“Don’t cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won’t let you see the stars.”
— Violeta Parra
It’s a dull, subdued sensation, when your heart is breaking, like the muffled sound of a distant gunshot. It doesn’t physically pierce your skin or tear you to pieces, but the sensation is physically present – the paralyzing discomfort of realizing that something you took for granted is leaving for good.
Although it’s hard to accept at first, this is actually a good sign, having a broken heart. It means you have loved something, you have tried for something, and you have let life teach you.
Life will attempt to break you down sometimes; nothing and no one can completely protect you from this reality. Remaining alone and hiding from the world won’t either, for endless, stagnant solitude will also break you with unhealthy nostalgia and yearning.
You have to stand back up and put yourself out there again. Your heart is stronger than you realize. I’ve been there and I’ve seen heartbreak through to the other side. It takes time and patience.
Deep heartbreak is kind of like being lost in the woods – every direction leads to nowhere at first. When you are standing in a forest of darkness, you cannot see any light that could ever lead you home. But if you wait for the sun to rise again, and listen when someone assures you that they themselves have stood in that same dark place, and have since moved forward with their life, oftentimes this will bring the hope that’s needed.
It’s so hard to give you advice when you’ve got a broken heart, but some words can heal, and this is my attempt to give you hope. You are stronger than you know!
- The genuine, loving emotion that breaks your heart is oftentimes the same emotion that will heal it, gradually, over time.
- The person you liked or loved in the past, who treated you like dirt repeatedly, has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you in the present moment, but more headaches and heartache.
- You can mull it over and obsess and obsess about how things turned out – what you did wrong or should have done differently – but there’s no point. It will NOT change anything right now!
- Some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to hold on to what’s not meant to stay.
- Seven letters. Two words. One saying. It can either cut you open to the core and leave you in horrific pain, or it can free your heart and soul and lift an incredible weight off your shoulders. The saying is: It’s over!
- When you don’t get what you want, sometimes it’s necessary preparation, and other times it’s necessary protection. But the time is never wasted. It’s a step on your journey. (Read The Road Less Traveled.)
- Someday you’re going look back on this time in your life as such an important time of grieving and growing. You will see that you were in mourning and your heart was breaking, but your life was changing.
- Transitions in life are the perfect opportunity to let go of one situation to embrace something even better coming your way.
- One of the hardest lessons to learn: You cannot change other people. Every interaction, rejection and heartbreaking lesson is an opportunity to change yourself only.
- Be determined to be positive. Understand that the greater part of your misery or unhappiness from this point forward is determined not by your circumstances, but by your attitude.
- Life and God both have greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or believing that you’re broken.
- It’s always better to be alone than to be in bad company. And when you do decide to give someone a chance, do so because you’re truly better off with this person. Don’t do it just for the sake of not being alone.
- When someone rejects you it doesn’t mean you need to also reject yourself or think of yourself as less worthy. It doesn’t mean that nobody will ever want you anymore. Remember that there are billions of people in the world and only ONE person has rejected you. And it only hurts so bad right now because, to you, that one person’s opinion represented the opinion of the whole world. But that’s not the truth.
- Sometimes it takes a broken heart to shake you awake and help you see that you are worth so much more than you were settling for. (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- When you lose someone or something, don’t think of it as a loss, but as a gift that lightens your load so you can better travel the path meant for you.
- Anything that hurts you today only makes you stronger in the end.
- When all is said and done, grief is the price you pay for love. And it’s better to have loved, lost and learned, than to have never loved at all.
- A broken heart is just the growing pains necessary so that you can love more completely when the real thing comes along.
You are human and the human heart breaks sometimes. Don’t fight it – fight through it!
Give yourself a chance to love again, to feel again, and to live again.
You are alive and here to risk your heart by putting it into something you believe in, as many times as it takes. If you avoid taking this chance, one thing is certain, you will make it safely to the end, feeling empty and unfulfilled.
Don’t do that to yourself.
You deserve better.
In what ways have you struggled with heartbreak? How have you coped? Please leave a comment below and share your insights with us.
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Photo by: Sarah Tett
Marc and Angel, I’ve mentioned this before, but your guidance on dealing with heartbreak and rejection been a real life-saver for me. A few lines regarding self-care from your 1,000 Little Things book that have become my mantra in my heartbroken times are:
Love yourself – your real self. Work through your fears (dive deep), your insecurities (speak honestly and loudly), and your anger (scream into the pillow – not into the mirror, nor the people you care about; they don’t deserve it.) Instead of hurting yourself by hiding from your problems, help yourself grow beyond them. You don’t need anyone’s permission to let go and step forward.
Admittedly, I still struggle when someone lets me down, but I’ve become a much stronger person over the years too. Daily self-care has worked wonders for me.
Marc Chernoff says
Thank you for the kindness, Sharon. I’m so happy we’ve been able to help in some small way.
Thanks for this post. I recently discovered my partner had cheated on me with a good friend, and then also admitted to cheating 3 years prior with a random person from her work.
She said it was because she had lost herself and her identity, the first time and after it happened the guilt broke her down even more. Our relationship turned toxic and she labeled me as controlling and jealous – all the while I had told myself something had happened the couple years before even though she had denied it. I was trying to get over it and carry on but she carried the guilt and treated me poorly. Recently we started hanging out with a younger person, who I think she wished she could have the same freedoms and an escape from the giult she felt when we were together. I felt crazy all the time – my intuition was telling me the truth but she was lying and manipulating me into thinking I was just insecure and needed help. All the while something had happened. Eventually when I found out the truth, all of it, she fell apart and admitted to how she felt about everything. That she didn’t have feelings for this person or want to be with them – she used it as a destructive escape from her guilt?
I wanted to just walk away. But I felt I would regret it. So we are going to counseling and she is a much different person.
My friends have their opinions and I am starting to feel anger now after a month. I really don’t know what to do. I care about her, there are a million amazing things about her and we make a great team. Do I hold her past trauma and a past abusive relationship against her and say forget it or do I show compassion and give her a chance? I know that no one can give me the right answer here, but I’m doing my best to sort it out right now.
I love all of the encouragement wrapped up into this one post. #13 is my absolute favorite. I have experienced this in my own life and hope to encourage others with that belief too. To start I will be sharing this with a close friend who is presently brokenhearted.
I love your blog, courses, and emails. Thank you for spreading positivity and healthy guidance.
When this post arrived in my inbox 10 minutes ago I was far more lost in my heartbreak than I am at the moment. Thank you.
Thank you Angel and Marc for these great insights. My best friends, including the one I loved, have left me forever. But now, I have made new friends. They like and respect me for who I am and not what they can make me into. New life, new hope. 🙂
So happy for you! I wish to get there!
Thank you. It’s very difficult to move on. I have been crying my eyes out for months. My best friends don’t answer my calls, don’t reply to my messages and the one I love(d) smacked the phone call on my face. Then I met friends who really want me and help me out. They helped me smile and have fun again. Life has many people and many great things. Can’t afford not to enjoy life just for the sake of a few people who hurt you.
I think some aspects of heartache were not captured in this excellent post. So I’ll make some additions and put some thoughts out there:
1. Heartache is real pain that must be dealt with in order to process all the way through it. It HURTS! Ff you do not process the pain, the wound will not heal properly. Just like a broken toe or a sprained ankle, if you ignore the pain it will only get worse.
2. Find something to do. Sitting around, hanging around, and focusing on your pain with over-analysis creates and endless loop of poor thinking. Clean your closets, clean your car, call 15 people you have not called in a month or more, or visit a friend.
3. Certain ideas and platitudes will not be received well without an open mind and calmer heart. #10, #16 and #18 will drop flat if you are in full heartache, they play best later in the process.
Marc Chernoff says
Great perspective, David. Thank you.
Thank you from my heart!!!!
Right before reading this message I was sitting in my car in the parking lot crying my eyes out. I’m dealing with the loss of someone who I’ve been with for six years and thought for certain I would spend the my life with. And just like that he was gone…with another woman. Some days are better than others but as I quietly envy other couples and their joy I suffer in silence daily.
Your post today was the very first thing I saw when checking my email. Coincidence? My heart is breaking and has been for some time but reading this has given me some hope. I’ve reread #1-18 several times this morning and will continue each day until my breakthrough happens…I really hope it happens. Thank you Marc and Angel for the words of wisdom and for speaking light to many of us who have been suffering in the dark. Even if it’s for a moment.
I very much needed to see this one. I’ve spent a lot of time beating myself up over my failed marriage and I’ve spent too much time feeling broken and somehow unworthy. Reading this isn’t going to heal me in the long run though. I need to take the next step and actually believe these things. It’s been a slow process.
Jennifer Ditmarsch says
Jeff, I too felt like a failure when my marriage was ending. One perspective shift that helped me was that the marriage failed, not me. A marriage is the union of two people and takes the full effort of two people. Both people have to be willing to meet somewhere even if it’s not halfway. Recognize the effort you put forth to meet your partner and remind yourself that you couldn’t have done it all. That’s not a partnership. I have found self discovery is a slow process but very rewarding.
Thank you Angel for the reminders about heartbreak. It’s not always about people. The grief experienced by losing a pet, an identity or a dream is very real.
You guys are great people. You molded me with your articles and books to the person I’ve wanted to be. Thanks for everything! No 15 strikes me most. I’ve just ordered your books for a very close friend going through a difficult time in her marriage. Without you guys, my divorce early this year wouldn’t have been possible. I’m a better person today.
Those two words of yours “it’s over” helped me to turn the page and since then so many pretty pages have been opening in my life. This year is really a year of liberation and growth for me. I have two favourite books today, your book and my bible.
I still find it difficult to believe myself today. I surprise myself and everyone around me.
-MERCI BEAUCOUP from Toulouse France.
My husband went through heartbreak because of me. He loved me a lot, but I left him. I had my reasons, and I felt he needed to be with someone who loved him like he deserved, and I did not see myself as that person.
He was heartbroken, still is. I think he is strong enough to go through it and emerge as a winner from the other side, but he does not think so now(understandably). I have been tempted to go back to him many times, but I know it will not make him happier in the long run. May god give him strength to endure all The grief I caused him.
This is a great post and I do want to send it to him, but I think I am the last person he needs advice from.
Im a 26 year old man and am in a very dark place in my life.
I have recently had a heart attack that almost killed me and my long term girlfriend of 3 years ended our relationship because of this. We were going to get married and have children.
She didn’t want to give me any emotional support and said she’s leaving because I “might be dead in 5-10 years” (not true, I’ve made a great recovery), because she didn’t want to wait until I had recovered and also because I was in low spirits for a couple of months because of what had happened and she was angry at me.
It’s hit me so hard because I had been her rock for 3 years whilst she was suffering with an emotional disorder. I sacrificed a lot (friends, fun, grades) and supported her to my own detriment. I did it all because I wanted to, I went above and beyond the call of duty. I loved her with all of my heart and soul and I would literally have taken bullets for her. I believed truly in sticking together through thick and thin.
She always said I was the most important person to her and I believed it. She was my best friend.
She threw me away when times got tough and I feel like I will never recover from this. This is worse than having the heart attack. I want to try to move on but I keep holding onto hope that she will come back to me. What do I do?
I have no friends because I lost them all whilst caring for her, I am alone and have nobody to share my fears with, no body to have a cuddle with. The one person in the world I wanted with me at s time like this has walked out on me despite me taking responsibility for my own mental recovery.
I feel like I have been dropped into the middle of a cold dark ocean all by myself and I am starting to drown.
Matt Palka says
The Universe just freed you up to meet the love of your life that can stick with you through all life challenges. I witnessed my parents of 23 yrs of marriage divorce when the mother of my father passed away, and it hurt. I can’t completely empathize being in heartbreak, but I know two people either grow together and change together deeper in presence with one another, or grow apart. Either situation always provides life lessons to learn from.
Marc Chernoff says
Tom, I think these two articles may give you some needed perspective:
– 5 “Notes to Self” About the Precious Little Time You Have Left
– 5 Things that Happen When You Embrace Being Alone
I just wanted to let you know you not alone in how you feel. I was with the father of my children for coming up to 3 years, I’m only 21 next month but expected us to spend the rest of our life’s together. We went through so much with our twins arriving 2 months early etc for him to leave afterlying, cheating and his violent nature. Stupidly I stil find it hard especially now I’m trying to date again but I hope we both find happiness soon.
I’m sorry to say it but your girlfriend sounds like a hard-hearted, self-obsessed individual. You have gone through an awful experience but you must believe that things will get better. You are very young and you can start again. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep trying. Do nice things for yourself, take care of yourself and keep an open mind.Things will get better.
Read your comment and I just wanted to let you know your in my prayers. Glad to hear you recovered!! I am also going through a heart break and one major thing that keeps me going is gods plan. I know that he has great things in store for me, you, and everyone else. People and things leave so better things can come. I hope you find your path. Your worth is a lot, and an amazing women will come your way when he’s ready to send one. Stay strong bud!! You got this!!!
Cathy M Ross says
Tom, I will be 60 years old in a few weeks and lived through a heart attack at age 41. I sympathize with you and the feelings of despair and depression afterwards.
Love and friendship will always be possible as long as you keep your heart open to them. I have been without a partner for over 10 years. Recently, someone came back into my life, a friend I never thought I’d see again. He is the love of my life.
Love is always possible. God has a plan for you. God bless you and just keep going.
Don’t fight the pain, breathe it in when the waves come and breathe it out.
Let it flow through you and out the other side. It’s the fighting and resistance to pain that hurts the most, that binds us up in the physical.
You are grieving heavily, I understand. One day you will come to realise that the blessing is that this happened now and not 15 years further down the track. Some one else with a stronger greater love is on their way for you. Stay open to life Tom. Write a list of the things that bring you Joy, that give you a little spark and keep doing the things on that list. You will heal. Take care and we all wish you well.
Tom, you mention so much of what you did for your girl friend, though what all did she do for you in the relationship? When you had a heart attack , she decided to bail on you. She does not sound like the woman you should care to marry.
My husband of 35 years left me for his therapist at age 63. It’s been 4 years and I’m still trying to get over it. I don’t want to hurt you further but your girlfriend has shown who she really is and you are lucky to find this out now and not 30 years down the road.
Some people are just not capable of deep, unselfish love. You are but not your GF. You deserve to be loved the way you love, with all your heart. The loving one is out there waiting for you. Have faith in youself and the Universe that you will find the true love that you deserve, not the shallow love that this ex provided you.
Matt Palka says
I especially loved 1, 4, 8, 13.
I have never been in a serious intimate relationship yet being only 21, but I have lost a few friends here and there because of moving and drama and people deciding to change. There is no use suffering more by resisting the way things are. That’s my mind movie running my life about the way things should be. Letting go of that enables me to embrace now and the beauty of impermanence and to enjoy it. New doors are always opening.
And #13 is all about knowing that someone’s rejection is about the story they tell themselves than yours. Everyone us human, so everyone is lovable, valuable, and worthy of love.
Thank you, Marc and Angel. I always enjoy reading these. =)
Gosh your 21…so much wisdom! Especially love what you wrote here about embracing the beauty of impermanence.
I don’t think you lost a few friends, I think they lost you.
Another great list. #17 say’s it all for me – better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved.
I am 63 and have lost my high school sweetheart and soul mate husband now 4 years ago. We were going to grow old together. He became very sick, and I became caretaker, as well as wife, mother, major bread winner, and everything else. My health suffered as well during this time because I thought I could do it all. I could not. I had 2 strokes.
The intimacy was gone for 20 years. I became the bigger person and put my wants and needs aside. Never cheated and respected my vows. That is what true love is.
Tom, I just want to say to you how sorry I am that the woman you found to love turned out to not be the one for you. I understand you, and what you are going through. I am alone and in the deep ocean, and I don’t know how to swim.
I have spent 4 years being alone, crying, wondering why, how come, all the things people go through when your best friend passes away. I have 2 wonderful daughters that help as much as they can, but there still is an emptyness that I so crave to fill.
I have been reading these posts, and writing in a journal, and doing positive talk, seeing a therapist, and am finally able to see a little bit of brightness. I am still in the deep hole, and I struggle to get out of it. I have taken steps forward, and backward. I find that the steps I am taking forward are more now than backward. This is good. It is also a constant.
I am ready now to meet someone, want to be cuddled, want to share things with someone. Will that person ever take Bob’s place, no. He has a place in my heart forever, but I have found that there is more room in my heart now.
Tom, good luck to you. Be confident. This stuff is not easy, I know. You are young. I hope you find the person that wants to be with you.
David, also like your comment. Thank you all. Keep positive.
It’s five years now while following your Blog and I can’t thank you enough for the enormous positive impact you’ve had on my life. I marvel at your coincise practical guide and the diction embedded in every syllable. I feel much happier and conscious owing to this.. Your posts resonate with me perfectly and propels me a notch higher.. At a glance foremost is to wish you a merry Xmas and a wonderful new year.. I love youuuu
I found out a few days ago, via an anonymous text, my boyfriend of 15 years has been cheating on me for over a year with a co-worker. I’m utterly destroyed…and then this blog shows up in my email. It has literally given me the strength to get out of bed every day. I know it will be a long road but I’ll travel it. Thank you Marc and Angel.
Christopher Edwards says
It amazes me how timely this article is. I guess it goes to show that at any given moment in time, heartache and the human condition are colliding.
For 5 years we dated off and on. Fighting. Breaking up. Making up and being blissfully happy in between. When things were good they were amazing. We could laugh at so hard at something silly that we would have to pull the car over. We could explore an antique mall or flea market for hours, me never tiring tiring of looking at her and thinking “She’s with me. Look at how beautiful she is.”. Our kisses were like none I have ever experienced. It felt as though we were truly meant to be in each other’s arms. We fit perfectly and the feeling of peace and contentment were, at time, overwhelming. Our physical passion was based on honest communication and total selflessness. And it was spectacular.
After an 8 month break-up, in which we both saw others, we reunited and married 3 months later. We both agreed to make this work, that the issues we had previously had to be addressed. We could not fall back into that relationship.
But as time went on, cracks began to form and old habits, on both sides, began to surface again. Even though we were married, she liked to go out as if she was single. Going to bars with her single friends and drinking too much. She always drank too much. She would be vague about when she would be home.
No. I don’t think she had an affair. But this need to go out, be seen and constantly drink too much was causing problems and she was unwilling to do anything about it. We tried councilors, and as long as the microscope was on me, she would be open in our session. As soon as the focus was her drinking, she stopped going and became very defensive
After one year, we separated. Being true to our history, we never really separated. We lived apart, but ping-ponged back and forth between happiness and break-ups. I always felt as if we could make it work, but it takes two for that and I was one.
Three weeks ago it ended and my heart has not stopped breaking, my soul hurting or my eyes crying. The dull, constant hurt is like nothing I have ever felt. I can think of nothing except her and our lost dreams. I think about she and I laughing, cooking dinner, kissing and exploring together.
I printed this article and will carry it with me in my paper planner/journal. Sometimes it will help, I’m sure. Sometimes it will not be enough to keep me strong.
Because I miss her.
I am a 65 year old lady that has not seriously dated since the 1980’s when my boyfriend and I broke up cause he cheated. Firstly with another woman, then a few months later with his DAUGHTER. My trust has been so shattered that I decided that it was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. But after all these years he is still on my mind constantly.
But there is one theme running through this thread that I hope I can incorporate into my system: that is – IT’S OVER. For me I have had over 35 years to try to get over it and so far I haven’t made much progress. He had to move to another country cause of the scandal. Probably a good move on his part.
Your letter broke my heart. You loved her so much and you were such a wonderful partner to her. I send you my prayers and best wishes that you eventually find another GREAT LOVE in your life.
In your next love, I hope you will remember to do SOME TAKING, cause you did all the giving in your last relationship. For most of us it is hard to do the receiving. But I pray you will find your way.
Best of luck from a 65 year old S/NM/no kids/no family/disabled lady.
Your letter touched so many hearts.
Is there a book writer in you that hasn’t surfaced yet?
Christopher, Marrying a woman with an addiction or alcoholism is extremely difficult , let alone having a relationship and later, having her as your wife. A treatment center / AA are topics needed to discuss
This post really gave me a sense of peace and hope – thank-you!
My boyfriend ended our relationship 3 days before Christmas last year. All the plans we made on top of breaking my heart put me in such a sad place for much of the past 11 months. I have stopped crying because my logical brains is screaming this is life, you will love and lose again and that’s part of the journey. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much. It would have been nice if our ending was done a little more delicately but the only actions I can control are mine. Over the past week I have been finally able to step outside of what we were and discover that this was much a bad match for me – maybe Santa and God were trying to help.
Some people say it’s better to have love and lost then to never have loved at all. But I don’t believe that at this season of my life.
It’s been 38 months since I came home and found my fiancé had taken her life. I tried everything to bring her back but she was cold and was gone for hours the coroner told me. My life stopped at that moment. Everything I worked for my entire life was gone. Our hopes. Our dreams. We were both 46 at the time. And so in love. But she couldn’t handle her son not talking to her. After 4 years of him ignoring her the day following his birthday (after she made numerous attempts to contact him) I came home to my worst nightmare. I can’t get that image out my head finding her. It torments me everyday.
She was my first love then 30 years later we clicked and was magical. But it has destroyed me inside. I don’t care about anything anymore. I have two kids I adore but my insides are completely shattered. My health is deteriorating and getting worse by the day. Can’t sleep and stressed and high blood pressure. I’m sure one day I just won’t wake up as I have constant chest pains. I’m not asking for this to happen but don’t care either.
I tried to date but no one is even close to as amazing as she was. Went to psychologist and he said I suffer from ptst. And in time it might get better. And wants me to take pills. I just want my love back. Because once you have the perfect woman why even try because just not worth it.
I said I’ll wait till I turn 50 and see how I feel. But as of now. It’s not looking good.
I can really relate to that Johnny cash song “hurt”. And rascal flats “I won’t let go”
I listen to them and just cry.
Don’t know why I said this guess just need to get off my chest. Thank you
I have your book. And bought many copies to give as gifts to friends and family as I think they have lots of great points. But in my head I can’t get past that horrific scene that is stuck in my brain and won’t let forget.
I wish everyone happiness and a wonderful life. Always
Brad, I just want to say how sorry I am to read your post. I do understand. Please read what I wrote. The circumstances are a bit different, but we both suffer over our loved one. It has been a long hard road of 4 years for me. I still wonder why. I still cry. I tell myself that I will be ok, but most times I don’t believe it.
Brad, please take care of yourself. You have 2 children that need you. I can not promise anything to you. I can only send good thoughts and prayers your way. It is terrible. It will take much time. Cry, think, remember, all of those things. Please take care. No one will ever take her place. You need to learn to relove yourself. Many people care. Keep reading these posts.
I’m going through crippling heartbreak right at this moment. I let go the only person I truly ever loved because of my own inexperience and stupidity. We had a great relationship. We were both great to each other. We built our relationship on honestly, communication and respect. I feel I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life letting her go and I’d give anything and then some to have her back. I’m overwhelmed with regret. I’m 25 and feel like I’ll never ever meet anybody like her again. I just can’t see this light in the dark forest people are talking about. It feels like I’ll be lost forever. And have this lifelong regret. I ended our relationship because I felt we weren’t growing as a couple. Always dealing with the same issues and never moving forward. She shut down on me and stopped communicating even when I asked her about it because I could always tell when something was wrong. But in my inexperience I feel I made a mistake. I feel I should have been more patient and tried to work harder. Gosh, I’m still feeling lost, but this post does bring me some perspective.
No one ever said a couple would not experience any pain in breaking up a relationship , in this case, you. The song “ I go to places, we use to go, but I know she’ll never show” “ she hurt me so much inside, now I hope she’s satisfied” this is a song many experience, and no one has ever said it would be easy. God will show you more, and be easy on yourself. You took the step , inside , knowing there were problems that were not able to be worked on and to move forward . It appears the relationship came to a Halt
Much of your post has helped me, but it doesn’t address the heartache I’m dealing with, and I think it’s probably more common than it feels to me right now.
My son, for mystifying unshared reasons, walked out of my life two years ago. He showed up at Christmas out of the blue, but obliquely mentioned moving to Texas.
I’ve been grieving this fracture ever since. I believe he may be moving far away in order to get a new start, and I pray every day that he will be safe and happy. But every day, you know. The fracture.
And I am not really free to openly grieve. My other son feels it’s a slap in the face, that somehow my grief means I love him less-than, and my husband (not their dad) just feels helpless.
This is what I’m taking away from your post:
-Every interaction, rejection and heartbreaking lesson is an opportunity to change yourself only.
-When you don’t get what you want, sometimes it’s necessary preparation, and other times it’s necessary protection. But the time is never wasted. It’s a step on your journey.
-Sometimes it takes a broken heart to shake you awake.
I know there’s something big in this, and I have learned that the dark always precedes the light. His–whatever this is–brought me back to God, for one thing.
And now…I’ve been piddling around with my writing long enough. I’m doing a meditation to decide on what one word I want to focus on for the year ahead, and I’m thinking it’s going to be CREATE.
I think I was most moved by your statement (somewhere…?) that when a person moves out of your life, it creates space for something new. And that God and life have more ahead for me than brokenness.
And kids are never really ours, anyway.
What is it? Life’s longing for itself?
Thank you for your blog and the personal reflective work you must do on yourselves to bring insights to your readers.
I understand a lot of what you are going through. Our only (grown) child suddenly withdrew from our lives and demanded “no contact” so that she could “heal”. I thought we were close. I thought she was happy. I thought we understood each other, loved each other, respected each other. In our relationship, there was no abuse, no recriminations, no angry arguments. I adored her, and thought she was one of the sweetest, talented, brilliant people that I knew. And, I told her often how proud I was of her.
I….am….broken. My brain understands all of the points in the heartbreak article, but my heart is truly broken, and my soul is shattered. How can someone walk away to “heal” if they knowingly break the other person? How can a child walk away from her parents without explaining why? I am not sure what my life is for at this point.
I understand why the previous commenter Brad’s fiance’ took her life after her son walked away from her. I get it. A child is a part of you, and there is a bond there that is not supposed to be broken. And, when a child tries to break the bond by rejecting his/her parents, it doesn’t really break it, it just rips out the soul of the parents.
I wish Marc and Angel would address this growing issue. From everything I have researched, it is turning into an epidemic, but no one is talking about it. Parents are grieving and bewildered, and many are either ending it when the pain becomes very much too much to bear, or just slowly wither away.
When all is said and done, grief is the price you pay for love. And it’s better to have loved, lost and learned, than to have never loved at all.
I am seriously questioning the statement above when the person you are grieving is an estranged child……….I am not so sure it is worth it, question everything in this life that I thought was true. I believed that “love conquers all”, now I know it doesn’t. Just as above, our children were raised in a loving supportive home, with a very close extend family, given every opportunity in life, being told how much they were loved and how proud we were of their accomplishments.
Our son took his love away 5 years ago, cutting contact with siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces…….literally everyone that ever loved him, leaving everyone hurt and baffled.
Every joy and happiness, now has a rotten hollow center. It is a grief that never leaves, jet cannot be grieved openly. There is truly no way out at this point. It’s the cruelest thing life can give you. I have cried an ocean, some days filled with tears, other times I can go a day or two. It will never end. I learned recently that he got married. It is soul crushing.
Stacy and Marian, I feel your pain. No one ever addresses this problem.
I stumbled across your read when I was googling ”my heart physically hurts from this heartbreak and I don’t know how to move on” your writing is very inspiring. I really wish it was this easy but, my heart has only been broken and I hate it. I don’t think it even knows how to love since it always feta broken, I’ve Vern married-he cheated, and my last one cane in and saved me from myself only to have an emotional affair and talked about our relationship with another women who in turn put ideas in his head and manipulated him to break up with me over my mental health issues. I have ADHD, anxiety and depression. I’ve basically given up hope and I beat myself up over my issues because everyone else does and thinks I’m pathetic and just making excuses. I have nobody on my side and everyone has left me. I even tried posting on FB that I was dating someone and the person who had an affair with my ex deliberately slammed me on my own post saying things like hide your wallet and your phone from this crazy! That’s all she looks for anyway! Talk to her ex that’s why he left her ass! I died inside that day. She even went to the extreme of writing a letter to my parents and making up things to make me look bad.. My parents obviously believed whatever the letter said because they won’t tell me what it said and I hardly hear from them anymore so I don’t attempt either. But your reading does give me hope when I try so hard to think positive and it doesn’t work.. I remember there’s other people going through this but it doesn’t fix me or that I am unlovable. God it hurts and I the the way things are for me currently. I don’t think it’s healthy to cry everyday for almost a year.. But I am so sad and so hurt I don’t even have to think about my ex or anything sad I just cry because I know how hurt I am regardless of what caused the heart break, I just hate being so damn sad all the time. These headaches from all this crying is really getting to me. Sometimes it’s like I cry so hard and for so long I get exhausted and winded and actually pass out (fall asleep) from it. This is daily. I hate it. But I know I can grow beyond this.
The need for approval and permission have dominated my entire life. I have sacrificed my heart’s desire, my dreams and even my dignity because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings or take a chance of not being accepted. I thought by saying “yes” to you and your desires and “no” to what was important or best for me was what Jesus was saying in The Beatitudes, in The Sermon on the Mount. All I wanted in return was for you to love me. I have been so sick with a broken heart since my husband of 23 years told me he wanted a divorce 5 years ago. I have been holding on to that rejection and pain unwilling to let him go. I literally feel like I could die from the pain I feel because I wont let go. I turned to drugs and toxic relationships looking for relief and only brought on more pain. I’ve been to treatment facilities, have had several trips to jail and have been to prison in the past 5 years because I wont let go. When I read this article I felt so relieved because you knew exactly how I feel , what I’ve been doing my entire life, and you gave me permission to stop it. Thank you. And I was about to apologize, out of habit, for such a long comment because my husband made it clear to me over the years that he would much prefer me to sum up my thoughts and feelings in just a few words or none at all if possible…but I decided not to.
A comment for Tom who commented above, and anyone who is struggling in a similar way right now… get a book called The Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns. It will walk you through the steps of recovering your sense of Self. The read Marc and Angel’s 1,000 Little Things for daily inspiration and reflection. You are a hero for taking care of someone. You are a hero for deciding to survive and triumph over a serious health situation. You are a hero for staying alive and reaching out. Let other heroes be there for you. It certainly seems that this person you were with does not have the courage and strength that you have to persevere. Then know that just like Marc and Angel found each other and now help others, you can find your own Angel, and you will build together with her. Other good people are out there. Meanwhile build yourself up, keep very busy and you will find that time will pass. You can also read various books by Dale Carnegie, they are very old but very basic and strong truths on which many other later “self help” programs and styles were built. Good luck and look in the mirror. Your best and most strong and enduring friend is there, in yourself.
You said it all. Great additional perspective. Thanks! That’s awesome.
I just want to say “thank you” for all of your inspiration, M&A. The last 10 years of my life have been extremely challenging, an emotional roller coaster to say the least! Fortunately, I found your books, especially “1,000 Little Things”. I have hope again, am learning acceptance, gratitude and appreciation! Thank you!
I have had a huge amount of betrayal and resulting heartbreak in my life, starting in my tender years. I can relate to the feeling of why, what’s wrong with me and what now. What I have learned through the years is that heartache is inevitable and you can’t avoid it. I have had to learn to be patient with myself, let myself feel it and remember it won’t last forever. In other words I am not AFRAID of feeling it. That doesn’t make it any less painful, but at least I’m not actively trying to control my life to the point I stop living it. Be brave, don’t be bitter, and keep going. I also agree that it all has made me a better person. How I handled it when I was young is so much different than it is now. It is a journey. I love the wisdom you guys post at just the right moment to help me get through stuff that comes up. I have been reading for years.
Brenda Kyle. says
Thank you Marc and Angel for your posts, they have helped me cope with a very difficult event in my life. One of my sons has decided to walk away from our family. I was devastated but have learnt that he is an adult and I cannot change what has happened. I do have the choice to change the way I react to this though and you have helped me learn to choose to react in a positive way. I choose to not let this ruin my new life with my wonderful, new husband. I choose to enjoy my life and allow myself to feel the happiness I deserve. I have been a lovely Mum in very difficult circumstances and I hold onto hope that he may come back one day but in the mean time I am going to live and love every moment I am blessed with.
Marilyn E. Conway says
You have just proved that all heartbreak is not from losing a romantic relationship. I feel I’ve lost my 2 daughters and I don’t have the vaguest idea why. It’s possible because I stayed in an abusive marriage too long – he was bipolar and became dangerous in the end and I had to leave to save our lives. Long story, but my daughters just don’t like to talk to me very often, and they always seem to have to say something hateful to me. I am so happy to have discovered Marc&Angel. I have saved all their articles that really helped me, and today after another hateful remark from my oldest daughter, I copied all these articles I’ve saved of theirs and have put them in a 3-ring binder. I am now re-reading many of them trying to get out of this pain in my heart feeling.
Lynn Roberson says
This post was truly worthwhile to read. I wanted to say thank you for the key points you have pointed out as they are enlightening.