Sticky Bonds

Lost Loves, Romances, and Families in the 21st Century.

Lost Love Recovery: A Dialogue

A woman lets go of her lost love and strengthens her marriage.

Full recovery from a failed lost love reunion is possible. Renewing a marriage, even after a lost love affair is discovered, is possible. Not easy, but possible.

Here is an excerpt from a longer dialogue I had with a woman recovering from a reunion. I hope you will find in it some truths that may work for you.

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Recovering Woman:

I want so much to forget my LL. And there are times when I actually hate him. I know a lot of people get involved in affairs. But this was different, and it is harder for me to put it to rest. I keep thinking how sad and how stupid it was for us to become so involved with each other again. It has spoiled any memories that I had of our original relationship completely.

I was totally caught by surprise. I feel so stupid. I really thought that I could maintain friendship feelings for this man. But little did I realize how sick my marriage was. No one taught me how to be married. And when we started talking again, it did not take long for old feelings to resurface and take precedence in my life. I truly believed that I had made a horrible mistake in marrying my husband. I did not realize that marriage took work to keep that "flame" alive too. Perhaps too, had my lost lover and I had decided to make a go of it. the same thing would have happened to us.

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Dr Nancy Kalish:

Your lost love was the "event" that brought the old parts of yourself back - the sexual you, the alive you, the you that was happier years ago. In gaining back those old and comforting, familiar and exciting, parts of yourself, you could then use them to brighten yourself and brighten your marriage. You didn't need him anymore. He gave you back the best parts of yourself.

You don't have to have closure of forgetting, or closure of no feelings. Remember the good, even credit it with restoring your marriage and showing you what was right for you. The only important thing is your clarity that it could not happen again, and I know you have that. Let that be enough. It's okay to love a memory.

 Just as your husband has forgiven you, I hope you will forgive yourself. Yes, these lost love reunions are different, and you were no better than anyone else who has encountered that temptation - and no worse! "Stupid" implies thought, and you know these can be accidental connections, not thoughtful desires to cheat. You did not go looking for trouble. It caught you by surprise. You had no experience with this type of thing, not even awareness of the risks. This is not a subject anyone knew anything about until I did the research. So if no one knew, how could you?

If I could magically grant you three wishes, it would be that 1) you forgive yourself, and your lost lover, 2) that you remember the good of what you had together in the initial romance, in the past, and 3) that the reunion memory fades into a soft-focus past tense and stays there.

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Recovering Woman:

In going through marriage counseling and doing a lot of research, I have learned that love goes through a lot of stages and once you reach the stage when you lose that "in love" high, that's when you need to really work at finding ways to keep the romance alive.

I sometimes refer to what happened as a marital heart attack. And just like having a real life-threatening scare, we are learning how to better take care of each other and believe me, we are reaping the benefits! We are alive again!

It's just so weird to think that it took someone that I thought was in my past, never to be heard from again to make me realize a lot of things. But I guess I should be thankful for that.

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This conversation took place about 10 years ago. She is still happily married and no longer thinks about her lost love.

 

 

Copyright by Nancy Kalish, Ph.D.

All rights reserved

 

 

Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Lost & Found Lovers.

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