How do I move on?

Hi, Edahn 

I really need a word of advice. I have been in relationship for 10 years and I truly love the guy. He's been openly cheating on me all these time but because I was so happy with him I tolerated that. I hoped we would get married, but he's recently married somebody else. I'm 37 years old and alone. I'm crazily in love with him and I can't control my emotions. I'm depressed all the time, I cry (even at work and when other people are around) and I hate the girl he's married. It's been a year and I still haven't moved on... What should i do? I don't want to be miserable and lonely any longer...

THIS IS A SITUATION where you need to be aware of the difference between reality and perception. We tend to think that our perception is the same as reality, but there are lots of times when our perception gets distorted. One of those situations in being in love. When you fall into love (which is kind of like infatuation) your body and brain are going nuts. Neurons are firing, hormones are releases, and your emotions are all over the place. One of the key things that happen when you're in love is that you do things to preserve the relationship. There are obvious things, and then there are subtle things. 

Obvious things include not cheating. Subtle things include ignoring obvious character flaws, excusing misbehavior, and overlooking serious problems. It's hard to really recognize when you're doing this because your mind will conjure convincing explanations and justifications to protect the relationship, but if you look for patterns, you'll see them. You'll also starts to see your friends--who aren't as susceptible to distorted perception--telling you that you need to move on.

Now let's get to you. This is what I see: (1) you were very much in love; (2) hard as it may sound, he was not deeply in love; (3) you're still in love. In love in not the same as loving. Loving is feeling close and connected, whereas being in love has a more possessive quality to it. Being in love comes and goes, whereas loving someone is both more rare and more special.

It sounds to me like you're still very wrapped up in all your feelings and desire for this guy, and that those feelings--the in-love feelings--are preventing you from accurately assessing this man and this relationship you had with him. What you need, in my opinion, is to put this all down for a while. Your feelings will still be all over the place, but what you can do is let them be there and not fuss with it. Give yourself a break from all of this for a while. Let yourself breathe. Get back into some of the old hobbies and projects you had before you started seeing this man. As much as you can, stop obsessing about the relationship or what he's doing now, and stop talking about it. Obsessing will just refuel the emotions that are preventing you from moving on. 

It sounds counter-intuitive because most people would tell you to talk it out. I do think there's a time for that, but the time for that will be when your body and brain chemistry have normalized and you can get better evaluate this relationship and what it was really worth. That doesn't mean you didn't love him, and it doesn't mean he didn't feel a lot for you. But there's perception and there's reality. Over time, as things start to calm down, I think you'll start to see the difference, and that'll help you get the closure you need. 

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