The stages of heartbreak?

Anyone heard of the the stages: Shock/denial, Pain/Guilt, Anger, Depression/Lonliness, Acceptance.

How long have people taken to go through the stages? I seem to be somewhere between anger and lonliness but they change day to day. It's been 2 months and last week I thought I was over it but then for some reason I feel like I've gone back stages!


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Most Helpful Girl

  • We tend to think that the stages of grief are steps. But really it's cyclical. Otherwise things wouldn't continue to bother us after a long period of time, even if the pain lessens or changes. I was dumped "out of the blue" by the guy I thought I could trust. He took back all he previously said and that was it. Gone. The first month I was an absolute wreck, even though I did all I could to keep things as clean cut- No contact, got a counselor, journaled, exercised and forced myself to stay social (although I also forced myself to spend time alone and be okay with that). The second month was of course, so painful, but better. More manageable. 2 1/2 months after he dumped me he was already in a new relationship and moved in with her a few months later. Both pieces of news absolutely dropped me to the ground, and I felt like I was starting all over again with the process. Although I did notice that while it was still as shockingly painful, it wasn't painful for as LONG.

    When I learned he moved in with her so quickly I was finally able to realize that although I wasn't better, I had literally done all that I could to get where I was, and it that needed to be recognized. It has been almost 6 months since he dumped me, and it is still rough at times, to say the least. I still have never contacted him, still see a counselor, and still exercise and stay social. And I STILL feel hurt and anger towards him, I still feel rejected, and I think about it at least a little everyday. But I would rather work this out in myself then run away from it. I refuse to do this with the next one!

    I think the most you can do is recognize the positive steps you have taken to heal, and when you feel pain again, it's just an indication that there is still work to be done in yourself. But just don't be so hard on yourself. It's painful and hard because you are working on it.

    Also, I know everyone likes to offer comforting words like "It won't be this way forever, you'll see, it will get better" But I found that caused me to measure time against my healing process. I kept saying "When? When will it get better? WHY isn't it better!?". Instead I try to stay present. "Right now, I really hurt" or days that are alright "Today, I feel okay". I try to stay away from the "Someday". It takes a lot of the pressure to be "Happy" or "Over it" away.

    There is no right timeline or equation, whether you were together for a short time or long term, for when grief ends. If you feel like your grief no longer makes sense in terms of the broken relationship then you might actually be over it more than you think, and are otherwise beginning to work on personal issues that go much deeper than the ex. For example the first thing I thought about when my current ex moved away was actually my ex BEFORE him, because he also moved and that ended our relationship. So now I realize I should be focusing more on my general fear of abandonment than my current exes disregard for me.

    I hope this helps!

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What Girls Said 2

  • Denial: At the beginning it's like you can't believe she/he doesn't care.

    Bargaining: Trying to explain and understand why they can't leave you.

    Depression: Everything you and them were is gone, and one become two.

    Anger: Not allowing it to be true, another phase of denial. Believing it cannot be.

    Acceptance: Understanding that is true.

    After the 5Th stage of heartbreak, there is two ways it can lead to:

    Moving on and actually going through with the ACCEPTANCE.

    Or, acceptance and revisiting the stages lead into re-experiencing the stages over and over again.

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    • the anger is because she has shacked up with another guy, a dude that was hanging around whilst we were dating and who she assured me was nothing more than a friend. But your right it's still denying the fact she chose him over me. It really sucks and I'm still really angry with her but I know I need to accept it regardless to move on. Thanks

    • recently she's been reaching out to be friends but even if I accept the situation does this mean I should try and be friends. Surely I'm within my rights to want nothing more to do with her even if I have reached the 5th stage and am moving on?

    • Truly it's your choice to want nothing more to do with her, as this is pre-cautionary and will prevent the recent stages being re-played again, as being friends can also lead to two ways:

      The actual "moving on" with her still playing a part in your life being friends..

      Or, the mistake of having her in your life once again and misleading you into the beginnings of the stages once again.. that is IF you are still holding onto those feelings you feel towards her.

  • It depends on the person and what type of relationship you are leaving. Was it a first love, a long relationship, etc. From what I read it takes half of your relationship to get over them, ie if you dated a year it takes 6 months. Others have said for a year to 2 years, 6 months and then an additional 6 months on top of that for every year. For divorce supposably 17 months total. It depends on the person, and really if youve been through it before. My friend is at 9 months, and she is good some days and then goes right back to being depressed and I doubt anything but finding a new person is going to alter her. She has kept busy and done everything your suppose to but it was her first love and serious marriage relationship.

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What Guys Said 1

  • I do the Same thing...I'll get over it then it just comes back and haunts me..But I fought it down this time By Distracting myself..I took a run through the woods, still had a hard time concentrating on running but then my mind felt like it loosend up...and I'm having a wonderful day..I just accepted whatever is on my mind..*which can be a problem sometimes, because I don't know what I'm thinkin sometimes, its like my mind goes in a circle/ reminding me of my Faults, and how I'm going to change...but I finally accepted myself and now my day is going good..(hope this makes little sense)

    so maybe the key is Distraction and Accepting Whtever the pain is..

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