How to fix a broken heart

时间:2018-07-09 单词数:17890

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At some point in our lives, almost everyone of us will have our heart broken.


My patient Kathy planned her wedding when she was in middle school. She would meet her future husband by age 27, get engaged a year later and get married a year after that. But when Kathy turned27, she didn’t find a husband. She found a lump in her breast.


She went through many months of harsh chemotherapy and painful surgeries, and then just as she was ready to jump back into the dating world, she found a lump in her other breast and had to do it all over again. Kathy recovered, though, and she was eager to resume her search for a husband as soon as her eyebrows grew back in. When you’re going on first dates in New York City, you need to be able to express a wide range of emotions.


Soon afterwards, she met Rich and fell in love. The relationship was everything she hoped it would be. Six months later, after a lovely weekend in New England, Rich made reservations at their favorite romantic restaurant. Kathy knew he was going to propose, and she could barely contain her excitement.


But Rich did not propose to Kathy that night. He broke up with her. As deeply as he cared for Kathy -- and he did --he simply wasn’t in love.

但那晚,雷奇并没有向卡西求婚。他和她分手了。尽管他对卡西的关心很深 ──他真的关心过── 但他就是没有爱上她。

Kathy was shattered. Her heart was truly broken, and she now faced yet another recovery. But five months after the breakup, Kathy still couldn’t stop thinking about Rich. Her heart was still very much broken. The question is: Why? Why was this incredibly strong and determined woman unable to marshal the same emotional resources that got her through four years of cancer treatments? Why do so many of us flounder when we’re trying to recover from heartbreak? Why do the same coping mechanisms that get us through all kinds of life challenges fail us so miserably when our heart gets broken?

卡西很震惊。她的心真的碎了,她现在又要面临一次复原。但在分手后五个月,卡西仍然无法不去想雷奇。她的心仍然支离破碎。问题是:为什么?为什么这个极度坚强且坚定的女性,没有办法去整理这些和她四年癌症治疗同样的情绪来源?为什么有这么多人 试着从心碎中复原时,都那么挣扎?为什么明明这些处理机制 能帮我们走过各种人生中的困难,却在我们的心碎时刻,完全派不上用场?

In over 20 years of private practice, I have seen people of every age and background face every manner of heartbreak, and what I’ve learned is this: when your heart is broken, the same instincts you ordinarily rely on will time and again lead you down the wrong path. You simply cannot trust what your mind is telling you.

我私人执业的时间超过二十年,我见过各种年龄层、各种背景的人 面临各种心碎,而我所学到的是:当你的心碎了,你平常所仰赖的那些直觉会一而再,再而三地 引导你走向错误的路。你就是不能相信你的大脑告诉你的。

For example, we know from studies of heartbroken people that having a clear understanding of why the relationship ended is really important for our ability to move on. Yet time and again, when we are offered a simple and honest explanation like the one Rich offered Kathy, we reject it. Heartbreak creates such dramatic emotional pain, our mind tells us the cause must be equally dramatic.

比如,我们从关于心碎的人的研究得知,清楚了解为什么感情关系会结束 对于我们能否继续 走下去是很重要的。但,一而再,再而三,我们得到的是一个简单且诚实的解释,就像雷奇给卡西的解释,而我们不愿接受。心碎会造成非常戏剧性的痛苦,我们的大脑告诉我们,它的成因一定也是同等戏剧性的。

And that gut instinct is so powerful, it can make even the most reasonable and measured of us come up with mysteries and conspiracy theories where none exist. Kathy became convinced something must have happened during her romantic get away with Rich that soured him on the relationship, and she became obsessed with figuring out what that was.

那种直觉十分强大,甚至会让最理性、最慎重的人,都会想出些根本不存在的谜团和阴谋论。卡西深信,在她和雷奇浪漫之旅的过程中 一定发生了什么事,导致他对这段感情感到不快,而她变得执着在要想出原因是什么。

And so, she spent countless hours going through every minute of that weekend in her mind, searching her memory for clues that were not there. Kathy’s mind tricked her into initiating this wild goose chase. But what compelled her to commit to it for so many months?


Heartbreak is far more insidious than we realize. There is a reason we keep going down one rabbit hole after another, even when we know it’s going to make us feel worse. Brain studies have shown that the withdrawal of romantic love activates the same mechanisms in our brain that get activated when addicts are withdrawing from substances like cocaine or opioids. Kathy was going through with drawl.

心碎比我们知道的 还要更会在暗中滋生。这就是我们会重蹈覆彻的原因,即使我们知道这么做会让我们感觉更糟糕。关于大脑的研究指出,脱离一段爱情会启动的大脑机制,和成瘾者要脱离古柯碱 或鸦片这类物质时是一样的。

And since she could not have the heroin of actually being with Rich, her unconscious mind chose the methadone of her memories with him. Her instincts told her she was trying to solve a mystery, but what she was actually doing was getting her fix. This is what makes heartbreak so difficult to heal. Addicts know they’re addicted. They know when they’re shooting up.


But heartbroken people do not. But you do now. And if your heart is broken, you cannot ignore that. You have to recognize that, as compelling as the urge is, with every trip down memory lane, every text you send, every second you spend stalking your ex on social media, you are just feeding your addiction, deepening your emotional pain and complicating your recovery.


Getting over heartbreak is not a journey. It’s a fight, and your reason is your strongest weapon. There is no breakup explanation that’s going to feel satisfying. No rationale can take away the pain you feel. So, don’t search for one, don’t wait for one, just accept the one you were offered or make up one yourself and then put the question to rest, because you need that closure to resist the addiction. And you need something else as well: you have to be willing to let go, to accept that it’s over. Otherwise, your mind will feed on your hope and set you back. Hope can be incredibly destructive when your heart is broken.

度过心碎并不是一趟旅程。它是场战斗,而你的理智 是你最强的武器。没有任何分手解释会让人感到满意。没有逻辑理由能带走 你所感受到的痛苦。所以不用去找理由了,不要再等理由了,就接受你得到的理由吧,不然就自己编一个,然后就让这个问题安息,因为你需要那个结束,来对抗你的瘾。你还需要别的:你得要愿意放手,接受感情已经结束。不然,你的大脑会再给你希望,让你无法前进。当你心碎时,希望是非常有毁灭性的。

Heartbreak is a master manipulator. The ease with which it gets our mind to do the absolute opposite of what we need to recover is remarkable. One of the most common tendencies we have when your heart is broken is to idealize the person who broke it. We spend hours remembering their smile, how great they made us feel, that time we hiked up the mountain and made love under the stars. All that does is make our loss feel more painful. We know that. Yet we still allow our mind to cycle through one greatest hit after another, like we were being held hostage by our own passive-aggressive Spotify playlist.

心碎,是操弄大师。它利用舒适当手段,让我们的大脑去做的事,和复原所需要的完全相反,这手段很强大。当我们心碎时,最常见的倾向之一,就是会理想化那个让我们心碎的人。我们花数小时的时间去回想他们的笑容、 那笑容带给我们的感觉有多棒,及我们爬上山在星空下做爱的时光。这唯一的效果,就是 让我们的失去变得更痛苦。我们知道这一点。但我们仍然允许我们的大脑陷在这不断重击的循环中,彷佛我们被自己被动攻击的 Spotify 音乐播放列表给挟持当人质了。

Heartbreak will make those thoughts pop into your mind. And so, to avoid idealizing, you must balance them out by remembering their frown, not just their smile, how bad they made you feel, the fact that after the lovemaking, you got lost coming down the mountain, argued like crazy and didn’t speak for two days. What I tell my patients is to compile an exhaustive list of all the ways the person was wrong for you, all the bad qualities, all the pet peeves, and then keep it on your phone.

心碎会让那些念头出现在你脑中。为了避免理想化,你得要将它们平衡掉,做法就是回想起他们的 皱眉,而不只是笑容、 他们带给你多不好的感觉,以及在做爱后,你们下山时迷了路,吵得非常凶,两天都不说话。我告诉我的病人,编汇一份详尽的清单,列出这个人不适合你的每一点、所有不好的特质、所有惹你恼火的事,然后把那清单放在手机里。

And once you have your list, you must use it. When I hear even a hint of idealizing or the faintest whiff of nostalgia in a session, I go, "Phone, please."

一旦你列出了清单,你得要使用它。每次与病人会面,当我感觉到有一点点理想化 或是最微弱的怀旧之情要浮现时,我会说:「请拿出手机。」

Your mind will try to tell you they were perfect. But they were not, and neither was the relationship. And if you want to get over them, you must remind yourself of that, frequently.


None of us is immune to heartbreak. My patient Miguel was a 56-year-old senior executive in a software company. Five years after his wife died, he finally felt ready to start dating again. He soon met Sharon, and a whirlwind romance ensued. They introduced each other to their adult children after one month, and they moved in together after two. When middle-aged people date, they don’t mess around. It’s like "Love, actually" meets "The Fast and the Furious."

没有人对心碎免疫。我的病人,米格,五十六岁,是软件公司的高阶主管。在他的太太过世五年后,他终于觉得准备好 可以开始再次约会了。他很快就遇到了沙伦,接着展开热恋。一个月后,他们把彼此介绍给对方的成年子女认识,两个月后,他们开始同居。中年人约会不浪费时间。这就像《爱是您,爱是我》 遇见《玩命关头》。

Miguel was happier than he had been in years. But the night before their first anniversary, Sharon left him. She had decided to move to the West Coast to be closer to her children, and she didn’t want a long-distance relationship. Miguel was totally blindsided and utterly devastated. He barely functioned at work for many, many months, and he almost lost his job as a result. Another consequence of heartbreak is that feeling alone and in pain can significantly impair our intellectual functioning, especially when performing complex tasks involving logic and reasoning. Temporarily lowers our IQ.

米格比过去几年来都更快乐。但在他们一周年的前一晚,沙伦离开了他。她决定搬到西岸,离她的孩子们近一点,而她不想谈远距离恋爱。米格在毫无防备下受到打击,彻底身心交瘁。许多许多个月,他几乎无法工作,结果他差点丢了饭碗。心碎的另一个后果就是孤独和痛苦的感受 能显著破坏我们的智力运作,特别是在进行涉及逻辑 和推理的复杂工作时。它会让我们的智商暂时下降。

But it wasn’t just the intensity of Miguel’s grief that confused his employers; it was the duration. Miguel was confused by this as well and quite embarrassed by it. "What’s wrong with me?" he asked me in our session. "What adult spends almost a year getting over a one-year relationship?" Many do.

但让米格的老板感到困惑的,不只是他的悲恸强度,还有时间长度。米格自己也对此感到困惑,且因此觉得很不好意思。「我是怎么搞的?」心理治疗时他这样问我。「什么样的成人会花几乎一年 才能忘怀只维持一年的感情?」 其实,很多成人都如此。

Heartbreak shares all the hallmarks of traditional loss and grief: insomnia, intrusive thoughts, immune system dysfunction. Forty percent of people experience clinically measurable depression. Heartbreak is a complex psychological injury. It impacts us in a multitude of ways.

心碎,有着传统失去 和悲伤的所有特征:失眠、烦扰的想法、 免疫系统失衡。有四成的人会经历忧郁,且是临床上可测量出来的程度。心碎是一种复杂的心理伤害。它以许多方式影响着我们。

For example, Sharon was both very social and very active. She had dinners at the house every week. She and Miguel went on camping trips with other couples. Although Miguel was not religious, he accompanied Sharon to church every Sunday, where he was welcomed into the congregation. Miguel didn’t just lose his girlfriend; he lost his entire social life, the supportive community of Sharon’s church. He lost his identity as a couple.

比如,沙伦非常乐于社交,也非常主动。每周她都会在家中办晚餐会。她和米格会和其他情侣或夫妻一起外出露营。虽然米格没有宗教信仰,每个星期日他会陪沙伦去教堂,在教堂,他也被会众欢迎。米格失去的不只是他的女友; 他失去了他的整个社交生活,那个支持他的社群,沙伦的教堂。他失去了身为「一对」的身分。

Now, Miguel cognized the breakup had left this huge void in his life, but what he failed to recognize is that it left far more than just one. And that is crucial, not just because it explains why heartbreak could be so devastating, but because it tells us how to heal. To fix your broken heart, you must identify these voids in your life and fill them, and I mean all of them.

米格了解到,这次分手让他的人生留下了一个大空洞,但他没有发现,留下的空洞其实不只一个。那是很关键的一点,不单单因为它能解释为什么 心碎这么让人身心交瘁,也因为它告诉我们如何能治愈。要修补你破碎的心,你得要辨识出你人生中的那些空洞,并将之填补起来,我指的是全部的空洞。你身分中的空洞:你得要重新建立你自己和你的生活。

The voids in your identity: you must reestablish who you are and what your life is about. The voids in your social life, the missing activities, even the empty spaces on the wall where pictures used to hang. But none of that will do any good unless you prevent the mistakes that can set you back, the unnecessary searches for explanations, idealizing your ex instead of focusing on how they were wrong for you, indulging thoughts and behaviors that still give them a starring role in this next chapter of your life when they shouldn’t be an extra.

你社交生活中的空洞:少掉的活动,甚至 墙壁上把以前挂的照片 取下后留下的空白处。但这些都不会有用,除非你能预防不要犯下让你走回头路的错误,不要一直去找没必要的解释,不要把你的前任给理想化,都不想想他们不适合你的地方,还沉迷在让他们 像明星的行为与思想中,在你人生的下一个章节 他们应该是多余的。

Getting over heartbreak is hard, but if you refuse to be misled by your mind and you take steps to heal, you can significantly minimize your suffering. And it won’t just be you who benefit from that. You’ll be more present with your friends, more engaged with your family, not to mention the billions of dollars of compromised productivity in the workplace that could be avoided.

度过心碎是很难的,但如果你拒绝被你的大脑误导,且能采取疗愈的步骤,你就能显著地 将你所受的苦降至最低。受惠的不只有你。和朋友一起时,你就更能处在当下,和家人更紧密,更不用说在工作上因为生产力降低而造成的 数十亿损失,那是可避免的。

So, if you know someone who is heartbroken, have compassion, because social support has been found to be important for their recovery. And have patience, because it’s going to take them longer to move on than you think it should. And if you’re hurting, know this: it’s difficult, it is a battle within your own mind, and you must be diligent to win. But you do have weapons. You can fight. And you will heal. Thank you.(Applause)

所以,如果你认识一个心碎的人,要有同理心,因为社交上的支持已证实 对他们的恢复是很重要的。要有耐心,因为要让他们继续前进花的时间会比你预期的还长。如果你会痛,要知道这一点:这很辛苦,这是场 在你自己脑中的战斗,你得要很勤奋才能赢。但你确实有武器。你能战斗。且你会复原。谢谢。(掌声)