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Accepting a Breakup and Easing the Pain

How do you accept a breakup you didn’t want and didn’t see coming? Acceptance doesn’t happen overnight, but you can ease the pain of an unwanted and unexpected breakup. These tips will help you accept that your relationship ended and move into a fresh new season of life.

Surrendering to what you can’t change is simple in theory, but so difficult in practice! Accepting a breakup and letting go of the relationship doesn’t mean you’re helpless or powerless. On the contrary, there is strength and healing in acceptance. Surrendering to reality gives you power and hope. The most important thing is not to lose heart, and to stay connected to the only eternal source of peace and joy.

On How to Let Go of Someone You Love, over 100 readers asked for help accepting a breakup. Here is one of the most common comments: “I am struggling on how to accept, understand and let go of the greatest relationship and person I have ever met and been with. He was not in the right emotional place to give me the future that I wanted. He said he loved me but didn’t love me as much as I loved him. He felt like something was missing and he couldn’t string me along if he isn’t 100% sure about me. How do I accept this and move on?”


One of the best tips for accepting a breakup is to keep reminding yourself that you won’t always feel this bad. Give yourself time to grieve your loss; you have, after all, lost someone you love. Be gentle with yourself as you move through the pain of breaking up with someone you care for. And, most importantly, use this time to reconnect with God. Your spiritual self has been neglected lately, hasn’t it? Renewing your relationship with Jesus will help you accept even the most painful breakup.

Accepting a Breakup You Didn’t Want

Here’s another comment from a reader:

“We were known as the sweet happy loving couple with a beautiful family at work, school, community, everywhere,” says Gloria on How to Cope When Your Husband Leaves You for Her. “Why do I love someone so much that did me so wrong? Ten years he cheated on me, and I believed all those lies. I am so mad at myself. I was just too comfortable and thought he loved me completely. I need advice please.”

The more you fight the fact that your relationship ended, the worse you will feel. The more you resist the breakup, the harder it will be to heal and move on.

On the other hand, if you learn how to accept a breakup you will heal faster. You will gain emotional strength and health, and you will be happy. Living in a state of acceptance and surrender will fill you with the power you need to create the life of your dreams.

1. Learn to live with the shadows of loss

In When You Don’t Feel Good Enough to Be Loved, I share the somewhat disheartening – but true – insight that some losses will never leave us. Accepting the fact that life brings suffering, especially when we allow ourselves the gift of love, will make accepting a breakup and letting go easier.

“There are certain events that we may never accept fully,” writes Melody Beattie in More Language of Letting Go: 366 New Daily Meditations. “What can be accepted, though, is that we are required to live with these losses and find a way to go on.” Melody’s book is a daily “devotional” that I read every morning. It takes less than five minutes to read her daily meditations, and they help me accept everything about my life. The good, the bad, the ugly. Accepting a breakup is a daily process – it may even take years for you to feel like you’re truly healed and ready for a new relationship.

2. Grieve slowly and be gentle with yourself

“It’s a sad day when you find out that it’s not accident or time or fortune, but just yourself that kept things from you.” – Lillian Hellman.

One of the worst things you can do to yourself is not grieve your loss. There’s a difference between obsessing about your ex and grieving the end of your relationship. Obsession is about hanging on to the past; grief is about processing what happened and moving into your future.

It is a huge blow to be have to accept a breakup you didn’t want. You may feel rejected, crushed, and disappointed. It’s awful to discover your partner didn’t love you the way you loved him. Rejection is painful, and betrayal is devastating. It’s important to go through the grieving process as part of accepting a breakup you didn’t want – but it’s also important to help yourself move forward.


3. Look for the moon

“Barn’s burnt down,” said Mizuta Masahide. “Now I can see the moon.”

How to Accept a Breakup You Didn't Want
How to Accept a Breakup You Didn’t Want

The barn was your relationship: it was a safe place (even though it may also have been shabby, dirty, old or even unhealthy) for a season of your life. The fire was your breakup, which perhaps you even started. The moon is…what? You name it! Maybe it’s a chance to start a fresh life. Maybe you’ll challenge yourself in new ways – perhaps by getting a new job, learning new parenting skills, traveling to Italy, dreaming about becoming a writer, looking up old friends.

The breakup wasn’t your choice…but maybe it wasn’t a mistake. Maybe you wish you could turn back time and do things differently. Maybe you also know deep down that maybe your relationship wasn’t as good as you wanted, wished, or hoped for.

The hardest – and best – advice for accepting a breakup you didn’t want is to allow the idea that maybe your life could actually become better than it was before.

4. Start thinking about how you will reinvent yourself

For me, this is an easy tip on how to accept a breakup because I love change! I love new haircuts, new jobs, new experiences, new foods, new training programs for work, new trips to places I’ve never been. I even love Mondays because I never know what the week will bring.

But even for me, accepting a breakup or loss is painful. It hurts, and it’s not easy.

If you’ve been married for the past 25 years, the idea of suddenly reinventing yourself may not be easy or fun to think about. But just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean it’s not right. Just because it’s difficult and painful doesn’t mean it’s not good. You won’t always feel this bad. You can accept this breakup, hold on to the best parts of yourself, and strengthen your weaknesses. You can be happy again…and you will eventually overcome the pain of breaking up.

Accepting a Breakup You Didn’t Want

In How to Let of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart, I share valuable insights and help for women who need help letting go of someone they love after a breakup.

Learn how to emotionally detach and become free, healthy, and whole. Don’t let the weight of grief and suffering drag you under or make you bitter!

How to Let of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is an ebook — which means it’s immediately available. You’ll learn how to pick up the pieces of your broken heart and move forward into a fresh new season of life.

Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome in the comments section below. Writing is a great way to untangle your thoughts and emotions, which will help you start healing your hurts.

May you find and accept the blessings and gifts in this breakup you didn’t want.


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13 thoughts on “Accepting a Breakup and Easing the Pain”

  1. I can’t seem to let go. I was engaged living such a great life with my partner we had travelled the world and experienced so much together it was really a great relationship. Then after some stresses at work he changed a little and ended up taking it out on me and out of no where turned around and left me. This was in another country where we had built a life, due to the fact we were both from different countries I was there under a visa which instantly was cancelled due to us breaking up. I had to leave my life as I knew it and move back to my home country and spent some time with my family. It was the biggest crush I have ever felt in my life. I cried for months and got myself in a very bad state. I finally picked myself up and kind of forced myself to accept this new job in a new country so I went and found it extremely difficult to get through the days when I didn’t have this person anymore who really was my best friend. I tried to talk with him but we didn’t really get anywhere so eventually we stopped talking, about a month passed and he started talking to me again, after a huge discussion he ends up saying everything I had hoped he would say about how he wanted us to get back together and appologised for everything that had happened and we spent the next month making plans on how to get back to the same place and move forward as a couple. Until now, he has just turned around and said he doesn’t want anything with me. How and why and he done this to me again? I feel so stupid, I confined with him if he was totally sure that we could fix this and that he wanted it and not to give me all these hopes of he did have any doubts. He had assured me this was for good. I told all my family and friends and had to talk some of them around the idea of it all after they seen my heartbreak before. Now I am left even worse than the first time. He has made it clear now we will never get back together and he doesn’t love me. I am literally a wreck my whole worlds been shuck again. How do I get over this and move on? I can’t seem to let go.

  2. This just happened to me, we ju add t went on a vacation, returned home, got along great for a week. Then she just stopped communicating completely! No texts, calls, ignoring mine! Two weeks later I get she says I dont want to be with you! I ran into her the other day and she seemed so happy without me! I was devastated! I was a good person to her and she made me feel so unimportant!

  3. My ex is narcissistic and started searching for women to go to before I even moved out. We were just going to give each other space and now I am out of his life completely. I am devastated but have to understand that if I am so easily replaced, what did I mean to him in the first place? It’s hard to accept. Everyday I am in pain and feel embarrassed that I’m so hurt rather than angry.

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