Your Call – How Do You Get Over Long-Term Heartbreak?

When the heartbroken write to us, we usually offer up our patented 10-step program for getting over a breakup. But not even that 99%-guaranteed method sounds like it’ll work on this sad and pathetic soul. Help her out, people!

Dear Em & Lo,

I feel stupid to ask, but how do you get over someone? I had a terrible break-up nearly three years ago (he cheated, I couldn’t bring myself to take him back, he moved on to the next girl, and cheated on her too) and nothing I do seems to help. I gave myself a while to wallow immediately after it, and then gave myself a serious pep talk about getting on with things.

I’ve since tried talking about it and writing about it; I’ve gone on internet dates; I’ve made new friends, tried new hobbies, cut my hair, worked hard at my job, volunteered, exercised, travelled, cried. On one occasion I even lost my temper and shouted at him in public for his bad behaviour (not dignified but definitely justified and sort of cathartic). It’s been so long and I still don’t feel any better.

No one interests me, and none of my friends seem to have ever felt like this for such a long period, or seem to understand how awful I still feel — which makes me feel even lonelier. I think about him every day and still see him around, though I don’t ever speak to him. Friends have suggested I move away, but I love my job and the place where I live — it doesn’t seem fair that I’d have to be the one who moves. I don’t understand what I need to do to get over it. There must be something I’m missing, because I’ve tried so hard and I still feel as bad as I did the day it happened. What am I not doing right?!

— Heart Smoothie

What should “Heart Smoothie” do? Advise her below…


  1. Yeah, three years is NOTHING. I’m on year twenty and counting. (And for the record, I think the 10-step program advertised on this website is laughable and insulting.) And to those above suggesting therapy, yeah, I’ve tried that too over and over and over again and it doesn’t do any good, and antidepressantants didn’t help either. I don’t want therapy or pills, I don’t fucking want to cut my hair or reinvent myself (I like myself fine, thanks) or travel or date other people, and I shouldn’t have to. I just want my boyfriend back and that’s it.

  2. Therapy didn’t work for me at all, time didn’t heal any of my wounds, maybe there is something interpersonal I have to address also.. I don’t know, but I do know what heartache feels like… you say 3 years, I have had a broken heart for 28 years and counting. I’m married now, have a family, I have moved out of state, still nothing seems to cure the hurt feelings that seem to come out of nowhere. I’m fine overall with my life, but I believe sometimes the wrong things happen in life, you break up with someone that you should not have (for whatever reason- they cheat, etc…) either way, you cant reverse time or change what happened… worst part is the other person could care a less. Sucks.

  3. Girl i feel your pain i been a relationship for 10 years and its been Hell i have 4 kids and 2 are by him sometimes i feel like a duck because every time i look around he is cheating and i ask my seft why do i stay i don’t stay because of the kids i stay because i love this man so much but i am learning that i come first and if i don’t take care of me and love me how can i love someone else god put people in your life far a reason some r to stay and some r to go just keep up headup and work on you that what i am doing remember it was only 3 years far you and 10 far me and i am just getting started no one on here can help u only god

  4. Girl the only thing hold you back is you , because that man cheated on you you should have to be the one to change your life to fit his customs. He is just a block in the road telling you he’s in control dont like the devil bring you down god has a special for you everyone gets their heartbroken but only a few climb out the pit of broken heart , because at the end of the day he is not thinking of you or how you guys use to cuddle when he see how you have moved on he will come running then you show him he messed up and missed out

  5. I am recently divorced. My wife cheated on me. She was the light of my life. I suffer from depression and I am completely alone in this world, no family whatsoever.
    How did I deal with it?
    When I found out she was cheating she fell from the pedestal I had put her in my life. I invested 10 years into the relationship, all of my money, all of my life, all of my hopes, all of my dreams. What did I learn? Cheating was HER decision, not mine, I was faithful, she was not, conclusion? She didn’t deserve what I gave her, I was not guilty, I deserve something better.
    The second thing I did was I forgave her, forgiveness is for you, not your ex, by forgiving your ex you are forgiving yourself for eventually forgetting.
    Finally, with al your heart, leave him, your memories, and your past, to god, ask humbly for his help in carrying him.
    Good luck

  6. Wow, a lot of great response and positive suggestions (for the most part). You need to get away. Travel, move. Spend some me time away. And do not think or allow yourself to relive, recreate or even visit you past. No pictures, letters anything. Try to move on now. You have had enough time. Put yourself in the shoes of these commentators and look from the outside for the positive advice. When you move on, someone new and move into your heart. They are not there to replace, copy and live as your previous partner. Let ever thing in the relation be new so that you will both have a chance to start something. If not, move on to the next and the next. I wish you luck, love and understanding. Go see the World. Even, if it’s 50 miles away.

  7. I dated a guy for about a hear and a half, well this guy just happened to be married and we worked together. Soo needless to say I totally fell in love with him, I was miserable; I hated everything going to work were he worked seeing him, every single day and then of course seeing his wife whenever we had company parties; after we broke up my life revolved around him still what he did who he did with when he did it,then He started seeing other girls in our office. And I was miserable still dated but I didn’t like anyone I wanted him. My friends were great support team but I know I was driving them as well as myself crazy. One day I was watching tv and The person on the tv said work on what you can change and leave what you can’t change behind; very true I can’t change who he is or what he’s done but I can change how I feel, and instead of trying to sabotage him or get back at him, I’m now friendly to him ammicable. The next day as I was walking into the office he was also walking in, I turned around and said to him and another person Goodmorning; have a good day! It was like a total weight had been lifted off my shoulders I won’t lie he looked at me like oh gosh why is she being nice. But I learned I have nothing to hate him for, in essence he did me a favor. I’m glad he is no longer in my life; his wife has to put up with him and all his cheating, and I could have been in those same shoes. I love myself more and therefor I have to thank him for lying and cheating on me, best thing he could have done. Yes it took me over a 2 yrs to realize All of this. And I cried and I did alot of horrible things to him. But I can’t change that, I now see him still everyday I am ammicable with him; no we aren’t friends but at least I’m not trying to get him fired for everything he does. Thank this moron for leaving you; when you stop hating him, is when you’ll get over him. It’s a blessing he left you; take time one day to say thanks moron and once you do that it will be miraculous. There’s nothing wrong with crying, or being alone, trust me I’m a better person now. And always remember that you need to really love yourself through all of this and remind yourself that you are the only one that can choose what is best for you. You would never want to see your friend or a loved one with such a person as your ex. Or in a situation like the one your in, so why would you want to see yourself with a person like that. And never ever wish him Harm or ill. Don’t think you are broken just because you can’t get over him, it’s normal and you will be just fine sweetie! If you can’t change it then oh well change what you can. 🙂 Take time to love yourself a little bit and you will be just fine!

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