There is a reason people say there is a thin line between love and hate. Believe it or not, the opposite of love in not hate, but rather apathy.
Only someone you really love is capable of truly hurting you because they are the ones we trust the most, and we expect so much from them, including that they will love us back, be kind and caring, keep our secrets and never ever betray us. We can all agree that these are high expectations that we don’t impose on many, and when these expectations aren’t meant, the disappointment is quite profound.
Suffering repeated disappointment in a relationship is like experiencing death by a thousand paper cuts. If you have experienced this, you know exactly what I am describing is a prolonged and painful death where with each day and passing week you slowly see the trust and respect you once felt for the other person diminish to a point of no return.
Some people become sad when faced with disappointment, others become angry. These are just different ways of expressing the same underlying sentiment. Some will withdraw, others will act out- neither way is healthy or productive. Sometimes, it is the things we don’t do that hurt more than the things we do– like failing to recognize a special event or make an effort at little acts of kindness, no longer greeting someone with a smile, kind words or a kiss, ceasing to be intimate or even just check-in because instead that person is really checking out.
Your partner should know your love language, and make an effort to speak it on a regular basis. You would not have fallen in love with that person if s/he did not know how to make you feel loved, so you have every right to feel betrayed when the one you loved has changed his/her pattern of behavior. And if despite your request to address any concerns, the patterns of behavior don’t improve, it is normal for frustration and resentment to simply worsen over time, making the situation toxic and intolerable.
When your love story has become a nightmare and the person you once loved has turned into someone f-d up beyond all recognition (aka a “FUBAR”) you have to learn to cut your losses. Do not try to apply the sunken cost mentality– it doesn’t matter how much time or money you put into the relationship before, if it is now broken and cannot be fixed, you have to accept that it is time to walk away.
Love is not meant to hurt. It is something beautiful and sweet. Hold out for that, and leave all the negativity behind.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.