Abandonment feels like death. Or worse.
In fact; for many of us, death sometimes sounds like a better alternative than abandonment.
When our partner betrays us or leaves us for someone else, that often feels like the most devastating abandonment of all. Some of us have even felt that burying our partner would be easier than watching him leave for someone else. Being a widow attracts sympathy and dignity, and honor. Being the discarded partner, we feel, strips us of every bit of our worth.
Abandonment is so intense that the pain is almost physical, like a withdrawal from that which sustained us. We actually believe we might die. On some deep level, we believe we cannot survive without this person.
It isn’t so. We can survive.
When this person is out of our life, we will continue to breathe in and out, to eat and sleep and wake. In fact, the truth is that when this person is out of our life, we can finally learn to do more than survive. We can learn to live again. We can make room for our spirits to grow.
Today I will remember that others may take themselves out of my life, but that does not mean I don’t have a life. It does not mean that I have been abandoned by all that is good and worthwhile in my life.
From Surviving Betrayal: Hope and Help for Women Whose Partners Have Been Unfaithful * 365 Daily Meditations by Alice May
Dr. Janice Caudill is the founder and Clinical Director of McKinney Counseling & Recovery. MCR offers individual, couples, group therapy and multi-day intensives for partners of sex addicts and wounded hearts struggling with sex addiction, infidelity, love addiction or love avoidance, intimacy anorexia, or relational trauma in the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Richardson, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and surrounding areas.
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