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How A Relationship Break Up Can Be Your Best Experience

A Relationship Break Up Can Be A Good Experience

For most of us, one of the most painful things we can experience is a relationship break up. It’s like losing an important part of yourself.

But what if I told you that a relationship break up can turn out to be a very good thing for you? What if I said that it’s a chance to find yourself again and examine your priorities and your place in life?

You’re standing at a crossroads – all you need to do is make the right decision about how to proceed.

Why is a relationship break up so painful?

A divorce or other break up usually goes something like this: one partner leaves, the other copes with the loss. How well they manage to deal with this loss depends on three factors:

  1. The kind of relationship which they had with their partner
  2. Their expectations for the (now failed) relationship
  3. Their life experiences and personality traits

A relationship break up isn’t an easy thing for anyone. The personality, expectations and life history of the partner left behind determines the degree of suffering they will experience. How well and how quickly they will heal depends on how well they can face up to these things. If they can look into themselves, identify problem behaviors and remedy them, then the healing will really begin – and every other element of their lives will begin to improve.

A relationship break up abruptly exposes our weaknesses and the fears and pain we have carried with us all our lives. This is an opportunity to get rid of these negative emotions once and for all.

A case study of two broken hearts


Case no. 1 – Kevin:

Kevin was crushed when his wife of three years left him. He didn’t leave their apartment for almost 6 weeks, not even for work. It’s like the life had been taken out of him and his will to live disappeared. He couldn’t stop thinking about the life he’d had and lost. While he knew that this marriage was beyond repair, he couldn’t help but wish that she’d come back.

This idea was the only thing that kept him going.

After the first six weeks had passed, the shock began to subside and he took a look at himself and to think about where his life was going. He felt as if he had an important decision to make about the future course of his life.

When he finally left his apartment, talked to some friends about how he felt and spoke to an acquaintance who happened to be a therapist; he found that the root of his problems was a lack of self-esteem and self-love.

He had been happy before his marriage ended; because it was his wife who he relied on for happiness and meaning. His happiness should have been coming from the inside.

With the help of his friends and some self-examination, he was able to get over the divorce and make his entire life better. Everything had changed for the better – his work, his friendships, the way he related to women, his goals for the future.

Kevin had become a new and improved person .

Case no. 2 – Julia:

Julia was devastated when her boyfriend broke up with her in the worst possible way – a text message telling her that he’d found someone else.

Julia suffered a lot as a result; she had thought that this was the man she would marry, after having had a string of cheating, abusive partners in the past.

She didn’t deal with the relationship break up like Kevin did. Rather than shut herself in, she went out and partied for weeks. Even after a month of wild, self destructive behavior, she wouldn’t open up about her feelings to anyone, even her best friends.

Not wanting to be alone, she drank and took drugs to get through the times when no one could be with her.

After several months of this pattern, she met a man who made her feel better about herself. She was back on her feet and feeling good. They moved in together and were pretty happy.

Everything was going great for Julia – until the next break up hit.

What is the difference between these two?

Was Kevin smarter than Julia? No. Did Julia suffer more than Kevin? No, they each suffered greatly.

The difference between Julia and Kevin is that Kevin took a look at himself and took steps to improve himself and his life .

Kevin saw that he had to take the right path at those crossroads and prepared himself to do what it took to get past the relationship and heal.

Instead of facing up to her own problems, Julia got into a new relationship before she was ready; with the predictable disastrous results.

Kevin was lucky in that he had help close at hand – and Julia was unlucky in that she had a difficult upbringing, but both Kevin and Julia had a choice to make .

The choice for a better life.

There are so many people out there like Julia right now who are going through something similar. I would like all of them to understand that if they want to change their lives, they need to look at relationship break ups as opportunities rather than as a life-ending catastrophe.

A relationship break up is a chance for you to change the things that are holding you back.

I learned this lesson years ago.

If you can’t do it by yourself, seek out some help to get you there.

Your friend,

Eddie Corbano

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24 Responses to How A Relationship Break Up Can Be Your Best Experience

  1. hana September 17, 2008 at 2:51 am #

    i broke up with my ex about 3 month ago and 2 month later i found a guy. i dont know if this is the real thing or a rebound relationship. i love this guy. and when i bak up with him?roke up with my ex i was so devastated until i met this guy. am i doing the right thing being in a relationship so soon? i still have feelings for my ex. i mean i still think about him from time to time but i love my new guy and if its too soon should i break up with him..? i want to move on and never think about my ex anymore. HELP ME!!!

    • Xoxovo October 11, 2010 at 2:00 am #

      I think this is why most people advised us to not jump into a new relationship too quick. Wait and let your feeling sink first before having another relationship. If you really want to find an answer, just go with your heart, but remember to accept the consequences either way. I believe, in the end, anything you do has value in it for us to learn from our own action.

  2. Ryan Peimer October 10, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    @hana – Hi Hanna, I just ended a 3 year relationship with my first girlfriend. It has been nearly 5 months since the break up. I have not initiated any contact with her since. I still think about her often and on many occasions I doubt my decision. However, despite my feelings of loneliness, longing for her and doubt, there is a deep knowing inside of me telling me that I have made the right decision.

    One cannot love until you have healed properly. After a break up you tend to go through the motions of loneliness and your self esteem will take a knock and what we tend to do to as emotional beings, is to find the first thing that will relieve us of this discomfort; i.e. another relationship. When you enter a relationship from a place of loneliness and desperation, you will indeed receive that initial relief and you may even feel that you’re in love again. But these kinds of relationships can never work!! The Law of Attraction works with vibrational frequencies. When you attract a partner or relationship from a place of loneliness, emptiness & low self worth, you attract similar vibrational frequencies. What you want is to move past that first, develop your self esteem, reconnect with you who are and build up your self love before getting into another relationship; otherwise we tend to experience the same relationship failure time and time again. It’s not easy but in the long run it will do the world of good. We all dream of the perfect partner and a relationship that is equally fulfilling in every area. KNOW that this is possible!! But you need to heal and love yourself first before that partner can enter your experience.

    With Love
    Ryan Peimer

    ryan@thirty3degrees.co.za

  3. hana October 14, 2008 at 9:09 am #

    thanks ryan. i know this relationship wont work. it started because i wanted to show my ex that i can get a new better guy than he is. now i realize i dont really love the guy but are too afraid to break my new guy’s heart. i dont know what to do.. now im pretending to love the guy even though i didnt. i’m a bad person. i know.

  4. Christian November 11, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    Thank you, this is very encouraging. I am in CODA right now (Codependents Anonymous) and for anyone who identifies with either case scenario, but especially Kevin’s, then I would highly recommend searching the internet and seeing if there is a CODA meeting near you. Try this site: http://www.codependents.org/ Thank you again, I am very encouraged.

  5. Sara January 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    @Ryan Peimer

    Ryan,

    Wow, I read your note and I feel that it does make sense..I am dealing with a break up and I know that I should be alone and deal with my low self-steem issues and to learn to live alone for now. Based on my ex pattern, I know that he will start dating soon, and it breaks my heart, but I feel that I don’t have to do what he does. I should be strong and wait till my heart heals…

  6. Amanda January 31, 2009 at 1:18 am #

    I was dating my boyfriend for 2 and a half years. We arent together anymore, well we pretty much broke up once a week anyways, and that was my fault. I really never meant it, I was just so frustrated and hurt, and i felt the only way for the pain to go away is just to say forget it all. We would eventually be okay after a few hours, but our happiness was always temporary.

    I really love him so much, and I try so hard to make it work, I cared so much and when he didnt thats when i came crashing down and decide to give up. I really dont know what to do.

    I am in University, with an extremely stressful semester and I dont know how i am going to get through it. I cant concentrate on my work, i cant stop crying.

    I just dont know what to do.

  7. ayesha March 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    @Amanda
    hi amanda,
    i am a final year medical student, am having exams in 1 month and my boyfriend of 4years, dumped me!!!! i also find it hard to concentrate… but i guess in any lovestory the ex always always come back. so i dnt think you need to worry.. just be confident, dont act desperate or clingy, am sure he also must be thinking of you. try to send him an sms like ‘am sorry….i miss you’ dont overdo, he’ll come back if he really cares for you.
    gudluk!!!!

  8. Nikki July 24, 2009 at 2:43 am #

    Well I’ve been in this relationship for four years now n although I see it’s not really going anywhere I’m still a bit terrified to end it. He doesn’t love me for who I am. I’ve lost all of my self esteem n self confidence in this relationship, I’m really hurt to know I love him so much n can’t receive this love back,. He loves me when he wants too and treats me like I’m his slave

    Originally Posted By Sara@Ryan Peimer

    Ryan,

    Wow, I read your note and I feel that it does make sense..I am dealing with a break up and I know that I should be alone and deal with my low self-steem issues and to learn to live alone for now. Based on my ex pattern, I know that he will start dating soon, and it breaks my heart, but I feel that I don’t have to do what he does. I should be strong and wait till my heart heals…

  9. Wendy September 29, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    Well I have read everyones notes on break-ups and feel nothing but empathy for everyone. I am just going through my first break-up after a 9 year drought of being single after abusive marriage and divorce. i have read all the advice on this website, and it is good advice. I spent 9 years trying to find myself, heal, build my self-esteem back after having to deal with an abusive ex who when you have children still have to deal with, however, I have found a way to protect myself, from the abuse, which is working really well. Once I had counseling after 8 years of thinking a wasn’t a victim of domestic violence, but once I sort help i found i was already on the road of recovery, and once I was happy within I felt that I was ready for another relationship.

    I meet a wonderful guy who him and I have so much in common, love spending time with him, and we got along really good!! We thought we had the perfect relationship, and really loved each other. HOWEVER, when we did argue which was very really our relationship was off!! We have broken up 3 times, and tried to work things out, and nominally I would just break up and move on, but being older you would think we were more wiser!! Not so!! Out of the 3 times of breaking up, I did 2 of the break ups and now this 4th was the final one, which I made!! I have tried all methods of support that has been mentioned, and feel terrible about the break up still!! I left a message on his phone, cause he never answered it, I sent it in a txt message as well. The thing is I had doubts, doubts about his trust, whether I could trust him. He tried to organise times to go nightclubbing with his friends, and I understand why females go out clubbing, to dance and enjoy being with their girlfriends, but 2 guys?? This tells me their out to pick up, and we had heaps of fights about this. I thought I might be showing my insecurity as all the guys I went out with including my ex-hub cheated!! So what makes him so different? Once I had enough of the pressure to move in, his unemployment issues, I had had enough!! ended the relationship, and then that weekend he is spotted at the nightclub that my girlfriends go to, and then he was there the following weekend when I went, by himself??? Trying to pick up girls in front of my face!! He just didn’t seem like a player, cause I know them, I married the “world’s best player” and the “world’s best loser”, but he did not show that when we were around other women, I would spot it, know the moves, know the looks that men give other women, or even ask about your friends, he didn’t show any signs of this!! You would think after seeing him at the club that that would be the closure!! But no I feel absolutely terrible, got sick for a week with the flu, and just could not kick it after that weekend at the club!! It absolutely took me by surprised that I had trusted someone like this, first guy going out with after 9 years!! How could have picked so badly? or what kind of guys am I attracting that make them become or are this way? I think what started this whole thing of insecurity is when he went through my mobile phone contacts, which I forgive him for, then going out clubbing with his mate, then he went through my diary on the last weekend we spent together. Why would someone do that to me? I have nothing to hide, but why would someone use me to get what they want rather than give what they can give someone else please explain? Why do I feel so terrible even though I should feel relieved? I am sick of seeing counselors!!!

  10. Zack December 2, 2009 at 4:00 am #

    i can relate to Kevin in case #1, but with some differences,i too had my wife leave me after 3 years. I was so tore up inside, it felt like i couldnt breathe. I took 3 months and did alot of very hard self examination and totally turned my life around. Im in the Army, my life at work has done a 360, i have worked so hard and put so much time into being a better solider and im finally getting promoted. I started going to a gym, ive lost 40 pounds, I’ve gone out and been on many dates and it has been great. The only thing thats different is, even after all of this self change and self motivation , the pain of lossing my wife doesnt feel any better. I still miss her every day as hard as i have ever missed her. I have tryed ” No-contact” and it just seems to make me want her more. I dont know what im doing worng.

  11. Jessie December 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    @Zack – Zack, after reading your message I thought I had to reply to you.
    I miss my ex just as much as you do…… and I get sad that he hasn’t contacted me. My problem is that I’m letting my life pass me by crying about it. You just gave me enlightenment….because you’re moving in the right direction …..You are working on yourself and that’s what I need to do. Keep growing…yay Zack!

    P.S.~>Thank you for the Post, If I hadn’t stumbled on it I wouldn’t realize what I’m doing wrong.

  12. Kelsey December 17, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    So, I was in a Wnderful realtionship for 7 long months. It had its up and downs, twists and turns. The point of the matter is it made me happy, but more often than not it made me very very sad. The boy in question had effort problems and determination issues which became more prominent as time wore on. The last month of our love was the most difficult in which i spent more night crying myself to sleep than feeling the elated happiness of love. Despite the fact I loved him deeply, i broke up with him thinking it would be for the best if we were no longer stuck in this constant struggle. Ultimatly the moment after I broke up with him and he left I couldn’t believ what i had done and spent the next month crying and begging to get back together, he just wanted to be friends. I had no idea how to deal with my situation. He was my first boyfriend, love, kiss, ect. and also my first break up. I was lost and confused. I eventualy got over sadness and resorted to anger and hate to hide the feelings for him i still had and resulted in him also beung very irritated with me and no longer caring to be friends. I regret that now but in the end it provided a sense of closure and i am all the happier for it. Yet in the back of my mind i worry i am not realy “over him,” that breaking up with him was the right thing to do in the first place. In all my searching i haven’t been able to find any advice for people in my posostion…..most are for the “dumpee,” not the heartbroken “dumper.” I just can’t help but wonder if i am doing the right thing at that crossroad.

  13. joseR May 28, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    i have a question to ask well the details abnout my relationship are that 4 years high school sweetheart but i was in the mania category so my insecurties ruined the relationship she got sick of me and i deserve it so.. i accepted and said well now i gotta change it was so hard and depressing but i am finally learning to be indepedent and hapy but the problem is that my ex jumped into a rebound relationship to ease the pain and now she is confused so one day she called me out of the blue adn cried adn said she missed me and loved me and she hopes to be with me in the future is i actually changed so its been two months and i have never been stronger ,independent and happy its incredible! so i am really happy not jumping into another relationship but.. here comes my ex so confused and messed up now and starts to call me txt me and wants to meet up be friends and at first i was ok with it but then she got even more into txt hanging out and chillin and she has a man who she has not said a word abotu what she is doing with me as far as i know anyways i finally stoped and told her off bc i need to heal and put myself first now its time she was only dragghing me down with her huge mess and confusion so here is where i am in need of advice i know she feels real hurt and messed up and since she was my highschool sweetheart i still care and dont wanna see her all messed up so “am i responsible for her feeling??' but i didnt know wut else to do she gave me nothing to work with and she is with someone else so i stand firm with my decision but thats wuts killin me ..how she feels anyways any advice would be great and i totally recommend support groups and coda (codependent anynoumus??) lol if you are seriosu about moving on from a break up they reallly help

  14. Lenzy October 5, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    Breakup is not an easy thing… but it would be better to end a relationship because it would be worthless to stay when you don't feel anything…but hatred.

  15. Blessed1 November 8, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    I really appreciate this post. And I would have to say that the first paragraph is so interesting…Eddie says that breaking up is “like losing an important part of yourself”. I find it interesting because the guy I dated for 6 months (chased me, got me, dumped me) actually gave me something and took nothing away. First time it's ever happened. I am in no contact with him and every day I remember the positive things he told me about myself and I remind myself that he was right! At the end, of course, he started criticizing me because HE wanted out, but that's not what I choose to dwell on. I internalized the good stuff. Some days are easier than others. But I realize I don't miss him. Because it wasn't about him. It was about me, allowing myself to be loved–even for a while–and Understanding that when he left, he did NOT take “love” with him. I've still got it. It's just coming from me now, instead of him.

    Blessings!

    • Eddie Corbano November 9, 2010 at 10:07 am #

      This is the right mindset and I'm very happy for you that you have it, but for most people it is very difficult to maintain at the very beginning of the breakup.

      I hold it true, whate'er befall;
      I feel it, when I sorrow most;
      'Tis better to have loved and lost
      Than never to have loved at all.

      -Alfred Lord Tennyson

      I believe in that!

      Love is a gift that we give ourselves.

  16. StarOfHope November 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    I really appreciate this post!

    I kind of “hated” myself for feeling and acting like “kevin”, when my ex is dealing with the break up like “Julia”. He even told me that he can’t bear being alone at the moment, he’s spending the weekends going out and drinking a lot, during the week spending all the time at university and in the evening going to the gym.

    I felt like an alien. I can’t imagine partying, because im not in the mood. Its so hard for me to be around people and “faking a smile”.
    I can’t even concentrate on studying, while he seems to have no problem to study.

    But after reading this post i realized whats going on and that i need to look after myself, rather than telling myself how “great” my ex is doing without me and shutting myself in.

    I guess thats the big chance for finding myself.

  17. KA December 19, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Hi everyone,

    First of all, I have to say that I find the strength and wisdom echoing from Blessed’s message very inspiring.

    I’ve been dealing with a similar issue, not so successfully, though. My now ex broke up with me over email (we were doing long distance so it’s not exactly the end of the world but I would have appreciated the chance to speak) and in it he basically said things like, “I told you that this is an issue but you refused to acknowledge it”, “I asked you to change but you got defensive and said you won’t change your personality”, etc., ending in a very condescending way, wishing me to figure out my “complexities”, and in brief, just blaming me for the “downfall of the relationship” as he put it. I really do want to work on a number of issues that came up in my relationship, such as communication, avoiding arguments, etc. but I am paralyzed by a reluctance to address those because it would mean that I ultimately agree with my ex that the relationship did not work out only because of me, and I cannot accept that, because I really did my best. My self-esteem hit the bottom but with help from friends, counseling and some of the books recommended here I have realized that it is self-love I need to revisit and rebuild and that most of the problems that occurred in the relationship were caused by self-hate on both sides and the expectation that the other person will fill in that vacuum of love we seem to not be able to fill for ourselves. So I do see the breakup as being a potentially positive development because it opened my eyes to the need to learn to accept myself truly and not to expect that somebody else will fill in the vacuum. I have been much more relaxed and dealing relatively well with anger (which seems to have been the major issue following the breakup). But how do I remember any of the good things my ex said or did when he ended it all blaming me? How can I take anything positive out of his words if he apparently never really loved me for who I am and constantly asked me to change, threatening that if I didn’t, he would leave (which eventually happened, and unsurprisingly, having in mind that the entire burden of the “success” of the relationship was put on me)? How do I let go of the hurt and bitterness and focus on the positive sides of this new chapter of my life?

  18. Daveness January 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    i ended a relationship, now i bitterly regret it 2 years on! i cant get over the regret. she was lovely, and i took her for granted. I wish i’d had chikdren and marriage with her like she wanted but i didnt go ahead. shes 10 yrs younger than me and has moved on. Im stuck now, and feel that my life is over. does anyone else make such stupid mistakes?

  19. sweets August 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    i have this exact story like yours..it even hurts to express it again saying my bf left for a foolish reason-”needed a break”..was it really a break?or complete break?..i was in a long distance relationship with him and he always said that i was his inspiration for his studies..but nothing meant as he said..then y did he say that after all?many questions like this will never be answered am sure..so many dreams,so many wishes,so many plans…each and everything just went ”FAKE” now..it pains a lot to say this..i dont know how i will get over this..upon this pain he gave me another heart shattering text if am seeing anyone else now..just when u get ready to get recovered from the heartache he just pulls me off from it..i would like to tell this to everyone that is another pain of relationship when your partner or ex will doubt on you with someone..trust me guys..its ”HELL”..am trying to get out of it but am not able to..am totally shattered..!!!

  20. lolita November 20, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    I just recently broke up with my ex a week ago. I’m so heartbroken that although I wake up daily and not lay in bed all day…i just feel like there’s a huge hole inside of me. I met my ex about 2 years ago. We really liked each other and started dating three months after. He used to be so good at communicating…he would always tell me how much he cared and most importantly he would show it. Our story is so complicated because at the time I met him, I was moving to Chicago to start work and even though we both knew we had to do long distance for sometime, we both gave this relationship a shot. It was so beautiful in the beginning…he would take busses to come see me and we would talk for hours and hours every night. He would also help me with any problems that I had. As time went on, our relationship grew…we saw each other and did so many things that couples who’ve dated for years havent done. He took me to my first basketball game, my first concert, he showed me his whole life. In fact, he started calling me his life. As time went on, he also helped me prepare for my driving tests and board exams. I fell deeply in love with him. But the problem is…i lost myself in the relationship…i started depending on him for happiness…and everytime we got into fights it would just tear me apart. I would also be very needy and emotionally immature because I didnt know how to love myself. currently, im studying for a huge exam that will determine my career…and im just torn apart. im absolutely ripped into pieces because he wont even give me closure. He’s currently moved on with his life and started a new school and works a job on weekends while im just here crying every single day (multiple times). I just feel so hurt. i know the pain is a good thing cause I had to learn to love myself…but this is the man that promised me he would marry me and that I was his forever.He told me, “we can fight, hate each other…do whatever we want..but breaking up is never an option” Im just torn. I dont know why i trusted him so much but i just did. I lost a huge part of me…and it sucks because right now is the worst time for us to break up. He doesnt show me affection or care anymore, and that’s why I ended it with him. He also started getting annoyed at me, and wouldnt make an effort to have me in his life. I know most people think that being dumped is the worst feeling in the world. But I can guarantee you that sometimes the person doing the dumping is in more pain because they have to choose between self respect or staying with someone who no longer cares to have them in their lives.. And sometimes the person dumping the other person just loves them more.

  21. Nate January 23, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

    My GF of 3 1/2 years about a month ago broke up with me, and I have to say it has been the hardest and most revealing month of my life. We were deep in love for a long time, it truly was real. However as things happen and people change, we start to get into patterns and people get bored and start to see the differences in one another. She and I are in our last semester of college and will be going in our separate directions in life. At first I was heartbroken. “why doesn’t she want to work this out”, “we always talked about the future, why was now the time to question our legitimacy as a couple?”. It has taken me a lot of self-reflection, counseling, talking to friends, and even internet help like this site to kind of put the pieces all in place. But what really helped me was a conversation with an acquaintance of mine last night and all the pieces sort of got put into place. She told me about her relationship with her soon to be ex boyfriend. They were deeply in love for 6 years, but this past fall my friend took the semester and went to Australia, she learned so much about herself, the world around her and even had a mini love relationship with a rugby player. She came back and her eyes had been opened, while she still loved her boyfriend her feelings were weaker. The guy was great, “treated her like an angel” all he did was love her. But sometimes love isn’t enough, and when our eyes are opened up to the big world around us we realize that there could be other opportunities out there, particularity when many of us are so young( 21).

    So I had this revelation, that it was nothing I did, because of timing, change, and the realization that we have our whole lives ahead of us, I lost my first ever “true love”. But I am ok because I realized that those same opportunities that my ex is seeing, I can see too. My ex said “no one will ever treat me better”( which I took with a grain of salt but still), and when I finally realized that sometimes people change, it really does take a load off the shoulders of the person who got dumped.

    It has been 1 month since my breakup, im sort of dating another girl, i have regained my motivation for my athletics and school work, I will be running a half-marathon in may, Im in the running for 3,000 dollar prize on an essay on ethics, and my friendships that have suffered because I spent time with my GF have gotten stronger and stronger. The final step into acceptance of my break up is learning to love myself, something I didn’t realize i was compensating for with my ex

    Currently I am on a new “no contact” period with my ex and am about a week in. Of course I miss her, I still love her. But the thoughts of jealousy are starting to subside, I don’t see her often on campus and am looking forward to the future and whoever may become my future love and if my ex somehow works her way back into my life then maybe it is meant to be, but I am slowly moving on and am starting to become happy again.

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