Q. I am truly brokenhearted, unlike anything I have ever felt in my life. It’s been 13 months and I cry every day.
I have dreams about my ex a couple of times a week ... and I never dream about exes. I loved him to my core.
It’s been a dark and lonely year for me. I broke up with him because I couldn’t trust him. He used me, took advantage of my giving heart ... he was a taker. Ironically, he is liked by many and has lots of friends.
He played with my emotions and told me the right things every time I tried to break up with him. He truly only cared about himself and his needs. He pursued me, and then I found out he was married. When his wife finally left him, he lost all interest in me. He had his freedom and no longer was himself. I broke it off several times and then got gaslighted back in. Now I am so broken.
How do I get over this when this man still has his friends and has moved on?
A. His friends are not your friends. You don’t have to see, think about, or Google them (please don’t).
Also know that if this man is a professional taker — if he gaslights people who are kind to him, and is comfortable betraying those who love him — these friendships probably aren’t as great as you think. Let’s not assume that any part of his life is aspirational. We do not know that he is living in bliss with his newfound freedom.
Similarly, you feel broken, but you aren’t forever altered. It makes perfect sense that you’re retracing your steps and processing this great betrayal. But now is temporary. You do not have to label yourself as an easy target for this kind of person. This relationship taught you what it looks like to be with someone who takes, someone who is charming without good intentions. You know how to trust your gut when it’s time to break it off.
You can feel whole again. You can do so many things, especially now that this disappointing human is out of your way. Yes, there will be grief, and moments when you hate that you miss him. But please remember, as you give yourself time to heal, that the person who found freedom here is you.
Stop blaming this guy for all of your life’s problems. YOU stayed in a relationship with this man after finding out he was married. It doesn’t sound like you even feel bad about that, you’re just mad that he didn’t choose you once he became a free man. Then YOU chose to go back to him several times even after he treated you poorly. Now he’s moved on, but you can’t because YOU seem to have no friends or life outside of him. Stop wallowing in this mess and do something to improve your situation. None of this happened to you, this is of your own making. Learn to make better choices in the future and take responsibility for your own actions.
Sorry to say, you ended up with a narcissist. On your part, what you had was just a pleasant experience as this guy told you what you wanted to hear. This wasn’t true love, or you wouldn’t be crying — there’s no crying in love! Hopefully you’ll be more assertive going forward. As MG said, you sure will feel whole again. In the meanwhile, enjoy being alone, be glad that this is behind you, join a gym, keep busy, and enjoy your days.
Many of us these days are wondering how anyone can continue to love and support a con man who lies, cheats, gaslights, and uses the people around him. It is indeed hard to fathom. But all you can do is work on letting go of your own obsession with the man. Some therapy would help. You seem very confused about loyalty and love, and I sense you have some deeper issues that result in your trusting the wrong kind of people. Good luck.
People aren’t the same in relationships as they are with friends. Doesn’t matter because you totally buried the lede — he was married! Personally, I think you dodged a bullet here. Stop wallowing in the melodrama and be glad that you can move on with your life.
A year of crying daily ... I think therapy could help you break this destructive pattern. Please ask for the help you need.
Count your blessings. 1. You weren’t his wife. Think how she must feel. Worse than you do, I am sure. 2. It’s over. He’s gone. No more lies, betrayals, etc. 3. You learned a lesson (I hope) — stay clear of married men. You shouldn’t still feel “love” for a louse like him. Put it in the past — with therapy if necessary.
I don’t understand why you’re so focused on his friends. They don’t have to see what you see. Convince yourself you’re better off and forget about his entourage.
Send your own relationship and dating questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.