A Letter to The Man Who Broke My Heart
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Health and Wellness

A Letter to The Man Who Broke My Heart

My heartbreak, from experience to paper.

A Letter to The Man Who Broke My Heart
leah raaflaub

Being vulnerable is by far one of the scariest emotions anyone can have, but on the flip side, is also one of the quickest routes to acquiring one of of the greatest strengths imaginable. Vulnerability means truth. It means stripping the surface away, getting right down to the very core, to see things that are often raw, ugly, messy and at that precise moment, unresolved.

I made an unspoken promise to you, my readers, a long time ago, to always be truthful in my writing… no matter what form that took. I have made it a priority in all my writing, through whatever message I am trying to send, to be real, to be genuine, and to be sincere. The reality for me is that life, overall, is a pretty spectacular journey, but within that journey there are some really difficult times. Times that test us down to our very being, times that knock us on ass, and times where life feels anything but spectacular. These are the times, that through natural, human instinct, we wish to “gloss over.”

The raw truth has become a rarity because it is often so uncomfortable. And whereas many view the truth as bleak, and unstimulating I see truth as refreshing, no matter how ugly it may be. I see beauty in overcome hardship, I see strength in struggle, and I see victory in surrender. I think this day in age is so accustomed to filtering the reality of things. We make everything shiny and pretty, we crop, we photoshop, we edit… everything; people, materials, even actual experiences that it has disconnected us from the very truth in things.

What do we get in doing this? In reshaping truth into what we want to see, or want others to see? We create fantasy standards of living by which we ourselves, and others around us start to believe we need to adhere to. In turn, this unintentionally isolates us, in those hard times, into thinking we are the only ones experiencing such difficulty.

My purpose is not to be some vessel of negativity, a carrier of depressing news or be some sort of “Debbie Downer.” My purpose quite the opposite. What I hope to achieve in sharing these difficult times of mine, is to shine light on the situations. To show there is light at the end, to encourage to keep moving forward, and to make anyone going through anything remotely similar know, that you are not alone. I know it is often said, not to air your dirty laundry, not to announce to the world what a mess your life feels like behind closed doors, to keep everything aligned and neat so everyone can think you’ve got it all together. I don’t find any courage in that method, and at the end of the day, it takes a lot more strength to show others the truth rather than hiding behind some pseudo image of perfection. We’re human, and being so, we are imperfect. We go through imperfect situations, with imperfect circumstances. And with that, I pour my current experience into words, raw and honest as I can be, with an attempt to achieve some sort of strength through being the most vulnerable I can be in sharing my heartbreak.

To the man who broke my heart,

You have been a teacher in more ways than one, showing me lessons that have changed me, and after all that is said and done, have transformed me for the better. You opened yourself up, intentionally wanting to share your knowledge so freely with me.Other things, you taught through your actions, unware I was even learning through you. Through you simply being you, through us, and through our experience, you have made an impact far greater than you even realize, and for that, I thank you.


This breakup has been like no other I have experienced. Previously, breakups in my life have contained such anger, such bitterness and such overall negativity. With you, it’s different. Although I am experiencing profound pain, and such a deep sense of loss, it’s hard for me to comprehend how much love is still in my heart for you. The harsh reality is that you did nothing wrong, not did I. Put in the most basic terms: We both tried, we both loved and that love simply did not work. I wouldn’t even say that it died between us, it simply was, not enough. It wasn’t enough for you and it wasn’t enough for me.It became an effort, a stretch, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. And when love becomes forced, melded, and mechanical, it is no longer true love. True love is simple and organic and when it strays too far from that, the natural beauty of it, is lost.

The thought of you suffering makes my heart physically ache, and I can genuinely say from the core of my being, that I truly do wish the very best for you…even if that means we are not side by side. If focusing on you and your life alone right now is what you need to do, then by all means, you do just that. You spread those wings and soar to all the beautiful places and incredible experiences this life has in store for you. And do so knowing that wherever I am in this world, I’m cheering you on, sending you love and light. Just because you and I didn’t work out, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in you with all my heart. So, I send you off, genuinely, with nothing but love on my end.


This initially sounds like a jab, but hear me out?

When I was with you, I made you my world without even fully realizing that I was doing it, and not because you ever asked me to do so. I loved you so much, which is acceptable, except for the fact that, in the process of loving you…. I forgot to love myself. I love strongly, it is one of my biggest attributes and in the same breath, one of my biggest weaknesses. The problem within transforming someone into your entire world, is that nothing in this life, nothing in this universe is constant, nothing. When you left, I felt my entire world was ripped out from underneath my feet… all because I had forgotten the I in my life, the me. I quite literally had nothing to fall back on. And let me repeat just how aware I am that I did this all on my own accord, this was my doing.

The silver lining here is that without you leaving, I’m not entirely sure I would have found a way back to me. Through all my tears, and my pain, and all my heartache, I’m slowly starting to be reminded of who I am, without you. And that includes seeing all the bad, in with the good. I’m seeing how much I lack in the department of solidarity. I’m seeing my flaws when it comes to loving others so much, that I leave myself neglected. I’m seeing how my need to control situations that are entirely outside of my control makes me feel so insane. I’m being reminded daily that I am not good with the unknown, the unanswered. I’m fully grasping how much trust I lack, in the universe, in God, and even in myself.

This may all come off as a terrible mindset to be in, but it isn’t at all. I’m being forced to come face to face with myself, which I have put off using whatever is available to me at the time, for so many years now. I am becoming aware, and the first step in solving anything…. is becoming aware that a problem even exists. How are you supposed to solve something you aren’t even aware is present? So, thank you, because of you, I’m taking the first steps toward becoming closer to the person I actually want to be.


I was pretty pissed when the Earth didn’t spin off its axis the day you left me. Did she not get the memo that I wanted a pause button? That I needed to crawl inside of myself and allow myself to grieve? I was shocked when life kept moving forward all because I felt so awful. Mother nature…. the audacity!

In all seriousness though, this was a nice wake up call. Life does not end simply because you feel as if your world has. You’ve got to move forward, no matter how much pain you are drowning in inside yourself, you must move forward.

Many years ago, I went through an intensely painful breakup, one full blown with anger and bitterness and covered in suffering.And I chose not to move forward. I chose to sit in my own, self-made hell for years, refusing to move on. To this day, I’m still not entirely sure why I did this. Maybe I was putting on the victim role, because without that role I didn’t know which role to take. Maybe I really had so much hurt inside of me, that it simply took that long to move forward. Or maybe, I thought if I threw a big enough fit, was so outwardly obvious as to how displeased I was with the outcome of our relationship, that life, in turn, would eventually hand me something I wanted. This time around, I’m doing things differently.

I now understand things happen in life that you most certainly do not want, but life doesn’t ask you. I also realize life has your best interest at heart, always, even if you can’t comprehend in the very moment as to why, knowledge comes with hindsight. This time around, there is no anger, only pain, only sorrow of loss, which is just as hard to trudge forward through, let me tell you. But this go around, I will not cheat myself, I will not sit on the sidelines of life watching it pass me by. I will jump back into the game no matter how hard it is, no matter how painful it is, no matter if every cell of my body wants me to quit. I will not. You wouldn’t wish that for me…. and more importantly, I do not wish that for myself.

Goodbyes have never been easy for me. I hate the immediate change. I hate the unknown looming right in front of me. I hate the finality of it, the closing of such a beautiful chapter. But sometimes, when you least desire, goodbye is necessary. Detachment is sometimes the only route in growth.

Life threw a curveball at me this go around, hurling an entirely different outcome than what I had predicted…. but that’s life.I am not the director of all things, and you have reminded me how vital it is to trust the universe. That each and every experience happens perfectly, just as it needs to, even when, especially when, you do not fully understand why.


As you are already very well aware, I like my life categorized, orderly, and packaged up all nice and neat. Tangibly, mentally and emotionally. It’s another sign of my intense desire for control.

When you left, I spent the weekend at my parents out of town, disconnected, where I could be as big of the disaster that I needed to be, with my family loving me and accepting me as just that. I spent the days I needed to unloading and releasing everything I needed to. So, when I returned to Denver, I had the stubborn mentality to move forward, pick up the pieces, and “get my shit back together.” I was fine…. until I wasn’t.

I found myself having okay days, and then, out of nowhere I would go back into feeling such deep pain that I couldn’t even stand it. And quite frankly, it pissed me off. I was doing all the “right things.” I was staying busy, I was running, I was seeing friends, reading every self-help book the library had…I was trying with every cell in body to be okay. Then these emotions of such loss would run through me, that I eventually felt like I was regressing rather than progressing.

What I have learned is heartbreak is not linear. You do not begin at a low point at the bottom of the page, and work your way upward and forward continuously. Heartbreak is messy, and unpredictable. Heartbreak is sneaky son of bitch that will catch off guard, right when you think you’ve got yourself pulled together again. It grabs a hold of you before you even have a chance to put your defense up.

And you know what? I’m learning not to fight that. I tried, my God, did I try, to avoid actually feeling and slap a quick fix over it through any possible way I could. I wasn’t successful. In all reality, I did myself more harm in the end, than simply allowing it to wash over me and just feel whatever the hell I needed to feel. No matter how many miles I ran, no matter how many friends I called, no matter how many long hours I spent at work…. the pain was still there. It still is. But I’m not fighting it anymore. I have days where I’m okay, and I have days where it’s much more of struggle to get through. By allowing myself to actually be in these moments, no matter how uncomfortable they are, by accepting the feeling of loss my heart has, by accepting my emotions in whatever form they take, the bad days are getting less and less.

I’m done trying to coax myself into a spot where neither my heart or soul feels they are at quite yet. I will get there when I get there, even not knowing when that may be. Heartbreak cannot be computed into an equation or a specific formula. There is not one answer or one way of getting through it. For now, I’m just going to ride this out, because the only way out is through.


It’s so easy when your experiencing heartbreak to wish it all away. To have a desire to want to erase everything that is causing you such horrendous pain. It is human nature to avoid anything uncomfortable, anything unknown, anything that fills you up with fear.

And I won’t lie to you and say the question hasn’t crossed my mind. Would I take this all back, to avoid the experience what I’m going through? What if I could go back and rewrite my story…. erase the day I ever laid eyes on you… go down a different road where you did not become a part of my life, a part of my heart, a part of me?

I wouldn’t change one second, not one minute, not one detail. Not even the hard times. I wouldn’t change one laugh, not one moment, not one tear. You have been one of the greatest blessings I have come across in my life life thus far, one of my biggest teachers, and one of my very best friends.

I could easily get tangled up in the unanswered questions of what if, or if things had gone differently than…. but I won’t.Because everything in this life, every interaction, every occurrence, every emotion, every reaction and every experience happens perfectly, just as it needs to. I know I may have made a lot of mistakes with you, I also know I loved you more deeply than I have ever loved in my entire life, and how can anything within that be labeled as a mistake? I have lost, yes, but what I have gained through our love, is far more.

I am, without a doubt, a better human being for having known you. Now all the lessons, all the experiences, all the memories with you, they are now part of my story. They are interlaced into my very being of what makes me…. me. For that, I will be forever grateful. Nothing done in love is ever lost. Thank you for being a part of my story, and thank you for blessing me simply, with you, for being a part of my life that I will forever carry in my heart.

With love,

And light,


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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