If you’ve ever gone through a breakup you know how painful it can be. Not only did you lose someone you opened up to emotionally, but the habits and routines you shared together changed. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, you realized the hopes, dreams, and expectations you had about your future won’t come to be. Talk about heartbreaking!
I don’t know about you, but after my breakups, I never wanted to get out of bed. I either lost my appetite or ate everything in sight (and then some). I’d play sad love songs that reminded me of my ex and spend hours and hours obsessing about what went wrong.
Maybe you deal with breakups differently. I have friends who get so mad that they feel it physically. Some of them put on a happy face and pretend they are fine. Others try to psychologically analyze themselves and their ex. Each person experiences and reacts to a breakup in their own way.
Maybe you reached out to talk to a friend or family member but felt even more alone after. Why? Because as a society we haven’t been taught how to help people with broken hearts. We've been taught that when anyone is sad they need to be fixed, that an intellectual idea can cure a broken heart, that normal feelings of grief are not appropriate, that romantic relationships are replaceable or that time heals all wounds. These ideas couldn’t be more wrong.
In fact, did you know that only 19 of the 141 things a person might hear after a loss are helpful?
Here are some of the unhelpful statements you might hear after a breakup or divorce:
- Get over it
- Don’t feel bad
- There are other fish in the sea
- It was for the best
- You’re too good for him
- You just need a distraction
- It just takes time
- You’re in the anger stage of grief
- I know how you feel
- God never gives us more than we can handle
- I never liked him anyway
- You could do better
- Throw yourself into work
- You just need to be alone for awhile
- You’re young, you’ll find someone else
- Burn his stuff
- Be strong for the kids
- It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all
- The best way to get over someone is to date someone else as soon as possible
- It takes half the time you were with someone to get over a breakup
- Just eat some ice cream
Each of the above statement perpetuates the myths that normal feelings need to be fixed, lied about or avoided. Sadly, that keeps people stuck in their grief.
If you have a broken heart over a relationship that ended recently or a long time ago, please know that there is nothing wrong with you. It’s natural to be sad when sad things happen! The problem is that there’s simply not enough information in mainstream society about how to recover from a breakup.
Here are a few helpful and effective resources if you want to know more:
Grab a copy of our book Moving On: Dump Your Relationship Baggage and Make Room for the Love of Your Life