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Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
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Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,190 ratings  ·  101 reviews
A proven plan for overcoming the painful end of any romantic relationship, including divorce, with practical strategies for healing, getting your confidence back, and finding true love

It's over--and it really hurts. But as unbelievable as it may seem when you are in the throes of heartache, you can move past your breakup. Forget about trying to win your ex back. Forget ab
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published March 30th 2009)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  1,190 ratings  ·  101 reviews


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Start your review of Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

DNF at 44% because i think I'm spending more time thinking about the ex reading it than learning how to move on.

This is a REALLY good book for those who have just endured break ups. Lots of good advice, stories, encouragement. That's why it gets 4 stars.

But enough time has passed from my own breakup (which, although happened in a rather abrupt, insensitive fashion, needed to happen long ago), that reading this book just makes me think of him MORE than I do on a daily basis! So inst
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Catheryn
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Susan Elliott has a common sense no-holds-bar approach to changing the crazy thinking we sometimes indulge in when going through a break-up. I can say with complete enthusiasm and honesty, my break-up was a gift to me. Susan helped me transform the experience into the best thing that ever happened to me!

There's so many mantra treasures in the book:

A phone call is a request, not a demand.
It doesn't matter.
Keep your side of the street clean.
Love is an action.
Don't give up the day before the mirac
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Casey
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This insightful book has many good suggestions on how to get past a tough breakup and work through your grief. The author knows how to help people not only from her experience as a therapist and counselor, but as someone who has had to go through a devastating breakup herself. In the introduction, Susan Elliott describes her own experience in great detail, and she includes anecdotes from her past throughout the book.

I think her willingness to share her story really gives her advice an extra ounc
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Kristen
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
i think this book has a lot of great advice mixed in with common sense, which is exactly what you need after a breakup. there were a few things that i didn't agree with or weren't relevant to me, there were also a few exercises i didn't want to do (sorry, there's absolutely no good reason to look back on and focus on good things). i chuckled a few times and overall i enjoyed it. do i recommend it after a breakup/divorce? i don't know that i learned anything groundbreaking or new exactly, and i t ...more
Eliska
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As soon as my pay came in , I went on Amazon to buy a stack of breakup survival books . I heard about Susan Elliot's book on this forum I turned to for help .

I also read " It's called a breakup because it is broken " as well , which helped but that was more a fluffy read to cheer you up a bit .

But boy , GPYBU was NOT cheerful at all , it made me really dig deep about the relationship and about my past . And it made me depressed , it brought up emotions that I did not thin that I had inside of m
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Laura
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
2019:
I loved this book just as much as the first time around. I learned that I have been using a lot of what I learned the first go around reading this book but I forgot where the advice came from. It was like talking to an old friend again.
This time, I was not just getting out a relationship but am trying to get into new ones. I wanted a reminder of what I should be doing to keep myself in the best place. I forget myself so quickly when i start to date. And online dating just sucks all the tim
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Matt Hamilton
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I felt this book focused a lot on affirmations. Affirmations have never really worked that well for me. So, I was disappointed to see this being a big part of the book. However, I found the "here's what you can expect while processing a breakup" parts of the book to be very helpful. It was good to know I wasn't losing my mind, but was just experiencing normal responses to loss. At times, I wished this book had a more male perspective. I felt like it was heavily weighted toward a female perspecti ...more
Jody
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
This took me almost a year to read, and I'm still in two minds about it. Some of the advice is great, sure. But I found that I just didn't gel with it for the greater part.

And then, right at the end, in the section on dating:

"When you go out, sit back and relax. If you're normally chatty, try to hold off and listen to the other person. If you're normally shy and reserved, try to take more initiative in the conversation."

So, basically, don't be yourself. Which is, in fact, quite the opposite of r
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Katie
Nov 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned
Oh dear, I am afraid I did not get on with this book at all. Having just had my marriage collapse I have been reading one self-help book after another for the past few weeks. They pretty well all say the same thing, go through your grieving process, be kind to yourself do some self-analysis, see a therapist, (no surprise as they are nearly all written by therapists) and you will come out the other side a new stronger and by all accounts fitter person. They all recommend exercise, giving up smoki ...more
Heather
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and HATE THE TITLE. It's just the kind of title that would have turned me off except that 1. It receives amazing reviews and 2. I was in so much pain that I was willing to read anything to find some guidance on how to heal.

The reviews are good for a reason. The exercise of conducting an inventory of ALL your major relationships (parents, siblings, romantic, etc.) to see the patterns and identify larger issues that may be impacting your relationship decisions is so useful. She l
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Mai
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Great book with lots of helpful tps for those who are struggling with loss and trying to get over a breakup.one of the most important tips is to take care of yourself , emotionally and physically.also to get over someone , you should do the most obivious thing which is to follow the rule of "no contact" and stop give yourself excuses to contact that person .the relationship and life inventories are really eye-opening and bring to the surface the issues that need to be tackled
I luv that this boo
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Allyson Tilton
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Susan Elliott's book helped me more than any of the other self-help books I read during this very painful process. This is a "No BS" approach to helping you recover and get your life back to joy and fulfillment. Susan recognizes the time and work needed and understands there is no quick fix when life throws us such a curveball. She offers helpful exercises in order to analyze and understand how we got into such a difficult situation and how best to recover and move forward in a healthy way. She ...more
Richard
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Exactly what I need right now. Making the inventory makes so much sense. It does feel a bit like work, but I am coming to insights so fast. The whole concept of NC was one I adhered to already, but it's great to see this emphasized and my resolve strengthened.

Books such as these contain essential life lessons far more important than most things which are taught in schools. We need to be whole human beings and learn to deal with grief. This book is an excellent guide on that topic and allows me t
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Sarah
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very helpful book. If you have been treated as badly as I have in your last relationship, this book helps you pick up the pieces and gives you steps on how to get back on track. I really liked the relationship inventory, and how it focuses on YOU doing the work in order to find out why you might be repeating dangerous patterns and how to find what you need to be healthy and find a way to happiness for yourself. Very good self-help, very straightforward.
Joshua
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be very helpful for introspection and development of defenses against doing the same thing again. I will focus on the basics and rebuild my life and not worry about having a significant other. This book is helping me find the basics to work on to build the life I want and feel I deserve, if I put forth the effort.

Great read by a very qualified author!
Alice
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book about getting past a breakup. I read it when I was going through one of the worst breakups of my life and this is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"While there might be things about you that need improvement, that doesn’t mean that you are not a lovable, worthwhile person. In fact, it takes a lovable, worthwhile person to become willing to grow and get better."
Kelley
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Until this book, I had never had the good fortune to learn of practical and feasible steps to take to get through a breakup. There was so much talk of what I really experience in life and hope to change for the better in the future.
Liam
May 30, 2020 added it
I think this book has something for everyone. It can be read by people at all different stages of breakup related grief. I took many elementary lessons, many intermediate lessons, and many advanced lessons from this book. I was already aware of many elementary lessons, many intermediate lessons, and many advanced lessons from this book. In other words, my knowledge and skills were (are still) uneven.

"... I was trying to win approval of people who had never really approved of me."

"I've heard end
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Jessica
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had this book when I was 17 and then read it and re-read through the years until now. My life would have been very different. But better late than never!
It looks like a hokey self help book but it’s actually incredibly helpful and invaluable. I highly recommend it to anyone going through a breakup, a dysfunctional relationship, or thinking of dating again.

Gender pronounds need to be updated to they/them instead of he/she. The book needs a little update anyway; it mentions things about M
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Su
Nov 25, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at 62%

The information at the beginning seemed useful but I skipped all the inventory part. Then I reached a point that I did not need to continue with the book anymore. It's not the book. It's just me.
Shakiba Ghiasi
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1. Always keep the focus on you
2. You get what you put up with
3. Does it hurt when you do that? Dont do that.
4. Reject the rejector
5. Remember: it doesnt matter, it doesnt matter, it doesnt matter
6. Be good to yourself
7. Love is an action
8. You can do this!
LISA O SULLIVAN
have read Susan J Elliotts book and have also been a member on her closed Facebook page which is an additional supportive network. Susan makes reference to her own story of co dependency and domestic abuse in her book ,as well as ,discussing her achievements in becoming a trained counsellor and attorney. She is a strong advocate of “No contact “ reflecting on common themes in past relationships, gratitude lists ,trauma bonding and moving on. She claims if you follow her programme, you will get b ...more
Sue
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I was struggling, and still am, I needed help, so I picked up this book. While this isn't the literary panacea for the immense amount of pain that comes with losing someone you love, it is fairly helpful. I found the repeated stressing of having no contact with the ex and the personal inventories to be the most helpful. If you have little to no experience with mental health professionals and various mental health techniques and recommendations, this is actually a decent primer on setting boundar ...more
Michael Greenwell
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a ready reader of self help books, or at least I don't consider myself to be, but this book was helpful at a time in my life when I needed help, and though I occassionally questioned its wisdom and shirked some of its more onerous tasks I cannot deny feeling better having read it. Loss, for me, is a personal thing I yearn to share with the world, a consuming emotion that leaves me unreasonably vulnerable, and this book gave me a bit of perspective, a clinical ledge from which I could bet ...more
Amy
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone going through a tough breakup
This is actually a book I'm not wholly done with. I stopped reading it not because it was bad but because it did what it was supposed to do. It really helped me empower myself to move past my experience and I'm at the point where I just want to end it officially, which includes putting away the book. She has a lot of stuff that talked about divorce which I skipped over and also had very extreme examples of bad relationships, but the majority of the book was very helpful. It gives you very good a ...more
Barbara
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book saved my sanity after my first really devastating breakup. I was sure I was going to end up in therapy, but I found this online and the author's manner impressed me and I thought I'd give it a read. Susan Elliott cuts to the chase of issues and doesn't sugarcoat the issues. Thank goodness. If it weren't for her almost abrupt manner, I'd probably still be wallowing in my self-pity instead of doing my grief work and finding out how to change my pattern of choosing unhealthy men. I am sti ...more
Cagne
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book. The chapter on no-contact was very convincing, along with those about positive affirmations and relationship inventories.

It was nice to include a chapter on boundaries, but like with the chapter on kids, sometimes it drifts into general boundaries, or general parenting, and it gives me the feeling that, while it's still useful information, even just for a refresh, it could have been kept more specific to the book main topic (i.e. spending a page on how to deal with the friend who is
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Izlinda
Mar 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
I started reading this book a while ago. Has some good points, and answers for common questions, but there were other parts I found myself disagreeing with. While she tries to appeal to a broad range of people who will react differently (like different ways of taking care of yourself, different emotional reactions to anniversary break-ups) I found some of the values espoused in this book a little off-setting. The Inventories are a good chapter in this book. The chapter about how to break the bad ...more
Mdolfan
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Interestingly enough, some of the stuff in this book is exactly what my therapist has been trying to get at with me or to get me to look at in my life. This has been a horrible year for me personally, both parents tried to die (one was successful), I had major surgery, my best friend moved across the country, I moved, my husband started divorce proceedings, I ended up in an abusive relationship with someone and had to move again.... I needed help. Therapy and this book have really helped me to c ...more
Alana
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am typically a harsh critic of self-help books, and while I feel that this book could never replace in-person therapy, I have found it to be very helpful in the week following my breakup. I expect that I will be referencing chapters in this book for the next several months, and plan to do all of the work that she outlines. This is a well-written, very empowering book, and I am grateful that I plucked it out of Amazon cyberspace in the doldrums of my breakup. This one has the potential to reall ...more
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Susan Jean Elliott (born November 19, 1956) is an American author, media commentator, and lawyer from New York City. She wrote the book, Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss Into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You.

See also Susan J. Elliott, geographer
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Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to relish the latest works from beloved Hispanic and Latinx authors like Isabel Allende, Natalia...
81 likes · 72 comments
“My therapist would later explain to me that “water seeks its own level” and that your partner’s flaws and issues usually go hand in hand with your own. A person chooses a partner with a similar degree of “brokenness” and does a dance of dysfunction where they both know the steps. Therefore, one person cannot be so much healthier than the other. Healthy people do not dance with unhealthy people.” 5 likes
“The truth of relationship healthiness is that water seeks its own level. If you want to know what is missing in you, what unfinished business you have, what your inner struggles are, you need not look further than your partner. If you listen carefully and look closely, usually your choice of mates will tell you what you need to know about yourself. As you grow and change, your choice of mate continues to reflect what you still need to work on.” 4 likes
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