Things Do Happen for a Reason: Happiness after Heartbreak

This post is inspired by Jaymee from Smart Woman Blog who shared her story about being Newly Single and Moving Out of her Own House.  She was in a relationship with someone for over 5 years who she thought was ‘the one’ and they bought a home together.  She was solely approved for the mortgage because his credit history was not the greatest and he paid rent to her.  Unfortunately about 5 months after living in the new house, their relationship broke down.  He is still living in the house and she has since moved home, she cannot sell the home because breaking the mortgage and the realtor fees will eat into her down payment.

Her story reminded me of my own previous heart break.  I didn’t think I would be where I am now, I guess you never know what the future might hold.

happiness after heartbreak

I bought a house with my ex-partner of 7.5 years when I was in my mid-late twenties.  We dated in high school and I had known him since we were 14.  We renovated it and we were excited to live in it.  I ideally wanted to be engaged before we moved in but he wanted us to live together for a year first before proposing.  He told me to wait one year.  Well a year came and went and there was no proposal.  We argued about a lot of things, I felt resentful as I was in school full time, working part-time, and also ended up doing the majority of the housework (cooking, cleaning, laundry, painting the fence).  He bought a BMW convertible with our HELOC, promising me that he would quit smoking.  He had promised to quit smoking many times before but it never really happened.  I should have known that a proposal was also not going to happen either.

We had different spending patterns and I wanted to pay down the mortgage while he wanted to take on more risk.

We had lots of arguments, tears, yelling, shouting, screaming, and threats during the time we lived together, I am ashamed to even write about this.  It probably was borderline verbal abuse.  I would be quite controlling, asking how many cigarettes he had that day.

One day, we had a big fight over something trivial.  He had put down a glass that he just drank out of and put it on the counter, while I was loading the dishwasher.  He didn’t bother to empty the glass, so it was half full.  I spilled it all over the floor and dishwasher.

Except in hindsight it wasn’t really trivial.  It was a culmination of his lack of respect for me, his lack of follow-through, and my lack of being able to set my boundaries and being a pushover, thinking that if I tried harder, if I did more for him, he would treat me with respect and care.

He refused to go to counselling, and was frustrated that I always wanted to read ‘self help books’ and felt that if we were a good match we wouldn’t need to work on our relationship (which is true to an extent!).

Well, one day he told me he wanted to break up.  I was heart broken and played the victim.

I blamed him for ruining my life (I was 29 and basically felt that no one would want to marry a 30-something year old) and told him if he wanted to sell the house he had to do all the work to sell it.  Thankfully I made about $100K from selling the house after the realtor fees which has helped my net worth, I would have made more had I held onto it now but it would have been quite difficult (well impossible) to carry the mortgage on my own.

Well, I ended up going rampage Internet dating, and there were periods where I really hit rock bottom.  I had thoughts that if I got hit by a car, I wouldn’t be too bothered by it.  I didn’t realize I was probably depressed.  I even considered reconciling with him and he with me.  He thought that we would not find anyone else more compatible, we were both existing from a place of fear.  Then when we would go on a date to reconcile, things end up with “You’ll never change, you’re still the same” and then we would realize that it was not a good idea.

I thought to myself that I don’t know if I could deal with that level of drama for the rest of my life.  He also felt the same.

Long story short, I went to counselling and learned that I was actually not compatible with my ex.  I learned how not to waste time and money when finding a compatible life partner.  It was a lot of work and a lot of tears to learn to let him go.  I didn’t think I would ever meet anyone.  It was also sad to lose my best guy friend.

I’m glad I did because I met my current husband who is so compatible with me.  He likes to learn, was open to pre-marital counselling just to make sure we didn’t leave any stone unturned, and we both love personal finance (we actually connected talking about Warren Buffett).  We don’t fight and argue like my ex and I did, and there’s no drama.  What I love about my husband is that when he says he will do something, he will do it.  I don’t nag at him.  He helps out with the chores and opens the door for me.  He’s a great husband and a great dad.

Here’s what I learned from the heartbreak:


actions > words

When someone says they will do something and if you value integrity, you need to pay attention to what they do more than what they say.

ultimatums never work

I would say that he should propose to me after one year of living together (and he had agreed) but that just doesn’t work.  If someone has to be ‘forced’ to do something that’s never a good sign.

chemistry does not equal compatibility

Although we had chemistry we did not have similar values.  When you have someone who shares similar values with you, things go much smoother and there’s less drama.

things really will work out

I would never think that I would be able to meet someone so compatible and get married, prepared for the costs of baby’s first year and start a family.  I even saw my ex at a mutual friend’s wedding and we both said we were happy for each other, he got to meet my then fiancee (now husband), and we got to catch up.  I remember people telling me that “things happen for a reason” and that “things will work out”.  I didn’t believe them at the time, but now I do.

Readers, has something similar happened to you?  Have you had a dramatic period in your life?  How did it affect you financially?


About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

8 comments on “Things Do Happen for a Reason: Happiness after Heartbreak

  1. Oh gosh, I am so sorry this happened to you. I know it’s hard to look back and wish something hadn’t happened in the first place, but it’s these experiences that make us who we are.

    When Mr. Picky Pincher raised the prospect of moving in together when we were dating, I refused. I said I would not, under any circumstances, live with him unless we were at least engaged. I know it’s old fashioned, but I was scared of moving in together without the promise of a future. Living together really complicates things in the event of a breakup, so I wanted the extra security.

    Thank you for being candid about your experience in counseling! I’m so glad it helped you on your journey. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What’s For Dinner? September 29My Profile

    • @Mrs. Picky Pincher- Good for you! I had a ‘gut feeling’ about asking for the same as well but ended up moving in anyway. I learned about setting boundaries with counselling, it was so great! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Hey GYM, I wanted to leave a thoughtful reply awhile back however I wasn’t in the right headspace. So I came back to read this when I can fully focus haha!

    I’m glad I waited though. Because now, 6 months after my long-term relationship ended, I have dipped my toes back in the dating world. I found a man who we had strong physical chemistry however that was the depth of that – due to what you said above, I will not be pursuing this connection any further lol. I’m craving something more meaningful and at the same time, not get into something committed and serious so soon.

    Also after half a year, I can now accept fully that my ex was not the man for me. And I think he feels the same – that we are better as friends. We have a better working relationship about the house I bought for us and it works for now.

    I find your story inspiring because I stayed with the same man for 5 years because I thought I couldn’t do any better than him. He had a great family, he took care of himself physically, we shared some core values, etc. etc. ignoring all the reasons why it wasn’t working. And I was afraid to go back out into the dating world as a single woman – all the awkward first dates and all. Now I find it super exciting because I can test out what I like and don’t like eventually hoping to find my future husband just as you did!

    And then we’ll make cute babies and build an empire as a power couple! Retiring early and travelling the world with our loved ones Haha <3
    Jaymee recently posted…I Am Newly Single & Moved Out Of My Own House – Financial Life After A Long-term RelationshipMy Profile

    • @Jaymee- Awe thanks for your thoughtful reply! Yes it’s a tough road (finding yourself and your identity after a long term relationship breaks up) and I’m happy that you have moved on after 6 months. I’m excited for you to find your dream man, think positive (and you are) and best wishes to you! You’re a catch- you have a great job, you have aspirations of financial freedom, and you know what you want! Haha, yes here’s to power couple empire and retiring early with cute babies!! Same financial views is very important as differences or conflict with this is the major reason people divorce.

  3. I think you know about the dramatic period in my life (this fall, maybe even this entire year?) and I’ve learned a lot about how easy it is to keep staying in an abusive situation even if it wasn’t abusive to begin with. That it can become that way insidiously and doesn’t have to be because of any one big defining moment where things clearly go downhill. The real defining moment, in my mind, is when you assess the situation as objectively as you can and make a decision about how to move forward.

    I’m so happy for you that you came out the other side of that relationship and found your right partner.
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…2017 Money Moves: Setting up for the new yearMy Profile

    • @Revanche- Very well said 🙂 and thanks for writing this because I was having a low day about my own dramatic period (my dad as well). Will be posting it on the blog soon I think. It will be cathartic. It’s hard to understand that your own parents might not ‘do good’ for you but none of us are perfect.

  4. I’m so happy to hear that everything worked out so well in the end. It really did sound like you were at rock bottom, but awesome things happened and now you’re living such a great life!

    This is a very inspiring story that tells others it’s never the end… what goes down has to come back up 🙂

    Again, it’s super cute how you and your husband bonded talking about Mr. Buffett!
    fin$avvypanda @ recently posted…5 Amazing Money Tips From a BillionaireMy Profile

    • @fin$avvypanda- Thank you! Gosh it was a difficult time. Yes, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are both capricorn and virgo (my husband and I’s astrological signs) so I like to think that I’m Warren Buffett and he’s Charlie haha….

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