Relationships Part 7: Feeling like a fool
February 22, 2012
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Has it ever happened to you? Thinking everything was fine in your marriage and then finding out your partner has been having an affair for two years.
Coming home after a first date feeling like you made a serious connection, and then being told she likes you as a friend.
Finally telling your family you are in a and#8220;real relationship, thinking, and#8220;at last, I get to have love, too,and#8221; and then finding out your boyfriend is actually not divorced, but in fact is separated and about to start marriage counseling.
Totally blind-sided, we canand#8217;t help but wonder and#8220;how could I have been such a fool?and#8221;
And then, because somehow we got taught being a fool means we did something wrong or, worse, there is something wrong with us, we blame ourselves.
We blame ourselves for and#8220;getting our hopes upand#8221; or for feeling safe and trusting another person. We feel ashamed of ever thinking we were worthy or capable of a lasting love.
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The reality, however, is that no matter how lovable or smart we are, living and loving means risking being a fool. Life, and especially love, is unpredictable and confusing. We are not robots. We donand#8217;t live within a controlled science experiment. We have emotions and desires and are continually navigating a world of shifting perceptions of reality. We canand#8217;t help being foolish and#8212; it is just part of the deal.
You can certainly try to learn from your experiences. Sure, work on reducing your impulsive relationship behaviors, donand#8217;t sign over your bank account to someone you just met, and get support to sort out your fantasies from reality.
But if you try your best to be wise and still end up feeling like a fool sometimes? Well, join the club.
and#8212; Danielle B. Klotzkin, licensed marriage and family therapist, provides psychotherapy for clients who are looking for a way to move forward through relationship issues, problems with alcohol, drugs, or managing money, eating and body issues, trauma, grief and loss, depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety. Contact her at 530-470-2233 or truckeecounseling.com.