Something I really want to spend some time addressing are the emotional processes and consequences due to being thrown into a state of being "broken," with the end of a special, typically romantic, relationship.
I may do little more than define the terms in this piece but I have spent so much time studying this I must try to share more as time goes by.
Simply put, I think to achieve this unpleasant state, you must have been involved in a state of complete belief in the partnership. That is, you had no little emotional "back doors," you could not foresee an end, at some point you were in it seriously and to stay. Then... it is over. Abruptly enough for it to be a shock, too, not gradually over years as might happen when a marriage goes bad but it takes years to untangle the issues of children, etc., and you both have time to process it gradually before the final separation.
This broken state is quite awful to live through. At its worst, it can involve a long period of misery, seeming pointlessness to one's life, lack of pleasure in any activity. Waking up with their face in your mind before you even know you're not dreaming any more. The agonies seem unliveable but somehow we survive. Another face the state can take is one of extroversion, the soul turns so far in on itself it becomes untouchable, leaving the exterior of one who cannot attach to others (as much as they may think they desire it!), one who can be fun and have fun, but ultimately has a great deal of difficulty connecting emotionally with other people.
Healing is slow in either case, easily taking a year or more for even healthy people. The truly broken case is more interesting to explore because it is much more inwardly focused and its states will proceed in a more orderly fashion. In the extroverted case the healing, if it proceeds at all, is less obvious and shows up in unexpected ways and times.
Unless one heals, truly heals, it is important to remember one cannot love again! We can pretend, go through the motions, play at commitment, but it never really works and all we do is spread the pain into other peoples lives. If we manage to heal, we are richer for the experience, deeper, and capable of perhaps even stronger and more balanced love as a result.
© Huw Powell