Recently, Redditor u/thranduilion22 asked the women of Reddit, "If your heart was ever broken by the person you thought you'd marry, how are you doing now?" They shared what happened after their heartbreak, including the lessons they learned, and it's an eye-opening look at relationships, love, and life. Here's what they had to say:
1."The man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, S, who I was head over heels in love with, took his own life, and I found out via the newspaper the following morning. It took years to recover from. I completely lost the ability to be soft and vulnerable. I dated but was just not in love. When I met my now husband, he was everything I needed him to be."
"Not clingy or needy. Fun and spontaneous, never possessive or jealous. It’s been 16 years, seven married, and two kids later, and he is my true soulmate, and I love him more than anything. I still think of S. But in the past two to three years, I’ve realized the anniversary has passed, and it took me a few days later to realize. I don’t feel guilt — I know it’s just a sign of continued ongoing healing. He would have wanted that. I’m living my best life, and I have no regrets."
2."I have good days and bad days. I still miss him a lot, especially when I find something funny I think he'd like or when I do something new, he's still the first person I want to reach out to. It sucks."
3."I’m having so much fun and making lots of new friends! I find myself contributing to conversations about things he liked, or making recommendations based on where we went. Sometimes, I catch myself smiling when I’m reminded of an inside joke we had. I still occasionally wear the promise ring he gave me because it’s a reminder that I was loved."
"Life goes on, I still have him all over me, and that’s OK."
4."Suspend disbelief with me for just a minute. At the age of 28, I still firmly believe that I was meant to marry my high school sweetheart — to date, he still checks all the boxes when we were high schoolers/college students. But my senior year, he had a brain tumor rupture while we were out on a date. Had to do CPR, call 911, and all that. He spent a month in PICU after having a good chunk of his brain removed, and he had to go to rehab to learn how to walk and talk again. His parents made us break up. As an adult, I totally understand why — he needed to focus on recovering, and I needed to focus on my life in case he didn’t survive. If it were my kid today, I’d probably do something similar."
"But their whole family turned inward, quit socializing, and gave minimal updates on his condition, and the whole thing was wildly traumatic. But he was perfect as they come, and my parents have held every other boyfriend (of mine and my sisters’) to his scale. He died three years later when I was dating the man I married, who was in the room when I got the call that my previous boyfriend passed. Later, told me that was the moment he knew he could propose and stand a chance of getting a yes because my ex would never be an option.
We were married for seven years before I requested a divorce six weeks ago. I wasn't sad about the divorce at all, to be honest, but sad about other life things. I’m in therapy and working through everything. Like I said, I’m 28 now, and I’m still convinced I would have married him if not for cancer. It wasn’t just puppy love. I miss my past boyfriend — he was such a great guy all around and the world is worse off without him in it."
5."I’m doing really well. The healing journey was tough, but after years of being single, I found a partner who worships the ground I walk on. I'm SO grateful I never married my previous partner. It happens when you least expect it, that’s for sure! I got comfortable being single and enjoyed being alone, and then, he showed up out of nowhere. When he initially asked me out on a date, my words were, 'Don’t expect anything to come out of this. Dating doesn’t really work for me.' Now, we’re planning our engagement."
"I wasn’t super physically attracted to him at first. He’s cute but wasn’t really my type. Once I got to know him a little, his personality shined through, and suddenly, he was the most attractive man I had ever met. It seems the best-kept secret is that nerds are the ones who will treat you with every bit of grace, kindness, and care that you deserve. Good men exist! They’re just playing Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering in their spare time."
6."I was heartbroken when my ex broke up with me. I was the type of person who thought I'd never marry until I met him, and then, I realized for the right person, I'd be willing to. I thank him for helping me realize that knowledge about myself despite how it ended (not the best way, and it kind of scarred me a bit). But my current partner is 1,000 times better, and I'm so happy my ex let me go, knowing we weren't the best match for each other."
"It did take me a few years to heal and meet my current partner. And while it's only been a year, I already know he's the one. We've also discussed the future a lot and are on the same page about our wants and expectations. I view my last relationship as my growing-up relationship. It was my first real 'adult' one (I was 24 when we met, and my last relationship was in high school; I was 27 when we broke up). I learned a lot about myself and what I want in a partner as well as how to communicate with said partner. Honestly, despite the heartbreak, I wouldn't change a thing."
7."I’m good! Six months from the breakup, and I’m moving across the country in two weeks, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years. Looking back, we were incompatible in a lot of the bigger things in life, so I think we would have eventually broken up anyways, whether we got married or not."
8."Fantastic. I'm a smarter, happier, and more awesome person. He squashed who I was, and I didn't realize it until he was gone. When I found out he married the woman he left me for, I was hit with such a sense of relief and happiness that it wasn't me."
9."You kinda just live life going through it with no real expectations for anything. You do the whole dating thing. It doesn't work. You watch your friends and family develop relationships, get married, and hit milestones you probably won't ever hit. You can't buy a home because of the unaffordability and the single income just isn't enough. You carry on with your life the best you can while everyone else looks at you as a failure or with extreme pity."
"Then, those same people will ask you for favors, money or to be their old age caregiver because you are single without children and a husband. Traveling is difficult; you can travel with friends, but it usually doesn't work out well. And while all this is happening, you are haunted by one simple question: 'Why wasn't I enough?'"
10."I'm not doing good. The breakup is still fresh. Some days I manage not to think of him, but some other days, like today, I am very sad and mad at myself for not moving on. I really thought he was the one, and somehow, I still can't process that he was not."
11."I’m finally getting out of it, nearly four years later. Don’t listen to your negative thoughts, he WASN’T perfect for you, and you WILL find love again. The plans you made around your lives together were just that, plans. Remember your worth and what you bring to the table. Focus on yourself and what makes you happy. Ever noticed how laughter is contagious? So is happiness."
"So focus on you and what makes you happy, and life will find a way to do the rest. We’ve got this 💜."
12."My heart has been shattered by the man I did marry. He cheated on me and left me pregnant with his child to be with the other woman. He cut all ties with me and wants nothing to do with me or our child. This was just three months ago. I am slowly getting over the pain and hurt. It still hurts sometimes. Like yesterday, he and his parents came to pick up all his stuff. I felt very empty last night and this morning. Although nothing has really changed — we were already no contact, only through lawyers and a few emails regarding payments and logistical stuff."
"We were together for 10 years, married for seven, and are still technically married. I truly thought he was my person; I thought I could be honestly and completely myself in front of him. But he broke my trust and betrayed me in my worst hours. He gaslit me for months and made me feel like I was garbage. He kept on calling me 'crazy' and 'paranoid' for over a year while he was regularly cheating on me behind my back. He also told horrible lies about me to his family so that they wouldn't stay in touch with me. He has to somehow justify leaving his pregnant wife all alone with two dogs to take care of. I am getting to a place where I don't obsess over what he is doing. I am looking forward to having my baby. I have also been talking to a couple of guys, but I don't think I am prepared for any relationship at the moment."
13."I'm doing great! About five years ago, his father spent the day with me hanging out, telling me how much he wished I had ended up-being his daughter-in-law and apologizing because his son was a jerk and never did (we had a four-year relationship)."
14."Twenty-five years later, and I have not fallen in love with anybody else. Both of my parents are dead. I do have two dogs and two cats. I was able to purchase a home from what my dad left me when he died (I put a down payment more than required so I could afford the house payment on my own)."
15."I’m having the best time of my life! This was over a decade ago, and he helped me through a lot of issues when I went away to college and was very thankful for him that year. Then, over the summer, he dumped me. Conveniently, he did this while my family was 3,000 miles away, so I had no one to lean on. I was so crushed because I thought he was the love of my life. I realized how wrong I was and how wrong he was for me. After the breakup, I went back to college for fall classes, made all kinds of new friends, joined all kinds of organizations, and fell in love with that city."
"Over the years of dating other people, I realized that he wasn’t that great; he would berate me, talk down to me, and he was pretty controlling. I really grew into my adult self in his absence and a lot of my social anxiety started to dissolve. Now, I’m living my best life in a new state, working a new job in a new career. I wouldn't have been able to do any of those things if he was still in the picture."
16."I'm doing much better (arguably) and definitely glad it ended. I saw him recently and found him annoying; I never saw it when we were together because I found it endearing somehow. And we are just not meant to be together. It was nice while it lasted, but to be honest, I don’t remember the feelings anymore and don’t get how I ever felt that way. I remember it happened, but I'm just so far removed."
17."I'm still working through the feelings. But now, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m telling myself that he’s out there seeing other people and living his life, and I should do the same without any concern for him as well. It's been a year and a half since the breakup."
18."Life is good, but I’m still sad about it. But to be honest, when I start thinking about it too much, I stop myself because I find that wallowing in self-pity doesn’t help, and I’m at the stage where I really need to stop wallowing. Wallow when you need to, but stop when you don’t."
19."I was in a four-year relationship with someone I loved and thought it would be my end game. He stopped trying, and it killed me to see this relationship end. Everyone was shocked by our breakup. I wish I could say I am doing great now, but I'm still stumbling. It doesn't help that dating again hasn't been successful, and I'm only meeting men who want to sleep with me and not be in a long-term relationship, which makes me feel like something is inherently wrong with me."
"But I do believe in time being the medicine to all wounds, so if you're also at the stage where I am right now, keep your chin up. We got this."
20."I'm permanently depressed about it. It was real love, not appreciated or valued. I can’t convince or force anyone to love me back and want the same things."
21."I'm having a great time being single! Really thought I would marry my last partner; we had some issues, but I really wanted to make it work. He wasn't ready to do the personal work, unfortunately. There are still times when I feel really sad about what could have been, but it clearly just wasn't going to work, so off to better things!"
22."I was hurting for over two years after we went separate ways. I really thought I'd lost my one and only soulmate. Now, I'm pregnant and in a relationship with a more suitable person."
23."It's been a struggle, but since he ended it two months ago, I've gotten a new job, moved to a new province, and got a new rental suite. I don't know a soul in the town I chose; it's just me and my pup against the world. I miss him a lot. I thought he was my person."
"His family was crushed to see me go. It was super hard to leave, and I'm still grieving the loss of our love very much."
24."My heart was broken by the man I DID marry when I was 18 (stupid idea in hindsight), and it was horrific. That was 17 years ago, and it honestly took me a good five years to truly get over it. I am, obviously, doing better now! I am married to the man of my dreams, and life is great."
25."At least for a year after, I was devastated. It was the worst betrayal and pain. Luckily, I had a straight-talking friend who helped me come to terms with the reality when my ex was leading me on and giving me false hope (to keep me in the back wings as backup supply). I also had another guy come onto the scene. He might have arrived a little earlier than was ideal, but I took a chance, and we have been together for eight years. He restored my faith."
"Last year, my partner and I ran into my ex for the first time since the messy breakup. It was the perfect story arc, and I got all the clarification I needed that us breaking up was a blessing in disguise."
What's your story? If your heart was ever broken by the person you thought you'd marry, how are you doing now? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.