Bad breakups are worse than facing down a horde of killer zombies while also dealing with a miserable case of food poisoning.
A bad breakup makes you think “It’s probably not so bad to be run down by killer zombies.”
And anyway, even if you could scrape up half a still-functioning brain cell, the future looks like a giant, empty gray screen. Nothing up there but static.
The cure seems not only remote, but impossible.
You’re not alone. But you DO have choices…
“Dear Claire, I left my husband after 20+ yrs. He never was a good husband..even had an affair! We have been divorced for 3 yrs and I’ve not met anyone. He wants to go back together…should I? Is it better to b alone and miserable or together and miserable???” – Nancy
Dear Nancy — PLEASE know those two things (alone + miserable, together + miserable) are NOT your only choices! It’s going to be really hard for you to see it right now — after all, 20 years of an unhappy relationship will take a heavy toll on anyone — but I promise you there IS a way to be happy again, both on your own and with a (different) man…
1. Take advantage of this golden opportunity to GROW again
There’s no more dead weight dragging you down! The rope that was anchoring you to this miserable relationship has been cut (either by you, by him, or by other circumstances) and you now have the possibility of being FREED from the pain and unhappiness…
Begin exploring the fresh, bright world around you. Get whatever help you need in order break with the old and begin your new life. You may feel a bit crippled as you start growing again, but just like a plant responding to plenty of sun, rain, and loving attention, you’ll soon begin to feel your soul start to heal.
Exercise, meditate, take classes, socialize, shop, journal, clear out the clutter, get therapy, cook, dress up, volunteer for your favorite cause, start a new hobby… There are hundreds of ways to begin your new life. Don’t let depression or inertia defeat you.
The potential danger:
You’ve been a prisoner in this relationship for a long time; but now that the jail is opened, you’d be crazy to stay in the cell just because you’re used to it.
Or, like the elephant chained to the tree from the time it was a baby, you might be so conditioned to staying in the same unhappy place you simply don’t realize you CAN get out of there.
If you’re not meeting new people and doing new things, it’s probably because you haven’t formed new habits yet. Get started now!
2. Work on finding your own happiness
Be good to yourself. Take all that energy that used to go into surviving in a miserable relationship and pour it into yourself. It may take you a while to learn what it takes to bring you joy, but stick with it! When you become a very happy single person, you also begin to become the kind of beautiful woman who captures men’s attention almost effortlessly.
The potential danger:
Some women make it their mission to make the man they are with happy, usually at the cost of their own pleasure. When you start dating again (and you will!) don’t fall into the old traps that caused your former relationships to crumble.
Keep making yourself happy and find another man who is already happy (no “fixer-uppers” allowed). Together you’ll be unbeatable. And even apart you’ll be unbeatable. Now THAT’S a win-win.
More help for heartbroken women…
Sometimes – especially after a long-term relationship – it’s incredibly difficult to jumpstart your life after a break-up.
If you would like just a bit more help getting out of your rut and back on the dating highway, check out You Didn’t Want Him Anyway: How to Get Over Any Man in 5 Simple Steps.
It’s not an expensive program or a lengthy read; it’s just simple, loving help for any woman who could use a little bit of friendly coaching… And it may just be the nudge you need to get back on track to the life and love you deserve.
How do you repair your heart after breaking up with a married man of over 15 years?
You mean a man who was married to someone else the entire time you were with him? Oh, dear, what a painful tangle that must feel like. 🙁
You might find something helpful in another post I wrote specifically about that situation:
Truthfully, a bad breakup hurts, no matter what the circumstances. It just hurts. A lot. My warmest hugs and love to you as you work your way through it.