My guy was the best thing in my life. We broke up eight months ago because of his partying. He tried to get me back, then made peace with our breakup. Recently, I told him I was wrong to hold onto my grudge. We began having fun again. I hoped we would get back together, but knew it would not be easy because once he makes up his mind, that’s it. Today I told him I felt down because I didn’t think he wanted to be together. My feeling was absolutely right. He is enjoying the single lifestyle and has fallen out of love with me. He does not want to feel bad about partying or anything he is doing. I feel completely broken and ashamed that my pride and stubbornness caused me to lose the one. I am absolutely devastated. I am hoping to grow from this. I don’t see myself moving on but want your advice to help me have peace.
The peace you seek—and deserve–will arrive only after you forgive yourself for ending this relationship. Can you accept that you didn’t do anything wrong? You chose not to marry a man who partied, a lot. He chose to continue partying even though he knew it meant he would lose you. Let that soak in. Now repeat the following to yourself at least ten times a day: “I haven’t done anything wrong.” When your mind floats back into imagining that you failed at love, correct it, again. Embrace reality.
I don’t understand why you’re labeling yourself as stubborn, either. Flip that judgment. Accept yourself as a woman with standards that are appropriate for who you are and the life you want for yourself. Your ex didn’t measure up. (Stop. Breathe. Read that last sentence again). Yes, he was the right guy for you for a few chapters of your life story. Yes, he has value as a human person. Yes, you shared wonderful times together. But it’s okay to admit that he was not capable of being the man you know you desire as a life partner.
And, pride? Really? Let’s flip that script, too. Begin here: Be grateful that you enjoy a sense of satisfaction about yourself and your accomplishments. If pride kept you from crawling back to your ex, cherish your pride. It protected you from re-entering a relationship that you had evolved beyond. Seeing our own growth is not always easy, but it is a courageous act of self-love. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Shame means you think you are a bad person. Not true. You’re a woman who did not want to deal with a man’s addiction to drugs and alcohol.
I know you said you don’t see yourself moving on from heartbreak. Trust me. You will. In between crying jags, practice a new perspective. Visualize yourself as you long to be: serene, happy, open and trusting. That’s what it means to grow from this. If you love yourself, focus on the future, not the past. In time, you will heal and find love again, in yourself and in the world.