My Life is Ruined

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Charlotte Doyle

I Lost My Sweetheart and My Colleague

Dear Ms Doyle, I have managed to ruin my life yet again. There is a man at work who has helped me grow my business. He also doted on me for months and it felt great. I gave into some of this.  We talked on the phone a lot, sometimes at late hours. We had a few romantic interludes but stopped that. Last week his wife, being suspicious, was looking at his phone records and saw that my name came up a lot. She threatened to leave him, taking their kids. Instead of handling the situation on his own, he called me with his wife on the other line and announced that we can no longer work together. I assume she told him to do this.

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It was a shocking call and now we can’t work together. We had a good friendship and he was really helping me build my business. I am feeling lonelier now than ever. This turn of events has also ruined my career prospects. Between missing both his friendship and his career advice, I feel I have ruined my life.

I am over 40 and want to get married, but I seem to only attract unavailable men or complicated situations that lead to drama and difficulties. Do you have any advice? ~ Dropped and Dropped Again

Dear D&DA: Your experience sounds very painful — and discouraging because you’ve been here before. I sense there are a number of complex issues that I don’t have enough information or space to address here. Your concerns wouldn’t be easily answered in one response. Because your first sentence indicates that a version of this has happened to you before, I am going to make a pitch for finding a therapist. Have you ever had the experience of someone listening to you? I mean really listening, in a deep, uninterrupted way for as long as it takes to tell your story.

I read somewhere that 60% of what goes on in our brain is unknown to us — perceptions, thoughts, feelings, impulses, fleeting impressions — and these are continually influencing our decisions while we stroll through our daily lives utterly unaware. It’s what Freud called the unconscious. If we can get to know more of what those thoughts are, we can move ahead in our lives and have new experiences. When we have new experiences, we experience new feelings. Often, we don’t even know what feelings have been missing from our repertoire. A newly experienced feeling can be a surprise and very enjoyable. Sometimes even the painful feelings can be “enjoyable” (for lack of a better word) because they are truthful.

I think the most important feeling you are missing right now is the feeling of being listened to. My wish for you is that THAT becomes your next new experience.


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