About two weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. My husband left me, without warning.
Around 7 o’clock on Thanksgiving, while I sat in tears and coughing incessantly from the bout of bronchitis that I was fighting, He came home, but something felt strange. He gave me a blank look and mumbled, “Hey.” I looked up at him, searching for a reason why he had left his sick wife home alone on Thanksgiving.
Upset and disappointed, I said, “We really need to talk.” I expected him to sigh, but sit down and prepare to listen to what I had to say. I planned to keep it short but get my point across.
He plopped down on the couch, and said, “No we don’t. I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to be married,” and my world stopped.
Every noise was muted and every light in the entire universe was extinguished in that moment. I stopped breathing. My blood immediately felt like ice cold water running through my veins. My mind began to race. My heart pounded against my chest, threatening to jump out at any moment. I heard the moon and the stars collectively gasp and stop what they were doing. Everything was eerily still. I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say. I prayed I had misunderstood him.
“What did you say?” I finally managed to say after the longest sixty-second pause of my life.
Then, the sigh I was looking for came as he reclined back and propped his boot atop his knee. “I’ve been unhappy for a long time. You’re not the woman for me. We’re just in two different places in our lives. You will never be able to make me happy, which is why I’m ending it now.”
He said a few more words but it didn’t even matter. I was already on the floor, crying profusely, curled up into a ball, feeling my universe being ripped apart. The pain was absolutely unbearable; I literally felt my body tugging on my soul, trying to keep it from escaping. He stood by, emotionless. Annoyed by my tears, he grabbed his phone and walked out the door, closing it tightly behind him without another word. I writhed on the floor for about ten more minutes, wishing God would just end my life now so that I could be released from this pain that was searing through my entire body. I was left alone to drown in my never-ending tears, in our dark living room, on Thanksgiving.
It’s been two weeks. The pain is still fresh, but I am definitely a lot better than I was. I’ve done A LOT of growing just in the past fourteen days, and I’m feeling good about myself again. I’ve finally had my first real smile since then just this past weekend. I’ve regrouped. I started writing and working out again this week. But it definitely wasn’t easy. All break-ups are hard, but unexpected ones can feel like a bullet (or two, or three, or four…) to the chest. It can feel like your world is ending or that you will never recover, but take it from me, you can and you will! As painful as my story is, and as recent as it is, I am hopeful for the future. I decided not to let this define me for a number of weeks, months or years. I decided to reclaim my life immediately, and I’ve taken it in stride despite the circumstances. Here are a few things I’ve learned while dealing with my unexpected break-up that might be able to help you.
1. Knowing that God is with me & has a purpose for my life
The first thing I felt after I got off the floor was that I was alone in the world and that no one would ever love me again. I felt like God had abandoned me. But I had to immediately correct that thinking because those types of thoughts are the core of all destructive behavior. Satan wants you to feel alone and abandoned and unloved, and it is simply not true. Luckily, I’ve always been in The Word and have many inspirational verses already engraved me in my heart, like Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,” (CEV) and Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV) The first step of my recovery was constantly (and I do mean constantly) reminding myself that God loves me, God is with me, and that God has already worked this out to in my favor. I started having to see this as a blessing and a protection from things unseen instead of thinking of it as a punishment for something I had done. This step made a world of difference.
2. It’s time to start hanging out with your friends again
It’s natural to spend more time with your honey while you’re in a relationship, and your friendships may have taken a hit because of it. But don’t think your friends have forgotten about you. Tell your closest girlfriends first; let them do what girlfriends do best, which is comfort you, make you feel better about yourself, and feed your wine and ice cream when you need it. The rush of love from your friends and family will help fill that unexpectedly empty space in your heart, and over time, you will find that you’ve missed the company of your crew while you were booed up. They’ll be there when you can’t stand to be lonely, and they will reassure you that you are still the beautiful, wonderful, amazing, talented, and fabulous diva that you were before the break-up. Get out the house and go hang out with your bestie, the company will be greatly appreciated during this time.
3. Find a hobby!
Yes, there will be a “mourning” period where you don’t want to do anything or go anywhere, but pull yourself outta that, girl! Now, more than ever, you will need some fun and productive to occupy your mind and keep you from obsessing. Reading, watching documentaries, working out, running, writing, playing a musical instruments, or even watching TV. Do SOMETHING to get your mind off of the break-up, and onto your future. Now is the time that you can redefine yourself and get back to really doing the things you love. You never know, this newfound free time could be just the fuel you needed to discover a whole new you!
4. Do NOT fraternize with the enemy. (Yes, him.)
Now I don’t know on what terms your relationship ended on, but more than likely if it was unexpected, your feelings are pretty hurt. He will be acting crazy and erratic. He may even seem jubilant while you’re still wiping your tears. He will infuriate you, no matter how he’s reacting. Everything he says and does and doesn’t say or do will piss you off and send you into another crying fit. Do not talk to him. At least not immediately. You need to do some serious healing and soul searching before coming back in contact with him. Also, it helps to wait before talking to an ex in order to avoid saying and doing things that we may regret, like slashing tires and whatnot.
5. Let Go.
Letting go. Getting over it. Moving on. At a time like this, I know the last thing you want to think about is letting your relationship, and all the happy memories associated with it, go. You hope and pray that there is some way you can fix it, and you beat yourself up, replaying moments in your head, wondering if there was something you could have done differently. Maybe there was. Maybe there wasn’t. But the fact of the matter is that the past is the past, and you cannot change it. You can only learn from it. The longer you refuse to accept the reality of what has happened, the longer you are prolonging your misery and the longer the healing process will take in the end. Plus, your ex is a big dummy; he never should have let a gem like you go in the first place! It’s time to move on… let it go, honey. It’s over.
I know I could probably go on and on and give a hundred tips on how to grow and become a better woman, and you’re going to find your own ways of coping with this difficult time, but most importantly, you have to realize that you are no less without that special person in your life, and you WILL come out on the other side of this better than you were before. It can be easy to get overly-wrapped up in a relationship or a partner, and it can feel like we are coming completely undone while its falling apart, but this is not the end of the story. There will be another sunny day, I promise! Don’t let this, or any other setback, make you feel unworthy. When you look back on your life, this sad time will just be a glimpse of a memory overtaken by a lifetime full of new, joyous memories.
Let’s get back to happy, girl. We deserve it.
I Want to Know:
- Can you relate? Has this ever happened to you? How did you handle it?
- What advice can you give a woman who recently experienced a break up?
- Share your experience with dealing with and/or surviving and finding new love