Maybe it was after a few years, or maybe it was even after a few months, but at some point, you felt the slow creep of doubt enter your mind about your relationship. You couldn’t imagine life without them or being alone, so you clung to what you knew- you loved them.
You ignored when they started treating you less than you deserved. You made countless excuses for their behavior and distance. You pretended that you didn’t see the late night texts and inappropriate behavior. You refused to believe that the person you loved so much was capable of manipulating you and lying to your face. You clung desperately to the good times of the past you had experienced together to justify the reality of staying in a relationship that made you feel unloved, uncared for, and unsafe.
Then one day they did what you should have done long ago- they left.
After all the promises of “I love you.” “Forever,” and “I’ll never leave you,” they did what you had been terrified they’d do all along.
After lying to yourself and justifying the toxicity of your relationship for so long, it was easy to lie to yourself.
“They were the love of my life.”
“If I had done “x” differently or been different in “x’ way we would still be together.”
“I will never get over this.”
Then it was easy to believe their lies.
“I’m still in love with you.”
“I regret everything I did to hurt you and leaving.”
“I can’t live without you in my life somehow.”
Here are the truths you need to hear:
If they loved you and believed in forever with you, they would be with you now. When you REALLY love someone, you don’t give up without a damn good fight or walk out every time the going gets tough.
You did everything you could. You cannot control their behavior or change the fact that they were unceasingly selfish, narcissistic, and manipulative.
You WILL get over this, but not without it hurting like hell. There will be days that your relationship seems like a distant memory. Then there will be days that you’re reminded of how perfectly their bodies fit with yours while they held you, the good times you spent together, or for a second you’ll catch a whiff of their smell on the shirt they left behind and you’ll be reduced to a blob of emotions sobbing on your floor while your heart and body physically ache with the pain. Through all the loneliness, doubt, and searing pain in your chest- you will get over this. Either someone better will come along that will show you what real love is, or one day you’ll just wake up after your first good night’s sleep and realize that they don’t matter to you anymore.
It’s time to stop lying to yourself and let go.
You know you deserve better than a one-sided love.
You shouldn’t have to chase after someone who loves you.
You know deep in your heart that there is something bigger and better out there waiting for you in the world once you stop lying to yourself and allow your heart to heal.
They say you have three loves in your life: the first/idealistic love, the “hard” love, and the love that takes you by surprise and is everything you’ve needed. Take this love as your hard love, and let go so you can find the love you deserve. While this experience will change you in ways you cannot imagine, do not let it make you bitter. Let it prepare you to appreciate the person who will treat you like their moon and stars and who will actually mean “forever.”
What advice would you give to someone going through heartbreak? How did you find love after a hard breakup? Let me know in the comments or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.