Dear Love Drive,
Shit, I need advice.
My fiancée dumped me in January. I've been sober since.
I feel used because I took care of her and the kids when they were down in the dumps.
How do I move on and let it go?
She Used Me, 37, M
Getting Dumped Sucks A Big One
I’m sorry to hear that you got dumped. Getting dumped never feels good, even if in hindsight it ends up being for the best (which I suspect is the case here).
Great job on being sober. Not drinking alcohol when you’re going through a rough patch is an excellent way to speed up the healing process. Alcohol rarely improves a fucked up situation, especially heartbreak, so taking a break is an excellent idea and will help you get over this rough patch more quickly.
I don’t know you or your drinking habits but if you suspect that you have a drinking problem, read up on alcoholism, and take the twenty questions test to find out if you may need help. Going to an AA meeting or two might be useful if you find your drinking particularly troublesome.
Sound like you’re feeling resentful and used that she dumped you after you helped her get back on her feet. I understand you completely and would expect you to feel exactly the way you’re feeling right now.
Unfortunately, putting the blame on her because you chose to help her while she was in the dumps isn’t going to cut it. Unless she put a gun to your head and demanded that you take care of her, the choice to support her and her kids was firmly yours.
It’s normal for couples to support each other during hard times, and often support isn’t equal. You lean on your partner more when you need it and they lean on you more when they need it. That’s how it works.
People Are Doing The Best They Can, Really
That being said, it’s still shitty that she dumped you right after you helped her get back on her feet. It can feel a whole lot like her taking advantage of you.
And she might very well have been taking advantage of you, in which case, you dodged a huge bullet by not marrying her. You can thank the Gods for having helped you out of this one. You certainly don't want to find out after getting hitched that she's the type of person to take advantage of people.
But I’m not sure she was taking advantage of you, not knowingly at least.
People are doing the best they can, and sometimes the very best is still pretty shitty. She probably did what she did to survive and take care of her kids. I’m not sure why she bailed on you after you took care of her but the reality remains that she's gone and you're left sad and wanting to move on and let it go.
Which is exactly what you’re going to do.
You Only Have Two Options In Life
You have two choices in life when you’re faced with a fucked up situation. You can either forgive, or make amends. That’s it. Those are your only options.
Option number 3, which is destroy everyone that’s ever hurt you, isn’t available.
This situation calls for forgiveness. You need to forgive her for using you, and forgive yourself if you're feeling at all like you wasted your time with this person.
Forgive her for using you and accept that you're exactly where you need to be right now.
Forgiveness and acceptance are the quickest path to letting go. The sooner you can forgive her, the sooner you can move on.
OK, fine. You’ll forgive her, but HOW?
One Simple Easy Way To Forgive And Accept
Forgiving someone is a simple practice. It's simple, but I didn't say it was easy.
Every time you have a nasty or negative thought or emotion about her, or about your relationship, take a moment to wish her well.
Stop whatever you’re doing it, and send her a wish that she gets everything she wants in life. Tell yourself that she was doing the very best she could and that whatever she did wasn't personal.
That's it. You might find yourself having to forgive her 14 times a day. But eventually, over time, those negative thoughts will start to lessen and eventually disappear altogether.
Now for acceptance.
Accept that you’re exactly where you need to be, right now, in this moment.
If you’re sad or angry, that’s where you need to be right now. The feelings will pass on their own, but for now, accept the present moment as being exactly the way it’s supposed to be.
And accept that you were a willing participant in your relationship. She didn’t hold a gun to your head and make you support her. You made a conscious decision to be in a relationship with her.
Also, Be Grateful As Fuck
Grateful that she made the decision to leave and that you’re now newly single.
I secretly (and not so secretly) love breakups. Breakups can be full of hurt, pain, and anger. But after those feelings pass, I find they're often replaced by hope, opportunity, and potential.
There's no shortage of love in this world.
This breakup is you opportunity to cultivate and drive more love to your life. Love in the form of friends and family, and eventually in the form of lovers.
Maybe even someone who won't take advantage of you but will treat you like the lovely human that you are.
Also, check this video I made about breakups and how to get over them.