How to mend a broken heart?


#1

Hi everyone,

I’m wondering if you can help me. I’m a 26 year-old woman who has been in love with my ex-boyfriend for three years. I have tried not talking to him for months on end, and not looking him up on facebook or on-line. I never see him face-to-face because he moved far away two years ago. For two years after he dumped me I was convinced God wanted us to marry (don’t ask me why. I’m a fool, and I thought God had told me so. Now I firmly believe I was wrong about that. :blush:) My question is: what are ways I can get over him? I’ve prayed for years to get over him. I’ve dated other people. I’m a member of Ave Maria Singles. I’ve read books on the subject. I’m at my wit’s end. Every time I think I’m over him, I find a few days later that I’m not because I cry my eyes out that I miss him. And whenever I date, I miss him more. I wish I could muster up any interest in someone else because I know there are good Catholic men out there, and I would love to fulfill my vocation to marriage sometime. Anyway, If this is not enough detail, I am happy to answer any questions, and I would be grateful for any advice. It would be such a relief to be free of that man!


#2

Hi welcome to CAF.Im sorry you are suffering the pain of break up and adjustment to moving on after the relationship ends.I am no expert and have no specific proper advice...just i care and im sorry you are suffering.For me, it was important for me to understand the break up of a relationship is the same grief you feel for a loved one dying, it is the death of a relationship.Just as bereavement takes a long time to come to terms with i needed to understand that after the relationship ended it was going to take a long time to move on.
It is deeply painful when you have invested your love and trust to someone in a relationship and then have it end for whatever reason.
I think go easy on yourself don't be so tough on yourself!If you are financially able take a little holiday somewhere completely different.For me i had to move home.That really helped me.I went out with friends and made new friends.Keep busy is a key aswell.
A new hobby or evening class to keep you from dwelling on the past perhaps.

I know it is an old cliche but time is the only healer.It may take years but it will get easier and if you keep busy you won't notice until you one day wonder how you moved on with your life.
That's all the practical stuff,pray to God for guidance and strength.He will lead you out of this if you let Him.God bless you


#3

I am so sorry for your situation.

Heartbreak is the hardest kind of pain because the only thing that can cure it is time.

Your in my prayers.


#4

Dear friendly,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your relationship. The previous posters are right that it takes time, and for everyone, it's a different amount.

I'll add what I've learned from a similar experience, though slightly different circumstances. You're free to take my advice, and I won't mind if you do or don't. See what works.

*If you haven't blocked him online, do so. It will be hard, but maybe not getting updates every now and then through mutual friends will help you reach the point of "out of sight, out of mind" so to speak.

*When you're sad, it sounds like you're missing the what could have been. It's always rending to lose a future, but would it help to start thinking about it as loss of a fantasy/dream? Then one day, you'll realize the very REAL, PRESENT gift/grace God is giving you with with someone and it will feel amazing. That's my hope, anyway, and hope keeps me going.

*You say you're trying to date again. One side of me says awesome! (I am too afraid). Another side says maybe take a break to fully detox yourself from your thinking patterns. I know one thing I struggle with is fully embracing the concept that in order to be ready for marriage, we first have to know how to sublimate our will to God's AND then be able sublimate ourselves to our spouse for true partnership. It's really very hard, and I'm praying with you, to be able to set aside memories and lost dreams to focus on the good men God is putting in my life and recognizing their beautiful personhood.

Do you have a spiritual director? Are you able to go to adoration? In addition to prayer, I've found those two practices helpful in pushing me forward.


#5

Oh man do I remember this. :frowning: It took me years to get over my ex, and it was truly in a way like a death. You have to mourn. I felt that part of myself was dead and I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever recover or be the same. It’s like your heart just feels destroyed. :frowning: Time and distance are the only things that are going to heal your broken heart.

Re: the part of your post that I quoted above…you say that you’ll think that you’re over him, but then a few days later you’ll “find” you aren’t because you’re crying your eyes out again, etc.? I’m just wondering, what precipitates these emotional crying jags? I only ask because sometimes there are definite triggers for this kind of thing. It might be a song, or a certain part of town, or seeing mutual friends or driving past a restaurant you frequented, etc.

With me, it was music. Music had been such a large part of our relationship that not only did I have to avoid hearing “our songs”, but I had to actually stop listening to popular music for a time because it was too much of a trigger for me. Just wondering if there’s anything like this triggering you. If so, that’d be one practical thing you could do to help speed the healing process along-- eliminate the trigger(s). Time and distance-- this is one aspect of the distance part. Even if it’s kind of extreme (like driving far out of your way to avoid an entire part of town that triggers you, for instance) it might be worth doing for a time. You may need to switch grocery stores, libraries, churches, restaurants…*any place *that holds memories for you. This will help you more than you know.

And then, again…just time and distance. And like Bishop Sheen says, you can’t just go poof and magically eliminate pain like this from your mind and your heart. You have to crowd them out by replacing them with other things. One thing I did was, I was kind of away from the Church at the time of our break-up. I eventuallly “re-verted” and came back to the Church full-force. I really embraced that zeal that God blesses new converts (or re-verts) with. I listened to Catholic radio exclusively, bought a bunch of books and read anything I could get my hands on about my faith…I prayed and I went to Mass whenever I could, etc.

Maybe you could try something like this, or find some other kind of hobby or interest to throw yourself into? That and…again…time and distance. :o

These are mostly just my experiences, to maybe give you some ideas or at least show you that you aren’t alone.


#6

[quote="FriendlyFace, post:1, topic:205708"]
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if you can help me. I'm a 26 year-old woman who has been in love with my ex-boyfriend for three years. I have tried not talking to him for months on end, and not looking him up on facebook or on-line. I never see him face-to-face because he moved far away two years ago. For two years after he dumped me I was convinced God wanted us to marry (don't ask me why. I'm a fool, and I thought God had told me so. Now I firmly believe I was wrong about that. :blush:) My question is: what are ways I can get over him? I've prayed for years to get over him. I've dated other people. I'm a member of Ave Maria Singles. I've read books on the subject. I'm at my wit's end. Every time I think I'm over him, I find a few days later that I'm not because I cry my eyes out that I miss him. And whenever I date, I miss him more. I wish I could muster up any interest in someone else because I know there are good Catholic men out there, and I would love to fulfill my vocation to marriage sometime. Anyway, If this is not enough detail, I am happy to answer any questions, and I would be grateful for any advice. It would be such a relief to be free of that man!

[/quote]

HI Friendly Face :)

I'm a memeber of Ave maria singles too and I met my husband in that catholic website. Let me tell you that I was heart broken too, that's why I decided to join Ave Maria SIngles in search for a man who had similar values and principles as mine. What helped me in mending a broken heart was to cut all contact with the ex, never look up his facebook account or pictures and last but not the least Pray! pray the rosary.Pray the divine mercy chaplet.(done every 3 pm) Ask For God's help, ASk for Mary's help! Prayers can move mountains.

AS I said earlier I was so heartbroken that I lost something like 15 pounds but regardless of what was happening I still had my faith in God. Sometimes God puts trials in our life. I decided to activate my Ave Maria Singles account and that day I activated my account, my husband just registered on the site and wrote. It was like destiny. I never expected it. So never lose faith in God. SOmetimes we question why God puts people in our lives and later take them away but God has his own reasons. You may not understand it now but I'm sure you will in the future.

Because of my experience with my broken heart (with the ex) I have come to appreciate my husband. I , now truly understand why God did not give me my Ex. God did not give me my ex becuase he was not good for me. God did not give him to me because he gave me someone better. Someone who is catholic, well not just a catholic but a Practicing,conservative catholic :D


#7

I am sorry you are suffering so. And I think a lot of wisdom has been posted. But here is a question I think you need to ask yourself. Let's say 2 upseting events happened in your life. And let's call them event A and event B.

Now, let's say event A was very traumatic and you push it down and never dealt with it.

Let's say event B is breaking up with your boyfriend which is although painfull, not as traumatic as A.

My question is: Do you focus on event B to avoid dealing with A. Are you holding onto B so you never have to deal with A.

I can relate to taking years to get over something. But sometimes, the very thing we are trying to get over, is not at all what we need to get over.

Try and figure out where the attachement is coming from. Was he the first person who though you were pretty when you didn't comb your hair? If yes, is it perhaps you need to believe you are pretty just the way you are. And the issue is not 'I miss when my boyfriend told me I was pretty'. The issue is 'Why can't I see the pretty person God created'

Does that make sense?

CM


#8

I’m sorry :frowning: don’t have much to say; still going through the motions of a heartbreaking break up myself! So this thread is for me too in some ways :stuck_out_tongue: Pray about it and give all your troubles to Jesus, you can bet that if you cry, your Father in heaven is crying ten times harder for you!


#9

Thanks for all the kind replies, everyone. I really appreciate them.

[quote="tbcrawford, post:2, topic:205708"]
Hi welcome to CAF.Im sorry you are suffering the pain of break up and adjustment to moving on after the relationship ends.I am no expert and have no specific proper advice...just i care and im sorry you are suffering.For me, it was important for me to understand the break up of a relationship is the same grief you feel for a loved one dying, it is the death of a relationship.Just as bereavement takes a long time to come to terms with i needed to understand that after the relationship ended it was going to take a long time to move on.
It is deeply painful when you have invested your love and trust to someone in a relationship and then have it end for whatever reason.
I think go easy on yourself don't be so tough on yourself!If you are financially able take a little holiday somewhere completely different.For me i had to move home.That really helped me.I went out with friends and made new friends.Keep busy is a key aswell.
A new hobby or evening class to keep you from dwelling on the past perhaps.

I know it is an old cliche but time is the only healer.It may take years but it will get easier and if you keep busy you won't notice until you one day wonder how you moved on with your life.
That's all the practical stuff,pray to God for guidance and strength.He will lead you out of this if you let Him.God bless you

[/quote]

Thanks for the welcome. I think the grief of being dumped is worse than the grief of someone dying. If he'd died, it wouldn't have meant he rejected me. And maybe he would pray for me from heaven. :heaven:

Thanks for your sympathy and advice. I mostly do all of the stuff you mentioned. I guess I just have to be more patient. However, I've been getting worried because I have never mooned over someone this long before.

[quote="Rascalking, post:3, topic:205708"]
I am so sorry for your situation.

Heartbreak is the hardest kind of pain because the only thing that can cure it is time.

Your in my prayers.

[/quote]

Thank you, Rascalking. If only time were a more efficient healer!

[quote="siena_avila, post:4, topic:205708"]
Dear friendly,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your relationship. The previous posters are right that it takes time, and for everyone, it's a different amount.

[/quote]

Thank you for your sympathy. It's good to know I'm not alone in having felt this way (and this pathetic!)

[quote="siena_avila, post:4, topic:205708"]
*If you haven't blocked him online, do so. It will be hard, but maybe not getting updates every now and then through mutual friends will help you reach the point of "out of sight, out of mind" so to speak.

[/quote]

I will try this. He is not at all active on-line though. One of the main problems I have is that he was a very popular person in my community and- for reasons I'll go into later if you're curious- I can't just ask them not to talk about him because most of them don't and can't be told that he's my ex. (Wow. That sounds more intriguing than I intended!)

[quote="siena_avila, post:4, topic:205708"]
*When you're sad, it sounds like you're missing the what could have been. It's always rending to lose a future, but would it help to start thinking about it as loss of a fantasy/dream? Then one day, you'll realize the very REAL, PRESENT gift/grace God is giving you with with someone and it will feel amazing. That's my hope, anyway, and hope keeps me going.

[/quote]

This is probably very good advice. But I also just miss spending time with him. He's a very charismatic and lovable person. (In fact, I wish he were annoying, so I could be glad to be rid of him.)

[quote="siena_avila, post:4, topic:205708"]
*You say you're trying to date again. One side of me says awesome! (I am too afraid). Another side says maybe take a break to fully detox yourself from your thinking patterns. I know one thing I struggle with is fully embracing the concept that in order to be ready for marriage, we first have to know how to sublimate our will to God's AND then be able sublimate ourselves to our spouse for true partnership. It's really very hard, and I'm praying with you, to be able to set aside memories and lost dreams to focus on the good men God is putting in my life and recognizing their beautiful personhood.

[/quote]

I think I've taken enough time alone as it is. I am really sick of having time to myself to grow.

[quote="siena_avila, post:4, topic:205708"]
Do you have a spiritual director? Are you able to go to adoration? In addition to prayer, I've found those two practices helpful in pushing me forward.

[/quote]

I don't have a spritual director. How do you go about finding one? I should go to adoration more. I have trouble fitting it into my schedule. :(

Thanks for all your advice. You are probably right. :thumbsup:


#10

Mutual acquaintances talk about him all the time, generally with admiration. He’s also a published author, so I see his books in the store sometimes. Going on dates with other guys makes me upset too because then I miss him more. :frowning:

Well, I can’t eliminate the people who talk about him, but I can avoid his section of the bookstore and going on dates. :wink: I have eliminated most of the other triggers already. I think your advice is good, and I will try to be very strict about it.

I have a lot of hobbies to distract me. :thumbsup: They are a good thing. I’ve gotten so I don’t think of him every day, but when I do I miss him. And usually I think about him when I’m having insomnia, so I should probably just get up and read till I’m tired enough actually to sleep.

Thank you. Hearing your advice and experiences was very helpful. I will try to eliminate the triggers completely, and it was nice to hear that someone who is now married has gone through this. (Maybe I won’t be alone forever. ;))


#11

I will keep praying. I’ve gotten pretty discouraged after three years of praying, but maybe God will let me get over him soon.

Oh, I don’t think it would be good if I had my way. My ex would not be a good husband for many reasons… He’s a major workaholic for one thing. I can be very rational about it. It’s my heart that won’t listen to reason.

I’m glad it turned out so well for you. I hope that one day I can say similar words to these. :wink:

Hmmm. Pathetically enough, being dumped was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me. I know that much worse things happen every day, but I’m not sure where you’re going with the A and B scenarios.

I fell in love with him the second I saw him, and, believe it or not, I am very fond of him as a person. Is that hard to believe? I like him. There’s no one I’d rather spend time with. There’s no one I would rather see do well. Whenever I hear someone speak well of him, I am overjoyed. He could treat me like trash-- not that he would, mind you-- and I would love him just the same. Not all love is self-serving, and my love for him was just pure liking of him. He’s a sweetie-pie and I adore him. (uh oh. Am breaking my promise not to think about him. Oops.)

Thanks. I’m sorry you’re going through this too. It’s no fun. :frowning:

I know God doesn’t like to see us in pain. Here’s hoping he eases our heartbreak soon. :wink:

Thanks again for all of your sympathy and advice. It really was comforting and helpful.


#12

[quote="FriendlyFace, post:1, topic:205708"]
Hi everyone,

How to mend a broken heart?

[/quote]

FriendlyFace, that is one of the most difficult questions in anyone's repertoire. When you learn how, please share the answer.
I'm an accomplished laboratory researcher, mechanic, carpenter, plumber and gardener; I can fix about anything in the world but I have no idea of how to repair a broken heart.
Years and years ago, I got dumped, too... and the pain was worse than actually having a physically "broken" heart. A quadruple bypass fixed my physically "broken" heart, but my "other" broken heart probably will never mend.
Oh, yes, time advanced and love happened again, but sometimes that "one particular" broken heart will never get glued back together.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/brokenhearta.gif


#13

I don't have a spritual director. How do you go about finding one?

I found this site via a webzine sdiworld.org/find_a_spiritual_director.html

Some things to note:
- not all those listed within your area may be Catholic
- It may take a couple "tastings" to figure out if that director works well with your "learning style" as it were. I wanted one who would challenge me, and the first one I found didn't, really.
- It's not supposed to be any kind of therapy. You'll talk more about your inner spiritual life and relationship with God - and in improving those areas, improve how you interact with the world and hopefully even deal with the heartbreak better.

Thanks for updating and for being so gracious responding to everyone. :thumbsup:


#14

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m worried my broken heart will never heal too. Have you ever seen the movie: Love Among the Ruins? Your story reminds me of that movie.

Thanks for the advice on how to find a spiritual director. I have been wanting to look into getting one for awhile.


#15

[quote="Ponyguy, post:12, topic:205708"]

Oh, yes, time advanced and love happened again, but sometimes that "one particular" broken heart will never get glued back together.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/brokenhearta.gif

[/quote]

I so agree on this one. When we enter into a relationship we put our hearts into it and when the relationship fails ,its like a piece of our heart has been taken away from us. That piece of our heart will never be repaired but what we can do is move on. Be strong, trust in the Lord. Sometimes God gives us trials in life to mold us to be a better person and to prepare us for the person whom God really intends us to be with for the rest of our lives.


#16

Why did the two of you break up? I ask because it seems like you're mentioning all the good, but none of the bad of the relationship and I'm wondering if the break up didn't really give you closure that you needed.


#17

[quote="Mayita30, post:15, topic:205708"]
I so agree on this one. When we enter into a relationship we put our hearts into it and when the relationship fails ,its like a piece of our heart has been taken away from us. That piece of our heart will never be repaired but what we can do is move on. Be strong, trust in the Lord. Sometimes God gives us trials in life to mold us to be a better person and to prepare us for the person whom God really intends us to be with for the rest of our lives.

[/quote]

I've never liked that idea because it makes everyone sound like "damaged goods." And I have recovered from break ups before where I hardly had to grieve at all and I can assure you that those exes don't even have a sliver of my broken heart. :)

Thanks for your encouragement. I'll try to do as you say and have faith in God's will.

[quote="takers, post:16, topic:205708"]
Why did the two of you break up? I ask because it seems like you're mentioning all the good, but none of the bad of the relationship and I'm wondering if the break up didn't really give you closure that you needed.

[/quote]

He dumped me because I'm Catholic and we didn't agree on a lot of things. The biggest problem was that I want children and he doesn't. It was not a relationship made in Heaven, and, when I'm rational, I know that we should not be together. If we were married we'd probably argue about religion and having children all the time. :blush: :( Sigh.


#18

[quote="FriendlyFace, post:17, topic:205708"]

He dumped me because I'm Catholic and we didn't agree on a lot of things. The biggest problem was that I want children and he doesn't. It was not a relationship made in Heaven, and, when I'm rational, I know that we should not be together. If we were married we'd probably argue about religion and having children all the time. :blush: :( Sigh.

[/quote]

Yeah, the rational mind doesn't talk to the emotional mind during a period of heartbreak. I know what you mean though.


#19

[quote="Rascalking, post:18, topic:205708"]
Yeah, the rational mind doesn't talk to the emotional mind during a period of heartbreak. I know what you mean though.

[/quote]

Yep, my rational mind hasn't been on speaking terms with my heart for over three years now. Maybe someday my heart will realize it's dumber than toast, and decide to love someone who loves it. That would be ever so convenient. ;)


#20

[quote="FriendlyFace, post:14, topic:205708"]
Thank you for sharing your story. I'm worried my broken heart will never heal too. Have you ever seen the movie: Love Among the Ruins? Your story reminds me of that movie.

[/quote]

I read about that "made for TV" Movie (with Hepburn and Olivier) and it sounds like a film well worth watching... what a shame it was relegated to the obtuse "couch-potato" audiences of network television... two of acting's greatest, at (or only slightly past) their respective performance peaks... :thumbsup:

[quote="FriendlyFace, post:19, topic:205708"]
Yep, my rational mind hasn't been on speaking terms with my heart for over three years now. Maybe someday my heart will realize it's dumber than toast, and decide to love someone who loves it.

[/quote]

Rationality and Love mix about as well as oil and distilled water ("distilled" to keep BP and the Gulf of Mexico out of the equation). http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/Shrug.gif

When warm, romantic love enters the picture, all reason and sound judgment seem to get the hook... :rolleyes:

Try to keep your eyes and mind open... some day your ship will come in... (and you'll probably be waiting for it at the airport.) :sad_yes:


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