Therapy for the Jilted -- A Love Affair Gone Bad

About a third of the mail I get is from young people who got emotionally involved with someone and it either never went anywhere or it was going and the other person broke it off. Some consider suicide, a very immature reaction.

Almost everybody gets into an emotional relationship that goes bad at some time (or many times) in their life. With most people, myself included, there have been several. Yet we survive and we don't commit suicide or even seriously consider it. It's not only difficult but messy and hurts mother, father and relatives but probably does nothing much of significance to the person who jilted you. Are you trying to "make that person sorry"? That's a poor excuse to end your life and throw away all your parents have invested in you.

Find another relationship. The "one and only true love" who just walked out on you is baloney. It takes two to tango, two caring people to make a working relationship, not just one. Would you want to force someone to be with you who didn't want to be there? I sure wouldn't. If two people don't care for each other, forget it and look for someone else.

When I do therapy on people who are depressed I always go to the first love affair gone bad. I do that because it is likely to be the most emotional one and sets the foundation for future emotional upsets involving rejection. We learn to hurt from rejection. We do it to ourselves from then on. We probably learn to hurt from our parents.

Nevertheless, life goes on and has a lot to offer in the way of happiness. Now, at 72, I'm probably as happy as I've ever been except perhaps when we had our first child. I have a stable relationship, I've had a satisfying career and look forward to more travel during my leisure years. That's most likely in the future for you, too. But you have to work at it.

So what this exercise that follows does is disconnect you emotionally from past love affairs that didn't work out. If it's your first and it's fresh, its tougher. You MUST get into circulation and make new friends or get companionship from old ones. The worst thing you can do is stay home and mope.

Passively listen to the message and let it sink in. Don't carry the torch for an impossible relationship or have unreasonable hope it can be repaired. If you have reason to believe it is not completely over, don't play the message! It likely wouldn't work anyway. It doesn't change your mind, just helps you once you've decided the relationship is finished. You can play it as many times as you wish, with different people in mind. The test is that when you think of the person there is no feeling anymore. Good luck, and hang in there!

NOTE: The author of this page is not a state or medically-licensed professional.



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Loren Parks



Loren Parks,
Psychological Research Foundation, Inc.


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