You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I was dating a guy for 15 months. We had a great relationship—regular disagreements and the kids got along well. A month ago he saw his ex wife for the first time in person after about two years. (She brought their daughter by plane because she was too young to fly by herself for the weekend to visit.) He said he realized he was still in love with her and the chemistry was still there, so he broke up with me. They did not verbally state that they were going to work on their relationship, but rather he said to me, "Some things do not need to be said, just understood, so I have to follow my heart." He explained to me that he is taking a risk.
I am so heartbroken, hurt, pissed off and angry. I have not reached out since that night and do not plan to. I know what we had was genuine and I know he cared. Obviously he never got over the divorce, if he went to this extreme and is willing to risk a great relationship. She divorced him. I'm pretty strong, but this pain is indescribable. Deep down I know he is making a huge mistake but that it’s not my place to interfere. It's almost as if he fell in love with me, but still had his heart partly with her. I feel so betrayed. We really felt at one time we were it for each other—almost soul mates. We’ve both been married, divorced and have one child each.
I’ve heard it all from friends: “You should not be the second option.” “You are considered second best.” “You would be a fool to take him back if (or when) he comes back.” But, I honestly can't say what I would do. I know my worth and I'm a pretty good woman that brings a lot to the table. I honestly feel he needs this closure and a rude awakening. While we were dating, she was not a nice person to him. He always felt he was never good enough for her and he is a great father. Up until a few weeks before he saw her they were at it all of the time and there was a lot of tension. I constantly would tell him that they needed to be cordial for the sake of their child. Anyway, I'm baffled by al of this. I'm not the type to intervene, beg, plead or stop matters of the heart. How can a person do this and live with himself day-to-day?
As emotionally painful as it may be, your boyfriend has done you a major favor. You should thank him for being honest and saving you from more pain later. You being “heartbroken, hurt, pissed and angry" is understandable and expected. You are in love with someone who is in love with someone else. Sometimes when you are in love, it is difficult to see or hear little telltale warning signs that something is wrong.
While he may have been with you physically, his heart never left his ex-wife and he never stopped loving her. This does not mean that he did not care for you. It only means that he could not fully commit to you or love you in a way that you want or need. It took a lot of courage for your boyfriend to admit that he was still in love with his ex-wife and break up with you. He could have easily "played" both of you. You are hurting and your wounds are raw right now. Your wounds will heal if you allow yourself to work through the pain. It is important for you to seek individual therapy to process your feelings and to heal. You are at risk for getting stuck in your anger and becoming depressed.
If you are not careful, your anger and other feelings will get misplaced on the next guy. It will be tough for you to trust and allow yourself to love in the next relationship. To avoid this, you must take time to heal properly. In order to have a healthy relationship, you must be healthy. As bad as you must feel now, remember that this too shall pass. -- Dr. Sherry
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