Even when you know breaking up is the best choice, it’s sad and depressing. These reasons breaking up is hard to do will help you cope – they’re from two women who weren’t well-behaved!
Why women who weren’t well behaved? Because those are my favourite type of women! And it’s May, so here on Quips and Tips I’m featuring mothers who shook things up a little.
Here’s a quip from one of my favourite authors and mothers, Anne Lamott:
“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”
How’s that for not well-behaved? She wasn’t talking about how hard breaking up is – I think she was talking about overcoming her drug and/or food addiction. Overcoming an addiction can be similar to healing from a breakup – especially if you feel trapped by obsessive love.
5 Reasons It’s So Hard to Get Over a Breakup
You haven’t dealt with the past
Here’s what life coach Martha Beck says (another mom who wasn’t well-behaved!):
“Most often, heartbroken people are unknowingly grieving a loss or trauma rooted in childhood or adolescence. That’s because we tend to fall in love with people who remind us of those who cared for us—even badly—when we were young and totally vulnerable. We become childlike when we feel securely adored, letting go of all inhibition. The failure of adult relationships is often caused by the dysfunctions we internalized as children, and the devastation we endure when we’re rejected almost always opens ancient wounds, making us feel as bereft as an abandoned little kid.” – from Martha Beck’s Guide to Learning From Love and Loss.
I absolutely did not fall in love with and marry a man who reminds me of someone who cared for me in my childhood! I don’t know my dad, and my mom is schizophrenic. My husband is the complete opposite of both of them: he’s loving, supportive, kind, gentle, and totally trustworthy.
What about you – did you fall in love with someone who reminds you of your childhood? Is this why it’s so hard to get over the breakup?
You’re scared you’ll never find love again
This fear has kept me in more crappy relationships than I care to admit. I was scared nobody else would love me, and I’d die without getting married. I worried that I was too old to fall in love, that all the single men would want younger, skinnier, prettier women.
Is this one of the reasons you’re not coping well with the breakup?
You’re scared to be alone
This is different than the fear of never finding love again. I wasn’t scared to be alone after the breakup; I just scared I’d be alone FOREVER! I would’ve gotten over several of my breakups much quicker if I knew I’d one day be happily married.
If you’re worried about living alone, paying bills alone, coping with household bills and chores and problems alone, read How to End a Relationship When You’re Scared to Be Alone. It’s a major reason it’s so hard to get over a breakup – and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!
You don’t like who you were before the relationship
Sometimes being in love frees us to do and be different things than we were before. For instance, marriage changed how I see myself (for better or worse!). If I was separated, I’d see myself differently – and divorce would also change how I see myself.
Here’s what life coach Martha Beck says:
“Being in love is so intoxicating, that special person so compelling, that lovers often drop some of the obligations and rules that dominated their lives before they met. When you’re in love, you may forget that you don’t usually allow yourself to splurge on perfume, or write poetry, or be wildly sexual, or say no to invitations you’d rather not accept. When your relationship is over, the bleak prospect of going back to the rules can drive you to the brink of despair, making you pine obsessively for your lost love to return and free you again.” – from the same article in the first reason it’s so hard to get over a breakup.
What do you think – are you holding on to your ex because he let you be someone you aren’t when you’re single?
You fill in the fifth reason it’s so hard to get over breaking up
Tell me why you think it’s so hard to get over a breakup. What are you struggling with, and what advice do you have for others? It’s different for everyone, and I’d love to hear from you.
If you’d rather get more tips on healing, read How to Get Over a Break Up and Accept That It’s Over.
Have you read any of Martha Beck’s books? Her newest is Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want. If you’re getting over a breakup, now’s the time to find your way and reclaim your true nature!
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.