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Anatomy Of A Broken Heart

Broken Heart

Photo by Diana Pinto

The inevitable question that always arises in your mind sooner or later when you suffer a break-up is, “Am I the only one? And is my pain more intense than it has been for others?”

To not keep you in suspense, the answer of course is no, you are not alone.

You will find them all around you – in forums all over the Internet, at your workplace, even among your friends and neighbors. Some are grieving quietly without letting you notice anything at all.

Men especially don’t allow themselves to grieve openly, because they think that it’s a sign of weakness. They may even take drugs or alcohol to not have to deal with it. And on the other hand, there are those who are crying it all out.

Everybody has their own unique way to deal with it.

But what I asked myself over and over again back during my breakup was this – why are some people obviously dealing better with their breakup than others?

Why were some getting over it and starting a new life within a month, while others grieve and suffer for several years, and may never even be the same again? What is their secret?

The answer is simple. They were prepared.

It’s as simple as that.

They haven’t read a secret ancient stone panel, or drank a druid elixir and instantly forgot about their exes. They just developed special attributes due to certain circumstances, that helped them to cope with it faster than others.

What are these circumstances?

1. The character of the relationship to your ex-partner

I’m not talking about the emotional deepness of the relationship here. I mean the importance you’ve imparted to your ex-partner in your life.

Have you spent all your free time together? Was your ex also an “attachment figure” for you? Did you think that your ex was essential for your happiness?

Having lived a self-contained life, without shutting the partner out, is one of the major conditions to quickly finding your way after a separation.

2. The expectations you had in your relationship

Have you already planned your love life in advance?

Have you envisioned the small house with the white picket fences, and the children playing in front of it?

Well that’s ok. It’s a fine vision. But pay attention to the fact that this should be your goal, not your expectation. Know the difference – the expectation is passive, the goal is active. Alway be active!

And beware…there is nothing certain in a relationship. If you realize that while you’re still together, you take away a lot of potential tension. If nothing else, you save yourself from being disappointed in case your dreams shatter.

Have goals together, but no expectations!

3. The personality of the one left behind

Have you ever lived alone, taking responsibility for your life?
Have you ever thought of a break-up and how you would get through it?
Have you only felt valuable and lovable with your partner around?
Do you have high self-esteem and self-confidence?
Do you think you could easily find another partner?

If your answer to all these questions is no, then you will most likely experience deep emotional grief should it ever come to a divorce or break-up.

The solution to all this is, of course, being prepared. Give yourself completely into the relationship, experience it with all your heart, but save yourself a piece of you.

Stay true to yourself, give yourself time and devotion, love yourself, set personal goals, think ahead.

Be independent!

Don’t burden your marriage or relationship with unrealistic expectations. Know where you’re heading and have faith.

Don’t get me wrong here. I do not intend to paint a pessimistic picture of relationships. I do believe in long-term relationships. But I also believe that in order to maintain them, to keep them happy and fulfilling, you have to have the proper mindset and take the right actions.

For only then you can benefit from the advantages a relationship is giving you. Furthermore, you will be able to stand on your feet should something go wrong and a separation occurs.

Not to mention, the boost of attraction your personality will suddenly profit from by being an independent, fully confident person.

All the best and yours truly,

Eddie Corbano

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17 Responses to Anatomy Of A Broken Heart

  1. Lynn October 14, 2007 at 11:38 pm #

    It was really nice reading bout ur article…well it may sound silly but i am having major problems with my best friend…i jus can’t understand wht is wrong with her….we are like inseperable…she is my family and everything….i know both of us had weird childhood patterns but i am looking for more ways to learn…i sent her some of ur articles but….i jus got a new job and moved away to be with my guy but he fought with her and thn i dunno ervything has gone downhill…it’s very complicated but i do not wana give up but she has asked for space now only from me and i dunno y coz we resolved r issues long back… pls help…i dunno wht else to do..:(

  2. K Kell November 19, 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    I am still reeling from my breakup. I am trying to be strong, and remember the negative things about him. I havent trusted him for months, and yet I still want him to come back to me. I feel so foolish wanting someone that is so bad for me. ANy ideas?

  3. Eddie Corbano November 20, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    @K Kell

    This is not foolish, this is normal.

    But realizing that he’s bad for you is the first step towards recovery.

    Hang in there, it will get easier.

    Eddie

  4. Jimmy Crickets January 6, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    I’m breaking up a business partnership and it feels a lot like a real break-up.

    Thanks for the solid advice.

    J. Crickets

  5. Helen January 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    I am in the throes of a breakup of a relationship in which we have been discussing marriage for the past year and discussing plans for our future. The relationship lasted 7 yrs. After being hurt from a previous relationship 12 yrs. prior, I was so happy to find someone that I could finally be real with, and allow myself to be vulnerable. For the past 3 yrs. I was living in another state, however, he and I continued the relationship with frequent trips back and forth, as well as special times away. But upon my return he decided that it was not going to work. I have been reeling from this deep pain for the past 3 months. The pain of this is more than I could have ever expected. He and I had become more like one, and now I feel that a important part me has just got up and walked away. It has been almost 90 days, and the grief that I feel is like the grief of someone dear you have lost to death. I know I am not alone in this struggle, for many people have gone through it. But when you do go through, the sense of loneliness becomes intensified. I am not the sort of person who loves easily, but when I do, I am totally devoted and committed to make things work. Like others, I too am looking for answer on how to move forward without being haunted by the wonderful times we shared. My abiding love for this individual is still very intense.

  6. Derek January 16, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    @Helen

    I can relate to your situation. The best thing for you to remember is that there is no timetable for the healing process. It has been 9 months since my break-up and I am just now getting to the point where I feel happy again.

    There are so many wonderful articles on this site. Read them all and try to apply as many as you can to your situation. It is important to remember your own self-worth. Feel everything you need too feel and experience every emotion because that is the only way to get to the other side. I don’t think bottling our emotions up benefits anyone in the long run. If it helps you to remember the good times, I think it’s okay to do so, but try to get to a point where you don’t need to do so every day. Let them diminish. I don’t think the memories ever truly go away, but they get easier to deal with.

    The best advice I gained from reading Eddie’s articles and e-mails is NO CONTACT. Absolutely no contact. Don’t call, don’t text, don’t check their Facebook or MySpace accounts, don’t go places where you may run into them. I think sometimes we convince ourselves that we don’t want to see them but then we go places secretly hoping that we will run into them. This can be detrimental to the whole process. I did this for seven months. I tried to maintain a friendship, however distant, but it doesn’t work. If I had followed the no contact rule from the outset, I really believe my recovery would not have taken as long as it did.

    Find something that you enjoy. I have taken up running again and have noticed that exercise really helps to clear my mind and allow me to focus on myself.

    I know how hard this seems… but just know that there are others out there who have been through the same thing you are going through… and there are many who are still going through it. It’s tough but when you get to the other side, you’ll be thankful for the strength you have gained along the way.

    I wish you well on your journey!

  7. Helen February 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Derek thank you for your words of encouragement. It has been difficult, and at times, difficult beyond words. I have decided that as part of the healing process to seek the help of a counselor. I think it might be helpful to look at things from another perspective. The last time the gentleman he called to say he was sorry for taking so long to make up his mind. After that call I felt even more depressed. I now have a select group of friends who are praying and encouraging me. I’m not necessarily at the point to reaching out too much, though I do occasionally take in a movie. It has now been 4 months of crying and struggling with those inner feelings. I admit that I do not cry as often, but sometimes the tears come for no reason. I realize I must hold onto what can be, and stop looking back to what was. Forgiveness is going to be necessary in the healing process, for without it, I will be held to the past and that I don’t want. Again thank you for your encouraging words.

  8. canali March 20, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    your article while insightful doesn’t take in the whole shebang, IMO.

    living in now while laudable vs expectations is not so easy (and I’m trying to go this route as per my next relationship) often there can be unresolved earlier childhood issues making our partner and relationship stronger than it is…plus (and this is missed often) there ARE actual biochemicals released in the brain by mother nature wanting us to procreate/extend the species (hence why the lust/infatuation stage in beginning is so strong)…so once a break occurs these chemicals are a bit messed up and not getting the connection/hit/replenishment any more…now I don’t know if later in the relationship these same bonding chemicals are as potent but they’re a reality and shouldn’t be ignored, nor should unresolved earlier childhood issues, too, ie, I lost both parents when young so ‘endings’ are an ongoing difficult area for me…this said, and I am engaging in meditation (vipasanna, insight), yoga, reading, journalling, seeing a therapist, quit drinking entirely and trying to make more friends as my social support network is very small (most buddies are back east in original hometown).
    I do like what the late Bruce Fisher wrote in ‘Rebuilding’ (a classic on breakups and the many stages as he belives that there are many in ie not just a handful: more like 15 or so) : in future relationships, try asking NOT ”is this my soulmate and the person I wish to spend my life happily ever after with” but instead ” Does this person and I have enough in common to spend some quality time together NOW.”

    one other book i am enjoying is by susan anderson ‘the journey from abandonment to healing’…

    oh and I came out of a 2 yr relationship 6 mo ago…broke nc a few times/sent her daughter xmas card/gift…since oct she’s been seeing a new guy who just went with her on a 3 wk trip to costa rica…’j…wants me to marry him so my life is good.” ..also she told me in another email (before I broke NC fof good a few wks back, ‘ i never loved you was never attracted to you…i was with you cause you’re a nice guy a great companion but should have broken it off much sooner (despite her always wanting to jump my bones: i know she felt sexually rejected in the end as we weren’t resolving some issues that needed to be talked through but she’s not a good expressor of emotions)…anyway…

  9. Terry April 13, 2009 at 2:59 am #

    Hi,
    I was pursued by a man for four months. I was not looking for a relationship. I was looking for my friend who had moved away. I joined Tagged, because my friend was searching for me thru tagged. I was tagged by a man. He was friendly and complemented me and I think he felt I was lonely and vunerable. After two months, he said he would like to meet me for lunch. I felt it was ok, so I met him. Then we became involved in a relationship. I enjoyed his compliments and all that went with it. Soon he began saying remarks that were nasty. By then I fallen for him. It was so obvious that he was using me for sexual pleasures. I attempted three times to leave him, but I gave in to him and did not leave him. But I was miserable and wanted to tell him what I thought of him, but I did nothing of course. He was on again off again and accussed me of being to emotional which was true. After he left me, I cried quite a bit and felt so lonely and empty with out him. I did my best to become the woman I once was(he was my first lover). Then he wrote to me once again after that and was sweet talking me not to leave him. I was so confused but I agreed to give him another chance. I actually began to see through him. The next morning,I was inspired by a strong feeling to end the relationship and I immediately acted on it. First of all, I his telephone messages and his cell phone number. his e-mail address and his messenger id. I wrote one last message to him. I said the relationship was over and for him to never contact me again. I was definitely hurt by him. But I am proud that I finally took control and ended it. I also found out he was married, and never planned to leave his wife. I noticed that he wasted no time and once again he is looking for another mistress. He says he loves his wife, which I find difficult to beleive. I think he has had many affairs all along. I feel sorry for his wife. I would love to see him get caught and suffer for all the hurt he has done to two women. But that is not up to me to do. At least I finally saw what he was all about. So dear ladies, do not beleive or be used by these predators. Good Luck and God Bless. What goes around comes around.

  10. Mae March 10, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    I took a big step and broke up with my on and off again boyfriend of two years last week. Something just didn’t feel right and it ate at me every day- telling me to go out on my own and to leave him behind. I panicked a few days after breaking up with him and tried to see if he would want to get back together. He rejected me telling me this was my fault and he has more important things to worry about. I don’t know if he expects me to keep chasing after him like I have in the past but I’m too scared to do that. I want him to come back to me. He has broken up with me a few times in the past (not always for very good reasons- once he ended our relationship on Facebook without telling me) and sometimes while we were dating he would ignore me for days when he would get upset. Even though he is older than me, he seemed to be a lot less mature. We had some really, really great times together and I miss him and I still love him despite everything. I’m questioning my decision of leaving him and I feel guilty like this is all my fault and I’m a bad person. I don’t want to fall back into the same cycle with him and end up hurt again several months down the road but it’s SO hard to leave him behind when I still have all these feelings for him. I don’t really have anyone to talk to this about because all my friends pretty much despise him. It’s hard to concentrate in school (I’m in college) when all I can think about is him. I’ve read some of your articles but I can’t seem to decide what is best for me. I feel so lost, empty and alone.

  11. Fred April 12, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    @Mae

    Mae — I really empathized with your words and indecision. I am experiencing a lot of the same things with my girlfriend of the past 4 years, and I am older than you. It is so hard to leave her behind and make a decision to get over her when I love her so much and want to be with her. I wonder if these feelings cloud us and don’t allow us to be rational. But I dont care because I just want her to come back to me. I need to listen to her and acknowledge the reasons she feels she wants to leave the relationship, and I also have no one to talk to. Ultimately, I guess we have to respect the change and move on, but it is so hard, and I just wanted to tell you that I feel your pain. All things pass in time. Fred

  12. Br0ken October 26, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Omw mae… y0ur st0ry s0unds exactly like my relationship.. Me ad my bf has als0 been dating f0r almost tw0 years n0w… Everything was s0 perfect at the start and i th0ught this is the guy im g0nna marry… He then jus started t0 change, telling me he wants t0 take a break and he w0uld c0me back t0 me in a week… and stupid en0ugh i w0uld actually wait… And then i w0uld find 0ut he had plans with an0ther girl and if it didnt w0rk 0ut with them he w0uld c0me back t0 me… This has already happened ab0ut tw0 times and i think its als0 happening nw… He w0uld als0 jus change his relationship status 0n facebo0k t0 single with0ut lettting me knw ab0ut anything… And when i g0 and ask him whats g0ing 0n, he pretends like im stupid and its been 0ver a l0ng time ag0, but we were fine the day bef0re and he said he l0ves me?….. i d0nt kn0w what t0 d0… This sunday we were supp0sed t0 spend time t0gether and when i sh0wed up at his h0use, he said he will dr0p me off s0mewhere else because he has new plans with his friends..like its my fault missing him??…. And then sunday i went t his h0use again, and his griends were all there, but he said i had t0 g0 h0me bacause he must study because he's writing exams the next day, and i f0und 0ut that day that he's n0t even writing anything!…. we havent sp0ken f0r three days n0w, and i havent heard a single thing ab0ut him… I want t0 break up with him, but we are b0th writing exams n0w s0 im n0t gonna be able t0 f0cus 0n my studying… And next year he's g0ing t0 military s0 im hardly gonna see him every 6 m0nths.. but he wants me t0 wait f0r him, th0ugh he's treating me like a piece 0f crap?? I d0nt kn0w what t0 do! because i hate him but i l0ve him s0 much… im giving him my everything, but i get n0 appreciation 0r anything in return… 🙁

  13. Aphodite November 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Not sure if writing on the blog will help but here goes. After 18 months of a relationship with an older man, I am really feeling depressed after I initiated the seperation. Angry because he could not help me finanically when my car broke down, I did not contact him as I desperately tried to pull the money together. He did not contact for several days either. Anyway, the relationship was on the rocks before that. I typically got mad at him and would not call. This was upsetting to him too. Not sure why I pull myself away from people who want to love me.
    Alll I can say is that this man did not want to marry me after going through job losses and other things that happened to me during the relationship. He says he wants to be friends that maybe in the Spring or Summer he will call if he is not in a relationship. I am not waiting around for that call only be treated with such disrespect and disdain. I was not perfect. I was very needy and desperate and said many things to him and his mom that I regret. However, the pain is so intense. I did not get out of the bed on Thanksgiving. Perhaps at his age, he could not commit to a long term relationship in thefirst place. I guess I was a rebound relationship after a 3 year love affair he had before me. I feel for him in a big way. Regardless of his age, looks or financial status. I have much to work on myself. The anger that eats me has been there long before him. Maybe this situation has brought me to place of reflection.

  14. Broken-hearted November 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    I myself have recently went through a devastating break-up. My ex- and I were involved for three years. During those three years we went through alot of good and bad times. He put me through alot and I forgave him each time hoping things would get better. I dont think I ever had time to truely heal from all the pain I experienced during the course of our relationship which caused me to often times lash out, get angry and ignore him. At the end of the day, I always thought we would work through everything and it would be ok. I never expected him to turn his back on me the way he has. He out of the blue one day told me he felt like he needed space from me and I wasnt happy about it. As much as I didnt want to let go things just went downhill from there. While we would sometime go for a week or so at the time with no contact I never expected to that saying good-bye for good would be this painful. Its been over 3 months and I just cant understand why its so hard for me to move on. He has obviously moved on with his life but wants to remain friends and as much I would to do that I just cant seem to do it because when I try I just end of more and more depressed. I feel like a part of me has been taken away. As someone else stated, I dont love easy but when I do love I love hard. Just wondering when the feelings of lonliness, helplessness and sadness will go away. The saddest part is I know I deserve so much better but just cant seem to get over this or understand why I cant just bouce back from it…..

  15. Beyond Broken December 10, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I am beyond a broken heart. Not just my heart is broken but ALL of me. My ex broke up with me about a month ago after 3yrs of being together. This was both our longest realationship and we planned a future together. Never have I ever given so much of my self, ALL of ME to anyone before!!!! Its only been 2 weeks since I moved out of the place we shared. I am broken because after we broke up i found out i was pregnant and he made me have an abortion. He didn’t want it. He said becuase money was a problem, i am not mother or wife material and he dosen’t want me anymore. To hear those things coming out of his mouth… i can’t express how i felt…..

    Our relationship was great and all of a sudden he doesn’t want me anymore? I think he hates me because if he loved me he would not have let me gone through with it. It was the biggest mistake of my life and I am at the lowest I’ve ever been… I have nightmares about it and can’t seem to forgive myself. On to why we broke up….

    I went out one night and came in a little after 2am. I don’t go out all the time, once in a blue moon with the girls. He was asking me to come in earlier when i went out, but part of me felt he wasn’t compromising with me so I guess I didn’t either. I used to beg him to take me out and he never did. For 3yrs the only place we went was the movies. I understood money was an issue because he has a toddler, but he never tried to make an effort to make me feel special after our first year anniversary. That was awesome we went to dinner, took pictures together the works!!!! There was nothing else after that. There was always some excuse as to why we couldn’t go out. I just never got why he didn’t try!! I carried him out on dates to other places than the movies. We went to dinner and the zoo and many other places!!!

    The incident when i came in late happened in early August and from then to October 27. We were been trying to work things out and I thought we was getting somewhere. Right after we had sex, I told him that there was a chance I could be pregnant. I said what if I am and he said don’t worry about it. I knew he didn’t want anymore children out of wedlock. We found out I was pregnant in November and his words changed!!!

    After he said it was over he stopped being home. He would only come to bathe and sleep. He said it was to much for him to deal with. He still did things for me until one day when he picked me up from work and explained he was no longer “obligated” to do anything for me.

    The last time i spoke with him was monday. He has been bashing me more and more. The bottom line to all the stuff he told me was IT”S ALL MY FAULT, I’M A SCREW UP!! I asked him if he really wanted it to be over and he said. “No. but this is the way it has to be?” For everytime we talked that was his story. I do feel if he had compromised with me with going out I would have done the same. He said I am not mother or wife material and not the kind of woman he wants. I asked what kind of woman is that? He said a woman who keeps late hours, I laughed. It has happended 5 times since we were together but i keep late hours? I could have seen if I was out ALL the time and NEVER home then he could say Im living a double life, but not a few times. He said he was looking for a ring for me but I blew it. He said all kinda things I didn’t think possible……..

    I still don’t get why he broke up with me and why all his love so quickly turned to hate? One minute I was the person he wanted to marry the next nothing to him at all? His baby mama is saying that her 3month old baby girl is his. All of his family and I asked him and he said its not. I don’t know where to pick up the pieces not just of my broken heart, but my broken spirit, body, mind and soul, my broken everything…… I don’t hate him for making me have the abortion he said he was afraid and panicked.

    He says he doesn’t think what happened between us is going to bring us closer so I should forger getting back together. Maybe he found someone else? Maybe he fell out of love with me?

  16. Sawmillsteve October 5, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    thank you, god bless all

  17. Dayna March 8, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    my ex fiance and I met online in August 2012 we spoke for a little bit throughout the month, he had just lost his mother the year before to cancer and his father was extremely sick and dying from the same cancer, we had our first date September 3rd and then I went away for 2 weeks, in this time he was calling and texting me( telling me he’d never met a girl like me ) he texted excessively to the point where I thought he was extremely needy but I felt as if he was a good person and he just needed someone to be there for him, we had our second date was September 18th. on October 18th he asked me to marry him he was talking about having a baby and even insisted on buying my wedding dress.. We were planning our wedding had our list and everything ( we almost just went to the courthouse and got marriedthen ) we were completely in love with one another he was a happy and funny person who treated me like a queen. everything was wonderful for the first month and then he started being depressed and unhappy he asked me if he could take steroids because he had gotten to the point where he lost all the muscle he had previously gained before his father has passed I agree because he said it was a very low dose and would not change message person unfortunately this is not what happened he became extremely depressed very moody just a different person. we started to bicker and have little arguments but I just couldn’t believe what’s happening I could tell there was something seriously wrong with him but I wasn’t strong enough to let him go and deal with his situation unfortunately everything came to an end January fourth 2013 it started out as a mutual breakup and we agreed that we just rush things but in my mind I didn’t want to completely give up. he said he started seeing a counselor and that he needed to find happiness from within and work on his insecurities, I agreed. We were still in touch for a couple days and he still told me he loves me and that he’d never had a love like what he had with us being together nor that he never had a girl be so good to him within a couple days I could tell things change the more and he was more distant I had gone to his house 3 weeks later to get them things he had left my house and vice versa and in that time he was extremely mean telling me not at the time when we met he wasn’t very vulnerable state from losing his parents and he needed someone and I was there and he told me to move on that he had already moved on ( but I didn’t think he was saying he had moved on with another person) he said that the ship has sailed and it was over as any girl could imagine I was extremely upset and hurt that he was being so mean I’ve never seen that side of him and so I texted him so horrible things that I truly regreted. that night he told me to lose his number 3 weeks have passed and I did nothing but cry over him and the situation. we happen to live close to 1 another and I ended up seeing him with another girl I just couldn’t believe my eyes it has only been 3 weeks or a month and he has started another relationship and was cosidering living with this person. I truly truly could not believe he would do something like that, I ended up going out the evening and drinking and my emotions got the best of me I did something very unethical and something I’ve never done before I went to his house and keep his car, I knew I was wrong doing it the second I did it but it was too late the next morning he came to my house I’m called me and told me that I needed to pay or he would press charges. I apologized and told how hurt I was that he would be considering living with someone so soon, gave him money and left… you are absolutely right about feeling horrible after doing something like that I have been asking God for forgiveness ever since I did and I just don’t know how to redeem thyself. Of course now I am label as the crazy ex and that is so far from the truth. Girls I’m here to tell you if you think doing something like this will make you feel better, it WON’T it will only hurt you and make you feel less of a person in the end. I cried every night since I did this and I feel absolutely horrible. In a mans opinion what do guys think when their ex acts this way? do they ever consider that what they did hurt this person so bad and that they’re truly not crazy they were just extremely hurt and emotions were at their worst. I have never show it any kind of action like this throughout our whole relationship. don’t people seeing that what he did was extremely crazy and unacceptable. Not excusing my actions at all, but just wish people understand when girls react like this it has to be the consequences of what the man they were with had carelessly done to there heart and not because the girl is crazy.

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