Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Some Words of Advice

Today I got a message from a reader who has a broken heart and needs some reassuring. With her permission, I am posting her email and my response as I think it can help a lot of other people in her situation and because I think you guys can chime in with your own advice too.

Here is what she wrote:

" I need some help and I don;t really feel like I can talk to anyone else and feel that they would understand. I had a boyfriend for over 4 years and by the end of it, I guess we had just fallen out of love but he still went and slept with another woman. And then told me. And then ended our relationship. Why couldn't he end our relationship first? Especially when I was trying to so hard to get us back on track and I really did love him and want to make it work. I guess that is the answer. He didn't want it to work so he wasn't trying in response. But still, why did he have to hurt me like that? How can I get over this? How can I feel like I can ever have a relationship that is going somewhere. I have had two 4 year relationships that have ended. Will I ever find someone to love me? Will I ever have a husband? How can I feel like this is going to happen and trust that I won't just keep getting a broken heart? I know that relationships don't just happen and that you need to try and just because you are married they aren't perfect. I just feel so afraid of putting myself out there. Can you help me? I don't mind if you blog about me in public but please can you help me? I just feel so lonely and sad and disrespected and hurt."

Here is my response:

"I'm sorry this happened to you. I wish I knew why he couldn't just end the relationship first but a lot of people do that. Maybe they want the best of both worlds or maybe they're scared to break up with their girlfriend first. Maybe they're just assholes. I wish people didn't have to hurt one another but that is the nature of relationships a good deal of the time. Most relationships don't work out and most end up being learning experiences. Eventually, unless you are really crazy and you probably aren't, a relationship will work out for you. It takes a lot of patience. It's important to not close yourself off to new loves just because you were hurt in the past. We've all been hurt and we all manage to survive. Broken hearts are terrible, but they aren't fatal. I know it's hard to keep putting yourself out there but do it anyway even though it's hard. Don't shut down your heart. Hearts can mend more quickly than we believe and don't miss out on opportunities with new people because you think not enough time has passed or you aren't ready yet. To find love, sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone. In the meantime, do a relationship autopsy. What went wrong? What red flags might you have missed? What did you learn so that you can do something differently next time? Do you have patterns that you need to break in order to find a healthy relationship? Please know that you are not alone. There are millions of other people out there right this second with broken hearts too. It's part of the universal human experience and that's why there are so many songs and stories and works of art all created about lost and unrequited loves. It's just a part of life and you'll be able to get through it. Just because one person or even a few people don't love you doesn't mean that you aren't unlovable period or that something is wrong with you. I promise. You are going to be fine. You are going to survive and you'll be better for having gotten through this. I've been through it too as has every other woman I know. Seriously, every single other woman I know has been through this too and they're all alive."

What do you say to her readers?


Hilary said...

I say you give good advice, but I do think broken hearts need a bit of healing time before moving on. That time varies with the individual and what she does with that time.

I also know that it gets better no matter how bleak things feel. Always. So allow yourself to heal and keep an open heart and an open mind. Enjoy life.

BoB said...

He hurt you because he didn't care about you. It has nothing whatsoever to do with you. You did not deserve this, no one does.

Along with lawns' advice about learning from this, when your heart will let you, you should look back and see when you noticed he no longer cared. Pay attention to that, analyze it. Use it to your advantage next time.

The best possible outcome is that you develop a keen sense of when, and how much, someone cares about you.

Anonymous said...

You gave her stellar advice. I think th reader needs to find, like you mentioned, the patterns in her past that may have attracted her to someone like him. She needs to evaluate why she would be drawn to someone who would hurt her like that. The best thing she can do is stay strong and find things she loves about herself-whether it's knitting, walking dogs, writing, or making homemade pizzas, she must start living for herself. It will probably take some time to heal from this heartbreak but I know she will come out stronger from it.


P.S, I was the the one who asked about Baby Lawns's schooling. It is something I often wonder about as I see a lot of children who are educated in a variety of different ways, who come to my library. I hate what the current governor is doing to our Florida teachers and find it really unsettling.

Dawn said...

You have gotten a lot of good advice already, so there is not much more I can add, except to share with you this:

I will be married 18 years in October. No marriage is perfect, but mine is the greatest blessing of my life. I wake up happy and grateful for the man next to me every morning.

But boy did I date my share of duds back in the day. And yes, my heart got broken. And at my lowest moments, I felt betrayed and unlovable. But I solidered on and followed a lot of the advice you have received here already, and I eventually met my soul mate. As the song says, "God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you." It all happens for a reason.

One Mean MFA said...

First of all, he was obviously a horrible person. Although, at least his bad behavior has provided you closure. It's so much more challenging to get over someone when they just want to "stay friends" (which is impossible).

It's time to be single, find yourself, and not worry about finding a husband. He will find you.

Much love and only the best of luck.

greyspasm said...

So your boyfriend has sex with someone else and then tells you. Either he felt horrible and needed to confess (I doubt it) or he was just being a dick. It could be he tried other, more subtle ways of trying to get you to break up with him, but you hadn't gotten the hint. You say that you had been trying "so hard to get us back on track." Could it be that he didn't want to get back on track? or that your track and his were not the same? I'm guessing this guy wanted to break up long ago but was just waiting for an excuse to leave.

You're probably reading this and feeling horrible, but don't. Go ahead and mourn this relationship, but trust me when I say you are better off without him. Just be glad he didn't stick around long enough for you two to get married and have kids.

Follow WL's advice. When you get some distance from this, try to look at it objectively. I'm sure you'll find you were the one doing all the work, and that's not much of a relationship.

islandwonder said...

I met my husband in my 30's and definitely went through the ring of "fire". I realized around age 30 my taste in men sucked and made great changes to figure out why and change it. Now, years later and many happy anniversaries under my belt, my 20's are a distant and very painless memory. My best advice is to figure out why you would stick with such a man and to "see" good men. It took me awhile but once you do, the past, even if painful at the time, becomes a painless blur.

Anonymous said...

I always have said when one door closes it is because there is a better one about to open. Don't spend one minute depressed about a lost love. Be thankful it is over and now you can move on to something healthier and more loving. This was not the man for you! When things are right you don't have to work to hard on the relationship. There is a wonderful ebb and flow. Get excited about new times that are ahead for you. Good luck!

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