Feeling sorry for yourself when a relationship ends – especially after your boyfriend or husband leaves you – is a normal response. But who wants to struggle with self-pity for months or even years after a breakup? Certainly not you! These ideas on how to stop feeling sorry for yourself will help you pick up the pieces of your heart.
I know it’s not as easy as simply getting over the one who got away, moving on, starting over. The feelings of heartbreak and abandonment after someone breaks up with you are deep. Being left by someone you love triggers past memories of rejection and loss.
We need each other. We need to love and be loved, to be in relationship with one another. When we’re rejected, we’re cut to the core. A breakup is an incredibly painful experience, and it needs to be grieved like any loss of a relationship. So, when you feel sorry for yourself after being left by a man — even if you agree that the relationship is over — go easy on yourself. Give yourself the kindness and gentleness you’d expect from a nurturing mom or loving best friend.
Take time to scroll through the reader comments on my articles. Often you’ll find consolation and comfort, such as in this article:
“I am so sorry you are going through this,” says Hannah on 7 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Through the Divorce Process. “I know how you feel and how it hurts! The same thing happened to me, and I felt sorry for myself for a long time. Please keep praying. God is with you, believe me. He will help you through. It seems at the moment that the pain will win, but you will come through this! You are not alone. You are valuable and a beautiful woman who will find love again one day. Your husband is the one who lost everything, not you. Stay strong, and reach out to people who love you.”
After a Breakup — How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
I started my first diary when I was 10 years old, and I still have it today. I have no family photo albums, heirlooms, boxes of childhood stuff — nothing but a stack of dairies from my childhood. I was in foster homes a lot growing up, and my mom often walked away from apartments without taking anything with her. As a result, I have nothing from my childhood.
Not having any tangible memories from the past isn’t a big deal to me, because I had a painful childhood. Not much I want to remember about that! It took me a long time to learn how to stop feeling sorry for myself because of the pain I suffered…but then I realized something. Getting over feelings of self-pity is all about your expectations.
Think about what you expected from your relationship
Think back to when you and your boyfriend first started dating. Or to when you and your husband said your wedding vows! What did you expect from your relationship with him? Maybe you thought you’d be together forever — especially as a married couple.
Or, maybe you thought you’d be the one to break up with him because you always knew the truth about your relationship. Maybe you feel sorry for yourself because he had the strength to break up with you, and you couldn’t do it.
What was the biggest surprise about your breakup? How did it go against all your expectations? Thinking about this can help you stop feeling sorry for yourself. It gives you something to hold on to, to move towards.
Ask yourself if you were ignoring the truth
Sometimes we know something is true — a relationship isn’t working out, a boyfriend isn’t being honest, a marriage is dull and lifeless — but we refuse to admit it. We don’t want to face the truth, because the truth hurts. And when we’re forced to face the truth, we feel sorry for ourselves. We’re consumed with self-pity and even self-loathing, because we know better. We know better.
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What were you ignoring about your relationship? Was the breakup a true surprise, or did you see it coming? How can this help you stop feeling sorry for yourself, now that he’s gone?
Grow forward with wisdom
Back to my experience with a bad childhood: I didn’t expect to be raised in a normal, healthy, happy two-parent home because I was too young to expect anything from life.
But as an adult, I thought everybody else in the world had normal, healthy, happy two-parent homes. I thought everyone else had good childhoods and wonderful memories of family vacations (like you see on Facebook a million times every second). So, I felt sorry for myself because my expectations were wrong.
Now, I know better. I know my expectations of my mom and my childhood weren’t realistic. I also know my expectations of other people’s healthy, happy two-parent homes also aren’t realistic. Other people are dealing with relationship breakdowns, separations, divorces, family estrangements, betrayals — even if they look normal, happy, and healthy on the outside.
Now that my expectations are realistic, I’ve grown into a new sense of wisdom and acceptance. I’m healthy and prepared for anything life has to offer. I have a strong relationship with Jesus, and know He’s guiding my life. I learned how to stop feeling sorry for myself by letting go of my expectations for my life and accepting whatever comes next.
What were your expectations of this relationship? Were they realistic, or were you letting your hopes and dreams take over?
Take time to examine what your expectations were. This will help you stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start growing forward into a new season of life. If you feel stuck in the past, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
Need marriage help? Get free relationship advice from Marriage Coach Mort Fertel.
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