THIS BEARS REPEATING

Bears RepeatingSixteen friends called it quits in March. Adultery was cited as the cause in 5 of the 8 couple splits. I’m saddened when I learn of such heartbreak. Here’s why:
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I once knew a woman who was a serial cheater, oozing charm whenever she wanted to seduce someone. Mostly, she targeted women with troubled lives. To gain their trust, she claimed to be the victim of a failed relationship. She fed them with words she knew only damaged women longed to hear. She raised them up while having her way with them. She promised them a future. She convinced them that they needed her. Eventually and inevitably, she ditched them. And, just to ensure none would chase after her, the last words she spoke to each woman she cut loose were: “No wonder nobody loves you.”
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Infidelity is such an old and popular game of deception, you’d think women would have learned to avoid cheaters by now.
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But no. Women persist in thinking they’ll be the one to tame the fox welcomed into their henhouse.
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The fact is this: Every woman on earth has been victimized to some extent during her lifetime. Every . . . single . . . one of us.
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Where love is involved, some choose to be perpetual victims, always eager for the ‘ideal’ person to choose them, accepting of similar characteristics in new partners to replace the former, growing old and stale like hard candy until all traces of sweetness have dissolved into bitterness.
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A toxic indicator of having been victimized is chronic rage, a corollary of post-traumatic stress syndrome. When physical, verbal, or emotional abuse is experienced for extended periods (especially during childhood) it never leaves you. Certain words or actions push buttons in your brain creating a fight-or-flight frenzy, unleashing the dormant fury.
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The thing is, we all tend to blame others for rages directed at us — while excusing our own rages directed at others — in order to justify the decisions we make.
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This is where the intent of the heart comes in.
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In the aftermath of tears and loneliness that are sure to follow once rage erupts, you must learn to measure the intent of your heart against the intent of the heart of the person who hurt you. You must. Only then will walking away be easier than staying; leaving be easier than being left.
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The death of love is intended to be the hardest learned lesson in the test of time.
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Because the reward of love is priceless.
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So, try to remember the journey you took with the other person — not from the end of it looking back, but from the memory of the start. Chart how it soared. Determine if you made every effort to catch it when it began to teeter, every effort to shore it up when it started to crumble, every effort to revive it before you let it die.
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Own that you aren’t innocent. Own your part in the turmoil. Own the buttons you pushed. Own the choices you made that enabled the demise of your life together. Own the carrot of false hope you dangled long after hope in you was gone. Own the lies you told to yourself and others.
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If you’re hurting, join a support group to find comfort and get help. You can’t recover alone. But don’t allow the group to become your only source for self-esteem. Have an exit plan from it.
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Then, every morning, face yourself in the mirror and ask: Have I cast myself as a victim? Do I look like one? Have I presented myself to others as such? Do I enjoy being seen as a victim? Is victimhood my aspiration?
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If not, don’t adopt that image. Don’t encourage or allow others to attach that tag to you. Don’t become a poster girl for victimhood.
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Because, in the short term, you might find the comfort you need and the support you deserve — but in the long term, there are only two types of people you’ll attract:
(1) Those who embrace their suffering, dwell on their past, and treat being victimized as their red badge of courage.
(2) Those who will target you as prey to be used and abused again.
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Victims say, “I am who I am because of …”
Survivors say, “I am who I am in spite of …”
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Be a survivor.
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If  you enjoyed this essay, I’d be grateful if you’d please leave a REPLY and/or hit the LIKE button and be certain to share it on all your social media sites. Without your generosity to share, many of the essays you enjoy online never get read.

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On behalf of all essayists and authors — my heartfelt thanks!

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Marguerite Quantaine is an essayist, author, and animal rescue activist. She is the author of Imogene’s Eloise: Inspired by a true story © 2014 and Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know?, due for release on Amazon in April, 2019.

5 thoughts on “THIS BEARS REPEATING

  1. Maeve T

    A wonderful piece, as always, Marguerite! While I have yet to find someone who shares my values in love and life (& at 65 feel like I’m running out of time to find her), I don’t feel like I am a victim. Self-delusional? Maybe . . . I don’t know. But in the end I know I am a survivor, because I keep pulling myself up, pushing myself forward . . . and keep on keeping on!
    Thank you for all you do, Marguerite!

    Reply
    1. margueritequantaine Post author

      Yesterday (April 4th) our friend of 40+ years (Helen) celebrated her 103rd birthday, Maeve — that is 38 years older than you are now. It makes 65 seem young by comparison, and it is when it comes to love. That you haven’t found love yet doesn’t mean you won’t. We’re certainly wishing it for you and that it will chop chop! Thanks for always stepping up and chiming in. You’re a writer’s dream come true.

      Reply
  2. PT

    This is really powerful. I’m struggling with a relationship with a parent and needed such loving words of wisdom. Thank you.

    Reply

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