How to Love a Broken-Hearted Woman

They say that being grown-up means you have survived at least three disasters and one apocalypse. Quite often, that apocalypse involves a broken heart.

There are very few women venturing into love the second (or third or fourth…) time around who don’t have deep emotional scars. They are a paradox of strength and vulnerability. But they can be difficult to love.

This is how to love a broken-hearted woman.

Keep Your Promises

If you say you are going to call, then call. If you say you are going to drop in on the way to the hardware store, then drop in. If you don’t, she will imagine all sorts of terrible scenarios — that you have been in an accident, that you have had a fatal heart attack, that you’ve run off with your secretary.

To her, silence doesn’t mean you are busy or something unexpected has come up, it means she is in the middle of another tragedy.

Give Her a Safe Space to Speak

There are plenty of places where she can’t express how to feels because she will upset or shock people. Be the person who lets her say whatever she wants without judgement.

Laugh at her black humour, soothe her lingering sadness, hold her while she rages against the gods and fate. Let her name her demons and watch them shrivel to nothing in the light.

Don’t be Threatened by the Past

She might have immortalised the memory of her lost love, or be trying hard to forget him, but either way her past will resurface at the most unexpected moments.

When she says, “that reminds me of him”, gently redirect her attention to how you are different. Pull her back to the present when she gets stuck in the past. Pass your hand through her ghosts so she sees they aren’t real.

Expect Caution

A broken-hearted woman no longer trusts her instincts. She thought she knew her last partner, but it turns out she didn’t have a clue. Even if she loves you desperately, she will be reluctant to rush into commitment. If she was wrong before, who is to say she won’t be again. Remember she is doubting herself, not you.

Don’t Let Her Run

In the initial stages of a new relationship, she may want to end it all — not because things are bad, but because they are too good. She will instinctively want to retreat to protect her heart from future pain. Remind her that love is worth the risk and shutting down is not a healthy option. When she says you deserve better, convince her she is wrong.

Point Out Her Beauty

A broken-hearted woman sometimes forgets who she was before she was broken. Tell her how beautiful, smart, resilient, and emotionally intelligent she is. Tell her often.

Tell her when she is sobbing at three o’clock in the morning for no reason, tell her when she is bloated and hormonal, and tell her when she takes your breath away when she wears a black dress and a pair of red heels. Don’t stop telling her, ever. Broken-hearted women have amnesia.

Don’t Try to Fix Her

A broken-heart takes a long time to mend. When you lose someone you love, they leave a hole in your heart like the imprint of a body in the sand. It is impossible for anyone else to fill that void because they are the wrong shape.

But you are not here to try to fill up the empty space in your lover’s heart — you are here to make sure her heart keeps beating and swelling and growing so that eventually the space will close over on its own.

Only the most courageous of men can love a broken-hearted woman. They are brave men who are good and kind and patient and wonderful.

And we love you more than you will ever know.

How to love a broken hearted woman

About Katie Paul

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing • Join the hottest group on FB → Sassy Midlife Women

50 thoughts on “How to Love a Broken-Hearted Woman

      1. Hi Katie, I”ve found myself in a “friendship” with a wonderful woman, that has for years been betrayed and feels badly broken. just wanted to thank you for your blog, it helps me tremendously while softly navigating threw this with her.

  1. this applies to women damaged from all sorts of other situations too Katie – it scares me how many of them I can tick off (probably from growing up with dysfunctional family relationships!) The men who get to love us have to work a little bit harder – but we’re worth it 🙂

  2. This was – and sometimes still is – me. Great post! I came across your blog on Pinterest and got lost reading the posts about loss/suicide. I really connected with those as well, having lost my dad when I was 17. I dealt with survivor’s guilt for a long time. Thank you for writing such insightful and creatively well-written posts. 🙂

  3. So many wonderful points and so true. I said to someone tonight that when I think of being in a relationship what saddens me the most is that I feel that I have nothing to give in a relationship right now. The broken hearted seems encompassing at times. Yet the broken hearted is what also brings me the ability to love fiercely and for that I am thankful. As I am travelling the path of being the mother of daughter who is caring for my granddaughter with a life-limiting illness, writing and sharing with others, hearing their experiences is in part what helps make my day a little brighter….thank you

  4. All true – Thank you for saying it so well. Just listening to him breathe beside me in the night and for once not feeling alone is a minor miracle.
    A great and mysterious blessing that he simply and steadfastly refused to let me push him away.
    Love wins.

  5. Hi Katie! In many ways I feel that your suggestions apply to just about anyone who has friends or family–not just love relationships. We’ve all got bumps and bruises, some certainly worse than others, and it is so very important for others to keep their promises, to let us feel safe in their presence, to allow us to speak, and give us the space we need to grow. None of us need to be fixed but the best of friends/lovers/friends help us to become our best selves no matter what. I hope you and everyone else has this kind of support. ~Kathy

  6. An excellent read, brilliant points. Sometimes a tattered heart just needs some extra love to make it beat well again. Thank you Katie, for reminding people that broken doesn’t mean lost forever. 🙂
    Popped over from Elena’s #BlogShareLearn and I’m doing all 3. 😉
    Hope this weekend treats you kindly. 🙂

  7. You just described my husband, and he is very courageous – a man that is “good and kind and patient and wonderful” and I do love more than he could ever know. ~Paula R. 🙂 #BlogShareLearn

  8. This is beautiful! I found you via #BlogShareLearn and so glad I did. Some of these things resonate for me, especially when I think of what I was like post-divorce after a long, sexless, and passion-free marriage. I’m in a stronger place now but there are still many things I yearn for after years of damage.


    1. Hi Ann, I checked out your blog and I love it. I tried to find you on Facebook, but I couldn’t – but I suspect it’s because you’re blogging under a pen name. I’d love to be friends. Send me a friend request and I promise not to reveal your true identity ♥

  9. Hi, Katie… I read this one the other day but was too un-with-it to comment at the time. Hopping over today from #blogsharelearn, and after reading again I think what stood out most for me was “Keep your promises”. I was married (first time round) for 18 years to a compulsive-liar-promise-breaker…and my second husband (though we’ve worked our way through it now…with scarring) let me down terribly a few years ago. Broken people (personal experience) do a good job of imagining the worst when there is nothing to worry about… if trust is broken, whether intentionally, or not, it’s incredibly hard to mend.

    My first husband was never doing any of the things I imagined him to be doing (other than gambling…but we both had issues with that), but because he was often not where he was supposed to be, or late, or out all night with no way of contacting him, and then lied through his teeth once home… eventually I accused him ALL the time…his truths became meaningless. And, I lost count of the amount of times I sat up all night imagining him dead, or in bed with someone else.

    I think I’m rambling a bit now… I’m discombobulated ATM and comments aren’t coming easy to me… so I’ll end on…great post! Because it is 🙂

  10. Another beautiful post, Katie. I love how you write such practical stuff but make it so magical to read. It’s a gift!
    I’m so blessed that my husband knows how to treat me, despite me being completely broken when we connected. It takes guts to love a woman with ghosts, but he does.

  11. This is truly insightful and should be required reading for men who partner with women who are healing from past traumas in their lives. Thank you for highlighting some of the most important points.

  12. There are some of us guys out here that know how to treat a lady, and would love with all our hearts, give with all our soul, and care for, treasure and respect you, Always………….just look beyond, look into my eyes and see forever.
    Just saying. X

  13. As a man who is in love with a broken girl, I love this article. The girl I’m seeing is going through a divorce. Her husband left her after 10 years together. We met 6 months after he left and some days are good and some are bad. She will get in these moods where she misses him and doesn’t know if she can give her heart to me completely. She tells me I am to good of a guy and I derserve someone better. I will be there for her every step of the way and I’m not going anywhere . I will listen and wipe her tears away. I really love this women.

  14. Having gone through the prerequisite of 3 disasters and one apocalypse, I am happy to report I have found that guy and have been lucky enough to be married 11 years. So many of the things in this post ring true and thank you so much for writing.

  15. Wonderfully written.
    I’m a guy trying to fix (not to fix actually) a broken girl. Requires patience. I love her.
    But at times I get a bit annoyed by the residue of the past. please advice

  16. The greatest insight I’ve gotten yet! Exactly what I needed. Speaks to my soul and gives me courage and hope I felt fading out slowly.

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