Heartbreak is one of the most all-consuming feelings in the world. Somehow you and the person you thought you’d be with forever are no longer and the excitement of planning dinner dates, holidays and Christmases has turned into logistical splitting of household items, awkward goodbye texts with former in-laws and suggestions of how to avoid each other at an upcoming mutual friend’s birthday.
When I ended my relationship of five years, it was in London – on the other side of the world – in winter and, though I didn’t know it at the time, a few months before a global pandemic. I felt incredibly isolated, alone and confused and the heartbreak felt all-consuming. Friends would say that time heals everything, but their words washed over me and I couldn’t picture a time when I’d feel whole again.
In 2005, Sienna Miller was dealing with a broken heart of her own, but on a global scale. Her relationship with Jude Law had ended after Miller found out that her actor fiance was cheating on her with his children’s nanny. The pair, who had met on the set of Alfie in 2003 and got engaged on Christmas Day 2004, were immediately thrust into the headlines with the British tabloids trailing each of them constantly and daily headlines about the cheating scandal and subsequent relationship breakdown.
Now, in a recent interview, Miller has addressed the traumatic time, dubbing it “one of the most challenging moments I hope I’ll ever have to experience.”
“Because with that level of public heartbreak, to have to get out of a bed let alone stand in front of 800 people every night, it’s just the last thing you want to do,” she told The Daily Beast. “And the other thing was, it was at the height of all that paparazzi madness, and in London where there was an epidemic of bad behavior. They knew where I would be every night.”
Miller says that she’s now realised that whole chunks of that period have been blocked from her memory as a way of coping with the pain. “There’s a whole six weeks of that experience that I don’t remember. I have no recollection of it,” she said. “People who came to see me said we had dinner, and I don’t remember. I was in so much shock over it all. And I’d really just begun. I was only 23. But if you get through that, you feel like you can get through anything.”
Since her relationship with Law ended for good – the pair initially separated in November 2006, before trying again in 2009, dating for over a year before splitting up again in February 2011 – Miller dated Tom Sturridge, who is the father of her 8-year-old daughter, Marlowe, for four years and recently called off her engagement to American editor Lucas Zwirner. Her career is thriving and she seems healthier and happier than ever.
Miller’s story is a reminder that heartbreak doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you’re beautiful and rich, and it’s seemingly a lot worse if you’re famous. It’s also proof that, though it doesn’t feel like it at the time, things do – and will – get better.