How to Recover From Broken Promises in a Relationship

broken promisesBroken promises not only destroy trust, they affect your future relationships. These tips on recovering from broken promises are inspired by a reader’s comment.

She says:

“I am a 21 year old girl, married to a 40 year old man. I don’t love my husband, I married him to provide for my needs. I want to go to school, and he promised to send me to school if I gave him a baby. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and when I asked him about school, he totally refused and asked me to give him another baby. My doctor warned me that I shouldn’t have another child for three years. My husband told me to leave if I want, he will marry someone else who will fill his needs. I feel heartbroken. I don’t have any education or money, and no one to help me. What am I going to do? Should I stay and die softly or go? Please help me.”

Well, the good news is that she didn’t love him! It was a business arrangement: I will marry you and have your child if you promise to send me to school.

The bad news is that he broke his promise. He’s an old guy who saw an opportunity in this girl, and has no problem lying to her, using her, and tossing her aside. It’s disgraceful.

But she was using him too, wasn’t she? She’s a smart woman who wants an education because she knows she won’t get far without it. She married him to meet her needs. Unfortunately, she couldn’t see through his lies, and didn’t think she’d be having to cope with his broken promises.

Recovering From Broken Promises

What promises did your boyfriend or husband make to you? Were they verbally agreed-upon promises or simply expectations you had in your relationship? It’s important to figure this out.

It’s also important to remember that you WILL survive this if you refuse to give up on your hope for a future, for love, for whatever it is you want out of life.

Decide if you should stay in the relationship

I can’t tell this girl if she should leave her husband. It breaks my heart, because she had a baby in order to further her education, and that little baby will actually make it more difficult to go to school. It’s tragic – and all because of that a$$hole who lied to her.

She is right that she’ll die softly if she stays married to him. But, sometimes it’s easier in the short term to stay, because it’s really hard to make it on our own! Lack of money, fear, anxiety — there are so many factors that keep us trapped in bad relationships.

Where do you want to be in a year? Start thinking about that. Write down your plans, your hopes, your dreams. Keep them in front fo you.

Remember how strong you are

You believed his promises, but that doesn’t mean you’re gullible or stupid! It just means you wanted to believe him so badly, and perhaps also means that you’re young. You haven’t lived through many broken promises yet, so you don’t realize how common they are.

It takes a great deal of strength to marry a man and have his child, so you can go to school! You are determined and motivated. You had a goal, and you did what you thought you needed to do to reach that goal.

You are strong and smart – and you CAN survive this.

Take it one step at a time

It’s time to make a plan, to start mapping out how you will recover from his lies and broken promises. You’ll need to set small goals, both emotional and practical, and keep adding to your list as you accomplish each task.

An example of a practical goal is figuring out how you will support yourself without your husband. Where will you go? How will you get money? I don’t have any answers for you; you need to come up with your own plan. Break it down into small steps: could you rent a room in a house? Work for a year or two while saving up for school?

I know it’s extremely difficult for women in underprivileged countries to get an education. It’s an uphill battle – but women HAVE done it!

Pull back

I want you to step back and look at your life from a long-term perspective. This relationship breakup seems like a huge, terrible crisis right now – but in the long run, it will be a blip on your lifespan. You WILL recover from this if you focus on moving your life forward one step at a time. Don’t feel like you have to go to school right now; maybe you’ll have to wait a year or two. Don’t feel like you need to jump into a new relationship right away – or that you’ll be alone forever! You won’t be alone forever. You’re better off without this man who lied and broke his word.

What do you think…how will you recover from the broken promises in your relationship?

Fix Your Marriage

If you don’t think you can survive on your own, read How to Stop Loving a Man Who Lies, Cheats, and Steals.

Before You Go...

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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
I'm a full-time freelance writer and blogger in Vancouver, BC. I created the "Quips and Tips" blog series; my degrees are in Education, Psychology, and Social Work. I welcome your comments below, but I don't give advice. I can offer you a prayer and a blessing, though! You'd be surprised how helpful a prayer can be....

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6 Responses

  1. cythia geoge says:

    I thank God who led me to this website, From our last chat, many things have happened in my life, I now have the confidence to stood up against him when he came back, I’m now a free woman. I met my Cousin few months ago, I told her my ordeals with philip and she was bittered she asked me to come to her place, I was taken to a new foundation opened by an anctress in my country. She enrolled me to a finishing school. By next month I will be through with my training. I’m going to learn a skill when an through with it. my baby and i are very happy, we have a place to rest our heads and we are not staving. I really appreciate your kind words to me. I don’t know if you permit me to call you “MOTHER’ because that’s what you are to me, you openned my eyes and you ares always there to listen to me. I want the whole world to see that I now have a MOTHER. Thank you in million folds, more inspirations to you. I will keep on notifying you in new my development…I want you to be pround of me when I eventually become successful.

    • Laurie says:


      Thank you for being here, and for the update! It sounds like you’re moving forward with your life — good for you :-)

      You are taking care of yourself and your baby, and I’m already proud of you. Success is in moving forward, one step at a time. Achievements are good, such as getting your training and finding a job, but the REAL success is in daily moments of moving forward. Sometimes, just getting out of bed and to work or school is a success!

      Don’t forget to celebrate the little things, for that is where joy and happiness are found.

      I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


  2. Laurie says:

    Dear jes,

    Have you called social services, the police, or a womens’ shelter? I don’t know what resources are available in your area. Please call a local helpline or even a distress line, and learn what help you can get.

    Let me know what you can find out! It sounds like you need help getting your partner out of your home. He’s an addict, which complicates things. Please call a local organization for help, and let me know what they say.

  3. jes says:

    hey! i am in a similiar situation i just dont know what to do i am not married first of all and this is my house we have kids he is a addict an he wont leave my home i own it. i am afraid of him. he is not going to change can someone help me.

  4. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your comments, Cynthia! And I appreciate your blessing.

    All good things,

  5. cynthia geoge says:

    Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and lots of advice i feel blessed, God will continue to bless and inspire you more, he will grant you all your heart desires and that of your family. he will enlarge and multiply you and don’t think you won’t be able to have kids cos you will . have faith a seventy yrs old woman gave birth in my country there is nothing impossible for God of shedrack, meshack and abadnegor to do. it seems like a heavy burden have been lifted off my shoulder.


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