Are Breakups Worse For The Man?

Contrary to popular belief, a recent scientific study suggests that men suffer more from romantic breakups than women do.

“…research showed that though men act tougher and are less likely to outwardly express their distress, rocky relationships tend to have a stronger direct impact on their mental health than on women’s state of mind.”

Though it may sound wrong at first, if we look at this through the perspective of masculine/feminine energies it seems very obvious.

Men are driven by masculine energy and the primary driving force in male energy is direction in life – a mission. In a relationship most men tend to focus on their partner as their mission, so loss of a relationship equals a failure of that mission.  Therefore, when a man goes through a breakup it becomes much more than just his heart that’s at stake.

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In your experience have you found this true?

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  1. :) gret this site and this post

  2. Leo Duarte says:

    I lost 40lbs the first week she left. Even today I. Cried for her and I’m already in another relationship. I doubt anyone here has felt it except me. Answer me this how many. Of you are. Homeless with kids, I am. Today’s. 10/9/12 since. 7/2/12 mine. And my kids life. has been. Upside. Down and. I’ve known why but I just. Read this article that confirms why it’s. Been. So hard. To be me again. The pain is almost gone but its still very strong. Strong. Enough that I admitted to my new partner that sexually yea she rocked my world. But replacing her no not. Even close. That sucks kuz basically I’m always gonna sufer from her loss unless my new partner intimately and spiritualy connects with me. I felt the moment she cheated on me. How many of. You have even come close to that idk but I know it’s still alive and strong because I’ve heard elder ladies in thier. Late 50s and 60s comment about me being the only Guy at the shelter who has more than. A clue, I know how to use it and show it through words that I’ve seen make a room of guys and girla melt when I described the powerful feeling that had me and Liz doing stuff that would scare all of u out of your panties. But so it wont sound so bad or cheesy,even. Our relationship was one of those perfect relationships that was perfect until some jealous people who acted like friends convinced her that I wasn’t good for so she left me for drug pusher who used drugs as a way of paying a prostityte to say I had sex with her. And reeled in Liz with that when he was the consumer who paid for sex, he fucked her and left me and when I found her she admitted by saying. This with intent to hurt me, “Ya I fucked him” , now how does that feel, payback s a bitch. Like WOW it still hurts like it was yesterday. The. Ironic part of this story is that I was the only guy who loved her unconditionally and made her. Happy because. She. Was always abused in her prior relationships. Seriously, doctor. Phil should interview me

  3. Barga says:

    I think breakups come even depending how long a couple has been together.
    The longer the relationship the more hurtful it will become. Memories will stay and especially after a breakup because you tend to remember mostly about the good things of that person rather than the bad. For what it’s worth, and how to recover, when it’s over, move on… take time for yourself, clear your mind and know that there are other people for you. I always hate when you hear about relationship breakups and both sides have excuses for one another. careers, life style etc should not inflict with the one you love. Infidelity, adultery and other conflicts of selfishness should also not be part of an excuse. if both sides actually work at a relationship then relationships become fun.

  4. Brian says:

    I was recently seeing a girl for a couple of months but live just a couple miles from each other and spent every night together, went on a trip with our kids, and met all her family and friends. I quickly started having feeling of love for her and she broke up with me and started seeing someone else like it was nothing. I didn’t eat or sleep for days and had horrible anxiety and finally went to the dr and am on antidepressants and am still really struggling. Most of all I’m just extremely embarrassed for acting this way towards her while her and her friends/family are probably looking at me like I’m some kind of crazy nut case.. I’m 36 years old and have been through something like this twice before and it has always been effortless for the woman to move on. This website makes me feel like I’m not alone.

  5. Sylvia says:

    From my experience, I disagree, partly because my last boyfriend seemed to have absolutely no problem professing his love and making all kinds of promises and then walked away when everything was going perfectly. He came back to try to make things work out but it turned out that he was still lying. He has moved on and I am the one who can’t sleep, eat and cry myself to sleep every night. I have always watched men (friends and gfs exes) who ran to another woman as soon as they broke up. They sure didn’t seem all that hurt or broken up about their break ups. I suppose that it really depends on each individual person, male or female.

    • Leo Duarte says:

      I briefly read what was written with exception of old man married for 24 years. All of you have no clue and have never felt it. WOW What a trip, you can’t speak on something as strong ad passion. If you’ve never felt it. It’d strong and no, you’re all wrong. It comes from the person who puts his partner on a peristaltic and gives her the world and all thirty heart. She hurt me emotionally, spiritualy, in the worst way possible, straight. Through my heart without even caring how it would affect me and my kids because we had a blended family that did wasnt loving or caring, her end. My kids are little and dint really like to see their daddy cry. How many of you have seen or have had a 9yr old and a 7yr old console their father because he is suffering from a stab, twist, jab a little deeper inti the heart of her passionatr parter, lover, and her friend who made her happier than anyone one else prior to me. But unlesd ur my shoes living in a homeless shelter for so many reasons explains the 5 or 6 nervous break downs in the last twenty for houts kuz of failure of returning to a normal enuf life to just be a littlr hapy. Believe in love once more is very hard. Ony someone with experience wt experience can relate. I bet that Dt. PHIL had no clue either as to how it really feels like. Thank you, Leo Duarte jr

  6. Raymond Bork says:

    Men are supposed to be strong and logical, while women are soft and emotional. In my experience of relationships break ups of some of my male friends, they have virtually gone through an emotional break down.

    Their wives I found, recovered much quicker because they had a powerful inner resilience. They had to see to their children,the home,and come up with solutions to finance worries.

    The men on the other hand seemed more concerned with their own well being,and seeking sympathy over the break up.

  7. This is generic. I’m just seeing much more of it lately. It is at least a informative article and I’m not degrading it, I’m just saying its too common.

  8. John says:

    My heart is currently shredded by a break up with my gf of almost 3 years. I can’t sleep, my stomach is in knots. All I can think of is her, and her moving on without me. Wishing I would just die.. How to make the pain go away? It hurts so bad..

  9. mojtaba says:

    what you say may be true for an american or a european socieyty, but it seems to me like the situation would be quite diffewrent in muslim countries like iran where divorce is regarded as a bad thing, especially for a woman.

  10. Janie Gates says:

    Hey Jefferson, ROFL!


  11. Faith says:

    Does it matter who broke up? Would the guy experience less pain than the woman if he is the one who decided to break up? Or would he still feel like a failure? Just wondering. I do know that we women are so resilient!

  12. Lucy says:

    This research may hold true for young men 18 to 23 years of age, but I think that at this age, most men and women are still very immature and inexperienced in relationship dynamics. Folks who are just starting out in their adult life tend to still hold to the childhood attitude of, “Its all about me.” Needless to say, there are exceptions, but in my 58 years of observation, most at age 23 are still quite concerned with how any circumstance will affect them, and not so much with how it will affect others. Of course a young man will feel as if he has failed in his achievement if his relationship falls apart. Perhaps, if we as a society, taught children from an early age that not everyone will like us all the time, and not everyone will want to be our friend forever, letting go when the partner loses interest might be a little easier. None of us owns any other person. If it hurts when someone reveals that they no longer love us, we might look at the possibility that they mistook some other emotion for love and that what we thought we had in the relationship was an illusion, however real it may have seemed at the time. For our own emotional health, at some point in time we have to be able to let go, and send that other person off with our blessing. If we truly love them, we would wish them well wherever they went and whatever they did. In the long run, you can only respond to another’s offering with an open heart. If they withdraw that offering, you still let love guide your actions. Let them go and you move in a new direction yourself. And yes, I’ve been there, multiple times. Love is the only way to move from one relationship to a new one. And don’t be in such a hurry. Learning to let things develop and unfold is one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned.

  13. victor says:

    its been well over twenty years since i got a diviose , it was the most painful desision i ever made . it was the right desion , looking back the pain was from how i felt about having to break a secreat promise relizing that this promise was made even though my inner voice said dont do it dont make a promise that is not true in your heart , a peice of my soal died that day i made a false promise

  14. Robert says:

    Yes, unfortunately, men are more likely to suffer long after a breakup than women and this might result from the fact that men are not used to dealing with emotions, especially the negative ones. A breakup is usually treated as a failure and a failure is nothing to be associated with manhood.

  15. Julie says:

    Okay so because the man focuses on his woman in a relationship, the break up has more of an impact on him because he feels that he has failed a mission… What about those guys who focus more on their career and that was the reason for the break up. I doubt the man would be affected much by the break up in this scenario because his career is his mission.

  16. Alice says:

    Since I’m a woman, I can’t speak for a man’s experience with breakups. I think the breakup of a once-devoted couple is devastating to both.

    If we’re talking male (focused, driven) energy and female (expansive, surrendering) essence, it’s the female essence that surrenders and allows the male energy to infuse every dimension of her being and take over her life. A breakup shatters her whole life and not just a particular mission.

    We know that people are a mix of both male and female energy, so these dynamics are active in both partners. I think each individual and each relationship is unique and this is too broad a categorization. People get into relationships for all kinds of crazy reasons, so the breakup may mean very different things to different people.

    I would go with the theory in general, that men amongst each other don’t get to express their emotions and so they have nowhere to go with the troubles of their breakup. Men amongst men are not supposed to care about those “girly” feelings, right? It makes them uncomfortable – very uncomfortable! Even though they can’t show it, they do feel deeply and have all kinds of emotions.

    Women amongst women peers can cry and talk and feel hurt and get angry and get support because among women, those “girly” feelings are valued and understood. In fact, it can be the lack of a man’s willingness or ability to engage in those feelings that ends a relationship, because to a woman, the feelings ARE the relationship.

    Maybe it depends on how enlightened you and your partner are, what you believe your relationship is about. If you got into the relationship for financial security and/or social status and your partner wanted emotional intimacy and a conscious loving relationship that allowed you both to make a difference in the world… maybe the breakup means different things to different partners!

    Recently, I overheard a teenage boy talking to his buddy about how his girlfriend’s dad owned a restaurant, so all he had to do was make the moves on her and marry her and he’d have it made! I wanted to grab that guy and tell him not to bother – it’ll never work out!! A couple years ago, standing in the aisle waiting to get off an airplane, I overheard a middle aged man bragging about all his rich, single widows in Florida, “take your pick!” YIKES! Sleaze goes both ways, of course. Remember that taxi reality show? In one episode, there was a drunk girl in the back of the cab with her also drunk girlfriend bragging that she’d sleep with anybody as long as he was a celebrity – oh, but not if he was black. She had standards!!!

    Wouldn’t it be great if kindness, love, generosity and integrity drove all of our relationships?

  17. David says:

    Hi Tony,

    Absolutely, I absolutely believe this!

    What you say about making a women happy is at the core of a man’s soul is absolutely true. This is hardly something most men would ever admit, because we are required to stand strong and put up a solid front and ‘be there’ in times in trouble. I find that I, and my guy friends are much more careful to decide who we discuss our emotions with, and take longer.

    But this is also one of the joys of being a male. That we learn from a young age how to keep going when times are tough, to develop our internal resources and push through.

    I’ve been watching many of the videos you put together with Cloe Madanes, and have really benefited from watching the videos you have put out there. Thank you!

    Kind regards,


  18. p says:

    What an astute view

  19. Xoria says:

    This message is such a pinch for me. As an Asian lady, and an average one, Ouch! such a pinch indeed.
    Do you know there can be lots of people who will stand up for the man and punish the lady? The lady can only go away to make rocky an end. Ladies protect feelings more often if (and only if) she still loves the man during the breakup.

  20. I have worked closely with many families through pregnancy, birth and life with a new baby. Yes, I have seen this even it’s just a temporary emotional separation to adjust to life with baby and an exhausted mom. A man needs to reminded that he is loved and needed more than women realize.

  21. Nathan says:

    When I saw the link for this article on Facebook I was shocked at its relevance and timing.

    My wife who I loved with so much passion for 14 years left me 18 months ago and when I thought there was a small hope of us getting back together, she moved another man into the family home.

    When the divorce became final 3 weeks ago I had a heart attack scare two days later. It turned out it was stress / anxiety brought on by the situation. I have had three weeks off work recovering and also had counselling to help me get over the heart ache and pain of this loss.

    It was like a great relief to see this article because it told me it wasn’t just me suffering, in fact I now know that how I reacted is in fact quite common and feel a lot better as a result. It has gone a long way to helping me get over the situation, which I know will take a while still, but it has been a big help – thank you for posting it.


    • Rich says:

      When it comes to affairs of the heart and true love for someone I don’t believe it has anything to do with gender. I have been married for 24 years and out of the blue my wife asked me for a divorce. After much heartache and soul searching I’ve learned a lot about how men and women differ. After a great deal of research on relationships (not marriage) I found out that we both had a lot of forgiving to do. As men we tend to get caught up in our careers and unfortunately leave a lot of the daily bull to our wives. Sometimes women tend to lose their identity with raising a family and taking care of the housework ect… I have now come to realize that I should have told her how much I appreciate all that she has done for our family and how vital her role is as a wife,mother and friend. Having said that I truly felt as if I lost both my arms and legs when I lost my wife. The best advice I can give is to enroll yourself in therapy and find a great counselor for the both of you. Sometimes it takes a long hard look in the mirror to wipe the pride and ego off your face! I believe that every man should learn to say the following words Thank You,I love and appreciate you and how can I help? We are both working on our marriage and ourselves. After 24 years I am going to strive to find a healthy balance between the husband,father,man and yes guys…the little boy!

  22. Sam says:

    I can relate a lot to this. I am male, I went though a relationship break up a bit over 3 years ago and it hit me really hard. It was definitely the toughest time of my life, I couldn’t eat, I didn’t want to sleep because I used to dream about us all the time and I didn’t want to be awake because all I would think about was her and I would get depressed. It was a sad and tough time emotionally and I am sure there are some emotional scares from it, I have worked on many of them and healed them so I can move on and get on with life. Going though this experience has taught me a lot about my self.


  23. Rachael says:

    In my experience, men and women react differently to the relationship and the ending of the relationship. I think the reference to a mission may apply to a man who has been in the service, but not the general population.

    I think the way men respond is affected by hormones as well as very primitive and inborn responses. Physical action, impatience, aggression, protection, defense, and ownership. Once a man has known a woman intimately, if you are observant you can see a shift that is almost like turning a switch. I think there is a connection (perhaps in the primitive brain – and wouldn’t that be a great one to study with brain mapping)that was part of the survival instinct. When I look to nature, the best comparison I see of the male role is watching birds. Look at how the male guards the female on the nest.

    I don’t believe that either sex takes the romantic break-up harder than the other, but I do believe that it is different, and that it occurs at different times. Of course there is the factor of who decided first to end the relationship, and why. Excluding lover’s triangles, often, the woman deals with the ending of the relationship before leaving, and the man is oblivious to the subtle clues that they have lost connection. So, it catches him off guard.

    As to who suffers more, think of it like being really hot and dipping in a spring fed pond. The woman slowly submerges, the man jumps in. Who feels the cold more? Neither, but the shock response is much stronger for the man – here he was cruising along thinking everything was fine and boom. The shock causes a panic reaction, because he is losing what was his reality.

    I believe the distress is compounded because many men aren’t in touch with their emotions to even understand what they are feeling. Society demands that men be tough, so, failure is not an option. They can’t appear weak to their buddies, so they can’t work through their emotions like women do.

    I also believe that many men consider their career to be the “mission” and that is how they try to care for their partner – by being the provider.

    I would be interested in learning more about how they undertook this study.

    The ending of a relationship is like a death, and if both partners were emotionally invested, they will both grieve. The way we grieve is an individual thing. How can you gauge who grieves the most?

  24. Sass Peress says:

    I believe that with most men, the age old concept of projection and reflection are happening. If men are dependant on their partner’s happiness to feel fulfilled, then they become victim to that person’s control dynamic.And when that female yanks the rug from under male feet, the world on which they built their sense of accomplishment collapses. Its all taken personally when we are all learning to not take things personally. Everything inside we project onto others and men do that as well as women. So all in our world is a reflection of how we feel about ourseles and if people are leaving us, perhaps its because we left ourselves a long time ago. Men try to hold onto an image of themselves when they are holding onto the women who are leaving them. And when the woman leaves, they believe their thoughts that their self-image is destroyed, Believing our beliefs and holding onto the stressful thoughts are what make men collapse after breakup, thus proving its not the size of the punch you give, its the size of the punch you can take, and many men prove to be quite weak when it comes to emotional punches.

  25. Farshad says:

    As for my own experiences, this is true. There have been times that a relationship have reached an abrupt end that I could not foresee nor expect. She has been able to live a normal life afterwards. I have had to struggle for a long time, for three years in one instance.

  26. Donna says:

    Wow, I find this hard to believe. My husband of 20 years was having an affair, and I caught him. During the time of the affair, he became more and more angry, verbally and mentally abusive. I was trying everything I could to figure out what was happening. My heart has been shattered, I don’t think I will ever be normal even again. I don’t know about anyone else, I just know, I am not the same person I was before. I would go out and just do what I set my mind to do, and accomplish it. Now, I am far more reserved, and if it is just not fitting me I don’t even try. I have started new projects to move forward, but I would have much rather he never would have cheated. I know it is about him and his low opinion of himself, but it has forever changed me. I will protect my heart, it will be a long time before I let anyone in and more likely I never will.

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