I’m 33, and dated a woman, 27, for one month. Then, she broke up with me. I’m still devastated.
My friends, family and articles I've read say that time will make it better.
After three months, how come I don't feel any better? It still feels very fresh like it’s Day One.
I think about her constantly every day and feel depressed.
I even question my sanity: A one-month relationship isn’t long or serious. So, why am I feeling worse than the time way back, when my ex-girlfriend of four years broke up with me?
Sad Too Long
It’s not the length of time that determines the reaction to a break-up… it’s the level of rejection.
Whatever happened in that short dating period, you didn’t see the end coming. You were still in it, and didn’t “get” any signals. You were blindsided.
That’s due to what you didn’t yet know about her. One month wasn’t enough time for you to have learned her “story” – how and why her previous relationships ended, what are her insecurities, what negative signals related to her past, etc.
The break-up, that fast, was more about her than about you, yet you still feel rejected.
Now, you need to make sure this sudden jolt of disappointment, surprise and hurt, doesn’t get blown into bigger proportions.
One break-up doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, or that you won’t have a great relationship in your future.
So, if the feeling of devastation persists, take this opportunity to talk to a professional therapist. You’ll learn ways to keep your own self-image healthy, even while you’re dating again and exploring the subtleties and risks that exist in every relationship.
My mother died seven months ago, after a short intense battle with cancer. I’m healing slowly but constantly feel overwhelmed with my own young family, marriage, uncertainty of the future, and finances.
My husband’s been unemployed for 13 months but is an equal partner with household chores and child-rearing.
We’re renting the main part of my father’s house; he has his own entrance/suite. He and I chat, but are distanced. We’re all grieving.
Is it normal if I feel like running away all the time? Sometimes I can’t even look my family in the eyes because I’m so upset with my life.
Some days I stay high all day. Some nights have lots of drinking. Some days are filled with love, cuddles, and long talks.
Is This Normal?
Grief, and examining one’s own life after the death of someone close, are normal.
But since you sent me this email under the marked category of “addictions,” I stress that getting high, plus drinking to excess, add hugely to depression.
They only cloud reality short-term. When the effects wear off, you feel worse.
It’s clear that you want to get past this sad, difficult time. That requires an effort which you have in you, to call upon.
Start with attending Alcoholics’ Anonymous meetings. They’re easily accessible and eye-opening.
You’ll see others who have, like you, found that self-medicated “escape” only takes you further from where you want to be as a positive, functioning person.
Grief counselling, when you can get to it and afford it, will also help. Meantime, be the mother whom your children deserve. Be the positive partner your husband needs.
Be the daughter who honours your mother’s memory by restoring optimism in your life. It will get better when you stop hiding, and make it happen.
FEEDBACK Regarding the daughter who has an eating issue (September 24):
Reader – “I suggest they see a thoracic surgeon. I experienced a similar episode with a “paraesophageal hiatal hernia.”
“A hospital X-ray and CAT-scan determined this condition.
“I was put on a liquid, soft food diet for months. A thoracic surgeon did a scope and motility test, then laparoscopic surgery.
“I was then back on liquids and soft foods for a few weeks.
“I’m eating normally now. The family needs to check into specialist doctors. Hope they get help for her, it’s not a pleasant experience.”
Ellie – While sharing your own experience can hopefully prove to be helpful to this daughter, neither I nor you are physicians and can be sure that the situation is the same.
Your important point, however, is that, regarding a “rare” illness, as her mother described it, getting a second opinion from another specialist is a wise move.
Tip of the day:
Rejection’s tough to take, but sudden breakups can happen for reasons having little to do with you.