How to Deal with the Unbearable Pain of Heartbreak

Are you hurting?

Do you feel trapped inside your own head, desperate for some relief, and anxious for the time to come when you will finally feel better?

If so, this video is required watching…

You’re Going to Feel Better. Promise.
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Matthew Hussey:

During a difficult time, whether it’s a breakup, whether it’s a pandemic, whatever it may be, we are, on one hand, told to stay busy, and, on the other hand, we’re told, “Do the work. Don’t distract yourself from actually doing the work and processing your thoughts and feelings.”

I find that, for a lot of people, must be very confusing. To sort of figure out, “Well, what constitutes ‘being busy’ and what constitutes me distracting myself from the feelings that I need to process in order to get over something?” What do you say is the right balance?


Guy Winch:

The danger with heartbreak is that you can drop into rumination. Rumination means that you’re spinning around the same kind of thought in an unproductive way.

The goal of thinking things through is to gain insight about yourself, about the other person, about the mistakes you might have made. The things you might want to do differently, the things you might want to keep the same. What you’ve gained from your relationship, what you didn’t. What you might want to avoid next time, et cetera. It’s an endless list of things you can learn from it.

If you’re still learning in that self-examination, go ahead and do it. If that self-examination is very depressing to you, then decide when you want to do it, and by all means, use distraction and other kinds of things to not dwell on it too much.

It’s when we’re stewing, when we just keep repeating the same… People typically go back to the breakup talk, or to the contradiction: The thing they said the week before the breakup talk that contradicted. “How could they say that? And then that? I don’t understand it.” You’ve asked yourself that question 50 times. You’ve asked your friends 20. There’s no more information to be gained there. Certainly not by asking it in that way. That’s just rumination. That’s just you stewing. That’s just in an emotional hamster wheel, that’s not useful.

It’s important to try and distinguish between when your thinking is being useful, and when it’s not. If it’s useful, it eases your feeling after you’re done. You feel a little easing, a little relief, because you figured something out. If it’s not useful, you just feel crappier afterwards. Because you just took your spoon, stirred all the muck, took a nice big whiff of it, and then, that’s what you’re left with.

So make the distinction between the thought process that’s productive, that teaches you something, that gains something, and one that’s not. You know the one that’s not, because we’ve been having that same line of thinking, literally dozens of times.

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8 Replies to “How to Deal with the Unbearable Pain of Heartbreak”

  • There’s such a huge difference between doing the work and distracting yourself by being busy! The latter one will exhaust you on the long term. I have learned this a few years ago and nowadays I’m trying to be more aware and efficient about this. There’s a fine balance between the time you spend on doing the work and just process and digest all the things that happen to you, and when you’re distracting yourself with all the things that’s keeping you busy you’re in your own way to process and to emotionally digest.

  • Las June I contacted a guy out of the blue for guy advice well for the last yr we have text pretty much every day some times sitting up late texting nothing else all we do is text I’ve ask him several times let’s just go get hamburger he always says no that hedoesnt want to fall in love and hedoesnt really want to go no where with anyone but I have become emotionally attached to him I feel like a part of me wants to delete him off messenger and face book and walk away but I just can’t let go my heart just won’t let me you see we both went through a traumatic experience I was with another man for 14 yrs and he passed in his sleep almost 2 yrs ago and he was freinds with a girl that he was letting her sister stay at his house to help get her away from her boyfriend she was a drug addict and she passed in her sleep at his house he found her dead when I found my boyfriend dead I couldn’t get him open door and I felt so helpless he had it worse he found her body if I sit and think about it it hurts so bad cause I thought he was in perfect shape for the last year we have text but this guy doesn’t want no one in his family to know it his daughter and her 3 kids live with him but he is remodeling a mobile home for her he doesn’t even wanting us corresponding on face book just messenger I know that I’m not in love with him for the past yr we only went to fast food restaurant on my lunch break I ask him to go lunch and he went that time only he has ask for sex but I don’t want to have sex with him he doesn’t care about me to spend time with him my heart just won’t let me go sleep with him I got give him credit because he has made it very clear he doesn’t want a relationship he doesn’t want go no where with a woman he is in his 60 s now when he was in his 30s he dated trashy looking whores that was wild and drug heads that’s kind woman he liked he says he has changed that he doesn’t live like that anymore also when I was 23 yrs old I dated and lived with his brother but we ended up going out separate ways his brother has passed away I also know that after his brother and his sister in law got divorced his brother was having a sexual relationship with his ex-wife he doesn’t know that I know this his brother told me they was having sex in the past year I have given a yr of sitting on my sofa night afte night of texting him sometimes I feel like I may have chance of him going out spending time falling in love but when I feel like we getting along good he has to say we just freinds we just besties stop act I g like we ins relationship last night I blocked him on messenger because I text him sometimes 3 or 4 times a day because he works out in heat I just want make sure he is not getting to hot working by his self he hurt my feelings cause he text and told me that I don’t have be text him so much on that day he also was helping his granddaughter move in apartment should I block him off face book and messenger and move on I live alone and with this covid19 after I get off of work it’s so hard going home alone pleawe give me some advice cause my heart is hurting it’s to point where my mind goes round round I can’t think straight

  • Dear Matthew how you know everything? i am very much heart broken and everything my life destroyed… I know i can’t put even one word on internet or say anything to my self or specially to someone there’s no privacy ,, but what i have to do to take him back- i can’t afford to end our relationship…and i lost everything right now all income starving for long time and homeless how charming is that isn’t it? but you my coach and hopefully friend so who is going to marry me? your friend Lala hugs

  • How do I forgive,and how do I trust ,never meeting in person or even on a vid chat,even after i offered to but him a new phone so we could grow.Evasion,avoidance,run,GHOST ,push n pull,LACK OF,TIME,TALK,and $ need.DOES he REALLY me? oR need me? BEYOND the money?NARCISSISTIC TRAUMA?

  • I’m going through unbearable pain right now. I was doing great and then I got really sick again. I’m fed up I feel like I can never have a normal life. It’s not much different from heartbreak, I can’t meet anyone as I don’t know how I’ll feel from day to day. Plus I’m so over the tests. I feel like a pin cushion. Sometimes I feel no one would want me. It’s certainly not who I am, I’m use to be strong, a fighter. I had a never give up attitude.

  • Hi, I am separated after 24years of marriage. I believe we got married for all the wrong reasons. I was 20 and he was 22. It would be easier if there was something tangible that I could say but no there isn’t. It’s just when we got married I knew I wasn’t in love with him. I told myself it would be okay and love will grow. If anything it got worst. I feel no passion or desire for him and my health started to suffer due to being in marriage that just isn’t for filling for me. We have 3 children and I am now 44. The thought of divorce and then possibly moving on and meeting someone else is daunting and just feels weird and upsetting thinking about it. Is it just because I am now set in my ways and we have been married for so long and I have grown used to a norm ? The thought of meeting someone else and introducing them to my children is even worst. Help please!!

  • You explain you need to be able to distinguish the difference. But how? How can you tell if the experience is valuable information to learn from or not? Because the crappy feeling sometimes just doesn’t catch up quick enough

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