Project Genesis

Family and Relationships

Marriage and Dating

Coping When a Relationship Ends

Question: I have a friend who is going through a tough time after her break up. It’s been three months since the guy she was dating broke off their relationship. She has felt that he was the one for her and now she is in such a depression, and no one knows what to do.  From a Jewish perspective, how can this be handled? Is there anything that can be done to bring her to realization that life must go on?

Answer: To help someone who is going through difficulty move on you need a few things. The first is a realization that you can do nothing, and that all salvation and solutions are from HaShem. This is the first thing that the Righteous Yosef (Joseph) says to his troubled dreamers in prison (Genesis 40:8), “Halo Lelokim Pitronim” – all solutions belong to G-d. Without feeling your own helplessness it is hard to be an agent to bring G-d’s help into the world. The second thing you need is a real desire to listen to the person. That is the second thing that Yosef said to the troubled dreamers, “Sapru Na Li” – please share with me your trouble. The combination of helplessness and a real desire to hear (not just to fix) is the combination we learn from the Torah. The next ingredient we need (especially in this case) is a belief that this young woman has a unique mission in life (absolutely irreplaceable), that this pain is meant to help her move forward in that mission and that she knows deep down that she has a mission but may be scared of moving forward towards that mission.

We could all use a reminder that we are absolutely valuable and precious, that we have a mission, that someone is really caring and listening, and that salvation comes from the Almighty. She is just reminding each of us of all of that by being stuck in her sadness. Let’s learn from her sadness and maybe she’ll be able to learn from our love and faith in her.

Best wishes,

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