My girlfriend of two years broke up with me last month. She said her heart wasn't in it anymore and she needed time to herself.
I've been mature about it, haven't lashed out or been rude. I've given her plenty of space.
We just spoke for the first time via messages.
She’s still very hurt, but I have so many unanswered questions.
Should I keep seeking answers, or continue my no-contact rule and move on?
It’s hard not to resent her, but is forgiveness the only way to truly move on?
Give yourself more time and space, with the no-contact rule.
The past month was about shock, and hurt. It’ll be awhile before you can look clearly at what happened, and even answer some of your own questions.
Forgiveness truly does help you move on.
My parents were very loving of each other and of both my sister and me. But because I was adopted (she was their natural child) I always felt insecure.
I tested everyone’s interest in me and pushed many people away. I know this now from therapy.
I couldn’t feel and give back love because I never trusted it.
I’ve been divorced twice and ended many more relationships before and after. Now I’m hoping that what I’ve learned can help me to finally trust and love someone.
Trust, and openness to both giving and receiving, are key to staying with someone through the challenges that occur in every long-term relationship.
But stay alert to what you’re feeling.
Your previous default pattern of insecurity can re-emerge if you let down your awareness of what’s going on through different phases.
A partner gets busy, say, with a work project, and that old fear of thinking that you’re being rejected, can creep back.
It’s wise prevention to periodically have a “check-up” with your therapist…. maybe every few years, or when you start to feel anxious about the relationship.
Commitment isn’t a one-time vow. It requires making an effort whenever it’s needed.
My husband and I married right after graduating university, raised two children, and still love each other after 30 years together.
I’m very sad that my son and his wife are divorcing because they can’t work out their differences.
They have no patience for what lasting love takes.
Our son seems to think we never had ups and downs but we did, especially when I went back to school and then out to work after eight years at home.
Please tell me what you think are the essential keys to staying together.
Older and More Patient
One thing that’s very helpful in many long-term relationships is having family/in-law support, but not interference.
If your son’s willing to discuss some of their issues, do NOT tell him they’re just impatient, or criticize them.
Sharing some of the ups and downs you experienced may be interesting, but don’t expect it to suddenly change their minds.
Two “tips” that relationship experts believe are crucial for staying together:
- Don’t expect to be a “perfect match” – there will always be differences between you in tastes, food, music, etc. They’re not what divide you.
- Accept that sexual intimacy changes in tone and frequency over time – e.g. passionate in the earlier phases, rushed and less frequent when raising kids, deeper and calmer after the kids are grown and gone.
Mention these only IF your son is open to talking about it. The situation is between him and his wife, and hopefully a professional counselor.
I’m always trying to figure out how to accomplish my goals.
I do tons of research and think of every possible way an achievement could fail. Then I think of ways to resolve all the problems that could possibly arise.
Then when I set out to achieve my goal and I experience roadblocks, I press on and continue again more persistently each time.
But in the end I have nothing.
And after I evaluate all my failures and seek help from unbiased experts, the rejections I receive aren’t logical.
Your determination is admirable.
However, you’re blocking your own success by over-thinking, over-worrying, focusing on negative possibilities, and delaying a forward move.
Get help ahead, not after the process. See your doctor about ways to ease your anxieties about failure.
As well, a therapist can help you develop the self-confidence you need for just going ahead with a straightforward plan.
Tip of the day:
After a break-up, give yourself time to reflect and heal.