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Why It’s So Hard to Get Over a Breakup

You know you have to “get over it” and move on, but you can’t. These reasons why it’s so hard to get over a breakup will help you see your relationship in a different light.

why so hard to get over breakupHave you read any of Martha Beck’s books? Her newest is Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want. If you’re getting over a breakup, now’s the time to find your way and reclaim your true nature!

Are you struggling with forgiveness? If self-forgiveness is one of the reasons why you can’t get over the breakup, read How to Forgive Yourself.  And, here’s a quip from one of my favourite authors, Anne Lamott:

“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”

Why It’s So Hard to Get Over a Breakup

Lamott wasn’t talking about how hard breaking up is – I think she was talking about overcoming her drug and/or food addiction. Overcoming an addiction can be similar to healing from a breakup – especially if you feel trapped by obsessive love.

You haven’t dealt with the past

Here’s what life coach Martha Beck says: “Most often, heartbroken people are unknowingly grieving a loss or trauma rooted in childhood or adolescence. That’s because we tend to fall in love with people who remind us of those who cared for us—even badly—when we were young and totally vulnerable. We become childlike when we feel securely adored, letting go of all inhibition. The failure of adult relationships is often caused by the dysfunctions we internalized as children, and the devastation we endure when we’re rejected almost always opens ancient wounds, making us feel as bereft as an abandoned little kid.” – from Martha Beck’s Guide to Learning From Love and Loss.

I absolutely did not fall in love with and marry a man who reminds me of someone who cared for me in my childhood! I don’t know my dad, and my mom is schizophrenic. My husband is the complete opposite of both of them: he’s loving, supportive, kind, gentle, and totally trustworthy.

What about you – did you fall in love with someone who reminds you of your childhood? Is this why it’s so hard to get over the breakup?

You’re scared you’ll never find love again

This fear has kept me in more crappy relationships than I care to admit. I was scared nobody else would love me, and I’d die without getting married. I worried that I was too old to fall in love, that all the single men would want younger, skinnier, prettier women.

Is this one of the reasons you’re not coping well with the breakup?

You’re scared to be alone

This is different than the fear of never finding love again. I wasn’t scared to be alone after the breakup; I just scared I’d be alone FOREVER! I would’ve gotten over several of my breakups much quicker if I knew I’d one day be happily married.

If you’re worried about living alone, paying bills alone, coping with household bills and chores and problems alone, read How to End a Relationship When You’re Scared to Be Alone. It’s a major reason it’s so hard to get over a breakup – and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!

You don’t like who you were before the relationship

Sometimes being in love frees us to do and be different things than we were before. For instance, marriage changed how I see myself (for better or worse!). If I was separated, I’d see myself differently – and divorce would also change how I see myself.

Why Is It So Hard to Get Over a Breakup

Why It’s So Hard to Get Over a Breakup

Here’s what life coach Martha Beck says: “Being in love is so intoxicating, that special person so compelling, that lovers often drop some of the obligations and rules that dominated their lives before they met. When you’re in love, you may forget that you don’t usually allow yourself to splurge on perfume, or write poetry, or be wildly sexual, or say no to invitations you’d rather not accept.

When your relationship is over, the bleak prospect of going back to the rules can drive you to the brink of despair, making you pine obsessively for your lost love to return and free you again.” – from the same article in the first reason it’s so hard to get over a breakup.

What do you think – are you holding on to your ex because he let you be someone you aren’t when you’re single?

Tell me why you think it’s so hard to get over a breakup. What are you struggling with, and what advice do you have for others? It’s different for everyone, and I’d love to hear from you.

I can’t give advice on your breakup, but it may help you to share your experience.

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This article has been republished on The Love Blog, called How to Get Over a Breakup.

5 thoughts on “Why It’s So Hard to Get Over a Breakup”

  1. Hi everyone,
    this is the first time I’ve ever written a comment, so it feels kinda strange to open up like this. I met my ex-boyfriend last year in May and we spent 7 months together before I ended it. He was being erradic and would get angry very quickly and have bad mood swings I just couldn’t handle. After two months, we met up again and had such a wonderful evening together, laughing and chatting and all those feelings came rushing back. So we decided to give our relationship another go. Last week, I was again at that same point emotionally, where I had been before the first breakup. I wasn’t feeling loved, I felt I had to tiptoe around him to keep him from getting mad at me and I kept feeling that he wanted to change me. Whatever I did, I just couldn’t please him. So I broke it off a second time. And now, I regret it so much, because I keep thinking that if I was that loving and caring person that I think I am, then I would stay and help him with his problems and that we would work them out together. But the past has shown that we can’t do that. How can I let go of him once and for all??

  2. Hey Dan I’m kinda in the same situation as well can you give me an update on your status, I just moved out yesterday, and we’re still talking but she is confusing me because she asking if we are broken up. Then she wants me to visit her and financially take of her still. She says she knows that I will be back, but I feel differently and at the same time I feel like it really hard to let go and I want to try to work things out but I keep thinking that there is a reason why I am leaving my happiness and success. Staying in a relationship with a person who has insecurities is taxing and tiring. I’m not perfect but I know what is going to make me happy and that’s my freedom and space. I’m strong but this is one of the most hardest thing I had to in life

  3. I was in love with my ex girlfriend of 3 and a half years. The past year or so I’ve been so unhappy while trying so desperately to keep my girlfriend happy and when I realized how unhappy it was making me I ended the relationship. I feel that the reason it hurts me so badly right now is because it was such a blindside to her. That she wasn’t seeing what the relationship was doing to us, and didn’t expect the relationship to ever end. I care so much about her that I feel such awful regret about talking so casually about marriage and kids and I know she’d had some assumptions that we would be spending the rest of our lives together. She’s told me that she didn’t think she could live without me before, and once even explicitly said that she would kill herself if I ever left her. Right now that is the biggest fear I have. I feel so miserable because I know it’s best not to contact her for a while but I just want to make sure that she’s ok and that she’ll be able to seek help in some type of social circle of hers or get some professional help. This girl was the first person I’d ever fallen in love with and I know it was for the best but the emotional pain I feel right now is far worse than anything I’ve ever felt before.

  4. Dear Kayla,

    Of course you can be a teenager and still broken hearted! In fact, teens feel emotions, yearnings, desires, etc more deeply because their hormones are still spewing all sorts of chemicals that are out of control.

    He hasn’t replaced you. He may be trying to forget you, trying to avoid his pain and loss. He may be trying to make you jealous, or hurt you. I don’t know what he’s doing, but I believe it’s a sign you and he weren’t meant to be together.

    I wrote this article for you:


    I hope it helps, and encourage you to keep writing about your feelings. Getting it out is healthy, and will help you get over the breakup.


  5. I am a teenager, but I am still broken hearted. What hurts me the most is the fact that he already replaced me. I just can’t stop thinking about what him and his girlfriend is doing. How do I get over this?

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