What to expect when you get dumped by the love of your life (or The first nine months of a break up)

10 May


I mentioned in a recent post that it’s now nine months since the pizza of doom. For the uninitiated, the pizza of doom was the night that the love of my life came over to my apartment, stuffed himself with half a pizza that I had paid for, and then told me he had never been “completely in love” with me, and walked out of my life forever. Asshole.

Anyway, it got me thinking, this whole nine months situation. It’s a long bl**dy time to feel so miserable. There are so many more worthwhile things you can do in nine months than grieve your relationship. Of course, being the age that I am and terrified of being alone forever, the thing that springs to mind is having a baby. Other women can create a new person in nine months, but I can’t even get over my ex. What a failure.

Don’t worry, this is not a post lamenting the fact that my and his DNA will never mingle to form lovely children. Although I do lament it every day. Instead, I’ve been thinking of the stages of pregnancy. Everything that happens to a woman in those nine months. And everything that has happened to me in the past nine months. There are some similarities. Hormonal and emotional swings. Physical symptoms that you didn’t see coming and have no control over. Lack of sleep. Boring all your friends by talking endlessly about the same thing. At least if you are pregnant on the tube in London people give you their seat (well, most of the time). On the tube at rush hour, overwhelmed with grief, I’ve been known to get off at a random stop just to sit on the platform and cry for a while before braving another train. Believe me, I know how pathetic that sounds.

So rather than ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, this post is about what to expect in the first nine months of a break up. Broken down by trimesters, as that seems to be the done thing with pregnant people.

The first trimester


You’re in disbelief. The news hits you like a truck. No, a three-truck pileup. Your entire life changes in a few seconds. You panic. You don’t sleep. When you do sleep, you wake at 3 or 4am and don’t get back to sleep. You dream about him. You dream about his family. You ask yourself, “What if…?” approximately 4,652 times. An hour. Your brain goes around in circles, desperate for answers, but only finding new questions.

The physical side surprises you. You wake with pains in your legs and arms. You have to lie down from the sheer force of crying so much. You vomit from crying. Your chests hurts. All the time. You lose 16 lbs, but have no interest in clothes or shopping so it’s somewhat of a waste. No point in eating, why look after yourself when nobody else does?

But people do look after you. You call everyone. Repeatedly. The people who matter call you. The people who matter say the right things. Other people say terrible things. “There was probably someone else.” “Plenty more fish in the sea.” (Never forget, you are not a f***ing fish.) “You’ll be fine.” And deep down you know that you will be fine, but not for a long time. You hate being on your own. You fear it. But. when you’re with others, you feel as though you’re in a shell and not connected to your body.

You miss him. You miss him so much that you need to leave the room to gasp for breath. You need to scream to let the tension out. You need to visit a psychic. Then another two psychics.

You start getting ill all the time. You’re exhausted. You would give anything not to think about him for just thirty minutes.

You go to the doctor.

You start seeing a therapist.

You emerge at the end of the first three months a scared, tired, shrunken version of yourself. You see him everywhere, although it’s never really him. And you still love him.

The second trimester

The guilt kicks in. You tell yourself that you should be fine by now. But you still aren’t sleeping. Or really eating. So you hate yourself for being so weak. You hate yourself a lot. You pushed him away. You don’t think you will ever feel normal again.

You go on holiday. You cry the whole time.

You sit at Christmas dinner (or a wedding, or a party, or any event with lots of happy people) and you blink back tears. You feel alone. You feel isolated. You tell yourself, “My life wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

You still get ill a lot. Probably around now your body is so worn down that a virus or cold knocks you out altogether. You can’t go to work. You stay in bed for days and sleep.

You try new things. Reiki. Meditation. Pilates.

You meet someone new. Your heart soars then plummets. You come home from every date and cry. You start talking to him in your head, but you no longer expect him to be there when you get home from another horrific day at work. Instead, you have sex with the new person. You hate yourself afterwards (the first time). Then you love the physicality of it. You love feeling wanted. You have a lot of sex with this new person. It feels… distracting. But you end it. Because distracting is all it could ever be.

You feel bad that you can’t shake the sadness. You feel that you are no longer entitled to talk to your friends about it. And some days you feel ok. But the next day tends to knock you for six.

And you emerge at the end of six months feeling confused as f***. Your heart is full of longing and anger and sadness and memories. And you still love him.

The third trimester

Oh god, can it really still feel this bad?

You are convinced that there is something wrong with you. You still cry every day. You are overwhelmed with the emptiness. You can’t see a future, but you know at this point that there’s no going back.

And then you have good days. Maybe three of them at a time, even. But he’s never out of your thoughts. And you know that by now he will have moved on. You feel it in your guts that he’s seeing someone else. You can’t believe he could walk away and leave you in this mess.

You still dream about him. Which can set you back for days.

You’re angry. You’re hurt. It. Is. Not. Fair.

You see the psychic again.

You still see the therapist.

And at some point you realise that the pain has changed from a sharp, overwhelming wave of grief to a dull, enduring rot in your bones. Some time later you realise that dull pain doesn’t pass. It will go with you from now on, into new relationships and situations. It will wake you at night every now and then. And whisper doubts in your ear. And remind you that you weren’t good enough.

Because nine months might have passed, but you still love him.

4 Responses to “What to expect when you get dumped by the love of your life (or The first nine months of a break up)”

  1. shiftybananas May 12, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    Yeah… That about sums it up

  2. mick1982 May 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    you really nailed it with this one:)

  3. luciddream85 May 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    That is …… spot on. I’m six months in to when Andy actually left. Nine months into when he told me he was leaving. And you know what sucks? We let these men so deeply into our souls that it takes EFFIN THERAPY to fix all of the broken, damaged pieces of us. That’s what is sad. That’s the cost of opening up to someone and trusting them with every part of you. And people wonder why we look like scared puppies when the new one swoops in and tries to make promises. Ugh.

    • aprileb May 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      Oh so true. I read something about how women will attach to their most meaningful relationship and not let it go until they find another. It made a lot of sense to me. But if I saw my ex I think I would actually punch him so hard right in the face. How dare me leave me this stupid wreck of the person I was. How dare he treat my feelings so recklessly and con my friends and my family and everyone. How dare he dispose of me. AAAHAHAHAHAHH. xx

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