Maria Mena experienced quite the tumultuous decade in her 20s, capped off by a devastating divorce. This heartbreak ultimately compelled her to create her latest album, They Never Leave Their Wives, including her new single, “You Broke Me,” a lament for her lost love – and what she felt was the loss of herself. In spite of the hardships, Maria has resolved to view temporary people as lessons instead of destroyers. She hopes to write happier songs in the future, but remains committed to portraying her life authentically through music. Watch the lyric video for “You Broke Me” below and check out Maria on Instagram and Facebook!
Cliché: What would you say has been your most defining moment thus far, both personally and professionally?
Maria Mena: Oh, there are so many, I would have to separate them by phases and decades. In my teens, I believe personally it must have been moving from my mother to my father and cutting out all contact with her. It was that choice that eventually led me to songwriting and the music industry through my father’s contacts.
In my twenties, my anorexia, my relationship with my ex-husband and my divorce. It has been a huge part of the inspiration behind the albums that were released in my twenties.
Now I’m only halfway into my thirties and I would have to say that the toxic relationship that is the inspiration behind this album and the recurrence of my eating disorder has defined who I am today greatly. I was almost forced, through that, to choose life and to choose to learn how to love myself, flaws and all.
Your latest album, They Never Leave Their Wives, was written about your break-up. Did you have any hesitation about sharing such an intimate aspect of your life?
Well yes, and I think that’s why it took me five years to finish it. I wasn’t that afraid to tell the story, but I felt such shame about the whole ordeal… I had to come to an acceptance within myself, that I had made the choices I had. And allowed someone to treat me like I was nothing.
What was the writing process like? Was it painful to revisit those emotions, or did you find it cathartic?
It was very painful. But of course extremely healing… I just, I felt so sorry for the girl I used to be. but it felt so good being strong enough to finally be able to address it in songwriting. I had avoided it for so long.
Tell us about your new single, “You Broke Me.”
It’s about a time where I was sure I was broken. That this person I trusted, broke my ability to feel love. like real naive love. I would date. and just feel numb. I thought that I had to completely just let go of my dreams of one day being with someone again and dream of a family because this person had not only broken my trust and my heart, but he managed to break the bond I had with myself.
How have you managed to heal from past relationships?
Well, you live, and you learn. I’m a strong believer that everyone that passes through your life does so for a reason and that it is up to you to find that reason but that does not mean it isn’t painful to have to let someone go. Take your time!
What advice would you have for those who are struggling to get over someone?
Unfollow them on social media. Cry. Feel every single feeling fully. Hold yourself like you would a child. Do nice things for yourself and with good friends and remember that no other person can break the strong bond you can have with yourself if you work on it. Cry again. And remember that one day. you’ll look back and smile at this! I promise!
In your experience, have you emerged from low points in your life with a greater understanding of who you are?
Absolutely… I would not change anything! I wish I would have learned quicker sometimes but I’m stubborn and the time it took was probably time I needed to understand.
Can you share anything about your other upcoming projects?
Lighter songs are coming! But I’ll always write these autobiographical songs, so it depends on where life takes me 😉
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Maria Mena Processes the Pain of Divorce in “You Broke Me.” Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maria Mena.