Letters from readers: Stop loving

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“Hello. I’m writing you in hopes that you can help me deal with my problem.

Three years ago I met a man. At first, everything was fine, I fell in love. After a while, that love ended up not being mutual. I became unneeded, and I haven’t been able to stop loving him for three years already.

This man shot up my car while chasing me at night, a year later he tried to throw me in a ditch. And I still love him.

I put up with all his new women. I tried to distract myself – it didn’t help. I found different men, they can’t replace him. I moved to another town, and came back, dropping out of school. All to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me.

He resents me for bringing the case where he chased me at night with his friends to court. They were breaking my windows, shooting at my car. And I can’t forgive myself for offending him. I’ve tried a thousand times to apologize for him getting punished. I stood outside his house, in his driveway, I called, wrote… He just doesn’t want to see me. And I’m in pain.

I can’t fall out of love with him. I’d give anything to have him forgive me and be there for me. Only he doesn’t need it. I’ve been in pain for three years. I went to another city, got into university… but I couldn’t live there. I went back to the man who didn’t need me. I understand that very well. But I don’t know what to do. I married another man, which was a big mistake as now we’re getting a divorce. I don’t love my husband. 

I can’t get rid of this “love”. I would really like to apologize for everything I did in his life and try to build a relationship, but I just can’t get through. I guess he doesn’t need this relationship. And I don’t need a relationship with others. Can you please tell me how to find a way to approach him with an apology? 

Hi, K.

It often happens that a relationship ends yet the feelings remain (I’m talking about a relationship without considering that attempts to harm you or your car were made). And one person thinks that he or she should somehow reconnect with his or her old partner, but said partner doesn’t want to reconnect. You can find the right words to apologize, but these words may not help if this old partner decides to go on without you…

However, in your case, it’s not about bringing back a man who may soon kill you in some way. It’s about how to take care of yourself and understand what’s happening to you, why despite significant damage (real – not minor) you don’t stop trying to get him back…

Judging by what you say about him and your relationship, you have an emotional dependency, that is, you are dependent on the emotions and feelings that you have for him. 

First of all, love doesn’t require that the one we love belong to us. In love, we may very much want the person we love to be near us, but this desire is related to our own well-being. 

Secondly, why do you value your relationship more than yourself? So he tried to throw you into a ditch, and you want to keep coming back? So that he’ll do it again next time for sure? Why is your own health and life not as important to you as trying to stay in touch with this man?

We sometimes feel like we’re very “in love.” That without this person, our life is not important. This is how a person with strong codependency, emotional dependency, thinks. It has nothing to do with love.

This kind of relationship can really get you killed early. If there was already a threat to life endured, and even a trial, there is a very high probability that he will continue to harm you. 

What’s my point? My point is that in your case, you need to change your inquiry in the first place. From “how do I get with someone who wants to kill me” to “what do I have to do to stop trying to be with someone who a). is dangerous and b). doesn’t want to be with me”. 

The solution to your situation isn’t in getting him back. It’s about supporting yourself after the breakup, helping yourself regain a taste for life without him, ending the relationship in your head, and forgetting the one person from whom you need to stay far away (because of his behavior).

What can be done? Ideally, go to a therapist. Dependence of this level is quite difficult to understand on one’s own. 

Additionally:

– Take a course on “Codependency” (you can find it in the “Courses” section).

– Read Robin Norwood’s book “Women Who Love Too Much”

– Learn what codependency is. Read articles, do exercises. 

– Take care of your emotional background. Exercises from the “Psycho-sutra” section will help you. 

I’m sorry you haven’t forgotten about him yet, that he is so important to you, and that in addition to all this he has such destructive behavior. I’m sorry that your marriage broke up. 

And I would like you to at least think about yourself and about the fact that only life itself is important in life, and not a relationship that might, in your case, interrupt it.

You take care of yourself.

Mindspa Consulting psychologist