*The following is based on a true story. Names were changed to preserve anonymity.

A mutual friend introduced Devin and Sharon to each other. A first date turned into a second date, a phone call turned into multiple phone calls, and soon a bond formed. Every night, conversations ensued to the tune of all-nighters. They had talked so much on the phone that they slept on the phone together. Every night.

Fast-forward two years.

Devin and Sharon are still together, love seemingly strong and undoubtedly acclimated to each other’s idiosyncrasies and families. From the outside, their relationship looks as fine as May wine. But internally, things were deteriorating.

Unbeknownst to Devin, Sharon had been getting closer to a former flame for the past six months. It started as simple text messages and escalated to full blown conversations. And then finally, it happened: the intimate encounter…

But Devin started to figure things out. He started becoming suspicious about the text messaging, random phone calls, and the constant referring to this old friend as “just a friend.” Devin wasn’t stupid, he knew better. His distrust soon reached its peak.

He soon discovered that his distrust was not without validity. Sharon soon admitted to having feelings for this “friend,” and soon admitted that they had shared some physical encounters. Needless to say, Devin was blown. He had suspected it, but to hear it from the horse’s mouth hurt on a deeper level than he’d ever been hurt before. The person who he had trusted the most in this world broke his heart. This was his best friend, the “one,” he thought. He had been completely faithful, and it wasn’t like he didn’t receive offers from other women. He had received a ton of them.

Naturally, Devin broke up with her, and now he’s left to sort things out and find answers to how he could trust again. He has to move forward, but he doesn’t know how….

We all face situations where we are on the receiving end of a hurt that we have no control over. It could be a death of a close family member, the betrayal of a best friend, or in the above case, the betrayal and disrespect of your partner. Sometimes life hits us that way.

But when you’re a novice to the situation, wrongful handling of your hurt will rob you of the path that you were meant to take. For Devin, all he wanted in a woman is honesty. Sharon could have done anything else to him – talk about his mother, curse him out in public, take his money, etc – and he would have forgiven her. But cheating was something that was out of the question. Cheating was treason of the highest order. As far as he is concerned, there is no coming back from that.

At least that’s what he thought. Now that it has actually happened to him – from a woman whom he would have died for -Devin doesn’t’ know what he will do. Should he forgive her and cling to the old adage “love conquers all” mentality? Or does he leave her alone, and move on with his life?

Part II, coming next issue.

Top five things to come to grips with after a heartbreak with your loved one:
1. If you have been lied to, mistreated, or just blatantly disrespected by a loved one, then you must realize first that, IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! People are in control of their own actions, and there is nothing that you can do about it. Absolve yourself of the blame for the other person’s action. Rid yourself of the notions that you are inadequate or inferior. Those are lies. What happened happened, and a new page begins.

2. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FAULT IN THE SITUATION. This may sound contradictory to the prior tip, but it’s not. In a relationship, people compromise. They look the other way on stuff that are sure red flags. There is no such thing as not seeing something coming. There are ALWAYS cautionary signs when dealing with other people. Recognize the signs and understand that there are always areas that we can improve on. Learn from mistakes.

3. PRAY AND KNOW THAT TIME HEALS. Meditate. Embrace Yoga. Do whatever it is that cleanses you of all the turmoil that you are faced with. Know that time is on your side. In other words, get spiritual and let nature heal.

4. SEEK SOUND ADVICE. Do not – I repeat – do not repress the hurt that you are going through. This isn’t to say that you tell the whole world, just a close crew (3-5 people). Be careful of who you tell. Solicit advice from those who have gone through similar situations or those who have transcendent mindsets (i.e. very, very mature individuals).

5. GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING. This is – if not the most important – an essential task that we must undertake in dealing with hurt. Go to Six Flags. Go out with the girls or the homeboys that you’ve been putting off while you were in the relationship. Go shopping (assuming you have the funds, not advocating debt). Spend more time with family. Meet new people. Date. Disclaimer: Following this tip and forsaking the other four tips on this list does not constitute as a way of dealing with your grief. All five must be done to optimally piece together what was broken.

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