Almost everything I talk about comes from one of three complementary perspectives: The Hero’s Journey, the martial arts, and the Soulmate process. They cover about everything in life. The following thought relates to nurturing love .
We had a host of excellent answers about dealing with a devastating betrayal. Most of them had to do with anger, fear, connecting with friends, allowing time to heal. One of my own personal suggestions had to do with actual survival and financial issues connected to the breakup: that this person sit quietly for an entire day with a pad of paper and work out how they would survive if the worst happened. Once you know you can survive the worst, SURVIVAL fear is no longer part of the mix. There are still other fears: loneliness is major. If you KNEW the love of your life, the best lover you’ve ever had and the greatest adventure of all time was right around the corner, that betrayal wouldn’t hurt as badly, would it?
I remember many years ago, having dinner with a friend who was having an affair with another woman at the table. His wife (call her Madge) was forced to make polite conversation. It was awk-ward. Madge excused herself to go to the bathroom, and another lady at the table encountered her there.
Later, she told me that Madge had been staring trance-like into the mirror. I asked what my friend thought Madge had been thinking. I wanted a woman’s perspective.
It was a fascinating response. Not just anger, and betrayal, and a sense of being destroyed by the social mask she was forced to wear (after all, she couldn’t PROVE that the other woman and her husband were having an affair…) but a sense of personal loss. She had given this man children. And what we call “the best years of her life”–the years of peak sexual attraction, which are different for women than men. (In a horrible genetic symmetry, older woman and younger men are similarly disposable.) Who would want her now? Her husband, for all his failings, could look at her and see the girl she had been when he first desired her, see past the badge of honor and endurance that the body’s resistance to gravity and time signals. That by aging together, they understood things about themselves, and each other, younger people do not yet understand.
Who would be her lover..?
I think that was one of those moments when I had a little “bump” in understanding of the process of life. Much of the pain of loss of another human being is the loss of their love, the fear of loneliness.
Not much simpler, more understandable, more HUMAN to be found anywhere in life.
This is why the first challenge is to love yourself. Protect yourself. Learn to commit to your own well being the way you would (PRECISELY the way you would) for your own most beloved child.
Please: I ask that those of you who have learned to do this, share your stories of HOW you learned to protect and care for your own hearts. You could be saving lives thereby.