Anna had been with her partner for two years. They had talked about getting married, having a family together and she had never been happier. She felt everything in her life was finally working. She had a great job, wonderful friends and a fantastic man whom she loved with all her heart. She had started to look at bridal magazines and had a wonderful picture in her head of their life together. She couldn’t wait for the rest of her life.
But suddenly, Terry had come home and told her it was over. He said he didn’t love her any more. What? She had thought they were happy together. As he packed his bags and walked out the door, Anna couldn’t understand what had gone wrong.
She got up each morning and went to work, put on a brave face with her friends, but she was completely numb. She knew there was a massive wave of grief just below the surface but she refused to let it overwhelm her. If she ignored it perhaps it would go away. Don’t they say time heals all wounds?
For Anna, the shock of her partner’s leaving was so great she couldn’t begin to comprehend what it actually meant. There was a part of her mind that refused to hear the words, and even though Terry was gone she just couldn’t accept it was over.
How had this happened? One minute they were talking about marriage and babies and the next he had walked out the door. What did he mean when he said he didn’t love her anymore? Had any of their time together been real or had he always felt this way? In her mind, by refusing to admit things had changed, she was able to hide from her reality. She believed if she felt nothing then the pain couldn’t touch her.
How many of us do this? Retreat into a world of denial. Pretend nothing has happened or that we’re okay? We act brave and nonchalant on the outside, but inside our heart is broken. We refuse to address it and hope one day, with time, it will just disappear. However, the pain continues to pervade our lives until we deal with it.
And swapping one partner for another will not heal you either. It may feel great in the beginning but sooner or later issues will arise that will bring back all the old emotions. It may be you sabotage what is in fact a fantastic relationship because of old, unaddressed pain that has nothing to do with the now.
You can’t go around it, under or over it. You can only go through it
We can only heal when we accept that things have changed. Hiding and hoping will never bring you the freedom you deserve.