tear (so/sth) apart definition
Upset or make distraught, as in The parents' divorce tore apart the grandparents. [Second half of 1800s]
Criticize severely, as in The professor tore her paper apart. [Mid-1900s]
Search some place completely, as in The police tore the house apart. [Second half of 1900s]
Separate, especially unwillingly, as in The war tore many families apart.