Sweeping up the pieces of a broken heart

January 27, 2022


In most of the novels I’ve read about men leaving their wives, the spurned wife with a broken heart wants to kill herself. It says a lot about me that when my husband left me, I wanted to kill HIM.

In the online neighborhoods that made up social life in 2021, I saw my share of spurned partners venting onscreen about their broken heart. I am always a little befuddled at how people can completely fall apart when they’re left.

I mean COMPLETELY fall apart. Obsessed with the departure. With being left. Yes, even those not married. Even those with children.

Don’t get me wrong: I was a crazy mess the first six months after he left.

I leaned hard on close friends, in between plotting how to kill him. I bought a .357 Ruger. I took shooting lessons. I hit the bullseye 90% of the time. Not just the target. The BULLSEYE. I was motivated.

I also sought help. My therapist was visibly shaken when I told him about the gun, so I sold it and bought a piece of furniture I had for years.

But after those first crazy months,  I picked myself up and went on with my life. Oh, I wasn’t 100% functional. Had I been functional I wouldn’t have jumped into a rebound marriage. But I wasn’t a puddle of tears every day, either. I worked. I read books. I dated. I saw friends. I traveled.

So I really am puzzled by how so many people can’t seen to bounce back into life after a split.

Here’s what I’d like to tell them:

I promise you that one day the person who left will seem just like another person to you.

That there IS life on the other side of this. And a good life, too.

It is NOT the end of the world.

I promise.

Oh, and don’t use the gun. Don’t even buy it.
For those who might need them, our gentle tools for healing & grief can be found here.


10 comments on “Sweeping up the pieces of a broken heart
  1. Lynda Beth Unkeless says:

    Such Truth!
    Everything fades over time.
    Heartbreaks too!

  2. Alana says:

    I’m fortunate; being left by a love or spouse has not happened to me. But, I think I understand some of where those broken heart feelings come from, having had my mother die suddenly when I was 12. It was like a bomb had gone off in my life. It still affects me in some ways, at times I least expect it (and yes, as an adult, I got counseling for it). Perhaps these people keep the loved one in their lives by feeling the pain they inflict on themselves. It may sound crazy but, through my therapy, I learned that some people cope in that way.

    • When I was going through it I thought death would be easier to deal with because it was so final. He wouldn’t be out there going about his business and living life without me. Definitely grief on both ends but quite different.

  3. I love this small window into your life/psyche. I’m with you. Scorned, I leaned towards the homo-, not the sui- of the -cidal. I didn’t buy a gun, I bought a book on how to poison… I’m a writer. It’s for the novels. :/

  4. Laurie Stone says:

    Your story with the gun could be a book! I love that you traded it in for some furniture. Sounds like a great story of survival.

    • I do remember that young woman I was back then but it’s hard to connect her with who I am now. It’s so interesting that he and I remarried after that…26 years later!!!! and are still married. No guns, though, ever again!

  5. Mel Studer says:

    You crack me up! I think that I would feel the same way! Glad that it all turned out and that you are not currently in prison over someone who obviously did not deserve you!!

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