4 Benefits of a Getting Over a Break-Up No Matter How Much It HurtsFFOL Editor 1
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together” – Marilyn Monroe
If anyone has been through break-up heartache- it’s me. I’m on my sixth long term relationship. Every time I went through a break-up, I thought the world was ending. I thought they were the only one. I thought certainly there must be a mistake.
I thought they were the one for me and I must be completely in the wrong, right? They must have broken up with me because I was too insecure, fussy, opinionated, controlling, nice……you fill in the blank.
Before we begin you need to remember is the following: YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE RIGHT PERSON.
The reason those break-ups were a blessing in disguise is simple. They weren’t right for me. I wanted them to be. I tried, and I fought, and I did all the work and all I got in the end was exhaustion. I spent my days trying to prove how good of a person and a partner I could be and it got me nowhere.
What I came to realize is that, all those men and all of those break-ups were a blessing in disguise because they brought me to where I am today, and they brought me to be the person I always wanted to be and the person I always wanted to be with.
So, no matter how much it hurts and no matter how much you feel like you will die inside if you aren’t with them and they are your only true love it isn’t true. No only will you love again, but here are the reasons the break up is a blessing and not a curse:
1. You realize you aren’t emotionally ready
My first real relationship (I don’t count teenage stuff) lasted from twenty-one to twenty-five. He was my first real love. He was smart and a bit of a bad boy without really being one. He had tattoos in the days long before tattoos were cool. He drove a British motorcycle and could quote philosophy and literature. He came from a good family and we had amazing chemistry.
We met, we committed, we moved in and played house together. I had no idea what that meant. My parents were married a long time and they never fought and never seemed to have problems, so I had absolutely no idea what it meant to have conflict as an adult in a relationship.
I never communicated my feelings, because I didn’t know how to. I wasn’t even sure if I knew how I was feeling half the time. When I told him about my childhood sexual abuse, he told me I should just, “get over it”. Seriously dude? Boys say that. Men don’t. But, at the time I still felt guilty and thought maybe he was right so I pushed it down and pushed it away (which never works).
We tried our best, but we didn’t know what we were doing an it all fell apart without us really knowing how or why.
We broke up and got back together but it never got any better because we didn’t know how to be clear about who we were and what we wanted, and we had absolutely no idea how to communicate our needs in an effective, loving manner.
If you are young and ill-prepared for a relationship you will have an uphill battle and it doesn’t mean you don’t love them or that you did something wrong.
Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know until we look back and see everything from a different light.
Sometimes you just aren’t emotionally ready for a relationship.
2. It Teaches You To Value Yourself
My second relationship was with a sex addict who used to emotionally abuse me and demean me to the point where I felt like I was a shell of a human being and in all reality I was.
Yet, I still craved his love and attention. When he broke up with me the first time, I sat and cried for five days straight in the middle of the living room. I had never felt such intense pain. I literally thought my heart would break and I would die while I was sitting there, pillow clutched in my arms sobbing like a fool.
What I didn’t realize at the time was the fact that I was playing out the abuser-abusee dynamic trying to create a new outcome. Again, being a sexual abuse survivor, I had subconsciously put myself back in the hands of my abuser. I believed if only he would love me then I would be saved.
But he didn’t love himself and he certainly couldn’t love me and vice versa. We loved each other in a co-dependent, toxic, unhealthy merry-go-round of constant pursuit and withdrawal.
If you come from a history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse you will be attracted to a partner who will treat you this way because you believe if they treat you kindly instead of abusing you then you’re not so bad after all. But this is a farce. It never works that way. Your partner can’t save you.
What they will do is keep abusing you and because you are used to it you will make excuses for why it’s okay until you find the strength to get your power back and get out.
Although getting out of this relationship will be emotionally devastating at the time in truth it getting out will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Once you find some internal strength you will become renewed. You will see life on your terms and not based on the reflection of someone else.
3. They teach you that love isn’t enough
My third relationship lasted almost eight years and it only lasted that long because we had distance between us. Honestly, it should have been three years at most. We were not right for each other.
We had this idyllic fairy tale love. Boy from another country meets Girl on vacation. They fall immediately in love and must be together and they spend the next seven years trying to make it happen. No amount of distance or money, or culture or will stop them.
Yet, it was all a dream. A fantasy of what I thought it should be. Yes, I loved him, but we were from different countries and we were just too different for it to work. He was a good guy, but not for me. For my part, I never stopped to think about anything other than the fact that I loved him, and I pushed to make it all work because I felt it would fall apart if I didn’t. Looking back, maybe it should have.
It doesn’t matter how much you love someone if you aren’t right for each other. If you want kids and he doesn’t you aren’t right for each other. If his values are different from yours then you aren’t right for each other. If he wants a stay-at-home wife and you want a career you aren’t right for each other. If they expect you to change your religion or who you are to be with them, then they aren’t right or you.
There was something that kept me connected to him even though I really didn’t like him all that much after a while. Looking back, I knew we weren’t right for each other, but I ignored it because “I loved him”.
Don’t make that mistake. Loving someone isn’t enough. Looking back, I don’t regret my time with him, but I do regret I spent eight years instead of three. I wish him all the best and hope he is happy, but I’m thankful every day we are not together. But I certainly didn’t feel that way when I was in it.
Know that no matter how much it hurts, if you don’t get back together and if it doesn’t work out then one day you will look back and be thankful you didn’t waste more time.
4. Ultimate, they aren’t THE ONE
Often, we try to make someone fit what we want them to be and that was my fifth boyfriend. The relationship was brief- only lasting three months, but it was hard to get over because it represented so much.
When we met, he presented as all the things I had ever wanted. Kind, generous, honest, ethical, committed, complimentary, sexually open and hardworking. BINGO!
But, behind all of that was an emotionally withdrawn man who could not share himself with me and everything he presented at the outset was a façade, a ploy if you will to draw me in. I think he might be that person I thought he was deep down inside but he was too fearful to expose his true self and slowly the person he presented backed away until I was left dazed and confused.
I ended things early on, but it was extremely difficult to reconcile who I THOUGHT he was with who he REALLY was. I couldn’t make sense of it. I obsessed about it for quite a long time. I tried love meditations to get him to connect with me on a deeper level. I wanted to try again.
In my mind I thought he could be The One. He represented all those things I wanted. WTF went wrong? I realized I had placed all my hopes and dreams on an idealization rather than a reality and it took me a long time to reconcile the two. We ended up getting back together briefly four months later, but it was an utter disaster and I had changed too much not to notice.
With that disappointment and disaster came a major shift. I realized I never wanted to go through all of that again and I was tired of failing with men and relationships and love. I underwent an intense course of self-examination.
What I Learned
No one person can make you happy or fill your dreams or be the one that saves you because only you can do that. Once you learn this, live this and believe this the world opens to you.
About two years ago I met my current boyfriend. The relationship before him taught me I could never again hide myself, invest in my fears, live by the old rules or make the same mistakes. I vowed I would be open and vulnerable and that I would be honest with my feelings no matter how much it scared me, and boy did it scare the living crap out of me.
I can honestly say that my boyfriend is the best thing that has ever happened to me and if I hadn’t met all those guys and been through all that heartbreak and cried and listened and learned I wouldn’t be where I am today.
There are countless reasons why your break-up is really a blessing in disguise, but these are just four of them so take heart. Not all is lost or can be lost. What you are creating is a new future, whether it’s with your ex or someone new. Don’t despair because the feelings you have right now won’t last forever no matter how utterly devastated you feel right now.
Trust me. I’ve been there. You will love again even if you never get back with your ex.