Depression After Breaking Up – What to Expect and How to Survive

After a breakup, the sadness and depression you feel can be overwhelming and suffocating. These tips will help you survive the pain of breaking up.

First, a quip from a famous fairy tale:

“The horror of that moment,” said the King. “I shall never, never forget!”

“You will, though,” said the Queen, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass.

You will get past your sad and depressed feelings after breaking up – but you need to focus your energy and thoughts on healing and moving on. You can’t dwell the relationship breakup itself. In other words, you can’t make a “memorandum” of your breakup, of your feelings of sadness and depression!

In Letting Go of Someone You Love I interviewed psychologists, life coaches, and counselors to get their best advice for surviving depression after a breakup. The 75 tips will help you heal and find happiness, and move on after a bad breakup.

Depression After Breaking Up – What to Expect and How to Survive

Expect feelings of rejection and loneliness to come in waves

“Feelings of rejection may run high because we often measure the results of our efforts in terms of whether or not the world accepts or rejects us,” says Dr. Phil. Sometimes, another person’s reaction can be a barometer of our worth and value. “When the love of our life leaves us, any past rejection issues can be magnified.” You may feel unworthy, not good enough or like damaged goods. A divorce may also signify the failure of your dream, because you couldn’t make the marriage work.

To survive, remember that a marriage or relationship breakup doesn’t change your value as a woman or man. You didn’t break up because of a failure on your part; the relationship failed for its own reasons.

You will break free from the past after breaking up, but it takes time.

Accept the fear you’ll never be loved again

If you’ve been married for many years, you may think you won’t be able to survive emotionally, socially, or financially without your partner. You are entering a new phase of your life and don’t know what to expect.

Surround yourself with a support group. Gather your old friends around you, and be deliberate about making new friends. Don’t focus on the fear of never being loved again; instead give yourself the gift of self-care, self-love, and self-soothing. This relationship breakup help involves surviving your emotions by accepting them.

To survive depression after breaking up, read Starting Over After Your Relationship Ends – 8 Tips for New Beginnings.

Don’t focus on the best parts of the relationship

“It’s just all too easy, once you separate from an irreconcilable situation, to remember and focus on only the good,” Dr. Phil writes. You may find yourself forgetting the irritating habits of your partner and only remembering the nice and sweet things he or she did for you. “By doing this, it’s very easy to fool yourself into wishing that you were back in the relationship and rationalizing that things actually weren’t that bad.”

To survive this “selective memory” experience, don’t contact your ex-partner in a weak or lonely moment. “Once you’re out, stay out, unless one or both of you earns your way back in,” says Dr Phil. Focus on surviving sadness and depression after breaking up without wishing you were getting back together.

Other emotions after breaking up include anger, shock, bitterness, and loss. It takes time to survive heartbreak and feel happy again — but it will happen!

For more tips on surviving sadness and depression after breaking up, read Can’t Get Over the Break Up? How to Move Through the Pain.

You WILL live, love, and be happy again – it just takes time to heal.

Expressing how you feel in writing can help you survive depression after breaking up. Maybe it’s time to start a journal?

How to Get Your Ex Back

Stop the Divorce and Save Your Marriage

How to Captivate a Man and Make Him Fall in Love With You

61 Responses

  1. Laurie says:

    Dear Edith,

    I am so sorry that you are going through this sad breakup. It sounds like he took advantage of you and pushed you into doing things you were not ready for. He used you.

    The best form of help is family and friends! Can you stay with someone you trust for awhile, until you get back on your feet?

    Have you decided what you will do with your baby? I encourage you to think and talk about all your options – there is no easy answer, but you can find the best option for you.

    How are you doing?


  2. Edith says:

    I met dis guy nd he proved to be so kind,lovin and God fearing.he made me move inn with him and wanted me to get pregnant as soon as soon as i did he changed completly,he become rude to me and started having affairs.he later asked me to move out since we are not legally married nd he doesn’t want to see me or pick my now pregnant with no job and his love.don’t know what to do now,pls help.

  3. shawn says:


    I’m a gay male and have hit rock bottom, I had been in a gay relationship with a lad for about 18 mths everything started great, then he lost his job and moved in with me, he was without work for over 12 mths and didnt really make much effort to look for work while I was in part supporting him, this caused a number of arguments at about the same time as I discovered he had huge debts from his past, debt collectors started calling at my door, I tried to help him with dealing with his debts and getting a job which really took its toll on me and him, about 2 months ago I got him a job and really thought things could now begin to change for the better. 6 wks ago I went on holiday with my parents and he did not come as he didn’t have a passport, I left him asking that he did not invite anybody to stat in the house I owned while I was away and once I was on holiday he txt me several days into it, not asking but telling me that he was inviting his friends to stay and that they would be camped out on my sofa when we got back from our holidays, at the same time as he was telling me this my mother was telling me that she had cancer and most likely would not be alive this time next year, I also got news that I’m about to loose my job, I didn’t react well to his txt and we split up, shortly after I had asked him not to split up and not leave our home, he decided he was leaving anyway even though I asked for him not to go before u had told him what I got told on holiday.! On getting back from my holiday I found that he had left , I asked to meet him or chat as I wanted to tell him of the awful news I got and why I had acted the way I had about breaking up, he never gave me the chance to speak or meet to explain anything what so ever, had to explain about my mother by txt to him and firstly he said it was all lies, then said how was it anything to do with him, we are not together anymore, he simply didn’t even care and some 3 wks on has sent nothing to me to caring or friendly, he has also stolen things from my house including a ring which my mum bought for me 2 yrs before, I’ve tried for 3 wks to meet with him and ask for the ring and other items back, to only be told he’s not got them or stolen any other items, I said I didn’t want to get the police involved but he was leaving me little choice. I just don’t understand how he cannot care anything for me or what I’m going through. He’s just said he’s moved on and I need to do the same without any concern or friendlyness whatsoever, I’ve told him I’m on my knees with everything that’s happened and wanted to salvage something of what we had, but nothing back from him whatsoever to suggest he cares now or ever has. Don’t know what to think, feel like he just used me until he got his job and had planned to break up anyhow, he’s not made any allowance for the news I got told whatsoever. I just can’t figure any of it out nor understand why’s he’s been so nasty to me after all i did for him, how is it possible for him to show he cares nothing when only a few wks back we were talking of making nice plans together..?? Help anyone please totally hurting and hearbroken..

  4. Robyn says:

    its been a year and a half since our break up and i still love him to death, ive been on dates with other guys but everytime he is on my mind while i am out with these guys. I compare all guys to my ex and if there not like him than i want nothing to do with them. yeah i no its not fare but i am soo in love with this guy that it kills me. there are days when i think about whats the point on me living this boy took my happiness and heart away with him. I just dont want to live like this anymore. He does contact me sometimes and he will come over and spend the night… than when morning comes he leaves and wont talk to me for a month and the same thing happens over and over again each month. i asked him if he was just using me cause he know i still love him but he always says no and all this other bull shit! i just want to be happy again and find someone out there that isnt going to use me cause seems to me most the guys in this world will use you! i just dont no what to do anymore..

  5. Laurie says:

    Thank you for sharing how you survived sadness and depression after breaking up. Everyone is on a different journey, and there isn’t one set of tips that works for everyone!

    Some people turn to spirituality, others to addictions. Some re-evaluate their whole lives and make big changes, while others need to put their heads down and focus on survival.

    To survive a breakup, you need to keep trying different things until you find what works for you.

  6. Jeri says:

    The best way to survive sad feelings and depression after you break up is to get busy. If you sit around you will feel sad but if you get active and interested in life, then you won’t be as sad that you broke up.

    And get a puppy or kitten. I rescued a dog after my girlfriend moved out and left me, and I feel alot happier. I want my girlfriend back but I still have love in my life.

  7. ankita says:

    1 yr is gng to cmplete widout him.. .stil, he is in my mind. Y? Dnt knw,. .tryd to thnk abt othr guys bt it did n’t wrk. .anger, biternes has incrsd in me. .i said him so many bad wrds bt wenevr he is infrnt of my eyes agn i got capture by love . . .dnt knw whether he cme or n’t. Bt i can nevr frget him. .nor i can acept anyone else in my lyf. !

  8. Asm says:

    I Dnt c where my life goes widout’s been more than 6year we were in relationship..he is’s been around 4year we haven’t met personally..I really love him..I Dnt know how deep the connection is but my tear flows non stop while he tells our relation can’t parents are against our marriage coz our kundali didn’t matched..he tells me to run out wid him but I cannot run by making my parent head he finally told me to’s reAlly tough tomorrow is my first day of office n my heart is really very weak right now Can I survive sadness and depression after breaking up?

  9. tay smith says:

    I am going through a breakup that hurts to my soul this guy was unemployed and had nothing goin I brought him into my life and my childrens life for a year and pretty much let him leach off of me I finally found a job for him and helped him to get it and guess what he no longer is interested in me he cuts his phone off so I won’t call he now has a car he drives with no liscense I feel so betrayed and I am in pain I even passed out he acted like he loved me so much and I was his life when he was broke now I’m nothing I feel worthless like a looser I have so much pain inside already I am such a good person and everywhere I go there’s pain pain pain y I don’t kno wat to do help please

  10. Al says:

    Hi there
    It’s been a few weeks for me now and reading these posts is really interesting. I can see some people struggling a lot and others giving really good advice. I feel at the moment still stuckin my break up. I get angry at the freedom my ex partner has now whilst I struggle still with 3 jobs, a mortgage, pets, and a child to finish raising. I feel overwhelmed some days but other days i feel ridiculously happy to be free. The profound sadness reappears and the self-blaming rears its ugly head – I knew there would be regrets but I also know it was the right thing to do.
    Break ups are a big challenge. I realise now though that for years there was no love – no real love – because she was unhappy. Its hard to stop. Its hard to give up on everything I have worked so hard for. I worked really, really hard and she became more and more passive. So I guess that what I am doing now is really trying to accept that although I didnt want to let her go, she basically behaved worse and worse and worse and made me feel really bad until it got to the point that I ended the relationship. Now she behaves like a victim, like someone who has had a tough deal. I can’t get over the anger. She is free with no responsibilities and none of the financial strain that I bear – and yet she is running around acting like she is a victim. She had seven years of me being everything – breadwinner, mother, carer, and she withdrew from intimacy with me. So I guess I am still going through the stages of grief, and every time I see her it throws me back. I have to go to mediation this week with her and I am dreading it because she manipulates me all the time and lives to make me angry and upset. And I dont know how to not be upset around her. I am trying to move on but until the divorce is through it seems like all the time I have to face the fact that it ended and there was nothing I could do to make her into a different person. I am also angry at how much time I wasted, time, energy and resources, trying to make it work. I should have ended it at least 2 years ago. So I am really screwed up about the whole thing because its not simple and its not easy and that makes me angry too. She doesnt seem to care very much and shows no remorse. And I am bearing the burden of grief while she runs around having a really busy social life, out and about every other night. I want to move on but the anger is holding me back.
    But I believe in myself enough to believe that I will get through this and come out of it a better, more honest person, with integrity and self-respect.

  11. CRIMSON says:

    I’ve found that when a guy doesn’t respond to your text messages, e-mails, calls and so forth, he usually isn’t doing so intentionally, he’s busy doing other things, trying to forget about certain parts of his past. I would know, I’ve had some tough times, too. I may not be the brightest crayon strewn about the house, but I presume that this is out of fear, or a natural quirk that we all have not to touch the things that hurt us, be it physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. Eventually, it will come back to haunt, and when it does, he would do anything to get you back. If you let him, he may repeat the same mistakes that hurt you both in the first place.

  12. Frank says:

    My wife just left me after 17 years of marriage. We have a 13 yo daughter. I cannot eat. I cannot sleep. I cannot work. I love her so much but she says I concentrated more on career than her (i.e. no romance, no passion) and she has found spirituality to help her break up with me. She says I should date other women and she is excited about meeting other men. But I cannot imagine myself with anyone else but her. I have history with her. We started out poor together after Uni with nothing but an old bomb of a car and slowly went about improving ourselves with higher degrees and supporting each other. Sure, we had arguments and she even told me that we lacked love and passion for the last couple of years. But I ignored it except for some initial efforts. How can I get her back and how can I cure this over whelming depression and emptiness. I just wander the shopping mall like a zombie.

  13. kelly says:

    A sincere thank you to Kari. Beautifully stated about the nature of a forest fire and regeneration. To those her doubt her wisdom, read it again. She’s absolutely correct. It’s called Faith. And faith is meant to be challenging. My recommendation is to read some Rumi–that guy KNEW.

  14. Alan says:

    I am 29 yrs and I ws in a relationship with this girl ( she is 8yrs younger to me )for 3 yrs and we had frequent fights as well as good times … 3 months back I moved to new city for a better job.. within a month she said she does not have any feelings for me rather someone else even when I was wid her… Without knowing much I went to meet her … There she explained and said all the plans she is having wid her new found person..I am devasted hearing all this and I am feeling so hollow inside after this… I trusted her so much… I have gone crazy now… Doubting my every ability…She and her new bf are from my same college… I know I dont want her in my life but cant forgive her as a result I am not getting peace. For 2 months I have been trying all dat is available…I lost my self confidence… What shall I do.. Please advise

  15. tay s says:

    hi I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to offer me some advice. I’m 25 and I’ve been in love with my ex-girlfriend for 7 years. She returned those feelings 3 years ago and everything was great. We also moved in together. We were together for 2 years and had a lot of arguments about really small and stupid things but loved eachother very much. She eventually returned home and had enough of the arguments / relationship. Only after her leaving and having my first breakup and loss (she is the only girl I’ve ever been with) have a realized how sorry I am. I’ve tried everything from telling her I want to make things up to emailing her all the time. She isn’t interested and always asks for space. She left on the 26th December 2010 and a whole year has gone by and I feel depressed / down every single day. I wasn’t perfect and it was my first relationship but I have no idea what to do… I don’t want to move on because I can only imagine myself with her and it’s important to me that I’ve only been with her. But after a whole year and it being Christmas, nothing has changed. She only wants space, and we barely keep in contact. I often write long emails to her because I feel bad, and this causes her hurt and only results in her telling me I’m the same as when she left and to stop with those long letters. I don’t know what to do…

  16. kari says:

    Bless everyone here who is hurting. Remember this is a reaction of our fear. Please beleive me it will subside like any othe pain we suffer in life, Think about everything you have been through and survived. I am still healing from the end of a relationship that lasted 4 years, Its been a month and a half for me. My ex got a new job quite far away and we had been planning our move for 2 months. He was going to leave ahead of me to get settled and I would meet him a month later. Well the day he left I came home to a note – yes I was dumped. The letter was basically a list of everything “I” did wrong, berating me for every little thing I did “wrong” and how it was MY fault that he was doing things this way. 3 hours later he called me and told me to “tear up the letter” he had been crying eversince he left” , he continued to call me for days after only to yell and berate me for all my faults, I told him I couldnt take it anymore For 2 months he sat by and watched me give my notice to leave work, tell my friends and family that I was leaving, search for jobs in the new town ( which is also his hometown), spend hours looking for homes and getting estimates to move our things.
    I was devasted, here he is off to his hometown starting over fresh and new nobody will ever know how cruel he was to me. I am here with all the “old” furniture, memories etc, and also I live an 8 hour drive away from my family. I luckily was able to keep my job and my apartment. I have done a lot of soul searching and realize that Im going to be fine, PLEASE FOLLOW NO CONTACT! I read an article that just made so much , sense to me, when the relationship ended it was like a forest fire, burning away, then it slows, and when the fire finally stops, the soil regenerates and the forest grows again, stronger, more abundant and more beautiful. This is life take this time to heal, read blogs – these are a God Send ! Do whatever you need, start with baby steps , take vitamins, lose some weight, educate yourself. Before you know it you are coming out of the fire, stronger, more confident and better than ever. The universe provides us with everything we need and want in abundance, open your mind and its there for the taking, I wish you all the best. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers xoxo

  17. adelhide says:

    after 2 years of staying together we broke up 3weeks ago
    i went through emotional abuse,think i made the right choice to
    break up from my boyfriend…………it really hurts…..i call him sometimes but he ignores my calls!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Lola says:

    This post is for Zuri. I’m so sorry to read about your situation. I understand the pain of loving someone who doesn’t love you anymore. My partner left me 5 years ago, and I had been dealing with anxiety and depression as well. First let me say that you will never forget your husband. I know you asked what to do to forget him, but you shared your life with this person and you have children together, so there is no way that you will just forget him. But you can do things to not make him a priority in your life anymore. All the things you mentioned that you did (like going to school, losing weight, etc), make sure you are doing those things for yourself, not to try to get him back. I know it hurts like hell, but if a person can leave you when you’re at your lowest, do you really want to get back with them? Believe me, I’m not trying to be harsh. It took me years to come to terms with this myself. My partner left me when I was dealing with depression and anxiety. I don’t claim for one minute that dealing with that situation was easy, but the person who claims to love you forever shouldn’t just turn and run when things get hard. My partner showed me who she really was, and your husband has done the same. I bet you have done more personal work on yourself than your husband has, as it sounds like he just jumped into another relationship as soon as he left you. Same thing happened to me. I don’t think my partner will ever do any introspection or work on herself, as she prefers to just go from relationship to relationship instead of spending any time alone. As painful as this experience has been, I can honestly say that I have grown and I am a better person than I was when she left me, but she will never know that and it doesn’t matter to me anymore that she chose a life that doesn’t include me. Change your focus from your husband to yourself and your children. Your husband does not define you, and what he did to you does not define you. When that sadness starts to creep in, as it inevitably will, just think of what kind of person he really is. Think of what his moral character must be for him to be able to treat his wife that way. So often we hold on to the good memories, but the truth is if our spouses were as great as our memories trick us into believing, they never would have caused us so much pain. I hope this helped a little. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself the love that you didn’t get from your husband. I wish you well.

  19. zuri says:

    my husband left me two years ago..months after i got out from the hospital due to depression..i saw pictures of him with a girl in his facebook..and a friend saw him with his ex girlfriend at a mall months after he left me. after all that..i still want him to go back to me and let him see that im a changed woman..not like a nagger wife before.ive been going to school,loss weight,and i look prettier again like when he first met me.he keeps on telling me he doesn’t love me anymore.there is no other woman involve he said.but i couldn’t just believe him.ive been asking him these for two years,why doesn’t he want me back? now i think and feel that he really meant it when he said i have nothing to hope for.i don’t know how to forget him , i want to, cuz we have kids and they with me,i really want to know what to do to forget my husband..i really don’t know what to do..pls help… thanks

  20. Al says:

    Hi its good to read all your posts – so thank you. I just split up with my partner of 13 years and it is hell. i tried everything I could think of to make the relationship work but she was just making me miserable all the time. She was not stable mentally and was manipulating me. It took me a long time to accept that her behaviour was a result of her own unhappiness, and that she had been punishing me for years for her own feelings of being trapped. It was so hard to let her go – we brought up my son together and we had a house and a mortgage and had had so many plans for the future. Now that she’s moved out I hardly know what to do wth myself. there are good feelings – freedom from the negativity, the constant criticism and the constant threat of an argument – but like it says on this site, sometimes all I can remember is the good times. At these times, when I regret my decision, I call my sister or a friend, and they remind me why it was I had to do this. I never wanted us to end but I couldnt bear it any more. And I couldnt reason with her. She wouldnt accept responsibility for anything, especially not the behaviours that hurt me so much, which meant that we couldnt resolve them. I tried relationship counselling but that didnt work because we just went round and round in circles. So at least I have a lifeline – that those who love me remind me why I had to end it. I feel terrible and the guilt is awful. But it;s not right for two people to stay togther if they are unhappy. And I simply couldn’t bear it any more, seeing her so miserable all the time, so angry and so unable to take pleasure in anything. It’s all quite new and I keep finding myself thinking of her, wondering how she is, wondering what she’s doing. I need to cut those ties but I don;t know how, after all these years.
    She never even asked me why. We both wanted it – she agreed that once we had broached the subject. I know I wasn’;t perfect – but I did everythign I could for her – I was the main wage earner, i cooked every day, I paid for nice holidays and nice presnets. I was affectionate and loving and open with my feelings and shared my dreams and my thoughts with her, and welcomed anything she had to share. It was like she had lost interest in me. She’s moved to a place only a mile away and still picks my son up to take him to school a couple of mornings a week, and has him once a month. But I am not going back. She hurt me too much. She blames me for all of it. I just have to live with that.

  21. Brett says:

    The only way to survive sadness and depression after breaking up is to give it to God. The more you lean on the Creator of the Universe who gives you strength, the happier and more peaceful you’ll be.

  22. Heather says:

    I just moved to Germany a few months ago, and although I’ve been having a great time, I do get extra lonely and long for a relationship. I got really excited when I met this new guy who seemed to be everything I was hoping for. Unfortunately, after we got to know each other better, I had strong feelings, while he didn’t. I am feeling really sad today, because he just told me yesterday. Living in a new country is making this so much harder, even though it wasn’t that long of a thing… Ugh, I am okay being alone, but sometimes it just gets old.

  23. Jan says:

    Thanks for your kind words Laurie – I think it would be easier for me to move on if I could understand whether he finished with me because of his depression or because he just doesnt want to be with me any more.

  24. Lia says:

    I am the one doing the breaking up,after 8 years together i just don’t love my husband anymore.
    I feel in that time he has changed and isnt the person i met or fell in love with.
    I have a son from a previous relationship and feel my husband doesnt devote enough time to or want to play a parenting role,so many times i do feel as though i have always been a 1 parent family.
    Even in this marriage i have often felt alone.

    However i am so confused as though it is me doing the break up and is my choice,i am consumed with sadness and total heart break.
    I know i can no longer want to be with him but feel as though in some ways i can’t bare to be without him.
    Perhaps its the being on my own or not in a relationship that scares me more than being without the person.

  25. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Sweetu,

    Interesting question! I think that the person who does the breaking up may be more likely to remember both the good and bad parts of the relationship. In fact, he or she may remember the bad more than the good, because he or she is the one who initiated the breakup – and perhaps for good reason.

    Of course, everyone is different. Some people impulsively make a decision to break up, and then later all they can remember are the good parts! I really think it depends on the situation and the person; everyone is different.

    But regardless of who did the breaking up, both individuals will likely experience sadness and depression. It may seem odd that the person who initiated the break up has something to survive, but it’s true!

    I hope this helps, and welcome your thoughts.


  26. sweetu says:

    “After a relationship breakup, you may remember only the good.”—- as mentioned by the author of the article here. I want to ask does it also happens to the one who breaks up with us or only the one who has been dumped? Whats the psychology in that?

  27. fitness girl says:

    Orville….I can relate this situation.Im also in break up last month and until now his still on my mind its hard to move on quickly i need to get my mind busy so i can forget him right away.The best thing to do maybe is to focus on my job and thats what i do.

  28. jessica says:

    my husband is still living under the same roof but decides to stay with his girlfriend whenever he fancies, wont move in with her, help

  29. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Winn,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your college sweetheart…but glad that this information about surviving sadness after breaking up helped.

    That’s great that you have a new job and new city — and congratulations on being a college graduate! I encourage you to get involved in activities and clubs in your new city. Maybe join a Meetup or two, or find an outdoor club, book group, or new hobby of some sort. Try to keep yourself busy….you’ll have less time to reflect, and be sad and depressed.


  30. winn says:

    I am so grateful to read these. It makes me feel less “alone”. My college sweetheart of 3 years broke up with me to move home and start a new life. We seemed very happy, but now that we ended it, I am realizing he wasn’t as happy as I thought he was. This has been the hardest 16 days of my life (he left only that long ago) and my life feels very sad. Not only is this the emotional effects of a break up, but I also have a new job, moved to a new city, and just graduated college. Feeling alone, so thanks to all who share that we will be okay. I send my good thoughts out to those who are in the same situation.

  31. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Mary, Blair,

    I am very sorry to hear about your breakups. It’s difficult to overcome the loss of a relationship and cope with the consequences (fear, inability to trust, etc). Trust me, I know how hard it is!

    While I can’t give you personal advice, I can encourage you to move on with your life. You need to get strong and healthy emotionally, physically, spiritually, and even professionally. I know it seems hard or even impossible to get healthy and strong again, but it’s really important.

    The best advice I have for surviving sadness and depression after breaking up is to learn how to let go of the person you love. Where and how do you start letting go? You keep trying different things until you find what works for you. Mary, you found that counseling and antidepressants didn’t help. Maybe changing your life will be more effective — such as moving to a different city, traveling, or joining a support group. Others find physical spa treatments helpful, or alternative therapies such as reiki or energy healing).

    There are SO many ways to get healthy and move on! The trick is finding what works for you.

    I wrote an ebook to help people let go after a breakup, called Letting Go of Someone You Love: 75 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart and Let Go of the Past

    Check it out; it may be just what you need. I hope it helps, and wish you all the best.


  32. Mary says:

    The main thing is that I have no faith in people anymore. He lied, cheated, and abused me, and yet each time I left, I went back. I’m worried that I’ll never trust anyone else.

  33. Mary says:

    It’s a really hard topic. My boyfriend of nearly 4 years (2 living together) broke up with me about 3 months ago, on the phone. Despite anti-depressants and hours and hours of counselling I still feel terrible. I’ve now been referred to a psychiatrist because of depression and anxiety. I’m in my early twenties, but it’s hard to imagine having another relationship. It was my first serious relationship. My family and friends are being very supportive, but I still just can’t cope. I’ve had to drop out of college (I hope only temporarily) because I’m in such a state. Does anyone have any advice?

  34. Blair says:

    Hi Laurie. All this information is a very good read to me. One question. How do you even start to get over someone who had an affair on you and your small family? We were married for 18 great years, more good times then bad. Reconciliation is not going to work b/c she has stated that it is over!!! We have 2 wonderful children together, but almost every day I have to deal with her (ex). It is so difficult, and she is so difficult with me! I love my kids so much, but she is coddling them so much and making it so hard for me and them to spend time together. It’s in the courts right now, and I wish none of this ever happened!!! Any answers would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

  35. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:


    I’m sorry to hear about your breakup, after 26 years of marriage. That’s sad.

    But, thank you for your wise words on surviving sadness and depression after breaking up. I hope people take your advice!


  36. Russ says:

    Some great comments and stories here. My wife of 26 years ended our marraige and I too chose to fold up like an accordian and begin a long lonely grieving process. People, I am here to tell you the truth. Yours and mine. We choose to define ourselves by our partners. We choose to assign our partners the responsibility for our happiness. We choose to ruminate over coulda, woulda, shoulda. What all of us should be doing, is thinking how we now have an opportunity to make all our own choices and be whoever we want to be. You cannot change the past, so staying stuck thinking on it is a choice. A poor painful choice. Do not assign that power to your ex partner. We were individuals before we met them and we still are after. Deep inside we all know a relationship is unhealthy unless both are committed to grow within it. It is our refusal to let go of the relationship that causes all the pain. Our choice.

  37. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Claudia,

    I’m so sorry to hear about you and your boyfriend. It sounds like you’re heartbroken. It’s hard enough to survive the sadness and depression of breaking up — without having to see your ex-boyfriend at work all the time!

    The tips I have are too long for this comments section, so I wrote an article for you.

    Dated a Coworker? How to Deal With a Breakup at Work

    Also — it may be an unfortunate consequence that your business relationship may not survive your love relationship breakup. I don’t know for sure — some people can continue to work with coworkers they broke up with! But, the reality may be that you and your ex-boyfriend simply can’t work together after breaking up.

    I wonder if taking a break from work would help? Maybe taking a week or even a month off? I know that’s not possible for most employees…it’s just a thought. Maybe you need time to heal without seeing your ex-boyfriend, before you continue your working relationship together.

    Anyway, I hope the tips in the article help.


  38. claudia says:

    I have just broken up with my boyfriend, whom I have been dating for 4 years by now. We have been so much together these 4 years, I do not remember doing anything without him being present. It is so painful that I think I could not resist. It What makes the things worse is that I work with him together at the same place and it kills me to see him every single day. I cant avoid seeing him because we have a business running together and now I am afraid that our business relation will be ruined too.
    Pls advise what to do. I am just turing crazy. Everyone says I should avoid seeing him. But I cant. Tell me what to do…

  39. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Veronica,

    You and your boyfriend have really been through alot in the past eight years! That’s a long time to be going back and forth like that.

    Before you can worry about a relationship with someone else, I think you need to resolve this one. That means letting go of your boyfriend, letting go of what you thought your life would be like with him.

    How do you heal from almost a decade of love, confusion, frustration, and heartache? Talk to a counselor, read books about ending relationships, figure out what kept you in that relationship for eight years, and learn how to be emotionally and spiritually healthy.

    I think talking to a counselor is the best way to survive sadness and depression after breaking up….a counselor can help you with all the things I mentioned!

    I wish I had easier answers, but I don’t. It takes time and effort to be healthy again after a relationship like you’ve had…but you CAN do it! You will heal and learn to love again — but you have to focus on getting healthy. It has to be a priority in your life.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best.


  40. Veronica says:

    Great to have found a site where reading others’ experiences makes me feel as though I am not alone. With my boyfried on and off for 8 yrs. Was always bad timing (starting new careers, moving, etc.) We spoke of marriage frequently and everyone that knew us thought the same. He is an only child and was raised in a pretty dysfunctional family. Parents were married, but had a strange relationship. His father always made him feel like a failure and a loser, would even make comments in front of me. I gave him time to live on his own and went so far as telling him to date other people to see if he found someone to compare. Crazy, I know, but I never wanted him to resent me when & if we got married. He always said that I was exactly what he always dreamed of in a wife. His family & friends adored him too. 3 yrs ago, his mom was diagnosed w pancratic cancer and passed 6 mos later. That was devastating for him. We weren’t together at the time, but I did my best to support his family and him. His girlfriend/fling of the moment dumped him right before his mom passed and we tried working things out abotu 3 mos before her passing. She made me promise to take care of him since he doesn’t get along with his dad. I promised I would as long as he let me. She passed away & I gave him space to deal with everything. Everyone thought we would marry before she died or right after and I had already convinced myself that a marriage is not a big fancy wedding & I was OK at the courthouse. Never happened.

    3 years later, we have gone back & forth a few times. His best friend is a jerk that cheats on his wife. His dad moved in with a new girlfriend about a yr ago, he has many friends that are either divorced or in bad marriages and he has said that he is scared. He hates to talk about feelings and refused to seek counseling. This man is the love of my life. We knew each other in high school and it seemed like we were a fairytale couple. Every time we ended things, I figured “if you love something…” he always came back. I know that he loves me and cares for me & doesn’t try to intentionally hurt me, but he does. This yr I started a new job & figured a new beginning all together. I convinced myself that we weren’t meant to be and it was time to move on. I went through the hurt & anger of not ever having closure of knowing why he didn’t want to be with me. Everytime I asked, he never answered the question. Just as I thought my heart was ready to move on, he called. It’s like he had a radar that let him know I was over him. We spent July 4th weekend together as friends and had a wonderful time. I really didn’t ask too many questions so I could just enjoy the moments like old times. Now I find myself back to where I started and heartbroken all over. We spoke and I told him I couldn’t do this anymore or be friends with him and he swore he had no intention of hurting me. I have all of these feelings going on and not sure of what to do. We spoke yesterday and he still can’t answer why he’s not with me. He says he does want to get married (he’s 38), but is afraid of marriage and doesn’t understand that it’s a compromise.
    I’ve made a million excuses as to why he acts this way. He has really poor examples of happy marriages in his life, he’s afraid of losing someone else that he loves, he’s insecure and thinks that I would leave him. I don’t get it! He is an amazing man with a huge heart. He is far from perfect, but we all are. I am a fairly attractive woman with a lot going for me, but there are no men to date in the city I live or they are looking for the 20 yr olds with fake tans & everything else. I can’t meet a guy to save my life and all my friends are married, so it’s tough to get out there. Tried the internet thing & it didn’t work out. I’ve held on to hope that we keep coming back to each other for a reason, but I think it’s time for me to let go of my dreams of ending up togeter and getting married. Something that we had spent so many years talking about. It’s letting go of a person, but also what I envisioned my life to be like with him. What hurts is that I’ve loved him so unconditionally and we have gone through so many things together. I’m afraid I won’t be able to feel the same about anyone esle again. I feel as though my heart is closed for business and can’t take anymore heartbreak. Help!!!

  41. Isabel says:

    Hi there,
    Well here I sit its been a couple of days. I was with my BF 1 yeah 1/2..I broke it off because there is so many lies that come out of him and I can’t trust him. I am not willing to go through any more of it. I know I deserve better , I have dealt with a heart break before. Y does this one seem 1 million times harder, I keep thinking about Y is it so hard if I did it once then I should be able to do this so easy. I keep obsessing over him. I thought about it , I think because I want him to be the one. But in my heart of hearts I know we are not for each other. I just want this painto go away , I know it will as time passes, I just want to let him go, I’ve gotten rid of everything that belong to him, change my number all sorts of thing but my mind thoughts keep playing games.Its so hard. Its not like I’m alone I have friendsfamily even a male friend who is there. But I still want him, but we can’t be I want my heart to understand and accept it!

  42. Gol says:

    I had a bf who was madly in love with me for 3 years he was 4 years younger than me (me 29 him 25 now) everything went well till his father started annoying us by blaming him and threatening him no to support him financially coz of me being older than his son! I’m well educated as my friends say beautiful and as I know kind and loyal but because of his dad he lost his passion and since last year he’s been so cold decided to go abroad and leave me here! Sometimes i feel like the passionate one died! Anyway yesterday I broke up with him (as I had done many times before and then I just made up with after begging on my knees) I really feel bad about myself and the time I wasted and can’t stop the hatered of his father who igonred all my good qualities he hasn’t called os txted me since yesterday and this make me feel mad how can I love myself again and let go of him and also control myself not to go back and beg him for return :(

  43. Amber says:

    its hard for me to live my life again..i feel as if im not alive..i cant think of anything except him…we broke up in 28 december and now im in the third month but still thinking of him and love him wondering how much time i need to heal?? i was with him for 9 months

  44. augustina says:

    Hi Kristen,
    it’s only been 6 weeks since your breakup! please be patient with yourself. You were with your bf for 5 years and that is a long time. I know it hurts right now. Though everyone is different, I think i’m still coming out of the shock and denial phase of grief. I had a little glimpse of “acceptance” but even that goes up and down. Be extra kind and gentle with yourself as you go through this healing process. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. It’s really tough for me too and like you, sometimes i have trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel too. I know it’s there though for you and for me. Big hugs to you!

  45. Kristen says:

    Your story reminds me of mine. About 6 weeks ago today my boyfriend of 5 years broke up with me. He also just “gave up” and didn’t want to work on our issues. After 6 weeks I still feel depressed and wonder when I will start to feel better. I just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.

  46. Augustina says:

    Thank-you for this article. My boyfriend of 4 years broke up with me 6 weeks ago. It was a shock as I thought we were for the most part, “happy”. He just ran out of steam and did not want to work on our issues anymore. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I had no control over his actions and decision in the matter. I thought he was “the one”, but evidently, I wasn’t “the one” for him. This is an extremely sad time for me. I’m fortunate in that I have a therapist who i can speak with regularly and as someone who has battled depression in the past, I had to restart my antidepressant medication under the guidance of my doctor. Though I know i will get through this and be okay again, it sure FEELS like this will be an uphill battle.

    To everyone who has posted about their breakup, my heart goes out to you. Don’t give up. We will get better.

  47. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Ashley,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your break up, and your boyfriend not being ready to get back together.

    The best, healthiest thing you can do is give him time and space. This definitely isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it really is the most important! He needs to figure out what he wants, and it won’t help if you’re “in his face” or contacting him.

    I encourage you to focus on creating a happy, healthy life apart from him — I know it seems like you can’t survive the sadness and depression you feel, but you CAN. And, you will. Create a happy life by pursuing the activities that make you feel alive and fulfilled (and you love lots of things in life, not just your ex!). Force yourself to get out there and participate in your own life — and you will start to feel better.

    If you can’t find the motivation create a happy life, try telling yourself that a happy, fulfilled, healthy woman is someone your partner will want very much, and be very attracted to. He won’t want to be with a sad, depressed woman who can’t survive a break up. The sooner you can get on with your life, the happier you’ll be…and the more attractive you’ll be. And you’ll soon find that even if you don’t get back together with your ex, you will be enjoying your life!

    Now go out there and make your life fun, meaningful, and healthy.


  48. ashley says:

    i just went through a breakup and i still love my partner very much. i cant sleep or eat and all i want to do its call him. he lives across the world and we were going to live together in 2 months in the same place. i thought he felt the same way i do but when i saw him he said he was not ready, it was a huge shock
    what should i do?

  49. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Leann,

    I’m so sorry about your separation, and encourage you to talk to a counselor or therapist. Sometimes the sadness and depression after breaking up is unbearable, and we need external support and guidance.

    If you like, I’ll post links to articles about getting over a relationship breakup. You may not be ready to date anyone else — and that’s not necessarily part of surviving a breakup! But, you may need ideas for healing and preparing to move on…and I can give you some help here.

    I wish you all the best as you heal from this heartbreak. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  50. Leann says:

    recently separated and like Dina, have been married almost 28 years. together for 33……….doesn’t know what he wants anymore, but does know not me. I am totally devastated and feel like i can’t get through this……..The pain is just unbearable, and can’t even think about anyone else ever………..never thought this would ever ever happen.

  51. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Dina,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your relationship of 26 years has come to the point of emotional separation…that’s very difficult to deal with. You’ve been with him for half your life, and just adjusting to a new life without him won’t be easy.

    If you need links to articles about surviving divorce and separation, please let me know. I can post them here…and if you’d like to share your feelings or emotions, please feel free! Sometimes just writing how you feel and what you think, either online or in a private journal, can help you survive feelings of sadness and depression after breaking up.

    I hope you’re doing okay…please come back anytime. I’d love to hear from you.


  52. dina says:

    I’m going through emotional separation. It’s so hard. He has been very clear about his feelings…i have to learn to get on with my life without him. I’m 52, with him 26 years. it’s hard.

  53. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thanks for your comment, Britney! I agree that letting go and focusing on the idea that there is someone better suited to you out there can help you survive sadness and depression after a break up.

  54. Britney S. says:

    Most everyone goes through sadness and depression after breaking up! But, you have to remember that there is someone BETTER out there for you, or you’ll never get over your heartache. Let your old person go and focus on finding someone better, who will make you happier. Unhealthy relationships break up. If your relationship was healthy, then you would still be together!

    Dont’ worry, be happy.


  55. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Eight years is a long time to feel sadness and depression after breaking up! I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t think it should still be “extremely difficult”…have you thought about talking to a counselor about how you’re dealing with this relationship loss?


  56. Sandra says:

    hasn’t gotten easier for me. It’s been more than 8 years and it’s still extremely difficult. I was with him from the time I was 17. It’s shattering.

  57. Fox says:

    I am definitely bookmarking this page and sharing it with my friends.


  58. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I’m glad this relationship advice helped, Kim! Good luck, and feel free to comment anytime :-)

  59. Kim says:

    I’ve had a hard time adjusting to this issue. Your information has really helped. Thanks very much.

  60. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Orville, I hope everything’s going okay for you. The first few weeks and months after breaking up are the hardest, but it does get easier!

  61. orville barba says:

    you’re right… i’m in a break-up moment right now and as what you have said… i’ve tried to stay away from her in order to avoid any good memories from coming back and being stuck this bad situation… thanks…

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