Today I’ll be answering a question that beautiful Jenny sent in. She tells her heart wrenching story of betrayal from a guy who pursued her, told her everything she wanted to hear, only to suddenly pull away, growing cold and distant.
So what happened?
Here's her story:
OK, well here I am in my late forties and I was discarded by my husband three years ago. Devastation followed.
Two men since that and they were not the right ones for me as they eroded my self-esteem hugely so I ended it with both of them. I recently lost everything, my home, job, financial status due to my ex-husbands stupidity and running away leaving, me to deal with everything.
The guy who moved me warmed to me instantly, we seemed to have a connection right from the start.
One problem – he’s married.
He pursued me, told me his marriage was over and his wife knew it, that he works hard, helps around the house, cooks, etc. and doesn’t feel loved or appreciated blah blah. He was planning to leave his wife once he had a place of his own.
I told him I wasn't going to be the cause of his marriage failure as I knew exactly how that felt having had it done to me. He assured me it was over and he was just living under the same roof. We got talking, saw each other a few times since he lived right around the corner from me on the same road.
He always said he was protecting me as he didn't want me to be blamed for his leaving. He left his wife about a month and a half ago and got his own place. Since that day he turned cold, no more "I love you’s" or "I miss you," etc.
Went from messaging every hour to every 10 hours or more. Silent treatment.
I confronted him asking what I’d done wrong and what I’d done to upset him - all I got back was “how do I mean, how is he treating me bad, he has lots on his mind and things to sort out.” He told me he has a lot of female friends and did I have a problem with that - friends and only that.
He said he didn't see them or sleep with them but talked generally. He said he didn't see a problem - he would I guess. From then I saw him once and stayed with him the night and last week he told me he just wants us to be friends for now as he has a lot to sort out in his head - which is all over the place.
He is confused and feels I deserve more than he can offer. He asked if I can handle being friends for now!!
I am left feeling so devastated and hurt for being dropped like a hot brick in that way. He was talking about making sure I never struggled again, would look after me, even talking about marriage and getting me a ring.
By the way, this relationship was since May of this year.
I have cried so many tears and have not left the house for two weeks. Just don't know what to do. Worst of all my 18 year old daughter warned me said she saw this coming.
Feel so so stupid, used and naïve. I opened my heart to this man and would've given anything for us to work out.
I know you would have given anything, Jenny. Anything.
And my saying that it wasn’t up to you – that you did everything you could, that you just dodged a bullet because there’s no way this guy could have ever been what you wanted him to be, or anything else to try to make you feel better right now isn’t going to do a whole lot, is it?
So I’m NOT going to try to make you feel better. I’ve got something else I want you to hear.
First of all, I want to back up and set the record straight for you. You were NEVER discarded by your ex-husband. NEVER. He obviously had his own issues, his own stuff to deal with and had no clue how to be with someone like you in the long term.
No one can discard you. No one.
They can decide they don’t want to play anymore, they can decide they’re not into you like they used to be, they can choose to let you go, they can choose to walk away and say goodbye – BUT every one of those decisions is about them and their own choices that reflect who they are and NOT about you.
Second, you haven’t been dropped like a hot brick. The language we use to communicate with ourselves is so important to how we see ourselves, so I want you to start listening to the words you use and the tone you set for yourself when you’re talking about you.
You should have dropped HIM like a hot brick from start. He was married! And he told you such a lie.
But I don’t want you to use this as one more thing to beat yourself up about, so instead, I want you to repeat these words to yourself: “I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. Period.”
What I’m hearing from you here, Jenny, is all about blame and shame and all kinds of things you’re doing to yourself. Don’t automatically assume you’ve done something wrong or you’ve done something to upset him that would warrant anyone giving you the silent treatment.
I can’t stand that kind of behavior, much less the other behavior that goes along with it, because if someone can even do something like that in the first place, they’re not someone who’s going to be capable of giving you what you need. Someone who can’t communicate except by his silence isn’t someone you want around.
The only reason your daughter could see what you couldn’t, Jenny, is because she’s onto this sort of thing. Our daughters have learned from us and from the culture that we’ve grown up in enough of these behaviors we’ve subjected ourselves to so they know what they NEVER want for themselves.
She can see through him and his actions because she had the ability to be objective. She wasn’t looking for someone to validate her. She wasn’t looking for someone to prove she was worthy again after feeling like she’d been discarded by someone who she never thought would be capable of treating her like he was.
You become the most attractive woman in the world!
So, Jenny, I want you to do something for me. I want you to look back at all these men who’ve fallen so short of being able to be what a real man is.
A real man stands up for you. A real man supports you. A real man doesn’t give you the silent treatment or give you reason to question yourself if you know you haven’t done anything wrong. A real man doesn’t leave you with the feeling that you’ve been discarded because he’s built up a pattern of giving you reason to feel “less than” the entire time you’re with him.
You’ve got some work to do here. It’s called coming out from under what you’ve been weighted down with by these men. It’s called stopping the dumping on you. It’s called drawing your own line in the sand. It’s called setting boundaries. And it’s called changing the story that was never your truth to begin with.
Surround yourself with people who can actually see you and your beautiful light, Jenny. Limit your contact with or get rid of the rest of them. You’re going to need all the support right now from people who lift you up, who support you, not the ones who bring you down and give you any more reasons to doubt yourself.
If I was there, I’d come get you and we’d take a walk and you could cry as many of your beautiful tears that are still left to be shed until the sun started to come out again.
Then you could see, like I and so many others on here can who’ve been in your shoes can, that the sun does come out again after the rain, that a new day dawns after the storm subsides, and we come out stronger on the other side.
I know I’m not there, Jenny, but you are. You can do this. These men have never been the ones who could see you. Who could give you even close to what you’re worth.
I promise you you’re going to see this one day soon. Not all at once. Not like a sudden epiphany that negates all these other feelings you’ve held onto for so long. But slowly and surely, one day at a time, one step at a time, you’re going to catch a glimpse of your beautiful self again.
Remember, I’m here for you, I’m on your side, and so are all of the women in this community we’ve built here in this little corner of the internet, so come back as often as you need to. We can do this together!
So now I’ll put it out to all of you.
Silent treatment? Discarded? Dropped like a hot brick? I know these words hit a tender spot for so many of you who’ve been through this just like beautiful Jenny. And more than anyone else, I know you know. Tell her what she needs to hear from you in the comments below.