Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 68 of 167 
Next page End Contents 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73  

lover to be interested in someone else, etc. Most of us who have been
deeply hurt by a rejection know, however, that little can be done about
the pain during the first several days or weeks. You can try to keep
busy and "keep your mind off of it," but in the main you just have to
tough it out.
Before long, the basic solution to these many irrational thoughts
and expectations surely involves a counterattack with rational
thinking. One important point to realize is that intense jealousy does
not prove there is intense "true love between two people. In fact,
jealousy only reflects your intense needs, your desperation to keep
what you want (at the moment), and your unrealistic (perhaps)
demands about what the future should hold. Thus, jealousy reflects
self-interest and self-love, rather than mutual "true love." A second
important point is that your lover can decide to like or love someone
else without that proving in any way that you are less worthwhile or
less desirable or less lovable. There are hundred of reasons why
people lose interest in others, including paradoxical reasons like "I'm
not good enough for him/her," "I'm just not as serious or ambitious as
they are," etc. And, there are many good reasons for changing
partners that demean no one, e.g. "I have more interests in common
with another person," "Our cultural-religious backgrounds are so
different," "Our futures will take us in different directions," etc. Being
rejected doesn't mean you are no good.
For many hurting people, it is helpful to realize that the pain of
childhood wounds may intensify your reactions to the hurtful situation.
Sometimes, putting yourself in your partner's shoes is very helpful.
One partner can write a defense for the actions and feelings of the
unfaithful or rejecting partner, while the other partner writes a
description and defense of his/her partner's pain and jealousy. It may
also help if the jealous person acts as if he/she is not jealous. It will
probably help to know that jealousy is common and normal, not a
shameful personal weakness, and that jealousy is a result of the
situation. Ask yourself: "Have you been constantly jealous in every
relationship?" If no, then you aren't an unavoidably "jealous person."
In short, your understanding of both the hurtful and the hurting
person can be reframed, i.e. the unfaithful person may be seen as
seeking a childhood dream or desperately signaling that the marriage
is in deep trouble. There are many ways to reduce jealousy (Pines,
1992b). In any case, the pain will normally go away in a few weeks. 
Unquestionably, it is often wise for lovers with doubts to break up.
Considering the divorce rate, perhaps we, even in pain from rejection,
should be thankful and accept it. Not likely! Yet, a person with "true
unselfish love" would say, "I love you enough to let you do whatever
you think is best for you, even if that means leaving me." But,
romantic love is selfish. Perhaps the best you can hope for is to learn
from this relationship and select a better partner and be a better
partner next time. If you break up, the most important thing to
remember is: "I am a valuable, lovable person regardless of whether
you love me or not. It hurts but I can handle it. I'll get on with my
Previous page Top Next page

« Back