get to this stage, then your journey of healing has begun. It won’t be easy but you will get there.
You’ll slowly realise that it wasn’t your fault. You’ll realise that they have lost more than you, because you have lost someone who didn’t fully love you, but they have lost someone who did love them. You’ll realise that you have learned a lot, especially what you are worth and what you will and won’t settle for when you meet someone new.
You’ll learn that life goes on and you can survive such trauma and you will be ok. You’ll learn that you can’t find anyone new while you’re hanging on to someone else.
But a word of caution. Please, please, please realise that these lessons are because of your hard work, they are NOT a ‘gift’ from him.
So many women these days talk about how they are thankful to the person, to the man who hurt them. They talk about how this man has helped them to learn valuable lessons about themselves, lessons they would never have otherwise learned.
I too have been guilty of this. I too, which I still feel embarrassed about, have told a man I’m thankful he treated me the way he did as it made me realise my worth.
But, this is wrong. It is so so wrong. There isn’t a single man on this planet who is entitled to treat you like shit, who is entitled to hurt you, not one.
The reason we tell ourselves this is a form of self-protection. We find a reason to try and dampen the pain, as if we tell ourselves that the man we love gave us something positive then it leaves less room to acknowledge the fact they really fucking hurt us.
It leaves less room to acknowledge that this man who we gave our heart to, and whose heart we thought we had, would treat us like shit, and so we tell ourselves we are thankful, because we know deep down that those feelings, the feelings of the one person you never thought would actually hurt hurting you, can feel too much to bear.
I know this true because the lessons we tell ourselves we learn from someone breaking our heart, are the same lessons we can learn when someone really loves us too.
When the right person loves you in the right way, when that person loves you properly, in the way you deserve, then you also realise your worth and what you are or are not prepared to settle for.
The man who broke your heart doesn’t deserve to have any praise for doing so. He doesn’t deserve any credit for helping to fix you, or for you putting yourself back together……YOU DO, so own that, because that’s on you.
And I’m not saying “fuck him,” because there will be times spent with him that you remember in the future that you are grateful for and that you can look back on and smile about, this isn’t coming from a place of anger….
…but know that there will be times when you do feel angry, so very angry with him and saying “fuck him” or whatever is ok, if it helps then go for it and let it out, scream if you need too….
…and you may swing between anger and telling yourself that you’re ‘not really bothered anymore’ or that you ‘don’t really care,’ when you know you do and you’ll want him to know your pain, and that’s ok, all feelings are valid…
…But if you need to talk, if you need to let this anger and all the other emotions you are feeling out, and at some point you most certainly will, then talk to your family and friends, or even a professional, and talk as much as you need to but don’t talk to him, as your words will often fall on deaf ears and will only feed the rejection you already feel.
And remember this;
You are worthy of being loved, of being cared for, being listened to and treated with respect. You don’t need lessons from a negative experience with anyone to validate that.
Remember that all the things you learn about yourself on your journey of overcoming a broken heart are a result of your own commitment to healing, to moving on. It was you who put the work into that, you discovered what your feelings meant. Own that. Don’t give that away.
And be proud, be thankfu that you dared to love. That you dared to give someone your heart. That you dared to be a part of something you thought was special and would last. That you dared to be brave.
You’ll struggle, of
And at the time it may not feel like it, but having your heart broken can lead to it becoming more open to receiving love from the right person.
And one day when you least expect it you’ll wake up and you’ll realise that you feel different. It won’t happen overnight. And quite often you’ll notice that it doesn’t actually feel like a big deal anymore but you simply feel lighter, that something has shifted.
You’ll notice that, once again, or maybe for the first time, that you believe in yourself and that the next person you fall in love with will be one hell of a lucky man.
And please don’t feel any shame or embarrassment for how you may have responded, or tried to hang on to him. You’re only human and love is such a powerful emotion. Remember that you won’t be the first and you won’t be the last, because love is blind, and hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Remember that one of the main reasons women allow themselves to be treated badly is because they accept the level of love they think they deserve. So make a promise to yourself now, that never again will you ever accept anything less than you truly deserve, and you do deserve to be loved… fully, openly, passionately and honestly… you really do.
And lastly know that one of the bravest things a person can do after having their heart broken is to find the courage to love again. I hope you get there.
NB the photo is of me when I was in Rome in July 2018 and should have been having a great time but here I am looking sad and lost, trying to contemplate life with a broken heart. Today’s picture would be different ☺️