He didn’t break you, he broke you open.
The beginning feels like a dream come true.
This is the story of many empath women. First, you meet this wonderful guy. He is charming and amazing, and in some ways, you can’t believe he’s real. He makes you feel enthralled, alive and like you have butterflies in your stomach every time you see him or hear from him. He seems like the nicest guy and showers you with love and attention.
A few weeks or months in, another side of him shows up. A darker side. Something feels wrong, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Anger, confusion, withdrawal, and anxiety grip you.
He reassures you, gives you excuses for his behavior and explains the difficult things he had gone through in the past to excuse his actions. Somehow, he convinces you that he’s not usually like that. Something you did just set him off, triggered him so much that he couldn’t contain himself.
If you stop doing it, he won’t have to react in that way anymore. You feel confused but he’s so charming and sure of himself. What he says makes sense, and you disregard your gut feeling and give him another chance.
Gradually, the dream turns into a nightmare.
This dynamic goes on for a while and you go from feeling on top of the world to feeling hopeless. Somewhere in between, you lost your sense of self. You’ve tried so hard to be the person he wanted you to be, you can barely recognize yourself any more.
No one knows the depth of your pain and your isolation. You smiled and pretended all was well to protect him and, most of all, to protect your dream from shattering, to protect yourself from having to face the heartache and the truth.
But at some point, it was no longer possible to ignore. He finally did or said something that crossed all the lines. Finally, you left but deep down, feeling broken.
If you recognize yourself here, know that this does not need to be the end of your story, this is only the end of a chapter. A painful, difficult, lonely and confusing chapter, but still just a chapter nonetheless.
You may have lost your trust in men or in your ability to have a great relationship. This is only a phase, there is hope on the horizon, and there are good men out there.
If you’re ready for real love, here’s how you can get back on track with your life and, at the right time, create a wonderful relationship:
1. Get clear on your relational dynamics.
If you have been attracting unhealthy relationships, it’s time to get honest with yourself. What’s behind these dynamics? How do you find yourself in these relationships? It takes work and, sometimes, support to get this clarity.
2. Don’t blame yourself for what you didn’t see sooner.
For staying as long as you did or for giving him the benefit of the doubt. Your caring and loving nature is not a weakness. It is, in fact, a strength when you learn to channel it in productive ways.
3. Do some inner work.
And then do some more until you see your inner beauty, until you know your strengths, your weaknesses, and your dynamics. Then, you can enter new relationships with your eyes wide open, knowing how to channel your love and care in a way that honors you.
4. Aim high.
When you know what you bring to a relationship and what you need from it, you will have higher standards and you will uphold them with a lot more ease. Hold out for a relationship where you are celebrated. In the meantime, your job is to fall in love with yourself.
Sometimes, a relationship like this can leave you so depleted, you don’t even see anything positive about yourself. Don’t give in to those thoughts. The fog will lift and you will come to see your beautiful qualities.
Everyone deserves to be in a loving, respectful and happy relationship, and you deserve nothing less.