#LikeAMother Why your first post-divorce breakup hurts so damn bad

Emma Johnson podcast like a mother


A few years ago I wrote this a couple years ago while reflecting on my own first post-divorce breakup. It continues to be one of the most-trafficked posts on this whole blog, more than two years later. I haven’t read about this phenomenon anywhere else, but it is apparently very, very common:

When your first relationship after your marriage ends, the pain is like nothing else. Here I explore why. If this is your experience, I hope this helps you understand what you are going through. Please share this with others who may benefit — and share your own experience in the comments. That way, we can all feel less alone.

Related posts:

Why post-divorce rebound relationships hurt so damn bad (and why divorces are totally different and way worse than breakups)

Post-divorce rebound: A requisite heart pummeling

Healing from divorce takes the long and winding road




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Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.

Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

5 thoughts on “#LikeAMother Why your first post-divorce breakup hurts so damn bad

  1. The first relationship after your divorce rarely ever is successful. The reason it hurts so much more than possibly the divorce itself does is because usually you have not had time to grieve the divorce and so two sets of grief occur at once and it is hard to separate the two. I believe we should take a good amount of time after the divorce to start dating again

  2. I am currently going through a post divorce break up and am grieving as I type this. I agree with it all in the podcast and the blog and I also am aware of why I am feeling so sad but it is amazing how bad it hurts. I separated from my husband last September and in February I met a very handsome and nice man on a dating website. Turns out he lives in another State (1 hour flight away) and in the beginning I was totally against a long distance relationship or any relationship. I wanted something “light & fluffy” or a good shag. Turns out I can’t just shag and built this amazing emotional and sexual connection with this man. We facetimed every day for hours and texted tons. We spent the most amazing days + nights together. This weekend, he was meant to fly out to come see me and his family (his sis lives 30 min away) and I ended up not seeing him at all! He distanced himself and didn’t like how I got a bit upset when he never showed up or texted me to let me know he was coming the next day. Then he never showed up at all as he got upset and said he is scared as he wants someone closer to where he lives and there all the time. I am butt hurt and have been crying like a baby all day because, if I am so attractive, amazing, cool blah blah blah then why would you want to let this go? He knew what he was getting himself into with this.
    It feels as if another person has been ripped out of my life and I now need to actually deal with myself and learn how to be with myself and my kids without having a fun distraction that made me feel good and giddy and something to look forward to. I am a big dreamer and somehow thought that this could go on for a while but apparently not. He is also divorced ( A bit longer than me) and kept saying, I hope I am not your rebound (According to him, he already had his). Not sure who the rebound is here but I feel silly for feeling such strong feelings for a guy who is not even living in the same area…..
    Anyhow, I love this podcast and am getting a lot out of it. Do we really have to just keep cool about everything when dating and not let our vulnerability show?

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