I was married once, to a lady who I was with for 7 years.
But she left me for another man.
Naturally, when I first found out she had been seeing another guy behind my back I was absolutely devastated, shocked.
“How could this happen to me? What have I done to deserve this? What is so special about him? How could she be so heartless? How could he be nice to my face and yet steal my wife behind my back!”
And so on, and so on …….
I am sure most people reading this article have been through exactly the same experience with a partner at some point in their lives. Maybe you have gone through it recently and are still experiencing deep anger and heartache. Maybe you went through it a long time ago and still find yourself churning the anger in your head over and over again.
After the initial shock of finding out, I was left feeling very angry at them both.
My wife left me and all I could think about was the two of them dancing off into the sunset, blissfully happy, everything in their life perfect, laughing at me and ‘living happily ever after’ as I struggled to come to terms with what had happened.
Despite years of meditation, my head was in turmoil and I started to think how I could stop the mental suffering that played over and over again in my mind day after day, night after night.
And then it happened …….
One night, as I sat in my room, trying to stop those negative thoughts happening, I started to think about my ex and how could it be possible that I loved her and hated her at the same time.
Simple…the love I felt for her was that I wanted her to be happy.
The hate I had for her and her new boyfriend was that I wanted me to be happy.
And so I stopped thinking about what I wanted, and started to think about what she and her new boyfriend wanted.
And then all of a sudden, I found myself thinking more clearly about the situation. She was in tears when she eventually broke the news and told me about the affair, real genuine tears. I had never heard her cry as deeply as that before.
She must have felt awful telling me. If the roles were reversed, I would feel terrible telling her. The guilt would have been unbearable.
Her new boyfriend was someone I knew and liked. I wondered why he didn’t look me in the eye when I first met him and why he seemed so uncomfortable in front of me. It can’t have been easy for him either. Although my initial reaction was that he was laughing at me behind my back, the truth is that he probably felt awful about the situation too. Love is love. You can’t choose who, when and under what circumstances you are going to fall in love with a person. It just happens.
At the end of the day, my ex and I had no passion left in our relationship. We were the best of friends, yes, but more like brother and sister than husband and wife. I then began to be brutally honest with myself.
Although I never cheated on my wife, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it in the last year we were together, for exactly the same reasons as she probably cheated on me. The passion was dead.
And had I ever cheated on a girlfriend in the past?
What a hypocrite I was!
(And before you judge me, have you ever cheated on a partner????)
From that moment on, every time I noticed myself thinking about the affair, I stopped and consciously made an effort to think how much I wanted her to be happy.
Every time I did this, I noticed the pain stopped and the thoughts off her and her new boyfriend disappeared.
Within a couple of weeks, we were speaking on friendly terms again, just like the friends we had been for so long. She felt guilty and I told her not too. I genuinely wanted her to be happy and I didn’t want her to feel bad. As a person, I loved her. She was not an evil, manipulating liar, but the beautiful, warm fun, kind, loving person that I spent 7 happy years with. She hadn’t changed….just our circumstances had.
It is 8 years ago now since we got divorced. We are still good friends, speak on the phone and meet for lunch now and again. She still makes me laugh.
Her and her new boyfriend split up a year later. But funnily enough, purely by chance, out of all the millions of places there are to work in London, the man she left me for and I ended up working in the same building 7 years later!!! The first time I saw him he looked terrified. I burst out laughing, shook his hand and bought him a coffee. He’s a good guy. I like him. We are friends again now.
Do not be confused between true love and selfish love.
True Love is unconditional. Selfish love is “What’s in it for me?”
We enter into relationships because we want something from that person, whether it is sex, companionship, love, a family, financial security or something else. Nothing wrong with any of that, but when the relationship breaks down, understand that we have to think of love as being unconditional. Don’t blame. Instead, try and understand. Put yourself in their shoes. Question your own integrity and reasons for wanting to be with them. Wish them to be happy and stop thinking of yourself.
Because it is the only way to stop your pain!!!