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5 Things You Need to Tell Yourself After a Painful Breakup

Girl on a swing

When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” ~Barney Stinson

Have you ever experienced a breakup or divorce but still loved the other person you were saying goodbye to?

I met my ex-girlfriend on a rooftop in Istanbul. I had just sold everything I owned to travel the world, and she was a tour leader in Asia.

She was everything I had been searching for: beautiful, confident, and funny. I followed her to India and China. She followed me to Australia. When the money and visas ran out, we moved back to Canada, found an apartment, got a cat, and shared a strong, healthy relationship for over five years.

And then, just like that, it was over.

There was no huge fight, yelling, or name-calling. It was just an honest discussion about the direction we saw ourselves going into the future. Unfortunately, our visions didn’t align. So we had to ask the tough questions:

Do we stick it out and hope that things fall into place?

Or do we part ways?

We chose the latter, and it was one of the hardest decisions either of us had ever made.

What followed was a month of living in the same apartment until we settled logistics like finding a new place to live, selling the car, and deciding who would keep the cat. We slept in separate beds. We talked, cooked, and went out to our favorite restaurants. We still loved each other but that only served to make our decision even tougher.

I struggled a lot. I couldn’t bring myself to write or work on my business. I shut down. I drank and smoked too much. I cried in the shower. I second-guessed our decision constantly.

But we stuck with it. I figured I had two choices: stay sad and depressed or put my head down and start moving forward. I chose to move forward. And here’s what I told myself to help get me going in the right direction.

Time Doesn’t Heal

“I realized, it is not the time that heals, but what we do within that time that creates positive change.” ~Diane Dettman

During my breakup, friends and family loved to throw out the often used cliche “Don’t worry, time heals.”

But guess what? Time doesn’t heal. It’s only an excuse people use to justify sitting around in their pajamas watching Netflix and eating ice cream out of the bucket with a side of red wine.

Sure, if you wait long enough, perhaps time will heal. But how much of your life are you willing to sacrifice to get there? Six months? A year? Ten years?

We have one precious life on this little blue planet, with no guarantees of an afterlife. It’s a waste to believe that time will magically heal our sorrows.

It’s easy to stay stuck in sadness and depression; it’s hard to move on from someone we still love. But you have to do it. You have to take action because life isn’t going to wait for you.

Get rid of the notion that time will heal because it’s not going to help you get where you need to go. Instead, do something. Get out of your house and meet new people. Take up a hobby you’ve been putting off. Train for a marathon. Start doing yoga. Do anything. Just don’t wait for time to heal your pain.

Love Isn’t Always Enough

Friends and family couldn’t wrap their heads around my breakup. “If you still love each other, can’t you make it work?” they would ask.

We grow up with a belief that love can overcome any obstacle. I blame the likes of Harry and Sally, Edward and Vivian, and Sam and Annie. Romantic movies always end happily because love conquers all.

But real life isn’t so simple.

My ex and I still love each other, but we both understand it’s not enough. There were fundamental things about our visions of the future that didn’t line up. Take having children, for example. If one person wants kids and the other doesn’t, that is a fundamental difference that cannot be changed. Sure, nobody knows how the future will pan out, but it’s not fair to “settle” for the sake of love. Otherwise, there will be regret and resentment later on in the relationship.

Things like the decision of having children, the city you want to live in, or your core values are fundamental parts of a relationship. If the fundamentals don’t align the relationship could be doomed, and you could be delaying the inevitable until one day you really do have a yelling match and break up in anger.

My ex and I decided that we didn’t want to get to that point even though we still loved each other. We ended our relationship amiably before resentment and regret reared their ugly heads.

So remember: love is wonderful, beautiful, and fulfilling. But it’s not always enough.

Grieve, But Not Too Much

It’s important to grieve our losses. Whether it’s the loss of a relationship, loved one, job, or whatever, we need to take time to be sad. We need to get in touch with our feelings and understand what we’re feeling. Labeling and being aware of our feelings is imperative in every area of life. So when you’re sad, be sad.

Like I said earlier, I grieved in an unhealthy way. But at the time it felt good to numb the pain. I recognized what I was doing. I knew it wasn’t the best way. Still, I did it.

And I’m happy I did. After a month of unhealthy grieving I was done with it. My productivity hit rock-bottom and I couldn’t stand it anymore.

There are many ways to deal with grief.

For me, I needed to start creating and writing again. I needed to travel, explore, and have adventures. I needed to connect with other people who had similar experiences to help me realize that I wasn’t alone in my pain.

So go ahead. Grieve.

Just don’t do it for too long or you might find yourself grieving for a long, long time.

Don’t Do It All On Your Own

A friend of mine sent me a blunt text message:

“Stop drinking wine, sobbing with your ex, and move on with your life. You have a goal. Now get off your ass and make it happen.”

Bang! We all need friends like that from time to time. We can’t do it all on our own, no matter who we are or who we’ve been in the past.

My friend reminded me of the importance of keeping my friends and family close. Sometimes in relationships we become so enamored in our romantic partners that we neglect our relationships with friends and family.

But when a relationship with a lover ends, who is going to be there to catch you when you fall? Who’s going to give you a listening ear, shoulder to cry on, or tough love?

We can’t get through loss by ourselves. We need others to prop us up and push us forward.

Keep your friends and family close, all the time, because some day you will need their love.

No Matter What, It Was Not a Waste of Time

It’s too easy to look back on a “failed” relationship as a waste. “Well, there goes five years of my life!” If you’re getting out of a long-term relationship it’s something that crosses your mind.

But think back on the person you were when you first got into your relationship compared to the person you are today. Chances are you’re a different person, for the better. You’ve lived, loved, and most importantly, learned.

Don’t look at it with the mindset that you have to start over again. You’re not starting over because you’ve grown, matured, and become a better person during your relationship.

For me, I learned how to communicate better—skills that will continue to serve me moving forward. I learned to speak French, lived in a new city, and made a career transition. I met awesome people. I took swing dancing lessons and learned about French Canadian culture. All these things happened because of my ex-girlfriend.

It’s easy to look back on a broken relationship as a waste of time, but when you really start to think about it you’ll realize that it’s anything but a waste.

If you’ve recently experience a painful breakup or divorce, I’m sorry. I feel your pain. I know what you’re going through isn’t easy.

Spend time reflecting and getting in touch with your feelings. Grieve. Be sad. Cry. Talk about it. Cry some more.

Then move on.

Sounds over-simplified, I know. But ultimately, being stuck in a rut is a choice.

If your choice is to move forward I hope you do so with more confidence, purpose, and authenticity. I hope you’re able to tell yourself some of the things I’ve mentioned above.

Live. Thrive. Be awesome.

Life is short so make the best of it.

About Eric Ibey

Eric Ibey is a Breakup Coach and member of the International Coach Federation. He's on a mission to help people move on from tough breakups and find more confidence, happiness, and peace faster than they imagined possible. Join his Free 3-Week Breakup Challenge TODAY and start reframing your breakup into an opportunity for self-growth.

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  • Barnini

    Wow! Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful piece. I know how difficult this must have been for you, but I am glad you could make it to the other side.

  • uttam sharma

    Listen motivational breakup songs like “cry me a river”

  • Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • A little Justin Timberlake is always a good thing!

  • Ari Maayan

    Thank you Eric!!! This is a valuable piece. Write more!!!!!

  • What a nice thing to say! Thanks, Ari! I appreciate the encouragement. Have a great day!

  • Eric,

    What are your thoughts about filling your newfound time with the things you missed out on?

    As an example, when my ex and I ended things many moons ago, I found comfort in the gym. It was something that I always wanted to do, but never had the time. As soon as it ended, my time opened up and, as they say, the rest is history.

    It proved to be invaluable because:

    1) It filled my time (less time for grieving)
    2) It allowed me to work on myself

  • Hi Joel,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I remember when my ex and I were having the “break-up conversation” we both thought we were holding each other back in some way. Today, both of us are traveling solo in different countries because that’s something we missed. You found comfort in the gym and I’m finding comfort on the open road with a pack on my back. The key is to fill your newfound time with healthy activities that help you move forward and work on yourself, both mentally and physically.

    Thanks so much for the comment!

    Take care,
    Eric

  • Rob Hughes

    Thanks Eric, I really needed this right now, it was a great deal more helpful than the cliches and typical advice others have offered.

  • Hi, Rob. It’s my pleasure. I’m happy you found it helpful. My goal was to share something different and your comment makes me feel like I succeeded, so thanks for that!

    Have a great day!
    Eric

  • frida

    I somewhat disagree with this post…I think that time cannot always heal all wounds, but our society’s preoccupation with “not feeling sorry for ourselves” or not grieving for “too long” puts unnecessary pressure on those of us who are dealing with grief and loss. Everyone heals in their own way at their own pace, and I’m getting tired of people telling me to start new hobbies and meet new people and do all of these things externally, when all I want to do is lay in bed. I’m exhausted and am tired of feeling guilty for being exhausted and depressed.
    As far as I’m concerned, fake-it-till-you-make-it and “be pro-active” advice for those in the throws of despair is not helpful at all. Yes life is a result of our choices, but compassion for ourselves and each other goes a much longer way than forcing ourselves out of our “self-imposed ruts”.

  • Hi Frida,

    I couldn’t agree with you more regarding the “fake it til you make it” advice out there. I never put a time limit for grieving in my post because everyone heals at a different pace. I was trying to point out that we need to be aware if we’re grieving too long in an unhealthy way.

    Compassion for ourselves is always key, no matter if we’re experiencing a loss or not. If you need to lay in bed, go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to stop if that’s what your emotions are calling for. But in my personal experience, at a certain point lying in bed doesn’t make me feel better and a gentle push from a friend or loved on is what I need to get back to being “me.”

    Thanks for your comment and your point of view!
    Eric

  • Jonathan D

    Great advice… it’s perfect timing Eric. I have just started this journey to get to know who I am again and feel that this post is just what I needed to reinforce this struggle. I was a beaten dog for a while and I’m sure I’ll have my days but doing these things has opened my eyes to a new exciting future. Awesome post man. On a side note, I read your blog and checked out your website. It’s refreshing to get perspective from someone who is living this and their own challenges. Keep it up.

  • Hi Jonathan. Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m glad the timing of this post worked out for you. Break-ups can be really hard. It is a struggle and there will no doubt be tough days ahead, but it sounds like your head is in a good place. I still have my own struggles but it helps to know that there are other people like you fighting the same battle and trying to approach it with positivity and optimism. I appreciate you sharing a bit of your story with me.

    Good luck to you and thanks for checking out my website!

    Take care,
    Eric

  • Angeli

    I just stumbled upon this article at the perfect time. Thank you for the inspiring words!

    Breakups are hard, but I believe that after going through it, we just end up as stronger, wiser, and better people. Besides, there are people who are going through worse things. I believe that despite everything, there is still so much to be thankful for.

    All the best 🙂

  • Thanks for your comment, Angeli!

    You’re right. After a break-up, as with any difficult time in life, we do end up being stronger, wiser, and better for it. Even though these things are hard to see at the time, they become easier to recognize as time passes.

    There are always people going through worse things, I agree. But, in my opinion, that doesn’t mean we should minimize our own negative feelings. Like one of the people commented below, it’s important to show ourselves compassion and acknowledge our emotions–no matter what anyone else is going through.

    Take care,
    Eric

  • Khiem

    I totally agreed with you in 2 things. First, time itself does not heal. Secondly, most time one do become stronger and better after a relationship failed, it is not total loss. I was divorced 2 years ago after 12 years of marriage. It was painful and I kept begging my ex-husband not to go ahead, he told me, it’s ok, time will heal! It just make me more upset at that point of time. It’s so easy to say that. Then I realised like you have also mentioned, it is how you use this time to heal. I didn’t take my time to grieve, I just jump into sorting out our property and making sure the kids are not affected much by this event. Then after the first year, I felt resentment then i read somewhere that I should grieve which I decided to let myself grieve properly. Just don’t try to help or make everyone else happy when you are not. So I take care of myself. Into my second year, this year, i suddenly feel relieved. Peaceful. Then I met someone, we were crazy in love for 4 months but I felt something was amiss in this relationship. He was too busy and I have kids to take care of, he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to settle down either so i decided to call it quit. I am still sad and miss him but from this brief 4 months, he made me realised I am a good cook. I can blog and now I am in the process of realising what I am good with.

  • Hi Khiem,

    Thanks for sharing all that. You inspire me. You have moved on from a 12 year marriage, through a new relationship, and you’re currently pursuing something you’re good at and passionate about. That’s awesome!

    I wish you the best of luck!
    Eric

  • vinod kumar

    Thankyou for the timely advice. I am going through the similar phase.I have understand that there is much more to life than worrying thoughout the life.Once again thanks for your timely help. I believe that God has showed this article at the right time

  • Hii Eric,
    I would like to say this is your very very deep article about feel, emotion,love, understanding , affection, Even deadly I like it . Keep Posting, I’m waiting for your next post.

  • sian e lewis

    I’m very saddened by this post. Saddened by the fact that two people can love each other yet choose to ‘move on’ I hope it all works out

  • You are most welcome! Good luck with your journey.

  • Thanks for your kind words!

  • Hi Sian,

    Don’t be sad. I’m happy that love still exists, albeit in a very different way. But right now isn’t the right time for us to be together. I’m four months removed from my break-up and I still believe we made the correct and mature decision. Love is beautiful and sometimes it can overcome big obstacles. But we can’t rely on it for everything.

    Thanks for your well-wishes,
    Eric

  • E. Michael

    Thank you Eric….Tears was rolling down my cheek while reading your article, I am currently going through a divorce with my wife of 8yrs. We had two wonderful daughters who are my pride and the thought of them really breaks my heart.

    We have been separated for a year 6 months before the decision to divorce, my only pain is the fact that I made the decision late, when regret & resentment have reared their ugly head.

    I was depressed and almost got stuck until I decided to fix my life… From Nigeria, I travelled to South Africa where I met awesome people and made a lot of new friends, it changed my perspective and brought light into my life.

    I am on a tourist visit to the United States as I write this,I found love in exercising and had to set goal to keep fit, which has kept my mind off the entire break up.

  • I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through a divorce. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have children involved. My heart goes out to you.

    I hope the light continues to come into your life. Good luck and thank you for sharing your story!

    Eric

  • RT

    Dear Eric I agree with many of your points in your story and the biggest being just because you love each other it does not mean you are right for each other. I am separated after 28 years of marriage and can honestly say, it was not because we did not love each other. It took me to have a burn out after 22 years of marriage to realize my marriage had been based on my spouse’s happiness and life and not mine. My life was owned and controlled and the expectation was that’s how it was going to be.
    It took me 6 years trying to work on our problems,(alone and together) but nothing changed and that’s when I made the decision my life was too important to continue giving it away.
    Since separating friends chose to not keep in contact and my family expressed it was my own problem.
    So it’s been very hard doing it alone and carrying the pain of what has happened to my life. But knowing that I have given myself the chance to be happy again and owning my life, has given me the strength and hope that things will eventually become better. I believe we all deserve to be happy and be with the right person at any age.
    Good luck.

  • Dear RT,

    Thanks for sharing that. It sounds like a tough situation you endured. I can’t imagine losing my relationship AND friends and family because they didn’t necessarily agree with my decision. One thing I know–we can’t do it completely on our own. It’s important to have people in our lives who we can feel comfortable to express our feelings to without judgment. If you ever need to chat/vent/etc, feel free to send me an email. I’m happy to listen.

    Take care,
    Eric

  • Unfortunayely Eric, for many moving on is much much harder tban it was for you. Some of us have ZERO family and our few friends have moved to another country over the years. Im 42, female and living in the Caribbean… There is no Canada and a cat for me. My partner of 6 years broke off with me a month ago. I am paralyzed with fear for my health, my wellbeing, my sanity, and my future. I have a 5 year old who i am raising completely on my own. There is no one . No aunt, no uncles, no grandparents . NO ONE. On top of it all I am basically bankrupt. I live on fumes so to speak, barely able to find food from one day to the next because 85% of my salary goes to debt, alot of which I cannot even service. My job is extremely demanding and I’m barely functional at work. I dont have the option of laying down and dying – which is what i want to do – because without me, my child would perish/suffer. There is no moving to another city and starting over in this godforsaken backwater country. There are no suicide helplines etc. If you want to see a counsellor you pay. I cannot pay for anything. How does one ‘move on’ from this??

  • Hi FeeFee,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a tough time. I wish I could tell you how to move on, but I can’t. I wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all better for you, but I can’t do that, either. What I can do is be an ear for you to listen to. I’d be happy to chat with you over Skype and listen. That’s all I can do. But sometimes, someone to listen to us can be a big help. I don’t know if I’ll be the right person to help you but I’ll do whatever I can to help you find the resources and direction you need to start moving forward with your life.

    I know you’re strong because it takes guts to write the comment you left. And I know you have a reason to live because your 5 year old probably needs you more than ever. I don’t want to sound condescending because I can’t even imagine being in your shoes, but I believe in you. I believe you can get through this. And I believe you deserve to be happy.

    Like I said, if you’d like to chat further, please contact me through my website.

    Best,
    Eric

  • Thanks for caring enough to respond, and quickly. Appreciate it. I will contact you this week.

  • cherylzie

    how about when the breakup is long distance? i just broke up with my long distance ex via skype and it hurts like hell. i know it’s “supposed” to be easier since they are not physically here but the times we spent together that were fleeting felt so much more intense since we knew we only had limited time to be with each other since we had to fly back home. 🙁

  • I think the advice in my post can relate to any sort of breakup. But, one thing I would add is that you shouldn’t try to minimize your feelings of sadness and hurt just because it’s “supposed” to be easier. Long distance or not, breakups do hurt like hell. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should have an easier time “getting over it” just because it was a long distance. Be aware of your feelings and accept them for what they are.

    I wish you the best,
    Eric

  • Kasia

    I’m dealing with a breakup right now. The number one thing that is
    helping me is letting my emotions wash over me. Nothing wrong with being
    sad. Don’t think you’re different or your sadness is not normal. But
    don’t dwell. Let the sadness come and go and know it’s ok. Know that it
    is a cycle of up and down. So when I hit a wave of sadness I tell myself
    “I am sad, but soon I will be happy again”. Acknowledge. Don’t Dwell.
    Let it pass.
    🙂
    It’s hard. I have adjustment disorder. To let time pass I read articles on Tinybuddha 🙂

  • RT

    Thank you so much Eric for your words of support and kindness. And yes I totally agree. Life is about having loving,caring and supportive people around you. Unfortunately that’s what I thought I had and even more so because of who I was. Always giving and being there for everyone all my life. And I found out when I needed help.
    But life goes own and I will never give up on my happiness or life.
    I have started to branch out and make new friends and hope one day to meet Mr Right (when I am ready) and be surrounded by wonderful and caring people who do honestly care about me. Thank you so much for offering to keep in touch if I need to speak to someone. I am very grateful for your kindness. Thank you.

  • Hi Kasia,

    I love what you said: “Acknowledge. Don’t Dwell. Let it pass.” You’re right, there is nothing wrong with being sad. When we acknowledge our emotions instead of hiding them or burying them we can begin to move forward.

    Thanks for your comment!
    Eric

  • Eat A Peach

    This is an excellent article. Ruminating on the break up is a tragic way to waste your life. I wasted most of spring, summer and some of fall absolutely smashed over a break up that involved cheating and addiction on his part. I fell into the rabbit hole of researching, analyzing and grieving over this love. Aside from the fact that he wasn’t, what an incredible waste of time.

    I could have learned another language, read all the Classics or worked an extra job to feather my nest with extra money.

    It IS sad when we lose something we loved and valued. But I have found the only way to get past it is ACTION! Immediate, bold and big.

    Another *life changing* tip is to act….AS IF. I act as if I am not sad…the old fake it until you make it. It has helped me more than stewing in the past. Too much analysis leads to paralysis.

    Why don’t things work out….when you love someone so much that the pain of it makes you gasp for air? It is just life. We cannot control a hummingbird…let alone another person.

    Now is the time for guts. I am planning a trip to Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay. I am decluttering. I am writing. I am cooking. I am not staring at the ceiling anymore crying.

    It is sad? You better believe it. Am I going to let this experience ruin the rest of my short life? No way.

  • Eat A Peach

    FeeFee, there is also free counseling online with a website called:
    Seven Cups of Tea. It is completely free. You may have to work a bit to find a good counselor, or listener, but some are very good.

    I completely understand….I was non functional after my break up. Is there anyway you could join a singles group? Like meet ups?

    Being with other people is amazingly therapeutic. It takes us out of the tunnel vision that the other person is a demi god and we are nothing without them, which is an illusion.

    I am sorry you are in such pain.

  • Eat A Peach

    Frida,
    I get it completely. You do have to grieve. It is a death. With that being said, when we are in the abyss….it is easier to act your way into thinking differently…than to think your way into acting differently.

    Does that make sense? It is not being fake, so much as pushing that needle that is stuck on the record player. Our brains can trick us into stewing in grief when it would be better to move on.

    When you act, your brain will follow. It will make you feel better if you can even “fake” happiness. I know that sounds odd, but it really works. And climbing out of the abyss is what will give you JOY again.

  • Awesome! Your positive, action-oriented attitude is inspirational! Good for you and thanks for leaving such a great comment.

  • Rima

    That is what i told myself after getting over my first break up, and wanted to prevent myself when another break up would occur. but you know what? i grieved even more with this second break up and forgot (actually could not stick to these lessons, ), i was more down than I have ever been in my life (it was seven years ago, and I am still not over it).

  • Hi Rima,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty moving on from your last relationship. I guess my first question for you would be, what are you holding onto, or not letting go of, that is preventing you from moving on?

    Eric

  • Rima

    This was to tell you that when it occurs to you, you have no time and no gut to apply some trick in order to suffer less. The suffering is always there, and people are different, there are those who recover in short time, and those whose need more time for recovering.
    To answer your question, my long recovery is especially due to my isolation, and not dealing in time with depression, lack of self love. Well, these things that I think prevented me from recovering.

  • Hi Rima,

    I agree with you: there are no tricks to help you suffer less. Recovery is a process and it does take different amounts of time for each person. I wish you all the best and I hope you can find the self-love you need to help you move forward.

    Best,
    Eric

  • Rima

    Hi Eric,
    Sorry for the informal way, (did not even say hi or did a closing to the comment).
    Thanks for your compassion.
    with regards,
    Rima

  • Ilana Orea

    Hi Eric-

    This was beautifully put. I broke up with my husband of 12 years in January of this year. it’s been quite the process but realizing that love isn’t enough to keep a relationship going was the hardest part. Our song was “Love Will Keep Us Together” which perhaps, looking back on it, that was the jinx. Since the reality of a long term relationship is that it starts with love as a foundation, but so much more needs to go into the framing of the house (friendship, shared goals, mutual respect). Good luck in your own journey of healing after leaving a loving relationship – the hardest part is the love that you still share with your ex, they will probably always be part of your life, since finding people that we love and love us is a rare and wonderful thing in this world.

    Sending lots of love and light your way
    ilana

  • That was a very inspiring and liberating article on how to move on from hard ending relationships. Thank you for letting me know I’m on the right track with grieving process + healing by looking at things by myself and with people closest to me.

  • Hi Ilana,

    Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I liked the metaphor of “framing the house with friendship, shared goals, and mutual respect.” It’s so true and a must requirement for any relationship to stand the test of time.

    Sending love and light back your way as well.
    Eric

  • Hi Gem,

    Glad to hear my article was inspiring and liberating for you. It’s so nice to hear that my words let you know that you’re on the right track.

    I wish you all the best!
    Eric

  • Moshy

    you both have so much courage! it’s beautiful really…

  • Shirley Brown

    Eric, I am so pleased that someone of your age understands the processes everyone of us need to go through after life hands us a really big challange. I am just coming to this understanding after finally leaving a relationship with someone that spanned over 52 years. Coming from the 40’s and raised in the 50’s, I was very much like most of women my age. We were taught that our place was behind a man and our job was to keep the family togather, no matter what. Oh, and also that love conquers all. It was fun when we were kids.Then the children came and the story changed. But I believed it was my job was to keep it all together, no matter whether it was good for me personnally or not. And to be honest, I just adored him.

    Finally I could not go any longer and asked for the divorce when the children went off on their own path. We were seperated for 4 years beofre I even spoke to him. I was not at my best so I invited him back. Then I was involed in a bad MVA and dealing with pain, which throws me into depression. I was not thinking clearly and wanted someone to care of me. So we moved back in together. That lasted about 5 years then it just went dowhill. As of October 2nd I declared my intedependence.

    The first month was my grieving time. I let it all out. I screamed in anger, shouted “Why me” at the world, anf cried and cried. Ah. I also had been going to groups and also saw a counselor.

    The second month and really into this mnth has been the growing period. I am reading, journaling and meditating daily. One of the best books Given to me by one of the counselors is The Happiness Trap. Wow. I gues its true, When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

    Next month is going to be my Glow part. One of reasons I left was because I wanted to explore the usa. I now live in a RV. Im going from my home in the NW to California to dry out and have fun at the senior parks. I am now living my dream, not his.

    So, I may just put all this into a book, Grieve, Grow, and then Glow.
    Happy trails, shirl

  • That’s nice of you to say, Moshy. Thank you!

  • Hi Shirley,

    You totally inspire me. Thanks so much for being open with your story. From now on, when people in their 30s tell me it’s too late for them to change their lives I’m going to use you as an example!

    Congratulations on declaring your independence and living your dream. Enjoy your “Glow” time!

    Happy travels,
    Eric

  • Julie Alfonso

    How do you move forward when you were so sure you’d be moving forward with the person who let you go? I’m constantly asking why/how they don’t see how great we could’ve been.. I wanted us to be great. I can’t let that go. I’m having a really hard time. He’s a very logical person and so am I, but for the first time in my life my emotions are winning and I don’t want to let him go. I can’t stop thinking we’d be great if we both put effort, but he says it’s not about effort…that we’re missing fundamental pillars of a solid relationship. I can’t understand why he’s quitting or turning his back on something I see as an opportunity of a lifetime…I feel like I’m on one side of a glass wall and I can see him and I’m yelling and banging on the wall, but he can’t see me at all. I’m very heartbroken right now.

  • Hi Julie,

    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time right now. I’m not sure if I can offer anything that will help, but I will say this: We can’t control the way other people feel; we can only control ourselves. When a partner feels that our relationship is missing fundamental pillars we have to accept that. Acceptance isn’t easy, I know. But the way I see it, we have two choices: we can stay stuck in the past while our ex moves on or we can choose to move forward with a new purpose. That new purpose might be hard to see at the moment, but eventually I hope you can see this as an opportunity – a turning point in your life – that you’ll look back on one day as a positive, learning experience.

    Best of luck on your journey. I wish you well.

    Eric