Reflections of a Recently Dumped Woman Who’s Stuck in Stage 1 of a Breakup

Broken heartFor the past month and a half, I’ve been embroiled in what feels like the longest breakup in romantic history. According to the five stages of grief, I should be well into the anger portion of the process or, at the very least, in a place that makes me stare the realization down and accept it. Heaven only knows where the point I’m at is called but it’s surely not cut and dried enough to be listed on anyone’s step-by-step timeline. All I know is that I very much do not feel like myself and even I don’t recognize this person slouching around in a bubble of sadness.

Typically, I’m chipper, carefree, full of laughs and giggles. But I feel the heaviness of this split from my man of two-and-a-half years as soon as I wake up in the morning and “The Crash,” as I’m now calling it, consumes my thoughts throughout the day, toppling even my frequent daydreams and random food cravings. 

When you spend the bulk of your time in front of a computer writing and editing, it makes it so much easier to overanalyze and overthink the arguments and issues that led to this point. Of course, I give in to the temptation to text or email and share my revelations with him. Just in case he’s interested in hearing them. (And he, to his end, has been kind enough to humor my multi-message emotional outbursts.) I think he must be at, like, stage 5 already. That doesn’t help.

In my innermost thoughts, I’m frustrated with myself, with the now-ex, even with God because I can’t shake the feeling that I wasted my time. The desire of my heart was to be a mother again and a wife for the first time, to have an opportunity to do it the right way in a little nuclear family setup. I’ve fought on the frontlines of single motherhood for 13 years now and I don’t regret or bemoan the life Girl Child and I have together. Still, I’ve always envisioned myself eventually becoming the happy-go-lucky half of a solid, stable, long-loving couple and having two, maybe even three more little ones.

More from The Stir: 21 Ways to Get Over a Bad Breakup

But this third strike at romance and failed investment of years has me thinking I’m officially over this whole relationship thing. That’s not the bitterness talking. That’s reality.

To top it all off, my birthday passed on Monday, reminding me that biologically, I only have a certain number of remaining years to make this conception magic happen. I am so not trying to be some miracle of modern science or Sarah-and-Abraham success story who managed to defy the odds of time to produce a child. No thank you very much. That, above all else, is not how I want it to happen. So as my born day passed unceremoniously, I’m conflicted about where the desires of my heart and God’s intention for my life intersect. My prayed question to the Lord today is: Why allow me to want these things if they’re not going to manifest?

Now I’m trying to retrain my heart to not even be bothered, to play reverse psychology on my brain and convince myself that I’m cool with neither one of them happening. I can believe that what God has for me is for me when it comes to my career or my side hustles or my bullheaded desire to buy a historic home and fix it up. But this dream deferred is a little harder to let go, even with the power of prayer.

In my personal mourning of the man I thought was The One, I can’t just crumple and sob and sulk the way I really want to because I’m a mother. And my daughter needs me at my best but she also is watching me and ever-so-inadvertently picking up how to react to situations like this by my example. So for now, I’m trying to distract myself from my broken heart—busying myself with her and with work. The more of that I can take on, the better because being well-to-do and successful isn’t the same feeling as being in love, but at least I’ll feel accomplished. Eventually, maybe I’ll take a trip or write a book. But for now, this goodbye has me feeling stuck in stage number 1. Whatever that is.

How have you gotten over a broken heart?


Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr

breakups, commitment, dating, dating mom, exes, love, marriage, single moms

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nonmember avatar MomofOne

This sounds exactly like me except I am still sitting in the relationship wondering whether it will work or not and worrying about wasting time...sigh....I wish you the best of luck and hope much happier times for you asap!! :)

Crissy Pines

I say his loss, I believe in the fierce belief of Samantha from Sex and the City, and that is " The only way to get over a love is to lust over another "  You never know it might make the old one want you back when he sees how fierce and hot you are and that well you can make it without him.  The clock is ticking, and honey your soul mate isn't going to find you on the couch crying, unless he's a super hot UPS man :)  Yummy!

Crissy Pines

Get your hair done, get your wax on, buy a hot dress and go out with some girls and if nothing else take yourself on a hot date! 

Crissy Pines

I went through one of the worst break-ups in history, he took me to the cleaners!  He abused me, he stabbed me, then ran off with the neighbor he had been sleeping with for 3 years!!!!! 3 years!!!!!  I too was a single mom and cried daily because well I was labeled as "the single one with only one child and no man"  at EVERY family function....Like I WANTED to be that way, uggghhh, but I loved me I mean really loved me, I did for me and me alone and when Mr Right aka my high school sweetheart came back around to evaluate our friendship, he just couldn't help but chase down my fierce, independent, unattainable little booty...... 4 years and 3 more kids later, it's not perfect, but it is just what I wanted.    :)    You will have it too, no matter what you get you will find your bliss, I know it, and I'm going to root for you along with all these other women.

suziejax suziejax

time is the best

mamivon2 mamivon2

I was usually the one that broke hearts.. so nobody could break mine

Elaine Maze

Marriage is overrated...I was married and now I'm a single mother of two...and he's off gallivanting around the countryside enjoying himself and free of the responsibilities of home. I love my kids and am glad I have them, but I don't think I will ever want to go through marriage again. To love and not be loved in return though he swore he would do so, just not worth it. Like you, I have no choice but to keep going; my children are 4 and 2 and I have no one out here with me. But I really wish I could just collapse. I don't know if long term relationships work like marriage...but there's the hassle of lawyers, no lawyers, filing paperwork, splitting property, worrying about the other parents' attitude towards his or her child and to you, worrying about child support...the list goes on.

nonmember avatar ssm

This made me cry b/c I'm in the same place as you. My husband and I, who've been together 8 yrs, married 3 1/2, are getting a divorce. We have 3 kids together, tho my oldest isn't his bio he raised her since 4 mos. I'm also having a hard time letting go of the idea that we won't have that little house in the country with some dogs and horses. I've been a stay at home mom for 3 yrs, and I'm having to start from scratch all over. I know it will be good for my girls to see that nobody has the power to break you down, and you are stronger than you think you are. But it's still hard. We will wake up one day and feel ok, but until then we'll do what we have to to get thru each day.

easun... easunshine

I am very sad for you. I've been wondering about you. :( I don't have any unhelpful words to offer, but I'll continue to think about you, and I'll pray for healing. I'm really sorry. That is so hard.

Betty Zam

AWWW!! So sorry @ Janelle! 


Breaking up is so hard. May I suggest a few things. 


First, if you broke up, God must have a reason for it.


Second, right now you are probably remembering all the wonderful things...and ignoring all the reasons why you shouldn't be together. 


May I recommend a good tv show that sums it up perfectly...Being Erica Season 2 Finale. It talks about the breakup being difficult. Sometimes we don't want to go through the pain, but its necessary to move on.


Lastly, I think you will find the one! :) One that will love and treat you how you deserve. :)

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