How To Get Over A Breakup When You Still Love Each Other
We all know stories of lovers who’ve had to part ways because of career moves, college, and sometimes, just timing. I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself! There’s that climatic movie moment when the music swells and everyone reaches for a tissue! But having to get over your own breakup when you still love another is way harder than any movie or book ever written.
Here are 3 reminders for how to get over a breakup when you still love each other.
Things to remember:
You’ll never forget them. The pain will get easier to bear and over time you’ll be left with happy memories. Yes, Virginia, there will be the ones who get away and you will miss them. Missing them colors who you become and sometimes, you’re blessed with a deep friendship going forward. There’ll always be this little secret the two of you share and it makes it kind of fun. No one can ever take away the memories of what you’ve shared. (News flash: I love that part!)
My friend D means the world to me, we share many happy moments and have for years now. He’s been married, divorced, and married; I’ve been married and divorced since we were a couple. We never quite had a chance to make our love for one another grow into more than a deep friendship. I had to go to NYC to pursue an acting career, he had to stay put and develop his career. It was more circumstantial than anything else. I adore his wife, he loves my kids. When I see D, our conversation picks up where we left off. The best part, no one has separated our love for one another — we’ve just allowed it to change over the years but let it always be present.
Life isn’t fair! Remembering that the heart doesn’t understand exams, deadlines, movers or miles, we often fall deeply in love just when it becomes safe enough to feel the good stuff but not the right time to commit to the work all relationships put us through.
Falling in love is so much fun and it hurts so much when a relationship in its prime gets pulled apart because of timing. I found one of the most discouraging things about my life as an actor was falling in love with co-stars only to have the show close or the job end and for them to move to LA without me. It didn’t really matter that they were moving on, my heart was stuck imagining them next to me waiting for texts and phone calls. Which of course never materialized!
God laughs when we make plans. Enough said! I especially notice that just when there are plans in the works… a new career move across the country typically is the case… that current lover steps it up a bit. They work extra hard to show you a good time and then poof, you’re off!
I think the hardest thing about love is that it creeps in on us, takes a hold and then way too often gets ripped away.
In divorce, that pain gets exacerbated by public commitments and legal vows, children, retirement accounts, vacations, houses, and the years spent together raising children. When you’re the one who’s spouse walks out while you still love each other, it leaves a broken heart and tons of confusion and anger no matter what the reasons.
This is where life’s lessons come into play.
What I know for sure is that the fight over assets and parenting plans has more to do with trying to hang onto something familiar (whether it be the person in your life, your home, your children or the fight for your self-esteem) than it has to do with the actual fighting itself. And when you’re ready to let go, to trust life is doing you a favor rather than causing you pain, you’ll see that letting them go across the country or into the arms of another is the right decision for you no matter how much it hurts.
Sometimes God laughs while we’re making plans.
Might they still love you while in the arms of another? Might the fighting all be because you really want them back no matter what they did? Or might you have to let them go because of what they did even though a part of you still loves them?
And it will hurt and you’ll still have to let go.
So you do. You move on. You open your hands and your heart and you forgive yourself for holding onto someone that once filled you completely and now must get on with their life without you. It will hurt. And you will survive. You have had so much practice in your life already.
You remember that you alone share those memories. You alone know who they were when they were with you — no one else makes love to your ex-spouse or ex-lover the way you two did! No one else shared those tears or witnessed your children being born or counted stars and kept each other warm on a cold, early autumn night watching satellites overhead. Those are your cherished memories and no new lover, no new child, no new spouse can ever take those away from what you’ve shared together.
You remember not to forget.
And you step into the wisdom of your life experience for you know that love always comes on the strongest just at the end. Many couples make love a lot just before asking for a divorce. Many try to seduce the other into bed during litigation. They’re opening up sexually just as they’re becoming less emotionally available, unwilling to do the work that all relationships make us do.
Sex is way easier to have than digging in and doing the work.
I know that we believe the institution of marriage is supposed to be for forever and that divorce and all the fighting, and heartache you’re going through isn’t fair! It isn’t. It also isn’t always up to you and for that, you have to let go and trust.
You trust that your life will expand again. That you’ll heal and grow into loving another person. That your heart will mend and you’ll be emotionally available to do the work a future relationship will require of you. And that one day you’ll look back on those memories you once shared with joy and fondness. (Not during the fighting, not during litigation but waaaaaay down the road…)
You learn to trust you’re being protected.
Remember when your parents told you that you couldn’t follow a boy friend or girl friend across the country and you did so anyway only to return home sometime later a bit more humbled when the relationship fell apart? As your heart healed, did you regret the adventure? Were you more appreciative of the experience and in awe of your parent’s wisdom? You were being protected — by your parents with the warning, by the universe when the relationship fell apart.
You were not meant to be with them no matter what you felt or what you thought.
That goes the same for marriages and relationships — when they end, they end. And when they end, you turn your focus to you and open up, trusting what’s next for your life. No matter how hard it is or how much it hurts. Your movie is just beginning again!