What separates the "never-recover-from-this-breakup/shell of my former self" people from the ones who bounce back and love again?
May 30, 2012 9:28 AM Subscribe
Why is it that some people never seem to recover after a bad break-up or divorce? You know those people...the sort of "empty shell" folks who walk around perpetually sad or simply damaged in some way that keeps them frozen in place. I ask this question on behalf of myself--as I not-so-recently went through a break-up with a man I considered to be THE ONE--but also because I knew someone who had yet to recover from their divorce after eight years.
posted by exploringoptimism to Human Relations (34 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
For myself, it's been eight MONTHS since my break-up, which feels like an eye blink, really. I have done everything "right" that I can think of: Invoked the no-contact rule after the parting, and stood firm on this, with no slip-ups. Blocked him and family on Facebook; severed ties with mutual friends, as I could not even tolerate indirect contact without suffering paroxysms of tears. I got a dog so that I would have something other than myself to think about and a reason to leave the house every day and get some exercise. I do Pilates. I have thrown myself into my work, as I own a business that is in a growth phase. I joined a creative social group and meet with them at least once a week, in addition to slowly making new friends. I enjoy my personal hobbies, I'm writing, I like to read, etc. But I still think of him nearly every day. I still miss him, even though the break-up was necessary. I am surprised that I still feel this way--so brokenhearted--after 8 months. I wonder if I will ever love someone again with the same sort of "through and through, balls to bones" (or uterus to bones, as the case may be) approach.
How do I keep myself from becoming one of those hollow people--the ones who never recover and have just resigned themselves to being alone, but find no joy in that prospect? The sense of defeat with which a bad break-up can leave you forms a dark cloud, and I am TRULY wanting to avoid having my own personal defeat cloud circling over my head for all time, constantly raining on my parade. What more can I do? I'm in my mid-thirties, I'm reasonably attractive and have a lot to offer; and I absolutely DON'T mention the breakup to new people that I meet, and yet, nearing the end of this eighth month, I still feel just slightly outside of things, still monotone, still despairing that I will re-engage with the world full of fire and vigor and hope for the future after suffering such a loss.
So, mefites, what separates the "never-recover-from-this-breakup/shell of my former self" people from the ones who bounce back and love/live again?