How did your worst break up change you?


How did your worst break up change you?Every relationship that we have changes us in some way. Hopefully, most of our experiences get processed, we determine what we could have done differently, and we are a little bit older and wiser :) when we have the next relationship.

My first marriage was to a lady who was a borderline personality. I didn't see it for a few years, probably because I didn't want to see it. I ignored or minimized the obvious warning signs. She was self-absorbed. Her moods made home life unbearable at times but I stayed because she was quite charming at other times. I stay engaged in trying to please her (an impossible task) instead of taking a few steps back and looking at the big picture. It was torture and, unfortunately, I could have ended it much sooner but I didn't. I wasted 17 years of my life.

When we finally broke up, I was damaged goods! I thought there was something horribly wrong with me. So I found a former girlfriend and married her, just so I could prove that the problems in my first marriage weren't my fault. If I could make my second marriage work, then that would mean that I was okay.

The rebound marriage was a terrible, terrible, really bad idea and it ended after 2 years. Now I take relationships slower and I have developed a rule for myself: follow your heart into a relationship but follow your head out of a relationship.

How did your worst relationship and break up affect your life?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • My first (and only) break up was really out of the blue like literally a day before he was telling me how glad he is he met me etc and yeah it was through text message too. We met up an hour after he sent the text and had dinner and i have to say, the most awkwardest dinner of my life i was on the verge of crying the whole thing and the goodbye was even more awkward. He then TEXTED me as i got on my bus begging me not to stop speaking to him but i cut contact (luckily i was going back to university so it made the break up easier). It made me take future dates a lot more slow, I've realised i need an outgoing guy and not someone who just wants to watch films in their room / play xbox everyday. It's also made me realise i shouldn't settle for less and also the cliche 'its made me stronger.' Now, last week (a year later) he messaged me saying he made the biggest mistake of his life :) but im so glad he dumped me because i wouldn't have met my wonderful current boyfriend.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I had dated a lot of women and some were devastating losses at the time. One in particular six years ago had me so broken and lost I found this site GAG through a link from the seven signs of grieving. I got a lot of great insight to what I was missing or refusing to look into. After some time, which time is the best cure for pain I realized it was a blessing.

    True divine love will never leave you through a break up.
    I did a moral and honest inventory of motivations and dating habits. As well as my emotional need to be with someone seeking someone to make me happy.
    I took time off from dating because every relation I had up until then ended. I did not want to go through that again. I also realized that everyone of those relationships I sought out or was eagerly anticipating meeting someone.

    When I was comfortable being alone and just living life as Iife intended. About a year and a half someone crossed my path unexpectedly and effortlessly. We both were not seeking a relationship so the intentions were pure. We soon found out we had almost everything in common and had the same desires. We loved each other for who we were not trying to just find what we could put up with. That was missing from all the previous relationships.

    We are each others soulmates and we are great together in every facet. She is loved unconditionally and i am proud to say she is my fiancee. And all's i had to do to be blessed with her is not look for it. I just believed that the ONE was out there being prepared for me.

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What Girls Said 38

  • It wasn't necessarily the worst relationship, or maybe it was, but it was definitely the worst break up. There were a lot of elements to it, really too much to fit here. I have discussed some of those things in other questions here. It was my last relationship, though, and I learned a ridiculous number of things from it.

    Prior to that relationship, I had an "ideal" mate and my ex really fit that ideal. Long story short, after that relationship was 100% over--and it took years for it to totally be over even after it ended--I sat down and realized that I needed to change my standards or just accept being single. I am not talking about lowering my standards--I simply realized my "ideal" didn't consider some important things and that I had my ideal and it still didn't work out, as well as that if I insisted on that ideal while adding those important things I'd probably never find anyone. I had to really think about whether or not that'd be okay with me.

    Basically, I question a lot of different things and still don't really have answers. I really lean more towards thinking relationships are not for me and that I'd be better off single. But I do want to get married and be with someone... I just don't think it's possible to have the kind of relationship I want to have. Looking back at all of my relationships, as well as other relationships I see, makes me feel that way, but my last relationship hammered it home that what I want is probably not possible.

    That relationship ending and how it has led to the other issues I've mentioned also really triggered the huge fear I now have of my parents dying and what will happen to me after that. As long as my parents are around, I feel like I'm single but not alone and not really lonely. When they die, that will completely change. My mother is 69, my father 68. My father has many health problems. Prior to that relationship ending, I really wanted to move back to Illinois or Michigan, or maybe move to Texas. Now, I don't want to move at all because my parents are here and I feel like they're all I have. I follow my mother almost everywhere, and most times when my parents go places I worry they won't come back. I check on them a lot.

    My last relationship was also the only one I really felt loved in, and after we broke up my ex denied that love was there in the relationship. Like Blonde401 said, it makes it hard to trust others, and I'd probably never believe anyone who says they love me romantically again.

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    • It sounds like you are an idealist and a romantic and I understand how that sometimes clashes with reality. I also understand your feeling about your parents. Last year, I moved in with my mother and step-father so they could remain in their home. She is 86 years old and he is 87 so I also confront the aloneness that will come when they are gone.

      I do hope that you eventually meet someone who will be worthy of your trust and who will not necessarily be ideal, but will be close to ideal for you. :)

  • I'm sorry you had to go through that. My ex suffers from untreated PTSD so I understand well the toll that mental illness can take on a relationship. Although I'm still reeling from the loss (it was a just a few weeks ago), I keep trying to remind myself that it's no one's fault, that I did the very best I could with the information I had at the time, and that to have loved and lost is still to have loved.

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    • That is a remarkably bright attitude for you to have under these circumstances!

  • It wasn't really a breakup because we were never together. But a guy toyed with me for a few years, on and off. For a pretty long time, the good aspects of him outweighed the bad, and I turned a blind eye to the bad things and tried to justify them by thinking about all the good things he has done. In general I'd say he is a good person, but he does have his issues and he can be really immature sometimes - completely refusing to see things from other people's POV for instance. Quite selfish sometimes too. He's just really multi-faceted and a difficult guy. From what I've heard though, he's completely aware of his issues and he's working on them. I still don't really want anything to do with him though.
    I learned quite a lot from him actually. Not to take anyone's bullshit when you KNOW that they're in the wrong. To not let someone step all over you and then accept them making it seem like you're at fault for getting your feelings hurt. To not justify someone's wrongdoings with what they've done right.
    He got to know me at quite a fragile time in my life, I was pretty inexperienced and insecure. I wouldn't say he used it against me per se, but he was aware of my situation. He just didn't take it into consideration, and went ahead and did/said things that you kind of shouldn't, to a person who's the way I used to be back then. Hard to explain without going too much into detail.
    He definitely gave me thicker skin. I learned how to be more blunt with people. It gave me an eye for dishonesty. I learned how to stand up for myself and for what I think is right. And if he ever read any of this, his ego would probably inflate. But he should know that I changed because of negative reasons. Just because the outcome worked in my favour, it doesn't mean he gets any credit. Through him, I also learned the importance of quickly and painlessly cutting out toxic people from your life.

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  • I have 2 break ups in mind and I can't pick which one was worse.

    There was the first love, he cheated on me and decided he preferred her over me. I was 14, I wasn't ready for sex but he kept saying he was and because I wasn't giving him sex he went to someone else. It broke my heart. Before I met him I was happy-go-lucky and after the break-up I was this miserable cretin but overall it taught me that not everyone who says they care actually does.

    I wouldn't technically call this a break up. Because he just ignored and blocked me on everything. We were doing great and then next minute it's like he disappeared. Just ghosted me so can I really call that a break-up? Like are we still together? :')
    Back then I wouldn't have made jokes about it but I made my peace with it. It was absolute torture not knowing why he did what he did. But it made me see sometimes I have to live with unanswered questions... well in retrospect I learnt that when my friend committed suicide and didn't leave a note but the experience of that 'break up' just added to the lesson.

    It wasn't until I met my current boyfriend and cried on him (when we were still friends) about my ex ghosting me. Told me he's not worth thinking about and the best thing for me to do is live out my life and one day I won't even remember his name.

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  • Gave me trust issues, which has made it hard for me to trust and open up to someone new... and always having the notion that they're just out there to use me/get in my pants, and will leave me once they've gotten what they want from me :(

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  • It smartened me up. I was devastated to find out this guy had been cheating on me so I did what they do in movies and tv. I drank. A lot. I didn't eat, I was depressed, I dindnt go out, and even thought about hurting myself. But then I realized, alcohol is a depressant and it's probably the last thing one should do when depressed. So now I only drink when I'm happy and having fun.

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  • I used to be a really nice and quiet girl. Everyone I knew called me either kind/nice or innocent. After a breakup which I really regret, I've kind of distanced myself from everyone and I'm now usually on my own. I rarely smile - I'm a completely different person now.

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  • I broke up with my ex of 4 years because of tough love. He wasn't doing enough in his life. I was going to college, had 3 jobs, pre cancerous cells and lupus with awful flare ups. The stress he caused didn't help and he would never ever help me when I was sick. He would dump me at the hospital and hardly visit because "hospitals made him nervous", yet I was the one with the cancer? Anyways, I broke up with him thinking he would come crawling back, but no. He indefinitely never wanted to get back with me. It was weird because he was so fake and I couldn't believe he was feeding me lies... we got back into contact this last fall and it seemed as if things were just fine and we were back in love. I went back to visit the second time after a month of texting, calls and like I said - acting as if we were back together. As soon as I flew to Los Angeles the second time, spent 2k, he didn't want to hold my hand, was looking at other women and didn't hold me when I was cold. I held my tongue. I was supposed to stay 5 days, but on the second day of this I called him out and he said, "why would I like someone like you? DID YOU THINK I LED YOU ON?" It sounded like he was caught red handed. As I'm telling him off, he slips through the door like a snake. I caught an early bus home, 10hour trip. I texted him that and left. He didn't bother checking in on me. I called him next day again and he said he was busy meeting his tinder date... yeah...

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  • It taught me that men aren't worth trusting
    They can't handle being told no
    They are only interested when they get their way

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    • The same goes for females.

    • Your conclusions only apply to the guys that you have dated. There are guys who are trustworthy, who understand limits, and who are equal partners in a relationship. But, if you keep looking for the same kind of guy. . . you keep finding the same kind of guy!

  • My first serious relationship was with someone who confessed having “psychopathic tendencies” after he dumped me. Of course, him saying that absolutely horrified me. I didn’t want to believe it. As I thought about it, though, all the things I’d initially been bothered and confused by (and that I’d tried calling him out on in the conversation that led up to him dumping me) started to make a bit more sense.

    The overblown showering of attention and affection in the beginning of the relationship. How he still seemed so enraged by me choosing to end our little high school romance, because I was stressed out and didn’t feel ready to handle a serious relationship with him at the time. ...

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    • ... The way he’d mimic and mirror my gestures and expressions—even some of my life experiences. How much he relished fooling around—often in inappropriate places. Like my office. His parents’ bedroom. The way he seemed to give me affection in little doses after a while. The simmering rage he finally couldn’t seem to hide. The way it came out—wrathful, but terrifyingly controlled. His long list of broken hearts. How he blamed all his exes or called them crazy and obsessive. His rock-solid ego. At a public family dinner, his unabashed contempt for his mother. The possessive stare reserved for me—the only person he’d managed to develop a crush on before he reached adulthood. His risk-seeking lifestyle. The way I tried to hide how sad I was from my family—how I felt like no one else would ever love me. How I’d never felt that way with any other guy. My staunch refusal to trust him. The way I felt as though I had to entertain him. Fearing what might happen if I didn’t entertain him. ...

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    • It's great that you salvaged something from the experience and made yourself a wiser lady!

    • Thank you. =)

  • my last relationship broke up and i somehow felt that all relationships had to be like that one - toxic and bad but now that i am in a healthy and amazing relationship, have realised that everyone is different and every single relationship is different because its with a different person.

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  • I don't know, it's left an empty feeling inside me, I can still feel the ache in my chest when I think about it, and I don't know if it will go away. But I think the memory will get fuzzier over time, and I'm optimistic that I'll find some happiness to conceal it.

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  • It was my first boyfriend and I was 14 years old. i did a lot for him. He did nothing for me. He cheated on me. I found out and broke up with over the phone. i learned to never do anything for anyone unless they treat you good back
    I never been in a serious relationship after that
    I'm almost 25
    I like short term things

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  • It made me realize that I made the right decision not to have sex with him. 😀 He dumped me after 3 months. He ghosted me and dumped me through text. I dodged a bullet. If I had sex with this guy I imagine that I would be more hurt

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    • Also I don't trust men it's going to take me a long time to trust men again but I learned in life that it is ok to cut guys off. Better to love yourself and put yourself in better situation, than to be in a bad relationship

  • My first break up was by far the worst. He left me completely out of the blue and it genuinely felt like a train travelling at full speed had just hit me. It took me months of crying and "soul searching" but I eventually got back to my old self. Looking back on it, that relationship did teach me that I can be happy even if it is without the person I thought at the time I'd be with forever. It's definitely made me a lot more relaxed for future relationships, like the one I'm in now. I've been through the worst break up of my life and I'm still happy and able to love again so I guess I just have no more fear.

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  • It taught me that you can't save people and sometimes just have to let them go and prioritize your own wellbeing.

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  • Haven't had a terrible break up yet. but after dealing with people and realizing how much they can be so trolling and just not caring, it makes me not want to take people srsly anymore.

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  • I learned what to and not to say or do to stop the doubt, anger, etc. I also learned what to look for in the next person so as not to make that mistake again.

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  • It was long and hashed out for multiple reasons.

    My first boyfriend we were on and off. We were together 2 and a half years until the first break up... he broke up with me because my dad was ill.
    I had to take my dad to hospital and within a week he left me for "more time for my dad". What I needed was support. My job gave me no time off and I ended up becoming a Carer. My dad had to have an amputation within the month.

    We were still in love and got back together after 6 months. We broke up while he was "just friends" (dating someone else) and he broke down and crawled back to me. This continued until he cheated on me and left me while I was at my new job.

    When I knew he cheated on me, no less with his best friends little sister who was a child, I turned my back and never looked again.

    My journey was horrible and hard but I have a boyfriend now who is supportive and loves me bar nothing.

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  • Made me less likely to keep holding out for them to become better.

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What Guys Said 29

  • From a guy's perspective, I have tried for 10+ years to find a girl who I like and be compatible with and I am still searching. The last break up was devastating and it's a long story but I will give a brief timeline of what happened... met a girl, we both liked each other a lot, I was too shy to be myself around her, she chooses another guy, we end up cutting each other off, she's with this guy for 2 years, she breaks up with him, I try again which only leads to heartbreak again and her telling me "I don't like you like that". I have dealt with shady girls, girls who have baggage and girls who thrive off drama.

    What I realize now in life, I want to be with a girl who shares the same values and morals as I do, very meticulous, hard working, one of the most genuine people I have ever met (because I try to be genuine and honest w/others) into sports, likes to travel. I am not rushing to be with a pretty girl just to fill a void in my life, that's not cool. I have learned to focus on myself and eliminate girls from the equation because even if I am myself, make her laugh, be interesting, give a girl her space and play it cool and it still does not work out, then why bother trying to meet girls at school, work, social events and etc? It's a waste of time in my opinion.

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    • It's not a waste of time if each experience makes you a wiser man/better person and prepares you for the day when you meet The One.

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    • @ubergo150 Hey I feel for you man, I think plenty of guys have been in that position. Your profile says you are 21, I'm 30 so it's a 9 year age difference between you and I. I'm assuming either the girl is a few years younger than you or maybe a year or 2 older than you, even then, 22 or 23 is not old at all. My advice to you because I have been through that myself, girls that age are usually not looking to tie down into a relationship, they want to have fun and potentially be with different guys in a 10-year span. I know girls who have openly told me that I was friends with how creeped out she got from other guys being a little too interested in her or going to Vegas or bachelorette parties and enjoying men stripping in front of them.

      Focus on yourself and hope you find the right girl, I have put more effort in the last 10 years then you have so I know how painful it can be, trust me. The difference with me is I tried few wks ago and still failed, whatever, it is what it is, move on

    • I think girls have to understand as well that as they get older, their time is ticking as well. That's fine if they want to have fun in their early 20s but at some point we all have to buckle down, leave our parents nest and be independent the same way our parents had to as well 30, 40 years ago.

  • Not one particular relationship, but a whole succession of failures. Before - a naive and trusting kid, who wanted a family of his own. To have a loving sweet girl I can spend my life with and a kid I can teach to be a better man than me. Now - a disillusioned cynical asshole, who wants to throw up at the thought of being with someone. Lesson learned, I guess.

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  • I was with someone for 10+ years who, by the end, didn't do anything except sit and watch TV. Didn't work, didn't cook, didn't clean, no exercise, nothing. Insisted that nothing was wrong.

    I had stuck by them thinking that was what a good partner did, but it became obvious that nothing was ever going to change and I had to decide if I was content to live like that for the rest of my life. I decided I wanted a life again, and it ended. I rediscovered myself and all the things I used to enjoy doing but also wanted to do but never did because I felt guilty going out to enjoy myself while they stayed home.

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    • Did she finally get up off her butt and start doing something to take care of herself?

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    • It sounds like you eventually made several good decisions. You learn from mistakes and you move forward.

    • I think I learned similar lessons to yours from your first marriage, that there is indeed a breaking point where there's nothing left to give. Admitting it is extremely hard because you've made a commitment to be with that person through thick and thin.

      I did later have a friend who had BPD so I have an inkling of what that must have been like.

  • Mine was documented in a myTake (they were then simply called "Articles") I wrote a few years ago. It made me look back on some formation I had earlier on in college that ultimately brought me to that point.

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  • For me, I went to bumblefuck pa to go to school. I'm a minority and talking to girls never blew over well. I remember thinking at a young age i'd alone for a very long time and trying again and again cemented that in my mind. Now i'm a military veteran making steps forward in life but I know deep down inside when my time comes I won't fight to stay here

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  • That essentially you can't save anyone who ultimately doesn't want to be saved.

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  • It made me realize that I will be much better off if I live out the rest of my days without getting married. I thought I had found the one girl who was with me for me and one that I was really into. Well, it turns out that she was just like every other girl who only dated me for my ability to provide a stable life with money.

    If you don't find a woman worth marrying before you are successful, then you will never find one who will be worth marrying and isn't after your success.

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  • My worst breakup was pretty tame. It taught me to be forthright. Not blunt, but honest about what I want and how I feel. Better to be alone but able to find a person you really want than to be living a lie in a relationship you don't like just to say you are in a relationship.

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  • OlderAndWiser-My worst breakup made me into a cynical, hard boiled old bird. I have had trust issues ever since. I learned that trash frequently comes in pretty
    packages. I learned that just like new cars, when the new car smell wears off, then most relationships become mundane and routine.

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  • I found out that the perfect person doesn't exist but the perfect person for you does

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  • 😂😂😂😂 Sir you didn't needed to put an Indian TV serial's pic for this question 😂😂😂

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  • When I was 21, my first girlfriend broke my heart.
    For a year, she had used me as a diversion, so that her parents would not suspect that she was maintaining a secret relationship with a bad boy, of whom they disapproved.
    I loved that girl more than words can express.
    The experience left me psychologically incapable of feeling romantic love for a female.

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    • That is a horribly tragic story! I hope that she got run over by a garbage truck!

  • Well females, did your break up change you? Most females see the relationship being one way. What female think overrides the male partner. Using males to benefit yourself. So women, when you broke up, did you learn anything? That relationship is base just around you.

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    • It is obvious that you have had some very bad experiences.

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    • @OlderandWiser, now you've butt hurt him and he's probably blocked you for asking him what his first language is. He American family man of God word. He English goodly.

  • I stopped dumping people out of the blue and stopped cheating...

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  • it showed me you can't really trust women. They lie, their promises mean nothing, they cheat. Very sad...

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  • It taught me to communicate a lot more and to not let my shyness get in the way.

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  • It made me realize... my right-hand feels better than her vagina.
    #hotdoghallway

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  • It taught me to trust no one no matter what they say or do and that nobody can hide who they really are

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  • I have only suffered through only one break up and i think it was the worst thing that happened to me. I was totally in love with her, it was so good and real that i still can't believe she left me. I loved her more than anything in the world. But she was not happy with me. i did all i could but i failed to stop her from leaving me. I didn't wanted to accept that she left me and dreamed of her coming back until some time passed and i realized she won't return. It broke me and in more than one ways. I was shattered and depressed because she was the best thing that happened to me. I grew so angry on everyone and most of all on myself. I grew hateful and totally depressed. I had a tough time getting out of all that negativity but it already damaged my studies. Thanks to my special sister dania here on gag who helped me most. Now i think i am a stronger person because the worst already happened. Now can make me so miserable anymore.

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  • It made me very very VERY careful about falling for a girl. Now, whenever I feel like I'm starting to love, I'm extremely cautious in preventing it from making me soft and emotional. I have to consciously limit how much of my concern I make known, how much I show my fear of losing her, how soon I contact her back, how much attitude I tolerate, etc.

    The process actually hurts quite a bit. I've never been the kind of guy to hide certain parts of myself from people I care about. Needless to say, this has been a hell of a change so far.

    But I'm not getting into another relationship where I'm taken for granted and looked down on.

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