6 Powerful Things I Learned While Going Through A Devastating Break Up

Anne Marthe Widvey
Anne Marthe Widvey

At the end of January, my then boyfriend went on tour for ten days, and he never really came back to me. I knew that something was wrong, but I thought he was just readjusting to ten days of music, partying and traveling. But soon enough, a blonde dancer he went on tour with came up more and more in our conversations, I had a deep seated feeling that he had feelings for her. This came out, like most things of that nature do, but he assured me it was a spark, it would die out, that he wanted to be with me. So when he broke up with me for her a few days later, I was devastated.

When he told me, he cried and cried, but I couldn’t, I was in shock. My body couldn’t process what was happening, how this could be happening to me. But as I get some space, I am learning that everything, even incredible heartbreak, teaches us something.


1. Life isn’t fair, is probable a lesson I’ll be learning my whole life.

When I thought my boyfriend liked someone else, I pushed it away. I thought I lived in a bubble, where this couldn’t happen to me. My boyfriend was crazy about me. I’m a good person, and I deserved someone wonderful, like him. He was my best friend, and the relationship was going great. Of course this was all in my mind. Truth is, life doesn’t work like that. Bad things happen to good people all the time. Not just bad, but soul shattering heartbreak. I’m not exempt from that, just because I’m kind and openhearted. In fact, I might be more susceptible to it for those very reasons.

2. Less is sometimes really, really more.

When my boyfriend broke up with me, I received no shortage of details on how he felt about this other girl. How he had fallen for her, how much he wanted to be with her. How she wanted to be with him too. Ouch. Now those thoughts rattle around in my head as I fall asleep, when I wake up, whenever I’m least expecting it. Each time it’s like the wind is knocked out of me. I don’t think he knew the kind of pain he was inflicting on me, but his actions were incredibly selfish.

There was absolutely no reason for me to know those details. I’ve deleted texts, unfriended him on Facebook, and stopped contacting him. But those comments are a unique way to torture myself. When someone breaks your heart, you go into panic mode. You want to find any way to make it stop. I made him stay, and couldn’t stop discussing what happened. This is when all these cruel comments came out. Now I know it’s better just to let it go.

3. That being said, telling someone you love them is super brave and awesome.

When I told my ex boyfriend I loved him, he told me he loved me, and then he took it back. Again, ouch. The night he broke up with me, I swore I’d never tell anyone I loved them ever again. But then I got some distance, and realized that was crap. I am so brave for telling someone I loved them, even though I was terrified. Even though I didn’t know the outcome. Someday, I am going to love someone so much more. Someone is going to love me so much. I know what I deserve, and I won’t accept anything else. I’m not going to let some jerk define my story. But I’m proud of myself for being open, and vulnerable, and giving my heart to someone. One day it will be the right love, and it will be worth it.

4. Your friends will always help you through.

One of my friends here in LA I didn’t tell for a couple weeks. I’m not super close to her, so we hadn’t seen each other. Plus, I had told a couple people, and I was just exhausted. I didn’t want to be pitied, and I thought it would make me feel worse. But when I told her, she just hugged me and said “Why did you wait so long to tell me? Why wouldn’t you let me comfort you?”. It was such a sweet relief.

When this breakup happened, I suddenly realized I had a large community of people who completely had my back. I walked into work that morning, a few hours after my ex had left, and could not keep it together. The entire company had my back, answering calls while I left to cry, and bringing me tissues and food. I went on outings where my friends let me talk until I couldn’t anymore. Texts checking in, and reminding me of what he did. Calls (and donuts!) on Valentines day, just to make sure I was ok. My friends are incredible people, and I’m so lucky I get to lean on them.

5. Escape if you can.

I think staying in the same space after a breakup is extremely hard. There’s a million things that remind me of him. My route to work goes directly past his house. The breakfast place on the corner of my block we went to all the time. Even staying in my apartment has been hard. He broke up with me on my couch. He told me he had feelings for someone else while lying in my bed.

So when I was sure it was over, I went to New York, my home, for a week. I let my mom comfort me, and wallowed away from him. It was great to clear my head, and get away. Now I’m not saying you should run away forever. Eventually I knew I was going to have to tackle my heartbreak head on. But you’re in shock after a breakup.

Sometimes the only way to process that is to literally get some distance.

6. I am so much stronger than I thought I was.

I am basically living through my worst nightmare right now. I’ve always been terrified of being left for someone else. But you know what? I’m still breathing. I think I’m doing well, actually. I’m exercising, I have an appetite, I’m writing, working, seeing friends, laughing, and in general, moving on. When my ex first left me I felt this deep sense of shame and embarrassment, like I wasn’t good enough. I guess he still believes that, but I no longer do. I am a beautiful, caring, weird and strong willed woman, and it’s his loss. I feel like I’m a different person than I was even a month ago, like I have shredded my skin, and I’m ready to start fresh. Stronger, and bolder, and wiser than before. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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