The Terrible Pain You Feel When The Person You Love Loves Someone Else
It’s funny how things never really turn out the way you thought they would. Reality is different from our expectations, and most of the time that doesn't really bother us.
When the unexpected happens, it's usually not an issue. We barely notice the difference between our expectations and reality, and we live our lives as if none of it mattered.
Then there are other times -- when our anticipation takes root and grows over months or years of waiting -- when real life pales in comparison to our fantasies. The more eager we grow, the more painful the experience is when it's not what we wanted.
That’s the issue with expectations: We usually overshoot them. We expect more than we're likely to get.
We aim for perfection, but we discover that reality isn't so different from the lives we've been living. Optimism is a wonderful thing until it blinds you. It’s important to be optimistic, but it’s just as important to be realistic. It's necessary that we understand the statistical chances of one thing happening versus another.
The more you accept that there is always a chance that things won’t go the way that you think they will, the less likely you are to be caught off-guard when that happens.
Unfortunately, I’ve come to learn that sometimes -- no matter how aware you are that things may not work out -- there is no such thing as sufficient mental preparation.
Not all of your hopes and dreams are going to come true, and when one of them collapses in front of your eyes, it hurts more than you could possibly imagine.
And if that dream is a future with someone you love, your world will be turned upside down. Seeing the person you love fall in love with someone else can destroy you. I know because it almost destroy me.
I’ve been in love with the same girl for over a decade now. She was the one I always believed I’d end up with; I was convinced that no matter how many times either of us screwed things up, we’d eventually come back to each other.
And I recently had the opportunity I’d been dreaming of: We had another chance to give things a shot, it seemed.
But I learned she was running to me because she was running away from someone else -- a man she now loves.
He's no good for her, but she feels for him immensely. And that's one of the reasons I've always loved her so much; she has an immense capacity for love.
I tried loving others, but it never worked out. I guess that’s why it was so incredibly difficult to see her in love with another man. I thought that if I couldn’t find love again, she must feel the same way.
I believed she would love me for the rest of her life, as I will love her for the rest of mine. But that wasn't -- isn't -- the case.
So I closed the door on a love affair that changed my life and taught me more than anything else ever could. When you see the person you love fall in love with someone else, it breaks you.
You feel lost.
I distinctly remember the exact moment when I realized that our love would live forever in the past. I was at a loss for words.
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know how to stand. I didn't know if I should keep my hands inside or outside of my pockets.
My heart was racing. The wind was knocked out of me. I couldn’t spend another second talking to her, because I knew I was about to break down. Love isn’t just about the emotions you’re feeling. It’s about what this person means to you.
It's about the place he or she has in your life as well as your heart. When you realize that your loved one is in love with someone else, you see that the life you thought you'd have is no longer possible.
Then you do your best to figure out how to cope with it.
A part of you dies.
I wish I could tell you which part that is, but I haven’t yet been able to pin it down. But you'll know you're a different person than you were an hour ago.
You'll no longer feel or look at the world in the same way. You'll stop pursing the same things. Your life has just changed. YOU have just changed.
The hardest part is accepting your new self. It’s not that you’ve changed into a complete stranger; you still recognize yourself. You just know that you’re now different.
The problem is that you don’t want to be different. You don’t want to change. You don’t want a different life. All that you want is to turn back time and figure out a way to make things work. But you can’t..
You begin to redefine yourself..
There is one positive outcome from this: You shed excess. You let go of the stress and worry of not knowing how things will turn out, because now you know the answer..
You learn to steer your thoughts away from your ex, and you discover that you have more time for other areas of your life..
The part of you that just died gives room for growth. You now have a partially blank slate. You get the opportunity to rewrite and redefine the person you are..
From the ashes of your love rises a new you. You start to once again get a grasp on your life, your reality and your future.
You either confirm your beliefs or change them..
I was smart enough to understand where things were going before they got there. Of course, I couldn’t know anything for certain. But I did understand the likelihood of each possible outcome..
I confirmed my theories about love and life because I was able to see the end before it arrived..
This doesn’t change the fact that I was caught off-guard. I may have understood how things were going, but I didn't want to watch..
I wanted to be with her, to create a life together. I wanted to start a family. I wanted -- and was ready -- to be the man, partner and lover that she had always wanted. But none of that mattered then nor now..
What matters is that I learned. I have a better, fuller understanding of things. Life’s greatest tragedies can be life’s greatest gifts -- only if we are wise enough to learn from them. Our beliefs define us and determine our future..
Learning to accept that the the person you love has fallen in love with someone else can teach you some of life's most important lessons..
If you don’t confirm your beliefs then your beliefs must be wrong and therefore must be changed. The question is: do you have it in you to redefine your beliefs, to redefine what you think the purpose of all this is? Or will you join the masses and refuse to change, refuse to adapt, and sign away any chance of living a good and righteous life?
How To Tell Your Partner You’re In Love With Someone Else
Falling in love is one of the single greatest life experience there is. Unless, of course, you’re already in a committed relationship, and the person you’ve fallen for is someone else entirely. In that case, it is nothing short of a white-hot dumpster fire of anguish..
And yet, it cannot be stopped. The heart wants it wants, after all, and falling in love with someone else does not make you a terrible person by default. The deciding factor in that equation basically centers around one thing: the manner in which you extricate yourself from your existing relationship..
Consider the below a primer in breakup etiquette, a how-to guide for how to carefully – though unambiguously – tell your partner that your heart now belongs to another. No ghosting, no mealy-mouthed platitudes or lies and, for the love of all things holy, never ever by text. Over to the experts….
Make Sure You’re Sure.
Seems obvious, though it absolutely bears repeating. Are you 100% positive this is actual, bona fide love? The kind that means you’re willing to pour proverbial gasoline all over your current relationship and strike a match? It needs to be, or else this is an outsize amount of carnage to wreak for a fleeting crush
Someone may end a relationship too soon and fantasize about this person, only to then be let down
“Often, matters of the heart are very confusing, and people often don’t know what they want,” says Dr. Becky Spelman, a Psychologist and
Cognitive Behavioral Therapist at the Private Therapy Clinic in London. “Someone may end a relationship too soon and fantasize about this person, only to then be let down.”.
The question remains – have you fallen in love with this new person, or has your current relationship just grown stale?
“Sometimes,” Dr. Spelman continues, “people get to the point in therapy where they realize that their relationship is over, and it’s not just about falling in love with someone else. Usually, in that situation, they’re deciding, essentially, to be on their own. And if something else does happen with the new partner, that’s a bonus..
“But to just end your relationship in order to chase someone else is risky business.”.
Don’t: Wheel Out The Cliches.
If your plan is to sit in front of someone and simply parrot crap and archaic platitudes, then you’re not really there at all. “Avoid saying ‘It’s not, you it’s me’,” says Jane Barnfield Jukes – a psychotherapist and founder of health supplement distributor Eudeamon.
“It was John Jacques Rousseau who said that the head has no control over what the heart rules, and it’s true. We fall in to love, we fall out of love. We aren’t static. We are living breathing human beings, and we are imperfect. We make mistakes. So be honest.”.
In other words, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and try to talk openly. (Note: don’t attempt to shift the blame from yourself to a Swiss philosopher from the 1700s, as that probably won’t go down well either.).
Do: Rip Off The Band-Aid.
Okay, so you’ve had a heart to heart with the bathroom mirror. You’re certain: this love is for real. If so, according to Dr. Spelman, “It really is a case of not dragging it out. I think people should be very specific about the reasons that they are breaking up with someone, and not mince their words.”.
The last thing you want to do is leave the person… questioning what the real reason was.
While there’s obviously no call to be callous, it’s better to pursue a path of harsh honesty than woolly ambiguity. The last thing you want to do is to leave the person you’re breaking up with confused, or questioning what the real reason was for the relationship ending.
“As much as it might feel like a good idea to protect the other person’s emotions, it really is a terrible idea,” says Dr. Spelman. “You really do you have to rip the Band-Aid off fast, provide all of the information and say it with as much compassion as you possibly can.”.
Don’t: Sugar The Pill.
US comedian Emo Philips perhaps put it best: “Ambiguity – it’s the devil’s volleyball.” When telling your partner, taking a softly-softly approach may feel like a kindness, however the upshot is that unless you are explicit, you’re only delaying the heartache..
Without the full information, they will hold on to false hope.
When you lack transparency it can be very confusing to the other person, and they can hold on to hope,” says Dr. Spelman. “Don’t pretend you want to break up for a different reason, or that you want to go on a break..
“Often people will completely avoid saying ‘I have met someone’, but what often happens is that the partner kind of obsesses over how they can fix the relationship or stay together, when in reality there is no chance.”
By removing hope, Dr. Spelman asserts, you can actually “help the person get over the relationship and move on.” If the door’s left ajar even a tad, you are effectively, “holding someone as an emotional hostage. Without the full information, they will hold on to false hope.”
Do: Let Them Have Their Say (Even It’s Sweary).
Unless they moonlight as a psychic, there’s every chance your partner will be blindsided by your bombshell. As a result, it’s likely they’ll have some feelings – and maybe some swearwords – that will bubble over. No matter how blue the air turns, let them have their say.
Be brave enough to hear how hurt somebody is.
“If you take away all the control and all the power of the conversation,” says Barnfield Jukes, “it stops being a conversation. It’s just you telling somebody.
“Give them the opportunity, and be brave enough to hear how hurt somebody is. Sit and listen. Take the time to do it properly.” Don’t: Break The News By Smartphone.
Who do you think you are, CNN? There aren’t enough emojis in the world to make dumping by SMS acceptable, particularly when it’s a one-two punch of breakup and newfound love. “It’s so tempting to send a text or make a phone call,” admits Barnfield Jukes, “and it’s tempting to do it because it’s easier..
“Being with somebody in pain is really difficult. Being with somebody who you have caused the pain to is even harder, so expect it to be.”
Crucially, Barnfield Jukes advocates empathy: “How you would want to receive that information?” she asks. Probably not ‘We’re over, found sum1 else – soz!’ f ollowed by 17 dancing lady emojis, is it?.
Do: Carefully Select The Location.
Don’t insist on meeting in a bijou restaurant because you feel like ‘witnesses’ will make for an easy getaway; think of the person whose heart you’re about to break..
A quiet public place is better – as they might be able to better reign in any inappropriate behavior.
“If you’ve got a mature relationship, where you can talk things out and you know that your partner is not going to respond inappropriately with their emotions, then in private is probably the most respectful place,” says Dr. Spelman.
Though this does come with a heavy caveat. “However,” Dr. Spelman continues, “if you are anxious about emotional outbursts or high levels of anger, and you are scared for your own safety, a quiet public place is better – as they might be able to better reign in any inappropriate behavior.”.
Don’t: Feel You Can’t Still Love Your Partner.
No one said this was going to be straightforward. Or easy. Love is often infuriatingly imprecise. Okay, you definitely love this new person. But all those feelings of warmth and affection you’ve had for your current partner do not automatically get erased. These are feelings, not rewritable CDs..
It’s probably best to say something like ‘I still have a lot of love for you’, not ‘I am in love with you’.
And although you need to tread carefully – through risk of doling out false hope (see above) – if you do still love your soon-to-be ex, don’t be shy to say so. It may help them come to terms with a) the sheer complexity of the situation and b) that it really, genuinely is not their fault.“Love is a very confusing thing,” says Dr. Spelman, “and it’s very hard to actually define..
It often happens [that a person still loves their partner], but if you do not want to continue in a relationship with them, it’s probably best to say something like ‘I still have a lot of love for you’, not ‘I am in love with you’. Because if you’re saying ‘I am in love with you’ while trying to break up with someone at the same time, it’s very difficult.”.
Don’t: Start A New Relationship Before Ending This One.
Perhaps the trickiest part to stick to. You’ll struggle to maintain any semblance of a positive relationship with your current partner if you tell them you love someone else and the relationship is already underway. No matter how you slice it, that makes you, my friend, a cheater..
It’s quite selfish – to try and get a guarantee that your new relationship is going to work before you leave the other relationship.
“Overlapping relationships are a massive thing,” confirms Dr. Spelman, “and I think it’s quite selfish – to try and get a guarantee that your new relationship is going to work before you leave the other relationship.” >
Yes, there is a risk of ending one relationship only to not start another, but if you are in actual love with someone that isn’t your existing partner, you probably shouldn’t be with the current one regardless..
“Always end one relationship before starting another one, otherwise you lack integrity as a person,” reinforces Dr. Spelman. “Once the relationship is over and you’ve been 100% clear about that, you are then free to do whatever you like.
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