How long does it take to be ok after losing the love of your life?

I just got dumped by my fiancee, and my world is…destroyed. You’d think having been divorced, I’d know how to get through this. But this is nothing compared to that. That was an amicable divorce that took years of inching apart before it was over. But this time, this man, he was my everything. I’m not just a little in love. This was head over heels, night in shining armor, THE one love. I’m a single mom with 2 kids and my whole future was planned. We were getting married this year, I would adopt his two kids, and he would adopt mine, work up until I got pregnant, then stay home and raise the child…I’m totally lost as to what I’m supposed to do now. Life is just stretching out before me like some black empty void, and I don’t know how I will ever really feel “normal” again. On the advice of friends, it’s one day at a time. But I don’t know if I can do this for the rest of my life…I know time heals and all that shit…but how long does it take? (Obviously, everyone is different, but help me out here…) How long before I can go longer than an hour, without some stupid thing having me in tears? Before I don’t bawl my eyes out in front of co-workers every single day? Before I can talk about him without totally losing it? Someone give me some hope!!! Or at least some good drugs!

I’m sorry for you, Mamakat, and hope you can find some distractions from your total bummer!

I wouldn’t say my situation came ANYTHING close to what you’re feeling, but I can at least answer your question honestly for me. It took me about 3.5 years to get over my biggest breakup. The final year was pretty much actually a cold turkey withdrawal, as I’d see her everyday at classes and work and all, so it was so hard to get over her when she was always there. But I finally just started avoiding her for a good year, and that really helped with the perspective.

But yeah, I hated the first two years for sure, when everyone said “give it time!” and I’d always feel like “well, I’ve given it a year! Isn’t that enough??”

So yeah… time really does help, but sometimes it’s REALLY REALLY slow…

I’m sorry again for you, but hope you can move on eventually…
Take care of yourself!

After a loss, the intensity of feelings does not, at least for me, go down for a long time–years and years. What does go down is the frequency of feelings: the bad times stay awful, but the
“normal” intervals between them get longer and longer. This was an important realization for me because whenever the horrible bad feelings started up again, I thought everything was starting up again, and that would fill me with dread as well as the sorrow and anger I was feeling. Once I recognized that bad spells could be very, very bad and still pass, it became easier.

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

Is it just me who finds this odd:

How long does it take to be ok after losing the love of your life?

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

**Mundane Pointless Stuff **I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Well said.

I’m several months out of the breakup from my first post-divorce relationship, and am still reeling from it. The good news is that, as Manda JO says, while the bad times are still really sucky, they a) no longer make up the majority of how I feel, and b) I have had periods of up to a week where I felt almost completely normal. The problem is when you’re in the depths of a downer, you think you’ve permanently reverted, but actually you’re not, you’re just cycling through the rollercoaster.

mamakat, check your email.

Singer Joaquin Sabina was very insightful when he wrote,* “tarde en olvidarla, 19 dias y 500 noches”* (it took me to forget her, 19 days and 500 nights)

After scrambling around for a few weeks you should feel better, but the feeling of lose will creep up on you now and then for a long time.

From my divorce: it took me a year or so to recover from the pain, another year or so rebuilding self-esteem and working through my depression, then another year trying to fgure out how to fix things before I began actively looking to date again. My mind always boggles when I hear others talk about dating just weeks or months after a big breakup; a recent post on SD had a guy who hasn’t even finalized his divorce yet talking about having dated multiple women and making out with several of them in just the last few months. Too soon for me, man, though I know my recovery is a bit long by most people’s estimation. I do think it’s healthy to take time off to at least ruminate on the whys and wherefores of the breakup… I realized some things about myself drastically needed to change, so it was a positive experince in the end.

My last big breakup was a little easier, maybe six months’ recovery, though the dippy way the ex led me on because she didn’t have the heart to simply break it off meant that I was actually single for a year before I understood that I was single. (Unfortunately, I’ve only had one failed date since then, and I’ve been “recovered” for a couple of years now, so I’m not exactly successful in meeting people.)

I say 30 days.

Any longer than that, you are wallowing in self pity and need to move on with your life. In fact, it can become counter-productive because you might miss out on potential opportunities.

Do you know what half-life is, as in radiation and medication?

a) It’s partly biochemical, no disparagement of the sincerity or depth of feelings or the fundamental loveworthiness of your now-estranged love of life intended here. Your biochemistry needs to detox and for the first couple of millennia (which will be measured by the rest of us as a handful of weeks) you are going to feel just awful, time is going to crawl by, you will envy the dead, and you will not beieve you could ever, ever, be happy again.

It takes x amount of time for that to recede to half-awful. And that much more time to recede to half of THAT bad. And it will still hurt years from now, but the really awful part of it will drop off pretty rapidly.

c) Chocolate helps. I don’t know why. It’s a chemical thing.

What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in and lost?

Somewhere I saw a rule of thumb which recommended a month of recovery time for each year of the relationship. While that won’t work for everyone–especially really intense but short relationships-- it did seem reasonable to me at some level.

msmith537 seems to be laboring under the misapprehension that post-breakup grieving is a conscious decision. I tell you, I have never experienced anything like it, and I definitely had no control over it, especially not 30 days in.

Hell, at that point I was taking what comfort I could find in life from the knowledge that I was managing to sleep three hours a night instead of just two, and that not being able to eat had helped me to lose 21 lbs in three weeks.

I think the main thing is not time but closure. Have you met up with your ex again to talk? Some people recommend the ‘cut all contact’ route, and everyone’s different, but I’ve found I can’t get over someone even if it was a relatively short relationship if we don’t get to sit down for an hour or so over a coffee, talk about us for a bit, then talk about normal stuff. Then hug, say take care, and go our separate ways.

Obviously with a relationship as serious as yours, this isn’t going to get you OK, but it might be a start. Thinking of you, good luck.

Sometimes there is no closure. One still needs to move on.

I love the way you describe this, AHunter3.

I remember reading that chocolate has a chemical that shows up in the brains of people in love, but I can’t find anything to document that. Theobromine, which for sure is found in chocolate, relaxes smooth muscles, soothes coughs, and may inhibit mental decline.

mamakat, I know it hurts. You’re not only grieving for the loss of a loved one but the loss of the future you’d planned with him. Take time to grieve. Allow yourself to go through the process. But then, at some point, before you think you’re ready, push yourself to get back into life.

Spend time with your kids. They’ll want to take care of you. Get out into the sun. It’s good for you. And eat some chocolate. Some. Not all.

No such thing as the love of your life. You had a love and you lost it, but don’t fool yourself into thinking there will be no other. Mourn the loss, and I mean really mourn it. Remember both the good and the bad times and don’t cheapen this emotion for yourself. If you don’t relish this opportunity to feel the loss the pain will fester underneath and keep popping up down the line at inopportune times. Once you are done mourning pick yourself up and move on. Don’t allow yourself to get lost in the indulgence of pity. Emotional self-flagellation can be an attractive feeling but if you are being honest with yourself you will know when you have crossed the line from mourning the loss of a relationship into mourning for the sake of mourning.

I agree with msmith537 to an extent, but the 30 days is too concrete of a number. If it takes longer so be it, but he has a good point about not spending any more time of your life on something you have spent enough time on. Sometimes when one door closes another door opens in life, but we miss the opportunity because we are still gazing longingly at the shut door.

Forget closure, you have all the closure you need. The relationship is over. What other closure is there?

In the future, after you feel better, do not hinge your identity on any one thing (especially any person). Oh, and you are ok now. You may be emotional, lost, and sad; but you are ok. Keep that in mind.

A mathematician friend of mine does a hilarious talk on this exact subject, complete with differential equations. Basically, you chart the degree of pleasure received from the relationship by making a graph over time of the joy felt during the relationship. Then calculate the area under the curve. The amount of pain you are in for is an equal quantity. His theory is that one who mourns deeply at first will cancel out a larger amount of pleasure at the start, and it will then taper off toward the end. If you try to avoid the pain you will experience less depth, but it will last longer. The kicker is that it trails off approaching zero, but is never entirely zero. The equation turns out to be very similar to the dissipation of the charge on a capacitor. And, similar to a capacitor, you can’t tell if it’s fully discharged.

Ah Mamakat, I feel for you.
Last bad break up, I was crying constantly for about a week, then less than constantly but still at least once every day for about 3 months.
I thought I would never get over it, never sleep properly, never eat properly, never love again.
Whilst I have to be honest, after a year I am not truly ‘over it’, however everything that has already been mentioned did happen, the grief *did *have a half-life, chocolate *did *help…

It will feel a tiny bit less awful tomorrow, and tiny bit less awful the day after that and so on, although you may not notice, until you are not consumed by it. It’ll be there, but it won’t fill your entire soul. There will be space for other things.

Whatever you do, don’t feel ashamed for feeling this way. This is a normal and healthy reaction. As for a timeline, who can say? Do your best to maintain normality. Don’t shrink or withdraw, and remember that you will love again.