sad return

Hi David -

I’m not sure if your girlfriend (old) began sleeping around before or after you got back from being overseas. If it was before, then you are dealing with the difficult emotions of betrayal. If it was after you split up, then you are merely jealous, and you need to let sleeping dogs lay.

Betrayal by a woman - especially a woman we are deeply committed to - as you were in your case - is tough, to say the least. Our love is not returned, our trust is not reciprocated, our efforts on behalf of the relationship are mocked. I think the best benefit we can take away from experiences like these is that they are initiations - out of naivete, and into the real world. Surprise surprise - these things happen! To us, no less! Who would have thought?

What lesson do we learn? Certainly the first lesson is to be less naive about women. When we fall in love, we tend to idealize women. We put them “on a pedestal,” and we think they are perfect and immune to many of the temptations and failings that affect all of us. But women, in a lot of ways, are just like guys. They are imperfect, they are working to be good people, they are not always as strong or consistent as they might like, and sometimes they act rashly and for reasons they don’t fully understand. Sound familiar?

If you want to get over this dream, you are going to have to allow for the fact that - to put it simply - your girlfriend wasn’t everything you hoped she’d be. She wasn’t as committed as you were, it didn’t mean as much to her, and hey - you both were young and trying to figure out yourselves. It won’t do you any good to hold onto blame or to right and wrong. As you well know, that relationship is over; it’s youthful water under the bridge. And hey - who’s to say you didn’t learn from it? Didn’t you just write that you are married to a great girl who you love very much? You won! Enjoy your victory!

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