When you’re hurt by love, should you give up on the relationship or hold onto hope for healing? These four tips on how to keep the faith when love hurts will help you do both without losing your heart, soul, or sanity.
This article is inspired by a reader who asked for help deciding what to do about her separation. “My husband left about 2 months ago,” says ‘Amelia’ on 16 Questions to Ask Before You Try to Get Your Ex Back. “We’ve been together for 13 years and married for 4. Marital problems for about 2 years. I need advice on whether or not to let go or keep the faith that we will get back together. I asked him if he thought there was hope to reconcile and he said he honestly doesn’t know. All comments (not that there has been much communication) has pointed towards it being final. I tried so hard to save the marriage and after 8 weeks of separation, I still don’t feel like this is right. I also understand that it’s still early and I am probably in denial. How do you suggest I proceed? Do I keep faith that we will reconcile or do I work towards the relationship ending? I want so badly to hold onto hope but I also wonder if that’s a coping mechanism to shield me from the pain of loss.”
I can’t tell Amelia if she should hold on to hope that her husband comes home – and I don’t know if you’re coping with a similar or totally different situation. But, I do know how to keep the faith when love hurts.
When I wrote How to Let Go of Someone You Love, I was dealing with a painful family estrangement. My sister stopped talking to me almost 10 years ago, and it was worse than all my breakups combined. I knew that love hurts, but I didn’t realize that our family members have so much power over our emotions, experiences, and lives.
The good news is that my sister recently texted me. More good news is that even though our separation was one of the worst experiences of my life, it did teach me how to keep the faith when love hurts!
And the best news is that I can share what I learned with you…
4 Ways to Keep the Faith When Love Hurts
Here on SheBlossoms, I focus on the four most important parts of your self that help you reach upwards and inwards: Creative You, Healthy You, Connected You, and Daring You. As you grow stronger and healthier in those four areas, you will find it easier to navigate rocky relationships and make good decisions.
Today, we’re focusing on Connected You.
1. Decide what “hold onto hope” and “keep the faith” means
The minute my sister told me that she never wanted to speak to me again and didn’t want me in her life anymore, I hung up the phone and immediately dropped to the floor.
I sobbed, I wailed, I was absolutely heartbroken. My reaction was immediate because this “breakup” had been building up for years. Literally. She had been pulling away from me for years before she finally cut me out of her life completely. She didn’t come to my wedding, she never wanted to visit or talk. So when it finally happened, I wasn’t surprised. I was prepared to grieve.
For the decade my sister and I didn’t speak, I kept the faith that we would reconnect. I knew that though love hurts, it also heals. I really believed she would contact me again, and I hoped we would be able to talk about why she needed to leave me. I held onto my hope.
What does it mean to you when you’re holding on to hope and keeping the faith? Stop for a moment, and really think about this. What are you hoping for? Why? Who are you putting your faith and trust in?
2. Hold on to the right kind of hope
I was keeping the faith that our sisterly love would prevail. I was holding onto hope that we would reconnect and be able to share a future together.
This was a mistake. Instead of keeping the faith in our reconnection, I should have been holding onto the hope of God. Instead of being faithful to our sisterhood, I should have been holding onto trust and faith that God knows what He’s doing. He has protected and loved me every step of the way, even when I didn’t believe.
Learning how to keep the faith isn’t about hoping in the relationship or marriage you want to be restored. Rather, keeping the faith is about trusting that God is working all things together for your good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
3. Keep the faith by looking upwards, not outwards
When love hurts or destroys you, don’t try to decide if you should hold onto hope that your relationship is restored. Don’t try to choose between keeping the faith in reconnection versus holding on to hope for restoration.
Instead, trust God. Faith lets you be you, and lets God be God.
Although I’m glad my sister texted me recently, I’m also free from attachment. I feel open to any path our relationship takes. For instance, we made a phone date for a particular time – she said that was the best time for us to talk on the phone, and she would call me then. Guess what? She didn’t call. And I wasn’t surprised. Or hurt! Or mad.
4. Know that God has a reason for this
You may never know why this breakup, separation, or divorce had to happen. You may never ever learn why love hurts so bad – but you might learn how to guard your heart in a relationship.
But if you knew what this breakup is protecting you from, you may be grateful that it is happening. As much as I missed my sister, I am now aware of some of the drama, painful decisions, and self-imposed suffering she experienced during our time apart…and I’m fine with not being part of it all.
Don’t keep the faith that you’ll be reconnected with someone you love, or that you’ll live happily ever after, or that he’ll change. Instead, keep the faith that God loves you and is offering you a free, rich, deep source of life, light, and healing.
When love hurts, keep the faith that the most awesome and overpowering source of healing, freedom, and energy is yours.
All you need to do is look upwards and receive. You might even consider learning how to pray a powerful prayer for healing.
What to Do Next
Surrender your hopes and dreams. No more clinging tightly to this dream or that relationship. No more wondering if you should hold onto hope or let go of love. Instead, learn how to keep the faith that will sustain you forever. God’s love will never die or leave you! Surrender your will, your decisions, your mind, and your heart to Him. He will help you when love hurts, and the Holy Spirit will teach you what “keeping the faith” really means.
Take one action step forward. What is one thing you can do today to help you feel better about your life and relationship?
Tell me what you’re “keeping the faith” for. Maybe you’re like Amelia and you’re struggling to accept a separation. Maybe love has hurt you in a different way, maybe a long time ago.
While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your thoughts on how to keep the faith when love hurts
“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” ~Emmanuel.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.