A mistress’ advice on avoiding dramatic breakups that derail your life

Ten years ago my first relationship as a mistress stranded.
Badly, I have to add.
And in hindsight so much of it was unnecessary.
If I had handled things differently he would have been back, sooner or later.
Fortunately for me, in ending this particular relationship, it didn’t matter that I fucked it up, pushed him away and ruined my chances of every seeing him back. Because five months after the breakup I found out that the reason he had broken up with me right at the moment when we could finally be together and screw our brains out for a couple of months before we’d decide what to do next, was that he wanted to be with my best friend. She had set eyes on him the moment his girlfriend had kicked him out of the house because she had found out about our affair.
Suddenly he had become eligible.
According to her she put him in quarantaine where he was supposed to prove he would make a worthy spouse, and neither one of them bothered to inform me on what was going on.
After a three week silence he called to breakup with me. From abroad. He was there for work reasons, but I had never seen him gone for so long. He was simply choosing exile over facing me.
And she pretended to be my friend up until five months after, when she informed me what had been going on and I got three different versions of the story in three days. None of them that would make me forgive her any sooner than the next.
The benefit of having them screwing each other was that he became damaged goods. It had already been five months, but I wasn’t over him. I was still in love, and hoping he would miraculously want me back.
But the moment I heard he was doing her? Even though she was the most beautiful, gorgeous, sexual woman I knew? I didn’t want him anymore.
She was like family.
It would be like sleeping with your brother in law.
Them being together emptied out my heart of feelings of sadness and longing. And replaced it with hatred and contempt for both of them.
Which felt amazing after feeling powerless for so long.
I realized they had nothing I wanted, but that I had what they thought they would find in each other.
He had expected that one blonde sexual mistress could be upgraded to the next. One who did want children. One who did believe in marriage.
And he found himself manipulated and was never appreciated for who he was the way he was with me.
And she thought that it had been something about him, that had made him so special to me. Our affair had contained something she wanted for herself. When in reality, beauty and everything else are always in the eye of the beholder.
She could never see what I had seen in him.
Naturally, some of this is based on assumption. On stories from acquaintances, on what happened after I erased them from my life.
Some of it is ego.
My ego.
So I won’t pretend that I’m giving you a fact sheet of what happened back then, but the broad strokes are clear. I responded badly to him breaking up with me, and even worse to having them do each other behind my back.
I don’t have much advice on what to do when friends betray you. Although I have grown a bit in that area as well. I could shed some light on it.
We, as women, overemphasize in all relationships but especially those with female friends, that we have to be nice and warm to each other.
And quickly jump to conclusions that friendships which are not loving are bad for you, because they’re toxic.
When that is really only one way to look at it.
Another is that toxic friends or bad friends, can be very exciting. They push your boundaries, they make you stronger. They make you grow.
Just like bad and evil men make you grow, challenge you, and can be exciting in a way no good boy will ever be.
So hail to toxic friends and lovers.
But you should never hesitate to take anyone out of your life when they cross your boundaries. Unless you see yourself as some sort of refuge for difficult people, like a sanctuary for mean dogs. And you are willing to let them pass your boundaries in order to take care of them.
Or if you like being challenged.
I could have chosen to keep my friend in my life, just like I could have chosen to stay open to having this lover back. Key word being choose. You don’t have to breakup with someone because they “did something”. You should only do that if that something has affected the feelings you have for your friend or lover.
In this case five months of lying to me, was a deal breaker for how I felt about our friendship. Sleeping with my friend a deal breaker for my feelings for him.
I wasn’t punishing them.
This is relevant, because a punishment, or having a fight over something, is something you do to someone you want to continue seeing. Which is why people often think marriages with a lot of fighting are bad. They’re not. They’re a sign of two people desperate to make it work.
I never fight.
I never punish.
I simply leave and I never change my mind or go back.
So the room for improvement I see in my way of how I could have handled both the friendship and the lover are hypothetical. I wouldn’t have wanted any one of them back.
But I didn’t know that and had he broken up with me for other reasons, I would have responded equally bad and then I would have wanted him back.
So here’s my tip.
On how to keep your cool when he breaks up with you. And not just on the surface but internally as well. This tip will absolutely maximize chances of not having your life shook to its core, as well as chances of him wanting you back.
And not in a crawling back manner either.
You’re going to behave in a way that will make both you and him, feel good about what you had. He’ll feel appreciated and capable of handling difficult situations. And then the moment he feels bad in his life, he’ll remember the last time he felt really good: it was with you.
It was the moment he got it into his head that he wanted to breakup with you – that’s when you made him feel good about himself.
Trust me.
He could be back within a week.
Which is why you must only do this with someone who you consider the love of your life.
So, what’s the trick right?
It’s two steps:
One is for when he breaks up.
One is for the hours, or days, or years if necessary, after.
Step one. The breakup.
Put yourself in his shoes and be genuinely concerned for his well being.
Whether you receive a phone call from abroad, a two hour conversation in a public place where you won’t make a scene, or a post-it note like Carrie Bradshaw did in Sex and the City, your response should always be somewhere along the lines of:
“Oh God, I’m so sorry. It must have been so difficult for you. I fully understand and I wish you all the best. If there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.”
And then you go home an cry your lungs out 😀
If you have to.
Unless you apply step two.
Now the first thing you can do at home, before step two, is to actually be concerned for his well being. To feel, or re-feel the significance of what you just said, and the empathy you felt for him. The moment you focus on him?
Of course, you want the best for him.
Of course, you don’t want to stand between him and the life of his dreams.
But then there is a way to move even deeper into your acceptance of the situation by acknowledging that this was not your choice and that you do still love him. And that his rejection doesn’t mean that you were loving the wrong man. Feeling love will go on for as long as it has to.
Which could be a lifetime.
And that’s okay. It means that you really chose that person as your muse, your idol, as a symbol of everything that was and is good in life. But then when that person leaves you, rejects you, that is in itself no reason to start doubting your heart.
Your heart led you to the place where it could give the most love.
Yesterday, when the topic of this blog post and the powerful meaning of loving someone who is no longer there was sinking in, I changed the background pictures on my phone. Last year my best friend Whatsapped me a series of photos from 2009 of me and my two cats. I chose one that pictured both Max and Willem, as my screen lock. And one that had the 2009 version of me and Max, as my startup screen.
It only dawned on me today that unconsciously, I had been using the insights I was chewing on to heal the biggest blow my heart has gotten in the last few years. In 2015 I lost Willem. And five months ago I lost Max.
I have never felt so alone in my entire life.
I have literally said to people, that the moment Max died in my arms I felt like I was going insane with grief and added:
“I haven’t felt this bad since 2008 when Nathan broke up with me.”
It was pure despair.
And today, less than 24 hours after changing the pictures, I can already feel it healing. And I can feel that they are still with me. Both of them. I got out of touch with Willem, after he died and Max was still alive.
My relationship with Max grew so strong, almost symbiotic.
But now that they are both on the other side, and their pictures on my phone remind me of my love for them, and the time we spent together, I can feel the pain transcending into something else. Something independent of their existence on the physical plane.
I remember when Nathan broke my heart, and I felt so bad, that everybody was really nice to me. But the only one who grasped the full magnitude of what was going on, and also hinted at the direction where I could find a solution to my pain, was my mother.
My mother is really loving, patient, without judgement and she will never push anything onto you.  In my days or weeks of despair after the breakup, my mother acknowledged that I was feeling really bad, and listened to me telling how great he had made me feel.
She said: “You know, that was really never him. Those feelings are inside of you.”
People can leave you, you can get separated, or someone can die. They can exchange you for the next best thing. But never let any of that trick you into thinking you have to change anything about your feelings for them.
The love is always yours to keep.

{ written in three hours, including editing. }

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