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