The Guy That Broke My Heart Wants to Get Back Together
I’ve been seeing someone for two years. We are intimately involved, and I adore him. He’s different than anyone I’ve ever dated — he actually respects me, is tender and kind, and is very considerate of my every need. We’ve discussed marriage, and I believe he intends to pop the question soon. In the meantime, my old flame has reappeared. He wants to rekindle our relationship, and a huge part of me wants that desperately. He broke my heart when he cheated on me with a friend. He says it was a mistake and he would never do that to me again. I’m not sure I ever quite got over him, and the desire to see if the relationship could work is strong. What am I to do?
It is truly time for you to take a break. I did not say “break up.” You have something special with “Mr. Too-Good-to-Be-True,” and I encourage you to not break his heart until you figure out where yours is. So, get away for a weekend to do some tall thinking and soul-searching on who it is your desire will be directed to. Here are some things to consider in your quiet time:
1. Take a walk…down memory lane. It’s clear you will conjure up some really bad memories with the good that keep you shackled to your old flame. Focus on them all — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Recall the feelings you had with each, as well as their lingering effects.
2. Get mad again. After the hurt hinders a heart, the anger muddles the mind. Chances are it took you quite some time to recover from the devastating news of the affair with your friend. I’m a firm believer in leaving the past in the past, but I’m also a strong advocate for life lessons. We don’t put our hand to a hot iron because we remember the pain it invoked when we received the first burn . If you were married to this man, we could be having a different conversation. But you’re not. Have you truly regained the trust you once had in him? Would you be willing to chance it again? Unfaithfulness devastates at any level of a relationship, but there’s something to be said about being able to distance yourself before a serious commitment is made and children are involved. So, allow yourself to get angry about the way he ended the relationship before. If it feels the same or close to the way it did when you first learned the news, chances are that mountain is too high to climb.
3. Make a comparison. You’ve begun your list with me. Your present lover has a plethora of great attributes. However, it goes without saying he’s not perfect. But having revealed that he’s “different” than anyone you’ve been involved with speaks volumes to me about your past relationships. So, go ahead, make out a list of the virtues, the things you love about each of these men, as well as the negatives that you find irritating and unsettling. Often the scales will tell the tale of who is best suited for a lifetime mate when you measure tenderness, respect, and other attributes that bring self-worth and validation into your life.
4. Remember your value. Men like your present lover are few and far between. Count the ones from your past who didn’t appreciate your value, those who disrespected you, who used you, and even emotionally abused you. There’s no room for that in any relationship. Those are not the sorts of people we should want to surround ourselves with if we truly love the person we are. I often find that I get respect when I respect myself enough to demand it. I’ve also learned that respect deepens love.
5. Assess your desire. What is it that you desire most about your past lover? I believe there’s a little bit, if not a lot, of desire in most of us who have been hurt and/or disappointed by people we love(d) to have them feel tremendously remorseful for their acts. It’s the I-told-you-so syndrome that brings some sense of retribution for the pain we endured. That kind of victory is far overrated. Make sure your desire for this past lover is not so desperate that you lose sight of your destination.
When there is conflict between the head and the heart, there is usually good reason for it. Don’t ignore warning signs. It could be time to let old love die and concentrate completely on what seems to have helped you find your truest self.
Struggling with a relationship issue? Write Joyce Oglesby, Family Life FIX-IT Pro at firstname.lastname@example.org and find a solution for life.