Cira Center for Behavioral Health

Tonight The Heartache’s Is On Me: Embracing the Break-Up

by | Feb 23, 2015 | Blog

We’ve been doing all of this talk about relationships…about how your past impacts your present, about getting to know your partner and a few big no-no’s and how to avoid them.  But what if after all this, it just isn’t working?  At some point we have to talk break-ups, as unpleasant as they are.  I thought I might offer a new and slightly unorthodox perspective…

Several years ago I was taking a jog by the lake on Friday afternoon and a song that I had not heard in years began playing on my Ipod.  I smiled as the old memories came back to me about where I was at that time in my life and what that song had meant to me.  Here’s the part where you’re going to think I’m weird: the song that was making me happy and nostalgic was a song about breaking up.  It’s called “Tonight The Heartache’s on Me” by the Dixie Chicks.  It’s about a woman whose heart is broken because she has been betrayed by her partner, but instead of running from her pain, for one night, she’s embracing it.  At the time that I first heard this song, I was in a relationship and unable to relate as I had been lucky in love up to that point.  But I loved the song anyway.  Every time I heard it, I pictured this strong woman with a great sense of humor laughing with her girlfriends at a bar and toasting the fool who clearly didn’t know what he had.  It made me smile every time I thought about it and some strange part of me wanted to experience that. 

Well, you know life, so you know without me having to tell you that I surely got my turn at heartache.  It was very painful, incredibly dramatic (in the way that only a college relationship can be) and, at times…really fun.  Seriously? you ask.  Yes, seriously.  I vividly remember being at a friend’s party one of the first nights after that initial break-up, turning on that Dickie Chicks song and embracing it.  Embracing the sadness, the relief, the regret and the hope.  And I’m so glad that I did.  Why?  Because now I’m married to a wonderful, loving man who cherishes me and so, God willing, I will never again experience a break-up.  I will never again experience that bitter-sweet kiss when you reunite with someone you lost long ago.  I will never again go to a bar with my girlfriends and laugh while toasting the guy who was a jerk to me.  I will never again get that heart-wrenching (yet butterfly-inducing) email or phone call from an ex for the first time after the break-up.  I’m SO thankful for that and I wouldn’t trade where I am with anyone.  But I’m also so thankful that I experienced all of those things at least once.  Because that’s life right?  And I don’t want to miss any of it!  So cheers 🙂