5 Stages of Break-up Grief

Everything was perfect between us except for this one thing: I was in love with my boyfriend but he wasn’t in love with me. So we ended it. For my part I immediately fell into a rapid cycling of grief expressions. We are none of us alone in this. Here I apply the five identified stages of grief to my own experience.

Denial: Ever since we split I have been spending most of my time in a state of denial. I find it is easier to remove myself from the sadness of reality by fantasizing about getting back together. My favorite version of this fantasy is one where my x and I meet unexpectedly in summer. I have a nice tan and a new haircut. I am happy and smiling; life is fine because I have moved on. He sees me and suddenly realizes that he loved me all along and life is empty without me. It all moves along nicely from there. Version two of the get-back-together fantasy: It is next week and  a cold, rainy night. He shows up at my door. He brings flowers. He begs me to take him back, and I, compassionately, tell him all is forgiven. I get somewhat agitated every time I realize that I am not predicting the future, or even forecasting a likely scenario. I am simply in denial that this break up is for good. At this point in time however, it brings me a relief from sadness that would follow if I rushed into cool acceptance of the facts.

More on Grief and Denial

Moving on…

Anger: Admittedly, I am prone to moments of anger. Why the hell don’t you love me! How could you be with me all that time and not love me? I am enraged by own unlovableness and my x’s unloving of me. This sentiment is followed often by tears, stomping and pounding into the pillow until exhaustion takes over, or I remember it is time to go to work. (Luckily, I am always able to rely on denial to lift my mood and allow me to get through the day.)

And once again, moving on…

Bargaining: This is the most annoying of all because I constantly beat myself up over causing the break up with my stupid need for love. Why couldn’t I just settle for less than perfect? He said, “I care about you” – why wasn’t that enough? Why didn’t I just wait to see if deeper feelings evolved over time? Perhaps seven months isn’t sufficient for some people. Maybe if I call him now and explain that I have made a terrible mistake, that I am happy to take whatever he is willing to give… maybe we can get back together and put this fiasco behind us. *Sadly, I cannot allow myself to do this. I want to love and be loved. It is simple, and I remind myself to be true.

Depression: Based on past experiences, I would say that I am prone to depression. Strangely, I have yet to experience any signs of depression over this break up. I mean, why am I not on the couch day after day with empty icecream cartons all around? I fear that may come later. In a queer way, all my sadness has created an abundance of energy, which has been channeled into manic activity. I suddenly rollerblade again. Not since I was 13 have I felt the urge to rollerblade. I suppose this is depression disguised as anxious distraction. Different sides of the same coin perhaps.

Oh, God… have we come to this point already?

Acceptance: Okay… I haven’t quite gotten here yet. I have not accepted this break up. If I had, would I be writing this now? Part of me says, “It’s all for the best” while all the other parts of my psyche are still caught up in the first four stages of grief. I believe that acceptance will come later, after everything else has been processed and I no longer yearn. Of course, even thinking that this is a possibility, I fantasize that as soon as I accept this break up that I may immediately call my x and see if we can “just be friends”. Right… Now I start to cycle all over again, starting with denial.

Another day, another reflection on the art and experience of loss. Later, I will write about the blessings and gifts of this life, staying true to my idealistic nature.

(* Reposted from April 7, 2008 with revisions.)

75 thoughts on “5 Stages of Break-up Grief

  1. Hey, I know how you feel…my boyfriend just broke up with me for the same reason: I love him, but he doesn’t love me. I seem to be weird when it comes to the stages of grief though…I skip a lot of steps. When my previous relationship ended, I went straight to bargaining while he was breaking up with me…then went right into a long depression before finally acceptance. This time though I seem to have skipped even the bargaining, and gone straight into depression…hopefully acceptance will come soon. You might just not be the kind of person who goes into depression…and that’s normal. Everyone’s different…I wish you luck with your situation.

  2. hey..i guess im going through kinda of the same thing aswell. i recently broke up with my bf and i did everything i could to get him back and it felt always like i loved him more than he loved me. this bit hurt alot though.. when we broke up he told me to wait 2 months and we would be back together because he just had to get his life on track. he promised that he wouldnt touch any other girl while we were apart and either would i since we were only on a break. so i met up with him last week and we rekindled and i thought everything was going good until he rang me up the other night drunk and i asked him if he had gotten with any other females and he said that he had slept with 3 other chicks. the next morning he rang back up forgetting what he said until i reminded him. i know i have to let him go because if he had of truelly loved me he wouldnt have done that but its so hard because i felt like he was my life and now i have to move on. im still angry, im still depressed and blaming myself, a part of me wants to bargain to get him back despite what he did and a part of me is begging me to move on before i get hurt again. it sucks but once the acceptance takes over i know il be able to smile and think that theres someone else out there for me… x

  3. Thank you for this entry. I am in a very difficult ‘relationship’ with somebody and it seems like we are never going to get it right. There are a lot of complications that I can’t feel comfortable going into here but after a breakup that left us both bruised and broken we connected 7 years later and felt the same intense passion and love immediately. Unfortunately the complications had only multiplied exponentially since then. Our physical meeting after all those years was tragic (to me at least) and I believe she is now gone forever. I don’t know that I will ever reach the ‘Acceptance’ stage with her, I have loved her since the day I first pressed my lips against hers, but I will try.

    I also turn to poetry to express myself, taking your lead I created a blog and started posting yesterday.

    Thanks again.

    http://tragedyoftiming.blogspot.com

  4. i cn’t blv what you have jst writen there, just that I did not get the conclusion of your story, its as if I was the one who wrote that whole story,,,, its been long know after we have been apart with my ex,, but unbeleivably, I still grief about him (more than 2 years now) oh its so irritating, and the sad part is that I can’t find any affection for other guys in my heart may be for 2 weeks then its gone… I don’t know what a hell i must do with this kind of situation….sometimes it feel as if there is no hope anylonger for me to get done with this.,,. I prayed and kept away from him, but if it comeback that I want’ to talk to him I don’t control it… I don’t know why does he call me too, If not for love,, i added up guessing friendship so I asked him for one because he cant’ love me a woman of his own, so possibly as a friend, I want’ him dead in my head and forget he ever had anything im my heart even as I meet him around the glob…

  5. I spend three years on my knees, i gave up everything and did everything for her, i loved her more than anything but i knew deep down she didnt treat me right and her emotional baggage ended up depressing me, she broke up with me many times and ive always taken her back, but i finally had enough and i broke up with her. i feel like everything i said to her and what i told her with regard to the reasons did not get to her, she managed to break me down for one last time when I broke up with her. there is always doubts in mind about whether ive been wronged or the whole thing was my fault, maybe she is not mature enough yet to realise what she did and why i couldnt go on with it. I need my closure, i need her to tell me that she was wrong, cause she will never apologise and what that does is leave me broken up, feeling unworthy

  6. I know how you feel. I just was dumped on Friday. I still really like him so much but he dumped me like a pile of rocks. He didn’t like me anymore. It hurts so much. I saw it coming and he admitted that he had been wanting to dump me for a week. It sucks. I constantly put myself down. I feel like its my fault although everyone says it isn’t. I then think of something I could do to make him come back to me but go back spiraling into being upset. As soon as I think I’m over it rage overcomes me. “Why couldn’t he have dumped me when he first thought of it?! Then my weekend wouldn’t have sucked.” and so on. Then it keeps repeating. I fantasize of how he’ll come back. To be honest, I hate myself for it. I just wanna be over him but at the same time I miss the simple things he did even though they weren’t much. In fact, he didnt give me much of his attention or anything. It sucks majorly.

    • I feel exactly the same way, even tho he didnt do much for me, i do miss the times together,,, he didnt love -he says- but he also didnt really try – i think- He also made me feel unworthy with his attitude and treatment towards me,, he dumped with through email. what kind of a mature person does that!!!?/

      I need to recover myself, get stronger, get over him. I constantly torture myself thinking of him with other girls or going back to the one before me and i HATE the idea.

      I hope he misses me and realizes how much i gave him.

      • same thing happened with my girlfriend. She even found someone right after we broke up. I feel devastated as I have to move on and she is out there in the arms of another man while am still hung up on her and not interested in any other woman right now. I feel hate my life right now.

  7. Wow, it’s like I wrote that entry myself.

    I was with my ex for 5 years when he told me he needed his space. He told me a number of reasons why he didn’t want to be with me (all things I had or hadn’t done), but it all boils down to he just didn’t love me anymore.

    I was a mess for so long after he left. I lived in denial, just as you did…he told me he didn’t know what the future holds, so I took that as, we’re going to get back together. I would keep his picture as my computer screen saver and practically talk to it everyday. I believed so strongly he’d come back. I’d have the same visions of running into him and looking amazing (like you started rollerblading, I took up kickboxing)…But in my heart of hearts I know that’s never going to happen.

    Of course I did everything i could to see him – buying tickets to his favorite sporting event 0r concert and asking him to come with. He did…but not to see me, to see whatever game or artist we were going to.

    He finally told me (a week after the concert for his favorite artist on which i spent upwards of $250) that we were never getting back together. I feel like he held out saying that just so I wouldn’t renege on the concert. I found out through a friend’s facebook that he had been talking to other girls the whole time and that he had no interest in being with me, or even sadness for the end of our relationship.What an ass!

    So I’ve been through denial, I’m still very angry, I’ve bargained myself into a corner and now all i feel is depressed…

    I accept that he’s no longer thinking about me, has no interest in me, has moved on, and that I probably will never hear from him again…but what I can’t accept is why? I try not to think about it, but when I look back on our past, we had such good times, and it seemed like so much love, so how do I accept that that will never be again. It breaks me inside to even contemplate it.

    Anyway, since he’s put it in absolute terms, I’ve managed to erase his pics, texts and emails…and I try so hard not to read his facebook or even his horoscope. One day soon i hope to be over this gut-wrenching pain, because afterall, if he’s not thinking about me, why the hell am I wasting my efforts thinking about him?

    Thanks for your post – in a strange way, it made me feel less alone in all of this

    • Hi Roxy,

      I was just curious about how you were doing. I just ended a 5+ year relationship with my boyfriend also. When did yours end and how are you doing now? It’s been a few months since your post.

  8. I am going through a break up at this moment. I’v been seeing my ex for two years and for the last year we have been living together while she started school. For the last 6 months things have been really off however. Time for both of us have been tight, we havn’t been spending time together and physical contact between us has drop to almost nothing.

    2 days ago the break up finally came to the surface. She told me that I am a wonderful man (funny how your always a wonderful, but never the right wonderful) but she just doesn’t feel in love with me anymore, and not for awhile.

    I don’t have alot of experiance with dating, even though I as 25. She was the only girl that I have ever been seeing for more thing 2 months, and it been hard, special seening as I have to move back home in another city and untill then were still living together. There’s no fighting (never been any fighting) but it really hard not to touch her or hold her anymore, and its really hard on her too, which makes me want to hug her and comfort her even more.

    I’v been crying alot, but right now atleast I feel ok. Full moon outside and I spent alittle time looking at it and thinking.

    I can’t do anything about this… As much as I would do anything to fix things, she doesn’t and I can’t change that. I’m going to hurt, and I”m going to have all the fears I always have, Not finding someone again, being alone, never having a family. But, theres nothing I can do about that other then let the feeling come and go and move on. And things will get better, to an extent, in time.

    And so thats what I”ll do, I’ll feel what ever come and I have to feel, but I”ll move on.

  9. My relationship ended 3 days ago and I found this blog by googling “stages of grief” I felt like I was reading something I had written to myself in a journal entry. I’m touched by the words and they are helping me cope with a boyfriend that doesn’t love me either. I’m trying to quiet the demons that tell me I’m not pretty enough, smart enough or lovable. Thank you for writing.

    • I feel like all guys give s the same lame excuse … “i dont love” “I can’t make myself love you” – why the heck you started contact with us if you weren’t ready for a relationship!!!!????

      Sometimes I feel like they dump us once they have gotten what they want,

      • my ex and I broke up for the same reason. only I’m a guy and she didn’t love me anymore. it’s a people’s thing I guess… =\

  10. I just broke up with a guy that I really liked because he was unavailable (still having trouble ending a ten year relationship). I cried like it was a far deeper and longer relationship than it was. I was at least comforted by this website that we all suffer from time to time regarding relationships. I guess that no one is immune from pain.

  11. It’s funny, I saw someone else found this blog by searching “the stages of grief.” Me too! This post really helped me. My boyfriend broke up with me 2 days ago. It was somewhat the reverse because I think he always felt that he loved me more than I loved him. He was full of insecurity and everyone seems to think it was for the best. But I keep thinking about what I could’ve done to have made him feel better. When I read the bargaining part, I was just like “OMG! I didn’t even realize that was a part of grieving!” I miss him so badly. I broke down and texted today. Just “I miss you.” God, I feel lame. I feel so helpless and out of control. I really loved him with all my heart. But, he sad he spent his days making himself sick and waiting for my next text (and we lived together!!) and was tired of feeling so bad if I couldn’t be at the same amount of intensity at all times. It just seems so effed up. I’ve cried for 2 days straight and finally came into work today. :(

  12. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

    • My Gf broke up with me recently, it was tough and I still hold some resentment. However dont let it eat you up. This makes you stronger. I can relate Dani, my gf was extremely insecure andwas constantly accussing me of cheating or stating I didnt love her which in all honesty was not the case. She had a past relationship which was terrible, and I think she was comparing me to him. I find peace in the fact I wasnt anything like that guy, and can take what Ive learned to the girl whose right for me, If shes not out there thats ok life is beautiful even if you dont have someone to share it with

  13. I can’t thank you enough for everyone and u who posted. I was dating a guy who I felt “crazy” about. At first I thought he felt the same. We sasid “I love You” He seemed like he did. Then I started to notice changes in how he treated me. This all started when we decided to move in together (his idea). I finally voiced how he was treating me was affecting me. He said he knows, he is so sorry, he will be better he is just stressed. Then yesterday he tells me he doesnt want to live together it makes him scrared to death and sick. ok??? Then he says youre crazy about me you love me so much. I just dont think i am that guy. Its not there for me like it is for you. I care about you, I love you BUT. I have been thru a lot. Been called a lot. Been dumped. But I think that the worse thing I have ever been told. I feel “Whats so wrong with me he cant love me” reading these posts does help. Thank you!

  14. thank you guys for all your comments. I’ve never dated neone and my first bf kissed my cheek.
    He was so gentle nd kind but he’d get agressive when I didn’t return his phyiscal affection.
    I’ve been sexually harmed and I couldn’t connect that way. So I sang him an affectioniate song
    but i guess it wasn’t enuff because he broke up with me saying tht I was awkward and inaffectionate
    it makes me feel like im some lebisan or something *no offense to those who r*
    but it hurt…really bad. He told me he loved me…
    My past makes it worst and i feel like ill be in the depression stage 4ever.

  15. i dont know where i am in any of the stages of grief… i had a long distance relationship… my ex-boyfriend left the country where i live about 6 months ago… he promised that everything would be fine and assure me more than once “not to worry about anything”… still there was something not sitting right in my stomach… while on transit, we emailed and chatted… however, as soon as he got back home, to his country, the communication fell silent… save for one phone call right after he landed, the lines went dead, pardon the pun… i still called him, but it was never a good time for him, i still emailed, he only replied once every second or third week, and the emails were normally not related to my previous emails… he stopped saying “i love you” as soon as he got back home… basically, he absolutely changed when he got back home… it is interesting, as i had asked him to let me know if we should cool off things before he left, but he was adamant that he was not going to lose me… the first four months i agonized over an ex-girlfriend of his who was all over his social network page calling him “boo” like we used to to each other, it was interesting as he insisted that she was just a friend, however, he left her comments on his page and mine were deleted… suffice it to say, i got the very loud hint after three posts of mine were brought down, therefore i stopped posting… recently he emailed me and said that i had been right and that the ex-girlfriend had wanted more than just being mates and that he had to change his number as well as delete her from all his contacts in order for her to stop “bugging”… he said he had no time to breath or even think as work was so hectic for him and his ex-wife was wanting more money and was upset as he had hardly had time to spend with his kids… and that she didn’t understand that he had no time for a relationship… i tried not to read into that last statement and what he “might” have been telling me and sighed in relief that he had finally seen what i had and we were now fine again… not that he said any of that to me… all this time i was still not posting on his social network… three weeks later, his status changes and he is in a relationship with another lady, and it is there in all its glory for me to witness.. he and his new girlfriend post loving messages to each other… and am left totally dumbfounded!! not like i hadn’t seen it coming, but i still had not expected it… at least, i had not expected to find out in this way…. i emailed him to said “i hadn’t deserved to find out that way that i had been dumped, but then again neither do the millions of starving children in the world deserve their fate… and that i was sure there was a lesson to be learnt out of the experience”… being a Buddhist, i believe that i call all my life experiences to me and they all happen for a reason, despite that reason not making sense or not ever having to make sense, the lesson was in the experience… all the same, it hurt, very very deeply… he had been a very decent guy the whole time we dated, so i did not understand Mr. Hyde… forward three weeks again and he cut me off his social network, all this while i have been and have kept silent… am not sure what to make of all of it… i am much stronger now than when this whole thing started, however am still really really puzzled… what is even more puzzling, he is returning to the country i live in in two months and will be posted here at least two years… i am certain now that he will not make contact, although he had said he would, as he seems to be cutting me out of his life… but let’s face it, i am not certain, given the callous way he has treated me, i would want him to make contact… still am so so puzzled… i can truly say i have forgiven him, i cannot judge him as that would contradict my beliefs, and i am not at all angry with him… it is inevitable we will bump into each other, ppl move in the same circles in the city i live in, and at this moment i am not entirely sure how i would react… i know i need to get better and stop loving him all together as this love is toxic…. however, many times, my head and my heart do not reconcile… i am not weak and know i will not get back with him, and i know i will probably never get the answers to the way he has treated me… still i do not know what emotion i should go through, and how long it will take until i am out of my limbo… the pain has come and washed over me, wreaked it’s havoc and passed.. so which stage of the break-up grief am i in now???

    • Hey Zee, I can totally feel ur pain, what exactly is it about guys and long distance relationship?My ex and I also had a long distance relationship. He was also the one who insisted that we can overcome all forms of challenges and distance, he was the one who was so full of conviction. But the moment he went to another country, he dropped me so easily. Like you, he also deleted me from facebook, tho he was the one who insisted that we are still on good terms. N now, i see another of his fb “friend” whose profile pic is that of him and her tgt. (COngrats!). n that girl’s comment underneath the picture was ” Enjoy my time with people I love.” WTF!!!

  16. so very true. I had been experiencing a mixture of the 5 stages, not in the usual order, and sometimes a longer time spent in one phase. I had been in denial for an extremely long time. My fave part of the day is when I am lying on the bed about to go to sleep, cos that is the time where I can fantasise about us being together again. For me, it is not about getting back together. For me, I would fantasise about him falling in love with me AGAIN, the second time round some time after all these heartbreak die down.

    For me , it is a bit more complicated, cos my ex kept insisting on being friends after we broke up. And I actually met his friends and family, only after we broke up. Thats why, there is always this little bit of hope in me, that we are meant to be together. THat he still loves me, just that somehow he had brainwashed himself into accepting that he no longer loves me.

    After 5 mths of denial, (esp since we remained on good terms), he deleted me as a friend on facebook a few days ago. I think this action brought about the avalanche of the 4 other phases at one go, for once I was so angry and bitter. And this action really woke me up,that as much as I love fantasising about us getting back togther, he is obviously getting along well in his own life, ready to get rid of me, and having no problems accepting the fact that we would no longer be updated about what’s happening in each other;s life. In a way, I finally accepted it.

    All i wish now is that i wun go back into my denial stage.

    But i still so very hate him!!!!!

  17. Although approaching two years ago, Tom’s departure from my life is something I think about to this day. I would say that I am in the depression stage with little bouts of anger thrown in. Finding this website and seeing that other people are going through the same thing really helps me with my grieving process.

    -BDC

    • After my current girlfriend ran off my lingering ex-girlfriend and potential new girlfriend via a crazed, scorched-earth policy, I ponder late at night what could have been…

      Mookie

    • I still get angry, 8 months on. We never stopped seeing each other, still had sex and talked of getting back together, but he had moved in with someone else. I was in denial, and it hurts to admit he was having his cake and eating it. She found out we were still intimate but forgave him. He would stay away for a few days then it would start again-he was like a drug and I had to have him to get through the day. Ive reached a point now where Im trying to wean myself off him and and get my self respect back. We have been married for 5 years and hate seeing her with my husband, its like rubbing salt in the wound.

  18. I just broke up with my girlfriend, and she’s exactly in your situation now. I was her first love, her first boyfriend, as she was mine too, but I think that was the reason why it didn’t work: we learned how to have a real relationship with each other, so we made many mistakes before we would learn how to deal with a real life partner, which isn’t easy. Although we grew up, we learned how to deal with each others differences… we just screwed up our whole relationship by doing this, and the worst part was that we got past through the bad things, but the people around us wouldn’t. My friends would treat her different, my parents too… she was so crazy about me that would lose control easily, and then she would do crazy things like shout and cry.. so I had to break up. It felt like the pressure of the other people was forcing me to it, but there was nothing I could do, I couldn’t just “fu** everyone, I’ll stay with her anyway”…

    So I’m really scared about this, I’ve drunk a lot, cried a lot, and I think I’ll get over it, but she won’t. Talking to more experienced friends, they say she will take months before she completely forgets me. A friend of mine even told me she may never forget completely. I’m scared, I care a lot about her, I would like to help her but I can’t.

    I think the best way will be to make things pretty clear, in other words, there’s no chance we’re coming back, but I won’t go looking for girls either. I think it’s disrespectful to just go after some chicks, I think I’d prefer to know that has been around with other guys than me doing the same with girls…

    And for those with issues about letting go: Delete any social network you have, I mean this. Forget Twitter, Facebook… You just won’t be able to ignore his profile, his messages, his publications… the best way for sure is to eliminate any contact, stop going the places he goes, delete his phone from your cell phone, trash all his emails, block him on messenger… While you keep any channel open to achieve him, your brain will continue to force you to use that. You mustn’t let your emotional brain dominate your rational one.

    ***Sorry for the broken english, It’s my second language

    • My relationship ended a few weeks ago. I have never loved a man so much in my life. I proved myself over and over again. Poored my heart out and one day, I was just gone from his eyes. He told me, he would wait however long it would take for me to get through some of my issues. That was all a lie, he started a new job and wanted to keep playing the field. I help him through so much, he always came first in my eyes. But I was never first in his. He is very selfish. I want to talk things out to get closure but he says I am harassing him. He only wants to be rid of me. I feel used and betrayed. After so much and now I am not even worthy for him to talk to. He treats me like garbage. It is so hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, we made love and he told me angels should be envious of me. I want answers, I don’t care how much he hurts me. I want to move on.

      Matt you say, that you care for her but can’t handle her outbursts. I also did this only a few times but I felt like it was ok for me to let my guard down and not be judged by him to show my
      vunerability. Cuz I thought he would always be there for me.

      Many times I wanted to leave and he would always beg to have me back cuz he could not live without me. I always came back and when I needed him most, I got kicked to the curb.

      I do not understand.

    • Matt,

      I’m going through the same thing. I feel your pain man. I’m in a very similar situation with family/friends with issues that couldn’t be resolved which was causing heavy strain on the relationship.

      I’m the one who broke it off and I feel like sh**. We both learned to accept/live with each others differences but things became too much for each of us to bear. In the end it we might as well have been playing relationship chicken to see who would end it. I knew I came first in her world and so was she in mine. But I couldn’t let her take all of this for me. It wasn’t fair on her or me and I knew we’d be worse off if it continued.

      She was my first love so letting go was and still is a hard thing to accept.

  19. I dated my ex for four yrs.had his bby.i was so happy.we were getting ready to get married i had already tried my dress.he was my best friend.one week before getting married he took off.never told me why?it hunt me many nights,i wanted to die.

  20. This was really helpful. I am slightly confused about my break-up a week ago…

    We’ve been together for 5 months and we haven’t been intimate (we’re one of those unusual waiting-until-we’re-married-couples) which definitely helps seeing the break-up more clearly and opens the door to being friends (since we started off as really good friends).

    The thing is, during our relationship we were somewhat perfect for each other. We’re both very open, accepting, kind and giving people so it was easy to hang out and avoid fights. We had marriage on our minds and we both talked openly about it. But we had our issues like my mom not liking him because of his mother’s cultural background (recent war 20 years ago in my country which is the result of people not wanting to mingle with the “enemy”) and certain cultural differences that affect our general lifestyles (me being international and him being a bit more conservative).

    So, we had a mutual breakup over two reasons we decided to confront and saw that we wanted different things from life. At the time, I thought the reasons were pretty important because I felt I would be denying my life goals if we stayed together. But now, I think the reasons were stupid as hell. Shouldn’t love conquer all? Especially if we got along so well, never fought, were supportive of each other’s goals and made each other happy.

    Now I think I panicked thinking my life had no purpose because I let my life evolve too much around the relationship which is true. I considered how it would be if we revised the relationship and definitely plan on changing A LOT of things about myself. I need to be more life-oriented, not him-oriented. I believe he went through a similar phase since we really spent too much time together and lost time and connection with other things.

    The thing is, obviously, I need to get in touch with my feelings and see if I can overcome and deal with our issues: his cultural background which affects his behaviour and mentality, my mom possibly disowning me for being with him, deciding to accept or compromise with his way of life. I concluded that I would make all the sacrifices… If I knew it was worth it.

    So my idea is to take these two weeks (he’s volunteering for a youth summer camp) and get in touch with what I want and wait and see if he loves me enough to himself decide to overcome our differences. I figured the best way, according to how well I know his personality and men in general, is to wait for him to feel that impulse to call me and set things straight. I know when he’s unsure, he waits for others but when he’s sure, he takes action. And I really need him to be sure.

    I don’t know if I’m being realistic or simply bargaining. I know it depends greatly on his own approach. I’m not entirely sure if I want to resume our relationship or not. If I do, I’d take it really slow, unlike how fast we took it now.

    My first phase was denial and I cried a lot. But I felt it was the right decision and that we cannot overcome our differences. Then I was angry at him for not loving me enough to choose to fight for me. After that I started to think I made the wrong decision. Sure he’s not perfect, but either am I. Sure, I’m young and I could find somebody else more perfect but do I want to? And is the reason why I don’t want to find somebody else him and who he is, or because I really don’t feel like going through the process of looking and getting to know somebody new?

    So, really confused. But I’m focusing on the things I love and growing as a person (for me that’s my relationship with God, others and my goals). I’m more at peace. But I’m still confused.

    • Any advice would be useful. And by the way, all my friends love him and were shocked we broke up. My sister liked him, too, but was kind of influenced by my family’s rejection so she was more cautious and told me to be really careful about continuing a relationship with him since it would cause a stir in our family.

      Everyone has been supportive about the break up because our mutual friends know we’re smart enough to deal with our problems honestly and openly. Honestly, the break-up is a really beneficial decision. I’m just confused as to if I should deal with it as a temporary or permanent decision. Obviously, I need to figure it out with myself.

  21. I am gay, and the issues are still the same.
    I was in the process of reuniting with my high school girlfriend.
    She was my first female experience, and always held a special
    place in my heart. She is very sweet, successful, pretty.
    However;
    Although she wanted to marry me, and have me leave
    California for her and move to her home in Texas,
    she was not willing to give up her close freindship with an ex she had lived with for five years.
    I wasnt comfortable with them having dinners together, even though her ex had a lady of her own. I told my girlfriend how I felt, and she sad she wasnt willing to give up their friendship and planned to go visit her soon. No matter how hurt I was, crying, talking, bargaining, her decision was final.
    She had previously told me her ex was plain, and a big country girl. Then she changed it and said the girl was skinny, blonde and younger than us.
    I ended this relationship, and wouldnt accept a huge diamond ring from her.
    It would have mislead her, as I didnt want this kind of relationship.
    She chose to keep the freindship of an ex she will never have back, and let me go.
    I feel so sad,so inferior,so left behind.
    Yet, I also feel as though I could have set my feelings aside, and went with her.

  22. he just left me. we have been engaged for 5 months and this morning he said he wanted a break. but i think we all know what “break” means. its weird coz this has happend once before and i didnt eat sleep or get out of bed for 2 weeks. i still am completley inlove with him but i dont think i could take him back. coz im to scared he will do this again. effing men eh?

    • Hi Anna,

      I am so sorry –
      Are you ok? My ex of three years said the same thing – a ‘break’ and ‘space’ and I didn’t know what that meant so I ended it two weeks later. Now I have regrets like I was to reactionary. How are you doing? Did he really want a break?

  23. versailes says:
    I ended my 6 years mariage with my husband because it came to a point that we can’t survive anymore.We’re igmoring each other and we don’t have time with each other any longer.His parents didn’t approved of our marriage due to cultural differences.He is married right now form his compatriot and i quess it is the best for both of us.To cope of with stress is very easy ,just be possitive in thinking and work hard for yourself.Itd good to be single again rather than to stay with a controlling relationship.

  24. About 4 weeks ago I was dumped after being with someone for 4 years, i didn’t expect this to happen although he told me he’d felt that way for the last 6 months – why didn’t he end it sooner? He also said he wasn’t even sad about us breaking up . . .i felt like i didn’t even know who he was and I still can’t make sense of it. How do you make sense of something that felt right??
    So i’ve decided to go to Spain for 6 months (live with my family and escape from trying to know what he’s doing everyday). But i’m scared this wont help and I will only feel even more lonelier??? When will I accept it’s over?

    • I’m going through the something with my ex, she just broke up with me on Nov10 before her Bday and started to date her old ex BF. Breaking up during the holiday is the worst of worst. But the only thing that helps me go through my day is looking at the SUN. When it rains it only temporary and the sun will shine through the dark days and dark nights. Pain is like a cloudy day it’s a temporary, and you must remind your shelf that the sun will shine through and everything will be fine again. Just remember “Endurance and Persistence will be rewarded.” Endurance the pain and Persistence in life and you will be rewarded with Knight Shining Armor. But in my case I hope it not a Knight my Queen hehe.

  25. Mu husband of 10 years walked out on me 7 months back…i feel i am going through all the 5 stages…all the time..i have a 4 year old daughter and i am just not able to imagine bringing her up all by myself….He says its over….he never loved me in 14 yrs that we have known each other…and i m just nit able to get over this..i feel sad- angry-deprsessive-hurt-all at the same time…..

    Wonder if i will ever be fine….

  26. I searched on the net for the 5 steps of grief for a break-up and this blog showed up. I can relate to everything you are saying.

    My story is a little different. I’ve been in a complicated relationship with a man for over 7 years. 6 years ago, he was upfront with me and told me he was in love with somebody else. It hurt deeply, and for months I lived in a permeant state of anger, worthlessness and guilt. It almost destroyed me, and it hurt so deeply I know the scars will never heel, but it made me stronger. After that, I moved on with my life, moved towns, built a career and made lots of new friends, and that saved me.

    Two years after that he came back. This time, I got all my fantasies fulfilled. He said I was one, his soul mate, his forever; I got those flowers I dreamed about. We were in love, and for a along time I concentrated on my career, us, and moving back to be together.

    This year I have moved home, and 3 weeks ago he told me he does not love me anymore and loves someone else. I have been an idiot and screamed and done a lot of stupid things. I’m in a permanent state of depression and anger. He said it’s not his fault and he can’t choose who he loves. To add salt to the wounds, it’s the same girl he left me for last time. The worst part is, this time, I never told anyone I was seeing him, because after last time, I didn’t want to put my friends and family through all that again. I planned to announce it this year, and he did too. I was going to meet his family and he was going to meet mine. I was so excited.

    I’m shattered and not sure where to turn from here. I don’t know if I can make it through again. I’m standing in the exact same position I was 6 years ago and nothing has changed. I’m desperately angry and what to ring him up and call him a dick. But I don’t have the guts and he won’t pick up anyway.

    • A friend of mine told me some very valuable advice about my ex that probably saved my life:
      This man is emotionally poor. He is unstable and cannot feel loved unless he gets a reaction from you… Any kind of reaction which in his mind is proof of love and feeds his need to be loved. Except his need to be loved does not come with being considerate and careful about you and your emotions and giving you love.

      Don’t give him any reactions. NONE. If you run into him, be civil and kind and distant. Anger, resentment with the silent treatment is also a reaction. Don’t give him that. He doesn’t deserve your big beautiful heart and your love. He doesn’t deserve your reactions. So NO reactions. Don’t feed his ego.

      Second: This man is emotionally poor. He is pathetic. And no matter how much you hate him just look at him right now: He cannot be happy. He is searching for happiness tearing hearts apart because he is just so empty. He doesn’t deserve your anger or hate. But he does deserve your pity. He’s a sad sorry soul who makes up excuses to make him feel less wrong about breaking his promises only because he is too weak to face the truth. Poor man.

      But pity doesn’t mean being naive and trying to fix him. That is not your responsibility nor is it in your power to do so. You have to focus on yourself. Pitying him helps YOU not him, because it rids you of anger and hate and fills your heart with compassion. It also helps minimize reactions completely.

      I used to have a huge problem with forgiving my ex but then I read the chapter on forgiveness in a book called The Love Dare. It said that when you have to forgive someone, you’re standing in a prison hallway and around you are all the people who have hurt you locked in cells. The key is before you to release them but you say no, because they don’t deserve to be released just yet. And you’re probably right. But then you begin to leave the prison and realize you’re locked in there with them. And you cannot get out.

      Forgiveness is NOT releasing someone of debt. When you forgive they still have a debt to pay. But you’re not the one they pay the debt to. Instead, you pass the burden of waiting for their debt to be paid onto someone else: God, the Universe, Karma, whatever it is you believe in. You’re not releasing them, you’re releasing you. They still have lessons to learn, behaviour to fix, debts to pay, justice to fulfill. But it is not your burden or responsibility to make sure they do. You just drop all that shit and walk away and let someone else worry about their sins, lessons and injustice. It will come back to claim them. I promise. But it is not your concern.

      Third: You will heal. You just need to give yourself time and the proper cleansing methods. I often find prayer helpful. But everyone has their own ways. Perhaps therapy, friends… But please, don’t go trying to fill holes with things that make them more hollow. Rebounds, casual sex, addictions, be it alcohol, food or any other destructive activity… They empty you even more. It may seem the easier way at first, but it is a lot harder in the long run. Give yourself the right to heal properly. Make the effort, even though it may be tough and you’ll see, things will turn out amazing. Focus on activities that CAN fulfill you: like volunteering, spending time with resilient people that have it a lot worse than you. This really helped me. I felt honoured to be trusted with another human beings heart that had it a lot worse than me. Being her shoulder made me feel special and helpful.

      Trust me, I had to put up with a lot of B.S. before I got to the meadows. I’m still not there yet, but I can hear the streams and smell the grass, so it must be around here somewhere…

      It WILL get better. This state you’re in is NOT permanent. Mark my words…

      I know. Trust me. I know.

      • This is the best piece of advice anyone has given me. Thank you for taking the time to write this. It has helped me so much. Thank you.

      • This has helped me more than you can know. It summed up what I need to do to get through this without becoming bitter. No matter what she does, it comes from a desperate and lonely place when she uses another to fill that emptiness she feels.
        Thank you so much

      • Thank you for the answer. I am stuck in the stage between depression and acceptance, I feel it. My story was a little bit more complicated as I came to experience true heartbreak for the first time ever at the age of…30!!!!! My story was passionate, real, loving and extreme, it almost destroyed me.

        I agree with you that time heals most wounds. For my part, I have spent the past year focusing on improving my inner self, discovering my place in this world, getting therapy and doing lots and lots and lots of sports. I also met some amazing people who made me realize that life can be amazing.

        I still have bouts of rage and anger in me towards my ex. In all fairness, I haven’t been intimate with anyone else since a year ago (she was my last), and strangely I don’t miss having someone in my life right now. My friends keep telling me to move on, find someone else and be “happy” again, but no one but myself will help me find my inner peace, and I still don’t have anything to give to someone right now. My advice for you is to focus on yourself and becoming a better person. I know it is hard, I know there are setbacks, but I trust in the process. Hopefully when you look back at this whole relationship, it will be just one major event that spurred your personal growth…

  27. I’ve been in search for answers to explain what I’m feeling. I’m 45 years old and have falling in love for the first time. I’ve been in a committed relationship with this person for about 4 months but I fell in love with him over a year ago. We were casual friends for about 5 years and begin dating just over a year ago. He has a lot of baggage from a previous relationship that went bad years ago and he didn’t let go until just prior to our dating. They have a child together so there is constant contact. She uses the child as a tool to get to him.

    The drama is finally settle; however, it has caused a lot of tension for us. But we managed to stay together over the year and work through it. As I stated above we’ve been in a committed relationship for 4 months. He told me on Monday that he loves me but he isn’t in love with me. He wants that feeling of being in love. He feels it should have happened by now and it hasn’t. He doesn’t know if it will happen because he feels he is damaged. He said he doesn’t know how to make it happen. We connect on every level. We are happy together. We have fun together. We talked about a future together. His desire for that feeling again has caused him to end the relationship. He wants to feel vulnerable and he states he doesn’t.

    Well over the past 48 hours I have not cried. I’ve been in denial because like I stated we’ve had a lot of tension and opportunities that we’ve managed to work through because of his baggage from another relationship. I want to believe this to will past but I have moments when I don’t think it will happen. After reading this blog I realize the denial is keeping the pain from suffering.

    I don’t want to give up on it but he decided to end it. He has continued to call me and I probably shouldn’t take his calls but I can’t deny him.

    What do I do?

  28. Natasha,

    The man has a problem to solve. How can he open his heart to be vulnerable, to care for someone, to feel safe and find trust? The man has a problem indeed.

    You do not have a problem. Your heart is open. You have reached out with love and hope. All of you is so alive with emotion and awareness. The pain that comes after the numb – that burns like a fire cleansing.

    God provides for all our needs. So look again at the situation. Do you see what you need that you are already receiving?

    May you thrive, with peace, P.A.

  29. Pingback: In Response to a Comment on Post Break-Up Grief « justofthemoment

  30. 1 month in my breakup, I broke up with him for deceiving me, cheating etc….. 4 1/2 yrs. I feel so alone in my thoughts, just want to curl up & die………. but, i know its best for me! im so glad to read this & know im not alone………… :/

    • im at exactly same place “curl up and die” made me feel a little less alone….. and i know its best for me (said with no conviction……yet…}

  31. The most beautiful person whom i have been with for three years (known for 16yrs….since i was 5), decided to walk out of my life today. My love has NEVER been qeustionable….my FAITHFULNESS…the same….he told me her didnt love me anymore and he tires of our relationship…..we tried to get pregnant….he never engaged me….sadly i think Mummy got into his ear…..

  32. My boyfriend of two years broke up with me two days ago. He said he love me but could not see us getting married. What do you say to that? We broke up but I still keep thinking he will change his mind, that we can try to work through it. I know that is not going to happen. We are still talking and I know he is hurt by the end of the relationship. I just want to scream ” if we are both hurting why are we not together!!” I would have tried to work on the relationship. I keep telling myself that there were things I had problems with like a lingering ex that has made me want to end it in the past.

  33. after reading all stories here, I realize the emotions I’m experiencing are more than natural, but rather a necessity.

    my ex broke up with me last week after a month, saying she was in love head-over-heels when we met, but now she feels nothing.
    it might not seem much, but it was the first time after 4 years that I developed feelings for someone and truly cared about her.

    worst thing is, she said her feelings started to fade 2 weeks after we met, when I told her I prefer to take things slow.
    writing these lines I’m starting to realize how she could understand this differently than I intended…
    she probably thought that I was uncertain, while I just needed time to develop feelings I didn’t have in a long time.

    seeing how other cope with much greater tragedies than my little story really makes me feel like it will be alright, eventually.

  34. am really tryin to get ova him but hes da love of my life he broke up wit me cuz he doesn’t love me anymore my hearts broken I look at da old fonecalls and cry i wnt him bak!!!</3

  35. The pain is just too much…i really thought we would always b together. Maybe I took him for granted maybe i could have loved him more, called him more, cared for him more…i can go on. But the truth is after 4 years, what we had has just gone down the drain. Unlike most of the comments i have read, I did call him I did text him I did beg him to take me back…jut saying it out loud makes me feel so stupid. I will b okay…i know i will. I will take what i have read and use it to make me feel better….

  36. It’s only been two days for me. I don’t even really know who broke up with who, it feels like he tried to get me to break up with him and was successful. It was long distance and the thought that I might not see this guy ever again, leaves me feeling numb. He told me I was everything he was looking for in a girlfriend but that he couldn’t handle the distance. That he either missed me too much so that it hurt or not enough so that he was worried whether he was loosing sight of me. It’s less than a year until we could have bridged the distance and I feel so hurt and disappointed that he couldn’t work up the strength to make it through that with me. Right now, I would like to just go to his city and be with him. But I know that I would bitterly regret giving up my life for someone who doesn’t have the courage to put up with the difficulties and uncertainties of a long distance relationship to be with me. I feel like I gave so much but it still wasn’t enough to make him feel secure that we could fight that distance.

  37. im glad i came across your blog…i may have skipped a few stages i think or maybe not…i just had my first breakup…it was a 2-year relationship…although it wasn’t perfect..it was my first long-term, intimate relationship where i gave everything…in the end i was left behind…at first i was being told that it was because she wanted to be single and then later on (i marked the date.. April 25) when i sat her down and asked her what was the real reason why she was so determined to breakup with me and she casually said “I’m seeing someone”…it was the worst day ever…i still had to go to work after that..it was hard to keep a facade that i was okay…i tried to release all the pain by writing posts on facebook…and then we had to separate, i had to move out and i did..but even then i’d still search for her..i’d send her text messages, i’d email her and ask her why she left me for another…why it didn’t work out…i was pining for her…i couldn’t sleep for days…or i’d cry myself to sleep…i had no apetite and i didn’t eat for several days…until i decided that i had to look out for myself and take care of myself…and for a while i thought i had already moved on…but then came that day when i agreed to meet with her for closure…only closure didn’t happen…i realized that i was still not over her and that i was still pining for her…and then she started saying she still cared for me and that she loved me and that she wanted to get back together and that she wasn’t happy with her relationship..and i actually believed her…and now here i am…i wrote acceptance on my wall…but now im not so sure…

  38. Pingback: 4 Types of Breakups » Heidi Isern

  39. Listen to all y’all! All cryin’ in your beers cause someone doesn’t want to be with you anymore. You know what – if they don’t want you anymore – EFF THEM!!! Each one of you are beautiful and unique in your own way. TRUE love is being with someone who APPRECIATES THAT!! And know what? YOU DESERVE THAT! If someone does not want to be with you any longer – LET THEM THE FREAK GO!!! You deserve to be LOVED and CHERISHED! DO NOT SETTLE! DO NOT TAKE LESS THAN WHAT YOU NEED AND DESERVE!! Move on – it is a part of growing up and maturing – and – it’s a HUGE part of life! How about this – FANTASIZE about someone NEW loving, caring, respecting, appreciating, and giving — TO YOU! Don’t EVER sell yourself short!!!Love you guys – night.

  40. We started dating 4 months ago, we have been introduced by a mutual friend. About 2 weeks ago he broke it off suddenly , he said lot of things accumulated in him about me ( just for the record , I have never been introduced to any of his friends, he would vanish for 2 days with no explanation, and I have been picking up most of the bills when we would go out) , but even so I loved him even that he did all of that, I still do…In past two weeks we saw each-other 2 times he came for me when I was in need of help ( I was sick, so he drove me to another city to my sister) …that last time when he was driving me he was so angry at me and so cold he barely kissed me goodbye. I do not know why is that , all I know is that I love him still deeply. I hit the rock bottom when I called him out and he said he needs to think about it- which means – no way.This passive aggressive state that I am in is killing me and do not know what to do..

  41. Foxy

    Hi everyone’s very interesting the history ex bf and gf are tough life time in long relationship becuz is not very first time a nobody perfect life style the reason why to long relationship r not the stay longer to end the life. I am hard of hearing I had a lot of learn Thursday relationships tough my life’s not perfect becuz the most men’s are mental and voice bruise they need to grew up action dumb ass..I try my best that I had very hard work for helping them for once in my life turn around I make a stop to help them no more becuz I finally stand up and be strong and be happy yourself don’t let men’s face laugh at you….till men’s r not realized how woman be strong and stand up blew them off… Finally you are freedom do whatever you want be a easygoing and be happy family and friends long where you are at before…..I sure you will more feel safe and be happy but love is tough I know it’s not easy like I did before now I I learn more than you think….I can do whatever I want and I am so happy….don’t be beat up yourself….who you are that you can be very positive and god bless you one day you are spirit and bright day….

    Good luck

    I am not prefect English you know what I mean!!!! Enjoy and lifestyle….

  42. Pingback: Relationship queries – Daily News & Analysis « Depression: Fighting Back

  43. I was in love with a guy called Scott, we have been dating since 2008, we loved each other very well, i don’t know what happen in August this year everything changed, he started cheating, he left me for another lady, though i pleaded with him, it was all in vain, i was ready to do anything to make sure i get him back, i contacted one fake spell caster unknowingly, he scammed of $1.500, still yet i moved forward, i contacted Dr. Kasabubu, he asked me to fill his temple form, i filled it and send it back to him, he told me that before he can cast the spell he need some items in which he will use, in casting the love spell, i sent him the items money, he bought the items and casted the spell within two days, after the spell has been done he told me that my Ex lover will come back to me within 24 hours, truly the next day, he came to my place and started begging for forgiveness, i forgave, we are happily together now, he proposed to me and we are getting married in January, 2014. i am very happy for his great work on my life, he alone can bring joy into your life, contact him via email kasabubuspellhome@hotmail.com.

  44. This always helps me. Everytime I get close into wanting to call my ex and work things out, I remember I’ve come so far. I feel sometimes so strong and so weak at the same time. I feel acceptance when I’m happy and at my highest point, but when I feel low, I just shoot right down to depression and denial. I loved him. And I know now, that it was okay. It was okay to love him. And although, it hurts, it will be okay. I will be okay. To everyone else, stay strong. Your almost there.

  45. Probably all this testimony you read about spell casting online are spam right?And yeah some are spam some think all of them are spam which is totally not bad and i also know some believe spell casting really works but have not been able to find the right one. Well i think i found the right spell caster Metodo. I know he is real not cos he helped me but because i was there in his temple i Have seen him and his temple and i tell you it can’t get more really that what am writing now. I know you may want to know why and what lead me to contact a spell caster i am a south African woman here in south African as a matter of fact in Africa having a male child is like the most important thing in a marriage and it turned out that i am married to a very traditional man as in a he believes the male child carry the family name on and on but the females get married and change there name which is true. I were married for six years and i had no male child for him .Maybe friends and family filled his head with a lot of things like i don’t have a male child for him and as a result he need to get a divorce and get another wife that can bear him a male child. I always thought the people that filled his head with this ideas where is family and friends the people that i smile and dine with. The very people who ought to have advice him rightly. I never found out if they where involved in wanting to ruin life and my marriage. Not because i could not find out but cost i didn’t want to develop hatred for them cos i will always get to see them and it is not really healthy seeing the faces of people you hate. At that time, i mean before i knew my husband got himself a lover i was paranoid about him having a lover cos our lives changed a lot he starting coming home late he wouldn’t touch me any more and even he started avoiding me in our home making up excuses to stay all day in his study room doing nothing and telling me his need something off to clear his head. We had fights all the time i brought up the matter if he was see someone else. Maybe he got tired of lying i don’t know he finally asked for a divorce. A divorce my family saw him through his university and got him a got job i told myself and now he’s asking me for a divorce cos i don’t a male child yet for him. He was ready to let go of his three beautiful daughters he asked that i take them along. Maybe he was a real f**l and didn’t know what he had and maybe he didn’t deserve someone like me but one thing was crystal clear to me i was still in love with him and i wanted a complete family for my kid that and the fact that i raised him from the gutter i didn’t care about any of his problem when i married him and i forgot to say my father never approved our marriage but still i jumped into it thinking we are going to have each other forever. Though we are still together now but its cos of the spell i had metodo cast on him to make him see how much he needs me in this life. When i contacted metodo he asked that i get the materials for the spell which i did and delivered the materials to him in person that is to say i came in contact with him. I was to return in to his temple in 7 seven day and within those seven day he gave me a blessed a red candle asking that i command and say whatever i wanted every night within those seven days which i did on the seventh day when i returned to metodo temple he gave a harmless powerful substance with instruction on how to use it. This might seem like fiction or lie or what ever you lucky reads may think but deep down you know it true you just looking for a way not to get involved. I ve got my husband back and my family life couldn’t be better thanks to the spell though i don’t have a male child for him at least his them lover bore him one. contact him with his email if you want his help metodoacamufortress @ yahoo. com

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