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10 Tips to Mend a Broken Heart

Bess Myerson once wrote that “to fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” Especially if you are the one who wanted the relationship to last.

Mending a broken heart is never easy. There is no quick way to stop your heart from hurting so much.

To stop loving isn’t an option. Author Henri Nouwen writes, “When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful.”

But how do we get beyond the pain? Here are 10 tips I’ve gathered from experts and from conversations with friends on how they patched up their heart and tried, ever so gradually, to move on.

1. Go through it, not around it.

I realize the most difficult task for a person with a broken heart is to stand still and feel the crack. But that is exactly what she must do. Because no shortcut is without its share of obstructions. Here’s a simple fact: You have to grieve in order to move on. During the 18 months of my severe depression, my therapist repeated almost every visit: “Go through it. Not around it.” Because if I went around some of the issues that were tearing me apart inside, then I would bump into them somewhere down the line, just like being caught in the center of a traffic circle. By going through the intense pain, I eventually surfaced as a stronger person ready to tackle problems head on. Soon the pain lost its stronghold over me.

238 Comments to
10 Tips to Mend a Broken Heart

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Comments: 1 2
  1. 22 years of marriage, plus 4 dating with many of ups & downs, we have 2 great children that are loved by all that are in their lives, including, friends, teachers & family. me & my wife are currently separated. My wife just could not deal with my chronic depression anymore & decided she had to throw in the towel and call it quits. Kind of don’t blame her, but it’s still ripping me apart. I started a new job recently which needs all my mind & is very physical, it’s extremely hard to get through the days that are long 12 to 14 hours, and sometimes i wonder how i’m even doing it, knowing i don’t have anyone there waiting for me anymore. I’m trying the best i can to keep the suicidal thoughts out of my head, so reading this gave me a little inspiration. I know this is going to be a long depressing haul as i was very close to her family as well. So i just have to keep thinking about my 2 great kids and keep pressing on. I am on medication & seeking counseling. It’s gonna be a long road ahead.

  2. Hello, my name is Alex. And I’ve been heart broken for the last two years.
    I had a beatified relationship with this girl which I planned on marrying her..I made her
    A mother, and we had a beautiful boy together..
    We broke up two years ago..
    I miss her so much,,

    I need help..
    I don’t want to feel like I want to die any more..
    I can see why she doesn’t think of me when she has my son..
    He brings joy and happiness,

    I would do anything to make her fall in love with me..

    I just want the pain to stop..

  3. Honestly it feels like the end of the world and I hate feeling so hopeless. I cry and hate him for ripping my heart apart. I can’t believe it. He said he loved. He abandoned me without any answers or reasons. The fucker is a coward and won’t tell me why he decided to cut me out his life. It just hurt everyday but your advice helps me a little bit.

  4. I hope all here will read this…..the 1st thing u have to do is understand why u r in this situation, then ask yourself can u deal with it again.
    Why u may ask, because no matter what the situation u have if u think u can do it again…..guess what…..u r past what u r going through now.

    How’s that.

  5. Hi, I’ve been with my boyfriend for year and half and he has just left me a couple of days ago. i’m in bits i can’t cope. it’s tearing me apart. i feel like endding it all.

  6. I love somebody deeply – but he’s deeply committed (married) to somebody else. We have a long-distance, emotional relationship.

    Once we met and he kissed me (we had been platonic pen friends for 10 years) and from then on, we fell in love,spent several weekends together (he was not married then). I decided to pull out altogether because being with him was pure heaven, being away from him was pure hell.

    He was with somebody at the time. He says he loves me. He still says he loves.

    I broke off and did not contact him for 18 months. Kept on dreaming about him and thinking about him. At the end of the 18 months, I was at my wits’ end and resumed the “relationship”.

    Now, 4 years after that kiss – we decided not to see each other again (he does not want to betray his wife and I don’t want to be the one with whom he cheats) We have not seen each other at all for past two years but we chat every single day.

    I myself am very unhappily married. I know he loves his wife but he also says (and acts like) he loves me.

    So, I cannot put an end to it. Staying away did not help. Staying close does not help. What can I do? I feel torn apart by continuous pain. I cannot say I’ve been fully rejected – we are in constant contact.

    What can I do? How can I tackle this?

    • You have to stop. What you are doing is wrong, you’re allowing him to cheat on his wife with you. If you really love him, then stop. I KNOW it will be hard and you will the ” what itf’s” ( what if I had stayed, what if I was still seeing him ) But in the long run, can you fully trust him? If you two were 100% together, can you trust him? Will you wonder if he has another ” pen pal gal” like he did with you while he was married to someone else?
      I really know how much it hurts, I really really do. My now exhusband did the same thing to me that you two are doing to his wife. He had a pen pal, he had a emotional affair to. It broke me. My life is bad, my 20 some relationship with him is over and I will never be the same. Our daughter will never be the same. My heart is still so broken over what he did and it’s been 4 years and I’m still alone. ( by choice, I’m not ready to trust again, I’m a nice looking ,good woman )
      You already know in your heart that allowing this to continue is not right. Do the right thing for everyone and put a end to this relationship with him. I’m so sorry to say this but, he will found another woman who is willing to let him cheat on his wife too.
      Why did he get married to her when you were already there? Even if you two were broke up, you still had contact every day? I’m so sorry for pain you feel and the pain to come but stop hurting yourself every single day by letting this man do what he is doing to you….. Cheating.

  7. I’ve been sort of seeing this woman for a couple of months. She said she couldn’t commit to me because it scared her and she would run away but last week was great, we went out, had laughs and she said that she really liked me, even from the first moment we met. She did say on Friday that commitment still scares her etc.. She just texted me last night to say she’s met someone else and I’m devastated. All i ever asked for was honesty and i just feel so worthless and alone now as it just seems everything she said was bullshit.
    It’s nice too know I’m not alone (although my story seems kinda pathetic compared to others on here) but i am hurting so much and trying not to show my hurt to anyone.

  8. Thank you for this advice. It would appear that what I’m doing and intending to do, is exactly as I should be. I can’t begin to explain how much heartache I am presently feeling after being completely committed to my partner, who just broke it off without any opportunity to turn things around, without warning, without any effort to minimise the pain I now feel, but after reading this I realise it’s just time hey. I forgive him already, probably because I still love him immensely, so I guess it’s just one foot in front of the other until the heart starts beating again right 😉

    • Hi Hurt, I admire your courage. I’m in a similar situation right now. She just came back from a one month holiday and she said she’s tired of us and she wants space. It’s a complete shock, I thought we were happy, we’ve been together 7 years. Yes, there are the usual arguments and I always make up with her. I’m still trying to win her back though. I’ve been down and low for this past week but after reading your story it gave me a bit of a lift. Thanks.

  9. Thank you for this wonderful article… I have just ended a relationship that I was in for 10 years. When I was in it, I was miserable, now that I am no longer in it, I am more miserable than ever. I cannot understand it. I still love him deeply, but he no longer wants the relationship after being the one to always hold on when we’ve broken up in the past. I feel like Karma came back with a vengeance. I just want to move on and start my life over without the pain or the memories. This article has given me hope that with time and focus this will happen.

  10. “If equal love can not be, let the more loving one be me.” I read this (In Lucia’s Eyes) on the beginning of our relationship. I told her that because I am really in love with her. I try to be in love with her everyday but she’s no longer there. She says she’s suffocated, can’t breathe anymore and wants space. I didn’t know love can do that. I’m not even a controlling person. I dote on her, I still do. Her family loves me a lot as her 17 year old daughter does too. She’s 45 and I’m 37 this year. We’ve been together for 7 years now. It’s so sad that she’s throwing it all away because she’s not financially secure in our future. I’m still trying to win her back but every time she rejects me my heart hurts. I’ll still try until I can’t bear the pain anymore. Until I finally accept that she’s done and over with me. God knows how I love her so much. Please pray for us. Thanks.

    • I admire your will. Just remember while trying to win her back that you don’t forget to make sure you are also considered a prize. I hope it works out for you.

  11. This post is very helpful. Im currently in pain because of a 4 year relationship that ended in separation. I’m only 23yrs.old and already a single mom of a 2yr. old baby girl.. We just got separated though were not married, about 3 weeks now.. It’s very hard for me because we separated because of his wrong suspision.. He’s very possessive to the point where It seems that he’s the one running my life. At the 1st year of our relationship and living in together, everything was HEAVEN.We are very happy with each other. Until I got pregnant and He started to changed and become very hot tempered. He wants me to do all the household chores and he rarely help me on that. I tried to explain to him that I cant always do all the chores, since I’m the only ONE taking care of our daughter. when my daughter is just 6 months old, he HAD AN AFFAIR with a girl who works just a couple of blocks from our house. He asked for forgiveness and promised me that he’ll be loyal from that day. And since i really loved him, I forgive him. Now he asked me to loo for a job. And I am not able to stay on my work for a long time because whenever I have a job, he always think that I have another man. though the truth is I dont have any.

  12. I can only guess that he doesn’t love me anymore. He left a week and 2 days ago and hasn’t tired to contact me (not even for our 2 kids) but once. He left because I “bitched” too much. I put up with him lying, leaving for days on end, leaving me in the hospital while I was pregnant with our 2nd child, even then he didn’t bother to contact me to learn the where about of our son. He has been violent in the past, I am in debt because even though he works he’s really irresponsible with his money. And yet I’m the one that hurts because we’re not together. He is out with his friends having fun. I’m so torn between being relieved he’s gone and crying endlessly that he hasn’t walked through the door yet. I need help

  13. I have come out of long term painful relationship and it’s still hurting me after 2 years are gone by. I was married for 24 years when discovered that my x wife was involved with my own employee. I had three children with her. I worked hard a raised a very decent family. One son 25 completed his masters in mechanical engineering and the other on Bsc in bio medical science. And a 10 years old wonderful intelligent daughter. The feeling of betrayal are awful added with loss of family’s happiness. We Asians are happy to selflessly divot our lives to our children and see our dreams in their happiness.
    In shot a wonderful family have been broken in low level cheap cheats and ignorance.
    Not only that she took over our jointly own business and I have to start all over again at the age of 56.
    The more grief is coming from the children who are unable the see the truth and ignoring the reality.
    Though I am an educated and optimistic person but collecting myself together is proving difficult.
    I’m at the stage of finalise the financial matters through the court because she never come to any mutual agreement or discussion.
    The person she is fallen for is no way near what she had in my life. I been taking pity on him as he belonged to a very poor family.
    The loss of family’s pride is any challenge to face in coming times and the consequences on my children’s lives.
    If she wasn’t happy with me she could have asked for divorce as her right but she chose to use ever abuse and cheap ways to end the marriage.
    its not as simple to overcome such situations and I know other people have gone into long term depression.
    I’m trying my best to pull myself together and move on with my life.
    Thanks for reading and any suggestions are welcome.

  14. Thank you for your tips, after reading them I feel somehow healing though its a process. The problem is that my ex is person I fellowship with same branch, the person she dumped me for who is now her boyfriend is in the same church and to make matters worse he is my distant friend. Again I always see my ex passing by my workplace every time she is gone gone. Also most of the times when I drive around I meet her with the guy discussing their issues on the road. Help me I am burning.

  15. I just got out of an 8 year relationship. I woke up top find a note that she left in the middle of the night. She messages me that she wants to be friends. It is hard to not respond, because of hope she will come back home. I know it is over, I just needed to say this to someone. It is hard to love and not be loved back.

  16. I feel empty, broken, lost. I cannot let people in and all I want is him. I miss him. I ache for him. We are meant to be together and I know that; I think thats why it hurts so bad. I am so very thankful to have found these tips because I have never felt so low. Never felt like this before and I hate it. I just want to go back to us. It will take me a very long time to put these tips into good use but I’m so thankful that I found them.

  17. i will try. hope it can help

  18. Therese, thank you so much for writing this. It’s brilliant. And, despite the creepiness of Facebook making it pop up on my feed at a time when it is very relevant (even though the article is a few years old??), it is so good to see the lessons I have been learning, all set out so clearly!
    Thank you for all the amazing work you do. The world is lucky to have you in it as you are.

  19. This made me cry, but I find it to be very true. The question I just can’t seem to stop asking though I find you have already answered it; how do you let yourself love again, especially after it took your last lover 2 years to take down your walls.

  20. At 40 years old, after years of searching i found the woman of my dreams…..she was everything i’d ever dreamed of, we were together for 2 years, the only problem being that she was from a different country, a different continent, a different culture….but we were crazy about each other, we planned to make a family. Then she got doubts. Maybe she always had doubts but doubts are normal to have no? I told her i would do anything to make it work and to make her happy but her mind was made up…I had to leave and now find myself alone, full of self doubt and fear, miserable and depressed….i can’t eat, i can’t sleep, i’m useless right now, driving myself crazy with all of the “ifs”…..

  21. My 22 month relationship ended yesterday. The reason it hurts so much is because of the circumstances, everything I said I would do differently this time around, I did. I opened up my heart again, was trusting, and etc. even the type of guy that I am used too was different. I was and still is deeply in love with him. It all ended so quickly over a misunderstanding!! Something as simple as miscommunication presented itself and just like that, it’s over. I have four children, that are attached to him and now not only am I asking the “what happened” and “why”, so are they. I am officially done with love, I’ll take “closing off my heart and not loving again” over the risk of ever having to experience this

  22. Thanks a bunch mate, made me feel better, really. :)
    I’m liking someone right now but recently, I haven’t had any “real” interactions from her. She basically spends more time with my other guy friends even when I’m around which makes me feel really jealous and sad. And the worst part is, she is not even my girlfriend. Although she does know that I freaking like her.

    oh wel… I’ll get by this.

    • Hi I can relate to you I am so in love with this guy and for so many reasons we can`t be together he knows I love him but he`s got priorities which I understand but it doesn’t make the pain go away I don`t see him anymore but I use to have to watch him around other women all the time it was like someone was kicking me in the stomach but you know I love him so much that I wish him an amazing future and all the love in the world he deserves it I just wish sometimes people would use there hearts not their heads.

  23. I have loved and lost a pretty special guy and sometimes it feels like I can`t breath with the pain but I would rather be feeling the way I do right now because this way I know it was real and any feeling for him is better than nothing, I hope all his dreams come true and I hope his future is amazing he broke my heart but it was so worth it take care of your self my love you will always have a place in my heart, forever. xxx

  24. Thank you for these words and structured advise to get me through. Mine was only 7 full moons long but I am utterly devastated. He wants his ex back, I love him so much that I blessed his journey to explore that. I just want him to be happy, I am sad that it is not me. These words are helping me tremendously, in not becoming bitter.

  25. I have never considered responding to a blog…however I feel so awful that something has to help. I cry every day and can’t seem to stop thinking about all the events between we are together and now we are not. I am angry and then I am sad both feelings with the same amount of energy. I am resigned and then I think about getting back together and then I realize that even if I want to get back together I could never feel the same way I did before. I want things to be the way they were when we first met but we have moved so far from the I am not sure we could get back. Then the realization that what I want I could not have through no fault of either of us. It ended long before it ended.

    OK enough of that!! I need to know how to move past the constant thoughts in my head and resulting tears. I think I need to get help because all these feelings are overwhelming and affecting my daily life. I am lonely, sad, and even scared that these feelings are going affecting my everyday life. I have considered taking an antidepressant because I am depressed. I am not sure that will help in the long run but maybe it will take the edge off some of these overwhelming feelings and the constant crying. I have tried going on vacation in an effort to keep my mind occupied. It works! but both times that I went away he texted and called me which pulled me back into some hopeful place that is unrealistic. I also can’t help but think that he contacted me in an effort to make me think we would get back together just to say that this is what I thought, but there was no way that would happen. Ok I guess I should explain…when we were together he told me about a breakup of a longtime relationship he had and that she thought he was coming back but there was no way that was going to happen. I remember thinking what an awful feeling that must have been for her. I felt sorry for her. Now I feel like I am her and that he contacting me was an effort to “dupe” me into thinking that there was some hope for our relationship just to say “but that was never going to happen.” I am not sure that this is true but that is how it feels.
    Wow that is a lot of bad energy, that I want to get rid of…I hope just writing all this helps.

  26. My problem is that I have been trying to move on from the guy. I know in myself that I have finally moved on, but every time I see him in person, it just comes back. You know! It’s totally different when you are with the person even though you haven’t seen each other for a long time. How do you deal with that? How do you prepare yourself? I’m really confused.

  27. Thank you I just found out that me and my best friend both like the same guy and now she’s dating him and my heart just broke the minute I herd him say yes to her. It’s really hard because we are all in the same class but with your advice I think I’ll make it through. THANKS😊😊😉😉👍👍💋💋

  28. First off let me start off by saying thank you. I’m so glad I happened across your article. I needed to see this, read this and feel it. Everything I’ve read hear today I agree with. I’m just having a hard time continuing to move forward. At any age the pain is real but for some reason I didn’t think it would be this intense for so long. All within the last year in a half I’d lost my very best friend, whom I’d known for over 25 years, I was laid off my job this past January and this past April my relationship no longer exists. I’m dealing with a lot here, and trying to act like I’m okay and I’m not. Thank you for your quote,”Go through it, not around it.” This was Music to my ears, because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, going around it. I never fully removed myself, always talking to him, texting and emailing him. He calls and texts me too, telling me he stills loves me or just wanting to talk. I saw him today and he has moved on with his life and I new this. He has someone in his life who he says he loves,WOW,the nail in coffin, I’m done. I’m continuing down the road to recovery, with my dignity and self respect that I managed to collect along the way. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  29. Hi,

    My boyfriend of almost 2 years just broke up with me about 2 months ago. He said that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be in a relationship and was some what scared of truly committing. I am 27 and he is 26. I have been in very long term relationships before but I have never loved anyone the way that I love him and I am having a very hard time moving on. It doesn’t help that we had kept in some contact for the past 2 months. The last contact we had was about a week ago and I am trying my best to not contact him anymore. Was it crazy to think that I wanted to marry this person. Is 26 and 27 too young to get really serious. I have read so many different opinions and its so confusing. Its also confusing because he says he still loves me and that he feels like he needs “time off” but yet wants me to move on because he feels like its not fair to hold me back. He knows I want a relationship. I don’t know how to move on. I don’t want to move on. I feel like a part of me is missing and I don’t know how to deal with these feelings. I have become incredibly depressed and I feel like I am doing everything you are supposed to do when you go through a breakup but nothing is working with how I feel. Is there any advice to give?

  30. I was with my ex for 3 years n 6mthns n he cheated on me so we split, before he left me, we were planing to get married in the future, I loved him so much but I became tired of him lying to me every time he opens his mouth, I went into search for help in the internet, I tried many different spells from almost every place locally as well as online and none of them worked, I almost gave up hope because I thought i will never see my lover again forever, one day i saw some testimony about this powerful spell caster Great zula i emailed him and i asked him to help me bring back my lover and he did A Lover Spell for me And after some days, my lover returned back to me I’d like to say that i got a positive result from ([email protected]) ever since i used his love spell, my lover have learned to appreciate me more and more day by day, and he doesn’t take me for granted,

    Mariana Charles.

  31. Tip #7
    Laughing over coffee with a new friend who doesn’t know him from Adam (to ensure his name won’t come up)
    How ironic.. my heart is broken over a man named Adam

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