You see I loved hard once, but the love wasn’t returned
I found out the man I’d die for, he wasn’t even concerned
In time it turned,
He tried to burn me like a perm
Though my eyes saw the deception, My heart wouldn’t let me learn
From um, some, dumb woman, was I,
And everytime he’d lie, he would cry and inside I’d die.
My heart must have died a thousand deaths
Compared myself to Toni Braxton thought I’d never catch my breath
Nothing left, he stole the heart beating from my chest
I tried to call the cops, that type of thief you can’t arrest
Pain suppressed, will lead to cardiac arrest
Diamonds deserve diamonds, but he convinced me I was worth less
when my peoples would protest,
I told them mind their business, cause my s*** was complex
More than just the sex
I was blessed, but couldn’t feel it like when I was caressed
I’d spend nights clutching my breasts overwhelmed by God’s test
I was God’s best contemplating death with a Gillette
But no man is ever worth the paradise MANIFEST
~ Lauryn Hill’s verse from Manifest by The Fugees
When I was a freshman in college, I found out that my boyfriend was cheating on me with a PYT in the dorm next to him. All the while, I was sleeping across campus probably dreaming about our future wedding day, none the wiser. Eventually, I found out, confronted him, and he broke up with me to be with this girl. This was not only my first taste of betrayal, this was also the first time I looked at myself in comparison to another woman and felt less than. I wondered what she had that I didn’t that led him to stray. Was she prettier? smarter? funnier? better in bed? I became somewhat fixated with this girl and found myself comparing myself to her all the time.
This victimized line of thinking is a slippery, treacherous slope. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. “If my skin was clearer, or my hair longer, or if I wasn’t so shy…maybe he’d still be with me.” I was only 18, and I didn’t have a strong sense of self. I remember thinking that I could get him back by studying her and somehow mastering this innocent, clueless appeal that she seemed to have. Of course that didn’t work. In my mind this was a competition, and I felt that she’d won. This was the first man I’d opened myself up to, in every way, and so easily she’d come along and lured him away. By being myself and giving of myself, I’d lost. By her being herself, she’d won. This is what I thought. I couldn’t stop this comparison/competition nonsense. I couldn’t remember what was so special about me anymore and my confidence went out the window.
After three years of love triangle chaos, I eventually moved on from this situation, but I never stopped comparing myself to other women and wondering when the day would come that I would be abandoned again. I didn’t believe that I would ever be enough for anyone. There would always be some other woman that would come along and offer something that I couldn’t. I glorified the qualities that I didn’t possess and belittled those that I did possess. To some degree, I didn’t believe that I had enough worthy qualities for someone to love and be satisfied with me just being me.
Finally, I learned to turn the lens inward and take an honest look at myself. I’d been so fixated on what other women had, and what I thought men would want, that I forgot to hold fast to what’s real for me and that is WHO I AM. I had to admit that focusing on other people and feeling like a victim wasn’t working. You can’t focus on what you don’t want and receive what you do want. It doesn’t work that way. My insecurity would only draw more negative experiences into my life if I continued to pity myself.
Women, in particular, feel this sense of urgency and lack when it comes to finding love. We worry that we won’t find love, then we worry that the love won’t last. In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz said “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the options and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” We can’t guarantee that we won’t get hurt, but we can be sure that every experience we have in the name of love is a valuable one that we’ll learn from.
So, I’ve learned that everyone’s got something different – a specific combination of energies that is unduplicated. When we make ourselves vulnerable by expressing love and originality, we’re not setting ourselves up to be rejected as I once thought. In fact, we are setting ourselves up to naturally filter through the noise and haste of the world to find what truly fits into our lives. Don’t fear disapproval, criticism, judgment, rejection, betrayal, separation or being alone or abandoned. When we experience these things, what truly defines us is the meaning that we assign to the experience – did we learn from it or were we defeated by it? Did we choose to become more true to self or did we lose ourselves?
I hope I can get to this point sooner rather than later. I am one week post breakup and I am contemplating getting back together with him and I cant fathom living with this pain forever. Its just that every adult couple I know has dealt with cheating. I just want to cease existing right now.
I have dealt with rejection from my father to several boyfriends. The only men in my life who I feel have accepted me lovingly and unconditionally are my brother and God. Yes, I do see traces of the effects in my relationships and the way I interact with people. I try to stay "out of my head" meaning not OVER-thinking any and every situation to the nth degree (which is my Achilles heel). With God's help I am still healing and if I get healed BEFORE I enter into another relationship- maybe those droplets bitterness/rejection will be evaporated forever. Thank you for sharing 🙂
This is a great piece. I haven't been in one of these situations myself, but my best friend recently went through a really tough time after a breakup. She initiated the breakup, because it was apparent that adding romance was ruining what was working well as a good friendship, and it seemed like an amicable split that should ave resulted in them going back to being friends. Instead, he immediately found another girlfriend and proceeded to ignore my friend. He would kiss this new girl in front of her, tell everyone around her how great she was, and loudly profess how no girl could compare to her. A few months later he was engaged, sent out an e-mail to a bunch of people (including people who were surprised to be included because they didn't know him or his fiancee that well) announcing his engagement, and he left my friend off the list. They had been very close before dating, he knew her and she put a lot of trust in him emotionally, and this really hurt her. She's always had a bit of trouble with anxiety but that was a huge blow to her confidence that triggered major depression and a stay in the hospital for suicidal actions. Just knowing of all this pain in someone I love hurt me so much… I can only imagine what it's like to go through it. I really like things like this that lift us up. We should be reminded more often that being loved isn't about being "perfect" it's about finding someone who matches up with you, good qualities and ones you need to work on all, and who is willing to love you and who you are willing to love back.
This was a wonderful article. I am 44yrs old now and just now getting to the point that I value myself (even when other good looking women are around). Over 9 years ago I was engaged to be married but something inside me said "don't do this". Glad I called it off because sure enough, shortly after that he married some other women. Took me 4 years to get myself together from that. Did exactly what the girl in this article did, compared myself to his "NOW" wife. Only recently (in the last 2 yrs) have I started really enjoying my life and truely liking myself, as I am!! The problem wasn't me, his issues were his. I now know that and it's very freeing.
I have to admit, that I wasn't the one that was betrayed. In fact I was the girl that 'stole' the guy. This story models exactly the same scenario but I was the antagonist. I was 20 at the time and just recently lost my virginity to another guy i've been dating just about a month ago (from that time)but the relationship fizzled when he realized I wasn't the clingy type. Moving on, I was a transfer student so didn't make much friends yet at my new school. My friendship with the cheatee started since we had the same taste in alternative rock and we were both on the awkward side..different to say the least. I have always knew my fellow awkward friend, let's call him "Jeff", had an attraction to me, but I toyed with teasing him and at the same time enforcing a strictly platonic relationship since I was also acquaintances with his then girlfriend of 2 years. I've never been a relationship before then and only lended an open ear to my friends who were in relationships, so I did the same for them. My current heighten sexuality muffled and overshadowed my moral understanding of what is wrong and what is right. I engaged in a sexual relations with 'Jeff' in the dorms for 2 years, while his girlfriend was also a neighbor on our wing. At the time I didn't even fathom the wrong I was doing to this girl until the affair ended quietly 2 years later. She eventually found out about it towards the end and we were all moving out of the dorms. I faced my wrong and explained to her and spoke with her. I professed how long we've been doing this I didn't once think about her. I didn't think about the doubt and self depreciation I was unknowingly dumping onto her, as I left to leave and start a new life in another city. I told her that I wasn't begging for her forgiveness as of yet, but to take my extremely selfish act and take knowingly that I've wronged her that I will carry this guilt with me. She was extremely forgiving at the time. But I stressed to her, that I'm not letting myself off the hook so lightly. To this day I still have immense amount of guilt on what I did to that girl. My actions weren't out of malice but straight self centeredness and ignorance. I feel compelled to share this cause coming from the 'antagonist' side, the last thing I wanted to was to make someone think of themselves as any less from the actions from others.
WOW! WOW! WOW! This article is EXACTLY what I needed to see at the EXACT time I saw it. Now I'm at my desk at work all teary eyed. I'm 4 months post a horrible break up (very similar situation as above) and have been going through the same motions and this really hit home. A million thanks for sharing this!!!!
Same here at Anonymous @ 10:15am…..this article was right on time and greatly appreciated along with everyone's comments. I needed this today! Thank.You.
Thank you for this article. Thank you all of you for sharing your stories. One of my favorite mantras that helps me through difficult situations like these: "Everything that I experience from another human being is either love, or a call for love."
I can relate to this story on all levels. Over the years, I've come to realize that I am a one of a kind special woman and none can compare to me. The bible says that I was God's greatest creation… That is the mindset that we as women all need to adopt. We deserve to place ourselves as far up as possible; because that's the only way we won't settle for less.
Excellent post, yes about love but also about life. Comparing is just setting yourself up for negative thoughts. Say yes to self love, yes to learning from relationships and life. Well written, looong, but worth every word.
My heart is trying to process this…I think this article just saved my life! The pain can be consuming…but this too shall pass…and yes, I too deserve to be happy…he certainly is for now.
Well, this post has helped me to understand why I'm no longer friends with a former bestie.
I was around when she met her man (seriously, standing right next to her), and was simply a listener when she left him. And went back.* And left. And went back again. I didn't know that she went back to him after she left the first time around, but the reasons for their initial breakup always sounded "soft", and I figured if there was more to it, she would tell me if she wanted.
When she first left him, the following year, she got CRAZY competitive with me. I mean C.R.A.Z.Y. I'd known this girl for years(!) and I had never seen her so snippy, miserable, angry, mean-spirited, and under-mining. Then she started copying every.thing.I.did. Errrrrything, from activities to artistic interests, stalking my facebook, etc… . I will say that she started dressing better so there was that. So I backed off, and gave her space and then… at the end of that year she confesses that she'd been sleeping with him the WHOLE TIME even though they weren't really back together. And instead of letting him just go, she STILL tried to compete with me, supposedly after she left him for the last time (for real). I was seriously confused as to why someone who was supposed to be my friend was acting like some trifling high school chick threatening to cut your face in the parking lot.
Well, it turns out that what I thought was an innocuous comment from her boyfriend on her birthday was part of the cause of all this crazy. Apparently, he'd mentioned that I had lost weight, and looked really nice, and I heard from other sources (after we stopped being friends) that he had thought highly of me. Now, I'd only seen this dude like total of 3 times over two years, so I was a little taken aback. While I was ending the friendship, I found out that everyone else was hanging out with them all.of.the.time, just not me, and I was specifically NOT supposed to be told that these events were happening. I realized that she had asked me on at LEAST three separate occasions over the previous 2 two years if he had a crush on me. I actually thought she was just joking. Turns out, it was projection.
Anywho, after I end the friendship, folks came out of the wood work to basically say that he had been cheating on her left, right, and sideways, and she wasn't having any luck with other guys, so she was seeing him on the sly and didn't want me to know about it. Oh, the kicker was that she was crazy competitive with me and under-mining because she didn't want to have to compete against the other women he was sleeping with, so since he had said some admiring things about me, she decided to go all out and use me as her yardstick. I NEVER would have dated her dude anyway! I still don't get trying to compete against someone who wasn't interested in him in the first place! I sincerely didn't understand her fixation with me at the time, or why it seemed like she was always sizing me up, but I do have more of an understanding now.
NO, we are still not friends, and she's moved away (even though she almost went BACK to him). I can't handle someone with those kinds of insecurities again in my life. But I had wondered what her motivation was with the comparative behavior, even after I found out that he was cheating on her. This post was a great insight. Also, if nothing else, realize that whoever you're comparing yourself to is out there living their lives. Trying to imitate that to gain some self-esteem seems like an exercise in futility.
Thank you so much for sharing this article with us. I have also gone thru a very painful experience relationship wise, and at the time felt that I was not good enuf! I even "blamed" the other woman for seducing him! IDIOCY on my part I know! When a man wants out, it's rarely about you, but mostly about some or other selfish intent that has nothing to do with you.
Thankfully I have a GOD who has taught me the meaning of unconditional love, and for that I AM SO GRATEFUL.
That just gave me goose bumps, Thank You! I loved The Four Agreements and that chapter (don't take things personal) really changed my life.
WOW!!!! Great article and VERY, VERY well written! Betrayal and rejection is all part of the journey and hopefully we learn lessons along the way so that its a short ride. But we all have to learn that true love is not only about the emotions and "feelings" but rather about the commitment. The commitment to not just the other person but to ourselves.
This story makes me want to cry as the summer before my freshman year of college I went through the very same thing. I had completely lost myself to this man, my first ever real boyfriend and he left me to be with another girl. That took a huge blow to my heart and when he left I felt like I had nothing left. I felt like I had been robbed.
It took a while and to be honest, I'm still working on becoming immuned to rejection and the decisions of others. I'm still really quiet, really distant from others, but it's a process. I know now that nothing anyone says or does to me can take away who I am. I am. My self worth doesn't come from anything external.
Thank you for this story.
This is a really great article. I am just coming out of a relationship and I am trying not to go 'Diary of an Angry Black Woman' on him. So many things ring true. I gave 100% all the time (quite exhausting actually) and he gave…whatever he woke up with that morning. It got to a point where I was at the bottom of the 'to-do' list DAILY. Finally I asked, he told me the truth, it hurt, and now I am like what Ava is saying 'I dont have no time for any man'. I know it is wrong but I am just really focused on doing me and being who I am. I don't want to become a man hater (been there, done that haha LOL)so I keep reminding myself that God knows the plans of my life. In terms of confidence, that is a daily struggle. When I was dating my ex I would constantly compare myself to the women in his life. I just remind myself that God does not look at the outward appearance but looks on the heart (Paraphrase from Sam 16:7). Rejection is necessary in life, it reminds you of who you are and what you need to do to get where you need to go. Great article! You must have telepathy :~)
I love this, I can totally relate to the journey. Love lessons are some of the hardest lessons to learn. It took a while for me to realize that the person that cannot recognize your worth or love you for who you are is not deserving of your time, energy, and love. When you finally love yourself first and find that person who sees the real you and loves you for it all those other guys that didn't see it don't even matter anymore. It's the best feeling in the world to be loved by someone for just waking up and being yourself.
my love life has been a nightmare i was always the one that would were their heart on their sleave and would get hurt so much because i delt with men that did not care about me at all i was simply used no pretty way of putting it i was always loyal and always there when you called and because of that i would get men that would only call when they needed something and i was so lonley and desperate for any kind of affection i would put up with the BS
Because of this i always second guessed myself and even came to a point where im like "you know what maybe i was just meant to be single maybe i just was not meant to be in a real relationship where i was loved and appreciated i give up forget a relationship…
even today i have a man been with him for 5yrs and he did cheat on me once but i chose to forgive him but i have this huge problem with trust which i had going into the relationship he has went above and beyond trying to make things right but i keep getting in the way i can honestly see myself sabatoging things by letting my imagination get the best of me i just have this hardwired in my head that i am just not good enough i also have started to go to counseling to fix whatever it is in me that is broken before i lose a (flawed) yet good man that loves me with all of his heart that made a mistake
Even though I am happily engaged to a wonderful man. A man that has everything I've dreamed of. My Mr.Right.The man that I can talk to about anything. The man that tells me everything and also talks to me about anything. I still find myself comparing myself to other women. Especially if their his female friends or even his friends on Facebook. He gets pissed at me when I talk down about myself sometimes and tells me "you need to have more confidence in yourself". But he doesn't know that I'm always comparing myself to others.
…because I guess I want to always keep him interested. I guess i don't want him to grow bored with me.
In my words "my past relationships have really marked me". I wish I didn't feel this way and had more confidence. Its just this unconscious thing I do. I guess I've done it for so long it comes natural to me.
He thinks I'm "the most beautiful thing in the world". He always says "you and my mom are alike in so many ways". I know he's in love with me and would never hurt me. I just wish I could step back, be a shadow and see those things he see' in me.
Sorry that I rambled on, but I just had a convo with a co-worker yesterday. Who is a plus size girl, but has all the confidence in the world. I told her she was a inspiration to me and that i wish I had her confidence.
Thanks for posting this! So, crazy/weird that I read this today. 🙂
This article is very thought provoking. I too have compared myself to others and have wondered to myself, why her and not me? That thought process can be very negative and allow you to start making decisions and choices that are not of you. I too have read the Four Agreements and have tried (it’s hard at times) to apply it to my life. I know tell my friends that what people do, are not a reflection of who you are, but who they are.
Thanks for such a beautiful article.
Very well written and thought-provoking. Hmmm…
I was married when I read the book "He's Just Not That in to You", by Greg Behrendt. A little late, I know. Despite the crappy reviews, I found the book educational.
At that time I was going through a period of alienation in my marriage, and wanted to find out if there was something I wasn't seeing. I married at 23 and came from a family that put the funk in dysfunctional.
Looking back, the best thing I learned was "it's not what he says, it's what he does". Take this message to heart ladies. The cuddly hand holding moonlight romantic stuff you see on TV may not be the man you find yourself with. Not many guys I have met do that stuff. So do not judge him by superficial expressions of affection. My man fixes my car, makes sure I'm safe, buys things for our home, sleeps in our bed every night, respects me in front of others. When he's messed up and in the dog house, he does things for me, chores, etc., instead of flowery apologies. He is affectionate to our children and respectful to family and neighbors. No, I don't get the jewelry, flowers and a movie treatment, but instead I get integrity and strength.
If you look for these qualities in your man, I hope you too will reach your 27th wedding anniversary as I have.
Very Beautiful!!! Great artical!
Well I know this does not sound like a real good solution, but the best revenge is living well.
Over the years, I handle nearly everything by writing about it (writing is therapeutic for me) and setting about the business of living well (which for me is hanging with friends, shopping, eating, educating myself, etc.)
Recently, I felt the sting of rejection when someone invited me out only not to follow through! What the he** you asked me out dude. Over the years he's posed the question, "When you gone let me take you out." Hum that must have been a rhetorical question. I felt powerless when I did absolutely nothing about it. I mean I did nothing OK – I did not call, I did not scream, I did not fuss at anyone – I did a mousey NOTHING. Now that two weeks have passed Im feeling good that I did not act irrational. Over the years I have learned not to be reactive. The next time I see this person I will wave, smile and keep it moving. I know, I know – why even speak? Because the best revenge is living well. And thats how I do me.
Anyway, thanks for posting this!!! I have been needing to vent about this for a few weeks now.
Wow. It's really amazing to read all of this feedback and how common these emotions are when dealing with rejection. This whole experience was definitely one of the things that impacted my entire college experience. I was in this blasted love triangle basically the whole time. I guess it just took me that long to learn. I really let him string me along and I suffered a lot. But years later, I don't regret a thing because I needed to go through all of that so that I could be stronger now. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories!!
Wow! Great article. I too went through this in college, but this guy was my high school sweetheart and we dated from our senior yr of high school through most of college- my first love. He was the student athlete, and I was boo boo the fool who was SURE that he would never cheat on me "cuz he LOVES me!" I went through everything you went through when I found out that he was in fact cheating on me. I compared myself to her constantly, wondered why her over me, tried to imitate what I thought he liked in her, all of it.
Four years later, I thought I was completely over it. I went through my own personal journey of self-discovery(I was so young through all of this), had relationships since then, and basically "moved on." …That is, of course, until just two months ago I found out that he married her this past summer! Now as much as I thought I moved on, those same feelings keep coming back! I thought I would be his wife. I was just like you dreaming about our wedding, and not only did he leave me for her, he married her! It doesn't sting like it did four years ago, but it does bother me just a little.
Cosign on this coming at an incredible time. It's so funny because last night I was reflecting on a past relationship where dude cheated on me twice with the same girl (I was 21, young and dumb) and last night found myself going back to the "what did she have or do that I didn't." That ill fated relationship did so much damage to my self esteem and confidence, it took me years to recover and it affected my future relationships. I went on a "man hating spree" (no lesbianism) but started doing what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted. If you got hurt in the process, oh well. I know it wasn't right, but it was my defense mechanism to keep from getting hurt again. Now at 26 I still have to tell myself that I'm more than worthy and deserving of a man who loves me and only me. Insecurity can be a real b**** sometimes, especially in a world where the men have the advantage due to the male to female ratio. And of course the media/society doesn't help with all these Coke bottle shaped women with flat stomachs, long luxurious weave and big ol donkey bootys every which way you look. I know that's not the typical woman but seeing it everyday does something to your psyche if you're not careful o_O
I dealt with rejection like that at the same very age. And I too wondered those same things. But I was really insecure then and still trying learn about myself. So with that said, I took it in the worst way. It affected almost every aspect in my life. It wasn't until I took a good look at myself and asked what the hell am I doing? I know that now I won't take rejection as hard. I see it as a part of life. I tell myself these things:
– I reject people so of course people will reject me. No biggie, circle of life.
– Seeing my ex boyfriend move on and achieve all of his goals put me in check. I'm sitting around crying putting my life on pause, and for what? SMH It helped me to stop wasting time thinking about that person.
– If its a major rejection, I start implementing things in my life that I love doing. More sports, more gym, more ice cream, more friend time, more naps lol..etc etc. The little things that make me happy!
– And last but not least I seek a 'drastic' change. I cut or color my hair. I get a few new daring pieces in my wardrobe. SHOE SHOPPING! Maybe get a massage. Doesn't have to be too crazy but you catch my drift lol. But all these things help increase my mood, then my confidence, and then I feel beautiful 🙂
I try not to let it affect my future relationships because I don't want one isolated event to dictate my whole life. No matter how negative an experience was, there has to have been a positive point. So I focus on that. I focus on how much I have grown. I may still mope around but if its one less day than the last time then it's all good.
ok…I'm done now lol
My love life has been a rollercoaster circling around similar versions of this story…not for a few years…for 10 years, all 10 years I've been "dating" (high school to my adult life). I just recently came upon this conclusion myself…and like you, it was welcomed, well deserved, and the right time for me to come to this realization. This post is very welcomed and I plan to share…Enjoy your days ladies! 🙂
This came at an incredible time. Thank you for sharing your experience. You basically put into words what I have been trying to formulate in my mind for about … idk .. a year l0l. Thanks again.