From the archive: Survival

PD continues the series on relationships from the original PD blog in 2012.

July 27th, 2012
When a relationship breaks up after passionate love (no, I do not mean sex, but true love, the kind where people cannot bear to be away from their partners), there is usually one party that wants out, and that party is instantly relieved and happy. The other person is devastated, even if he or she could see the signs of an imminent breakup. For that person it is the end of the world, and no amount of rationalizing or telling oneself that there are plenty of fish in the ocean will ameliorate the feeling of despair. A person truly in love idolizes his or her mate, and this cannot be easily undone. Even dating a new person will not alter this, and is therefore unfair to the new partner, who may not know that he or she is just a reserve player, and in this situation may get hurt (psychologically). Even worse, if after a break-up the person tries to find a carbon copy of the lost partner, the new mate will get even more hurt.

Unfortunately, there is no real help, which is why there is such a high suicide rate after these break-ups. Time usually will heal the wounds, but depending on the situation scars always remain. How big these are depends on the depth of the love and the events that lead up to the break-up. Future partners of these people will never receive the depth of commitment that led to such pain, and may have to knowingly put up with psychological issues. This brings to my mind the story “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier, made into a film by Alfred Hitchkock, a haunting book in which a woman marries a widower who is haunted by the tragic events of his first marriage, and the new wife is consumed by the past events. This may be an extreme case, but it does happen.

For this reason I do not think that people should deceive people about falling in love with them, something that happens too often. For those in the nightmare after a break-up, there is no answer, but hope that time may ease the pain. There are survivors, some of which have successfully moved on, and some who have not. In an earlier posting I quoted the Australian author Nikki Gemmell. Writing about a boy who committed suicide after a break-up, she said “I wonder, all these years later, that if he could reflect he’d be thinking, ‘Damn it, why did I do it? For her?’ I suspect he would.” (The Australian Magazine, June 02-03, 2012). Unfortunately, too often if things are so bad that suicide is genuinely sought, the psychological trauma is lifelong.

© 2012 Prowling Dog

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