Do You Define Yourself by the Relationship You’re In?

alone I’ve encountered some people recently who are several years younger them me – who, from a distance, seem to be completely defining themselves by the relationship they are in. 

I look at those people and my heart breaks.  I used to be one of them.  I know how much it hurts, how emotionally volatile it can me and how much damage it can do physically.

When I was living with and engaged to the first man I ever committed to in the most intimate of ways, I learned how easily one can get lost in a relationship.  How easily I gave in to defining myself by how Tim saw me, how he loved me and how he treated me.

Three years and my virginity is what I gave to this man.  I was so emotionally entangled in his happiness that I didn’t realize how miserable I’d become and when I did realize it, I crashed into the most fragile time of my life.

It was Christmas Eve, I’d been to my families for dinner and gift exchange.  Tim had decided not to go with me.  The whole time we were apart, my mind raced through the questions – What did I do?  What do I need to do to fix this?  What’s wrong with me?

I just knew the beautiful black onyx and diamond ring I bought him was going to make him happy.  I couldn’t wait to get home to celebrate OUR Christmas together.  So I said my goodbyes to my family early and headed for home – my home, the home I created with the man I loved – the man I hoped to marry.

When I got there, his car was in the drive and the television in our room was on.  I thought to myself “great, he’s had time to think and he’s going to be asking for forgiveness – everything will be fine.”  I was so happy as I walked through the door, with snow falling and the spirit of Christmas surrounding me in with the soft glow of lights.

As I opened the door to our bedroom, I stopped dead in my tracks.  What I walked in on was the love of my life in bed with the woman I had come to call “best friend” during these trying times.

I dropped the gift wrapped ring and ran toward the door – In the distance I could hear them both yelling at me “it’s not what you think.”  Of course what else could it have been?  CPR Training?  I don’t think so.

As I left that house, my house, my home, I wasn’t sure where I was going to go.  I just started driving. 

While driving, I began to look at the trees and phone polls I was passing.  In those moments, I had thoughts of driving my car into one of them.  I wanted to hurt Tim SO bad – I wanted him to know that he had driven someone to take their own life.  I wanted to haunt him – every. day. for. the. rest. of. his. life.

Obviously I made a very different decision – and that I will share in the next part – but for now, how many of you have been so deeply in NEED – a need that you thought was love, but allowed it to become the complete defining factor of you?

Would you share your stories with me?  If you’d like to email them and allow me to post them anonymously, I’d love to read them and I know there are some people who would benefit greatly from the experiences as well.

Technorati Tags: relationships,depression,cheating,broken heart,emotional attachment,love,lost love,breaking up

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