Once Upon a Time We were Happy, and Suddenly It’s Over? The Heart Heals Slowly, don’t Fear the Future

By | January 25, 2017

I know, to you it feels like it just happened, and for you it did.  But hopefully by now you’ve reflected and realized that this is something that has been “in the works” for quite some time now.

You likely feel, along with a great many things, betrayed.  I get it…really, I do.  It’s a terrible feeling, and all these feelings you are experiencing are normal.

All Posts in this Series:

  1. I Love You but I’m Not In Love With You, Meaning and Advice
  2. It’s Normal for Your Heart to be Afraid, but fighting for the Past Will Mean the End, So Start Accepting Your New Beginning
  3. What do I do with this Broken Heart? Avoid Requests for Space and Use Your Head to Think about what You Want
  4. Once Upon a Time We were Happy, and Suddenly it’s Over? The Heart Heals Slowly, don’t Fear the Future ⇐ You are Here
  5. Intentions do not Win Hearts, Actions are the Secret, How to Start Connecting Today for a Happier Tomorrow
  6. Say Yes to Everything and Reveal the Secret of the Heart
  7. Learn to Speak the Language of the Heart
  8. Become a Sex Master and Learn How to Heal the Heart with the Body
  9. It’s Time to Get Some Help, Starting Today
  10. Rekindling the Flame Can Sometimes Burn Too Hot, Use Caution While Reconnecting
  11. Some Words about Physical, Sexual, Verbal and Emotional Abuse

But like when we were discussing that you have to accept the situation, you also have to accept that no matter how badly you want to fix this “right now!”, you aren’t going to be able to.

“Fixing” this situation is going to take time.  The good news is that it will likely take less time than it did to get here!

The time isn’t necessarily needed for change.  Most true lasting change happens pretty quickly, in my experience when you truly decide to change, it’s instant!

Now, perhaps out of habit you catch yourself repeating mistakes, but that’s where your will needs to rule your mind and correct it immediately.  Force of habit is not a sign of reverting to a time before you changed if you correct the habitual action/reaction when it occurs.

The time I’m talking about is going to be to reestablish trust.  Trust does not just reform, your lover has to begin to trust that your changes are for real and lasting.  They have to believe that you are changing not just for them, but for yourself.   They can’t fall in love with you again until this trust begins to blossom.

On your end, your trust was also shattered.  You believed that your lover was committed to you, now that belief is gone.  You’ve found out that they have in essence been lying to you.  Making you think that everything was fine, when in reality they “wanted out”.

Trust on both sides will have to be reestablished.  This will take a great deal of time and there will be days where it seems like it’s never going to happen.

You will backslide, so will your lover (assuming you’ve gotten them to stick around).

Some days it may seem like your lover has the easy part, all they have to do is stay until “things get better”.  But how do they know things are going to get better?  They have no guarantee of that, and you are asking them to put their life on hold, after they’ve made a decision to move past whatever you’ve both been dealing with.

Think about it like this.  Have you ever been a bad situation?  For example, maybe you had a really stressful job.  Or maybe you were involved in some kind of stressful and thankless project.  Or maybe you were dealing with a personal issue like organizing a milestone anniversary, public event, wedding or funeral.

Remember that feeling when it was over?  Even if you ended up just walking away from a bad job.  Perhaps you weren’t proud of ending it, maybe you even felt guilty, but you undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief that it was over.  Remember that euphoric feeling that a new chapter was FINALLY going to begin?  Remember that inexplicable feeling of freedom?

That’s what’s happening with your lover right now.  You may be in anguish, but they are feeling relieved that the proverbial “cat is out of the bag”, so to speak, and that they are finally going to be moving past what, to them, was a terribly unpleasant existence (even if you didn’t realize until now that for them it was unpleasant).

Try to keep this in mind, they are postponing gratification (even if the reality of their decision will crash down on them later), in order to try to engage in something they feel is pointless.  You’re asking them to ignore a decision that was very hard for them to make.

All that said, if you can buy the time you need to help remind them why you are together in the first place, and you are willing to put forth the herculean effort it’s going to take to help them see that you are changing, no matter how hard that is…then you have a strong chance that they will begin to love you again and appreciate you, perhaps not in the same way, but likely stronger than before given time.

During this time it is profoundly important that you gain as much understanding as you possibly can.  The only way to do that is to listen.  You can’t listen if you are talking.

You need to engage your lover, get them to tell you what has been bothering them all this time.  What you must not do is:

  • Demand
  • Be angry
  • Accuse
  • Or justify

Justification of your actions is the kiss of death right now.  You mustn’t take offense.  No matter how bad what your partner is telling you hurts, you need to hide it.  Hard?  Yeah!  Do it!

Right now, you are an emotionless robot gathering information.  If you can, record the conversation using your phone or take notes.  If that seems too obvious, or you feel that it will make your partner nervous, then do your best to commit everything they are saying to memory.

Once you get to a point where you can take a break, immediately write down everything you can remember, focusing on the points that you’ve been told are issues, whether or not you agree.

Recording this allows you to continue to refer back and accurately remember what you are attempting to deal with.  It allows you to focus your thoughts, compartmentalize, and take each issue individually and part of the whole.

Sometimes it’s very hard for us to not interrupt and to keep our mouths shut.  A strategy I often use when attempting to gather information is to ask questions, then let them talk without interruption.  Show them you are listening with typical body language and phrases like:

  • “Yes”
  • “go on”
  • And nodding your head periodically

If you want to make sure you understand, you can rephrase the comment(s) they’ve made.  If you don’t understand ask more questions.

If they pause, and this is important, count slowly to 10.  It’ll likely be excruciating.  That seems to be the sweet spot for most people.  By counting to 10 you’re allowing them to collect their thoughts and continue talking.

If after you count to 10 they are silent and it seems like they are done speaking, ask another question.  If they are crying, or visibly trying to collect themselves, sit in silence and patiently wait until it they seem composed.

This is doubly important (and hard) for people like me that tend to always  have something else to say, or interject.  It’s against our nature to allow “pregnant pauses” to exist.  But it’s VERY necessary, get good at this.

The information you get from this exercise is going to help you take action later.  You have to know what you need to work on.

Also, this will help you when you go to seek guidance from a counselor.  You’ll have written down everything that needs to be discussed and ideally, you’ll have given it some clear, objective thought.  Doing this insures that you are communicating with your mate and the counselor with less emotion and more unbiased consideration.  This helps to assure all parties that the events are being taken seriously.

 

That’s enough for now, when you’re ready to continue, move onto:  Intentions do not Win Hearts, Actions are the Secret, How to Start Connecting Today for a Happier Tomorrow

13 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time We were Happy, and Suddenly It’s Over? The Heart Heals Slowly, don’t Fear the Future

  1. Bonto

    Thanks so much subnetbuzz for this post . thanks on how you share on relating to one another in a relationship when things seem to go bad. I agree with you that we need to be good listeners than talkers. People naturally want to be appreciated and one of the primary ways they seek this is the desire to be listened to. At times we have to be quiet even if our partners seem to be even wrong and offensive and watch them pour out their hearts. Many times its because we do not give them opportunity to express themselves that leads to the anger and frustration. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    1. Jack Post author

      You’re very welcome! Listening is one of the most important skills we can move toward mastery. By listening well, you help people you are listening to feel appreciated, like you “get them”.

      When people feel appreciated they reciprocate by appreciating you. Even if things are one sided for a while, ultimately in most cases they start taking an interest in you and what you want.

      This is extremely important when recovering from breaks in trust and integrity.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  2. Kevin

    I enjoyed your post…I lot of what you say is true and It’s also true that listening is one of the most important skills you can improve. In general communication is an art that is being lost more everyday is important as people don’t do much face to face.

    Reply
  3. Zuwa

    Wow, this was deep and extreemly insightful. It made me reflect on my own relationships and how I communicate with others. I think I am more passive agressive (and need to work on this) because it does not solve anything. I also like how you explained active litsening , alot of people would fail in that category. I’ve never thought to record a conversation, when trying to resolve a situation or write it down, but that is a great tip and one that I will definately be using.
    You are a great writer and I really enjoyed reading this post.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Jack Post author

      You’re very welcome Zuwa, and thank you for your wonderful comment!

      Yes, passive aggressive strategies tend to confuse, confound, and frustrate more than resolve.

      You aren’t alone, I can be very passive aggressive if I allow myself to be (as well as just plain aggressive).

      I can tell you from experience, recording a conversation, especially when you get passionate or otherwise forget that you are recording can be VERY enlightening, for all involved in the conversation.

      You’ll begin to see that those subtle (and oft times not so subtle) tones that you don’t even realize you are using, are quite often belittling or otherwise provoking responses from people that you didn’t understand before.

      If you can go one step further and video conversations, you’ll find that facial expressions and body language often convey contrary messages to what you intended.

      It can be very enlightening, and I encourage everyone to do it.

      I hope to see you back again soon!

      Reply
  4. Russell Egan

    I think the main black and white picture is a great representation of the overall “mood” of the content. I got a little depressed from reading through the content as I have recently broke up with my girlfriend.
    The page and content are well written.
    Maybe adding some information or a side bar for helplines and telephone numbers would help people?

    Reply
    1. Jack Post author

      Russell, I sympathize with your situation. Breakups are hard, and sometimes they are meaningful.

      While it is not my intent to depress, the point is to reach you, which apparently I did. 🙂

      Your point about help is not lost, and I fully intend to “get to the point” but this is one article in a much larger series meant to guide you through the various stages of this less than ideal situation.

      Did you read the other articles? If not, I’d love to know how you feel about the rest of the series.

      Thank you for the compliments, and if you and your girlfriend do have a special connection, perhaps it’s still salvageable.

      If you intend to pursue it I strongly recommend you read: Say Yes to Everything and Reveal the Secret of the Heart

      I hope you come back soon, I’d love to hear from you again.

      Reply
  5. Nico Rocha

    Listening is indeed an underrated skill of humans because some people don’t think that communication is enough in making a relationship whole. You gave most of us ideas on how to listen and interpret properly what our partner is saying to us and that goes a long way because it will form a great habit in us and will make our partner happy that they have someone who loves hearing them talk. Just like what you said, if we don’t give them to voice out what they’re holding inside, then things just might implode for the worst

    Reply
    1. Jack Post author

      That’s right Nico! Those hidden feelings that all of us tend to mash down inside of us in order to cope with a situation or avoid confrontation don’t go away…they spoil, fester and ultimately explode outward.

      It’s inevitable that some catalyst will help them to surface.

      Another aspect of this problem is that it’s a form of lie. I’ll tell you what I mean by that…

      Basically, the lie comes in the form of positive affirmation that everything is “fine”, when in reality the person that is feeling resentment and other negative emotions is dying inside…and so is your love…you just don’t know it.

      That’s the lie, relationships are built on honesty and trust, and when that breaks down…even when the “intent” is “good” and meant to avoid further strife, all one is doing is “kicking the can” further down the road.

      I’ll likely write more on this topic later. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you commenting again soon!

      Reply
  6. Brianna Mosher

    I love what you said about change. It’s true – most people say it takes a long time but honestly it occurs the moment you decide that you want to. From there, your actions begin to reflect that. The change occurs nearly instantly. Thanks for this piece.

    Reply
    1. Jack Post author

      You are absolutely welcome!

      Yeah, when you realize that, when you realize that the only thing that is holding you back when you want to change is…you, that’s a profound realization.

      There really is only one person that can change you and that’s you, yourself.

      I have to chuckle when people tell me how hard it is to change and how long it takes. Yes, change CAN be hard, but it never takes a long time. That’s them lacking conviction, that’s them lacking the actual desire to change.

      Thanks for the comment, I hope to see you back soon!

      Reply
  7. Linda Watson

    I was riveted to your article all the way through. Moving on is hard, change is hard and so is communicating. As a health coach I’ve been trained to keep my mouth shut and listen. As you said very hard to do and it is the sweet spot. The best stuff comes out during the pauses, allow them to happen and be quiet. Looking forward to reading more of your insights!

    Reply
    1. Jack Post author

      Thank you so much for commenting Linda, I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

      Listening HAS to be one of the best skills we can learn, it’s amazing what you can learn with a little bit of patience when you are truly listening and invested in the words being conveyed to you (generally speaking).

      I think I could even go so far as to say that listening is a dying art. Today, with all our distractions from phones, computers, and attention grabbers, it’s difficult to find the calm patience in anyone necessary to truly care about what is being discussed.

      Thanks for stopping by Linda, I look forward to future insights from you!

      Reply

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