Are you still feeling the pain of a past relationship? In this article, I will share with you the path to happiness and peace.
I know how it feels to be in pain from a past relationship. It can feel like there’s no way out, and you’ll never be happy again.
But I want to tell you that there is hope.
I invite you to join me as we journey on this healing path together.
Chances are, if you’re like me, you have been involved in at least one unsuccessful romantic relationship. Perhaps you only went on one or two dates before calling it quits. Or maybe you participated in a serious relationship—or two or three of them—that lasted a long time.
If you broke up after saying, “Until death shall part us,” you have a legal document — a divorce decree — that reminds you of your failure to sustain your relationship.
When I lived in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, every time I had to declare my relationship status, I was reminded of my failure: the French word célibataire, which means “single,” looks very similar to the English word “celibacy,” that state of eternal singleness I wanted to avoid.
I have been involved in several romantic relationships in my life.
Every single time I came out of a relationship, I felt like a failure. I assumed the breakup was primarily my fault, and I searched diligently for the mistakes I had made.
That is my personality.
But over time, I’ve come to reevaluate these failed relationships to learn from them: to grow and to change so that I will be more successful in my next one.
So, if an unsuccessful relationship has caused you to trip and fall, don’t stay down. Get up, fix whatever broke, and then move forward. Never play it safe. Get off your couch and go find the roses.
I like this verse from Proverbs:
The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. — Proverbs 24:16 (NLT)
Your past relationships and prolonged times of singleness may result in a hardened heart: one not willing to take the chance of falling in love and possibly being hurt again. You are not the first to have a hardened heart; many have been there. Fortunately for all of us, God knows how to heal this problem:
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. — Ezekiel 36:26
After my split with my ex, I had a hardened heart and didn’t know what to do about it.
Counseling helped me understand why the relationship was unsuccessful but left me disappointed and wounded.
I was afraid of repeating my mistakes and frightened of being hurt again. In short, my heart hardened.
And then, through prayer and patience, God changed me. Even if I did not see it, I felt Him working. But it was not an overnight quick fix. My emotional healing took many years, during which He gradually replaced my heart of stone with a new heart: tender, soft, patient, and ready to love again.
As God was fixing my heart, I believe He provided me with a temporary layer of armor. He knew I was vulnerable and wanted to protect me until I was ready to deal with a relationship again.
As I regained my full strength, this extra protection gradually disappeared, as if He told me, “You have enough strength now; you can handle whatever life throws at you.” This reassures me that He is a caring Father. He protects and empowers us, giving us what we need precisely when we need it.
What God did for me, He also can do for you because miracles happen when God is at work. Does your heart need repair? Are you ready to let Him transform you, too?
The post-breakup period of a relationship may be dangerous. If we do not find the courage to stand up, dust ourselves off, and try again, we may go down the seductive road of self-pity.
Why is this road so attractive? Because it’s easy.
Getting up is hard. Like when my alarm clock wakes me in the morning—it is easy to hit the snooze button and stay in bed. Getting up takes much more willpower and energy.
After a breakup, a certain amount of self-pity is natural and part of the healing process. We must examine our wounds and tend to them to recover from any injury. But if we’re not careful, this examination may trap us in a feeling of victimhood. Self-pity resembles a weed: if you are not mindful of it when it first appears, the unwanted plant will soon overtake the entire garden.
When trying to heal from the wounds of past relationships, I found valuable support from four main sources: my friends, my parents, the Word of God, and counseling.
Each of them contributed in a unique way to helping me stand up again and open my heart to love.
If you doubt God is good, He will prove it to you repeatedly. This is another critical step in your healing: Remember that God is good to you—and everyone—all the time. His Word gives me confidence that He is watching over me and protecting me.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble. — Psalm 32:7
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. — Psalm 103:1-5
We have all participated in unsuccessful relationships, but we shouldn’t see these as failures. Failure allows our mistakes to knock us down and make us lose hope.
Instead, I invite you to get back up again after an unsuccessful relationship and experience a healing change. See failure as an opportunity to learn from.
Leadership coach Robin Sharma wrote, “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and it’s gorgeous at the end.”
At the end of the sometimes painful healing process, you will arrive at the beautiful, peaceful place David described:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. — Psalm 23:5-6