Our expert says:
"Soul mate" is a dodgy and risky concept, implying all sorts of things that are rarely, if ever, actually true. Call them someone you like a lot, and thats probably more accurate.
We all form friends at different times in life, when we are at different stages of maturity and wisdom, and we part from many of them, for reasons that may be good or bad.
As for your former friend, remember the old concept of 'ships that pass in the night " - from the days when, on a ship way out at sea, you'd see a ship approach, pass by, and disappear, and you'd never see it again. And you didn't mourn that. Some people enter out lives in the same way - they're heading somewhere else for some other reason, for a short time we see and know them, and then they move on.
HE HAS MOVED ON, and is NOT the person you thought you knew. He is married and has a child, and a new and presumably happy life. And you are married, too, and have chosen to make other committments.
When you miss a bus, you can't just sit by the road-side weeping, or insisting that you want to get on THAT bus - catch the next one, and you can still reach your destination.
He certainly is not now the man you dream about, and he probably never ever was. And any attempt to resume any form of relationship with him would not only hurt both of you, but innocent people - your spouses and the child.
It was a mistake, perhaps ( you are assuming it was - maybe you two would have been utterly miserable together had the relationship continued ) but its long gone. And the mistake wasn't terrible, There is absolutely nothing to forgive. You didn't try to hurt anyone, you just made a decision that seemed best at the time. That's it. The "mistake" did not harm him, and wouldn't harm you if you would just let it go.
The time you waste mourning your fantasy of how you assume it was, is time lost from your life, from your future, and prevents you from fully investing in the relationship you actually have, while fantasizing about one you didn't and won't have.
Right now, you're like someone with an old flesh wound that you refuse to allow to heal, but instead keep picking at it, pulling off the scab and poking at it. That's an ugly but accurate metaphor.
For a long time you have not been missing the actual person, but a fantasy, a magnificant and perfect person you have invented and created in your mind ; a delusion that if only you two had remained together life would have been totally marvellous, and now it is doomed to be miserable for ever. That is just not true, fortunately.
DO see a psycholiogist using CBT methods, to help you work away from these fixed and damaging beliefs and bad habits, to free yourself to enjoy the real life you actually have
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