For “How Do I Let Him Go?”

A new version of the article has been edited and added to the October 19th posting “How to Let Him Go.”

At times, life can be really tough.

The simple question you asked me …”how do I let him [or her] go…” is one that is full of contradictions.  Holding on to the memories, letting go of the pain; holding on to your self esteem, letting go of the sense of loss.  Letting go of someone you have great attraction, passion, love, like or even history with is difficult under clear circumstances, harder when there is unfinished business between the two of you.  Still, dear one, I am asked this question nearly every day at THM.  Let’s see if we can shine some light in that dark place that has hold of your heart.

First know that you’re not alone on this day or any other.  You have a bright and shining life to lead once this storm cloud passes.  How do I know? Once upon a time, in a different life, as a different girl, I once loved someone with every cell of my person.  Like star crossed lovers, we were not meant to last. He left me…not just once, but left, came back, left, came back….you get the picture. I will be honest with you…I would have changed my whole life for him, given up things that I adore, just to be with him every moment of every day.  I loved his soul, his smile, every thing about him.  I loved his mind, his brokenness….everything.  Just as he was.  And then there was a great open, gaping wound when he simply vanished for the final time, shooting one last arrow my way in favor of someone that enables his disease.  So it was me,once upon a time, I was asking “how do I let him go?”   I was shattered beyond surviving.

I survived.  So will you.  It gets better in time.  Hold on.  Don’t let go.

This is what I learned in the intervening time.

1. Your story is about you….and you alone. I have a saying that I live by…what is buried alive will never die.  Allow yourself to feel the grief, and let the pain flow freely out of you.  Letting go is a self discovery journey, not an action that you take.  The person that you have parted with is not the real problem; the way you perceive yourself and your life without them is the thing that makes you ache.  I know this side of the cliff very well, and have been there several times in my life.  Letting go requires that you come to a place where you allow the grief to come out.  Yes, I lay for days on the floor crying for all I was worth.  The pain inside of me was from being betrayed, being left like an unwanted rag doll along an expanse of open highway without dignity or honor.  But that was not the truth either; life is life.  We separate for a million different reasons, and the heartache comes.

In the tears I began to recall that I was here before there was him; I once was a beautiful, carefree person that loved being alive, was learning new things and had all the hope in the world.   I was a person worth falling in love with.  The tears still fell, but the image of him began to fade from all that I wanted in my life to a more realistic picture of a man.  More importantly, I began to see myself without him in the picture; I could see things that I know I am destined to do, adventures to experience, love to give.  I developed faith in myself through faith in the Divine nature of life.  I used meditation, candles, massage, therapy and lots of great coffee with friends that stand by me no matter what.  Today, when I have a bout with clinical depression, those same people are here for me, and we have history together.  That kind of love makes all the difference in the world.  Think about cultivating those deep friendships with the right people.

2.  Be honest with yourself. Many people who write in tell me that this was their “soul mate.”  That link can take you to my article about soulmates, but in short – no, he/she isn’t.   By definition, a soul mate communicates at a deeper, honest level.  A soul mate encourages you to grow.  I call it “wish vision” how we look back at that ex-love that has left us.  We bestow on them qualities that they haven’t earned, honor that they cannot possess.  To this day, if you ask me about my ex I will tell you all the wonderful things that he is capable of, but in the back of my mind I see his suffering, his unhappiness.  We think that the moon and the stars and the sun are all part of their greater plan and that without that “him” [or her], we are in a barren and empty emotional universe.  The truth, hard as it may be, is that the only love you cannot live without is self love. Dr. Phil has a pretty upfront statement about endowing our former flames with superhuman qualities. 

“There are times when you break up with somebody and you start missing them and you start thinking about all the good things. And then you’re back with them for about 10 minutes and you go ‘Oh yeah! Now I remember why I hate you!'” Don’t kid yourself about what it was really like or glorify the past. You can read more from Dr. Phil here.

3.  Start living your life. Yes, you are still holding on to the hope of love.  Okay.  Can you set it to the side, there with you on the front seat of the car of life, but not blocking your view of the dashboard in front of you?  Can you focus out of the window?  Don’t put the life that you have on hold, but do take time to examine your choices.  What brought the two of you together?  What is it that you’re looking for in a relationship?  What is it that you don’t want?  What do you need to change to not wind up in the same relationship with the same type of guy all over again?

You need to be really clear on this if you want to be in a romance, marriage or even a deep friendship.  Early in our courtship, Brian and I sat down and really talked about what we felt was imperative to our life; what dreams and goals we each needed to accomplish to feel fully satisfied.  The key is: get out there and live life. Don’t hang around waiting for this guy to “come to his senses.”  The best predictor of what he will do is his own past behavior; what we’ve done before, we will do again without major intervention.  You’re not going to change him, no matter what love exists.

4.  Have goals and dreams. Goals and dreams come from a mixture of your faith and your personal needs.  They are not dependent upon someone else.  Realize that your dreams and life destiny are more important than he is, to your faith, your family, your future.  He is not the beginning and the ending of the world.  He’s not even important in the overarching picture.  As I examined this great love of mine, I had to face the reality of his actions, words, broken promises.   I chose not to see the reality of him at the expense of my own self esteem.    I accept full responsibility for my part in dragging “us” out for so long.  Even with the love that we had, the truth of it is he acted cruelly toward me; I acted stupidly for loving him as I did ~ and still do.  I acted cruelly toward myself for holding on so long when he will never be able to be the man that I need to fulfill those dreams of mine….and so, I let him go.  Once I remembered the destiny I was made to live out, I could see things in a different light.  I just let go.  How do you do that?  I wrote the article “Breaking the Habit” just days after losing a close friend that I loved deeply.  You will know when you have successfully “let go” when you are no longer his option. Take yourself from playing board, remove your chips from the game.  Be unavailable for his life, for good.  That’s right, love, you must be willing to walk away even if he started it by leaving you.  You need that closure and control. Back in the day of my heartbreak,  I considered in prayer these things

He was no longer the charming, beautiful man that I adored;In the real light of day, he was much, much less than what I deserve out of life, unwilling to give that 110% in truth and honesty; I let go.

I am beautiful, unique and cherished by God.  I am worthwhile and worth loving; I let him go.

This union isn’t the one that “completes” me; I am completed in faith.  I don’t need someone who is unstable in all of his ways.  I need a love that is consistent and true, that doesn’t falter or wander.  That is what I need in a person….is that what I had?  No.  I let him go in peace.

I am not a victim of life or circumstance.  These were my choices, this is my result.  I can validate that we were here, together, that there were moments of great beauty and tenderness.  None of those cancel out the outcome; it’s over.  I let him go with grace, as a lady, with her dignity intact.

If your person has been cruel to you, broken your heart and left you high and dry, you might consider that they to are less than you deserve.  The posting “She” might also help you.

5.  Time changes things. Instead of focusing on your loss, give yourself permission to move on.  I’ve grown so much as a person and a woman that my ex would never fit with my psyche now.  I saw him not to long ago – he was smaller  than I remembered, less put together, no where near as mesmerizing. The flame in him is gone for me.  He was a shadow of his former self.

I’m even more passionate and intense ~ all that would be wasted on his self absorbed existence.  Engage with your time and raise the bar.  Don’t set your expectations low in matters of love, but hold out for that person that really fires with you on all cylinders.  Be the best of friends in a non-codependent way, encourage each other, laugh together, talk through life.  There are so many lonely quality people out there who are looking for that person to actually share life with.  That is the key; relationships are about sharing the heart, the mind, the soul, trust, honor, self.  Take a good look at the  person you are missing.  Would you trust him/her with all of that an expect that they’d give 110% in return?  You cannot love someone without the most basic element of relationship….trust.

6.  Get ready. Learn new things.  Learn a new language, change your look, engage with relationship materials.  I took up studying the Karma Sutra (I truly doubt I would ever have enough trust with my ex that I could show him such things.)  Go to the gym, get a punching bag, go for long walks and think about possibilities.  When the loss invades your mind, focus on your current goal or dream….on getting yourself into 150% of what you know you can be.  Leave them behind you, in the back seat.  Take down anything and everything that reminds you of them.  I have successfully rearranged every room in my house as a declaration of my own self expression after graduate school; I am a new creature, born of faith and grace.  Change things up, give yourself a fresh start. If you’re haunted by his ghost and images of the two of you, change your habits and hangouts.  Give yourself space to start over.

7.  Confront reality. Can you look yourself in the eye and say “it’s over.  I love myself.  Go in peace.”  One day in the near future, it will be okay that he/she is gone.  Don’t let your grief overwhelm you and send that text or email.  Don’t interact, just go forward with your life.  My ex could have fallen from the face of the earth and I would not know.  Any time that I have lowered myself to groveling, it’s turned out badly.  As I have said, the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.  It will be okay that your world continues forward, and that there is life to be lived.  Parts of you will always remember with fondness those few moments that you keep.  Let them be part of your memory box, but not part of your active life.  One foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

Most importantly, wrap your arms around yourself and begin with a big hug and an I love you.  Go out today and leave the broken relationship apart from your for a while.  Let his/her name pass from your active conversations and talk of other things.  Remember:  Where your focus goes, your energy flows. So make yourself feel like a million bucks and go see a movie, drive a race car, climb a rock wall, play miniature golf, shop…something with friends, just as yourself.  Reinvent the you that is dying to come outside.  I want to meet her and have some great java, talk about getting on with life and see that the light has returned to your eyes.  Until then, breathe, and be kind to yourself.

Letting go is a journey of self discovery.  Fall in love with you….what you are, who you are, what you have to give, what you deserve.  Accept no half ass substitutions.  Yes, there are compromises in life….your self esteem isn’t one of them.

When you understand that it is really about you and how you feel, you’ll find the sun again.

88 comments for “For “How Do I Let Him Go?”

  1. Caroline McCormack
    August 1, 2016 at 2:28 am

    Not sure if this is still open?

    I am 43 and have been in an on off relationship for 6 years, after years of me pushing him away he has left me for good. Through reading I have discovered that I an emotionally sensitive person (actual condition). Where I have extreme emotional reactions to situations. After reading others situations on here I too know this relationship is flawed. He has text other women, including his ex wife, lied to me, not contributed financially, can’t compliment me or even be happy for me. He even declined to attend my graduation which I studied for 4 years.
    Why can’t I let him go even when he’s chosen to leave? My ex husband left me (we were together for 23 years) .

    I feel like I’m damaged goods, I want to find a man who doesn’t give me more baggage but will help me unpack.

    I have a very good supportive network around me including my kids (22,18, 12) and no matter what people say and even though I agree, I can’t seem to begin to let him go. It’s been 4 weeks and he is coming tonight to take his clothes and I am dreading seeing him.

    Any help/advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    • Alison Rodgers
      September 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      Hi, I hope this finds you somewhere down the road, finding that you were better off leaving behind that relationship. The key to all of this is not to bring baggage yourself, or with anyone else. Make sure that you are highly aware of your choices, so that you don’t repeat the same patterns and experience more pain.

      I can tell you for sure that you’re not damaged goods. I promise you, you are a unique and irreplaceable soul. Read up on selfcare and mindfulness. I think both will help.

  2. Jess
    April 27, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    How do I let go if I have been the one that pushed him away. Of course he’s not perfect but he’s been wonderful to me. I was here 2 years ago after my failed marriage telling myself that I was beautiful and deserved someone better and he came along and made everything better than ever and now I am here again trying to tell myself I am beautiful and I deserve better…Unfortunately it doesn’t work anymore. I feel I would never love anyone as much as I loved him. Not sure what else I could tell myself that I haven’t told myself to believe after every failed relationship I had. I am so tired and exhausted. I ran out of things I can use convince myself something better will come. Some people do end up dying alone. I wish I was never born so I didn’t have to go through this again and again… I wish he did something terrible in our relationship but he didn’t. I wish I could rewind and go back to the day my insecurity and controlling behaviour did not start emerging. I have tried to be a more considerate and generous person and lower my impossible demands and expectations but I guess it’s too late..Sure I will move one in a year or 2 but it’s just waiting for it to happen all over again. Nothing stays in my life. Everyone leaves including my dad.

    • Alison Rodgers
      June 2, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Howdy, Jess. Alison here. I know that you feel – maybe felt by now – that “he’s the only one.” If I have learned nothing else on my 47 years touring planet earth, I have learned that this sentence is incomplete – it’s “he’s the only one that can be him in my life.” Trust me – there are others out there. How and if they work out with you is one of the things that makes the journey of life complete.

      I know that “you’re beautiful, you deserve more,” wears thin. Today my response is “SO WHAT? I don’t want beautiful, or better. I want flaw filled, somewhat grouchy and always contrary.” But letting go – it’s something that you’re going to have to learn to do with inner grace.

      I know that feeling – my version of it… everyone leaves. Oddly, that’s the article I am coming back to THM with. Everybody Hurts. Yes, some die alone. Some by choice, some not. Some die surrounded by people, lonely as hell. Some die with hope, without. Some with no regrets, some with. Shoot me an email, or click through to link to the new article. Should post tonight. More than anything, know this. You really aren’t alone. I know it feels like it. I have said so many of the same comments you have here….and I am still standing. You can, too. It’s always darkest when we find ourselves drowning in emotion. Don’t worry, kiddo. It can’t rain all the time.

    • Domethia
      August 10, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      I so understand. I feel like committing suicide. I hate this man but hate this pain. Life sucks

  3. Ebony Eubanks
    August 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you for writing the article, I came across it searching the web. At the end you said, give yourself a hug and I did, I cried but it felt good.

    I wish you many blessings in your life.

  4. Kym
    July 28, 2013 at 2:49 am

    I felt joy through the pain while reading your inspiring words. My higher self has faith that going through this process of letting go of my attachment to my ex will lead me to more fulfillment. He told me that he will always love me BUT he wants to find his own place, move out, be single again and date me non-exclusively. He was closed off to discussion and put up a wall of emotional distance to me. I told him to move out the next day since I did not want to put myself through the anguish of seeing him every day and knowing his decision…and I do not want a non-exclusive relationship, I needed time not to be in love with him before we could attempt a friendship. He moved out the next day. We met up 3 weeks later when I believed I had finally accepted “what is”. We had a great time together (some flirting and looks) and I could tell he was still interested in me. I think I’m not there yet accepting “what is” so I need more time away from him if I am to transform my romantic love to purely friendship love. One difficulty is that we work together…vacation is over next week. We talked about having a friendly and professional relationship at work. I want to maintain my emotional balance when I see him at work. I run/walk regularly, practice yoga, eat a vegan, mostly whole food diet, swim in the ocean & allow myself to feel whatever emotions come up…but I have some fear about seeing him everyday. I won’t have the luxury of allowing myself to feel my emotions as they come up…any thoughts?

  5. Help!
    April 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Dear Alison,  

    Im a European fan,  Sorry for my English ! 
    2 years ago I moved to germany! I couldn’t speak german , I had no friends ! 5 months later I met this guy ! I thought He was the man of my dreams!!! He owns a supermarket and I went everyday there he tried to talk with me many times . He was so nice,gentleman,beautiful, I liked everything on him! Unfortunately    it has all started wrong ! I lied him from the first day!! I lied about my age. I told him I was 2 years older not such a big lie but still a lie. We started a relationship! The first weeks was great! Then I started to get to know him better! He was the kind of guy who flirts with all the girls and all the girls were crazy about him! He always said “you are the only girl I want. I talk with all the girls like this only because of my stores” I believed him ! I started to fall in love with him. Everyday more! He has 2 children with his first girlfriend , he was never married! I never had problems with her! I had problems with his last girlfriend ! A really pretty girl with beautiful , big silicon boobs , great job! She had all! She sent him messages to go back everyday! He said to me that I’m different than the others! that’s why he wanted me!!! 3 months later he find out that I lied. He cried and he broke up with me! I felt so bad. No one has ever cried for me ! I was begging him to forgive me. He did but He said he doesnt want a girlfriend anymore ! He wanted me to be his girl and not his girlfriend until he is ready again! I agreed! From that day he started going to his ex gf again. Talking with other girls on the phone . He treated me really bad. and I never did something I felt really bad because I lied! I helped him , I gave him all and I was always there for him ! I loved him! He didn’t! I thought that I destroyed our relationship but I found out that he cheated on me with other girls from the beggining , he was lying to me from the beggining! When I found out I did nothing! I was afraid to be alone. We opened together a store! We was working together  everyday but he was sleeping every night with his ex! I knew but I never said something!!! He lies so much and cheated me so much!! Why can’t I say goodbye? Why can’t I let him go! He says now he is in love with me but how can this be true when he sleeps with an other girl! Help!! 

  6. Tina
    March 14, 2013 at 1:38 am


    I met this guy two years ago.We worked together but connected once I moved to nearby city. It started with mild flirtations but soon I realized that i was head over heels in love with him. He was handsome and funny and exciting. But the moment I told him that i loved him he started backing off. After a series of fights he finally confessed that he had a girlfriend and loved her but they both were going through rough times. It came as a shocker to me and I decided to end it then and there. But he sent text messages saying how much he missed me and didn’t want me to leave.This whole situation dragged for a year and half where i was truly in love and he kept on bouncing between his girlfriend , his past and me.there were times when he held me close to his heart and listened to my pain, but soon enough he would go back to his old issues. I got so confused as to what to do as neither was he committing to me nor was he letting me go.I have cried so much in the past two years than I had ever before.So a week ago I finally made up my mind and confronted him .I told him that I needed more than what he was giving me and that I was not happy about his doings. He said that I always kept asking for more and he could not give me anything more than this.He was happy being this way and i should be too. He said he wasn’t leaving anywhere and was not interested in anybody else. But he didn’t want a full blown relationship or marriage with me.
    He has not called me since then and I am feeling hurt every single day. I cannot bring myself to normal . A part of me is telling me to give him one more chance as he has changed a lot in these two years. But at the same time I feel that I would always be that girl that he can chose to leave any time.

    I read your column article and could see a lot of things that we have in common. Am i doing the right thing?

  7. Karen
    February 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I hope you can help me. I have a unique situation and I can’t seem to let go. I’ll start at the begining so it might be long.
    I was seeing a guy for 6 months. The most amazing 6 months that I have had. He had been divorced for just over a year a messy divorce, brutal they were so mean to each other the things they said were awful and they brought our enitre town into the mess. Almost like trying to get people on there side. His ex wife even sent me messages of how terrible he was and how I should watch myself and my children and how I should not get to involved with him until I was sure. She claimed he was controlling, abusive, their kids begged her to leave him. I could go on and on. His claims about her was just the same, she was depressed, lazy, immature, he felt like he had to take care of her, their sex life was terrible. Anyways his & mine relationship was amazing. We fell hard and fast for eachother, the newness never seemed to wear off. We could not get enough of eachother. It was perfect. We had hopes and dreams of a future. Then out of the blue he tells me he has to fix things with his ex wife for his children and that he’s going back to her. That lasted 4 days and he wanted me back, which was fine cause I wanted him back and I thought that he was just so upset, lonely and missing his kids. A week and half later he ended it again for the same reasons. He says that he has to fix things with his kids and that the only way is to fix things with his exwife. He was still texting me all the time but I have since asked him to stop, it was breaking my heart to get the text and I knew he was hiding it from his ex wife and his kids. I just cant seem to walk away. Its killing me but I just feel like I need to be there for him when all of this falls apart. He told me that I am irreplacable and that he has regrets all ready. Its just so much to wrap my head around. Its been almost 4 weeks and I just can’t let go.

    • Lauren
      May 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

      I wanted to know how things have worked out for you. My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year. He has been in the midst of a messy divorce for most of this time. His ex and him have a 1.5 year old. She has kept him from seeing his son for the past 9 months and started 3 weeks ago letting him see him for a few hours a weekend. He and I were instantly connected. He is the male version of me. I have never clicked so well with someone before. We finish each other sentences Have the same jokes and lived almost the same exact lives up until we met even in some of the same places. I also have a son. Who is 4.5 yo. Our sons have the same birthday and time even. We moved in together 6 months into the relationship. Everything has been amazing. After the second week of seeing his son he told me that he missed his son so much that he thought he should try and work things out with her to be closer to him. I should also add that she has tried to do everything to keep me away from their son. She even tried to have a no contact order put in place before starting the divorce papers so if he got custody I couldn’t be here when baby was. That was dismissed. I should also mention that he told he couldn’t stand her. He was planning on leaving her before then she found out she was pregnant. So he tried to stay. They constantly fought. She has shopping problems. She withholds sex for months at a time. She wants him to be someone that he isn’t. They are polar opposites. I am naturally shattered. He told me that he doesn’t love her anymore and that he knows they won’t work out but he has to try for his son. So I am broken. I don’t know what to do. I believe he and I are meant to be together. There is no way we can’t be. We have spilt yet. But I feel like he is forcing himself to shut me out. It is killing me. I just wanted to know how things are going for you. I need some support

  8. igrtch
    February 7, 2013 at 11:48 am


    Thank you for this article. My exBF followed me across the country and he didn’t turn out to be as happy as I am. I know he loves me but he wasn’t very happy for himself. He always missed his friends and family. For a long time, it made me feel very guilty and unhappy too. Long story short, he had to move back home with his parents and go to law school.

    I decided to stay here because I din’t want to move for anyone and end up subconsciously hating him if things don’t work out for me. I just want to realize it for myself that I actually want to move where he is. We decided to break up but it’s hard not to talk to him, he’s my bestfriend, we were together for almost 5 years. He left yesterday and it has been really hard to sleep. Maybe because it ‘s very recent so it’s still fresh but I just don’t want to get carried away with all these feelings and suddenly say that I want to move where he is, I want to give it sometime. I feel so selfish for not going with him, he understands why I made that decision but I didn’t expect this to be this hard.

    Thank you,

  9. AP
    December 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I’ve been dating my ex for 5 years, it started out as teenage love as we were really young and we just recently broke up about 6 months ago, now in our 20’s. I moved in with him and we were living together with his mom in an apartment. In May 2012 he had an opportunity to go to Florida to help his family (dad) run a business. The decision was quickly made and he was gone in 2 days. I was depressed as we were living together and I pretty much moved back home to be with my family. I could have continued to live with his mom, but his sister was moving back in and we don’t get along. While he was gone things got really hard, I was always depressed and waiting for him to facetime me or email me, I would just wait around at home, and when he didn’t call or text I would get more depressed. He came back to visit in June, and drove back down to Florida with his sister and her friend, I found out he cheated on me with his sister’s friend and I ended it for good. A few weeks pass by and as we still remained friends because I knew he was down there alone and didn’t know anyone aside from his family, I remained his friends and listen to his problems. It became difficult so I had to cut him out completely…
    Things didn’t work out with his father so he ended up moving back home, and after many attempt to contacting me failed, he showed up at my house, to “talk” and he wanted to work things out and I agree to work things out- after a week he started acting really weird again and when I found out he was talking some girls I couldn’t trust him and we ended it again.
    2 months pass and no contact between the both of us, we have mutual friends so we did hear things around each other. In September we were at a mutual friends birthday (remembering we haven’t spoken or seen each other in 2 months) he came up to me and we talked, and things just kind of fell back into place.. We were going out, hanging out, hooking up… but the only thing is he refused to get back into a relationship.
    It’s been hard because I guess I hold on so tightly to the idea in my head that he’s the one. On many events during our 5 years he’s said to me, and many others that he wants to marry me, that I was the one…. And I feel I’m still holding on to that idea..
    I haven’t spoken or seen him in a week, we went from talking and seeing each other often to a week of no contact or communication, I want to let him go, but I’m having a hard time knowing how.. I do ok and then when he contacts me I feel my cycle start all over. … any advice for me?

    • January 16, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Dear AP:

      Please see the article posting around 1 pm on January 16 entitled “Emotions in Crisis: Choices, Steps and What You Can Do To Live Free.” I hope that it helps you! 🙂

      Love and Light,


  10. November 15, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Please could you recommend a book related to this article “How to Let him go” written by Alison Rodgers.


    • December 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Hi Denise:

      There isn’t a book related to the article, but I am finishing a manuscript which incorporates/expands it. The lack or really useful self help for letting go support is kinda minimal. I imagine that the book will be ready for my editor in a few weeks, it’s already got it’s ISBN, art, and pervasive page count. Just tightening up the text. I am planning to offer it though the site both in print and as a digital download. We’re finishing some changes to THM which will include video blogs and other resources that might help, too. Check back with us often….you might also review other articles on the site, there are several hundred. Many are interrelated to the ideas of healthy “letting go and moving on.”

      If you need to chat, you can publicly post here or send an email for private response to [email protected]. I can’t offer professional advice on this site or email, and am not a licensed therapist…but I can offer an ear and life experiences. 🙂



  11. Ash
    October 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that every time I read this article, I learn something new. And that is why I come to you today….

    I have been caught up in a perpetual cycle of self flagellation over a man, who has made it abundantly clear (although in mixed signals), that he really has no place for me in his life. The problem is that I am so consumed, actually petrified with fear that I am finding it emotionally impossible to let this man go…I have been in relationships since him, as has he, but I will once in a while throw out a line to see if he will still bite, and most of the time he does, and of course in my twisted little mind, I take this as a morsel of hope.

    I am tried Allison, so very tired of holding on to something that is nothing. I know in my rational mind I have to let him go, for the bazillion obvious reasons, but for some irrational illogical reason, I won’t and I am so very stuck. I feel like I am frozen, and can’t seem to move forward. This is not the woman I was destined to be, I was meant for so much more, so what the hell is wrong with me?

    Some of your objectivity and straight forwardness would would be immensely appreciated right about now.

    • December 1, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Dear Ash:

      Posted an article for you late last night (Unstuck, posted 11/30). Sorry for the hold up, I took six months off daily posts to finish my grad degree. 🙂 I’m almost back. Hope that you’ve been well.


  12. Meagan
    October 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Alison, I stumbled upon your article today while having a tough moment trying to figure out how to let him go. I met my ex-boyfriend 3 years ago. We talked for about 3 months on the internet via email before actually meeting face to face. When we finally met for the first time, every day after that was like we had known eachother for a lifetime, he got me, my sense of humor, our chemistry was amazing. We weren’t dating long when I became pregnant. Shortly after becoming pregnant I noticed things began to fade. We had made plans for me to terminate my lease and move in to his house (he has 3 children from a previous marriage that ended 7 years ago) and raise our baby together. It was just weeks after I moved, that he sat me down in bed (6 months pregnant) and informed me that he didn’t love me anymore. From that day forward things were never the same, I tried to hang on but the more I pushed us forward, he would push backwards by just being cold, not making time for me, and writing me off a lot of times. We began to argue a lot, I would always find myself begging him for his love, he would never touch me or talk to the baby while I was pregnant, he was just never there emotionally for me anymore. Things just kept getting more sour, his family began to treat me poorly to my face, and he would never stand up for me or tell them to stop (We are both in our 30’s). I kept finding myself begging him for attention or to love me, I suggested counceling, church and all of the above, and he turned down every option out there. He never did anything suspicious behavior wise and was always brutally honest with me. I was getting tired. About 2 months ago we got in to a pretty big fight. It resulted in throwing things, lots of sreaming and tears. I grabbed our daughter and left. I came back the next day and packed everything in the house and moved out 2 days later. He never once asked me to reconsider my decision, he actually moved my things out for me! Everything seemed to happen so fast after that. I’m not sure what came over me that day and made me leave, but it didn’t take long for me to feel as if I had made a mistake but walking out. I tried to work things out and asked to come home, but he denied me numerouse times, after making a fool of myself and throwing myself at him day in and day out. I want so badly to be able to let go of him, but I can’t just write him off I have to see him a lot due to our daughter. I am struggling day in and day out with trying to move forward. I constantly text and call him and still throw myself at him. He keeps turning me away and said it isn’t right, but he wants to build a friendship and see if we can improve things later down the road. It hardly seems fair to do that to someone’s heart. Some days I feel so lost. If I walked out, why am I struggling to let him go? Why do I still have to love him? It’s exhausting.

    • December 1, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Wow….you’ve been though a lot. I am going to take your story into a posting today ~ check back 12/2-12/4 ~ so I can put serious thought into it. 🙂



  13. Kirsty
    October 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    My ex broke up with me after 3 years together, I’d even moved countries to be with him. He had cheated on me and I forgave him without him actually going out of his way to re-earn my trust. When I got upset about it about 3 weeks after i found out he told me I was stressing him out about it (poor him). Told me he knew it was me he wanted to be with and that he was falling for me and then he went on a scholarship for 4 months. When he got back he dumped me telling me he didn’t love me and it wasn’t going to come. After a couple of weeks we were still going out for dinner, sleeping together and spending lots of time together. Told me he didn’t want a relationship and needed to fix his issues of not being able to let someone in. He said he hoped one day we may have the possibility of being able to get back together. I had to return to the UK until my immigration visa was processed and as soon as I got back he started ignoring me and now I find out he’s starting dating a 20 year old girl (he’s 28 and I’m 30). He has hurt me so much and I loved him to bits. I just don’t know how to get over it. I keep thinking of the two of them together and thinking why her and not me.

    • October 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Why her and not you.

      Hi Kirsty. The real question that I hear….can you honestly say that you’d want a lifetime of what you’ve just lived through?

      Kirsty, you’re more than likely “in love” with an idea more than a person. I don’t know all the details, and I don’t know the culture that you live in…but I do see an absence of some key ideas. For instance, do you enjoy being deceived? It doesn’t appear so…in fact, there is no mention in your writing about how this person has made your life significantly better, encouraged you as a person, helped develop you interests, education or life overall. I do hear about a 28 year old that is lacking in maturity…and that is why the 20 year old is on the scene. He’s regressing to a younger version of his mental self.

      I am sure that he has reasons that sound logical and even true for why you’re not together. I am sure that he and you both can give lots of reasons to try again…and again…and again…just to find that you’re reaching the same goal. Just a thought, but give yourself 90 days of total separation. Don’t so much as sneeze his direction. In that time, ask yourself every single day what you’re doing to make your life better…and then go and do it. No excuses, no regrets. You see, if you can follow a man all over the world for a failing relationship, you’re going to have to give yourself the latitude to learn to give yourself the same measure of care and consideration. Time for you to take care of you..and to learn what you hope, dream and aspire to as a person. You’re at a pivotal time in life. 30. A good age. You’re not a kid anymore, not a twenty something. You’re in the big game now…and what are you dreaming of in it? Please, don’t make it about “I can’t live without this person….” for you honestly can, given the knowledge of what it might feel like to find and develop a strong, lifelong, deep bond with a equally grown up person who isn’t interested in teenagers.

      I don’t mean to sound uncaring toward the love that you have for this man…I do mean to point out that he’s refused it. People who say “I can’t let anyone in, I need to fix my issues” just to immediately fall into a relationship (read: sex) with someone else…they’re lying to themselves and to you.

      How do you let go? First, decide that you’re going to do it. Say it out loud. “I am done with this.” Say it again. Say it until you’ve got it down, and won’t change your mind. Deep breath. Stand up. Clean water, clean air, plenty of sleep, whole foods. No wallowing in pity or loss. Get out and meet people, make changes that make sense for you, be interested in real self care. Look yourself straight in the mirror and begin to rebuild your self confidence. Read the article this is attached to again…and do it. Follow what it says. Day in, day out, give yourself the gift of being YOU. You are a precious, unique and beautiful soul. Don’t settle for any less than real love.

      I want all the best for you, my friend. I know that you’re going to find your way out of this one step at a time. When in hell, do not pull over and check out the sunset…just keep letting go, day by day. Soon, it’s going to be something that looks very different to you…and you’re going to say…..”wow, he was not worth the precious gift of my love. Poor her.”

      Lots of love, light and hugs to you. Write anytime.


  14. ashley
    October 6, 2012 at 2:01 am

    hi..we broke up with my boyfie because of family matters. just because of that we decided to part our ways. after how many days i realized i can’t do it. i texted and called him just to let him know that i want him back but he refuse it. he wants me to move on with my life. what confuses me is that he get jealous when i hang out with some guys. i know he still holds me 40% that is why i want to fight for that because i still have him. what should i do? let him go eventhough i can see chances of having him back?

    • October 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Hi there, Ashley….

      I am going to guess that we’re in different countries based on your syntax. So, let me be a little culturally sensitive and still direct….the response that we humans have to “a few days apart” is to experience a deficiency in the part of the brain that also controls pleasure and rules addictive behaviors. Yep, your brain chemicals are going to say “eeeekkkkk,” no matter what country we’re in.

      Another basic human behavior is one of established “territory” which is common in almost all cultures. Male or female, we tend to make sure that we protect what we perceive as our turf. When he’s jealous, it’s not love – it’s possession. Like owning shoes, they’re “yours.” Love talks, communicates, builds up and is universally two way – it’s really very open.

      I am not sure how old you are, or what is going on with your family, but I would say this….. find out who you are. Get or continue education. Make a plan about what you want to accomplish in life. Know what your willing to compromise on, and what you’re not going to be happy with in the long run. Love is really about the time in life you’re in…and if you’re unsure now (and it sounds like you are) you’re going to be more unhappy later when life changes around you. Be true to yourself, and don’t let your emotions yank you around. There are lots of articles on this site that will help you learn to be your best self now, and encourage you in your life….

      What should you do? Be true to yourself, find your dreams and follow a path that builds you up. Love will find you on that path, love worth having and keeping life long. There really isn’t “one person” for any of us, just those hearts that resonate with our own. If this guy is him, it will be him again. Be you first, solve your family issues, get on track with the education and job you know compliment who you are….and go from there. Clean water, more restive sleep, sunshine, whole foods and laughter will do you wonders.

      Love to you, write any time.

  15. Spark
    September 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Hey again miss Al,

    I was a stubborn one and a glutton For punishment. There is a truth to the fact that there are great and wonderful moments we share with these men that lack the conviction, respect and downright decency to be truthful to us never mind themselves. The last time I wrote, I was into a relationship with a separated man for 18 months. It came to a head as soon as the actual divorce proceedings were underway. This man made me feel like the the most incredible feelings I’ve ever experienced to date. The funny thing is I think we will always feel that with the next when it is our time to move on or we would never move on. Anyhow, I kept buying into the excuOses after every drawback and I was all the sudden in his life for another 8 months. Time flies, but so do the feelings of a man who has never fully closed the 1st chapter of his life. I am so deeply sorrowful but am finally free of the burdens I carried over this relationship. I will be honest here and tell you that I do still feel this is my soul mate even though he is confused. I need to stop thinking that way. I finally took your advise and stopped taking calls and texts. I don’t care to know what he’s up to, I am working on me. I’m going to the gym during the late nights and early mornings when I can’t sleep. I took a few classes and am focused on being more present at work and at home. I love this blog. It’s always here when I fall. I hope I can be a little bit of an inspiration to others sharing my story. God bless you, be a fierce protector of yourself and know you can come out a better person on the other end. I say this wiping a tear of hope from my cheek, but I’m strong!!! Spark

    • September 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      🙂 You’ll learn eventually, Spark! I am just teasing, and you know that I am rooting for you to be healthy, happy and whole. What do I think? You know all the roads behind you, Spark. You’ve been down them all before. You know where they end, and where they take you. Search the horizon for a “new song” and know that you’re worth it. There are lots of potential “soul mates” out there…it’s something that becomes in time, not a predestined flame that is irreplaceable. Remember…you are in control of your destiny. Dare to dream.

      Good news….my beloved William has arrived from North Carolina to help me finish the studio in my house for a newly revamped THM. You’ll have access to video and audio soon. I hope that they’ll help you find the focus you desire in weak moments, and encourage you in the strong ones.

      Sending you love, light and hope. 🙂 I hope you’ll write in again.

      lots of love and hugs….


  16. Spark
    September 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Hey again miss Al,

    I was a stubborn one and a glutton For punishment. There is a truth to the fact that there are great and wonderful moments we share with these men that lack the conviction, respect and downright decency to be truthful to us never mind themselves. The last time I wrote, I was into a relationship with a separated man for 18 months. It came to a head as soon as the actual divorce proceedings were underway. This man made me feel like the the most incredible feelings I’ve ever experienced to date. The funny thing is I think we will always feel that with the next when it is our time to move on or we would never move on. Anyhow, I kept buying into the excuses after every drawback and I was all the sudden in his life for another 8 months. Time flies, but so do the feelings of a man who has never fully closed the 1st chapter of his life. I am so deeply sorrowful but am finally free of the burdens I carried over this relationship. I will be honest here and tell you that I do still feel this is my soul mate even though he is confused. I need to stop thinking that way. I finally took your advise and stopped taking calls and texts. I don’t care to know what he’s up to, I am working on me. I’m going to the gym during the late nights and early mornings when I can’t sleep. I took a few classes and am focused on being more present at work and at home. I love this blog. It’s always here when I fall. I hope I can be a little bit of an inspiration to others sharing my story. God bless you, be a fierce protector of yourself and know you can come out a better person on the other end. I say this wiping a tear of hope from my cheek, but I’m strong!!! Spark

  17. Stacey H
    September 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I have been on and off with the children for about 10 years. We have 2 children ages 8 and 6 months. I love him to no wnd but he and I split a couple of weeks ago because he had been lying to me about another woman. I know he loves me but I feel he will never be a one woman man. After 10 years and 22 kids, I’m ready to throw the towel in but hes my friend and my support. I don’t know where to start but I know I can’t go on this way. I’m only 28 but I feel 40, I just want to be that vibrant 18 year old again. Any advice?

    • September 30, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Hi there….

      On and off tells me that this is a pattern you’re ingrained to following…I bet that one of you pursues the other, then regresses while the other pursues, etc. It’s like an addiction for the brain, the chemicals that are produced (both positive and negative) when we engage in this emotional dance. It’s also really unhealthy for you.

      Truth? If you’re sure that he’s not a one woman man…and that this ins’t what you want….then let go. It’ll be step by step, and you’ll have to spend lots of time breathing in and out. He’ll try to change your mind…and if he does, it will be okay for a little while and promptly return to what you know. The way back to your now 28 self is to allow yourself to become that person you know is inside, bound in your anxiety and pain…realize that this isn’t working for you. Its okay. He can be your friend later, he can still be your children’s father, he can live his life that suits him, multiple partners and all. He simply can’t respect and honor you if he’s going to act that way – and this is hard to know. Give yourself time to grow back into a whole person – find your definition outside Mom and sometimes wife. It’s probably been a good 9 years since you thought about what you need as a person. What is that? What are your goals, dreams and needs?

      So many men and women out there who are honest, loving and looking for that person to be their penguin. You deserve to feel wholly loved…and to not settle for anything else. You’re going to model what love is for your kids…is this what you want them to have when they grow up? Go be the person you are destined to be…read the article again, take it really seriously. Read, exercise, eat whole food (no junk), have some dark chocolate and listen to music, see a counselor, engage with all your senses…but not about this guy. Take back your mind, will and emotions. It’s not that we want to make him “evil”…for he is the father of your children, and respect must plat a huge part. You can’t make him deserve it, dear one. But you can be a worthwhile person that straightens those shoulders, faces the pain and walks on. Do it for you. You have so much life ahead…

      Just so you know….I am 45. Lost husband of many years and having two kids when I was 27…I understand my version. Please, know that the years between then and now have been both amazing and rocky. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. 🙂 Press on, and know that you’re amazing and worthwhile. It’s going to be so rewarding for you to realize that all on your own.

      Love, hugs and light….


  18. fkj
    August 29, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I am in serious stage of desperation and sadness now. I was seeing this man for 8 months and I really love him with all of my heart. He is my everything. But things started crazy when I showed up on his place unannounced because we had a fight and he wouldnt talk me and ignore and i want to talk him. i begged him to talk to me and he did. but he told me he will see… he also told me he will not lie to me taht he cant forget what i did. i was completely sorry. and i really mean it but he just ignored me after that it was really depressing. i already sent him a lot messages begging and saying sorry. but he just wouldnt reply. one time i send him another message saying i will give up because he let me wait for nothing but deep down inside it s killing me. should i still wait for him? please help

    • admin
      September 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      I feel that we probably have some cultural differences,but there is a universal truth….people who act as this man has aren’t in love. Stop waiting by realizing that you’re worth so much more than this. You are worth the person that is out there, searching for an individual with your blessings, your talents, who wants to show love and kindness to you. Stop begging…stop obsessing…work on yourself, your self esteem and know that you’re special. Read the article again….and again. Follow healthy suggestions about being whole within yourself first, then joining with another.

  19. The Other Woman
    August 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I made up my mind the other day to let go and so I am in the first stage but I refuse to go back…

  20. Robyn
    August 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Finding this entry was perfect timing.
    I met this guy about 5 years ago online through mutual friends on a game. I live in Canada and he lives in the US (west coast vs east coast)
    We were just friends at first. I found him funny and I enjoyed talking to him.
    After awhile, that all changed. We were emailing each other every day. He told me he loved me and so we planned on being together. He told me that I made him feel things like noone else ever had. I fell in love too. We made plans to meet, had the plane ticket and everything. Then he ended it, said that the distance was too hard and unfair on us and cancelled the trip. I was broken, he left, no contact for 6 months.
    Then he came back. Told me he thought of me every single day, that he never stopped loving me. So we tried again. We made plans to meet but never set up an actual time. This time though, he wasnt all loving, saying how he felt. He would tell me he loved me every now and then but more often than not I was guessing. He broke it off again. Foolishly I stayed around rather than letting go. A few months later, the same thing. Told me he still loved me and missed me etc. This time we did make plans to meet. And everything went really well. He was so loving and attentive. But still never saying with words how he felt. Turns out the day after I left, he asked someone out because being with me made me realize how lonely he was and how the distance was just too hard. But he doesn’t want me gone from his life.. The thing is, I really do love him. I want his happiness and maybe that makes me weak but letting go is the only thing I can do. Even if it means letting him go to be with someone else.
    So thank you for these words.

  21. clio
    July 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Dear Alison,

    I came to your article today, as I sat here trying to make some sense of my upside down world. I have been with my boyfriend for the past two and a half years. We are both 52 years of age and we were both married before. When we got together initially, there was an instant chemistry between us and a remarkable compatibility that took both of us by surprise: similar interests, outlook, even culture – even though he lives in Scotland and I live in Ireland.

    What I noticed pretty early on in our relationship is that D is hyper-sensitive and rather emotionally immature. I’m slower to come to the boil, but like yin and yang, we seemed to balance one another out. However, his quick-silver misunderstanding of things I may say or do, were pushing my emotional buttons and sending my head into a spin. He would come down quickly and apologise for his words and everything would be well again.

    However … sometimes something might happen to trigger a bigger response. In what would be a “normal argument” between a couple, D would read it as something much bigger and he would break up with me, say horrible things to me via mail and then, as I would ignore those mails, he would gradually come to the realisation that he was wrong and so the cycle would begin again.

    I am emotionally exhausted. It happened again a few days ago and he finished with me, yet again. This time – for the first time ever – he said he wanted to take a week to think about things and that he would phone me this coming Saturday. Unlike all the other times, he is now wholly silent. I have not contacted him either and as I sit here, I have been wondering why I am setting myself up for either a painful fall (if he should confirm the breakup), or another cycle of wonderful times followed by misunderstanding and – pow! – another breakup.

    My flights are booked for my visit over to him on Friday week. (We take turns to travel to each other’s country every 3-4 weeks). I was looking forward to this visit hugely – to see him again and enjoy the brilliant times we have together. And yet I’m in agony now, wondering what I should do. Should I break up with him? Should I wait and see what he has to say?

    My head is confused, my heart is sick and my emotions are wavering between despair and anxiety. CAN you advise me, please???????

    • July 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Howdy Clio:

      First an apology that I’ve been absent from THM for a bit now. I hope that you are well. My advice: the best indicator of future behavior is past behaviors. Given that nothing changes, you are choosing a relationship with an “emotionally immature” man who is highly volatile. His behavior sounds a bit on the clinical or addictive side with the wild swings from exceptional time together to breaking up. My ex was narcissistic and bipolar, so that fits behavior I tend to understand. Your actions sound codependent…the waiting for his confirmation isn’t a mentally healthy thing, I imagine.

      I would encourage you to ready up on depressive or bipolar disorder on WebMD or a reputable psychology site and see if you’re able to determine his patterns…and only for the purpose of deciding if this is something that you can live with. Neither of us are qualified to diagnose the guy, if indeed there is anything wrong at all. As for the drama and the visits….You’re far apart now…this emotional activity will most likely bleed over into the day to day life you lead together if left unaddressed.

      My real advice: Find a stable, private counselor with whom you can share your feelings. Begin to journal so that you can look back and see patterns within yourself, and in your relationship that may not otherwise be clear to you. Moreover, ask yourself what this relationship gives into your growth, and how it brings health to you as a person. Be honest about it, in whatever context you choose.

      I send you love, light, peace and hope, Clio. I am sorry I can’t tell you what you “should” do….there is no “should.” There is only what you really want in your life, and to me, you sound as though you might be recognizing that you need more than this relationship offers, or that it’s time to set and maintain healthy boundaries of what you do and don’t want in your love life.

      Peace and grace,


  22. May 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Alison,

    Upon reading your postings shared a bit of enlighment.
    I was in a relationship with my ex boyfriend for 3.5 yrs, we were co-workers and I was often scheduled his shift. Honestly in the beginning I couldn’t stand him… He was anal & was the kind of man that we by the book , if something went wrong he would scold you, it was stressful, but the more I worked with him the more we got to know each other, long story short we started seeing each other secretly. He wasn’t seeing no one and neither was I only I have 3 boys from a previous relationship. After 6months of dating he came out and said he loves me and wanted to hear it back. Although I felt the same I didn’t want to say it cause I didn’t want to get hurt. The relationship was too good to be true that I didn’t want to jinx it, he asked how I felt , … I responded the same. We dated for a good 1 1/2 before I decided to introduce him to my family, he fell in love with my family and they loved him back. He moved in with me for a year until he found a home. Asked me to marry him and often shared how he couldn’t imagine life with out me. All was great except one thing that holds us from going forward was that he is muslim and I am catholic, His parents would not approve of me because I have 3 boys, because I’m 5 yrs older than him. I tried to let him go earlier in the relationship because of those issues, I told him to go find himself a single woman with no kids that his family will approve of, so we broke up but 3 days later he’s begging me… Saying evenually his parents would have to accept me and my kids. Well I caved in and after investing 3.5yrs of my time he gave up on me, he let me go saying it wasn’t right or fair to me and he placed me in the friendship zone. That broke me to pieces, this is what I was trying to avoid… Before him I was in a relationship with my boys father for 13yrs, he cheated in me a couple times but in the end he got a girl pregnant. So I let go, now this … It’s been a year already and we have kept in touch because he misses us but he admitted he is seeing someone, how can he ask me to marry him and have his children… Turn around and just let go like that?? We never fought , he were always happy… How can he just start dating just like that? While is it soo hard for me to move forward?? I tried to see the pros and cons in our relationship but he was a great person everyone loves and whe always got along , he would still help me to this day because he’s caring that way. It’s hard to let go of someone thats been there and never treated me bad, it’s been a month since we last communicated because I need to end ties with him, can’t do the friend thing until I’m past him altogether. Need your advice how I can let go

    • May 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Hi there.

      I’d be the last one to say I understand why we humans get ourselves into the situations that we do – or why we feel so badly when relationships come to a close. I know that it is part of our life…a big part. Here are some thoughts for you. Please keep in mind that I’m a stranger without all the details, so you’re getting my best guess and it’s meant with all the love in the world. Here goes.

      I once had a person that I loved so very much. He and I had a very intimate and real relationship. He wanted to marry me, or so he said. Seek and fulfill our dreams as one. Be passionate, be sexy, be together. To do that we would have had to change the worlds we live in – both of us. Like you in the early days, I had these huge misgivings. I taught myself to ignore them just because I wanted to be with him all the time. When he left, I cried for weeks, months…and a year went by, and we were still on again, off again, watching each other from a distance. Another season went by. My heart was broken.

      Being hurt that long was my responsibility alone. Dear one, I was giving CPR to a dead relationship. Yes, I love(d) him…but he’s simply not what I need in my life to be a fulfilled happy person. His very actions proved it beyond all doubt. I sense that you know this about your man, too. I sense that your contact with him is stringing on the inevitable. I sense that you’re reading this article…but not really doing it. There is no friend thing. Close the door, scream your tears out and start taking steps forward. I understand that he wasn’t bad for you – but he’s also gone. It’s just what it is. Your major differences in faith and culture aren’t deal breakers…but they are for you. As they say “a fish and a bird can fall in love, but where do they make a home?”

      Please realize that men are different than women. His seeing someone else is just part of life that amplifies those differences. It’s usually pretty simple for a guy to get back into life … they’re not overly emotionally processed.

      For you, it’s really, really time to get serious about being yourself, finding real love and moving down the road. You know, my former flame can be an idiot…but he was always beautiful to me. I fought with the fact that I have few really bad memories together. Most of what I know of him are all the reasons that I wanted to spend my life with his crazy, intelligent and beautiful self. It’s the other guy who can drop me like a rock that I don’t get. I finally realized that I didn’t have to understand it…I just had to walk away. I don’t have any form of contact, I do not look for him, I will not entertain a single idea of his return. I wish him well, and would ask that he respects me enough to stay the hell out of my world. There is someone else who is sharing his life, his name and his world – and he needs to focus all himself on her. You guy, too. They’ve chosen. You will never let go until you pull your chips from the game and say “no more.” You have to chose to quit. You have to chose to go out, to focus on being a Mom, to focus on being the best version of you. You deserve more than second hand love.

      The first step is always the hardest. I made myself a set of rules – and when I think of him, I go box, run, clean, write. I will not allow myself to be drawn back into the drama. As for your guy…he asked because he’s most likely emotionally immature. He got the other girl pregnant for the same reason. That is not a slam…it’s reality. I am sure at that moment, he meant it, somehow. People use words so freely without recognizing their power – like “I love you” so very quickly. So did my guy. In the end, we release them from their promises to end the soul tie that they have with us. We cancel out the hope so that we are free of them.

      Go to the front page of THM and search out the “soulmate” topic, and self esteem. It may do you a world of good.

      Write anytime. This will be hard…it will also be worth it. Life is so worth LIVING. You are surviving it. See the difference?


  23. Confused
    May 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for the framework to let go. My man had ended a 14 year marriage and was legally separated. I have dated a lot of men and knew he was very special. Conversation just flowed and he has wonderful Jewish care about him. (though I am not Jewish) He wanted it all with me, but I reminded him he needed to date. I was always number one and he always laid it out there about his feelings and feelings towards other women. I never felt threatened. Four months after we met, I was his New Year’s eve date and met his parents. A wonderful night, but he froze at the end when he walked me home (he also was hesitatant to pick me up.) We were not overly physical as I like a traditional exclusive relationship. But a strange meeting occurred right before New Year’s, a neighbor of mine introduced herself to me at the local pub. Yes this is where I met him. You know when you have that sinking feeling that she is trouble. She so wanted to know what I was doing for New Year’s Eve, but I kept that private. I did ask him about her and he said he knew her. I asked him if he had been in her apartment and he said know, though he knew which apartment. I knew his feelings for me were very special, and I had to let him have some space to “talk with other women. I am not an assertive person.

    Well my guy and I kept in contact thoughout January and he came over to help me with some house chores We had a pleasant time until he said he couldn’t stay for dinner, nor was he iniviting me to meet his friends for that drink that just came up. I had been so patient during his confusing time of just being separated, but this time I just said. Why is it I get pushed away? Well, I decided to let a month go by without calling or stopping in the bar. And who is now sitting next to him at the bar. Yes she, 10 years his senior. Structurally they share a lot, divorced, single parent, smokes, Jewish. But when I see them out (she buys her own meals) there is so little affection. He and I were so happy to be together. So finally my question. I still pop into the bar, of course I want to go more often now because I miss my conversation with him and to assess how they are doing. Clearly she is his bar buddy and whatever. Sometime we say hello, sometimes we talk, sometimes it is just a wave. He still likes me. Should I make the effort to talk with him, or just leave it at a waive.
    Secodn question is we never had that break up talk. How does he pull the curtain does so hard, that he barely asked me how I am doing and no more hello kisses.

    Yes like your other readers, I would like to renew the relationship.–Thank you.

    • May 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Hi, Confused.

      Yep, I can see why you would be. It’s time to let go, sweets. Your guy has something going on in his background that isn’t providing you with a complete picture. Whatever it is has hold of him – I am betting that there is some unfinished business with another person. That is why I always say married people are not available…even if they’re standing there with a wedding ring just tossed in the wastebasket. It’s their hearts that are not free of the soul ties that bind.

      There are so many indicators that his interest in your relationship is less than what you’d like it to be. I am not sure why – it’s not fair that the ones we love don’t return that love. It sounds as though he’s in a place where he’s looking more for companionship than relationship. The bar part makes me wonder about the rest of his day…and what is going through his mind as far as his level of personal pain and intrapersonal dialogue.

      I realize that it hurts and that you’re standing on that emotional edge. I am so sorry to hear it. Read through the article again and take what you can from it that helps you hold loosely to your desire to reunite with him. You deserve more than second hand love.



  24. Jessica
    May 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I have been with my boyfriend for two years. He has cheated in the past and I took him back after he went to wonderfly great lengths to prove he loved me and had changed. Now just 4 months later he is reverthing to his old ways. There are small diferrences but in the end I feel like the same thing is about to happen. I know he loves me, but I need to let go to keep myself healthy. Problem is, I love him with a love that consumes me. How to I take this all consuming love and put it aside?

    • May 13, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Hi, Jessica.

      The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. “Old ways” never left – he just tried extra hard to behave. Jessica, this isn’t love. It’s pain that you know. To put it aside, you start by assessing what it really good for you. Change your habits, your diet, get healthy. Talk to other people. Make a list of all the reasons that you need out of this pain and put it where you can see it, and a bigger list of what you really want in love – make a composite of who you’re searching for in life. Be creative. Go back and read this article slowly…thoroughly. Try to actually walk it out, think of it as your story. Your life is about you…don’t give it to someone that doesn’t respect you.

      I pray the best for you, Jess. This sounds like a bad situation for you and I hope that you find your way free. Write anytime.

  25. JoAnne
    May 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I started dating a friend of ten years after he told me his wife of 28 years cheated on him and wanted to see other people. They had been living apart for awhile. I went against my principles by dating him because I stay far away from married men but at the time my Dad was sick and we thought he was dying and I really needed the intimacy.

    He said they never had good sex. He said he never felt for her the way be felt for me. He said he loved me and they would divorce. Once she realized he would be okay without her she decided they needed to talk about things for a long time to see if they could work it out. He told me he was inclined to let her have her way. So I ended it. I deserve more than 2nd hand love.

    So I realize that if he isn’t the one then it’s best we aren’t together because that makes room for me to meet someone better. And I don’t look back with rose colored glasses. He was a great boyfriend in most ways but not do great in others (i.e. he is married and still in love with his wife)

    But I still find it hard to let go. I miss him every day and wish we could talk. But we can’t. And I hate that our friendship (the one we had prior to our romantic involvement) was sacrificed to save their marriage.

    He cares about me. He would still talk to me if I wanted to. But I know that will only give me false hope so I cut him off. But I hate it. He may not be the guy for me, in fact I know he isn’t because he loves her and the guy for me will only love me, but instill miss him and don’t seem to want to let go.

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Hi JoAnn.

      You’ve eloquently spoken through a major topic that is written on here at THM – If you don’t mind, I am going to answer all of you in one article that looks at the “letting go” thoughts from the other woman’s side. It’s a tough thing to be in love with a man (or woman) who is ending a commitment, makes one with you and then changes midstream. That “other woman” label is a tough piece of language, and I’d like to readdress how we as humans look at the people who fall in love with a person — and have little understanding. Honestly, I have been the other woman, and I have been the wife. I hope that the piece I am working on will help you.

      You’re totally right…you deserve more than second hand love. My prayers of light, peace and love reach out to you. Write anytime.

      With great respect,


  26. Annae
    May 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Wow this articlehas been like a breath of fresh air cooling my essence and like fresh water clenching my soul’s thirst….awesome. Everything that concerned me is cover even the soulmate question in the back of my mind. You are definately right a soulmate will never hurt you and my story is about me…nicely put…God bless you beautiful person!

    • May 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Bless you, Annae. I know its tough to imagine…but focus on being an authentic, whole you and you’re going to attract what you’re seeking. Oddly, that’s not usually the person we started stressing over…

      Find your purpose, Annae. Once you begin, you’ll be amazed…..



  27. Kylie
    May 3, 2012 at 5:52 am

    This guy and I both liked each other a lot but never told anyone. Now he’s gone and I can’t find him. How do I let him go? I feel so much regret. He’s all I ever wanted. He was perfect for me and I was for him.

    • May 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Kylie:

      I gave your email some thought as I spoke with my sister, D. First, I want to affirm that you’re hurting today – I empathize with you with your feeling of loss and regret. I want you to know that we’re sending you much love and light. D and I have differing views sometimes, but in this we were agreed. This is truth in love, and I want to make sure you know it is meant with your best outcome in mind.

      I know that you liked “him a lot” – but the truth is you’re regretting what “could have been.” Your missing the possibility of what you imagine. You don’t really know that you were perfect for him – because it takes a lot of time and close quarters to really know someone in your relationship.

      I am answering this from the other side of the fence in a way – I once asked my ex-love why he couldn’t let me go.

      After a year of his digital stalking, he and I were talking face to face. I was amazed that all this time and effort in my life had really paid off to put him behind me and let go of our planned life together. I tried to feel that lack again of his presence in my life meaning so much – but I didn’t. I tried to imagine past what I missed – that wild passionate ride – and found that he really BORED me. I’d realized that while I liked him a lot and we were passionate for one another, he lacked some of the really important things that I know are the foundational for me – – you will find all of them in the man that I married. You know that you’re “meant to be” when you line up all the things that would drive you nuts in someone else and they’re okay. Brian throws his socks on the floor. 🙂

      So how do you let go? First by imagining that if this is really that once in a lifetime thing, he’ll find you, too. You take a hold of your own dreams and destiny. Be the best you. Be visible. Be open to change, reserved with your giving of love to only the deserving, passionate about your purpose. Do that for you, not for him.

      You realize that ‘perfect for me’ is a set of things you’re looking for in a mate — and be thankful that knowing him helped you understand what those are. He’s not just the traits that you see though, he’s a whole person with faults and changes, pluses and not so great things. Like all of us, he deserves to be missed for who he is, not how we feel. I did that with my ex – missed the drama and the pain in some ways, the excitement of being tethered to a hurricane…but in reality, I am so glad that it’s over, that so much time has past, and that the universe finally took him far enough away that I don’t have to think about it any more. Yes, I did miss that feeling of relationship – but the truth is it would not have lasted.

      Understand that the universe is a big, exciting, amazing place…and regret will prevent you from having the life that you can have. the world is filled with worthwhile men and women who are searching for their forever penguin. Be open to the journey, and enjoy the climb.



  28. rochelle
    April 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

    i am currently dating this dude now hes been lying to me hidding his true identity does not want to tell me which degree he is doing so now i wanna leave him but i jus t cnt the momment i think of him he is so lovely i become to love him but he start not to keep his promise and he is always not available for me but i love him

    • April 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Dear Rochelle:

      I am sorry to hear of your heartbreak. Although you and I live worlds apart, I hope that you will take this as a truth for all women; love doesn’t do this. Love doesn’t lie. Love doesn’t make promises that it intends to break. Although you think he is “lovely” that is simply physical attraction. If he’s hiding his true identity, love, he doesn’t care for you.

      Self esteem and self love are urging you, Rochelle, to live up to your potential. Be the woman that you can be – and you don’t need anyone other than you to do that. Find someone who you can give your heart to that will honor and cherish you. I am not sure of the African customs, but here in this life, I am assured that love is a universal thing. Don’t just accept scraps, when you could love someone in fullness and faith. You’re worth more than lies.

      With great respect,


  29. Kate
    April 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I’m 12 and I have a problem of letting go of my boyfriend. Although, we didn’t break up, I want to break up WITH him ; BUT I have a problem of letting him go. The reason why I want to let him go is he critizices of what I wear and says I should buy new clothes (Everytime I wear something that’s not “SWAG”- a person who can dress well) We went out for 1 month and 28 days. Then he broke up with me (my fault because he told me “I need to take a break” and I kept saying “Just tell me, I already know we’ll break up), then when I was really moving on a week later, he texted me and said he wanted me back and I said “Yes”. BUT now I DON’T KNOW if I could let him go! TO be honest, I think about him and I don’t want to be single till highshcool =/ And I kind-of don’t have feelings for him anymore because of the 1-week-over-him. SO what should I do in order to let him go and not feel left out ? HELP! :'(

    • April 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Hi Kate. Sounds like you’re facing a tough decision, and first thing that I want you to know is that you’re a truly worthwhile, great person. 🙂 I am glad that you took time to write me. Growing up is a hard, complicated thing – even more so when we find that special someone, even if it’s just for a bit.

      Yes, letting go is hard becasue we’re not sure if the change will be better – or at least, that is what people say to themselves. First, recognizing that your 12 is important. I’m guessing that he’s around 12/13 also. I would encourage you to talk with your school counselor or a close person who can be a source of support for you without betraying your trust. It’s important to have people in your corner that understand. I know that what is happening now feels like it will be a “forever” sort of feeling – but you’ll be surprised that if you cncenrate on you being healthy in your mind and heart, you’re going to be right as rain before you know it.

      Your guy is honestly being a little mean with the “Swag” stuff – there are tons of people here in our local school that are great, interesting and fun people who also have one or two working parents that really can’t afford to hit the mall often. I know that it’s tough to not always have the stuff that we see, and even that some of the classmates have…but he’s not dating your clothes. All of this is beside the point – what I hear you saying is that his comments hurt your feelings and you feel badly. You learned that you can live without him for the week, but you felt like saying “Yes” when he texted you was an emotional decision. But – you’re already ready to let go. So here is the first of two problems.

      1. Any time you let go of something, even something like a favorite food or where you live, a person or a pet – it makes you feel a little weird for a while. If you want to let go, you can. It’s going to feel strange at first. You may feel a little weird wen he dates someone else. That is all okay. It fades – pretty quickly if you’ll follow the advice in this article. Spend time on yourself. Connect with your friends. Make new habits. This is going to serve you well as you change to high school, change friends, if you move, when you go to college, get a job – life is full of “letting go” moments, and also “new and exciting moments.” In between is a fun journey that really matters. Have fun.

      2. You know the part where you’re thinking you will be alone for years? Not true. Your chioce to date/not date is right there in your grip. You’re going to be a more healthy adult if you learn what we old folks wish we’d known when we were in our teens – be picky about who you give your love to. Really. You’re going to change and grow so much in the next few years that you’re going to be amazed at the possibilities ahead of you. You are your greatest asset – start to dream bigger than one guy who puts you down. Who do you want to be when you’re grown up? What are you excited about in life? Focus on those things. When people see you being YOU – bright, shiny you – you’re not going to be left out. Make friends that see beyond clothes into that great heart and mind of yours.

      I can’t tell you to do anything but think it through and do what you feel is right. Talk to someone you trust, okay? Friends don’t always give the best advice….they try, but their experience might be a little tainted with personal feelings.

      I send you love, Kate. Read the article again, and see how it applies to you. Be healthy, take care of you and know that there is a huge future waiting for you out there. I am praying for you. Write anytime.


  30. Kirsty
    April 2, 2012 at 12:03 am

    This article has really helped me. My boyfriend of three years has just broken up with me after i moved from the UK to Canada to be with him. We’ve broken up before, he cheated on me, when i arrived here he left for 4 months and I lived with his parents and when he came back spoke to me about when we retired and if we had children and then dumped me a week later. I still love him but its so true that we paint this knight in shining armour picture of them in our heads. When i think back i have never felt valued by him and have always known he would never make the same sacrifices for me as i have for him. He says he doesnt want to be in a relationship with anyone because he cant let anyone in – so true! I’m really not sure why i am so sad about losing someone who never loved me – i really hope some day this black cloud will lift and I’ll meet the most amazing person who will love me as much i can love them.

    • April 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Hi there…in some ways, you HAVE met an extraordinary person … you. I learned one thing about all of this since my love and I parted ways….I am worthwhile. He would be proud of the fact that I didn’t just survive, but thrive. There aren’t many days that i am not thankful for my now healing heart…because without being shattered, I would have never learned how strong, unique and precious we really are as people. Take time to learn who you ate and really hold out for what you want + what’s healthy for you. Keep loving yourself, drink clean water, eat whole foods, get out in fresh air, move your body. Take good care of yourself….you’re worthwhile!!

  31. Anonymous
    March 12, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I want to send gratitude for such an amazing article. Its all stuff I know deep in my heart but still find it so hard to follow through with. I have been in my relationship for 6 years. we have broken up a few times before. We had an amazing relationship, however he has such a fear of commitment when it comes to marriage. He can not commit to marrying me. A month ago we finally decided to part ways because I do not want to waste any more time if marriage will not happen. I have been so devastated. I will always revert to this article during my moments of weakness where I just want to call him and somehow make it all right and make all this pain go away. the truth is, that phone call almost always makes it worse. I still would love more than anything to marry him, but I realize it probably will not happen and I need to find a way to move forward and let go of the notion that he will come running back when he realizes what he had. There is so much more to my story to fully understand. but whats important is, I am in an extremely dark place right now and I truly appreciate this article to help me move forward. It feels real and close to home. It is great that you have been able to find your happiness. I hope I can get there too.

    • March 12, 2012 at 8:57 am


      One of the hardest parts of letting go is the phase that you’re in; knowing what is healthy for you, and that being in conflict with a deep desire within you for the love you want so badly to be what you need it to be. It’s hard when we know that it’s not. A lack of commitment has tons of thoughts behind it – it can be from past issues with family of origin, former relationships, etc. The thing about those items – the person with the relationship hang up will want to conquer them. When that isn’t the case, we’re faced with the fact that either the love they feel isn’t enough to carry them through it, or that they as an individual aren’t willing to go there. Either way, that dark night of the soul is not a place where you want to camp – for even if he comes rushing back in, there is a good chance that whatever is the hold up will rear itself again. What we leave buried alive never dies.

      I go over my four principals a lot, mainly becasue I honestly believe in them. Drink clean water. Get restive sleep. Get up and move around/exercise. Eat whole, clean food that doesn’t come through a drive through window or a microwave box. Focus on those four elements of your own life. Listen to music that supports you not the dark feelings. Watch movies that make you laugh – the endorphins will help you tremendously. Journal to yourself, and when that urge to call strikes, realize that you’re only going back to the end of the line to feel this all over again. You see, dear one – should you give in now, knowing that he will not commit, he will never have to. You will compromise in the one thing that you really wanted in your life – a stable and whole love. Will he realize? Perhaps. Will he come back? Perhaps. Is there more than one “the one” out there? Yes, there is. There is deep friendship that blossoms into realistic, heartwarming love over time, one that will endure. It’s worth moving toward, being healthy for, feeling and letting go of this pain and allowing it to become part of what has positively shaped you in life….but still that one that you have willingly let go of. You’ve chosen the healthy part – being you, being worth loving and committing to. That is not a bad thing to want to give someone special – and I commend you for it.

      Thank you, for writing in, for sharing your story with others…and with me. I am so happy that you’re on the road to wellness – and I send you all my prayers of love, light and peace. I realize that it’s hard, lonely and sometimes daunting. You will not feel this way forever…it gets better. Follow the four steps, breathe in and out, and soon you will find that you’re in a new place, a little lighter and less painful. And then lighter…and lighter…until one day, it’s no longer your focus, but something that you’ve learned from. Bless you on your journey – write any time.

      With love,


  32. Eileen
    February 22, 2012 at 6:07 am

    This was very uplifting and encouraging

  33. Spark
    February 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Hey Alison, I wanted to tell you that I think your a sweetheart. I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime in this past 18 months. I’ve seen how fast one poor desision, as small as it seems at the time can grow to become a “as you put it” monster to get over. I came out ok on the other side and I feel that the girl that wrote in just a week ago has found the way to happiness, peace, forgiveness and love. I know you have another site for comments such as this, and because I understand the diverse beliefs in this beautiful life we share I will keep my personal victory short by saying “thank you” thank divine intervention, thanks to the inner peace true forgiveness brings when asked, thanks to KLOVE, thanks to the amazing ability we have to connect and communicate, I’m not the same shattered soul that felt my only happiness laid in another’s careless hands. My happiness came from my close friends losing sleep and listening to broken records without complaining. Happiness that came from falling and suffering at such depth that you fall to your knees. Happiness that comes when you realize that this was a necassary evil to bring you to the place that peace and love are waiting for you 10-fold once you seek it. And I am proof that seek and you will find. I am on my up. Thank you for your live, honesty, compassion and time. We are connected… Because of this blog, I have made a friend, seen that I am not alone, and in my story…. Am somehow able to pay it forward. God bless and self love to all! Thanks for what you do!

    • February 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Sending you love, Spark.

      • Kelly
        February 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

        As of yesterday , my on again off again relationship of 5 years ended. I’m a mess but know I deserve better than him. I have caught him texting/emailing other women in the past.. He justifies it to he did nothing wrong.. Didn’t sleep with them.. We have lived together.. Not together… Dated others… We are the dysfunction that keeps getting back together. Our kids from previous marriages are teenagers and they just go with the flow. He is controlling, I never do anything right, I’m a liar,pathetic,not a good person, who wouldn’t want to be with him he tells me… He’s got it all. I have a good job and many friends. They think I’m crazy for allowing him treat me like he does. He has caused a strain with my family. I hold on to I’m attracted to him, we share the same interests and I enjoy the life we have… But I don’t like how he treats me. I’m always walking on egg shells.. When we have broken up I’m begging him to give it another try… The 3 times that I have tried to stick to my guns and ignore him… He sweet talks me and wants to try it again.. Once I let him back then he’s back to the same crap. I don’t trust him… I have caught him so many times texting etc… He’s a flirt and loves attention from women. When we go out he’s always looking at others and if we go to an event with the kids for example school related it pretty much ignores me and busy talking to everyone… He’s very fake and acts like someone he is not. He will be overly friendly to someone and when they walk away say negative things. I really don’t like so many qualities about him… I want to be treated better… But I have a physical attraction to him and I seem to let all else go… I m afraid to be without him.. I don’t want someone else to have him… He cheated on his ex wife and I’m sure has many skeletons in his closet… I’m writing this now wondering if il hear from him today…. K

        • February 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm

          Hey, Kelly.

          I hope today was one filled with living within your own skin, filled with peace and grace. The feeling you are describing is separation anxiety – you may have become so accustomed to being treated badly that you feel strange without the abuse. It does happen.

          I encourage you to make a healthy choice for yourself … and stick with it. If that is ending your relationship, write down the reasons why. Do not share them. Break contact 100% and recognize feeling of separation for what the are…an emotional reaction. It will pass.

          If you find sweet talking going on, read what you’ve written. If you’re willing to live with what you know for sure to be true…then you know your answer. Kelly…no matter what, his emotional and verbal abuse must stop. Your children are learning what’s acceptable in their own relationships – this breeds more abuse in future generations. Love doesn’t hurt, doesn’t hit, doesn’t verbally assault or emotionally starve. Journal your thoughts, then go back and read them after a few weeks…you might be surprised at how often his version of ‘love’ is more his benefiting from making you feel bad.

          Sending you love and light….


  34. Spark
    January 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Your insight is amazing! I used to have positive, inspiring insight too. I lost myself somewhere between having fun with an insecure man and becoming the insecure other woman. I met him on a work trip. He and I became fast friends from the second we met. The trip lasted a week and we got off the plane and said goodbye. To make a long story short, 18 months later I’m still on this very hurtful emotional roller coaster. We have made some priceless memories and amazing discoveries, but his feelings are as fleeting as his burdens that he constantly re-creates by his lack of conviction. I have not been able ro walk away, but it’s getting easier to see that my life is passing by and my watch is running on his time. I am desperate to feel the way I do when we are good, but am I desperate enough to stay until he sees this and walks away!!! ;(

    • January 31, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Hi Spark. 🙂

      We speak the same language. Honestly, it’s okay to hold those “great” times near and dear to the heart – I do. I can never forget that for one moment, I was there and it was real. Was it worth it? No. You may well be setting yourself up for the heartbreak of a lifetime. You see, you said “the other woman.” You’re describing a roller coaster. This, in my experience doesn’t end well on this side of the fence.

      Spark, you deserve a full time love with full time attention. Take all of the wife/partners feelings out of this, the damage hes doing to his children, if there are any – and just think of you. When we ~ you or I ~ accept the role of that woman in the shadows, we’re accepting way less than we’re worth. I did so because I was told how much I was loved, by a person that I considered to be my close friend. I trusted him implicitly, head long, heart filled. I didn’t see the warning signs of instability because I was to busy seeing through the stars in my eyes. That being said, I remember asking him what kind of monster he was going to turn out to be so early on – and that intuition was right. Your desperate feelings are telling you something. Warning. Danger ahead.

      Your soul knows that if he will do this with you…he will do this to you.

      Please, hear from a sister who has walked this road. Find your voice, find your self esteem and find your way toward health and happiness. I so very much wish that someone has said this to me. Being with one of these men is like being in a relationship with a person that uses a baseball bat on your emotions. You’re worth more than that. I am worth more than that. While letting go was the hardest thing in the world to do…it is done. I am free. I am truly happy. I am truly loved. I live in truth…no hiding. I live with amazing passion, intimacy, and no chaos. It’s wonderful.

      My monster, in the end, told the world that it was all me, all my fault, I pursued him. He sat there in front of the church elders and the woman he told me he was no longer in love with and lied to save his butt from what they/she might do were she to know the truth. Maybe your story ends differently. My experience…and that is all I know…is that behind that shiny sparking curtain of pretend connectedness and all those broken promises, there is not a great and powerful wizard of love land. There is a pathetic, cheating, lying person who is actually just a scared spoiled little boy. Mine was willing to use me…until he considered me to “desperate.”

      Make your own choices, Spark. Make healthy choices and stick with them. Don’t let his emotions control you. If he loves you, he will jump into that life and be what you imagine to have you be part of his. If he’s as big a coward as most of these men…as mine was…he’ll be off hitting on some other woman that he can dominate before your front door slams. I am sorry if my words are tough. I hope, if you honestly love, that I am wrong. I don’t think that you’d write me if you believed that, though. Eighteen months is just such a long time to be in this kind of pain, and I can hear that you’re in pain now. I want you to know that it gets better. Not instantly. It gets better.

      Sending you love, support and encouragement, dear Spark. Remember….real love is worth it. You’re worth real love. Are you really willing to risk what could be over something that has such an unstable shelf life? How could you ever trust or find consistency with him? Write anytime here or on email.

      Blessings, peace and grace…

      ~ Alison

    • Spark
      February 1, 2012 at 12:07 am

      I am amazed by the care you put through in your responses. I am obviously not a woman of many words, but I do want to convey something I feel is important to my story. Yes, you figured it out… I was the other woman. I could tell you my long drawn out story of intense love and betrayal, but the point is this. I loved him with all my heart. He was a broken man, and he was open to extramarital affairs. I did not see it that way. I saw someone who appreciated me, accepted me, inspired me, and admired me for loving him. We were open and honest and shared everything including gum…eeeewwwww!!! I was easily manipulated because I felt bad for him. After i wrote in the other night, I spoke to him. Getting to the point, my last straw came today! Partly because of this support online and partly because in our honest talk today he told me that he asked for forgiveness and reconciliation this weekend while visiting his daughter. I have to give him props for his honesty, but that is as low as this girl goes. I guess I am lucky I asked the right questions. I guess I’m stupid for not reading between the I love you’s and the the I can’t believe you like me’s. I guess the girl that sat beside him for the past 18 months giving him all I have does not deserve the love and honesty of a man that says he would walk this earth a lost lonely man without me. Or I guess I just started loving myself today when I had to put my arms around myself to stop the desperate feeling of rejection. My immediate response was “thank u for finding your guts and telling me the truth”. Then I told him to please leave me be. I am in the process of forgiving myself, seeking guidance from above and figuring out why I allowed this to happen. Please wish me love and strength. I wish the same for you! Thanks for your support!

      • February 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

        Howdy, Spark. It’s good to hear from you again. I was just praying for you – and you’ve got all my hope for your strength, your confidence and your grace to carry you through a tough time. I send you great love, understanding and hope.

        We’re still on the same page…and I recognize the signs from being there myself. My guy and your guy sound a lot alike. I read through your post this morning and remembered this day that you’re in, but my version of it. It seems so long ago now. My former flame (ff) was my close friend…yes, we could talk about anything, and we did long before he ever revealed that he was in love with me. Long before I realized that I truly loved him, too. His brokenness was charming in some ways, because it led to those deep existential discussions of faith, life, love, meaning. No, we didn’t share gum…but we did eat Twizzlers and peppermint patties, and maybe ten pounds of starlight mints. 🙂 I told you, there are a million amazing memories that I have of him. I didn’t see the darker side of his brokenness until I’d already fallen headlong. I don’t agree with the diagnoses he was given, I don’t think that his life is working for him, and frankly, I worry that he’s going to accidentally run into another pole or wall with a car. Would he have been happier here and now? I think so. Would I? No…I don’t beleive that. Even with love, he was toxic to me. He was truly at risk of hurting himself, and I said as much to those people who could help him…but that is not me. It’s time for me to be absent, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I have honestly let go now. I didn’t chose a life with him in the end, nor he with me. All of that angst belongs to someone else…and I am glad for that. But, enough about him. You’re the person I am truly interested in.

        If you’re anything like the hundreds of other women – and men – who write into THM and read daily, you’re about to go through “the hard part.” You’d think after giving yourself and your heart for so long that a happy ending should be a little closer. You see, people imagine the “other woman/man” (OP) to be some home-wrecking slut that pursued a faulty man. Give me a break. 90% of the OP’s out there are truly decent people who listened to long, felt to much and fell to hard. They weren’t looking for someone who constantly put them out in the emotional cold. You’re a decent, loving person. Know that first, okay? You didn’t ruin someone’s perfect marriage…that is their deal.

        From here, even though you said “adios,” you’re going to have a hard road ahead. Keep hugging yourself. Come see us whenever you want. You’ve got my email, and you’re not alone…not ever. Three principals: eat whole food, exercise, get good sleep. It makes a huge difference. When he comes around again, just don’t respond. Really – it is called no contact. Block every number and forget it. Block Facebook, Twitter, MySpace..all of it. Never search his name. Burn pictures. Cut the tie that binds. Wow, my real regret are all the times that he popped back up and how I just fell back into them. My chest ached so badly that I could hardly breathe. It prolonged what would have been a simple goodbye into a heartbreaking mess. MS and stress are not good bed fellows.

        Sooner or later, the ache will diminish. It diminishes more quickly when you let space grow between where you were and where you are. I can’t tell you how much difference it will make if you will let yourself cry your tears, stand up, dry your eyes and go do something that you care about. Wander to new places, avoid memory stuff. Change the way your house looks. Get new sheets, new covers. Move furniture. Take your life back. Also…watch those “forever” statements. I don’t think in terms of “never” or “always” becasue it’s rarely true and to much to deal with. You aren’t always going to feel this way. It does get better…and then you kinda feel crappy because it feels fine and you got over it, when it used to be so important to you.

        The way I talk about my FF probably grates you today. You’re not to the pissed stage yet. I used to get so mad when my sister told me what she thought of him 🙂 Yes, I am pretty tough on my former love. There is a self defeating part in recognizing all the things that you once loved in this guy or in any person we are walking away from. Getting to the clear part of over leaves us room to grow, changes that reality from muddy to clear. You see, I am actually proud of him for going home and being a father. I hope it works out…the truth is, I’ll never know. I don’t care to know. Yes, I use words like “liar, coward, user” because that is what his actions showed me the last time we saw one another. He’d probably agree, but I have no intention of ever having any form of contact with him in any way. That toughness is there to protect me, to strengthen my resolve, to keep me aware. As I said in “Letting Him Go,” I had endowed him with qualities that he didn’t possess. Do I miss him? Sometimes. Unless I am actively writing at THM, where we talk openly about this stuff with no fear of rejection or rebuke, he rarely crosses my mind. I am typically a pretty happily married woman these days. Brian and I talked all this through, and he knows my story. Working on your own mental and emotional health right now is important. Spark, think about going to a counselor (licensed) and be careful going to the pastor types. I am a pastor now – my other site is Changed for Life, and I still preach every so often. The advice Christ gave? Forgive yourself, and let go = “go, and send no more.” No guilt or condemnation. Breathe in and out, draw support from this community. Work through the grief. Trust yourself.

        Well, I seem to be publishing another book here, so I will close. You’re worthwhile, Spark, and I am glad that you are here. Keep faith in your self. One foot in front of the other. Day to day, then week to week. Grow stronger. You’re not rejected…you’re just done with this phase of life. It’s okay. Everything that is meant to be will find a way…and you’ll be happy that it did.

        Love, peace and hope to you, friend. Keep in touch.

  35. Lucy
    January 23, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Thank you Alison. This truly is the best written peice that is on the Internet that pertains to letting go. It is honest and forthright and I had many AHA moments while reading it. Completely and utterly insightful. I still struggle with “how could he just let me go” and his ignoring me and feeling worthless as a result. It’s been about a month since he broke it off with me but it still seems like yesterday and I have made a fool of myself trying to get him back. I apprecaite your article more than you will ever know. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Bless your heart.

    • January 23, 2012 at 11:31 am


      Thank you for your kind words. I know it feels like your chest will never stop aching, like the world doesn’t make sense. I did the same ‘try to get him back’ thing…and honestly, it made me so much worse. I have to say that now I actually find myself wishing him well~albeit from a distance. I wouldn’t go back to that blind devotion that I was living in. Leaving me hurt him way more than me in the long run because he didn’t seem to realize what he had until it was to late. Funny enough, he’s the one trapped in purgatory now with a defunct career, a relationship based in staying together for children and for all the stupid rules he sets for himself. He’s the one under psychological care when I used to think I was the one losing her mind. I dealt with the loss by understanding that I was grieving the idea of love … not really him. Find out who you are, Lucy, this new post-him you. Get out of the house …clean air, whole foods, clean water, move your body. Just those four things are game changers. Read self help, join a group that focus on self care…volunteer at a home, a hospital, a church. When you remember that you’re a designers original , you will feel so free. And if he comes back? Really evaluate who you are and if he fits into what you really want in life. Accept nothing less than wholehearted when it comes to love. 🙂

      Be well, Lucy. Thanks for sharing in this healing community, and know that Im sending you prayers for love and light.


  36. ora
    January 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I really enjoyed this article. I’ve been in this relationship 2 and half years. He is a nice guy ( at least I think) We are so happy together laffs and cry and mean we do everything together.
    He is been telling me because of his ex wife his having problem with trusting women. He thinks all women trying to taking advantage of him. He will say all women that I dated they are all broke and looking for someone to take care of them, ( I don’t have any intention to do that).
    I grew up Cental Asia. I lived in States 15 years 9I don’t need Green card anything like that). He ask few things from me put it together then we can marry. Ok started everything he asked everything doing well but he is still can not make the desicion.
    He will always tell me how much he loves me and he much wants family with me and all since I met him. Here I am still DATING WE DON’T LIVE TOGETHER.
    Last nite he went out dinner with this women I assume they recently met. He tells me just a women and he doesn’t want to tell me who she is and what was the meeting about. He said I’m been noisy.
    Karen I am lost he is 8 years older than me and very attractive and inteliget women. All mu friends get shocked we are still not married yet. OOH forget to tell to that the whole reason we scared ( I guess) is I don’t have money and I don’t have not so good credit( becuase of my bad divorce)
    How can I move forward?
    please help me.

    • January 12, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      Hi there…I am so sorry to hear what’s happening in your life right now. Im not sure youre going to appreciate what Im about to say. It’s time to take a healthy break. No, you’re not being nose…you’re being neglected. Men…healthy men…who are attached and in love with their long time girlfriend aren’t found out on dates with other women.

      Please, read thru articles here and really think about what you want in life. Do you want this feeling you in forever? The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. I hear a deep level of unhappiness in your words…its time to focus object your life and dreams. Think about going to counseling to build up your self esteem. Take a break, reunite with friends, volunteer to help other people. Take time for you. Love will understand your need. Selfishness will not…but its time for this man to do just that ~ man up and treat you with respect and dignity . You deserve happiness and respect, dear one.

      Praying peace and grace for you. Write anytime.

  37. Christine
    January 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

    It feels good to read all these, theoretically i know that it can get better, i know one day this will be past. My story is like this…i met T about 11 years ago, as my first internet chatting experience. He was living in Greece, me in Romania. I was a young teenage in high-school, in love with this wonderful boy which i was chatting to, and then talking on the phone for hours! One day, out of the sudden he dissapeared. A few years later i went to Greece for studies, i got involved in a relationship and then T. comes back again!He had been in Australia for studies and, just as friends this time, we said we should meet, go for a coffee, so we did. Nothing happened, we stayed as friends.( i was in a relationship, he had just past something bad in his life). Then we lost contact again for some years. Thanks to facebook, 2 years ago we got in contact again. I was graduating my Uni, no relationship anymore, alone and miserable and there he came into my life. I got so attached and started something very strong between us…He came to see me after my graduation, he was not living in Greece anymore, had moved back to Lebanon, his home country. but he came to see me. we had the most amazing 12 days ever! he promised me everything will be ok now, we’ll be together. He didnt want to live in Lebanon anymore, i couldn’t stay in Greece, so the best solution we found was to move to Cyprus, i had my sister living there, it was easier to find a job and he would be close to Lebanon as well. so i did…after i found a job, he came over, moved in a nice house and start looking for a job for himself. He couldn’t find anything for 3 months, got dissapointed…was feeling probably bad because i was working. He decided to go back to Lebanon and come back later. He came after 3 months, just for a week. All this time we were in touch and so in love, always hoping for the best. This time he made me a surprise, got me a ticket for 4 days to go to his place, to meet his family. It was incredible! I fell in love even more with him…his family is amazing, he is everything i could ever dream of. Then i had to come back alone, coz he had his family business he had to help and couldn’t leave. I said that in the end, i would go there and live with him, it wasn’t too far, and i loved him so much. We planned for this X-mas to be together, so i got 2 weeks off from work to go back to him and spend holidays with his family. Everything was perfect, i was so happy…a few days before leaving i noticed some weird long phone calls and like never before he would hide his computer from me, his mobile…one day i got his phone and checked the messages. there was one from an unsaved number in arabic, saying smth like” where are you, i feel you are distant and maybe you prefer it like this”…I got crazy…he couldnt beleive i can actually translate from any language on google, he said its nothing to worry about, i’m his future, his future wife, his love and there’s no one else! I wanted to beleive him but something inside me was saying it’s not so inocent…

    I checked his Facebook ( he forgot he had given me his password longer time ago) and i found plenty of messages with another woman…love messages, messages sent the days i was there with him! saying to each other how much they are in love, how they miss one another…but she was married and had two kids so she had to hide…I COULDN’T BELEIVE was 2 days before leaving…i showed him the messages, he doesn’t admit anything, cant beleive that i translated them, i didnt make a scene, i was sorry for his mother who i love so much…he made me beleive its not true and its nothing for me to worry about…how was i going o beleive that..i was desperate, in shock..i decided to secretly talk to the girl..

    I contacted her, in a nice way i told her my story and she replied back…saying that she had no ideea about me, they had been together long time ago, before his first marriage(???), and that after his divorce he had contacted her that he wanted her but she was already engaged to be married, then she got 2 kids..she still has feelings for him although he had hurt her so much. And few months ago he contacted her again and although nothing happened between them they were communicating through facebook…I never knew he was married..and she told me he was married twice!! I pretended nothing happened but my heart those 2 days…it was pieces…obviously they talked coz he found out i got in touch with her..and he was the one mad…he broke up with me!! After that we got in touch again, the next day…he was saying again that nothing happened between them, that i had to ruin everything, now i will never trust him again…then he said he prefers being single, he prefers having fun for the rest of his life…words i had never expected to hear from him…

    and that was 2 days ago…i’m in shock, dissapointed, lost, no future plans, broken hearted,..i can’t even describe it, only you guys can understand…my job that i love so much means nothing to me now, this country..i feel like in the middle of nowhere. I’m still in touch with him saying to each other the ‘i love you’…but i know it’s over, i just dont know how to make it over…i mean i know it in theory but…

    • January 13, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Christine ~

      First, I send you a big hug of reassurance . It’s going to be okay. It’s also time to see that you’ve just dogged a terminal bullet ~ his lying to you on this scale screams “psycho.” Im so sorry to say it, but you’re a worthwhile woman with potential and a whole life ahead of you. Be the beautiful person you are…if you want to feel better, think about volunteering to help at a local shelter or an elderly person that needs a friend. Engage with that job you love…and start letting girlfriend by blocking all his contact points. The hidden marriages and husband desired affair with another tells mw this guy really isn’t going to be the faithful live you deserve.

  38. Joi
    January 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am really struggling with this. I met my ex 9 years ago. We were together for two years and i loved him very much. One day he just disappeared and it broke me. I searched for him for four years, and one day through the magic of facebook we reconnected. He was engaged with two children, the oldest born a month before he disappeared. i was devistated, 6 months after we found each other he and fiance broke up. I took him in with no job, no money, no car, he had nothing. We were in a live in relationship for two years. we faced a lot of hardships together (financial and emotional). I ended up helping him get a job where i worked and things were looking promising. about two weeks ago, i found some flirtatious text messages between him and other women. I confronted him about it, not expecting the out come. He said he needed time to work on himself and wanted to break up. I feel like i cant breathe, like someone tore off a limb. We have been so close for the last two years. he became my best friend, my lover, my companion, etc. When we first broke up, he no plans to leave the apt (which is mine) any time soon. The day before new years eve (which he told me he was spending with his children) i found out he had reserved a hotel room for the weekend. His children live an hour away, and they usually stay at his mother’s because our place is small (they do know me though). When i confronted him about it he told me he was staying at a hotel with his kids instead of at his moms. I did’t believe him and told he could stay at the apartment anymore. That seeing him at work and home was too much. We did not speak over the New years holiday ( he ignored me) and have barely spoke this last week at work. He has not moved any of his things, and has been coming and going for his clothes when i am gone. Last thursday night he showed up drunk, professing his love. I let him sleep on the couch, he was very sweet the next say..then nothing. i didnt hear from him again until saturday morning when he showed up at the apt at 7am to get more clothes. I told him this had stop, that it wasnt fair to me, and asked him for his keys. He said he would pick up his things (there is a lot of stuff) the next day, and just never showed up when was supposed to. I am quiet and laid back for the most part. yesterday, i called the girl whom i suspect he is involved with now, i said something silly like you’re messing with my bf then hung up, without giving my name. I am just so hurt and angry i want some kind of answer or explination, and refuses saying everything is too “fresh”… anyway after i called her, he immidiately asked me if i was calling his friends, which i denied. We have not talked since, i assume he knows it was me. We share a cell phone plan so he has records to my calls just the same i have them for his. I am hurt, i stay on the vergre of tears, and in fetal position in paid as soon as i get home from work… nothing helps! I am sorry this is so long, and i apologize for the typos…i guess i was just looking for a safe place to get this all out, i let him become my everything and i really have no one to talk to about it

    • January 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Hi J~

      Thank you for telling me your story. I am sorry for the pain that you’re in, and want to affirm you as a person and a woman. From what you’ve said I see that you’ve really invested yourself in someone who has in return acted dishonorably. You’ve put yourself out there and given fully of your life, time money and love. I can hear your pain and recognize how it can feel like we’re literally being torn apart. It will ease in time.

      The problem with runaway relationships like this is that they undermine our own sense of worth and value. I always say that “love doesn’t hurt.” In reality, love can give you a hurt feeling or two as life progresses, but real love doesn’t want to break your heart. When it does, if it does…it’s right there making good on the promise that they’ll we willing to step up to the plate, take responsibility and be truthful, supportive, real. I am the person that did this last in my own relationship with my husband, Brian. We went through a terrible time when I lost faith in us, in God, in me. His real love kept him anchored at my side, strong, steady and stable. In return, I honestly knew throughout the whole ordeal that I was married to the real love of my life, and that I was going to do whatever it took to make up all the harsh words and broken feelings. I took/take full responsibility for my own actions and am absolutely truthful with him; he tells me when our past bothers him and we talk it out. I may have gotten distracted and off course (which hurt him) but I never lost faith in the person that my husband is, the honorable, passionate, intelligent that I love so dearly. In my humble opinion, that is what we women want – someone that is really all in. We want to be all in. That is what I am hearing you want to build ~ I am not sure that this guy is going to/willing to do that. He sounds more like you are currently a good place to land while he is on the hunt. It may be time to take yourself off the board and say “no more, guy.”

      Remember, I don’t know the whole situation, so I can only give you my view from the cheap seats as a friend. It’s probably time to pack his stuff and let him know that it will be sitting on the front porch “Friday at five.” If he no shows, it’s his loss. tell him that he’s got 24 hours until the Goodwill truck shows us. Also, no matter what it takes, no more phone calls to random girls…or to him. You’re going to have to get up off the floor and the fetal position and chose yourself over the pain, even in the pain. Breathe deep. Don’t isolate yourself – make new friends, renew old friends, and find a different topic to think about. If nothing else, Redbox or Netflix movies to distract you. The truth is that if he’s your forever love, he’s going to wake up one day and really straighten up to win you back – and he’s going to have to prove it. No more drunk sleepovers. Just don’t open the door. He’s a grown up and needs to act like one. You’re not responsible to help him be stupid or act badly – I would hate to think that he drove in that condition.

      Focusing on you and your health is the real issue and promise of a better tomorrow. Where your mind is focused is where your energy is going to flow. It’s time to redirect it, to love yourself and recognize that you’re worth so very much. You are unique, created as a whole and beautiful woman. No one gets to take your self respect ~ time for affirmations about who you are. You are worthwhile. Try writing a private journal, on or off line – keep it private. Try exercise – even a walk. Lots of fresh clean water, healthy food. Set some personal goals that you want to accomplish. Start little and work up. More than anything, try to redirect your longing for love into imagining what that perfect man for you is like – and you will slowly begin to see that this isn’t him. When you start looking for Mr. Right, you’re going to be amazed at what you see. Accept no less than someone who is honestly going to love you without mentally undressing his coworkers. 🙂

      I am praying for you, J. All the best in peace, love and grace to me. Write any time you want to have a safe space either in this forum or to the email on the home page.

      Blessings ~

  39. Victoria
    January 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I found this article. I just went through a rough breakup after dating for 1 1/2 years. His reasoning was because he just wants to be single. And he refuses to talk to me at all. We’ve done so much and been through so many good times. Your article is identical to my situation. Thanks for posting this and hopefully the days will get easier.

    • January 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Dear V:

      Thank you for writing in, and for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry for your pain. Know that it does get better, and please take a moment to read through the other postings on this page where women like you and I share similar stories. Know that you’re never alone.



  40. Cris
    January 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks so much 4 ur guide! u helped me a lot! thanks!!

  41. Camila
    January 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    My situation is pretty particular. The person i am in love with lives on the other side of the world. We had a long distance relationship about 3 years ago, but we both were still in high school, so after 7 months we decided to break the relationship but still talk to each other, there was no fighting involved. It’s been 3 years since we made that decission, and in that time we both move to different countries again (We are almost finishing college now), and we still talk for hours everyday. He is the person I trust the most and he is the love of my life. But the truth is that this relationship hurts me a lot. Everytime he is with somebody else it just destroys me, and I can’t ask him to wait for me because it would only make things worse and lead to many fightings. I even stop trying to develop other relationships because, since I can’t get him out of my mind, not any other relation works for more than a month. How do I do to let him go? I want to stop this addiction I have to him, that I can’t stop talking to him, even if I know I am hurting myself… sorry my message is so long, but please help me! Your article was amazing!

    • January 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Greetings, and all my love to you on this day.

      I had the chance to read your email this a.m….and it bears a truthful response. Give me a day or so to really consider that which you’ve told me, and feel free to email any other questions or thoughts that you have to [email protected]….my only real question for you is this. Are there any plans to move to each others area now that college is almost over?

      Peace and grace…I will talk with you soon.


  42. Anonymous
    December 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    There is somone in my class that i really like, but, lets just say that we cant be together, hes like my best friend, but everytine i see him the pain grows I try not to let it get to me but it always does…. Have any advice??

    • December 2, 2011 at 10:24 am

      Hi, KitKat.

      I am going to assume several things; one is that your a western teenager in the US or Brittan, so I am going to focus on ideas that a US teen might have in our culture. Another is that you’ve never told your friend how much you care for him? Here is the deal about what I call ‘high school love.’ It’s some traumatic stuff at times. When you’re around your friend, you might try focusing on deep breathing, and letting yourself relax….you’re most likely reacting to the aching in your chest (emotional pain) by tensing up. It makes it hard to have a conversation. Next, allow yourself space to not be so close around him so often – just a bit of air. Talk with your friends, take up new activities, give yourself a little distance. We will often idolize the people that we are attracted to, and sometimes that is a real connection, sometimes not. I didn’t wind up marrying the boy I was nuts about in high school, failed in my marriage to my college sweetheart after a decade, then finally found someone that I really love being in love with, being best friends with and sharing life with after much heartache. Realistically, there is much road for you to travel between where you’re standing and a deep love relationship – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t date, discover life, have boyfriend(s) and the like.

      In the end, if you really like him, then be yourself. Talk. Compliment his attributes that you really find appealing. Don’t act like a “friend,” act like a girl with possibility. Whatever you do, don’t tomboy to stay around him, then you’re just one of the guys. If he’s what you hope he is, your being present and available will change his focus – if not, fish are abundant in the sea. A word from this girl who has the “been there done that” tattoo? Really pay attention to your education, to your college plans, and more than anything to your own self esteem and self focus. If you read this article, you will see that your life is about You. No one will live it for you, and you deserve to be happy.

      Since you’re asking from the standpoint of “how do I let him go,” I will talk a bit about that as well. This article was written in response to my own former flame and best friend, and how hard it was to let him go, as well as the letter of a reader with an acute heartbreak. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t hear this story – some I post, most I respond to in email. Here is the thought….. If you leave the relationship totally behind, you will mentally let go in phases. I don’t even remember what my former love looks like all that much, have forgotten things like his phone numbers and the name of his child(ren). I don’t look for him, and he rarely crosses my mind outside of using it as an example on THM. I don’t regret our breakup. As time goes by, you just naturally find that the life your leading is worth the one that you chose not to follow. It’s called “opportunity cost.” Some people regret walking away and never let go – don’t be one of them. You start with a deep breath and getting some distance. You set ground rules for yourself and begin to look for what you really want in life. You become your own best friend, actively use positive self talk and be realistic that you’re in the beginning stages of a potentially rocking life – it’s just up to you what you do with it.

      KitKat, I hope that this works out for you, and that your emotional pain decreases. If this hasn’t helped, write me again and we’ll talk through it. If you have access to a counselor, use that time to sort out who you are and where you’re going in life. You’ll thank yourself later.

  43. Milles
    November 6, 2011 at 11:11 am

    No other words can express how I feel about the past. But I’m letting him go. In peace. Thank you, thank you. I guess that’s all I can say. 🙂

    • November 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      The peace and grace are the tricky part, aren’t they? I’ve found now, with space and time that i honestly wouldn’t change that it ended…or choose to be any less than 100% healthy and whole. A lot of peace and ability to let go comes, too, from knowing that although he couldn’t be what i had loved in him long term, I appreciate the good memories without glamorous blinders. I appreciate what i learned…..but, my God, it nearly killed me. It’s odd to know that he’s still imprisoned in his own emotional strata. ….Sometimes, that’s the most dangerous thing we can know. From my place here in my own solar system, I am incredibly grateful that he’s no longer got the access or ability to hurt me again. Im slowly coming back to feeling like a truly unique and worthwhile human. Love….the real stuff. ….I pray that for you.
      Was it real?
      I don’t know.
      What i do know?
      I’m still standing. 🙂

  44. Mulki
    November 1, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I really enjoyed this article. I just had my first heartbreak and Boy, does it HURT!! I can’t concentrate in class, work or anything. I have never been devastated like this. But, Alison you give me hope, time heals but it does not heal completely. I just wish this -suffocating pain- would go away.

    • November 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm


      Thanks for the comment. I understand – in my own version – of how you feel right now. I pray that you find peace and grace amidst your dark night of the soul and learn much about yourself and love in a positive way from this heartbreak. Best advice I can give is in the article, but hindsight now that time has passed since “he” fell out of my solar system (albeit not without lingering)….love yourself enough not to remember love through “wish vision.” Let yourself see what was real – we break up for reasons. We endow people with qualities and honor that they don’t possess…and sometimes, when they leave us, that grows into a shiny thing we look back at and sigh. I didn’t realize I was sandbagging myself with my romantic remembrance of how great he was (he wasn’t, trust me.) Be real, and accept the heartache for what it is – it’s a feeling. It will pass in time, and while it is present allow it to teach you, to lead you to new heights, new lows. Talk to a counselor, learn to trust yourself again, breathe deeply. Key ingredients: listen to up lifting music that isn’t related to him or love – drink clean water, get fresh air, and move; exercise, walk, run. You will feel what you’ll feel until grief runs it course – anger, hurt, pain, denial, bargaining. And then one day, there is peace. Read the posting “She” on THM – you can search it pretty easily – it really is true. Real love, we girls learn, is healthy. Love is a two way communication. Love is not painless, but progressable. Love doesn’t intentionally hurt.

      Although there is still a him shaped hole in me, it grows fainter by the day, replaced by real love that doesn’t abuse – and that is a good thing. I wish you all the peace, love and grace of the world. Write again sometime. You’re never alone.

  45. Helen
    October 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    THANK YOU for writing and posting this! Beautiful! I sent it to a bunch of my friends. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!

  46. Karen
    September 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I wish I had seen this MONTHS ago! Since I’ve read this, within 10 minutes, I feel a HUGE sense of relief. ALL the information here is pertinent to me and my feelings. Hope is a huge blessing but burden at the same time (if that makes sense) I am hopeful to a fault. With that said, hope is what drives me, keeps me getting out of bed every day and living even the mundane life as I do. My life is very simplistic. I would LOVE to begin LIVING!! I want to travel. I want to hike and bike in the great outdoors! These things are goals I have set for me, as a woman who has lost herself in men (the most recent really was the hardest loss to me and my self esteem) I fell in love. I knew he was ALL wrong but I let myself take that leap and ended up devastated. As time passes, I find the joy from within myself. The hope that one day I will find the man who completes me and cherishes me. As a woman of nearly 37, I am a bit ashamed to admit I have never had that kind of love… ever. That is a hard pill to swallow. I am learning to love myself and all the atributes I give to this world. I am a kind, compassionate woman. I am independent and self sufficent. So why the devestation? Hope… My catch 22. Hopes for a future with this man. Hopes for somebody to go camping with or just walk for a coffee with. Hopes to have somebody to sit and watch a movie with and laugh with (he certainly has an awesome sense of humor and I will miss that) But, I will not allow myself to lose sight of a good future. I do realize any future with this man would not be good. Our lifestyles just aren’t a match. The chemistry was tantalizing but I need more than chemistry. I want and deserve and equal partner. Not somebody that I am just an option to, which in his world, I unfortunately was. Life goes on. Your article here gives me hope and has lit a fire that was extinguished several months ago. Thank you so much for your insight. I am taking another leap of faith, but this time its for me and the desires I have for myself and even HAD before this man came into my world. Goodbye Mr. so & so. I am moving on and going to live well!!
    All my gratitude,

    • September 23, 2011 at 9:08 am

      All my love to you, Karen, as you go on your path toward a more fulfilled, self actualized you. Hold out for the real deal – it’s worth it, I promise. ~Alison

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.