Quite honestly I think that people too readily confuse feelings of jealousy, historic heartache and romantic nostalgia with those of hurt to ones own ego. If we can understand that it’s ok to feel upset when our ego takes a bashing or bruising through rejection in some shape or form, it becomes way easier to sit with sore feelings, show a little self-compassion and heal even to the extent of forgiving and ultimately moving forward in life leaving the past in the rear view mirror where it should be left, rather than seeing it as personal.
Let me elaborate.
So today’s interesting life lesson happened at the school gates whereupon I discovered one of the other mums in a teary state. Mum life can do that, plus she’s had her fair share of man drama over the last couple of years and so naturally I wanted to check she was ok.
Turns out that she had just opened her Facebook up to see a post by an unknown woman, clearly her ex’s new woman, tagging him in a post within which they were enjoying a holiday together.
That’s pretty tough going, I said. Did you know he was with someone new? Yes, she said. When they went their separate ways (he finished it) she had a vibe that she was just being moved along. Heartbroken, she had it confirmed a few weeks later when she asked him outright.
How did you leave things I asked? Clearly ok if you are still friends on Facebook? Well, at first I was angry, then I told him that I didn’t want to leave things on bad terms and so I wished them well. It took a lot but I really meant it, she said, or really tried to mean it anyway; I really thought he might have been the one and I still loved him enough to want him to be happy despite him telling me our relationship wasn’t going anywhere when he finished it. It all ended pretty much out the blue.
I love this honesty about my friend, so much so I felt like weeping too. [Author’s Note: Yes, I am continuing to have issues moderating my huge empathy levels and consequential emotional responses. For some reason I have gone totally soft in the head.]
This isn’t a unique story, in fact, I have been there in her position in the past myself and so know how painful it feels to be dinghied. It’s hard to say to someone, but heartache can actually be a good process as it can help in truly understanding lasting love as we move through the years.
You know, she went on, it’s not like I have any right to feel anything; not least feel so hard done to; but it just feels like a kick in the guts to be told you are the love of someone’s life and then a few months down the line he’s heavily involved with someone else and has probably not given me a second thought since we split. Why am I still crying over him?
I shrugged and then we hugged again. There are no words in this kind of situation that don’t sound cliched.
….Plus she’s fat and ugly she guffawed forcing a laugh through the tears …and she looks like an alien in her profile picture – I mean it has been so obviously been (badly) touched up! I can’t understand what the attraction is for him. I’d be surprised if her own mother would recognise her walking down the street on the basis of her Frankenstein-esq avatar.
She showed me the alien and then a few more unfiltered pictures of supposedly the same woman. I had to agree with everything she said about the weird pseudo-presentation of self but had a pang of guilt for the woman who was only trying her best to look cookie cutter beautiful using meagre natural resources as she pouted up out the phone at us. In different circumstances maybe she and my friend could have been buddies were it not for him. A whole other post on why women feel the need to filter their images as a psychological case study is required, it’s always so blatantly obvious when it is done and cannot do much for their own self-esteem or body image.
Men are just weird I generalised… but maybe she’s a lovely person, I proffered. He was with you after all and you are lovely plus very attractive. Yes but it hurts that I see her as a downgrade, makes me feel like I must be even worse if she’s the one he wants was her reply.
Women are weird too; the things we hold on to long after an ending. The levels of over analysis. Not always appreciating the lucky escapes. Taking things as personal slights. Heartbreak rearing it’s head long after the acute pain subsides. Always hating the successors as a natural reflex. I guess no one likes rejection. But, in my view, if we are honest, this is more about the feelings of a bruised ego than a broken heart and hopefully she’ll get to the point where she just doesn’t care.
After our chat, although she left all smiles, mascara smudges wiped with her beautiful children in tow, the whole conversation left me feeling really sad and bereft for her that she, along with many others in the same situation, are judging their whole unhappiness against the benchmark of his curated happiness.
She thinks she still loves him. She sees this other woman and vilifies her. Being frozen in a unrequited love situation while the subject in question moves on must quite simply be the worst. The reality is he probably hasn’t thought about her lately.
Her ego is sore. She needs self-compassion and time. I hope she knows how wonderful and deserving she is of better should ever she be ready to explore the dating market again.
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