Unsent Love Letters - Healing After Betrayal

Esther Perel

The Letter

A woman writes to her partner of a year who’s been living a parallel life. He’s just revealed his engagement to another woman. He says he’ll choose between them, but she only hears silence as she watches him post happy pictures with his wife-to-be.

A Look Inside with Esther + Meredith


When faced with a breakup or betrayal, many of us seek to find fault with ourselves as a first step in understanding the loss and pain.

Our author proclaims, “What could I have done differently?”, “I tried so hard to give you what you wanted.”, and “I was everything you wanted me to be.”

Self-blame can spiral endlessly, but is not usually reflective of the story of a heartbreak. We’d rather insert ourselves into a lousy plot than to think it wasn’t about us to begin with. Often, the narrative is “I feel like I am not enough” rather than “you weren’t enough for me.” In truth, neither narrative is likely to accurately describe your story.

An Exercise in Healing

If you’re facing heartbreak or betrayal, the temptation to blame yourself may be strong. It’s hard to take care of yourself when you feel terrible because someone has just rejected or betrayed you (or both). 

In these moments, social connection is of the utmost importance. Grief and mourning should not be experienced alone. So reach out to people who love you, the people who were there before the breakup and who will be with you long after. Connect with those who don’t offer too much advice, but who can sit with you as you process and grieve.

As a gesture of moving forward, try this ritual: 

  1. Find three objects that remind you of this person. 
  2. Create an environment that you’re comfortable in - add music, invite your closest friend or circle of friends, etc.
  3. Bury the items and leave them behind.

Continue the series. Up next in Unsent Love Letters - Lingering Loss.

Producer & Editor: Anush Elbakyan, Producer & Script: Courtney Hamilton Knight, Animation: Daniel García, Illustration & Direction: Natalia Ramos

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