Broken Glass at Work-6

Broken Glass at Work-6 (Photo credit: akeg)

As in all my blog posts, I have changed a few details and left some things vague to protect the identity of others.  If you think I’m blogging about you, I’m probably not!  There is a lot to my personal life that I don’t share on this blog or with anyone.  I’ll just let that be a mystery to everyone but me.

A man I was casually dating made a comment that stuck in my brain a few months ago.  He is dealing with his own major breakup, one that I suspect also has elements of fraud.  He lamented that one of his other lovers might be falling in love with him to which I responded, “Well you have nothing to worry about with me, I’m not.” and then he bemoaned “Why not?  Am I not loveable?” and I thought, “No it’s because you have multiple lovers, why would I bother investing in you.”  I knew enough to not get too attached to him, but my heart broke a bit for both of us when he said it.

His comment haunted me.  Not because I was really in love with him, but because on a very primal level I feel that way about myself.  Even though I don’t want to admit it, and I try to suppress it, I still feel – I am not worthy of love.  My actions only feed the beast of self-doubt and insecurity.  For whatever reason since leaving my husband, I have fallen into a pattern of dating men who aren’t really there.

Most of my partners are deeply in love with someone else, and it’s extremely painful to go through this again and again. It just supports my fears of not being good enough, maybe if I was younger, taller, thinner, made more money, had a more traditional job, didn’t write this blog, lived in a better neighborhood….someone would cling to the hope that I might return their devotion. I almost feel like these women have something magical about them that makes men become obsessed, or maybe they are masters of manipulation.  It doesn’t really matter, as I seem to have the opposite qualities.

There was the intellectual who secretly pined away for the woman who broke up his marriage.  He was beyond emotionally distant with me and I found out the truth through basic cyber sleuthing.  Then there was the man I met online who was also a straight spouse, who was still madly in love with his now openly lesbian wife.  He basically vanished after an intense date with me.  Another man who cursed his cruel and manipulative former spouse yet also openly worshiped and praised her for her beauty.  Even during my most intense post-divorce affair, my boyfriend would openly talk about a woman who had dropped him unceremoniously.  I resembled her so much we could have been sisters, yet she was the one who still had his heart.

In all of these relationships, I am never enough.  My body is always used as some sort of band-aid until they can get their true love back, and so far none of them have succeeded. Why do they get so hung up on women they can’t have?  And why do I keep falling into this pattern?

Do I feel that I am not worthy of love?  I think deep down I must.  I try every day to quiet these monsters in my head who reinforce this.  The number one question I’m asked since my breakup with my husband is, “Is he seeing anyone?” and I always respond with “Hell if I know, it’s not my business.”  I honestly don’t want to find out.  One of the tragedies of mixed orientation marriages is that although these splits are quite hard on both spouses, one half deals with a deep betrayal.  The betrayal erodes self-confidence and trust, so we are left somewhat shattered at the end of it.  Many straight spouses have problems forming bonds and relationships post-divorce.  We are so damaged we can’t have anything but superficial connections.

Am I unworthy of a loving relationship?  I don’t think so, but why can’t I make anything work? Why do I waste my time on lost causes?  Why do I run from nearly every possible scenario that might lead to a stability?  How can I lie down next to a person and feel absolutely nothing?  Why do I become fixated on men who don’t really want me?

My relationships aren’t real, they are just slivers of human connection that I build up in my mind.  I’m stuck in this horrible repetition that doesn’t seem to end. Things have improved. At least I know I have a problem with this.  I no longer kid myself that is always the man’s problem.  It’s my problem, as I’m the one wasting time on them.  Over four years and I’m still trapped by these circumstances.  I focus on what I have – amazing friends, a loving family, and my health.  I hope I won’t become one of the permanently single.  I don’t want to live alone for the rest of my life. This will not always be the new normal. I am worthy of a loving relationship.  With the exception of a few demented souls or sociopathic personalities we are all worthy of a loving relationship.  I’ve got to break this cycle…I’m just not sure yet how to do it.  I know I’m broken, I just have no idea how to fix myself.

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4 comments on “Life After Divorce – Do you feel Worthy of Love?

  1. Daryl

    This part … “one half deals with a deep betrayal. The betrayal erodes self-confidence and trust” … is so true. Over two years and I have yet to step into the dating world beyond an on-line site membership. For now my mantra is similar to your statement “I am worthy of a loving relationship.” The big question is when?

  2. tropicaltheartist

    I think fixing yourself, as you put it, begins with the genuine acceptance of the idea that you are good enough. Better than that, you’re a remarkable creature. Keep that thought close.

  3. Maureen Tillman

    Juliet you’ve delved into something at the heart of the brokenness we all feel. I had a father who beat his 4 daughters. Growing up I couldn’t ask myself if he even loved me. I had to believe he did – how awful you must be if your own father couldn’t love you! But as my own children grew I understood that I could never do the things to them that he did to me. He wasn’t able to love anyone but himself. I was 15 when I thought I found the young man who would rescue me and love me forever. He promised me he would. It took him 40 years to reveal his real self to me. All that time he kept me shut out of everything about him. In all that time he never once reached across the bed to show me he wanted me. If he wasn’t outright rejecting me then he just left the job of love-making up to me. I was in such deep denial that I couldn’t even ask myself if I was happy. Knowing he, among other revolting things, exposed me to potentially fatal illness for all those years made it undeniable to me that he never really loved me either. That feeling of being unlovable became my constant companion along with the brokenness. I’m in my 60s now and don’t expect or even want another man in my life. I had one man, he had hundreds – so indirectly so did I. That’s enough. I just need to concentrate on healing and learning to give myself all the love I can muster.

  4. Pingback: How to survive the Holiday Season – For the Newly Divorced | julietjeske

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