Red Responds: Is It Her Heart or Her Ego?

Shannon S. in Parksville writes:

I am in great need of hope right now. I have been breaking up with a
man for several months. Our relationship was toxic and horrible, but
the passion was intense. I have been telling him I don’t want it any
more. All of a sudden, though, he stopped contacting me – and he sent
me a message telling me he was moving on. I know he has found someone

I just want to know if I have lost the love of my life – and if I will ever get over him. I am 27 and very intelligent. I know how ridiculous this sounds. I just want to know if it is my heart or my ego that is hurting. I just want to hope for my future.

Dear Shannon,

You have experienced a long and complicated relationship, followed by a long and drawn-out breakup. Both of these things have been chaotic and painful. The whole experience, from start to finish, is surrounded by a certain level of thrill, as well as confusion. Sometimes, after such an experience, the heart and the ego become intertwined.

You don’t sound ridiculous, you just sound like someone who has experienced the less-healthy side of relationships and love. Even though it has been quite a ride, your ex is now more removed from you, and you are experiencing this loss more fully. It hurts when someone tells you that they are moving on. Find some comfort in knowing that this process hasn’t been easy on him, either. He’s just making it seem as if it is easier, which has triggered an emotional response from you.

Your heart and ego are both going to hurt for a while yet, but it will get better. It’s painful and confusing, but all the emotional upheaval you are experiencing is actually part of your healing process. In time, pain will be replaced by joy, and you will look back and recognize that even though you loved this person, the love you shared was idealistic – yet not ideal.

You haven’t lost the love of your life, you haven’t even met that person yet. But you will. On the romantic plain, you still have quite a bit to look forward to, including a healthy and happy relationship. The passion will be just as intense – maybe more so – but the new relationship will lack the abuse and drama you have grown familiar with. It’s going to be quite a nice change!

Take this time to hurt, to heal, and to recognize the difference between healthy love and the illusion of love created by possessive abuse and manipulation. It may seem – right now – like you will never get over this man, but the day will come when you will hardly remember him.

You’ll be fine.

Ext. 9226

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