I remember the times I got my heart broken and they weren’t the best of memories. How many of you don’t think it’s such a big deal? Good for you. I admire your strength! But for many people, getting over a heartbreak isn’t a walk in the park.
This article highlights the 6 stages of a heartbreak. But what sets this apart from other articles on Heartbreak is because this is not meant for the heartbroken but for their friends and family members who care. Who want to help. It may not ring true for some, as different situations produce different outcomes however, you’ll find it useful because most times, the outcome is eerily similar.
I hope this helps!
The fall just happened. The pain from the emotional impact of that fall is still fresh. It dulls the senses and the heartbroken are left wondering how something like that can happen to them. Some people go through the stage pretty quickly but others take some time. The period for this can be anywhere between a few hours to a couple of days.
As loved ones, the best way to help is to make sure the heartbroken knows that he will have you by his side when the journey pass this stage gets rougher. As the saying goes: “It gets worse before it gets better.”
DENIAL & PAIN
There must be some love left. If I still care so much, I’m sure she does too. How can she forget all the good and bad times we had? How can she forget all the gifts I showered on her? How can she forget all the sacrificies I’ve been through for her?
I personally took quite a while going through this stage and I’ve realised after being there for many heartbroken friends that this stage could drag the longest and an unhealthy dose of denial is the culprit for enlivening Heartbreak.
This is a crucial stage and the heartbroken may fall into abject depression if not handled right. At times like this, loved ones tend to baby the heartbroken, some well meaning friends will even push all the blame onto the heartbroken’s ex. It is important to remember that we, outsiders of the relationship, were never in it. So, it’s not fair to take sides.
Do not contribute negative energy into an already seemingly negative situation.
The heartbroken will start missing the ex at this stage. This may be anywhere between one week or two weeks after the breakup and he will have a yearning to patch things up with his ex.
One of the best advise, a close friend ever gave me was to get me to write down on a blank piece of paper the “Good and Bad Points of getting back with my ex.” Split the paper into two columns and write down as many good points on the left hand side and bad points on the right hand side.
This will get the heartbroken thinking and analysing their situation. Is it wise or logical in a long run to want such a relationship back?
The idea is to get the heartbroken to think for himself. Never ever feed your thoughts into someone else’s situation unless he asks for it.
A lot of messed up thoughts and guilt of being the cause of the breakup are processed through the heartbroken’s hurting emotional psyche at this point.
The one who gets jilted is usually the one who will feel sorry for himself.
I should have treated her better. I should have given her what she wanted. Showered her with more time and more love. If I could have done this, she wouldn’t have left. It’s my fault.
When a relationship turns sour, it is usually both parties at fault. I’m not referring to extreme abusive relationships whereby one party was physically abused repetitively. That’s a different story altogether. In that scenario, the abused party is the victim and all fault will lie at the feet of the abuser.
Sometimes, as outsiders, we view things from a different perspective as compared to the couple within the relationship. Couples in love tend to view things with rose tinted glasses and may sometimes fail to see the logical aspect. It’s the same for couples who have just broken up. But again, this is not about you or your views. When aiding the heartbroken, offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Do not offer advice until it is asked and always play it neutral.
Let the heartbroken talk. He will want to pour his heart out during this period. Do not judge. When a person suffers a loss or rejection, it can be a devastating blow not only to the heart but also to the pride.
We need to be very patient. Even if, understanding is not possible, stop yourself from imposing your views on them. In the haze of pain they’ve shrouded themselves in, they will not be able to absorb what you are saying anyway. Their mind is full of longing for their ex and it’s hard to penetrate into that barrier.
Another way would be to drag him out for activities that will occupy his mind. Make sure his time is fully taken up by work or hobbies so that his mind will not have that much of an inclination to dwell on his heartbreak.
Now, if the heartbroken is hurting himself or suicidal, you’ll have to make the decision to seek professional help through a counselor or even a church pastor he is close to.
Some of the heartbroken may not even go through this stage or the anger may even burst forth before the GUILT stage. Different people handle situations differently and some of the stages may not go in order.
For some, anger is a natural inclination when they get hurt. They lash out and sometimes can get violent.
I’ve had friends whose ex boyfriends threaten to kill them or even camp out near their houses after the breakup to harress them into patching things up. When things do not go their way, they use violence and threats to their advantage.
Anger is a scary emotion and most times, if left to get out of control, it can cause horrific scenarios. Identify if the heartbroken you are aiding belongs to the group of people who have anger management issues. You will need professional help. Do not try to take things into your own hands, you might aggravate the situation.
If the anger is managable and non destructive, it is advisable that the loved one gently probe the heartbroken to talk more about what and how he is feeling . Even if, he refuses to talk it out, sometimes, just sitting with him can work wonders. Just being with him shows him that there is someone who cares about his well-being.
LONLINESS AND REFLECTION
This stage comes about because the heartbroken is beginning to come to terms with the breakup. Acceptance reigns supreme and denial takes a backseat.
Loved ones should realise that even though the heartbroken has reached this stage, he may suffer a relapse and swing back into one of the stages above.
There is not much for loved ones to do here but again to listen and offer your presence.
The heartbroken will tend to reflect back on the relationship and he may even think about starting afresh. Thoughts of reuniting with the ex will take a secondary place. Some of the heartbroken will retreat into their shell, preferring solitude and that is very natural.
Life goes on…the heartbroken will start to realise. Heave a sigh of relieve, loved ones. He will come out from his shell and may have a sense of wanting to improve on himself and his life. This is the final stage and it also means that he is ready to pick himself up and live a better life.
There are people who will disagree with what I have written because things may have turned out pretty differently for them. Some souls go through heartbreak within 3 months, some, unfortunately, get stuck for years.
Let what I have written be a guideline and a helpful idea of how to help a heartbroken. It may not be accurate but I hope it will help in some way.