Relationship Forum: Lost Love

Relationship forum is a regular item run by this site to give some relationship help to women in general. The relationship forum element of this blog is taken from my advice column (edited, with all the identifiable details changed, of course). It sets out to address some of the more general problems faced by women who've been mistreated by their partners, and those unlucky in love. I hope that by highlighting individual stories, I can help more people in similar situations. 

Have a look at the previous relationship forums on this blog here:
Confidence to stay away
Relationship has left a hole in your life
Feeling destroyed at the end of the relationship
Finding him, only to lose him

Relationship forum: Here is 'Mary's' story of lost love


Lost love just before wedding day
Dear Anne, I am going through an extremely hard break up. I’m older have already been through a divorce, but this is worse. We were engaged to be married later this year, but he broke up with me three months before our wedding day. I really didn’t understand why. I have asked him to explain and he said I pushed him away. I guess there may have been times that I didn’t show him the attention I should have but I work full time while raising my kids.

Feelings of depression
At times I feel a little overwhelmed and want to go into hiding. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I have apologised and told him I would try harder to be more aware and not push him away. He said at this time he needed to concentrate on himself and he could only be a friend. He did say that maybe after he works on himself, things could change. I so want to hang on because I feel like we’re supposed to be together. I’m a religious person and pray about it. I hold onto the hope that it’ll work out.
Help!  Am I just grasping at straws? When I try to think of bad things about the relationship I have a hard time thinking of any.

My reply to ‘Mary’
Past mistakes in love
I can understand why it hurts so much. You felt like you had a second chance at happiness with a life partner, and determined to make this one work. When that didn't happen it almost crushed you. As the (supposed) wedding date gets closer, your pain - instead of waning, grows even more intense.
Maybe it was your inner turmoil of being scared you were going to make the same mistakes as your first marriage, that led you to push him away. While there may be an element of truth in this, it sounds as though your fiancé was partly to blame as well. It appears as though he is also unsure this will work.
The only thing I can say is that (and you won’t agree) it may be a good thing the split happened now and not after you were married. Being twice divorced would’ve only left you more wounded, and would’ve negatively affected your self-esteem.

Difficult to let love go
There doesn’t seem to be much you can do about getting him back. The most important thing now is to focus your time and effort into reassuring your kids. Remember that this break-up is affecting them maybe as much as it has affected you. They’ll try to hide their pain because they do not want to place even more pressure on you than you already have. So talk to them and reassure them that relationships can and do work. The last thing you want is for them to grow up with unresolved issues about relationships because you were too buried in your agony to help them through theirs.

You’re suffering I know, but your focus on healing them will take your mind off your pain, especially at this time when you should’ve been preparing to become a new bride.

Take stock of what love has left you
After this desperate period is over, take stock of what is left of the relationship. If it cannot be restored, determine to move on. You’ve been strong enough to do it once and you can draw wisdom from that episode to do it again. You’ll feel alone, so once the kids are okay, gather your friends and family around you and rebuild.

There isn’t time to run after this man, let go of him. I’m assuming he’s older, so if he loves you, he’ll know that he’s got to come running back soon or you’ll be gone. Tell him you’re stepping away and really do so. If he doesn’t come back build your strength and leave him alone. You found him, so you can and will find another.
The bottom line is that your kids have to be comforted and reassured. This break-up could’ve left them thinking it was their fault. But of course, you wouldn’t know this until you really sit down, take time off, and speak with them.

Sometimes relationships aren't meant to be
Find calm, find peace. When you pray, stop asking to be reunited with this man and instead, ask God to give you the peace to let go. Always remember that as a Father, God sometimes answers ‘NO’ to our prayers when He knows something isn’t good for us. It’s only natural for a parent to do this. If your child asked you for a weapon what would your answer be?
Maybe God has already given you his answer…

Conclusion - relationship forum: lost love
If you've been affected by similar circumstances, please feel free to send me an email from my contact page or in the comments below. Also, if you know anyone who will benefit from this piece, send it to them by email or share it on your favourite networking sites. As always, thank you for visiting The Relationship Blog. Have a look at the rest of the stories in the relationship forum series. They're linked above.

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Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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