There are countless articles, books, songs, and other things about getting your heart broken. It is an awful experience that can leave you feeling lost, like a child who got separated from their parents at the mall. You can bop along to a beautiful tune that describes exactly how you feel, or cry through the pages of a self-help book. Either way, these remedies help us pick up the pieces the other person broke.
There is a lot out there to help and relate with the heartbroken, but there really isn’t as much for the heartbreaker. The heartbroken tends to be viewed as a sort of victim, a martyr. The heartbreaker tends to be viewed as the perpetrator, the evil person that carelessly threw you away. Now, this scenario may in fact be your situation, it may be a common situation. But it is not always the case. Even still, most people are concerned with the well-being of the heartbroken. People tend to assume that the heartbreaker is fine because they made the decision. Again, this may be the case – but it is not always.
Being in a relationship of any sort – be it a long-term relationship, a friendship, or a more complicated romantic endeavor – is hard work. Sometimes it just isn’t working out, no matter how hard you try. Maybe you fight too much, maybe you disagree on every topic, or maybe there just isn’t a spark. Making the decision to end a relationship of any kind can be heartbreaking in and of itself. There is a different feeling that comes with choosing to leave as opposed to being left. You have to weigh the pros and cons and muster up the courage to communicate this to the person. When you are the heartbreaker, there is always that part of you that wonders “did I make the right choice, or is this the worst mistake of my life?” It can be hard to live with that feeling, even if you know it wasn’t working out. On top of the doubt, you have to knowingly break someone’s heart, someone you may love and care for very much. You have to listen to them cry and reason with you, going through the five stages of grief all in one sitting.
At least when you are the heartbroken, you don’t have a say, so there really is no looming doubt. You just have to go through it, and it hurts, but there is nothing you can do, and sometimes that is easier than holding all the cards.
I remember being the heartbreaker, having to explain to someone I truly cared for why this wouldn’t work. I remember feeling the pain I caused that person, spending hours trying to answer every question and explain every confusion. I remember thinking I made the wrong choice. But I did learn two very important lessons from this experience.
The first lesson – there was a point in time when I knew I did not want to continue with this person. I thought it over countless times, I felt stress at times in the relationship, and I knew ending it was right. But when I was the heartbreaker, it made me question my gut feelings, made me want to take it back. But I learned that for me, the gut feeling is always right. I may question it when I am feeling vulnerable, but I cannot give in.
The second lesson – it can be easy to hate the heartbreaker if you are on the receiving end, or if a friend is on the receiving end. But when you have to be the heartbreaker yourself, well, it can really shed some light on the experience. I felt a new understanding and peace towards those who had hurt me before, and this other perspective helped me forgive and move forward.
Never stay in a relationship to spare someone’s feelings but be as kind as you can. And remember – there are two sides to every story.