Well this year I’ve been going through a huge transition in life and it’s all after finding out my ex cheated on me for years. Reflecting on my relationship, I did a lot to make it work and sacrificed a lot to make them happy and now seeing my energy and love was taken advantage of to make them feel better, simply sucks. So I guess my question is “He f$cked you over, now what?
Now life has gotten a lot better for me, confidence risen, job opportunities, genuinely happy. But my hardest struggle is getting passed and over the hurt and pain, and it’s hard not reflect on the past.
Dear Surprisingly Broken,
Thanks for writing to me. First off, let me commend you on trying to come out on the other side of your most recent breakup. Relationships end for a multitude of reasons, but when they end because the trust is broken due to infidelity, that’s hard for any person to recover from. So again, I commend you on trying to move forward with your life.
Look, I don’t care what cliché you may read or what movie magic may tell you, mending a broken heart is not an easy or quick process. In fact, it takes time and a lot of work. Yes, I said work. You can’t truly heal from a breakup by sitting on your sofa eating ice cream and binging on Netflix. Nor will you find the key to moving on at the bottom of a Tito’s or Crown Royal bottle. And as good as old school Mary J. music may be at relating to your melancholy emotions, listening to “Not Gon Cry” and “I’m Goin’ Down” usually don’t motivate you to get out of your heartbroken state of mind.
When I say you have to put in work, you have to start by reframing your past relationship. You have to take the steps to reshape your perception of the past for what it is now. A learning experience. I understand your ex cheated on you, and again I’m sorry; but, you owe it to yourself and your future partner to think about what you’ve learned from your last relationship. For example, what did you learn about what you do and don’t want out of a future partner? Also, what are your needs versus your wants in a relationship going forward? And I hate to say this, but I must. You have to think about what role if any you played in your ex cheating, so you can perhaps fix your own certain behaviors (In many cases, cheating is a reflection on two people not just the cheater).
Besides putting in work in terms of self-reflection, you also have to have the courage to believe that not all men intend to inflict heartache and pain on you. For someone who has suffered heartbreak, it takes a certain level of strength not to fall into the sunken place of bitterness and negativity. I truly believe that many people will themselves into expecting the worst out of people, and in turn receive that. Or, they believe all men are “dogs” and cut themselves off from experiencing happiness romantically ever again. I encourage you to try your hardest not to be that person.
As far as finding your next great romance, I think the best thing you can do, when you’re ready, is to date for the sake of dating. Go out with a guy or four just to get your feet wet. Don’t go on the date with the expectation of finding your Prince Charming or booty call. However, go under the premise you are just trying to work your way up to allowing yourself to be vulnerable with another person.
Suggestions going forward.
- Should you take my advice and date for the sake of dating, make sure you don’t lead these guys on.
- Now if while dating for the sake of dating you find you have a connection with a great guy, by all means, pursue a relationship. Just take it slow and don’t rush anything.
- I didn’t mention before, but when you reflect on your past relationship, ask yourself if the ex is reflective of a pattern of men? Is your most recent ex, like previous exes? You may need to think about going on a date with someone not usually your type.
As always nothing but love,