Your partner's choice to be unfaithful was theirs alone, and that decision does not reflect how valuable you are.
This article topic was requested and I have been thinking long and hard about the meaning of this quote, and how to discuss it. I have recently come across examples of people making decisions to further their careers, or make steps towards their goals that as a side effect, harm others. When I say harm others, I do not mean bodily harm, but more of an emotional wound, relational injury or impacting others’ beliefs. Some of the sentiments related to this topic that have been relayed to me include: hurt feelings, breach of trust, and feeling as though they have been stabbed in the back. None of these things have a positive impact on a person, unless it is to increase their resilience. However, if you are one of these people who have been affected by another’s decision to better themselves, then I have some recommendations that you may want to try out to ease the pain.
I may start sounding like a broken record, but I truly believe we need more of this in our world: try on some empathy for size. What I mean by that is, put yourself in the other’s shoes. Can you see how they might have come to this decision? Do you think they intended to hurt you personally? Might this have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for them? Usually, this technique can help us to understand both sides of the story instead of being stuck in a one-sided loop, creating more resentment and anger towards the situation and the person who had ‘wronged’ you. Also, it is a great exercise to practice that may cause you to have a deeper understanding of the human psyche.
Another idea is not to take it personally. Of course, this is easier said than done. As humans we are hard-wired for survival…however, sometimes these reflexes work to our detriment. If a person has wronged us, we are weary to let them do it again by putting up walls to protect ourselves. Learning from our mistakes is a great thing, but not if it means closing yourself off to the world. Instead of keeping it to yourself, isolating, brooding, emotional stuffing, or passive aggressive behavior—try talking about it to someone you trust, increasing your positive relations with people in your life. However, there is a thin line. Some venting can be beneficial, but don’t become engulfed in the negativity--get it out and move on. Try to challenge yourself by coming up with a different way you may be able to view the situation, such as finding a silver lining, or a positive flip-side. Changing your negative thoughts to a more positive framework can go a long way in increasing your overall happiness.
"I was so good to him! I did everything I could to be a good girlfriend and now he seems so much happier with someone else. Am I broken? What is wrong with me?"
Do you remember building puzzles as a kid?
Sometimes you’d find two pieces that fit together so well that they had to be right. But…the pictures didn’t line up.
No matter what you did, they just didn't fit.
You'd look around the table, searching through a sea of other pieces that just weren't right, and you were convinced that the ones in your hand had to fit, out of necessity, out of a lack of options, or because you just wanted them to.
Every living person looks for connection. We all want to be understood; many of us long for that one person who will make us feel complete. And sometimes, just when you think you’ve found the person, they leave.
If they go off and find someone with whom they connect deeply, that does not, and SHOULD not, impact your value as a human being.
As much as you might have wanted the connection to work, it didn't. The puzzle pieces didn't fit together.
It's not a matter of someone being better or worse, valued, or valueless.
You’re not for them. And that’s okay. You fit better somewhere else.
Written for you, by therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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