You’re so smart…how did you get hooked up with that guy?
Two things: “hooked” is appropriate and statements like that can feel shaming/blaming.
It’s often easy for people on the outside of a situation to make well-intentioned but poorly delivered comments about others’ situations. In this case, people assume that being intelligent and otherwise successful makes you immune to difficult relationships. Ladies, we know that’s not the case.
Intelligence has NOTHING to do with harmonious, safe, loving relationships.
But you knew that. I wrote that for the people who make those comments that aren’t helpful. ;)
I’m sure hearing that feels … shitty. It’s not like you haven't thought that yourself. It’s not like you don’t live with the frustration and angst of this relationship every day. But hearing someone else say it…it hits you right in your gut, and it activates this deep shame that lives there. It’s almost like your heart and your stomach sink and hollow out your mid-section.
We know how you got “hooked” by that guy. He was charming. He was funny. He was flattering. He was attractive. He had a way with words, like he knew just what you needed to hear. He came on strong, and it felt both good and worrisome at the same time, but you went with it. You were having fun. Spending time with him was a release from your otherwise hectic and stressful life. And man, did he love to give you attention and paint a brilliant future for you with his promises. He was the textbook definition of “romantic,” and it touched the most vulnerable part of you in ways that made you come alive. Who WOULDN’T fall for that? And so you got hooked by the man who knew that if he got you into an emotional state, you’d let go of all sense of logic and reason. People buy on emotion and justify with logic, and that guy knew how to sell what EVERY WOMAN I KNOW at some level wants to buy…thus, you got hooked.
Please don’t blame yourself for that. Chances are, he was SO good at his dog & pony show that you really had no chance. He was like a magician creating an illusion . . . and his show was probably Vegas-worthy. So. I’ll invite you to be kind and gentle with yourself for buying his wares and falling for the show.
Oh, and it didn’t help that once he turned on you…he blamed you. EVERYTHING became your fault. And that was confusing and crazy-making. All of a sudden, the script is flipped and you’re left holding the bag of disarray going, “What the hell just happened?” The dude is a professional wordsmith and expert verbal gymnast, flipping everything you say on its head and pointing the finger at you for being so ridiculous, stupid, and tragic. And now you feel like you are going insane.
Side note: I want to throw up as I type that. I feel like I got stabbed in the solar plexus as I type those words. I wonder if you felt that way?
Phew! YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.
I know it feels like a rollercoaster with this guy. I know it’s painful that you’re struggling to get on with your life. I know that you’re wondering where that awesome guy went. I know you’re asking yourself what you did wrong. And I know that at some point you’ll wonder what’s wrong with you. These are all the things that women experience at the mercy of a man who is incomplete and incapable of loving well.
So what do you do from here? Breathe.
It’s going to take self-care to move forward, and I fully believe in your ability to do so.
The steps are simple to write, harder to live.
Three Steps for Moving Forward From a Painful Relationship
Find your center. Become familiar with your natural rhythm. Remember what it was like to be you before he came around…and what it’s like to be with yourself when he’s not there.
Take your brilliance and your tenacity and put it toward loving yourself.
Listen to your intuition and commit to taking the steps given from your inner wisdom.
Let’s be honest, we all know that there are more than 3 steps to moving forward. These are all a lifetime of practices in and of themselves. But . . .
We all need a starting point, and the practice really is to remember yourself, decide to love yourself, and then follow your heart.
And please, don’t listen to the people who act as if you’ve done something wrong for getting hooked by a con artist. You didn’t do anything other than get bamboozled by a crook. It happens. We’ve all been taken for a ride in various contexts. This one happens to be yours. And there IS a way through the pain, the terror, the guilt, and the shame. You will return to love.
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If you’re interested in learning about how coaching can support you in removing obstacles to your success, honoring your inner wisdom, and creating a life you love, you can learn more here or connect with me. You can also send a text or call to 407-951-4951.