3 Love Lessons You Can Only Learn from Bad Breakups

Sure love hurts so you might as well learn from the pain. Here, four women tell why they regard relationships that end not as failures but as key events that helped shape their life story:

Leaving Doesn't Mean You're Not Loyal

Noreen Shea, 44, sells TV programs overseas
It's hard to be politically correct when you break up with a man suffering from terminal cancer. Michael and I met 10 years after my divorce. During the eight years we were a couple the only divisive issue we had was that I wanted a child and, with four kids from a previous marriage, he was firm about not wanting to go the father route another time. Then Michael got sick.

After his diagnosis Michael started telling me to leave him. He wanted me to get on with my life. I'm not the type to run out on someone I love. And being with Michael wasn't a hardship. He was still relatively healthy and hopefully would be for many years before the debilitating effects of his form of cancer really took over. We were able to do lots of things together, including travel.

Then Michael became obsessed with making lots of money for his children to inherit. My father had recently died. So I knew what I was talking about when I told him, "What your kids will want after you're gone is not a huge inheritance but memories of times they spent with you."

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