I promise my blog has not turned into one big heart-fest or anything like that since I met that great guy I keep talking about. I’ll be back to fighting DV in no time, I swear. But when something happens to me, I write about it. (It’s just that we’re used to only bad things happening to me, let’s be honest!)
So, seeing as that thing with that good man has already wrapped up somewhat and sort of, some thoughts on falling out of fill-in-the-blank. I won’t dare use that one word. But I will say I was/am unabashedly crazy in like with him, totally crushing, and, as already stated, could picture being his wife. So, yeah. I fell hard and I fell fast. A smitten kitten. A goner. Sixteen all over again. It was fun and wonderful and, gotta say, pretty perfect.
But, alas, it’s not moving forward quite as I’d hoped (because of that word I now hate: logistics). So how does one undo all of that good, good stuff? (Someone else should be writing this as I don’t really know, but you know me…writing all wood and clay in the middle of something instead of waiting like a year to write the gold!)
Okay, so here’s what I’ve done so far:
Cried. Quite a bit, I’m afraid. But not because I was hurt by him. Solely because I missed him and us and that thing between us and the hope of us. But crying is good. Crying is release. Crying is healthy. Don’t be afraid of the tears, sweet girls. Let them fall, no matter the reason for your sadness.
Talked. I got it out. I hashed it through with my girls. The ins and outs. I didn’t keep it all in. I didn’t pretend I was okay. In fact, a couple of them came over with tea and chocolate and sat on my bed with me while I blathered. They prayed over me. And then they sort of sat shiva with me (minus the potato salad) as I did my version of that century’s old girl-ritual of burning letters: I.deleted.everything. (Sob.) So that, you know, I wouldn’t be all obsessy and go back and re-read every email, IM and text. Not that I would do that. I totally wouldn’t do that. Whatever. Be quiet.
Prayed. I told Jesus even more of the everything that I hadn’t even told my girls. Because he just loves me and he lets me be me and he promises to be close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). I was even a little ticked with him about the crummy circumstances that are keeping this us from moving forward the way I want, but I believe he’s even okay with that. I surrendered my heart and my future and thanked him for the good gift of even introducing us.
Journaled. I decathected. (Not a word). In other words, I processed it. I wrote down everything I could already think of that I learned from it, anything that maybe was brought to the surface that I needed to think through. And then I wrote down every good thing that came out of it (that list was way longer, I’m so grateful to say).
Counseling. No, he didn’t drive me into counseling. This didn’t make me go careening into a deep depression. I haven’t even made an appointment yet, but I still might. A couple things came out of this that made me think, that made me realize I probably have a bit of work to do in a couple areas. Nothing too huge, just good-to-know-before-this-might-happen-again kinds of things.
Go with the ebb and flow. I sent a text to my girlfriends that I could tell I’d turned a corner (this was on day four post ending…not bad actually) but I also know myself well enough that there will more than likely be a few more tears. That it will take everything in me not to reach out first or whatever. And that’s okay. It’s totally okay to grieve the loss of something sweet that was once in your life but now is not, even if it were brief. So I’m going to let myself.
Listen, I’m so totally new at this. I know how to grieve a hard thing. But this is new territory to grieve a good thing. I’m just learning. But I will say this: no regrets. I’d so rather have had that time together and be wading through all this now than to never have had that beautiful experience. I feel blessed and grateful.
And if you’ve got any tips for getting over a good man who didn’t do even one mean thing to you that you can hang your hat on, I’d love to hear ‘em.
*Full disclosure: this good man and I have decided to remain friends, which helps ease the sadness, I must admit. So, you know, what do I know since we both still kinda crazy like each other a little? Might want to get your breaking-up advice from someone else, just sayin’…
Uggg, i am so right with you Elizabeth, and i think everything you have said is what you need to do and the key, “want to do” because you know you better than anyone on this earth. Your strength and attitude is so admirable.
Feeling for you. I don’t have any advice-I think you’ve taken the right steps and as always given it to The Lord. We don’t know what God has planned for you (and your ‘us’) in all this…just never know He can and has done the impossible.
I would suggest not keeping a friendship going with this man – are you ready to hear who he’s dating? If no then, no friendship.
That’s not to say that God could orchestrate your relationship again down the road when logistics may not be an issue. But it’s just not where God has you now.
When I went through several of these situations, I just kept reminding myself that God knows what is best for me and that His plan is far better than mine.
5 years after divorce and I am remarried. And……..several of the men I dated who for logistics and other reasons did not continue our relationship emailed me to see if I was still available. I have to believe that if they were the man God had for me, then I would not have met my husband.
It sounds like you’ve taken practical and healthy steps in your grieving and healing.
Regarding your intent to remain friends, I would only caution that you may want to consider whether friendship with this man allows you to be free for whomever the Lord would place in your life. Your emotional energy will move toward this man for whom you had so many hopes and comparisons are inevitable. If he is truly certain that there is not a future for the two of you, then I might suggest a more clean break. While painful, it is the most realistic view of the reality.
I do know how this feels. My Mr. Wonderful stepped back because of concerns with his daughters and it was devastating. I could not even be angry because he acted with such integrity…but I could not remain only his ‘friend.’ at least not right away. I truly think that my willingness to walk away (more correctly let him walk) was the catalyst for his realizing he didn’t want life without me. Obviously God did all the workings in our hearts but I respected myself enough to know that a friendship with this man would be impossible. I would love him or need to let him go in order to move forward.
It may be very different for you – I don’t know how long your relationship developed, but think about what his presence in your life means for your ability to focus on other things.
Hugs – and yay for those girlfriends!
Ugh, this is driving me crazy… you like him, he likes you… so who cares about logistics??? I don’t know exactly what logistics in this case may be (although I’m dying to know!) but I’m such a romantic — just make it work whatever those logistics may be? even if it’s long distance or whatever… it looks like your kids are older, could be leaving home within the next few years… don’t let logistics stand in your way of true love!!!!! How does one “just be friends” with someone that you’re crazy about?
I admire how honest and transparent you are being with yourself and everyone else Beth. It’s very comforting. I wondered as I read your post, is it possible that there is something even better that is waiting for you? I know that doesn’t help your heart and probably sounds trite, but seriously, I really wondered. I pray good things do come to you, ones that you can hold dear.
Ah yes, I have had…and am currently in…this experience. A WONDERFUL guy…I wasn’t looking…I was shut down inside for 20 years and thought it would stay that way forever because of bad past experiences with my ex…and then a mutual friend introduces us at church…and this amazing friendship developed over 3 years and I fell in love…he made me feel special and loved just for me… I was ‘afraid’ to tell him, so sent him a letter baring my feelings, my soul, my past…he knows it all now, even the ugly parts…and he called me the day he received it, and in his incredibly kind way, told me we were just friends…but that he thought the world of me, would do anything for me any day of the week…and he hoped we would still be friends…and I said yes…and will…but there is something in my heart that believes that the connection we have is unusual…the interests we share unique and distinct…that the Lord was speaking to me about him and the divine intersection that we have shared…and is this no forever or just for a season? I am doing my best to submit to God’s plan…to not question…not doubt ever so many things…there’s jeremiah 29:11 again…and Joel 2:25…and Ephesians 3:20…and oh so many more verses about God’s best intentions and plan for me…and I struggle to trust and believe because of my past and relational trust issues… But this man has an incredibly kind heart and has made such incredible headways into my soul and shut-down heart…my trouble is that I keep trying to understand…to figure all of it out…more of my attempts to control my life? And when I was so sure God was speaking to me about him…and then it seemed that perhaps not and it was all in my head? But, recently…I was reading and Psalm 46:10…Be still and know that I am God…jumped out at me two times in one day…along with discussions of resting from my struggle and letting God fight for me…so I will let God fight for me…and I believe, Elisabeth, He is fighting for you as well…we shall see how these stories of ours fit into God’s Grand Story…
First of all, I love your blog. Thank you for sharing so much of your life, heart, and wisdom. I also agree with many of the other comments that keeping a friendship with him is not in your (or his) best interest. It works for a while (I know…I’ve done it) but usually one or the other continues to have feelings and it’s hard to let go when the other person starts dating or gets into another relationship. I tried staying friends with ALL my ex’s (including my ex-husband since we had an amicable divorce) and God finally challenged me to let go of all of them because he couldn’t allow what He needed to do in my life to happen if I stayed emotionally attached in any way. It’s not easy but there is definitely some freedom in it. Just food for thought.