You wanted to be to him what she wasn’t.
You wanted to show him that you’re a good woman. That he can trust you.
Then you look up one day and he’s back with his ex. The woman who wronged him.
Despite the passionate words and kisses that made your head light and your heart melt, he had the audacity to leave you for someone else. The gall of the man!
Nobody likes to be left.
Regardless of your age or station in life, it still hurts like heck when you’ve given your heart and everything else—staying up until 2am listening to his she-done-me-wrong song—only to be left for another.
But could it be possible that the guy who left you wasn’t at fault?
Before you throw a book at me, let me clarify. I’m NOT saying that it was okay that you were left or that you deserved it. No, not at all.
When someone is hurting, it is inherent in women to nurture. We certainly don’t need to change that. But we do need to infuse that natural tendency with a few hard truths.
Like the truth that a wounded person is … well … wounded.
Wounded people seek pain relief.
They are too consumed with their own emotional discomfort to see you as anything other than Tylenol.
For example, I once liked a guy who didn’t know that I liked him. When the opportunity presented itself, I thought, “Okay, he’s not attached anymore. Here’s my chance!” We dated. I doted. Then the shock to my heart…
Ole boy up and got married.
I was devastated.
In retrospect, I didn’t understand the time or season he was in.
I didn’t understand that gratitude and preference are two different things.
A vulnerable man may respond sexually or romantically to your attentiveness. A love interest may say, “Thank you,” and truly appreciate you being there…
But if your motivation is the hope that he’ll choose you, you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment.
If anyone is in enough pain, he will take a whole lot of pain reliever. But after he’s done hurting, it goes right back on the shelf.
Please, pass the Tylenol. Don’t BE the Tylenol.
Until I practiced this, I found myself in one compromising position after another. Anger, disillusionment or depression always followed. I felt spurned. I’d make him out to be the bad guy.
Thank God, as Iyanla Vanzant put it, “one day my soul just opened up.” I became aware of a simple yet powerful truth:
No one commits to the pain reliever.
I had to change.
This is where it gets tricky.
Most of us think that changing means isolation. We isolate from the source of our pain. We write off the ones who hurt us and go on to the next person.
We might even create situations so that we can leave them. Or, even worse, we shut ourselves down so that no other man will EVER hurt us again.
In my opinion, this is the ultimate cop out. You have to own your part.
You have to take responsibility for what you did.
If the truth be told, you had a hidden agenda. Convincing this person that you were what he needed was your motivation. You only gave to get.
So who’s at fault? Who was using whom? Who was taking an unfair advantage?
Let’s get down to the real. Wounded people seek relief from other wounded people.
At the most, you were using each other. He was seeking pain relief. You were seeking validation.
Interestingly, need often masquerades as love. Need can invoke the same intense feelings, thoughts and desires as love does.
So how do you tell the difference?
Need desires to satisfy itself above all else, whereas love puts the well-being of the other person at the forefront.
Don’t look to another person, wounded or otherwise, for validation.
Give yourself the attention that you desire.