Be Brave Enough to Break Your Own Heart…..

In News by Kelley Gunter15 Comments

About a year ago, my friend Tanya looked at me and said, “tell me three things you love about him.”  She was sitting on the corner of her bed and I was sitting on the floor, in the doorway of her closet, as we had just been surveying the beautiful shoes that she had recently purchased.  I sat there and I thought about it, realizing there wasn’t really anything that I could specifically list as something I loved about him.  My mind was racing with memories of all the hurtful texts he had sent, the incredibly mean things he had said to me, the times he didn’t show up, the many times he let me down, the moments that it just seemed as though he enjoyed hurting me, and I just couldn’t come up with something to actually tell her.

I looked up at her and she had that look on her face that said, “I know there isn’t shit you can say right now, because this man is absolutely not good for you.”   I looked at her in silence and she did that little forward movement of the head where your eyes get a little bigger that says silently, “I’m waiting !!!”  Then she jumped up off her bed and walked into her bathroom saying, “that’s a crying damn shame that you can’t even come up with one thing to say that you truly love about him and you let him rampage through your heart and your world like a natural disaster. He’s NOT THE ONE FOR YOU !!!”

The truth was I wanted him so desperately to be the one for me that I was determined to stick it out, hoping for some miracle to happen that would make him magically see that I deserved all the good that I was knew existed inside of him somewhere.  I was certain that he probably treated his past girlfriends better than he treated me.  I imagined that when he really loved a woman, she enjoyed the beautiful, wonderful, romantic side of him, I had yet to see.  I thought I had to become a little prettier, a little sexier, a little more giving, a little more everything to finally be the recipient of his love.

When I received this text I sat in my car and cried for over an hour

I’m going to actually share a few of the texts I received from this man.  He had the uncanny knack of sending texts that could immediately reduce me to tears and ruin my entire day.  I’m sharing these because I want other women to know that I did NOT always possess the self-respect and self-love that I have today.  I also want to be clear that each day I have to continue my own work in that area to keep my progress moving forward.  Self-love is a journey, not a destination.

I always strive to share my complete, unedited truth, because I hope it will hit home with people who are currently experiencing the pain that I used to endure.  Some of it is hurtful, embarrassing, and just plain disrespectful. I look back on how I allowed myself to be treated and I am many times struck with a feeling of sadness. I feel so bad for the woman I used to be.  Without any reservation, I say that I deserved better.  I share my pain so that any of you who may be struggling with something similar, I hope you find strength in the fact that you are not alone and you, too, can choose to make a decision to learn to begin to want something better for yourself. 

I completely surrendered all of my personal power and based all my self-worth on what this other human being thought of me and how he treated me.  I was so determined to prove myself worthy by capturing his love, that I absorbed all of his hurtful comments and felt like I wasn’t enough for him.  I gave and I gave and I gave to him and it was never enough.  I literally ran myself ragged trying to come up with ways to show him how much I loved him and how I would do anything for him.  It was an exhausting, draining, and overwhelmingly unsuccessful mission.

This went on for four, long, excruciatingly-painful years.  The letter I wrote to a man that I shared in my book, You Have Such a Pretty Face, was written to him.  When I began my healing journey in Sedona, I came home a different woman.  But change is not immediate and it takes time and a concerted effort to truly incorporate it into your life.  One-by-one I changed many things in my existence.  Each day I embraced myself and I set boundaries in ways I never had before.  But my intense desire to hold onto the emotional connection to this man took longer to extinguish.  Somewhere deep inside my newly repaired heart, there was still a glimmer of hope that maybe, somehow, someday…… you get the idea.

He’s the one I wrote about in my blog last week-the one I saw on television.  After I wrote that blog, though, I started to feel differently.  I started some soul searching and realized how holding on to that emotional connection with him, was holding me back and not letting me make the true transformation I so desired to achieve.  I knew, without a doubt, that he wasn’t the man for me.  I love so deeply and so passionately and I need someone who will love me back in the same fashion.  I want and deserve someone who is just as excited to see me as I am to see him.  This man only gave me the crumbs in his life and I want the whole dang cake.  No more crumbs for this girl.  Not today, not ever.

I thought of all the hurtful things and people I had left behind me in 2017.  I closed that door on so many situations in my life, but somehow the thought of him had still squeezed through into 2018.  I actually spoke out loud to myself saying, “it is time to let this go—it is time to close this door and move on forever.”  I knew that I needed to sever the connection that only existed in my mind and heart.

I gathered up all the clothes of his that he had given me to sleep in so many times…the ones that I still wore from time-to-time when I wanted to feel close to him.  I grabbed the little gifts, the notes, (I still had a fast food order he had scribbled on a piece of wood once when he was working on my house), I drug out the bigger gifts, and I put them all in the garbage.  I looked at all the items that once meant the world to me, laying in the trash, and I reopened that door I had closed so tightly at the end of 2017 and I pushed that mess through and slammed it shut again.

A feeling of peace and relief immediately came over me.  I felt so much better.  I was free and I walked away from the memory of the last person I would ever allow to cause me to feel like I wasn’t enough. I had to own the fact that I felt that way because I didn’t value myself.  As much as I wanted him to love me, he didn’t even like me.  I was determined, though, to make him love me.  I might as well have set out to prove that water isn’t wet.

I’m proud of myself for finally choosing me and for being able to walk away from something and someone I had been so powerfully drawn to, for all the wrong reasons, for years.  It’s hard to make those kinds of changes in our lives.  Sometimes our emotions become bad habits and are simply familiar to us and therefore, provide us with feeling comfortable in a creepy, unhealthy way.

I was always scared to walk away from my connection to him, because I thought I needed him in my life and I just plain adored the man.  Whether he deserved it or not, I was as crazy as the Queen could ever be about a man.  I so desperately wanted to be a part of his every day life. In the past, the thought of not being able to talk to him, text him, see him, hold and hug him, was just too painful for me to ever consider.   Today I possess the courage to break my own heart and walk away from something or someone I realize isn’t good for me, in order to allow the amazing things and people God has in store for me to walk into my life.

Sorry Hallmark, no Prince Charming rode in and saved the day.  This Queen, however, slammed that door shut, straightened her tiara, and carried on, creating her own happily ever after.





  1. I am currently in this situation with the father of my little girl …. I find myself enduring the pain because I would rather do that instead of fight. If you have any advice on how to find my courage to let go it would be greatly appreciated. Your story helped so much I just cant find it in me to let go knowing I will still have to face him when it comes to our daughter.

    1. Author

      I’m so sorry for you pain. I pray that you can find a professional who can help you sort all of this out. You really need to speak with someone who can help you work through all of your feelings and options. I know how hard life can be and how difficult things can become. It is overwhelming. I am praying for you.

  2. Kelley, I was married to a man like that for 10 years. He would insult me, humiliate me, ignore me, And threaten me. What he never did was love me. I’ve had two marriages since then and, because I hadn’t learned to love myself, they were disastrous as well. You have truly inspired me to open my heart. Its easy for me to have empathy and compassion for others, but when it comes to me, I fall way short. I have two goals for 2018: Regain my physical health, and Find out who I am and love her.

    1. Author

      Yessssssss…… and I applaud you in every single way. You so deserve to find yourself and to adore that beautiful, amazing woman that you already are !!! I know the journey is a difficult one, but you will get there I promise !!

  3. Wow, a person forgets that they are not alone. Thank you for sharing. My reaction to Mr Loser was to regain about 50lbs. Proud to say 30 down and 20 to go…IF I feel like it not because my thighs embarrass him!

  4. I didn’t get to read this yesterday…I read it just now after reading today’s post and again I say thank you…I hear you…I feel you…I been you…and I love you… For being raw open gut wrenchingly honest about some of things that we have in common.

    Also…baby girl I’m so sorry anyone ever treated you that way…it hurts my heart to hear your pain but makes me so f-ing proud of you for finding your truth and living it!!!!! Rock On my fellow Queen…Rock On!

    1. Author

      We all have our journeys that we walk and along the way things can be painful, but we learn our lessons and we move forward and do better. Along, the way, however, it’s amazing to have wonderful women who hold each other up and support each other. xoxox

  5. This really hit home. Making me do some long need soul searching.
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. That shit-kebab can’t even spell brat, which means he probably can’t even begin to comprehend the beauty of your soul. Get you a man with spell-check. Get you a man with big ears for all that listening he loves to do. Get you a man who bakes you the damn cake and is a damn cake and calls you a damn cake because you’re a snack. Get you a man who only makes you cry from laughter. Get you a man who wipes your tears with monogrammed silk handkerchiefs, a fancy-ass man who knows how to be a decent and kind human being and probably smells great too. Like damn, what kind of floppy ding-bat is too blind to see how incredible you are??? Pretty sure he can’t even be human. Pretty sure he’s some evolved breed of donkey, #jackass. Pretty sure the love of your life is gonna make you so happy that you never stop dancing and singing and praising sweet baby Jesus for keeping you from the molded bologna that was this man. You’re killin’ it, and better without him. He can suck a cactus.

  7. WOW WOW WOW!!!!!
    You go girl!!!! This is intense and causes me to revisit my past relationship with lovers, friends and family!!! It took me 40 years to find the BIG FAT DELICIOUS CAKE!!!!! Trust me you will find a big cake and NEVER EVER SETTLE FOR ANYTHING ELSE!!! Your texts made tears fall down my cheeks! Your deep, honest thoughts will get you far! The love of your life is out there and it will be worth every minute of the wait!!!❤️

    1. Author

      Thank you. Healing is a journey and I applaud anyone who is brave enough to walk it. I’m glad you made that walk yourself. xoxox

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