As I said in my previous reply to you, I urge you never to judge yourself or put yourself down as you have in your letter.
If you think that is what you deserve, you are wrong. You do not sound like an idiot. On the contrary, you sound like
a brave woman who has tried hard to love and who has been hurt. Your willingness to face and share your deep emotion is
also a sign of great courage.
You said "the love you carry inside you for that extra special someone".
In saying that you indicate to me that you don't at this moment fully understand what love is. Don't feel bad
about that, your culture has been telling you the wrong story for a very long time. Love is love.
Increadibly powerful, constant, and eternal. It is unconditional and never wants for anything in return.
You say you gave 16 years unconditionally. But the fact that you are feeling so hurt indicates that you did
in fact have conditions. You had the condition that you wished to be 'loved' in return, or at least treated
resonably. That is not really love. Love asks for nothing in return. Real love is its own reward, exactly like
the love you have for your children. It doesn't matter how they behave, you love them, always. Eternal. Unwavering.
Now, that does not mean that you should put up with abuse from a partner in an adult relationship.
Loving someone does not mean staying with them necessarily. The 'till death us do part' vow is a terribly
destructive one and really messses up people's lives. Sometimes it has to be tough love. Sometimes you have
to leave someone for their own good, so that they can sort out their issues in the only way that anyone really can,
by dealing with them themselves rather than relying on another person to fix them. You can leave someone but
carry on loving, understanding that they were just not ready to be in a healthy relationship with you. The feelings
are then ones of compassion and love. Of course there is still disappointment, but not the terrible hurt you feel now.
Once you return to love and compassion, you will find peace. It is not your fault.
He just doesn't know how to love. He doesn't know what love is. If you don't believe me, next time he says
he loves you, ask him what he means by that and see how selfish his answers sound (if he is even able to
articulate any at all). He has to spend some considerable time alone to learn how to love, then he will be ready
to enter a healthy, loving relationship.
To love without conditions and in the face of fear is the most heroic thing that you can do in life.
You must not give up that because you loved someone who does not know how to love. It is your job
to be a great role model for your children. It is your job to show that you will always choose love and
embrace life no matter what has happened, because your love is bigger than the selfish idea of 'love' that
the popular media presents. Bigger than that false ideal which cannot really be love because it always seeks requitement.
Because your love is great and powerful, you can overcome hurt and disappointment and carry on believing.
You are still a young woman. Life gives you what you expect and if you resign yourself to this fate now,
that is what you will surely get. You will grow old and become embittered (even if you try hard not to) because
you are denying your soul something that it longs for and deserves. Do not play that victim. Do not! Stand up
and be a hero for yourself and for your children. There is no point leaving someone if you are going to let the
memory of them ruin the rest of your life anyway. Do not let one man who does not know how to love make you think
that all men do not know how to love. Frankly, you would be insulting many good men if you do that.
You will also be totally wasting your own potential, allowing him to still hold power over you. Even though he
would no longer be physically there, he may as well be.
But you are very right that you should not rush into another relationship. Stay single. For as long as it takes.
Two years, three years maybe. Until you have healed the pain and learned to love yourself and others without
conditions once more. Another person can never make you happy. This is another terrible untruth that has been
allowed to permeate your culture. Ideas of a 'soul mate' or 'The One' or 'a night in shining armour' have done so
much to deny people real happiness because they are always looking in the wrong place. Always looking outside
themselves rather than inside themselves. You need to get happy and be ready to give love because you have it
in abundance, because you have so much to spare. Then you will naturally find another person who is also happy
and ready to give love. Then a beautiful and healthy relationship can be made. You are the icing on each other's
cakes. No dependency, just mutual giving and sharing from a position of strength.
Do not deny yourself that possibility. You would be doing yourself, your children and the world a massive
disservice if you do. The world is in turmoil because so many people act out of fear rather than love. It
is up to each one of us to stand up and be counted, to choose which side we want to be on. You cannot complain
about the state of things if you will not stand up and say proudly: 'I choose love!'
Stay with us, Jane. We need you.
Good luck and love to you,
<< Back to Jane's letter
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