I am one of those girls that has always believed in true love. My ex and I had been on and off after high school. I thought the last time would stick. We lasted 13 years and have two kids, but he left last spring for another woman and has moved in with her. My head tells me I need to get past this but my emotions won’t let me. I still love him. I have no interest or desire to meet anyone new. I try to keep myself busy with our children and work. It saddens me to have been replaced. He refuses to speak to me or have contact of any kind. I’ve read books and I am seeing a therapist. Nothing is working. Sad In A Small Town
There’s a disorienting limbo that comes with a break-up, especially when you wanted – more than anything – for it to work. In your case, with a history stretching back to your high school days, and two children together, it’ll be no easy feat putting this relationship behind you. But try you must.
You say you don’t have contact with him, but what about your kids? Does he have access to them through other means, like grandparents? Or has he washed his hands of his kids as he’s done with you? That may sound harsh. But I urge you to ditch those rose-coloured glasses, and see this guy for who he really is. I get that you’re a romantic. So am I. I believe in true love just like you do. But let’s go deeper. To me, truly loving someone means sticking around for better or worse. Through boredom. Through relationship ups and downs. Through sexual ebbs and flows. Through career lows and financial strains and family tragedies and parenting challenges and all the other curve balls life throws at us. A partner who truly loves you won’t walk out on you and his kids without a backward glance just because someone else has caught his eye.
Don’t worry about not wanting to meet anyone new, or wondering if you’ll ever want to date again. Trust me: you will. You’ll get there. But not for a while, and not before you’ve let your shattered world settle. Now’s the time to heal and to be kind to yourself. To keep seeing your therapist. To give your pain a time limit, rather than letting it swallow you whole. Tempting as it is to wallow and feel that you’ve been ‘replaced’, reframe the situation in a different light. Try to see it as a gift. Because that’s what it is: a second chance. Freedom to create a happier future for you and your kids, without someone in the wings who might, possibly, always have one foot out the door. You’ve got a chance now to shape the life ahead any way you want. To make choices that are good for you and your kids. You’ve just got to be strong, and make a start.
Love, reality chick