Sam. A good-looking single dad with a great job and a nice home. Women love him.
Especially his former Kristen who couldn't seem to get over him.
So she began contacting him after their breakup. She probably saw it as love: trying to win him back. She'd leave notes and emails and texts and calls.
But Sam became unnerved.
So he consulted an officer to help him draft a text to make the harassment stop.
It did not. It became further exacerbated: random numbers calling, followed by silence. Creepy.
Sam even had to change his phone number.
This made Kristen mad.
So she began calling Sam's girlfriend, frequently, even at work. And Sam's girlfriend was getting tired of all of the drama, so she blocked the number; but then random numbers began calling her as well.
And then some guy who claimed to be a "friend of Sam's from work" who was "merely looking out for her best interest" said that Sam was a cheater and a liar.
Sam's girlfriend became suspicious and exhausted by all of this. Who could blame her? It seemed that Kristen was accomplishing what she wanted: if she couldn't have Sam, nobody could.
This guy even said that he had proof that Sam was a liar and a cheater, and that he'd send it to her. (It never came.)
Sam's girlfriend just couldn't do it anymore. She broke up with him. And he'd been thinking of proposing, too.
Not like Band-Aid ouch, more like staples without anesthesia ouch.
Smarting: to feel a sharp, stinging pain.
Sam is still smarting. Poor Sam.
Here's Oprah's advice to him: https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/relationships-love/a28748535/what-to-do-after-breakup/
Here would be my advice to him.
Grieve as much as you want, in any way that you want. And how lucky to have experienced relationships when so many people are so lonely. And to also reframe and change the story your head is telling you: you're not to blame for other people's choices. You're not perfect and neither is anybody else, but that's what makes us interesting and human. You're also free to discover yourself again, and in the future, pursue a better relationship. One more suitable for you.
I'd also tell him to read this book:
Sam's story makes him smart.
But it also makes him SMART.
He's learning that when the going gets tough, he needs support. Through good times and bad.
He's learning that he's capable of resilience and grit. Of showing his kids what bootstraps are for.
He's learning that Life isn't fair. That good times are fleeting. That the stories we tell ourselves have to change when Life changes.
Of course there's grief and pain. But there's also opportunity.
As Elizabeth Vargas said in an interview with Diane Sawyer, "God only has three answers: Yes.
Not Now. or I Have Something Better for You." (39 minutes in)
Sure Sam imagined his life differently at this point, but it's kind of interesting not knowing what tomorrow may bring, isn't it?
He's free. Free from Kristen. Free from drama.
And he's not alone.
He's not by himself. He's with himself.
And he's okay.
Sam was already pretty damn SMART.
But the smarting makes us even SMARTER.
And now he can go his own way.