Alex Story (Part 3): God Shattered My Heart into a Million Pieces (and Then Gave Me a New One)

love

In part 1, God allowed me to achieve my ambitions and I’ve realized they were meaningless. After the realization, I did not yet turn to God because I then turned my concentration to the person closest to me — Helen.

In part 2, Helen and I developed a deep relationship over the course of 4 to 5 years. I thought it was so strong; it was unbreakable.

I was wrong.

Maybe She Loves Me

I didn’t know what was going to happen once we parted ways. Was she going to drift away or were we going to remain close? My questions were quickly answered within the first week of us being apart. She called me and talked pretty much every day.

She was my best friend and I thought she loved me. And I don’t mean in the romantic, feel-good kind of way. I’m talking about in the sacrificial, real-love kind of way.

Why? Because we went through so much together. Even when she is far away, we communicated all the time. And I thought the only thing keeping dating and marriage from happening is the difference in faith.

After I left residency, she would still call me. I viewed it as her being a best friend that would stick by me no matter what. In the back of my mind, I still thought that she loved me. And I loved her even more because there are few girls who are this loyal.

Since I could not marry her, I specifically told her she should find someone else who can marry her. I told her this ever since the second or third year. Since moving away from me, she went on a few dates and told me about them. I got jealous, but her dates never amounted to anything.

The Other Guy

About two months ago, there was a week when she was on night float. As a result, she would work more than usual and would need time to catch up on her sleep. I told her that it was ok. She should rest and we don’t have to talk. If she wakes up early enough, she can give me a call.

She called me only one time that that week. I didn’t think anything of it. She was busy.

We spoke again on the Monday after night float week. She told me that she went on another date over the weekend. She met a guy and has been texting throughout the previous week. When I asked her how she could text the guy so much while she only called me once, she said that she didn’t call him and only texted him. And she only texted once a day. Of course, I got jealous. But I let it go because I was not going to marry her.

The night after she told me about the date, I had a dream that I was in the bathroom, looking out the window. I saw an endless field of dried, yellow grass. It looked like the African savannah during drought season. In the center of the field stood a tree with green leaves. And then I got an overwhelming feeling of sadness that I was losing Helen.

The next day, I told her about the dream. I don’t remember exactly what she said. Maybe it was “Whaaaat?” The day after the dream, I messaged her and told her that I wanted to date her with the intention of marrying her. Even though she is not a Christian, I would still marry her. That I loved her. I thought I was a shoe-in because we have so much history together, so many memories together. Heck, I was her best friend and she loved me.

Or so I thought.

That day, we spoke two hours earlier than normal. I told her to forget about this guy. I specifically called him a “nobody” because compared to what we had, someone she went on a date with once was a nobody.

I was surprised when Helen said, “I don’t feel that way about you. Not anymore.” And that she “kinda like him.” I was floored. What do you mean you don’t feel that way about me? We went through so much together. We helped each other out during school. We went to other countries together. We have inside jokes. We are a deep relationship. We’re best friends! There was no way you’re choosing a guy you met once over a guy who has proven himself over 4.5 years.

I asked, “How could you like him? You don’t even know him!”

She said, “I don’t know. I just do.”

Then she said, “I wasn’t happy.” I asked, “What do you mean you weren’t happy?” I really had no idea. We hung out all the time, watched TV, ate together, and more. Why were we together all the time if she wasn’t happy? Why did she call me up and ask to hang out if she wasn’t happy? Why did we still remain in contact for so long even though we’re far apart distance-wise if she wasn’t happy? It just doesn’t make sense.

For a whole week, I tried to win her back. I told her about all the good times I remember about us. The things I’ve done for her. How bright her future would be with me. How we will be very, very well off financially and ever lack any material thing. The things we have in common. And so on and so on.

I told her how objectively, this guy doesn’t even compare to me. I am better educated. I have better financial prospects. I know her so much more. I am proven, the other guy is a wild card. The guy has a string of broken relationships. How I love her so much that I would give up everything for her.

I told her how love is not a feeling, but a decision. And how the best marriages are based on a strong friendship, which we have.

It was no use. It was like trying to bang my head against the wall. Except this wall would cry and say how it is sorry and how it is not my fault. She cannot choose me over the other guy because her feelings changed.

Originally, I was going to meet up with her in person to celebrate one of my recent successes. I made her promise not to date the guy until after we meet up. She promised.

The week before I was going to meet up with her, we talked. But it was different. It was tough getting a hold of her, which was never the case before. To get her to respond to my texts, I had to threaten driving to her area to find her and calling the cops to report a missing person if I did not see her there.

She finally texted back and told me she is with the other guy. I texted her to talk later that night after she got back.

During the talk, I really had to control my anger, so I focused on the positives. I mentioned how much I am looking forward to seeing her. When I brought up the visit, she said that I couldn’t kiss her or touch her. She never said this before. I knew something happened.

I asked, “Did you kiss him?”

“Yes.”

I was shocked. I had no clue she was this easy. “What? On the second date?”

No response.

“Did you kiss him multiple times?”

“Yes.”

“Are you two a couple?”

“Yes.”

“What? You promised me that you wouldn’t date him until after my visit.”

No response.

“Do you want me to visit you?”

No response.

By this time, I knew I lost her. I even said that I’ll wait for her to come back to me. And she said, “No.”

She told me that she’s not who I thought she was. And I agreed. I said some choice words to her and told her that “I ripped out my heart.” I felt nothing for her. In essence, she was dead to me.

The scary thing is … I really felt nothing for her.

Turning Back to God

For the next two weeks, I saw about five or six different girls. It was a fun, temporary diversion. But it didn’t mean much. It was like applying a Band-Aid to a wound gushing with blood.

Then I reached out to my family and friends. It is kind of funny how God works. My sister sent me a book by Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage. She was reading the book to prepare for her own wedding in a few months.

I ripped through the book in a week and it reminded me that if I marry, I am supposed to marry a Christian. It also opened my eyes to what marriage is all about and what love really looks like.

One of the girls I saw told me about her church. And since I haven’t gone to church in a long while, I decided to check out her church. Lo and behold, the sermon was about marriage. Of course, I am reminded yet again that if I marry, I am supposed to marry a Christian.

I listened to more sermons online, by different pastors. I read about relationships according to the Bible and they’re all pointing to the same thing: do not be unequally yoked.

Since Helen was no longer in my life, I spent it with God. More accurately, I spent it reading more Tim Keller books: Counterfeit Gods, The Reason for God, and Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering. I devoured those books. And slowly, God replaced the heart that I tore out.

I could love again. And with a fresh, soft heart, I began hurting again from the recent ordeal. It wouldn’t be right to end such a long friendship on such a bad note, so I asked Helen to talk again to patch things up.

We talked. I apologized. And Helen apologized-ish. Not really because she didn’t feel she did anything wrong. I said that we should remain friends. And if she wanted to remain best friends, she’ll have to put in the effort or whatever we have will fade away. Maybe we should talk once a week or once every two weeks. She said she’ll try but made no guarantees. Very noncommittal.

So I was surprised when she texted me after a week and asked to talk. It was a nice talk and I told her how whatever is happening could be because of God’s larger plan. She’s not religious at all and yet, eagerly lapped it up. She told me that she had feelings for me but logically it couldn’t work. Then she said that for the majority of the time she was with me, she was happy.

And then I began having a succession of dreams.

In the first dream, I saw Helen and her boyfriend. I tried to get Helen’s attention but she was ignoring me. I became livid and put two bullets into the heads of Helen and her boyfriend. I felt nothing.

In the second dream, I was in an outpatient clinic in Florida. (I could tell it was Florida because there were palm trees.) I went to an outside room that was not attached to the clinic. I saw Helen in the room. I was happy to see her and said, “I wanna hang out with you.”

She replied, “Ok, but only in groups.”

I was a bit surprised and asked, “Why?”

I don’t remember how she responded.

In the third dream, I had one goal. It was to talk communicate with Helen. I struggled throughout the dream and eventually, we did talk.

It seems like the dreams showed the change in my heart … from cold-as-ice to something that is warm and alive once again.

And because God gave me my heart back, I pursued Helen again for another week. One of my friends went through the same things as me and got his girl back. So I told God, “I know that I’m not supposed to marry someone who isn’t a Christian. But I’m telling you upfront … if there is an opening, I’m taking it.”

I would write to Helen and just tell her how I feel. Asking her to come back. And I received quite a blunt response about how she doesn’t feel the same way, how she is serious about the guy, and how I really need to move on.

She Does Not Know How to Love

After a week, we spoke for one last time. She spoke with such a harshness in her voice; I was shocked.

She said, “I wasn’t happy being with you.”

“Why?”

“Our friends and my family didn’t think you were treating me fairly.’

Where the heck was this coming from? “How did I not treat you fairly?”

No response.

“You don’t even have to tell me the names of the friends. Just tell me what they said about how I treated you unfairly.”

No response.

“Fine. Tell me how your parents though I treated you unfairly.”

“You’re inconsiderate.”

“How?”

She brought up our last trip abroad and how I asked to spend time with her one time at night. It is a safe country where people in middle school travel by themselves. And we’ve been hanging out at night ever since first year. So I have no idea where this is coming from.

I told her to go nuts on me. Tell me everything she wasn’t happy about with me. She told me that I’m not nice.

“Anything else? Any other complaints about me?”

“I told you already.”

I didn’t have much to go by. Her parents thought I treated her poorly by asking to hang out with her at night, which we’ve always done since first year. Then something about how I’m not nice. (And I thought girls didn’t like nice guys.)

I retorted that her previous boyfriend was super nice. And yet, she broke up with him. And she said because she never had feelings for him. I knew then that it wasn’t about what people did. It wasn’t even about being nice or not. It was about her feelings.

She was trying to rationalize her emotions. She is not doing a very good job because how can anyone rationalize crazy?

I said, “Keep going. Tell me off.”

“You should ask your dad, because he knows you best.”

“We’ve been close for the past 4 to 5 years. You can tell me what I need to change too.”

“Your dad knows you better. You should ask him. And the things I’m telling you about, you don’t have to change.”

“You don’t wanna talk about it, huh?”

“Yeah.”

What she said is so confusing. Because of the way I acted, I “supposedly” made her unhappy. And yet, I don’t have to change.

I told her that she is not the Helen I used to know. And she said, “Maybe.” And the harshness in her voice, she didn’t speak to me like that before. When I pointed out the harshness, she tried to deny it. Then I pointed it out again and she realized it and changed her tone. I repeated that she is not Helen I used to know.

“I have one last question,” I said. “Tell me … what is love? And don’t say it is a feeling.”

“It is a feeling.”

At that point, I knew Helen did not know how to love.

After the talk, I sent one little friendly message. She didn’t reply for quite a while and blamed it on her workload in the hospital. But we both know the real reason.

And as for her effort in maintaining contact with me every one or two weeks, she isn’t trying very hard. Our friendship already withered and died.

The girl who spent 4.5 years with me, the girl who I thought loved me and would never betray me traded me in for a random guy she met twice. All because she was following her feelings.

I spent each day in deep prayer and meditation, because apart from Him, I would have been engulfed and crushed by the fiery pressure inside the crucible. It was the most difficult time of my life and I would have been better off dead. I’m not a man of tears, but I cried twice. My most treasured person in the world turned on me. Why did God restore my heart only for it to be torn apart? 

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Comments

  1. Hey alex. I want to tell you once again that i really like your writting. I don’t know why, but you have that “something”.

    First of all could you please tell me why you weren’t able to marry her in the beginning? Because she was not Christian? How did you then change your mind and told her you could marry her?

    Man i will tell you the real harsh truth even though i don’t know you and i have just read your blog a couple times. Maybe it’s because i can relate to your story, i have gone through the same situation but i finally learned a lot…

    The problem wasn’t that she didn’t love you nor that her parents told her that you are not nice. Her parents maybe never have told her that and i guess she really loved you.

    The problem was YOU . There are two reasons she found another guy.

    1) Every girl cares about her marriage and has dreamed how her marriage will be.
    You told her that you couldn’t marry her and as far i understood you left her and you two were leaving separetly. You also told her that she should find someone else to marry her. Why the heck would she stay with you? You made her go away man! You never, never tell a woman to go find someone else even if she should because when you do that you LOWER YOURSELF. When you lower yoursef you lose the game. If you really care about her you can tell her to find somene else ONLY if you have found another girl or you no longer want to stay with her.

    2)Girls don’t really want nice guys but say they want nice guys. The fact that she told you you weren’t nice was just an excuse. As you saw she didn’t had any argument to prove her claims. Just non-sense.

    The problem was you were a little needy. You did everything you can to express your feelings to her, you tried one week to persuade her to change her mind, you tried to give logical arguments to why you are better than the other guy to a girl which is an emotional creature. Logic doesn’t work in these cases.

    She found someone who triggered her emotions in a no-needy attractive way. Actually you were really nice to her adn that was the problem. You need to be more of a challenge when you deal with women. Even if you have a 4 year relationship.

    You need to be challenging and you must show her that you are the best option she has. If she leaves you no prob, you will find someone else and she will be the one who will lose something important, not you.

    By having that mindset you are never going to be in that position again. She weill get the message, but subconciously, you can’t tell her that. Don’t be a nice guy but don’t be a jerk. Find something in the middle.

    regards,Damian

    • Alex Ding says:

      Hey Damain,

      I like your comment. To answer your questions …

      I wouldn’t marry her for two reasons:

      1. I am not the marrying type. I’m still not sure if I am.

      2. She isn’t a Christian.

      But I changed my mind for her because I thought she was someone who was loyal and someone who loved me. Those kind of people is extremely rare. That was why I would marry her.

      I appreciate your reasons on why she left. It is true that I pushed her away. But since she kept in touch with me every day, I misinterpreted her actions and thought she loved me, which was why I endured through so much to try to win her back.

      And I do care about her. I’m not the type of person to string a girl along for my own benefit, which was why I told her to find someone else.

      It is interesting about how you say that I lowered myself when asking her to come back. It really has the alpha / beta connotation to it. And although the alpha / beta model of attraction does work in the short-term, it falls flat in the long-term. And my relationship went into the long-term.

      Even the richest, most-handsome, most alpha men go through a divorce if they get married. Or if they do not marry but their relationships last long enough, they go through a breakup. A human heart isn’t a computer program — always spitting out the same results given the input.

      A girl could have everything — a loving spouse, kids, and luxuries — and she could jeopardize everything based on emotions. Is it the fault of the guy because he wasn’t better? Or is it the fault of the girl because she can never be satisfied?

      I did what I could, which was pretty darn good. So it is obviously her fault. (Which in itself is how people who are self-confident or who are full of themselves think.)

      Just because I fight for her does not make me needy. I gave her space to do her thing, which was how she contacted the other guy in the first place. But when a situation arises, I respond to the best of my abilities. I fought long and hard because that is how much she meant to me. The only guy who gives up on a girl without a fight is the one who does not love her.

      Do men give up their country without a fight?

      Do men give up their children without a fight?

      Do men give up their property without a fight?

      As I look back, there was nothing I can do to change her mind. Logic couldn’t override her emotions. And she was already in the infatuation stage with another guy. Thus I couldn’t win through emotions … at least not until the emotions simmer down. By then, it is or will be too late. I already resolved not to take her back real early on. You’ll see more in the 4th part of the story.

      A girl doesn’t cheat on a guy in the beginning of a relationship when everything is red hot, but later on in the relationship when things cool down. Feelings will cool down in ALL relationships with enough time. The only thing that makes relationships last in a divorce / breakup friendly country like the US is the character of the person.

      Is she like an animal that follows instincts and feelings? Or is she a higher being who can honor her words when her feelings tell her otherwise? Sadly, most people are in the first category … which goes back to why I am not the marrying type.

      • Thanks for taking time to respond in my comment alex.

        Just like you said, a girl could jeopardize everything based on emotions. In my opinion that was your mistake. You tried to approach her logically and of course it didn’t work because logic doesn’t triggers a girls emotions. You should approach her emotionally. I have done this too, i still do it sometimes because that’s how my brain( and yours) function. With logic and critical sense.

        I can see your point of view and why you acted that way but if we continue this conversation we will end up with endless lines of writting explaining our thoughts, beliefs and complaints so let’s avoid it and move on.
        These kind of conversations never, never end.

        I wish you the best for the future.

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