Handling a Break-Up After a Long-Term Relationship

handling a break-up after a long term relationshipSo, you have been in a long-term relationship that had its ups and downs but eventually it came to an end and you broke up. Whether it was a “clean” or not so “clean” break-up and whether you were the one who initiated the break up or whether you have been dumped, it was on at least some level a painful experience if you at all cared about your partner and had feelings for him for her. It has been a few days, or a few week or a few months since you broke up, and the pain and the anger are still there. Overcoming the painful break-up is not easy and it takes time, but it is almost always possible and once you do it, it should turn you into a stronger and a more mature person. After all, maturity is in large about dealing with and learning how to deal with difficult and painful experiences the right way without allowing it to negatively affect your future romantic interactions.

It is important to accept and remember that there is simply no way around handling a break-up after a long term relationship but by letting time do its work when it comes to recovering from losing that special relationship, especially if you were in a relationship that lasted several years or longer. There is no magic pill or advice that will turn the feeling of loss, the emptiness and the fear of living this new life without your partner into a state of blissful peace. The longer you were together and especially the longer you lived together, the more you have become used to a certain lifestyle and to being with each other. Whether you fought a lot or not, having each other around became a matter of habit, and breaking any lifestyle habit is not easy. Recognizing that it’s not going to be easy and that it will take time and patience to get used to your new status and lifestyle as a single person is the first step toward a better handling of a longer relationship break-up.

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  • Maria

    thank you for your feedback as I’ve been having a real difficult time about this but in reference to being ok with him being with someone else, I wasn’t ok with it. I suspected it when I saw the condoms in his nightstand ( I went on the pill when we decided to stop using condoms a while back to prevent pregnancy accidents AFTER getting HIV tested ) but clearly he wasn’t using them. that’s irresponsible behavior and risking the my health, himself, his unborn son’s and any women he’s been with. so many “what ifs” going through my mind, I can’t focus at times, this has been as difficult as recovering from losing my 1st baby as a premature still born. if he had told me he wanted a family why not with me? I was devoted and faithful, always supported. I’m always getting screwed over one way or another.

  • Dear Maria,

    This does sound like a devastating experience that no one can predict or avoid, and it’s just one of those things in life that can happen and you have no control over, except for one thing – you say that you were ok with him sleeping with other women as long as it was presumable with protection. When you allow for something like that – when you are openly ok with your guy sleeping with other women, what’s there to prevent him from like one of them as much or more than he liked you, and what would prevent him from wanting to have a child with one of them and not with you. This is just food for thought to try to avoid this in the future.

  • Maria

    I found out yesterday morning the guy I have been involved with sexually and dating for almost 6 yrs has a pregnant girlfriend. With him being an army veteran with PTSD I was more than happy to allow him space and time to take our relationship as slow as he needed while being supported to his needs. He met mine just by being there to take me out for dining, movies, sex, conversations. I believed we were very compatible sexually and were similar mindset. I’m was devoted and faithful. I assumed he dated other women but I was ok as long as we were “safe”. Now I’m devasted. I received a text msg saying he has a g/f and she’s carrying his baby. As a divorced mom having children was a consideration only with the commitment of marriage. I believe someone, the g/f maybe sent the text from his cell and then blocked my number. I have been able to prove its not some sickening joke, it’s truth. This has caused my more anxiety, depression, physical pain, lack of appetite then when my ex husband left me. I’m humiliated and feel stupid for being so naive and trusting. I’ve always had low self esteem and thought I had found what I had been missing when I was married, I swear it’s causing my more issues than my separation/divorce. I cared so deeply for this man. He gave me hope of loving again. I know I need mental health assistance b/c this has been just to difficult to handle. It’s affecting my daily life and causing stress unlike any I’ve felt prior. I trusted, was used for his needs when I thought we were being a couple heading for a future someday.

  • You are welcome. What you feel is absolutely normal. You should stay away from anything that reminds you of him (the area where he lives, photos, social media, etc…) at least for now.

  • Bren

    Yes. ..I agree. . It’s so difficult but I know each day will grow easier..I fight the constant urge to call him everyday of every minute… wondering if he is feeling the same. … thankyou for your response and the article. ..

  • Dear Bren, this is a difficult but not an uncommon situation. Any woman who hopes that the married guy she started seeing will leave his children and wife (and significant assets) should think long and hard before assuming that this will happen. This is a painful lesson to you and mostly to other women who may be reading this – if you started seeing someone, you need to make sure that they are separated before you continue seeing him and way before you develop such strong attachment. Now, you will just have to let time go by and as only that will easy your pain.
    This article on overcoming a painful break-up should be helpful to you as well: http://www.practicalhappiness.com/handling-break-ups/how-to-overcome-painful-break-up/

  • Bren

    Everyone will probably judge me but I been with a married man for a year and a half…They been married for 25 years. We met and hit it off immediately and although I should have walked away I didn’t. .. they were both checked out of the marriage way before I came in the picture… He moved out 4 months ago but we were staying on the down low until his son graduated this year. .. we fell in love. .. now last week his wife suspected he had a girlfriend, started texting and calling non stop and got both his kids involved. ..now after all this time together and our future plans had been put on hold. He is self employed. .. I’m not sure all what was said but he couldn’t handle his kids being disappointed in him.. The stress of his business and all the threats from his wife. He said he needed me too move on because he couldn’t be there emotionally and physically as i deserved. .. I’m completely heartbroken. .. I’m used to him being the first person i talked to in the morning and the last before bed.. At least 3 or more times a day. … now no contact is killing me and i know he needs space to get this all sorts out is so hard for me. . Hiring so bad!!! He is not going back to his marriage. . But he is overwhelmed with everything and trying to make me happy at the same time. .I guess leaving me was his only option to relieve a lil of stress and not lie to his kids. .. trying to cope workout having my soul mate

  • @ Sam It does sound like a hurtful experience indeed. There is not much you can or should do except allow the time help you heal and make sure you don't assume that just because one girl did something like this, that others are like that too.

    The other thing is that if a girls stays on the phone for hours, then you should be a little suspicious. No one talks to parents for hours, and talking for friends for hours is also pretty rare.

  • Sam

    Hey, i am 25 years of age, i'v been dating this woman for 2 years and certainly we started having issues, the problem was that her parents hated my tribe and they threaten to curse her if she'd get married to someone from my tribe.

    We tried to solve the problem and one time we agreed to put that aside. but suddenly i started to notice some change in her, she'd stay on phone for long hours, even when we are in bed, then one night she received a call from a guy and the way she answered the guy, she seamed very shocked.

    We went for weeks without talking, she'd even create excuses not to meet up with me. after few arguments ova the phone, we suddenly broke up, later on i can to find that she was seeing someone else behind my back while pretending to love me. what got me so much in pain was the fact that she used to lie to me a and using her parents as the reason behind our problems.

    I was so hurt, knowing that 3 months before our breakup i'd proposed to her a commitment ring and she accepted. It has been hard for me for few weeks now and i have been reading books and doing things, engaging myself so that i wont think about her but its a bit hard. kindly advice what i can do because i need to move on with my life.

  • @Patricia
    I obviously can't relate to someone who has been in a relationship fro 28 years, but I am pretty sure that it takes a while to get over something that lasted for so long. A major part of your life involved and included that other man. You can expect get over it that quickly and you must give yourself time to heal and move on. This will be a gradual process but you will feel better and hopefully having good children makes you feel like your life with that man was well worth it as long as it lasted and you created something good together.
    You can't control a man's interests or midlife crisis or whatever else. If at a certain point he had to go, then you had to let him go. It's best for everyone, and hopefully you will feel it sooner than later.

  • Patricia

    It is indeed very hard to cope after a long term relationship ends.

    Mine lasted 28 years, mostly happy years. We have 2 wonderful children, a beautiful home in lovely surroundings and a good social life. In fact I often thought about how lucky we were to have such a great life. We were both in love for more than 20 years and then we had more and more arguments, mainly because I felt I had too much to do while he would be more and more selfish and want to do his own things away from the family. He took rock climbing and did it 6 or 7 times a week! Would go most week-ends and use the home as a hotel. He could only see his glass as half empty and the grass was always greener in the other garden.

    The children and myself always came last, when he had a bit of time! So I told him he had to go if he wanted to carry on. And he went, stopped working for more than a year and just climb rocks and do mountaineering.

    Is that a serious midlife crisis or something else?

    He spends most of his time with sportive women, 20 years younger than himself. He says to me he has always been faithful to me and they are just sports partners.

    I have cried a lot and he made our daughters cry as well. I should be happy that he is gone but I have a kind of obsession that I can get rid of. I keep thinking about him, what he may be doing and remembering the good time we had together.

    I want to turn the page and feel better but I fail every day.

    Sorry if my thoughts are not very positive but there we are.

  • sg213

    need some more on this.