Books & Resources on Letting Go
April 7, 2014 4:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm seeking books and other resources on getting over being cheated on. I'm tired of being hurt by it.

Little background: I'm 30. I got married at 22 and divorced at 25. There was some dishonesty involved and that sucked. Then I met a really great guy, we dated for about a year then he bought a house and I moved in.

About 10 months into that, he dumped me out of the blue. I had no idea things he was unhappy -- because we talked a lot and he would specifically tell me he was happy in the relationship. In fact, I thought he was trying to propose when he started the breakup conversation.

So I started to pack my shit and the last night I was there I found The Emails with his new girlfriend; they'd been together for about four months. Obviously, I was devastated. I had one more phone conversation with him after that ended with me telling him basically to fuck off and die and to forward my mail to my office. The only explanation he offered was "I guess I'm just an asshole." I've had no contact with him since, about two years.

I tried dating other guys but nothing clicked. I'm not comparing those relationships to this one, but I'm just so angry. I'm terrified. I can't trust myself to get to know anyone and I'm sick of being angry. My jaw is clenched all the time and my teeth hurt. The memories come unbidden and it's raw and fresh like it just happened. And I've dated some great guys and made some great memories in the meantime! I'm over the relationship in the sense that I love my life (great job, awesome pets, and I love living alone) and I don't miss him at all, but I think about how someone could cheat like this and I get so angry. I hope awful, horrible things for him. I want to stop all the poison in my head because it's holding me back -- not from having a successful relationship with another person, but just from being at peace.

Anyway, I said all that to say this: how did you overcome being cheated on? Can you recommend any books or other resources? Will it ever be possible to trust again? It's particularly tricky because I feel like I had no clues except apparent happiness.

Please note: I am working on finding talk therapy. It's a process because there do not appear to be talk therapists within a fifty mile radius (I'm not exaggerating, my dream job is in BFE). My insurance may cover one about an hour away, but I haven't yet earned the PTO to afford making the trip on a regular basis. I intend to get into talk therapy for this, I'm just looking for ways to get by in the meantime.

posted by mibo to Human Relations (8 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: PS. I've read and loved Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart, but I need more.
posted by mibo at 4:40 PM on April 7, 2014

If you loved Pema Chodron's book, maybe you would like additional Buddhist material.

Storms Can't Hurt the Sky is about a guy whose marriage seems good until it suddenly implodes. He finds Buddhism He tells his story. A lot of it is about him dealing with his anger.

Sometimes it helps to hear a voice rather than read a book. I like these podcasts:
The Interdependence Project

I'm sure they're available through various platforms, but Stitcher is what I use, so that's what I linked to.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 4:48 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

Adding to the buddhist suggestions:

Audio Dharma
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:13 PM on April 7, 2014

It's not super-sophisticated, but it tends to be right on the mark: Baggage Reclaim
posted by jaguar at 7:15 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Language of Letting Go.
posted by BibiRose at 7:56 PM on April 7, 2014

An unconventional recommendation but I found reading Carolyn Hax's advice column helpful.
posted by youdontmakefriendswithsalad at 8:01 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

So long as their reasons seem incomprehensible or deliberate, and you can't get anything back for your pain, it will be hard to let go of the sense of having been wronged. Anger is a response to perceived injustice. It might lessen the sense of outrage, a bit, if you can get past the sting of betrayal and insult to invest real energy in understanding what led them to behave as they did - to think through their reasons and defenses (like, your exes' dismissal of your hurt adds insult to it, but for them, it was a way of distancing themselves from the harm they caused, so they could live with themselves), and take their emotional point of view.

I'm suggesting, instead of thinking about "how someone could cheat like this?", ask, "why would they?" - both in general, and with reference to these particular people, and your relationships with them.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:34 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Surviving Infidelity and specifically their forums is worth checking out.
posted by DanSachs at 7:42 AM on April 8, 2014

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