You Make Love Hurt Too Much

There are people out there, and plenty of them, who are giving their hearts away to somebody who can’t return the love they need. If you’re in this category, this post is for you. Somebody’s got to pay attention to the hurt you’re feeling.

This love-life problem usually happens when you fall in love with someone who can’t commit because he or she has a commitment going with someone else like a husband or wife. The hard part for you is the fact that your lover loves you.

Or at least it looks, feels, and sounds that way. How can somebody say he or she loves me and not leave the horrible or at least limited relationship he or she has with his or her husband or wife? It doesn’t make sense. At least not to your heart.

You see the heart is simple in its reasoning. If you fall in love with somebody and you say you love him or her, you should be together, right? What’s the problem! To the heart this makes perfect sense. It doesn’t matter if the person he or she has to leave is a husband or a wife. No, love is stronger than any obligation, or at least it should be.

So you’ve fallen in love and the limited relationship you’ve been having with the person you’re in love with is starting to feel, yes you’ve guessed it, limited. You want, no, need more. You start asking for more. It starts feeling like you’re ‘rocking the boat.’ Your lover starts saying things to you to put off the problem.

He or she might start making ‘promises.’ Why won’t he or she really leave his or her husband or wife? You want an explanation. The explanation you get doesn’t make sense to your heart.

You get frustrated and maybe you try distancing yourself from the relationship. Only to send a message to your lover that he or she can’t have everything. He or she can’t have this love the two of you have found, and the obligation he or she won’t shake off.

It doesn’t work. You start feeling lonely, you miss him or her. You repair the riff and end up back where you were before. OK it’s better than no contact. At least for now.

Time passes, you start to feel the limitations of the relationship again. The fact that you’ve fallen in love has a hard time accepting the fact that the commitment he or she is keeping on the side is still there. So you start trying to talk about it again.

Reasonably, logically, you try convincing your lover that he or she should leave him or her and be with you, 100%. You start feeling frustrated again and your heart is confused. If you love someone, and he or she says he or she loves you, the both of you should be together.

Once you’ve gone through this ‘cycle’ a number of times, and the confusion is what you always come back to, and it hurts when you try to leave, you have only a few options left. #1: If it hurts too much to bear, you’re on your way to being convinced that he or she will never leave his or her husband or wife. Once you’re convinced that this is so, you’ll have to ask yourself this simple question: Could I be satisfied with what I have?

If the answer is ‘no’ you have to leave. Don’t look back and know in your mind and heart that you are saving yourself from further pain and sorrow. It will hurt like hell, but soon you’ll be over it, and free to find someone who can give you what you need. By the way, once you’re back out in the single world make sure you see the ‘signs’ of a triangle lover if and when he or she comes to you.

A triangle lover is basically a person who is not willing or ready to fix a marital or commitment problem he or she is having with someone else, but instead is looking for a ‘third person’ who ‘loves’ him or her to join a ‘forever’ triangle to help take his or her mind off the seemingly irresolvable marital problem they are having. Hopefully you say ‘no’ to the offer from experience.

#2: The next option is to decide that you’re not ready to sever the tie you’ve formed with your lover who can’t commit to you. You might need to go through the ‘cycle’ of hope and hurt a few more times before you’re convinced. Hopefully not too many times. Some people in your position try getting angry. They get angry at their lover who says he or she is in love but can’t commit.

In extreme cases, they might get angry at the person he or she is committed to. That’s not advisable. He or she is not the problem. You simply can’t get your lover to commit by pushing around the husband or wife he or she can’t leave. Forget it. Doing something like that only goes to show how lost and confused you are.

#3: Option number three. Grin and bear it for an undefined period of time, in your mind, hopefully forever. This kind of choice, to remain in a triangle forever, usually occurs if you are really afraid of a deeper love commitment, or your self-esteem is a little too low.

Some people are pretty clear about wanting a part-time love-life and point out how it takes the ‘pressure’ off. If that’s you, go for it. If things change in the future, and for you hopefully they don’t, you’ll deal with them then.

If it’s a matter of self-esteem, then you are sacrificing way too much for way too little in your love-life. If you’re in this group, you’ll take what you can get, complain little or not at all, and stay in it for as long as you can. You might consider fixing your self-esteem problem. The good news is you’ll have a better love-life with better self-esteem. Option #3 is really not important in this post because the hurt and pain of being in love and not getting a commitment is not really involved.

As a general principle, if you find yourself in love with someone who can’t love you back the way you need to be loved, you’ll have to leave. Changing him or her is not an option, and waiting around forever is too painful. What you learn about love in the end will be priceless. The experience will make you a better and wiser lover. Sorry it has to hurt so much. Remember the hurt is only temporary when you take care of yourself.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan









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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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