Relationship progression

Keep Your Heart Open

Loveby Annette Young

I was talking to an ex-partner today about affairs of the heart and our conversation was quite in-depth and perhaps more intimate in many ways than when we were together. Although our relationship had been a positive one  – the timing had just been all wrong, it had at least given me hope at the time that I was capable of choosing someone genuine after all my other failed attempts.

I am pretty sure I had never actually confided in him about my past experiences or if I had, it was discussed in a casual way. Our time together had been very comfortable and heart-warming, he made me laugh and I knew he was genuine but it was not really the type of relationship for the mutual sharing of past experiences.

Today however, a good 3 years on, it was nice to talk to him and our conversation was open and we discussed the difficulties of moving on emotionally.  He had been incredibly hurt by his wife and it had taken years to get past feelings of betrayal while for me, I had struggled to regain my sense of self and move past my experiences of toxic relationships. As regards the timing of our connection, we were mismatched. 

During our conversation today, he stated that he felt that ‘life was just too short to live in the past’ and he was absolutely right, of course. There’s no doubt that if we remain trapped emotionally, then we’ll never move on and find the kind of relationship we truly deserve. No-one deserves to suffer at the hands of a controlling, abusive or cheating partner but it’s one thing that we know this, it’s another thing altogether when it comes to believing it.

When you’ve been hurt, that bitterness can so easily get locked deep inside. Forgetting betrayals, violence or manipulative behaviour all carried out in the name of love, is, well, it seems an impossible task. But when we hold onto those feelings, we become scared to move on. At the back of our minds, the niggling thought that we could make the same mistake again gnaws away.

The solution is this.

We have to face up to the fact that we were once in a less than healthy relationship and that somehow, we have risen from the remnants of those relationships, like the phoenix from the flame and we’ve repaired the old tatters of life and created an existence which is much preferable.  I don’t know about you but I never again want to live with an individual who utilises cruel behaviour as a sport.

We may have experienced loneliness, fear and anxieties about being alone, but, guess what, we’ve survived.  

My conversation this morning reminded me to let go of past hurts. My progression over the years had been pretty good but sometimes, we all need to hear the truth about a situation. We need to know that others believe in us and that we’ve already gained so much. My conversation this morning simply reinforced my belief that in time, we can and  must gradually lower those barriers if we are going to let good people into our lives.

If you are in this position and teetering on the edge of what appears to be an emotional void, do so with a brave heart, a layer of caution and, with more than a pinch of awareness. This way, as you step forward, you’ll choose new friends or partners wisely. You’ll never forget the past emotional pain or, the physical bruises but you can create and enrich healthier new experiences going forward if you give yourself permission.

There’s no guarantees that you’ll find the person of your dreams or that a new lover might not be at the right stage of their own development to truly appreciate you but, there is no hope of a happy ever after if you don’t try.

After all, if we shut everyone out, we limit our own potential for happiness.

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